Title: Forgive and Forget - Chpt 1
Author:Claire Woolland (Fyrefly12)
Game: Dragon Age 2
Characters/pairing: Varric, Anders, Isabella, Fenris & Nasara Hawke
Disclaimer: All setting and Characters belong to Bioware! (Except my Hawke!)
She hated him. Hated him!
He was a jerk. No, a bastard. No! A son of a bitch with a bastard ass hole father! The more she thought about him, the most she wanted to scream.
Dick, dick, dick!
"AHHH!" Her fingers errupted into flames. Without a second thought she sent a molten fireball at the wall, shattering the window.
As tiny pieces of clay fell from the now marred wall, she knew she had to calm down. Standing perfectly still in the middle of her fire lit room, Nas tried to breathe. Air came slowly at first; her body was so stiff from tension that it felt like her lungs had clenched.
Small little gulps of air started to cool her from the inside, and she felt her muscles starting to loosen one by one. Forget him... her mind cooed to herself.
How can I forget him? After what he said?!
Rage bubbled up within her, igniting her dormant mana. Her body burst into magical energy and she knew if she didn't kill something soon she would bring the house down.
She grabbed her staff that was leaning against the wall, gently hooked it through the leather strap on the back of her armored robes, and left the silent mansion.
Stepping in to the empty courtyard, Nas took another second to let the cold air blow across her cheeks. She knew she was being idiotic. Wait, no! No, she wasn't being unreasonable at all. It was him! It's always fucking him!
That lyrium burning, white-haired, templar-loving fuckball! He could go and suck an ogres spike for all she cared. And she didn't care. Not one bit. Not one teeny weenie, itsy bitsy bit...
Oh who the hell was she kidding? He made her blood boil, in more ways than one. He would constantly criticize and tell her how bad mages were, how much of an abomination she was, and then he would have the nerve to grab her thigh. Grab her thigh with those strong, rough hands...
"Andraste's flaming fucking arse!" she shouted into the night.
Stomping off into the dark, she knew where to go to find someone to kill. She could perhaps go to see Isabella... she knew a few good ways to relieve anger...
No, she wasn't in that kind of mood. She needed blood and magic coursing through her veins.
Maybe Anders? He enjoyed a good fight. It would definitely give Justice a bit of practise.
She worried her bottom lip as she thought about it. No, Anders maybe not be such a good idea. She saw the way he looked at her, even if he didn't think she did. He was a good guy, a fucking talented mage, but... he was a bit too... mushy for her taste. If she got worked up in the fight and then saw him panting and sweating, she might give into her basic instincts and she sure as hell couldn't deal with that in the morning.
Walking through Hightown at night didn't bother her much anymore. When she first came here, it did. She was a lot weaker then, not used to using her magic very often. After training with Merrill and Anders for a few years, she knew she was better. Even better than them.
Unlike Merrill, she had stamina which added extra charge to her mana, and Anders was more skilled in healing rather than combat magics.
The moon lit the walkway ahead of her as she started down the steps that would take her into Lowtown.
As soon as she stepped foot into that place, she felt the shift in the air. Fear, lust and misery mingled along with the smells of different smokes and brews. The arrogant self-importance in Hightown was sometimes over-powering, but she managed to deal with it. In all honesty, she enjoyed living in Hightown more. She liked to make the Noble boys blush. It was really too easy.
They would be walking along with their finely dressed women they were courting. The women wouldn't dare wear anything above the ankles, where as she couldn't stand all those layers. Her skin needed to breathe. And the dresses she wore sometimes, admittedly, would make Isabella blush. But it was funny.
Well, to her anyway.
When she got closer to the Hanged Man, she realised that the walk had actually calmed her. Wondering if she should actually visit Isabella, she felt the familiar warmth of an aura. Turning around, even though she couldn't see the men themselves, she could see seven outlines. They were a dull brown when she first saw them, but as they got closer the colour started to shift and change. Six of them went a deep crimson while one became a shocking orange. Even though the events of the day had started to tug at her tired body, she felt the familiarity of her blood starting to turn, to pump faster.
It made her hands tingle and she knew she was starting to glow.
She smirked and changed her stance, putting her weight on her left leg, jutting out her hip. The men's faces came into her sight and she saw their aura's radiating waves of heat. Especially from the lead man.
"Hello there gorgeous, lookin' for some fun?"
They all had the same curved tattoo on their left cheeks, marking them as some kind of gang.
Good. A challenge.
