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About Deviant Meat and Sarcasm Gal XDFemale/United States Groups :iconcircle-of-magi: Circle-of-Magi
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Meat and Sarcasm Gal XD
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For my followers here who aren't on tumblr: I have seven fics ranging in length from 1500 to 4000 words from the Dragon Age AltPair week back in June. I did Jowan/Leliana. (Trust me, it does work. Though I am just a tad biased xD)

Anybody want me to post 'em here? They're all saved in, so it won't be hard to do, I just don't want to flood my gallery with rarepair fic that no one's gonna care about.
  • Reading: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn
  • Drinking: coffee


"I need to talk to you."

Sebastian glanced up, and one look at the storm clouds brewing in Astrid's eyes had him setting aside the candles he'd been trimming and brushing his hands off as he got to his feet. "What's wrong?"

"Mother. I love her, but I really don't understand her priorities sometimes." Astrid raked her hands through her hair in frustration, completing the destruction of her already-loose ponytail, and paused for a moment to tie it back up.

"I'm sensing a story there..." Sebastian murmured, one hand resting on her elbow to guide her away from the suddenly definitely-not-eavesdropping Chantry sisters nearby. "And that that's what you want tae talk about?"

She nodded. "I need to vent. And you're the best choice for listening ear, far as I'm concerned. But if you're busy I can go bother Fenris or 'Bela instead-"

"You're not a bother, Hawke," he assured her. Never, ever a bother.

Reproachful green eyes slanted toward him. "How many times...?"

He grinned sheepishly and bobbed his head in apology. "I'm sorry, Astrid. You're never a bother. Now, what was it you wished tae talk about?"

"Right, well, you know how I spent this morning."

"Playin' mediator b'tween Fenris an' Anders, aye. Seemed tae be dealin' with a powerful headache by the time we parted ways."

"I was," Astrid confirmed dryly as they stepped into the relative privacy of the Chantry garden. "And then I returned home to Mother, incensed and on the warpath because in my haste to eradicate slavers I apparently forgot she had accepted an invitation to tea with the De Launcets."

"Ah." Sebastian bit back a smile. "Such a shame..."

"Roughly my feeling on the matter. Fifi de Launcet can induce a headache even faster than Fenris and Anders' bickering. I can't say I'm sorry I forgot." She sighed, taking a seat on one of the scattered and secluded benches. "But then between my bad mood and hers, things... escalated. I was venting hurt that she's never completely forgiven me for Bethany dying and Carver being gone, and she was haranguing me for always being busy and never having time for social appointments and do I know how hard she's been trying to find me a husband?" She paused for breath, cheeks shading pink under her freckles. "That one... she may have a bit of a point. I have made it far from easy, but it's because I'm not interested in any of the suitors she likes. No, I have to make things difficult and want what I can't have."

The implication of her words hung heavy between them for several heartbeats, Sebastian silent simply because he couldn't think how to respond. And who says you can't?

Astrid hurried on, burying her brief slip beneath the rest of the story. "It's bad enough when we fight to begin with, but she just kept pushing and... and I wound up telling her I was perfectly happy with my life and I wished she would leave me alone and let me live it before storming out of the house." She buried her face in her hands. "She was planning to visit Gamlen today. I'm sure she's complaining about her horrible daughter who simply won't cooperate and doesn't understand that she wants what's best for me and it would be so much better if Bethany were alive--"

"I'm fairly certain she's no' sayin' that," Sebastian cut her off, laying a comforting hand on her shoulder. "She loves you, and knows you love her. A family is no more perfect than the individuals who form it. No matter what you said, I'm sure she knows."

"I've never... blown up at her like that before," Astrid mumbled, face still in her hands. "I've always managed to keep myself at least mostly in check, not say anything that would hurt her. I know whenever the twins come up it's just venting, she doesn't truly blame me. But sometimes..."

"Sometimes it's easy to forget?" Sebastian finished for her. "H- Astrid, one of Elthina's earliest lessons that actually stuck inside m' thick skull is that it's alright tae feel things, even hurt or resentment. It's what you do about it that's important. If you feel you've wronged your mother, by all means, set it right. But allow yourself to acknowledge when things she says hurt you. Your feelin's matter, too."

She gave vent to a small, self-deprecating laugh. "What, little old me?"

"Yes, little old you." He moved his hand from her shoulder to cover her hand, a familiar gesture of comfort that seemed to carry unexpected weight. "You are important, Astrid. I know it's easy to forget with th' weight a' the world on your shoulders, but don't."

"If I do, I suspect you'll remind in short order," she said with a smile as she turned on the bench to give him a hug. "Thank you for listening. And for trying not to take sides. I appreciate it."

"Anytime," he promised, returning the hug and briefly squeezing tighter before he released her. "I'm available whenever you need me, and whatever you need me for."

"Thank you." Astrid offered one last grateful smile before she stood and left the chantry, her stride significantly lighter than it had been coming in.


She returned much sooner than he would have expected--no more than an hour after their conversation. This time, she was dressed for war; her robes obviously pulled on in haste, staff clutched in a white-knuckle grip, eyes bright with desperate, furious panic. "Sebastian, I need your help again. And not for a counseling session this time."

He took one look at her, absorbed the nervous--almost frantic--energy flowing off her, and nodded. "Of course. What's wrong?"

"Mother never made it to Gamlen's."
Have a mini fic spawned by a tumblr prompt ages ago, that's been sitting in forever while I tried to come up with a title. The shorter things are always harder to title, I guess because there's less time for a pattern/theme to emerge? :shrug: But, yes, being the evil mother that I am, of course I couldn't just let these two have a quiet moment without throwing in the bit at the end.

