literature

DA2-Abandon Ch.3

Deviation Actions

CelticWolfwalker's avatar
Published:
5 Comments
1K Views

Literature Text

Title: Abandon
Chapter Three
Author: CelticWolfwalker
Game: DA2
Pairing: F!Hawke/Cullen
Notes: Takes place in the intervening years between Act I and II. This will be a short series.

Panting, Marian worked her fingers into the crevasse and pressed her body upwards. She followed each move Cullen made as they traversed the thin trail that ended ten feet from their goal at the top of the cliff. The man kept surprising her with his knowledge and his numerous strengths. How such a capable man that was healthy and vigorous be so emotionally scarred? Then again, she had her fair share of emotional scars, not that any of her friends knew, or even Carver. Carver never knew how much Bethany's death affected her, despite his goading, that Marian didn't seem to care that she was gone.

Grasp, flex, pull, Marian did the movement again and squeaked as her head bumped into Cullen's leg. "Why are you stopping?" she whined a little, her arms and fingers quivering with exhaustion and strain.

"Shhh, I'm trying to listen to something." The knight berated her gently.

Sighing, Marian leaned against the rock and waited. What seemed like eternity, Cullen grunted and looked down to Marian. "Slavers." He told her

"Well, I guess we don't need to invite ourselves to dinner."

Cullen sighed deeply and shook his head; reaching for the next placeholder with his fingers, Cullen carefully wedged his foot onto a small ledge and pulled his body up the rockface. Marian followed in the same steps, flattening herself as Cullen reached the top of the cliff. Her eyes spared a glance down and moaned as the site of churning and pounding water against jagged rocks greeted her sight. Marian's body froze in place, fearing to lose her grip, even though she was almost at the top. This wasn't fun and to know that one little slip could send her crashing to the rocks below sent a jolt of panic through Marian.

A hand reached down and grasped her wrist. The mage gave a small scream. Cullen looked down at her and frowned. "You are almost there, Marian!"

"I…c…can't!" she whimpered.

"Oh, Sweet Andraste!" Cullen cursed softly. "I didn't take you as afraid of heights!"

"I'm not! Just afraid of having my body go splat on those rocks below and wash me out to sea, forgotten by everyone!"

"Marian, I have you. I won't let you go." Cullen's voice softened as he tightened his grip on her wrist.

She contemplated his words and the firmness of his hand around her wrist. Closing her eyes from the drop below, Marian gathered her courage. This little adventure had her finding things that she never contemplated before. Marian never thought of being frightened of heights, as she often walked the winding and narrow paths of the Sundermount frequently without pause as to the horrible fate that met her at the bottom of the mountain if she lost her footing. Then there was putting her trust into a templar, while they searched for a way back home.

"Trust me, Marian." Cullen said to her, catching her eyes with his hazel eyes in open trust.

Squeezing her eyes again, Marian dug her foot into a small crevice and pushed up. Once the upper half of her body reached the edge, Cullen brought his other hand toward her, grabbing around her shoulders and pulled Marian from the cliff edge. Marian felt herself lifted and as she tried to right herself, instead found herself landing on top of Cullen, breathing rapidly from adrenaline and fear.

"Hullo there." Her lips trembled in relief, their noses nearly touching each other.

"Hello." Cullen's mouth twitched.

They lay there, looking at each other, trying to figure what the other was thinking. Marian was debating whether she should soundly kiss the templar and get away before he protested or simply leave well enough alone. Cullen thought the same thing, as his hands pressed into her back.

"We should get moving." Marian said quietly.

"Yes, we should." Cullen agreed, not making a move to free himself from Marian or get up from the ground.

They were at an impasse and Marian was unsure of what was happening between them. Well, nothing was happening now but her heart fluttered in her chest when Cullen looked into her eyes, seeing right into her core being. His hazel eyes were mostly green but the flecks of brown and grey in them intrigued her. How could she be thinking things like this about a templar? She had kept one-step ahead of them her whole life and now, here she was, willingly lying in the arms of a knight-captain of the order.

