Participants:

Anders_icon.gif Cenn_icon.gif

Scene Title No Justice in Hope
Synopsis Cenn comes down to Darktown to see if rumors of a healer lead to an old friend. Things get… complicated. Anders needs a drink.
Location Lowtown Clinic
Date Bloomingtide 29, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Anders' past, both passengers making an appearance
Logger Anders

So, it was a long shot. A really, really long shot, that these whispers are about who Cenn has a hunch they are about. The chances of one of the few Spirit Healers he's ever known fleeing far enough to become a Warden, surviving long enough to make his way to Kirkwall, and then choosing to open a clinic in Darktown, it's really quite unlikely. But Cenn can't shake the thought. It is his time, though, and not the Order's that he uses on this investigation. No armor, no mark of what he is. Just a set of simple street clothes. He's even ditched the coat before making his into Darktown, it would likely mark him as more out of place than he likes. Honestly, even just his cleanliness and the sturdiness of his boots do that well enough all on their own. That and the blade on his hip, but despite that making him stick out, he's not about to go walking around down here unarmed. At least he's smart enough to have not brought anything else of value. But his Ferelden accent and a faked cough, which isn't terribly hard to put on with the smell down here, gets him pointed in the direction of the clinic easily enough.

Anders doesn't often, in his work as a healer, get to have a really good day. Most of his skilled work life has been spent in the Circle and among the Wardens. The injuries are often severe and the pain of his patients often has no reward beyond the chance of survival. Opening his doors to those among the lost and frightened had seemed like the right way to serve his penance for the lives he did nothing to save, but he had no idea that doing so would be able to bring joy, too. It's only his second day of seeing to Kirkwall's poor, but the clinic has already been cleared out - though the lantern is still lit - and for the first time all day, there is peace in these dark rooms. Anders himself is blood-smeared and the wisps of hair loosed from their tail are stuck to the sides of his face with sweat, but there's a smile on his face that is simultaneously exhausted and dopey. Wearing nothing more than trousers and shirt with the sleeves rolled up past the elbow - not even with a mage's staff at hand - he has bloody linen towels draped over his shoulders and one bundle wrapped in clean linens cradled in his arms. It was a long birth - it was a hard birth - and the mother only barely survived, even with all his skill. She sleeps now, safe and warm behind one of the ratty screens Lirene managed to find him to help divide the space. And Anders? Anders is walking slowly around the front of the room, swaying back and forth and talking in a low, soft sing-song to the tiny form he ferries with him, wide blue eyes fixated on the blurry source of the gentle voice. Sometimes, on some days, there are serious perks to his line of work.

That lantern still being lit, Cenn glances to it. And for all he might be walking in to some mage's workplace that does not know him, Hope is sitting there inside his mind convincing him otherwise. There's a lightness to his step. For all Anders had been… Well, a headache, to put it lightly, he really had been pained to see him suffer as he had to. If this was him, Cenn would be glad for it.

Stepping in, Cenn is quiet about it, knowing he's walking into a place of healing. Darktown is never exactly bright, but inside of rooms, it takes a minute for the Templar's eyes to adjust. Eventually, though, they do, and catch sight of Anders' back. It's been years since he's seen him, and he's not quite sure, but the tone of that voice… He knows that voice, spoken through a closed door over the course of a year, when Cenn had done what he could to distract him. Seeing the bundle that can only be a child in his arms, Cenn pauses, smiling. But staring is rude, and he's walked into a place that belongs to another. "Anders?" He says, voice low and quiet, so as not disturb anyone at rest in the clinic, and, hopefully, to not startle the mage.

One of the senses heightened in his year alone, Anders found, had been his hearing. Not in any supernatural way - he couldn't suddenly hear a flea fart in Highever or anything - but in that recognition came so much faster than he'd been prepared for. Well. Sort of recognition. It's this baseline thing. Friend or Foe? It's been many years since Anders had to rely on his ears for such information from the other side of a door, but such habits die hard. The sound of his name in that voice eventually will register as Cenn d'Argent, a full-fledged Templar that he should very much avoid; immediately, however, it registers as Friend.

