I had to cut it short, since the file was too large for tumblr. So I kept the most important parts of it, haha. Please excuse its overall jerkiness; for some reason the framerate always drops like hell during this scene.
For those of you who follow me who don’t like my horoscope or other random fandom and aesthetic posts, this one is for you! <3 I will be posting all RWBY there. So you won’t miss out on any of my sketches!
About Alistair and the novelty and importance of touches.Introspective-ish.Read on Ao3. Like and reblog, maybe?
Touch was a wicked thing.
Shunned and unwanted as a child, and later always clad in armor, Alistair never had any chance to grow accustomed to the sensation. There had been rarely, if anyone, in his past who embraced him when he was sad or lonely, spent solace in form of words or touch. He remembered the snuffling snouts of Mabaris next to him and their warmth enclosing him in cold nights in the kennel as a boy, but it wasn’t the same.
Maybe this was the reason why he felt the heat rising within his cheeks upon the mere feeling of her sword-calloused but gentle fingers upon his own hand. She’d shed her leather gloves and had leaned in, far closer than ever before, to examine the damage done to his finger. The intricate lines of her tattoo furrowed as she frowned, emerald green eyes fixed on the bleeding and deep flesh wound. She berated him for accidentally reaching into and triggering the spring trap she’d build for a woman here in Lothering, but her exact words didn’t permeate his consciousness.
He was too focused on watching this woman he called his fellow Warden, but didn’t know at all. She kept to herself normally; scowling, brooding, wordless. She was a mystery with haunted eyes, who kept her past hidden behind glowering and sharp remarks, if she spoke at all. Lenya didn’t share, retreated as soon someone tried to coax words out of her, or started to lash out to make the others back away. Always distant, her wounds and pain were her own. Never had she been this close to him, which made him even more keenly aware of her touch.
Touch was a wicked thing.
Freckles were dusted around her nose, he noticed. Blond strands of her hair had fallen out of the long ponytail bound with a cord, framing her pale face. Brown against cream, pink white, the contrast between the color of their hands were stark. Being this close, he could smell the leather, blood and something earthen upon her skin. It fitted her, he decided. Perfume, oils or other artificial scents were for the women he’d met in Denerim once, not for a proud and fierce fighter like her. On the battlefield she lashed out with her blades like she otherwise only did with words, was confident in her posture and her abilities. Watching her fight, this raw, relentless dance of death, made him want to believe that they had a chance to manage this daunting task after all.
Perhaps it was just his grief that clung to the last remnant of what he once called his family, but he wanted to believe they could achieve this, together. The only one left of…them, it was her who he put his hopes in, maybe unjustly so. She’d made it more than obvious she didn’t want this burden, would have preferred to run after her clan, though despite it all she’d stayed. With having lost everything, everyone else. it was this fact he’d latched onto, held close as a reminder.
Alistair winced. The cold water from her canteen stung as it ran past his fingers, cleaning off the blood. Tilting her head, she nodded right after with a faint hum, pleased to see that the wound wasn’t as deep as initially thought. Reaching beside her, Lenya dunked her fingers in the herbal salve prepared for Elder Miriam, for these humans she claimed to not care for at all. But her sense for practicality momentarily superseded this apparent and deep dislike for them, due to all the money they needed for arms and other equipment.
She applied the salve on his finger right after and the intense burn of it upon his wound caused Alistair to yank his hand back. But hers held on, added pressure to the touch to make him stay in place. She’d wrapped her smaller fingers around his own, unhurt ones, the grip hard without being harsh. She inhaled, letting the air fade out in a sigh again, and clucked her tongue. Her hand was warm, the heat of her fingers enclosed around his another, foreign kind of burn.
Touch was a wicked thing.
Lenya reached beside her again, bringing forth a clean strip of linen to wrap around his injured finger. After binding and securing the bandage in place, she let go of his hand, but still remained close. His skin felt oddly cold now, without her touch.
