Author: Isabeau of Greenlea PM
The habits of a life time are hard to overcome. In Act III, Fenris and Fallon Hawke reach a crossroads in their relationship.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Adventure - Hawke (F) & Fenris - Chapters: 4 - Words: 19,459 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 30 - Updated: 05-01-12 - Published: 11-14-11 - id: 7551384
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Many thanks to Madame MCM (told you I'd update!), Happy Little Cupcake, tsusami, mille libri, Rawr1983, NoMadKa, and Enchanter T.I.M. for your reviews last chapter. They make me feel much more comfortable about writing Fenris!
After a rather restless night tossing and turning in his less-than-comfortable bed in the mansion, Fenris woke early and got breakfast at a stand at one of the inns in Hightown that did business with merchants and travelers. Fallon was not a morning person most of the time and he wanted her to be in a good frame of mind for their discussion. So he waited until three hours after dawn before going to the Hawke mansion, only to have Bodahn shake his head and tell him that Fallon was not there.
"Got up early she did, Master Fenris. That Hubert fellow in the marketplace came to the house early with some bad news about the mine, and she went with some of the others to go take a look this morning. Very bad, it sounded-a cart full of dead men came back into the town from the place, all bloodied and burned."
"Venhedis! That place is cursed!" How many times did they have to clean dragonlings, ghouls, giant spiders and Maker knew what else out of the hell-hole called the Bone Pit? It seemed much more trouble than the meager profits were worth. But Fenris knew why Fallon persisted in the ill-fated venture. Due to her active partnership, the Bone Pit was one of the few places in Kirkwall that would hire Fereldans at a decent wage.
Bodahn nodded his head in sad agreement. "It certainly does seem so, messire. Is there some message you'd like me to give Mistress Hawke when she returns?"
Fenris gave up on any chance of a private conversation any time soon. When the Bone Pit was involved, the more help the merrier. "No, thank you, Bodahn. I'll just go to the mine myself. Do you know who was going with her?"
"Brother Sebastian, for one. He had dinner here last night and the mistress said she knew he was an early riser. She was going to stop at the Chantry and pick him up on her way. And I believe she said something about Master Varric and Master Anders."
That explained Sebastian's absence from the Chantry the night before. Fallon didn't care much for Sebastian's piety and indecision, but he was a useful companion for some of the things they got up to, and she certainly wouldn't have begrudged him dinner. Besides, Leandra had liked him, so she would have gladly entertained the priestly prince on her late mother's behalf. And Fenris knew for a fact that Fallon enjoyed listening to Sebastian and Anders sniping at each other, which probably explained the inclusion of both of them in the party. For the same reason, he found himself running with Anders more often than he would have preferred. He supposed that it was a tactical weakness, that some of Fallon's decisions about whom to take on what task were made at least in part with an eye as to which combination of her motley group of friends would be the most entertaining to her.
Drake came out into the foyer and looked at Fenris in open appeal, tail wagging. The mabari had obviously heard his stated intention and he certainly wasn't going to object to such a formidable escort on the road to the Bone Pit.
"By all means, my friend," he told the dog. "We will go find your mistress together. I'm sure you could do with a long walk."
Drake barked an enthusiastic affirmative, and fell in beside him as Bodahn showed him out the door.
The day was another mild one for winter, with plenty of pale sun and still air. The walk was bandit-free and actually pleasant for once. Fenris, who found physical activity a good substitute for drink where quelling his inner dialogue was concerned, found himself relaxing and enjoying the day. Drake stayed at his side, except for the occasional quick foray into bushes or a niche at the side of the road that held a promising smell. Fenris watched him, bemused. He was the only one of Fallon's companions that the mabari had bestowed such favor upon. Drake would escort anyone did Hawke command it, but only with Fenris did he volunteer himself.
Does this say something about his approval of our relationship? Fenris pondered wryly. Or is it simply that we wolves should stick together?
