Numb

I'm tired of being what you want me to be,

feeling so faithless,

lost under the surface.

I don't know what you're expecting of me,

put under the pressure

of walking in your shoes.

Another tear, more pain, more fear. The disappointment on his face is killing me. I try so hard to help the mages, and yet it is never enough for him. For Anders. I have started to snap at Aveline when she mentions the criminal activity in the city. I yell at Isabela for being a whore, when she isn't that bad. I raise my voice at Merril often for her naivety, and I have even begun to get agitated by Varric. I scream in frustration, and throw my book across the room. I shove my desk over and kick a nearby book, sending it flying across the floor. I yell as I viciously assault my library, screaming as rage takes over. I finally collapse onto the floor, sobbing.

I can practically see Mother's disapproving stare, though it has been several months since I lost her. I'm sure Carver and Bethany would be unhappy with me as well, if they weren't dead. That's my fault. It's all my fault. No matter what I do I'm never good enough. Then Anders gives me those sad eyes and have to try again, for him. I love him, but I'm not good enough for him. I am never good enough for him.

Every step that I take is another mistake to you.

I look down at my bruised and bloodied hands, and descend into more tears. Bodahn knows better than to walk in on me when I'm like this, so I'm surprised when I hear a knock at the door. I look up, expecting Sandal to walk in. I look at my hands once more, almost screaming, because they are simply numb. I am simply numb.

I've become so numb

I can't feel you there.

I've become so tired

so much more aware.

I'm becoming this

all I want to do

Is be more like me

and be less like you.

"Come in." I say, my words catching in my throat. When vibrant green eyes meet mine, I nearly choke. My companions aren't supposed to see me like this. Ever. His eyes widen and he looks about to speak before he shuts his mouth and walks over to me, crouching by my side. Fenris looks absolutely furious, and for a moment I'm afraid. Not for myself, but for Anders were Fenris to find out who caused this.

"Who did this to you?" He snarls angrily. I shake my head, and feel tears gathering in my eyes once more. Suddenly his arms are around me and I'm crying on his shoulder. He doesn't budge as I sob, nor does he speak. I cry for a long time, and once or twice he looks around, surveying the damage. I pull away from him and wipe my eyes before crying out at the pain in my hands. He gently takes them and examines them, seeing the blood on my knuckles. He picks me up and carries me to the kitchen like a child. He sits me down at a table and gets a cloth and warm water, yelling for Bodahn to get bandages. I stare at my knuckles, the pain finally seeping in.

He tenderly washes my injured hands, showing more care in this one act than most people normally see from him ever. I stare off into space, used to the pain. I've had far worse. Carver used to hurt me worse than this when we sparred. He never held back, despite my smaller size. I learned how to dodge and avoid his attacks, and he accidently taught me how to be a rogue. Father would be disappointed to see that his little girl became a rogue. Another person I've let down. Fenris begins bandaging my wounds, wrapping my hands in a thin layer of gauze.

"You shouldn't be here." The words are a whisper, and he doesn't even flinch. He continues to care for me, but I've no fight left in me. I couldn't send him away if I wanted to. I need him right now, and he knows that.

"What happened?" He asks, meeting my eyes. I look away numbly, unable to answer. What can I say? I'm a disappointment to the person I care about most, as well as my entire family. It's my fault Carver died, and I shouldn't have taken Bethany with me into the Deep Roads. If I hadn't brought her with me, if I had listened to Mother, she would still be alive. If I had gotten to Mother sooner, she'd be alive. Anders is losing himself and it's my fault, because if I had been there for him, none of this would have happened. With my help, he could control Justice. I waste my time drinking when I could be helping someone, and when I try to help someone I'm just not good enough.

"I'm sorry Fenris." I say, my voice hoarse and scratchy from crying. He shakes his head before looking me in the eyes.

"Don't apologize, you've done nothing wrong." He says gently. Bodahn leaves, and Fenris and I are alone in the kitchen. I shake my head, the tears threatening to return. I push them back and look away from Fenris.

"I've done everything wrong." I whisper, unable to speak loudly. He shakes his head, looking surprised that I would say such a thing.

"No. You haven't. Where would you even get that idea?" He asks, using a finger to tilt my face towards him so I have to meet his eyes. There is sincerity there, and it just makes me feel worse. How can he not see how pathetic and useless I am?

"I have let everyone down. Aveline... Varric, Merril, my family..." I feel the tears form again as I struggle to say his name. "Anders." I choke on his name, and Fenris takes a deep breath, steadying himself. I can tell that he is trying to stay calm. He heard the way my voice faltered when I said that final name.

