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Omnipotent Overlord
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm a writer first, and once upon a time I was one helluva wiz with pencils, pastels and acrylics. Alas, I've neglected the latter talents in favor of real life, though I hope one day to pick them up again. Writing is my passion, though it was not always my strongest skill (and is still in the refining process.) I'll quit that when I'm dead... maybe. ;o)

You can also find me on and AO3 where I'm still Lourdes23. I've got a bit more posted to, but much of it is years old and nowhere close to the standards I now hold myself to.

I've copied my favorite pieces here though.

I also post photographs I take which I find appealing, though I wouldn't call myself a photographer, or even a hobbyist. My camera is older, my skills are remedial and there are many times in which I am scolded by family for not taking enough pictures at special events. But I can appreciate lovely scenery, so if I catch a lucky shot I'll share it with the class. ;)
I've never done one of these games on dA before - this should be fun!
  • The first 20 people to comment will be featured below via three images from their gallery of my choosing.
  • If you comment, you must to do the same in your journal, putting the tagger (me) and three pieces of my art on the first place.
  • The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone!
  • Mood: Zeal
  • Listening to: DA2 sountrack - the WHOLE thing!
  • Reading: Smut. Lots of smut.
  • Watching: Nothing much.
  • Playing: Dragon Age Inqusition (Cullllllleeeennnnn)
  • Eating: Healthy!
  • Drinking: No more pop!!! (IKR?!?!?!)


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The sound of whispers tickled at her senses, so hushed they were barely perceptible, and Hawke's eyes fluttered open to the view of a damp stone-chiseled ceiling above her just as the voices died away.

H er first cognitive thought was that an unknown amount of time had passed since she had fallen on the battlefield. She was not certain how exactly she was aware of this, only that she was, and that it was disjointing, for there had been no dreams or trip to the Fade to mark that passage of time. Only the absolute lack of self from the moment she had been sprawled on her belly until now gave indication, and the softness of a bedroll which had taken the place of cold stone beneath her.

Coupled with her mental distress was a physical discomfort of sorts. She did not feel broken or injured. It was more of a sensation of being hollowed out; like a sponge that had been wrung dry; her legs tingling with the need for movement gradually overtaking her lethargy.

Unable to stand the sensations plaguing her any longer, Hawke pushed herself up to her elbows, swiveling her head to take in her surroundings.

" You're awake! " The soft utterance was immediately accompanied by a hand at her back and another beneath her clavicle, holding her carefully while trying to coax her back down. "Lie back, Hawke. It's alright."

She resisted his gentle push, turn ing towards her companion quizzically. "Anders?" The name came out a hoarse croak, as though her body had forgotten how how to ply her voice. "What's happened? Where are we?"

"The Deep Roads," The apostate explained, still trying to guide her gently to the bedroll beneath her though she would not have it . "Oghren scouted ahead and found this place further down from where we were ambushed. Some sort of ancient guard shed, it seems. The important thing is that it had an iron door , and a place for me to tend to you." He shook his head, scowling. "I must admit, if Fenris hadn't arrived when he did I would-"

"You would have what?" A voice beyond his shoulder demanded suspiciously, and Hawke's insides twisted and warmed simultaneously at the sound; her lungs momentarily unable to draw breath.

He was here.

The golden eyes before her peered down at her cautiously; his head tipping to her as though in confidence. "Hawke, you don't have to-"

"Anders," she interrupted quickly, meeting his gaze with a warning look of her own. She did not want to give him the chance to say something that would only make her angry. At this moment she wanted to avoid anger at all costs - including her own. "Would you give us some privacy, please?"

Reluctance painted the man's features clearly, yet to Hawke's relief the unspoken truce between them remained, and Anders backed away, turning towards the door. "Alright. If you're sure. I'll just... see how Oghren is coming with his nug hunting, then."

One last unspoken exchange with the elf halted his progress - her view obstructed by Anders' position - and after that the mage was gone, leaving her alone with Fenris. The sound of another door closing heavily echoed from the other room. Then nothing.

Her insides squirmed nervously and Hawke twisted to sit at the edge of the raised platform she had slept upon, readying herself to break the silence, yet Fenris did not wait for her to lead.

"I can't stop thinking about that night." He murmured, not quite meeting her gaze as he spoke, and she stilled at the remorse which colored that rich baritone she so loved. "I allowed my hatred of blood magic to consume me, and in doing so I blinded myself to your words. Though I may not entirely agree even now, I admit that I can see some validity in your point. The magic is done, and there is nothing for it. That you now tread down the path already laid to find some shred of good at its end is in your nature. I have known this about you for years. I should have anticipated then that you would agree to this mission."

At last his eyes lifted to Hawke's, and she saw there pain the likes of which she had not known him to express previously, her own heart crying out in a silent echo of his. "And when I think of how close I came to losing you," he admitted slowly, "of how I almost watched you die before me..."

"What happened in that battle was not your fault," Hawke argued. "Blaming yourself for it is the same as me blaming myself for Kirkwall. You couldn't have known what would come of it." There was the briefest moment of silence as Fenris allowed her words to settle in.

"Perhaps," he conceded, closing the distance between them tentatively. "But I must ask; can you forgive me now, Hawke? Am I too late?"

Her breath caught. Here he was, speaking the words she had thought he deserved from her; asking for her forgiveness. Vertigo caught her and she fisted the blankets beneath her if only to anchor herself to something real. "I will disappoint you again, Fenris," she breathed. "I can't change who I am, or what I believe in. Not even for you. Doesn't that bother you?"

"Does it bother you that I will likely always carry this mistrust of mages? Would you ask me to change who I am for you?" Hawke's lips parted yet the man before her pressed on. "There is no need to respond - you already have. Not once have you ever asked me to let go of my hatred of magic. Nor have you tried to sway me to share in your sympathies, or your care for your mage companions. You have respected my beliefs while remaining true to your own. I would be a fool to wish a woman such as you to be anything other than what you are."

"So that's it then?" Hawke asked. "We forget this whole fight ever happened?"

"No," Fenris replied firmly, "forgetting means we will not learn from it, and I for one wish to remember the lesson that I learned here."

"And what lesson is that?"

Reaching out with hands naked of their armor coverings, Fenris took her face gently into his palms. "That nothing could be worse than the thought of living without you." It was a statement spoken with all of the conviction of a man who would not be swayed.

Hawke's heart leapt and with it the vertigo tightened its grip. Her hands reached up to clutch at his arms and she felt the pressure against one of her cheeks increase as the room around her tilted slightly. Before her Fenris scowled.

"You're not yet well," he observed, taking hold of her shoulders so that he could guide her to the bedroll; the act gentle, but firm enough for her to find resisting difficult. "Rest now. We can finish our discussion later."

Despite having just regained consciousness a few minutes prior, Hawke's eyes were all too willing to slide closed once more; her stomach instantly settling when that much-loved scent of leather, minerals, and masculinity enveloped her as overly-warm lips brushed against hers. When a brow tousled with silken strands rested against her own she sighed contentedly, her breath mingling with his.

And before Fenris could pull himself from the tactile display, Hawke was once again asleep.




They were whispering about her. She could hear them, though their hushed tones made the words and the identities of the speakers indiscernible. At first she thought they were right beside her, they were so close. But when she opened her eyes she found that the lights in her room had been doused, while firelight flickered from the open door to the other room.

