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July 6, 2011
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WARNING: This is not a pretty scene...there is blood and angst, so if you're not a fan of suffering, you may not want to read. But - underneath it all, it's something nice - honest. ^_~

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"Anders…Anders where are you?"

Cortland Hawke tried not to wince at the embarrassingly girlish edge to his own voice as he stepped gingerly over the corpses of dragons and darkspawn littering the tunnel through which he walked. He was the Champion of Kirkwall, damn it all, not some weak-hearted…oh, Maker what did he just step in?
Pinching his lips together, Cortland scraped the bottom of his boot on a convenient patch of moss, gripped the handle of his dagger just a little tighter, and continued into the murky darkness.
Truth be told, he was getting anxious. Unlike the mage he was following, Cortland had no warden senses to tingle and alert him to darkspawn presence. Maybe coming in here alone hadn't been the wisest move, but he had been acting on reflex.
By the time they'd finally beaten down the main bulk of their enemy out on the coast's winding paths, the cavern that their healer had vanished into, pursued by a break-off group of darkspawn, had been heart-stoppingly quiet. Cortland couldn't make his mind up whether to feel relief or panic at that, so he had settled for anger as the easiest emotion to reach for. Leaving the others to report back, he had ventured into the rocky orifice; assuring them all that he'd give Anders a good beating for worrying them. And so here he was, treading in the occasional pile of goo and trying to swallow down the myriad fears plaguing his imagination.
Each body he found on the uneven ground lifted his spirits a little higher. One thing was pretty certain, and that was that their apostate had done them proud at least. He may be an idiot, but he was a bloody talented one.
"Anders? Where the bloody hell are you?"
Hawke continued to call out, his voice echoing disturbingly down the rocky passages.

It was as Hawke passed a sloping side passage that his rogue's ears pricked; hearing a whisper of a voice carrying through the tunnel.
"H-Hawke?"
Anders. It was Anders's voice alright. Feeling his pulse quickening, Hawke sheathed his dagger and forgot everything else as he dove for the side passage entrance. He caught himself just as the ground beneath him suddenly opened up into a steeper decline. Managing to stop himself from hurtling head-first, he scrabbled down the slope, hands braced against the narrow walls as his lips said 'Anders, Anders…' over and over like some kind of reassuring mantra. As he moved further down the passage he would occasionally hear his own name echoed back, each time a little louder, and the increasing volume allowed him to trace a path, but also to hear the undercurrents he had dreaded. Mentally he began preparing himself for what he'd find. In their relatively short time together, he'd seen his companions in various states of bloodied and broken, though normally it was Anders who knitted them all back together. Normally Anders wasn't the one in the broken and bloodied state. Cortland silently cursed his stubborn pride as, more and more, he began to acknowledge that he'd really been the one at fault here. A creeping guilt and something far worse slowly overcame him and replaced the anger entirely as he stumbled towards the rasping, broken voice that called him.

He and the mage had been engaged in some kind of insane and tormenting dance for months now. Flirting and teasing, but never quite taking things further in what felt like an infuriating power play. Cortland was used to being chased. He was not used to wanting to chase someone else. Being the chaser put him in a weaker position, and that wasn't somewhere he ever wanted to be. But Maker, Anders was good at this game and Hawke wanted him. In some kind of attempt to..what?...Ignore his rapidly growing feelings? Play hard to get?... Hawke had begun to skirt around the healer. He had purposely blanked the man, ignoring his pouty smile and honey eyes…and he hadn't been watching him as closely as his lusting parts wished he could. He hadn't been watching. He hadn't seen the number of darkspawn growing around the mage up there on the bluffs, targeting his tainted blood. He hadn't…damnit, damnit, damnit.
"Hawke?"
The voice was close now. Cortland turned a corner and suddenly all thoughts of dances and power plays were driven sharply from his mind; forced out by the overwhelming sight that confronted him.
He had found Anders. The mage was on the floor surrounded by loose rocks; his back against the cavern wall, his legs pinned down by a massive boulder. The hair that Hawke had long longed to stroke and tease was loose and sweat-soaked, the robes Hawke had dreamed of peeling back from that taunting body were bloodied…

And a vicious spike of rock jutted out from the mage's chest in a way that nearly forced a scream from Hawke's throat before his senses kicked in and told him that panicking would not help the ex-warden.

