Title: Taste of Freedom (Chpt. 6)
Game: Dragon Age 2
Author: Blissy-Kills, aka Sessils
Characters/pairing: Isabela, Merrill, Anders, Varric, murderers, Fenris and Cinnamon Hawke
Author's note: All characters belong to Bioware, except Cinnamon Hawke. Enjoy c:
"May I please have my hands back?"
"Sorry lethallan, just a little longer..."
With a exaggerated sigh Cinnamon slumped on the Hanged Man's table, her chin resting on it's dirty surface whilst both arms were held up high. One was grasp by a shipless pirate, while the other was held by a dalish mage. Both held paintbrushes in their hands, and they spared no inch of the noble apostate's long sleeves which she had jokingly told them to decorate with whatever they desired.
Cinnamon was now regretting her joke.
"So, what are you planning to do lethallan, seeing as you haven't been doing a lot of anything lately. Oh, are you going someplace secret? Do you keep secrets from us?"
"Of course she does kitten, she's a noble. All nobles are secret keepers! Luckily, I know the way into her home, and the place where she hides her journal..."
Repeating her previous notion Hawke looked towards her dwarven friend for help. Finding no sympathy she spared a glance at firstly Anders, then Fenris. The former seemed far to interested in what lies Isabela was now spreading about her, and the latter was busy attempting to see the colourful paintings both the pirate and dalish were designing. It seemed like another job for Cinnamon to solve herself.
They had been at the Hanged Man all the previous night, then most of the day. Now, as evening set, Cinnamon debated returning home. Fenris had stuck with her, and crashed in Varric's room just as she had. But now Cinnamon knew her tiny holiday was over, and it would be back to saving the helpless and needy. Before she could announce her need to leave however, Merrill sat back with a smile. Various colours were splattered on her hands and face and yet Cinnamon had never seen her young friend so happy with herself.
"Done. I hope you like it lethallan."
Lifting her head up just slightly, and retrieving her right hand in the process, Cinnamon glanced down towards the fresh paint on her brownish grey sleeve. And as a smile stretched across her lips, Cinnamon couldn't help but chuckle slightly.
In a variety of hues and dyes Merrill had re-designed Cinny's family crest- Then added a touch of Dalish blood writing patterns to it. The end result was simply breath-taking, as the entire thing spanned all of Cinnamon's right sleeve. Before the noble mage could thank her friend however, the other painter piped up.
"Ah ha! All finished, and I have to say, it's pretty awesome."
Turning her head, Hawke raised an eyebrow at Isabela even as the pirate took a swig of her drink and pushed Cinny's left arm towards her, eager for her to see. Glancing down, Cinnamon blinked, then let out a laugh. What Isabela had drawn was really, what she herself wanted the most- A ship on a sea of deep blues and greys, lashed by skies of orange, red and purple. Isabela had managed to cover all of Hawke's left sleeve with such a scene too.
"These are both... Amazing. Thank you, both of you. Really."
Smiling as Isabela gently punched her arm, and Merrill hugged her tightly, Cinnamon couldn't help but chuckle. Sometimes, being her was so very worth it, for all the friends she had. Looking up she met Fenris's gaze, her smile copied lightly onto him as he watched her. Hawke never seemed so happy.
He worried that it would not last long, a thought that caused the elf to try and memorize her near constant smile.
It was at that point that the door to the Hanged Man burst open, and the whole table looked up towards the frantic, heavily breathing boy at the door- All, except Cinnamon, whom simply sighed. Very gently she touched the paint, checking to see if it was dr, and upon finding it was, slowly stood. Staff held once more in her right hand she navigated the table and stood, watching as the boy approached her quickly.
"You're looking for me I presume?"
Silence, ensured by Darktown's stench and filth, was the only reward Cinnamon was finding for venturing so far down into such a pit. Ander's and Varric's heated debate about Isabela's 'friendfictions' had began to get on the noble apostate's nerves, something that rarely happened- But it was only because Cinny had not a clue what they meant, or why they kept shooting looks at her. What could Isabela possibly be writing about her?
Rubbing her head at the possibilities that popped up Cinnamon sighed, leading the way through one of the side passages of the Undercity. This was the way the young boy had pointed them, telling Hawke that someone needed her help desperately. Why her Cinnamon did not know, but the closer to their destination they got the hard it got to deny the unease in her gut.
That, coupled with the little voice in Hawke's mind that whispered for her to run because something wasn't right, made the mage a little agitated.
"Something on your mind Hawke?"