Sebastian, Leandra, and Dragon Age in general belong to BioWare

Astrid is mine 
Title: At Long Last
Author: queen-scribbles
Game: Dragon Age Origins
Characters/Pairings: Leliana, Jowan, f!Cousland, Alistair; Leliana/Jowan
Disclaimer: Dragon Age world and characters belong to BioWare. I get nothing out of this other than enjoyment. And feels.

"You need a haircut."

Jowan grinned at the gently scolding tone of the comment. "What if I'm aiming for a ponytail?"

Leliana's hands smoothed over his shoulders, silent as she considered. "I think that would look dashing."

"Dashing?" he parroted, turning to face her with one eyebrow raised.

She giggled at his skepticism. "Like a hero from the legends, no? Unless... are you just teasing me?"

"Now, why would I do something like that?" He wrapped his good arm around her waist and pulled her closer, kissing the tip of her nose.

"I feel like I should be asking you that," she retorted, arms settling around his neck as she leaned in to steal a real kiss.

"Because it's fun," he whispered. "And I think we're due a little of that. But if you actually like the idea of me with a ponytail..."

Leliana nodded, resting her forehead against his. "It doesn't have to be a long one, but I do think I'd like that. You're more than halfway there already."

Jowan wrinkled his nose at the teasing note in her voice. "You are, as usual, right."

"Do you know what else I am right about?" she asked mischievously.


"We're going to be late."


She sighed in mock exasperation. "Well, I think Alistair would appreciate it if we were on time for his coronation, no? Also, tardiness in regards to state functions is considered very rude."

"Once again, I find myself unable to argue with your logic," Jowan corrected with a sigh of his own as he reluctantly let her go.

"Cheer up, cheri," Leliana giggled, giving him a final peck on the cheek as she stepped away. "There will be plenty of time later just for us, no?"


Plenty may have been the wrong word, she was forced to admit, as the coronation stretched into its second hour. The Grand Cleric did love to talk. Next to her, Jowan fidgeted slightly, running a finger under the fabric of the sling Wynne had insisted her use while his shoulder healed. Get some of the weight off the muscles, she had explained. The trade-off was it chafed the back of his neck and drove him crazy.

Leliana reached over and captured his hand in hers, shooting the mage a Fiddling will only make it worse look as she intertwined he fingers with his.

Jowan met her look with one of gratitude, and squeezed her hand as they tried to stay focused.


When they finally managed to escape the celebratory aftermath of Alistair's coronation, Jowan was in a much more solemn mood. He'd gotten Marta alone for just a few minutes; long enough for a hasty, basic answer to how Alistair had killed the archdemon and survived. Of all the explanations he'd thought he might hear, blood magic sex ritual with Morrigan wasn't even on the list.

Marta had chuckled wryly as she nudged his jaw closed with one finger. "People will stare." She further explained they hadn't said anything to him because "we figured you wouldn't want to do that to Leliana."

"We weren't a couple," he protested.

"Maybe not yet," had been the noblewoman's reply, paired with a parting grin. "But you could have fooled us." and she'd excused herself to go talk to her brother, leaving Jowan absolutely speechless.

"You alright, love?" Leliana asked, pulling him back to the moment.

"Hm? Fine," Jowan promised. "Just got lost in thought."

"I hear that can be dangerous," she said teasingly.

"Oh, very," he deadpanned, looping his arm around her neck and pulling her in to kiss the top of her head. "I should probably stop. Especially when the company is so good."

"Flatterer," Leliana blushed even as she rolled her eyes.

"Nope. Just honest." He released her and headed for his pack. "In fact, I have something to give you..."

Her eyes lit up when he pulled out his sketchbook. "What?"

"Here." Jowan carefully tugged the page free, hand shaking ever so slightly with nerves.

Leliana took the sheet of parchment eagerly. And nearly dropped it--along with her jaw--to the floor as it registered what she held. "This... you... how long did this take you?!"

Jowan shrugged. "I've been working on it a little bit at a time since Marta conscripted me. I wanted to make sure I got it right."

She looked at him skeptically. "I am not that pretty."

"First impressions are a powerful thing," he said simply, pressing a kiss to her temple. "And I draw what sticks with me."

Leliana shook her head and resumed staring at the sketch. "I just can't believe..." He watched her eyes trace the lines, the details of the armor, the curve of her bow, her hair cooperating better on paper than it ever had in real life. "Thank you!" Her arms circled his shoulders, carefully; mindful of both his injury and her gift, and she gave him a long, lingering kiss. "I love it! And you."

He smiled shyly and kissed her back. "I love you, too."


The parchment crinkled as she held it in her hands, the edges flaking slightly with age. Leliana sighed and lightly ran a fretful hand over the creases, trying in vain to smooth it out, before taking another sip of her wine. "I don't know how you do it," Justinia had said once, after she had summoned Leliana to be her Left Hand, "find the strength to be who you must." There were times Leliana would admit she didn't know either. Today was one of them, as the loneliness squeezed her heart with an ache she couldn't put into words.

The door creaked open behind her, and Leliana's brow creased in irritation.

"I said I wasn't to be disturbed," she groused, setting her goblet down hard. "Not even if Divine Victoria or the Inquisitor herself need me-"

"Surely you're willing to make some exceptions," a familiar--and dreadfully missed--voice commented close behind her. "After all, that's what friends are for, isn't it?"

