• Hello Guest, the Post-Trespasser timeline is open to all characters now. If you want to play your DA:O/DA2 timeline characters in the Post-Trespasser timeline, please check out the thread below. It will give you all the information you need to get up and running in no time:

    Getting your DA:O/DA2 Character ready for Post-Trespasser!

Silver and Gold [Closed]

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
186
#1
(( Satinalia, Mid afternoon, @Ferren Bairston ))

Fergus was glad to be home. He had enjoyed his time in Denerim, but he had been gone from Highever way too long. The ghosts that normally haunted him in these halls were a little less insistent right now, and he intended on enjoying that particular gift while it lasted. Almaric had been fussing since he came home, over the state of his clothes, how he hadn't trimmed his hair, the amount of money he put into the estate in Denerim. That was his way, and he wasn't going to let it dim the fact that Satinalia was here.

They had made it back just in time, the boat from Denerim thankfully not running into any problems while they were at sea. He had a lot of business to catch up on, petitioners ready to ask him to solve grievances. They would wait until after the holiday was over. For now, there was a fire in the hearth of his study, Riane was playing with her wooden horse while Kitkit snoozed next to her, and he had a number of gifts covered in paper in the corner. Riane already got her gifts this morning, and yet her favorite toy was still the horse she had been gifted. Even the kitten had been given a stitched mouse to chase around with a little metal bell inside it.

He had sent for Ferren to come to his study, even though he knew the man was likely getting caught up with work. It was still a holiday, and he wanted him to have a little reprieve before getting too overwhelmed by Ser Cavagh. He eyed the wrapped gifts, grinning to himself. Some of the items had been commissioned before they left for Denerim, and he was thankful he had the foresight. Some of the materials were a little difficult to get.

Almaric of course fussed over the expense. He had just waved him off. If he could not indulge those he cared about what was the use in having money. There was a knock on the door, and he called them to enter. Riane was the first to actually greet their guest, dropping the horse and standing up to run to him, "Fern!"
 

Ferren Bairston

Guard-Captain of Highever
Staff member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
139
#2
Ferren wasn’t in much of a mood for celebrating.

He’d kept himself busy, for the most part, and he was pretty sure he’d become the perfect model of what Ser Grim wanted him to be. Not exactly his proudest moments, barking at his guardsmen for stepping even a toe out of line, but it kept Cavagh off his back and it gave him a maybe-not-all-that-really productive way to deal with everything tumbling around in his head.

Honestly he hadn’t even realized Satinalia was coming up. All the days blended together into a mess of “before Denerim” and “after Denerim.” But he’d seen the decorations going up in the market while he’d been covering a patrol, and he’d spent some time that evening picking out gifts for Lin, Fergus, and Riane.

The last time all this happened, he’d neglected his friends for a solid year. He’d be damned if he let himself slip that far under again, and Satinalia was the perfect excuse to make time for the people he cared about who he knew still cared about him.

Didn’t mean he was getting into the spirit of the season or whatever, but when Fergus asked for him outside of their regular meeting schedule, Ferren brought the gifts he’d wrapped for the teyrn and his daughter--two smallish boxes, sealed with wax paper and twine.

Arriving at Fergus’ study, Ferren knocked on the door, waiting for permission to enter. As soon as he opened it, he was greeted with a big smile that made his heart hurt in a not-so-bad way.

"Fern!” Riane called, dropping that damn horse and running toward him as fast as her little legs would fling her.

Quickly chucking the gifts onto a nearby chair--they could handle the impact, probably--he lifted Riane up into the air and gave her his best bear hug. “Hey there, sweet girl. Y’having a good Satinalia?”

She nodded and giggled, pointing toward the pile of gifts in the corner. “Present!”

“Those all for you?” he asked, arching one brow. She shook her head and giggled again, and Ferren looked to his friend, summoning a small smile for the man. “Let me guess. Y’got her a bunch of new toys, and she still likes that horse best?”

Riane squirmed, a sure sign she wanted to be put down, and Ferren did just that. As soon as her feet hit the floor, she went to pick up the aforementioned horse. Damn thing.

