Sebastian breathed in the salty smell of the sea and sighed. There was something peaceful about the docks at night – provided they were not under attack by raiders or other street thugs. He shook his head at that thought. It was grisly work following Hawke around, but he owed her a debt, and those stupid enough to take on the Champion of Kirkwall were usually not the type to seek repentance from the Maker for their sins. And he could think of worse things to do than following around a beautiful woman.
Sebastian looked ahead and spotted Hawke and Fenris slipping around a corner into the shadows. "They should not go so far ahead of us."
Varric snorted. "Hawke can take care of herself, you ought to know that by now." The dwarf glanced up at him. "And Fenris will just do his magical fisting thing if push comes to shove. You know how he is with her."
"I suppose so," Sebastian said after a moment.
They came up on the corner and found Fenris leaning against the cool stone. Hawke was just to his left, and on her knees in front of a chest.
Sebastian felt his mouth twitch into a frown. "I don't understand why she does that."
"Does what?" Varric asked automatically, eying Bianca for scratches.
"Thieving. Breaking into chests."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, Choir Boy, but don't you know how to pick locks?" Varric tooks his eyes off of his crossbow and raised an eyebrow at him.
"That was something I learned well before I joined the Chantry." Sebastian waved a hand dismissively. "It does serve a purpose sometimes, but… Hawke is well beyond that station now."
"Well, you know what they say," Varric grinned. "You can lead a nug to the surface but you can't give it fur."
Sebastian pinched the bridge of his nose. "And what is that supposed to mean?"
"Old habits die hard, Choir Boy."
Hawke returned home to her estate and shrugged her backpack off of her shoulder. She had… salvaged a lot of goods today. It landed on the floor with a thud.
"Er, mistress, are you in need of assistance?" Bodahn appeared at the doorway.
Hawke laughed. "I'm fine, just picked up a bunch of goodies I'll need to go through later. And I wish you wouldn't call me 'mistress'."
"In that case, I'll have my boy bring that in for you." Bodahn turned to walk away, but quickly turned back to her. "Oh! I almost forgot, Master Vael left a note for you. It's on your desk."
Hawke quirked her head to the side and picked up the note.
I need to speak with you at your earliest convenience. Please find me at the Chantry tomorrow after the morning's service.
Maker's blessing upon you,
"Alright then, Sebastian," she murmured to herself, and made her way upstairs to her bedroom.
Sebastian closed his eyes and listened to Elthina's sermon. The Grand Cleric always had a way of delivering the words of the Maker so that his heart always swelled with admiration. Oh, to be so in touch with one's faith!
After the service, he spotted Hawke leaning casually against a wall. He caught her eye and she met him at the stairs.
"Thank you for coming, Hawke," Sebastian said with a smile.
Hawke eyed him curiously. "What's this about, Sebastian?"
Sebastian took in a breath. "You have become the inspiration to many over the years. You were a refugee, a smuggler. Now, you are the Champion of Kirkwall! People look up to you. It's people like you that should be setting the Maker's example."
Hawke crossed her arms over her chest, a bemused expression played upon her face. "What exactly are you trying to say?"
"Stealing is a sin."
Hawke looked confused for a moment before her eyes widened in surprise. "I - "
"Please, let me finish," Sebastian said almost apologetically. "You are a very skilled woman, and you are certainly adept at picking locks, but is it really necessary? You have enough money to feed half of Darktown if you wished. Surely, you do not need to resort to common thievery anymore."
Hawke's cheeks flamed, with anger or embarrassment, Sebastian could not say. She looked like she wanted to say something, to yell at him. Or maybe hit him. But instead she took a deep breath, mumbled, "Don't call me 'Shirley'" and walked away.
"Let me get this straight," Aveline began, folding her arms over her chest. "You want me to arrest Hawke."
"You are the Captain of the Guard," Sebastian said with a shrug. "What she is doing goes against everything you claim to stand for. Hawke isn't a Fereldan refugee anymore. She's the Champion, people look up to her. Surely, you can see how important this is."
Aveline eyed him incredulously, though he thought he saw a hint of something else – amusement, perhaps – flash across her face.
"I know that you are her friend, and I understand why you are hesitant, but I really do believe this would be the best thing for her."
"Fine, Sebastian," Aveline's eyes glittered dangerously. "I'll help you."
"Messere!" Bodahn called to Hawke as she sat in her library. "Guard-Captain Aveline is here to see you!"
Hawke stood up lazily and stretched. "Aveline! What a surprise! Need some help with guard business? What is it this time? Crooked politicians? Street thugs gone wild?"
Aveline cleared her throat. "Hawke, I'm placing you under arrest for unlawful possession of stolen property."
"Oh, ha ha," Hawke scoffed, rolling her eyes. "Very funny. Hey, what are you doing?"
Aveline had moved behind her and pulled her hands behind her back. "I'm not joking, Hawke."
"I don't… Oh, Andraste's tits. Sebastian put you up to this, didn't he?"
"I can't reveal my sources in an open investigation." Aveline replied shortly.
"I'm going to kill him."
Sebastian arrived at the Viscount's Keep the next morning and Aveline led him to the holding cells. She opened a heavy door and stepped aside so he could pass.
"I'd keep back if I were you," Aveline said with a smirk. "She's not very happy with either of us right now."
Sebastian nodded and walked down to Hawke's cell. She was sitting on the floor with her back pressed up against the wall with a scowl twisting up her pretty face.
"Well, if it isn't my favorite backstabbing prince from Starkhaven," she said with a bitter smile. "Is this your idea of a joke? Because let me tell you, your punch line could use some work."
"Hawke, you are treading down a dangerous path." Sebastian paused as she blew a raspberry at him, but he was undeterred. "If I could just understand why you are doing this, I may be able to help you."
She sighed. "Do you really want to know?"
"Picking locks is like sex." Hawke said slowly, deliberately.
Sebastian swallowed a lump in his throat involuntarily. "What do you mean?"
"The tools are the same, but every lock is different. You need to find the right touch. You need find the rhythm as you apply pressure to all of the right spots. You need to be slow, careful, at first. But when you hit that friction point, you know, and there's this release." She closed her eyes. "There's nothing like it."
Sebastian cleared his throat. "I… apologize for my methods, Hawke."
She smiled ruefully back at him. "Now, would you mind asking Aveline to let me out of here?"
"Maker watch over you." Sebastian nodded and walked away. Aveline was waiting by the door.
"Well?" Aveline asked with the cock of her head.
"I seem to have severely misjudged Hawke's intentions," Sebastian said, feeling his face flush. "I am grateful for your help, guard-captain."
Aveline nodded. "I will let her go."
Sebastian made his way out of the keep and walked briskly to the Chantry.
Oh, Maker, did he need to pray.
Big thanks go out to my girl sagacious_rage for the beta!