The silence was a painful sound for Anders. He would begin to whimper as the deafening quiet over took him. He couldn't stand this. Anders kept his eyes on the pacing Hawke, begging her to speak. Or at least walk harder so her footsteps would make noise. He didn't make noise of his own. He couldn't talk. He couldn't. He had no idea what he should say to her. What could he say to her in this situation? Could he tell her he was sorry? No, that was not good enough. Maker knows that he should be on his hands and knees, begging Hawke for forgiveness, if he wanted to gain her favor and understanding. Anders vowed that he would do this if they would ever escape.
Hawke walked over to Anders and sat down next to him. She then looked up at him with her wide blue eyes. Unsettled by her sudden movement, Anders started to tense up. He believed that she would finally take the chance she had and chastise him. He didn't mind this idea. He didn't deserve less. In fact, he wished that she would express her anger. He wanted to be punished by her. She needed to hurt him. Scream at him, hit him, and vow to leave his side as soon as they escaped. Whatever she wanted to do, he would take honorably.
Instead of doing the things Anders wanted her to do, Hawke just took his wrist and she tried to pry the shackles off. Anders just shook his head. Even if she was strong, she wouldn't be able to take the chains off him. This was a fool's attempt. A heavy sigh came from the mage's lips. He was wary as he began to speak. "I spend two hours a day trying to take these off," Anders told her, "Don't waste your energy, my love. It is something you need to conserve." He watched as Hawke slowly stopped what she was doing.
"Anders, how long have you been here? A day, right?" Hawke asked as she hesitantly stopped her efforts to unbind her husband. "You must be starving," Hawke said with a weak laugh. She leaned against the stonewall of the cell and kept her hand on Anders's hand, hoping to comfort him. She entwined her fingers into his, ignoring the dirty extremity. She was just happy to see him and touch him and know that he was with her.
"I have been here two days, maybe three," Anders said, shrugging. "There's not exactly a clock in here," was his dry comment as he looked down at Hawke's hand on his own. He pulled it out from under her. He must be absolutely filthy. Anders could see the caked dirt and grime under his nails and he saw the dried blood coating his knuckles and fingers. Hawke on the other hand, appeared to be well groomed except for the messy hair. Her hands were nice and clean and not even a fingernail was broken. Why did she touch him?
Didn't her mother ever tell her not to mess with grungy stray cats?
Hurt by Anders's action, Hawke crossed her arms and looked away from him. She thought for a moment. "What do they want with us?" Hawke asked, her voice barely above a whisper. She turned and looked at Anders with wide eyes, "I mean, if they wanted us dead, they'd kill us by now. Or would have sent us to Kirkwall to be executed."
Anders did not say anything to her at first. He didn't want to tell her that what they wanted with them was worst than death. He didn't even summon the strength to look at her. But there was something he had to tell her. With a sigh, he told her, "I think that…that templar, Starkweather, is going to give us an answer soon." Finally, he turned his gaze towards her. "Whatever happens…let me take the fall. If it comes down to it, offer me instead of yourself. I will take whatever he can dish out." Anders then added quickly, "If you have the chance to, you get out of here. Leave me here. Run away as fast as you can," Anders said. Against his judgment, he put his hand on her cheek and whispered to her, "And don't let them catch you."
The couple sat together in silence. Even though it hurt his bruised ribs for her to do so, Anders let Hawke lie on his stomach as he kept her between his legs. Her head was rested comfortably under his chin. He ran his hand down her back absentmindedly. He didn't want to think. It hurt too much. He tried to keep his mind blank as he watched Hawke slip in and out of sleep. He didn't tell her about Fenris. That was a conversation meant for another time. After Carver, Anders knew that she couldn't stand any more betrayal. And she would need whatever will she had left to defend herself against the templars and their torture. Anders frowned at this thought as fear went through his mind. He could only hope that Starkweather was only interested in him, not Hawke.
His hope would be quashed.
"Ah, why look at the lovely couple," Starkweather mocked as he stopped in front of the cell door. When he saw the two mages together, he could not help but feel the rage in his body overwhelm his senses. He could remember how he held that same position with his wife many times in the beginning of their courtship. Why did this murderer get to keep what Starkweather lost? Why was it that Anders could have the beautiful Lily Hawke at his side? What right did this uppity mage have to keep one shred of happiness?
