Title: Lyrium Outlaws -- War AffairsAuthor: blackcherryangel
Game: Dragon Age Inquisition
Characters: Nyia-Rae Trevelyan; CullenDisclaimer: I am making no money off this fan fiction. It is only for enjoyment. I don’t own any of these wonderful characters. All are the property of BioWare. I just have fun playing around in their universe.
I’ll kiss a Deepstalker on the lips before I allow her to accompany me on another mission.
Nyia-Rae Trevelyan charged back into her private chamber just off her war room fuming. She wanted to rip apart everything in her sight after her verbal sparring match with Vivienne. The Inquisitor refused be belittled by an Orlesian spellbind who believed looking pretty was more important than protection on the battlefield. She could use her poison words on another Orlesian the next time Empress Celene sent some low errand runner to discuss the nature of things and that was all. She was tired of all the insinuations that Vivienne made that Cullen was her Champion. Nyia hated everything about Orlais. She would not have any tradition or titles from Orlais here. Nyia refused to take her along on any new mission. If a mage was necessary to accompany her in her party, one of the others would do. The next time the Elven apostate had done a fine job as a healer making it clear that she was replaceable.
Vivienne said nothing after their arguing ended. She only smiled adding she planned to go and attend to needs of anyone requiring her skills. All of the sudden, it dawned on Nyia that leaving her behind at the stronghold had been a gift. It was what Vivienne desired all along. Well played. With her tired eyes shut, Nyia breathed deeply calming herself. The cold whispery echo of the chamber was familiar to her. She needed the silence that the room gave to collect her thoughts. Instead of pleasant memories, nightmares filled her thoughts. She shook off the memories that were her past. She was not that terrified, insignificant girl anymore.
The most uncomfortable place in the chamber was next to the window, but was the place where she spent all her time when she was here. The Sun blasted through making it difficult to work there except on the stormiest of days or late in the evening. She still had not asked the steward to move her desk because she loved to sit on her desk at look out at the view from the window.
As nice as the view of the healing lands was, Nyia wanted to go soak in a warm bath scented. Afterwards, have a private meal of roast boar, fresh vegetables and a bottle of West Hill brandy, but the demands on her time never ended. There were new trade agreements that required her approval. The Agent reports started to pile up which was a good thing because it meant they were being successful on their missions. There were several reports that her political enemies were building opposition against her rule. That needed to be acted on immediately. Her growing army has not lost any territory and pressed ahead to bring more land under the control of her inquisition. She glanced over the map with much pride. Nyia stood there quiet aware that she was making a difference and winning.
Then she heard someone clear his throat.
“You must stop that.” Nyia said. She didn’t need to turn around to know who was watching her. She hated when he did that, staring at her. Studying her. She wondered how long he stood there scrutinizing her. She still had no idea what he actually thought of her. To Nyia, he was still a Templar, the mighty righteous hand of the Chantry She wanted that military might for her inquisition. If they Templar wanted to survive, they would become the war hammer of the Inquisition. It seemed the Maker saw fit to send several his chosen to aid in her cause.
“Is that why you rushed in here to retrieve your dagger to cut her tongue out?” Cullen probed while ignoring her previous statement.
She turned to face him. Cullen had that look as he made his way with slow deliberate steps across the chamber. He continued, “Is that some new school of magic? Stab the letter written by your foe with your dagger, then what happens?” Was that his poor attempt at telling a joke? She did not know because his expression did not change.
“Vivienne is of no use to me without her tongue.” She tossed back to him.
“She said,” he paused for a moment, “Well, I shouldn’t put it to you as she said it. What she meant to say is that you are unable to hear the reasonable side of an argument. Also, that you prefer threats to a healthy debate.”
“Don’t defend your lover to me.” Nyia spat the words out regretting it the moment the last one left her lips. Why had she said anything at all?
“Lover? Vivienne?” Cullen hand went to his forehead. “Glorious Maker, is that what you two were arguing about?”