“Happy Satinalia,” he managed, because that was what you did, happy or not. If Ferren couldn’t pretend for Fergus and Riane’s benefit, well. He didn’t deserve to be here.
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
186
#3
His daughter adored Ferren, and it was only punctuated by their easy exchange. Riane may still not be talking as much, but she always had a few words for the Guard-Captain. Ferren tossed the packages he had brought to a nearby chair before they hugged and she excitedly pointed him to the presents which Ferren thought was for her. Fergus got up from his seat, moving a chair closer to where the presents were.

Those all for you?” When Riane shook her head, he turned to Fergus, “Let me guess. Y’got her a bunch of new toys, and she still likes that horse best?

"You would be correct. She opened her presents this morning, and you see which one she brought with her." Fergus laughed before gesturing towards the arrangement of gifts. "And those are definitely for you, from both Riane and I. I'll let you guess which one she picked out herself."

Riane was down on the floor a moment later and back to playing with the horse, but her eyes drifted between her father and Ferren, as if she was just as eager for Ferren to open the gifts as she was to continue playing with the toy.

Happy Satinalia,” Ferren said, though Fergus was nearly sure the smile on his face wasn't quite reaching his eyes. He'd have to ask him about it later. And hopefully if there was trouble he could help with, the man would allow it.

"Happy Satinalia, Ferren. Why don't you pull that seat over closer?" He nodded to the one he had tossed the gifts he had brought in, and Fergus got up and went to his bar. No brandy this morning, instead he poured him and Ferren a cider, and Riane some apple juice so she could feel included. He set the cup for Riane beside her, and handed Ferren his glass.

"Come now, we're both excited to see you open these." He took a sip of the cider and rested back in his chair.

Riane piped up with a giggle, pointing with one hand at the presents, "Open!"
 

Ferren Bairston

Guard-Captain of Highever
Staff member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
139
#4
"And those are definitely for you," Fergus said after confirming Riane still loved that damn horse the most, "from both Riane and I. I'll let you guess which one she picked out herself."

"Now why would I need t'guess when I can get her t'tell me," he said, wiggling his fingers with the threat of tickling. Riane giggled, but didn't seem too concerned.

Maker bless that little girl. Fergus, too. They were pretty much the only reason he hadn't given in to all those thoughts and feelings telling him he wasn't wanted; that he never would be, and he shouldn't bother trying. He knew it was stupid. The people in this room wanted him around. So did Lin. And he had a job to do, besides. He couldn't let one thing fuck him up beyond repair, no matter how much of himself he'd put into that thing.

So he kept that smile on his face--a smile that was a little easier to manage now--and wished his friends a happy Satinalia.

"Happy Satinalia, Ferren. Why don't you pull that seat over closer?" Ferren did so, moving the two wrapped gifts to the edge of Fergus' desk as he replaced them with himself. When Fergus handed him a glass of cider, he lifted it to his nose and breathed in, enjoying the hint of spice.

"Come now, we're both excited to see you open these."

"That so?" Ferren asked, arching a brow at an excited Riane.

One pudgy hand pointed to the presents. A lot of presents, Ferren now realized. He'd commented on it before, but it didn't hit him until he looked again. "Open!"

"All right, all right," he said with a laugh. "Tell y'what. I'll open all but two. Then the two o' you have to open yours before I open the last ones. Deal?" Ferren only waited for a brief pause before asking, "Which should I open first?"

Riane was quick to volunteer the smallest package, an irregular shape wrapped by... well, a toddler, with some help from an adult, he thought. His smile softened as he took it. "Hmm. Wonder who this is from?" He opened the paper carefully--as much as he could, since the seam was a little crooked--and revealed something wrapped in cloth. "A new handkerchief! Just what I always wanted."

"Open!" Riane repeated impatiently.

He grinned and shifted the cloth back, revealing a palm-sized mabari made of black stone. "Oh wow, look at that." He ran his finger over the detailed carving. "Y'picked this out yourself?"

Riane nodded, and Ferren offered his free arm for a hug. "Thank you. I'll have t'think of a good name for him."

He walked the little mabari over her arm, making "arf" noises all the while, then booped the dog's snout against her cheek as if the mabari were giving her a kiss. She giggled and squirmed away, and Ferren set the figurine to guard him on the arm of the chair.

