Unexp guest chap 1
He managed to reach the side gate of the familiar-looking mansion, before dropping to his knees and collapsing. Red saturated a shoulder and chest. If the man had a choice, he would be controlling such a rapid descent to the ground, not wanting to hurt his perfect face. Vaguely someone screamed. He wished they would shut up and let him sleep just a while longer. Clomping footsteps came very near and more talking ensued, then he was turned on his back. Though his eyes were closed, the red haze of agony and urge to throw up remained.
“Maker! It’s… an elf! Get Fenris, NOW!” Attendants carried him to a spare room, with different ranks of Healer-mages in white and red robes rushing in. The ones who started mending the internal injuries were horrified by the brutality. Who would do such a thing? He looked so innocent. Of course these people had not been delegated to the battlefields, some were adepts in training. Tubs of hot water and healing balms were smeared red. After the most severe wounds had been closed, someone recognized him as Zevran Arainai and the message became more urgent.
Fenris ran in, still clad in his spiked armour, closely trailed by a shorter young woman in simple robes. The tall warrior’s lyrium glowed as his emotions and anxiety ran high. He was barely gasping from his sprint. “Can you save him?” he demanded, an intimidating sight, though he had not unsheathed his Greatsword yet.
“Yes, Sir. He just needs rest.”
“How long?” Fenris growled, gripping the fellow’s shoulder so hard that he squeaked. They blurted that they wouldn’t know. The black-haired girl placed a restraining hand on Fenris. Everyone had been waiting with bated breath if that man would be flung to the opposite corner of the house or stabbed by the tall elf’s phasing.
“Uncle Fenris, they won’t let us down,” she repeated a third time. He frowned, ears pricking and turned to answer. The magic faded and once more he looked normal. But she was now gaping. Why, because she had never seen another exotic Elf besides him. Her mother forbade her to visit the Alienage (town of immigrant elves), let alone traipse to Dalish encampments. Still, a sickroom with so much blood was not for one of such a tender age…
He remembered their original purpose and motioned they leave the room. “Sabriel, you shouldn’t follow me in. Come away. Are you alright?” Fenris led her outside, one hand to block her face. That unfortunate mage rubbed his shoulder mournfully glaring.
“But… I…” she scowled as he began herding her to outside. With another adult, Fenris wouldn’t have given in but this was an exception. They sat together on a couch outside.
“Uncle Fenris, who’s he? Worried, were you going to hit them?” She tried to be serious but imagining how interesting it will be for a fight and brawl scene!
“He is--- a friend. No, that won’t happen.” He rubbed his forehead, relieved that he had not hurt someone rash in that blind panic. “Ah yes, don’t you need to go for training?”
She snorted, a very unfeminine sound that almost triggered him to laugh, but he swallowed it back. “Nah, I’ve to be at the Chantry today. I’m not going. Don’t tell Mum. I’m with you, anyway not with bad company. Help me.”
Although Fenris didn’t approve of preaching nuns who seemed like brainwashers, he was going to pretend he did not hear that. Sabriel often bent the rules. “I still want to see you walk in to the sparring class. At least. If she does not meet me, I won’t have to speak. ” The youths went to combat-sparring sessions and duels at one building and history, culture, religious classes at the Chantry.
“That’s much much later. Can’t I follow you around, Uncle Fen?”
Sabriel fingered his longer pale hair and admired those viridian slanted eyes. Like beautiful glass jewellery. He took his role as guardian quite seriously and shook his head. “No. Since you don’t want to attend religion, maybe you can… mix with your friends. Or, something else. It’ll be fine. ”
Fenris had been deprived of a normal childhood and now time couldn’t turn back, but he could influence the present. While waiting for her, someone at the library had talked with him about that. Since she pressed for a reason, he listed the options.
Plus a semi-plea: “I didn’t have choices, squirt. Remember you said you’d cheer me up? This is not.” He closed his eyes.
She thought about it. “Then, I will. Don’t worry, know you want to wait for that handsome one to wake up. Wow.” He managed a smile. Yes, he had won the short term battle! After listening to her account of trivial, Fenris decided to accompany her as Zevran might not wake so soon. They walked together to the city’s training Academy about fifteen minutes away and he stopped at the gate. Her friends were all blushing and waving, blowing kisses to him. He didn’t pay them attention.
“I’ll come back, can I visit him? Don’t worry so much.” she urged him, not letting go of his hand.
“Yes. I know. If you skip lessons I will punish you.” He feigned anger. They shared a laugh. “Thanks. Goodbye.”
She hug him first before going inside. Fenris returned to the mansion. After Danarius perished, Varric had rallied some buddies to spruce up the place and he was never alone for long. In the beginning, the reclusive warrior had been upset about the lack of privacy but through these years, he had learnt to appreciate their kindness. Sabriel was the niece of Aveline one of the bravest Knights he had the pleasure of fighting alongside. Her mother Esme was connected to the Order of the templars but had always made Fenris welcome in some feasts she organized.
Coming upstairs, he hurried to check on Zevran. Their friendship was on and off, mostly because they worked together on some quests. Although Fenris didn’t take to people easily, watching how frail he now looked, he wished he could apologise for his brusqueness before. Zevran was coy and humorous, liked to regale them with his adventures even if he didn’t always want to pay attention.
