The eyes are the window to the soul

What she likes most about Anders is his eyes.

They weren't a hard brown, not sharp or emaciated like the rest of him. Not pinched nor destroyed by some form of internal torture, be it Vengeance or his own broken humanity, but simply warm. Soft. Something both beautiful but saddening all at the same time. They're catching, and they shouldn't be, because everything about him screams: DANGEROUS. DO NOT GET INVOLVED.

Hawke doesn't care.

It's his eyes that do her in.

She visits him, occasionally, after the Deep Roads. He saved Carver, even if her suckling brother didn't want to be saved, even if he resents the duty she forced upon him. Hawke likes to watch him heal, look at his patients with those expressive eyes, eyes that revealed so much when they shouldn't have.

Sometimes they talk, about meaningless things. About the templars, and the mages, about the outlandish prices of potions in the Gallows. They never talk about the things they should talk about.

She never mentions about how thankful she is that he saved her brother, or how much she'd give to have him look at her with those eyes, or how hard she's fallen for him.

She appreciates the passion in his eyes the most.

The way he became so determined, so passionate when he spoke of the mage's plight, it drew her in. And the fire that exuded from him, something so flickering and indescribable, yet so prevalent in those eyes of his.

Something inside her, her own survival instincts she supposed, warned against getting to comfy with the zealous revolutionary. But she can't help it.

There's something about him that sucks her in.

The pain in his eyes hurt her more than she could ever say.

He stared at his hands, angry words tumbling forth from his lips, self-deprecating sentences that cut her more deeply than she would admit. The hatred, the self-hatred, that swirled in his eyes, the wrath that boiled under the surface.

She tells him everything will be all right when she pulls him into her arms. Her whispers snag sharply against his soul, tear him open, and Hawke tells him it wasn't his fault. She tells him he can stay in control, that he will stay in control.

For some reason, she's not sure if she's lying to herself or to him.

But the sudden remorse in his eyes, the compassion, for her, is enough to tell her that these maybe-empty words are alright.

Something darker seethes in those caramel eyes of his when he pulls her forward, when he all but devours her in front of Merrill and Varric and everyone in the clinic.

It's lust. It's love. It's something above those things; something Hawke isn't even sure she knows about.

He whispers silly promises into her ears that night. Promises he may not keep.

She promises him the world and more.

And when Anders tells her that he loves her, she recites his own words back to him. Pulls him into a kiss, marvels in those eyes, eyes that told too much.

She mistakes the regret, the sadness, the knowing in his gaze for something else entirely.

It's obvious by the paranoia in his eyes that there is something heavier on his shoulders then just the mage's plight.

Their plight.

Whenever she garners the courage to ask him what's wrong, he looks at her with laughing eyes, and tells her nothing. A bitter lie, she knows he's lying.

She loves him too much to ask for the horrible truth.

There is something cautious in his eyes when he approaches her after her mother's death.

She hasn't cried, yet, but when she spots him coming into her room, the tears all but fall from her green eyes. Anders sits beside her and runs healer's fingers through ash-blond strands of hair.

He offers his apologies, tells her how sorry he is and how much he would've liked to know her mother, and she swallows the anger that bubbles to her lips. She wants to scream and yell and throw things, but she doesn't. Hawke learned from a young age that it was better to bottle up everything, to not let anything come to the surface.

You could hide your fear that way.

But she can't. She sobs, for the first time since Leandra's death, into Anders' shirt, and begs him not to leave. Implores him. He stays, and the pain in his eyes is one she hasn't seen for a while, and it cuts her deeper still.

She falls asleep in his lap hours later, his fingers tangled in her thick head of hair.

There is something worried in his eyes.

Before the duel with the Arishok, she turns to him and promises, gives him her word, that she will make it out of this alive. She whacks her staff against the ground, gives him a playful smile and flicks the hair from her eyes, a habitual gesture, and turns to face the horned demon as though it's her destiny.

He watches the entire duel with trepidation, nearly jumps into the fray whenever the Arishok manages to land a hit. Isabela, her brow furrowed with confusion over Hawke's standing up for her, manages to not send a few lewd comments towards him.

Fenris scowls at him, eyes more green then they were yellow.

She wins, though. And when the celebrations are over and done with, she holds him tight in their bed and the kisses he trails across her collarbone speak louder than any words he could say to her. The nips are playful but possessive, careful but warning.

They say: "Thank the Maker you're alive." And "Never do that to me again."

His eyes are thankful, jubilant and joyful, filled with emotions more optimistic than any she's ever seen him have.

