Fenris was brooding again, and not particularly happy with himself for it. He always claimed he wasn't "broody", as so many put it, and yet here he was, brooding.
He wasn't certain what to do, now. All of the life he could remember had been taken up with being a slave or trying to hold on to his new freedom. Now it wasn't an issue--Danarius was dead and gone, and Fenris was as free he would ever be.
It was an unexpectedly terrifying thought.
He'd been certain this was what he always wanted, and in many ways it still was. But a small part of himself already missed the comforting certainty of his life before; he'd known what to do then: lay low, do what he could to get by, eventually move on, all the while evading other Tevinters. Now none of that was an issue anymore, and it left a void in his life.
He supposed he had the option to do what he wished now, but he hadn't really thought about what that was. His life had been taken up with the here and now, not the future. It was a great deal for him to try and absorb--and to complicate things, Aveline had started pressuring him to move on. She wasn't going to be able to deflect questions about him forever, she said. Sooner or later the guard-captain wouldn't be able to bend the rules any further.
Fenris wasn't even certain what to do about that. He had nowhere else in Kirkwall to go, and while he normally wouldn't have minded leaving, he had somehow become...attached to the city. It was, in many ways, a terrible city, and Fenris hated a lot of things about it, but...
But he couldn't really make himself want to leave. Like something tied him there.
So he chose to stare out his window and brood instead. It was as good an option as anything, really. He didn't have much else to do.
His ears flicked as he heard the front door open. He quietly wondered who was coming to see him; he didn't get many visitors. After a moment, though, he recognized the soft tread coming up the stairs, and turned slightly to greet his guest.
Sparrow smiled a little, and Fenris thought he looked a little...relieved, almost. Had he been worrying about him? Fenris hadn't left the mansion for a few days, true, but that was hardly especially unusual of him...
"Fenris." The greeting was soft with a familiarity that improved Fenris' mood somewhat. He suspected Sparrow had started answering him like that in an attempt to break him from greeting Sparrow with his name. It hadn't worked.
Sparrow let out a little breath. "Thought I'd come check on you. You've been holed up in here longer than usual." He ruffled his hair, at ease, and Fenris was surprised to realize he had been tense when he'd entered the room.
"Worrying about me, Hawke?" Fenris turned back to the window, his lips quirking into a little smile despite himself.
"...well really Selene talked me into stopping by." Fenris' ears twitched. Sparrow was lying. Usually he was a good liar, but Fenris could tell in how soft his voice was. Something had been bothering him; that was why he'd come, not because of his sister's urging. He didn't pry, though.
"Hawke, can I ask you something?"
"Danarius is dead." Fenris said it without even really realizing it, and somehow saying it made it more real. He wasn't certain how he felt about that. "He's dead, and I am free. But...what am I supposed to do with this freedom, now that I have it?"
He heard Sparrow sit down by the fireplace. The human didn't answer for a moment, then finally said, "Whatever you want, I suppose."
Whatever I want...
Fenris closed his eyes.
What is that?
He turned. Sparrow wasn't looking at him, instead staring into the flames. His expression was unusually somber, and it startled Fenris a little. The Hawkes were rarely serious people--especially Sparrow.
Fenris just watched him, trying to get a feel for what was bothering his friend. Sparrow shifted his weight a little, sitting back slightly. Fenris thought, absently, that he was still very beautiful, even with such a disturbed expression.
He stifled the thought almost immediately--or started to. A moment later, he wondered why he did. He'd spent three years actively fighting his attraction to Sparrow, but why? The answer he gave himself was that Sparrow did things to him that...alarmed him. Sparrow had awoken bits of his hidden memory, something Fenris had never expected to happen. And Sparrow had given him something to care for besides himself, because as much as he hated to admit it to himself, Sparrow was...fascinating. Fenris had never been so interested in another person--never expected to. He was the best thing that had ever happened to Fenris, and yet he had caused the elf an unbelievable amount of pain. He was often maddening, and Fenris couldn't stay away from him no matter how he tried. He was everything.
...what do I want...?
Fenris looked away, swallowing. Without really thinking about it, he heard himself say softly, "Hawke, we...never talked about what happened three years ago..."