Leliana's face split with the widest grin she'd worn in... well, since the last time they were together, as she pushed out of the chair with enough force she nearly knocked it over. She wheeled and lunged for a hug, her arms going around his neck heedless of armor, of the ponytail pinned between the crook of her elbow and the back of his neck, of grime, of everything.

The breath of Jowan's chuckle whisked across her cheek, and she heard his staff drop with a clatter as he wrapped his arms around her waist. "Oh, Maker's breath, I missed you, Lel."

"I missed you more." Her words were muffled against the side of her neck before she pulled him into a kiss. "Where were you? I was worried sick, all through the mess with the Wardens. How did you avoid that?!"

He smiled and tweaked a lock of hair falling in her eyes. "Marta had me go with her and Nathaniel to search for a cure. I guess she figured since the Taint is in the blood, I might be able to help in a way no one else would."

"And?" Leliana prompted, her hands sliding to rest on his chest. "Did you?"

"Did what, I know something, or we find a cure for the Calling?" Jowan's eyes glinted mischievously, clearly aware of how much she'd missed him.

"Both. Either. You're safe, so I don't really care about the details," she admitted. For so long they'd been answering to separate masters, passing like ships in the night, stealing moments when they could and writing letters when they couldn't. (She had a boxful, all decorated with sketches of flowers and landscapes) She'd long since come to terms with the realities of loving a Grey Warden--including the Calling. She wasn't going anywhere, regardless of what he said now.

"Yes. And yes," he answered, grinning impishly as he hugged her just a little tighter. "It seems you're stuck with me, Sister Nightingale." 

"Oh, no," she deadpanned, stealing a kiss as she settled her arms back around his neck. "What a terrible tragedy. Whatever shall we do?"

Jowan's grin widened and he kicked the door closed. "I have a few ideas..."

For the rest of the night, Leliana was very, very grateful she'd left orders not to be disturbed. And when she watched morning sun flit across Jowan's face as he slept, she realized that she finally felt at peace. And that?

That made it all worth it.
At Long Last
And there's the last of them. And the shortest, as I was trying not to overwork my hand. Besides, it's the happy ending fluff; I didn't want to overdo it. Thank you for indulging me and my (super-duper)rare pair. I know this isn't a ship that would even occur to most people, let alone become a soul-consuming "I SHIP IT" level pairing, but I have a habit of enjoying the unconventional characters/ships SOOOO it doesn't really surprise me that the second the thought occurred I latched on to it. xD
Leliana, Jowan, and Dragon Age in general belong to BioWare

Marta is my Cousland
Title: Long Overdue
Author: queen-scribbles
Game: Dragon Age Origins
Characters/Pairings: Leliana, Jowan, f!Cousland, Alistair; Leliana/Jowan
Disclaimer: Dragon Age world and characters belong to BioWare. I get nothing out of this other than enjoyment. And feels.

Despite her fervent desire to sit down and have a long heart to heart with a certain mage, Leliana didn't get a chance the whole journey to Denerim. Between the grim atmosphere, the speed with which they travel, and various untimely interruptions, they'd made it all the way back to the Fereldan capital before she got a chance to say two words to Jowan.

"We need to talk." Nothing had ever felt more like a blatant statement of the obvious.

Jowan sighed. "I know." He raked one hand through his hair. "Just... after." He nodded toward the burning city. "Let's make sure we both survive, and then we can have as long a conversation as you want."

Leliana took a deep breath, and smiled as she reached over to give his hand a comforting squeeze. "Deal."


The darkspawn hordes did not make that an easy deal to keep. Fortunately he'd gotten really good at ducking, and whoever designed the Grey Warden armor understood how to protect a mage without overburdening them. Jowan dodged another axe swing and petrified the hurlock responsible with a wave of his hand. He yelped and ducked again as another hurlock appeared, swinging wildly, and let the brute's momentum shatter its own comrade.

And so it went. As they fought for the square, the Alienage, the market, Fort Drakon itself. Every battle was a flurry of dodging, spells, and prayers for enough rest he didn't exhaust himself entirely before they faced the archdemon(assuming Riordan's plan even worked). Regardless, he was beginning to feel it by the time they stood outside Drakon's gates. Marta was also looking slightly winded, and Leliana had already been forced to refill her quiver with arrows scrounged off dead archers at least twice now. We can do this, he told himself, but that got a little harder to believe when they found Riordan's body in the prison courtyard.


Progress through Fort Drakon itself felt measurable in inches for how long each advancement took. But finally they emerged onto the roof.

"Well, this is one way to feel tiny," Alistair remarked glibly as they stared at the wounded and raging archdemon.

"And we have to kill it," Marta snarked back. "Let's get on that, shall we?"

There was something significant about the looks she gave Alistair and Jowan that made Leliana feel profoundly left out. But she shook off the sensation and charged in with the others, determined to do her part--even if she wasn't a Grey Warden. And, as it turned out, her focusing on crowd control--picking off the darkspawn that filtered up to the roof--allowed the Wardens to concentrate on the dragon. They did their work well, and it was obvious the archdemon knew it was in dire straits. The bellow it unleashed rattled the stones, and a fresh flood of darkspawn poured onto the roof. Even with the help of the dwarven warriors who had joined them, there were just too many. Leliana was just a little rushed, her aim just a little off in her haste.

And the genlock she'd been targeting swung true, its serrated blade gouging deep into her side.


Jowan heard her cry out and instinctively swiveled in her direction. Leliana was clutching her side, her face white, as a genlock hauled back its bloody sword for another swing.