“T-thank you, Lenya, ” Alistair remembered to say before she could fully withdraw again. Her eyes snapped up at that, meeting his. She looked at him, really looked at him, for the first time ever since they sat down for this task. Maybe for the first time ever, even. Her gaze was open, without the ever-present disdain within, seemed surprised to hear those words. Her pointed ears twitched, before a frown hardened her eyes as she looked away.
“Just be more careful.”
Alistair smiled as he nodded, but already focusing back on her task of trap-making, she didn’t notice it. This moment had been just a little, fleeting thing, caused by his inattention and clumsiness, and still…it made him feel less alone.
Many months later, he sat up in his bedroll, while she still slept next to him, oblivious to the world. The morning mist hung low and had found a way to creep in between the closed tent’s flaps, causing him to shiver. The sun wasn’t quite up yet, so the light was stuck between the odd, colorful mixture of night and dawn. He should probably get up and dressed, possibly without waking her. His habit, borne from years within the chantry, to wake before or with the sunrise was annoying him on days like these. With the camp being completely quiet, save for Shale’s heavy patrolling steps, he should crawl back in, and enjoying their self-made cocoon of warmth, before the harshness of day could follow. Instead he sat here, bare-back and bare…everything, and watched the small scar running across the skin of his right pointing finger.
He’d many scars, of course. With them fighting for their life each day in the attempt to stop the Blight, it was to be expected. Most of them had a story, a reason, but none was…like this. Alistair smiled to himself and then noticed how she stirred, next to him. Before he could look over to her and greet her, it was her warm hand which ran searing across his bare, cold back.
Touch was… Alistair shut his eyes and shuddered ...most important. No longer wicked, it had turned into a lifeline he clung at.
“Hey…” Lenya’s voice was rough and thick with sleep. Her hand on his back lingered, was rubbing up and down now. “…what is wrong?”
Turning, he saw the same furrowing of her brows like in Lothering so long ago, but this time concern was its reason. Her gaze, while still bleary and somewhat unfocused, was as warm as her touch. “Nothing, love,” he said eventually, and reached over to enclose her in an embrace. She hummed appreciatively as she leaned her head at his chest, and hugged him back.
Alistair kissed the top of her hair, remained still, wrapped in her warmth. How he’d gone all these months and years without being touched or sharing touches, especially with her, always her, was now unfathomable to him. He smiled, his exhale tickled her sensitive, pointed ear, causing it to twitch. “I just remembered something.”
Chapter 3 is now online, with some minor alterations. I had to cut it in half again, because the last part of it isn’t done yet. I have it 85% written and thus will publish it next week, instead of the usual bi-weekly schedule, for once.
The first chapter of my rewrite is now online on Ao3 *happy dance* So read, like/share and comment, maybe? ;)
Summary: Trust is a delicate flower that needs to get nurtured and time to grow. Even more so love. A tale of two disparate Wardens forced together, of finding a way to overcome the distrust, and their own painful past in the time of the Blight. Very in-depth, character-heavy exploration of the Dalish origin/warden, and of all DA:O companions during the Fifth Blight.
Note: This is a COMPLETE new rewrite and revised version of my story/900k magnum opus, originally posted on Fanfiction.net.
People rushed back and forth in between the wide-spread mass of tents, barking orders at servants and soldiers alike. Its sound intermingled with the metallic rang of swords clashing, and grunts of exertion of men and women testing their skills against each other.
Trails of green leaves mixed with scarlet upon cracked white stone hushed aside, whenever a messenger rushed from one place to another. Placed amidst nature as the ancient tevinter ruins were, it was no surprise to find evidence everywhere of a waning summer here, instead of only cold, splintered stone. After all its strategic placement at the edge of the Korcari Wilds was the reason why the ruin still existed, and why they all were here, for the upcoming battle.
