Word Count: 2081
Summary: DA2 spoilers. The three years Varric didn't tell Cassandra about. Better summary under the cut. f!Hawke/Anders, Isabela/Fenris.
A/N: A great many thanks to rose_in_shadows for beta'ing for me! I really appreciate it!
Better Summary: Hawke is pregnant with Anders's child post DA2, and must deal with the consequences. Isabela and Fenris experience their first feelings, together. Aveline just wants a little stability in her life-is that so much to ask? First Enchanter Warden Commander Hero of Ferelden Amell is suicidal. Cullen wonders where his true loyalty lies: to Amell, who he loves, or to the recently rebelling Templars. Zevran is doing assassin-y things while trying to take care of his wife and kids. Merrill is still obsessed with the mirror. The Chantry is going to hell in a handbasket, and Orlais is threatening war with Ferelden.
Chapter 1: What Isn't Said
The Champion of Kirkwall was just a little bit selfish, and more than a little bit foolish. Despite what Anders had done, despite how so very angry she was with him at the moment, she couldn't bring herself to kill him. He deserved it, of course. He had killed countless others, had-more importantly-betrayed her trust. But Maker take her, she loved that bastard, and to have killed him right then would have been like cutting out her own heart and handing it to Meredith on a silver platter, and she couldn't do that. No matter how angry she was.
And so she supported the mages because she had to. Because if she didn't, she was letting her father down. Letting Bethany down. Letting Anders down, and she didn't know which of those three was worse. So she fought Meredith with all she had, watched as that crazy bitch got twiddled down piece by piece, betrayed by everyone—by the Knight-Captain, by the Order, by Orsino—until there was nothing left of the woman but a shell that still had one of Hawke's daggers stuck inside of it. And then she ran, because the Knight Capt—because Cullen had mouthed at her to get out of Kirkwall, and because the man had stuck himself between her and that mad Templar woman she trusted him and ran. She ran, and she ran, and she ran until she simply could not run anymore and collapsed three feet away from Isabela's newly stolen ship.
It was the Antivan man who caught her before her head hit the ground, the elven Crow who Isabela knew. "Rest easy, senorita. You are safe now, and among friends."
"Maker's blood, she's hurt. Get her on the ship, now." And then she felt Bethany's hand curled around her own, her beautiful face smiling down at her. "Don't worry, sister. We'll make it. It's going to be okay."
The Antivan set her down, and she felt the warm familiar glow of the healing magic before she really sees it, and she knows then that Anders is on the blasted ship.
I don't want to see you-she tries to say, but when she opens her mouth blood comes out and she can't say anything at all. I don't want you here. I hate you. I hate you.
But he doesn't say anything in response to her bloody gurgling—instead, he just pours more and more magic into her, hoping to piece her back together again.
How could you do this to me? She thinks right before she closes her eyes for the last time, and it's like he hears her because he kisses her softly and whispers I'm so sorry, and it's the last thing she remembers before falling asleep.
She wakes up to the smell of salt on the sea and the gentle rocking motion of the ship around her.
Anders is asleep beside her, one arm wrapped protectively around her stomach, with more of his hair out around his face than in the tiny stub of a ponytail that remained. If it were any other day in their lives together, she would lean over and kiss him, pushing the hair out of his face and smiling at him gently.
Not today, though. She can barely move as it is, her body wrought with fatigue and lingering soreness from her injuries. She's so tired, though, that all she really wants to do is go back to sleep.
She frowns. She shouldn't be this worn out. She wasn't that hurt. She's fought worse enemies than Meredith, certainly, and has walked away with fewer scratches. What was wrong with her?
But Anders is awake now—he's always been far too light of a sleeper, and pulls her closer, with his arms cradling her stomach like it was the most precious thing in the world to him. It probably was.
"Why didn't you tell me?" He asks, sounding more hurt and betrayed than he had any right to, fondling her stomach like he can feel the child within her stirring.
She swallows the air around her. He healed her. Of course he realized what was wrong. He put her body back together with his own hands-he would have noticed her extra companion.
Well, you know, I didn't realize you were planning on blowing up the Chantry. Guess we're both screwed, huh? But the scathing thoughts taste bitter even in her mind, so she doesn't say them.
"Congratulations," she says instead, and it still sounds bitter, even though it wasn't planned that way. "You're going to be a father."
His body practically melts around her, his head lowering down to kiss her stomach with reverence. She thinks about pushing him off of her, of telling him to never touch her ever again, but the feel of his lips against her naked flesh feels good, and so she doesn't.
She does, however, push him back softly once the kiss is done. "Why didn't you tell me you were planning on blowing the Chantry?"
He snorts at her, but doesn't look her in the eyes, still focused on her mostly flat stomach. "If I had known you were pregnant, I wouldn't have done it in the first place."
She shoves him hard then, makes him look her in the eyes. "Don't try to blame this on me. You knew. You knew what you were doing, and you didn't tell me! Why? I trusted you, Anders! I loved you, and then you—you did this and now I can barely stand to look at you."
He looks at her closely then, brown eyes locked with steel grey. "Why didn't you kill me, then, when you had the chance?"
