Warnings: This letter contains hinting of abuse, and there is claustrophobia all over the place.
It is not only the confinement of the heavy walls that Anders find maddening, but how isolated they are as well. Tucked away in this tower on a small island only accessible by boat ever since the bridge was allowed to crumble, surrounded not only by water but people who seem to loathe them all as well. Some seem downright disgusted by him, and some seem anything but, only in the very worst of ways. None of them thinks of him as human, as a person. He is something to be used when convenient and then put away, and he is considered too troublesome to be useful most of the time. He has enough potential to be useful to be kept alive, but that is all they allow him; this grey imitation of a life.
Some days there is not even enough light in the world to call it grey. Some days they stuck him into a cell as if they want him to think of the Circle as a prison. It is, of course it is, but in front of so many others they preach and tries to pretend that it is something else. Pointless in Anders’ mind, when it even is in the name. Kinloch Hold. To hold them here, trap them here and take everything they can from them. They even had to take the light this time, as if staring into darkness for days is going to make him behave himself in the future, if he can even call the rest of his life that. Future implies more opportunities than he will be allowed here.
He needs to not count the steps from wall to wall, he needs to not claw at them until his nails are chipped and fingertips bleeding and he needs to stop screaming in something that must not be terror, he needs to not chew at his lips to distract himself from the feeling of the stone above and around him. There is danger in blood, of course, but the wounds on his back are a greater call to demons than what he is able to do to himself short of biting his own arteries open. He does not want them to know how much this is getting to him, that is all.
He needs so much more than to not show them any weaknesses that should not even be considered such. He needs air and he needs sunlight, he needs wind and he needs rain, he needs to feel alive and not buried deep under so much stone like the dwarven dead.
He needs to keep calm.
He needs Karl.
And that need is a danger greater than the demons that whisper about freedom in his ear at night. The demons have nothing to use against him, but when he needs Karl the templars do.
It is not about love, at least not as a romantic attachment, but when his mood twists and turns and reach greater depths than any grave he can imagine, he needs someone to hold on to, needs to not be alone and to not be despised or forgotten. When his mind races away from him he needs a familiar hand on his shoulder, a reminder that life is more than the horrific lows he does not even understand himself.
There are no comforting hands or arms down here.
At mealtime he is allowed light, and to great risk for them both some of the bowls have notes hidden under them. Nothing conspiratory and nothing romantic, but small reminders of the outside world; of the other side of the cell door, of the floors above and the world beyond it all. Small stories of is happening in the tower, who Mister Wiggums has scratched most recently, various retellings of amusing pranks as well as assurances that he is missed and not forgotten. And the request or plea to hold on.
Anders is unsure whether he needs to cry or not.