Dressed in the heavy armor set of standard Warden uniform, Alistair tried to ignore the commotion around him. Between two sets of crumbling stone pillars and under the warmth of the midday sun, he had found his own little place of respite. It was certainly far from being quiet here, and yet a vast improvement to the boisterous volume of the main Warden camp. Besides, he needed time away from them to lick his wounds, or more like his wounded pride. Since his fellow Warden – a gruff city elf from Gwaren named Deyron- had sent him down on his ass more times during their long sparring match than he’d have cared to count.
Damn these weaselly, dexterous rogues with their stabbing knives and daggers everywhere! They already had one weapon more than him to stab someone, so to even out the chances, they should at least be forced to slow down during a fight. Of course no one had told Deyron that before their match. Thus the elf nearly half his height bestowed him with a beautiful collection of arse bruises, which would turn a simple task such as sitting down in a painful ordeal for the next couple of days. Alistair snorted, wryly amused at his own predicament of that. After all, the sparring match had been his idea to begin with, to work on the shortcomings of his training he still needed to iron out. Especially when it came to facing dual-wielding, stabby rogues, which had turned out just as well as he’d thought in the end. At least killing darkspawn would be more forward in the upcoming battle. Or so he hoped.
Speaking of stabby rogues, one of them stood propped against the adjutant wall, his body turned toward the unfortunate female soldier next to him. Daveth, Alistair remembered his name, was one of the recruits Duncan had found earlier, though he wasn’t quite sure what his mentor had seen in him. It couldn’t have been his smug sense of superiority, nor his lack of respect for women, that was certain.
“Wanna release some tension before the battle?”
Far across the area as they were from where he sat, Alistair couldn’t see the woman’s expression. If she was even half as cringing as he did at these words, this conversation wouldn’t last long, however.
“Oh yes, sure,” she said. Her ensuing laughter was bright, friendly.
Wait, what? Alistair blinked. That…worked? He’d never understand women – oh. While still reeling from the unexpected turn of events, he nearly missed the resounding slap Daveth received right after.
“Thank you. I feel much less tense already,” he heard her say as she turned around and stormed away, leaving a dumbfounded Daveth behind.
Shit. He shouldn’t laugh, he really really shouldn’t. Especially since his aptitude of flirting was virtually and practically non-existent. Alistair coughed to stifle said laugh bubbling up, and hid his grin behind a hand. Alas, with questionable success, since the female soldier had stormed off toward his general direction. When she passed Alistair within his secluded spot, their eyes met, and noticing his amusement, she smiled at him.
Alistair sputtered as he quickly glanced away, the heat rising in his cheeks. Still fixing the ground, he took several stabilizing breaths, peeved with his inability to even look at a woman long enough without turning into a beet-red, bumbling idiot. Maker, would this ever get easier? […]
Well yeah, indeed they did. And it isn’t about undying love for each other here and much more about “I don’t want to die alone, so lemme try to reach my fellow Warden in a last ditch effort of strength.” Alistair touching The Warden’s face can be seen either way, but it looks much more like him checking up on them before he breaks down next to his fellow Warden. (them, since the mod works for all races/gender and isn’t romance focused, like at all)’
The way I have cut it can be interpreted as that, maybe. If you squint. That is since I have cut out the other scenes that come with the mod. These scenes also show the devastation caused on the battlefield by the darkspawn, and Flemeth narrow rescue of both Wardens. Here is a complete version of it:
Tl:dr: The mod is very well done and flawlessly expands on the events of Ostagar after the beacon is lit. It is okay if you don’t like it, but calling the mod “stupid” is uncalled for and kinda respectless toward the people who put months of work in creating these scenes for the community.
And it’s like?? He probably couldn’t feel her pulse through his armored gloves, so there’s a good chance he thought she was dead or on the verge of dying and didn’t know what to do, and just wanted to comfort her in her (and probably his, judging by how much blood he was probably losing) last moments.
^^^^ Yes, that too; or even especially that.
I can’t believe we have discourse over a frikkin mod. Only on tungle dot hell, I swear.