Even as he fumbled towards the man, his brain was piecing together what had happened. How Anders had managed to beat off his attackers, but then had stumbled down the sloped passage and fallen, his back hitting and being pierced by the angry wall as his movement dislodged loose stones and caused a miniature landslide. He stopped his brain and came close to where Anders slouched, crouching down and tentatively reaching out a hand to touch the pale, clammy face. Despite all their pretty words and glances, this was the first time he'd actually touched the mage. This wasn't how it should have been. This wasn't how it should have been…
Hardening his features so as not to allow his own fear to show, Cortland gave a half-hearted grin.
"Well, the other guys looked worse."
Anders managed a small smile at that, which quickly morphed into a wince as he tried to laugh. He gave a few short and pained breaths and lifted his eyes to meet Hawke's. They looked tired, hurt and – worst of all – horribly, horribly sad.
"Tell me what to do, Anders." Hawke's eyes were darting from the boulder crushing the mage's legs to the dagger-like protrusion at his chest. "Tell me what to do."
Anders nodded slowly, every movement clearly causing him pain. His voice was weak and small as he found unexpected words with a half-smile.
"First…kiss me?"
Cortland froze, his heart pounding at the request, against all odds.  The dance was over, and this was not the way either of them had planned on it ending, but there it was. Leaning forward and taking great care not to touch the mage's battered and bleeding body, Hawke pressed his lips to Anders's. This was not the hungry clashing and biting and groping that Hawke had dreamed of their first kiss being. This wasn't the passionate collision that the pair of them had been working towards for so long. When their lips met now, it was soft and sweet and sad all at the same time. Hawke's hand cradled the mage's face, lifting his head for him as their breath mingled. A pained groan from the man made Cortland pull his head back and look earnestly into Anders's eyes.
"Now what?"
Anders returned his gaze intently; speaking slowly and surely.
"Now, you stand up. You turn around…and you walk away."
The cavern span around Hawke as his brain caught up with what his ears were hearing.
"No. No."
"Cortland, please. Go."
The fact that Anders had used his name for the first time was lost on him as he fought not to let his confident mask slip. This wasn't happening. Couldn't be happening.
"You're a healer, aren't you? Heal yourself!"
"Cortland…"
"Stop being an idiot and let's get out of here. I'm not leaving you here, least of all after that!"
He started pushing at the boulder that crushed the mage's legs; throwing his weight behind it and hoping the physical exertion might jolt his mood into something less desperate and more determined. Anders started to speak again, laboured breaths and small whimpers of pain punctuating each line.
"Cortland, please. I…I don't want you to see. I don't…" Anders's voice bubbled a little as the brave face he had been maintaining for this long started to crumble "...I don't want you to watch me die."
Hawke tried desperately not to notice the small trickle of blood escaping from a corner of the healer's mouth. He swallowed hard and set his jaw.
"I have no intention of watching you die, you bastard. We're getting out of here. Your magic will return before you know it and – "
A trembling hand touched his own. Anders winced and yelped a little at the pain of moving his arm, but defiantly held Cortland's hand in his as he mustered what courage he had left.
"Leave me. It's over. It will probably be better for everyone in the long run, trust me."
Hawke abandoned the boulder with a cry of frustration.
"Like hell it will! Anders, you're stronger than this. You're the strongest man I know. This rock will not beat you!"
Grasping the blond's face in his hands, Hawke was close enough to watch as that last vestige of courage ebbed away and Anders's face crumpled; tears now falling freely onto his cheeks and mingling with blood and sweat..
"I'm not strong…not strong enough for this. Maker, it hurts. It hurts so much. Cortland…please. Just let me go."
"Listen to me, listen! You beat the circle. You out-ran the templars. You walked away from the grey-bloody-wardens! You're stronger than even you realise. You…" His own tears began to stream as he dropped his head to touch brows with the trembling mage. "You conquered me. And, believe me, that's a tougher feat than any of those other things I just mentioned. You beat me, Anders. You've won me… And I'm not bloody letting you go now. So don't you let me go."

