There are many things she wants to do to him when he put his life in her hands.

The visceral urge to hit him, shake him, to understand why he felt he had to deceive her or the desperate need to bury herself in his arms and weep. Once or twice, her fingers twitch with that old, habitual desire to smooth the ruffled feathers of his coat - that ridiculous coat that makes him look like an overgrown raven, before pulling him in for a kiss.

She wants, so badly that it pains her to breathe, to find reason in the will of Justice; but as he's warned her all along there's never been Justice... just him.

Instead, she remembers what brought her to this terrible place. All that she's loved and lost - and what she has left to lose.

"Help me defend the mages," she says, wanting many things, but never wanting to lose him.


She tries not to look at him as they sail to the Gallows. She wants to maintain the pretense of anger, to let him think he did wrong - even if she's starting to believe he didn't. All the fallout of his revolution lies spread before them, and his eyes never leave her, drawing her gaze like iron to a lodestone.

His expression is tentative and regretful, but, oh, there is still so much love there in those soul-baring, brown eyes. And, suddenly, there's little difference between him forgetting his dirty robes on the floor of her bedroom and him leaving her out of his rebellion. She has to look away, lest he see what has to be written all over her face, and grips her staff tighter to keep from flying apart.

She could forgive him anything.


There are many things she wants to say to him in the moments that might be their last.

That she meant every word that night, when she left her door open to him, accepting him wholly as easily as she would shelter a stray cat from the cold. That she hates that he used their love as an excuse at keeping her blind, when his struggle would have gotten nowhere without it. Or that sometimes things are more important than love and sometimes they are one and the same.

She wants, though the words get stuck in her throat, to tell him how she worries that it won't be enough, that her magic's never been enough to save anyone she's loved.

Instead, she remembers a promise he made to her years ago, of what he would do to keep her safe. It's only fair that she keep a promise in kind.

"We'll be fugitives together," and she says the rest of it with a smile.


Her hand seeks out his, briefly, as the Templars circle around them, Meredith's crystalline form at their feet. Anders offers her that sad, half-smile that has broken and mended her heart a thousand times. She squeezes it, like a drowning man clings to flotsam at sea, and grimly stares at the Knight-Captain.

Years ago, a lifetime ago, a madman once told her what was the strongest force in the universe. She realizes now, under the blood-tinged sky, how right he was.