Rob Thy Neighbour, a fanfic by Wynneception

He shuddered, the cold, damp shadows of Lowtown on his heels. More than a year in this wretched place, and still no more than a flea-bitten refugee. At least on this night his family had been lucky enough to make it to one of the shelters run for free by fellow Fereldans – an ex-Warden, so they said – but he hadn't stayed. He knew they needed money, for those nights when the houses of charity were full, and beds had to be bought.

That was what brought him here, to the alienage. Desperation. He crept into the empty courtyard, glancing about the sodden huts. Bloody hell. These places were damn near worse off than where the refugees slept. It made him wonder whether there was even anything worth taking.

Wait, no, what was he thinking? Of course there was. They were elves. Elves had their little elfy trinkets and...shiny elf things! Didn't they? It sounded like the sorts of things elves would keep. Besides, as he had often reminded himself, the very reason he had chosen this place was because he was the least likely to be caught here. Nobody cared about a few elves.

Steeling himself, he crept passed several houses. One had lantern light flickering between the cracks of the window's wooden shutters. No good. From another, he could hear voices. Well, hopefully that meant the sound would drown out his activities, right? Past the next house, and the next, until he got to the end of the street.

Huh. This little hovel seemed quiet. Small. Quite far removed from the others and – wait, was that...? He reached out to test his suspicions. Yes, the door was not only unlocked, but, in fact, slightly ajar. Broken, it seemed. Couldn't shut properly. He nearly laughed. He'd never thought the Maker could bring luck to a common burglar, but, blimey, this was damn, good evidence that someone up there was on his side – some spirit blessing him with luck. 'Bob, the patron saint of sticky-fingered bandits,' maybe? No. That just sounded ridiculous. It would have to be a Geoff, surely.

Gingerly, he stepped forward, pushing open the door and letting it swing shut behind him. Dark inside. Quiet. Good.

He could do this. Any amateur could do this job. He could grab the first shiny elven thing he put his hands on then leave without a fuss, before anyone returned. Well, if he could just find something worth selling, what with it being so dark. He needed a light. But, then, the owner could very well just be asleep in one of the next rooms. That wouldn't go well. Crap.

He cleared his throat. "Um, hello?" he called out, innocently, as he stepped further inside, lighting a match. "Your, uh, your door was open, so I, uh, I wanted to make sure everything was alright," his gruff voice announced as he lit the nearest candle, keen to make sure he wouldn't be interrupted.

No response. Excellent. Now, then, what did this place have to offer? Let's see...Some books. A mop. A...weird sparkly thing by the door. Huh. Right. Well, not much in that room. Unless he counted the books. Yeah, those might work. Then perhaps he could-

"Well that's very odd. I don't remember leaving a light on." He froze in place as he heard the muffled voice outside, and felt the breeze from the door swinging open behind him. So much for luck. "Oh. Hello there. I wasn't expecting any visitors at this hour," the woman said, surprisingly casual at the discovery of a strange intruder in her house in the middle of the night.

"Uh..." he hesitated, petrified with panic. Oh no. Caught. Shit. And scarcely more than moments after breaking in, at that. What were the odds?

What could he do? She hadn't seen his face yet. Should he run? Yes. He had to run. He could dart for the door and scarper into the shadows. He just had to shove her out of the way. Knock her to the floor. An easy task for a man his size versus a tiny elf.

"I hope you haven't been waiting long," Merrill continued amid the sounds of her movement, placing what appeared to be a staff of some kind by the door, if his peripheral vision was any indicator. "Perhaps I should have put a note up on the door saying I was out. I've thought about doing that, since Hawke is always dropping in unexpectedly, and we're sure to miss each other one of these days, but Varric always tells me I shouldn't do that. I'm not sure why. It just seems sensible to let everyone know when there's no one home, don't you think?"

Several moments passed before he realised she had paused. He dared to glance over his shoulder, and saw the girl staring at him expectantly, waiting for her surprise guest to reply. He faced her, his hand fretfully twitching, hesitating on whether to reach for his dagger. He didn't want to hurt anybody, but he couldn't be sent to the dungeons either.

At some point in the silence, a flash of insight flickered across her elvish eyes, and they widened with realisation. "Ooh, are you a burglar then?" she asked, unconsciously lifting her hand closer to her face.

