Fenris has a moment's uneasiness on the steps of Danarius' mansion, second-guessing as he thumbs the edge of the scarlet band. Perhaps this is a mistake, like so much had already been, a mark he isn't wholly prepared to bear. The pilfered crest on his hip is just weighty enough to be a constant reminder of its presence, not quite a gift, not quite a declaration.

But in the mid-morning sunlight there isn't time to back down. Varric's lips twitch mutely at the sight of him and Isabela snorts, eyes rolling, and Fenris glances to Hawke, in case this idea was as disastrous as he's beginning to suspect, too soon and too audacious.

Hawke doesn't notice, but then Hawke is watching Merrill, halfway up the wall of the estate.

It takes a minute's cajoling and still Merrill only comes down when she's ready, bare toes curling around vines and in cracks in the mortar, lighting on the street with a sideways hop. "What kind of finches would build a nest there?" she demands, too worried for real censure.

"They'll be fine," Hawke insists, apparently not for the first time. And then he does notice the changes, eyes lingering along Fenris' wrist, sliding across to the crest on his hip, a might-be-smile playing along the line of his mouth. "Fenris."


Hawke grins and says nothing, and Fenris follows as ever, newly bound and newly weighted by choice as much as by tokens or crests.