For what must have been two full days by her estimate, she had endured the furtive glances Anders had given her whenever he came to check on her; obviously wishing to speak to her, yet never coming out and saying anything beyond his responses to her distaste at being bedridden. In his opinion Hawke was not yet well enough to travel, though the rogue soon began to wonder if the delay had something to do with Fenris' arrival. Anders always seemed to close up when the darker man was in the room; the new habit even more irksome than his heated outbursts. At least when he fought openly Hawke knew the cause. But here she could not be certain. And so as the days stretched on the conversations between her and the apostate healer slowly shifted from polite acquaintanceship to forced civility as their patience with each other frayed.

And then there had been her lover. She still marveled at his return, not understanding exactly how she had earned such unyielding loyalty from this man in spite of her faults. Yet he had come for her, and she decided she would not question it further. Instead she allowed him to try to placate her in his own way, and would not complain about her incapacitation as he sat by her side for hours speaking with her, though never supporting her rebellious need to leave her blankets. For, while he was quick to cast Anders aside or argue with the apostate when a topic allowed, he would sit in silence and simply watch whenever Anders would remind her that she should not push herself. It was the closest thing to an accord she had ever known the two to have and, had it not come about at her expense, she might have subtly encouraged it.

But now, on the third day of her recovery, the whispers and the tingling and her nerves gradually got the better of her, until at last Hawke decided for herself that she was well enough. Pushing herself unhindered to her feet, and satisfied to feel her legs hold her weight steadily, she made her way to the main room of their tiny shed.

The whispers stopped before she reached the doorway, and she watched as three sets of eyes lifted up to her from their various tasks when she emerged.

"Why am I not surprised," Anders sighed resignedly from his place beside the fire. "You should be resting, Hawke."

"I've had quite enough rest," she said irritably, nearly spitting the last word with her newfound distaste for it. "When are we moving on?" From his seat across the cook fire Fenris arched one brow at her but said nothing.

"When you're well enough." The mage replied, a bit more firmly then usual, and Hawke pondered briefly if his bedside manner only applied when his patient was actually in bed.

"I'm standing, aren't I?" She asked, moving forward to circle the fire with confident, strong strides, "I'm walking. But I am most assuredly not sleeping."

"I have a poultice that can help with that," Anders offered, reaching for his pack, and Hawke felt her frazzling patience gutter like a candle.

"I don't want help with that," she snapped, "I want to reach Avernus! We have a mission to complete, and waiting around here while I sleep for days is not helping anyone!"

"You just don't get it, do you?" Anders stood, and beside her Fenris was on his feet as well, glowering at the mage darkly. "You have no idea how close you came to dying! Do you know that-"

"That's enough, mage." The elf growled, and with and angry slash of his arm Anders waived him off.

"No - it's not." He argued. "You almost died, Hawke. And if Fenris had not offered up his lyrium markings for me to draw from I would not have had strength enough to save you! You-"

His words died off abruptly as Hawke felt the blood drain from her face. There came a soft rustling at her side and she held a hand out to ward off her would-be assistance. "You..." she lifted her gaze to the green eyes before her. "You let him draw from your markings?"

The thought horrified her. To simply touch his tattoos was enough to cause him pain. But for a mage to tap into their power...

"I have done so before for far less agreeable tasks," Fenris reminded her, "that it was done this time to save your life means that at last they have served a mage for a purpose I deem worthy."

"But the pain-" she argued weakly, and Fenris' eyes narrowed.

"Is already gone," he finished petulantly. "And you are not. It is an exchange I would gladly make again. Now," his scowl darkened and he pulled her to the place before the fire he had just vacated, "if you will not return to your bed, you will at least sit here before the fire and eat."

Hawke grimaced, not feeling particularly fond of either idea. But at least sitting before the fire got her off of the bedroll, and so she moved to take the seat offered, taking note of the laden spit over the fire. Oghren's hunting had apparently paid off, and she watched Fenris carve her a serving from the nug's shoulder, holding the plate out to her when he had finished. He must have noticed her apprehension as well, for his brow crooked in gentle warning. "If you do not regain your full strength we will not be going anywhere, Hawke." He murmured, and reluctantly she reached out and took the small meal, shoving hunks of cooked meat into her mouth before she could dwell on how much she did not want to eat just then. The first mouthful was washed down with a swallow of tepid water, and she followed up with a second bite, wishing to finish as quickly as possible if only-

Her stomach coiled and she had only enough time to lurch from her seat and throw open the door into the main passages with a deafening bang, where her body forcibly rejected what she had just eaten.

"Shit," she muttered when the clenching had passed, wiping her lower lip and bracing herself against the cold wall opposite their hiding place. The blood pounded in her temples uncomfortably and she pressed her brow to the stone to sooth the ache.

A scuffling arose at her back from which she heard Anders' voice arise, anger resonating clearing in his words. "You can't be serious. I'm not going to eat her, Fenris. Now will you go back inside the Blighted shed and give me two minutes to tend to her without you scowling at my back?"

A course obscenity was spat in response, and Hawke recognized it from her tutelage weeks ago. Yet the door clanged shut noisily just as warm, soft hands rested on her back and shoulder.

"Has it passed?" Gone was the ire that had clouded his voice moments ago; replaced with the gentle timbre he had effected with her so frequently in prior years.

"I think so," she murmured, turning around to shrug sheepishly at her companion. "Remind me the next time we fight an ogre to wear a decent helmet. Do you think Oghren will spare his?"

Anders' expression took on a slightly skeptical appearance, and he appraised her for only a moment before he spoke. "Tell me that you honestly didn't know." Hawke scowled at him in response.

"What didn't I know?"

"Of course you didn't." He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I suppose that makes sense, though."


"You're not injured, Hawke," Anders announced quietly, "not anymore. You're pregnant."





The world stopped and Hawke sat motionless, allowing the word and its meaning to resonate within her mind.


She was pregnant.

At first the word made no sense to her. It was as foreign as Fenris' Tevene curses had been before her lessons. Yet she forced herself to stop and consider the meaning - to apply it to herself as Anders had. It took a few moments, perhaps even longer, but at last she began to comprehend what it was he had just told her. Pregnant meant a child. It meant motherhood. It meant tiny hands and feet and a little mouth that needed feeding and-

And panic flooded her system. How could she be pregnant? Never mind the physical requirements of it - she knew how . But her ?

"No," she whispered. "No, no, no. No this can't be real. Anders, you're wrong, aren't you? Tell me you're wrong."

"I promise you that I'm not," he replied gently; by his expression he seemed to have been expecting this. "While I was healing you I discovered it, and that you were on the verge of losing it. I didn't know if you knew or not - if you wanted it or not - but I knew that I couldn't just let it die." Anders' admission told Hawke far more than she wanted to know about how much he had done for her after that battle; about why Fenris' lyrium had been so vital.

Anders had not saved one life that day - he had saved two.

"I've been trying to ask you about it for days," the mage continued when she did not speak, "but I couldn't. Not with the others so close by. I felt you should have the right to keep it private, if that was your choice."

"My choice?" She shook her head in puzzlement. "What do you mean?"