"Maker," he whispered under his breath. Damn it all. He had no choice. He had to reach for his blade. Poor girl. If only she hadn't—wait, what? Was she...was she grinning?

She was. "I've never met a burglar before!" Merrill enthused, her eyes sparkling with delight. "Oh, this is so very exciting! I've been waiting for this moment," she said eagerly, glad to see that her house had finally been selected. Her neighbours had more thieves than they could shake a stick at, but her house was never targeted, for some reason. Until now, that is.

Being burgled was practically an everyday occurrence, and now it had finally happened to her! It was like she was at long last being inducted into the Lowtown community; this was just one of those little rituals that made her an official part of the neighbourhood. She truly belonged, now, and she was thrilled. "Oh, how wonderful!"

The burglar blinked, dumbfounded.

"I'll have to make sure to give you something nice. Wouldn't want to waste your time, after all," Merrill remarked, happily walking past him, busying herself in looking through her things. "I don't have much, I'm afraid. To be honest, I'm still not really sure how I'm supposed to go about acquiring the things I need. Like, when I buy something, am I then just supposed to keep it or do I eventually give it back? I don't know. You see, it's very different, where I came from."

He wasn't really listening as the girl muttered to herself. Even if he'd tried, he was too stunned to make sense of her words – too many thoughts pounding through his head. Could he just...could he just go? She wasn't watching him, or paying him any attention. She was too focused on rifling through her shelves in search of something of value, going on about Dalish customary law regarding property, ownership and trade as she did so – or, at least, that was what he thought she was talking about. He probably could have made a run for it then and there, and nothing would have stopped him. Out the door, and into the street, just like that. But, alas, he was too baffled to seize upon the opportunity.

"Um..." Merrill trailed off, scanning through her belongings, with little success. "...I have a ball of twine. Would you like that?" she offered, holding it up, hopefully.

The burglar just stared.

"No. I suppose that's not much good for you. I mean, you live here. You probably don't get lost at all," she murmured to herself, putting it back in place. Hmm. This wasn't turning out terribly well, was it? She so hated to be a bother. And he seemed like such a nice chap. Well, not that he'd said much to give her a gauge on his personality.

"You know, you're very quiet," Merrill commented, glancing back at the mute thief, still frozen in his boots, welded to the floor. "...Why are you looking at me like that?" she asked, pursing her lips slightly as she took in his expression. He seemed to have forgotten how to close his mouth, and his hands were just kind of hovering uselessly in the air. Either he was very odd or...wait, she hadn't done something wrong, had she?

"Oh! Of course. How silly of me!" Merrill laughed with embarrassment, hitting her own forehead in a mannerism she'd picked up from her human companions. She really could be clueless sometimes. "You probably want to do all this yourself, don't you? There's no point in me just giving it to you, is there? Because then, you know, you're not really a burglar," she pointed out, hoping he hadn't taken her troublesome interfering as an insult to his craft. "I'm awfully sorry if I've offended. I suppose I should just get out of the way, shouldn't I?"

"Uh..." he muttered, unsure what to say or do. He'd gathered at least some of his bearings by this stage, but that left him no less lost as to how exactly he was meant to react to all this. Suffice it to say, there was no real protocol for this scenario. "...Yes?" he ventured with a weak shrug.

"Right. Well, I'll let you get to it, then," Merrill said, brushing stray dust from her knees as she sat down on a nearby chair, which was just as dilapidated as the table it sat next to. "Go on," she encouraged, eager to see the burglar at work. "Just, just...pretend I'm not here. Do what you'd normally do."

"Um...okay?" he tentatively agreed, feeling he had little alternative but to cooperate. He wasn't exactly going to argue, was he? Drawing more attention to himself by doing so was the last thing he needed. She may not have called the guards, but the neighbours might. Besides, wasn't this precisely what he'd come there to do? Steal things? She was apparently going to let him get away with it, too. Seize the bloody moment, and all that.

He cleared his throat, awkwardly glancing at his um...hostage (?) before getting to work. He resumed his inspection of her books. Some of those dusty old tomes had to be worth something, especially if they were in some kind of Dalish script. Someone was always willing to pay for that elvish mumbo jumbo, right? She probably wouldn't miss it much, either. If she was one of that lot, then she already spoke it, right? What did she need it for?

