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    “Damn you Newton…” Garrett Hawke grumbled in a raspy voice, hardly louder than a whisper. He knew it wasn’t the 17th century scientist’s fault that the force of this damnable planet’s gravity was slowly causing his own frail body to dislocate it’s shoulders from their sockets, but having someone to curse while strung up like a medieval prisoner made him feel like he had somewhat more control over the situation.  

    “The subject is conscious again sir.” came the robotic and monotone voice of one of her many captors.

    His ears rang loudly as he blinked against the blinding brightness of obnoxious surgical lighting reflecting off of the stark white prison walls around him. Not too far to his right, he made out the clunk of heavy military boots across the tile floor. A smug and bulky man dressed entirely in white canvas military fatigues, void of a flag stopped in front of him and smiled a sickly, toothy grin. He reached up and unclasped Hawke’s chains from the ceiling where they had been strung up, causing Garrett to drop to the floor with the sickly crack of his emaciated kneecaps on the tile.

    “And damn you Vinnts!” He snarled and spat at the soldier’s feet.

    He snatched Garrett by his hair and pulled him to his feet, before dragging his severely distrophyed frame over to a gurney. What felt like a lifetime ago, he would have fought back. He Would have summoned help from the fade as well as bit and scratched his way to freedom. But now, after an undetermined amount of time, he had lost his ability to call to the spirits for help, had lost the ability to summon a basic spell, and had lost all ability to fight back physically.

    As the brute locked him into the gurney with titanium straps, all he could think of was how they had to be poisoning him. It had to be something in the food that was cutting him off from the fade and was causing his body to waste away so quickly...he had this suspicion some time ago and had gone on a hunger strike. It ended the same way all of his revolts did: back here, strapped to the gurnee, with an IV in the arm and a tube down his throat.

    The soldier triple checked the restraints before stepping off to the side with his hands crossed behind his back, and his feet shoulder width apart.

    Another man, short and twig like, entered the room dressed in a white lab coat and carrying a clipboard. Behind him, an entourage of medical professionals dressed in white vynal hazmat suits with tinted visors concealing their faces strode in behind their vial leader with a cart of terrifying looking surgical tools.

    The twig man approached Hawke where he lay defenseless strapped to the table and glared down at him with a positively evil glint in his eye.

    “Good afternoon, Garrett Hawke.” He greeted in a slithery voice.

    Hawke glared back up at him silently.

    His smile dropped and he snarled, “Still defiant today, are we?”

    “Damn straight.” Hawke clipped.

    “How unfortunate.” He pulled a pair of ice blue rubber gloves from his pocket and slipped them on with a horrifying snap, “I was really hoping your attitude would change. For you see, there is so much we mundane humans could learn from your species. Your particular connection to the Fade is uncanny, and your ability to summon elements and spirits is profound. An E.T. with such a deep connection as yourself could truly help advance the human population.”

    “I told you, Clavicus, the last thing humanity needs to learn is how to access the Fade again. The last time you fools tried that, you turned the Golden city black and created the darkspawn. If humans had the ability to enter the fade, all hell would break loose. Furthermore, once you have access to the fade, what’s stopping you from penning others like myself in and enslaving us to your cause? There are more of my people, of my species, than there are of you humans. I would rather die a Martyr here, than give you Vints a spec of magical understanding. Go  ahead and kill me Clavicus, because back on my planet, I’ll be remembered as a hero. I’ll be comparable to your Andraste, herself.”

    “Pitty…” Clavicus snarled. He snapped his fingers and one of the hazmat suit figures rushed over with the cart. “Perhaps this will be more persuasive.” He snarled as he pulled a simple looking scalpel from the tray before him. He leaned down over Hawke and smiled a toothy grin, “I hope you have a high pain tolerance.”

    The scalpel carved into hawkes flesh in a straight line from his clavicle to the bottom of his sternum, deep enough to see the bones of his rib cage poking through the open gushing wound. Hawke roared in pain and writhed against his restraints as Clavicus looked on with a wicked grin.

    “Ah yes,” he chuckled just above Hawke’s helpless cries, “did I mention that we will be doing a live autopsy today?” He inserted a retractor to open the wound wider. Blood gushed from the gaping hole and rolled down Hawke’s side. He screamed once more in pain before his world faded to black.


    Garrett was suddenly very awake, and very aware. He could feel the stiffness of a gurnee on the flat of his upper back, and the pressure of an intravenous needle in the crook of his elbow. He arched his back away from the gurney and attempted to reach snatch the invasive instrument from his flesh, but found his wrists once again bound. His eyes shot open as panic began to set in once more and he writhed against his restraints. This time however, his captors were fools and bound him with soft leather belts.  He had just begun to calculate how much force would be needed to snap the ties, when a gentle olive hand shot out of nowhere and landed comfortingly on his cheek.

    “It’s okay.” Came the gentle timbre of a familiar voice, “ You are safe now.”

    Hawke blinked his eyes rapidly, trying to adjust to the lighting and focus the image of the olive-toned shadow looming over him. He sighed heavily with relief when Fenris’s familiar half smile came into focus.

    “Fenris…” and then realization hit him….the MIB had Fenris. Panic set in once more and he continued to struggle against his restraints, “Fenris! Go! Run while you can! Leave me!” He screamed as he continued to fight against his compromised position. All his flailing managed to pop a monitoring wire off of his chest, causing the heart monitor beside him to flatline and sound an alarm.

