Broken Hallelujah

I Just Wanted to Fix It

Anders stood to the side in Merrill's hovel and allowed the two Dalish women to speak. Mahariel was regaling Merrill with tales of Ferelden, of Alistair, who she spoke of sometimes through laughter but mostly through tears, and Merrill let her go, never interrupting, only loosening the grip on her clan-mate's hands when she reached forward to wipe the tears from Mahariel's chin with a hanky. Common tongue and Dalish bled together in a whirlwind, and though he could only follow half of the spoken language, the story between the two elves was clear: they had been close, so close that even the catching up was like the retelling of a particularly memorable day at the market: no time had passed between them even though so much space had.

When Mahariel got to telling Merrill about Anders, she spoke almost entirely in the elvhen tongue and Anders' face turned red. They were sharing secrets like jealous school girls. Occasionally Merrill would blurt out an exclamation, "No!" "Really?" but otherwise the tale flowed from start to finish and even though it was greatly summarised - her work in Amaranthine was compressed to just a few sentences - it was well past midnight when Mahariel finished and asked the question Anders had hoped she would forget:

"Why did you leave the clan, lethallan?"

Merrill's eyebrows knitted and her soft doe-eyes welled with tears. "I just wanted to fix it, Lyn'."


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