"If you wanted Fenris to know at all," Anders replied. "After what happened-"

Hawke bristled instantly. "You think Fenris is the problem here?" She demanded incredulously. "He's the father, Anders. He needs to know. Andraste knows I've not yet been able to keep one member of my family alive - and they were all grown! Now a baby...?"

Despair consumed her, and Hawke sank to her rump trying desperately to keep her tears at bay; the fingers of one hand splayed across her eyes when she feared she could not contain them.

She had not placed much thought into having children; her life in Kirkwall had not been conducive to raising a family. Yet she had always loved children. They were the hope for a world which had otherwise gone mad. There was always the hope that the next generation would be wiser, kinder.

And now she carried one inside of her; a sweet, innocent mixture of herself and Fenris-

-and she would fail it, as she had the others. A tear slipped down her cheek, burning hot against her skin.

"Hawke, no, you're wrong!" Anders crouched before her, resting one hand on her shoulder consolingly, "Bethany's still out there. She has to be."

"Bethany is alive because of you," Hawke countered, lowering her hand so that she could meet his gaze. "Because you had the maps that lead to the Wardens, they were able to help her. If you hadn't been there she'd be dead, and I-"

Her words cut off when Anders' head abruptly swiveled in the direction of the darkened passage further on, his features hardening, while at his back the door to the shed opened almost simultaneously.

"Hate to put an end to your healer business," Oghren growled to the former Grey Warden, "but we've got visitors. Unless you want to try your hand at a fight, get your skirts in here so we can shore up the door."

Before she could react Hawke was pulled to her feet as Anders hauled the pair of them back into the shed; Oghren and Fenris immediately pushing large pieces of fallen masonry and a broken stone table against the metal door as it clanged shut. Reflexively Hawke's hands reached back behind her shoulders; remembering too late that she was not armed.

"My daggers," she demanded, "where are they?"

"You're not fighting." Anders barked and with that Hawke cast him an incredulous look; her prior despair buried beneath the need to defend against an immediate threat.

"Of course not. I should just stand here and look properly frail." She replied flatly, recalling the way a similar comment from him had grated her back in Kirkwall. "Surely the darkspawn will take pity on me."

Something broad and hard tapped at her stomach and Hawke looked down to see Oghren's armored fist against her shirt, her blades in his grasp. With a murmur of thanks she accepted the weapons, partially pulling them from their sheaths to find they had been cleaned and oiled.

Before the door the remaining two companions of their party eyed the dwarf with furious gazes as she moved to the corner where her armor lay, yet Oghren only sneered in response.

"You ever see a brood mother, lover-boy?" He growled at Fenris, and when Anders cringed and lifted reluctant eyes to her Hawke resisted the urge to shudder; cinching the buckle at her side all the more tightly instead. "Trust me," the dwarf continued, "you don't want to. Better she have her blades. At least then she can cut her own throat if it comes to it."

An enraged snarl split Fenris' face, yet his eyes leapt from the dwarf to the sealed door, as from the other side the sounds of scuffling feet and guttural calls emanated through the corridor. The noises died off briefly, and then the metal panel shook with a loudly resonating clang. Seconds passed and then another blow rang the metal door like a dissonant bell, and within the shed weapons immediately went to hand.

"It's a scouting party," Anders breathed, "they're not trying to get in."

"Aye," Oghren growled, "just holding us in place until the others get here. Sneaky bastards." Fenris' scowling at the door darkened.

"Then we should overtake them now while we have the chance."

"Agreed." Anders stepped towards the door. "There should be no more than four or five." He gaze swung first to Oghren and then at Fenris, clearly understanding that though he may not like either of them, he now had to rely on their cooperation for his survival.

Their unspoken agreement reached, Fenris turned a piercing stare on Hawke, his focus solely on her. "Tell me honestly Hawke; are you fit for battle?" Of course he would not attempt to order her to stay behind. He would simply rely on her honor to hold her in place. The man was more cunning than he had a right to be.

She wanted to tell him everything then; craved it even. She needed his assurance to buoy her now more than ever. But now was not the time. Not with a battle right outside their door. Her daggers found their sheaths and she shook her head in resignation.

"I'll get our supplies," she offered, "you three go and clear the way." And with that she immediately made for the other room where she began gathering the rest of her gear. As she worked, Hawke listened to the others remove the barricade and wrench open the door; the bright orange glow of one of Anders' fireballs exploding into existence and filling both chambers briefly with its light.

Hearing the battle move outside the shed, the clash of weaponry and crackling of magic obliterating the battle cries of ally and beast alike, Hawke returned to the main room. The flashes of motion and light which immediately caught her attention through the opened door were partially obstructed by a figure bearing a head of dimly shining silver. Fenris fought from a sentry's position, barring any that would try to reach her.

With a conscious effort Hawke pulled her eyes from the well-toned back presented to her, the irrational urge to go to him stamped down as she forced herself to focus on her self-assigned task. Glass vials, cloth-wrapped parcels, and packages of food were swept into the backpacks and satchels scattered about the room, taking note that one such pouch was the very one she had abandoned in Ghislain; carefully cleaned and containing the oils that Fenris often used to tend to his gauntlets and sword. Hawke felt a small tug at her heart at the meaning behind the act and loaded the bag with healing potions and poultices before returning to the other room to pull on her boots and gloves.

"Hawke?!" Anders' voice called from the main room, and she rushed back into the main room.

"Here!" She called, scooping up the waiting packs and tossing Anders' own bag to him. "Where are the others?"

"Outside," the apostate stepped aside so Hawke could exit the shed, fastening her own belt pouch to her hip. Before her Fenris and Oghren stood over the bodies of five genlocks with their blades bloodied but no worse for wear. Each was handed their gear; Fenris accepting the emblazoned pack with what may have been a hint of amusement beneath his steeled expression had Hawke the wherewithal to pay close enough attention.

"We need to move," the former Warden spoke up at Hawke's back, "the others are almost here."

Despite the knowledge that she should avoid further fighting, Hawke drew her blades. They were a comfort to hold, if nothing else. "Get us out of here, Anders."

And when the mage jogged off into the darkness the remaining three followed without hesitation.




Hawke's stomach turned and she swallowed the saliva that welled within her mouth in response. For several hours she had been trudging along behind Anders, who had graciously taken the position at the fore fore her, her tongue pressed tightly to the roof of her mouth in an effort to stave off the urge to heave.

Knowing now what caused her discomfort just made it all the more difficult to ignore, for it was a constant reminder that every second that passed was one in which she intentionally kept the truth from Fenris. Yet a worry had started to grow within her mind; one that stopped up her voice every time she opened her mouth to speak.

The moment she told Fenris he would undoubtedly insist that they leave the Deep Roads - cure in hand or not. She would not be able to fault him for that demand - a part of her even hoped that he would. But they were so close to reaching Avernus and completing their objective here. Just another day or so to the Grey Warden's sanctuary, if they encountered no delays, according to Anders and the Grey Warden. If she could just hold out until they reached the commander's accomplice she could retrieve the cure, tell Fenris about their child - Maker, their child - and then allow him to whisk her back to the surface with all of the impatient fury he was capable of.

The thought of keeping this secret from him turned her stomach all the more, yet the thought of coming so far only to turn back just before the very end was unconscionable. She was here for something larger than herself and one baby. Even if it was hers.

