The mage was swaying slightly in his seat, but Fenris knew that if he made any suggestions that Anders rest, he’d be brushed off. So, he stood by the door, his arms crossed, watching silently. They had come to the Infirmary to visit Connor, and Anders had been so appalled by the amount of patients in the room, that he had immediately set himself to work.
A brief conversation with the healer on duty indicated that the fortress did not have a Spirit Healer. All who worked in the infirmary were knowledgeable in only the most basic of healing spells and first aid. Apparently the Circles guarded their Spirit Healers jealously, and the fact that Feyar had gotten ahold of one in Ferelden was quite the feat.
So the mage had removed his outer armour and rolled his shirt sleeves up before diving in. He had started with the beds by the door and had begun to work his way slowly around the room. Already the infirmary was free of fully half the patients they had started with that morning. Most of them very simple things for Anders to fix, and he showed the healer on duty what to do in the future for them. The more difficult things would require more healing talent than the other mage had, but she helped anyway, watching Anders intently as Fade energies flowed through him. Fenris could feel when he had a difficult patient, the spirit magic pulling on his brands in a way that no other magic did. She had also sent word to the mage who was in charge of the infirmary that a Spirit Healer was in the fortress and Anders had collected a small audience of the mages and assistants who worked in the infirmary on a regular basis.
He had been at it for hours now, and was resting in a chair, while some of the more mobile patients were coming to him when Fenris heard the bickering in the hall. It was in Anderfels, so he couldn’t understand it, but he turned and looked out into the hallway anyway.
It was Jens. He was being pressed forward by the woman they had seen the other morning, apparently his wife. Jens froze and they stared at each other for a moment before the wounded man came forward to Fenris tentatively, looking as if he hoped the elf would not run away again.
“Hello, Warden Fenris,” he said, biting his lip in a way that made Fenris feel déjà vu.
“Hello, Warden Jens,” Fenris replied.
“You... come from Ferelden?”
“Have you... known your Commander long?”
“Has he ever... Spoken of his family?”
“No,” Fenris replied, crossing his arms and glancing back into the infirmary. “If you are here about your wounds, I would go in now. He is getting tired and will have to stop soon if he doesn’t pass out.”
Jens blinked and glanced into the room, his eyes widening slightly.
“Nalls is the Spirit Healer?”
“It is all over the Fortress. Many of the villagers have come together to petition Commander Solberg for the right to see the Spirit... to see him.”
“Are they really so rare?” Fenris asked, his eyebrow arching as he glanced back at Anders and his audience.
“Oh yes,” Connor had come up next to him. “They rarely make it past their Harrowing, and even then many are killed or made Tranquil.”
“Why?” The elf frowned and Connor shrugged lightly.
“They have a connection with the Fade. Templars are scared of them. Think they’re talking to demons or such. They get accused of blood magic a lot,” Connor replied, looking at Anders. “It’s why so many mages we meet are primal or entropy mages. Spirit Healers - good ones - are guarded very closely by circles. It’s probably why they never made him Tranquil, even after he escaped so many times.”
Jens nodded before looking back at his wife, who gestured for him to go in. She followed him past Fenris over to Anders, who had just finished with another patient. Jens carefully sat down in front of the mage, who had not looked up at him yet, wincing with pain.
Fenris stiffened in anticipation when the mage finally looked up at his new patient and froze. The two stared at each other for a moment before Anders finally straightened, and Fenris could see his jaw set.
“What can I do for you, Warden?” he asked, and Fenris saw him glance over briefly before looking back at Jens.
“...My arm, and I may have torn the stitches in my stomach,” the younger man replied softly.
“Take off your shirt.”
With his wife’s help, Jens removed the garment and Anders began to unwind his bandages. Fenris could hear the mage’s clucking at the wounds. They were probably not up to his high standards of healing. He listened closely as Anders began to work on the wounds, cleaning them and removing the stitches to re-heal the wounds properly. Jens began to speak to him, softly, and apparently in Anderfels, as Fenris could not make out the words.
He could see Anders’ lips purse, however, as he listened to what Jens had to say to him. When Anders was finished with his brother’s stomach wound, he moved to the other man’s shoulder. It was then that Jens said something that caused the mage to stand suddenly, toppling his chair over and stumbling a little. Fenris hurried over, catching Anders before he fell over, having stood too quickly while he was still weak from overexerting himself.
“Nalls?” Jens stood up, but winced in pain and his wife settled him into the chair again.
“Nalls?” Fenris repeated, softer. He held the mage carefully.
“Connor, can you please finish with this patient?” Anders finally said. “I... I’ve done too much for today. Fenris, can you help me back to our room?”
The elf blinked. Anders was not one who knew his limits, and the fact that he was volunteering to go back to rest meant that he badly wanted to be away from the infirmary, and probably his brother.
“Yes, of course,” Fenris said, frowning at Jens, who looked confused. Connor came over and took over, sitting down across from Jens after righting the stool. He helped Anders out of the room, glancing back once at the couple.
Anders wouldn’t speak in the hall, and only leaned on the elf until they got back to their room before he collapsed into a chair.
Fenris closed the door and moved over to the table, pouring Anders a glass of water. He held it out and knelt down to see the mage’s face better.
“So what did he say?”
Anders gulped the water down and closed his eyes.
“He asked me to help.”
“Commander Solberg is sending a group to the tower to rescue the First Warden, but she’s also going to send a battalion of Wardens to siege them.”
Fenris took the glass from Anders, he had begun to wring his hands around it, and the elf was worried he would break it.
“That’s not what upset you.”
“He told me that Katrine was in the circle.”
“Oh. She is a mage too?”
“I guess so, yes.”
“Why does he want you to help?”
“He doesn’t trust the Orlesian wardens, and he wants me to make sure Katrine gets out safely.”
“He said something else.”
Fenris felt his heart skip when Anders looked at him. His face was a mixture of confusion, pain, but also relief.
“When... when the templars took me, all those years ago,” he said softly, brown eyes locked onto green. “My mother tried to stop them. The templar hit her and she went down and I was dragged off in chains, on a horse. The last thing I saw was her bleeding on the ground, unmoving, and my father staring after us.”
Fenris nodded, and didn’t even flinch when the mage took his hand, breaking eye contact to stare at the lyrium lined fingers he was holding.
“I was sure she was dead. Jens... he told me he was going to write to her to tell her I was here.”
“Yes. Living with my brother Krister and his family.”
The elf didn’t know what to say, he could tell that it was affecting Anders. He hesitated before pulling his hands from Anders’ and reaching around the mage to hug him. He wasn’t sure how he would feel if he’d found out his mother was alive when he believed her dead, and he knew that finding his family here in Weisshaupt, family that hadn’t instantly shunned him, had affected the mage deeply.
He heard Anders sob and the blond buried his face into Fenris’ shoulder, wrapping his arms around the elf. He pat Anders’ back with one hand, the other tangling into the mage’s hair. Fenris tangled his fingers through the strands, soothing. He had been tightly wound ever since they’d left Ferelden. It was a wonder he hadn’t fallen apart earlier.
Fenris would wait until the mage was resting, and then go speak with Commander Solberg about the mission. Anders would not be going anywhere without him, especially not with untrustworthy Orlesians.