This is my place to hang my DA II Fandom hat, either by reblogging my love for Fenris & Anders or passing on fics or amazing art.
Logo art by Jakface and msbarrows., from my request for Fenris in a suit.
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For my friends who are Fenders Fans: For Fenders Fans Tumblr
Saved this for a day when I could appreciate it properly. Thank you <3
After having been deprived of the movements and sounds of everyday life for so long the crowded hall soon becomes too much for Anders; to be hit with everything he has been without all at once is overwhelming, and he keeps his hands clamped over his ears as Karl leads him away, careful not to touch where it seems to hurt the most. He is still uneasy under his hand as if even a gentle touch like this itch, and Karl hopes it is only due to being unaccustomed to physical contact.
They settle in the Chantry in part because it is devoid of templar guards to allow for a measure of privacy, but most of all due to it being more silent than anywhere else in the tower; their only company is a brief visit by a young apprentice who prays with more intensity than any priest Karl has ever encountered. The dim light granted by the many lit candles is kinder to Anders’ eyes as well, and he avoids closing them even though it is clear they hurt, seemingly hesitant to even blink. Karl wonders if it is for the fear of if he closes them for too long the Chantry will be gone when he opens them again, replaced instead by the solitary dark, or if he wants to avoid even the soft darkness of his own eyelids after having been kept apart from all non-magical light for so long. He does not ask, either because he does not know how to or because he fears the answer being something darker still. To even speak at all is difficult when he is so unsure of where to start, and he finds himself missing the ease of sharing his thoughts on paper. While he was writing the letters he wanted nothing more than to speak with Anders directly, but with him next to him the words gets stuck in his throat; blocking each other, perhaps, because there are so many that wants out at once.
“It was a risky thing to do,” Anders says at last, having found the words which wanted out the most before he did, and Karl has to smile at the fond approval in his voice.
“That is not something I want to hear from someone who tried to climb out of the tower,” he laughs because really, Anders is not one to speak, and Anders laughs a tired brittle sound with him; had it not been for the smile playing at the edge of his lips Karl would worry more than he does. “Did you, really?”
They watch the flickering candles in silence as Anders loses himself in thought.
“I guess,” he manages at last. “Or I jumped.” He sighs and eases himself closer, and when their arms touch Karl can hear a faint crinkle of paper hidden in his sleeve. A risky thing to do, indeed.
And he cannot, cannot bring himself to ask if he means a different sort of jump than the opportunistic it was a quick way down kind. Instead he grasps his hand, and as their fingers lace together his eyes seek out Anders’ in hope of seeing the answer reflected there. Anders in turn must have read the question in his, because he answers it.
“Sometimes, I’m not really sure.”
But he clings to Karl’s hand like a lifeline.
I know I keep pilfering Hawkeward’s reblogs but her gifs are the perfect summary of my reactions to these fics.
Jesus Combo… I can’t, I just can’t.
They do not meet each other again until two templars unceremoniously drops Anders off at the great hall one noon far too long after the rumoured escape attempt; to Karl it does not feel quite as long as it has been, the letters having left an impression of conversation behind, but he has still counted the days up to a cruelly high number.
Anders seems almost unaware his time in solitary is over; he looks as dazed as if he has just been hurriedly and harshly risen from sleep and remains standing where the templars leave him, looking around the hall in bewilderment, seemingly not believing himself awake. Sure enough, Karl catches him absent-mindedly pinching his left elbow, and he has to smile. It is however a short, fleeting thing, since upon registering he is awake something in Anders seems to break. Karl is up on his feet and on his way to him before he has time to think, because seeing Anders look so lost and haunted does not leave him any time to do so.
As he places a hand on Anders’ back to lead him to a table to make sure he gets something to eat, he shrinks away from his touch and hunches his shoulders forwards as if it hurts. Of course.
“I am so sorry”, Karl whispers, but not as an apology for the unintended pain he just caused.
“It was worth a try”, Anders says with a voice gone rough from lack of use. He stumbles over his own feet even as he keeps his eyes steadily on them and the floor, still not quite used to taking so many steps at once. When Karl steadies him, careful to place his hand in a different spot this time, he does not flinch but if it is because he is touching a spot where it does not hurt or simply because Anders was prepared for his touch, Karl does not know.
“Even given how it ended up?”
“Of course”, come the words as an echo to his own thoughts, but strengthened and not so resigned. He turns his head upwards to look Karl in the eye, and the smile visiting his lips is brilliant to behold. “I got far enough to breathe outside air.”
“And that is worth so much?” The question is not meant to provoke, and for once it does not. There are more questions, forced back from the tip of his tongue because how many lashes for how many breaths of night air is not the right thing to ask at a time like this.
“Yes. If you think about some things”, he says with enough emphasis to tell Karl without words the letters made it to him safely and in doing so lifts an invisible stone from his shoulders, “some more, you might understand.”
He does not need to spell it out for Karl to know; some things are worth anything.
D: D: D:
When the change does come, it is because it is forced. Anders has been skittish and wild-eyed for days before he is dragged kicking and screaming through to tower with a templar at each side and one behind, just out of kicking range. It brings the memory of their first meeting to mind, but it is somehow more heartbreaking this time even though he is older, because despite his greater age there is something so much more fragile about him now; perhaps due to the fact that this time, he knows what he has to fear, and his usual defiance is tinged with desperation.
