Author: astalavista PM
Feeling betrayed by Lady Hawke, Merrill seeks to remove her from her life. Or does she? A Lady Hawke/Merrill rivalry romance.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Merrill & Hawke (M) - Chapters: 6 - Words: 10,595 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 04-19-11 - Published: 04-14-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6903413
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This is it, the end to my first fiction, my own attempts to fill the gaps in the rivalry romance. I have to thank Bioware for creating those wonderful characters. Thanks for all the wonderful reviews, and a special thanks to my friends Erin and Maria for proofreading it for me. Another thanks goes to Heath Wingwhit. Without her this wouldn't exist. Go read her stories, they are marvelous.
If I could just peel the skin from you,
Then I would know how to touch you.
Give you my hands like lovers do.
I would know where to lead you.
But would you ever come with me?
Would you ever come with me?
I couldn't take your hand and lead you nowhere.
- Mesh, In the light of day
Hawke slowly stepped into the hall of her mansion, unsure of what to expect. Her hands straightened the hem of her short skirt. She was carefully guarding the expressions on her face, but felt more vulnerable now than facing the arishok on her own. Her eyes did light up though when she looked at Merrill, standing there by the entrance, retying her scarf. She hadn't seen her for a month.
"Hawke." Merrill spoke with conviction. "Back at my house. I should never have said..." Her voice trailed off but she then spoke firmly again. "I didn't mean it. Not a word of it." She pressed the flat of her palms together, as she waited for a reaction.
The Champion swallowed at that admission and then quietly said "I don't understand what happened, Merrill. None of it. I am so confused." The guarded expression was gone, replaced with confusion and certainly longing.
The elf started pacing nervously, rubbing her neck. "I told you, I always say the stupidest things, and they come out wrong. I...was devastated. By everything. I lost my clan. I lost Marethari. She loved me, and I wasn't worthy of it. She tried to protect me, and look what happened to her. And it's still not working. The blasted thing is not working. It probably never will. I have wasted all those years on nothing but selfish, greedy folly. Did I not betray you to a Pride Demon? For a broken hunk of glass." Her green eyes seemed large and liquid, close to tears. "I took it out on you. You are too good, and I don't want to lose you, the way I lost everyone else. You are too good. Too beautiful and clever to waste your time on me."
Hawke shook her head fervently. "Merrill, how can you say that? How can you say I am too good? I hurt you. I grabbed you and...near violated you. I never meant that to happen. Never. I hope you can ever forgive me. I am not above begging for your forgiveness."
Again, Merrill spoke with conviction. "Ah, Hawke. There's nothing to forgive. Did I not hurt you just as much? I yelled at you, I hit you." Her face was burning, when she softly admitted "I wanted your touch. I craved it. It meant more to me than anything else. I wish you had stayed. I prayed for you to come back. You never did."
Disbelieving, Hawke was only able to stammer "I...I didn't know. How would I? Really?"
Merrill sighed. "I say the most painfully stupid things, don't I? It never comes across the way I want it to. It sounds so good in my head, and then I say it, and the next moment I am thinking 'By the Dread Wolf, what did you just say, Merrill, that was horrible'. I bet you never have moments like that. You are not the bumbling idiot I am. I wish you could see me for something else." She rambled on.
All that Hawke wanted to do right now was to take her in her arms, caress her face and stop the rambling with her kisses. But she didn't dare. "You are not a bumbling idiot, Merrill, never. I adore you. Don't you know? I never think less of you."
Merrill smiled faintly, though she looked flustered and maybe slightly pleased by the words. "Oh yes, you think I am a pure and innocent, blundering fool. Thank you for the present, Hawke. I have never owned anything so precious in my life."
Hawke frowned. "I don't think of you as a fool. And you are...beautiful, Merrill. You are radiant. That's what I was thinking of when I had this crafted. How resplendent you would look wearing it. How I would...be your protection when you wear it." She chuckled, tinged with bitterness. "Who's the rambling fool here? I think it might be me."
The Dalish elf opened and closed her hands reflexively. Her tone changed, becoming more urgent. "Hawke, if you stick with me, you and everyone you love will be in danger. I am a risk. You are so right, I don't know what I am doing. If anything happened to you...I can't bear it. I just can't." She wrung her hands, desperation clinging to her like a fine mist.