It didn't get the chance; he made sure of that. In fact his aim was good enough--or lucky enough--the stonefist he cast had probably made pulp of the thing's skull.

Leliana looked his way, her grateful smile morphing into fear as she did. "Watch out!"

He spun to see a shriek lunging at Marta's unprotected back. Even as he raised his hand and froze it mid-leap, another one appeared out of nowhere and knocked him to the ground, its bladed fist sinking into his shoulder up to the knuckles.

At least it's the left one, was all he could think as his free arm instinctively came up to protect his face. Lightning coursed from his fingers, followed by fire, as he fought his way free. The shriek's twitching corpse tumbled off him, the blade doing yet more damage on the way out of his shoulder.

Marta appeared and offered him a hand up-"Thanks"-even as she turned to holler at Alistair, "Go, now!"

The warrior nodded and charged toward the archdemon, roaring a battle cry.

Jowan frowned, blinking away spots. "Wait, won't he-"

"Just wait," Marta cut him off, jaw tense as she watched.

The archdemon lowered its head to belch fire at the charging Warden, but Alistair dodged to the side and dragged his blade down its neck as he ran. The star-metal blade cut easily through even dragon scales, and the archdemon fell. With a last ringing cry, Alistair spun the blade point down and drove it into the dragon's skull.

The result could only be described as a delayed explosion, a few seconds passing before a brilliant purple-lit shockwave flared out from the dead dragon and knocked everyone on the roof off their feet. Jowan, of course, landed hard on his bad shoulder and couldn't stop the groaned curse as he rolled over to get back to his feet. Marta stood as well, hand resting on his shoulder in a silent check that he was--mostly--alright.

Which he was, but- "I'm going to need you two t' explain that to me," he mumbled, good hand pointing shakily to where Alistair was getting to his feet, still very much alive. "But later," he amended, "first I need to talk to Leli..." He didn't see her. "...ana..." Why couldn't he see her; she'd been right there. He started toward where he'd last seen her, gait slightly unsteady as his shoulder began to throb. "Leliana?!"

Dazed mutterings in Orlesian answered him as she clumsily made it to her knees. "J-Jowan..."

And Jowan's heart lodged in his throat as he hurried across the remaining distance between them. Without her hand in the way, he could see the full extent of the gash in her side. "No, no, no, no..."

He hastily---roughly--knelt next to her, left hand managing to curve against her jaw as his right pressed against the wound.

"It's not... that bad," she mumbled, even as her head lolled and her skin went clammy under his touch.

"And I'm next in line for the Sunburst Throne," Jowan snarked to cover his rising dread as he poured all his remaining energy, every last bit of mana he had left, into healing the wound. (Healing had never been a strong suit of his) I can't lose you, not now. His heart rate began to slow as her breathing even out. "Don't ever do that again. Getting grievously injured is my thing, remember?"

Leliana laughed giddily, resting her forehead against his shoulder--the good one, fortunately--as her color started to return. "Maybe I figured it was my turn, no?"

He tipped her chin up so she'd meet his eyes. "Well, I hereby absolve you of having to take a turn ever again. " He pressed a kiss to her forehead, heedless of the grime. "I don't... I can't lose you, Lel. Ever."

She grinned and threw her arms around his neck in a gloriously tight hug, whispering "Same," as she kissed him on the cheek.


Getting down from Fort Drakon's tower proved almost as arduous as getting up it had, given the state the two of them were in. But they were still alive, and that was a feat in and of itself.

"You should let someone take care of that shoulder," Leliana said, grimacing slightly as Jowan helped her around the last of the debris between them and the palace gates.

He blushed a little and cleared his throat. "I was figuring we could patch each other up while we had that talk."

"Ah." She pretended to mull it over as they followed the others inside the palace. "I like this plan quite a lot."

"I thought you might," Jowan replied with a boyish grin, squeezing her hand.


And so they did; after getting themselves the necessary supplies and locking the door. Both of them eased out of armor that had begun to stick, and then Jowan very gingerly pulled off his shirt and Leliana rolled hers up and tucked it under her breastband.

"So," she began, wringing out a towel to start cleaning off his shoulder, "where do we start?"

"With me apologizing for kissing you out of the blue," Jowan said hesitantly, his fingers tracing lightly over the pink skin of where her wound had been. I did better than I thought. Desperation's a funny thing... He sucked in a sharp breath as the water dripped over the hole through his shoulder.

"It was hardly out of the blue," Leliana protested, carefully cleaning the wound before she began stitching it closed. "Not with what almost happened after we killed Marjolaine."

"Good point," he admitted. "And I don't think I can do much more for your side, actually. You might ask Wynne to double-check it, but I think it's healed."

"Mm." She tugged her shirt free, letting the material fall to drape over her midriff again. "What you said on Fort Drakon, about not wanting to lose me... you meant that."

"It was can't lose you, and with all my heart." He paused, bit his lip. "You're the first person to make me feel... good enough. Like my mistakes aren't all that define me, and you're kind and thoughtful and sweet and you want to help... Are you really surprised that I'm falling in love with you?"

The words slipped out far more easily than Jowan had anticipated, and he heard Leliana's breath catch, her hands pausing briefly as she moved to stitch the back part of his shoulder wound, before, cautiously, "You... you love me?"

He winced, and not just from the sensation of the needle and thread tugging at his skin. "Yes. But if you don't feel the same way, say the word and I'll vanish to the opposite end of Thedas if you want." That really was much more likely; she'd noticed his growing feelings--he was lousy at hiding them--and was trying to let him down as gently as possible. That was when he noticed she was giggling as she finished the stitches. "What?"

