Day 17

a sort of continuation from Day 16, though with a little time skip. follows the gameplay somewhat… my memory is a bit rusty after all.

Erie fished out a bright red handkerchief from his bedside table. Without looking at Fenris, he started to speak, “My mother made this for me. All of us, we have one each.” With a swift move, he tore the strip directly in the middle. Gently, slowly, as if Fenris was a wild horse that spooked easily, Erie reached for his armored gauntlet. Sensing no resistance from the elf, he wove the red cloth around his wrist, “If you ever feel like you’re entirely alone in this world, I want you to remember that I will always be your friend.” He did not allow himself to look up, not wanting to see Fenris’ expression. No matter what he saw in those eyes, it would be too painful for him. He released Fenris’ wrist, and the elf paused only for a moment, his hands clenching uselessly by his side, before he turned on his heel and stepped out silently.

Erie let out a shaky breath. All desire for sleep left him and he dragged himself down to the library instead. If he was to spend the night alone and heartbroken, then what better to seek solace from than a good book? He pushed away all negative thoughts and decided to settle down with the latest installment of Varric’s books, a series depicting the tale of a roguish rascal and his charming hijinks with high society. It was mindless entertainment, and simple enough for Erie to focus on even as his traitorous mind wanted to dissect his last encounter with Fenris that had been so wonderful at first and turned disastrous at the end.

A sharp rap on the opened door of the library broke his reverie and he snapped his head up, hoping against hope that it was –

“Oh, Aria,” he murmured, disappointment thick in his voice.

She stepped into the room and settled down beside him, “Expecting someone else?”

He shook his head, and busied himself by putting his books away.

“A Rascal in Lowtown?” she noted, half amused by the tawdry cover featuring a half naked man with his muscular arms linked around two very well-endowed blondes.

Erie shrugged, pointing at the blurb, “It’s a fun romp with Argent the Rogue.”

“What’s wrong, little brother?” she asked bluntly, “You don’t pick up one of those silly books unless you’re upset.”

“Can’t a man be in the mood for some horrifically bad literature?” he quipped dryly.

“You forget that I know you too well, Erie. Cough it up. Wasn’t Fenris here earlier? Did you two blockheads get into a fight? Wait… Orana said she said the two of you go upstairs…”

Erie’s calm facade crumbled as she put two and two together, “Did that elf hurt you? What did he do? I’m going to rip his guts out!”

Aria’s eyes were fierce, a storm brewing swiftly and ready to destroy everything in its way. Erie couldn’t help but to reach out and hug her. It didn’t matter if Fenris regretted their night together, it didn’t matter if his heart was just broken and it seemed as though it would never heal. It didn’t matter because he had his sister, and he had his family. Bethany and Carver, even though they were now in the Gallows, and he couldn’t always get to see them, he knew that they were there for him. No matter what happened, they were Hawkes first and foremost, and family was the most important thing to them.

“It’s alright.” he said softly, “It’s not Fenris’ fault. Don’t go ripping out his guts for me. It’d be hard to find another talented warrior to join us on our mad adventures, you know.”

She laughed throatily, carding her fingers through his long black hair, working out the tangles.

Exchanging random gossip and reminiscing over past memories, the elder Hawke twins fell asleep on the library couch, where Orana found them smuggled together for warmth in the wee hours of dawn as she went to do her chores. She smiled at the lovely picture they made, inky dark heads leaning against each other for support, their long lashes like a dark smudge over their pale cheekbones. She hoped that Master Erie would feel better, having noted Fenris’ late appearance and subsequent departure. Her cheeks reddened as she recalled their little exchange in the hall before they retired to Master Erie’s suite upstairs. She thought that they made a striking couple, one with fair skin and midnight hair, the other one a total contrast, with his tanned skin and shockingly white hair.

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