He'd promised to open all but two gifts, though, and there were still four packages left. Shaking his head, Ferren smiled and reached for one of them. This was wrapped neatly, and when he opened it, he found a wooden box. Lifting the lid revealed a really nice pair of boots that looked to lace up to about mid calf. He lifted one out of the box, admiring the sturdy leather.

"Prob'ly the nicest pair I've ever owned," he admitted. "Almost afraid t'wear them, get them dirty."

He would, though. He was on his feet almost all day. He needed a nice pair of boots to do his job. Smiling at Fergus, he reached for a rectangular package and started to open it. It was light, and he already guessed clothing just from the feel of it. Maybe a new uniform? But when he opened up the paper, slipped the ribbon free and pulled back the parchment wrapping beneath, he found what looked like pretty casual clothes. A tunic in a really nice green, folded neatly atop a pair of soft buckskin breeches. Both were nicely tailored, and of a finer material than any of the clothing he'd worn until threadbare.

"These are real fancy," he said with a grin. "Prob'ly not as fancy as y' would've bought though, yeah?" His grin eased into a smile. "These are great. Thank you. But a deal's a deal, aye?"

Leaning forward, Ferren retrieved the two packages he'd brought with him. Both were small and box-shaped, but the larger and heavier of the two he handed to Fergus, the other one going to Riane.

"It's nothing much, but... I hope y'like it."
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
186
#5
Riane’s enthusiasm was barely contained, and he was glad to see her excited over someone else getting presents other than herself. That had been a problem with Oren. He had considered all things wrapped his, and had wailed one Satinalia after his mother refused to allow him to have the dress she had just opened.

It was a bittersweet memory, but certainly gave him some perspective on his current life. Cherish both the good and the bad moments, before you had no moments left to have.

Ferren gave into Riane’s insistence, laughing, "All right, all right. Tell y'what. I'll open all but two. Then the two o' you have to open yours before I open the last ones. Deal?"

That will mollify me, but I wonder if Riane will be so patient,” Fergus said with a slight tease in his voice.

Ferren asked after a moment, "Which should I open first?"

Of course, his daughter was immediately on the task, picking up one of the smaller packages in the pile. It was the one she had picked out when they had went to the market, and he watched and listened as Riane and Ferren interacted with each other.

He loved watching them interact, how it brought out something in Ferren that he couldn’t really see anywhere else. It was something that solidified his trust in Ferren when he came to Riane. There was no other person in Thedas he trusted so much.

The small statuette was a hit, and Ferren took a moment to play with Riane who delighted in the moment. Once she moved back to her position on the floor, with her own figure, Ferren moved to select another of the gifts. The boots were first, "Prob'ly the nicest pair I've ever owned. Almost afraid t'wear them, get them dirty."

Fergus smiled, taking a sip of his drink, “I hope you do, would be a waste not too. The cordwainer would be very disappointed they were not being used.

Ferren went for another of the smaller packages, and Fergus was getting more anxious. He wanted him to open them all. Perhaps the delight in gift-giving was not restricted to his daughter, and he leaned forward as he opened the new casual clothing he had tailored for him.

"These are real fancy. Prob'ly not as fancy as y' would've bought though, yeah?" he said, seeming to relax even more now.

If they don’t quite fit right, we can get them tailored to do so. I guessed at your measurements.

"These are great. Thank you. But a deal's a deal, aye?" Fergus nodded, and Ferren passed the gifts to him and Riane. "It's nothing much, but... I hope y'like it."

Riane pouted a little until she had her gift in hand. She looked up at her father as if silently asking permission. He gave her a nod, holding his gift on his lap as she tore into the paper. She slipped the lid off the box, and gave a squeak in delight at what was inside. A toy rocking horse, that of a similar size to the horse toy she had been playing with when Ferren entered, was inside. She quickly set it beside the other, small hand petting over the soft hair.

She looked up, eyes big, at Ferren, “Tank you, Fern.

It was Fergus’ turn after giving her a moment to enjoy making the two horses move alongside each other. He pulled the paper off the package revealing a nice box, which he could only assume was part of the gift itself. He opened it to find a cherrywood tobacco pipe, along with a bag of tobacco. He picked up the bag first, opening it and taking in the scent. There was a hint of citrus, and he shook his head. “This is wonderful, Ferren. I can finally retire my father’s pipe.

