WHO: Kallian Tabris and Alistair Theirin WHEN: Sunday afternoon, shortly after the return from Storybrooke WHERE: The Rose WHAT: Kallian finds Alistair behind the bar in the wake of the mess WARNINGS: Ends in a fade-to-black
Kallian had wondered once what her life would have been like if Lord Vaughan hadn’t crashed her wedding. If she had married that sweet young blacksmith because it was traditional, if she had kept working for the apothecary, if her life had been the typical Alienage life. She wasn’t like Sera, she knew; she would have done what was expected of her. She wouldn’t have left on principle. The only reason she had done anything different than that was because her hand had been forced. The other choice was to sit back and accept rape and murder, so of course she’d taken that borrowed sword and cut her way out of the estate.
Now she knew what she would have been like.
Chattering away about nothing. Talking about her upcoming baby all the time because it never crossed her mind that it was boring, and complaining about being sick like she wasn’t incredibly fortunate to even be able to be pregnant. Married to a man whom she loved in a way, but not in the way she loved Alistair. A life devoid of passion and purpose. A life of taking things for granted.
She was supposed to be taking it easy, but Kallian started running as soon as she was past Mount Weather’s door. Alistair had to be in here, and he was either going to be in the pub, the brewery, or their quarters--Maker, she hoped it was still their quarters. She’d check the pub first because it was most likely, quarters next because they were close, and brewery last.
The Rose had been blessedly safe from the goblin hordes, which made it that much easier to get a drink after everything went to hell. Alistair was in the first place Kallian checked, tending a nearly-empty bar while most people were in other places, trying to put the pieces of their home back together. The only other person in The Rose was Hawke, who had fallen asleep on a table in the corner, his hand resting next to a half-empty beer.
When the door opened, Alistair looked up from his tablet and froze. “Maker’s breath.”
Kallian was immensely relieved to see him there and standing after all the mess she’d seen while she was running through the mountain’s metal corridors. She couldn’t even come up with any words yet - her throat had that closed up feeling that said if she tried to talk, she would just end up crying anyway. Instead she shoved past a table and kept running until she could get behind the bar and throw her arms around Alistair. Short as she was, it took a little bit of a jump, but that was fine - they’d done this a hundred times, it seemed. She would have to go, and then she would come home. They just hadn’t had any warning for this one, nor any real belief that they were likely to meet again.
It was hard to tell when she was running at him, but once they were wrapped around each other, Alistair could feel the heaviness in her belly. She was still pregnant, which meant she hadn’t gone away and been reset, she still remembered this place. He easily picked her up into the hug, reluctant to let her down enough for her feet to touch the floor again.
“Andraste, where the hell were you?”
“A town,” she said, and she already knew she was babbling even as she had just begun. “A town called Storybrooke, and I was married to someone else, and I made perfume, and there were people I know there but I didn’t know them, and I didn’t remember anything of here, or home, and I--”
She broke off and hugged him again. “I’m so sorry,” Kallian whispered. “I don’t know what happened, or how long I was gone, or--or anything.”
“Kalli---Kalli, sweetheart, none of that makes any sense.” Alistair rubbed her back, reluctant to let her get any further away from him than direct contact. “But I’m sure someone else will have an explanation, all that matters is that you’re back here. You’ve been gone almost three weeks.”
It didn’t make any sense, Kalli realized. She could listen to the words that had just come out of her mouth and recognize that no, none of it should even be possible. Even with the additional context she had, it didn’t make sense, so of course it wouldn’t make sense to Alistair.
And she had been gone for almost three weeks. More than half a month.
“There were dozens of others who the same thing happened to,” she said, sounding half-dazed, and she shook her head. “Whatever magic did this, it was not the good kind.”
“Over a hundred people disappeared when you did.” There had been so many people gone that it was difficult to actually wrap his head around it. Ten or fifty would have felt more personal, but a hundred and forty was almost too big to be devastated over. It was easier to hurt just for Kallian.
“—Did you see Fenris or Varric?”
Kallian nodded quickly. “Fenris, Varric, Bethany, Asala, Dorian, and Bull,” she confirmed. Looking for “her people” in the wake of a disaster was old habit. “Are the others still here? Fenris was running for Medical to look for Hawke.”
“We’ve had one or two disappearances, but none of ours.” Finally looking away from Kallian, Alistair twisted around to see if Hawke was still dozing on the table, almost pleased to see that he hadn’t disappeared. “Hawke! You may want to shake off that drink. —He’s exhausted, a horde of goblins attacked while you were away, I’m not sure he can hear anyone anymore.”
“Goblins?” Kallian looked horrified. Any attack was bad enough, but with apparently half of them, including many of the mountain’s most capable defenders, gone? No wonder the place had been a mess on her way through. She hadn’t asked about anything yet, being intent on finding Alistair as soon as she arrived. “Andraste’s ass. No wonder he’s asleep at a table. Are you all right?” She knew Alistair could handle himself, of course, but she worried just the same.
“I’m just fine. They weren’t Darkspawn, thank the Maker. Ugly bastards, but hardly the worst thing I’ve ever had to look at. I think the damage looks much worse than it really is.” Maybe Alistair should have been more worked up about all the destruction, but it was difficult to be upset about anything at the moment. He pressed a firm kiss to her hair before pulling away, so he could go to Hawke and gently shake him by the shoulder and wake him up. “There’s news you’ll want to hear, Serah—”
Hawke jerked awake, nearly knocking over his glass. Calling him exhausted had been a bit of an understatement; he looked awful, his skin sallow and his eyes dark from lack of sleep. He clearly hadn’t trimmed his beard in at least a week, leaving him shaggy. He instinctively tugged at his sleeves, covering the edges of wounds on his arms (perhaps injuries he hadn’t healed himself to save magic for others?) before making the bare minimum of effort to look like he hadn’t just been asleep. “Sorry. I’m up, I’m awake, I’m alive. Is someone hurt again?”
“The opposite, in fact. It seems our missing friends from a few weeks ago didn’t go home after all.” Alistair gestured toward Kallian to make his point before adding, “All your friends are back, and Fenris went to Medical to look for you.”
“Andraste’s flaming tits—” Hawke scrambled to his feet, much to the table’s misfortune, but instead of immediately leaving he approached Kallian, taking her by the arm in some kind of desperation. “Everyone is back? Everyone?”
“Everyone,” she assured him firmly, and gave his forearm a gentle squeeze. “Fenris, Varric, and Bethany were all in the crowd with me.” That was who she assumed Hawke would be most interested in. He had other friends among the mob, of course, but those were the closest.
But surprisingly, who he asked for was: “The Winchesters. Tell me you saw the damn Winchesters.”
“Dean and Sam?” Kallian was a bit surprised by that request, but she could answer it with a nod. “Yes, they’re back as well.”
“Thank the Maker.” Beat. “Don’t ask.” And another. “I’m glad you’re back.” Hawke awkwardly patted her arm before he just took off, making an attempt at casually walking away until he thought he was out of sight and then breaking into a sprint.
Alistair raised his eyebrows. “Was that weird? That felt weird.”
Kallian glanced back over her shoulder at Hawke’s retreat, then back up at Alistair. “Definitely weird.”
She looked around again, taking in the entirely empty bar, and a smile came to her face. “So...shall we hang up the Closed sign for a bit and catch up?”
Alistair was halfway to the door before she finished speaking, going to lock it without so much as a second thought. “It’s as if you read my mind.”