Here Lies Everything.
Fenris had half-expected a trap, but when he saw his sister his wariness escaped him in an onslaught of memory and a rush of hope. But that hope shattered around him as his master - former master - descended the stairs.
If it hadn't been for Hawke, fierce and protective as always, he would have given into despair and the awful sense of inevitability that froze his heart and weighed down his limbs. Instead, fire bloomed from her fingertips and her voice proclaimed his freedom, snapping him out of his shock so that he could raise his sword and fight.
But the battle he had wanted for so long did not go well. They fought off Danarius's lackeys easily enough; while the man hid behind veils of magic, but then his former master raised his arms and Fenris felt the lyrium in his skin scream as he tore the Veil in two, calling Shades and the restless, relentless dead to aid him.
It was nothing they had not faced before, but they had never before been hampered by the cramped interiors of the tavern or by bystanders too drunk and frightened to get out of the way. Fighting was made infinitely more difficult when he had to weave his way in and out of tables and benches, or stop the swing of his sword before it connected with some cowering drunkard. It didn't take long for the battle to turn entirely against them.
Varric had fallen unconscious - or at least, Fenris hoped he was unconscious - and Aveline was overwhelmed, backed into a corner, barely fending off the attacks of the corpses, unfazed as they were by pain or injury. He could not see Hawke, but he felt the reassuring pulses of her magic (so different from Danarius's) coming from somewhere behind him.
There was just no end to them. Every time he cut down a corpse there was another one to take its place, another obstacle between his sword and Danarius. Fenris didn't know how long he had been fighting, didn't actually feel the wound that bought him gasping to his knees, and slowly, to the blood and ale-soaked floor. The deep gash in his side throbbed, as he tried and failed to pick up his sword, to regain his feet, to fight back, but the pain turned his vision grey and shorted out his 's defiant taunts had fallen silent, and Hawke was… he didn't know, he couldn't hear her, couldn't turn to find her and that thought hurt even more than failure and recapture, far more than the wound in his side and the steady sound of his master's feet coming down the stairs.
He could taste the bitterness of impotent rage in his mouth. Danarius was right in front of him and he was helpless; as if nothing had ever changed, if no time had passed at all, as if he had never been free in the first place.
But before Danarius reached him, he felt a gentle touch to the inside of his elbow. He knew that hand, even gloved, had spent the last three years remembering every time it had touched his body. Hawke, always careful with him, even now.
Her magic seared him like holy fire, burning him without the pain. He felt his wound close up, his strength return, and his markings blaze with renewed strength and anger. His recovery caught Danarius by surprise; though he lifted his staff to ward him off, he was no match for Fenris's hatred and desperation.
"You," Fenris snarled, reaching into his chest and curling his gauntleted fingers around his frantically beating heart. The fear in Danarius's eyes filled him with a fierce, bitter pleasure. "Are no longer my master." His heart burst in his hand like a piece of rotten fruit and he watched in grim satisfaction as his body hit the ground.
Danarius was dead and he was free. His victory was complete. It was everything he had ever wanted.
He turned, tattoos still glowing, searching for the sister who betrayed him. But before he spotted her in the crowd, he was brought up short by Aveline, her voice ringing with anguish in a way he had never heard before.
Everything inside him clenched in sudden fear and he turned towards her voice, his sister all but forgotten. Aveline was on her knees, spattered in blood but otherwise no worse for wear. Varric knelt next to her, a lump on his head that would probably be painful for a few days, Bianca left abandoned in a pool of blood behind them. There were no good reasons to explain why the dwarf would be ignoring his beloved weapon, and Fenris found himself at their side before he even remembered moving, fear growing even colder inside him.
They were leaning over Hawke, and she was not moving. Aveline was crying. He had never seen that before, and Fenris suddenly had trouble catching his breath.
"Come on, Hawke," Varric said frantically. "This isn't funny. This isn't how it ends."
"Varric," Aveline whispered, her voice wavering. "It's too late. She's -"
"No." Fenris said flatly. It was impossible. Aveline and Varric looked up at him, loss clearly written on both their faces, but he couldn't believe it. They had to be wrong.
"Fenris," Aveline began, but he knelt next to them and reached out for Hawke, carefully rolling her over. She was still, perfectly, horribly still, her robes rent and bloody in a dozen places. The blood was no longer flowing. She was not breathing. She was…
"No," he said again, but it was disbelief, not denial. "She can't be… she healed me."
"She loved you," Aveline said, but there was no condemnation in her shaking voice. It was a simple statement of fact.
The small word, the past tense, hit him like a physical blow, sent him reeling with a grief so vast that he could not even begin to grasp it. Hawke… Hawke was dead.
"No," he said again, and it was nothing but an expression of pain. Hawke had healed
him instead of herself, as she should have done, and she had died because of it.
Because of him. Because she loved him. Ten years ago, he would not have thought any mage capable of it, but she had challenged him, changed him in so many ways, and now she was gone. There was a great, gaping hole inside him, where he used to keep the vague hopes for his future. She had always been there, always, even if he had never spoken of it, never even hinted at his hopes to her.
Hawke had loved him; he had known it for years, in the dozen tiny ways she showed it. In every smile, every kindness, with every careful touch she had directed at him she couldn't have made it clearer. And she had died not knowing he felt the same. The grief cut through all his doubts and confusion and self-delusion. He loved her. He should have told every day for the last three years. He should have told her so this morning, when she agreed to accompany him with no hesitation, when she had still been able to smile at him.
He would never see her smile again, and the thought made him want to howl like the wolf he was named for. He couldn't even begin to comprehend the loss of her. He carefully pulled her body into his arms, cradling her closely in the way he had never let himself before. He was too late, too late in every way.
He had wanted Danarius's death more than anything. He had spent the last ten years picturing it, planning for it, hoping for it. But now, he would give anything - his freedom, his memories, the lyrium from his skin, his blood, his soul to the first demon that asked for it, his life - to undo it, to have Hawke back.
He bent his forehead until he was pressed against her hair, letting out a harsh, dry sob, the first of many. How could he bear the thought of living the rest of his life without her? She was everything he ever -
But she was gone, and he was alone.
Inspired by the Song "Everything you Ever" from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and the prompt: So, Anders or Fenris gain their dream. Anders frees the mages. Fenris kills Danarius. The kicker: Hawke dies in the process. Now they're alone with their ultimate dream completed but losing Hawke makes them wonder. Was it worth it?
Last time I played through Alone, my Hawke was KO'd and Fenris cried out "No! I will not allow it!" It made me wonder how he would feel if Hawke actually died, then I found this prompt. Some things are meant to be, I guess.