Linger

Sep. 4th, 2011 12:02 am
catriana_fiction: (yay)
[personal profile] catriana_fiction
Title: Linger
Series: Dragon Age
Genre: Drama/Romance
Pairing: F!Hawke/Fenris
Rating: M
Chapters 2/?
Summary: DA Kink Meme challenge. Prompt: Anon would like to see Hawke as Danarius's daughter, and seeing the way he and Hadrianna treat Fenris. Bonus points for her having him for a week and being totally uncomfortable with ordering Fenris around. Double bonus for Hadrianna trying to be a creepy mother figure.

In Minrathous, the city was known more for its heat than humidity. With most of the vegetation mowed down to make way for paved streets and massive towers, any real trees or gardens were restricted to the privileged. The towers and adjoining estates boasted these, mostly for ascetic reasons and even then were rarely appreciated by their owners. Thin and even somewhat revealing robes were worn all year round and many magisters who traveled often complained of the southern land's unbearable cool climate and frigid winters.

Due to their sheltered, pampered upbringing, however, many of the Tevinter nobles also could not handle the wilds of Seheron. Despite the ongoing battles with the Qunari, magisters and their apprentices constantly complained of the heavy humidity of the island's jungles. Were it not for pride and overall greed, Par Vollen and Seheron probably would have been abandoned a long time ago. The Imperium had paid little attention to the two locations prior to the Qunari invasion as far as history went, making it ironic the amount of resources, lives, and money poured into the war effort over the last centuries.

Cyra 'the Hawke' trudged through the thick foliage of the Seheron jungle, slapping at another bug bite and wiping away sweat at the same time. She had to admit that perhaps Hadriana had made a valid point earlier. Danarius's apprentice had remained on the ship, complaining of the heat as one of her slaves tirelessly fanned her with some sort of large leaf. Although her father had insisted on the two women staying behind, Cyra had proclaimed after a good hour that she would be taking a small guard to follow.

"Oh, darling, you really shouldn't." Hadriana had cooed while sipping on some sort of fruit beverage below decks in her cabin. "You know how your father worries. What if something were to happen to you out there? We'd be devastated."

By the Old Gods, Cyra hated that creepy woman so much. Bad enough Hadriana took personal pleasure in tormenting her father's slaves, she also seemed to have it in her head she was some sort of mother figure to Cyra. While smart enough not to play games while Danarius was around, the young magister still found the entire ordeal somewhat insulting and not a little bit disturbing. After all, Hadriana was only five years her senior.

Actually, bad enough she's still an apprentice and I'm a magister. I'm actually her superior twice over. I should really put her in her place someday.

In the end, Cyra had left the ship regardless of Hadriana's pleads. She would have listened, except the moment their ship had caught sight of land, A Very Bad Feeling had wormed its way into her gut. This Very Bad Feeling grew the longer Danarius was away. Something Bad was going to happen, she just knew it. As long as she breathed air, she would not stand idly by while something terrible happened to her father.

For all his...faults, Danarius was still her father.

He could be cruel, and manipulative like all magisters in her experience, but never had he hurt her, or treated her unkindly. The love he held for his daughter was as genuine as the love he had eventually felt for her mother, unexpected as it had been. Growing up, he had always ensured she wanted for nothing, and now as an accomplished magister herself, he doted on her with compliments and presents. Most importantly, he had respected her views and wishes concerning the less conventional aspects of their society and begrudged her nothing.
There were other reasons she wished to follow her father's band, but not even to herself would she admit to those.

"Hawke?" The guards up front suddenly halted in their tracks, swords - which they had been using to cut a path - at the ready. Cyra then sensed the thick tension in the air, the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. Magic. They were close.

Quickly, Cyra turned to one of the elven scouts, "Do you hear anything?"

Valeni, one of her best men, gave her a short nod, his large green eyes focused straight ahead. His slender fingers reached for his bow. "Muffled. Steel. Clashing. Fighting, lots of men. Too far to see." His thick Antivan accent made his Arcanum sound exotic. He turned to her, gaze full of determination. "Scout?"

"Please."