"So the ends justify the means now?"

Fenris' words from that horrible night in Ghislain filled her mind and unthinking she moaned miserably, instantly regretting the slip when two contrasting sets of eyes turned on her.

"Hawke?" Anders turned back from his lead to study her with that familiar gaze she had watched him adapt with so many people who had come to his clinic seeking healing.

"It's nothing," she insisted, holding her hands up immediately, "I'm fine. Really. Let's keep moving." Beside her Fenris' eyes narrowed.

"You are pale," he pointed out. "Perhaps we should stop."

"Rest will solve nothing," she announced, looking at Anders and hoping he would understand, "I just want to be done with the Deep Roads. The sooner we reach Avernus, the sooner we can go back to the surface."

"I agree," Anders added, and she could not tell if it was sincere or if he had caught on to her queues, "I've always hated the Blighted Deep Roads."

"Then why are you here? As I recall no one invited you." Fenris growled, stepping closer to the apostate; not outright threatening, but undeniably hostile.

"I've more reason to be here than you," Anders replied heatedly, "I took part in the Joining. If it works this cure could save my life. If you want to question someone's reasons for being here, question your own."

It was the beginning of one of their squabbles she knew, and though it provided the distraction she had needed her mood still soured at the thought of having to listen to this go on for hours, as was sometimes the case.

"Fantastic," Hawke muttered impatiently, shouldering passed the pair as she continued along their path leisurely, "I'm moving on. When the two of you are done bloodying each other will the survivor please catch up?"

Words spoken too low to understand caught her ears again and Hawke's patience snapped. "And will you please stop whispering behind my back?!" She demanded, whirling on them angrily. "Really, I've had enough-"

Her companions were staring at her in various forms of confusion, yet all with sealed lips, until at last Fenris broke the tableau. "No one is whispering, Hawke." He said, his voice low and unsettled.

Hawke's eyes darted around their surroundings. "Then... who is?" She asked, her gaze coming back to skip from one person to the next. For a moment they all simply stared at one another.

Then a look of dread crossed Anders' features; his effort to school his expression too late to disguise it. "Do you hear the voices now?" Vertigo began to claim her with the understanding that something was wrong, tilting the world before her sickeningly as she gave a slow nod; her mind working to puzzle out why Anders would look so stricken before at last coming to one conclusion.

Maker, no...

Soft hands had her by her arms; were lowering her to sit at the stone beneath her, and Hawke did not fight them. Thumbs pulled up her eyelids, fingers pressed to her pulse points, yet all of it seemed a moot point by now. It was so similar...

Beside her Fenris' voice rumbled low and dangerous, like a thunderstorm rolling across the mountains, threatening destruction to any who found its fury. "You know what is happening to her, mage. Tell me."

Without pulling his hands or his eyes from her Anders replied, so quietly it was almost drown out by the whispers. "It's the taint. It's in her blood."

Fear gripped her insides; reaching out with icy tendrils to numb her fingers and tighten her throat. Beside Anders, her dark lover grew still, his eyes widening with unguarded shock.

"Fine," Oghren growled from behind the healer's back, "so she's got the taint. Avernus has a cure. And if that doesn't work she can try the Joining like her sister. I don't see what has you all so sodding worked up."

"No. It cannot be." Fenris replied flatly, not taking his eyes from Hawke. "You are mistaken."

"I'm not," Anders replied, calm in spite of the doubt which had just been placed on his abilities. "It effects everyone differently, but hearing voices after a fight with darkspawn leaves few other options to choose from."

"Then we will find this Avernus," Fenris growled, his hands reaching up to cup at Hawke's face firmly, "we will stop only when we can go no further. You will take the cure, and if it fails I will tear the beating heart from his chest - though not before he aids you in undergoing the Joining. I will not lose you, Hawke." Yet the rogue fighter shook her head, or rather she tried to from within her lover's grasp.

"It's not that simple," she nearly moaned, lifting her gaze first to Anders before turning to her lover. "I'm pregnant, Fenris."

And all of that familiar, fierce determination bled from his face instantly, his brows lifting almost absurdly, and for a moment he was silent. "What?" He breathed at last.

"I found out just before we left the shed," she admitted, feeling her eyes well as she realized that she was afraid - afraid now that maybe he wouldn't understand. That he would be angry - reject her even. The possibility was suddenly very real to her, though in complete contrast to her worry just ten minutes prior. Fenris was certainly not what came to mind when conjuring the image of a family man, she knew. "I wanted to tell you, but then we were attacked and..."

Her throat tightened when he stood, taking a few long strides away from her before turning back on her. "You didn't know?" The question was incredulous but also something else. Something so similar to the night they had fled Kirkwall; when Fenris had held Anders by his throat and all but begged Hawke to deny that she had played a knowing part in the apostate's crimes.

So similar to what Anders had asked her just before revealing to her that she carried a child within her. Both desperate for her to let them hold to their high regard for her.

Hawke shook her head. "I thought I had lost you, and I was miserable. I just assumed-"

And instantly Fenris was looming over the pair on the ground, sending Anders scrabbling out of the way so that he could crouch before Hawke again, taking her shoulders into the near painful grip of his armored hands. "You didn't know before you came here. Tell me that you didn't know."

"I didn't," she repeated, "I promise you. I just learned today. Anders told me he found it while healing me."

The silver head before her dropped and for a moment he simply held her there at arm's reach; his face obscured behind the drapings of his hair. The silence stretched on and Hawke felt her trepidation at what reaction she would receive grow until at last he drew her to his chest; his arms wrapping around her gently. For a moment he only held her, and in that silence her mind ran wild.

He would not reject her. He would stand beside her. But...

But there was no proof the cure would work. Nothing beyond the hearsay word of a blood mage. If it didn't work she might not necessarily die, but the child...

Not even one day known to her and she was already mourning its loss. It was a part of her, after all, and a part of him. She had feared that she would fail it, but to do so this quickly tore at her heart. Her body quaked once as she choked back a lone sob in silence, and the arms around her tightened in response.

"We will find the cure," he said quietly, "and it will work." His breath was hot against her neck, and his body trembled slightly against hers. Without thought she returned his embrace; disturbed when his breath shuddered as he exhaled.

"We will save you both, Raina," his voice was nearly a whisper and, after all of these years, Hawke recognized - without question - the fear that was now present in its velvet timbre. "I swear it."

I Remain At Your Side - Ch 10

Hawke wakes from her injuries to find that her lover has returned to her side. Yet the joy of their reunion is disrupted when the former Champion finds her world turned on its end. Revelations come to light, and in their presence Hawke cannot even turn to her stalwart lover for aid.

Hope is but a thin, frayed thread, with the knife of reality pressing to it.


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A golden gaze and pained expression were before her once more, just as they had been so often in the past, and she knew without question what thoughts were behind those eyes. They were the same worries for her safety that had come between them so often during their years together; the same fears so often spoken through half-hearted warnings or midnight whispers.

And now it seemed that, in spite of her wishes, he had appeared again. The dashing rescuer to the imperiled princess in those fairy-stories Bethany had loved as a girl. The hero would fight gallantly to defend the princess from the threat inflicted upon her. And when the princess was safe once again she and her hero would realize that they had fallen in love, and her father - the king - would see them wed before the week's end; a suitable prize for the man who had saved his daughter...