So it's not with a fireball in one hand that Anders spins around - which, when protecting the small bundle in his arms is not outside the realm of possibility - but instead a look of blank, almost child-like shock. It takes him a moment to return to the here and now. Then it's Fear. Then it's regret. "You should not be here."

As Anders turns, he is met with one of Cenn's trademark disarming smiles. Though it fades quickly as Anders' expression changes. Lifting his hands before him, palms facing out, he shakes his head. "Anders, I'm not here to cause you any trouble. I just…" He says, "I heard the rumours, and I could hardly believe it could be you." It seems he's not had any news yet of needing to hunt down Anders. Not since he joined the Wardens, anyway. As far as this Templar knew, he had the untouchable claim of the Grey.

And Anders still has that claim. He's reported in to the most senior Warden in the city; he's not AWOL, necessarily. It's more of a… sabbatical. He needs one. Maker, does he ever need one - and he looks it too. It's in the fatigue around his eyes and the weight around the corners of his mouth, the way his shoulders start to droop the instant the startled reaction fades. "I get that a lot," he drawls, though there's not nearly enough energy in the quip to be convincing. And even though he's not immediately throwing Cenn out on his ear, he not-so-subtly maneuvers himself between the Templar and the path to his one remaining patient. He trusts Cenn enough not to hurt a baby, but if there are more of them coming… who knows how messy things could get? "But now you've seen me and there isn't much to see so I suppose you'll be going now."

"Anders, I am here alone. I'm not here for the Order. I just came to see you." Cenn says, brow knitting. Hell, he even reaches to his belt, dropping it, with his sheathed sword and all, to the floor, though he does so quietly. There's not much to be done about the sound of it sliding across the room as he kicks it away, but it's not quite the clatter that would come from it falling from his hips. "I only even brought that to get me through Darktown, if I needed to."

Anders watches him disarm with wary eyes, chewing on his lower lip and weighing his possible options. Now things were even enough - he could still cast and Cenn could still dampen, but even that brought them to essentially a stalemate without greater numbers or outside weapons. He wanted to trust this man and that was the crux of the matter. "Alright," he cedes, bouncing the newborn as she fusses. "So long as you bring no trouble here, you can stay." It's all he asks of anyone who comes.

A stalemate, indeed. One that Cenn had no want to test at all. He nods, and moves to lean against the wall, making no move further inside, as it would also mean approaching his blade, and he can feel the trepidation the allowance has been made with. None the less, he can't help but smile again when Anders quiets the child in his arms. "I am glad you're here." He says. You know, as opposed to dead. Or trapped some place miserable again. Or in the Deep Roads. The Circle had never suited Anders, it never could, and the talent the mage had, it was right wasted stuck behind walls anyway. He could help, in the Wardens, in a clinic here in Darktown, and Cenn understands the want to help people. Distinctly, in fact. It is then that Hope perks up, he can feel her there, curious and bright about this man that Cenn has tracked down from his past.

Anders' own passenger is not so active as Hope. Being forcibly ripped from a host during an act of pure injustice had weakened him. Those moments of existence in the world of harsh and static reality had weakened him. Even so, there is something about Cenn that seems to… glow. "There are worse places, I suppose." Anders is still cautious. "Amaranthine was a real picnic. Greagoir should have left well enough alone." No, it's not quite a glow, more a shimmer? A sparkle? Something is different from what he remembers and while part of him is oddly soothed by Cenn's presence, most of him is REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE that he can find anything about a Templar to be soothing. "Why are you here?" A general question, this time, rather than a specific demand.

Such is the way of things. Hope was ever more active than a great number of things. Almost inconveniently so, in fact. Justice might not be very active, but Hope knows. Even if she can't really tell her host, her excitement is palpable and there is half a second where Cenn can't help the confused look that crosses his face. He corrects it swiftly, however, and turns his focus back to Anders. Expression turning sad, he shrugs. "I couldn't stay in Ferelden… Not after…" Cenn says, sounding pained. So many things. After so many things. After the Blight. And the Blight had been the only thing distracting him from grief. After Hope. "It was too painful to watch, the rebuilding I couldn't aide in. It was better to be someplace that actually needed the sort of help I can offer."

