Broken Bird | Hawke & Kili

archerofdurinsfolk:

“Now remember,” Cicero was saying, batting at the shoulders of Kili’s old jacket as if it were a suit of finest velvet. “Head up, shoulders square, and don’t forget to smile, okay?”

Kili stared.

“—-Well alright, maybe that was a bit much. But could you at least look less like you want us all to die? This is a happy occasion!”

Could’ve fooled him. Currently, the feeling most prevalent in Kili’s mind was utter confusion — that, and a desperate need for a cigarette or ten. Somewhere in the last twenty-four hours, he felt as though the world had tipped into fast-forward, speeding ahead while he remained behind wondering what the hell had just happened. After three days of hardly any food, no sleep and veins filled with adrenaline and rage, his strength had failed him. He had, they told him, passed out upon one of the modern plastic benches in the hospital, a scruffy black blot in their pristine space, which Cicero and Livia had had to carry off themselves. And that wasn’t even the confusing part.

Oh, no. Confusing was waking up somewhere different to where you started to Cicero, all prim and proper and mildly disapproving. (Not of anything in particular, that was just Cicero.) Confusing was learning that while you slept, the woman you spent days obsessing over had both healed and awoken. Confusing was learning in the space of five minutes that not only she had awoken, but that she sat in the familiar spangled clutches of Ceasar Flickerman, broadcast live across Panem. Oh yes, and that within ten minutes, he would in fact be joining her, so he had better get dressed.

It was a wonder, really, that he knew what the hell was going on. Except for that fact that no, he didn’t. He didn’t know right up until the interview screens were broadcasting his own face back at him.

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Cicero was saying something, pushing ineffectively at his shoulder. Kili simply stared, feeling the weight of realisation settle in his stomach, each fuzzy detail clicking into place in his exhausted, overwrought brain.

Oh.

So that was it.

Caesar’s lips were moving, and he knew before he heard it what was to happen next. Cicero’s fussing, Livia’s lipsticky, too-bright smile, the constant buzz that he had been too focused to see throughout the stalemate… Kili knew what Caesar asked of her. Of him.

It was a good thing he hadn’t eaten anything, really. He felt very much as though he might be sick.

♛          ♛          

He stepped out into that gentle firelight as though it were a blinding spotlight, head down and shoulders slumped in a way designed to give poor Cicero palpitations. The beam of Caesar’s gaze span to focus on him, gentle and welcoming and reminding him irresistibly of a cat bearing down upon a mouse.

But Kili was not a mouse. He was fog and mismatched limbs.

And that smile was not what he was on that stage to see.

"Welcome Kili! So nice to see you again so soon!” Somewhere in his haze Caesar stood, guided him to a chair with a pat to the back that, normally, would have lost him that damn hand. “Oh, but you look exhausted — doesn’t he look tired, everyone? — come, sit! No, not there, you sit beside Hawke, that’s right—” His knees buckled, landing heavily on something plush and velveteen. Velveteen. Like Caesar’s suit. “Now, what a shock this must be for you both! Tell me, Kili: when did you hear of our girl’s recovery?”

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Our girl? “Fifteen minutes ago.” Was that his voice? He sounded terrible: all hoarse and dull, like he was speaking from down a well or something. Slowly, as though his head weighed several tons, he raised his eyes to Caesar’s beaming smile, and then to his left, peering through a fall of dark, unwashed hair to the woman on his left. The woman who looked so clean, so calm, so utterly Hawke that none of the past three days might have happened.

Might have, were it not for there cloth upon his wrist.

“I was waiting. The hospital— they never said.”

For the first time since Marian had sat down, the cameras swung away, tracking Kili’s sluggish progress toward her and Caesar. She started to get up, to open her mouth to say hello or something actually fit for someone you owed your life to, but Caesar was leaps ahead of her as usual. The sheer fact Kili accepted any physical contact from the man without so much as a ‘fuck off’ told Hawke just how tired he really was. Feeling useless, she sank back down into the cushions, resigned to spectate while Caesar steered Kili into a chair that had been placed close to hers. As he collapsed, she peered at the gap between them, no more than a handsbreadth though it may as well have been a canyon for all the crossing she did.

Caesar was talking again to Kili, who answered hollowly. Hawke’s dark eyebrows ticked up at ‘fifteen minutes ago’. So did Caesar’s neon ones. And the shared look couldn’t have been better timed if they’d rehearsed it. ’The nerve!’ they seemed to telepathically communicate before refocusing on Kili. 

His hair was a mess, even by Marian’s standards. She wanted to reach over the armchair-gully and dust it out of his eyes, just to make sure they were really, truly, not angry with her anymore.  

“Well I think we can safely say the waiting has paid off, can’t we everyone?” Caesar’s voice was as warm as a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day. “And you, Talons. Hawke! Marian!” he leaned in to grasp her hand and she found herself ludicrously staring at his manicure. “While you were clinging – so bravely! – to life: tell us what pulled you back from the brink?” An abrupt pause. Empty the lungs through the nostrils. Damnit, he was good. “Again.”

“He…uhm…” Marian shut her eyes, found the memory, and told the truth after a short expulsion of air. “He told me I wasn’t allowed to die." 

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"And he’s a real grouch if you tick him off, let me tell you.”

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dirgeofnevarra-deactivated20150:

hristel Lorraine Herrstedt                    
Nevarran Grey Warden                                  About
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Rogue Nevarran Warden and
Necromancer.