Only Hawke was no delicate princess. She was an assassin, a duelist, and she needed no rescuer.

In that moment all of the trepidation and uncertainty she felt was miraculously gone for the first time in weeks. It its place anger bloomed like a mage's fireball - growing exponentially with every second it existed and taking the place of her voice as it smoldered quietly within her throat. "Get out."

Before her Anders blinked, undoubtedly caught off guard more by her tone than her words. "Wait. Please - allow me to explain."

"By all means, explain then." She replied, quiet yet far from reserved. "Explain how can you presume that you have the right to be here. That you would think I would even want you here." Beyond her shoulder the dwarf chortled darkly, yet Hawke paid him no notice; the entirety of her attention focused solely upon the man shifting uneasily before her.

"I had to come," her former lover admitted, extending his hands entreatingly. "When I heard what the Commander was asking of you I couldn't bear the thought of you coming here alone." Hawke felt her pulse kick.

"When you heard-" she spluttered, her composure slipping fractionally, "were you spying on me, Anders?" There was no other option. Anders would no sooner return to the Grey Wardens without coercion than he would the Circle.

The thin face before her tilted away slightly; a telltale sign that his stubborn need to validate himself was winning out over his guilt. "When you told me you were separating from me, I knew that I couldn't just let you go off on your own like that. You were still so lost. So alone."

"Except that I wasn't actually alone." Hawke countered darkly, watching as Anders' face twisted with unrestrained anger.

"You mean Fenris?" The question could have been delivered through a laugh had Anders not seemed so indignant. "That man is dangerous, Hawke. His loyalty to you was based on convenience alone. It was only a matter of time before he turned on you. Even still... to take advantage of you as he did before-"

A jolt of outrage seared her veins and Hawke's control snapped, causing her to send Anders sprawling to the stonework at her feet. Clutching his jaw tightly with one hand, he stared in muted shock up at the woman looming over him; her fist still clenched tightly beside her, yet perfectly still. "You will not speak of my relationship with Fenris to me." Her voice was a frozen hiss. "Ever. Do you understand?"

When she paused for a response Anders obliged, delivering it through a locked jaw with his hand still firmly affixed to his face. "Maker. You still care for him? After he-" his words were choked short, however, when Hawke wrenched him up from the ground by the collar of his coat, bringing his face mere inches from her.

"I will not say it again, Anders." She watched as his eyes darted back and forth between hers before finally giving a slow conceding nod of his head, at which point she released him from her grasp and stepped back, allowing him to rise. Wincing, the man took a moment to place glowing blue hands to his cheek carefully until he was at last satisfied with his healing.

"So that's it, then?" The mage pressed, pausing to open his jaw wide with an audible pop. "You intend on going into the deep roads with just the two of you? You can't honestly be mad enough to think you'll make it without a healer. If nothing else, let me come with you for that reason."

"I just lay you out flat and you still insist on coming? Into the Deep Roads - a place you have admittedly hate?" It was Hawke's turn to express her incredulity, peering at him through slitted, doubtful eyes. "What is it you're after?"

"Hope." He admitted without pause. "That I might survive to see all mages free to live the lives any other would be entitled to. That I can banish this accursed song from my mind before it drives me to find my death in these tunnels. That perhaps, if I do enough good in this world, you may be able to see me as someone worthy of standing in your presence again. There is much I hope for, Hawke, and all of it starts with accompanying you."

She wanted to deny his request; to turn him away and stalk into the waiting darkness alone. But this place frightened her more than she cared to admit, and she knew that a healer was invaluable when traveling these passages.

That reason, and his words, held her tongue.

'That perhaps, if I do enough good in this world, you may be able to see me as someone worthy of standing in your presence again.'

She could not help but to recall that fateful night during the journey to Ghislain, when Fenris had eluded to his belief that she had regained her old self. It seemed to her now that Anders shared that belief.

Perhaps this is what she needed; someone to drive her on in her attempts to regain herself. Whether it was an adversarial role or not did not matter. She simply needed someone to act as the catalyst.

Let Anders have his hope. She could have hers, too.

"Alright." She said, noting Anders' visible surprise at finding her so agreeable. "I think the three of us together may be just enough to take on the Deep Roads and come out alive. Pack your gear - we're heading out in one hour."




She learned quite a bit about Oghren during those first few hours of uneventful travel. The man had been married to a paragon to start. Hawke's first reaction had been to dismiss the statement as a lie, yet Anders had affirmed the fact. From what she had learned of dwarven culture from Varric, this should have been a point of considerable pride, yet Oghren spoke of Branka with open contempt, except when describing their bedroom activities.

Then there were his tales of his other romantic or lesser conquests, of his time with the Hero of Ferelden both before and after the Blight, of his history with drink and battles... and soon enough Hawke came to realize why it was Oghren had been sent to act as her guide.

There was not another Grey Warden - no, not another living soul - on Thedas quite as revolting as this man, Hawke decided. Given the current situation within the Grey Wardens, it was unlikely that someone loyal to the Warden Commander could have slipped from the order unnoticed or without being pursued. Yet Hawke found herself convinced after the second hour that somewhere there was a command of Wardens sighing with relief at the absence of this man from their numbers.

She had found herself well into a state of regret at her decision to travel with the dwarf when, in a fit of desperation after listening to a particularly graphic description of the dwarf's abhorrent style of courting, she finally turned to Anders with a question that had been absently tickling at the back of her mind.

"You said you hoped to banish a song from your head," she said, earning a look of surprise from the man at her sudden attention to him, yet paying it no mind, "what did you mean? Not Justice, I presume."

"No," Anders replied quietly, "Justice has nothing to do with this."

Hawke peered at the mage impatiently. "Well? What is it then?" Anders continued to peer into the darkness before them, a slight furrow creasing his brow.

"It's the sodding Calling." Oghren revealed from behind her shoulder. "The freak here's got the archdemon in his head non-stop."

Despite the animosity she had felt towards Anders these passed few hours, her stomach flipped sickeningly within her. It was just as she had feared. "You were in Orlais?"

"You know I was," Anders replied quietly, and too late she remembered her grievance with the man, yet given the circumstances she could not summon that indignant anger as she had earlier. "One day after crossing into Orlais I woke up from a nightmare to find it still in my head and I..." he grimaced. "It's quieter here in Ferelden. Almost unnoticeable. But I know its sound now. I can still hear its echo."

"Do you," Hawke hesitated uncertainly, ignoring the way her companions' attention simultaneously turned toward the same shadowy path before them, "do you know if Bethany is in Orlais?"

"There are hundreds of Grey Wardens in Orlais, Hawke," Anders replied softly, shaking his head. A similar question delivered to Oghren about if she could be in Ferelden received a quick response of how humans all looked the same to the dwarf - all legs and no meat, he stated.

Steeling herself against the fear that washed through her veins, she returned her attention to the distance, where the muffled clatter of metal and footfalls could be heard within the darkened place which had caught the others' attention.

"It doesn't matter," she said, more for herself than for her companions, "we'll find the cure, and then no Grey Warden need fear the Calling."

