The solitude of silence that enveloped Jezika was divine. She hadn't had much in the way of silence lately. With the destruction of the chantry in Kirkwall and the blatant insanity that Knight-Commander Meredith had shown, it was no surprise.

It was a miracle that Jezika hadn't gone mad herself in the days that passed since the incident.

The events were disastrous, hundreds of the innocent and guilty alike perished. Jezika didn't even want to think about those who were in the chantry when Anders blew it up like a beacon.

How could he?

And they all expected her to kill him. How could she?

She was in love with him, or had been before he betrayed her – betrayed them all. It should have been easy, she should have done it right after it happened, or when Sebastian urged her to. But, she couldn't.

And she made enemies because of it, powerful ones at that.

Of course, she couldn't let any of the others know that. Especially not with her growing love for Fenris, and his ever growing hate for the mages. It was ironic, really, if one looked at it. Jezika was a mage, as had been her sister and her father. Her brother left her to join the templars, and her mother had been killed by a psychotic blood mage. She should hate the mages, and she did – the blood mages, at least.

If her life were any more fucked up, someone could write a tale about it.

Oh wait; Varric had already planned to do that for her.

It wasn't bad enough that she was an apostate, but with a mage having killed hundreds in his little quest to free them, he condemned them all. Of course, before she killed Meredith, survival would have been a bit more difficult.

The guilty party in all of this, however, was dead.

Fenris all but guided her hand himself. Inwardly, she hated him for it. The pain of that moment caused her eyes to close, and she clutched her fists atop her knees. A low glow surrounded her, and her eyes squeezed shut.

Something inside of her stirred, it caused the power that radiated from her to flare up and out. She had been so lost in the moment that she couldn't sense Fenris coming up behind her. His hand fell to her shoulder as he crouched behind her that Jezika jumped and gasped. The magic retreated as quickly as it had come, bless Andraste for it.

Turning her head, emerald eyes caught hers and the look that crinkled Fenris' brow showed something that few ever saw; genuine concern.

"Are you…okay?"

Licking her lips, Jezika nodded. "I am, now. Thank you. I was just thinking."

The constant glow that Fenris' markings emitted lit up the room and there were bottles scattered everywhere. "Thinking, hm?"

Her shoulders rolled in a shrug, "What can I say? Isabela rubbed off on me."

"I don't know if I should be worried about that, or not."

Snorting, Jezika all but rolled her eyes. "I'm not going to do anything more stupid than what I have already done." There was a challenge in her voice as she pulled herself to her feet.


Anger flared within her again and she cut her honey eyes at him. "What is that supposed to mean?"

His head shook, causing his snowy hair to shift over his eyes. "Nothing. I'm sorry."

Another disapproving sound escaped Jezika's lips as she walked around him and out of the room. "Always sorry. I should be used to it by now." They had never really seen eye to eye on much. When she was against the templars, he hated her. When she sided with her own people, he hated her.

He was almost as hard to please as Carver was, sometimes.

"I'm going to assume that it's the wine talking." He never raised his voice at her, ever. But, there was that tone he held sometimes. He scolded her like a child with that tone. Jezika couldn't stand it; it was as bad as the disapproving looks she received most of the time.

That's all it took for Jezika to retort back at Fenris. Her honey eyes flared with anger, and she snapped at him, her voice so full of venom it could have killed a common man. "Why are you even with me, if you're always butting heads with me? Every step of the way, I always had to wonder if what I did or said would piss you off. Everything I chose to do, I did with you in the back of my mind. I even stood up against my brother, biting my own tongue to agree with what he said because of you." She nearly spat. "I did what you wanted me to do about Anders, after all. I killed him, because I couldn't stand for you to do it. I didn't want to give you the satisfaction." The look on Jezika's face hinted at the deep-rooted hatred she felt.

Her words actually hurt him, and for the first time Fenris actually showed it across his features. His brow furrowed again, and there was a slight twitch to his eyes. Studying her face, Fenris closed his eyes with a sigh and a shake of his head; he left her alone in the darkened room to dwell on just what she said, he would be damned if he let her see him hurt by her outburst.

