Sometimes the silence is too loud and Varric needs the sycophantic din of the twittering nobles in the great hall or the more chaotic cacophany of the drunken soldiers in the tavern. He needs the noise to fill in the gaps, to push back the rising tide of desperation and hopelessness.
The silence is a sinking ship with only a calm sea left behind once it slips beneath the surface. He drowns in it and no one sees.
Other times, he needs the silence like he needs air. The eyes of the Orleasians make him itch and fidget, he doesn't want to talk to anyone in the tavern, doesn't want any company at all except the overwhelming melancholy of the empty, waiting, quiet. He has thoughts only for one and maybe he shouldn't.
The silence is a secret shame kept only for him.
Until it's not.
Until the silence isn't silence and he’s forced, once again, to confront his loyalty and his longing. When the hurt and the hope bubble up again in equal measure like they had never left, he knows that nothing has changed. He will never be detached from this razor wire stretched out between them, connecting them. It ties him down, grounds him, keeps him. But it is threatening too, this tether - a garrote promising to tighten around his neck, so tight sometimes he can't breathe for how it pulls him to her.
And she… she knows it. She uses it when it suits her, pulls the wire tight, yanks his leash knowing he will crawl back to her. He will, Maker curse her, he will. She knows this because he always does and no matter the grinding glass that chews up his insides every time she shatters him again, he keeps doing it. Maker save him, he doesn't even know why anymore.
Until she's standing in front of him with those eyes staring into him and she’s saying please and for me like he ever had a choice in the matter when she looks at him like that and when his heart pounds just so simply from the proximity of her.
He can't help but love her, like he always has.
And when she's gone, she takes his heart with her, leaving the silence behind in its stead.