"Agreed." Anders replied firmly, and Hawke suddenly remembered that the mage had been fond of his sister. Indeed it was Bethany who developed an accord with their apostate guide faster than Hawke. The former Champion recalled the pair's conversations within the Deep Roads; talks of what it had been like for Bethany to have a father to teach her to use her magic. Of their views on the Circle and the state of the world. Of favorite spells or tricks they had learned over the years.

Hawke had sometimes wondered that if things had been different, if Bethany had not been struck ill, would Anders have turned to the younger sister instead?

Before them the noise of approaching darkspawn echoed roughly from the stone walls, cutting her free of her thoughts.

"Oh goody," the surly dwarf spoke up, "everyone's got the warm and fuzzies again. I'm as happy as a girl with new braids. Now, can we kill something?"

Hawke's brow arched and in spite of herself she managed to effect a humorless smirk, gesturing to the path before them invitingly.

"By all means, lead the way."

A vicious grin tugged at the corners of his braided beard and, with a roared taunt that involved several offensive slurs, Oghren rushed ahead of his companions, tearing loose a massive double-bladed battle axe from his back. Only slightly more cautious than her Grey Warden guide, Hawke hung back until the small horde of darkspawn came into view before choosing her target and rushing it with silent efficiency.

Then it happened.

She was dancing once more. And of course the most enjoyable dances always involved a designated partner. So as Oghren hacked away at the small mob of genlocks he had allowed to surround him, Hawke instead separated the lone hurlock from the others, drawing it to one side so that she could dance in private with the creature.

The music of her blood pounding in her ears was fast, and frenzied, and glorious. Before her the monstrosity wielded a sword and shield, yet it was nowhere near the master that Aveline was. It blocked frequently enough, forcing Hawke to spin around to one side in order to land a blow, but its blade could almost never catch her. Only twice during their dance did Hawke feel the shallow kiss of iron against her skin, yet it was not nearly enough to deter her. She had faced worse than this lone darkspawn before and had proven time and time again that she was fleet of foot and deadly in her craft.

Felling the hurlock at last with a flashing spin around its back followed immediately by the precise placement of her blade through its spine, Hawke immediately took a quick assessment of her minimal injuries and signaled the all clear to Anders, watching as their healer then disregarded her so that he could move to engage the remaining genlocks.

Anders had never battled in the same way that typical mages would, which involved a lot of pointing staffs at their quarry while remaining rooted in place. The apostate instead was in constant motion, flowing with the steps to a dance of his own. Always in the distance, separated from his fellows in order to survey and provide aid where it was most needed. And as he moved, his staff moved with him; twirling at his side, arcing behind his back, spinning over one arm before halting its motion within the grasp of his other hand - all done with a singular, unbroken grace. Had he not been wielding spell work, an outsider could have confused him for a knight practicing with a pike, for he carried himself with utter physical assurance.

Unfortunately such prowess did not make him a master in all areas of combat, for as he cast his spells at the throng in the distance one of Oghren's playthings strayed from its fellows, charging at the mage single-mindedly. Abandoning his spell-work, Anders tried to evade the coming attack, but had not acted quickly enough.

Yet there was one among them who had. For, like an invisible breeze in the night air, Hawke swept in between the mage and the monstrous warrior. The creature before her gargled a protesting sound as she spun around it before its sword could find her; her blade circling round its throat, leaving a slick back line in its wake. From behind her prey the rogue's crossed arms flung out to either side, her stained daggers severing the head from the neck with pitiful ease. Disdainfully she planted a booted foot to the creature's back and pushed, toppling the thing over and splattering Anders' jacket with the genlock's blood. A quick assessment of her comrade found him whole and unharmed, as Anders cringed down at his clothing mournfully.

"This will never wash out," he bemoaned to himself and, without conscious thought of what she was doing, Hawke chuckled. The sound brought them both to a start and for a moment the pair simply stood before each other, watching and waiting to see how the other might respond. The silence did not remain between them for long.

"Well" Oghren panted lightly as he sauntered up to the tableau, oblivious of the tension, his axe dripping gore over his shoulder, "that was fun. What say we go find some more uglies to break into pudding, eh?" 




Hawke eventually found herself recalling one of her chief complaints with the Deep Roads; for as their party traveled deeper and deeper, it became increasingly difficult to keep track of time. Closer to the entrances, where they were not so far removed from the surface, openings to the sky above were more frequent, giving them some measurement of the passage of time.

Based on their sleeping and eating routine, Hawke surmised that at least a full week had passed since she had last glimpsed daylight through one of these small fissures, and roughly a week and a half since she had first entered the Deep Roads.

With the darkspawn attacks increasing in both frequency and ferocity, the fatigue of those battles upsetting her body's natural sense of time, and the air about them growing increasingly stale and fetid the further in they traveled, Hawke felt her patience with their progress fraying at both ends.

So when Anders suggested, after another immeasurable stretch, that they stop and make camp for a few hours Hawke did not attempt to douse her temper.

"I don't see why we're doing this," she continued to grouse, flattening out her bedroll while watching Anders light the fire with his bare fingers, "We don't know it's evening, do we? We've no idea how long we've been walking really - it could have been just a few hours."

The mage before her stood, pulling at his neck in a clear display of fatigue. "Does it matter what time it is? We need to rest so we stopped."

"No," Hawke remarked pointedly, " you needed to rest. I feel fine."

"You always did consider yourself to be a good liar, didn't you?" He replied, yet his tone indicated that he did not share her opinion. "I can tell just by looking at you that you're exhausted. Probably more-so than us." He gestured first to himself and then in Oghren's direction. "And don't think I haven't noticed that you're not eating properly, for that matter. Now, are you going to lay down or do I have to immobilize you?"

From his watch post atop a large piece of crumbled masonry, Oghren guffawed. "Admit it. That's the same line he used the first time you let him cork the skin barrel." The vulgar dysphemism caused Hawke's throat to lurch in a barely suppressed gag. It was bad enough that the dwarf knew of their former relationship - but that he frequently felt the need and apparent entitlement to discuss the more intimate parts of it had only taken her opinion of the berserker down to near contemptible status.

"Maker! Are you ever not offensive?" She demanded through a dry swallow, gripping her head as though trying to forcibly hold her sanity in place. "Do you even know what tact is?"

"That gear you put on a horse before you mount it," Oghren guessed and then smiled lewdly "or a woman, if she's into that sort of thing."

Hawke's hand dropped to her dagger, her grip secured upon the handle, and was immediately stilled by warm fingers atop her own.

"Are you alright?" Anders murmured, leaning from one side to the other in an attempt to look her in the eyes. Hawke glared down at the offending appendage.

"I told you I'm fine," she said peevishly, wrenching her hand free from his. "I certainly don't need you touching me." Amber eyes seeking out hers stilled as the mouth beneath them tightening into a thin line.

"Right then," Anders replied briskly, rising to his feet and striding across their small encampment. "I guess that settles it. Get some sleep. I'll take second watch after the dwarf." Tired of arguing, Hawke laid back on her bedroll, turning her back to the party so that her shoulders and spine were warmed comfortably by the fire. And if the stone beneath her bedding was too hard she could not tell.

"Wake me when it's my turn at watch." She muttered, listening for a response yet hearing only the sound of fabric rustling from the direction of Anders' own bedroll and the soft drag of whetstone on steel coming from Oghren's position.

