Hushed voices turned into muffled screams through the open window.

Hawke had been awake in an instant when she realized the sound of metal on metal was not coming from her own dormant mind. The world was still covered in darkness when she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Remnants of a fire lit earlier that night were escaping through the chimney. The minute the world was in focus again, she fixed her gaze on the left side of the bed, his side.

Her stomach twisted in an uncomfortable knot when she noticed that side of the bed was empty.

Dog watched his mistress curse as she got out of the bed. She was not happy, not happy at all. He figured it had something to do with master Anders, because that usually was the case when his human was in a foul mood. You just can't trust someone who aligns himself with cats.

Dog let out a soft whimper when Hawke threw on her tunic. He would remind himself to bite master Anders a little when he next saw him. If he next saw him that was.

Hawks palms were sweaty. The raids on suspected apostates had gotten a lot worse since Meredith had taken over the viscount's responsibilities and Hawke feared for her lover's life every time he went out the door. There would come a time when her status and influence would no longer be enough to keep him safe.

She grabbed her dagger from the night stand and made her way to the door with a concerned expression on her face. The sounds coming from the street were still very real. Her heart was beating out of her chest by the time she turned the doorknob and entered the hallway. She should really wring his neck for making her feel like this.

The stone floor send a shiver through her body as she made her way down the hall on her bare feet. Light from Bodahn's room poured into the hallway as the old dwarf opened the door. 'Is everything all right mistress?'

'By the Maker Bodahn, you startled me,' Hawke said, still clinging to her blade. An apologetic look replaced the sleepy one on his face. 'I am sorry mistress, I heard noise coming from your room and I was a tat worried that...' The dwarf's eyes fixated on the blade in Hawke's hand. For a rogue of her stature, she had failed miserably at hiding the thing.

'Everything is fine Bodahn, I promise...go back to sleep.' Her eyes seemed to tell a different story than her voice but Bodahn gave in and retreated to his room.

Hawke reached the study in silence, concentrating on the sounds coming from outside the estate. The screams were fading, the battle seemed to be moving away. As she reached for the door she could see light coming from the room. It was not a lot, but still enough to reassure her.

She did not knock, she just wanted to pop her head inside and make sure everything was the way it should be. There was no point in disturbing him in whatever it was he was doing at this hour. She was surprised the door opened without its usual shriek tonight, it seemed like Bodahn had finally come around to oiling the bolts.

She thanked the Maker he was there, buried in a pile of books with a pensive look on his face. He looked tired, pouring all of his remaining energy into that blighted manifesto of his. Their 'agreeing to disagree policy' was not doing it for him any more.

Hawke narrowed her eyes. There was not much light in the room, except for a fire magically kept going, and a tiny candle on the desk. The flame gave Anders' face a haunting glow. He was a beautiful sight though, the absent minded man in a room filled with silence, franticly shuffling his papers and occasionally spilling his ink. He seemed oblivious to what was going on outside, which was good, there was no point in pissing off Justice more then necessary...

Maybe, just maybe, falling in love with a possessed mage wasn't the smartest thing to do after all.

She wasn't sure what she was doing there any more, hovering in the doorway, contemplating her next step. She missed him, that much was sure. The two of them had spend an awful amount of time apart lately and the little time they did spend together usually ended up with them slashing their way through abominations and blood mages.

While she was standing there watching him, she realized that the things she had been attracted to in the beginning were slowly killing her now. His stubbornness, his revolutionary heart, his entire cause. It would have been so much easier if she hadn't fallen for him the minute she had laid eyes on him. It would also have been a lot more boring.

It took him a while to notice her but when he finally did, her cheeks lit up like a bonfire. His glance lingered on her face, brown eyes piercing straight through every inch of her defences. They were so fierce, even when Justice wasn't doing the entire glow in the dark thing to them.

'Hello love,' he said with a tired smile on his lips. 'Love,' he had stretched the meaning of the word quite a bit over the last couple of days.

Hawke fidgeted with the cloth of her robe while he measured her. It was strange how uncomfortable he could still make her feel when he was staring at her. She could feel the red in her cheeks spread to her chest.

'Why are you holding your dagger?' he asked with the hint of a smile on his face. Hawke looked down at the blade in her hand, feeling like an idiot.

He arched one of his eyebrows and looked at her with an amused spark in his eyes. 'I don't think I'm in the mood for that right now darling.' The hoarse tone in his voice send a thousand shivers down her spine and she almost forgot how much his secrecy annoyed her and how much she wanted to smack him for not trusting her enough to share his thoughts. She dropped the blade on the small table next to the door.

Anders lowered his quill and looked at her as if he was expecting her to say something, but words had kind of left her. Not that there was much to talk about any more. Most conversations they had let up to some sort of anti chantry argument or pro mage rant.

Anders brushed a hand through his blond hair, looking his usual charming self. She noticed the black pools underneath his eyes had gotten larger, the lines on his face more harsh. She felt the need to reach out to him, to hold him close and whisper comforting words in his hair, she wanted to tell him everything would be all right. But the truth was she didn't know whether things would ever be all right again. Perhaps they never had been all right to begin with.

'How is your work coming along?' she finally asked, already knowing the answer to the question. He simply shrugged and let out a small sigh. 'I wish I could fit more hours in a day, I wish Orsino would grow some balls and I wish Meredith would just go up in smoke, I wish...I don't know what I wish.'

