All of them were running away from something, always trying to get away from their past, fighting everything in their way, not knowing that they had to fight the shadows in their own hearts to finally win over their fears.
Aveline tried to forget her love and his blood on her hands. She threw herself into her duty and when she couldn't bear the nightmares anymore she stopped sleeping and took over more patrols instead, caring for the town and the people, ensuring their safety. Even she after she finally admitted her love to Donnic she fought her feelings every step of their way, afraid of breaking if anything happened to him. She drove herself mad with doing always what's right for she promised she'd never fail again.
Carver was always afraid of being the weakest, the smallest, of remaining in the shadows hovering over his life. He accepted every challenge, every task, just to prove himself worthy of respect and approval. He always realized too late he just walked the same paths as his sister. Because he was always so eager to do better than her, he forgot doing things his way. He became a templar to finally live his own life and still everything he did had been done before. And he wondered if he could ever be good enough, not knowing that it were his own expectations that stopped him from being content for once. They all were proud of him, only he couldn't see.
Merril was lost in the past, searching things long forgotten, asking questions no living being could still answer. Over that she forgot to live and she didn't thing about what was yet to come nor did she care for the rejection of her people because for her a future without past, a family without origins wasn't worth fighting for. She left her home and stumbled into a world she didn't know. She misinterpreted her family's care for arrogance, their fear for stubbornness. She had chosen loneliness to seek the answers she longed for. She didn't look forward, afraid of what she could find. So she stayed in the safety of the past even if it meant to get lost in the dark.
Hawke ran away from war and death and memories haunting her at night. She left her home, hoping to start anew, to find peace. But wherever she went problems occurred and people needed help. She never declined, never refused, no matter what the cost, no matter what she lost. She would never admit it, but she was more afraid than any of her companions, because she was responsible for all of them, she shouldered their dreams and hopes and fears. And she knew, should she fail, all of them would fall with her. The people looked up to her, her friends relied on her. They didn't know of her fear, of the panic haunting her. And she has never shown it. She had failed once, leaving her father dead and her family torn apart because of it. She'd never let it happen again.
Anders was afraid of being a captive. Whenever life seemed to close him in completely he used to run. His first prison was the Circle. It took him too long to finally escape to ever let someone lock him up again. Then came the Wardens, demanding of him to give his life for them and their task. Even the freedom they gave him in return couldn't hold him. And he would carry part of them forever with him. Also the last power wasn't one he could ever escape. Justice and revenge, inseparable entangled, that he carried in his heart and mind, that led him directly into darkness and chaos and death. That was when his flight finally ended. He hated himself for the destruction of what he came to value over the last years, his friendship with Hawke, his hospital. And in the end he didn't even try to run. How could he? He never understood that it was himself who imprisoned him most. And one can't run from himself.
All Fenris ever wanted was to be free. Yet it was the hardest step of his life. It wasn't just Danarius keeping him as a slave or the lyrium marks that suppressed his mind and will to fight. With his former master still alive it was easy to dismiss freedom as a mere idea, but after his death there was only his own hesitance, his inability to go on. Because it is so hard to really be on your own. How are you supposed to go wherever you want and do whatever you want, when you weren't allowed that since the day you were born? He was strong and fierce, he fought every enemy standing in his way, defending those he valued. But he couldn't defeat the memories lurking in the shadows, the well-known feeling of helplessness, with his weapons. So he threw himself in every fight, doing what he could best. But never could he forget nor could he ever be free. Not without facing that freedom itself.
Isabella was running away from normality. Whenever her life seemed to develop something like a routine, she went, searching for new adventures and tasks. She could master every situation but the circle life starts to be with time was too hard, too much to bear. After she left the place she never called home, she was always on the run. That's why she loved the ocean, the deep unexplored waters, the mighty, unpredictable wind, she loved rain and storm and even the shattering sound of breaking wood, cause that's what life is, hard and cold, dangerous and unforgiving. The stars were the only constant she had in her life, yet she never dared to reach for them, knowing they held a harmony, a strength, she could never possessed. Not once had she, who was never afraid, thought about fighting this panic rising in her whenever life closed her in. Not once had she dared to explore those hidden longings in her heart, afraid of not being able to live up to her own expectations.
They were driven by fear, all of them in their own way, always thinking they weren't good enough, for their tasks, their friends, themselves, always trying to hide their true feelings behind walls and masks only built to save their hunted hearts from shattering. And they all were thankful for their companions, for the unexpected friendship they found that gave them strength and hope and the courage to go on. Yet it frightened them deeply. After some time, when they settled in some kind of harmony they caught themselves by letting their masks slip, when they usually blocked every emotion. It was a natural thing with those eyes looking at them, with the same fear the same uncertainty, with understanding, not pity.
Somehow they hoped everything would turn out right. No one of them would admit it, but with those friends standing by their sides they believed they could overcome the shadows in their hearts, even with the war going on around them, even if it was the hardest thing they've ever done, trusting and opening themselves.
One way or the other, their flight was over. They could succeed and win over their fears, being content, like they ever secretly wished. Or they could break irrevocably, for they knew their trust went to deep to ever recover from betrayal by one of them. Nevertheless they were ready to go this final way, for one can't run forever.
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