"Um, I believe you can let go." Marian prodded Cullen, attempting to keep the flush of her amorous thoughts out of her face.

"What?" Cullen blinked his eyes and blushed. His arms loosened around Marian, allowing her to roll off the templar and stand up. Holding a hand out to Cullen, Marian waited for him to accept.

Cullen grasped her hand and stood up from the rocky ground. Once he stood in front of her, Cullen hesitated in letting go. What was going on with him? Every moment he spent in Marian's company, it was getting harder to think of her as anything other than an apostate who needed to be in the Circle. Instead, he wondered what it would be like to live in harmony with a free, unharrowed mage. He raised a hand up as if to touch her cheek but stopped a fingers width from touching.

The clamor of men down the path from where they landed, broke the spell on the pair. "The slavers!" Cullen whispered hoarsely. He turned away from the approaching loud voices of roughened, cursing men and started up a winding footpath. Marian didn't need to be told that they had to leave the area immediately. In their condition, with nothing to show their status, Cullen and Marian looked ripe for capture by a band of slavers. Marian stumbled up the trail that Cullen rushed up on, cursing at her clumsy feet as they found another hidden rock.

The templar reached for Marian's hand, helping the fumbling mage through the treacherous path. Cullen stumbled a couple of times, growling low as their progress seemed to slow. A dark opening hidden by brush and old rubble came into their view. Cullen pushed Marian in, following closely behind. Cullen pressed Marian against the inside of the dark entrance, listening intently to the raucous voices of the approaching slavers. When they passed, Marian and Cullen breathed easier. Cullen closed his eyes as his body started to sway into Marian.

"Cullen?" she asked in concern.

"I'm alright." A slight tremor in Cullen's gentle voice proclaimed that not all was right with the templar.

Her eyes narrowed at him in the dim lighting. "When was the last time you had lyrium, knight-captain?" Marian had her suspicions but wanted Cullen to confirm them first.

He waved a hand at her, a scowl forming on his face, "Only a day or so ago. I'll be fine for another day or two." Cullen sidestepped Marian's unspoken question with ease.

"We rest here for the night." Marian said with authority.

"I said I was…" Cullen started to protest, his eyes hardening on Marian.

"Knight-captain, I'm exhausted and refuse to move one more inch until a full night of rest is behind me and I can think clearly again!" She gave a small stomp of her foot, emphasizing her hard stance.

The templar blinked at her, nonplussed at the nearly childish display of pique he witnessed from Marian. In the back of his mind, Cullen found it cute. Marian's blue eyes in the dim light twinkled and her mouth had dropped into a kissable pout. Oh, Maker, this couldn't be happening! Yes, he definitely felt attracted to the mage, or more the woman Marian is. The uneven cut of her hair suited her, even if the fringe fell constantly into her eyes. That made him want to brush it away from those incredible bright blue eyes of hers. Unlike most mages, Marian forgone the traditional robes and went for comfort and practicality for her travels and adventures. As he leaned into her, Cullen's body gave a slight tremor and his groin hardened with the close proximity of Marian's sensuous curves. Biting the inside of his cheek and willing the awakening part of him to calm down, Cullen stepped away from her, putting distance between them.

Cullen inclined his head to Marian. "As you wish, my lady."

"I'm glad you see it my way for once." Marian jibed at the templar.

"Don't let anyone else know." Cullen shot back, the corners of his mouth twitching upwards.

Marian conjured a soft blue-white light that revealed the cave they dodged into. It wasn't very large, there was enough ground to pace a few steps and sleep comfortably. Toward the back, there was a pool that shimmered in the witch light. Marian went over to the pool and tested the water, smiling as it was cold and sweet. She dropped a pebble in to test the depth and was pleased to hear the deep plop. The small ripples on the surface indicated it was spring fed and water circulated constantly. The mage sighed pleasantly.

"Well, we can clean up properly and get the salt brine and the day's filth washed off." Marian chirped cheerfully.

"But…there is no privacy…" Cullen's eyes widened.