"Well, what are you offering?" she purred back, loving the way she enraptured all their aura's and made them shiver.
"You, love. Just you."
He took a step forward, a little too quick for Hawke to manoeuvre her way out. He put himself into her personal space. He smelt like dirt, sweat and piss. Not an attractive smell.
Hiding a grimace, she chuckled lightly. "That's not paying fair."
"Whoever said we were playing fair, darlin'?"
He grabbed her waist, hard, and yanked her against him. His body was dirty and his aura glowed so bright that she had to turn away.
"Oh no, you look at me."
There was a smooth metallic sound, like a knife against another blade. She felt the cold metal touch her cheek. It was such a shock that she jumped.
"Yes... I can smell your fear..."
Suddenly, she laughed.
"No, sweetheart. I can smell yours."
She called up her energy in a burst, igniting her skin with a green glow. There was a brief moment when she saw their aura's waver, but it was too late. She pushed the light through her bones and flesh until it exploded from her and into the gang like a solid wall. They were all thrown back and she cringed as the sound of crunching bones echoed in the silence.
Only a few were stunned, and Nas had only a moment to pull her staff from its holder. Swinging it in an arc over her head gave the thugs moment to pause. She leant forward on her left leg, bending her back slightly and placing her staff in front of her in a defensive stance. As the leader got up, she looked up at him and smiled from under her dark lashes. Seeing his aura flicker and change into a brighter, angrier red, she puckered her lips and sucked, making a kissing sound.
The leader roared in lustful hatred and lunged towards her, drawing a shortsword from its sheath on his hip. Two more thugs ran up with him, but Hawke was ready.
As if in a dance, Nas twirled her body with her cloak swooping just behind her dramatically. She felt her staff connect with his sword, but her momentum sent the leader's sword flying. Sadly, she didn't have time to celebrate.
Summoning more mana, she felt her hand erupt into flames. Setting herself straight, she sent the fireball high into the air before bringing her staff up to meet a blow from one of the thugs. The sword bit deep into the staff, deep enough to let her twist it and yank the sword roughly form his hands. He had a moment to gasp before the sky rained fire.
They landed with heavy swoosh's and bangs, shocking most men into fleeing. Some of them got caught, but they had been taught their basic stop, drop and roll. One, however, stood right under a fireball. She tried not to think of the screams as she turned to meet the leader.
His aura and smell had changed into something a lot darker. She could see his face twisting and snarling into something ferocious, and she knew that he didn't just want her blood, he wanted her. All of her. From being near him she could sense what kind of man he was. A brutal murderer that had a compulsive need to dominate and control. It was so similar...
She shook her head. Not the right time.
He lunged forward for another attack. She was ready. She raised her staff but she didn't prepare herself for the force of his onslaught. Usually she had two or three comrades at her back, but with each hungry stroke he brought down at her, the more she realised how complacent she had become. She felt herself sweating on her back, and she saw the true evil in his eyes.
He was not going to stop unless he was dead.
As her moves became less pronounced, he took his advantage, knowing she was weakening. He started swiping at her furiously and she let out a yelp as she felt the blade slice cleanly over her knuckles. He dove in as she lowered her defences ever so slightly, and was upon her. His weight and strength drove her to the ground with a tremendous thump and she felt her fear flaring up her mana. She conjured the power to her and it started to creep up her arms. She was about to send him flying through the air when he did something that made her truly, deeply afraid.
Grabbing her wrists, he yanked her arms down painfully. She felt something tear in her shoulder and cried out. No, no, no, no...
"You see, bitch. I know how to deal with you mage-fuckers. You're useless with your hands behind your back, eh? Yeah, that's right, cry. You're all mine now, and there is nothing you can do to stop me. You're powerless."
And then it was upon her. The image. The memory.
Her skin burnt from his weight. Her legs chaffed against his armour. He was too strong. She was too weak. His breath smelt like onions as he grunted against her neck. She felt the blood dripping down her thigh, felt the cold metal jutting into her stomach... but she was powerless. He had her arms behind her and she couldn't stop him. She could smell his sweat and she felt a drip fall onto her face from his forehead. It ran down her cheek, mingling with the salty sweetness of her own tears. All she could remember was thinking how much she hurt down there, and how mad her father would be that she wouldn't make it back in time for dinner...
The image froze her. She couldn't breathe, couldn't think. As he held her wrists with one hand, he used the other to start pulling up on her skirts. She felt his greaves scrap across her thigh, drawing blood. Suddenly she was that fourteen year old girl again, in that dirty back alley with that filthy templar...