His eyes are tired, his fingers ache as he bends over his manifesto.

Her fingers dig into the feathered pauldrons, and he pulls away, setting the raven-feathered quill aside. She slips the jacket from his shoulders and kneads constellations into his skin. The moan she manages to elicit from him is enough to drive her mad.

Hawke worries for him; he's losing a hopeless battle.

His eyes are no longer as expressive as they should have been.

And there is nothing more than she would like than to see his smiling eyes, sideways grin or hear his wit again.

His eyes are like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces.

She can't put together what he's doing, when he demands she help him. He manipulates her, and she knows it, she knows he's planning something that shouldn't be done but she can't help it. She distracts the Grand Cleric anyway, and when she confronts him, he looks away.

She promised him the world; he promised her many things but could never deliver.

There was nothing more damning than a promise broken.

Than promises broken.

His apology, is heart wrenching and rends the organ from her chest. She's bleeding all over the floor and he cannot do anything to stop it. She pulls him towards her and tells him he still has time, time to fix things.

When his arms wrap around her, and his chin digs into her shoulder, Hawke marvels at how trapped she feels.

There is something harder in his eyes. Something just as pinched, thin and emaciated as he.

He's stopped eating. He's given her countless apologies, for something she doesn't even know. He attempts to give away his mother's pillow to Varric, something more priceless to him than any phylactery or mage's plight.

Their love-making is less frequent, and less passionate.

She tells him that he can reverse what he's done, that he can fight Vengeance.

Empty words, but she needs to dissuade him.

He just looks at his untouched meal with narrowed, determined eyes.

He tells her that there are things that must be done.

That there can be no compromises, no peace, and no love.

His eyes are filled with surprise when she tells him that she is ready for war.

Hawke has seen, finally, that there can be no neutral standpoint. She saw, doing Meredith and Orsino's errands, the true plight of the mages. She did not pick sides, but now she did.

Raising her staff, she looks at him and whispers an empty promise. She tells him that she will stand beside him, that she will help him, that she supports his cause and his revolution.

A confession bubbles to his lips, but he swallows it.

He pulls her forward and kisses her, and the passion in it is reminiscent of past encounters. Of past years. Of past passion.

It is the last true moment they share before everything goes to hell.

The sky is warped and red and awful and horrible. Fragments of stone – of the Chantry – splinter and scatter everywhere. The sound is a sickening war drum, a beating of pebble against roof, ground, statue. Anders sits, head bent low, strands of hair hanging loose from the ponytail at the center of his head.

Hawke, prepared for war, offers him a hand against their companions' protests. Her green eyes are hard, like his, and she is ready for everything and anything that comes with starting a revolution.

They are dysfunctional, they are codependent, they are in love, and they are fugitives together.

Once, she had loved his eyes. She had loved the warmth, the passion, the caring, and the love in those brown eyes of his.

Now, those eyes are warning signs.

She bends over him, struggling to help him stay in control as Justice fights for complete possession. Justice needed justice for those who had been killed in the Chantry, and justice was, by definition, a fairness that was handed out equally, without emotion.

Justice was cold. Justice was righteous.

Beads of sweat dotted Anders' hairline, his eyes were squeezed shut, his breathing ragged and deathly. Intricate lines of blue flickered across his skin, lacing the edge. Hawke kept her hands hovered above him, an aura of lime green moved from her fingertips, keeping Anders strong as he fought for control over his own body.

Outside of the cave they had found refuge in, it stormed.

She tells him that he mustn't lose control, and she needs him, the mage's plight needs him. He moans, groans, eyes squeezed so terribly shut.

Eventually, she runs out of mana. Eventually, she has no choice but to quit helping Anders. The green gutters out from her hands, her breathing is just as ragged as his.

When his eyes open, they are not brown.

The blue is frightening and ethereal.

His eyes are the last thing she sees.

Yay! Dysfunctional relationships and angsty endings!

Based on a conversation in one of the Anders Bioware Threads, in which someone wondered if Justice would attempt to kill Anders in response for justice for the murdered people in the Chantry. Naturally, my interest became piqued.

This was originally going to be Anders/Fem!Hawke on the run and Anders eventually losing control oneshot called 'Gradheit'. But then I saw a screenshot of Anders on the same Bioware Thread and I was looking at his eyes and went "OMG! I NEVER REALIZED HOW HOT THOSE EYES ARE!"

So yeah, that became that which then became this.

Feedback is greatly appreciated~!