"Tsk, Cullen, after you taking nearly all my clothes off last night and holding me in your strong arms, you are now concerned about modesty?" Marian looked at Cullen with a curious look regarding his sudden propriety.

"You still had some articles of clothing on!" Cullen protested weakly, his skin flushing darkly.

"Pish posh, I was still naked like the day I was born."

Cullen groaned and shut his eyes, trying to control the raging fire building in his body from the teasing Marian was giving him. He didn't have issues with being naked but that he wouldn't be able have enough control for the woman to not notice his arousal towards her. It was going to be difficult at best. Cullen prayed that maybe the day's exertions tired them enough so temptation would be held off.

"How fortunate that this cave has a deep pool so one can bathe." He muttered.

"Shall you go first?" Marian asked.

"Ladies first." He bowed slightly and went to lean against the entrance of the cave, looking out at the concealing brush and the darkening sky. It was going to be a long night.

Shortly after he settled at his sentry post, Cullen heard a splash and gasp. He avoided turning around to see what the matter was, biting at the inside of his cheek until he tasted blood. Silently, Cullen started reciting the Canticle of Trials. There were a few more little splashes and Cullen heard soft singing. The melody was an old Fereldan tune and Marian's voice sang true in a pure alto. Cullen forgot that Marian was Fereldan, despite her family's Marcher roots. As he listened, Cullen closed his eyes and moaned silently, feeling the calling of its words.

Hear my cry,

In my hungering search for you,

Taste my breath on the wind,

See the sky as it mirrors my colours,

Hints and whispers begin.

I am living to nourish you, cherish you,

I am pulsing the blood in your veins,

Feel the magic and power of surrender,

To life. Uisce Beatha

Every finger is touching and searching,

Until your secrets come out,

In the dance, as it endlessly circles,

I linger close to your mouth.

I am living to nourish you, cherish you,

I am pulsing the blood in your veins,

Feel the magic and power of surrender,

To life. Uisce Beatha


He risked turning around and bit his lip as he took in Marian's naked back. The pool was wide and deep enough to bathe but still, the water reached halfway to Marian's buttocks. As the woman trickled water from her hands over her head, Cullen watched the water travel down her spine and lower, to disappear between the cheeks of her rear. His face flamed hotly, followed by a searing trail through his veins that spread throughout his body. Turning back around, Cullen rested his head against the rock of the cavern entrance, wishing now that he had resisted in watching Marian bathe.

Folding his arms across the chest, Cullen tried not to listen to Marian's singing. She sang songs that were old and held power in the words. Many Fereldan songs held many in its sway because of the emotions it conjured in the people. What Marian sang next made Cullen's heart cry, some deep part of him wishing that it was him that the mage lamented after.

I wish I were on yonder hill

'Tis there I'd sit and cry my fill

And every tear would turn a mill

I wish I sat on my true love's knee

Many a fond story he told to me

He told me things that ne'er shall be

Siuil, siuil, siuil a ruin

Siuil go sochar agus siuil go ciuin

Siuil go doras agus ealaigh liom

His hair was black his eye was blue

His arm was strong his word was true

I wish in my heart I was with you

I'll dye my petticoats I'll dye them red

And 'round the world I'll beg my bread

'Til I find my love alive or dead

Siuil go doras agus ealaigh liom

The emotion in her voice made Cullen wonder if she had such a love that she longed for and was lost to her. His keen hearing detected the faint trace of sadness that made him turn his head to look over his shoulder toward the woman in the water. Marian's hands were at her side, fingers brushing at the surface of the water. With her face turned to the side, Cullen caught a glimpse of wetness spilling down her cheek that had nothing to do with pool water.

Her eyes looked up and caught his gaze. Cullen's breath was taken away by the raw grief that was suddenly hidden away and replaced by Marian's unfathomable blue gaze. This woman was more complex than led to believe, Cullen surmised. Clearing his throat, Cullen turned back around, allowing Marian some privacy to gather herself.