After a short silence Cortland felt the mage swallow and shudder beneath him. Anders's lashes fluttered on his cheeks as he licked blood from his lips and began taking slow and steady breaths as if in preparation for something. He offered just one word, but it was a word that made Hawke shoot upright, his heart starting to beat again.
"Lyrium…"
Was the rasped command.
Letting go of Anders's face, Hawke fumbled in his packs, his hands sweating, until he found a bottle of the blessed blue liquid. Holding the bottle carefully to Anders's  lips, he tipped and watched the other man's throat move as he swallowed. Each tiny movement caused Anders to whimper as the rock that impaled his poor body aggravated the wound around it, and for all Hawke's pretty words, both men knew what would have to be done if Anders stood any hope of leaving this place alive. Cortland felt sick to his stomach just thinking about it. He wanted to scream and cry and project them both forwards, to a time when they were past what needed doing, to a time when Anders was recovering and they could discuss their future...A painfully rasping intake of air brought Hawke back to the very real moment they were in. Anders was looking at him, seeming to say so much with those eyes. There was doubt, fear, regret...but also a dose of determination as the lyirium worked its way through his frame. And that was the part that Hawke chose to keep and use.
He had a sudden realisation and reached back into his pack, retrieving a second bottle. This one was not blue. He'd almost forgotten about Sol's gift, but right now he said a silent thank you to the man as he necked the foul stuff. Feeling a tremendous rush of adrenaline, Hawke reluctantly left Anders's face and moved to his legs. With a grunt and a shout of pure will, Cortland pushed against the heavy rock with shoulders and hands alike. Every muscle strained in his frame and he couldn't stop the primal cry that he emitted as he channelled every ounce of strength he had into moving the cursed thing off of the healer's legs, but Maker be thanked, it moved. It moved and Anders gave a choked sob at the sensation, but bit down on his lip and suppressed his groans as he tried to keep still to minimise the pain.
Hawke didn't pause once the boulder had been rolled clear. Trying not to look too long at the damage it had caused, he moved quickly back to the apostate's upper body and the task that they couldn't put off any longer. Anders glanced briefly down at the foreign object that jutted out unnaturally from his own chest, and at the frightening levels of blood that it had helped spew out onto his robes. Then he closed his eyes and took a few panting breaths. Flexing the fingers of his right hand, he tested his flow of mana, and Hawke took some small pleasure in the sparks that crackled there. The cavern seemed to grow even more still and silent as both men took this moment to simply be. Then, Anders looked back into Hawke's eyes, almost imperceptibly giving a nod. Cortland braced his arms and body against the mage and prepared himself to pull and support, as Anders shifted his hands so that they sat, palms-down on the ground, forcing his arms to take his weight with a strangled cry. They paused, and the blond let his face harden to stone, ready. Cortland whispered "I love you" and, with that, Anders moved.

Cortland made himself focus on the slow movement of the body in his arms, on making sure that it moved smoothly forwards and away from the rock. He tried with all his might to ignore the screams and cries. Horrible, gut-wrenching sounds that started as grunts and groans and then grew and grew until it seemed like Anders's very life force was escaping him in sound. Occasionally they would reach a climax and the mage would bite down on the sound, gulp a few ragged breaths and start the cycle again. All the while, Hawke could feel the throb and pulse of magic, as the healer desperately tried to knit together his torn flesh even as the rock ripped it apart. The hands that Hawke had braced on Anders's back and stomach were now wet with blood, but ready for that moment when the blond's form was finally clear from the jutting rock.
As the last inches of the bloody spike finally revealed themselves behind Anders, Cortland tried hard not to think about how quiet the mage had suddenly become. With a huge measure of control, he carefully, carefully lowered the punctured and broken body in his arms so that it was lying on the floor of the cavern. Anders's eyes were closed, his lips parted, but the smallest flutter at his clavicle showed his pulse still beat, by some miracle. Blood was everywhere, in such great quantities that Hawke almost gave in to hopelessness. But something in him made him shake himself and slap the mage's cheeks, startling him back to painful consciousness.
"Anders! You can't rest yet. Not yet. Not until you're certain you won't bleed to death. Keep healing yourself."
As the mage groaned weakly in acceptance and flooded healing magic through  his battered form a few more times, Hawke used his more rudimentary skills to tightly wrap a section he tore from Anders's robes around the ex-warden's chest in some effort to slow further bleeding. Soon, the only sounds Anders could make were soft gasps and panting breaths, as consciousness slipped away once more. Hawke made a careful appraisal of the body in front of him, decided it was enough, and carefully lifted the surprisingly light frame in his arms. Anders's pale, exhausted, blood-covered face lolled against Cortland's chest, shallow breaths from the man the only sign that he was even alive, but they were enough for Hawke. He leaned down and kissed the brow of the body that he cradled. Then, on shaking legs, he climbed back out of the tunnel, along the dark passages and out into the sun, bearing his burden as if it were the most precious of gems. He couldn't help but wonder, if their roles had been reversed, whether he'd have had the strength to do what Anders had done. The thought that his admission of feelings alone had given the mage that courage nearly undid him. As he walked, he kept talking to the apostate, knowing that his words may not even be heard, but needing to say them.
"Just a little longer. We'll get you to a healer. I swear, you're living through this. Thank you for being brave... for not leaving me before we've even begun. No more dances, I promise. I want you, Anders. I should have told you that a long time ago. I'm sorry."

