arwingyoshi: (anders)
[personal profile] arwingyoshi
Title: Bound Forever
Pairing: Anders/M!Hawke
Summary: Kink-Meme fill. During the incident at the Blooming Rose, a combination of blood magic and spirit energy causes a mental link between Anders and Hawke.
Rating: NC-17


Sometimes Janus Hawke wondered how he got himself into these messes.

Until a year ago, the redheaded rogue was just a lowly refugee, working as a smuggler to pay off the bribes to get him and his family into Kirkwall. By the Void, it was only recently that he was able to leave that elf’s services. Now he had a slew of unusual friends and was constantly getting himself in trouble, either because there was coin to be had or because he couldn’t turn down anyone in trouble.

That was how he ended up in this mess. He had seen that crying girl worrying about her Templar brother being in trouble. Though Janus didn’t care one bit for Templars, he figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least look for the man and ease her woes. The next thing he knew, he was helping the Knight-Captain expose a plot to make Templars into abominations. It was the kind of thing you would expect to hear in one of Varric’s wild tales.

With Anders, Aveline, and Varric in tow, they entered the Blooming Rose, as Cullen suggested, and were directed to Idunna. Well, might as well just get this over with.

The four entered Idunna’s chambers, prepared to interrogate her and nothing more. It wasn’t until she invited Hawke to bed that things became strange. For starters, his friends inexplicably sided with Idunna over him.

“Hawke, go easy on this lovely creature,” Varric suggested.

“It can’t be easy for a girl in her position,” Aveline added, a note of pity in her voice.

“We should just do what she says,” Anders finished. With him it was the most obvious that something wasn’t right, since he just droned out his words.

“You should listen to your friends,” Idunna said smugly.

“What’s wrong with you all?” Hawke snapped. “We’re here to interrogate her.”

His friends didn’t answer. Idunna chimed in again, voice as sultry as ever, “Tell you what. I’ll talk if you answer one of my questions. Who told you about little old me?”

Hawke was about to tell her that he just heard a rumor, but his words were strangled in his throat. He felt a commanding presence in his mind, trying to force the truth out of him. The rogue tried to fight, but wound up blurting out a confession that Vivika told them about her.

All sultriness gone, Idunna stood up. “That little weasel, I’ll deal with her later. But first, I need you to do one more thing for me. Draw your blade, and bring it gently to your throat..."

Hawke was powerless to resist, and even though he tried to make his hand still, his body wouldn't obey him. Against his will, he drew his knife and pressed the blade against his neck. Gathering all of his willpower and concentrating as hard as he could, Hawke gasped out, "Anders... make her stop..."

Through the haze of control, Anders glanced at his friend and seemed to register that he was in danger. Blue flashed across his eyes right as the mage raised his hands and said, "Let go... of my friends!"

This was followed by a wave of magic and Hawke felt a mental backlash from the combination of being hit with the spell and Idunna's hold on him snapping. He was too caught up in the sensations to notice the deep undertone in Anders' voice.

Beaten and realizing that she was out of her game, the blood mage sang like a bird.

---

"Well, this was some day, wasn't it?" Janus asked casually.

"You can say that again," the mage agreed.

After dealing with Idunna, the four of them dealt with her cohorts and sent Keran on his way after Anders tested him for demonic possession. Fortunately, Cullen had taken their word and let Karan keep his position, though Janus still couldn't find himself to like the Knight-Captain, especially not after his biting remarks about mages.

Varric had gone back to the Hanged Man and Aveline had returned to the barracks once the ordeal was over, while Janus had offered to walk with Anders back to Darktown. He had come to enjoy the mage's company in the short time they'd known each other.

"Demons and psychopaths out for our souls… All in all, an average weekday," Janus joked. Anders just rolled his eyes.

Janus rubbed his face a little, causing Anders to look at him with concern. "Is something wrong?"

The rogue ran his hand down his face, settling on that little patch of stubble on his chin, and looked up at the mage, "I think I'm still trying to shake off the fact that I was mentally violated today." Ever since the Blooming Rose, Janus's mind had felt oddly cluttered and heavy. He had trouble keeping his thoughts straight throughout the day and still felt like there was someone trying to get at his mind.

"Not sure if I can do anything about that," Anders said. "I think you'll just have to sleep it off."

"Some healer you are," The rogue gave Anders a playful jab to the side.

It wasn't much longer before they reached the clinic, where patients had piled up slightly in Anders’ absence. The volunteers had done what they could, but there were some that needed Anders’ healing touch. Janus wasn't too eager to go back to Gamlen's shack just yet, so he asked if he could just hang out for a while longer. Anders was always welcoming to the other man's company, so of course he said yes.

Janus cleaned and bandaged wounds, and generally did whatever he could to help out, before the patients either went home or went to sleep in their cots for the night. The rogue and the mage sat down on Ander's personal cot in the back room once they were done and Anders closed shop, sharing laughs and stories.

But still, the odd feeling in his head wouldn't go away. "I should probably get home. Mother and Bethany might start to worry."

Anders nodded. "See you tomorrow?"

"I could probably work you in between killing qunari rebels and defacing the giant statue of Andraste in the Chantry," This time Anders smiled at his joke and bade him goodbye.

That night, the itchy straw bed wasn't the only thing keeping Janus awake. Trying to get to sleep was hard enough, since his mind wouldn't sit still. He kept forming fuzzy, half-formed thoughts and he wasn't sure where they came from.

When he did finally get to sleep, he was plagued by nightmares about the darkspawn and woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

---

The next day started out quiet, thankfully. Varric had a few leads on work opportunities, but nothing solid just yet. Janus had written off his nightmare as lingering guilt and terror about the day the fled Lothering. He had gotten plenty of dreams where Carver - and sometimes Mother and Bethany even - died all over again for at least a month after they escaped the Blight. Curious that the dreams would pop up again now; stranger still was that Carver wasn't in last night's dream.

The heavy feeling in his mind had mostly gone away, though he still felt his thoughts clutter at random. For some reason he had frequent thoughts of buying elfroot.

Around lunchtime a courier arrived with a letter requesting Hawke's assistance. There was no name anywhere on the letter, just that it was "a friend", which didn't exactly narrow it down. It could have been a trap - Maker knew he already had plenty of enemies by now - but if it was genuine, he couldn't pass up the chance to get more coin.

Thus, he rounded up Anders, Merril, and Varric for a trip outside of town, somewhere between the Wounded Coast and Sundermount.

As it turned out, the anonymous friend was Ser Thrask, the man who helped them with the boy, Feynriel. Why was Janus constantly getting himself involved in Templar matters? He had no love for the order, and the few he’d met were incompetent at best and sadists at worst.

Thrask explained the situation: a group of apostates from Starkhaven were holed up in the cave just behind the Templar. The Templar wanted Hawke to go in and solve the problem, since he was a neutral party and not an easily recognizable Templar.

Hawke was about to say something when a sudden rush of anger coursed through him.

“We are not helping you kill apostates!” Anders growled.

Hawke shook his head to clear it and actually listen to what Thrask was saying. The Templar wanted the rogue to just talk with the mages and convince them to surrender peacefully.

“I’ll do my best,” Hawke said. “I don’t want to see any mage suffer.”

Just like before, the rogue felt a rush of emotion go through him unexpectedly, only this time it was appreciation and happiness. He turned to Anders, who looked away right at that moment, but not before Hawke caught a hint of a smile.

That was odd. He felt anger right before Anders yelled at the Templar, and felt happiness when he promised not to hurt the apostates right as Anders smiled at him. Janus shook his head again. This could be looked at when they were back in Kirkwall. Right now they had a job to do.


That had gone better than expected, really. The group had killed the head blood mage, but couldn’t bring themselves to turn the others over to the Circle. Varric’s quick tongue had saved the day, convincing the Templars that Hawke was one a fellow Templar from Ferelden and that the mages had fled out the back. This allowed the mages to escape with the Templars none the wiser.