Seeing the open sadness in the woman was enough to douse Cullen's heat. Then he berated himself for the selfishness of thinking such improper thoughts about the woman.

"You can turn around, ser knight." Marian called to Cullen softly.

Cullen did so, slowly and unsure of what to say, or if anything should be said. The mage, for all her flippancy and wittiness in public, showed a very personal and emotional side that Cullen thought few ever saw. Marian was vulnerable, she could be hurt and grieve. This changed the templar's thoughts on what he thought about the mage on many levels.

"Marian, I…" Cullen started and stopped, not sure what to say next.

"Please, don't say anything. Forget what happened, okay?" Marian's eyes begged Cullen to keep her vulnerability a secret.

"All right," Cullen dipped his head in agreement. However, he wouldn't forget.

"Now, go wash up. I'll stand guard."

"You don't have to, Marian. There really is nothing out there."

"Just as there was no storm coming on the horizon?" Marian quipped back at the templar.

Cullen winced at the rebuke. "Point taken, serrah Hawke." He shuffled over to the pool and waited for Marian to turn her back before he undressed and splashed into the water.

-}[]{-

The road was winding and had no living soul for miles. Marian wished that this part of the Wounded Coast had more roadside inns but with the temperamental sea weather and the scarcity of supplies, it was to be expected. It also wasn't a main thoroughfare that would bring business from legitimate travelers. Cullen walked in front of her, leading the way toward the east and in the general direction of Kirkwall. But as Marian watched him closely, she took in the little tremors running through his hands that the knight would clench to stop them. By her guess, it was more than a day since the man had his lyrium dose that kept his templar powers on par and at the ready. One of the many shames on the Chantry and what they asked men and women to sacrifice to serve them. They made templars dependent on lyrium and oftentimes, withdrawal from the potent magical concoction led to death or put the person in a state of invalidity for the rest of their life.

Only the strongest of will survived a bout of lyrium withdrawal but not without cost. Malcolm Hawke, Marian's father, treated such templars that had no other recourse but visit the only healer in town when the Chantry wouldn't help them. One such templar counted her father as a friend and often helped him and his daughters. Of course, that same man and Marian grew close with each other over the years they knew each other. He was dark of hair and blue of eyes and when Marian sang the old tune of lost love, she thought of that young templar who stole her heart in Lothering. The man would have gotten into serious trouble for getting involved with an apostate and Malcolm often would warn Marian against pursuing anything with the man.

She was young and in love, and face it, Marian couldn't resist a man in uniform. For the love of her, the templar stopped taking his doses of lyrium. For the love of Marian, he went through agony as the tremors shook his body apart and weakened his heart. Her father couldn't help him, only sit at the bedside and hold the young man down as the insurmountable pain wracked through the templar. Marian couldn't stand it and wanted to end the suffering by giving the man what they had in their stash. The templar vehemently denied her offering. He was willing to walk through the Void in order to be with her, free from the drug and the Chantry.

However, he wasn't strong enough.

Marian ran into Cullen's back as he stopped suddenly in front of her. She raised her face and felt Cullen put his strong fingers around her arms. The look of concern and pity in his eyes sent a flash of anger through her.

"What?" Marian snapped.

"You're crying."

Putting her hands up to her cheeks, they came away wet. Angrily, Marian wiped the tears from her face. This was the second time her guard was let down around Cullen and he saw the weakness that Marian kept tightly under wraps. "It's nothing. Why have you stopped?"

Cullen frowned, shaking his head and sighing in exasperation. "We need to find a place to rest. I think I spotted a cavern entrance up ahead that is a little off the road. It could be the distance playing tricks of the light though."

"Then let's go. We will need to find some berries or herbs to eat on the way. It isn't much but there are no fish ponds close by where I can conjure them to my lap."

"Maybe not but many of these caves could be used for shelter from travelers." Cullen suggested.

"Oh, you mean by smuggler's?" Marian's voice bit with sarcasm.

The templar shrugged. "Are you done being snide now?"

"Am I what…?" Marian blinked at Cullen's blunt words.

