Dragon Age 2: REGRET
Theme: Lady Hawke regrets her end-game decision of siding with the Templars and slaying a certain apostate.
Content: Much angst. Character death. Accidental suicide. This isn't lighthearted reading, guys.
Inspiration: "Out, damned spot! out, I say! What, will these hands ne'er be clean?" -Lady Macbeth
Soundtrack: Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber. World's saddest song, my hand to the Maker.
The nightmares were back. Dreams of blood and death and murder that should never have happened and an execution that likewise didn't deserve to happen. Mostly blood. So much blood. All over her hands and on her clothes and staining her dagger so deeply that the steel rusted. Blood staining stone ground, dark robes, blond hair and oh Maker why?
Her own screams woke her. Screams and strong hands and a flash of red hair and a warm voice pleading with her to stop screaming and please just calm down, darling, it was just a dream. No, it wasn't. It was reality. It was a thing she never should have done.
It was a mistake.
In a way, she'd always loved him, too, when those brown eyes looked less angry and he smiled and laughed and told her stories about Warden adventures. She'd known, deep down, that it was never his fault, that he was as much a pawn as a vessel. So why had she done it?
Because she'd been forced to make a choice she'd never wanted. She'd chosen cowardice.
She hadn't even looked him in the eyes, hadn't even held him after. And yet there was still blood all over her every time she closed her eyes and she just wanted to scream until she went hoarse. She just wanted to look at the one she'd picked and scream "I killed for you!" Sometimes she did. Sometimes she scared herself like that, screaming like a madwoman and causing him to pray over her for hours because he was scared and she'd made him that way...
She found herself away from the castle after more nightmares, wandering a coastline she didn't know and staring at her hands. She didn't know how she'd gotten there. Sleepwalking, maybe. All she knew was she'd dreamed of him, saw brown eyes, heard a familiar voice saying "Let's go for a walk."
A gust of air blew past her, heavy with the scent of herbs and sweat and suffering. She screamed "Wait!" and no one heard her. Took off running and no one stopped her. Slipped. Fell. Felt the rocks cutting skin. Found herself falling onto sand, the grit mixing with the blood and making everything hurt.
"I'm sorry!" she sobbed to the empty air. "I'm sorry I ever did it! I didn't want to! I wanted you!"
She ran toward the sea, sobbing so hard she couldn't breathe, falling into the surf and trying to scrub herself clean with the salty waves. She couldn't, though, and shrieked in pain, going deeper into the water, trying so hard...
They found her the next morning, limp on the shore. Drowned while sleepwalking, they said. She wasn't there to care. By then, she'd run as fast as she could for forgiveness, and found herself clean at last in herb-scented arms.