"So the... Abomination, made you believe this?" He asks through gritted teeth. I shake my head. He doesn't seem to believe me, and I decide that I'll just tell him. Not like he'll tell anyone. Fenris doesn't tell people anything, except me. He has opened up to me.

"I try so hard to help him, and the mages, but I never can. I always mess up or say the wrong thing. Now it's more than just him, I mess up on everything. I keep snapping at the people I care about and I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know if it's even me trying to help him anymore. It's like I'm losing myself trying to be with him." It all comes out in a rush, and Fenris listens with surprising patience. I hug my knees to my chest, and look down. He sits silently, just listening. After a long pause he speaks.

Can't you see that you're smothering me?

Holding too tightly,

afraid to lose control,

'cause everything that you thought I would be

has fallen apart

right in front of you.

"Then don't." His voice is gentle. It isn't angry, or malicious. He didn't say it because he hates Anders, he said it because he cares about me. He is a better person than anyone gives him credit for being. His lyrium tattoos glow faintly, as residual traces of his anger linger. They fade, and I cannot help but yawn, tired.

"Go to sleep Hawke." He says, standing up. It's getting late, and I sniffle pitifully before standing. He glances away for a moment, deciding before picking me up gently. He carries me to my room before laying me down gently on my bed. He turns to leave and I reach out, grabbing his arm. He turns to look at me, arching a brow, and I open my mouth to speak. I shut it, thinking. He'll think I'm incompetent, or weak. Right now, I'm not sure I care.

"Please don't leave." I say quietly, pleading. His eyes soften, losing some of their severity. He takes off his gauntlets and the sharp parts of his armor before sitting down next to me. My eyes are pleading, and he relents, lying down beside me. I need him right now, and he seems to understand this. I fall asleep with him beside me, hoping that tonight I do not dream.

Every step that I take

is another mistake to you.

And every second I waste

is more than I can take!

Fenris P.O.V.

I'll kill Anders for what he has done to her. Hawke is the strongest woman I know, and he has destroyed her. I have only seen Karina cry once, and that was when her mother died. It was when she was crying that I realized I love her. I wanted to protect her, to make sure she never cried again. I couldn't though, because Anders beat me there. For some reason, she has chosen the abomination, and no matter how much he seems to hurt her. I'm done being second choice though, I'll show her that she has another option. Me.

She cries out softly in her sleep and curls against me. I gently wrap my arms around her, half afraid she'll wake up and be mad at me. I don't really know what to do. I have never given or received comfort like this, as a slave I never had luxuries like that. I'm suddenly angry. How could he not even know? Does he simply not care? I intend to confront him about this tomorrow, as this cannot stand. Such innocence should never have been marred by his careless nature.

I realize suddenly just how tired I am, and give in to sleep. It's easy, as I have the perfect woman curled up in my arms. I only hope this isn't the last time.

When I wake up, the first thing I notice is Karina. She's crying in my arms, still asleep. By the Maker, how badly has that filthy abomination hurt her? I feel rage building within me. She is kind, infuriatingly so at times. She helps people without hesitation, especially those that society ignores. She helps the elves like no other has ever even tried to, and helps mages as well. She understands the threat they pose, but she also sees them as people. People that should be able to make their own choices. She does not spare blood mages though, or abominations. Except Anders. She'll do anything for him. It enrages me.

I've become so numb

I can't feel you there.

I've become so tired

so much more aware.

I'm becoming this

all I want to do

Is be more like me

and be less like you

She murmurs something and my heart stops. I barely heard it, but I heard it all the same. It was his name. This tiny gesture makes my heart ache, and my arms tighten around her. I don't want to lose her to Anders. Right now I have a chance to save her from feeling more pain at his hands, and I will do whatever I can to make sure he doesn't hurt Karina.

I sigh as I think about what I have that Anders doesn't. I have nothing to offer her. I'm a former slave, and in some ways I'm still a slave. I'm hunted, but so is he. He is an abomination, and he makes her feel unworthy. Maybe I have a chance. Though I have to deal with Anders first... I trace patterns on her back absentmindedly, thinking. Perhaps I shouldn't tell him. She doesn't want any of us to know, and I don't want to lose her trust. Or have him try and take her away from me.

I look down at the woman in my arms, only to find her looking up at me. Her eyes are wide, and she seems to be struggling to speak. I quickly let her go, sitting up. I'm afraid that I hurt her, until she relaxes. She sits up as well, and looks at me. For a moment I think she's angry. She looks at me with sad eyes and I realize she is far from angry.

