solitae: (Goddamnit Kirkwall)
solitae ([personal profile] solitae) wrote in [community profile] peopleofthedas2011-05-16 09:48 pm

Blood Stains (DA2 Fic)

Apparently I have a compulsion to write an epilogue of some sort for each of my Hawkes. Meet Bryce, my surly dual-wielding rogue.

Title: Blood Stains
Characters: Bryce Hawke (rogue), Anders
Rating: T
Word Count: 800
Summary: Bryce Hawke's final words on his life, his love, and why he made the choices he did.

Thanks to [personal profile] drakontion for helping me clean this up. <3

I am not a good man nor a merciful man. If anyone ever told you otherwise, they were lying. Mercenaries don't make good heroes, and that's all I saw myself as after Ostagar.

What happened there changed me. It burned away any belief I ever had in the goodness of men or in the triumph of light over dark. Most men, good men like Teyrn Loghain, do not act because they think they are wrong. Men can justify anything and do the worst wrongs in the name of what they believe right, even betraying everything they fought for.

I determined then not be one of them. The next job, the next few coins. Don't ask questions, and leave judgement to the Maker. I cannot tell you how many I've left dead in my wake, nor do I care to know their names or faces. I am not a force of good or evil, no matter what the stories say, and I have never had any interest in changing the world, of championing any cause. I am simply a man drawn into the maelstrom.

The only thing I ever fought for was my family, and in that, I failed. The darkspawn took my brother and my sister, and I lost my mother to a madman who believed he acted out of love. His words haunt me to this day, and in some strange way, leave me with guilt for fighting for my family. What won't men use to justify their desires? Love is just as terrible as right.

How is it then that I ended up in the arms of a man who literally embodied Justice? A man who I knew would fight at all costs to see his fellow mages free, who I knew would do terrible things in the name of his cause. How could he not? His belief was unshakable, and he hated my disinterest in it.

Don't you trust me?
No, I can't.

He also knew my refusal to be drawn in had merit. He knew what he could do better than anyone. I saw a part of him that wanted to be both more and less than his cause, that wanted to be human, that wanted to connect. I was drawn to this in some fruitless hope that I could stop the madness, that I could keep him from his terrible tasks.

It was never a gentle thing between me and the mage. Most nights together were rages from one or both of us, leaving us bruised in mind and body before we fell into bed. In the mornings, we awoke, reborn and ready to war with each other for another day.

In time, he asked to be the outlet for my anger, and I allowed it. More than that, I relished it. His blood, his cries; they sang to me, and with them, I found some measure of peace. Oddly, so did he, taking my abuse as his penance for what he had done and what he would do. By then, we both knew how it would end, and I made him a promise.

Perhaps if I had believed in right and my own sense of it, I could have stopped what happened next. However I am not the Maker, and I would not presume to judge even my lover's soul, so he lived to propagate one final act.

Sorry, you're on your own.
I always was. I just forgot for a while.

And then the city came crashing down at his hands.

There can be no compromise. There can be no peace.

All sides screamed at me that their cause was right and just, and that I must take up arms for them, but all I could think of was my promise. I didn't care if the mages set the city alight or if the Templars killed them all. Both sides were wrong, and both sides were right. And he had forced me to face my promise.

I kept it. I had to, and now his blood stains my hands.

I will never be rid of it, will never forget the relief in his eyes when he realized I would keep my word, and I will never forget of the feel of his lips on mine as he breathed his last. It was my single act of mercy, and with it, I lost all I had left.

In his memory, I take up the duty he abandoned because I will not fight his war. For him, for my brother, for my sister, I will drink the poison and hope that it is enough.

Join us, brothers and sisters. Join us in the shadows where we stand vigilant...

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