The urge to wrap her in her arms became overpowering, but still Hawke didn't dare. It was as if she had lost all confidence in her self-control around Merrill, in permanent fear of hurting her. "I won't let that happen, Merrill. I will always care for you. You will be safe with me. Please let me be there for you." The elf didn't look at her, turning her head, pained expression on her sublime face. "Merrill," Hawke breathed. "Please look at me." She finally dared to lift her fingers to touch Merrill's face, then raised her chin with one finger to make her look up, ever so gently. Hawke's touch was a whisper, a caress, like her voice. "It's alright, Merrill."
Merrill looked at Hawke as if hypnotized, then finally moved. Everything was in slow motion. She reached up to touch the hand that was lifting Merrill's chin, guiding it to the elf's lips, kissing the fingertips. She then let the hand drop, pushing herself forward, throwing herself against Hawke, molding herself against her. Her arms went around Hawke's neck as she pulled her down for a kiss.
It wasn't anything like their first kiss. It was soft and gentle, like feathers brushing over skin. Hawke's senses were reeling, heat rising to her face. But then Merrill deepened the kiss, pulling her closer, one hand running through Hawke's hair with abandon, the other still on her neck. Lips parted, and moans rose muffled from both of them as the kiss turned more passionate.
When they broke apart, Merrill's hands framed her face, and she was smiling up at Hawke, boldly. "I, uh, never saw your bedroom here. But I really want to. Take you. Uh, to your bedroom first. And then..." Her smile was goofy, but the passion unmistakable. Hawke held out her hand, like lovers do, and led her upstairs.
Glowing with warmth, drowsy and spent, Hawke closed her eyes. Her hand rested on Merrill's bare arm, caressing it gently. She saw pinpricks of light on the inside of her lids, but her memory was showing her other things, different things. Fragments dancing in her mind.
Leading her to the bed. Kisses. Turning into a meek sheep led to bed by a voracious elf.
Buttons flying from her housecoat as it was impatiently opened. Eager hands. Everywhere. Exquisite. Consummate. Consuming.
Skin on skin, for the first time. Heat. Incandescence. Dampness. Sticky and sweet.
A torrent of elvhen words in her ears like the most exquisite song of the finest bards. The pointed tip of an ear under her lips. A supple spot on the elf's neck nuzzled and grazed, making Merrill shiver all over, trembling like a leaf in the wind.
Touching and touched in places never experienced before. Kissing and kissed in places never revealed before. Feeling. Waves of pleasure. Dying. Being reborn again.
How clouded those green eyes looked when lust filled them! How sweet her giggling sounded when she found yet another place that made Hawke lose control of herself. And again. And again. How she moved against Hawke when she touched Merrill intimately. How she clung to Hawke as if drowning.
How soft the skin of her thighs was. How she tasted. Maker, how she tasted on her lips. How she called out her name. How she grabbed Hawke's hair in her fists. How she bruised her shoulders, fingers digging in when the waves crashed over her head.
Intoxicating. Invigorating. Delectable. Addictive. Unforgettable. Meaningful. Love.
Hawke wanted to open her eyes, letting go of the fragments of memory, to make sure she wasn't dreaming, to see that Merrill being in her arms was real.
Before she was able to open her eyes, she felt lips on her ear, and the most gentle wisps of breath. A whispering, lilting voice that she now associated with temptation. "Roll over, ma vhennan. Yes, just like that." Moments later, Hawke was lying down on her stomach, and all she found herself able of doing was to quiver, clinging to the sheets and moaning her pleasure into the soft pillows, her crossed wrists pinned down by a delicate, yet tenacious hand.
"What happens now? What does it mean? Are we...?" Merrill's voice was quiet and humble, hesitating. Her body was pressed against Hawke's, a bare leg thrown over the human's, yet her voice sounded so insecure. Hard to believe after the past couple hours.
Hawke chuckled softly, opening her eyes yet again. She would find no peace tonight, for many different reasons. "We'll find out together, Merrill. Together." The words flowed from her lips with a glowing smile. She had never felt this content and confident.
"Are you really not afraid?" Merrill sounded relieved, awestruck by it all. "I love you!" Her exuberance was infectious, and her embarrassment was endearing. "Oh, I shouldn't have said that, should I? Uh oh."
