Character Study: Woo! Anders, again!

The Blood On His Hands

It doesn't matter how hard he scrubs, or how clean they, or how chapped they become, the blood on his hands will never wash away. The skin on his fingers, his knuckles, his hands is cracked. Sometimes they bleed, sometimes the basin he washes them in will run red with a thin strand from the areas between his fingers. But he'll keep scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing.

Part of him can't bear what he's about to do.

Another part of him, the one he fears, the one he can feel deep inside of him, needs to do what he's about to do.

He's killed before. He would never deny such a thing. Everyone kills, at some point or another. Someone once said, and Anders can't even begin to recall who, "Every saint has a past, and every sinner a future."

The templars kill. Chantry mothers and sisters and Grand Clerics have killed, indirectly maybe, but killed nonetheless.

Mages kill. He's not stupid nor naïve enough to think they don't.

If Hawke's taken notice of how much he scrubs his hands, of how the idea of trying to wash the blood from his skin has become an obsession, she certainly hasn't spoken up. Surely she's noticed, however.

She is clever, after all. She's felt the scabs on his hands, has felt his sandpaper touch.

He's scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing, but it doesn't change a thing. The blood's still there, even if he can't see it. There are splotches of crimson on his hands, the blood of all those people he's killed.

That he will kill.

Thin strands of blood splay outwards in the water, dots of crimson line his hands. His hands bask in the water, and he's sitting in his clinic. Alone, as he always is at night, with no patients, no Hawke and no Varric to bother him. Everything in Darktown is cold. Colder than it should be.

He picks up the sponge and scrubs more. Anders can't even remember why he's doing this anymore. Why he's starting a rebellion, sparking a war, betraying the one person he's cared about in a long while.

And he knows why: Justice.

Justice makes him do this. But it's not an excuse. He killed those people, he will kill the Chantry-goers.

He is merely Justice's puppet, to be strung about as the spirit wishes.

Where he begins and Justice ends, of that Anders has no idea.

The dots on his skin grow more numerous as he continues to scrub. His blood leaks lazily into the water. If he had the energy, the care, he could heal himself.

But this is what he deserves.

He just wants to get rid of the blood on his hands.

Sometimes, he regrets bringing Justice into him. He was fine with being selfish, with having his own personal freedom and gallivanting about Amaranthine with the Warden-Commander.

The other times, he reminds himself that this is what the world needs. Change.

The world needs to be bathed in blood.

Even so, there's still innocent blood on his hands. People who didn't have to die. Who had their entire lives ahead of them.

There was still time. To change things. To set things right.

No. He couldn't do that. He needed this.

He's scrubbing and scrubbing.

Their blood is on his hands.

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