The following Contains Spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Do not gather your party and venture forth if you have not played DAI.
So this is not my first fan fiction, but it is my first in...in well forever. I myself have fallen in love with Blackwall's character and I wanted to explore him and expand on my ability to write male characters. So, anyway, this is my first chapter. Please enjoy and thank you.
P.S. Big thanks to my beta, enc0432, who is my best friend in real life and supported me through this whole thing.
Disclaimer: All characters, places, etc... are property of Bioware etc. etc. etc. And I am thankful as a fan to get the chance to play in their sandbox.
He rode breakneck until his painted mare came to a halt and refused to go any further. He wasn't even though the mountains yet. The sun had gone down; this had been his first whole day away from her since she had approached him in the Hinterlands.
Curse me for a fool, Blackwall thought as he threaded his fingers though his beard. He hated the damn thing and at first it had been a necessity, but Genevieve—the Inquisitor—liked it. He dismounted and found a small alcove to huddle for the night. It was bitterly cold so he dared a fire and hoped not be found by the spymaster's scouts. Although he hoped they find him. Maker did he hope they'd find him. Then he could configure some stupid excuse, she would forgive him, and he could go back to her arms and pretend as if nothing had ever happened.
But you don't deserve her or any of it, you lying son of a bitch. He told himself. If she knew the truth, she would cast him out. And the Real Blackwall wouldn't leave an innocent man to hang.
Blackwall tied up his mare where she could graze on the little shoots of grass peeking out from the melting snow. He collected the driest branches he could find and started a small fire. The cave he'd found kept the worst of the wind off him but it was bitterly cold. He missed the hayloft and the few short hours he'd spent with her curled around him, his face pressed into her neck taking in the scent of elfroot and honey that clung to her like perfume.
Maker he could almost feel her against him. He pressed his hands to his eyes. How could he have left her like that? And that made him think of her. Of his sweet little bird.
Young and lithe, with an hourglass figure he could fit his hands around. Sometimes when he kissed her, he could feel the magic humming within her. She kept her hair short to her shoulders because one time as an apprentice she had set it on fire. But it had still been long enough for him to take in his hands and thread through his fingers, to gently pull back for better access to her neck. He had lain her down in the hay loft, on the furs where he made his bed.
He couldn't remember the last time he had been with a woman, but he knew that Genevieve Trevelyan was like none before. She had been soft and sweet and eager to learn. Blackwall knew when they had finished and she had laid her head on his chest and fallen into gentle sleep that he loved her.
That was why he had to leave. He had to break her heart so that he could be the man she thought he was.
It was past midnight when he was certain she had fallen deep into the Fade. He'd dressed quickly and looked over at her naked form. Beyond beautiful, he'd thought. He couldn't leave her like that and he took one of the furs and threw it over her. He meant to leave right then, truly he did, but he knelt to kiss her one last time. She stirred.
Her pale blue eyes were dark with sleep and she gave a soft yawn before whispering; "morning, love,"
"It's not morning, little bird," he whispered back. "Go back to sleep, my lady."
"Then why are you up?" She pulled the fur up to cover her breasts, but her feet were left uncovered and Blackwall got his chance.
"It's cold, I'm going to get you another blanket," he smoothed her hair and smiled.
She yawned. "Oh, okay." She rolled over trying to get comfortable. "Hurry back, I don't think I ever want to sleep alone ever again,"
Blackwall ran his fingers through her hair again and kissed her temple. "I'll be right back," the lie stung worse than all the others. He sat there a moment, waiting for her to fall back asleep. He did not move until her breathing was perfectly rhythmic.
Then he had hurried down stairs and saddled his horse and scribbled a quick note. Maybe she would understand, he'd thought. He had told her he was no good for her, maybe now she would believe him.
Thinking of his note drew him away from his memory and the warm feeling that had washed over him as he thought of her naked against him was flushed away by icy cold. He'd used her and left her. And there it was, undeniable proof that he was no good.
Blackwall got up from the fire to rub his horse down and then wrapped himself in the saddle blanket and made himself eat a bit of hardtack. He tried to keep his mind from her, but he couldn't help but wonder what she was doing now.