Fenris heard Sparrow start more than he saw it, and he wondered just what in the Maker's name he was doing. They'd both silently agreed never to discuss that.
"...you didn't want to talk about it." Sparrow's voice was soft again, and very careful. He wasn't lying, but his tone was similar--hiding something. Fenris wondered what, and thought he knew.
He'd seen how Sparrow had looked at him once. He wasn't stupid. Sparrow had never begged him to stay, not with words, but he hadn't had to. His looks had been enough.
He didn't want to talk about this, because he didn't want to reopen old wounds.
Fenris swallowed again, took a breath, let it out. He turned back to Sparrow, running a hand through his hair and scraping his nails across his scalp. The mild pain helped him focus a little.
"Hawke, I..." He exhaled again, forcefully. "I know. I...I was a fool."
Sparrow looked up, his expression warily puzzled. Fenris didn't meet his eyes, because he thought he might lose his nerve if he did. "I...I had you, and...you...scared me, Hawke. But I should have never left you." He closed his eyes, swallowed. "I should have asked for your forgiveness years ago. If I could go back to that night, I would in an instant, and I'd stay. I'd tell you exactly how I feel."
What do I want?
He heard Sparrow stand and cross the room, his tread so soft it almost didn't exist. A moment later, he realized the man was standing in front of him. His voice soft, hopeful, Sparrow murmured, "Which is?"
A past full of misery and nothing...
Fenris looked up, forcing himself to meet Sparrow's eyes.
...or a future with him?
"If there is to be a future for me, Sparrow..." Fenris' breath shuddered, his heart thudding uncomfortably in his chest. "...then it would only be with you, and no one else." He reached up, gently brushing the back of his fingers against Sparrow's cheek, and his hand shook when he did.
Sparrow's didn't answer in words, only pulling Fenris to him and kissing him, soft and sweet and forgiving. Fenris sucked in a sharp breath though his nose, his hands going to Sparrow's chest. He felt Sparrow's lips part and without thinking took the invitation to sweep his tongue into the other man's mouth; Sparrow made a quiet noise, eagerly accepting the deepening of the kiss, and Fenris felt himself go weak at the way he tasted and sounded and felt...so when Sparrow slid his arms around him, Fenris gladly let himself give in to the support he offered, his fingers tangling in the other man's hair. He realized dimly that he was making a quiet sound in his throat; soft and whimpery and desperately relieved.
It was almost pitiful, how easily Sparrow's touch could melt him.
When they finally separated, they were both gasping a little, as much because they'd both spent so very long wanting to do that as because of the arousal the kiss inspired. Fenris swallowed, taking hold of Sparrow's face with shaking hands, and in an instant he realized how right Merrill had been.
Somehow, in the years since he'd first come to Sparrow's bed, he'd fallen in love.
The elf swallowed again, hard, then wordlessly pulled Sparrow tight against him, burying his face in his shoulder. And despite how...ridiculous it was for him to cling to Sparrow like that, the normally-snarky Champion said nothing about it; instead, he just held him, breathing shakily in his ear.
"Hawke." Fenris wasn't certain how long they stayed like that before he finally spoke. What did time matter, right now? "I..." He looked up, licking his lips nervously. He could still taste Sparrow on them. "Would you..." He exhaled, trying to steady his voice. "Would you maybe...stay with me, tonight?"
When Sparrow smiled, it seemed a bit giddy, to Fenris.
"If that's what you want."
"It's what I've always wanted," Fenris answered in a whisper before he could catch himself. He looked down, swallowing again, but Sparrow didn't say anything about it.
He did let go of Fenris, though, taking a step back. The elf almost whimpered at the loss before Sparrow said, "I should probably go home first, though. Get a few things, warn Selene not to expect me back...otherwise she'll panic, and nobody wants that."
Fenris smiled a little at the mental image, nodding his assent. Sparrow hesitated for a moment, then turned finally, leaving Fenris alone in his room.
The elf fell back against the wall, and couldn't seem to stop himself from grinning.
Suddenly, the idea of freedom wasn't so frightening anymore.