Nyia felt the slap of his words come across her face. Were the rumors true? He didn’t deny it. She felt her face go slack as she wondered why his words bother her at all. Of course, they weren’t arguing over him. She didn’t have feelings for Cullen. He was just another tool. Arrogant bastard.
“So, if you weren’t discussing what may or may not be going on between Vivienne and me," Cullen questioned suspiciously. "what that fight was about?”
Nyia made up something that was essentially true. “Vivienne said The Empress thinks I’m beneath her. How dare she? We are within our right to start up the Inquisition again.”
“She isn’t challenging the right for the inquisition to be formed. She just has her doubts that you are the one who should lead it.”
No one outside of her small circle of advisors and companion that she was able to repair the veil and deal with the multitude of problems in Thedas. “She thinks she knows who I am. She has no idea of what I can do. Then Celene sends assassins.”
“You can’t prove The Empress had anything to do with that.” He said.
“I don’t need proof. They came from Orlais. I’ll deal with her directly.”
“Directly, you mean to start a war.” Cullen raised his voice.
“End that civil war.”
Cullen repeated himself, “We don’t have proof it was Orlais.”
“I don’t have time to play the game to learn if it was Celene or Gespard.”
“I’m not going to allow that to transpire.”
“You will do what I command, Cullen.”
“I’m not afraid of you." Only after he spoke had she realized Cullen had closed the distance between them grabbing her in a manner that lifted her slightly off the floor. “You are the only one trying to save this world from itself. You will do this right. You can’t lay waste to all of Orlais. I was there in Kirkwall.” Cullen’s eyes went cold. For that moment she knew he was back in the middle of it all. “The Free Marshes still haven’t recovered fully. Are you so willing to destroy the faith and hope that people have started to believe in?”
As he let her go, Nyia rolled back on her heels until her feet were down firm on the floor again. “What I know is that you are not as cold-hearted as you pretend to be.” Cullen slowed his words until he was back in the present with her. “You care about the lives you are in charge of. You aren’t playing the hero here. Act like one. You will pick a side. Neither has the strength or system of spies in place to take out the other in spite of what Leliana says.”
“Are you positioning yourself in order to run the Inquisition’s spy network too?” Nyia barked out without any anger in her tone teasing him.
He laughed an uncomfortable laugh, “You keep me busy enough as your military advisor.”
“I have concerns. I don’t truly know where Leliana’s loyalty lies. Who’s to say she isn’t a double agent?”
“I have it on good authority from someone I can still call a friend that she is loyal. They traveled together for over a year.”
“And went on to slay the Archdemon and end the Blight. You know Varric tells the tale much better than you.”
“I’ve never been the type people invite to the tavern to share a pint of ale.” There was a sadness to his voice that affected Nyia. Obviously, he misunderstood that she was only teasing him. Cullen pointed at the dagger jutting up from her desk. “What did you plan to do with that?”
She protectively wrapped her hand around the grip. “It’s drafty in here. It keeps the letter from blowing off my desk.”
“I will need your response to this letter soon in order to make preparations. The tactics that one may use to demand satisfaction will be quite different from the other. Your army must be ready.”
Cullen’s hand wrapped around her gloved one before she released her grip on her blade then something happened. She wasn’t sure what it was, but he had to feel the energy that passed between them. She met his eyes and he had that same expression again as before when he watched her from the doorway.
With one swift yank they removed the dagger from the table.
“I’ll have your squire put this with the rest of your armaments.” Cullen said leaving without looking back at her.
Nyia found herself looking at him as he exited. She managed to get out, “I will give you my decision in a couple of days” before he was gone. It didn’t matter how much she put him off. He was reliable and would do his job. Part of her wanted to run after him to make sure things were okay between them, but it wasn’t necessary because that wasn’t the nature of their relationship. It wasn’t like that between them.
