Fandom: The raven cycle
Riassunto: Adam's life as an apostate isn't exactly easy. It gets harder when two Grey Warden arrive in the village.
Note: Scritta per la M5 della 7° settimana del COWT9 per "Terra"
If Adam's life had gone the way it was supposed to, he would have been given to a circle long ago, long before his magic would start to get out of control the way it is now.
But Adam's life is nothing but a tragedy after another, an existence marked in bruises and screams. And when his father had found out about Adam's magic he hadn't told him to go to a circle as he should have, he had hided him and his talents.
"You think you're better than us only because of your fancy magic powers?" he had said, that night, kicking Adam in the stomach. "You think you can just walk away from family now that you have powers? That's not how it works, boy!"
Adam, as young as he had been then, didn't understand why he would even be sent away. His magic, at the time and for most of his life, was non existent anyway, just little sparks that illuminated his hands some nights.
So Adam's life had continued as usual, in a small village in the nord of Ferelden. Away from the church, discovering his magical powers in the silence of his own home, when his father was asleep and his mother was too drunk to notice.
He could never do much, and most of his magic laid dormant in him, but that didn’t seem that important to him, if he was honest with himself.
Only when he got older Adam fully understood the implication of his father's actions.
Adam wasn't just a mage now, seventeen and free, he was an apostate. If any templar were to found out about him and his magic, they wouldn’t just constrict him, they would probably made him tranquil.
Of course, that's not something his father really worried about, but Adam did. He understood all too well now what it meant to live in a circle, and, most of all, what it could mean to be made tranquil.
There's nothing that scares him more than losing all emotions, anything that makes him who he is. What would Adam be without his pride, or his all consuming anger at the world? Adam Parrish is a body kept afloat by pure stubbornness and ig someone cuts the strings, he wouldn't find anything else underneath.
It's why Adam starts to be even more careful with when and how he uses his magic. He still trains at home, with little spell and with trying to make sure he doesn’t lose control of the loose magic inside him, but he also needs to push himself a little bit more.
Magic, he has read in the few books he has found, is tied to feelings and he can’t allow himself to lose control of them and reveal himself to everyone.
He needs to see how powerful he can be and, of course, how much of it he can suppress.
It’s why he starts to go to the woods at night, trains with the aid of the shadows and the knowledge that most of the village is asleep. Adam has learnt the guard’s route when he was very little, and he knows how to side step them.
Adam’s affinity, it seems, is with nature. The roots and the leaves move with Adam’s command, and he feels completely attuned to them. If he focuses enough, he can hear the roots of the trees move under his feet and the branches bend almost as if they wanted to touch him. It’s like he can see almost anything through the earth and the trees, almost as if they’re protecting him by hiding him.
Adam might never feel actually safe, not with the threat hanging over his head, but he feels confident that he’s not going to be discovered there, while he practices magic he didn’t even know he could do.
Obviously, he gets discovered.
It might be his fault, because he gets cocky and doesn’t spend as much time making sure there’s no one in the immediate vicinity, but he also thinks that the person who discovers him is strange. He can see her, she’s standing just in front of him, with her short spiky hair and her weird dress made of leaves more than anything else.
Yet, Adam can’t feel her.
It’s like she’s invisible to the earth, or like the trees don’t recognize her as someone who would be a threat to Adam. He can’t be sure, he doesn’t know how it works yet.
All that he knows is that someone has caught him mid spell, and he can’t help but yelp and panic. The moment fear takes a hold of his spirit, he can feel his magic respond, like a well trained weapon. Adam can feel the moment it sharpens, focuses, and becomes deadly.
It scares him almost as much as the girl does.
He feels roots come up from the earth, grow around him in protection, but also grow thorns and launch themselves at the intruder. Adam hears her gaps and he can see her take a step back.
The roots are completely covering him, almost as if they were wrapping him in a cocoon, but Adam can still see what’s happening around him. It’s a strange sensation really.