    Fenris’s eyebrows shot up in shock as he reached to put the monitor back in place. However, it was too late. Anders had already heard the alarm and had come sprinting around the corner. When he saw Hawke flailing in his hospital bed, he came to a screeching halt and sighed heavily with relief before sending a bone chilling glare in the direction of Fenris.

    “So this is your doing.” He clipped.

    Hawke froze at the sound of Anders’ voice.

Fenris set his jaw and crossed his arms. “No,” Fenris spat, “It is yours. I told you restraining him was a bad idea.”

Anders sauntered over to Hawke, ensuring to keep a cold shoulder toward his friend’s lover, “It was either that, or he continued to rip the IV out of his arm and we risked losing him of blood loss or dehydration. Three transfusions are the only reason he is alive.”

“Anders?” Hawke rasped, “What the hell are you doing here? Where am I?”

“You are in the clinic on board my ship hidden in Darktown” Anders clarified, “being painstakingly brought back to health after the torture you endured at the hands of those Tevinter M.I.B. Agents in Area 51 of the Free Marches. Meanwhile, your pet halfling…” he gestured over his shoulder to Hawke’s olive skinned half-human lover, “Has done nothing but get in my way.”

“I refuse to leave his side, and I refuse to leave him in the hand of an E.T. like you left to conjure whatever spirits and trouble you like from the Fade unchecked.”

Anders wheeled on Fenris, “You realize your lover is an E.T. as well.”

Fenris narrowed his eyes and growled, “Yes. And a more stable and less power hungry one than yourself.”

“Is it really so terrible that I expect Humans to treat us with respect and not pen us up in zoos, or use us for scientific experiments in prisons!? You’ve seen first hand the kind of hell they put us through...that they put Hawke Through.”

“You needn’t remind me.” fenris growled.

“Yet you remain that we are the problem. Hawke, myself, and all other Extra Terrestrials.”

Fenris smiled smugly, “No, not Hawke and not all E.T.s, just you .”

Anders’ nostrils flared for a moment before a stoic mask took its place and he returned to tending Hawke. “I am sorry I restrained you, Hawke. You were flailing about in your unconscious state, ripping all of the monitors off and IVs out. I understand why that is the case, considering the state in which we found you. However, I am sure you can understand how it was not conducive to a quick recovery.”

Hawke sighed and nodded slowly, “Yeah, I get it. Just, please untie me. I kind of have PTSD about these kinds of things.”

Anders smiled and undid the buckles around Hawke’s wrists, “I also apologize for continuing to keep a damper on your connection to the fade. Once I realized what drugs they were using on you, I reversed the effects. But then your subconscious freaked out and objects around the room began to spontaneously combust. I think we need to slowly reconnect you to the Fade as we learn to work with this subconscious trauma caused by your time in captivity.”

Hawke sighed heavily once more, “It sucks, but I guess it makes sense.”

Anders smiled apologetically.

In the corner of the room, Fenris coughed impatiently causing Anders to roll his eyes.

“It seems the halfling wishes some time alone with you. So be it. Your next dose of pain medication is in a half hour. I shall leave you both in peace until then.” He huffed and quickly shuffled out of the room.

Fenris returned himself to his lover’s bedside, and once more placed a comforting hand upon his cheek, “Looking like hell doesn’t suit you.” He smiled.

“Feeling like hell doesn’t seem to suit me either.” Hawke winked as he placed his hand atop his lover’s.

Fenris’s face dropped as he turned his face away from Hawke and a tear slipped silently down his cheek, “ I thought I lost you for good. When they took you, the Men in Black, I thought I was never going to see you again...I…”

“Fenris, love, it’s over. I’m safe. We don’t have to talk…”

He wheeled on Garrett with the full intensity of his frightened and angry liquid emerald eyes, “Varric and I had spies everywhere looking for you, and yet it still took us nearly three months to find you. Every day, every hour,every minute, and every second you were gone I knew you were closer to death. And yet, you held on. By some Markergiven miracle, you held on.”

Garrett smiled and lightly kissed the back of Fenris’s hand, “I held on because I thought of you, love. They tried to trick me. They showed me images of you shot to death by a firing squad and buried in a mass pit with Aveline, Merrill, Anders, Sebastian and Varric....But I did not believe them. Not for a moment, because I knew you would have fought much harder than they said you did. In my darkest moments when I thought I was truly going to die, it was your name on my lips, not the Maker’s. It was your grace I prayed for, not Andraste’s.”

Fenris’s hand dropped from Hawke’s cheek and balled into a fist at his side. His gaze hardened, and his words became venom. “And when we found you, and Varric’s informants told us what they had done to you...what they planed to do to you….”

“Fenris, please…”

The halfling’s whole body shook and his veins began to glow white under his skin, “ I made sure they paid….they. All. paid.”

It was Hawke’s turn to place a comforting hand on his lover’s forearm. The white glow of halfling magic faded under Hawke’s loving caress.

“I’m home now.”

“Damn right, you are.” Fenris growled, “and you are never leaving my sight again.” He crushed his lips against those of his other-worldly lover. Hawke’s eyes widened in shock before he settled into the melted honey kiss of his star crossed lover.