nansi had been there a while, brought in alongside leliana, travelling with her as always. he was one of the best, of course he was, animals could remain undetected, but only a shifter could listen and understand while doing the same. only a shifter could relay secrets back.
his magic is a source of pride, he shows off, bursts of power pulled from under his skin, grinning and laughing while he shifts, forms getting bigger and brighter and meaner. teeth, claws, wings, scales, skin, he can do it all and he’s so fucking pleased with himself.
caius shifts simply to be safe. no one pays attention to the little black cat in the alienage. no one sees and if they do, no one cares. safe and hidden, black like the shadows of the alley where the thieves lie in wait but who steals from a cat?
they find out about the other from an offhand comment, something about opposites? white wolf, black cat and they’re laughing while they say it as if it’s some little joke and it was all planned, like the maker had a sense of humour when he stuck them together.
nansi bites back a growl at the news and his eyes are narrowing before he can stop himself from reacting.
more important than him, bigger, brighter, acid green palm, all the world at his feet if he wishes (he thinks he will, he’s cruel, angry, spitting like the mark)
nansi is only good for one thing, another skin, take it away, add another and he’s no longer needed. he’s clung to his gift, his usefulness. spiteful and protective, lying to even those he loves so they don’t learn to copy. lies upon lies, guilt hot and heavy in his chest even as they continue to fall from his mouth.
bigger and brighter, white towering over black, drawing all the attention and it suits caius just fine to hide, disappear into the huge shadow the wolf casts over him.
he hears it even over his howls for attention and thinks that perhaps he has it wrong. perhaps he’s been wrong from the very beginning.
he continues to stand tall, to howl and drag attention to himself, glowing in the light, bright and beautiful, eyes on him, wide with wonder. eyes on him so no one notices the shadow dart behind them, hiding in the dark where he’s safe with the thieves and demons. hiding in the dark where he’s home.
they’re not sure which one said it and it doesn’t matter anymore.