Right now, Janus was only concerned about what he had experienced before going into the cave. It wasn’t just before they went in either. During the battle, his sense of urgency felt doubled, and after it was over, for a second he had felt like agreeing with Anders that Thrask had to die. He had gotten ahold of himself quickly, telling them that Thrask was one of the few Templars who didn’t deserve to die and instead would just lie to the Templars. When it was all over, the sense of satisfaction that came with helping people was echoed within his own mind.

Except… the echo had the distinct feeling of “we helped mages”, not just “we helped people”.

He knew it was crazy, but it was almost as if his emotions were in sync with Anders’.

He wondered if he should tell Anders or just keep this quiet, so as not to scare the mage. Then again, who was to say this didn’t go both ways? Perhaps Anders was receiving Hawke’s emotions and thoughts as well. No, Anders was his friend, and he had to know.


The next morning, Janus got dressed as quickly as possible so he could head for Darktown. He would have skipped breakfast if his mother hadn’t caught him and made him take a slice of bread with him for the road.

It was early enough that the clinic wasn’t swimming in people needing healing yet. Anders was prescribing someone a salve – for what, Hawke didn’t want to know – and didn’t seem to notice his friend at first. Not wanting to interrupt, Hawke stood to the side and put his hands behind his back to wait.

Right as the healer handed the salve over, he looked over his shoulder, right at Hawke. The rogue hadn’t even given his presence away.

Once the patient was gone, Hawke approached the mage. “You’re here early,” Anders said casually. “Here to drag me to the Wounded Coast to fight raiders, or did the Bone Pit get another dragon infestation?”

“No, all’s quiet so far,” Not that it would stay that way for long. “Listen, can we talk… in private?”

Anders gave him a knowing frown, making Hawke suspect the worst. The mage tilted his head, signaling for Hawke to follow him, and lead the rogue to the small room in the back where he slept.

The rogue took a deep breath, steeling himself for what he was about to ask. “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before,” Hawke said, trying to keep his tone light. “So, a rogue looks at a mage and says ‘What are you thinking about? Oh wait, that’s a dumb question’?”

Anders blinked, and then his expression turned concerned. “You’ve felt it too, haven’t you? You’ve been hearing my thoughts, feeling what I feel…”

Hawke looked away, all attempts at humor gone. “Yes, ever since the Blooming Rose.”

“It’s even happening right now. I can feel your worry, just as you’re feeling mine. You’re scared.”

“I thought it was just a lingering effect of the blood magic at first,” Hawke said. “Do you think Idunna’s spell caused this?”

“I’ve never heard of blood magic doing this,” Anders confessed. “But… When you begged for my help, I couldn’t break the compulsion without turning to Justice for help. He lent me his strength and power for a moment, and that’s what saved you.”

“So, between the blood magic and the power of a Fade spirit… When they clashed…” It was a crazy thought, but Hawke couldn’t think of any other possibilities.

“It’s possible,” Anders admitted, feeling Hawke’s thoughts. “Idunna had taken control of us and Justice threw his own power into breaking it. Who’s to say the two magics didn’t bleed into one-another?”

“So you’ve never heard of this sort of thing happening?”

Anders shook his head, “Never.”

“Maybe I can ask Merrill, she might know…”

Just as Hawke’s words were drowned in a wave of anger, the mage snapped, “No! I don’t want to know what sort of twisted solution she might come up with!” When Anders saw his friend rub his forehead, the anger was replaced with worry once again. “I think we should just keep this between the two of us for now anyway.”

Flashes of their companions judging them flashed through Hawke’s mind. He could see Fenris and Aveline looking at them, saying that Anders and Justice had tainted Hawke, calling him an abomination. The rogue clutched his head to try and rid himself of the images. He sensed Anders concern and the images suddenly stopped as the mage willed himself to stop thinking.

“I’m sorry,” Anders apologized. “This is going to take some getting used to.”

Hawke took his hands off his head. “I know. We’ll work through this.” He sighed. “Could we get ahold of any Tevinter research? If anyone’s run into this sort of thing, it would be them.”

“I can try, but I make no promises,” Anders said.

“Right, in the meantime we just keep doing what we’ve always been doing, saving the day, making life hard for bad Templars, that sort of thing,” Janus said, trying to sound cheerful. There was no question of whether Ander saw through him or not.

-----

As the week went on, and the group continued to save up the coin for the expedition, things still weren’t looking up. Tevinter notes and tomes weren’t available at every library and book store in Kirkwall, for one. The few things Anders could find from Tevintor or just on blood magic in general said nothing of mental bonds. Blood magic only told of how to control a man, not link two people together.

Anders had even tried to ask Justice for advice on the matter, but the spirit was just as confused by it all.

This was not my intent when I lent you my power that day, The spirit had told Anders.

“And you’ve never seen this happen, even with other spirits?”

I have not. And only demons know and teach the ways of drawing magic from the blood.

Anders caught the implication, and decided to drop the subject for now.

He would occasionally get flashes of Hawke’s thoughts, mostly concerning his family and how he hoped to move them into the old Amell estate if the expedition paid off. It must have been nice to have a family. Anders barely remembered his, after he’d been snatched away from them as a child.

Despite himself, whenever he wasn’t working and Hawke just happened to be having those family thoughts, Anders would close his eyes and let those thoughts flow through him. He wanted to know what that was like, having a family to call your own. Fortunately for him, their bond didn’t let one know when one was actively spying on the other’s thoughts. He didn’t think his friend would appreciate that.

One rainy afternoon, when Hawke actually had some free time and could slip away from his family, the rogue came down to the clinic to check the mage’s progress. The two went into Ander’s room for some privacy.

“Any luck yet?”

“None, I’m afraid. It’s been difficult trying to find Tevinter research, and nothing I have found say anything helpful. Even Justice doesn’t know what to make of all of this.”

Hawke sighed. “I think Bethany’s begun to notice. She says I’ve looked ‘distracted’ lately.” The rogue rubbed his eyes. “I told her I’m just worn out from everything that’s happened this week. That and I’ve been having nightmares.”

Anders could sense that Hawke was telling the truth about that last part, and a sudden realization hit him. “You’ve been having my Grey Warden nightmares.” Hawke nodded. “I… I’m sorry.”

Hawke put his hand on Ander’s shoulder. “I know you don’t control those, so I’m not blaming you for them.” The mage sensed truth again, but also that Hawke wanted this problem taken care of soon. That was Hawke, always being friendly and thoughtful, even when he wasn’t alright.

“If our bond is that strong, though, what else does this mean?” Anders pondered, “What if one of us dies? The shock alone could have horrid results.”

“You won’t die if I can help it,” Hawke said fiercely, his determination blazing through Anders’ mind so quickly and vigorously that it left him stunned.

Feeling suddenly awkward, Hawke took his hand off Anders’ shoulder.

“Maybe I should let you get back to work,” Hawke said, forcing his mind to go blank as he turned around and reached for the daggers he left on the crate, setting them on his back.

“Hawke,” The rogue turned around when Anders addressed him. The apostate was hanging his head, not wanting to meet his friend’s gaze. “I’m not sure we’ll be able to undo this anytime soon. Chances are we may never rid ourselves of this.”

Hawke sighed. “If that turns out to be the case… we’ll just make due. And I promise it’ll be our secret.” He felt Anders’ appreciation and it made him smile. The smile didn’t last long, however. “But, just hear me out… if we run out of options, we’ll try going to Merrill. Only if we run out of options,” He added, before Anders could put words to his irritation.

The mage sighed, “Fine.”

“Thank you, Anders,” Anders might have condemned Merrill for her use of blood magic, but Hawke had actually come to see her talents as useful. She didn’t use her powers for malicious purposes, and only used it on people who tried to kill her or her friends. Not to mention it was nice having a blood mage on their side.

