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Quid Pro Quo

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Everything that happened that morning caught Nimue by surprise. Since Maxwell arrived three days earlier things had been hectic. Since then, Nimue had just had a few hours of sleep. She was tasked with having to help to lodge and feed the Mages that seemed to arrive in Haven at all hours of the day and night. Also, she was keeping her morning meetings with the Commander where she always ended up with more tasks that she had to perform during the day on top of everything else. That morning, however, when she turned up at Cullen’s tent to start their morning, she found him rushing out.

“We are just a few hours from attempting to close that thing,” Cullen said looking to the fractured sky. “Solas has already gone to the Temple with the Mages. Cassandra and I are going to accompany the Herald there.” Cullen approached Nimue, grabbed her shoulders hard with his hands and looked deeply into her eyes, “I don’t know if you pray or even believe in anything, but it wouldn’t hurt if you prayed for our success. This is our only chance, Nimue.”

"I will, Cullen. I don’t know if they will listen to me, though." “That is all I ask,” Cullen said leaving Nimue.

Nimue prayed. She was never the praying type, but she prayed anyway. She always doubted the Creators even knew she existed. She was still praying when she saw the surge of green light cut to the sky, hit the breach, and then a huge explosion of light that blinded the entire population of Haven. She looked up to where the Breach had been, the sky looked healed, scarred but healed. Maxwell and the mages were successful. Nimue heard people roar with joy, and she joined the crowd with her own out a cry of relief. Life was going to go back to normal, and now her people had a chance of surviving.

It didn’t take long for Maxwell and everybody to return from the Temple and the celebrations to begin. People were dancing around a huge bonfire, wine was flowing freely and above all there was a contagious sense of relief. Maxwell was sitting on a log watching the party when Nimue sat beside him and they observed the crowd dancing for a while.

“Why are you not dancing?” Nimue asked as she sat next to him.

“Not much of a dancer. Two left feet.” 

"Well, it doesn’t matter about your feet, does it? You did it!” Nimue hugged him.

“Aye, Solas confirmed the sky has a fucking scar but the thing is closed, fucking sealed. There are bloody rifts lingering all over the place, but this was a blighted good victory.” Maxwell patted Nimue’s back, he always felt a bit smothered when she hugged him.

“I bet word of your heroism has already spread.”

“I am no fucking hero. Many were involved, including ye. Cursed luck just put me at the centre.”

“A strange kind of luck. Not sure if we need more or less. But you are right; this was a victory of alliances. With the Breach closed this alliance will need new focus. The Inquisition needs to think about my people and making an alliance with them.”

“Nim, no need to get fucking political with me! I am glad that thing is closed. I am still stuck with this damned glowing thing on my hand that doesn’t let me fucking sleep. I am sure that those harpy wenches won’t miss a chance to boss me around tomorrow, but one thing that is for fucking sure is that we can start to work on bringing yer people here. Even if I have to close another curse blighted cunt of a Breach!”

“Yes, that would be a dream come true.”

“Meanwhile ye keep going around Haven sweeping ex-fucking-Templars off their feet.” Maxwell waved his hand.

“What are you talking about? I have not done such a thing.”

“Mo Bradach, sometimes ye are so daft it hurts! Alistair stares at ye all the time. His eyes are always following ye like he is a dog in front of a butcher’s shop.”

“We kissed twice. I mean, it was more than just kissing. It was more like he was devouring me, but we were interrupted. I don’t know where things would have gone if we didn’t get interrupted.”

“Really?” Maxwell raised one eyebrow, he realised he sounded more protective than he wanted.

"Do ye feel anything for him?”

Nimue went gloomy, “Does that matter? He is going to dump me eventually anyway.”

“Why are ye saying that? Did he hurt ye? Did he say something to ye? I will fucking kill that bastard!” Maxwell made the motion of standing up. Nimue held him by his shoulder and pulled him back down.

“Max, calm down! He hasn’t done or said anything. I just know. I mean look at me. Why would he want to be with me?”

“Why wouldn’t he?” Maxwell sounded puzzled.

“The matrons of my people told me already I am not mate material. Not intelligent, beautiful, tall or thin.” Nimue looked detached like she was retelling a passage of a book memorised long ago.

