He’s broken in a way I didn’t expect with hints of humanity still in there. Loghain isn’t nearly so dark or screwed up (and only sort of an antagonist), so he’s actually pretty easy to write…well, for me anyway.
It was actually when trying to get into Rendon’s mindset (and talking with hubby about how much we thought Loghain might have known about what and to what extent Rendon was really up to) that I got a much better understanding of Loghain. Both are easier for me to write now than they were before, though I’m never comfortable being in their minds while doing it! ;)
I think I ought to read some of your characterizations, because it seems that both these guys are so vaguely depicted in the canon sources, that one could go in vastly different directions while still staying true to their characterizations.
This is a raw, unedited story. It deals with themes of miscarriage, pregnancy loss both past and present, and a crisis of faith. It is personally, acutely, very intimately painful.
Unfortunately, it also sets up the story arc that’s been burning my brain the last few days. Rose Athena wanted it out there. It’s out there. This is where everything starts, but it’s not where it all ends.
Please forgive any grammatical or pacing errors. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to reread this and edit it. It needed writing, though. It’s part of Rose Shepard’s story. It’s part of a lot of women’s stories. If this touches on any personal pain for anyone reading this, please know my prayers are with you. You’re not alone.
His heart is still beating fast and their skin is molten together with sweat. Jack is lying in his arms, on top of him, her face pressed into the crook of his neck. Now and then, her body shudders and he can feel some more wetness running down his shoulder and collarbone but in between, she lies relaxed, with her arms wrapped around him.
He lets his hands roam over her, slowly, gently, focusing on the smoothness of the skin, as if the scars were not there, till eventually, he feels her falling asleep, or close enough.
Years ago, he was visiting friends on the Arcturus Station who could afford the astronomical cost and kept a cat – a young kitty who, for some reason, decided that Shepard’s lap was the best place ever for an afternoon nap. As soon as he got the knack of the basics of cat petting, it relaxed to the point of almost melting over his legs: a soft, warm, purring puddle. The trust with which the animal took to a complete stranger astonished him; feeling the same trust emanate from Jack now threatens to undo him in so many ways that he doesn’t dare to think about it at all.
Instead, he slowly circles his fingers along her spine, focusing his mind solely on that movement. He doesn’t want to think about what will come in just a few hours, and even less on what is to come after that, especially as the chances are that neither of them will live to have that conversation, anyway. Now is all they have, and it cannot be wasted on doubts or remorse.
For the time being, it is just Jack, in his arms, and that is all that matters, or so he tells himself.