She looks hurt under his hard eyes, like she had completely forgotten the line of us and you. Her hair is messy, and she rubs her wrist where he grabbed to hard. He hadn't seen Willow in months, not since the Tower almost fell, and she went off with her sister to help save the world. Now she's back, her once pale skin now supporting uneven tans, her green eyes tired, weary, and now, full of pain.

Something stirred in his heart that he caused it. Willow sets her jaw, and drops her wrist, he wasn't the only one who has changed. She wasn't the shy, timid mage he had known, she knows the world and its evils now, and for some reason he feels twelve under her green gaze. He replays the scene in his head, her coming through the door, talking to the first mage, and then seeing him. A sort of gasp escapes her lips, and she walks towards reaches out to touch his cheek, and that's when he grabbed her wrist, dropped it, and walked away.

Of course she follows. It has been that way since she was eight. The Templers used to joke she was his duckling, but as she grew older she never quite broke out of the habit of following him about during her spare time. Here she stood before him, looking fierce, and for once, angry at him. " What changed? " she asked, even though she tries to sound mad, he could still hear the waver in her voice, the one that felt hurt and betrayed.

" Nothing changed, " he responses dead – panned, " It is now, what should be. I'm Templar and you're a . . . mage. " The way he says mage, like she's trash, he knows he hits a nerve. But he never, ever, thought she would raise her hand to him. And she does. He feels the stinging slap a moment too late to register it. There's unshed tears in her eyes, and he raises a gloved hand to his burning cheek.

He does something else the surprises him, she grabs his hand, and rips off his glove. " You're not a templar. And I'm not a mage, " she says through clenched teeth. She forces his hand straight, and places her small hand, now riddled with calluses, against his. Willow looks up, all anger draining from him, she looks heart – broken, and desperate, a plead in her voice. " We are human. That's all we are. Past the vows, and magic, we are human. Please, " and suddenly she's sobbing her head leaning against his armor, her free hand banging weakly on the plate, " Please Cullen. Don't lose your humanity, you're human. "

He doesn't respond. He doesn't pull her in, but he does hold onto her hand. He gives it a slight squeeze, trying to ignore the sting in his eyes.

Yes. They were human after all.

[[ I dunno, I was trying to depict Cullen how he becomes so different from the Cullen we first meet. The fact he becomes this evil man who makes life so much harder for the mages to the point where he really isn't human anymore. IDK. ]]