A/N: This vignette is now part of my other longer DA2 story - Anathema's Anchor. Like what you see? Check it out :) Thanks for reading!


Marian Hawke slouched into the chair in their room at the Hanged Man. She slid a flagon across the table to Varric, keeping two for herself.

"And here I thought you might have a little sense," the dwarf smirked and draped an arm over the back of his chair.

"Well you know me, Varric," Hawke replied, lifting her glass. "Not an ounce of it."

"It'd be different if you had any tolerance – you'd think you would after all these years."

"Just shut up and drink," she laughed lightly. "Unless you don't think you can keep up?"

"My good lady, I am offended that you would even suggest it," Varric said, before sipping a long draught. "Ahh… so where's Blondie?"

Hawke's tattooed cheeks blushed as she lightly laughed, "He'll be here. Has to wait till dark you know, it's just not safe enough."

"Ah yes, he must keep to the shadows lest his garish features be seen by the light of day," Varric's voice lilted. "Traversing the streets no matter the threat to seek the forbidden kiss of a noble."

"Oh please," Hawke laughed again, "What else is there to the story?"

"A great deal I imagine – the dwarf she pines for but can never have." Varric sighed and shrugged, flagon in hand as he leaned close, "Good thing I only tell the real story outside of polite company."

"Always such a silver tongue," Hawke drawled, leaning her head into her hand. Half of one of her flagons was already gone. She drained the rest, before pushing it aside.

Sobering some, Varric scratched the curve of his jaw before saying, "I'm not sure what you're doing with him anyway."

"Well," Hawke said with a sigh as she looked at him, "I could never aspire to the greater of my friends…"

"True, true," Varric sighed, smiling widely.

"… unless you were meaning you don't know how humans fit together or the like?"

Varric laughed and shook his head, sitting up more and raising his hands, "Oh please, my good lady, do not defile my innocent ears! I cannot hear it!"

"If you're innocent, I'm the Queen of Antiva," Hawke snorted.

On his feet without hesitation, Varric was quick to genuflect, reaching for her hand, "A thousand pardons, your majesty, if I had only known."

"As you should be!" Hawke haughtily replied, pushing Varric back with the toe of her boot. "Fetch me silks and thirteen concubines of the fairest skin! And a flagon of Sun Blond Vint!"

Varric continued his subservience with a flowery flourish of his hand, dipping down, "But of course, messere!" He backed out of the room before turning to sashay down to the tavern proper. Hawke slouched in the chair with a smirk and a sigh, finishing off another flagon. She closed her eyes. It was late enough to be early, but she hadn't quite had her fill. And Anders was supposed to have met them for the rounds - well, met them while they had rounds. He would certainly have some catching up to do. Her eyes popped open when she heard the telltale clomp of her dwarven cohort.

"Your royal highness-ess, I may have found a blond vintage more to your liking," Varric said as he came back into the room.

"So I'm likened to liquor now?" Anders said with a smirk, his expression softening as Hawke's eyes turned his way.

"Well I know I could just drink you up," Hawke drawled slowly, scarce avoiding slurring her words. Anders laughed and stepped forward to take her hand, leaning to down kiss her. When her fingers tightened, the flirtatious greeting deepened and Varric cleared his throat.

"As much as I enjoy a show, I can't have you two kids getting distracted. There's the real reason you're both here."

"What? I can't strip him bare?" Hawke pouted slightly.

Anders cleared his throat, "Don't I have a say in this?"

"No," Hawke and Varric replied in unison, prompting them both to laugh.

"Keep your pants on for a moment, Hawke? I know, I ask too much!" Varric 's eyes twinkled as he produced a scroll, "But I may have found Bertrand…"