He hates everything she stands for.

The hate that twisted and churned within him, that bogged his thoughts and tied him down; Fenris would have done anything, anything, to get away from the mages, from the magisters, from his hate. The irony of his arrival in the City of Chains isn't lost on him. Nor is the irony of having a mage, of having mages, as his companions.

Sometimes, he would like nothing more than to rip her heart from her chest. Hawke has no right to feel sorry for him, to take pity on his situation, on the debilitation his odium of mages brings him. She has no right to know what the Imperium could do and still find the plight of the mages worth her action.

And yet, her face hounds his dreams.

She is strong. Stronger than the abomination and the maleficars. She remains within the lines, knows her boundaries well, but she doesn't support the templars. She lets blood mages go, frees apostates from their burdens.

Their chains.

He would rather die than admit that, yes, he and the mages have something in common. Fenris would drink himself into oblivion before acknowledging that he was not free. There is nothing more that he wants in the world than to be free, to leave behind his abhorrence of mages, his hatred.

But he can't. He can't.

There were more chains in the world than just the literal sense. Although he knew what it was like, to be chained up and beaten, to be chained up and used, he had never considered those chains to be the real manacles around his wrists, the real shackles bounding his ankles. It was this hate, this burden he carried with him, that acted as his true chains.

Sometimes his odium emerges in rage, and uncontrolled emotions. The glass of shattered wine bottles, untouched cadavers within his mansion, echoes of Tevinter curses, (panton must vado! Panton must vado!) in stabbed books he could not read, in broken lutes, and sometimes, sometimes his hate emerged in the slamming of a woman against a wall.

And in her kiss to his lips. And the turning of tables, of his body slammed against the wall.

Sometimes it emerges in the reveling of her tongue in his mouth, of his hands against her skin, of the way she pitied him.

Fenris did not want to be pitied.

Her whispers, whispers of, "Fenris, Fenris, Fenris."

He hated those.

He hates her.

Hawke brought back memories. Memories he thought he would never reclaim, memories of happier times, times when he and Varania had had happy lives. Times when he'd felt the true sting of Danarius' cruelty. Times when he'd been bound by things so unspeakable and atrocious that he would have liked nothing more than to die.

So he left her.

And she understood.

And it made him hate her more.

Fenris did not understand how she could understand. He didn't know why she was so intent on accepting him, for all his faults and rages. For all his grousing about what she was, what she could become.

They went their separate ways. Not a single word was spoken of the night they had shared, there was only lingering stares, familiar touches, and the prison-like feeling of having submitted to a mage. Isabela noticed, obviously, because she waggled her eyebrows and made lewd, inappropriate jokes in front of everyone.

But they, the two people of whom the event mattered to, of whom it was centered around, never spoke a word of that night.

They moved on.

It should have been freeing. Wonderful. They'd finally taken their frustrations out on each other, had succumbed to something intense and terrible and better than anything he had dreamed of.

But it was just another chain on him, an iron ball to follow him everywhere he went. Something that could dog him and hound him just like the cruelty of the magisters, of Hadriana. It was something that he could feel powerless against, something that would bend him to her will, something that would keep him there in Kirkwall, following her.

If she noticed his sudden stares at her, she made no attempt to broach a conversation about them.

If he noticed her sudden turn to a blond mage with little respect for such a thing as control, then she was simply an idiot.

Because he had noticed.

It didn't matter. They both deserved one another, the abomination and the filthy mage who was haunting his every thought and dream and expression. This was better, for him, for her, for both of them.

Who was he kidding?

Hawke was his era domina – the one who held the leash. Fenris was chained to her, and he didn't want it.

He hated her every movement, from the lascivious roll of her hips to the curve of her lips. He hated her every word, from pitying whispers to outspoken dissent against the Maker. He hated her every worried glance in his direction, and the eyes filled with warmth whenever they moved to the abomination. He hated the fact that she believed in freedom and offered him such, but he was too weak to leave her side.

It was maddening, strange, terrible, frightening and brought forth memories he did not know he had.

Fenris wanted nothing more to be free. But to be free, truly free, one had to let go. He didn't want to let go. Not of the past, or of Varania, or Danarius or Hadriana. He didn't want to let go of Hawke.

Except when he did.

The world stood upside down, red and orange was stark against the blue-black sky, and chaos erupted. Tensions spilled over, and Hawke stood behind the abomination with pitying eyes. The eyes that he hated.

And she chose the mages.

The chains that bound him to her disintegrated and he turned to the templars.

In a place one could only call a prison, surrounded by people one could only call jailors, Fenris found freedom.

They face one another once more in the Gallows, his green eyes watch her as she approaches with those he had once considered allies.

Everything he hated about her – those green eyes, hips, her magic, her caring and kindness and pity – he felt freedom wrap him in a blanket that was superfluously warm. His hatred filled him with a completeness he didn't even know existed, and he spat odious words at her,

"I should have known better than to let you get so close. First rule of survival."

It is when he is laying on the cold, hard ground of the Gallows and his world is laced with black and Hawke is looming above him with those damned eyes that he realizes there is no freedom.

He could never let go.

Panton must vado – Everything must go

Era domina – mistress mistress

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