Anders listens, considering. Nothing in the story rings false and the memories of those hands slipping soft-bound books or tightly-wound scrolls into his cage make him want to trust Cenn. At least… he's pretty sure that's the reasoning behind the urge to trust, to be close to. It's really all rather a bit disconcerting to be honest - especially when he reminds himself that those hands could have opened his cage and didn't. "I don't exactly think Kirkwall is short on Templars." It's petty of him to say so - not to mention unfair - and Anders knows it, but the sting of injustice (of the people who would sentence him for crimes he may never commit) is still fresh enough that he says stupid things. Judging by the look on his face, he even knows this one was stupid; he looks almost apologetic, but can't quite bring himself to say it out loud. "But…" he trails off, chewing on the words he knows to be true like a grumpy old tom cat being forced to vacate a particularly comfortable seat. "I suppose they could use more like you."

Oh yes, they certainly could have opened that cage. And then what? Anders would have gotten out, and… Been caught again, and if they were willing to shove him into solitary for a year, Cenn had not wanted to know what the next escalation would have been. And flighty though he had been, Cenn had never felt Anders deserved anything like that. The apologetic look just gets a warm one in return. "No, Anders, you're right. Kirkwall isn't short on Templars. Not by a long shot. That's why I asked for this assignment."

And somewhere, deep down inside, the logical part of Anders knows all of this. Truly, he does. It just… sometimes becomes hard to remember how to logic over the sour taste of inherent and persistent unfairness. Damn the man for looking so warm and friendly and open and trustworthy. It's like trying to stay mad at a damned retriever. Cannot. Physically. Sustain. Righteous. Indignation. "… you asked for Kirkwall." Anders can't believe that one. "Who asks for Kirkwall?" Well. He did. A lot. Probably several times in Cenn's hearing, too. But he had his own reasons.

It really is, I mean, he doesn't puppy dog eye near as well as a certain grumpy elf, but his optimism is known to be contagious. And if he were a retriever, and did have a tail, it would likely be constantly wagging. Hard to stay mad at, this guy. "Apparently, the both of us." Cenn answers to that, sounding very serious. "The situation here is… A mess. I wanted to help. I'm not so young anymore, so unable to influence decisions. I have a voice in the Order." There's almost a touch of apology in that tone. An apology for a punishment he couldn't stop.

No one puppy dog eyes as well as Fenris - nor should they! It's unfair enough that there is one person walking around with that kind of power, two would just be a disaster. Or at least wreak disaster on Anders' life and really that's what he cares about most just now. Cenn's answer makes him flinch, curling around the baby for comfort as much as giving comfort in a subconscious response to memories he'd tried very hard to put away. "That's right, you were there for… that." And in the wake of that semi-apology, something seems to dawn on Anders. It crests slowly, like watching heartbreak in reverse - this blinding, pulsing, child-like innocent hope that blooms across his face. "You were there for that," he repeats, eyes gone bright and desperate all at once. He even takes a step closer to Cenn. "And you're in the Gallows now." Oh, this is going nowhere good, Anders almost vibrating with the intensity of the question he's almost terrified to ask - and that anyone who'd been at Kinloch with him has to know would be coming. "Have you seen Karl? Is he alright? How is he?"

Well, that wasn't the punishment he was apologizing about. Anders steps forward and Cenn's brow knits. For all that it had broken Anders' heart, Cenn knew why Karl had been sent away. It had been painful to watch but, well, that relationship had made even him feel uncomfortable, and he works hard to be the ever understanding sort. He shakes his head. "I… Anders…" Cenn starts, voice gentle, though he sighs, "He is alive. He is safe. Leave it be, please."