There was a hint of sadness in his voice, but he clarified before Ferren thought it was a bad thing, “I wanted to replace it, and now I don’t have to. It will last longer if I don’t use it.

He closed the box, turning to set it on his desk. He’d enjoy it later, once Riane was back in the nursery. He looked over at Ferren, with a raised brow, “Now for your other gifts.
 

Ferren Bairston

Guard-Captain of Highever
Staff member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
139
#6
He’d always liked giving presents, but that long stretch of waiting for somebody to open their gift--waiting to see if they liked it--was the worst. He fidgeted a little as Riane unwrapped hers with all the delicacy of… well, a toddler. She’d probably like it, right? She liked that other horse. Damn thing.

She made a happy sound, her eyes wide as she realized what it was. Ferren couldn’t help but smile at that, after he let out a heavy sigh of relief, that was. Fergus was at least polite enough to pretend, even if he hated his gift. But children didn’t have any filter about those things, and Riane would’ve made her discontent known.

Fortunately she went to introduce the new horse to her old one, then looked up at him. “Tank you, Fern.”

It was hard to be mopey in the face of that, and Ferren found that hardness he’d shored up around his heart melting a little. “You’re very welcome.”

He watched her play with them for a little while before the sound of paper opening brought his attention to Fergus. Nerves returned, though he was pretty sure this one would go over well. Fergus’ expression wasn’t all that easy to read, though.

“This is wonderful, Ferren. I can finally retire my father’s pipe.” There was a note of sadness there, and for a second Ferren wondered if he’d made the wrong choice. “I wanted to replace it, and now I don’t have to. It will last longer if I don’t use it.”

He gave the teyrn a small smile. “I’m glad. It’s good t’have something to hold onto.”

That wasn’t a subject either of them wanted to linger on, and Fergus was quick to point out that he still had two more gifts to open. That caught Riane’s attention, though only partly, and Ferren looked at the two remaining gifts, sizing them up. Actually sizing them up, since one was huge. He took the smaller of the two, finding it heavier than he expected.

The paper opened to reveal a fine leather scabbard. He ran his thumb over the design that had been tooled into it--the crossed spears of Highever--and then withdrew the dagger that was nestled into the scabbard. The metal had a nice red tint to it with a good weight, the edge of the blade plenty sharp.

“Been looking for a new dagger,” he said, looking up at Fergus. “Y’never realize how much you’ll need one until the one y’ve got can’t even cut butter anymore.”

He wasn’t wearing his full Guard Captain setup right now, otherwise he would have looped the scabbard into his belt. Instead he kept it on his lap as he reached for the last present. The shape wasn’t hiding much, and the weight pretty much confirmed it. Excitement coiled through him as he picked up the heavy package with a grunt before undoing the ties and paper.

The weapon inside was a hammer, like he’d guessed, but a damn nice one. It shone silver, practically sparkling under the light of Fergus’ fireplace, and there was read gold inlaid along the haft.

“This is way too much…” Even as he said it, he stood up and hefted the hammer into his hands, getting a feel for the weight of it. Swinging it in here would be… a problem, but Ferren was itching to give it a try on some straw dummies. “No way I could’ve gotten this on my own. But… thank you. I’ll put it to good use.”

He gave Fergus a bow as his Guard Captain, then a smile as his friend, carefully resting the mace against his chair. Riane had lost interest now that the surprise was over, and she played quietly with her horses by the fire.

“Wasn’t sure I’d even celebrate this year, with everythin’ that’s happened, but… this was nice. S’ppose I should pass it along, give my guards a break today. Can’t make Cavagh respect me too much in too short a time,” he said with a small grin.
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
186
#7
I’m glad. It’s good t’have something to hold onto.” Ferren said, and left it at that. Memories both good and bad came with that old pipe. He’d have new ones to make with this one. He had already set it on his desk, and returned his attention to Ferren. More new memories to make today, especially for one of his closest friends.