"No... No. No. No! NO! GET OFF ME!" she screeched.
Suddenly the world became a vertigo image of pure white light. Her whole body jolted as if being burnt and her skin prickled. All she could do was scream. Scream at him. Scream at them. Scream at the pain.
As her voice cracked and the sound stopped, the world went black.
She felt as if every muscle in her body had died. Her bones felt like icicles, fragile and delicate. She couldn't do anything apart from blink and breathe. As her eyes started to adjust to the darkness, she started to see things clearer.
She was on her back with her skirts up and over her knickers, but she couldn't change that. She could see form the angle her head was dangling that she was facing the Hanged Man. She saw the metallic figure dangling from the roof and resting just above the door. She could vaguely make out figures coming from the pub, and she couldn't be sure, but one of them looked a lot shorter than the rest.
She sent the request her brain to open her mouth, but it didn't comply.
All she could do was lie there with her underwear showing to everyone. Well, she thought. At least it's not my teddy bear pair...
"Maker - Hawke?"
She turned her eyeballs as best she could to see the short man running over to her. His blonde hair glinted in the faint light as the shadow of his crossbow splayed across his body. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him, and if she could have, she would have made a comment.
Varric dropped by her side and she thought she saw his eyes go wide.
"Blondie! Get out here! ANDERS!"
She heard a commotion as more people started to crowd around her. She looked at Varric with her eyes, pleading. He seemed to understand her quiet request as he quickly grabbed the hem of her dress and pulled it down.
Another figure landed beside her. "Hawke? Can you hear me?"
Yes, Anders. I'm not deaf.
As she looked at them, she realised something that she had overlooked.
She couldn't see their auras.
Usually Varric's was a calm yellow and Anders' was a constant bright blue because of Justice. But she couldn't see anything. Her heart sank as she noticed how dull things were without all the colour.
"Blondie, what the hell's wrong with her?" demanded Varric as Anders slowly searched her pulse and body for immediate injuries.
"From what I can see, she's completely drained her mana..." His voice was barely
louder than a whisper.
"Bad?" asked Varric.
"Very. Come on, we've got to get her inside. Grab her staff."
The world span as she felt herself being lifted easily from the ground. Her head fell stupidly over his arm and she had never felt so helpless. She would never let anyone carry her unless she was dying. Well, she would still probably try and walk then.
As if responding to her silent thoughts, a small patch of warmth started on her back.
As it slowly trickled through her skin, she realized that it was reviving some of her muscles. As more and more energy started flow through her, she noticed the warmth
was coming from Anders' hands. Light suddenly pierced her eyes, making her squint.
Noise filled her brain as she guessed they must have entered the Hanged Man.
"Hey And - is that Hawke?"
She felt herself being moved quickly until the noise dimmed. There was a slam and her body was put down softly onto not-so-clean sheets. Anders looked over her, his lined face filling her vision. Despite herself, she flinched.
The blonde hair...
She couldn't shake that feeling, and if she had the strength she would have locked herself in a room and cried herself into a restless sleep. But she couldn't. She was here, lying in a piss-stained bed, not even able to move her own head.
"What can we do?" asked a husky voice that she pinned to Varric.
"I need to get as much energy into her as possible. Isabella, get me some whiskey."
"To give her energy?"
"No, for me to drink."
A silence followed that made Nas want to laugh, but she couldn't even tug at the corner of her lips. Frustrated and helpless, she felt her skin starting to prickle around her nose. They way it did when... no. No.
Lost in her own mind, she didn't pay any attention to her companions until she felt such a shock through her body, that it made her eyes water. Anders' sheepish look filled her vision again.
Hawke frowned at him and gave him a look that said what-the-fuck?
"Just trust me," he said. All she could do was blink.
Another jolt went coursing through her, so painful that she heard herself gasp. As it stopped, she felt her heart racing and her eyes were blurry with tears. Breathing as quickly as she could, she felt herself clenching her teeth.
Slowly, she sent the signals to her brain to open her mouth. This time, ever so slowly, they complied. Her mouth fell open, but her tongue felt heavy and swollen. A warm finger put itself on her cheek.
"Shush. Don't try to speak," said Anders softly.
The way he looked at her, all puppy-eyed and worried, made her want to get up and walk away. This was bad. Very bad. If she was all helpless and dying, and he saved her, she would feel like she owed him something. And what he wanted, she sure as hell
couldn't give. She wouldn't give him. It would be... a disaster.