She wished he would come to bed but stared at the tip of her toe instead, figuring whether she should say something or not. She picked 'not.'

Anders sensed her hesitation. He had never seen her look this uncertain before. The cocky attitude that always surrounded her had disappeared as snow before the sun.

He couldn't help but to recall her words she had spoken to him earlier that week: 'I will help you, but I will not forget how you blackmailed me into doing so.' Perhaps he had messed things up for real this time.

Anders rose to his feet and made his way across the room, moving gracefully toward her while fixing his gaze on her again. The look in his eyes made her knees go weak.

'Look, I know I've...been...neglecting you love,' he said with that painful expression of his.
Desperation and frustration seemed to be all he was wearing lately. The tortured look on his face was as much part of him as the stub on his chin.

She could always get him a cat. Dog would certainly love that.

The amused flicker in her eyes when she thought about Ser Pounce-a-lot the second, encouraged Anders to move a bit closer. She watched his lips moving but she could not distinguish the words he was speaking. It looked like he was apologizing.

'It's...okay,' she replied, brushing a stray hair from his shoulder. She hated the way he made her feel, like she had lost all control, like her sanity jumped out of the nearest window and left her defenceless. Like he could murder a basket full of puppies and still get away with it.

She couldn't help it really, his nearness was just too god damn intoxicating. That half whisper he was speaking in didn't do much for her sanity either. She sometimes wondered whether he knew how charming he was and if he ever used it against her, perhaps at this very instant.

Anders took one last step to close the distance between them and wrapped her in his arms. She froze when he touched her, he could feel her muscles tense up underneath his fingertips. 'No it is not okay,' he mused against her hair. He searched for her lips and found them, hesitant but with a hint of eagerness in them.

He was hurting her, he had been hurting her for a while. He would hurt her a hell of a lot more in the near future. Why she was still with him, he could not comprehend.

'I miss you,' she whispered as her body started relaxing against his. He missed her too, but there were more important things occupying his mind then his own needs, then her needs even.

The warmth of her body comforted him for a little while, almost made him forget about mages and templars and the crazy knight-commander.


'I am sorry,' he replied, 'for not being there for you. You don't...deserve this.'
There had been a lot of killing slavers, putting smugglers out of business and helping friends without him lately. She, on the other hand, still wandered off into the sewers with him, distracted the Grand Cleric for him, no questions asked. She had stood by him all this time, while he just buried himself deeper and deeper in the mess he had created for himself.

He hoped she would kill him when the time was there.

In an attempt to leave those thoughts behind, he pulled her closer.
'I love you,' he whispered, his breath tickling against the small hairs behind her ear. He could hear her gasp, only for a second. The disruption in her breathing made his blood rush, instantly pushing his exhaustion to the back of his head.

He gently brushed his lips against the bare skin of her neck. She responded exactly as he had intended. Hawke tightened her grip as she searched for his mouth, eager, passionate, while he teased her with his tongue.

She kissed him like she had kissed him at the clinic once, just after he had confessed to her he could no longer hold back. When he had to have her, no matter the cost. That one moment where she had been the most important thing in his life, when there were no loyalties greater then her.

She was jerking at the clasps of his robes, while their mouths melted together in a feverish kiss.
His heart ached for her as much as his body did.

She had managed to get his robes out of the way, which was a good thing. Judging by her eagerness to see him in nothing but his skin, his pants would probably follow soon after.

'That's enough,' he said with a devilish smile. She arched an eyebrow as she stopped what she was doing. He placed his index finger underneath her chin and raised her head. 'You know how I like to be the one in control.' She made a face. 'You're never in control.' 'That, my dear, is why you like me so much.'

He grinned, placing a hand behind her head to pull her into another passionate kiss.

There was a hint of blue in his eyes as he pushed her against the wall.

He hoped she hadn't noticed it, but she pulled away in an instant. Why in the name of Andraste hadn't he just closed his damned eyes? He would have been able to contain himself before Justice would fuck things up some more.

'I'm sorry,' he whispered. She didn't reply, she just turned around as a silence came crashing down between them. 'I'm sorry,' he repeated, placing a hand on her shoulder in an effort to turn her around so that he could at least see her. She resisted and she was strong enough to do so. Another reason why sparring with Fenris was a bad idea.

He took a step in her direction and wrapped her in his arms, not caring about the effort she made to get away.
'Don't do this Hawke, you know what I am, I can not pretend to be something I am not.' His words were holding more truth to them then she was able to bare tonight.

It was not long before she gave up her struggle and just stood there, his arms wrapped around her, her own arms hanging stiffly against her body. Anders could feel her anger, her frustration, mixed with a large amount of pain. He could feel it because the same emotions were running through his own veins.

He pulled her closer and whispered sweet things in her hair, a desperate last effort to console her. The effect it had on her was quite the opposite. Hawke's shoulders started jerking, slowly at first, but more uncontrollable as the minutes past.

She was crying, and trying to hide it from him, which made it so much worse. He had never seen her cry before, not even when her mother died. Anders tried to lift her chin again, tried to force her to look at him but she wouldn't. She was busy wiping her eyes with her sleeve.

Hawke pulled loose and this time he let her. He watched her walk out the room without a word.

Anders rubbed the side of his head as she disappeared into the darkness of the estate. He made his way back to the desk, leaning on the table top, breathing heavily, looking at his manifesto for a while before sweeping it from the table with a loud cry.

She broke his heart every time they were together. It would not be long before he had to break hers.