What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted

BY : PookatheCat
Category: +A through F > Dragon Age (all) > Dragon Age (all)
Dragon prints: 2151
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Age or any of the Dragon Age characters. This is a non-profit fanfiction.

What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?

Summary:

"I am Alistair Theirin, King of Ferelden and - according to Eamon - eligible bachelor and I am looking for a wife... Well, actually Eamon is looking for a wife. Not for himself. For me. He already has one... Oh well, there's no accounting for taste... Anyway, the wife-hitch... I wish what they say about the Fade Spirits was true, dream about your baby and POOF! there it is... Would save me from meeting a selection of more or less suitable noblewomen in a competition to marry me... Am I the only one to think this sounds like a joke? Surana would laugh her ass off for sure... if she was here... I so wish she was here..."

Alternate Roristair-Universe where Rori Cousland isn't the Warden. Alistair is king, Rori one of his bachelorettes. It all starts as a matchmaking farce - but soon becomes dead serious And both find themselves in the maelstrom of a dangerous intrigue...

Part 3 of the Roristair Series ( Part 1 - In Good Times And In Bad, Part 2 Hoping One Day We'll Make A Dream Last) It is not necessary to read the other parts of the series first.

Category: F/M

Fandoms: Dragon Age: Origins - Dragon Age (Video Games)

Relationships: Alistair/Female Cousland - Alistair/Female Surana (past)

Characters: King Alistair - Female Cousland -Female Surana - Zevran Arainai - Eamon Guerrin- Teagan Guerrin- Slim Couldry - Fergus Cousland - Anora Mac Tir

Additional Tags: Awkwardness - Romance - Grief/Mourning - Depression - Fluff and Smut - Humor - Sarcasm - Intrigue - Murder


Chapter 1: The Eligible Bachelor

 

 

It was a stupid idea.

 

Surana would have laughed her ass off.

Eamon, however, insisted it was the best way to find a wife for me. That I didn’t want to find a wife didn’t matter in the least. Kings must have heirs and unfortunately, the tale about the spirits of the Fade isn’t true. So, four months after Suri’s death, when the fact she was gone for good had still not fully sunken in, I found myself welcoming several young noble ladies Eamon had chosen as possible wives. I was supposed to get to know them during the coming weeks and then make a choice.

Doom!

DOOM!

Needless to say, I wasn’t very thrilled. Suri’s ghost, her memory, was still haunting me.

She had given my life happiness. Now, it still had meaning but there was no joy. I very much doubted I would ever recover from the loss. She wouldn’t have wanted me to give up or accept defeat, but I had always been weaker than she had believed me to be. She had always said I deserve happiness for I was a man with a heart of gold.

Yeah, golden...

Her golden boy hadn’t hesitated to dump her after she had made him king. The heir, the danger of a kingdom falling apart, of another civil war, my duty... It had broken my heart but I had forced myself to cut the bond between us—quickly, mercilessly. I had hoped it would be less painful. Well, to err is human. Ripping my own heart out—and Suri’s—had been raw torture and what followed could only be described as nothing less than perdition.

If she had been angry... If she had shouted at me... If she had insulted me... that I could have tolerated. That, I would have understood. Instead, she had smiled sadly, tears welling up in her eyes, and she wished me farewell. She had told me not to look back and to seek happiness. Even then she had insisted I deserved it!

Maker, I felt more evil than the archdemon only thinking about it!

She had held herself well the following days. Riordan’s revelation hadn’t made her waver. And when the final battle had come, she had fought without fear; her determination an inspiration for those who followed her into battle. By then I had already made a decision. My life for hers. I owed her that much. But she wouldn’t let me pay my debt.

It tore me apart. I was but a shadow of my former self, functioning like I was expected to because there was a kingdom to rule. That was the only reason why I was doing like Eamon said.

Listlessly I greeted the ladies, one after another without really noticing them. I was all dressed up like a peacock and whenever Eamon reminded me, I at least tried to act as if I cared. I doubt the ladies even noticed. They could have put a monkey on the throne and they still would have scratched each other’s eyes out just to become queen.

Finally, they stopped coming and I snapped out of my stupor.

“Done?” I asked Eamon hopefully.

“There’s one missing...”

I groaned loudly when the lord Stewart announced Teyrn Fergus Cousland and his sister, Lady Rori Cousland of Highever. The lord Stewart stepped aside and I straightened and switched on my fake smile, expecting the guests to enter.

Only they didn’t.

Instead, there was a ruckus. Teyrn Fergus cried out and cursed loudly. “Stop her for fuck’s sake!”