With the wave of a hand, all three of her scouts quickly disappeared, their armor perfect camouflage for the environment. The other three, all warriors, surrounded her, waiting cautiously. No orders were needed for organization or what to do should an attack come. Her men were well trained, all servants who were incredibly loyal to her through deed and personal reasons alone. With her team, she had carefully carved her way into a seat in the senate through deed, not title or familial connections. Cyra was proud of them, and they her.

Minutes ticked by, although they felt like hours to Cyra, whose Very Bad Feeling was reaching dangerous levels. At five, she knew something terrible had happened to her father, could feel it like a vice around her heart. She sent a silent prayer up to whoever or whatever was listening, hoping nothing tragic had happened...

And in a moment of weakness, prayed for him as well.

The scout's horn blared in the distance and then Cyra was running, grateful for wearing summer robes. Although the long stockings and arm guards had felt stifling in the summer humidity, the shorter robes were better for mobile combat and she had needed the extra protection on her arms and legs to keep the bugs at bay. A spell was already on her lips as the group pushed forward, hastily cutting down vines and anything else to get in their way.

When they reached the clearing, the area was in complete chaos. Magic permeated the air, the metallic stench of lyrium from potions filled her nostrils. Fog Warriors, kossith who turned from the Qun to live free, were all engaged in combat with either elf or human from her father's entourage. Their large bodies and larger weapons were overwhelming the opposition, despite inferior numbers. The entire camp had been turned into a war zone, many of the mages on both sides either dead or making their last stands.

Her scouts were not in the fray, she could not even see them, which was fine. Cyra quickly tried to access the situation, golden eyes searching frantically for her father. Her warriors remained in a protective formation around their mistress, but they were far enough away from the main fighting to be ignored for now.

"Hawke! Magister Danarius has fallen!" Valeni's voice, from the west.

"Everyone!" her voice boomed out along the battlefield, commanding. "Fall back and retreat!" she held up two fingers to her men and pointed in the direction of her father. A nod, and she was left alone with her best fighter right as she completed the spell.

Ice cold wind and hail rained down on the unsuspecting fighters, battle cries turning into surprised shouts. Through the blizzard, Cyra could see a lone figure moving, completely unaffected. She knew immediately who the individual glowing like a beacon was. He moved with precision, like a streak of lightning, his blade sliced this way and that, striking down enemies she could no longer see. Another sharp wave of her hands and the cold winds abruptly ceased.

The sun immediately pounced on the unnatural snow, flakes quickly melting. Evaporating water obscured Cyra's vision to the lithe figure standing in the middle of the battle's aftermath. Blood and bodies were everywhere. Long broadsword in hand, the elven male began to shake in shock, finally taking in his surroundings. She was supposed to be taking command of the two groups, getting a status on her father's condition and preparing to head back, but she could not tear her gaze away.

He looked the same after six months. The shock of white hair she would never get used to had grown out slightly and his skin looked a little darker from the Seheron sun. Beyond that, her father's prized possession still held his normal appearance, but something was off.

"Fenris." Cyria frowned at how thick and unfamiliar the word felt on her tongue. Had she not spent the past almost six years getting used to this new...man?

His head snapped up, eyes wide and frightened like a deer knowing its being stalked. For a brief moment, Crya almost thought he was going to run. The blade in his hand dropped and Fenris took a horrified step back and away from the carnage. She had never seen him look so completely lost and confused before.

"I...I killed them." Another step back and Fenris had his hands fisted in his hair, looking more and more as if he were about to head for the hills. Cyra carefully began to close the distance, well aware of the eyes on her and the tense atmosphere. Without speaking, the men seemed to know any wrong move or word would have the slave fleeing, which would defeat the purpose of their arrival in the first place.

Cyra actually wished he would run. Run as hard and fast as possible, and never look back.

Her presence seemed to placate him, however, although he watched her warily as she approached. Cyra spread her arms wide, keeping her staff securely along her back to show she meant him no harm. The soft jungle soil now felt squishy and uncomfortably wet from her little blizzard.

"I killed them," he repeated, "I killed them all."

Inch by painful inch, Cyra continued to move closer. "Yes," What else could she say? He had flown through her blizzard like a lighting storm, striking down anything in his path. There was no way to sugar-coat something like that.

Then he looked at her, his emerald eyes pleading for her to understand. "M-Master Danarius...he told me to. He told me to kill them."

