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"You can't do this, it is my duty." Kai argued with him.

 "I want to be a good king. This makes me a good king, right? I save all of Ferelden from the Blight; I save you."

 Kai stared at him, her heart beating so fast and so hard surely it could be heard by everyone atop the tower. "No, I have led us. the decision is mine to make, mi gra. Most of my family lies dead due to Arl Howe's treachery. My brother Fergus is probably dead, too. This is mine to do. Ferelden needs her king, a king of Theirin blood, not Anora, you. It needs you, just as I have needed you all this time." She gestured with her hands pleading. "I need you to live, my love, my beloved, my heart. You will be a great king. You must live."

He drew her in close. His lips met hers. She put everything into this last kiss. She wanted him to take part of her soul in their mingled breath before she gave the rest of it slaying the arch demon. She allowed herself to take strength from his warmth, his soft lips on hers, the way the stubble on his chin rubbed against her skin. She felt the cold metal of his Dead Legion armor under one hand and the feel of his hair beneath the fingertips of the other. She took in the scent of him, of her beloved — a scent she could recognize even over all the blood and gore that covered them both. These things she would take with her when she passed into the Fade. They parted as he stepped back, running his fingers down the side of her face in that familiar, loving gesture.

 She looked into his amber eyes willing him to see the love for him shining in her own. She turned away from him to move to the arch demon, and…nothing! Her whole body was caught in mid-stride and surrounded by glowing rings of power, a paralysis spell. Every muscle felt as though made of stone. Sod it! Kai caught the knowing look that passed between Alistair and Wynne. He simply looked at her with those golden brown eyes, love and regret showing in them. "This is the sanest thing I have ever done." He gave her his lopsided smile and turned from her.

 Kai watched in horror as he paused and then began running toward the great dragon as it reared up in one last attempt to live. She watched everything in slow motion as if they were all underwater. Watched as Alistair grabbed a sword sticking out of a nearby corpse and without breaking stride heaved himself at the arch demon. One smooth motion had him sliding on his knees through all the blood and gore, slicing the dragon’s underbelly, letting his momentum carries him the length of the beast. Almost like some macabre dance, he came back to his feet avoiding the tail as the arch demon screamed in mortal agony, its huge darkly scaled body shuddering in a death throe.

She wanted to scream with it. Kai redoubled her efforts, sweating with her fight to break the spell that held her. Whether from exhaustion or because Wynne had become distracted by what they were witnessing, Kai was finally able to move. Both of them began to run toward Alistair. "Ali, NO!" Kai screamed at him. He simply turned and with the utmost calm on his face raised the sword over the arch demon.

"I love you, always." Alistair told her, before plunging the point of the sword into the head of the monstrous beast. Kai watched as white light speared out surrounding the sword and her beloved as he twisted the sword with a sickening crunch. She could tell he was in pain, but he did not falter or flinch.

 Suddenly it felt as if all the air around them was being sucked toward the center of the tower where man and beast hung suspended. Kai couldn't breathe, and she gasped and looked at Wynne before turning her gaze back to Alistair. It was only a moment, but it felt like a long pause between inhaling and exhaling. Then, the world exploded as the air sucked in now blew outward in a ring of immense pressure and blinding white light. The sound made Kai scream and reflexively cover her ears. The shock wave hit her, and she only had a moment to contemplate flying through the air before the world went black.

 When she came to, her right arm felt as if it were on fire and dangled uselessly at her side. Broken then, she thought, along with a few ribs on that side as well. Her head thrummed in time with her pulse. Disoriented, she thought for a moment she was back at camp. They had stopped a darkspawn raid on a caravan. Kai had taken a nasty blow to the head from a hurlock. They must have put her in her tent. "Nug humper!" she groaned. It occurred to her that she was spending entirely too much time around Oghren, he was a bad influence on her language skills. Alistair would blame himself for letting her get hurt, had blamed himself for letting her get hurt. It all came flooding back, not camp, the top of Fort Drakon! The archdemon, Ali!

 "Alistair, oh Great Maker, no!" Not camp, the tower at Fort Drakon! Kai struggled up, heaving herself to her feet. She looked for him and saw his crumpled form lying next to the head of the arch demon.

 Her world went gray. All the pain of her broken body receded as if it belonged to someone else. She didn't notice when she stumbled on rubble or slid on stones slick with blood. She paid no heed when she tripped over the corpse of a Redcliffe knight, catching herself with her broken arm, or trying to anyway. She would not, could not stop until she reached him.

 Somehow she managed to heave him partway into her lap with her good arm. Kai kept hearing someone one screaming and crying his name in great choking sobs, but the sound came from a long distance away. When she looked at his face, it was covered in droplets of water. Was it raining? Part of her mind wondered at these things with a detached fascination.

 In the end it had been Sten who had pulled her away from his body so that Oghren, Zev, and Leliana could carry it away. Her Mabari war hound, Argus, whined and pressed close to his mistress trying to comfort her. She had struggled, but the giant Qunari merely held her close with no more effort than a child holding a doll. He simply stoked her hair and whispered, “Kadan” over and over again.

Wynne attempted to perform healing magic on her, though she was in no better shape than Kai. But Kai had spat at her with what little moisture her body had left. "Get away from me, witch! Betrayer, deceiver, I hate you!" Kai had screamed at her, and Wynne had pulled away as if she had been slapped. Kai railed and screamed until her voice had become nothing more than a croak.

 Finally, she was so exhausted she collapsed like a puppet with its strings cut. She had a vague impression of Sten carrying her out of the tower, and another of being placed in a bed in a darkened room. Then, the blessed blackness of sleep had swallowed her and no dreams from the Fade, not even of the darkspawn from her tainted blood, had disturbed her. Bless the Maker.