"Fenris I'm sorry. I know you don't like people touching you and..." I shake my head. I smile at how little she seems to notice when it comes to this sort of thing. How can she not see how happy I am to have her in my arms? To be able to hold something so pure and untainted. Any other person would be bitter and angry after having gone through everything she has had to endure, and yet she manages to smile.

"It's ok Hawke." I say gently. She sighs, smiling, and her beautiful grey eyes meet mine. Karina has long blonde hair, fair skin, angular features, stormy grey eyes, full lips, and thin brows. She looks nothing like the rest of her family, and acts even less like them. She is kind, compassionate, and brave, but incredibly tough. She will fight viciously for a cause, and does not relent. Perhaps it's that odd mixture that draws me to her. I just know that she has me wrapped around her slender finger, and that I don't want her to let go.

She sighs with relief, her eyes lighting up as she smiles. Her hair is somewhat messy, and I find it endearing. Anders is a fool to not want to spend every waking hour with her. He is a fool for many other reasons as well. Then the smile vanishes.

"I need to check on Anders." She says hastily. Apparently one need only think of the abomination for him to enter her mind. I allow my displeasure to show, and she looks guilty. I don't want to hurt her, so I sigh before speaking.

"I'll go with you." She raises an eyebrow incredulously, as though not sure she heard me right. She shrugs and stands up, not asking questions. Perhaps she doesn't want me to retract my offer. I really hope that's why.

While I put on my gauntlets she changes into her armor and brushes her hair. She's in her bathroom, and I focus intently on the fire, trying not to think about how close she is and how little she is wearing right now. She finally returns, looking as beautiful as always. We leave her estate, and start the walk through Hightown. We talk for awhile before heading into Lowtown and then finally Darktown. I am silent as we near his clinic, and each step seems to drag me down. I don't want to see her run into his arms or kiss him. I feel anger begin to burn within myself, and hate the mage even more. He doesn't deserve her.

She pushes open the door and the clinic is nearly empty. Anders is sitting on a cot, scribbling something in a journal. He looks up, and smiles when he sees her. His eyes move to me and he scowls. I glare angrily at him, fighting to control myself. She hesitates before moving forwards. She hugs him tightly, and he closes his eyes, pulling her close. His eyes meet mine in a challenge, and I try to remain calm. Getting angry won't help her. It would be very satisfying to punch him though. He baits me further, kissing her. Perhaps he isn't baiting me. Perhaps he genuinely cares for her. Either way, I hate him for kissing her.

And I know

I may end up failing too.

But I know,

you were just like me

with someone disappointed in you.

"I'll be going now." I say. She turns to look at me, her eyes silently asking me to say. She steps away from Anders, and for the first time he seems unsure. He looks from her to me, and I can see the fear in his eyes. He doesn't want to lose her, and he also knows that she wouldn't normally ask me to stay. I sigh.

"What do we need here?" I ask. She smiles at me and turns to him once more. He focuses on her, ignoring me completely. They talk for a moment before she nods and walks towards the door, and me. She's smiling, and I wonder if that smile is real. I doubt it slightly, as she relaxes when we leave. She may care for him, but she also fears him. She doesn't have to fear me. She will never have to fear me.

Karina P.O.V.

Weeks have passed since that night that Fenris found me. He and I have grown closer, and spend more time together. I have been teaching him how to read, and he tells me some of the better stories about Tevinter. It wasn't all bad it seems, though it doesn't seem like a place I want to visit. I have slowly been becoming kinder to my companions, and they have all noticed the change. Fenris smiles more now, though Anders is unhappy and always busy.

After Fenris and I left the Hanged Man after a drink with Varric and Isabela, I invited him to come collect herbs with me. I don't want to go alone, and Fenris was more than happy to accompany me. Anders has been so distant now. I miss him, but the ache is starting to fade. It's being replaced by nothingness, which hurts more than his anger ever did.

I've become so numb

I can't feel you there.

I've become so tired

so much more awake.

I'm becoming this

all I want to do

Is be more like me

and be less like you

I explain to Fenris where I have to go as we return to my estate. Anders explained that he requires some rare herbs that only grow along the coast, but has some work he needs to do. I offered to gather them for him, and am glad Fenris is coming with me. I don't like going out there alone, and the others are busy. To be honest, I don't want to risk upsetting them further. Lately I have been working on repairing my friendship with them, and it has been going well. Why risk it when I don't have to?

