(Prompt ~ "To whoever finds this message.... They erased us, this is all that remains. Remember us, please." Edrear Hawke, Fenris, Varric Tethras, Eniri Archeron.)
The arrow knocked, tight, to his bow string, his irises pierce her long before his arrow's head. And the only whim to still his hand and spare her is merely the demand calling from within his heart to know why. It chokes his senses until his arms tingle with oncoming numbness and his pulse ricochets against his ear drums. A smile spreads across his face, devoid of all illumination, so uncharacteristic of his personality. It bleeds a hungry soul for the feast of vengeance, the bitter taste upon his tongue swallowed eagerly down. The shadows at his eyes dripping dark. The breath in his lungs heaving out utter vehemence. Fenris has never seen him like this before. The spirited spark that strives for an earnest life, all but gone from Edrear's taught frame.
"Beg.... Reason with me why it had to be done.... Convince me of your need to see it done! Your cries are the only ones I will enjoy listening to as I rob the life from your body...." Hawke muses viciously.
Varric drifts further from their ranks, unable to recognize his dearest friend. Fenris is left to wonder if anything will ever be the same again. This impossible feat seems world ending.
Eniri only smirks back into the glare of her certain fate, "As if I need much reason. I wanted power. But, power is never simply handed to anyone. My chance came to take it and I seized that chance. Anyone who got in my way was disposable."
"You putrid whore, what power! What could you possibly gain from tearing Smoke apart, decimating the Archerons, and assuming control? You're merely a petty pirate queen now! You're nothing at all!"
He looses the hold on his string, taking unfathomable pleasure from her shrill screams as it bites deep into her thigh. Falling to the ground below as instability overtakes her balance, throwing her into misery. It does not take long before those die down to sobs of agony, her body sprawled within the grime and dust.
"The ritual clearly left you blind," she growls through gritted teeth, "It wasn't to lay claim to raids, or to become a worthless pirate monarch.... But to create a mass force with eyes void, ever vigilant. An army. A mob of hardened criminals with which to march upon, pit against, the whole of Ferelden. A means to an end. Usurping civilized control from corruption and placing it under a justice that is fair! Where the careless who sit upon soft velvet seats suffer and the strongest of the riff raff rise!"
She manages a smile, lets it blossom, lovely, through bitter and salty tears. He responds with the bidding of another arrow sent to intrude into the flesh of her shoulder.
"So you are insane, cheap cunt. Lost in visions of hysterical fantasy, delusions as tangible as the voices in your head that lead you to stupidity!"
The expression draping over his pale face seems inhuman now. As empty of sanity as he claims her mind is. He lusts for her pain in near mirth, a giddy laugh caught within the confines of his throat, thrumming through as his prey writhes. She moans with abandon to the hurt that sears her veins and wracks them both with uncanny satisfaction. This is too much.
Hawke's eyes are absent of him, reflecting only her and the darkness within. Fenris wants the man who secretly prays forgiveness of all of his brash sins. The one who dreams of a life as an honest smithy on the horizon of his future after conflict gives way to peace. Wants the charming boy who serenades with raptures of emotion from his hollow flute. Filling it with his tender creativity, melodies of pure respite. Fenris longs for his lover, with eyes of clear cut quartz. Unshadowed by hate and warmed with crystalline affections. And he will hunt for that man through any demons or monsters vying to overtake his lover's body.
Eniri gags sounds into the dirt that cannot be identified as either laughing or crying.
"And yet, I was a single stride away from grasping these 'delusions' in the flesh until the Hero of Ferelden ruined everything. You are, as it were, living proof."
It is then that Fenris pounces upon Edrear, keeping another arrow from being sheathed within this makeshift victim. The struggle that follows suit is undignified as Fenris overtakes him from behind, remaining at his back and thus out of reach. Try as Hawke may, he cannot throw the elf from the hold on his arms. But the struggle continues on until the violent rage tearing through his bowls has been exhausted, giving way to invading silence. Edrear wants to be angry. He wants to hate her so unbearably much he cannot not feel the terrible aching or take notice of the added coat of blood he is painting his hands in. As though they are not black with indefinite layers of deep red already. But, his will cannot bear this. His gentle core leaks regret into the rivers of feeling flooding the shores of his eyelids. Spilling over and watering the ground in hopes flowers of mercy will sprout there.
No words spoken between them since this all began, Fenris gives release to Edrear. And the broken man gathers Eniri into his arms, holding her with delicate reserve like he would the friend she once had been. Varric can only watch the scene unfolding at his feet, Fenris lurking over Hawke's interactions. He to has been rendered speechless by the war that has consumed the world made in their companionship to one another. The dwarf ponders what ending fate has written for this story that has been long in need of finishing.
"What of all the others who claimed kinship with you? Zaela and Arontario? What of Bane with his broad shoulders that carried the weight of all our burdens without fail? And Elainea with her sutures and healing poultices that drew us all back from the doorstep of death at one point or another? What of them? Did you truly never love them?" The words come out in a dying whisper. Foreshadowing of the fading light within Edrear's breast, the vibrance that gives him life.
His companions are taken with the swells of sorrow. Few could love as deeply as he. And that love always became his whole purpose, infecting his every fiber and sustaining him through all that came and went in the years he has walked Thedas. Like the tides of a mighty ocean that simply cannot subdue the sky.
"Their bodies made excellent stepping stones...." She sighs, plucking an arrow from his quiver.
Fenris moves to deflect what he fears will come next, coming to the aid of his beloved friend. But she does not use its tip to assault her assailant, just presses its edge to her own throat.
"Pliable, but solid enough to get me to the top."
She takes in a deep shuddering breath of anticipation and thrusts it in. Gasping on the ebbing surge of life escaping from her limbs and bleeding out all that is left of her into Hawke's lap. He sees the heat leaving her body, giving way to cold as he weeps soundly. Wondering if warmth ever truly had been housed there or if it were a trick of his eyes, Fenris' hardened grip still at his back. Frozen there, mid rescue, when it became apparent he would not sustain requited injury. And, it is only when Edrear is dragged up pitifully from his mourning glory by the elf, Varric takes up the task of searching the stiffening corpse. Seeking more clues to this terrible plight as Fenris holds Hawke steady. Beyond relieved to see the man he loves, even if in secret, return to inhabit the skin that dresses his weary bones.
Varric finds it, crumpled, in a belt pouch empty of items save this one. A parchment very old, yellowed, torn at the edges. Unfurling its defeat back into a banner of script, he reads its scrawl aloud. Hoping the contents will ease Edrear's distressed mind, the makings of one of his terrible, thundering, migraines beginning to break within his skull.
"To whoever finds this message.... They erased us, this is all that remains. Remember us, please."
Stained and fraying apart, it is clear that it's holder had been carrying it with her for a very long time. Years, at the least. Perhaps a tribute to feelings denied in her last moments. He expects Hawke to fight this notion tooth and nail, another beast of fury clawing it's way out to lay waste to such claims. But, nothing more than a mutter comes blazing through, ushered past, dry, blistering lips in one exhale.