The girl takes another step back and then she says, sounding frantic and scared: “I swear, I’m not going to hurt you! I promise! Also you don’t want to use magic against me!”
That, more than anything, sounds like a threat, and he can feel the roots tighten around him.
“Is this even magic?” he hears the girl ask, before she raises up her arm. She looks kind of annoyed now. “Look, just knock it off! I’m surrendering, see? I’m not going to tell anyone I saw you. Also I live with three apostates, so who am I to judge?”
It’s the way she throws that information so easily, without a care, that makes Adam stop. She doesn’t sound afraid for the apostates, she sounds uncaring and secure in what she’s just revealed.
Adam can’t imagine ever feeling like that about his own magic.
He feels the magic react to his shock much more slowly than his fear and recede. Slowly there’s only a single root attached to Adam’s ankle. It feels, inexplicably, like having a guard dog.
The girl watches him for a moment, and she seems to be studying. “You don’t know how to control you magic, do you? I mean that was very powerful, but also very chaotic.”
Adam hesitates a second, torn between the fear that still hasn’t left him, and the desire to talk to someone about his magic. It might be an opportunity he will never have again, after all.
“I… I never learnt,” he answers, then, honestly. He didn’t know there were more mages in the woods. He should have guessed, after all other people would have figured out that these woods were safer than most places.
The girl looks at him and then saunters towards him, she looks much too composed for someone who was just threatened with spiked roots. “My name is Blue,” she says, extending her arm, “and I think you should come with me and meet my mom.”
Adam takes her hand slowly, distrustfully. “I’m Adam,” he replies, shaking her hand. “Is your mom the apostate?”
“One of them,” she confirms, with a shrug. “I think they could help you controlling your magic.”
It feels like an impossibility, but Adam knows that it’s an opportunity he can’t pass up. As much as he’s training, he doesn’t know how to advance. There’s so much he doesn’t know, and it feels like he won’t ever get anywhere alone.
So, he nods.
Blue guides him deeper into the woods, where Adam has never pushes himself to go. She walks confidently, like she can tell all these trees apart and she’s sure where she’s going.
To Adam, everything looks exactly the same, but he follows her and hopes she isn’t taking him to some templars.
She has been talking all the way, asking him questions and talking about her life unprompted. It really looks like she isn’t afraid of anything at all. If Adam had her live, he would have been much more guarded than her.
He doesn’t want to think about what she would be if she had his life.
Blue starts accelerating ten minutes after they’ve started walking and she turns towards Adam with a smile. “We’re here,” she tells him, “come on.”
Adam nods and picks up the pace as well. He surprised when he starts to see something between the trees, a little cottage, it seems, made of wood and hope. He’s not sure how it’s still up, looking the way it does. He’s afraid that a slight stronger whiff of wind would completely destroy it.
Blue, however, doesn’t seem all that worried and she steps into the clearing in front of the house calling: “Mom! I’m home and I brought a guest! Bring Persephone and Calla.”
Adam looks around anxiously before three women exit the house. They look at Blue first, and then they shift their attention towards Adam.
He stands there and watches them as well, feeling intimidated by their attention. He doesn’t know who’s Blue’s mom with certainty, but he can make an educated guess. The woman in the middle looks to be the older of the three and she’s also the one that seems to held herself as the matriarch of the group.
The one on her left is smirking at him, with something that Adam would think was aggression if he didn’t know first hand what aggression really felt like. The one on the right is simply watching him, her gaze a little vacant, like she’s not all there.
Surprisingly, she’s the first one to speak: “He needs to be trained.”
It’s a strange phrase, and Adam blinks, surprised. The one on the left huffs, shaking her head. “No shit, his magic is all over the place. Maura, tell your daughter to stop bringing in strays.”
The woman in the middle, probably Maura, looks at Blue with a question in her eyes. Blue rises her hands and then she points at the woman on the right. “I just did what Persephone wanted me to do.”
Everyone turns towards Persephone, but she doesn’t look to be bothered. She starts walking towards Adam, stopping only a couple of feet in front of him.
