Title: A Bard's Love
Game: Dragon Age Origins
characters/pairing- The Warden, Leliana, Wynne, Alistair, others
Disclaimer- DAO (c) BioWare
Dragon Age: A Bard's Love
The group had been lost within the Brecillian forest for several days, trying to find a strange herb that could only be found within the deepest depths of the forest. The forest seemed to grow on their armor now.
"Ughh what I would give to have a wonderful bath!" Leliana said as she swiveled her head from side to side trying to fix her hair. Alistair rubbed his hand over his scruffy chin, his beard beginning to annoy him at every twitch of his face.
"There has to be some source of water around here." Wynne said as she looked around, annoyed as well of the filth they had gathered from the wild. Everyone's nerves seemed to be twisted. Cogdale was silent, he had been since leaving the Dalish camp days ago. His Silverlite armor glistened green from the treetops that let what little sunlight escape through their branches. But that was their leader, he was always one to keep to himself. So many emotions he held in and tried not to let out.
"I swear your more of a golem then Shale sometimes Cogdale" Alistair said as he brushed off some detritus off of his pauldrons. No snotty comeback came from Cogdale, he was to focused on finding the herb. For the quest the dalish gave them a sketch of what the plant had looked like. Luckily their previous times in the forest ended the stand off between the dalish and the werewolves. The remaining dangers of the forests were the wolves, bears and lost darkspawn groups.
The light through the trees began to turn crimson from the sunset that was masked by them. The group was also tuckered out as they began to slowly lag behind.
"Alright, we'll set up camp here for tonight and I'll look out" Cogdale said as he took off his helmet and set it on one of the ruin pillars.
"No you don't have to do that, you've been watching out for us ever since we left Lothering" Leliana said concerned for his health. A small grin graced his face, sweat beaded off of his chin. No doubt he was exhausted the past months on combating the blight had drained him. The grey warden stumbled off to his look out post, leaning himself against the ruin's walls. Leliana understood his pain, the nights of escaping Orlais into Ferelden were horrible, rain, mud and the feeling of being watched by forces you know could take your life away from you.
Leliana looked at Wynne to see what her opinion was, "Wynne... what should I.. I do?" Wynne smiled and gestured to follow her friend. "Go child, there are some wounds I cannot heal with magic." Leliana nodded and traveled the path Cogdale had went.
"Cog... I have something to tell you..." Leliana said as she approached the wearied warden. Slouched over, sweat ran from his face onto his armor cleaning some of the dirt off, revealing the beauty of silverite. Something had hurt him but it wasn't exhaustion. Blood ran from one of the plates of his armor, quick as it soon made its own river flowing down to the plants.
"Your hurt! Maker's breath here have some bandages!" Leliana shouted as she pulled out cloth from her bag. The cloth wasn't any ordinary cloth either. It was her chantry robes, ripped up to deal with the team's wounds.
"Thank you, Leliana, I was beginning to think nobody would notice and I could pass on into the fade while you all slept." chuckled Cogdale. Leliana frowned, "Why would you say that? We all think of you as our leader, as a friend." She said as she patted the bandage a few times to see if it would hold.
"Ever since I left my parents, ever since I joined the grey wardens I've been having dreams." Cogdale said as he leaned back against the wall to rest. Leliana joined him and looked into his mesmerizing glowing eyes, they almost seemed hypnotic.
"Not the ones that all grey wardens have mind you, but of my own life." He continued as he shifted to fix an unpleasant strain on his bandage. "I keep having dreams of being in some sort of grand hall, something gargantuan in size, is it Weisshaupt? I don't know but what I see is everyone in the hall has someone they love at their side."
"But I'm left alone at the entrance, then my brother opens a door in front of me, but it leads me no where but a white abyss." Cogdale finished as he drooped his head down in shame.
"Out of all the fears in this dark world Leliana, the only fear I have is to be alone. To never experience the one thing that brings life and good into this world." He said as he turned his head to Leliana. "And what is that may I politely ask?" Leliana said as she kept her attention to him.
"Love.." He said as he turned his gaze to the stars. The forest seemed to have conveniently let the ruins they had been sitting on not be encompassed by the leaves of the forest. The night sky lit up their conversation as the light from them almost made night seem like day.
"L..Love? Cogdale? I always had thought you had a girl back with your parents and that was what kept you up at night..." Leliana said astonished at this revelation in Cogdale's life. How could such a man like this warden had never had the feeling of love in such a good soul?
"No.. I was too much of a book worm then anything in my youth. I guess reading story after story of love I began to perceive it the wrong way." He said. "None of the girls liked me, I mean I was meant to be a vassal after all but I never lived up to those rumors I guess." Leliana didn't realize it but she had shifted herself so that her entire body was facing Cogdale as she lay near fetal position as she listened to Cogdale's life story.
