I’d hoped to do more with Emeric in Shadows, considering he was really my favorite NPC in the entire game, but sadly, his story never really fit in so well with Carver’s, no matter how hard I tried to squeeze it in. Poor Emeric, my Thedasian Humphrey Bogart. I’ll see you on the other side—or another fic.
Previously: Like Old Times
Carver doesn’t open the door to the barracks so much as stagger against it, nudging the wood with a shoulder too weak to even lift the rest of his arm. A plague in the alienage has left the mess hall severely understaffed, and two back-to-back shifts of lugging trash and washing dishes and wondering if Merrill was dead has left him almost as tired as he used to feel at the end of a day in the hole.
“I am Carver Hawke,” he mouths the words without really thinking about them. “I am from Lothering, in the country of Ferelden.”
But he falls silent, for he is not alone in the barracks.
On the edge of Paxley’s bunk sit Paxley and Moira, whose face is wet, blotched, her ridiculous hair all a-tangle. Paxley’s arm drapes across her shoulders, and she sags into him, like a sail without any wind in it. Moira spares Carver a glance, then, sniffling, buries her head in Paxley’s shoulder.
“You’re crying,” says Carver. Moira doesn’t stir or make any indication that she’s heard him, so he tilts his head instead at Paxley, who shoots him a sour glare. “Why is she crying?”
“Not now, man,” sighs Paxley, his hand rubbing soothing circles on Moira’s shoulder.
“Emeric,” her voice is muffled by Paxley’s neck. “Emeric is dead.”
“Oh,” says Carver. “A heart attack or something?”
“No, you idiot,” she shrieks. Moira lifts her head, nostrils flaring, her fists slamming against her knees. “Blood mages. I found him face down in a Lowtown gutter, half his face gnawed off by shades before it’d even got cold.”
“Oh,” he says.
“Oh? That’s all you can say is, oh?” She stands, easily shrugging off Paxley’s hand as he attempts to pull her back down to a seated position.
“I’m sorry?” offers Carver.
“Listen to him.” She spins back to Paxley, whose eyes are wide, beseeching. “Now he’s sorry.”