The gentle way Cenn starts to answer him spikes fear in Anders like the ground has just dropped out from beneath him. People aren't ever that gentle with him unless someone has died. In the middle of his infant-clutching panic, it takes him a few minutes to process exactly what the rest of that answer is and when it registers, well… Anders just about flies off the handle. "Why should I?" he snaps, fear turning quickly into anger and frustration and resentment and a great deal of hurt. "Why is that always the answer I get? Am I not allowed to love? Am I not allowed to be loved?" Even as he works himself up into a right fit of temper, Anders is ever the healer; he keeps his voice low, the fury coming out in hissing diction, not volume. Even in his own version of emotional hell, the needs of his patients come first. "It's bad enough to be preached at that mages shouldn't love by the rest of them, but if you really expect me to just… forget love because I'm a mage, then you're the worst kind of hypocrite!"

"Maker, Anders," Cenn says, hands coming up again, a little shocked by the vitriol that is thrown at him, "That's not what I am saying at all." There's a pain there, just under his still gentle tone. "You are perfectly allowed to love. And I hope that the Maker gives you as much, truly. But you and Karl…" He pauses, sighs, "You don't have to listen to me. But I say what I do from compassion, not disapproval."

That… is at least enough to draw Anders up short. His outburst upset Baby and soothing her gives him an excuse to think for half a second. When the wee one finally drifts off to sleep, Anders walks her over to settle her in a low-hanging cot, comfortable enough now to assume that Cenn is truly not bringing down the Gallows on his head. "I don't understand," he finally admits, though it looks as if the admission comes at some fairly steep personal cost. "Everyone always said it was wrong, but there was never a better reason than the usual 'mages cannot love' tripe they've always spewed at us. Like they honestly thought that Love and Hope would make us more prone to demons, instead of less." And that idiocy had always burned him. His love was just as good as anyone else's - being told it was tainted had left an ache that he'd once thought would never be filled. At least he's calm now, but when he lifts his gaze to Cenn's again it's with this sadness that wants desperately to understand - to believe the world is better than what it's shown itself to be. "How can you call that compassion?"

Hope awakens again at the mention of her… Well, not her. Not exactly her, but her none the less. That was a weird concept. She perks, and then saddens some, flickering in Cenn's mind. She wants to reach out and soothe this mage who had been apparently told that her presence should be denied him. There's a small flicker of something like impatience, but Cenn looks away when it crops up. Somehow, not directing it at Anders. When he looks back to him, it's with a soft, sad expression. It is then that he pushes away from the wall, finding the nearest flat, clean enough surface and sitting down. He shakes his head. "I wouldn't call that reasoning compassion. That is not what I am trying to say." He says gently, "Hope," His voice has a different inflection to that word, like he is speaking a name, "and love are things everyone needs, and everyone deserves. I am sorry no one gave you an explanation about Karl." He pauses, "I will be honest, I may step all over myself in trying to explain this, and I apologize in advance for being insensitive. Truly, I do not aim to be." Taking a deep breath, Cenn continues, "Karl was… So much older than you. It was deemed… Inappropriate, that he was… People were concerned you were being taken advantage of."

The saddest truth about Anders that almost no one knows is painfully simple; the man is loyal to a fault. That level of respect has not often been earned, but those times it has been… well. It was something to see. And to think ill of the man who had taught him everything, who had given him everything… It was ludicrous - laughable, even. Too ridiculous to even be insulting. "Cenn, you must be - that can't be… are you serious? That's why they sent him to this miserable place?" The level of incredulity in his voice is surreal, like even he can't quite believe this is happening. "All these years, all this suffering, over… over that?" He even laughs, but there's something bitter and fragile about it. "How could anyone possibly think that? Since when have I ever been quiet about being wronged?"

That same soft, compassionate look continues. "Oh, Anders…" Cenn says quietly, shaking his head, "That is the awful insidiousness of such things. You were… Maker, Anders, how old even were you?" It's not like he keeps track of everyone's birthdays. Maker, he can barely keep track of his own. "So young, and so… Inherently loving, and wanting of approval. It's not that we thought you wouldn't say you were wronged, it was concern that you had been convinced that you had not been in the first place."