"You heard me, Hawke. Do you think I will stand here and take the abuse of your angry tone when I asked after you in concern?"

"It's none of your business, serrah!" Marian's mouth went thin with suppressed anger. "If I wanted to share my intimate thoughts, it wouldn't be with you!"

That made Cullen step back as if he was physically struck a blow. His face hardened and closed down. "You really can be a bitch." He said in a deadpan voice.

Marian blinked, surprised that Cullen was being so blunt with her, when he normally was reserved and polite. "Wow, the templar can actually lose his diplomatic tact and tell it like it is without sugar coating his words." She fired back.

"And you can be insufferable, snide, and arrogant." Cullen responded without a misstep. "You won't let anyone inside that armor you wear and you prefer to push them away when they want to help."

"Ha! You are a templar knight-captain! Your way of helping is to want me caged up in the Gallows!" Marian's voice rose, true anger showing through. Cullen spoke the truth and she couldn't stand to have that thrown in her face.

"By the Maker, Marian! I have kept you from Meredith's notice, as have your brother! She has yet to know what you are, much less know that you and Carver are related!" Cullen yelled back.

"I never asked you to do that! I am doing fine on my own. I have avoided your kind all my life!"

"Well, maybe I will let you get on with your life and deal with Meredith yourself with no help from me." Cullen spat out. "Mark my words, Marian, when she gets her hands on you, you are going to wish for my help then."

Marian's face reddened at the templar's audacity and self-righteousness that she reached up to slap him across the face. Cullen was too fast and grabbed her wrist. She swung with her other hand. He grabbed that too and held the infuriated woman in his grasp. She started to gather magical energy, the glow starting to outline her body but Cullen stared at Marian coldly, giving a slight shake to his head in warning.

"So, knight-captain, what are going to do?" Marian challenged the man who held her firmly.

"Run." He spoke quietly, his eyes not looking at her at all but over her shoulder and behind Marian.

"What?" Marian squeaked, fury making her skin crackle with rising energy.

"Unleash that at the enemy behind you, Marian, and run!" the templar bit out and spun her about, his hands on her shoulders.

Marian was confused why Cullen would say that when she noticed the approaching band of bandits coming at them. Pressing her lips together, Marian brought her hands out in front of her and unleashed a torrent of electrical energy toward the group. It was inevitable that unleashing that amount of energy without the focus of a staff, made Marian weak. Cullen was prepared and wrapped her arm in his, leading them quickly away from the bandits.

The pair half-ran and Marian stumbled, bringing them both to their knees a few times, trying to find somewhere to ditch out of sight from the bandits. Once the initial shock of the electric shock wore off, those bandits were going to come after them. They ran through a copse of shrubs that held thin sharp thorns that tore at their clothing and faces. However, once through, sanctuary awaited, as a welcoming cave opening stood before them. Gasping for breath, Marian collapsed at the entrance.

A/N - The music lyrics are: the first one, Cloudsong by Michael Whelan from Riverdance, sung by Annuna; the second one, an Irish tune, Suil a Ruin.
Abandon

When fate throws two disparate people together through a freak storm, some things will be

discovered as they struggle to make it back home.

Chapter 1 [link]
Chapter 2 [link]
Chapter 3 [link]

The adventure continues...
© 2011 - 2021 CelticWolfwalker
Comments5
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Teru-is-True's avatar
"Suil a ruin", I believe, was also featured in Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, was it not?

As it is... :heart: both songs.
Seriously love this chapter to BITS. :heart:

I love Cullen, so much. <3
CelticWolfwalker's avatar
It is one of my favorite Irish tunes.

Thank you for the comment!
Teru-is-True's avatar
You are welcome. ^^
Evalyne's avatar
been following this on ff. net and it is an intristing concept.

The amell(or surena)/cullen fans get their fix here!

hehe it is nice to see him in this light.

The story about Marian and a younger templar falling in love then he dying made me tear up a bit.
CelticWolfwalker's avatar
Heh, it is a good Cullen fix.

Thank you!