"I know." She almost choked on the words, because Fenris looked so tragic it hurt to breathe. A bond had apparently been formed between the slave and the Fog Warriors, one which never should have existed. Fenris had followed orders probably automatically, his programming as a slave had been thorough, her father had seen to that. But now, in the aftermath, with all the bodies gazing up with unseeing eyes, the magnitude of his actions hit. Being with the warriors had made him self-aware.

If he ran, would she stop him? As Cyra cleared the final distance between them, she hated that she didn't know the answer, even if it should have been obvious.

"Fenris, look at me, please."

But he shook his head, now focused on the dead bodies. "I killed them. Master told me to, so I did. I killed them."

She tried again, very slowly reaching out to touch his face. "Fenris,"

"I killed them, but I didn't want to." He looked at her again, his gaze begging for her to believe him. His left foot shifted as the grip on his blade tightened. Fenris's entire body went as taut as a spring."I didn't want to, they were...were..."

He's going to run. Before either of them had a chance to think, Cyra reached out and slapped her hand against his forehead right as he was about to turn and bolt. Warmth flooded through her arm to her fingertips and into Fenris's mind. His eyes widened and lips parted as he let out a breath of air.

"It wasn't your fault." Cyra whispered as Fenris dropped like a stone. She barely caught him and he was heavier than he looked. Within moments, one of her scouts was at her side, prying the sleeping slave from her arms. No matter how hard she tried, the image of Fenris, his face so full of shock and sorrow tore at her.

"Never show weakness. Always stay strong, my darling."

"I want all of father's able bodied men to strip the camp of anything useful." In moments, Cyra was on her feet and barking orders. Danarius had already been removed from the field, rushed back to the ship and leaving her with only a handful of men. "Two of mine carry the slave back, the rest remain to assist. You have an hour before we set sail back to Minrathous. You have your orders."

Mother, if this is strength, why do I feel so weak?

----------

Hadriana had taken it upon herself to remain by Danarius's side, which in turn had Cyra avoiding the cabin like the blight. The last thing she needed was to deal with the apprentice's self-entitlement into her life. Even though the group was now sailing back home, her heart felt low and her mouth tasted of bitter resentment.

No living creature should look the way Fenris had hours ago, as if his entire world had shattered because he had followed his master's orders. He was probably the entire reason she refused to take slaves of her own. Everyone deserved free will and she strongly believed there were other ways to keep someone's loyalty that went beyond crushing their spirit and molding it to the user's liking.

Her line of thinking wasn't completely unheard of in Tevinter. There were the Free Thinkers, an embarrassingly tiny organization of magisters who believed slavery was wrong and should be abolished. Unfortunately, the last powerful Free Thinker who had tried to act on his beliefs had been assassinated shortly after becoming Archon. No one else had dared to do anything to change the lot of slaves beyond their own estates ever since. To make matters worse, many believed slavery was a necessary evil. Without slavery, the Tevinter Imperium would collapse. For all their talk, no one was truly willing to lose their positions of power.

And I am no better. The only difference is that I don't hide my feelings or pretend to treat my servants as slaves in public.

When the guilt became too much for her to bear - she refused to give into self-loathing - Cyra went down to the kitchen. She ignored the cook's looks as she peeled and cut up some fruit, cheese, and a bit of bread. Grabbing a bottle of wine and putting everything neatly on a tray, the young magister trekked up the steps to Fenris's room.

Two soft knocks and she entered cautiously, unsure if he would be awake or not. The light in the lamp had been blown out, but the setting sun kept the small space bathed with warm light. Fenris laid with his back facing her on the cot, a sheet pulled up to his shoulders. His form was huddled, too tense to truly be asleep. He must have awakened not too long ago, then.

"Fenris?" Cyra closed the door behind her, taking a few tentative steps in. "It's me, Hawke. I've brought you some food and drink. Would you like some?"

She was actually surprised when the sheets ruffled and he turned to face her. Wisps of pale hair framed his angular face and the sheet had slid down enough to expose his arm. The lyrium tattoos lined his skin except where the bandages had been applied along his torso. He looked incredibly thin but still as beautiful as ever, even if his eyes appeared dead.

