Part 4: Moving On

I was awake long before Fenris the next morning.  I hadn’t been able to sleep much.  Everything with Anders from the night before was whirling in my mind, but that wasn’t the only thing.

Unbeknownst to him, I have spent the past few weeks agonizing over how I was going to tell him that we needed to go back.  Back to Kirkwall, back to where it all began.

I sat beside the remnants of the fire, watching him sleep.  It seemed to wipe all the anger off his face, and it was only while he was sleeping that I think I get to see what he would have looked like if he had lived a normal life.  But fate had other ideas.  Bitch.

I often wondered that.  What our lived would have been like if things had turned out differently, just not with any sense of despair or self pity, more of a detached curiosity.

But my inner musings for the morning were interrupted as Fenris stirred from sleep.  He sat up, rubbing his eyes and I eyed the lean profiles of the body I had come to know as well as my own.  Fenris was all muscle and strength, wrapped up in a tattooed body with a dark and broody past.

No wonder I fell for him.  Most women would.

Fenris noticed me awake and yawned.  “You’re up awfully early,” he noted.

I nodded.  “I’ve been thinking.”

He groaned and flopped down on the blankets.  “I thought we were going to put all this business with Anders behind us.”

“It’s not Anders, Fenris.  It’s Kirkwall.”

That got his attention.

“What about Kirkwall?” he asked warily.

I took a deep breath.  “We need to go back.”

Fenris shot up out of the blankets, ignoring his lack of attire.  A state I, of course, immensely enjoyed despite his agitation.

“Are you mad!” he exclaimed.  “You want to go back to the place we have studiously been avoiding for these last few years?  Back to the place where the war started?  A war we had a hand in?”  Fenris looked at me incredulously.

“I think killing Anders may have finally sent you stark raving mad.”

“No, I think it’s finally made me see what I’ve been trying to deny for weeks now,” I said softly.  That calmed him down, sort of.  I could tell he was still riled up, but he was willing to hear me out.

“Alright,” he sighed, pulling on some pants and sitting down next to me.  “Why do we have to go back to Kirkwall?”

“We need to talk to Varric,” I began.  “We need him to find us a safe place in or near the city for a year or two, and we need him to make sure no one figures out we’re there.”  Fenris eyed me warily.

“I few years?” he asked.

I nodded.  “Then we can move on again.”

Fenris shook his head at me.  “You’re not making sense Tanis.  Why don’t you start at the beginning and tell me why we need to hide out in that city?  For a few years?  There are plenty of places here in Fereldan that we can hole up in and no one will figure out who you are.  Why don’t we just pay a visit to Denerrim and speak to the queen?  You two are friends yes?  I’m sure she’d take you in.”

“You really think it would be a good idea for a queen to be seen harboring one of the most wanted women in Thedas?  Let alone the risk of waltzing into Fereldan’s capital city?  No.  We have to go back to Kirkwall,” I said with more confidence than I felt.

“But why Tanis?” he asked.

I swallowed quickly before I spoke again. “Because there is nowhere else I would feel safe enough to have our baby.”

I held my breath as all the color drained from Fenris’ face at my words.  He looked at me and down to my belly where unbeknownst to him our child had been growing for weeks now.

“Our..?” he started, unable to finish.  I nodded.

“I’ve suspected for a few weeks,” I said.  “I wasn’t sure at first, but I’m showing the signs now and can’t deny it.  I’m pregnant Fenris.”

Fenris looked away from me and stared at the ashes of our fire.

“Why…why didn’t you tell me?” he asked haltingly.

I laid my hand gently on his shoulder.  “I wasn’t sure before, and I knew you wouldn’t let me face him if you knew what I suspected.”

Fenris never looked at me, just nodded as he continued to stare into the fire.  “You’re right,” was all he said.

“Fenris?” I finally asked.  “Please talk to me love.”

He shrugged.  “I don’t know what to say,” he said, finally looking at me.  “You’re telling me I’m going to be a father, when I don’t even remember mine, let alone know if I had one.  It’s just…” he sighed and rubbed his hand over his face.

“It’s just a little hard to take in right now.  I don’t know what to think.”

I nodded at that.  I couldn’t really blame him.  Fenris had a family, his memory of them was stolen from him, and now I tell him he’s going to be a father.  I was just relieved he talked to me and didn’t run away.

“But why do we need to go back to Kirkwall?” he asked, bringing me back to the present.

“I trust Varric enough to find us a safe place, and keep us secret until the baby is born,” I explained.  “It would also be nice to see Aveline, Bethany, and Merrill again-”

“I thought you wanted to keep us secret,” Fenris interrupted dryly.  I smacked him lightly on the arm.

“They won’t betray us,” I said.  “And I need to ask Aveline and Varric a favor.  One you won’t like.”

Fenris looked at me, and when I saw the sadness on his face, I knew he knew.

“You’re going to leave the babe with them,” he said.  I nodded.

“Until we know that everyone has stopped looking for us, I can think of no safer place,” I picked up a twig off the ground in front of me and starting twirling it between my fingers.  This next part was going to be really, really hard.

“And Bethany’s there should we need her to teach them.”

Fenris stood up abruptly and walked away from me to the opening in the stone wall.  Áedán was there at the breach in the wall, watching us, and when Fenris came near he stood up with a small whine, his big brown doggy eyes filled with worry as he looked back and forth between us.  I stood up and quickly followed.

Needless to say, Fenris had a long, complicated, and highly unpleasant history with magic.  I could only imagine what the possibility of a mage child would do to him.

“Fenris you had to at least consider that was a possibility,” I said to his back as I reached him.  “I come from a family of mages, and you’ve had pure lyrium branded into your skin.  The Maker only knows what else that’s done to you.”

“You don’t need to remind me,” he growled at me.  He was staring out at the tree line, arms folded across his chest.

“You need some time,” I said flatly.  Story of our life.  Whenever anything emotional happened, he ‘needed some time’, and usually spent that time away from me.  A large part of me understood the reasoning behind it, but a small, selfish part of me called him a coward every time it happened.

With a sigh he finally turned to face me.

“I’m not running,” he said, guessing my thoughts.  “But what else do you expect Tanis?  In three breathes you tell me I’m going to be a father, that I need to abandon my child once it’s born, and that there’s a strong possibility it could be a mage.”  He took a deep breath before continuing.

“I…love you Tanis,” he said.  I hated how he still had trouble saying that, but loved the thrill that went through me each time he said it.

“I love you and I won’t abandon you.  But you can’t expect me to be okay with all this right now.”

I hesitantly stepped forward and wrapped my arms around his narrow waist.  His arms wrapped around me in turn as he cradled my head against his chest.

“I know,” I whispered into his warm, smooth chest.  “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” he said as he patted my back.  “I told you years ago, that if there was a life for me to have, I would walk into it gladly by your side.  We may not always agree on the crazy things you come up with-”

“Hey!” I exclaimed, pulling back to look up at him with mock indignation on my face.  He smiled as his hand reached up to cup my cheek.

“But as you’ve told me time and time again, if we love each other, we can work through it.”  And he kissed me.

After a long while, we broke the kiss and Fenris led me back to the fire pit.

“Besides,” he said as he got dressed.  “It’s a long way to Kirkwall, and plenty of time for me to change your mind.”

Back To Kirkwall Part 1: Old Friends

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