She turned back to the window unable to focus on the scenic view outside. Or come to the conclusion of the slight advantage that one Orlesian had over the other. The only thought on her mind what she meant when she thought it wasn’t like that between them. Was it Cullen and herself that she thought of or Vivienne and Cullen?
|A few of my favorite things|
Title: First Came Duty: About Horizon (part 2)
Game: Mass Effect
Characters: Blakely Shepard; Kaidan Alenko; Liara T'Soni
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these wonderful characters. All are the property of © Bioware. I just have fun playing around in their universe.
Put on underwear.
Pick up bottle.
Pour another drink.
Blakely’s heart wanted to feel nothing. The pounding unbearable. The nightmares were back providing the play by play of her past failures. The hadn't been many, but that was the very reason she recalled each hard decisions she had to make and the lives that were no longer her because of it. She wanted to shut off the need to care deeply about the loved ones that meant the most to her. She threw the towel down on her taking her frustration out on an item that didn't care. Suddenly, her body shivered. Or was that fear. Fear. Commander Shepard was never afraid.
On every front, there was a battle Blakely could not win. Earth was in flames. She remembered looking out at the destruction from far away as they abandoned the planet. It was never home to her, but she fought for all it stood for. The birthplace of humanity. Every bursting firework in the sky and down below were women and men dying. In order to succeed she kept focused on the main goal, destroying the Reapers. Blakely took little comfort in the fact that old enemies were more willing to play nice when they knew for a fact the galaxy was being purged all of sentient life. Her real family was dying around her. More names added to the Wall of Honor.
If I couldn’t save Thane, how the hell am I suppose to save the galaxy?
Blakely looked into the tumbler sitting on her night table pinched a melting ice cube out of the glass and ran it along her lips before popping the ice into her mouth before she started to crunch down on it. A bad habit she had since childhood. She did to avoid talking to someone. She smiled raising the glass to her lips. She remembered a small amount of water added to her drink the first time Kaidan poured a Canadian whiskey for her. The aroma was a sweet woodsy fragrance mixed in with the alcohol smell with just a little hint of rye. She understood why Kaidan loved this stuff so much. She turned on the music thankful that none of it had been love songs. She’d been to busy to actually update the music to her play list. She was thankful that Sam had added a bunch of non love songs to the mix. Getting sleep was hard when she refused to close her eyes to rest. The night terrors came back to hijack her dreams.
“Shepard,” Liara said with her voice filled with concern.
Blakely didn’t answer. Blakely put her hoodie on with no intention of getting dressed. She didn’t want to see anyone, but the cabin still felt cold to her. Sam had been nice enough to check on her and went back to her duties. Maybe she should put on some pants, but why when she planned on getting back in bed.
"Shepard, I know you're in your cabin." Liara voice rose higher than normal obviously annoyed this time.
Blakely picked apart all the reports being sent to her hourly. They must get the Crucible built in time and right the first time because there would be no second chance. Part of the reason she been avoiding Liara is to give her agents time to find a large enough supply of power cells to supplement running the Crucible. There was no point in completing construction is in the end there wasn't a way to power the mass weapon. Sadly, not even the brilliant Liara had any idea what it would do once built. Blakely knew everyone expected her to figure that out too.
"Have the Ciorate cells arrived?" Blakely knew her response before Liara answered.
"You said your agent had the cargo on his ship and was making his way to meet Kasumi so she could make the delivery." She grab a datapad off her bed. "What is the hold up?" Maybe it would be possible to arrange an escort.
"Getting past the Reapers."
"Well, I can't do it for him." Blakely interrupted. This was one more thing she had to make right.
"I'm working on an exit plan."
I can’t do this now. Blakely tossed the datapad back down. "Liara, I don’t care how you get it done, but secure that shipment and send it to Hackett.” She laid back down on her bed.
Liara sighed as if he was relieved that she got that much out of her. "Understood, but" she paused didn't say anything more "understood."
After laying in her bed for too long, Blakely admitted she was not going to sleep. The lack of real noise reminded Blakely when Tali first told her she had trouble sleeping because of the the core drive was too quiet. She had many sleepless nights but all were because of the her decisions. Kaidan was on board. She couldn’t avoid him any longer. They would have to discuss what they had been avoiding all this time. She remembered ordering Garrus before hand to stand down. She would be the one to take Kaidan down if necessary.
