for gaurdian9sunshine - happy belated birthday!
Anders is standing on the banks of the lake, waiting for her, unbound hair blowing like wheat in the breeze.
Hawke comes riding up the path slowly. She is exhausted after almost a month’s travel, and the only thing sustaining her is the knowledge that Anders will be here, will still be here, he will be here, dammit, when she returns. Day after day on the road, hour by hour riding through dust and neverending plains and finally the low foothills of the Anderfels; finally Hawke is home, and thank the Maker, he is waiting for her.
Anders’ smile is all she needs. Their eyes meet and his face lights up from half a mile away, stays bright and beaming as she kicks her horse into a canter, then a gallop. His smile, oh Maker, it lifts her heart, it gives her the first glimmers of hope she has had since leaving Adamant and Stroud. Hawke dismounts roughly and throws herself into his arms; Anders grunts, shifts himself around her armor, and hugs her as tightly as he can.
Their little house is mostly put together. Anders has done his best in her absence, but Hawke notices the little things that are out of place, or the things that haven’t been moved in some time, like the razor. She admonishes him gently for not taking care of himself and sits him down, shaves him carefully, slowly, her hands out of practice, her bottom lip caught between her teeth as she concentrates. He runs his fingers over his chin when she’s done, declares it passable, and kisses her before she can even dry her hands off.
She tastes Justice in his mouth.
For a few days, she is happy. For a few days, Anders is like his old self from those first years in Kirkwall. He jokes with her as they tidy up, throws compliments to make her blush with his usual ease, makes love to her amidst his crackling electricity and restorative magic. Hawke has never been so deliciously sore in her entire life. As they lie in bed, chests heaving, Hawke brushes aside a lock of his sweat-dampened hair, and makes a lighthearted quip about leaving more often.
Anders’ eyes lock on hers, and her heart stops. No, he says.
Reluctantly, she tells him that she needs to go to Weisshaupt.
He takes her into his arms then, pushes the bridge of his nose against her shoulder, tells her that he’s going with her, that they won’t be parted again. Hawke protests, but he is insistent. He is insistent, he says, because without her, Justice is unbearable, undeniable and unchainable, and he needs her to remind him of the human things. He needs her to remind him what a loving touch feels like, how a kind word can soothe a hurting heart, how immediate and close human emotions are.
Hawke tries not to think of what might happen should Anders lose his humanity completely. She agrees, reluctantly again, to travel with him to Weisshaupt.
When they leave, Anders hands her his dagger, keeps only his staff at hand. Hawke looks at it, questioning. Just in case, he says.