The harsh, terrible sound of the cell door sliding open caused a chill to go up the spines of the two mages. Anders tried not to let this show visibly. He just gave a snide comment as the templar swaggered in. "Ah, did you miss me, Starkweather?" Anders asked, giving a smirk. It was a typical opening comment that he would give to the templars that would visit him in solitary confinement. It had been years since he used that. Since those teenage years, he had graduated to either aggression or the silent treatment.
Starkweather returned a smile of his own as he locked the door of the cell. He slipped the key to an awaiting templar. After this, Starkweather walked over to the couple. Anders put his arm around Hawke protectively. He could feel her heart begin to beat faster. She was frightened. He couldn't blame her. She had never been cornered by a templar before. She never lived under the thumb of the men in full plate metal. This was not a new sight to Anders. He could not even remember his first encounter with a templar. He knew their ways and their tricks. Hawke didn't.
Before Anders could react, Starkweather had pulled Hawke away from his hold. Anders's firm grip on the woman was no match for the powerful templar's strength. "Let me go," Hawke shouted as she tried to get away from Starkweather. As soon as the words came out of her mouth, the templar had balled his hand and formed it into a fist. He then punched Hawke right into the face, sending the mage back into the wall.
"Touch her again and I'll kill you!" Anders found himself screaming as he scrambled up from his spot. He found the chains confiding him to one side of the room. Even so, he pulled on his shackles and tried to go for Starkweather's jugular. "Maker damned bastard!" He yelled out, seeing red in the color of his vision.
"This does not involve you, abomination," the templar said, coldly. He didn't even give Anders the dignity of looking at him.
Hawke coughed, spitting blood out of her mouth. She put her hand to her lip and wiped the blood. "Take your best shot, templar," Hawke told him as she pulled herself up. She stared up at him, daring him to do just that. "I've killed worse than you. Dragons, the Arishok, Meredith, Orsino," she counted off, "If I had my magic, you would be nothing more than a sodding bloodstain on the wall."
Sense of pride welled up in Anders as he listened to her talk about her achievements.
Looking at Hawke made Anders see himself in her. She was acting the way he acted when he was a teenager in the Circle. Oh, he prayed to the Maker that she had a stronger will than he did. Or at least, better sense.
"But without your magic, you are nothing," Starkweather sneered, "You are just a weak woman that holds no power. I can crush you if I please." With that final remark he delievered another hit.
The second blow to Hawke was placed right into her upper abdomen, hitting the right breast. She cried out before she fell back down, surprised that Starkweather would hit her there. Instead of going to protect her chest or face, her hands went directly to her stomach. Anders wasn't sure why she did this. "Stop!" Anders yelled out, seeing Starkweather going to hit her again.
Starkweather didn't register Anders's yell. He just smirked as he hit Hawke directly in her stomach. Hawke cried out again as she scrambled back into a corner. The sound of her head hitting the wall made Anders wince as though he was the one to feel the blow. "Please don't hit me there!" Hawke screamed, her voice wavering with thick emotion.
"What happened to 'take your best shot'?" Starkweather sneered as he pushed Hawke down to the ground. "Such arrogance, such childish pride," the templar said as he went to kick her.
"Don't …touch…her," Anders snarled as he summoned the last bit of his strength and pulled at the chains. He heard something snap. He turned to see that the bar that attached the chain to the wall had cracked. Anders kept pulling at it, ignoring the futility of the situation. It was this moment that he found himself begging Justice to take over. He knew that the spirit was thousands of times stronger than he was. Oh, out of all the times that the spirit came out, why could it not be this time? Why was he dormant now?
Hearing what was going on with Anders, Starkweather turned and he look at the mage for another moment. After seeing that the bar had not completely come off, Starkweather ignored the situation before he refocused his concentration back on Hawke and his beating. He kicked Hawke once more, hitting her right in the middle of her stomach.
Hawke was crying out. She tried to curl into a ball, but each kick to the stomach made her sprawl out. Infuriated that he could do nothing at all to stop the assault on the woman he loved, Anders slumped to his knees hopelessly. Maker, he was emasculated.
You pathetic man. You were supposed to come here and save her. You failed and now she's going to be brutalized because of you.