“We’ll figure this out and get through it,” Hawke said reassuringly. “Together.”

Anders nodded, face stoic. It still didn’t stop Hawke from feeling his friend’s internal warmth. His delight at Hawke’s sheer presence… Or maybe that was coming from Hawke himself, reacting to Anders.

-----

The day finally came when Hawke had finally gathered the coin he needed, and he couldn’t put off the expedition another day. The trip would take weeks as it was, and if they waited any longer there would be more darkspawn than they were prepared to face.

Hawke had asked Anders to come with him, since he was the only healer in the group and his Grey Warden abilities would give them a heads up for any darkspawn. Even though Anders wanted nothing to do with the Deep Roads ever again, he couldn’t turn down his friend. He wanted to make sure Janus was safe. The thought of anything happening to him down there was unbearable.

The trip had gone well, up until Bartrand left them to die.

So here they were, trapped in a long-abandoned Thaig, having been betrayed by Varric’s brother over a strange lyrium idol. He and Hawke also learned that sensing darkspawn didn’t carry over the bond. Apparently you actually needed the taint for that.

Hawke and Anders thought they were doing a pretty good job of hiding their condition to Bethany and Varric so far; especially since they were trapped down here with no guarantee to see the surface ever again. Hawke ignored the flashes of worry and irritation that came from Anders occasionally, though it did show up on the rogue’s face at one point, because Bethany gave her brother a look.

“You’re acting very strangely again,” Bethany noted.

“It’s nothing,” Hawke replied. “I’m just wondering if we’ll ever get out of here.”

“Normally when you get those kinds of worries you don’t look like you’re about to cuss out everything in sight,” His sister said.

“I’m fine, really,” Hawke smiled half-heartedly. When Bethany shrugged and turned away from him, the rogue exchanged glances with Anders. Now the mage knew that Hawke hadn’t been kidding when he said Bethany had been observant.

Eventually their path took them even deeper, and Anders mentioned that he couldn’t sense darkspawn anymore. Instead, the group ran into shades and creatures made of rock. The rock creatures were a new one to them, even Anders, the one who’d been to the Deep Roads before.

Things became even stranger when a hunger demon blocked their path. The thing had been watching them and was tired of seeing Hawke and his friends kill his minions or whatever they were to him. Hawke agreed to hear the thing out at least. The demon offered them a way out, back the way they had come, in exchange for killing the creature standing between them and the key.

“It’s tempting,” Hawke admitted.

Anders looked at him, aghast. “Are you mad? This thing’s a demon! It’ll only trip you up once you complete your end of the bargain.”

Hawke opened his mouth to argue with Anders, that this thing might be their only way of getting home, when the rogue suddenly found himself filled with hatred for the creature before them, and a desire to see it wiped away from existence. This was a demon, a foul being. It was ruled by its own gluttony and fed off others’ suffering.

The rogue turned back to the hunger demon and snarled, “Begone, foul demon!” He whipped his daggers off his back and charged at the thing. The others took that as incentive and helped their leader in the fight.

It was only after they were surrounded by the rocky remains of the thing and its minions that Hawke realized what he had said. He chalked it up to the bond. Yet, there was something different about it this time. What he had felt was righteous anger, and it had felt different from Anders. In the time they’d spent bonded, Hawke had gotten a feel for Anders’ mind. That hadn’t felt like Anders at all, though.

Had that been Justice?

Hawke shook his head, clearing it. This could wait until they were someplace safer and away from the prying ears of Varric and Bethany.

-----

Not long after the encounter with the demon, they had run into the creature the demon had been talking about. It was a rock wraith, like the ones they had ran into earlier, only bigger. Much bigger.

It was a long battle, and healing was required more than once, but they ultimately won the day. They also found the treasure it had been guarding, including the key the hunger demon had mentioned. Anders was more than a little smug at the fact that they had gotten themselves out of their mess without the demon’s aid.

Once they filled their bags and pockets with as much treasure as they could carry, the four of them sat down to make camp for the night. After that fight and all the walking, they needed rest. After a small dinner, Hawke volunteered Anders and himself for watch duty. He really needed to speak to the mage.

Once Varric and Bethany were asleep, Hawke pulled Anders aside and whispered to him, “We need to talk.”

Anders nodded. Hawke had been unable to make his mind stop fussing over what had come over him during the encounter with the hunger demon.

“I hadn’t considered it before,” Anders said, keeping his voice down. “That Justice could reach you.”

“It’s strange,” Hawke scratched his chin, over the little patch of red stubble. “Up until then, I’ve only been getting things from you, not him.”

“Perhaps that’s because he prefers to keep mostly to himself,” Anders paused, thinking. “I have noticed that we only hear each other if we think loudly or strongly enough. I can’t hear you all the time, not when you’re just thinking idle thoughts. Does that make sense?”

Hawke nodded, “I think so.”

“Or perhaps Justice is simply better at hiding his thoughts from you,” The mage said. “But the thought of having to conspire with a demon set him off.”

“His mind felt so… strange. Like something ancient and powerful, brimming with righteous fury,” The rogue looked at the mage, eyes laced with unease. “Is that what it’s like for you, having him inside you and sharing his thoughts?”

Anders wet his lips. “Sometimes,” He admitted. “I’m sorry you had to feel that.”

“And it could happen again,” Hawke pointed out. The idea that Justice couldn’t just read his thoughts, but also influence him worried him. What if he turned into a furious beast like when Justice had taken control of Anders in the Chantry during the failed rescue of Karl?

“Why don’t you get some rest?” Anders suggested, putting a hand on the rogue’s shoulder. “I’ll stand guard for a while.”

Hawke nodded, giving Anders an appreciative smile before walking away from the mage and laying down near his sister and Varric. It took him a long while to actually fall asleep, with the mixture of his and Anders’ thoughts racing through his mind and making him restless.

-----

“Well, this looks familiar,” Varric said. Indeed, it was one of the rooms the group had gone through before reaching the idol. At least they could retrace their steps now.

“About time,” Anders sighed.

“Can we stop for a minute?” Bethany asked, sounding tired.

Hawke couldn’t deny his sister’s request. Years of having to look after the family had made him soft to their needs. Plus, he was tired too, after days of travelling. “Let’s stop and make camp.”

“I’ll wager it was those deep mushrooms we ate,” Varric joked.

“No, it’s not that…” The weakness in his sister’s voice worried Hawke, and he turned around right as her strength gave out and she collapsed.

“Bethany!” Hawke rushed to his sister’s side, cradling her in his lap. His blood ran cold as he got a good look at his sister. She looked just like Wesley did the day they’d fled Lothering.

“It’s the Blight, I can sense it,” Anders said. Hawke was sure his panic and anxiety was transferring to Anders, but he was too focused on his sister to worry about that.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” Hawke cradled Bethany close, as if that would help at all.

“What could you have done?” The younger Hawke asked. Her voice was already growing weaker. “I won’t last until the surface.”

Hawke remembered the anguish in Aveline’s face as she put Wesley to the sword. Both of them had known there was nothing that could be done, and had just accepted it. And now here Bethany was, dying in the same manner. He would have to put a dagger through his own sister. First Carver and now Bethany…

“There may be something we can do,” Anders chimed in. Finally Hawke looked up at the former Grey Warden.

He had already sensed what Anders hand in mind, but for the sake of keeping up appearances, he still asked, “What is it? Tell me!”

“I stole the maps from a Warden visiting Kirkwall. I wanted to know if he was looking for me,” Anders replied. “He wasn’t. The maps were for planning their own expedition into the Deep Roads.”

“Then… the Grey Wardens are here?” Hawke asked.

“If they are, I know where,” Anders replied. “We can bring Bethany to them.”

“And you’re sure that’ll work?” Varric asked.

“It might. But becoming a Warden… it’s irreversible and comes with a terrible price.” The former Warden looked right at Hawke. “You might also never see your sister again.”

