A/N: Yeah, I took a long break. My life got interesting, I got a job, and an apartment and all that jazz. Needless to say that took time away from the fun things. But now I'm back at it! Hope no one hates me for the wait!
Summary: After being made champion of Kirkwall, Hawke is having trouble remembering her place in the grand scheme and goes to the only person she knows she can count on. Between Act II and III, pre-relationship reconcile/Alone quest.
Warning: Insecure Hawke, angsty Fenris. Rejection.
Chapter Recalls: Silences
Champion of Kirkwall. Everyone loved it apparently. Came with a party, a fancy set of armor designed just for her, invitations to the top tier gossip worthy agendas…and yet it still felt a little hollow. Walking into her estate…she couldn't get farther than the foyer. For all the achievement she had gained, who was there to be happy for her? Another time when she was reminded how alone in this city she was with her entire family now gone. After things had started to die off at said celebration in her honor, even her friends were heading back to their usual hangouts. The mages went off to do mage things and probably giggle, Varric and Isabela no doubt had another few drinks to have and a few cards to play, Aveline got to go home with Donnic. Fenris had left on his own when it was implied that the celebration was coming to a close. Hawke had been obligated to stay even longer for the nobles and such to gush over her some more.
Now back at her place, all dim and quiet, she was struck by old feelings she had once tucked away. When these moments struck her, they were hard for her to deal with. There was no one to come home to that would be proud of her accomplishments, or want to hear the stories that went with the victories that put here where she was now in society. It was just her.
That was how she ended up in front of the estate that he had laid claim too. She wasn't sure if it was a good idea to be there…maybe she was too emotional, or seeming too weak, or hell maybe he was sleeping and would rather not be bothered.
Whatever she was thinking, she still lock picked her way into the estate, closing and relocking the door behind her and walking silently through the hallways to the room he had made his own. He was stretched out across the bed in the corner, one arm tucked behind his head and his other on top of an open book that was resting on his chest. He must have been practicing his reading. Now, he was quietly sleeping. For a long moment she watched him before moving over near the fireplace and taking a seat in the chair she usually occupied.
Even if he wasn't going to pay attention to her, she would at least not feel alone. That's just how things were with him. It had always been that way since they met it seemed…only making the feeling more intense after they spent that night together that neither of them would talk about. It was strange to say the least. They were closer, it was clear, and yet so much farther apart that Hawke didn't know what to make of it really. She supposed that she didn't need to know however…for tonight this was enough.
She sighed, letting herself let go of some of the things she was holding onto as she felt safe with him nearby. Staring into the fire she watched the flames jump and dance as her eyelids grew heavier and she slumped in the chair some, letting her eyes close to get some rest.
It was well into the night before Fenris stirred, mumbling something under his breath before he was sitting up with a yawn, the book on his chest sliding off to the mattress. He looked to it and then carefully closed it before casting his look around the room in habit. Instantly he was on his feet at the figure that was slumped in one of the chairs in the room. Old habits died hard and panic seized him for a few seconds before he realized who was there. What?
He moved over to her, tilting his head as he studied her. She was sleeping and she had been for a while, considering it would take some time to get comfortable in that armor and where she chose to nap. Why she was here was another matter. He reached out, his thumb caressing the small crease in her brow that said her mind was filled with something unpleasant while she slept. Fenris couldn't help but smile as the look smoothed away at his touch, replaced with a more serene expression. Stepping back he sat himself in the chair opposite of her, resting an elbow on his knee before he dropped his chin in his hand to just watch her. Hawke. His Hawke…even she had moments where she wasn't so sure of herself. She always came to him. Mostly they just sat like they were now, save she was awake, but other times…he held her.
Held her, touched her…poisoned her. Though she willingly took that poison he supposed. What they had between them was sketchy at best when it crossed the bounds of friendship. At moments it was if they were truly together and it was that easy. Others they couldn't even make eye contact…and despite those moments of space between them she insisted on coming back to him. To him, into his arms, leaving her heart open for him to poison.
Fenris was broken from his thoughts as she stirred some, whispering his name before giving a sigh and settling again. Was he even on her mind when she slept? Then again he had no room to talk…she invaded his dreams constantly. There was a place where he didn't run from her when things got intense. He stayed with her, loved her, felt free with her. In the realm outside the Fade however…he was scared. His eyes turned to the window, measuring the time by how high the moon sat above the rooftops…it would still be a few hours before morning.
His head snapped back to her as the sudden scraping of armor on the stone and wood and the startled breath she let out as she bolted awake, sitting up in the chair and blinking as she got her bearings. It was several long seconds before she noticed he was there and as she watched him a long silence ensued.