Leliana sighed as she cut off the thread and circled back in front of him. "Jowan, you wonderful idiot, I said 'Same' up there for a reason. The last thing I want you to do is go away. That would make it ever so much harder to do this."

And with that, she leaned forward, braced one hand against the arm of his chair, and kissed him.

"Oh," was all Jowan could say when she pulled away for breath.

"Have I made myself clear?" Leliana whispered mischievously, combing her fingers through his hair.

"Uh-huh,"he mumbled, head still spinning as he kissed her back.

"Just to make sure," she said when they parted for air, "I love you, too. But I should probably finish with your shoulder before we forget ourselves, no?"

It was a good point, and Jowan reluctantly nodded assent. But neither of them stopped smiling like idiots for the duration of the evening.

Even when met with Marta and Alistair's knowing looks. 
Long Overdue
In direct contrast to According to Plan, this one didn't fight me at all and as extremely easy to write, at least from a story flow perspective. I hand-write all my fics before typing them up and posting them, so by this point in the week, my right hand hated me. So the actual writing took longer since I had to keep taking breaks every hundred or so words(FUN), but the story cooperated nicely. Probably because this is the one where they finally took the plunge and became a couple.
Leliana, Jowan, Alistair, and Dragon Age in general belong to BioWare

Marta is my Cousland 
Title: According to Plan
Author: queen-scribbles
Game: Dragon Age Origins
Characters/Pairings: Leliana, Jowan, f!Cousland, Alistair; Leliana/Jowan
Disclaimer: Dragon Age world and characters belong to BioWare. I get nothing out of this other than enjoyment. And feels.

Things moved swiftly after they reached Redcliffe. Or swiftly as they were able given the number of steps they had to complete to make things happen; meet with Arl Eamon, determine a plan, feel out the nobles to see who agreed with them(or could be swayed thus).

The list was daunting even before Queen Anora's handmaiden showed up with the news Arl Howe was holding the queen prisoner on his Denerim estate. Leliana wanted to groan at yet another step on the list, but Marta seemed more than willing to play the hero. Which was to be expected, especially given the fact it increased her odds of facing the man who killed her family. Leliana couldn't fault her for that, and from the sound of things the man needed to die anyway, but she knew how easy a fall vengeance was--or could be.

So she pulled Alistair aside as they made their way to Howe's Denerim estate. "You need to watch out for her."

"You think I don't already? Someone's been distracted by a pair of baby blues," he said jokingly.

Leliana rolled her eyes but ignored the teasing. It wasn't worth giving him the we're just friends speech now. "I'm serious, Alistair. I know how good it can feel to kill the person who betrayed you and ruined your life. It is a slippery slope, no?"

Alistair shrugged. "You seem to have managed alright."

"I had help." She slanted a glance toward the mage. "And I know you care about Marta like he does about me. So just... be there for her. Make sure she doesn't do anything she'll regret."


Nothing went according to plan. The way into the estate was simple enough, but the room where Queen Anora was trapped also had a magical barrier over the door. The mage who cast it was powerful than him, and Jowan couldn't do anything to dispel it. So it was into the dungeons they went, in search of Howe and the mage. Along the way, Marta insisted on freeing everyone they found alive--including, fortuitously enough, a Senior Grey Warden named Riordan, who thanked them and promised to meet them back at Arl Eamon's estate before he left.

By the time they actually found the arl and his mage, they had seen enough depravity to get all four of them furious at the man. He did--or allowed--things that made what Isolde's guards had done to Jowan look like child's play, and for far slighter offenses.  Howe was spiteful to  the end, spitting curses and taunts at Marta throughout their fight, until she rammed a dagger into his gut with such force she actually lifted him up on his toes before slashing his throat with her other blade. He crumpled to the floor, his weight snapping off the dagger in his gut. Marta didn't seem to notice as she stood over his corpse, breathing hard.

Leliana caught Jowan's eye and motioned to help her search the other bodies for anything valuable. He joined her as Alistair stepped to Marta's side, and they gave the two as much privacy as they could until Marta had regained her composure.

When they headed back up to free the queen, Marta had replaced her broken dagger with Howe's axe, carrying the weapon like a trophy. The magic barrier over Queen Anora's door was gone, and Howe had been carrying the key, but they hit another snag: somehow, Loghain had gotten wind they were here, because his guard captain and several knights were waiting for them.

By now Jowan knew Marta well enough it didn't really surprise him when she didn't argue or fight, but instead surrendered. "Get Anora to Eamon," she hissed under her breath as the guards approached to arrest her and Alistair. He nodded understanding, and even as the Grey Wardens were 'escorted' to prison, he and Leliana practically bolted across the market place with the queen in tow.


Rescuing their leader and Alistair was a challenge in and of itself. Fort Drakon proved hard to infiltrate, harder still to navigate, and damned near impossible to escape. But they succeeded. And they succeeded because Jowan let her do all the talking on the way in. In fact... Leliana frowned as they returned to Eamon's estate, roughed-up but alive Grey Wardens in tow, Jowan hadn't said a word the entire time they were skulking through the prison.

I'll have to talk to him about that, see if something's wrong, she resolved.

But fate must've been against the idea, because no sooner had they returned and gotten Marta and Alistair patched up then they were running off to the elven Alienage, thanks to a vague tip from Anora about 'unrest'. 'Unrest' turned out to equal 'Tevinter slavers kidnapping elves with Loghain's blessing'. After Marta stripped the incriminating documents off the lead slaver's body as proof, she turned to the others and smiled grimly. "I'd say we have enough now, wouldn't you?"