“What happened?” Karl asks the templar trailing behind them before he can stop himself, his worry too apparent in his voice. It is of no use, of course; he is waved off without a word of answer, only a simple order to stand back. And he does, his feet guiding him backwards without him needing to tell them to, but his eyes remains on Anders writhing furiously in their grasp. The image of it burns behind his eyelids when he close them.
The procession is followed by rumours of an escape attempt made by scaling the tower walls, and as daft in its recklessness as it is, it is almost the kind of thing he can believe a frantic Anders capable of trying if backed into a corner.
Karl eventually becomes frantic himself in his search for answers when Anders does not reappear for days, his heart beating too quickly and thoughts racing, occasionally colliding with each other. Such a long absence can mean one of three things; death, most likely either as a result of a failed Harrowing or being executed, getting transferred to another Circle, or having been sent down to the dungeons.
He refuses to consider the possibility of death and as there have been no transfers lately, solitary is the most likely option. Hoping for it to be where Anders is because it would mean he is still close by is dangerous, and proves he cares for him too much to pretend to himself he does not. It matters less than he thought it would, but that might change once he is no longer living in worry. To randomly ask around in his search for answers of his whereabouts would be too risky, and so the days while he waits for the right person to ask move so slowly he half expects them to come to a halt. When he finally encounters Irving, who provides him with most of the answers he has been looking for in a sympathetic, concerned voice, time does stop for a bit and for a while he forgets to breathe.
He knows what solitary could do to Anders, alone in the cramped darkness.
And one heartbeat later, he can almost feel the tower’s hold on him loosen.
no words only sads
If the opportunity to break free ever presented itself, Karl wonders if he would dare take it. He knows he could not go about it like Anders, who pounces on every last chance to get away and then makes the rest up as he goes along; he would need to plan ahead, and to be completely honest the thought of planning an escape frightens him because there is so much more to it than aimless running. If he could even get away from the tower, where would he go next? And when he got there, what would he do to get by? The tower has made him a scholar, and as much as it suits him to be one he has no idea how needed they are outside. While he could learn how to do something new it would not be without attracting attention, because what manner of adult does not even know how to handle an axe to chop wood with? When he was forced to leave his home he had been far too young to use one, and the same is true for most mages.
Anders, though, would know, and in a way it is a funny thought that there are areas where Anders’ knowledge of things so vastly exceeds his own. He has gotten so used to it being the other way around during the years they have spent together, Anders’ late arrival to the tower leaving him with years of knowledge to catch up to. Karl started helping him out early on, being from the same far-off land and thus understanding said land’s words because helping someone in need of such harmless help felt natural. No one had to order him to for the Circle’s convenience; they would sooner have had to order him not to. At the time he thought it was the teaching which came naturally to him; later, when calming down a homesick and despairing Anders, it seemed as if it was the helping part itself.
Now when the days feel so much darker despite the tower not letting in any less light than it did years ago he is plagued by thoughts of what if. What if he did not wish to help someone out of the goodness of his heart, but only to feel meaningful? He did gain something from it, after all; suddenly having a place, and making a difference to someone for the first time.
On lighter days he can think of it as for what it most likely is; friends helping each other in their own way. But on the days when he catches himself staring at the windows of the dining hall and thinking of what an escape actually entails, he doubts, and is unsure of what it is he truly wants to escape.
If he could run from anything, he might run from the person he has become.
Okay so I feel like I actually need to say something with words instead of gifs at this point, because Karl. KAAAAAAAAAAARL.
Your Karl is far and away my most favorite Karl ever, because you write him as a person in his own right, with his own feelings and opinions, instead of being just a foil to Anders and Anders’ problems. To see Karl fear, and rationalize, and doubt his own motivations breaks my heart so much, but it also makes him so human and so relatable. I love what you do with him so much, it hurts.
ok so there is also a gif, it didn’t feel proper without a gif
Everything Hawkeward said x 1000000
The thought of what he might be denying himself lingers as he and Anders step away from each other, the library too open a place for such gestures of affection. There are mages who risk all of what little they have in the name of some senseless devotion, and while Karl certainly is not one of them there is still this something present to tug at his insides when it comes to Anders; a something that makes it more difficult to breathe when he worries about where he is or what he will attempt next, and something that makes it seem worth the risk to sneak off to secluded areas with the same person over and over again. Some days he remembers to fear it; on others he has come to welcome it because it does at least not leave him feeling heart-wrenchingly numb.
Were he a more careful mage, he would not let himself have those moments or let himself become close enough to another to feel they were moments to share. But he is not as careful a mage as he could be, and at this moment his gnawing weariness is directed at the desperate pressure of trying to be as careful as he should be. To do something reckless, even if only slightly, is to be rid of some of that weight for a while, and the rush of following Anders’ down to the storage rooms and kissing him before their door is even fully closed behind them is enough to make him forget the things he wish he did not have to carry.
For moments upon moments there is nothing in life but a worn stone floor covered in robes turned inside out, of pale legs wrapped around him, one freckled hand in his hair and another gifting shallow crescents to his back. The floor is anything but comfortable but Anders is warm and sounds like life should and in the breaths when they sweat together that is all that matters.
Afterwards, before any numbness has a chance to creep up on him, he tucks a strand of red gold behind Anders’ ear and gestures towards the shelf where fragile glass jars shook the day before.
“What would you have me do?” Karl wonders not for the first time, but the first one he can remember to be out loud.
“I don’t know”, Anders whispers so soon it makes Karl believe it is a question he has often thought about and is despairing over not knowing the answer to.
Sometimes, something means anything.
augh perfection hurts so good
i could not possibly love your karl and anders more