Upon waking she would have run to Cassandra—no. Sera was her best friend, Sera would let her cry in her lap and then offer some joke or—no. She would do neither. Genevieve is the Inquisitor, she had learned better now. She would grieve, but not until she went to see her Spymaster.
She would cry for a little while and then return to her duties. She would go to her garden as she did every day and check on her plants, then she would get to work on some potions, and visit the ill and injured in the infirmary, go to prayer at noon bells, and then Inquisition business until supper. During supper Varric would probably regale her with stories of Hawke and their adventures and then start a game of wicked grace to keep her distracted. And then she would go to bed in her big tower room and maybe cry herself to sleep.
His eyes burned when he thought of her crying over her broken heart. Knowing that he had done it to her. She probably thought she had done something wrong, because she was the kind of girl who thought like that.
"I'm so sorry," he muttered into the cold. "I'm so sorry, little bird." Blackwall leaned against the cave wall and drifted into a short and fitful sleep.
Blackwall was up long before the sun. The fire had died in the night and his joints were stiff with the cold. He rose and stretched, trying to get his blood pumping again. His mare protested when he saddled her so he offered soothing words and a promise to go easier. It didn't help, but a good rub down did.
Light began to show as the mare slowly picked her way through the snow. It was too treacherous to not use the road even though he would have preferred the anonymity of the woods. The road was hard packed by constant use, the Inquisition brought pilgrims from all over Thedas. As the day went on, Blackwall saw more and more people, he quickly threw up the hood of his cloak in hopes of hiding his face. He couldn't be certain who Leliana's spies were.
By noon Blackwall spotted an ornate carriage drawn by four snow white Orlesian steeds coming up the road. A Chevalier rode ahead of them, a herald at his side. The herald was shouting for other travelers to make way for Duchess Something-or-Other. Blackwall moved aside and watched the gaudy procession go by.
"Genevieve is just going to love that," he chuckled to himself only to remember what he was doing and any mirth the thought might have brought him died.
Only a few weeks ago had they returned from the Winter Palace, drained and thoroughly politicked-out, but with Celene on the throne and an Orlesian alliance assured. It was after all was said and done that Genevieve truly let her Free Marcher show. Upon arriving home she spent two hours ranting and raving about her disdain for the Grand Game and how "in Andraste's holy name has Orlais managed itself as a country for the past thousand years is a mystery even the Maker himself can't solve."
It hurt to know that he would miss her graciously welcoming Duchess Something-or-Other to Skyhold, would show her the garden, the infirmary, and the library. At the end of the day she would sit down to a cordial supper with the noblewoman, excuse herself early (feigning exhaustion) so that she could go to the tavern where she would be free to mock the Orlesian without scrutiny. She would take up her phony Orlesian accent and make comments on how her ale had a hint of spice and despair.
One time she made a similar joke about a ham during a game of wicked grace and Vivienne herself walked in on it. To her credit, the Inquisitor didn't even bat an eye as the Grand Enchanter stepped forward and took a sliver of ham and popped it into her mouth and then gently informed them that it was most certainly not despair, but woe.
The whole room had burst into laughter, though no one quite as loud as Genevieve herself. It was that sound he decided he would carry to his death.
The carriage and its entourage finally passed and Blackwall continued on. He gave his horse a nudge and picked up a little speed, with luck he would be out of the mountains by nightfall. He kept along the edge of the road, thinking of happier times; of his lover's laugh, of the brightness of her eyes after she casted a spell, the sight of her dutifully taking care of her flower press book, her hands stained from mashing elfroot…
He caught sight of the Eye of the Inquisition. A small patrol of soldiers were marching opposite of him, the Inquisition's flag held high, their armor polished clean. He put his head down and made himself look every bit the weary traveler.
Sweat beaded on his forehead as they went by. They were just common soldiers, not likely to know the Inquisitor's lover by sight. But he still kept his head down, tried to make himself as small as possible. They just kept on marching. Not one of them knew him although he did not breathe until they were gone.
Damn the snow, he thought and moved on.