“You have magic more attuned to Dalish magic,” she tells him, concentrating on him, “but I feel like your connection to the Fade could be strong. And that’s dangerous.”
Adam knows both the Dalish and the Fade, of course, but nothing about what she’s talking about makes sense. Adam is one hundred percent human, he knows both of his parents and he’s sure that he was born from them. He can feel it in his bones and in the dirt under his nails.
Also, Adam has never reached into the Fade, not even by mistake. He’s been careful in his dealings with it. He’s not the first mage without the Torment to live, of course, but he won’t tempt fate.
“I don’t know what you mean…” he admits in the end and Persephone nods and holds up her hand, placing it in front of Adam.
“Put your hand in front of mine, but don’t touch me,” she instruct him and Adam looks around at the other women, trying to gauge their reactions. They’re looking at them, but they don’t seem particularly scared or shocked and so he complies.
Adam rises his hand and stops it a couple of inches from Persephone’s hand. He doesn’t know what that’s supposed to mean, or what’s supposed to happen, and so he waits.
He focuses on the space between their skin, trying to see if something happens, and is shocked when something actually does.
The moment he concentrates he can see reality warps in that little distance and for a moment, he can hear something whisper to him. It’s like his entire being is being called there, like he belongs there.
Suddenly Persephone removes her hand and everything goes back to normal. “That was the fade,” she tells him, with absolute calmness. “If you don’t learn to control you powers, one day you’ll slip into the fade and not even realize it.”
Adam blinks and watch his own hand, surprised. “You can do that?”
Persephone shakes her head. “Not me, I only focused your powers. I can go into the fade, of course, and with some training you will too. Now, you’re just going to get your body possessed.”
Adam blinks, surprised, and he hears someone - the apostate yet unnamed - huff and say, loudly: “Well, it seems Persephone has found herself a pupil. Great. Can I go back to sleep now?”
“Hush, Calla,” Maura murmurs, turning towards Adam then and walking towards them. She smiles at him and asks him: “Do you want to come in and have a cup of tea?”
Adam looks at his own hand again, thinks about the fade appearing in the space between his and Persephone’s hands and thinks what the hell.
“Yeah, sure,” he says, and when he looks back, he sees four smiles directed at him.
After that night, Adam goes to the cottage in the woods almost every night. He trains with Persephone the most out of everyone, working on his rift magic, but he also works with Calla and Maura to improve the control of his nature and ethereal magic.
Blue always stands to the side, watching them, but never participating. He doesn’t want to ask about her magic, but he gathers that she probably doesn’t have any. It’s… strange to have such a deep magic bloodline and not have a single drop of magic in her, but Adam doesn’t want to offend her.
She tells him one night, while she’s walking him back towards the village. “I can’t be targeted by magic,” she tells him, “it’s like I have lyrium inside me. My mother doesn’t want to tell me who my father was, but I think maybe he was a templar and that’s why I’m like this.”
Adam listens to her and nods. He doesn’t know if that’s possible, of course, and he wishes he had more books to study in and maybe help her out.
“So you’re immune to magic like a templar?”
“Better, even,” she says with a smirk. “I don’t know if it would work with your strange roots, but the rest? Magic just disappears the moment it comes in contact with me.”
Adam nods, and thinks how easier his life would be if only he was born that way. He doesn’t want to voice it, however, because he can feel Blue’s eyes when he sees them training.
Growing up surrounded by magic and yet so completely shut down from it. He thinks it must have been hard for her too.
She might not have the bruises he has, but she might be a little battered inside as well.
So he doesn’t tell her that magic has only brought terror and disaster into his life, he accepts her confession and holds it close.
Adam’s training has been going well, he thinks, and his life has gone back to a routine he finds if not comforting then predictable.
He spends the morning and afternoon working as many jobs as he can and then, at night, he works some and trains the rest. His father still hits him wherever he drinks too much, and sometimes even when he’s sober, and Adam tries to think how would it feel to run away from home and live in the woods with the others.