"Ooh, you're very good!" Merrill admired him, watching intently. The reminder of her presence momentarily fractured his concentration, distracting him just long enough that he forgot he had reached for a book, causing it to slip from his fingers and hit the musty floor.

"Shit. Sorry," he apologised, hastily bending down to pick it up, carefully putting it back in its rightful place. Maker. He just couldn't do this with her watching him like that. He couldn't focus. It was like trying to think about sex in the Chantry – how could anyone concentrate on those thoughts with a stone carving of Andraste staring right at them, reminding them precisely why they shouldn't be doing such things? Unless they were having very unholy fantasies about the Maker's bride, maybe.

"Um, excuse me, miss, but, would you mind if I, uh..." he trailed off, gesturing further into the house, hoping he'd have more luck if he tried a different room.

"No. Of course. Go right ahead." Merrill waved her hand, gesturing for him to do as he pleased.

With that, the burglar headed deeper into her little hovel, taking a candle with him, not that there was much there to see. An empty hallway, some broken shards of glass, and a bedroom. He rolled his eyes. Yeah, he'd really hit the jackpot, hadn't he? Why was he even bothering to do this? She probably had nothing more of value than his own family did. Maker. This elf girl didn't deserve to have anything taken from her. Oh, great, now his bloody conscience was nagging him, too.

Still. She was practically asking him to take something, so it wasn't like she was suffering, or even technically theft. Surely there had to be some kind of happy middle ground. A win-win. Something he could take to keep his family off the streets, but something the elf wouldn't miss. Yeah. Right.

He shimmied open one of her bedside drawers. He blinked. Andraste's tits, he'd been right. Elves really did have trinkets stashed away. This one did, anyway. She had one, at least. Maybe more stashed away.

He picked up the necklace and held its amulet to the candle light. Looked expensive, though he was no expert. Worth a pouch of silver at the very least. More than the coppers he was expecting to go home with. Elven stuff always sold well. Then again, if it was elven, she probably wouldn't be keen to part with it. Might be a memento from her family or something. How did he know?

Wait. No. What did it matter? All he had to do was stash it and go. If he told her he couldn't find anything, she would be none the wiser. She was so stupidly trusting she'd probably assume she lost it, and not even think to blame him. So stupidly trusting. So bloody clueless.

"...Oh, sod it," he sighed to himself.

He put it back.

"I, um, I couldn't find anything," he lied as he re-entered the main room, now properly lit. The elf girl let out a sad little noise, as if it were a shame to disappoint him so. "I...I guess I should go then, 'ey?"

"Oh, no, please, don't," she protested, a hint of guilt in her voice. "I couldn't bare to see you go to all this effort only to come away empty-handed. I mean, I don't want to waste your time, either, but surely I can at least offer you something to eat or drink, can't I?" she said, hoping her hospitality might serve as a sufficient apology. She may not have been the best burglary victim, but that was no excuse for bad manners.

"I," he wanted to protest, knowing lingering around an attempted crime scene wasn't the best idea. But she just kept looking at him with those wide, mabari pup eyes. And he was hungry. And he didn't want to be rude. "I'd be glad to, miss. If I'm not imposing, that is."

"No. Not at all. Please, sit down," Merrill said warmly, and the burglar did just that. "So are you Fereldan, then?" she asked offhandedly as she headed over to the cupboard.

"Yes, actually," he replied, a little surprised that she'd picked it, so much so that it didn't even cross his mind to lie about it. "How'd you guess?"

"I recognise your accent. I'm from there myself, you know. Though, I suppose it's not really the same," she commented, mostly speaking to herself, rummaging around for something sufficiently edible. Bread? Check. A pudding? Hmm, possibly. "I'm sure I had some cheese around here, but—oh, no, the rats have gotten to it..." she said, pouting rather sadly. "Oh, well. Good for them. They probably deserve it," she remarked, since it couldn't have been an easy accomplishment for the little creatures. "This is alright, though. No rats. I promise," she assured her guest, bringing a wrapped bread-loaf and a small jar of butter over to the table.

"Thank you, miss," he said, his hunger flaring up at the scent of food. Any food. It was funny. A year ago, he would have winced at the mention of rats. After living as a refugee, he wouldn't have been above ripping half-chewed food from a rat's mouth. This was an improvement over the mixture of pigswill and bugger all he'd had over the last few days.