“This just keeps sounding better…” Bethany groaned.

Hawke’s throat tightened. So those were his choices? Give Bethany a mercy killing or lose her to the Grey Wardens forever? The rogue looked up at Anders, then down at his dying sister.

“Alright, let’s do it. Lead us to the Wardens,” If it meant keeping Bethany alive, he’d give her up. He lost his brother, but he wasn’t going to lose his sister too.

Hauling his sister to her feet, Hawke and Varric followed Anders down the tunnel. Considering that there was no way Anders couldn’t be feeling Hawke’s thoughts, the healer was doing a better job of keeping himself together than the rogue was.

Thankfully they didn’t have far to go. Within a half hour, the group ran into some darkspawn, which Anders and Varric took care of. Hawke was too busy keeping Bethany close to fight. After dealing with them, sure enough, a group of Wardens showed up.

Hawke stood back and let Anders do the talking, since the senior Warden, Stroud, and he seemed to know each other. Anders assured Stroud that Bethany would make a fine addition to their ranks, and that he owed Anders anyway. Some of the tension finally left Hawke after Stroud finally agreed to take in Bethany. He also made it very clear that Bethany would carry the burden of a Grey Warden for the rest of her life and couldn’t come home to Kirkwall if she survived.

Bethany gave her brother a pitiful look as the people around her decided her fate. “So this is it then?”

“I’m sorry,” Hawke gave her a sad smile. “I wish there had been another way.”

With that, the rogue passed his sister over to the Wardens and watched them vanish down the dark tunnels. That was it then. Bethany was gone forever now. He exchanged miserable glances with Anders. Neither of them needed to say a word aloud.

-----

Things had more or less calmed down since the expedition, and were even starting to look up. Hawke and his mother now had more money than they knew what to do with and the Viscount had allowed them to move into the Amell estate. They were set to move out of Gamlen’s house within the week.

But Anders knew that Hawke wasn’t as happy about it as he should have been.

Anders could sense Hawke’s despair and worry. He feared what would happen to his sister, whether she would even survive her Joining. If she did, it meant he would never see her again anyway. There was no winning in this situation. It had broken his mother’s heart when he came back without Bethany, of course, which didn’t help Hawke’s conscience.

It was a distraction, making it hard for Anders to concentrate. Justice tried to shove the shared feelings away, liking the distraction even less than his host did. But more than that, it broke Anders’ heart to feel the echoes of what Hawke was going through.

He knew Hawke needed to speak to someone, but he couldn’t just up and leave his clinic right now to go visit the rogue. Though he wasn’t as busy as he was earlier in the year, there were still a good number of refugees who needed his help at the moment. Even if he did go visit the other man, Gamlen’s house didn’t offer much in the way of privacy. The last thing either of them wanted was to hear Hawke’s mother or slimy uncle listening in on their conversations. It would just be better if Hawke came to see him at the clinic. Though after what had happened with the templars discovering Karl’s letters, Anders didn’t entirely trust exchanging notes anymore.

But perhaps he could use their bond to his advantage.

When he had a minute to himself, Anders closed his eyes and concentrated. Come to me, Janus. Come to me…

-----

Hawke placed what few things he had brought with him from Lothering into the small chest, along with his mother’s stuff. They hadn’t been able to save much before fleeing, just a few trinkets, one weapon each, and precious memories.

Moving into the estate wasn’t going to be a hassle, since there wasn’t much to move in. Getting the estate straightened and cleaned would be the real challenge. Hawke, Bethany, and their friends had made an awful mess when they killed the slavers.

But it didn’t feel right, going to live there when Bethany was so far away, if she even still lived. She had been so looking forward to being nobility only to have it snatched away from her. And it was his fault.

Hawke sighed and locked the trunk. No need for Gamlen to think he could get a few meager coins out of the family’s remaining possessions, after all.

Come to me, Janus…

The rogue jumped, startled. Was that… Anders?

Come to me…

It was. Anders was calling to him, beckoning him. Strange, they had never used their link in this manner before. True, they could sometimes pick up on each other’s thoughts, but to actively send thoughts to each other as means of communication was new. Hawke knew that he should have felt violated by this, at Anders just inserting his thoughts into his head. But for some reason, it didn’t bother him as much as it should have. Why was Anders even…?

Hawke felt like smacking himself. Anders must have been sensing his misery over Bethany. The rogue had been so despondent over his sister that he’d actually stopped thinking about his mental link with Anders.

Perhaps talking to his friend would help.

Slipping his knives to his back, Hawke slipped out of the dirty hovel after promising his mother he would be back before the day was out.

-----

Anders felt him even before he stepped through the clinic’s front door.

The healer glanced over his shoulder, seeing Hawke standing to the side, not wanting to block the door. Anders gave him a nod and went back to fixing a patient’s broken bones. That damn Bone Pit was a death trap. Hawke waited patiently for the mage to finish, and Anders could tell that the rogue was trying to keep his mind blank, probably so Anders wouldn’t be distracted.

Once he was done, Anders, feeling drained, looked at Hawke and nodded in the direction of his room. The rogue followed him into the tiny chamber and sat next to him on the uncomfortable cot.

Hawke was the one to break the silence. “I heard you calling me.”

Anders nodded, “I thought you might want to talk.”

“What’s there to talk about?”

“Don’t play dumb, Janus,” Anders chided. “You’re still upset about Bethany. I can feel you trying to hold it back.”

Hawke sighed. “Guess there’s no point in hiding it from you.”

Anders placed a hand on Hawke’s shoulder. “Even if it weren’t for our… current situation, it still pains me to see you like this. Talk to me, Janus.”

“What’s there to say?” Hawke hung his head, avoiding the mage’s gaze. “It’s my fault. I took her with us, I handed her over to the Wardens. If I had just made her stay home, she would be preparing to move into the estate with us like she wanted. Now she’s either dead or forced to fight darkspawn for the rest of her life. All because of me…”

“You were trying to keep her safe. You wanted to put range between her and the Templars, and knew that she would have your back down there,” Anders said. “You had no way of knowing she would catch the Blight.” Hawke didn’t respond, and Anders could sense his friend thinking of that awful moment when Bethany had collapsed, eyes glazed over and skin turned ashen, right before handing her fate over to the people Anders had run away from.

“Janus, look at me,” The rogue kept his head down. “Look at me,” He repeated, catching his friend’s chin and tilting his face to meet eyes, amber locking with blue. “It wasn’t your fault. Blame the darkspawn, blame Bartrand, but don’t blame yourself. Bethany’s strong, she’ll make it. And she’ll be a damn fine Warden.”

Keeping hold of Hawke’s chin, the mage leaned forward and pressed their foreheads together. Appreciation flowed through their bond, and it made Anders smile. Hawke surprised him then, by pulling the mage into a hug and burying his face in the feathers of his coat. Anders wrapped his arms around the rogue. He could still sense pain in his friend, though, and wished there was a spell that could make all that go away.

Actually, now that he thought about it…

“Janus, do you mind if I try something… with our bond?”

Hawke looked up at him, picking up on the half-formed idea, “I don’t know, Anders…”

“I don’t want to do anything to make you uncomfortable, I just want to help, I promise.” He paused. “Do you trust me?”

The rogue wet his lips, and then nodded. “Yes, more than anything.”

“Then let me in,” The mage implored. “It might help you.”

Hawke bit his lip, thinking it over. Finally, he said, “I do trust you, Anders.” He closed his blue eyes. “Go ahead.”

The healer smiled, “Thank you, Janus. Now, just relax…” Anders cupped Hawke’s face in his hands and closed his eyes. Focusing his mind, Anders sent soothing waves of reassurance and calmness through their link. Words were one thing, but sending Hawke his honest emotions was another thing entirely. This carried much more meaning and let his friend know that he actually meant his words of comfort.