“Aye, definitely fucking daft. And not only ye but yer entire fucking race if they said something like that to ye! No wonder ye are in the verge of extinction. All fucking idiots!”

"Maxwell, don't say that, they are right."

"All this cold must have froze yer fucking brains! Nimue, ye are the finest piece of arse in Haven! And it is not only that, lass! Ye are intelligent, witty, inquisitive and yer naïveté is just fucking adorable. Ye left the cosiness of yer bed to save yer entire race! And don't come back with the lame excuse that ye are here because ye look like us. That is just old. Yer people wouldn’t send ye if you were as dumb as a door knob.”

Nimue widened her eyes, “Is that what you really think about me? You don’t think I am a freak?”

“For fuck sake, Bradach! Besides daft are ye fucking deaf? Are ye even fucking listening? Of course ye are not a sodding freak.”

“But everybody keeps looking at me. Sera came to me the other day and said, ‘Wow, you are well fed!’”

“Because ye are all tall and exotic, genius! Not because ye are weird! Definitely daft!” He growled to himself.

“But there is also Cullen... and Leliana.” Nimue said sheepishly.

“I don’t know what is wrong with that harpy cunt, but I will sort her out. And the Commander, well call me a nug’s fart if I am wrong, but that man wants to get into your pants.”

“All he has to do is ask. But why would he want my pants? I thought his were perfectly good ones.”

Maxwell burst into laughter. “I mean fuck ye, ye daft girl. Copulate, fornicate, make love, boning, shagging, banging.”

“What?” Nimue asked.

“Sheathing the sword, grinding the whetstone, getting your leg over, bumping, busting the load, lick ye all over….” he laughed as he trailed off.

Nimue blinked.

“Fucking intercourse lass, ye know? When someone puts their meaty parts into someone’s else?”

“Okay Max, I got it.”

“Mo Bradach, time to stop this drama and give the two finger salute to yer fucking matrons! They don’t know shit! Ye are beautiful because ye are the whole package. Nim, the first time I saw yer, I wanted to toop your brains out! And then we spoke and it was fucking love at first fucking sight. Fucking friendship fraternal love. Aye, Bradach, I love ye!”

“ I love you too, Max! My foul mouthed berserker!”

“Lass, what I am trying to tell ye is that ye have a distorted, twisted and wrong vision of yerself. If ye were this fucking piece of shit ye think ye are, ye wouldn’t be here. Fucking simple as that. And look there. That lad is about to kill me,” Nimue looked to where Maxwell pointed with his head and saw Alistair, apart from the celebration leaning against the wall of the warehouse hut.

“Ye better go and talk to him.”

________

The insistent rough shriek in his head had a terrible habit of catching him by surprise. It was a dreadful voice that didn’t stop repeating his name. When he was busy- talking or fighting- he had no problems, it was when he was quiet; like now. That was when the thing started to creep up in his brain. Is this the calling? Oh for Andraste’s crossed eyes! I really thought I would still have at least 20 years left before I had to worry about it. And what does an ex-Grey Warden do? Go to the Deep Roads? Am I even allowed there? No Alistair, let’s not go there tonight.

Alistair looked across the party taking place and saw Nimue. Maker, how he desired her. In the beginning he couldn’t understand her uneasiness around him. At first he wondered if she was afraid of him, but he quickly shrugged that concern away. It was not fear he saw in her beautiful eyes. He was almost certain it was a reflection of the desire he felt for her. Alistair inwardly laughed. He was falling in love. And he was too much of a chicken to tell her. Why is fighting darkspawn easier than telling this sweet woman that I am over the moon for her? It made no sense to him, but it was a fact. Sharing how he felt terrified him. He had his entire life to find someone, and now that he was hearing the blighted calling was when she showed up. Things always had to be dramatic and difficult for him. Suddenly, he sensed the rose perfume with which he was so familiar.

“I’ll never get over how quietly you are able to move,” Alistair said without looking at Nimue.

"It took me years to learn, and even then I am not the best of it. Rather than not heard, I prefer not to be seen at all.”

“I am not sure if I would like that.”

“What?”

“Not to see you. I think you are the most beautiful person I know.” Alistair looked at her and smiled.