His answer was a small hum, nothing more than sound applied to an outtake of breath, but it was there. Cortland Hawke held on even tighter to his precious cargo, and walked steadily towards the city. When Anders awoke, it would be somewhere safe, somewhere comfortable. And they would start whatever was destined to be between them again ...properly.
M!Hawke X Anders vignette. :)

So - this is set in Sign of the Maker, but a long time before it...back when Anders and Cortland were still just party members to each other, haha.

Sorry this is so dark, guys. No prizes as to guessing how the significance of this early scene in Cortland and Anders's lives will come back to haunt them in the future. 0_o

Eeep - I'll need to do another happy wind-down after work today, I think...I feel all mean now. But it's sort of a happy story...sort of!
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:icondemonchan22:
DemonChan22 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
don't get me wrong most i put things in my favorites when i have no time to read it and will read it later but i think i'm going to like it so it's say fav+
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:iconpaperpage:
PaperPage Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That made me cry so bad :cries: very well written, absolutely beautiful!!!
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, thank you so much. Comments on my writing always mean a lot as I don't do it very often ^_^
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:iconpaperpage:
PaperPage Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You should write more, it was really great!! :D
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:iconxxbefore-i-sleepxx:
XxBefore-I-SleepxX Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A gruesome scene to read, but nicely written. The interaction between your Hawke and Anders was sweet but sad.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! It was pretty gruesome to write, poor babies.
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:iconarkadyrose:
ArkadyRose Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
Poor Anders.

:thumb277409002:
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:iconasheraa:
asheraa Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Have you written any more fic about this Hawk? I had a look in your folders but couldn't find this story. I wanna read more about your Hawk here!! :)

I did however find the Anders and Sebastian fic series, so I'm now scarpering off to read those :D
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Oh I'm so glad you like Cortland! He's a character in Sign of the Maker, of course..I hope you like that! And then there's a little prelude to Hand of the Maker that I will endeavour to continue one day! haha. They should all be in the folder with Sebastian's face on it...or in the fanart folder :)
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:iconasheraa:
asheraa Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Reading Hand of the Maker now, got to chapter 3 :D

I likey so far :)

I avoided it for ages because I thought it was going to be very Sebastian focused (I'm a shameless Sebastian critic, he's such a tosser that the only reason I haven't uninstalled him again is his voice *ducks impending slaps upside the head*). That's what I get for only looking at the title and not reading the story with a clear head lol.

Very glad I checked it out, can't wait to read more after work.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
aww yay! I'm so glad you're reading it despite Seb, haha. You may find him interesting in this version, I hope? ^_^ I wanted to delve into him a bit, and loved the notion of him, Anders and the 'other character' caught in this three way battle ^_^
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:iconsyrahschandmaul:
SyrahSchandmaul Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011
oh maker...thatīs a great piece....sad, horrible....and also tender and cute *sigh*
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I just couldn't see my Cortland and Anders finally admitting their feelings without something monumental forcing them into it. '^_^ It's a pretty dark scene, but I'm glad the tenderness came through as well!
Reply
:iconduskofdan:
DuskofDan Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011   Traditional Artist
Great fic!

My favourite bit, was when he asked Hawke to kiss him, then told him to walk away, so sad :( This piece moved me.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
So, so sad :( And as if Cortland was going to do that! haha XD
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:iconmorovv:
morovv Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
one of my fav fan fics included Anders, really.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
yeah? Which fic was it? :)
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:iconmorovv:
morovv Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
haha this :3
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:iconlactose-devil:
Lactose-Devil Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Yesterday I nearly decided... Fenris is the one. I live him. But then I looked again at my image I have on my da acc... it says ''I will never decide!'' and really thanks to this story my love over Anders grows up rapidly!!! I love him still... much more than ever... and Fenris too... they both have a very cruel past, future and everything. I love mages. And etc.
Just to this story... FUCKING GOOD AWESOME!!! :love:
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
hehe, those boys make it hard to choose...but yay, I'm glad if this story helped a little! I'll always end up picking Anders; even knowing the pain he'll cause me. *sigh*
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:iconlactose-devil:
Lactose-Devil Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
yes I know... the same poblem :( but he's soo sweet how can I resist :D
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:iconanesor:
anesor Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011
It's the "walk away" that gets me. He never quite gets when Hawkes have passed that point of no return. (it's been too many years, so 'no deposit, no return.') it would take a selfish person to just plain walk away.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
No deposit no return is definitely how Cortland seems to approach things XD
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:icontyrna:
tyrna Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
How much strength it took both of them to get through that was incredible. I like Cortland taking charge of the situation, not letting Anders leave him. Great story!
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I know, right? Such a horrible situation to be in, and trying to think yourself out of it must have been so hard! They earned each other, for sure. It's a tragedy that things won't be smooth for them :(
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:iconelenilote:
elenilote Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I'm sorry but I am actually crying now. I've been labouring with my story all day and getting frustrated with it and then this... so beautiful. So...perfect.