He’s sure they would welcome him, at least he thinks so considering the lingering looks they send to him wherever he returns home, but he also doesn’t want to accept their pity.
Really, Adam would make a terrible Tranquil.
Adam shouldn’t be surprised when his routine gets thrown out of whack with the news of two Grey Wardens passing through the village.
Everyone is buzzing with excitement, talking quietly between themselves. A lot of time has passed since the last Blight, but people still holds respect towards the Grey Wardens and the sacrifice they made for the rest of them.
For a moment, Adam thinks what it would be to walk up to the two Grey Wardens and convince them to take him with them. He would be safe from his father and the circle. He might have a shorter life span because of the Darkspawn blood, but his life expectancy isn’t looking that bright nowadays either.
Still, as much as he daydreams about it, Adam knows he can’t do it. He will have to show them his powers, and there’s the possibility that they would ask him about his circle training, or if he ever passed his Harrowing. And then? What if they decided to report him? What then?
So Adam vows to himself to stay as far away as possible from the Grey Wardens and it’s then that, of course, they walk inside the shop Adam works.
He recognizes immediately because of the symbol on their armor and the way they hold themselves. There’s almost a holier-than-thou air around them, even if one of the two looks like he just stepped out of the gallows.
One of the two, the more composed of the two, looks in Adam’s direction and immediately smiles. He walks towards him with confidence and stops just in front of him. The other one, instead, strides in like he’s ready to fight anyone that steps one foot on his path.
He has that aura that makes Adam uncomfortable, all too familiar with men who are looking for an excuse to throw a punch.
“I’m sorry for the bother,” the first one says, sounding more posh than anyone has any right to. He sounds like she comes from court, and not from a battle, “we’re traveling Ferelden in order to research the start of the Blight, and we’re searching for anyone that would be knowledgeable in the arcane ways.”
Adam can’t help but furrow his brows and looks at him. The thing is, he doesn’t know if the two are just really good liars, or if they are really this stupid. After all, a Grey Warden would certainly know that, in order to find out about the Blight, Henrietta wouldn’t be the first place to go to.
Tevinter might be a good place to start, or maybe the Deep Roads in Orzammar.
Also, if they’re really looking for expert in the arcane ways, they could go and ask any of the Ferelden circles who were still bound to them by the vows created during the first Blight.
The truth, Adam thinks, is that these two knew more than they were letting on. Either about Adam, unlikely but possible, or about the three witches of the woods.
The second one was, unfortunately, more of a possibility. As much protection the wood could muster, Blue has told him of times where normal people would wander to their cottage and investigated. The rumors of the three witches of the wild wasn’t as far spread as it could have been, but it was enough.
Still, Adam can’t afford to raise suspicion on himself. “I apologize,” he says, with a little bow of his head, “I have no knowledge of such things. Henrietta isn’t a town with any circles, I wouldn’t know how to help you.”
The man’s face falls a little, but he nods with a sigh. “We understand, thank you for your time. If you think about anything at all, we’ll be staying in the inn for the next two days.”
Adam nods while the first one walks away, dejectedly. The second one, with the shaved head and the rage in his eyes, stands and simply looks at Adam before smirking. “That bow looks like it hurt,” she says, like he finds the entire thing amusing.
Adam feels anger grow inside him and flow in his blood like magic. If he wanted, he could raise the earth and ask him to strangle this Grey Warden. He’s stronger now. But that also means he’s in more control.
So he closes his eyes and then looks at the other with his more clueless face. “I don’t know what you mean.”
The Grey Warden’s smile just turns more vicious, but he doesn’t reply and simply walks away.
Adam stands there, holding his broom for what feels like hours before he starts moving again.
He has to remind himself that they can’t be here for him, they just can’t.
That night he’s working and Blue knows that very well. He never goes to them when he’s working, since he needs to catch up on any sleep he can, and so he’s surprised to see her at the edge of his family’s house - if that’s what their hut can be called.