Hawke rolled on her side, laughing. "I love you too, Merrill. It's a perfectly fine thing to say. I wanted to say it for years." They just smiled at each other. Hawke couldn't get enough of tracing the fine features of Merrill's vallaslin. "Move in with me. This mansion is so empty. Share my life, please." She was taken aback when the elf slipped out of bed and started pacing.
"Move here? With you. In Hightown. The fancy part of town without rats in it. And you. With an elf. Ma vhennan, you are crazy!" Merrill was wide-eyed, running a hand through her hair.
Hawke crawled out of bed and moved to put her arms around Merrill. "Yes, I am. Crazy about you. It's going to be alright. It's going to be wonderful, even."
The elf giggled and threw her arms around Hawke's neck. "Okay, if you are not scared, then I won't be." She tiptoed to kiss Hawke, thus ensuring there was still no opportunity for sleep in their near future.
Hawke's steps were light and heavy at the same time. She had had the need to run a couple of errands earlier today. First to Aveline to cancel her appointment with Merrill. The guard-captain had clapped her on the shoulder and then dryly noted that they better get to work in helping her keep Kirkwall safe again soon.
Hawke's second errand took her to the Hanging Man, to have a quiet word with Isabela. At least that was the plan. As soon as Hawke had entered the inn, Isabela had turned around from the bar and then laughed.
"Drinks on her, the Champion of Kirkwall has gotten laid! Look at her glow. My, look at that just bent swagger. She's not going to be walking straight for days, I can tell. Look at those lips, sucked and nibbled on all night, hm? I think Kitten has done me very proud." Isabela had been unable to stop laughing.
Hawke's lips had twitched, but then she hadn't been able to stop herself, joining into Isabela's laughter. "I had this suspicion you had something to do with this all." Still laughing, she had leaned against the bar, one arm around Isabela's shoulders. Casually leaning forward to whisper into the Rivaini's ear, Hawke had murmured dangerously low "This better not have involved hands-on demonstration, and don't even think of taking liberties with us now." Hawke's fingers had dug into Isabela's bare upper arm, quite firmly.
The pirate had near-choked on her rum, but laughed. "You really know how to kill the mood. Spoilsport. Now give me some details. Did she make your toes curl? Did she make you wet like the sea? Did she..."
Hawke had stopped her litany of nosy questions with a firm kiss to Isabela's cheek. "Thank you." She then had slammed down coin on the bar. "Drinks on me, indeed. Enjoy." With a wink at Isabela and pronounced shake of her hips, the Champion had made her departure.
But now Hawke was on her way to the alienage. Merrill had asked her to come see her there. It had all been somewhat shrouded in mystery, and none of the elf's levity had been present when they spoke after breakfast. It was enough to have a nagging worry fill Hawke's tummy, gnawing at her.
She stepped through the gate into the separated area of the Kirkwall elves, towards the tree in its center and beyond, to Merrill's ramshackle house. None of the elves milling about on daily business paid the shemlen any heed. She had been here often enough.
The door to Merrill's house was open, and Hawke stepped inside, into the permanent, windowless gloom. Squinting to adjust to the candlelit illumination after the brightness of the day, Hawke noticed that it looked tidier, books stacked neatly on tables instead of lying about. She went deeper into the building, and found Merrill in her bedroom.
She had changed, into the chainmail that had been her present, and she was standing before the eluvian, covered with its blanket. Hawke swallowed. She had been right, Merrill did look radiant and elegant in this set of armor, her neck graceful like a swan's. But Hawke did not want to witness Merrill working on the eluvian. She didn't want to have any part in this. Merrill turned, to look at Hawke, and she smiled. Relief washed over Hawke, but fear remained.
"I am glad you came. You should be here for this." Merrill loosely held her staff in her hands where she stood facing the eluvian. She then moved to pull the dusty blanket off it, revealing the twisted frame, and the broken shards of the mirror, jagged, cracked, never completed. There was no reflection. "I wasted years on this, for nothing. It means nothing. It will not bring Dalish stories, our glories, our victories and losses back to us. It has only cost me and others, blood and tears and loved ones. My pride and selfishness. But no more." She looked at Hawke. "Thank you for making me see. For seeing me."
The elf raised her staff, and brought it down forcefully, to smash the eluvian. It broke into what seemed a million shards, a million fragments. The sound of the breaking glass was the sound of relief. It was the future.