He wasn't totally out of the mountains by nightfall, but the temperature had risen and there was more mud then snow on the road by the time he made camp. There were fellow travelers all along a small stream by the roadside. Blackwall led his mare off the road and across the stream and made his camp far away from other people.
Another day had passed. It felt as if the further away he got from Skyhold, the easier it was breathe. He had resigned himself to this. He would take responsibilities for the things he had done. It was justice. The real Blackwall would have owned up to his crimes, and damn Thom Rainer for a coward. Blackwall would not run.
Blackwall took a sip of water from the stream before taking the saddle from his mare and tying her to a nearby tree where she could easily access the stream and some grass. He made up a fire, took a chunk of salt pork from his rations, skewered it on a stick, and warmed it over the flames.
As the night settled in and all the other camps went quiet, Blackwall felt the loneliness begin to set in. He pulled the saddle blanket over his shoulders and leaned up against a tree, the ground underneath was mostly dry. Although guilt ravaged through him, he tried to think of his Lady's sweet kisses.
It was when he was thinking of her soft touch in his hair and the gentle slope of her hips when he heard a voice say; "Warden Blackwall?"
He woke with a start, fearing he was caught and nearly relived that had been.
"Sorry to wake you, sir," the voice said again.
Blackwall looked up and saw two scouts in forest green standing on the other side of his fire. The man who spoke was an elf, his companion was a human woman.
"We were just heading back to Skyhold," the woman said. "Our patrol is up,"
Blackwall wondered how to respond, he still couldn't tell if they knew he was missing or if they had been in the woods. He went the safest route. "You're welcome to sit, the Inquisitor's men are always welcome at my fire."
The two scouts sat. The elf removed his helmet and stoked the fire up for them. "Thank you, Warden,"
"Aye, of course." Blackwall answered.
Blackwall watched as the woman rummaged through her packs and dug out two ugly looking bricks of hardtack. She looked ragged, her pack looked damp as if she had taken a tumbling into the stream.
The elf threw a blanket over the woman's shoulders. "There you go, Lily. Don't worry, we'll get back tomorrow and get you warm." Blackwall almost sighed in relief now that he knew they didn't know he was missing.
Blackwall frowned when she gave the elf a shivery nod and handed him a bit of the wormy hardtack. He shook his head. "I've rations enough," he opened his saddle bag and tossed the elf a large chunk of salt pork and hard cheese. "You eat that, pork taste better crisped over the fire."
"Warden, we can't—" the woman began but Blackwall shook his head.
"Sure you can. And you will,"
"Thank you sir," the elf smiled. "We were east of here, ran into a pack of wolves. They chased us pretty far until we came across the stream, jumped in to loose 'em. Lily lost her cloak and refused to take mine."
"I'm fine aren't I?" the woman snapped, although she seemed happy to be eating pork and cheese over mealy hardtack.
Blackwall gently unclasped his cloak and passed it to the young scout. "Here, you wear this, It'll keep you warm through the night and I have my blanket."
"Sir, I can't—"
"No Inquisition scout is going cold and hungry on my watch, miss. You wear that cloak, you eat what I give you, and then you get home and hopefully without a flu."
The woman jumped. "I don't mean to seem ungrateful sir, its just—Maker. All them in the barracks weren't sure what to make of you sir, knowing her Worship is sweet on you, but I know why now." The elf nodded in agreement.
"Thank you sir," the elf added. They folded into a comfortable silence for a few minutes as the scouts ate.
"Can I ask sir," the woman began. Her teeth weren't chattering anymore. "Why you're out here? Shouldn't you be at Skyhold?"
Blackwall had hoped this question wouldn't come, but he had no choice but to answer. "Warden business."
The two scouts exchanged glances. Bravely, the elf asked; "Is it your Calling, sir?"
He decided not to answer and instead pulled his blanket tighter around his shoulders and sighed. They were still waiting for him to say something, so he looked down at the fire and let his heart pour out. "If she asks, you'll tell her I love her?" They both nodded and then there was silence save for the crackling of the fire.
When the scouts woke at dawn, Blackwall was gone.