Ferren picked up the dagger first, and he watched as he opened and looked it over. A little nervous excitement coiled through him. He had wanted to get him something that would last, and that meant getting things made with better than standard materials.

Been looking for a new dagger. Y’never realize how much you’ll need one until the one y’ve got can’t even cut butter anymore.” Fergus grinned at that.

Well, that one will certainly slice butter with the best of them.” He gave a soft laugh, and his eyes turned to the next gift. It was the one he was most interested in seeing a reaction to. While Ferren’s weapon of choice was perfectly service worthy, Fergus had wanted to give him something to show him how grateful he was that he had accepted the position offered to him.

It took his guard-captain a moment to get the hammer unwrapped. He lifted it up and held it as if he was judging the weight. Fergus hadn’t used that kind of weapon much, but he trusted the smith to have balanced it well.

This is way too much…” Ferren’s eyes moved over the gift, and Fergus could tell he was itching to swing it. He was thankful he did not. “No way I could’ve gotten this on my own. But… thank you. I’ll put it to good use.

I look at it as something that will help you do your job better. I’m sure you know your older weapons capabilities, but this is as much a thank you for your service as it is a gift of utility.” Fergus smiled, glancing over at Riane, “And I know you will put it to good use while keeping that which is important to me safe.

Ferren bowed, which Fergus responded with a respectful nod. He rested the hammer against the chair, his face showing less worry than it was earlier, “Wasn’t sure I’d even celebrate this year, with everythin’ that’s happened, but… this was nice. S’ppose I should pass it along, give my guards a break today. Can’t make Cavagh respect me too much in too short a time.

They really hadn’t gotten a chance to talk much on their trip back to Highever, but Fergus didn’t want to ruin the good mood right away, “Careful, the last thing I need is two Cavagh’s roaming the halls.

He picked up his drink, taking a sip before his expression drew into something concerned, “If you need to talk, I’m happy to listen.
 

Ferren Bairston

Guard-Captain of Highever
Staff member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
139
#8
“I look at it as something that will help you do your job better," Fergus said, easily disputing his thoughts that it was too much. "I’m sure you know your older weapons capabilities, but this is as much a thank you for your service as it is a gift of utility. And I know you will put it to good use while keeping that which is important to me safe.”

Ferren followed the teyrn's gaze to Riane and swallowed thickly. He'd shored up a lot of emotion lately; kept it locked down as much as he could just so he could do his job. It'd spilled out here and there, mostly in his temper and an impatience he didn't like concerning the men and women who served under him. That emotion rose up now and even spilled out a little, a couple of tears escaping his eyes. Ferren wiped them away and just nodded in silent agreement.

Fergus deserved an explanation, and so Ferren set the weapon aside and tried his best to give one. Not that the man hadn't figured it out. They were friends, first and foremost. But it was another side effect of keeping things bottled up. His relationship with the teyrn had suffered just a little bit, and he needed to work to repair it.

“Careful, the last thing I need is two Cavagh’s roaming the halls," he joked, and Ferren gave a half-hearted laugh. The mood turned somber quickly, though, as he thought it might. “If you need to talk, I’m happy to listen.”

Ferren drew in a breath through his nose and rubbed at his jaw. He looked to Riane again, who was back to happily playing with her horse toy. Or horse toys, now. He'd made them multiply, and they were probably going to make little baby horse toys soon. Riane would be happy, at least.

"Need to? Probably. Want to? Y'know." He made a gesture with one hand expressing his uncertainty and reached for his drink. "I don't know that there's much t' talk about, anyway. I got my hopes up, got something into my head and my heart that didn't work out. Not the first time, and we both know it's probably not gonna be the last." He took a sip from his glass finally, his gaze returning to Fergus. "I guess I should've known better. That's the most frustrating part. After everythin' that happened with Kali, I don't know why I thought this'd turn out any differently."

He knew why, but it made him look like even more of an idiot than he already came across. He wanted things to work out. He wanted to build a life with someone; to have a family to come home to. The fact that he'd ever thought he could have that not just with a Warden, but a Warden who from the get-go said made it real clear she wasn't interested in that... it was stupid. All of it was stupid.