Eamon had a facepalm moment. Teagan and I looked at each other and shrugged, then hurried towards the door just in time to see Fergus Cousland and six knights trying to catch a short young woman with a mess of curly red hair. Unlike the other ladies I had met this afternoon, she was not wearing a dress but a huntress’ gear. She was as lithe as a cat and as hard to get. She sidestepped her pursuers gracefully, dodged and tripped them, squirmed free of their grasps until the men were all run down. Finally, she fled onto the chandelier by using one of the knights as a stepladder. There she sat, dangling her feet, and did not intend to come down anytime soon.

Eamon was highly indignant. I was highly amused.

“Pup, be reasonable!” Fergus panted, resting his hands on his knees to stop himself from tumbling over. “He’s the king. The best match you could hope for. Especially a woman in your situation should call herself lucky and show some gratitude!”

“Then why don’t you marry him if he’s such a good catch?” the girl retorted. “I myself have no intention to do so.”

Ha! The whole afternoon I had spent with young ladies who were so determined to marry me they even forced themselves to laugh at my lamest jokes. And finally there was one even less thrilled by this whole farce than me. I liked her instantly.

“You need someone to take care of you,” her brother insisted.

“I can very well take care of myself,” she snapped.

“Indeed. You proved that well when you allowed Howe to take you captive,” the teyrn growled.

That shut her up rather effectively. A shadow cast over her face, a haunted look appeared in her eyes and it seemed as if she was going to give in, but then she crossed her arms defiantly. Good girl. I would have been seriously disappointed to see her resistance broken. “What if he picks his nose?” she sulked. “And eats it!”

“Only with gravy,” I chuckled on entering the room. Fergus turned a whiter shade of pale at my appearance. While he still stammered an apology, his sister cheekily replied: “I prefer it in a pie.”

“With whipped cream,” I added, coming to a halt under the chandelier. I had to crane my neck to look at her. She was like a little imp, her red curls bouncing when she laughed, her large blue eyes gleaming with mirth. It was rather contagious and much to my surprise she had me laugh for real for the first time this day... in weeks actually, come to think of it. Once I realized what I was doing I felt guilty because I wasn’t mourning Suri properly. She would have slapped the back of my head for the mere thought. And still I felt like I was betraying her, like casting a shadow on her memory whenever I didn’t castigate myself in anything I did, said, thought...

“You have exquisite taste, your Majesty,” the girl grinned.

“A compliment I gladly return.”

“We should share our recipes eventually.”

“Absolutely. Maybe you could come down, though. My neck is rather stiff already.”

“Alright. Coming...” And she let herself drop off the chandelier, landing gracefully in front of me. Much to Fergus’s and Eamon’s relief, she then went through the formal greeting like a good girl.

Later when my guests assembled for a pre-dinner drink, I saw her again, now wearing a simple green dress. Next to her the other women looked like candy dolls. Her mirth had disappeared and left her brooding and withdrawn into herself. She was very uncomfortable with all the people around, and she was the only one not to enter the competition of who would impress me most. Everybody either had a self-made gift for me or some performance. I received a wall hanging, a housing, a painting, and so on. Then there were the songs, the dances, some played the lute, some the harp.

I was pretty sure I would end up with a serious muscle hangover from all the fake smiling. Maker! I was so thankful when they were all finally through. I probably would have married one of them right then to make them stop.

And that was when Fergus Cousland said with a smile as fake as mine: “Rori, don’t you want to perform for King Alistair as well?”

Judging from the look on her face, she could think of nothing she would like to do less. With a sigh she rose, stepped forward, and regarded me thoughtfully until her brother urged: “Now, Rori, what is your special talent?”

With the utmost sobriety she answered, looking me straight in the eyes: “I can burp the chorus of the Soldier and the Seawolf.”

I spat out the wine I had been drinking, right across Prudence Franderell’s dress. I laughed so hard, Teagan still had to slap my back to keep me from suffocating.

“Very funny,” Fergus said icily. “No, you can’t.”

“I can!” Rori insisted. “Mum, Uncle Angus, and Uncle Ronan could even burp a canon.” She inhaled deeply but before she could utter a single sound, Eamon jumped from his chair and shooed everybody into the dining hall.

Too bad. I swear, she would have made my day.

“You are here to become his wife, not his court jester!” Fergus hissed at his sister when he thought I couldn’t hear him.

“He looked as if he needed a jester far more than a wife,” Rori replied softly.

Unfortunately she was silent during dinner and I was forced to make conversation with Habren Bryland. Alright, it was her making conversation with me. For my part, there was a lot of “Hmm... Uh-huh...” and so on. Most of her sentences started with “My daddy” and were about something he had bought for her or about something she wished he would buy. She seemed to be very fond of animals... The sentiment wasn’t mutual as she reported the deaths of several of her furry friends. They had my deepest sympathy. Death, however, did seem the lesser of two evils when the other one was spending a life with Habren.

Then she started to inform me why she was the best choice for me, not caring at all that her competition could clearly hear her.

