He had been working on healing a young boy. The child had fallen and hidden his head. He had been knocked unconscious and had yet to wake up. He had just about finished healing the boy when he felt a group approach. They seemed to be protected by some sort of shield and he could not get a reading on their intentions. MAGIC, he thought. He had automatically assumed it was the Wardens. He grabbed his staff and turned around.
"I have made this place a sanctum of healing and salvation! Why do you threaten it?" He stated feeling Justice rise up within him. A woman with red hair, coming down to her chin, stepped in front of him. No, not in front him, in front of a young woman. The source of the shield. The woman had taken a protective stance in front of her. Did she not know that the young woman behind her was more powerful than she could ever be? He looked into her eyes, noticing they were a stunning dark blue.
"We mean you and everyone here no harm. We are looking for a former Grey Warden, Anders. From the wonderful healing I just saw, I would say it is you. My name is Kaylana Hawke." Her eyes twinkled as she spoke.
His original plan was to stun them and run, before they had a chance to attack. Now that he knew they weren't Wardens or Templars, he wasn't sure to do.
"What are you spies sent by the wardens?" He firmly stood his ground.
Hawke just smiled. "No, and we won't take you anywhere either. We came here hoping you could help us. I've been told you have maps of some entrances into the Deep Roads."
"Yes I do, but why would I give them to you?"
"I can pay you for them, or trade."
How about a favor? You help me out and I'll give you the maps." He didn't think she would agree to it.
"What is this favor that you ask?" Curiosity hidden on her face.
"I have a friend; his name is Karl. He is the reason I came to Kirkwall. I need you to help me break him out. He has agreed to meet me in the Chantry tonight. If you are serious meet me there tonight." Looking at her he could not gauge her reaction, what she would say.
The long copper-haired woman to Hawkes right seemed disturbed by the idea, while the dwarf holding a grand crossbow gave a sly smile. The young woman Hawke seemed to be protecting looked scared. Hawke herself gave a masked expression he couldn't see behind.
"I would let no mage be chained to the circle if I could help it." Hawke grabbed the young woman's hand in a reassuring gesture. It was then he understood the bond between the two. You would know to look at it, with the young woman's black hair and golden brown eyes, a stark contrast to her companion. They were sisters.
They met at the Chantry that night. It was supposed to be a quick in and out. But it ended with a futile attempt. Karl had been made tranquil, and the Templars were waiting. Justice had come out right be before the battle began. Justice seemed to bring the Fade with him when he emerged; when the battle was over, Karl seemed to be released from his tranquility. Karl had begged him to kill him. He couldn't live being disconnected from the world.
"My father told us of the Tranquil. He called it a fate worse than death. Let him go now, so he can join the Maker." Hawke said coming up beside him.
He had thought he would never see them again. After his (little) Justice outburst, he was pretty sure he had scared them away forever, or they thought he was some sort of abomination they were going to kill.
She came. Her and her sister Bethany. It was a show of support, though at the time he didn't know who for.
"So what's up with the blue glowy thing you did back there?" She asked with a smile on her face. She meant to comfort him, he'd noticed.
He cleared his throat. "That was Justice. He's a spirit from the Fade. He was forced into this world by dark magic." Anders looked down, not wanting to see the looks on their faces when he told them his tale. What he had done. "He had put into the body of a dead Grey Warden we were looking for. He had been so shocked by what had happened; he didn't believe it at first. Somehow he was able to see all of Kristoff's memories, and he became angry wanting justice for the wrong done to him. So he agreed to stay with us until he could accomplish his goal and return the body for a proper burial.
"As time went on we became friends and he saw the injustice that mages went through. After we killed the Broodmother, he said he wanted to help and join the cause for mage freedom. We joined together." He spoke the last sentence so quietly he was barely heard.
"I just wanted to help my friend; s he wanted to help me. He was no demon, he was a spirit, and he had spent his entire existence in the fade. He had never had any desire for the mortal world. Until he met me. I thought a willing host a friend..," his voice trailed off. He looked up then expecting to see degust and anger on their faces. But he saw neither. He saw compassion, understanding, and what he thought was… acceptance. Hawke smiled at him. He cleared his throat and continued.
I had too much anger, and pain. He changed and is no longer my friend Justice. I can only hope that one day I can repay his sacrifice." He looked into her eyes, awaiting her final judgment.
It seemed like forever before Hawke finally spoke. "I understand what you were trying to do. Though what happened was not your intention, the motive behind your action was good. I do not believe that your friend will hold what happened against you. You are not alone Anders. We are here and we will help." Hawke then reached for his hand.
"My sister is right. No one is alone as long as they have that to hold onto. Especially with my sister. She'll jump down the whole with and drag you back up screaming if she has to." Bethany smiled at her sister.
That was it the beginning of the best, if not oddest friendship he had had. The group that Hawke brought together, she seemed to be some kind if glue that attracted and held this group together. She became his family. She always tried to respect everyone's feelings and in some way or another everyone owed Hawke for saving their hides. That was why losing Bethany had been so hard. Hawke didn't take him with them on the expedition.
He had been waiting for them when they came back. He saw Hawke carrying Bethany's body toward her home. Always the rogue she had hidden all emotion. Her face was that unperceivable wall that no one could decipher. He had felt so guilty; believing if he had gone maybe Bethany could have been saved. He knew the wardens were in the Deep Roads digging up something. He could have brought Bethany there. She could have undergone the Joining. There would have been at least a chance.
Hawke had never once held that against him. She told him it was not his fault, and they grieved together. He knew she held back, taking a lot of the blame on herself. He knew it had gone back to Carver. She believed she let both of her siblings down. Then Fenris became prominent in her life. She fell in love with him.
Then Leandra died. It tore Hawke apart. She was just about inconsolable. Fenris was the one to bring her out. She gave herself to him. And still in her grieve, he ripped out what was remaining in her heart and shattered her.
He saw her with the Qunari leader. She held no fear. It was as if she was daring him to kill her. He had almost succeeded.
Released the memories that flashed before him, he looked down at the woman who had been through so much, but had given as much as she could.
"I will not let you die. Do you understand me." He was speaking fiercely, commanding her to live. He was not sure if she could hear him, but he hoped she could. "You are not alone. I am here and I will help you."
"Let me die. I am not worth it. I don't want to feel like this anymore. It hurts too much. Just let me die."