Going a few shades paler in pure surprise at the sound of a familiar elf in her ear Cinnamon glanced sideways, smiling faintly at the curious male.
"Just nothing. A small feeling, something stupid..."
Her voice faded away as she spotted the look in Fenris's eyes, one that caused the mage to simply sigh in resignation. Why, of all the people in Thedas, could she not resist this elf's silent queries and requests? It would be the death of her for sure.
"That boy, his light... In every human, elf or even dwarf, their connection to the Fade shines like a candle. For most it is dim, because they only visit it when they sleep, so their connection is not strong. For mages, it is a little brighter. For those who dabble with demons or spirits, the light is like someone lit a roaring woodfire within.
But that boy, his light was... Different. Brighter somehow, like that of a mages, and yet I can sense no essence of tapped mana within, nor any actual life. It's odd."
Silence floated between them, the whispered voices of Varric and Anders reaching Cinnamon's ears and cursing her with curiousity. But Fenris broke the peace once more, his silently intelligent mind jumping to a question Hawke hadn't thought he'd consider.
"Can all mages see this, this 'Light of the Fade?' I have never heard of such a thing before."
A little surprised at the question Hawke glanced over, a frown fuzzling her brow before sea blue eyes floated back to the path ahead.
"From what I know, no. Father used to tell me I was unique in that way, because in all his years he'd never heard anything like it. I think...I think it scared him. I think I, scared him sometimes..."
Though she tried to hold it back, sadness touched the ends of her words and for a moment her smile slipped. Memories she tried to suppress pressed at her consciousness, and the mage couldn't bring herself to met Fenris's concerned gaze. It was however, his words that broke the silence.
"I'm not afraid of you Cannella."
Fenris was rewarded for his kindness- A smile once more coloured Hawke's features, and she sent a look of pure happiness his way, one that he found himself relishing. She never smiled that way to anyone else.
The conversation may have continued if the last corner had not come into their path, and Cinnamon hadn't noticed it. Raising her hand gently she signaled to Varric and Anders to be silent before leading the way around the corner slowly. Now that she was no longer distracted by Fenris, Cinnamon could feel it in the air. The scent of death was far stronger then anything she'd smelt before.
And as the bend was passed, Cinnamon found why.
Bodies lay scattered across the ground, their eyes open and terror plain on their faces. The sight alone would have caused the bile that rose in Cinnamon, but it was not they that made the mage freeze. It was the abomination who stood over them, slowly turning as Varric cursed and reached for his crossbow as Anders and Fenris did the same.
Unable to move or look away, Hawke felt the tingle of magic on the nape of her neck, foreign and wrong- The abomination had cast a ward, blocking their only exit. In a flash her barriers were up to, protecting her mind and the minds of her companions just in case. She could not tell what kind fo demon it was. As though on a que the demon took a few steps towards them, a morbid smile corrupting it's features even as it extended a deformed hand.
"Why, you are the Hawke I sent the dead child for. So very... Interesting. You do not seem so powerful and invincible as they claimed one like yourself was."
Though it's voice was silky and smooth, it only caused fear to ripple down Cinnamon's arms as it addressed her.
"Of what corruption do you show, and why are you here demon?"
A laugh coursed through it, causing the demon to shake, and beside her Fenris withdrew his sword. Without thought Hawke put her hand on his shoulder, stopping him from charging it.
"I am a demon of sloth- But don't fear me little mortals. I simply wish to help you relax. You all look so tired..."
Already Cinnamon could feel it's pull, and her companions could too. Varric stifled a yawn even as Anders flashed blue, Justice attempting to shield the mage against the spell. Strengthening her barrier Cinnamon grimaced, the probing mana of the demon pressing powerfully on her. The pure power generated by the freshly slaughtered was overpowering, and even Anders with Justice was having trouble rejecting it.
Once more the abomination laughed, appraised the group with alluring eyes, watching as Fenris began to sway and Hawke herself blinked forcefully. Rejecting the spell once more the noble apostate took a step forwards, a growl forming on her lips.
"You will not take us, demon of sloth."
But even as the words left her lips, Cinnamon knew she was wrong. As the world began to blur beneath her fluttering eyelids she felt herself stumble, her knees buckling. As though someone pushed down upon her Hawke slid to the cool ground, staff tumbling from her dead fingers. The last thing heard by the mage was the velvet voice of the demon, a mocking tone laced in it's words.
"But you wish to sleep so much little spirit. So do... It won't hurt you to sleep..."