“Chastity is very important for an unmarried woman, don’t you think?” she said sweetly, pointedly staring at Rori Cousland. The ginger pretended not to hear and listlessly pushed her food around on her plate. “What man would want a woman already... used? The mere thought is disgusting. I would rather die than allow a man to defile my reputation and purity. I wouldn’t dare to hope to find a honorable husband with my own honor tarnished...” And she went on and on and on. I wished she would stop. Or someone would stop her.

And that’s when Rori Cousland did me the favor. She excused herself, then silently she rose from her seat, walked around the table with ladylike dignity, grabbed Habren Bryland by her hair, and slammed her face into the cream cake on her plate. Then she left as if nothing had happened while Habren screamed bloody murder, her face covered with a mask of cream.

Priceless!

“That woman is a disgrace,” Eamon remarked sourly.

“I like her,” I said much to my chancellor’s dismay. Everybody agreed she had behaved terribly. To me, she was putting my feelings into action. She rebelled openly while I only sat there and endured silently. And for that, she was my heroine. I awaited every new outburst with glee.

“You can’t be serious!” he hissed. “If not for her brother I wouldn’t have considered her at all. Teyrn Cousland is a powerful ally but Lady Habren is right: This woman is no option!”

“Oh, I don’t know...” I said, feeling like a rebel myself.

Rori didn’t return. Habren unfortunately did after she had cleaned her face. I suffered through dinner and then fled into my office, claiming I had work to do. It wasn’t a lie; I had tons of work. I just wasn’t feeling much like working. Instead I got drunk, bawled like a cry baby, felt very sorry for myself and in my mind, talked to Suri. She said I should stop whining, pull myself together, and live my blasted life. She had always been quite bossy. Later that night I wandered through my palace, bottle of wine in hand. When it was empty, I closed the gauntlet of one of the decorative knight’s armors around it, arranging its arm as if the armor were having a drink. Then I staggered off toward my wine cellar, almost stumbling over a figure crouched there at the stairs.

“Whoops!”

It turned out the figure was a woman bawling her eyes out while she clung to a bottle of wine.

“It seems we have more in common than our predilection for nose-pickings,” I observed drunkenly.

“Go away!” she hiccupped.

“This is my palace!”

“Oh. Well...” She reluctantly moved aside to make room for me, handed me her bottle and wiped her nose at her sleeve.

“Here.” I dug into the pockets of my dressing gown. “It’s a clean one,” I assured her, handing my handkerchief to her. She noisily blew her nose before absentmindedly handing it back to me. “Whoa! You can keep it!”

“Oh... yeah... gross...” She blushed and grinned sheepishly, brushing a strand of bright red hair out of her face. “Err... thank you... for the handkerchief and... I really should go now...”

“Will you tell me why you cried?” I heard myself call after her when she reached the top of the stairs. For the last months I had sought solitude as often as possible. I should have been glad she left. The presence of the others had been suffocating—but at that moment, I found myself wishing she would stay.

“Why would you care?”

“I just can’t stand watching pretty young ladies cry. It brings the white knight in me forward.” Where did these words come from? That slightly flirtatious tone? I sounded like someone I had known a long time ago. I could hardly remember that man anymore. “Talking can help, you know.”

“Will you tell me in return?” she asked, hesitantly climbing down the steps one by one.

“I...” I had not talked about Suri. To anyone. Her companions had tried to talk to me about her—Zevran, Wynne, Leliana… even Oghren. They had sadly recalled all the moments of their journey that had bound them together. But with Suri gone, the bond was broken. I felt so lonely in my grief, talking about her to anybody proved impossible. “I lost someone very dear to me. Someone I loved,” I heard myself admit to a complete stranger. “I miss her with every breath I take.”

“I lost my family,” she said in a voice hardly audible. She kept her distance, her face cast in shadow when she sat down two steps above me. I wanted to point out she still had her brother, but something in her voice stopped me. Instead, I handed the bottle back to her. Two bottles later, we could hardly crawl upstairs.

I finally managed to lift myself to my feet when Rori stumbled against me and almost sent me down again. Before I could decide if I should apologize or snap at her, she hugged me.

“Whoa!” I gasped in surprise. Not daring to move, I stood there stiffly while she gave me a quite brief, though comforting hug. Surana had been the last to hug me right before we had climbed the last steps to the top of Fort Drakon. Ever since, I had worn my loneliness like an armor. And then this girl came along, a complete stranger, and she cracked my shell open, pouring light into the darkness with such a small gesture of comfort. I felt like a rug had been pulled from under my feet. I was waiting for the moment when I would hit the ground but it never came.

She let go of me before I could make myself hug her back.

“Wh-what was that for?” I stammered.

She shrugged, cracking a smile. “You seemed to need a hug.”



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