"I should be happy with what I've got, y'know? I have friends that are more like family t'me than my own ever was. People like you and Lin. That counts for a lot. And y've never denied me the chance t'spend time with Riane, so," he gave a little shrug, like he should be content with that. Part of him believed he should be. Things would definitely be a lot easier if he was.
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
186
#9
"Need to? Probably. Want to? Y'know." Fergus could feel the uncertainty without th gesture Ferren offered. His friend picked up his drink and instead of bottling up entirely as he almost expected him to do, he started talking, "I don't know that there's much t' talk about, anyway. I got my hopes up, got something into my head and my heart that didn't work out. Not the first time, and we both know it's probably not gonna be the last. I guess I should've known better. That's the most frustrating part. After everythin' that happened with Kali, I don't know why I thought this'd turn out any differently."

Fergus took in a breath, ready to dispute what he was saying, but he waited. He wanted Ferren to finish, and he didn’t want to make the man feel like he couldn’t feel these things. So, he was patient, and after a moment, Ferren continued.

"I should be happy with what I've got, y'know? I have friends that are more like family t'me than my own ever was. People like you and Lin. That counts for a lot. And y've never denied me the chance t'spend time with Riane, so," he gave a shrug, and Fergus turned his gaze to his daughter happily playing with her horses. Kitkit had woken up, but was still dazed from it’s snooze, sniffing at the new toy even as Riane moved it around in front of her.

I could say that something will eventually work out for you, Ferren, but that’s not really helpful right now is it?” Fergus gave him a small smile before picking up his drink again. “And you are family to me, Ferren. I trust you more than almost anyone else in the world. But just because you’ve found a place here doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek something more for yourself, or your own happiness. You don’t have to just settle and think that’s all you deserve.

Maybe that was easy for him to say. He had found happiness twice, both times stolen from him. He was happy now, for the most part. His heart knew who it belonged to, but there were times things felt like they were missing. He missed Breanna, but understood why things had ended. He also knew that his relationship with Nathaniel would never be what others would classify as normal. Longing for something other than what it was, wouldn’t change it.

So he turned and smiled at Ferren, “However, that does not mean you shouldn’t feel the loss of that hope, or grieve it. It hurts to lose it, it hurts to not have things turn out like you wish they would, but you’ll grow stronger from it, and as you said, you have a family here to help you get through it.
 

Ferren Bairston

Guard-Captain of Highever
Staff member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
139
#10
Fergus had things to say to all of that, just like Ferren knew he would. Not like their positions hadn't been reversed before. Sometimes Fergus had too much to drink and he got sad and a little bitter. He had a right to it, but Ferren had been quick then to remind him of all the good things. He knew the good things he had in his own life, so that wasn't something Fergus could name.

Instead, the teyrn focused on Ferren's sort-of resolve that he should be grateful for those things and stop looking for me.

“I could say that something will eventually work out for you, Ferren, but that’s not really helpful right now is it?” Ferren snorted softly. No need to answer that. “And you are family to me, Ferren. I trust you more than almost anyone else in the world. But just because you’ve found a place here doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek something more for yourself, or your own happiness. You don’t have to just settle and think that’s all you deserve.”

There was a voice in Ferren's head that told him he already had more than he deserved. It sounded a hell of a lot like his father, and most of the time he was able to ignore it. Harder to do now, though. He wasn't feeling like himself; didn't really have that boundless optimism in him anymore. He'd get it back someday. Probably. Maybe.

“However, that does not mean you shouldn’t feel the loss of that hope, or grieve it. It hurts to lose it, it hurts to not have things turn out like you wish they would, but you’ll grow stronger from it, and as you said, you have a family here to help you get through it.”

Ferren eased into his chair and blew out a breath, his gaze returning to Riane. Her kitten was watching the toys with half-awake interest, its little rump starting to shake. The pounce came soon after, and Riane's squeal of delight brought a smile to Ferren's face.

It faded some when he turned back to Fergus. "Does it really make y'stronger, though? D'you feel stronger, Fergus? I mean you're alive, you've got a family and that's a hell of a thing to be proud of. But has all that loss made you a better person, or has it just made you a different one than you'd be if y' hadn't lost those things?"