Leliana had to agree. Between those documents and the people they'd found in Howe's dungeon, they had plenty to call a Landsmeet and condemn the teyrn's actions. And then, hopefully, Ferelden would unite against the Blight. And after the Blight was stopped, they could take a breath, relax. Have conversations that needed to be had.


Marta must have noticed something was off, because she pulled Leliana aside just prior to leaving for the palace. "Are you alright? It seems like something has been bothering you recently."

"I'm fine," Leliana demurred. "Just... between Branka, and Howe, and the Alienage... That the Maker's creatures are capable of such awful things, it is a bit unsettling, no?"

"Is that all that's bothering you?" the Warden pressed. "It's seemed like things are... out of sync between you and Jowan since the last time we were here."

"Oh, non, everything's fine. We're just worried about stopping the Blight, and it's making us quieter than usual," she fibbed hastily. We really need to talk

Marta only looked half-convinced, but shrugged and dropped it. She did, after all, have more important things to worry about.


The Landsmeet went about as well as it possibly could. Nobles that they had helped, with rescued sons or brothers, combined with Marta's incredible gift for public speaking, won them the day. And Alistair's skill as a warrior won him the crown.

They were, of course, given little time to celebrate, because Arl Eamon wanted to talk strategy and Riordan wanted to discuss Grey Warden matters, and they were going to need to move out soon. Seeing as the Blight was a Grey Warden issue above all else, it seemed only fitting  they spoke to Riordan first. Jowan was more than a little surprised when Marta motioned for him to join them; he'd figured as just a conscript, he wouldn't matter. When he said something to that effect in the Senior Warden's hearing, Riordan's brow furrowed. "Follow me, all of you."

They did, and he led the way to a warehouse off the marketplace, with a secret cache of Grey Warden weapons, armor, and paraphernalia. Riordan obviously knew exactly what he was looking for; crossing immediately to a small cabinet, its insides frosty from an ice rune, and pulled out a large vial. "We need all the Grey Wardens possible, especially now."

Jowan was officially lost. but Marta and Alistair both stiffened. "Riordan..."

"There are compelling reasons to have as many of us as possible, only the least of which is no longer worrying about the Taint," Riordan said calmly.

"It could kill him!" Marta retorted, fingers drumming the hilt of her dagger. "And then I'll be down a mage, and we won't have gained anything!"

"If he is a conscript, friend, it will happen sooner or later," Riordan answered.

"He has a point, Mar," Alistair shrugged. "And a pretty good one at that." 

Jowan cleared his throat. "If it has to happen sooner or later, I'd rather just get it over with."

"Good man," Riordan nodded approvingly as he poured the contents of the vial into a chalice. 

Far from it, really. The thought was more automatic reaction than something he really believed, which was progress. He took the chalice, the metal cool in his grasp. "If this does happen to kill me, tell Leliana... she can have my sketchbook." Hopefully that would convey what he couldn't yet put into words.

Marta nodded. "Of course."

Her hand sought Alistair's for comfort as they said the words of whatever oath went with this ritual. And Jowan drank.


The pain and the nightmarish visions were both vivid and intense, but mercifully brief. As his eyes flickered open, Marta smiled in relief and Alistair offered him a hand up.

"That tastes terrible," Jowan commented as he accepted the help.

"Yes, well, don't ask what's in it, then," Alistair said wryly, clapping him on the back. "And welcome to the ranks."

"Thank you?" The splitting headache and bad taste in his mouth made him less than sure he meant it, but nice was a definite step up from distant, so he'd take it.

"Well, while we're here," Marta began, "what do you say you and I check to see if any of this armor is better than what we already have?"

By the time they left, Marta and Jowan sported the silver and blue of the Wardens, and Alistair had picked out a new shield emblazoned with the crest.

"I may be king, but I'm still a Grey Warden, too," he defended when Marta pointed out maybe he should be showing the people he aligned with Ferelden more. "Besides, this armor looks similar to Cailan's."

Jowan rolled his eyes but smiled at the playful banter as they made their way back. It was good to know there was levity to balance out the darker side of their calling.

Doubly so when the nightmares woke him screaming.


If she were a betting woman, Leliana would have laid money that Jowan didn't get more than a couple hours' worth of sleep a night the whole way to Redcliffe, where the bulk of the darkspawn horde seemed to be heading.

"I'm just adjusting," he brushed her off when she said something.

"To what?!" she demanded. What happened on that little 'Wardens only' field trip? 

"Actually being a Grey Warden," was his cagey reply. 

She huffed in annoyance at his stonewalling and didn't speak to him the remaining days to Redcliffe. Petty, yes possibly--probably--she admitted to herself, but she hated feeling like someone she cared about was keeping secrets again

Jowan must have picked up on that, despite the sleep deprivation, because he did apologize as they approached the outskirts of the village. "I know it's hard, and I wish I could tell you more... everything, really. But there are some things Grey Wardens are sworn to secrecy. Hard as it may be, I just need you trust me, okay?"

She was quiet for a long moment, long enough, she could feel him getting nervous, before she half-smiled and nodded. "That's what friends are for, no?"

He seemed to wilt a little in relief as he replied, "That and watching your back."


It proved to be a very good thing they got over their little spat, as the darkspawn had beaten them to Redcliffe. Fighting both the monsters and their noise in his head was exhausting and Leliana wound up saving his neck multiple times before things were safe enough for them to make their way to the castle. Where they had to fight even more darkspawn and Alistair nearly got crushed by an ogre because Jowan was distracted by a hurlock trying skewer Leliana. At least it can't get any worse, Jowan thought as they mounted the steps.