"I was - !" Anders starts to answer defensively, but has to stop simply for the fact that he's not… He has to think about it for a minute; so consumed as he was in the actual happening - both of the affair and of its ending - he hadn't ever stopped to consider it in clear linear terms. It had happened. It had been wonderful and then it had been awful. What did it matter how old he'd been? "… I turned seventeen a week after he left." And seventeen was not, perhaps, so odd, but three years prior he'd been just barely fourteen. That's the point when he goes pale, and there's a moment there when it looks like Anders just might be sick all over his own clinic floor, but when he finally opens his mouth to say something, it's with a (mostly) steady voice. "You're wrong about him," he says quietly, swallowing hard around a lump in his throat that he had not given permission to be there. "He's not…" He shakes his head, like he's trying to clear it. "He's a good man, Cenn. He wouldn't have - I started it. Did you know? Did they know? I'm the one that wanted - " What? What had he wanted? Originally? He can't remember anymore and what he got was so good and kind and patient with him - even when he didn't deserve it… It just - he can't. "He was good to me when I wouldn't even have been good to me. You're wrong about him. You're just… you're just wrong." And unable to articulate any more than that and unwilling to have any further emotions when he has an audience, Anders swallows a sound that sounds halfway like a laugh. "I think you should go."

Maker, fourteen. Cenn takes a deep breath. While Anders speaks, Cenn just listens, his expression growing more sad. "Did I know what? That you started things, at least as far as you are concerned?" He says, but doesn't push the question. "Perhaps we were wrong. I will not pretend to know everything but… Anders, think about it. Think about being older even than you are now, and sleeping with a boy of fourteen. It… That's not normally a healthy or good decision. For anyone." None the less, he moves to stand. "But if you insist, I will leave. I must fetch my blade before I do, however, and do not wish to alarm you." He pauses, standing there, waiting permission to approach his weapon.

Anders can't think about that - in fact he's been trying exquisitely hard to think of anything else but that - but when Cenn puts it forward in such a gentle way, a reasonable way, his mind can't help but follow that trail… and reject it utterly. He can't possibly. It's abhorrent, he recoils even from the hypothetical and yet… Fourteen seems so impossibly young to him now. "I never felt that young," he says quietly, though whether to himself or to Cenn is entirely unclear. He sits down on the side of the cot next to the makeshift crib, elbows on his knees and one hand pushing back through his hair - heedless of dried and drying blood. "Take your blade. Do as you like." There is enough turmoil inside of him just now that Cenn could run him through and he probably wouldn't even notice.

Cenn doesn't push the point. Sitting there telling this man, this man he knew had been through so much, and he surely didn't know the half of it, that one of the bright points of his life was some hidden twisted, darkness, it made his stomach turn. What's more, the look on Anders' face makes Hope twist. Oh, she twists terribly, in fact, practically whimpering inside his mind. Stepping over to his discarded belt, he takes it up slowly with shaky hands. That shimmer about him, only obvious to mages and the like, intensifies. As he buckles the belt, he has to take another breath to keep Hope from wrestling control away all together, and the haze, for the briefest of moments, is actually, physically visible. He turns then, having kept her at bay with a deal. Stepping over to Anders, Cenn drops to his knee, looking up into the Healer's face. "Anders, I am sorry. It's not my place to come in here and try and twist your life in front of your eyes. But you deserved the truth." He says, so gentle, but with an edge of something else. A hopefulness tied in with something almost like a pleading. The undercurrent of 'don't forget me' from Hope, unspoken but felt.

With his back to Cenn and his mind something of a mess, Anders is not in any position to notice the tell-tale signs coming from a passenger very similar to his own. He doesn't notice much of anything until Cenn kneels, but that strange burst of Hope is not wasted. "The truth," he echoes, those two words coming out on a burst of laughter that doesn't sound anything like it at all. Hope is tempered and twisted by Justice until it becomes something cold and hard and hollow - a humming restlessness that settles deep into his bones. "What is truth?" Who's to say there isn't some grace in those shades of grey? This could all be agony for naught; Karl could still love him now - and what did all the rest matter anyway? "I need some air." Which means taking Baby to her mother and getting Lirene to come and sit with them a while, but those are both very manageable steps. Nothing else seems manageable right now. "I'm sure you can see yourself out." Because he is certainly not going to wait for him.

