Countdown To Midnight

The time is nearly midnight. Hawke looks up at the clock uneasily, every bone in her body frozen with something. Apprehension, perhaps? Fear? She's not even sure of anything anymore.

Anders has lied to her. Hawke's sure of this. This is a singular fact, something so clear-cut and black and white within her tangled array of emotions.

Her apostate, her love, the only person she's ever dared to love beyond fanciful infatuation, is sitting in the lone winged back chair of her study, staring into cackling flames with an expression one could only describe as being indescribable. Hawke, being a rogue, has the uncanny ability to walk silently through the shadows without being heard.

Anders certainly hasn't heard her, because he doesn't look from the flames of the fireplace for a second, peering into them as though the red and orange would provide answers. Answers to questions that Hawke doesn't know of. Questions that, at the moment, she would give anything to know of.

The thought plagues her again, tugging on the edges of her mind as she leans against the doorframe: Anders has lied to her.

Hawke isn't sure what he did in the Chantry. She's not even sure she wants to find out. But what sticks out most of all, is not that he desecrated the Chantry's sanctity, but that he used her.

Anders, who was kind and gentle and caring to her, manipulated her. Hawke hadn't thought him capable of the task of manipulation, or lying or using. And it is this admission, this knowing that cuts her deeper than any sword ever could.

This is not the man she fell in love with.

This Anders is not a healer who helped refugees in Darktown without a single thought. This Anders has lines etched into his pale, pinched face and circles under his eyes. This Anders suffers from nightmares so horrifying that he wakes up in a cold sweat, rocked in her arms, refusing to speak of them. This Anders is clipped, brusque and abrupt in all his actions and words.

She wants the real Anders back.

Hawke wants the healer who exchanged jokes and jibes with Varric and Isabela, the one that spoke wistfully of Warden-Commander Tabris and Ser Pounce-A-Lot, the one that treated her as though she were a fleeting dream, something that would disappear the second he touched her.

Not-Anders catches her stare. His body stiffens, fingers clenched tighter together in front of him as though he is praying. When he turns his head to face her, Hawke finds her heart breaking, little by little. Anders sees her draped in shadow and leaning against the doorframe, and his lips become a taut, bloodless line.

He told her he would break her heart, and he hadn't lied about that.

They stare at one another, a thousand questions with no answers pressed into the air between them, cutting through everything like a keening blade. Sad brown eyes stare into almond-shaped green, and Hawke feels herself unraveling before him. Her head hangs, strands of hair so pale they could've been white dangle in front of her eyes. Like string.

The clock sounds midnight, and Hawke whispers a final command, "Let's go. Orsino and Meredith are waiting at the Gallows."

Very, very stir of the moment. Started this at like one in the morning. (Yeah, fuck you too, muse, fuck you)

Feedback is appreciated~!