His good mood lasted until he reached the foot of the mountain that held the mine and caught the faintest hint of burned flesh floating upon the still air. Drake lifted his head and whined.
"Let us hurry, my friend."
The mine was a scene of carnage, all the equipment and hoists outside still smoldering. There were a number of bodies strewn about on the ground. Fenris' gorge rose into his throat but a quick inspection showed that they were miners rather than Fallon and her friends.
Drake barked suddenly, sharply and dashed off to their right, seeming to disappear between two rocks. When Fenris hastened after him, he found that some of the huge boulders blocking the ancient path down to the Bone Pit itself had been dislodged and the way was open. He ran down the way after Drake.
He was answered with a deafening roar. Head swiveling, he caught sight of a huge draconic form perched upon the top of some of the ruins overlooking the Pit.
A high dragon? Here? He shrugged mentally, even as he hurried faster. Of course! It lacked only that! And perhaps an Archdemon or two!
At the foot of the path, he had a good view of most of the Bone Pit and could see Fallon and the others far out in the middle, surrounded by the dead forms of what he assumed were the dragon's young. Drake was running flat-out and had already covered half the distance, puffs of white bone dust rising beneath his scampering feet. To Fenris' great relief, everyone still looked to be in one piece.
The whole scene was surreal. Looking down upon it did not have the same effect as being at ground level and seeing all the piles and drifts of bones, knowing that most of the small pebbles and bits grinding beneath your feet were yet more bones, that the whole of the dead white plain was probably compacted bone grit and dust. The surface was hard and unyielding and the feel of it beneath his bare feet sent an atavistic shiver up Fenris' spine. The sun shone distant and pitiless down upon the scene and all was oddly silent, save for the crackle of Anders' magic and the thrum of bowstring and Bianca.
The dragon roared again and launched itself, landing heavily near the four friends. Fenris could tell that it was sorely wounded-the constant barrage of bolt, arrow and spell had taken a toll. He hurried faster, for he knew what would happen.
Drake closed with his mistress, who turned her head and laughed when she saw him. Fenris heard the laugh through some trick of the still air, heard her call gaily, "Come on, boy!" and saw Fallon Hawke run forward to dance with a high dragon while her companions kept up their missile assault, Drake leaping happily at her side.
Pure Fallon it was, that heads-on charge against overwhelming foes. Watching, knowing that he would probably not get there before matters were settled one way or another, Fenris heard Varric's words of the day before echo through his head as he ran.
"You'd be just fine if something happened and Hawke were to get killed on one of these crazy stunts she does?"
Confronted with her in the act of doing one of those stunts right now, Fenris knew with sudden certainty that he wouldn't be. His life in the last few years, what life he could remember, had been shaped by two driving forces-his hatred for Danarius and his love for Fallon Hawke. The first was gone and if he lost the second…he did not care to contemplate what his life would be after her death. Empty, futile, flat…everything in shades of gray, he suspected. Nothing to do but to drink away his pain and sell his sword until someone better than him ended his misery.
He pelted past the three men, heard Sebastian's exclamation "In the Maker's name-Fenris?" just as Fallon reached the dragon. Her left hand left Bassrath-Kata's hilt for a moment to flick a gesture at Drake, who jumped left and upwards to sink his teeth into the dragon's wing-tip. The dragon roared in pain, its head arcing up and to the left to snap at the mabari and as it did, Fallon leapt as well, under and up, the Qunari blade's twin prongs slicing open the dragon's throat. Hot dragon blood fountained down as she passed under to the right and turned. The dragon's head slammed onto the hard surface of the plain and she leapt up once more, sword arcing over her head to thrust the blade down into its skull. The dragon's body gave one huge, convulsive shiver, then grew still.
"Sweet, Hawke!" Fenris heard Varric call behind him, knowing that the dwarf's vivid imagination was already embellishing what was an extraordinary feat. Fallon Hawke had just made dragon-slaying look easy
He pulled up, panting, in front of the dragon's head. Fallon looked at him quizzically. She was absolutely drenched in dragon's blood, her short hair spiked and matted with it. Her chest was heaving, but she was catching her breath even as he watched; finally, fully recovered from the blood magic
"Fenris. What are you doing here?"