"The truth of why he was sent away." Cenn says, "Not your own truth." That hollow laugh pains him, physically pains him. No, that's not him at all. Because, damn it, Hope knows what despair sounds like and she's having none of it. None at all. Her whimpers turn to a screech, as Cenn's attempt at condolence is inadequate. For most people, Cenn could probably tamp her down enough to be fine. But this man, Anders, he was… How to explain… When Hope had looked into Cenn's past, into his mind, deciding whether he was suitable, it was his kindness to Anders that was one of the major things that made him suitable.

"Yes, I can." He says, and he's standing quickly. It's not quick enough though, he can't get himself out of this situation fast enough. This is precisely the sort of situation that Hope cannot stand for, and that glowing returns. Returns and intensifies, and the voice that speaks then is very, very different from Cenn's.

"You are loved." Is all she says, he says? No, that cadence is most definitely feminine, that expression gentle despite the glowing coming from eyes and skin, likely all too familiar to Anders.

"Maker's pickled arsecheeks…" No, in case anyone was wondering, Anders was not even a little bit prepared for this scenario. Probably should've been, but he very much was not. "Cenn, what have you gotten yourself into now…" Which is rich, coming from him He could feel the Fade - stronger even than when Fenris lit his brands, though not quite so… distracting - he could feel the skin around his eyes going tight until it cracked. He could see hazy blue light around the edges of his vision, but that is all. He is still Anders here. "That's nice," he tells this feminine voice, trying to viciously squish the part of him that wanted so desperately to believe her. "And, er, thanks for telling me. Really. But, um, everything's fine now, so could we please have Cenn back?"

"Except that it is not, child." Says that same voice, so much different. So much not the Templar who wears it. Hope approaches, closing distance, placing a hand upon Anders' shoulder. She may be in control, but she's no violent creature. "You do not believe me. But you ought to. I can tell." Despite the light, the flickering, the inevitable rush of Fade energy that comes along with her, she is calm. "And do not fret for him, if it because you count him a friend. I am Hope, and he was dying." She explains, trying to ease worry, "And you are sitting here twisting and despairing and it will not do."

"Friend might be a strong word…" he mutters. Except that it isn't and he does, he just… right now there is a maelstrom inside of him and the presence of an incorporeal, insubstantial Justice is not helping. Her answers to unasked questions do ease him a little bit. There is an ancient familiarity to her that makes him unquestionably certain that she is who she says she is. And the draw to her is so strong - but it is not his own at all - accented by only a single thought.

Sister. My sister.

There is something about this spirit, this Hope. It reminds him of the mother he's tried so hard to forget - the one who fought to keep him by her side before giving in and abandoning him to his fate. He wants to believe her, but faith has never been his strong suit. "How?" is all he can ask, feeling dangerously on the verge of tears and stupidly like a very small child again. "How can you tell such impossible things?"

Be at peace, my brother. Your suffering will not last forever.

Not spoken, only thought, felt, meant for Justice and not for Anders. She has more intensive care to show to Anders. Really, she ought to ask, but she does not. Instead, she just pulls him into an embrace, warm and pleasant. For all that she is a feminine creature, she is thankful for her host's height, and the broadness of his shoulder, and the way he can hold people quite effectively.

"I am a Spirit, child, we know a great many things. And I can see it. I can't see where, my sight is blurry here, but I know it is there. You are loved. Perhaps in not the ways you seek, not yet, but you will find it. But despair will not find it for you."

Justice is trapped in a way that Hope is not - that none of the Children he has ever known have been trapped - but her nature is to soothe his frustrations, just as Love turned him toward Mercy. He is the Right Arm of the First - the Defender of those he holds dear - but he is incomplete in this wretched world; he was never meant to sing alone. The brush of her reassurance is a steadying influence. There is not much of him left at this stage, but its quieting makes a difference in Anders' comfort all the same.