His conversations with Fergus always seemed to turn philosophical, which was a fucking weird thing for him. Ferren didn't much question the world or his place in it, but sometimes he wondered if the Maker had taken a few days off.

"Every time I lose something, I wonder who I would've been if I'd kept it. I mean, I guess I've got a little distance now. Enough t'know I'm not sure I could do the whole Warden thing." His gaze cast up to Fergus before he reached for his drink. "Not really sure how y'do it. It's... a lot. Not knowing. Not being able t'know."

It wasn't fair to Mara. She hadn't chosen to be a Warden. But it wasn't all that fair to him, either. He didn't need to know everything about a partner, but he was never going to be okay with not knowing if they were... okay. Not being able to do anything about it because he couldn't understand.

"But it's always something, y'know? Same old..." he caught himself and changed the word, "stuff, over and over. I go from hardly knowing somebody t'wanting to settle down with them like that," he snapped his fingers. "Exact opposite o' Lin. Sometimes I wonder if maybe she's got the right of it."
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
186
#11
Ferren seemed to take a moment to process what Fergus had said, his eyes casting to Riane and Kitkit as they played. Fergus knew he often gave unsolicited advice, it seemed a compulsion at times, wanting to help people in a bind and relate to their experience somehow.

"Does it really make y'stronger, though? D'you feel stronger, Fergus? I mean you're alive, you've got a family and that's a hell of a thing to be proud of. But has all that loss made you a better person, or has it just made you a different one than you'd be if y' hadn't lost those things?" Ferren turned back to him, expression conflicted.

Maybe I’m just a contradiction?” He gave him a wan smile. “I would like to think I am stronger in ways that I needed to be stronger. Strength doesn’t mean you’re immune to pain, but able to move forward through it.

He shrugged, maybe he was just full of shit. He had his weak moments, but no one could be strong all the time. Friends helped, lovers helped, and Riane’s very presence certainly helped. But it wasn’t enough to keep it away all the time.

"Every time I lose something, I wonder who I would've been if I'd kept it. I mean, I guess I've got a little distance now. Enough t'know I'm not sure I could do the whole Warden thing." Ferren moved to pick up his drink again. "Not really sure how y'do it. It's... a lot. Not knowing. Not being able t'know."

But he did know. He knew more than he ever should, and he couldn’t admit that to his friend looking at him now. Fergus pressed a finger between his eyebrows. There were things he didn’t know, sure, but he knew some of the worst of it. “It’s not easy, but my entire situation isn’t easy. But I try to equate it to simpler secrets. There are things about Highever I don’t share, not because of lack of trust but because a small slip could compromise security or diplomatic ventures.

He frowned after that, thinking it was king of a poor example on his part. “No relationship is ever going to be easy. Wardens lead a very difficult life, it's something that changes them. The weight on their shoulders filled with their duty along with their secrets, well… it’s not an easy life. It definitely made my relationship with my brother deteriorate.

And that was something he didn’t want to talk about really. Aedan was a prisoner at Weisshaupt and only he and a few others knew. It hurt his heart but he knew it was the right place for him to be. This conversation wasn’t about him though, and he turned his attention back to Ferren.

But it's always something, y'know? Same old..." he paused, "stuff, over and over. I go from hardly knowing somebody t'wanting to settle down with them like that. Exact opposite o' Lin. Sometimes I wonder if maybe she's got the right of it."

You know what you want, Ferren.” He said it a bit softer than he probably should have. “Don’t lose that because it hasn’t worked out the way you wanted with the people you’ve met. You’ll find someone who wants the same thing. I’m confident in that. There’s nothing wrong with trying to move slower, but don’t just stop wanting what you want.

He glanced over at Riane who was tickling the kitten now, the ball of fluff letting her do whatever she wanted while holding on to her fingers softly. Fergus smiled softly, “There’s always another chance out there. But you got to weather the storms, learn from them.
 

Ferren Bairston

Guard-Captain of Highever
Staff member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
139
#12
“It’s not easy, but my entire situation isn’t easy. But I try to equate it to simpler secrets. There are things about Highever I don’t share, not because of lack of trust but because a small slip could compromise security or diplomatic ventures.”