His emotions were tumbled and conflicted and consequently when he spoke it came out almost accusingly. "You! You went after a high dragon without me?"
Her eyes narrowed. "Uh, first of all, Fenris, I didn't know that it was a high dragon. I thought that the problem might be one or two mature dragons like the one we met that one time. As it turned out it was a high dragon and a couple of those, as well as a bunch of babies. By the time we figured that out, it was too late to go back for help. Besides, for flying dragons you need shooters, not slicers. I probably wouldn't have brought you had I known. Lots of shooters and one slicer to keep things off of them seems to be the optimal mix." Fallon pulled a handkerchief out of her belt pouch and began wiping her face of the blood. "Secondly, you said you wanted a day or two to think about things." Her tone was matter-of-fact. "So of course I didn't bother you with this." Finishing the wiping, she lowered the handkerchief and looked at him. "Did I get it all?"
He glared at her in exasperation. "There's still a smudge across your nose."
She lifted her hand, then sighed and changed her mind. "Not worth the bother. I'll get it when I get home." She ruffled Drake's ears. "Thanks for bringing him, though. He came in handy."
The mabari grinned, sat and began scratching himself.
"It's more that he brought me," Fenris admitted, beginning to let his irritation go. Fallon was just so damned reasonable! With him at least, if not the rest of Kirkwall…
"He's clever that way." She looked over at the others, who were approaching.
"Solivitus told me once he could do neat things with a fire gland. Anders, why don't you get that and some dragon blood while we loot this girl."
The dragon's horde contained a very nice bow, though Sebastian sniffed and said his was better. "Maybe Marethari's folk would do some trading for this," Fallon speculated. There were also some coins, some potions and a cuirass that looked very familiar.
"Looks like the last piece of that spiky armor you've been collecting, Hawke," Varric noted, running appraising fingers over it. "High-grade silverite here. Nice stuff." Fallon tried it against her chest approvingly.
"Yes, it is nice! Needs re-strapping though. How odd, the way that this stuff has been scattered across Kirkwall. It's sort of been like a scavenger hunt. And odder still that it fits me so well."
"It's obviously fate. Destiny. In your stars. Meant to be," the dwarf said with a grin.
Fallon snorted. "No, it just means that a long time ago, some other idiot girl just my size with good taste in armor was afflicted with an overwhelming desire to help her fellow man, or elf, or dwarf or all of the above and obviously came to a bad end. Let that be a lesson to me."
Anders laughed as he straightened up from the dragon's body, his hands bloody. "Corpse plundered, oh fearless leader. What now?"
Staring at those bloody hands, Hawke sobered. "Now we check out the mine and see if anyone is left alive. I can't believe everyone is dead." Her tone was bleak.
Back up at the mine, Fallon had Varric pull out some parchment and a graphite stick and begin a list of names of the dead she could recognize. "They're not all here," she said, a guardedly hopeful look on her face.
"Maybe the rest were in the wagon," Varric speculated.
"Perhaps. Hubert wasn't clear on how many bodies were in the wagon. But we'd best look inside."
They discovered more bodies inside the main entrance, making note of them as well. But everyone was still not accounted for. For yet another time, they ventured forth to comb the mine's passages. It was absolutely quiet for once, and their search was unimpeded. It was also unsuccessful-until they came to one of the stone doors that closed a played out mine passage. Fallon pulled the lever, the slab slid up with a groan-and she was confronted with some grimy, frightened, live miners. Her pit boss, Jansen, moved to the front of the group.
"Am I glad to see you, boss! Some of those idiots tried to get away in a wagon when that thing came over. Did they make it?"
"No. Well, the wagon made it to town, but they were all dead." Jansen grimaced. "It got there this morning, and Hubert sent me out. How long have you all been pent up in there?" Judging from the smell, it had been some hours at least.
