The trumpets blared as the colorful banners gently flapped in the breeze tainted with the acrid smell of smoke that still lingered from the battle that nearly destroyed Denerim. The atmosphere was celebratory as Alistair confidently walked up the steps towards the throne and the crown awaiting him. Alistair had proven his worth after he imprisoned Anora for conspiring against Cailin with her now deceased father Loghain who Alistair had executed in front of all those in attendance at the Landsmeet. He had kept Anora alive in case he did not survive the battle with the Archdemon, a merciful act that assured the people of Ferelden that he indeed had their best interests at heart.
Everyone stood assembled jostling one another to witness the new king taking his rightful place upon the throne. Everyone that is, except one person who stood concealed behind a large pillar trying to stay out of view. A pack was on her back with her belongings neatly tucked away inside, an easy load which had been carried over many leagues and would see many more. She stood, her eyes locked on Alistair as the crown was lowered onto his bowed head. He stood smiling and looking every bit the king that the crown declared him to be. She took a deep breath, fixing this very moment in her mind as the small smile that stole across her face was betrayed by tears in the corners of her eyes. It was bittersweet that something that made everyone else so happy could cause her pain. She moved to leave and spun right into someone.
"Tsk tsk my dear Warden. What are you doing hiding in the shadows? Not trying to assassinate the new king without cutting me in on the profit I hope." Zevran looked at Lena with an amused look on his face.
"Zevran! Keep your voice down!" Lena quickly glanced around alarmed and started pulling on Zevran's arm to lead him out of the Assembly room. "I was watching the ceremony before I took my leave. I don't like goodbyes." Lena explained as she continued walking dropping his arm as soon as they were out of view of the crowd who were now cheering for their newly crowned king.
"Oh? Is that what you were doing? Here it looked like you were running away and were feeling guilty over it. My mistake." Lena winced at his remark and the truth behind it.
"Running away? The Hero of Ferelden?" Lena tried joking, but saw Zevran wasn't laughing. She dropped the forced cheerfulness. "Fine. I am running away. I just
I need to be somewhere else. Somewhere that isn't here."
The Crow took her hand in his and spoke in a tone of voice Lena had never heard him use before. "You know my dear Warden that you need not leave. You could remain his lover here in Ferelden. It would be the best of both worlds, you could go wherever you wish, take pleasure when you want, and still have everything." Zevran's normal shameless grin that accompanied such a remark wasn't there. Instead he looked at her earnestly as if giving her a way, no matter how small, to try to be happy.
"I am not the kind of woman who wishes to share a man with another woman whether it is a Queen or Andraste herself." She thought of Cullen and the pain she felt at losing him as well. Blast queens and blast Andraste. "Besides, Alistair is a good man, he would not break his marital vows and I won't make it more difficult on him. He deserves to enjoy this after all he has been through. After losing Duncan, he was lost and found some solace with me. Now Alistair has a duty to his people and I have a duty to uphold as well." All the others had their plans and were leaving to continue their lives after surviving the harrowing experiences the Blight brought. Facing death made one appreciate life more.
"Would you like company? I mean, in your travels of course. Not to say that I wouldn't be open to the other, but I think you would find many uses for many of my particular talents." He saw her smile though her eyes remained teary.
"I think this is a path that I must face alone. I appreciate your offer, but the new King will find himself in need of a person of your particular talents."
"Well then, try not to get yourself killed my dear Warden, it would be a shame that I would not be the one to collect any bounty on your head." Lena gave him a quick hug before she left out of the palace doors that led out the back and away from the quickly swelling crowd outside of the palace's front doors. Merlin, Lena's Mabari was waiting outside for her and silently joined her as she left Denerim and the festivities behind. Zevran watched her with a troubled look on his handsome face. He could hear the call for the Hero of Ferelden to be presented to the court to be awarded her boon.