Hawke sat still and allowed the emotions to pour into him, lips parting slightly. There was something very alluring about this, and not just because it brought him comfort. The way they were opening up to each other, blending thoughts, was deeply intimate.

The rogue melted into it, losing himself to this new sensation. He could sense Anders doing the same. Hawke sent appreciation in reply to the comfort, and got a mental response from Anders.

Hawke opened his eyes a little, seeing that he and Anders had their foreheads pressed together again, and their lips were almost close enough to touch.

Sensing the other man’s thoughts, Anders backed away just enough so that their faces were no longer touching. But he still kept his hands on Hawke’s face.

The mental contact gradually subsided. Anders made sure to stop slowly, so there would be no mental whiplash. The two men stared into each other’s eyes as their minds cooled off from the blending of emotions.

“That was… nice.” Hawke eventually said, giving a small, bashful smile.

“It was,” Anders agreed, returning the smile.

The two fell into silence, and it was Hawke who eventually broke it. “I should go, Mother still needs help with the moving.”

“Of course,” Anders released Hawke, but the rogue didn’t pull away just yet, gazing into Anders’ eyes.

“Thank you, Anders. You’re a good friend,” Hawke finally broke apart from the mage and stood from the cot. He gave one last look over his shoulder and smiled at Anders before leaving.

Anders wasn’t sure if the brief thrill that went through him belonged to him or not.

-----

Hawke finally loosened up a few months later, when he finally received word that Bethany had survived her Joining and was now a fully fledged Grey Warden. He still would have preferred her there, with the family, but it was enough knowing that she was alive.

He and his mother had also moved out of Gamlen’s house at last and into the Amell estate. Gamlen hadn’t been pleased to see his sister and nephew move up in the world while he was still stuck in Lowtown, but Hawke hadn’t felt too sympathetic. His mother, on the other hand, relished being a noblewoman again and having her old home back. It made Hawke happy knowing that his mother was happy.

But with the happiness came some fresh new concerns.

Ever since that day in the clinic, Hawke hadn’t been able to stop thinking about Anders. He was constantly keeping an eye on his own thoughts, fearing that Anders would sense them. Anytime he started to picture the mage’s face, he banished it with thoughts of whatever he happened to be looking at. The fireplace, the ugly Tevinter statue, the Amell crest, anything.

It was absurd. He and Anders had only known each other for a few months. People didn’t develop feelings for each other that quickly. Did they?

Hawke had been with one other man before, back in Lothering. That hadn’t been love, though. That was just a quick romp, fueled by lust for a handsome man. He didn’t even know if that man had gotten away from the Blight. But actual love was something he hadn’t experienced for himself.

Despite their bond, he didn’t even know if Anders would return his feelings. Either the mage didn’t feel that way or he was trying to hide it too. Hawke wasn’t sure which explanation he would prefer.

After writing the day’s events in his journal and helping himself to a cup of tea, Hawke stripped down to his smallclothes and slipped into his big, new bed. His mother had insisted he take her parents’ old room, while she took the room she had slept in as a young woman. While Hawke had been willing to give her the bigger room, he understood that her old room brought a sense of familiarity and nostalgia to her. The bed was much cozier than anything he’d slept on, with nice thick sheets. It also gave him lots of room to spread himself out, if he wished it.

Yet, Hawke couldn’t help but think how empty it felt with just him.

Forcing these thoughts out of his head, Hawke curled up under the blankets and closed his eyes.

You are a distraction…

Hawke’s eyes snapped open immediately. Sleep had almost taken him when a sudden, deep voice echoed through his head. Along with the voice came a feeling of intrusion on his consciousness. That wasn’t Anders. It didn’t sound or feel like Anders…

I know you hear me, mortal. You know that I too can reach you.

“Justice…?”

You are becoming a distraction.

So you said.

Anders has enough on his mind, fighting to oppose the Circle. He does not need thoughts of you clouding his judgment and keeping him from his duties.

Anders… Thinks about me?


Did that mean Anders did feel the same way Hawke did? Was he too struggling to keep his thoughts to himself?

Let me speak to him.

He is not awake right now. Even if he were conscious, this conversation is for us only.

You have a problem with me?

Anders has a responsibility to his fellow mages. He cannot afford anything coming between him and his cause.

We haven’t even done anything. We’re just friends.

Do not think you can hide your thoughts and feelings from me, mortal. Anders is in your thoughts even now, I can feel your longing for him.

I… maybe a little.


Hawke winced as a sharp spike of irritation flared through him. Do not lie to me, mortal!

Yes, I love him!

Know this. If you do anything to turn Anders away from his cause or hurt him, you will not be spared my wrath.

I would never hurt Anders.

Remember my warning, mortal.


The heavy presence faded from his mind, leaving Hawke staring into darkness. When he finally fell asleep, he was plagued by dreams of darkspawn.

-----

Hawke paced around his room, contemplating whether to go to Anders’ clinic and tell him about his nightly conversation with Justice. It was actually rather hard to keep his thoughts on this quiet, for fear that Anders or Justice would hear him.

Part of him said that his friend had a right to know. On the other hand, Justice might thwart any attempt to inform his host. What would Anders even think? Would he be mad or scared of Justice? Hawke was certainly more afraid of the spirit now.

When Anders had first revealed the nature of Justice to him, Hawke had commended the mage for trying to help out a friend, and that a Fade spirit could make a useful ally. But perhaps he’d misjudged Justice’s nature. Anders himself had even said that the spirit was probably corrupted into a demon of vengeance thanks to his anger and seeing the injustices of the world. The thing that had intruded on his consciousness last night certainly sounded more like a being of vengeance than justice.

Once again, Hawke recalled the night at the Chantry, and the few other times the spirit had manifested. The encounter with the demon in the Deep Roads had even proved that Justice’s influence could affect Hawke, and the rogue wouldn’t have the raw power of an abomination if he went on a murderous rampage against templars.

It wasn’t even just the things Justice had said to him. Hawke had felt the spirit’s emotions. Justice had been irritated and threatening, his mind an ominous and alien thing. The rogue knew that when Justice had promised to kill him should he screw things up, he had meant it.

Hawke didn’t want that… thing inside his mind again. He made up his mind then. He would go see Anders and tell him that he wanted their link gone. They would go to Merrill, tell her about their connection, and see if she had any ideas on how to sever them.

As he slipped into some leather armor, he paused to think again. Was this right? Did he really want to split himself from Anders? He recalled the other day at the clinic, when Anders had soothed him by touching minds. It had felt good. No, more than good. He hadn’t wanted that moment to ever end. Perhaps he was being too hasty, and they could work this out.

Then he remembered the uncontrollable spirit that was part of Anders, and who might become part of Hawke too if this continued. Securing his armor and securing his daggers to his back, Hawke silently strode out of his room, blanking his mind. Anders couldn’t know about this.

His mother, already at the breakfast table, called to him when he passed the dining room. “Where are you off to in such a hurry?”

“I… it’s complicated, Mother,” Hawke replied. “I’ll explain when I get back.”

“At least have some breakfast,” Leandra said, using that motherly tone that usually made Hawke go soft.

Not this time, however. “I really just want to get this over with, Mother.”

He was about to turn and leave when his mother’s voice stopped him again. “Is something wrong, sweetheart?” She stood up and walked over to her son, looking him in the eye.

“You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you,” Hawke chuckled bitterly before gently pushing his mother aside and finally leaving the estate, leaving Leandra to stand there, worried over what had become of her son.

-----

The foundry, ashes, the smell of shit, flies everywhere, Lady Elegant selling her wares…

Hawke kept thinking these things as he made his way through Lowtown. He couldn’t think about Anders, because every time he did he just imagined how disappointed and hurt the mage would be.

Surely Anders would understand if Hawke had the chance to explain himself. He wouldn’t want Justice to do anything to him, right?

He stopped in the middle of an alley for a minute, considering turning the other way and going straight to the alienage. Anders didn’t have to know first.

