Only the dogs knew their men: every furred inch, every itch behind the ears, and every gray hair threaded with the black. Where the belly wished to be rubbed and where the fur was rough, brindled, around the jaw. The shapes and shadows made against the surface of the water, and how to shake it off when you were done.
Bad breath in the morning. Drool on the pillow. The light through the leaves and old scars making the same patterns on skin. Swelling and shrinking, the two halves of breathing.
How a boy grew. How a man was diminished. How, big or small, the smells stayed the same. The splash in a lake, smalls left on the bank, wet hair over two gold eyes.
Fire. Mud. Feathers. Sweat. Young cheese. Old bread. Blood—fresh and stained.
‘Fereldans and their dogs,’ Varric calls across the water.
‘Cats have the right idea,’ Anders adds, although he’s watching, boots off, toes against the silt, salamanders nipping at his ankles where the bandages have come unwound and the holes in his torn trousers can be seen.
Hawke reaches out to pet the mabari between his perked ears, a mosquito buzzing around his wrist, where the pulse beats like a dog pants.
He knows the two don’t often come together: like a man and his dog, fresh out of the water, always bound to get dirty.
god my fucking phone protested against me reblogging this and also wrote reblogging as reblog gong but it was worth the pain sobs