Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chapter 11: Samsara

Thierry and Amelia have a private wedding, taking their vows in the circle of standing stones that overlooks the sea below.

The rising moon is the only witness to their union.

With Eleanor moved out, Amelia takes over her old room, redecorating to suit herself and her new husband.

The newlyweds are distracted by their passion, so when Hawke comes home from his concert late that night and gets himself ready for bed, Zhenzhen decides her time has come. The young form that once helped her insinuate herself into this household is now a hindrance, so Zhenzhen ages the body she's taken into one more suited to her purpose.

"Zhenzhen?" Hawke gasps as she enters his room. It can only be Zhenzhen, but why does she look so much older? And the way she's dressed, so much like Sun, yet different, makes his still unhealed heart bleed. "I think you should leave," he says, his voice low and wavering. He knows she should leave, because of how much he wants her to stay.

"Don't you recognize me?" she asks, "Hawke, my love, my husband, there was never any Zhenzhen. It was always me. Your Sun."

She's on top of him so fast, Hawke couldn't stop her. Nor does he have the will to try. "How is that possible?" he whispers. She can't be Sun, but she feels like Sun, she smells like Sun, and more than anything, he wants it to be Sun in his arms right now.

She pushes him forcefully down onto the bed, "I need you, Hawke," she says, "I need you to rescue me. I'm going to take you back to the day I was cursed, and you will stop me."

"I'd do anything for you, Sun," Hawke answers.

Hawke isn't in his bed anymore. He's never seen China before, but he knows that that is where he is. And Sun, the real Sun, is right there in front of him. He's here to save her.

He's had this dream before, he thinks, despair crushing his hope. He never saves her.

"Sun, wait," he calls out to her. She turns and looks quizzically at him.

"Do I know you?" she asks.

"I'm Hawke," he introduces himself, "You don't know it yet, but I'm the love of your life." He says forcing himself to speak in the cocky self-assured tone he used to possess, before he fell in love for real, before that love died.

"Are you?" she laughs, raising an eyebrow, "I bet you say that to all the girls."

"I used to," Hawke admits, "But I'll never say that to anyone again."

She laughs again, her beautiful tinkling laugh that he's longed to hear again everyday since she died. "Well, it was nice meeting you, Hawke," she says, "But I'm on way to explore the Dragon Cave. Maybe  I'll see you in town later."

"I promise, you'll have a much better time with me than digging around in some old tombs," Hawke says, almost desperate. Above all, he mustn't let her go into the Dragon Cave, the place where she was infected.

"I will hold you to that promise, Hawke," she says.

Something happens to time here, Hawke thinks. A moment ago, he was outside, asking Sun to spend the day with him, and the next, he's in bed with her. He can't remember anything in between. Why question this bliss, he chides himself. Who cares how he got here? He's with Sun, alive and together. He saved her from her fated death. Nothing else matters.

She never asks him to move in, he just never leaves her side as they go about a normal life together, and she never tells him to go.

They visit town, running mundane errands.

They make love, as often and in as many places as possible.

Whenever Hawke has any doubts, wonders why he's never seen her brother or his wife here, why they don't have to work for the money to pay for this place or the food they eat, why they have no responsibilities or anything to do with their time except spend it wrapped in each other, he squashes them quickly. Somewhere, he recognizes there's a deep wrongness here, that life just cannot be this good every day, all the time, but that is a fact he doesn't care to acknowledge.

"The school called to tell me Zhenzhen never showed up today. Li Feng hasn't seen her since last night. And when I came up here to ask Hawke if he knew where she was, I found him like this. I can't wake him."

"He's not asleep," Thierry says, "Zhenzhen is in his head."

"We have to help him!"

"I know someone who can find where Zhenzhen has taken him, and get him out whole," Thierry promises.

"Moth, tell Summerdream it is time. I need her help."

Challenge Notes:
I made a backup save at the point right before I killed Sun. So I used this save to take Hawke and Sun to China. Hawke is YA in those scenes, and an adult in the legacy. He perceives himself as having travelled in time to save Sun before she was infected, so it makes some sense that he'd be seeing himself as younger, too.
Since I was off the actual legacy house, I cheated like hell to get Hawke a maxed visa for China, so they could buy a house there. I also motherloded them so they could buy the House of Thyme.
I love playing in China, and I love Hawke and Sun.


  1. Tense update. Great pictures. I'm on my toes waiting for Summerdream vs. Zhenzhen.

  2. Aaaah I almost squealed through the whole thing! So good! I love the story you're writing here, and I don't know if I feel bad for Hawke, or happy for him. Sure its all a dream, but at least he's happy. Living the life with Sun that he never got to.

    Still though... gosh Zhen zhen. You're a creepy lil fox aren't you? (I love her so much. <3)

    Can't wait to see how Thierry and Summerdream handle Zhen Zhen... but I also don't want it to come because then I fear Thierry will leave. < / 3

  3. I love this chapter. It reminds me of the Fade from DA. Great job!

  4. Zhenzhen's a right piece of work isn't she? Poor Hawke, I can't help thinking whatever Thierry and Summerdream do this is going to wind up hurting him a lot

  5. Yeah, the reason this chapter is shorter than my normal is that I kind of dread what I have to do next. So I'm doing it a little more slowly and taking more breaks to play Dragon Age to get away from it.

    Giga, I actually did think about the Desire demon in the Circle Tower that has the templar ensorcelled when I was coming up with this ("The children will want to kiss you goodnight!"). Also, an episode of Star Trek called 'The Menagerie'.

  6. Wow, Thierry and Amelia's wedding was beautiful. Really just stunning.

    But I'm worried for them. I can totally understand why you need to take it slow. It's hard to hurt the characters you love.

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE this chapter! Great plot and story. I'm VERY curious about Zhenzhen's purpose for what she's doing. I'm not sure she has Hawke's best intentions in mind.

    Amazing stuff, and wow, Amelia's wedding dress - beautiful!!