A/N: Just a little one shot to give me a mental break from my AU fic Candles. One possible scenario after Hawk and company flee Kirkwall.
Disclaimer: I do not own any aspect of Dragon Age, etc.
Twilight was dancing among the trees, turning everything both dark and light all at once, and bringing the waking world as close to the Fade as it ever would be. Somewhere in the near dark, an owl called its gentle question that had no answer. Leaves rustled and whispered secrets even as the wind willed them to speak not. James Hawke sat with his back against a large oak tree and drank in every ounce of metaphorical magic that his mind could hold, for the real thing was no longer among his list of options. Paranoia, depression, hunger, exhaustion, fine, but no magic whatsoever. He would simply have to drink his fill before crawling into the small bed that had been home for three weeks now.
Even with his lover only inches away, James had never felt more alone. Each time Anders muttered to himself, he knew it was a conversation being kept from him, likely about him as well. At least once a day he would see that familiar blue glow in Anders' eyes as Justice watched him in eerie silence. Just as often, when night had fallen, Anders' body would face him, that blue light shining from him, and Justice would make his threats and promises, "I allow you to live because you accommodate us. If you become a hindrance, I will not hesitate to destroy you."
James had laughed at that, bitterly, and Justice had gone silent, leaving the Mage alone. Threats meant little to a man with next to nothing to lose. His only family was miles away, safe within the ranks of the Grey, and his lover was becoming increasingly possessed as days rolled by. If Justice took Anders, James would happily forfeit his life, content to finally stumble upon the oblivion of death that so many had promised to give him.
For now, James tried to hold on to every moment that Anders was his, vibrant and full of red passion to combat the icy blue of Justice. Their love was strong and honest and fiery, indiscriminate of time and space so long as the mood struck. It was those times when Justice became frightening, truly terrifying. After they had made love, curled up together in bed asleep, James would feel the light, and opening his eyes, find Justice there in Anders place, ways staring wordlessly. James often shot out of bed like any man lying beside a snake would, and several times it brought him to tears of frustration.
James wasn't sleeping much. He began to feel as if he too were possessed, his constant dealings with Justice kept the spirit on his mind more than Anders, and all the while they ran from Starkhaven and the Chantry. James had seen Sebastian once, on a white horse with his men behind him like a deadly bridal train. The prince was true to his word, but James hasn't given him opportunity to kill either of them. Isabela had taught him a great deal about sneaking, and they had skirted their pursuers for years with only a handful of close calls.
The closest had been a night in Autumn, just cold enough to be unpleasant. The moon was high and bright but small, waning and providing little light. James had looked up from his sleeping place and seen a man crouched over them, the shining sword on his chest froze the blood in Hawke's veins. Quick thinking-and the dagger under James' pillow-has saved them then, but it was too close. They had moved back into Tevinter then, no longer lingering at the border where Orlais was breathing down their necks. Back then, Anders had been more himself, more capable of planning routes and making runs in for supplies. It had been three years since that Anders had been with him.
James wondered what might have been, if he'd stopped Justice, if he'd kept that damned idol out of Meredith's hands, killed Orsino and Quentin and Patrice before they'd managed to destroy so much. Would he and Anders have stayed in Kirkwall, fighting the good fight right under the Chantry's nose, protected by Hawke's noble status? Would he be able to stop Justice in time to avoid losing Anders, or was fate inevitable?
Twilight was gone now, and the world was plunged into blackness. The owl was on his silent hunt, the breeze no longer rustled the leaves and James no longer felt the comfort of late evening. He glanced toward their small cabin and saw Anders, eyes cold and blue, watching him from the only window. James got comfortable, his back against the oak tree. There would be no sleep for him tonight.