Spoiler Warning: The following chapter takes place after the Trespasser DLC. Enjoy!
Brady stared at the quill that sat on his desk and the mangled excuse for penmanship on the parchment. He grimaced at it, then looked down to his phantom hand. He growled and slid his right arm across his desk, knocking every piece of content onto the floor.
He stood up from his chair and paced around his room. It wasn't nearly as big as his room in Skyhold, and 'shabby' was a friendly way of describing the rustic interior that was a few different shades of brown.
He heard the door open, and she walked in- her eyes wide with worry and shock as she saw the pained expression that laid on his usual soft features.
"Cassandra," He didn't look at her. His eyes were a million miles away.
She studied him for a moment, and felt her face drop from worry to sorrow. She watched his pale blue eyes dance against the light of the fire. She wanted to say something, but could not find the words.
He brought his eyes to her and hardened his expression. "He-," he stopped himself and looked down to his feet. "He should have killed me."
"Do not talk like-"
He raised his hand and stopped her, "No, Cassandra. Please."
She walked toward him and grabbed what was left of his marked arm. "The mark did not make you who you are."
He slunk away, "Did it not?" He walked away and leaned on his desk, gripping it until his knuckles were white. "What was I before, Cassandra?" He slammed his fist on the desk, but she didn't flinch. "I was nothing." He turned his head in the slightest to catch her in the corner of his eye. She held her ground, brave and bold before him. "I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have joined the Inquisition. I would have never built it up and led it to be what it is… was. By the maker, I wouldn't have met you. It was a because of that bloody mark."
Her eyes brows furrowed, "You cannot honestly believe that."
He let out a dark laugh, "I can barely hold my own son. Maker, I can barely even write my own name anymore."
Before he could react, she held him from behind, wrapping her arms around him like a warm blanket during one of Skyhold's brisk mornings. He couldn't help but relax to her touch. She could feel him uncoil underneath her and held him closer.
He sighed, "I don't know if I can stop him." He turned into her and rested his hand into hers. "He'll see this wiped away." With a small lean into her, he kissed her on the forehead. "I can't let that happen."
A small smile grazed her lips. Her hand brushed against his face and he leaned into it. "We won't let it happen."
"What can we possibly do?" He walked away from her touch. "This world we tried so desperately to save, all of the good we have done has been for naught." His jaw clenched. "After all of my accomplishments, I still failed to show him that this world, our world, is worth it." He sighed, "Perhaps, he is right."
"Enough." She said with a sharpness. "I have seen you stare the impossible down before and endure. Solas is no different." She closed their distance yet again. "You are the best this world can offer to save itself. Solas was your friend, if anybody could show him he's wrong, it will be you."
He kissed her wrist and pulled her in for a tight embrace. "Maker, what did I do to deserve you?"
"Perhaps he thought you've been through enough."
He pecked her lips and smiled, a rare sight since he had last seen Solas. "Obviously, not enough."
She tugged on his hand. "Come."
He complied, allowing her to lead him through the threshold of the bedroom door and out of the small hut, into the bitter cold of the mountains.
"Is there a method to this madness?" He joked as he stepped over misplaced pieces of rubble.
She didn't answer, and he shook his head. He followed her up the familiar steps and up to the doors that still managed to have the decree of the inquisition nailed onto them.
She directed him down towards the holding cells, where he managed a quick quip. "Cass, this is getting pretty kinky."
She shushed him and opened the door.
There, he was greeted by Cullen, Scout Harding, and Leliana, who was relieved from her ceremonial robes.
Brady smiled warmly. "What brings you three here?"
"You didn't think you'd do this alone, did you?" Cullen remarked, standing tall with a grin.
Leliana looked around. "Returning to Haven is a start, but we must keep this place a secretive as possible. We cannot have Solas' spies undermining us once again."
"This is not going to be easy." Cassandra commented.
Brady looked around the room and saw the determination on each of their faces. He chuckled. "Back to square one, then. Anybody else getting déjà vu?"
Brady sat by the fire with Anthony on his lap. Anthony kept playfully trying to grab the papers Brady was holding, only to be thwarted by his father each time.
"You must be the only one who believes that paperwork is fun, champ." Brady teased, once again pulling the papers away.
"What are you doing?" Cassandra asked, walking up and throwing another log onto the fire.
Brady cocked an eyebrow and shook his head. "Leliana gave me a list of people in the Imperium that she assumes will help. How she manages to get this information, I will never know."
"I would communicate with Dorian, were I you." Cassandra said, taking the papers from his hand and examined the names. She hummed as her eyes came across a name. "This one looks promising."
He held his hand out as she returned the papers into his hand. She pointed to the one that peaked her interest. He looked up at her and cocked a smile. "Very promising."
"You know this means you will have to go." Cassandra remarked, directing her eyes to the fire. "You'll be a shadow in Tevinter, guiding your new initiative in the dark."
He gulped hard. His voice was low. "Cassandra-"
She waved him off. "Where you are going, Anthony and I cannot."
He looked at Anthony and began to hang his head. "I know."
She raised her chin and pulled on a faux smile. "We will go to the Free Marches… with your family. There are seekers that I need to see, and from there we will rebuild." She turned to face him. "And Trevelyan, don't you dare become a stranger."
He nodded in agreement. "Never."