"What time is it now?"
"Then it's been since late yesterday afternoon. Blasted dragon showed up just as we were about to go off shift. We've been arguing over what to do. No way to tell what was going on down here, and no way to tell if it was gone. We were hoping you'd show up." He looked her blood-spattered appearance over. "Is it dead?"
"Damn, boss! Is there anything you can't kill?"
"I had some help, you know." Her voice turned brisk. "Are any of you hurt? Come out and see Anders. We'll escort you all back to Kirkwall. The mine is closed for now, while Hubert and I decide what is best to do, but I'll see that you're paid in any event."
"And the dead, boss?"
"Get yourself some rest and food, Jansen. I've already started a list. Tomorrow, come to my house and we'll make sure I've not forgotten everyone. We'll get the bodies down to the Chantry-I'll pay for the funerals. Pay will be issued to the families of the dead as well, so that they will be able to eat while I figure out what to do."
He nodded approval. "Thanks, boss. You're a good one."
"If I was that good, this wouldn't have happened," Fallon growled. The rest of the miners, ten of them besides Jansen, filed out into the larger chamber. Anders began looking them over as Fallon watched, her expression grim. When he'd treated the few minor injuries there were and they'd passed their water skins around for the very thirsty men, Hawke gathered them up and started back down the road to Kirkwall.
"I am ruined, partner, ruined!" Hubert wailed when Fallon gave him the news. "Unfortunately, all of my money was sunk in that blasted mine! I have nothing to pay you!"
"Give me the mine, Hubert," Fallon said. The Orlesian's eyes narrowed and he started to protest, but she cut him off, her expression chill. "No one is going to want to work the Bone Pit again, Hubert, not even Fereldans. It's finished. The only thing left is the cleaning up. I'll do you a favor and take care of that. The families of those miners would lynch you. They might be more forgiving of a fellow Fereldan."
It was difficult to argue with that logic. Hubert decided to cut his loses.
"I want all the records, payroll, inventory and taxes at my house by nightfall. I've got a lot to do," Fallon said briskly and he nodded in acquiescence. They left the marketplace and as soon as they were out of earshot, Fallon said, "Drinks and dinner at my place. Are you in, Sebastian?"
The Chantry prince shook his head. "Thank you for the offer, Hawke, but I have evening devotions tonight." He smiled. "It's been an entertaining day. I'll have quite the tale for Elthina. She always enjoys hearing about our adventures."
"Really? You tell Elthina about what we get up to? You're wicked, Sebastian."
"I do a bit of judicious editing," Vael admitted, with a glance at Anders. "Good afternoon to you, Hawke. It's always interesting, I'll give you that! Varric. Fenris. Anders. And most especially you, Master Drake."
Drake barked an acknowledgment, tail wagging in approval. Sebastian bowed to them all, and walked off towards the Chantry.
As had become custom since Hawke acquired the mansion, her friends availed themselves of the excellent plumbing and the spare clothes that were kept there for them while dinner was being prepared. Additionally, Anders had laundry to collect. Before seeking her own bath, Fallon instructed Bodahn to send word to Isabela that she was invited to dinner and that it was a matter of some urgency. The Rivaini arrived just as they were all congregating in the library with drinks. Fallon poured her a brandy and gestured to a chair.
"Dinner's nearly ready. Glad you could make it, 'Bela."
"Hey, who am I to turn down a free meal? You planning something, Fallon?"
"In a manner of speaking." Fallon's ice-blue eyes were distant. "How would you like to be a real captain again?"
"Are you serious? Do you have that kind of money?"
"Yes, 'Bela, I do, thanks to years of interest on some good investments Varric clued me in on. I can get you a ship, but you'll be working for me at first. I have something I want you to do."
Isabela accepted her brandy and swirled it in the glass as she took her seat. "Hawke, I am totally at your disposal." The corner of her mouth crooked up and her eyes gleamed wickedly. "For whatever you have in mind."