Another jolt pounded through her. She felt herself bite her tongue; the coppery metallic taste of her own blood filled her mouth. In her frustration, she felt a tear fall down her cheek. Hating herself, she tried to move. She was being so weak! And crying. In front of everyone.
Anders gave her a guilty look as he placed his hands on her chest. Nas managed to turn her head slightly and send a murderous look at Anders.
Even so, he still didn't move his hands.
Oh, she was going to kill him.
His ears started to go red as he kept his eyes away from her, concentrating on her chest. Which, in all honesty, wasn't any better.
Go ahead, have a nice squeeze. Let's see how long you'll keep those precious hands of yours.
Before she could try and raise her hand to punch him, another bolt went through her chest and directly into her heart. Before she could stop herself, a scream of agony ripped from her mouth. She felt her back arch as the lightning continued through her veins, boiling her blood. Her eyes were screwed shut and she felt a sob fall from her tongue as the surge stopped, she fell back against the sheets.
Beads of sweat fell from her head and she knew she was panting. A strand of hair fell over her eyes, mixing with her tears.
She opened her eyes and saw Anders. His face was paler and sweat was running down his face in little rivers. He held a bottle in his hand. Lifting it up to his mouth, he took a drink. As he pulled it away, he hissed. Shaking his head, he put the back of his hand to his lips.
"Dri..." she croaked.
Anders turned his head. Seeing she was watching him, and obviously surprised that she was still awake, he came over to her. Putting his hand gently under her head, he put the mouth of the bottle to her lips. Keeping her evil eye on him, she felt the sharp whiskey enter her mouth.
Pain flared up in her mouth as the whiskey touched the bite marks on her tongue. She swallowed it before she coughed it everywhere, and the burning continued down her throat, warming her from the inside out. Her tongue burnt as she was lowered back onto the pillow. He gave her an apologetic look as his faint amber eyes glowed in the light. The way he looked at her...
She turned her head away from him, feeling uncomfortable.
"Hawke, this is really going to hurt," he said, his voice husky.
Without looking at him, she gave him a sharp nod. She held back a wince as she felt her new energy depleting.
His soft, warm hands touched each side of her hip. She wanted to turn to him and slap him, but she couldn't. Settling with seething in silence, Nas tried to brace herself, but it was a futile attempt at the agony that came.
At first, the shock was bearable. It was painful, but she managed to get away with
just clenching her fists. And then it changed.
The shock intensified and she saw the whole room go up in bright light. Her fists dug into her palm so hard that she felt her nails pierce her skin. Another scream came, but this time, she felt her whole body and soul go into it. Her throat vibrated as she screamed the building down.
Little black dots appeared in her vision, and for once, she didn't fight the inevitable darkness.
Her feet were in front of her as she ran forward. Bloody Bethany! She had turned her back for just a second, and she was gone. Well, if it wasn't for Carver and his whining, she wouldn't have turned. They had been playing catch in the front of their house, but Beth decided that she had to run away. Following the sound of her little footsteps, she turned a corner, and then another.
"Beth, get back here now!"
There was a giggle as Nas turned a corner. She saw a flash of dark black hair as Beth rounded another corner. Nas took a deep breath and continued.
Before she reached the corner, however, Bethany's giggles stopped with a yelp. Nas felt her heart drop as her instincts kicked in. Running forward, the sight in front of her stopped her dead.
Bethany stood in between two men, one of them had her by the scruff of her neck. They turned as she stopped. Nas's mana flared uncontrollably as she saw the way they looked at her. Bethany whimpered in the blonde one's hand. Nas turned herself so she didn't look afraid.
"What do we have here, then?" said the one with brown hair.
"Is there a problem, ser?" asked Nas slowly, swallowing back the lump in her throat.
The blonde templar came closer to her and she felt her hand come to life. She put it quickly behind her back so they didn't see her magic, but by the way he smiled, she knew he felt it.
"Two little maglings? I think we hit the jackpot here, Frederik."
The brown hair templar smirked and looked down at Bethany. Her tiny face was overflowing with tears and Nas felt her blood boil as the templar strengthened his grip on her neck. Before she could react, the blonde one was upon her. He grabbed her cheek with his hand and shook her. Involuntarily, her magic flared around her, reacting to her emotions. She felt it blow from her skin and send the templar backwards.
Nas took the distraction to move forward, throwing another glowing ball at Frederik.
