The Howe name was once great, known across Ferelden as honorable stewards of their lands and protectors of their people’s freedom. But then Arl Rendon Howe betrayed the teyrn of Highever, assumed a title that did not belong to him, threw his lot in with a regicide, and was slain for his deeds. And yet he was the lucky one. He did not live to see his surname dragged through the mud, his family stripped of titles and lands. It is Rendon’s son Nathaniel who has suffered for the sins of his father.
Join us, brothers and sisters. Join us in the shadows where we stand vigilant. Join us as we carry the duty that cannot be forsworn. And should you perish, know that your sacrifice will not be forgotten… and that one day, we shall join you.
”They look so different from down here,” Kaidan said, a drink in his hand. Still in his fatigues, still ready to fight if it came down to it, fully in control even when slightly drunk. That was wrong.
”Major,” Shepard slurred. He was drunk, blissfully drunk and happy, and Kaidan took hold of his arm when he came close enough.
Shepard opened his mouth to tell him to relax but forgot to when he saw what Kaidan had been looking at. The stars. A shooting star, actually, one falling from the sky. ”Make a wish, Major,” he said, and made his own — tried to, but failed, because hell, he had everything he had ever wanted, and more.
Life. Peace. Peace. The word felt way too foreign, but it sounded better than anything had ever sounded in his head, it tasted good on his tongue when he repeated it out loud. Kaidan turned to look at him but did not ask where that came from.
”Peace,” he agreed. Maybe he knew what Shepard was up to, maybe he was thinking about the same thing; they were so tuned in each other’s ways of thinking and acting by now. Past months had been rough, but it was all the loss and fighting that had brought them together, close to each other, close like this, two warm bodies in cool night air.
”And you,” Shepard added.
Kaidan moved, maybe to take a better look at Shepard’s face. ”Me?”
The view might have been beautiful, but all Shepard could see was the way the cabin’s light hit Kaidan’s face and showed every scar, every worry line, every time he had been careless or sloppy or just sad. ”You,” Shepard replied, like it was all there was to it.
The truth was, it was all there was to it. Kaidan, and what they had.
”I want to kiss you,” Shepard announced. He didn’t move, though, like moving would have broken the spell they were under, the pleasant drunkenness that took the edge of things and allowed him to notice all the details. ”You, Major.”
Kaidan didn’t reply. He just leaned in for a kiss.