It had been a foolish self-deception to think someone could help.
No one can help anymore, it's too late. It already had been too late 2 years ago; after the devastating strike against the Chantry in Kirkwall.
Back when the blond man had unleashed one of the greatest wars in the history of Thedas.
This war between mages and templars is still raging today and Tevinter had won the upper hand months ago. They did not have to move to this damn country, to search for help regarding Anders' "problem". Tevinter had come to them. Blood mages and demons swallowed even the most hidden places of this desolate world and were spreading chaos. Cullen wonders whether there are places where the Templars had held their power.
Hard to imagine.
But now irrelevant anyway. Because they had already lost everything they had fought for.
First they lost their hearts, then sanity, control, Hawke ... and now he's losing Anders.
Cullen is alone.
"Anders." The voice of the deserted templar is brittle, as he turns his misty view to a slender figure, not far from him. The mage seems to be completely absent-minded and stares into the cold night. The icy wind billows his tattered robe and runs through his tangled hair.
He does not respond. He does not longer respond to his name for days... but Cullen can not bring himself to call him like the other man - or rather: the creature - wants him to. It disgusts him. He does not believe that the mage for whom he had to go through hell for years, the one he loves so much in spite of everything, is gone.
No one simply leaves... not without saying goodbye.
The voice of the broken warrior is barely a whisper when he speaks again "Anders, please come back here."
And suddenly the blonde laughs; a laugh obnoxious and even colder than the wind which blows the snow to Cullen's face. Anders' thin body shudders, stumbles and suddenly he slowly turns over to the templar.
After that everything goes quickly.
The blonde walks up to his opponent, he's completely out of his mind, uncoordinated and hectic.
The twitching of immense dark magic in the air, blue glow in Anders' eyes, a dull pain, pleading words, withdrawing huge reserves of Mana, the whizzing of sharp steel... and then there is silence. Only the wind whistles and mercilessly takes the pines at the edge of the forest to the noise.
With utter despair Cullen falls on his knees in front of the mage he just had knocked down. His trembling hands touch the blonde as if he was made from glass. Cullen pulls him into his arms while he softly whispers words of apology.
'I'm so sorry.' and 'Everything is going to be alright.'.
Cullen knows that the second option is a lie.
Exhausted brown eyes watch the deserter, as brown and gentle as he had not seen them for days. A smile and a limp, toneless plea leave the unstable mind of the panting mage. An urgent request for following up on a promise Cullen had given 2 years ago; a promise that's choking the warrior.
It's too late.
Tears make it difficult to see, as Cullen reaches for his sword and he cautiously tooks Anders' chin to push back his head a little. The templar has taken off his heavy, studded gloves - because no rough leather or cold metal should touch the pale mage during his last gasps.
Cullen hesitates a long time and closes his eyes as he finally lifts his sword to the other mans throat because he does not want to see his beloved dying.
Anders does not struggle, he only gazes up to the grey sky in abstraction and wonders whether there is still a place for him at the side of the Maker...