“I don’t know if you can hear me, Zevran. Come back,” he whispered, patting his hand not covered by the bedsheets. The injured assassin looked gaunt and extremely ghost pale, breathing labored from broken ribs. Some of his facepaint had smeared off and a scar had etched along his right cheek. His beautiful golden locks had lost their sheen and braid. A mage softly spoke about his condition, that Zevran might wake up in a week if he did not have concussion and there was minimal suffering as they had cast a Deep slumber spell. It was best to give him fluids if he roused.
This time, Fenris was calmer and dismissed the servants. He rinsed a washcloth and sponged the patient. Had to watch out for high fever and infection. At one point, his eartip moved and he seemed to twitch his fingers. Zev was Antivan so when he murmured something, the warrior did not understand. When you get better, I’ll listen to all of your speeches. Fight it Then he noticed how cracked and ashen zev’s lips were and gently dripped water. The last time they had met, the assassin had kissed him while tipsy. Fenris had chided him. His wounded expression of hurt could not be erased from memory. Who could possibly have done this to Zevran Arainai, finest Grey Warden assassin? He soon fell asleep from wondering these.
As Fenris stirred from his vigil beside the painted elf, people announced a name and knocks continued. “Coming. Who is it?” He could not help being irritated.
“Me, Alistair. I got word Zev is here, with news?” the friendly guy waved and popped his head in. Then he saw who was lying in the bed.
Fenris said, rising from the chair and inviting him in. “He’s still not woken up. What news do you mean?” Normally he got along well with the templar, since he was without magic and his chattering did not grate on the nerves like Zev and Isabella.
Alistair began explaining about random riots and wars breaking out in the other regions. Then a servant came in with bloodstained documents. They had been found on Zevran and two other Crows. Those two refused to speak at all, having their wounds treated and held for questioning by Aveline. “Um sorry Fenris.”
The lyrium elf looked at him quizzically. “Why?”
“That Zev is… down. He wasn’t always the nicest person, but we fought together. Though I suspected him, he became alright. I hope he gets well. Soon. ” Alistair tried to hold his emotions in check.
Fenris nodded imperceptibly. He appreciated this sentiment. “It’s fine.” They tried to decipher the seals and documents. When some people returned to continue examining the unconscious elf, Alistair declared, “Um I’m famished! Anything to eat here?”
“Yes of course. You’re always hungry.” Fenris smiled.
Zevran thought he he was hearing Rinna his ex lover crying out to him. He wept. And his mother. Wait, weren’t they dead? Why does life have to be so damn rosy Maker? He demanded. Wet droplets dribbled into his parched throat and a cold liquid spread across his face. Without opening his eyes, Zevran tried to jerk away but a firm hand pressed him down. He was left in peace.
The distinct aroma of coffee and moving items, footsteps assaulted his senses.
He moaned, feeling a hammer on his skull. Who the hell dared to call him that? His heavy eyelids cracked open and the first thing about this person was the stubble on his chin and then the friendly face. “Alistair? Where…” Zevran instinctively moved, jarring his chest and coughing.
“Ah no no. Calm down, you’ve been hurt. Just woke after like, two weeks.”
That was a good idea. He caught his breath and found he could speak but at a whisper. Alistair leaned closer. “Really? Where is this?”
“Fenris’ home.” At the mention of his friend, Zev was filled with mixed emotions. He also wanted to cry but not in front of others. The templar helped him to hold the cup so he could drink water.
Then someone else asked loudly, “Uncle Alistair! Is he finally alright now? The cool elf guy?”
The templar blocked his view and spoke to her. But in she came, Zevran’s vision was blurry but he made out her dark short hair and she was holding a staff. “This is Sabriel Kitana, niece to Aveline. Ah I forgot wait wait.” Because the patient had been bleeding they had stripped him of the loose robe too. Alistair covered him with a blanket.
Sabriel was now at the foot of his bed. “Hello. I’m Zevran Arainai. Normally I would bow but…” He said delighted with the attention.
“Wow! Is that an Elvish name? Yep pointed ears,” she noted. He chuckled.
“Sabriel, don’t be rude. And he’s sick.”
His weakness faded temporarily. “No I’m alright. Nice to have a visitor, hehe. You may notice I am… not clothed.” Mischeviously, the elf began to push away the blankets.
“Might I speak, she is underage. You’ll catch a cold.” The man stopped him from doing so. She had a confident poise and instead of a dress that Zevran expected, she wore a masculine coat and leggings.
“Uncle Alistair, I’m fine. C’mon.” She rubbed her staff and then leaned it against a wall.
The elf tried to figure out how they were related. Totally different, or maybe she had a different mother…. “Congrats Alistair. Your niece is, nice.”
They stopped bickering. “Oh he’s not my uncle in that sense. I also call Varric, and Fenris that. They’re my friends. Cos I’m adopted amongst everyone.” Sabriel explained. She tried to look for the antivan tattoos that she had read about.
