Summary: She loves him because he's a healer.
Spoilers: Yes, all through end-game.
Hawke likes watching him work in the clinic. In between jobs, she visits him. Watches as his hands glow and he heals.
He's beautiful, she thinks.
She may be a mage, too, but she could never heal. She's tried—everything between a paper cut and trying to keep Bethany. But she's a killer, she makes things freeze and burn, and that makes her appreciate him every more.
"You're making me a little self-conscious," he says, but he's grinning.
She smiles back, because his grins are infectious.
"I'll be home for dinner," he continues, moving his hands over the torso of a young elf.
Home. She likes the way he says it, like it belongs to them. And, she supposes, now that he has a key, it really is theirs.
Two apostates in love, it seems like the start of a very bad joke or a very bad romance novel. In a way, Hawke thinks her life is both. But Anders means the world to her. She has no one else; Bethany and her mother dead, Carver off pretending to be a Templar.
When he touches her, caresses her, she pretends he's healing her. Removing all the guilt from the day: the killing, the manipulating. It's like confessing, except she doesn't have to say anything.
"Have you ever thought," he begins one time, when they're lying in bed, "that having sex with me is a little bit like having a threesome."
Her brows furrow in confusion. "What?"
"Because it's me… and Justice," he continues. He's half-grinning, half-serious, so she decides to take him seriously.
"Who comes out to play with me?" she asks. She doesn't miss the fleeting look of guilt on his face.
"Mostly me," he whispers into her hair. "But sometimes he can't help himself. You're a very hard woman to resist, Lady Hawke."
She doesn't say anything, but she can feel herself get aroused. She wonders if it's the mage in her, slightly tempted by the idea of spirits and demons.
"Love?" he whispers, after a too long of a pause.
She moves closer to him, trying to contour her body to his, steal as much of his warmth as she can. "I trust you," she says.
When he says he has a plan to rid himself of Justice, she hesitates. What if they're too entwined to be removed, she wonders.
But he sounds so sure, that she can't say no. He is, after all, a better mage than she is, and it is his decision.
But as the days go by, and she's in the Chantry, thinking of ways to do small talk with a Mother, she knows he's slipping away from her. It's in the way he heals during a battle, distracted and cold; it's in the way he argues with everyone know, even poor Merrill; it's clear in the way he refuses to share anything with her.
She wonders if there's an expiration date and she just didn't notice. It's silly, of course—he is a Grey Warden, even if he pretends not to be, and she knows enough to know one day he'll just be… gone. And he's a mage, and their expiration days are never far away, either. But lately—lately it feels like she's missed the boat entirely.
But that night, he slips into bed with her, kisses her so passionately, mutters promises into her hair, and she forgets about Grey Wardens and death and Mages and Templars, and she melts into him.
Which is why when the Chantry blows up in front of her, she can't help the scream that escapes from her.
Nobody can, and there's confusion and of all a sudden a war has unleashed in Kirkwall.
Hawke needs to make a decision, choose a side, and she knows she's being watched by Templars and Mages alike. Her skin is on fire, she can feel the eyes upon her, hurrying her, but all she can do is stare incredulously at Anders.
And then she makes her decision.