Fenris and I walk along the Wounded Coast. It's quiet today, oddly so. I rather enjoy it. He and I spend the whole time talking, and I begin to realize how relaxed I am with him. It's been awhile since Anders and I left Kirkwall. He's always so busy helping the mages or the people of Darktown. Fenris smiles at me and I realize suddenly just how much I enjoy his company. He has always been a good friend to me, and I understand his pain. I went through a lot in my youth, and bear many scars. He has never been disappointed in me, and once you get past his serious exterior, he can be quite humorous and thoughtful. He has a lot of stories and I find myself trusting him. He does brood a lot, but he has good reason to be bitter. I would be too were I in his position. His hatred of mages used to get on my nerves, but now that he explained it to me I can understand. I still help them, though I keep in mind what they are capable of.

"Thank you." I say, turning to him. The sun makes his white hair that much brighter, and it contrasts his darker skin. He is exotic and beautiful, and I cannot help but admire him. He is stronger than I could ever hope to be. As I look at him, I feel my heart beat in my chest. Something so small would seem trivial to any but me. As I look at him I realize, when I'm with him I can feel again.

I've become so numb

I can't feel you there.

I'm tired of being what you want me to be.

"For what?" He asks, looking at my with curiosity in his big green eyes. They are beautiful, and contain so many hidden emotions. Fenris is like no other person I have ever met, and that's a good thing. I want to take the time to learn more about him. I want to spend time with him and understand him.

"For being so kind to me. You go out of your way to help me, even putting your prejudice aside. Few others are so kind and generous." He thinks on my words, a smile gracing his handsome face. He truly is incredibly handsome. He is also dangerous and clever and strong, as well as thoughtful and even funny. He is so different from Anders, and I think I need that right now.

"You bring out the best in me, Hawke." He replies with a shrug. I smile and shove him lightly, laughing. He catches my hand and pulls me towards him. Fenris isn't overly tall, but neither am I. He is easily four inches taller than me, and that feels like a lot more right now. He pulls me close, and my heart begins to pound in my chest. His eyes meet mine, and I can see the steady calm within him. He slowly leans towards me, giving me time to pull away. I don't want to. I rise up to meet him, pressing my lips to his.

Sparks fly as our lips meet, and I lose myself in this moment. When I first kissed Anders, there was nothing but need and desire. This kiss is slow and sweet, filled with passion and adoration. Fenris's lips are soft, and his skin is smooth. He is nothing like Anders, and I am somewhat grateful for that. I wrap my arms around him, enjoying the feel of his lips on mine. I almost expected him to be rougher. He can be so animalistic and tough, that sometimes I forget he has a softer side. As I break the kiss and look up at him, I feel what I haven't felt in a long time. Love.

I've become so numb

I can't feel you there.

As I look up at him, I think of all the words I don't need to say. He knows how I feel, and I can see it reflected in his eyes. I don't need to be afraid anymore. Fenris will not hurt me, now, or ever. Even if I don't need to say it, I want to.

"I love you, Fenris." I say, looking up at him. I can see the adoration in his eyes, and he pulls my into his arms again, not wanting to let me go. I don't want him to let me go. He finally lets me go, only to look me in the eyes.

"I love you Karina." He says without hesitation. Something tells me he's felt this way for awhile. Something tells me I have too. I close my eyes as he pulls me close, reveling in the feeling of complete safety. That's what I feel. Safe. I had nearly forgotten what it was like to just feel loved, unconditionally and with no expectations. I look up at him and take a breath.

I press my lips to his once more, not caring about anything but this moment. I was never good enough for Anders, and I never will be. To Fenris, I couldn't be more perfect. Anders breaks my heart. Fenris fixes it. How could I not fall for someone so perfect? I wrap my arms around him, losing myself. It's time Anders learns what I felt like when I did everything for him and he brushed me aside. I am NOT his puppet, he cannot manipulate me. I am my own person, and I will not hurt myself just to please someone else. I love Fenris, and for once, I really don't give a damn what Anders thinks.

I'm tired of being what you want me to be.

-Numb by Linkin Park

Just a short, fluffy, and bittersweet little ficlet. I've been going through some tough times and this is nothing more than my emotions controlling me. This is my first songfic, and I hope you all like it! I intend to write more about Karina, as she is one strong and interesting chika. I don't know when, but it will happen. By the way you should check out this song if you don't already know it. It is one of my personal favs and I really enjoy it. Thanks for reading!

Goddess out.