"So, then, what's your name?" asked Merrill as she sat down, eager to get to know her guest.

He hesitated, lifting the bread-knife to cut into the loaf. "Warwick, miss," he said, deciding he couldn't do any worse than he'd already done at stealth or subtlety. Besides, it wasn't like the elf was going to do anything with that information. Not at the rate she was going, anyway.

"That's a nice name. I'm Merrill. Pleasure to meet you," she said with a bright smile.

"Likewise," he replied sincerely, buttering the bread slice and biting into it. Meeting any genuinely kind or charitable person in Kirkwall was a welcome change. There weren't many of those. Or maybe there were more than he'd given this city credit for. Maybe resorting to thievery wasn't the best solution after all. Not thieving from decent people anyway. If only there were some other option between this and destitution, he'd have taken it.

"Got any family?" Merrill asked, attempting to make conversation.

"Yes," he said, making sure not to speak with his mouth full. "I have two daughters-"

"Aww," Merrill cooed, as if that was the sweetest thing she'd ever heard. Warwick couldn't help but return a small smile. "How old?"

"Four and seven. I'm also here with my sister, her husband, and their son. He's eighteen months old," he explained, seeing no harm in telling Merrill the truth about them. It only seemed fair to explain his situation to her. Not to mention that it served to remind him why he'd resorted to desperate measures in the first place. "My children are staying with them right now."

"You're haven't got a partner?" Merrill observed, seeing he hadn't mentioned a wife or husband.

Warwick glanced down, swallowing heavily. "I did. They...didn't make it to Kirkwall."

Merrill's heart sank. "I'm so sorry," she said, averting her eyes. She knew what it was like to lose people she cared about. Especially to darkspawn, and the taint. Being Dalish, every death in the clan was a death in the family. Two deaths had been enough to shake them to the core. "That must have been terrible."

"It was," he admitted. He never spoke about how much it hurt. He was always strong for the sake of his daughters. But it did. The dull ache of loss was always there to remind him of the wound that would never really heal.

The silence spoke volumes, and Merrill heard it all. "Thedas is lesser for their loss," she said, knowing her words to be true. Warwick didn't need to recount memories for her to understand. "I'm sure they were very wonderful."

"Yes. He was," Warwick said, managing to smile faintly. He put the bread down, no longer in much of a mood to eat. Well, that was that, then. With his hunger stated, he had little reason to linger. "Thank you," he said as he got up from the table, sincerely grateful. He really was lucky to have stumbled on this house. Getting caught robbing any other house wouldn't have ended anywhere near so fortunately. Maybe the Maker really was watching him, giving him a second chance. "I guess I should be off, then. Sorry to have troubled you."

"Wait, where are you going?" Merrill asked, standing up as she saw him turn to leave. "You left this," she said, wrapping up the butter, the bread-knife and the loaf in the cloth, holding it out to him with a rather curious expression on her face.

Warwick's look mirrored her own. "I'm sorry?" he said, feeling lost yet again. Had he missed something?

"This. It's for you," she said, wondering if he'd suddenly gone daft. Wasn't it obvious? Or was this a human thing? "For your family?" she pointed out when he still looked clueless. "You've got more mouths to feed than I do. Unless you count the rats. But then rats are only little and they don't eat very much. Well, children are little too, but not as—I'm babbling, sorry," she shook her head to snap her sidetracked thoughts back onto the rails. "Where was I? Oh. Yes. Take this," she finished, thrusting the makeshift bag into his hands.

He glanced down, yet again finding himself speechless. After a moment, it sank in. That final act of kindness pushed him over an edge he hadn't realised he'd been teetering on, and overwhelmed him.

"Oh, Maker." His breath hitched, tears pooling in his eyes when it finally hit him; when it all came crashing down. What had become of him? What had he been reduced to? Minutes ago, he'd been ready to grab his blade and attack. In the heat of the moment, he would have stabbed this girl and made a run for it. He'd certainly considered it. He'd been ready to kill her. This girl; this girl who'd shown him nothing but goodness, and who possessed the most generous spirit he'd ever seen.