Bethany fell down and scrambled into Nas's open arms. Nas pulled her closer, knowing that they had been found. She squeezed tighter onto Bethany as two strong hands grabbed her shoulders. Beth was yanked out of her arms by Frederik, and she was held extremely close to blondie. He chuckled as his eyes roamed over her body. It was then she knew what they were after.
"Please," she whispered. The templar looked at her with an amused expression.
"Please, just let my sister go. I promise I'll do anything you want. I'll be quiet, I won't struggle. Please..." her voice broke on the last word.
Her heart jumped as she saw the blonde considering it. Nas knew she was on to something. She tried again.
"Please, I'll be quiet. I swear!"
"You won't struggle?"
She shook her head desperately.
"Hmm... and you won't scream?"
She shook her head again as the grip on her arms got tighter. He turned to his companion. One quick nod sent Bethany to the floor. She scrambled up and looked at Nas.
"Go, sweet. Go home," she whispered as she felt a tongue touch her cheek. Bethany's big eyes looked at her in confusion as the other templar came up behind Nas. As he touched Nas's hips, Nas' first tear fell.
"Go!" she shouted.
Terrified, Beth turned on her heel and ran.
Nas felt her body start to tremble as hands touched her. Without notice, she was flung down into the dirt. The templars loomed over her, casting shadows over her body. They looked at each other with menacing smiles. Nas closed her eyes as the first kick was sent straight into her stomach.
Nas opened her eyes and sat up, feeling herself shaking violently. She could still feel their hands on her, smell the sweat...
"Hawke, are you alright?"
She felt herself coming back into her own mind. She started to remember who she was, where she was. As she opened her eyes, she saw Anders sat on the edge of her bed.
Curling her fist, she lifted it and caught him forcefully on his chin, sending him flying off the bed.
"You son of a bitch! You fucking electrocuted me!"
Anders stood up and she saw his body flash blue. He calmed himself down enough to clear his eyes. Putting a hand to his chin, he moved his jaw, feeling if it was broken. She felt the mana pulsing through her. That was when she saw the figures in the corner.
Varric sat with Isabella at a table. He was holding a fan of cards in his hand but he was staring at her. Isabella was in the same shocked stance, but she held less cards. And then she saw him.
He had his back against the wall in the shadows. She saw him glowing faintly, and she could smell the lyrium in his skin. He had one foot against the wall and his arms folded across his chest. Nas couldn't control her hands from flaring up in purple magic. Before she could conjure a spirit arrow to pierce his rock-hard chest, she threw the covers off her.
Knowing full well she was naked, and even more pissed that she realised someone had to undress her, Nas headed over to the table at the end of the bed.
She felt Varric's and Anders' surprise, and the heat in the room flared up. She felt all eyes on her as she grabbed her armoured robe. Pulling her knickers up and leaving her bra, she pulled the robe over her head and onto her body. Shoving her feet roughly into her boots, she knew she needed to leave the room before she - Maker forbid - cried.
Without looking back, she ripped the door open. Grabbing her staff that was leaning against the wall, she walked into the tavern. Slamming the door behind her, she took a second to breathe.
OK, maybe she shouldn't have punched Anders. And she probably shouldn't have walked around naked. But she felt so... out of control.
Before any of them could follow, she jogged out of the Hanged Man and into the bustling Lowtown. Walking with her head down, she marched herself back to her mansion.
As she slammed the door behind her, Bodahn came to greet her. His face froze at her expression, and he bowed slightly. Giving him a nod, she walked straight past her mother, up the stairs and into her room.
Falling onto the bed, she felt the exhaustion sweep over her.
Everything that had happened only hours ago flooded her mind. All those feelings she had forgotten. All those memories she had tucked away. All the pain. The scars.
Before she could stop herself, the first tear fell. After that, she couldn't stop the sobs.
She didn't hear anyone approaching until something set themselves on the edge of the bed. Nas looked up briefly to see her mother brush a strand of hair from her eyes. Feeling like that terrified little girl again, Nas jumped into her mother's warm embrace. Her mother cradled her and rubbed her hand down the back of Nas's head as she cried into her mother's shoulder.
"Oh mamma," she whispered. "Mamma, it hurts."
She felt her mother stiffen, and she knew why. They were the first words she muttered to her mother when they had found her in that back alley. She was broken and bleeding.
As if realising why Nas was crying, Leandra pulled her closer, held her tighter.
"It's OK baby, mamma will make the pain go away," she whispered.
Hawke, for the first time in a very long time, allowed someone to hold her as she let go of all the pain and heartache that had crushed her soul on that dark, dark day.