"No, I don't want any." he snapped, but the answer surprised both of them. Light re-emerged in emerald depths as he realized just who he had spoken to. Fenris scrambled to sit up to properly grovel, "Lady Hawke! F-forgive me, I was not -"

Cyra held up a hand to silence him, a small smile on her lips as she walked over to a makeshift nightstand - a covered barrel. She set the tray down, grabbing a piece of bread and tossing it to him. "I'm not your master, Fenris, I don't mind if you sass me. You should know this by now."
He caught the offering, glancing down as if it were more than likely to eat him instead. She didn't know whether to feel amused or offended. "It is not...proper." He whispered, as if he needed the reminder. "Master would be displeased."

Here we go again. "And what have I said to that argument?" By the Maker and all the blighted Old Gods she'd keep this conversation light hearted and civil. Cyra hadn't actually spoken to Fenris in almost two years, having taken to avoiding him as much as possible. Being around him made her highly uncomfortable. His obvious suffering over his actions with the Fog Warriors was the only reason she was even here.

He didn't smile, not that she had expected him to, but he did take a small bite of the bread. "I am not very hungry, but I will eat as much as the lady wishes."

Nice evade, if she did say so herself. Fine, she'd play his game. "Well, I'd like for you to, because you look as if you've lost a lot of weight, but if you're not hungry, I won't force the issue. It's pretty good though." Well, looked good, at least. Cyra typically brought along her own supply of food, distrustful of anything given whenever Hadriana was around. She had already been poisoned once since the apprentice came under her father's tutelage. While none of the evidence had pointed to the scheming wench, Cyra had decided to err on the side of caution.

Fenris's attention remained on the bread, but he seemed to be pondering her words. After a long moment of silence, he finally opened up. "I do not feel...worthy of eating such fine food."

"Aw, and after I went through the trouble of making it for you personally."

"Even more so, knowing that." he frowned at the bread as if it had been the one to offend him.

Alright, maybe she should have mentioned she had made the meal. Why was she so terrible at this? She cleared her throat. "Right. Because of...what happened?" He nodded once, moving so his legs hung over the cot. "It was not your fault, Fenris. Father -"

"I know." But it wasn't right. Hung in the air and Cyra had no words because she felt the same way. "The Master was...he had come to reclaim me, I am grateful. Without him, I would be lost. I behaved correctly, but I was not fast enough. Master was injured. I..." his grip tightened, chunks of bread bouncing off his lap to the floor. "I failed him by hesitating."

Hesitation that would cost him, they both knew. Danarius would definitely want to re-educate his 'corrupted' property. Since he was injured because of his slave, the master would not 'spare the rod' so to speak.

Cyra nibbled on a slice of cheese, unable to respond. One of the reasons she had been allowed the freedoms and liberties she so valued was because of a mutual and unspoken understanding between her and her father. He did not meddle in her affairs, and she did not meddle in his. Pleading for Fenris would be considered meddling, and she had yet to truly sink her claws in her position of power. In addition, she lived in Danarius's mansion. Prized and precious daughter she may be, but her father was still her superior. She had taken great pains to avoid Fenris for those reasons, and hated herself at the same time.

Am I really strong, mother?

They sat in companionable, if not slightly awkward, silence for a while. The sound of the ship hitting the waves brought in a sense of calm, if not relaxation. Glancing at Fenris now no longer hurt as it did years ago. Cyra was unsure if the lack of feeling was good or bad. Did this mean she had finally moved on?

"Ugh. What is that stench." Fenris's expression wrinkled up in an expression of disgust she knew all too well. For a moment, his hair was no longer white but black, his skin no longer lyrium burned but tanned from working outside with the soliders. Cyra blinked and the image disappeared, but not the painful tug on her heartstrings.

I guess there's my answer. She thought miserably.

Still, she managed to force a small smile. "Fish." came the helpful answer, which only resulted in Fenris scowling even harder.

"It is a terrible smell. If that is what we are to have for dinner, I'd rather not."

Little else was said after that. Cyra didn't comment on Fenris's tone, nor did he seem to take notice. He dug at his meal with gusto and she watched him, savoring the bittersweet moment.

----------

A few days after their return to Minrathous, Danarius requested Cyra's presence in his study. She had been in the Grand Library, researching spirit healing when the messenger arrived - Hadriana. Idly, her father's apprentice petted her auburn hair, pulling stray strands behind her ear affectionately. Cyra wanted to light the woman's robes on fire.