“I doubt that, Alistair.”

“Yes, you are. And not only beautiful, you are brave, resourceful and you have the most amazing eyes I have ever seen- like molten chocolate.” Alistair turned and caressed her cheeks with his knuckles. He spent several minutes just stroking her cheeks and looking at her. She had her eyes closed and a subtle smile on her lips. He took a deep breath and decided to be brave. “So all this time we spent together, chasing wardens, hunting game for the refugees, Mages, Templars, the tragedy, the constant fighting… will you miss it now that is over?”

“You are joking, right?”

“Yes, only one of the sisters at the monastery used to never laugh at my jokes. No matter how hard I tired she used to just glare at me. Anyway, I know it might sound strange, considering we haven’t known each other for very long, but I have come to care for you a great deal.” Alistair put his hands on Nimue’s waist and looked straight in her eyes. “I think maybe it is because we have been through everything together since the beginning. I don’t know… or maybe I am imagining it. Maybe I am fooling myself. Am I fooling myself? Or do you think you might feel the same way about me?” He gazed down trying to avoid eye contact.

“I think I do,” Nimue said softly.

“Good.” He pulled her closer and kissed her. Alistair slowly pushed Nimue towards the entrance of the hut. Without breaking the kiss he opened the door and guided her inside. He then pushed the door closed with his foot, and continued to guide her until she was leaning against some fruit crates.

As he deepened the kiss, Alistair slid his hand inside her shirt, up her ribcage and over her breast. He brushed his thumb over her nipple until it hardened, pressing against the worn linen of her breastband.

Alistair unlaced Nimue’s shirt and took it off, and Nimue said something in her language, he couldn’t understand but he felt his pants grow tight with want. He pulled her breastband until it was hanging from her waist and kissed the skin between her breasts. He felt her threading her fingers through his hair as he slowly traced the shape of her breasts with kisses. He heard her sighing in pleasure while he used the tip of his tongue to lick back the same path he had done with kisses.

“Maker, you taste divine,” Alistair said as he enclosed the tip of one of her nipples in his mouth, teasing it with his tongue and then suckling it. He went back to claim her mouth. He trailed kisses down her neck while pressing his body against hers and rocking his hips, teasing the inside of her thigh with his hard shaft, making sure she could feel how swollen he was. He grabbed her hand and put on his cock.

“Can you feel how hard you make me? How much I want you?”

Nimue had no idea how, but Alistair managed to open her breeches and pull them down. He slid one finger inside her then the other. He felt Nimue’s pussy clenching around his hand as he thrusted his fingers slowly and deeply inside her. “

Oh Maker, you are so wet! I have to taste you.” Alistair kneeled and eased Nimue’s thighs opened by putting one of her legs over his shoulder. He raked his fingers through her curls and then used both hands to spread her swollen lips wide. He lowered his head and kissed her clit. Alistair felt Nimue’s body shudder as she tried to keep standing.

He kissed, suckled and flicked her clit with his tongue until he felt her juices flowing freely. “Forgive me for not being strong enough to wait until we were in our tent, but all I can think is how much I want you.” He leaned forward and gave her quivering pussy the kind of deep penetrating kiss her lips craved. He felt her hips move to the rhythm of of his tongue. Oh dear Maker, he never wanted this to end. He felt Nimue’s fingers tugging his head upwards; he followed the suggestion, shifting his mouth to her clit.

Alistair laughed, “That’s it Pretty Lady, show me what you want.” He flicked his tongue over her clit so fast he could feel she was sputtering on the verge of climax.

He released her hold for a moment to undo his pants and let his cock free. He began to stroke his stone hard shaft with one hand, working on his length with a tight fist and resumed suckling on Nimue’s clit.

That was when they heard a bell tolling. Nimue, surprised, jerked herself forward trying to disengage.

Alistair gently pushed her back against the crates, “Easy, Pretty Lady. I am sure it is just someone celebrating.”

The next thing they heard was Cullen’s voice shouting, “Forces approaching! To arms!” Alistair stood up, trying to do his pants, and growled in frustration.

“Maker's hairy arse, This is not funny anymore! Let’s go, Nimue, I guess we are needed. Believe me when I say, we WILL finish this later!”