He rushes to her immediately, leaving caution to the wind. He presence here means it’s important, and with the Grey Wardens sniffing around that morning, he fears the worst.
“What’s happening?” he asks her, the moment he reaches her. She’s clearly uncomfortable and worried about something, but doesn’t look hurt, nor in a hurry.
“It’s nothing bad. I think. Calla and Persephone don’t seem to think it’s bad anyway,” she reassures him immediately.
“And Maura?” Adam asks, while Blue shrugs.
She hesitates a minute before speaking. “The Grey Wardens found us,” she starts, and when she sees the way Adam’s body irks in flight or fight mode, she continues hurriedly, “they don’t seem interested in reporting us to the templars. In fact the asshole one told us they didn’t give a fuck about the circles.”
It’s a rather bold statement to make, Adam thinks, but he has an idea that Blue is talking about the shaved one, and him saying something like that isn’t that absurd to believe.
“What did they want then?” Adam asks her, and Blue bites her lip in a nervous tick.
“They want to go into the Fade,” she says, with a worried shrug. “I mean, it seems that they have reason to believe there’s a clue about stopping the Blight in the Fade. And they want to go and investigate.”
Adam blinks, too surprised to move. The Fade, as a realm, is limited to living people for a reason. Time and one’s sense of reality were distorted inside the Fade. Mages were linked to the Fade because that’s where their powers come from but to normal people the Fade is simply unattainable.
It was possible for spirits to reach inside the Fade, of course, if they were motivated enough and only with someone of magic incline to guide them, but most people didn’t survive a trip into the Fade without scars.
“Don’t tell me…” Adams says, and Blue shrugs.
“Persephone told me to call you,” she says, like Adam feared. “She thinks you can guide them. But she also told me that you can say no. They don’t know who you are and you’ll be safe.”
Adam knows, however, that Persephone wouldn’t have called him if she didn’t believe it was something important.
There’s no news of an incoming Blight, but the threat of it is enough to scare children into bed at night. Can Adam really turn his back on something that could resolve this?
Of course, he can admit to himself, he’s also curious. Persephone hasn’t allowed him to go into the Fade ever since they started their training. He’s almost crossed over a couple of times, but she was always there to bring him back before he could cross over completely.
His tie to the Fade is too strong, she always tells him, if not controlled he would travel with both his spirit and his body. He would be stronger, of course, but it was always more difficult to tether one’s spirit to reality when one didn’t leave back a body for the soul to come back to.
Now she wants him to risk it all. It has to be important.
So he nods to Blue, sends a last long look towards his house, and follows her.
The moment he steps inside the cottage, all the eyes turns towards him and the shaved Grey Warden guffaws out loud. “This is fucking golden, man.”
Adam doesn’t know what the other means, but he holds himself up and proud. He’s surrounded by friends and he feels the forest presence all around him, ready to bend to his command.
He has nothing to worry about.
“Oh,” the other Grey Warden says, surprised. “It’s you”
Adam shrugs, and his eyes turn to find Persephone’s almost immediately. He needs to know what she’s thinking, why she wants to send him in, but her eyes betray absolutely nothing. She looks peaceful and serene.
“You’re supposed to be our guide into the Fade, then?” the first Grey Warden says, standing up. “My name is Gansey, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He extends his hand immediately and then looks towards his companion. The other Grey Warden doesn’t say anything, simply continues to stare at Adam as he irks his eyebrow.
Gansey looks annoyed by that, and he quickly introduces the other as well. “He’s Ronan. Forgive him, he’s…” he stops then, like he’s not sure how to describe his friend.
Rude might have been what Adam would have settled for. Dangerous might have been another word.
Still, Adam doesn’t have time to lose. “I’m Adam,” he introduces himself, shaking Gansey’s hand. “And I think we should talk about what exactly you want to do.”
It’s then that Persephone talks, for the first time. “They need to go inside the Fade in order to find a spirit. He might know the location of one of the body of one of the First Magisters that crossed into the Golden City. And finding it might be the answer to stopping the Blight.”