No, that wouldn’t be right. I can’t go behind him like that.

He was so caught up in his thoughts and inner turmoil that he didn’t notice someone sneaking up behind him until he felt something hard hit him in the back of the head. The rogue didn’t even have a chance to grab his dagger before blacking out.

-----

Anders was in the middle of grinding herbs when he felt it. A sudden wave of panic had washed over him through the bond, gone just as soon as it ended. The mage paused in his work, suddenly worried.

Something had happened to Hawke.

He had to go see Aveline and round up a search party. He and the guardswoman disliked each other, but she could… Anders paused again, right as he was about to grab his staff.

If he went to Aveline or any of their teammates and raved about Hawke being in trouble with no proof, they would think he was just being paranoid. Hawke could get them all to come along for anything without the need for explanation, but he wasn’t Hawke. If he told the others about their link that would make them think he was crazier than just suggesting Hawke was in danger on a gut instinct.

Perhaps I’m just overreacting. Janus probably just tripped or something. Even as he thought these things, he knew they weren’t true, and that he was just rationalizing.

He had to go after Hawke, but he had no idea where he even was. Anders closed his eyes and tried to seek Hawke out using their bond, but he just got blankness. That had to mean Hawke was unconscious, which worried him even more.

The mage couldn’t track him down alone, but he couldn’t trust Aveline to take him on his word either. But maybe Varric could help. He and Varric got along, so maybe the dwarf would listen to him and help him round up a few of the others.

Grabbing his staff, Anders left one of his volunteers in charge for the day and sped out the door.

-----

Hawke’s head throbbed as he opened his eyes, groaning in pain. He tried to put a hand to his head, but found that his hands were bound behind him with chains, as were his feet. He was inside a dingy, dark cell with only candles in the hallway for illumination. The rogue had also been stripped of his armor, leaving him in his small clothes and boots. If he could just reach his feet, he could get the lockpick he kept in his boot.

Before he could attempt to do anything, however, he heard heavy footsteps coming down the hall.

His blue eyes widened when he saw his captors. There was no mistaking the silver armor with the flaming sword symbol.

“Well lookee here, boys,” The front templar said, her voice full of smugness, “The apostate-lover’s awake. Guess what, we caught those Starkhaven mages and know you had something to do with their escape. But the Knight-Captain doesn’t think you’re worth making a fuss over.”

They must have been wearing civilian clothes or lighter armor when they captured him. Hawke would have heard the clanking of armor when they snuck up on him, lost in his thoughts or not. He also couldn’t help but feel downhearted that his attempt at helping those mages had been for nothing. Hopefully the templars hadn’t tortured them or made them tranquil.

“You might not be a mage, but we think you deserve to be punished all the same, mage-lover. You might even give us the names of more apostates just to end it all. Then the Knight-Commander will surely reward us for our initiative,” The templar sneered. Either these templars were desperate for promotion or were just sadists. Hawke was betting on the latter. The templar looked at her accomplices. “Guard him while I get the stuff.”

Hawke watched her go, fear running through his veins. He had to get out of here, but tied up and without his gear there wasn’t much he could do. The templar guards had their backs to him, so he could try to keep going for his hidden lockpick in the meantime.

The worst part was that nobody knew where he was. He hadn’t even told his mother, which was a very stupid thing, he was just now realizing. Not even Aveline, Varric, or Anders would realize that he was gone until he was bleeding out the ears.

Anders. Of course, the solution was obvious.

Closing his eyes, Hawke thought as loudly as he could. Anders, I need you. Anders, help me…

-----

“Are you sure we should start looking here, Varric?”

“Trust me, Blondie,” Varric replied. “Almost nobody gives a shit what goes on in Lowtown. A guy could get mugged in broad daylight here if there are no guardsmen around. Besides, we’re already here, so might as well start our search here.”

“So, do we just go around tapping people on the shoulder and asking if they saw Hawke?” Merrill asked. “He can’t be hard to identify, with all that red hair.”

Anders pinched the bridge of his nose. “Sure, Merrill, let’s just waste time while Hawke is Maker knows where.”

“It was just a suggestion,” The dalish mage said, shrugging.

“Then do us all a favor and keep them to yourself,” Anders snapped.

“Alright, nobody get their smallclothes in a bunch,” Isabela said.

Fortunately for Anders, Varric had decided to help look for Hawke. Anders had made up a story about one of his volunteers coming to him and saying that they saw Hawke in trouble. Chances were high that Varric didn’t believe his story, but he also knew the mage wasn’t one to make up crazy stories just for shits and giggles, especially ones about Hawke being in danger.

“I still say we should search Hightown first,” Anders suggested. “He might have told his mother…” The mage trailed off as Hawke’s voice echoed in his mind. The mage touched his head and closed his eyes.

“You alright, Blondie?”

Anders shushed him and concentrated.

Anders, help me.

I hear you, Janus. Thank the Maker you’re alright. What happened, where are you?

Some templars got me. I don’t know where I am, though.
Anders felt Justice give an angry little thrill at the thought of templars.

Did they hurt you?

Not yet.
That did nothing to sooth Anders’ fears.

Can you describe your location?

Well, it’s made of stone, looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in a month, and I can smell something rotten.

Like soot or meat?

No, it’s salty… I think its fish; either really bad fish or brine.

Hold on, Janus, I’m coming. Try and focus on me.


Anders opened his eyes, seeing the others staring at him. “Did stick in the mud feel like having a chat?” Isabela asked. “Now who’s wasting time?”

“Listen, I know this might sound crazy,” Anders replied, ignoring the pirate. “But I should be able to lead us to Hawke.” At their confused looks, he said, “I’ll explain later. Come on.”

-----

“Are we sure the crazy mage hasn’t finally gone over the edge?” Isabela sighed.

“I’m just as confused as you are, Rivaini,” Varric said. “But it’s not like we have any other leads. Unless you wanna go wandering around like blind and deaf nugs.”

Anders shushed them and closed his eyes in concentration for a few moments, trying to sense Hawke. When he opened them back up, he said, “This way.”

The former Grey Warden had led them to the docks, which they found puzzling, since he’d suggested looking through Hightown earlier. None of them knew how he had suddenly known where to look, but if Anders really could lead them to their friend, they figured they may as well follow him.

Anders abruptly stopped then and grunted with sudden shock. Pain didn’t transfer through their bond, but he felt Hawke’s distress and knew that it was caused by pain. He’d already felt it once before on the way down to the docks. The mage clutched his head, trying to block it out. The feeling went on for what was surely an eternity.

The mage wanted to make it stop, not for his sake, but for Hawke’s. Someone was hurting him, and Anders wasn’t there to protect him.

When it finally stopped, Anders called to Hawke through the link. Janus?

It’s alright. She just started hitting me again. She gone now, but I heard her mention an iron poker and coals.

Oh Maker! Just hold on, we’re at the docks. Just keep focusing on me.


“This again?” Isabela asked, once Anders straightened out.

Anders looked at the others and said, “I promise, we’re getting closer. He’s in a warehouse around here.”

“As if we never see enough of those,” Varric said dryly.

As they continued to follow Anders, the mage felt Justice grow restless. He wanted to find these templars now, and make them pay.

I’m going as fast as I can. And since when do you care about him?

Distraction or not, the templars must pay for hurting him. They must pay for their crimes.

He’s not a distraction, he’s… Look, you know how I feel about him. If something happens to him… I don’t know if I could keep going.


Justice was silent for a moment as Anders felt the spirit mull this over. Then finding him is all the more important.

Anders knew that Justice didn’t approve of anything that could sidetrack Anders from their cause, and the spirit saw Hawke as such a disturbance. But just now, Justice seemed to understand that it wouldn’t do any good to have his host fall into a despair which he might never recover from.

Don’t you remember Kristoff’s love for his wife? How much she meant to him?

Of course.

