Grand Cleric Elthina watches those around her more often than she should. But some days wear on slower than most, and she finds the faces around her more interesting than her own work.
It’s rare that she doesn’t find Sebastian somewhere around the Chantry, always either kneeling in prayer or reading intently, sliding a set of polished wooden beads between his fingers, helping the Sisters reach for things beyond their grasp. Days spent outside of the Chantry’s walls end in him returning, cheeks aflame and trudging the path towards the dormitories, exhausted beyond belief. And sometimes, he’s seen with Hawke, a black-haired young man who actually listens when he speaks.
But it is another companion of Hawke’s who draws Elthina’s attention whenever he slips in the back. For such a formidable man, he is very quiet. So quiet, in fact, that she did not come by his name until curiosity drove her to ask Sebastian. Sometimes, she watches him light a candle, watches the warm glow of light combat the icy shine of his tattoos, and she wonders about his prayers.
They are there now, kneeling in the pews no more than a few yards away from her. The light of the candles surrounding the ceiling-high statue of Andraste extends outwards, wrapping Sebastian in their luster. But the arc of light only extends so far.
In the row behind him, a wash of color reaches the elf’s knuckles and goes no farther. He sits quietly, unaffected by sitting in the darkness, and his lips move to no sound.
She has seen them there many times before. Sebastian took the first pew for as long as she’d known him, but with every visit Fenris made to the Chantry, he slipped back another row. One after another, he bridged the gap between Brother and hesitant believer, though he never once left the light. The candles always burned warmer, the light pressing farther.
There is no row of pews separating them now. Fenris kneeels close to Sebastian’s back, off to the side just enough to have room to rest his hands, and there is a small, knowing smile on Sebastian’s face, one of complete understanding.
Elthina watches as he turns suddenly, but gradually enough not to startle, and she can hear the quiet hum of conversation from their direction. While no words reach her ears, she understands well enough when Fenris stands and steps out of the pew, sliding around the edge to step up next to Sebastian. There is a reluctance to his movements that melts away once he kneels beside someone, and she can’t help the twitching of her cheeks at the sight.
Kneeling in the candlelight, his large elven eyes shine just as Sebastian’s do, just as she knows hers must, and when he bends his head, kneeling within the reach of the statue and goaded into the circle of light by the hand of a friend, she smiles and turns away.