The cries from Hawke morphed from yells to low whimpers. She kept begging, pleading for him to stop hitting her. It was a change from the prideful being that taunted Starkweather earlier. After what seemed like hours, Starkweather finally tired of beating the fallen woman. Panting, the templar turned from the mages and left the cell, locking the door behind him. No word was said to them.
Sobbing, Hawke forced herself to sit up. She whined and moaned in pain as she abandoned her plan to sit. She lied back down and stared up at the ceiling. Her hand, spotted with blood, was clutching her stomach in a frantic manner. This entire sight confused Anders. He had seen her being hurt far worse than what Starkweather dished out. Yet she would never cry or show such emotion.
"Hawke?" Anders asked as he tried to reach for her. She was too far away from him. Anders lowered his voice and tried to soothe his tone, "Lily, sweet heart-"
Her crying suddenly stopped when she heard Anders's voice calling for her. Hawke looked over at him and she rolled her body over on her hands and knees. With a rapid motion, she crawled over to him. As soon as he could, Anders extended his arms and pulled Hawke into his arms. He held her close to him and ran his fingers through her hair. He stayed quiet as Hawke buried herself in his shirt. But after a moment, he just had to do it. "Hawke...I love you...I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," he repeated over and over again.
"It's not your fault. Don't try to apologize," Hawke mumbled. "I don't...I don't want to hear it." She sounded so tired. Anders put his hand on her chin and pulled her up so they faced each other. He looked into her eyes. Those brilliant, gorgeous portals seemed so hurt and sad. Hawke looked away from Anders's gaze as she moaned in pain. "Anders," she muttered as she stared to pull from him. "It's…Anders...I can't look at you…"
And with a stunned expression, Anders watched as Hawke crawled away from him. He saw her crawl into a corner and he heard her start to cry. But it wasn't sad crying. It was pain. Starting to get scared, Anders's mind began to race with different problems. What if Starkweather broke a rib or caused internal bleeding? What if he did seriously hurt her? The self-blame ran through Anders. His mind was over run with images of Hawke getting tortured and killed.
Even if Anders ended up living through this nightmare, he couldn't go on through life without Hawke by his side. Especially since he would play a part in her death if she was murdered by these animals. As Anders looked at the injured Hawke, he felt the disgust with himself rise. He also felt a understanding. Maybe Hawke finally saw that Anders was the one to cause all this agony. Maybe she saw that he was going to be nothing but a danger to her. Perhaps…perhaps she was having regrets for even meeting him.
Anders sighed as he looked away from Hawke. He should have been a stronger man. He should have resisted his urges. But he couldn't stop himself. She was so tempting. Hawke was the constant visitor in his dreams. She kept him awake and aching for her. He would wake up drenched in sweat over his dreams of her. And when she came to his clinic that one day, he could not help himself. He had to have her. And like an animal, he attacked Hawke and poured his love out to her. And surprisingly to him, Hawke felt the same way that he did. Oh, he could have died happy that day.
He was a terribly selfish man. He was nowhere near good enough for Hawke, yet she had vowed to stay by his side. With a shy smile and warm eyes, Hawke allowed Anders into her bed, her home, and her heart. Maker, how Anders wished that told her that he would never break her heart. He wished that he could be able to tell her that she was the only thing that was important to him and that she would always come first. He wished that he was able to keep her safe. Andraste's tits, he was a man! He was supposed to be able to protect her! Yet another way he had hurt her and ruined her life.
Anders had never been so frustrated with himself. Not even his failed escape attempts held a candle up to the anger he had. But he was not a teenager anymore. He was so much older, so much more mature. He wasn't going to talk tough and then quiver when approached by authority. No, Anders was not going to let anyone try to control him.
He will not submit.
So I just saw the first episode of Dragon Age: Redemption. It has potiential. I could see it getting good. But it didn't really catch my interest at first. The guy that plays the Faun in Pan's Lab. is in it! Squee!
Is currently downloading Mark Of The Assassin. Might play tomorrow after work. I already got my party in mind. Lily Hawke, Anders, Aveline, and Tallis. Annelise Hawke, Fenris, Isabela, and Tallis. James Hawke, Merrill, Varric, and Tallis. Virginia Hawke, Sebastian, Anders, and Tallis. XD
Thanks for reading and all the favorites, reviews, and alerts.