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Frogging Out, Anders/Theodora

Title: Frogging Out
Rating: G
Character: Theodora Amell
Pairing: Amell/Anders
Note: “Frogging” is a knitting (heck, it can be used for crochet too) term describing the act of ripping out your stitches to start new. It’s called frogging because you “rip it, rip it” until you get to a starting point of your choice.
Note the second: This takes place during DA2, roughly a few months after the Deep Roads Expedition.

Theodora blindly sat down in her favorite chair, her hands clenched into fists. He has a clinic. That’s where my sister and I found him. She winced when she realized that her fingernails were pressing hard into the flesh of her palms, leaving red crescents in their wake. While discovering that she had a cousin - two, if you counted Bethany’s sister Alexandra – was a pleasant surprise, Bethany’s accidental blurting of Anders’ whereabouts was something she never expected.

Smoothing her shaking hands across her lap, Thea remembered the way Bethany’s eyes had gone round and her hand had flown to her mouth, almost as if she wanted to grab the last words that had come from her lips and swallow them again. “I shouldn’t have said, he made me promise not to tell you.”

“Really, Amell,” Thea said, standing up from her seat to pace in tight circles close to her fireplace. “You should have seen this coming.” She should have seen a lot of things coming, like the way that Anders had often looked longingly towards the horizon in the weeks before he left; how he had spent more time than usual with her, his expression altogether wistful and pensive. She should have picked something up in the way he had fiercely kissed her that last night they spent together, his hands slowly roving across her body as if he had wanted to memorize every dip and curve.

She should have prepared herself for how cold the sheets were when she woke that morning. He hadn’t left a note – notes and long goodbyes had never been his thing in the Circle – but somehow she had known that he was gone all the same.

She turned towards the basket she always kept nearby that held her works in progresses. Her hands brushed past the unfinished fingerless gauntlets she had meant for Nathaniel and the pair of socks she had promised Sigrun so long ago yet never completed until she pulled a bulky piece from the bottom of the basket. Slowly unfolding it, she shook the piece out until she had a long scarf. It was a silly tradition, one that had started after one of Anders’ earlier escape attempts. He had complained that solitary confinement had been incredibly cold that she had knitted him a quick scarf to keep him warm. In the end of it all, Thea had knitted him a total of five scarves, starting each of them as soon as she had heard word of his escape just so she would have it ready in time for his Templar-escorted return.

This one wasn’t any different. She had been aware of the looks that the rest of the Wardens had given her, the cautious distance everyone had afforded her. Even Nathaniel, who had become something of a dear friend and her most trusted confidant, had treated the subject of Anders’ sudden departure as delicately as someone walking on glass would. Foolishly, she had shrugged Anders’ absence off as something brief, something that in several weeks to a month’s time would see him walking back through the Vigil’s gates, his trademark carefree smirk in place like it had always been. She’d started his new scarf that afternoon, picking an earthy green that would look well on him. A week turned into a month, a month into two, and still Thea knitted, thinking about how the both of them would laugh at how comically long the scarf had gotten in his absence.

Somehow, a little part of her had always known that given the chance, Anders would one day leave and never return. Long before the original green yarn had given way to a multitude of different colors and the simple garter pattern had evolved into random patterns of moss stitching and intricate cables, Thea had known. And still she knitted. Any chance that she got, any little pocket of time spent between running the arling and battling darkspawn, she knitted. Even when she was so tired from her duties as Warden Commander that she all but stumbled into bed, she still picked up Anders’ scarf for at least a row or two, her fingers knowing where to push her needles even when her eyes were too blurry to see the stitches straight. The months turned into a year, then longer, and she couldn’t make herself stop. To her, finishing the scarf and binding it off meant that she would have to accept the reality of Anders never coming back and that was something that she hadn’t been ready to do.

“He was supposed to come back,” she croaked, her voice breaking. “He always comes back.” She pressed the side of her face against the material, breathing deep and pretending for an instant that the cloth smelled like him, like elfroot and lyrium and something unidentifiably male that had lingered on the sheets and pillows for weeks after he had left. Her fingers tightened on the scarf as she remembered how she had curled up into the spot he had always slept in until his scent had eventually faded away to nothingness.

“He has a clinic,” she said, taking a breath to steady herself. Saying it out loud made it sound all the more real. “He made Bethany promise not to tell me where he was.” Very deliberately, she took one of the rosewood needles out of the ball of yarn and set it aside. She took the other needle and slid the working stitches off of it, the move painfully twisting something in her chest.

“He doesn’t mean to come back.” She couldn’t help the tears that slid down her cheeks as she pulled the scarf apart stitch by stitch. She wanted to scream, she wanted to howl, but she quietly rolled her grief into an ever growing ball instead, snipping the yarn at a point where she had originally joined colors when the ball became too big to manage. Wiping her face with the heels of her hands, she sat on the floor with her back against the leg of her chair, the beginning strand of yarn all that was left of the scarf. She was about to indulge in a completely selfish wallowing of heartsickness when she remembered the last thing Bethany said to her before the two of them had parted for the evening.

“Once we got to know him, he spoke of you often,” Bethany had said. “And he spoke of you fondly. Even if he never said it out loud, I could tell that you meant a great deal to him.”

Thea stared at the yarn in her slack hands. Wiping at her face again, she rummaged through her needle collection until she found a set of circular needles. Yarn in hand, she created a slip knot and began to cast on stitches. She worked until her fingers began to ache and her legs went numb from sitting on the cold stone floor for so long. The yarn she had balled up would make an odd combination on the new shawl she had in mind, but she would make it work.

Anders might be lost to her, but she had memories of him – the green that went so well against his warm brown eyes, the blue that matched his favorite shirt, the dark yellow that was almost a match for his hair when the sun hit it – that she could wrap herself up in. The warmth from the finished product might pale in comparison to having his arms around her, but if that was all she was to have of him, she would take it.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
Awww this is so so sad. Heartbreaking. But I love it. I keep meaning to write my piece where Cousland hunts him down during Act III.

Poor Theodora. :-(
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Thanks! Wouldn't you know it that something angsty would break past my case of writer's block? There's something else along the line of this that started rumbling in the back of my head too.

I love Thea; going to have to do something happy for her in the near future.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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