Fenris loved her, more than he had anyone. And he trusted her, which was the reason he was still there. He would follow her into the Void itself if she asked him to. His problem, however, was showing it to her. Showing her the emotions he felt. His former life of servitude didn't give him much opportunity to learn how to handle relationships. And he paid for it in spades.

When Jezika was alone, she stopped and furrowed her brows. Had she really said those words to him? That didn't sound like her, while she was mad at him for the choice he forced on her, she would never say it aloud, let alone speak to him like that. She loved him, she really did.

That wasn't like her…

"What's wrong with me?"

Raising her hand to her forehead, she pushed her fingertips into her temples and closed her eyes. Being a mage, she was always wary about things. Could it be demons? Was there something wrong with her?

"Fen… Fenris?" She called out softly. There was no response.

She really hadn't expected one.

Trying to swallow the sinking feeling, she left the room and looked around the empty estate. Her mother was gone, her Mabari was gone, and the dwarves had left as well. "Fenris?" She called out again, letting her gaze sweep the room. Her head was swooning and she gripped the doorway for support before she entered her room – their room.

Outside, the caress of twilight was on the horizon, though the fires throughout Kirkwall still smoldered, their embers could be seen in and around the buildings that surrounded her Hightown estate. In the last bit of light, she could see Fenris on the balcony, sitting upon the railing. He was looking out over what was left of the city, "We caused this, you know. You know it as I do. What I asked of you was hard, I know. I knew all along that it would come down to something like this. Anders… he was unstable, and I know you knew that. You had to have." He never turned to face her, and she never stepped toward him. "Unless there was something clouding your judgment." There was no flux to his voice, he spoke to her like he always had.

"I don—" Fenris cut off Jezika's words with a shake of his head.

"I may not be the smartest, but I'm far from stupid. I saw the way you looked at him, the way you spoke to and about him. You even went to see him without the others. I knew." There was pain in his voice, raw and vulnerable. "But yet, here I remain at your side. Even though I did not, nor do I, agree with the choices you have made. I stay. Through your lies and half-truths. Your constant flirting with him and Isabela… I've even accepted the fact that I'm…in love with a mage." He laughed, though it was as far from a happy sound as one could get. "You broke me down, Jezika. I was so set in my ways, and I had reasons for it. But, you got through my walls and I let you in. I went against everything I knew, everything I told myself. I did it because I fell in love with you." Varric and Isabella used to tease him about his brooding, and maybe he did.

But, he had reason enough to do it.

"Fenris, I—"

"Don't. Don't say anything unless you mean it – don't say it unless you mean it. I can't stand for you to lie to me, not about that." There was raw emotion in his voice. The lyrium markings glowed brightly, which usually happened when he was upset. His body turned and he slipped off of the banister and moved toward Jezika, he was dressed in nothing but the pants she had made for him to wear around the estate. He stopped just before Jezika, and looked down at her. She was not much shorter than he was. Jezika had been the first person that had ever seen him naked, and the first person he had ever been comfortable enough with to let touch his markings. Reaching out, he cupped her face gently in his hands, his eyes full of sadness and insecurity. "Do you love me, Jezika?"

"I've never loved anything or anyone more." She spoke softly and raised her hands to place over his. The moment she said those words, that red-hot searing pain ripped through her head and she faltered, almost falling to the ground. A scream tore from her throat as a red light crackled over her skin. "LIAR!" a voice that was not her own boomed from her lips and as soon as it all began, the light faded and Jezika crumpled unconscious to the ground like a puppet with no strings.

Fenris had no words, he just stared at Jezika before realization hit him. What was going on? He scooped her up off the floor and took her to the bed and laid her upon it. Had she finally succumbed to blood magic?

He prayed to Andraste and the Maker, whichever one would listen that she would be okay. He couldn't lose her now, he couldn't.