"Your father would like to speak to you." Hadriana's blue eyes sparkled in the low light and Cyra knew immediately the discussion would not be a casual one. She was familiar with that triumphant grin, like a cat who got the cream. While not necessarily bad news, Cyra had a feeling Hadriana somehow gained an advantage over her father. Never a good thing concerning ambitious apprentices.

"Can it wait? I'm in the middle of taking some important notes." Not entirely a lie. Scrolls and parchment were scattered about on the thick oak table, along with her quill and inkwell. The large tome beneath her hand depicted a diagram of a man along with side notes concerning anatomy.  The notes were important, to her, anyway.

Hadriana's perfectly trimmed eyebrow twitched, her only outward sign of annoyance. The smile she plastered on her face was as fake as any other. "Come now, dear, don't be that way. Your father said it was quite urgent he speak with you."

The book snapped closed. "And of course, you're the one who scuttles out of father's robes to dutifully deliver the message." The apprentice flinched as if Hawke had slapped her, but she honestly couldn't be bothered to care. Today had her in a foul sort of mood, for various reasons.

A librarian was called to gather her research materials to hold, and in minutes Cyra and Hadriana were moving through the halls of the spire. Black and metal walls, laced with spines and ridges gave way to dark marble flooring. The constant churning of gears and other mechanisms were little more than background noise to the inhabitants loitering the halls. Many magisters carried about in silken, enchanted robes, dark hoods hiding their faces.

Magisters were a dime a dozen, mostly due to cutthroat - literally - politics. The ones worth noting typically held a solid seat within the senate, like Hawke. Most never survived past their first year out of apprenticeship, usually due to arrogance. A good way to distinguish magisters was through their robes. The more expensive the materials and enchantments, the more powerful the magister. Colors also helped. As opposed to the darkly-clad individuals shuffling around, real magisters liked to stand out in society. The brighter the robes, the better.

As the two headed toward one of the transport shafts, an elderly man dressed in bright red and orange robes spotted them and changes course to intercept. Salt and pepper brows furrowed an already incredibly wizened and bitter face. Still, he managed a small sneer while blatantly looking Hawke up and down. "Junior Magister Hawke." He greeted, bowing low enough to almost be considered insulting due to their differences in power.

"Magister Pontius," Cyra smiled brightly, returning the bow properly. "Good tidings. My father has called upon me for some urgent business, I'm afraid." On her list of the top ten magisters she hated in all of Tevinter, Magister Pontius currently resided in the top five. The man despised Danarius and her by extension. Her father had stepped on the older man's toes many times during his rise to power, and he was bitterly resentful of her current position while his own son was still an apprentice.

He'd not be an apprentice if he could simply tell the difference between a blasted fireball and a light spell. Daft bastard.

He held up a pale hand. "Of course, I dare not keep you from your father's skirts." Hadriana bristled at the insult, but Hawke's smile never faltered. "Would you mind passing a message? Tell him I shall have his response by the next full moon. I know he wished for it sooner, but there is so much to consider, after all."

Interesting. "You have me at a disadvantage, I'm afraid."

"Oh! Dear me, forgive my rudeness!" Naturally, Pontius sounded anything but sincere. "I had naturally assumed Danarius would have...ah, well perhaps that is what the urgent business is then? I see, yes..."

"I will pass on the message to Master Danarius." Hadriana placed a hand on her chest as if to prove her point. Her blue eyes were bright with anger and to be honest, Cyra found the entire exchange amusing. "As his apprentice, it is only proper not to bother Magister Hawke with such trivial tasks."

Pontius's eyes narrowed dangerously. "And if I had deemed you important enough, I would have spoken to you. It seems Danarius still has much to teach you about manners, if nothing else." Considering her properly chastised, his gaze snapped back to Cyra. "I shan't keep you. Do relay the message, my dear."

Another polite bow. "Of course, Magister Pontius. Ah, do send your son my greetings and well wishes. I hear he is up for board. I know he will succeed."