“Look not too long. We also have important things to discuss. When you’re better, Zev.” He felt weary again but wanted to wait for Fenris to come.
When the door closed, the patient gingerly shifted his sore body more comfortably. Lying on his side, he was less dizzy. “Yep I won’t stay too long. Sleep.”
“Can I talk with him? Fenris?”
“I already sent a messenger. He’s busy now, on some mission. They said you have knives and lots of tools. Why?” Her brown eyes were wide as saucers.
He let her feel his ear tips and touch his hands. “I’m an assassin. You aren’t, scared?” Partly because of the bloodloss and consideration he didn’t elaborate.
“Nope. I’m doing combat lessons at the Academy. Using staff, not good with blades yet. How is the pain?” He was very intrigued but too tired to respond.
Sabriel dug in her bag and opened a small vial of rose fluid. “Hm I think you are still in pain. Want to try this? Helps with pain.”
“Oh sure.” Not blushing, she helped him to apply it to his right shoulder. “You made it?” He yawned.
“Alchemy class. We’re to make a few in case of injuries.”
“So smart.” He smiled charmingly. This time Sabriel tucked hair behind her ear and chuckled. She said he ought to eat something.
Then Fenris came, looking different without armour. He was clad in a grey shirt and pants. Zev exclaimed in Antivan forgetting his condition and moved to jump up. She was holding a tray of food, delicious warm chicken smell wafted.
“Don’t move, you’re not well.” Fenris chided, holding out his hand. Zevran said he was alright though he paled. His chest ached again.
“hey uncle wanna feed him? Hahah!”
Fenris glared at Sabriel but not in a fatal sort of way. “We are friends. Can you Stop implying something?” That was the familiar low husky voice Zev remembered. “You can feed him.” Fenris gave her the chair and tucked the blankets.
Internally the warrior wanted to shout yes you didn’t die!! But the danger was past so no need to be demonstrative. Zevran was a bit disappointed, expecting more warmth. After all he’d almost died.
He ate and after some spoonfuls, as Fenris was silent. “Oh you have a niece now?”
“No. She is my charge… hey didn’t you introduce yourself? Alistair came isn’t it?”
“Yep I did. Maybe you’re too tired, still in pain.” Zevran didn’t mind. He admitted he may have forgotten. After some time, the stoic elf came to stand on his other side.
“Good that you’re awake. I almost, threatened the mages.” He had no tone in his voice, just neutral.
“Yea! Lucky none died! More like punch.” she bantered. The patient could see they were very close, no one dared to speak to Fenris like that before.
“Argh, that’s too dramatic. I don’t, won’t kill innocents.” Zevran chuckled, though he was still waiting for more reaction.
He took his hand. The warrior frowned at him. “What is it? Does it hurt?”
“Um yes. Stay a while.” They talked about herbs and medicines. Fenris could read the labels and Zevran lay back listening to his voice. Later he murmured- did he glow blue?
Fenris said, “Not that much. Okay that’s too much excitement. You deliberately forgot what we planned, squirt. He is a guest.” She said sorry but cheekily. With some food and medicines, the antivan fell asleep.
“What was it, uncle Fen? Weird tongue,” She bounced.
“I don’t know either. It’s antivan, his country.” Softly Fenris turned down the lights and they left the room. “Oh yes I’ve to check on him. And meet Alistair about other things… will you be going home?”
He marvelled at their friendship and trust, despite his own difficult personality. “You’re not seriously angry are you? Wanted to cheer you up.”
“No I’m not. I won’t even be talking to you. So, please answer me.” She said wanted to stay over, and he sighed.
Zev’s migraine got worse when he tried to think about what happened. A lot of time to, as he was confined to bed. Some old friends came, even Wynne. She had disliked him. He really liked Fenris, they were such opposites! Perfect starter to ask the girl about him. She visited most of the time.
“Hello Zev! Er how to pronounce your name?”
“Come in.” He looked up from the boring novel and said his name with emphasis on the R.
“Please, continue with what you need.” Today he was wearing thicker clothing and his legs covered by extra blankets.
“No no I’m better company today. Wish I can go out, haha. But for this problem.” Zevran complained amicably.
She enquired about his health and made him eat some fruits as well. “Hm you notice Fenris and I? Are…”
The girl gasped almost dropping her pen. “Er… that’s true. Actually Uncle Fenris was pissed off when they said don’t know when you’d be fine. Hasn’t exploded like that for a while, Aveline told me not to talk about the past. Those bad men.”
He nodded, good that they understood the broody elf so well. Who was the Aveline? He couldn’t recall. Sabriel was really curious of his features. “What colour are your eyes? Not green?”
“No, hey we have the same brown eyes.” Zevran beamed. She peered at him. He was pleased to talk about mundane stuff and not worry too much.
"Wow yea! I always thought elves will have really bright crystalline blue, or green or violet eyes! Oops."
"Depends on which clan you are from. I'm from the city, so look different. And, you are still going to check although I've confirmed it, yes?"
Sabriel found her pen and twirled it. "Well, Alistair says you've a really long patience. Hope you don't mind. " Zevran was pleased with the compliment. This would indeed be an enjoyable stay even if he was aching all over.