Yet as she lay there, a feeling of shame soon began to wash over her. Since the aftermath of that first fight something had changed between them. She would not have gone so far as to say that they were friends. It was more of an unspoken agreement: she let go of her hostility and he respected her need for a certain amount of distance. It was civil, polite.

And she had just disrupted that.

"Anders?" She called softly without turning to face him. "I'm sorry."

There was a moment of silence before his voice lifted quietly from his bedroll. "It's fine. Get some rest. You'll feel better, for it."

Despite herself, Hawke managed to drift off rather quickly; her dreams nonsensical in the way they became whenever she was bone weary. Images that included her mother, and Horse, and that strange boy with the enormous hat Varric had introduced her to in Skyhold floated in and out of her thoughts in a hazy manner that was not uncomfortable. Eventually she found herself as a young girl sitting in a sunny glade before her sister's slight back, braiding the long, dark hair combed out before her. Bethany was humming quietly, her childish voice lowering a little as the tune went on. As Hawke's braiding progressed Bethany's voice dipped lower than what a girl her age should have been capable of. Heedless of the curiosity, Hawke continued her task, enjoying the warmth of the sun on her back as she worked.

Three more twists and Bethany's voice had dropped to a masculine baritone.

Hawke's fingers completed another twist.

The song lost all semblance melody as it dropped to an eery rumble.

Another deft move of her fingers.

The ground beneath her began to vibrate with the sound.

Hawke's fingers moved to complete another loop.

A hand gripped her shoulder fiercely and she gasped-

-and bolted upright to find herself in the dull light of the Deep Roads with Anders half-kneeling beside her, shaking her with one hand as the other clutched his staff. Beyond her back the rumbling from her dream was still present and growing louder.

"Hawke! Get up!" The mage's eyes were wild; his hair unbound and disheveled as it usually appeared when he first woke. Beyond his shoulder Oghren was stepping into his bulky boots, his eye narrowed and trained on the direction of the sound.

As though she had just been thrown into a frozen lake, Hawke's mind awoke to clear, uncompromising panic with the memory of what that sound signified. Her hands found her daggers and her belt-pouch through reflex alone, and then she was on her feet.

Just as the ogre tore into sight and straight into their camp.

"Shit!" Hawke dove to one-side, her hand tangling into a feather pauldron as well as the strap of her pack, wrenching Anders along with her in time to avoid the tree-stump thick legs as they thundered passed. "What in Andraste's name happened?"

"The lout fell asleep!" Anders bellowed, his hand bursting into flames as he hurtled the first fireball into the following throng of darkspawn. Pausing only long enough to secure her pouch to her hip, Hawke spun to face off against the first creature that came upon her, slashing at whatever bared flesh she could find.

The battle was disorientating. Having had no opportunity to set eyes on their enemy prior to the fight, she had lost both the element of surprise and the chance to select her preferred target; luxuries she had become all too accustomed to over the years. Now she fought from a strictly survival mentality - there was no time to savor in her skills or the thrill of the electricity in her veins. For while she had faced larger hordes in the past, the ogre and the magic-wielding hurlock in their midst tipped the scales.

And this time Hawke's troupe was a party of just three.

"Hawke," Anders' voice called from somewhere behind her, "the mage!" Hawke spun and found their apostate dueling against the staff-wielding hurlock, which was presently glowing faintly from the magical shield it had erected; all but nullifying Anders' attempts to dispatch it.

"Get the ogre," she shouted above the commotion, "I'll take care of this one!" While they desperately needed the number of enemies diminished, the ogre was still rushing about like an enraged druffolo, making it all but impossible to pick a position and engage an enemy effectively. Yet with Anders distracting the colossus, and Oghren content to plant himself firmly in the midst of a swarm of darkspawn warriors, the pair could very well buy her enough time to at least take another substantial threat out.

Without giving her current situation further thought Hawke sprinted for the hurlock, ignoring the searing pain of frozen shards that shredded the skin of her hip and upper thigh as she spun and skipped lightly around atop the balls of her feet so that she could strike at the creature with all of the momentum he body could provide. As she whirled madly before her foe her daggers carved great gouges in the grotesque staff and flesh before her in rapid succession. Yet for all her impressive effort, the darkspawn mage staggered and then rallied, throwing off cracking blue lightening that sent Hawke evasively skidding away on her boot soles and heals of her hands before rushing back in-

-only to be knocked back bodily by a fully developed fireball.

Unthinking of anything beyond the heat enveloping her Hawke shrieked, dropping to the ground and rolling about as she beat at the flames with her laden fists, slicing into her own legs with her daggers in her panic.

"Hawke!" The terror in Anders' voice as he screamed to her only succeeded in intensifying her own horror, and without thought beyond the searing pain at her torso and thighs, she continued flailing even when a dark figure over her began buffeting her burning clothing with her. "Just hold on, Hawke! I'm here! I'm here!"

Somehow reason returned to her enough for her to understand that it was Anders above her, dousing the flames. When at last the last lick of fire had been snuffed from her body she reached for her belt pouch with trembling, raw hands, pushing Anders away with her arm.

"Go!" She insisted, pulling a glass vial from the pack as she stood. "I'll be fine!" Anders was away from her instantly, understanding all too well the danger they faced in grouping up at the moment. Neither possessed the fortitude to cover physical attacks for the both of them.

Pouring the entirety of the healing potion down her throat, Hawke felt the tingling itch of healing wounds and burns over her body as she circled around again to the hurlock, which now watched Anders intently as he moved across their makeshift battlefield. Employing every bit of her stealth abilities to avoid detection until she was behind the creature, Hawke plunged her daggers just beneath the base of its skull before spreading her arms and splitting its neck, showering herself in its blood.

Beyond the falling hurlock blue light glowed brightly from the other side of the battlefield - Oghren had been knocked unconscious amidst the genlocks that still stood and Anders was beside him, working to revive the dwarf while fending off the surviving darkspawn that circled them. Yet it was clearly difficult to wield his staff from a crouch on the ground, and when a darkspawn blade sliced open his forearm the mage cried out, fumbling his staff as he did.

Immediately Hawke rushed in, positioning herself between her comrades and their foes. It was foolish and dangerous and nearly suicidal, but if Anders fell before he could heal and revive Oghren they were all as good as dead.

Or at least they would wish they were.

Her daggers flashed as she fended off blades from multiple sides, howling for Anders to hurry. She knew perfectly well that she was at a disadvantage here. She could not afford to employ stealth for the sake of the others, could not move from her spot to dance around her quarry or else sacrifice the healer and the warrior, and possessed nowhere hear enough strength to hold this many darkspawn at bay for long.

And then, as if to prove how ineffective she was at playing the warrior class, an arrow impaled her left shoulder and she grunted, unable to pause in her desperate fighting to tear the thing free or even break it off to avoid jostling it. Yet her left arm moved awkwardly, preventing her from striking away the second arrow as it pierced her armor and buried itself between the ribs at her side. The cry that wrenched from her throat was more surprised horror than pain. The archer was trying for her heart.

"Anders?!" There was no point in false bravado; she was about to die if they didn't-

"The Void take you - get up!" The mage roared behind her, and in response plate mail clattered as a rough voice grunted at her back.