Then you understand why I care… You envied their love once, remember? You wished you could’ve experienced something like that.


Justice was silent again for almost a minute. Focus on finding Hawke.

Anders didn’t need to be told twice. He could sense Hawke’s mind, like a flickering candle in a dark hallway. The closer he got, the brighter it burned, giving Anders an idea of where to look. Hawke was getting closer.

“He’s underground,” Anders said.

“Did anyone bring a shovel, then?” Merrill asked.

For once Anders wasn’t in any mood to snap at Merrill. He closed his eyes again, while he concentrated on his connection to Hawke. When he opened them again, he turned towards a small warehouse that looked like it hadn’t been touched in years.

“There,” The mage said, immediately walking towards the building. Once again, the others figured there was no use in questioning and followed the healer.

-----

It wasn’t long before the head templar returned, carrying a fireplace poker that was glowing red at the tip. Hawke could smell the burning metal radiating from it, as well as the lingering scent of hot coals. The rogue widened his eyes at the sight of the poker, but wasn’t about to give his captors the satisfaction of seeing him shake or beg.

“This’ll get that mouth of yours moving,” The head templar sneered. She waited for her minions to unlock the cell before slowly creeping inside, holding the poker level with Hawke’s chest. Despite himself, Hawke begin to sweat.

Right when the poker was close enough for the smell of burning metal to block out all other smells, there was a loud clang of something falling in another hallway. This was followed by a female voice with a Dalish accent echoing through the hallway. “That was my bad, sorry!”

Hawke felt annoyance through Anders and his face lit up instantly. Anders had come for him, with friends.

The templar lowered the poker. “What was that?” She looked at her minions. “You two, go investigate.”

Oh no. Janus quickly sent his thoughts to Anders. Anders! They’re coming for you!

Not long after the templars went to investigate, the sounds of battle echoed through the hallway: cries of pain and rage, as well as spells flying, from ice to fire to lightning. Hawke even heard the sound of a glyph being cast.

The rogue then felt the familiar rage that was Justice. The familiar fury filled him up, directed at the templars. Yes, the templars would pay for taking him prisoner and torturing him. This showed that they would stoop to any low and not stop at mages. They deserved to be torn apart for this.

He heard one of the templars shout “demon”, which made Justice even more enraged. He was no demon! The rogue then heard a scream that was abruptly cut off, followed by Justice’s satisfaction at having removed one more templar from the world.

The spirit’s rage faded instantly, and Hawke gasped as his emotions became his own again.

The rogue should have been terrified again, and maybe he was, in the back of his brain. Yet, Justice’s emotions had felt different this time. The spirit wasn’t mad at him this time, but the templars. Justice’s emotions were hard to read clearly through all that fury, but the rogue was definitely glad that he wasn’t on the receiving end of the spirit’s wrath.

A minute later, Anders, Varric, Isabela, and Merrill ran into the prison area. All but Merrill were covered in gore.

“Hold it!” The remaining templar shouted. She drew her knife and held it to Hawke’s neck. “One more step and he dies. Keep those hands where I can see them.”

Anders and the rest froze. Hawke could feel the internal battle going on within Anders. Justice wanted to be turned loose, while Anders didn’t want to risk Hawke’s safety.

“Please don’t hurt him,” Merrill begged.

“I might consider letting him go, if you apostates surrender yourselves,” The templar sneered. “If you’re lucky I’ll make sure you’re just made Tranquil or put in solitary for a year.”

“Oh, sure, that’s a damn good deal,” Isabela said sarcastically.

Hawke locked eyes with Anders. Take her out.

Janus…

She won’t honor anything. She’ll lock you two up, and then have the rest of us executed for harboring apostates.

…You’re right.


“So, what’ll it be, apostates?” The templar demanded.

Her answer came in the form of Justice once again taking the reins of Anders’ body, blue energy surging through his body. The templar gave a faint “What the..?”

“You will suffer for your deeds!” The spirit snarled.

Frightened now, the templar tried for one last effort to frighten them into submission. She sank her knife into Hawke’s stomach, and the rogue cried out before going limp in her arms. Justice let out a furious roar. “No, I will not allow this!”

He leapt at the templar, first breaking the wrist that held her knife. She let out a pained cry and dropped the weapon. She prepared a Holy Smite, but Justice threw her to the ground before she could complete the attack. Varric, Isabela, and Merrill stood by and watched while Justice tore off silver armor, then whipped Anders’ staff out. The templar let out a final scream of terror before Justice sank the staff’s blade into her heart.

Now that the templar was dead, Justice retreated. Anders looked at Hawke’s wounded body and gave an anguished, “No!”

Isabela and Anders instantly went to Hawke’s side, where the pirate picked the locks on his shackles. Once the rogue was freed, the mage instantly pulled Hawke’s limp body out of the chair and cradled him in his lap.

“No, don’t be dead, please!”

The mage’s hands shot out to hover over Hawke’s body, channeling waves of healing magic into him. Anders put everything he had into the spell, watching as the wound closed, and the flesh knitted back together. He began to feel lightheaded, but he didn’t stop until the rogue was completely healed and the internal bleeding stopped.

Now spent of mana, Anders put his ear to the rogue’s chest. He was breathing normally now, but he still hadn’t awoken. Anders cupped Hawke’s face in his hands. A low groan passed from the rogue’s lips.

“Please, Janus, open your eyes!” Please don’t leave me! I love you…

Hawke groaned again, louder this time, and his blue eyes fluttered open.

Anders smiled with relief and held the rogue close. Hawke wrapped his own arms around the mage, pressing their cheeks together. “Thank you, Anders.”

Anders took in Hawke’s smell, relishing it. He’d come so close to losing this man; this man who meant more to Anders than he could ever express. Relief and happiness resonated between the two men across their bond.

“Okay, hold up,” Varric said. Both men looked at the dwarf, Anders visibly annoyed that their moment had been interrupted. “Can we get some answers here? Blondie, how did you know Hawke was here? First you say you have no idea where he is, just that he’s in trouble, and the next thing we know you’ve led us right to him. And don’t think I couldn’t tell that you were bullshitting about how one of your helpers told you something had happened.”

“Was this all a game? If it was, then it wasn’t a very fun one,” Merrill added. “Usually fun games don’t involve someone getting kidnapped or stabbed.”

Anders and Hawke exchanged looks, silently telling one another that they might as well confess their secret. The mage helped Hawke to his feet as he explained, “You remember the incident at the Blooming Rose, where we ran into that blood mage?” Everyone nodded. Isabela and Merrill hadn’t been there, but they’d heard the story. “Well, I had to call on a little extra help to save Hawke, namely Justice. Something… happened. We don’t know how, just that it had something to do with the mixing of blood magic and Fade energy.” Anders swallowed, knowing that what he was about to say would sound crazy.

“So what happened?” Isabela demanded.

“It caused some sort of mental link between us,” Anders finally said. Sure enough, they were met with raised eyebrows from Varric and Isabela, and amazement from Merrill.

“It’s true,” Hawke piped in. “We can sense each other’s thoughts and emotions. After I regained consciousness, I contacted Anders through the bond.”

“And after that, I just used it to sense the source of his thoughts,” Anders added.

“And once again you prove just how crazy hanging out with you guys can be,” Varric snarked.

“I didn’t think blood magic could do that,” Merrill said, fascinated.

Anders sensed a pang of guilt in Hawke and looked at him curiously. “What’s wrong?”

Hawke sighed. “I’ll tell you later, Anders. But… can you take me home? Suddenly I don’t feel so good.” Not long after the words left his mouth, the rogue rushed over to a corner and vomited.

-----

“I probably should have warned you about the vomiting,” Anders apologized while he handed Hawke a cup of tea. “Internal bleeding usually leads to that.”

“It’s alright,” Hawke replied. “You had other things on your mind. Trust me, I know.” He smirked, and then sipped the warm beverage.