But he was wrong. The news waiting for them was definitely worse: the horde was actually heading for Denerim--along with the archdemon. Even with a forced march, it would take a week to reach the capital. And then Riordan asked to speak privately with the other Wardens before they turned in for the night.

"Was it ever explained to any of you why Grey Warden are necessary to end the Blight?" he asked, once they were alone and the door was closed.

"I figured it had something to do with the Taint," Marta replied and Alistair and Jowan shook their heads.

"That is it exactly," Riordan nodded gravely, before explaining what that something was; the archdemon's essence was drawn to the Taint, and if killed by anyone other than a Grey Warden, it would simply move to the nearest darkspawn and begin again. But if a Grey Warden struck the killing blow, the archdemon's soul would instead attempt to move to their body. "However, a Grey Warden is not soulless, like darkspawn. The resulting conflict will destroy both the archdemon and the Grey Warden."

"So... whoever kills it dies?" Alistair asked incredulously.

Riordan nodded again. "As the eldest and longest-serving of us, I will take responsibility for the killing blow, if possible. However, if that is not possible, one of you must be ready."

That would be one way to make up for what I've done... Looking around at the others, Jowan could see it in their eyes; they were all three willing. And with that somber realization they all went their separate ways. Marta went to her room, and Alistair to his.

But Jowan headed straight for Leliana's.


Leliana was in the middle of picking out a tune on her lute, trying to calm her ragged and jangling nerves, when Jowan walked in, not even pausing to knock on the half-open door. He looked like he'd aged several years in the half-hour since she last saw him.

"What's wrong?" she asked, setting aside her lute and standing.

"There's a really good chance we could die when we get to Denerim," he said softly, hands nervously tangling together as he took another step into the room. "But the odds are... are higher for us Grey Wardens, and if I'm going to die..."

She raised an eyebrow when he let the words trail off. "What?"

He crossed the rest of the room in two steps and kissed her. Leliana had just gotten over the surprise and started to enjoy it when he pulled back just far enough to breathe. 

"If I'm going to die I wanted to do that at least once," he finished quietly, hand resting tentatively on her shoulder. For a second, he looked like he was going to say more, but then abruptly stepped back and left. But not before Leliana saw how red his face had gone.

Alright, she decided, fingers brushing her lips as she stared at the empty doorway. We definitely need to talk.
According to Plan
Hey guys, sorry about the lull in posting. The internet was being really weird, both at home and at work for the past week. I'm probably going to go ahead and post the other two AltPair fics now, in case the weirdness returns. This is the one that fought me the most out of the whole week, what with how much I had to cover to stick with my plan, and finding a balance between skimming enough and too much. With the Warden being a Cousland I wanted to give her closure on the Howe thing, but at the same time, this Leliana and Jowan's story, not Marta's; I'll write her her own fics for that.
Leliana, Jowan, Alistair, and Dragon Age in general belong to BioWare

Marta is my Cousland 
Title: Follow-Up
Author: queen-scribbles
Game: SWtOR/KotFE
Characters/Pairings: m!Trooper/Elara Dorne
Disclaimer: World and characters don't belong to me, I'm just playing with them

"Hey, Els?" Tel cleared his throat and tried not to laugh at the absurdity of what he was about to ask. "Where's my leg?"

Elara glanced up from the datapad she'd been studying, gaze flicking briefly to where his right leg should have been but wasn't before she met his eye with an amused half-smile of her own. "It was rather badly damaged in your... altercation on E-32. Even the Republic's best tech has limits on what it can endure. We waited until we were sure you knew you were among friends, and now it's being repaired."

He mulled that information over for a minute, fingers toying idly with the IV line as he processed her answer. "Alright, then. Follow-up questions. First of all, who's we? Havoc Squad?"

The briefest flash of... something crossed her face before she shook her head. "No, I'm... not with Havoc any longer."

Tel blinked, cocked his head, derailed from his previous line of inquiry. "I'm sorry, is the oxygen deprivation still messing with my head, or did you just say you're not with Havoc anymore?"

"No, you heard correctly." Elara rose, hit a pair of buttons to shut and lock the door, then crossed back to sit on the edge of his bed.

"Why?" Something about her behavior was making him think said departure hadn't been her choice, and it was kriffing hard to keep his tone neutral as he asked. A little bit of frosty growl still managed to slip through.

She sighed. "I was hoping to have a little more time before I told you this... Given the rising tensions following the Wild Space Expedition, Supreme Chancellor Saresh felt it would be prudent if the upper ranks of the Republic military were free of... questionable influence." She watched a muscle in his jaw twitch and visibly braced herself as she finished, "Such as former Imperial affiliations."

"I'm sorry, what?" Tel had never been the quiet fury type, and the implication of what his wife had just said... "She kicked you out because you used to be Imperial?!"

"It was an honorable discharge, and a better than decent severance payout, but yes, that's the gist of it," Elara nodded.

He shook his head, running one hand irritably through his hair. "I knew she was dumb when she wanted to turn Rakton loose the second we caught him, but firing--and be honest, Els, that's what it was--a kriffin' war hero who's been decorated for bravery and valor more times than the head of her franging unit because of where she happened to be born?!"

"Tel," she began, but he wasn't finished.

