in a dialogue that cole has with iron bull (x) it’s asserted that cole is able to feel and read the hurt of others he’s never met before if it “touches the hurt” of the person he’s currently reading.
so imagine hawke standing off the battlements of skyhold and looking out at the frostback mountains and their snow-capped peaks with a feeling that reminds him of homesickness. it shouldn’t feel like homesickness because he hasn’t had a “home” to go back to in the past three years but it sits in the pit of his stomach like a knot that constricts tighter. it’s cold out, a bite of the renowned ferelden winter burning at his throat with every breath — and he’s worried.
anders hadn’t enjoyed the idea of him coming the moment they finished the letter and hawke hadn’t been comfortable with the separation even though he knew they would have no choice.
"promises, it’s always been about promises, but you’ve always kept them. he has not forgotten and neither have you."
the young man’s voice catching hawke off guard but he’s heard plenty of things about the one called cole who offered aid - healing - to the inquisition. his mouth hanging open to question but he chooses to listen instead as the tawny figure approaches with an air of eerie innocence, voice quiet over the wind.
”the dagger is heavy, palms sweaty, the city is burning , you are burning. bright, so bright, but it isn’t morning. he is soft even though his hand is righteous, there is no longer compromise. you let him live, you let him live.”
no matter how many years that passed hawke couldn’t forget that final night in kirkwall as if it were stamped to his memory. but he never regretted his decisions, never dwelled upon what happened — he made his promises, took anders’ hand and never looked back.
"but you helped him and he helped you. you both help even though you’re hurting, why is that?"
(because he’s not here, because i’m not there to protect him if i have to be and i should be there. he should be here, we should be here. but i’ll see him soon, not much longer.)
cole dipping his head, hidden by the brim of his hat and looking down at the ground as he begins to walk past the champion, whispering soft enough for only hawke to hear.
"he misses you too."