Adam doesn’t seem that he thinks it’s a little far fetched, he simply looks at the two Grey Warden with doubt im his eyes. “And how do you know about this spirit?”
The two don’t talk, and he sees Gansey look at Ronan for a second. It’s Calla that speaks then, with a huff. “It’s the snake,” she explains, pointing at Ronan, “he reeks of the Fade.”
Adam blinks, and then focuses on Ronan. Although his connection to the Fade, according to Persephone, is stronger than even hers, he isn’t able to catch onto the flicker of Fade energy like the other seem to. He looks at Ronan, but he doesn’t see anything different in him.
Ronan however stills at Calla’s words, and Gansey looks panicked for a second. It looks like they didn’t disclose this information to the three, hoping to keep it a secret.
“It’s peculiar,” Maura continues, looking at Ronan, “because he has no magic in him whatsoever.”
Ronan almost growls at them, and Adam is immediately on edge. He hasn’t forgotten about how dangerous Ronan might be just because of this, and this sudden act of of aggression startles him.
It seems that he might flinch, because he sees everyone turns towards him. There’s an apologize ready on Gansey’s tongue, he can see it, but Ronan is faster and already geared for a fight.
“What? Are you scared? Is a scaredy cat supposed to guide us through the Fade?” he asks, with a sneer, “I know who you are, apostate, you’ve never even been to the Fade. What chances do we have? You’ll be possessed at the first opportunity.”
Ronan doesn’t know anything about Adam, of course. He doesn’t know about the bruises, about the terror, he doesn’t know about the nights lying awake either because of his father or because of his magic.
He’s talking because he thinks he has seen a weak spot and he wants to sink his teeth into it. Adam has faced and defeated stronger beasts than this Grey Warden who seems to lash out in anger at anything without regards.
He might have never faced his Harrowing inside a circle, but he thinks he has been living it for all his life, stuck at home with his father. The reason why Persephone was so scared to let him go to the Fade, he knows, it’s not because Adam might become possessed, but because he might decide to never come back.
His tether to reality is feeble, and only Adam’s stubbornness and pride keeps it intact.
Still, Adam has learnt long ago that feeding into the fire only brought him troubles in the long run, and yet he can’t stop himself. “You don’t scare me,” he tells him, with a bored tone, “but I see you need to growl and bark to impose yourself on others. Grow up.”
Adam feels the entire room stop and stare at them, and there’s a big possibility that Ronan would attack him now. Adam is, of course, ready. He sees, from the corner of his eyes, a couple of little roots erupting from the floorboards.
He doesn’t think the other notices them, but Ronan still backs up, muttering something under his breath and sitting down.
Gansey looks at Ronan and then back at Adam with marvel in his eyes, like he actually did something great and didn’t just run his mouth.
It’s rather strange.
“Well,” Gansey says, walking towards him, “I’m sure this can be the start of something great. I can feel it. The sooner we can get into the Fade, the sooner we can ask about Glendower.”
Adam is taken aback by Gansey’s enthusiasm, but he looks towards Persephone and then towards the window.
If there’s one thing he knows about the Fade is that once you enter, you can never be sure how much time you spend in there. He can’t afford to stay the entire night out. He has work the next day, and his father would be pissed, if he’s not already since Adam should have been home by now.
He looks at his own shoes, worn out from work, and wonders how he can say this. Still, Adam hasn’t gotten where he is in life by shying away from the hard part of it.
“I can’t do it tonight,” he says, looking forward. “Tomorrow night.”
Gansey seems to deflate a little, but he nods anyway. “Sure. I mean, time is of the essence, but I realize it’s a little sudden. Tomorrow then?”
Adam nods and, before Gansey or, Andraste forbids, Ronan can say anything else, he turns and walks away.
Blue reaches him when he’s almost at the edge of the clearance in front of the house. “Adam…” she says, like she knows what will happen. Like she’s afraid.
Adam looks at her, and wonders what she can tell her.