The ice clinked her tumbler as she took a slow sip. Blakely didn’t want to be left alone with her thoughts so she picked up one on of the five datapads scattered over her bed checking the latest reports sent to her. The constuction of the Crucible was coming along faster than expected. All the experts she convinced to help with the undertaking was a blessing. They found a way to work together for the good of the galaxy.
Someone was at the door.
Damn,” She raised herself up off the bed. It had to be Sam. She rushed to the door not bothering to cover herself. I told Edi to lock down the elevator. I wanted to see no one.
Blakely activated the door, “Sam, I don’t need more ice.” Shocked by who was really at the door, she drew her hoodie around her protectively.
“Come on Blakely, really?” Kaidan tugged on the shoulder of her hoodie as she immediately snatched herself away. “I’ve seen you naked before.”
“You heard me.” Neither one of them blinked. they continued to stare at each other one waiting for the other to break. "I’m not leaving.” Kaidan walked past her and poured himself a drink from the near empty whiskey bottle on her nightstand. “You allow me back on the Normandy and then you shut me out." Blakely wanted him to look at her. "Why aren’t we working on things?" Without breathing, he started back with the accusations. "I’m surprised it didn’t find you up here with,” said Kaidan. His words faded as he mumbled the name under his breath. “You seem to find the time to talk to him.” He held on to the glass with an iron grip. “You never answered my message either.”
“I wasn’t in any condition to contact you Kaidan. I was bones and a brain. My heart had stopped. Most my vital organs had shut down. Cerberus rebuilt me from that to what you see and that still isn't good enough for you. I wasn’t breathing on my own for the first year Miranda said."
Kaidan put his drink back on the table, “I was talking about the one I left you this morning, and last night."
She felt a pounding in her head the anger was planning to explode So he still didn't trust her. Why did he have to come to her at this moment? Blakely realized the trust wasn’t back between them. She trusted him right up to the point he pulled the gun out on her.
Kaidan removed the distance between them, but he looked away from her. “It’s bugging the hell out of me. I’ve got to ask. No, I don’t want the answer, but I don’t think we can make things right unless I know. I want to make this right. You being locked up in here for days after his death isn’t helping matters."
What was it that Kaidan thought he knew?
What had they talked about while at Huerta?
Kaidan stood over her. His hands holding her firm as he pulled her closer to him. She wasn't sure of her feelings for him at this moment. As mad as she was for him for not trusting her completely and doubting her love for him, she wanted more that anything for him to tell her that she made him believe everything would work out. This damn war had changed them both.
Something bothered him and it was making her anxious. His eyes told her something that she refused to acknowledge. More than anything she wanted to close her eyes and be taken back to the days on the original Normandy when trust was all they had.
Was that Blakely was dead? Why did she beat death every time? Luck. Her resurrection by Cerberus. Good fortune. Surviving Akuze. Not her time. Am I still me? After forging alliances with blood enemies and getting a Rachni Queen to work the Crucible project she was still having doubts that she was Blakely.
And then there was Kaidan.
It took every bit of self control I had within me not to fire on him.
She proved to herself that she could live without him after he dumped her. Knowing that he was alive as safe was enough. What if her luck had finally run out and she no longer had the power to keep those she cared about most alive? When Kaidan almost died in front of her, something inside her changed forever. What was forever with the Reapers set on destroying the universe? Blakely didn't understand why he was withholding his love from her at this moment when everything could be coming to an end.
Her thoughts were interrupted when he again talking again. In a voice that was a hoarse whisper, Kaidan demanded, “You and Krios, what really happened between you two?”
Alliance officer and first human Spectre, Blakely Shepard's life just got complicated. The Normandy crew saved the Citadel from Saren's attack and the Council refuses to acknowledge the Reaper threat. A threat Blakely has been given the task to stop. Her only peace come in the affair she has with her subordinate officer, Kaidan Alenko. And their new relationship is about to tested in ways neither could image.
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