"My brother had told me what loved felt like but he was more promiscuous then anything. But for such a reputation as his, his explanation of it, made me want it that much more." Cogdale said as he reached out to nothing clenching his hand in disappointment.
Ever since she saw Cogdale's face those many months ago at Lothering's tavern when he, Alistair and Morrigan entered she felt a feeling she hadn't felt since her adventures in Orlais with Marjolaine. But she knew better to trust those feelings at the time. But those feelings seemed oddly connected with her vision of the Maker.
Yet another thought plagued her, the first time Cogdale had noticed her, his eyes widen almost 3 times then what they were even in fighting Loghain's men, What was that look of? Shock, fear... love? The question plundered her mind ever since. She must know, accompanied by her growing feelings for him the thirst for the answer couldn't be held in anymore. Cogdale wasn't like any other man she had met, seduced or down right killed when she was a bard. He willingly gave up his life to save Ferelden from this blight. Every man she had encountered before was greedy, selfish and only thought of themselves, of course there was the occasional nice guy who she would trick into buying new shoes for her and such but still they did it only to have her.
While Cogdale, only saw her as a friend, someone to talk to when things were down and someone to tell her feelings to without getting a single negative thing back from. Her heart tingled with a new feeling she never felt before. Whenever she saw Cogdale enter a room or just come to talk to her at night, she couldn't breath until he asked her a question, his eyes staring into hers. Wynne had noticed the growing bond between them and gave hints to her that he did have feelings for her. Leliana just didn't want to reveal her feelings for him until she knew what he truly felt.
"What was it that you wanted to tell Leliana before I rudely interrupted it with my blood?" Cogdale laughed. Leliana laughed in return. But truly her heart could almost burst from her throat she was nervous to lay her feelings for him in front of him. She needed to try and tell it covertly.
"I'm just wanted to tell you, I feel safe at night, The darkspawn never sleep but I feel so much safer when I awake to see you still watchful." She stuttered and tried to fix her statement. "What I'm trying to say I trust you, I'm comfortable around you, I know your there when I need you." Cogdale's distant gaze into her eyes shifted into a shocked/confused look. She felt her stomach drop that look was never a good sign. "What are you saying Leliana?" he said returning to his gaze. "I'm... I'm trying to say is your m..my friend" Her face flushed to almost the same color as her hair as she finished her statement. "And..... sometimes I think m..maybe we could be more then that."
Embarrassed of her stuttering she tried to change the subject. "Maker look at me stumbling over my words like an ill educated peasant girl, some bard I am." Cogdale's expression sobered her dread as his eyes softened. "Come with me Leliana I have something to tell you too." As he jumped off of his seat. Leliana overwhelmed with feelings followed like a duckling with its parent.
The fire had been made but Wynne and Alistair were fast asleep in their poorly made beds. Cogdale stopped in front of the fire and took Leliana's hands. A surge of life and ecstasy began at their touch. His eyes even more caring then she had ever seen them before. He took a full breath in anxiety of the moment. "I've always wanted us to be more then just friends." his voice more peaceful than any tranquil.
Leliana was exhilarated but was too afraid to show it, the shock of his relation to her.
"R..Really?" she stuttered "N..No one told me, You've felt the same way and didn't do me the courtesy of informing me?" she began to believe her own lie of her feelings she was blurting out. "You made me say those things! oh...you how very awkward!" She was flabbergasted at the entire moment that had played out, feeling rushed through her. " I can't say how.." before she could finish her shout Cogdale took a step forward and placed his hands around her soft face and kissed her. Shocking her beyond belief.
She had kissed men before, but this kiss... was life changing, mind altering. Every memory of her previous kisses vanished from her thoughts. She would state this kiss was her first and she wanted it to be. She didn't know how long their lips stayed locked, but she didn't care. Wishing for the moment to go on forever, just to stay with him in his arms and forget her vision of the Maker, forget the blight, forget her past life. When he finally pulled away from her, she loathed the moment. Her lips going cold from the forest's wind after his kept her warm.
He embraced her, His body even in the cold armor was warmer then the camp fire, "That Settles it then.." Leliana said. She nestled her head into his neck. "Thank you, I thought I would never feel this, I would never meet a woman like you."
The time had come for them to rest for the big day tomorrow so they parted and went to their beds. As she walked away she looked at the corner of her eye to see him smiling and dancing for the first time. She giggled seeing this side of him, he wasn't a bad dancer at all.
She returned to her bed that was next to Wynne and laid down. Before she closed her eyes to dream in the fade she noticed Wynne was smiling and awake. "You heard everything didn't you Wynne" Leliana asked smiling. "No I couldn't the sound of you two kissing drowned out every word." Wynne snickered. Leliana sighed as she drifted off to sleep.