“Don’t come pick me up tomorrow,” he tells her, the only concession he can make to her.
She’s gearing up for a fight, he can see it, so he walks away from her too.
His father is awake, waiting for him, and as pissed as Adam imagined. He’s used to it.
The next day he tells his jobs that he needs to take a sick day, and they all look at him and don’t ask any questions.
Adam knows his face isn’t in the best shape and he feels tired and hurt all over, but he still works. He still wipes the floor, and restocks the panty and helps serve at the tavern and people are used to his beaten face by now so no one asks him anything.
At least until he goes to a table and realizes that Gansey and Ronan are seated there.
The duo looks up to order, and Adam can see in their eyes the moment they realize who is taking their order and, then, the state of his face.
There’s shock inside Gansey’s eyes and horror as well. Ronan’s are harder to read, but they looks like there are actual flames inside them.
“Adam…” Gansey says, but he stops him immediately.
“What do you want to order?” he asks, quick and to the point. He stares them down, dare them to say something in the face of his refusal to talk, and isn’t all that surprised when Ronan stands up and get close to his face.
If Ronan wants to punch him it won’t hurt as much as his fathers and so Adam doesn’t flinch. Instead Ronan growls again and then storms off.
Gansey stands there, surprised, and then wanders off behind Ronan.
Adam tries to shake off the encounter for the rest of the day with no success.
That night, his father isn’t getting drunk or going to sleep, and Adam, how had hopes to sneak out unseen like any other night, knows he won’t be able to tonight.
While he sits in his own room, he realizes tonight is the night he has to make a decision and with his face still beaten and his body still black and blue, Adam packs his stuff and exits his room.
The moment his father sees the bag he stands up, and there’s a viciousness in his eyes that Adam is very familiar with.
“What do you think you’re doing?” he spits, rage filling his words.
Adam, calmly tells him, “I’m leaving.”
It’s worth it to see the way he sputters, the falter in his step. Adam shocked him, and that even seems to soften the punch he gets in reply. Adam staggers, feeling his magic coil around him, begging to be used.
Adam pushes it back. This is what his control is all about, and he won’t slip. He refuses to.
Still, he takes a step back and then darts towards the door. He manages to evade his father and step into the courtyard before his father throws himself at him.
He hits the ground hard, and he can feel the weight of his father on top of him. Roots grow under his hands, throbbing under him. Adam silences them.
Before he can say anything, he feels the weight of his father taken away from his back and he turns to see Ronan punching his father and sending him barrelling to the ground.
It’s almost surreal and, for a moment, he has to wonder if maybe he hit his head too hard. He closes his eyes for a second, clears his thoughts, but when he opens them back up Ronan is still there.
So he stands up and stops Ronan from kicking his father in the ribs. He doesn’t need Ronan fighting his battles for him.
“I’m leaving,” he says again, and then he starts to drag Ronan away by the arm. The other resists for a couple of seconds before he starts walking on his own. He’s still behind Adam, putting himself between him and his home. Protective isn’t what Adam would have pegged Ronan as.
“Why didn’t you fight back?” Ronan wonders, “you have magic don’t you?”
Adam doesn’t know how to explain to Ronan the complexity of being Adam Parrish. The constant battle that rages inside him. So he simply answers: “Because I’m stronger than that.”
Ronan doesn't answer, and for a moment there’s something like respect in his gaze. It’s gone before Adam can dwells on it too much, but it was there.
“Join the Grey Warden,” Ronan says then, “we can protect you from the circle. And we’re all runaways in our own right.”
Adam hadn’t expected the offer, but the more he thinks it over in his head, the better it sounds. He left his own of his own volition, and because of his choice. The world is open to him now.
“Let’s go to the Fade first,” he says, with a smirk, “and let’s figure out the rest later.”
Ronan smirks at him, but there’s no hostility in it this time. He seems to be almost playful, and Adam thinks he might start to get the hand of Ronan.
And he’s maybe intrigued by it.
Ronan only smirks back playfully at him and Adam thinks he might get used to this.