Anders had escorted Hawke back to the mansion, as promised. Leandra had made a terrible fuss over her son when she learned what had happened, demanding that he rest and spend the rest of the day in bed. Hawke had then insisted that Anders could look after him, despite the mage’s attempt to slip away. Anders was a healer, after all, and would take very good care of him.

“I was so worried,” Anders said. “When I felt you panic, when you said you’d been captured, and when you were hurt. I thought I was going to lose you.”

“It’ll take more than that to get rid of me,” Hawke said, reaching out to touch Anders’ arm. He locked his blue eyes with Anders’ brown ones. “Did you mean it?”

“Mean what?”

“I heard you,” Hawke replied, tightening his grip on Anders’ arm. “You said you loved me.”

Anders eyes widened. “I… I suppose I did, didn’t I?”

“Also…” Hawke paused. Anders sensed his hesitation and worry over what he wanted to say. He feared that Anders would run if he said anything more.

“You can tell me anything, Janus,” Anders said.

Hawke licked his dry lips. “Justice spoke to me last night. He said you had feelings for me.”

“He did?” Anders replied. It must have been when the mage was asleep, since he had no memory of this.

“Among other things,” Hawke continued. He looked away then. “He said he’s hurt me if I was a liability to your cause. He… frightened me. It was like when his mind touched me in the Deep Roads, but more focused and heavy. After that I… I was going to try and talk you into reconsidering severing us, by going to Merrill. That’s when I got jumped.”

Anders’ face fell. “I see… Then if that’s what you want-”

Hawke cut him off. “It’s not. Not anymore.” He looked back at the mage and took his hand between both of his. “I love you, Anders, and I want to be with you. You and I are bound to each other forever and ever. If that means I have Justice on my mind too, then so be it.”

Anders smiled, using his free hand to cup Hawke’s cheek. “And I love you,” Finally, he could say those words aloud and not have to shield his thoughts. Neither of them would.

Hawke put a hand on the back of Anders’ head and pulled the healer down so their lips could meet. The kiss was soft, yet full of desire. Just like pain didn’t transfer through them, neither did physical pleasure. However, they could feel the effects the pleasure was having on each other. Happiness and budding lust echoed across their minds.

When the kiss broke, Hawke took Anders by the arms and urged him onto the bed, scooting over to give Anders some room. The mage climbed into the bed, and then leaned down to kiss the other man once again, cupping his face in his hands.

Hawke’s hand went to the chain at Anders’ feathered coat, looking for the fastener. “Are you sure you want this?” The mage asked, noticing what Hawke was up to.

“More than sure,” Hawke replied. “I want you Anders. Want you so bad…”

Anders smiled and wordlessly shed his short coat. Hawke had shed his armor before getting in bed and was down to his smallclothes, so he just sat back and watched Anders lose his long, brown coat and the shirt underneath it. Maker, he’d wanted to see Anders’ body for some time now.

As the mage began to unfasten his boots, he looked over at Hawke and smirked, “Wait until you see the rest of me.” Once his boots were off, he took his pants off, leaving him in nothing but his smallclothes. Hawke reached out and touched Anders’ shoulder, his fingers trailing down his side before settling on his thigh.

“You’re beautiful,” Hawke whispered.

Anders smiled at the compliment, sending his appreciation through the link as he leaned in to kiss Hawke’s neck. The mage gently took his lover by the shoulder and pushed him onto his back, and then climbed on top of him, straddling his thighs. He rubbed against the other man, savoring the feel of skin-on-skin. Anders felt Hawke’s erection though his smallclothes, pressing against his own hard cock.

Anders leaned down to kiss him again, catching his lover’s moan in his mouth. He coaxed the rogue’s tongue into his mouth so he could gently suck on it. Small jolts of pleasure came through their bond, matching up with Hawke’s moans.

Anders broke the kiss and looked down at his lover, “This might be awkward what with… you know.”

“I think it’ll be fun,” Hawke said. He then got a mischievous look in his blue eyes. Anders smiled again, gently running a teasing hand down Hawke’s chest. He knew exactly what Hawke wanted.

The mage warmed his hand, making Hawke groan. Anders smiled at Hawke’s reaction. He was making his lover feel such pleasure. Feeling Hawke’s enjoyment of the touch just made things even more arousing.

Anders next added a little bit of electricity, earning a gasp and spike of excitement from the rogue. His fingers, gentle lightning still dancing between them, trailed down Hawke’s chest and pelvis, slipping into his smallclothes and resting just above the patch of red small hairs. Hawke was going out of his mind with pleasure at this point.

Hawke leaned up and whispered into Anders’ ear, “I want you…”

The mage smiled and slowly pulled Hawke’s smallclothes off, then gave his lover his silent permission to do the same. The rogue returned the favor gladly.

Anders had to admit, this whole act took on a whole new level thanks to their bond. Reading his partner’s mind saved them both the trouble of having to voice their needs. All they had to do was think about what they wanted and the other would grant their wish.

Then again, there was nothing wrong with saying things out loud anyway. As their cocks rubbed together, Hawke whispered, “I want you to fuck me. I don’t care how, just fuck me…” He pointed to his bedside table.

Anders reached into the drawer and pulled out a bottle of oil. “For just in case, hmm?”

Hawke nodded. “You never know, and it’s better to have it and not need it anyway.”

The rogue watched as Anders spread oil over his cock. His anticipation rose, wanting to feel Anders. The mage kissed Hawke’s neck while one oil slick finger teased his entrance. Hawke spread his legs and was rewarded when the finger pressed into him, making him gasp. The more Anders felt Hawke’s enjoyment, the more he wanted him.

Hawke writhed beneath Anders as the mage prepared him, until he begged, “Please, Anders… I need you…”

Mutual desire resonated between them as Anders pulled his finger out and lined himself up. “My love…”

Anders slowly pushed inside the other man, shuddering as Hawke’s warm, tight flesh surrounded his cock. Sheer bliss bloomed between the two of them, echoing through them, and sharing on another’s pleasure.

Hawke moaned as Anders began to thrust inside him, taking the mage’s hand and squeezing it. For every thrust, Anders felt Hawke give a sharp little feeling of pleasure, in time with his moans. The shared feelings of love and enjoyment of what they were doing to one another only made this even better. Anders had been with many other partners, but this was by far the best. Love only made the pleasure that much better, and the bond amplified their pleasure by letting them know that they were satisfying their partner.

“Mmm…” Hawke moaned. “You’re so big inside me… You’re so amazing…”

Anders thrust harder. “Say my name, love.”

“Anders…” The rogue gasped.

His lover’s moans urged him on. Anders’ thrusts became even faster, their sweaty bodies pushing against each other. When Hawke’s climax came, a burst of love and bliss exploded through Anders’ mind. It made Anders come, and the feelings doubled as his own were added to the mix.

When they were both spent, Anders pulled out and rolled off his lover’s body. Hawke curled up against them, mutual satisfaction and love resonating between both men.

“What am I thinking about?” Anders whispered.

Hawke replied, “You love me. Well, I love you too.” He leaned in to kiss his lover, and then murmured against his lips. “What am I thinking about?”

The mage paused. “You want me to stay here forever. Does that mean you’ll let me to move in with you?” Even as the words left his lips, Anders knew what the answer was.

“Of course, Anders,” Hawke said, curling up even closer to the mage and taking one of his hands. “I love you, and want to share your life with you. I want to wake up beside you every morning, sit next to you at the breakfast table, and share quiet evenings with you by the fire.” Anders didn’t need the bond to tell him that Hawke meant every single word.

“Did you mean what you said about Justice?” Anders asked. “He’s still part of me… part of us.”

“I don’t care about that anymore,” Hawke’s hand tightened on Anders’. “I’ll take him too and whatever he’ll throw at me.” He met Anders’ eyes. “And maybe… we can learn to like each other.”

Anders smiled at his lover. “I think you two are already halfway there.”

THE END

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