"And so what if you served a couple years in the Imperial military, you defected to follow your conscience, you were in the Republic longer--even before I met you--and granted kriffing Republic citizenship for crying out loud-"


"-and you've never given the slightest indication you regretted defecting--quite the opposite actually--and between the number of times you saved our frangin' necks and how many Imp operations you helped shut down, I don't know how she could even consider-"

With a sigh of loving exasperation, Elara turned and kissed him, long and deep, waiting until she felt him relax to pull away. "While I appreciate the vehemence with which you defend my honor, dearest, allow me to point out two things. First of all, even righteous anger is somewhat detrimental to the healing process--" her hand ghosted over the bandages wrapped around his chest-- "and second, had events not unfolded the way they did, we wouldn't have been there to rescue you."

"Well. That would have been bad," Tel muttered. Part of him wanted to continue castigating Saresh's intelligence, but he took the very broad hint in Elara's voice and dropped it, returning to his original list of question. "Alright, then, if 'we' isn't Havoc, then who is it?"

"Me, Kaira, Jorgan and Balkar helped as much as they dared but aren't here, Aleksei--he was discharged as well. He's the one fixing your leg-"

He raised an eyebrow skeptically. "Technical specialist?"

Elara waved off his concerns, her fingers tracing over the implant around his left eye. "Computers and cybernetics are close enough, Tel. And just because he was certified as a technical specialist doesn't mean that's all he studied. Aleksei is very confident he can get it working again."

"I'll take your word for it." He shifted on the bed.

"Mm, smart man," she murmured, kissing his forehead. "Where was I? Oh, yes. We also... rescued Fuse, so he's with us as well."

Tel's eyebrow rose even higher. "That sounds like a story."

"One I'll happily tell later," Elara side-stepped.

"Aw, come on, Els," he begged, trying his best to look pathetic. Given his current state, it wasn't hard.

"Oh, my," Elara chuckled, carding her fingers through his hair, "I'd forgotten you've mastered the art of sad puppy face. The short version is it involves quite a few rather clever lies, almost cost Balkar his job--we owe him several very large favors, darling--and let Vik have more fun with explosives than I would have preferred."

"I'm definitely gonna want to hear the full story someday," Tel said, laughing. It turned into a cough fast enough Elara frowned and pushed off the bed to check the monitor.

"Your O2 levels aren't stabilizing like they should," she muttered. "You didn't inhale anything unusual on the colony, did you?"

He mentally reviewed the events of the Zakuulan ambush and shook his head. "Nah."

Her frown deepened. "It must be a combination, then. The stress your body was under, along with the time spent breathing insufficient oxygen, is hampering your recovery. D'you know what that means?"

"You're going to worry about me even longer?" Tel joked, catching her hand and tugging her back toward the bed.

"Absolutely correct," she nodded. "You're also going to need a lot more rest. Doctor's orders."

"Well, that's no fun," he grumbled teasingly.

"Fun's not in the job description," Elara whispered mischievously, perching next to him once more. "At least, not as your medic..."

I like where this is going. He grinned. "What about as my wife?"

"As your wife-" she kissed his forehead- "I believe it would be prudent-" kissed his cheek- "to follow your doctor's orders. She is a very smart woman, after all. However-" kissed the other cheek- "just a little fun should be safe." She pressed a gentle kiss to his lips.

Tel cupped one hand against the back of her neck and deepened the kiss. "Just a little, huh?"

"Unless you want the oxygen mask to make a return," Elara said, resting her forehead against his.

"No, no, I'm good," he muttered hoarsely, thumb brushing idly against her skin. "The only thing I want to make a return is my leg."

"It will when it's fixed," she promised. "Hopefully before we make it back to your base. Your friend is making a few minor repairs to the hyperdrive and then we'll make much better time."

He frowned. "What's wrong with the hyperdrive?"

"Nothing serious," she assured him. "We may have been in a hurry to get here-"


"But it's nothing worth worrying over-mm!"

This time he kissed her. "I will worry about you as much as I damn well please, sweetheart."

"Well, then, I'll simply have to return the favor." Elara linked her fingers between his, heedless of the IV line and the heart monitor clipped to one finger. "After all, I just go you back. It would be a shame to lose you again, especially so soon."

Tel chuckled, his breath ghosting across her cheek as he agreed, "A cryin' shame."

"So I'll just have to keep a close eye on you then, won't I?"

"Oh, yeah." He grinned. "A very close eye."

She stole a quick kiss, forehead resting against his. "Is this close enough?"

He stole a kiss of his own. "For now."
A fairly immediate sequel to Breathless(maybe a day or two later?), written because I can and these two are giving me all the feels all of a sudden. The whole thing with Elara getting kicked out of Havoc is from something in one of the dev livestream things for KotFE ch. 11, where the developer said something along the lines of Saresh not wanting someone holding a high rank in the Republic military who had "previous Imperial affiliations". This completed the tanking of my opinion of that woman. BUT that's a rant for another day. For now, have some fluff.
Elara Dorne, all other characters, and SWtOR belong to BioWare

Tel Airen is my Trooper

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ThePhoenixKing Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016
Hope you have a fantastic birthday! Keep up the great work!
queen-scribbles Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016
Thanks, and I shall try my best! 
Wirls Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016
I have been offline today, but it should still be the 12th there by you so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you have a fantastic day! *much huggles and butt touches* <3
queen-scribbles Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016
Hee hee thanks!
Maloneyberry Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday!!! :D
queen-scribbles Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016
Thank you! :)
NeroonCousland Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016
Happy Birthday to You!
queen-scribbles Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016
Thanks! :D
Captain--De-Lorenzo Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the +fav Meow :3
tainted-knight Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:
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