He was awake…she hadn't meant to fall asleep. Just stay long enough for that empty feeling to ebb some. She knew he wouldn't' appreciate waking up to her being there…it would tip off his sense of safety to know that she had been there the whole time, as he slept unaware of another person so close to him while he was vulnerable. The silence was uncomfortable and she shifted before finally being the one to avert her eyes. Swallowing she got up and turned on her boot heel. "Sorry." The one word apology was all she gave before she started for the door.
"Stay." Fenris watched as his command, and his plea, were answered by the pause in her steps before she had even made it out of the room. He got up and moved over to her, coming to stand behind her. Close enough that he could feel both the heat of her body and the chill of her armor and his breath lightly ruffled her hair despite him not being close enough to actually touch her. "What are you doing here?"
Hawke was keenly aware of him behind her, so close and yet so far. Both holding onto boundaries they would feel lost without. She didn't move, didn't turn to him or anything. "I…" Did she even want to show him that vulnerability she indeed possessed as anyone did? "I felt...alone. I didn't know where else to go." She frowned in spite of herself, tensing lightly as she felt his hand rest on her shoulder and then she was facing him as he had urged her to turn around.
His eyes met with her own, watching the storm of things that went on in them silently. Somewhere they head learned to speak to one another without words. Words often got complicated and jumbled anyhow. It was times like now, when she had that look in her eyes that he wished he hadn't walked away from her. Or that she hated him. But neither were the truth and thus here they existed in this fragile way with one another. Instinctively he drew closer to her and rested his hands at her waist, breaths mingling for a moment before her turned his head away, averting his eyes and dropping his hands from her waist. Knowing better than to comfort her that way. To make it all the more confusing.
That one word made him close his eyes and frown in his own frustration. He knew why she asked…because she had explained it to him before. Sure she had a lot of friends but none of them had what they did, even discounting their intimate encounter. She confided in him because he offered no opinion or judgment unless she asked. He told her the truth when she needed to hear it as well. In weaker moments, he would take her into his arms and hold her close to him, his hands running through her hair as her head rested against his chest. Sometimes his lips would brush her temple. Give them both another dose of poison that would cloud things further between them.
His silence must have lasted too long before he felt the cool air wrap around his body as she stepped away from him. A silent rejection being acknowledged respectfully. What did she do in those moments he wondered…did she go home and cry? Go to the Blooming Rose and find solace while losing herself to someone else? His eyes move down to the red fabric he constantly wore around his wrist…another silent answer that neither of them brought up. A promise made in the dark and…love.
She knew better…but even surrounded by friends she sometimes felt alone still. He was the only one that didn't make her feel that way. Most would call her crazy for that thought…he had left her utterly alone, after all. This was indeed weak of her, and wrong. Wanting his affection to make herself feel better, pleading with him even if he didn't want to help. One embrace could anchor her to the world sometimes. He was often the one to give it. But not this time. She steeled her nerves. "Goodnight Fenris."
He only looked back to her when he heard her steps, watching her leave. It was his fault…he wasn't strong enough to be what she needed anymore. Too many things left unsaid. Unresolved. She needed him to be able to stand for the both of them and he wasn't sure he could. Not with his past still chasing him. It was hard for him to understand how she could hold onto him like she did. Perhaps he was stringing her along…he wouldn't put it past himself. He knew that he needed her in some way that he still didn't fully understand.
He did know that it was poison to them both and they both knew it but again and again they came back to drink it. Like a child who'd discovered a treat and though told it was bad for them, kept partaking in the pleasure. It tasted sweet but it was slowly killing them. He didn't mind if his heart broke and it killed him that way…but he did care if she was doing just that. She needed an antidote and he wasn't sure he, the same thing that poisoned her, could be that…but one often didn't know until they tried the cure.
Fenris had had this internal conversation with himself many times and it always seemed to end the same way, with no resolution. This time however…he didn't know if he could see that look on her face once more time. There were things he had been putting off and if wanted any hope to at the very least never have her look at him in that heartbroken way again, he had to tend to them.
Perhaps it was ironic that he had to sit down at the table and then use the skills Hawke had taught him to pen out the words that he wasn't sure he wanted to write down. So much could go wrong but so much could go right. What was it Hawke was saying all the time? That sometimes you had to just leap rather than look first, take the chance. Sometimes you got your legs broken, sometimes you didn't. She was a woman who did a lot of leaping like that and so far each time it seemed she ended up broken…but she still kept leaping.
He took a breath and held it for a long moment before he was dipping the quill in his hand into ink and planning to put still sloppily formed words to parchment. Again he paused, a small ink blot forming where the quill rested…he wasn't sure how to start. Perhaps it was better to skip the pleasantries and get right to who he wanted.