Title: Nothing But A Tin Man
Chapter: II
Author: Trillian N7
Summary: Brosca had the chance to escape the casteless life, but the guilt at leaving those she cared about behind still haunts her. What happens when she is forced to face those she cared about?
Fandom: Dragon Age: Origins
Pairing: Fem!Brosca/Leske
Spoilers: Game spoilers.
Rating: Mature
Disclaimer: Dragon Age: Origins is not mine. Bioware and EA have that privilege.

- don't feel any pain –

Mac wandered the streets of Dust Town. She had muttered excuses to Wynne and Alistair and, donning a servant's gown she nicked, headed home. The guards had barely noticed her and the dwarves of the commons looked down upon her.

In all the time she had spent topside, Mac had forgotten what it was like to be at the bottom.

Approaching her family's house, something felt wrong. It just wasn't home anymore. Mac pushed open the door, expecting to come face to face with her family but instead all she did was surprise a casteless child. The grubby child stared at her in surprise, running quickly to the back room calling for their mother.

As quickly as she could, Mac left, running over to one of the beggars she recognised.

'Nadezda? Recognise me? Here's a coin to help your memory.' Mac pressed a silver into the beggar's hand.

'Young Brosca?' Nadezda asked. 'They said you was ate by darkspawn.'

'Still alive and kicking. Where's Rica?'

'Ahh, you didn't hear. She got knocked up by the prince.' Mac's jaw dropped as Nadezda continued. 'They gone uptown now, you Broscas all finally escape the grime.'

'By prince, you mean Bhelen?' Mac asked, not sure if she should believe it.

'We only has one prince down here these days. The others are all dead.'

'Thanks.' She leant forward, tucking some more coins in Nadezda's hand. 'Get a good meal into you.'

Mac turned to walk away, gathering courage to ask one more question.

'Leske? Is he still alive?'

The old woman chuckled. 'He always survives. He's still around somewhere, though its not nearly as much fun as the pair of you kicking around causing havoc. He'll find you soon enough.'

That was it. Perhaps Mac would be seeking Bhelen after all but she still had to find her friend. Continuing through the slums she found herself standing outside Leske's old apartment building. It was a long shot, he would have bolted from here long ago.

It was stupid, Mac thought, she didn't have time for this. She was a warden after all; there were more important things than digging up her past.

'You know, even for a warden it is dangerous out here, salroka.'

Mac turned to the familiar voice, and was shocked to see Leske lounging in the doorway.

'Hello Leske,' she replied, the surprise at seeing her old friend alive was clear on her face.

'Hello Leske? That's all you have to say?' He grinned at her, grabbing her arm and pulled her into the shadows. 'You know, probably best if we aren't seen together. You a public figure and all, me trying to keep my skin.'

Mac stared at him, trying to collect her thoughts into something coherent. He was standing so close, their bodies pressed together in the small nook in the alley, his face so close to her own. She concentrated, trying to control her breathing lest it give her away.

It had been so long ago, those words muttered in the face of death revealing her secrets. And facing Leske again just brought back memories, good and bad.

'You're alive?' Mac stuttered, cursing herself for the stupidity.

'Obviously, girl. I think all that sun's fried your brain. It's still good to see you, though. What are you doing back here? I thought you had bolted, leaving us all to rot. Or fallen to darkspawn, we all heard the rumors about the wardens.'

'Of course not! Things are just crazy up top, I hadn't had a chance to come back until now,' she lied, hoping he wouldn't notice.

'Well, you heard that sister of your got knocked up.' He grinned at Mac. 'It wasn't even me, I swear.'

Mac scowled at him. 'I heard. You still running with the carta, or for your life?'

'Jarvia still wants my head, but I am too fond of it. She wants yours as well.' Leske avoided her gaze, he was hiding something. That much was plain to see. He quickly changed the topic. 'You and that human, up in the commons. I saw you guys earlier and he was all over you. Are you and he...' Leske let the sentence hang.

'What?' spluttered Mac. 'Oh, you mean Alistair.'

'Whatever, the tall one. Looks like a fool.' Leske spat, his dwarven prejudices clear to see.

'Hypocrite much, Leske? He's not that bad. But no, he and I aren't.' She blushed a little. Well, not yet, she thought to herself. There was only one thing stopping her, closure on what had been said, answers from Leske. But that would never happen, it just wasn't him.

'Good, you deserve better than some human. Want me to gut him for you?'

'No!' exclaimed Mac, giving away more than she meant to in the reaction.

'Sure, Brosca. Look, I should get my ass out of here before I get seen. Good to see you again, duster.' Leske began to walk back out to the main street.

'Wait...' Mac began before Leske interrupted her.

'I'll see you around, you can bet on it.'