Genuine surprise emerged on Pontius's face. He stared hard at Hawke, trying to see the layers underneath her words, but there were none. At least, none he could determine. "I...I will ensure he knows. He'll be pleased to hear it, of course. He fancies you, I think."

Oh Maker, I hope not. "Until we meet again, Magister."

"Oh, I hate that dreadful old fool!" Hadriana was almost beside herself with rage as the transport platform lifted toward the upper levels. "Blight take him and his line, to insult your father so. In front of you, no less!" Her head whipped around so fast to face Hawke the younger woman worried for whiplash. "And you indulge them! Whenever they insult you or Danarius you find it...amusing!"

Hawke rolled her shoulders. "Because it is amusing, Hadriana. Why should I take a silly old man like that seriously? Let him squawk and puff out his feathers all he wants, it makes no difference in the end. Father still holds the position of power and I'm superior to his son in every way. His words mean nothing to me." She regarded Hadriana seriously. "A lesson for you, apprentice; don't allow your enemy to see your weakness. They will take advantage and make you either the fool, or dead. I'm sure my father has taught you such already."

"I..."Cyra watched as Hadriana struggled with her emotions. After a moment, she took in a deep breath and let it out, her face melting into a mask of calm. "You are correct, of course. As to be expected from Danarius's daughter."

Although rubbing salt in the wound would have been enjoyable - Hadriana was a real bitch who deserved it - Cyra remained silent. Unlike other spineless magisters, she refused to kick someone when they were down.

Danarius's position gave him an entire wing of the massive Circle Tower, his 'estate' as it were. Black marble floors shifted colors to black and white. Danarius's crest hung on either side of the gateway leading in. Two stoic elves stood guard and quickly permitted them entry. Plush rugs trailed down the elaborate halls, all was quiet within. The fresh scent of herbs and duck wafted through the halls, dinner would be served soon.

Hadriana didn't offer any information about what Pontius had been referring to, and Hawke decided not to ask. Whatever it was, Danarius would be telling her soon enough.

Two slaves were in Danarius's study cleaning, elves in little more than threadbare clothing to keep their modesty. Hadriana's shoulders stiffened and she would have gone over to harass them had Hawke not put a restraining hand on the woman's arm.

"We have no time for dallying." Cyra reminded the other woman, knowing Hadriana was only going over there to vent her frustrations out on someone weaker than her.

Her father was found in the private library, a hand stroking his beard absently while browsing the section Cyra knew to be on lyruim research. Ever at his side stood Fenris, gaze down but body alert and ready to protect his master. Things had already returned to normal, with Danarius's prized slave obedient and submissive without any re-training. His hesitation in Seheron had still resulted in punishment, but by then Cyra had tried to wash her hands of the entire affair.

The moment they had departed the boat, any and all progress Fenris had made with the Fog Warriors had disappeared. The knowledge had hurt, and she had taken to avoiding him once again.

"Cyra!" Danarius gave his daughter a broad smile as she closed the distance, enfolding her in a warm embrace. She returned the smile with a small bow. "Good, Hadriana was able to find you. You can be a difficult person to track down sometimes, my daughter."

"My apologies, father. I was doing some research at the main library."

"Ah, as studious as always, I see. You get that from your mother." Keeping a hand on her shoulder, Danarius began to guide her further within the small space. "Hadriana, leave us." he didn't even look at his apprentice, but waited until she made a small noise of acquiesce and quietly left. Fenris remained, little more than his master's shadow.

Near the back of the library was a small but sturdy oak desk with two plush chairs. He pulled out one for Hawke before seating himself. "I have a present for you, my dear. Your twentieth birthday will be soon and you've already achieved in almost three years what many could have only dreamed of. You're one of the youngest to ascend to your rank and status in a very long time, Cyra. It is time for you to start striking out on your own."

"I...what?" Hawke could only blink at him in dumb confusion. "But father, I've already done so much -"

He waved her off "Yes, yes, I'm aware. Your small team has taken on many successful campaigns against the horned barbarians in Seheron. There are reports that even the Arishok knows your name." His grin spread "I cannot be more proud of your battle achievements, along with your political ones as well. All the more reason why it would be advantageous for you to fully establish yourself as an independent."

Confusion bled into anger. Hawke stood, her hands  at her sides in tight fists. This was unbelievable.

"You're kicking me out?"
 

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