And Anders - perhaps foolishly - allows himself to accept the comfort she offers him, too. He squeezes his eyes tight against the emotions that he does not want to think about, let alone name. He still does not believe her - his entire life, including this most recent tangle of truths, has conditioned him to doubt that such things could ever be possible. But he wants to believe - Maker does he want for her words to be true. It makes him feel childish to admit it - and he never would aloud - but this glittering promise is the only thing he truly wants for himself. If there is even the slightest chance that she is right, that - that there is a home for him after all… "Alright… alright." This is not a simple matter to consider and it will likely torment him for many nights to come while he seeks his answers, but if there could be light at the end of this tunnel, he will make himself climb out the other side.

"Good." Hope says. It is then that she pulls away just a touch. Just far enough that she can press a kiss to his forehead, right to the place of his third eye. And then the shining stops, flickering, sputtering, and ceasing. Hope hadn't even bothered to pull away before giving Cenn back control, and he comes back with more than a little shock. He manages to let go, take a step backward, but then Cenn's knees give way. He crumples to the ground, breathing heavy, the last of Hope's light falling away like an aura of dust around his being, settling to the ground and fading.

Anders is… frankly, Anders is a mess. Even so, healing comes as naturally as breathing. He doesn't quite manage to catch Cenn in time to prevent the fall, but he's quick to follow him down, a quick wash of magic to ease the jarring impact. If he thinks about anything that's happened in the last fifteen minutes - up to and including the very strange sensation of being kissed on the forehead by a Templar playing host to a spirit - he's going to scream. Or possibly punch something. "And here I thought we mages were the only ones the Chantry says can be 'possessed'." The air quotes are palpable in his tone and there's not much bite to begin with. He's not about to immediately self-destruct, but that doesn't mean he's happy about much right now. "How much of that do you remember?" Inquired after as he remembers to rub his arms over his own eyes. Ah, well, blood streaks across the face are sexy now.

The healing eases his breathing, and he settles without shaking. It isn't often that Hope does that, and he's still not used to it. Honestly, he doesn't think he'll ever be accustomed to it. At least this time he isn't shaking. That's an improvement. Though, maybe that's just Anders' magic. Looking up at the mage, there's a brief moment of a fearful look, but it passes quickly. Shaking his head, the Templar closes his eyes, pulling a hand down his face. "Honestly, it's always a blur…" He says, "I piece things together as time passes, but it'll be flashes at best. But… She… She called you brother…" Cenn says, practically muttering, "No, not you… I… What?" He sighs, "I don't know, she doesn't make sense to me. Not, not like that."

Anders heaves a heavy sigh, dragging a hand down one side of his face. "Cenn, I really, really cannot have this conversation now." Because there were only so many griffon rides his emotional health could stomach in one night. "And you definitely need to rest before you go back into that spider's nest." If he's comparing a place to spiders, you know it's bad. "Lie down here. I'll take the baby to her mother and I'll wake you when I get back." What he really needs to do is clear his head, otherwise any conversation about Justice is going to make him feel sick again and once a night is enough. "Can you do that?"

"No, no." Cenn says, shaking his head, "Thank you, Anders, but I am fine. I will get out of your hair. I meant to do so before, but she… Had other ideas." He pulls himself to his feet. "Strange thing to say when I'm in this state, but if I can offer you help, ever, send me a message, hm?" He says, and makes to move to the door.

Anders shakes his head, flinging both hands a little into the air and muttering under his breath about fool men with more sword than sense. Still, he does not argue, bending instead to retrieve the sleeping infant from her makeshift bed. "I - " He does not expect the offer and it draws him up short, shoulders finally slumping forward. "Thank you. I think." For all of it. He's still working on it. For now, however, he has a baby to deliver (pun intended) and a particularly terrible wine stash to raid. Possibly something to beat the shit out of him. He's not sure yet. "Good night."

There's a wince Anders can't see at that mumble. All too familiar, that chiding. Yet, still, it makes him smile faintly. The memory hurts, but he is glad for it. "Good night, Anders. And thank you." Cenn says before slipping out. For what he is giving thanks, though, is up for debate.


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