Because I love you, you bastard.
Because it's in bad taste to kill the father of your child.
Because I'm scared of being alone.
But she doesn't say any of these things, and instead she kisses him, hard, like if she kisses him hard enough then the pain and the anguish and the hurt will simply melt away, skin against skin, like the taste of salt in the sea, merged together so you don't know where one part begins and the other part ends.
Isabela, Fenris admits begrudgingly, runs a mighty fine ship.
She looks more at home here than he's ever seen her in Kirkwall, her hair loose and blowing with the breeze, little droplets of the sea sprayed across her bronzed skin. She's leaning against the captain's wheel, admiring it tastefully, getting used to the feel of it under her hands once again, all confidence and none of it bravado.
She looks at peace, and, quite frankly, sexier than he's ever seen her, even when she was naked in his bed a few weeks ago.
The thought sends shivers down his spine.
She turns and looks at him, a warm smile on her face. "So, how are the lovebirds doing this morning? Still fighting?"
He scowls only partially out of embarrassment. "Making up, if the noises I heard were any indication."
"Mmm. Good for them." And she turns back to the one thing she loves, and he cannot help but watch her, envying her for knowing just where she belongs in this world that doesn't make any sense.
"Where are we headed?"
She shrugs, the wind in her hair and salt on her skin. "Antiva, where we can get all the wine and sin we can handle. And from there? It'll depend on what Hawke has to say."
He frowns at her, thoughts rushing by him as quick as the breeze. "Why are you listening to Hawke? It's your ship. You could go wherever you want to. You're free."
And then she breathes in that sweet ocean air and smiles at him. "I am free, aren't I? It's a nice feeling, being free. Haven't felt that in a while." And then she tugs at his arm, pulling him so close to her so that he can't help but wrap his arms around her, smelling the sweet scent of her perfume. "Has it ever occurred to you that I'm following Hawke because I want to?"
"You want to?"
"Yes. She's my friend. I want her to be happy." She leans her head against his chest, close enough to hear his heartbeat. "And the company she keeps is rather nice, too, I suppose."
He raises an eyebrow. "You suppose?"
"Uh-huh." And then she turns and looks up at him, all coy and mischief, one of her hands finding its way to his needlessly complicated belt. "Are they green today?"
That earns her a little smile. "No. Guess again."
Another tug. "No."
She gasps, throwing the belt clear off. "Are you wearing the red ones? Those are my favorite."
Then he kisses her, because she tastes like freedom and sunshine and the sea, and it's a taste he's beginning to love.
Aveline would be lying if she said she wasn't a little disappointed by this recent turn of events.
She was just starting to get used to Kirkwall. It was home, with a husband and a dog and a job she enjoyed, and yet here she was, running away again.
At least she managed to bring something with her this time, even if he is rather bruised and snoring right beside her.
Besides, managing a ship is sort of like managing the city guard, even if she would never admit that to Isabela ever. Given the sheer number of people that followed them out of Kirkwall, it really shouldn't be that much of a surprise. There's the usual suspects—Varric, Isabela, Fenris, Merrill, the bloody mabari—but there are additional members of their little party, too. There's Donnic, of course, but there's also Bethany and her Grey Warden companion, the dark haired archer who broods so much he could give Fenris a run for his money. There are unexpected allies, here, as well—the Antivan, for example, who came out of nowhere, but helped them fight Meredith all the same. And then there were the Templars—the good ones, the ones who rebelled against Meredith, like Keran and his lot. Add in the surviving mages and a few more members of the city guard, and it was like they brought half of Kirkwall with them.
And, of course, there was Anders.
How he knew which boat to get on, Aveline didn't know, but he was there, waiting for them when they ran, ready to heal the wounded and take care of those he could.
She wondered how Hawke would react, once she came about. She hadn't allowed him to fight alongside them, infuriated and disgusted by his actions. Which, Aveline had to admit, she could fully understand and support. She wasn't religious in the slightest sense, but the sight of Chantry, blow to smithereens…It was enough to make someone turn to the Maker and repent for one's sins.
Speaking of sin, the only one of their usual group not on board the ship with them was Sebastian, although that was hardly surprising given the recent events in their lives. Still, the threat he left them with…that he would hunt them down with all of Starkhaven's armies for as long as he lived, until Anders was dead by either his own hands or Hawke's…it chilled her blood just to think about it.
And for him to expect Hawke to kill Anders was just absurd. Mind you, Aveline want to hurt the man just as much as anyone else, but Hawke loved Anders. The two were practically married in every manner except for Chantry law. For Sebastian to expect Hawke to kill the man she loved was cold hearted indeed.
Aveline suspects that they will be running for quite some time. Running from the Chantry, from the Templars, from Sebastian. It feels a lot like running from Ostagar—like they lost a battle they didn't even know they were fighting.
As Donnic rolls over and snores, she cannot help but smile, and thinks that maybe it will be better this time, and that this time they can run towards something permanent.
From the crow's nest, Zevran Arainai begins to craft a letter to one Iza Amell, Very Important, For Her Eyes Only, bearing his seal so that she would know who it was from.
He hopes it gets to her in time.