Well, that was fair. There were things Ferren couldn't tell other people since becoming Guard Captain. He didn't think those would've ever been as big an issue as the secrets Mara had to keep, but what did he know about it? Fergus apparently didn't like that answer, though, because he frowned and gave another.

“No relationship is ever going to be easy," he clarified, "Wardens lead a very difficult life, it's something that changes them. The weight on their shoulders filled with their duty along with their secrets, well… it’s not an easy life. It definitely made my relationship with my brother deteriorate.”

Ferren didn't think that was the only thing, but he nodded just the same. Now probably wasn't the time to go over all the reasons Aedan was a shit brother.

"No, I know. Fact that I ever let it get that far in the first place isn't my only regret," he said, rubbing absently at his jaw. "Wasn't exactly the nicest person in the end, y'know? Everythin' she's going through... I know I didn't make it any easier."

It was a pattern, though. From saying "hi" to someone to sticking with them like they were the only damn thing that could ever make him happy, to that ugliness he'd come by honestly, as his father used to say. Violence, meanness, and a lot of drinking. He hated it, and he didn't know how to escape.

“You know what you want, Ferren," Fergus said softly. “Don’t lose that because it hasn’t worked out the way you wanted with the people you’ve met. You’ll find someone who wants the same thing. I’m confident in that. There’s nothing wrong with trying to move slower, but don’t just stop wanting what you want.”

He followed Fergus' gaze to Riane. He did know what he wanted. A version of it was right here in this room. It wasn't really his, but a part of him still thought he'd be happy if that was all he got. Another part knew that was a lie.

“There’s always another chance out there. But you got to weather the storms, learn from them.”

"Aye," Ferren said softly. "I suppose every failure's taught me something. Not sure it's always stuck, but it's been there. I mean with Kali... y' can't make somebody love you, pretty much what I got from that. If she had, she would've stuck around. And with Mara..." The hell of it was, he was still pretty sure Mara had loved him. But maybe he was just fooling himself again. "I mean sometimes that's not enough, is it? Both prob'ly would've ended up miserable."

Ferren cleared his throat and took a drink, not really wanting to wallow in that emotion. He'd done enough wallowing. Lin would be here soon, and he needed to buck up a little. "I don't know. I think it'll be awhile before I let my heart have any say in anythin' when it comes to relationships. Not sure it ever thinks things through all that well." He sniffed and set down the glass. "Anyway. Not really the time t'talk about all that stuff. Y'have any other plans for Satinalia?"
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
186
#13
"No, I know. Fact that I ever let it get that far in the first place isn't my only regret," Ferren added, looking rather unhappy with himself, "Wasn't exactly the nicest person in the end, y'know? Everythin' she's going through... I know I didn't make it any easier."

Fergus could only nod at that. Sometimes the people you loved could hurt you worse than someone you barely know. Being on the receiving end of that was terrible, but dishing it out, lashing out because you were hurt. Well, it was something Fergus had done in the past himself, though not without regret of his own.

"Aye, I suppose every failure's taught me something. Not sure it's always stuck, but it's been there. I mean with Kali... y' can't make somebody love you, pretty much what I got from that. If she had, she would've stuck around. And with Mara..." Fergus had to urge to reach out to him then, give him a comforting touch, but he held back as he continued. "I mean sometimes that's not enough, is it? Both prob'ly would've ended up miserable."

"Sometime it isn't enough. You can love people that aren't meant to be with you long, but that doesn't make it wrong to love them," more advice, or maybe it was just hope that it would offer some comfort. He desperately wanted to help him heal somehow, to know that he wasn't alone and wouldn't remain alone for his days.

"I don't know. I think it'll be awhile before I let my heart have any say in anythin' when it comes to relationships. Not sure it ever thinks things through all that well." Fergus watched as he set the glass down and he took that moment to finally give in to a small touch, placing his fingers briefly on Ferren's arm. "Anyway. Not really the time t'talk about all that stuff. Y'have any other plans for Satinalia?"

Fergus decided he had probably offered enough of his potentially ill advice, and decided to move on with the question he had been asked. "In about an hour we'll be having a meal with Eunice. She's getting riding lessons at the stables right now, and we'll be presenting her with her Satinalia gifts. You're welcome to join us, I know it will brighten her day."
 
Top