Oh hey, finally a serious DA2 fic, starring Tristran Hawke (snarky rogue) and Fenris. An insistent scene buzzing in my head that I had to wrestle into submission. :p
DA2 spoilers for the end of "All that Remains" (Act 2).Small ComfortAuthor: jenovaWord Count:
Beyond DA2 spoilers, none.
Tristran stared at the delicate locket in his hand, not truly seeing it as his thoughts spun in useless circles. It had been one of his mother's treasures, the Amell arms embossed on the face and a small, worn scrap of paper tucked inside, a line of poetry his father had written for her years and years ago. They'd found the locket in the maleficar's effects; it must not have fit his vision of his dead wife. At least he hadn't cast it away, never to be found again...
Could grief drive a person that mad — to the point of murdering and butchering innocent people? Or was the madness already there, sparked into a blaze by loss?
The quiet sound of footfalls near the doorway pulled him out of his thoughts. The familiar tread of mostly-bare feet upon the wooden floor was controlled, balanced: the walk of a well-trained warrior who never truly let his guard down.
As Tristran's eyes re-focused on the locket, for a moment he saw it offered in the palm of a slender hand, striped with lyrium brands and callused from years of swordwork. Hawke. I think... this is your mother's.
She'd liked Fenris and had been surprisingly accepting of her son's feelings for the elf, especially considering how frequently she'd commented on how he needed to find a wife. He'd never explained their state of semi-estrangement to her, not wanting her to ask uncomfortable questions, but now he'd never have the chance... just one small missed opportunity among so many others.At least she thought we were happy.
Tristran closed his hand around the locket and looked up at Fenris, who had paused at the threshold, waiting for permission to enter.
"Fenris?" The acknowledgement was more of a question. Why had he come? Well, probably to offer condolences of some sort, but why had he felt a need to come here,
to Tristran's room, to do that? They'd studiously avoided being together here since that night, weeks ago.
The elf crossed the distance between the doorway and the bed with short, hesitant steps. "I... don't know what to say, but I am here," he said as he stood before Tristran, his gaze steady but his posture betraying a certain nervousness.Why is he here?
Tristran asked himself again. We're already awkward enough with each other these days without a situation like this to cope with...
He did appreciate the gesture, of course; he just had to try to not read too much into it.That's not being fair, is it? It's not that he doesn't care; his being here proves otherwise,
the rogue thought wearily. Think of how uncomfortable this must be for
him. He glanced up at the former slave, then away, unable to withstand the look on Fenris's face. It wasn't the same sort of sympathetic, worried expression he'd get from one of the others, but more a sort of attentive, slightly curious concern. Tristran could tell from both Fenris's words and his body language that he had no idea what to do, but he clearly wanted to do something.
As much as Tristran had wished for the elf's company before now, he was almost hesitant to accept it, but he wouldn't turn away honest, if clumsy, consolation. "Just... say something," he said finally. "Anything."
"They say... death is only a journey." Fenris seemed to consider the truth of the words as he said them. "Does that help?"
The elf's awkward anxiousness drew a quiet, helpless laugh from Tristran. He's trying so hard...
"Not really, it just raises more questions," the rogue said with a muted echo of his usual humor. "Journey to where?"
Cautiously, as if Tristran might order him away, Fenris sat down next to him on the bed. "I don't know," he replied, sounding taken aback by what was meant to be a rhetorical question. "It's just something people say."
Tristran didn't have a good reply to that, and they both fell silent for several moments. He'd probably never say it out loud, but Fenris's visit was a welcome distraction from the self-recrimination and helpless anger. It was so easy to let the elf fill his senses: the somewhat distant expression on his handsome face as he looked down at his gauntleted hands, the rich sound of his voice, the scent of his distinctive leather armor, the feel of a companionable weight next to him on the bed...
On some other day, it wouldn't be enough, but today, it sufficed.
"To be honest," Fenris murmured, finally breaking the silence, "I don’t think there is much point in filling these moments with empty talk."
On some other day, Tristran would grin wryly and ask what they should
fill these moments with, but today, the joke seemed flat. Still, it was too hard to ignore the way the elf had turned slightly towards him, his dark green eyes searching for a reply. Before he could talk himself out of it, Tristran raised a hand to Fenris's cheek and leaned forward to kiss him briefly, then simply rested his forehead against the other man's, something that was both apology and plea hovering unvoiced between them.
On some other day, Fenris might have turned away, pained regret written on his features, but today, he let Tristran find what solace he could in his presence.