Fenris was not entirely sure what Hawke had in mind and he was listening to the plans, though he thought it had something to do with death benefits for the families of the slain miners. Financial matters were always a bit of a mystery to him, having never had access to any money of his own for most of his adult life. They'd moved the discussion into the dining room and he sat and ate silently, listening while Fallon and Varric discussed things like "liquidation" and "compensation" and "delving into the principal." Isabela thought she was being overly generous, but Anders seemed to approve highly. In fact, Fenris thought he saw the blue glow at the back of the mage's golden eyes a couple of times. That seemed to indicate Justice was on board as well.
"I need to get back to the clinic," Anders said, getting to his feet. He'd packed away a huge dinner. "Do you want me to stop by Lirene's and talk to her?"
"No, thank you, Anders. You've done enough for today. I'll go myself tomorrow. And I'll send you word when I've got the carcass sorted." Fallon reached into her belt pouch for some coin. "Here's an advance on your share. Don't spend it all on medical supplies and parchment! Buy yourself a meal or two, if you won't come up here to eat. Those new robes are quite the thing, but you're getting too thin."
A shadow seemed to cross the mage's face for a moment. Then he brightened and smiled. "Yes, Mommy Fallon! And you make sure you get a good night's sleep after all that exertion."
"I am fine!" Fallon growled. "Stop being a fuss-budget!" Then she softened and smiled a little. "Good night, Anders."
"Good night, Lady Dragon-slayer!" He left and Varric gave Fallon a serious look from his chair by the fire in the library, where they'd all retreated back to after dinner.
"By my estimation, this is going to draw your reserves down by over half, Hawke. And in the current climate, they may not build back up again very quickly. Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Is there enough to keep the house open? And take care of my people?"
"Then let's do it, Varric. It's what's right. You know I never cared much about money. The house was for Mother, not me. It's paid for and she's gone. I inherited or won every bit of armor and weapon I've ever possessed, I didn't buy them. And aside from books and the occasional bottle of good whiskey, I don't have a lot of hobbies or vices. I'm quite boring, really, when all is said and done."
"Riiiiggght," the dwarf drawled dryly. "I have to exert my fiction-building muscles to the utmost to make stories about you exciting."
"You certainly do exert them on a regular basis," came the equally dry response. "What a chore." Fallon turned her attention to Isabela. "Start shopping, 'Bela. Let me know when you find something."
"You got it, boss-lady. I'm off." She gave Fenris a meaningful look. "Do try to get up to something kinky and celebratory in my absence. It's not every day you kill a high dragon."
He snorted and Fallon grinned. "I'll see what I can do."
"Come on, Paragon of Manliness. Let's leave the love-birds alone." The pirate and the dwarf paused at the door to let Bodahn give them their cloaks, then left.
"'Love-birds?'" Fenris inquired when they'd gone, an inky eyebrow vanishing up under the shock of moonlight hair.
Fallon looked at him. "You've not said a word all evening. Are you all right? Still mad at me about the dragon thing?"
"No, not that." He shrugged reluctantly, never liking to admit ignorance about anything. "I will confess...I don't entirely understand what you were discussing with Varric. Death benefits for the miners? And what about this ship for Isabela?"
"You got the gist of it just fine. I'm giving the families of the murdered miners a considerable sum of money and the families of the surviving miners a somewhat lesser one, as severance. And 'Bela's getting a ship because I'm offering passage back to Ferelden for any or all of them who want to go. I suspect it will take several trips, and it's not that much more expensive to buy 'Bela a ship and pay her crew than it is to buy passage for all of them. And I trust 'Bela not to take them to Tevinter and sell them. "
"The first thing seems very...appropriate. I do appreciate the fact that you take responsibility for the people in your hire. But why the ship? That seems a bit beyond what might be expected."