"Eh? Wha-? Aye. Get out of my way, you walking pincushion!" Without bothering to bristle at the insult Hawke stepped aside as Oghren barreled through like the ogre they had by some miracle of the Maker not fallen to these passed few seconds. His axe swung out wide; slicing through air and drawing great gouts of blood from several of the beasts that had surrounded Hawke moments before. As though possessed Oghren drew the genlocks to him, shouting taunts and battle cries as he flung his axe wildly at whatever moved near him; his roar a near constant litany of wordless rage.

Pain and nausea rolled through her body in waves and Hawke doubled over, dry-heaving uselessly as her hand reaching up to wrap around the shaft at her side; the straining of her abdominal muscles tearing a new path of fire across her ribs.

"Don't touch it," Anders reached for her, his hands already glowing blue as he braced his staff against his side, and this time she did not flinch away. Setting a deft hand to the arrow Anders dislodged the projectile with a single pull, shushing her as she cried out and placing hands flaring blue over the open wound immediately.

Yet the merciful kiss of his magic hadn't even passed beyond skin-deep when the massive purple-grey shadow was upon them, and Hawke screamed wordlessly.

Instantly forgetful of her pain and injuries, Hawke threw herself bodily against the mage's shoulder, toppling him off to one side as the horned crown dropped lower, colliding with her head and shoulder and sending her skittering like a stone across a pond's surface; stopping only when she collided with the wall some twenty paces back.

For a moment she simply lay there, unable to form a single coherent though, until at last the sound of a terrible roar filling the chamber caught her attention through the ringing in her ears.

Her first instinct had been to get to her feet, yet she found that it was impossible to move. Every limb felt as heavy and useless as shapeless lumps of smelted metal. Thankfully, though, the pain that had been radiating from every part of her being was slowly ebbing away, replaced by a fatigue she welcomed without hesitation.

Opening the one eye that would respond to her wishes, Hawke glimpsed a figure bathed in blue lunging at the ogre with a sword nearly as long as its wielder was tall. She watched with a detached fascination as long, black tears opened on the ogre's skin, bleeding black rivulets down grey flesh to the pavers beneath. Great clawed hands raked out towards its newest assailant only to have one of the appendages mangled by the deadly blade. Moments passed and Hawke continued to watch the blue light moved relentlessly against the darkspawn, spilling something dark and wet from its belly. The monster's growl gargled into a low whine as it pitched forward onto its knees, impaling its head from beneath the chin onto the great sword that had brought it down.

Further off in the distance she could hear the persistent roaring and clashing metal of a small skirmish, until that, too, died away and their surroundings fell silent.

And dark.

Dark but for the blue glow which was now right before her eye, kneeling and pulling at her face with armored hands before it flickered and dimmed into the shadowed figure of a man. "Vehedes!" Though the tone of the word was furious, Hawke felt oddly happy. She knew that shadow tipped in silver... and at that moment it seemed completely natural that he should be there.

Fenris had come for her.

"I remember that one," she mumbled around a mouthful of hot copper, "it means... means..."

A metal-tipped thumb traced lightly over her lips. "Save your strength," he commanded quietly, then turned his head in the direction of another shadow. "Mage - do something!" The figure at his side was moving; pushing him aside.

"Out of my way," It was Anders, and she could feel his soft grip take the place of Fenris' gauntlets, his hands sliding through her hair to rest his fingertips at the base of her skull. "Hawke? Hawke, you stay with me. Do you hear me? Stay with me."

Hawke hummed obediently, and felt the cool tingle of healing magic plunge through her, lacing down her spine and up to her scalp; spreading through her insides and down into her limbs. Above her Anders face drew taught. "Maker... this is bad."

"Keep your thoughts to yourself!" The warrior beside him spat and Hawke scowled, or considered scowling, at any rate. Her face felt oddly numb despite the tingle that was trying to flood her.

"No... fighting." She slurred, her eye slipping closed.

"Hawke?!" Fenris' voice sounded angry and yet something else. Not frightened; Fenris was never afraid. Yet it did sound strangely like fear to her...

She wanted to open her eyes, to respond, but her body was stone, and she instead contented herself to drift off, away from her body and the last of the pain. Beyond the darkness Fenris' voice rose in fevered pitch, yet quieter to her ears now. "Hawke! No! I will not allow it!"

She could hear Anders' voice then; the words unrecognizable to her.

But, it didn't matter, she thought.

And then she thought no more.



I Remain At Your Side - Ch 9

I used to hate writing fight scenes. I always found the end result boring, or repetitive. But I've slowly become more comfortable with writing these scenes, and now I have to say that when I really get going they can be exciting to envision. You literally have to play the scene out in your head as you go to make sure it makes sense. I just hope that it is as exciting to read as it is to write.

I crave me some feedback - so let me have it if you've got it! ;)



I've never done one of these games on dA before - this should be fun!
  • The first 20 people to comment will be featured below via three images from their gallery of my choosing.
  • If you comment, you must to do the same in your journal, putting the tagger (me) and three pieces of my art on the first place.
  • The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone!
  • Mood: Zeal
  • Listening to: DA2 sountrack - the WHOLE thing!
  • Reading: Smut. Lots of smut.
  • Watching: Nothing much.
  • Playing: Dragon Age Inqusition (Cullllllleeeennnnn)
  • Eating: Healthy!
  • Drinking: No more pop!!! (IKR?!?!?!)

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Add a Comment:
ToxicantDreamer Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Student Writer
Quick question about your fanfiction works "I Remain at Your Side" how much of a spoiler alert is it for Inquisition? I've only played the very beginning of the game so I'd rather wait to read the rest of your story if it goes in really deep?? Lonely 
(1 Reply)
MLHawke Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
So, I just rediscovered your Rare and Wonderful Thing story... It still melts me! Love, love, love it still!
(1 Reply)
Koofins Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Have you gotten to play Dragon Age: Inquisition yet??? owo I remember your Origins fanfiction being one of my FAAAVS back in the day, and wondered if the new game was to your liking or not!!!
(1 Reply)
CriticalThreat Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
Loving "Of Gods and Heroes." I haven't been too entrenched in the Fable fandom for a couple years now, but I like to revisit it now and again. Characterization and entertaining turns of phrase are a couple of my serious soft spots. Your story made me grin so much! It was like a reunion with old friends. ^_^
(1 Reply)
wildfire707 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hiyas, I just wanted to thank you for the llama badge, I really appreciate it. :) It's always nice to find another fan of Fable. Hope to hear from you again!
(1 Reply)
japillar Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
Thanks for the badge :)
Tinalbion Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for joining :iconben-finn-fans: my friend!!!
We are proud to have you as a member!
(1 Reply)
alyssacousland Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
Thanks so much for the llama! :D Hug 
indiegarona Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Professional Photographer
Thanks for the llama!  :)
b3t0n4l1c3 Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Loved your DA:O fanfiction. I find myself returning to it unashamedly whenever I'm bored or in need of inspiration. Lovely, lovely work!
(1 Reply)
NaokoYamashita Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the fav^^
PAulie-SVK Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
thanks for LL =D
Tinalbion Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the :llama:
paola94 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
:iconllamalancheplz: :wave:
DatorVitae Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the llama. :)
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