Thank you.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Oh!!! *gives you a tissue* I'm sorry!! I really hope your story goes easy on you soon *hug*
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:iconpascalunaoriginals:
PascalunaOriginals Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahh! I love this, I love Cortland he's awesome, and poor Anders. *Sob* I love Angst I guess I'm just a sucker for punishment, but I can't help myself makes me all awwwww.

Your writing is just as outstanding as your art, you are truly amazing. :D
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I'm so happy that people are liking Cortland. and d'awww thank you for the sweet message ^_^
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:iconpascalunaoriginals:
PascalunaOriginals Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very, very welcome and I only speak the truth. hehe ^.^
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:iconmorovv:
morovv Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's sooo sad and beautiful D': <- look what you've done.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Oh no!! I keep making people cry - I'm sorry!!
Reply
:iconmorovv:
morovv Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You should really write more stories like this :))
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I'll try ^_^
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:iconvampirisa:
vampirisa Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woah. Just... woah. I held my breath a couple of times. Great writing style!
It's kind of strange how Anders inspires his fangirls to be mean to him, I "almost" killed him in my fic, too... and it's just the beginning! :rofl:
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
It is weird, isn't it? Why does he have that effect on people? I mean, he's not a weak character...I don't know. There's just something about him, haha.
I'm so glad you liked this though ^_^
Reply
:iconvampirisa:
vampirisa Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I suppose it could be some kind of revenge for his "betrayal" at the end of Act 3. A childish "I love you but you made me suffer, so now it's your turn!" :XD:
Oh, you can bet I liked it ;)
Reply
:iconinukistar:
InukiStar Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
Wow! I loved this! Great work. :)
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much ^_^
Reply
:iconsexylilalu:
sexylilalu Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
I love this so much! I nearly cried! You are so...well the only word coming to my mind is epic. You are amazingly epic. Keep doing what you do! I am a massive Anders fan, and you touched a soft spot for him. Thank you, you are awesome~
Reply
:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Epic is a pretty awesome word to come to mind, thank you!! *blush*
Reply
:iconthelostgirl21:
TheLostGirl21 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011
I love this so very, very, very much... And no, I don't have a thing at all for favorite characters being put in a near death situation... *whistles innocently* ;P Sometimes, I think it takes more courage to find the will to LIVE for someone, than to die for someone. That Anders was willing to fight his way through so much pain to stay with Cortland means a lot...

You... Would not consider drawing that scene now... Would you? By any chance? Or perhaps Cortland carrying a wounded Anders in his arms?

A-hem... Yes, so as I was saying, I don't have a thing at all for favorite characters being put in a near death situation... Nope! Not at all!
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
EXACTLY, right!! To fight on through that for someone's love...that is somehow stronger than just giving up and dying there. Cortland's admission did more than a potion could, haha.

Drawing it? eeep - mayyybeeeeee...maybe the carrying scene. I don't know if I could bring myself to draw an impaled Anders '^_^ I don't think...haha. I'll see what my pencil can manage XD
Reply
:iconthelostgirl21:
TheLostGirl21 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
I just saw your illustration of the carrying scene, and I have to say once again THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! :blowkiss: That made me so very happy indeed! :hooray: I just love the way you draw Anders (and Cortland... I suspect his boyish good looks might make his enemies underestimate him... Lol!). I think Anders and Cortland are one of my favourite Anders + Hawke couples out there in fanart land. :love: I really hope that, in the end, they will be okay... Mostly... Bring on the angst, but don't let them do anything they might *really* regret... PLEASE!