Fallon sighed. "The Bone Pit was the one place they could get jobs at a decent wage, Fenris, thanks to me strong-arming Hubert. And now it's gone. Kirkwall doesn't need more Fereldans flooding the labor market, driving wages down to the totally shitty level. And Ferelden needs bodies. These folks were never getting back home otherwise. Only one or two of the miners with smaller families have been able to save up the price of passage in the whole time I've lived here. They're trapped and I'm setting them free."
"Is this about that thing you discussed with me earlier? This conflict with Meredith that you think is coming soon?"
"Yes. I want them out of the line of fire when it happens. And I'm also very tired of watching this city shit on my countrymen." She moved to the sideboard, set her glass down and sorted through the bottles. Pulling up the decanter of Starkhaven's finest whiskey and pouring herself a finger, she tossed it back with the ease of long practice, letting go a slow breath of appreciation as it burned its way down to her belly. "Are you going or staying?" came the carefully casual question, but Fenris could see a certain tension in the way she held herself that told him the question was anything but casual.
It also reminded him that there was unfinished business between them.
"Fallon, you asked me to think about what you said about the mages and templars the other day on the docks. I have been doing so."
"Have you had time to come to a decision?" she asked in that same careful tone.
"I have some questions I'd like to ask you first."
Her eyebrow flicked upward, but she nodded, pouring herself another drink. "Fair enough. Ask away."
"The most pressing question I have for you is-what exactly do you want from me?"
"As in level of commitment?"
"Yes, I believe that is what I am asking. I talked to Varric about this yesterday, and he said that there were questions we should be discussing. Such as if either of us wanted to be married, or to have children."
"That must have been quite the talk! Though Varric is a good choice for those sorts of discussions." Fallon downed her second drink with the same celerity she'd exhibited with the first, but then she made a point of setting her glass down and pushing the decanter to the back of the bottles. Her brow furrowed beneath the feathery fringe of bangs.
"Let's see. I want to be absolutely clear here-I don't want any more misunderstandings between us. Fenris, I want from you whatever you are willing to give, for however long you are willing to give it. I don't mind saying I love you more than I've ever loved anyone and will gladly take whatever you can give. But that means you have to decide what it is you want."
"When you went after that dragon today, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it…I realized then that I did not want to live a life without you in it, Fallon. If something happened to you, I don't think my life would be a long one."
Fenris' words were matter-of-fact, his voice even and earnest. Fallon closed her eyes and let them soak in, reflecting for a moment upon just how far her lover had come in these last few years, to be able to confess his love in such a way. It was easy sometimes to concentrate upon the things he'd not been able to let go, rather than the things he'd been able to move past.
"What about the templar-mage conflict?" she asked, opening them once more.
"I understand that there is no way that you could side with the templars, given that Bethany is a mage and because of your own experiences and upbringing. And I even understand what you said about balance." Fenris began to pace a little, a sure sign that he was somewhat uneasy about the discussion. "Since I arrived in this city, you have given me direction. I have trusted you to pick tasks to do that would be for the common good and haven't had cause to doubt your judgment. I see no reason to start doing so now."
Fallon frowned, her eyes following him as he paced. "I don't want you siding with me just because you love and trust me, Fenris. I want you siding with me because it's right to do so."
"I understand that the magisters were the tyrants in Tevinter and the templars are the tyrants here…but I am not as open-minded as you are, Fallon. You've said it yourself. I don't know that I could ever bring myself to like and trust mages. You may have to settle for me siding with you because I trust your judgment and love you."
"All right. Fair enough." She gave him a quizzical look. "What was all that about marriage? Is that something you're wanting?"
Fenris turned to face her. "I had never contemplated the question before, to be honest. But Varric said we should discuss it and Grand Cleric Elthina said that the Maker prefers that man and woman be bound in marriage."
"Wait a minute! You discussed us with Elthina as well? You had a busy time of it yesterday."
"I had intended to talk to Sebastian, but he was over here having dinner. So I sat in the Chantry for a while to think and she showed up."
"What did you tell her about us?"