Ah, what am I saying? Go ahead and write them as you wish! ;P I'll deal with the emotional trauma with the help of a therapist if need be! Lol! Lol! Lol!
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
*hug*
D'awwwww! THANK YOU!! I wish I could do justice to Cortland. He looks much better in the game, haha!
But it means a lot that you like them. Remind me, had you read Sign of the Maker? Cortland's not really in it enough, haha, but it's so frustrating seeing how the two of them are by that point. I'll need to write some nicer moments from the times in between this and then, I think ^_^
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:iconthelostgirl21:
TheLostGirl21 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
Only bits and pieces... I tend to wait until a fic is complete before reading it, or else the suspense is just killing me! Lol! But sometimes, I give in to temptation, and read a chapter or two (not always in chronological order).

So I read the last two chapters of "Sign of the Maker" after having read this short story, because I just fell so utterly in love with Anders and your Cortland... And when you hinted that it *might* "end in violence" (in a comment you made to someone else), I got kinda scared that you meant that their relationship would really *end* (as in no longer loving each other... Or having one die, while the other remains all alone...).

I'm able to deal with angst, torture, death (as long as both die partners before the end of a story), and tragedy... But nothing breaks my heart as much as lovers being separated. Hence if this happens, I'll be needing therapy! ;P

But back to "Sign of the Maker", what I read so far has been enough to interest me into reading the full story. And don't worry about the fact that I'm reading it out of order *for now*. I always do that. Whenever I pick up a new book, I go straight to the ending... Then start reading different random passages from different places... And then, I finally open the book at the first page, and read the whole story from one cover to the next.

I don't know why, but this has been an habit of mine since childhood.

And while your drawing of the carrying scene was incredibly satisfying and went above and beyond all expectations... I'm tempted to suggest something else...

Would you ever consider drawing their very first kiss? :flirty:

I know that Anders is still impaled at that moment but... You wouldn't have to draw him from the chest down, right? We can have Hawke gently cradling his face, and kissing him just like you described without showing all the painful, gory details... No?

It just that their first kiss seems to be such a sweet, tender, intense moment for them both...

Anders, because by asking to be kissed, he is finally admitting his love for Cortland, but at the same time saying "goodbye" to the man he loves in his mind... And Cortland, because Anders must seem so fragile to him at that point, and he is probably just as excited to kiss him, than he is afraid to lose him or cause him more pain.

Not to mention that their first kiss signals the very beginning of their relationship, too!

Maker! I must come across as being SO needy right now! Lol!
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:iconanesor:
anesor Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011
OMG my mother skips around like that when reading. She's a very bad influence on other readers too. She won't even buy a downer ending book. I thought it was just her. :D
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:iconthelostgirl21:
TheLostGirl21 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011
Lol! No, but fortunately, an ending that I didn't like has never stopped me from reading or buying a book! ;P

It's like there's something in my brain that goes "Oooh... So that's how the story ends... Now I really, really, REALLY must learn about the events that lead to this conclusion. My curiosity is piqued!"

And then, I start reading a bit of the beginning, and think "Wait, I don't remember seeing this character anywhere near the ending... Did he die? I must find out!" and start searching the book for the last entry regarding said character. Lol! And then, something else in that last entry intrigues me, and I start searching for it's explanation somewhere else in the book...

Eventually, I end up having read almost a quarter of the book out of order before really beginning to read it. Lol!

It's like you find yourself with only bits and pieces of a puzzle, with your brain trying to fill in the gaps... And then, the "surprise" or "reward" you get from your reading experience is not so much "how is it going to end?"... But "what really did happen in the missing gaps? How is it different than what my brain came up with?"

There are some movies that operate like that. Show you events out of order that all eventually make sense at the end. Or start at the ending, and then show you how it got there.

It becomes some sort of treasure chase.
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:iconemmav:
emmav Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Oh gosh - amazing comment, thank you SO much! ^_^
It's always nice to read full comments rather than one worders, haha.
I totally understand the dipping in and end-of-the-book mentality. Especially with characters you already know like this. I only have one more chapter to go now, eep!

But yeah, the chapter that went up yesterday may just made you sad, haha ^_~

I'll have a think about that first kiss sketch. It's awesome that you've been able to pick up so much on what was going on inside each man then!
Thanks again, your enthusiasm is awesome ^_^
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:iconarkadyrose:
ArkadyRose Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
I actually found it hard to breathe whilst reading that - much as I imagine Hawke was. Damn, but you do like putting them through the wringer, don't you? Especially poor Anders! Is there likely to be any art to accompany this one? Even a wind-down sketch would be cool. :)
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