"Not very much at all, really. I just asked if she thought people who loved each other should be married and she said what she did about the Maker. Then she asked if I was talking about you, and said that she would be glad to perform the ceremony."
"Nice to know. And a little surprising, given that you're an elf."
"So I thought as well. Mostly we talked about Chantry history and my belief that given the way the Chantry treated elves in the past and continues to treat them, that no elf in his or her right mind would be Andrastean. We discussed how elves had much more freedom of religion under the Black Divine."
Fallon whooped, her eyes lighting up with glee, cheeks flushed from the whiskey. "You said that to Elthina?"
"Yes, I did."
"Wow. I don't know if I should be standing this close to you." Her eyes turned towards the ceiling for a moment, as if looking for lightning bolts. Fenris snorted. "She didn't try to arrest you for heresy on your way out the door?"
"No, she said that some of the points I'd made had merit, and that she was going to do some reading before we talked again."
"I cannot believe you told Elthina all that!" Fallon shook her head in disbelief, grinning. "Maker, but I do love you and will gladly lick your lyrium-laced, chilblained little toes any time you like as a reward!"
"Sounds intriguing. Perhaps later," Fenris said with a straight face.
"So what did Varric say about marriage?"
"I was worried that I would destroy your chances for a better match. He told me that the nobles here would not have you because of your mage blood."
"My mage blood, my age, the fact that I'm a scary, uncontrollable bitch, the fact that I'm a jumped-up dog-lord despite my Amell blood…yeah, he pretty much got that right," Fallon said matter-of-factly. "What else did he say?"
"I was worried that I would be taking advantage of you because of your position and wealth. He said that was not a problem."
"Fenris, I'd not be sitting in this estate if not for you. You've been with me from the start. As far as I'm concerned, we're even."
"That is what Varric said you'd say."
"Good to know I'm so predictable!" Fallon wrinkled her nose. "Hopefully, that's just my emotional state and not my fighting style."
"You don't have to worry about that," Fenris assured her. A little more hesitantly, he asked, "What about children?"
Her answer came swiftly and firmly. "I won't say it hasn't ever crossed my mind, but I can't right now. I have to be able to fight, to get to Beth if she needs me. And if it takes a couple of years for things to come to a head, rather than next week…that puts me well over thirty. I don't know how easy it would be to get pregnant then-not only is my age against me, I've been taking precautions all my adult life, so I could fool around as I pleased. I hear that makes it harder to get pregnant when you've done it as long as I have." Fallon's eyebrow lifted in inquiry. "Are you wanting children? If you are, then you're probably better off with someone else in that department. Not to mention that any child I bear, particularly one gotten with you, may very well be a mage. Are you all right with that?"
"I had never considered the possibility until Varric brought it up," Fenris admitted. "I still find it difficult to imagine you with child." Fallon chuckled.
"As do I!"
"But now that I have given it thought, I do not find the idea…displeasing. Even if it is a mage child. Though if you did not care to, I would be all right with that as well. Certainly, I understand your reluctance to bring a child into being in this city as matters now stand. And I would not want my child taken from me, had I one."
"If we had a mage child, that would happen almost anywhere the Chantry has a presence. We'd have to live our lives on the run as my family did. Could you handle that?"
"It is something I have had considerable experience with. And I suspect it would be much more pleasurable in your company."
"It is something I have had considerable experience with as well. And it would definitely be more pleasurable done with you."
"We do seem to be in accord about a number of things," Fenris noted. Fallon smiled, nodded and stepped forward to take his hand.
"Yes, we do. No children for now. Marriage a possibility in the future. Let's see if you're in accord with me about this as well. I killed a high dragon today, and I'm a little drunk and very horny. I want you to come upstairs with me right now, so I can lick your toes and do lots of other naughty stuff. Maybe not as kinky as Isabela likes, but fun nonetheless. Do you think you'd be up for that?"
That devastating, elusive smile was suddenly gracing Fenris' face. "I know I could be up for that."