What had he done? How had he fallen so far? He'd damn near betrayed everything he'd ever stood for, and yet, had it not been for this chance encounter, he would never have even realised it. He'd risked so much – his family, his character, and his freedom – for so little.

He had become a monster, and yet it was only through Merrill that he'd been able to see it. He had only been able to see his true face when it was reflected in kindness and good. She'd held up a mirror, and shown him the light. Now he saw with clarity. Not only what he was, but what he ought to be.

"Are you alright?" she asked, wondering if this was another one of those human cultural things she didn't understand. They could be so peculiar sometimes, but in a nice way.

He managed to laugh. "You're as gentle as Andraste, you are, miss," he said, brushing the tears from his eyes. On second thought, he didn't know whether a Dalish would take that as a compliment, but Merrill didn't seem to mind. "Thank you so much. You have no idea how much...This means a lot."

"I still feel sad you couldn't get something more," Merrill admitted, frowning thoughtfully. It almost negated the significance of being robbed in the first place. In a way, it didn't even count, which was awfully disappointing. Unfortunately, she really didn't have much, and the few things she had that were of value she wasn't particularly willing to part with. "...Oh, hang on!" she said, an idea suddenly coming to her. "How about this?" She reached up and removed an amulet from her neck, and slid off two finely crafted rings, one from each hand. "These should do."

"What are you-? Oh, no. I couldn't," he protested when he realised what she intended. This was too much. He had to refuse. He didn't want to take anything more. "Please. I'm unworthy."

"Oh, go on. It's not much of a burglary if you go away empty-handed," she pointed out, insisting on it. "Besides, we have hundreds of these. Bandits and animals and monsters just drop things like these all the time. Hawke can't seem to get rid of them. She's always either destroying them, selling them, or giving them to us. I would give you a belt, too, but it's sort of keeping my clothes on properly, so I think I'd best not."

Warwick had to fight to keep his eyes from welling up again. He knew what this meant now. It had all become clear. This woman, this elf, she was not all she appeared to be. This was a message. This was divine intervention. A sign; a shining light of guidance directing him to change his ways. This was a gift, healing his proverbial blindness, and allowing him to see the righteous path. It was an opportunity to start anew. The Maker had given him a second chance, through this earthly vessel of His will.

"M'lady," he fell to his knees, gratefully clasping her hand as a leper would clasp the hand of the Divine, as if her touch would cleanse his sins.

"Ooh, hang on, what's going on here?" Merrill mumbled to herself, feeling rather confused. She wasn't sure where this was going, or whether the outcome would be one she'd like.

"I'll never forget this," Warwick said. "I swear to you, m'lady, I shall mend my wicked ways. I will dedicate myself to doing good, and share with others the kindness and charity you have shown me."

"Aw, well, isn't that lovely? Good for you," Merrill cheerfully enthused, though come to think of it she had no idea what he was talking about. It sounded nice, though.

Abruptly, there came a knock at the door, followed by a squeak of the hinges. "Merrill, you really need to check your belongings before leaving The Hanged Ma—oh, hello. What's all this, then?" Hawke asked, quirking an eyebrow in amusement at the scene before her.

"What?" asked Isabela, standing up on tip-toes and leaning on Hawke's shoulders to get a proper view. "Oh, I see," she stretched the word out teasingly, exchanging a side glance with their fearless leader.

"'Scuse me." Varric was close behind the pirate, and was just as intrigued by the sight when he squeezed past his companions. "Huh." He smirked, folding his arms. Of all the things they had been expecting to see when they arrived at Merrill's place, a burly man dressed in leather armour bent down on one knee in front of their friend like she had just been crowned Queen of Thedas was not particularly high on the list.

"Hello, everyone!" Merrill brightly greeted them, waving merrily at them all, blissfully oblivious to the strangeness of the situation. "Hmm. My house is very popular today," she noticed, pleased with this turn of events.

"...Do you want to, or shall I?" Isabela asked, knowing that, between the three of them, they must have had a million smartarse comments on the tips of their tongues.

"You can take this one," Hawke said, nudging Varric with her foot.

"If you insist," he replied. "Hey, Daisy?"

"Yes, Varric?"

"Do complete strangers normally go around proposing to you, or have you got night time hobbies I don't know about?" he remarked, causing Hawke to stifle a chuckle, poorly.

"Oh, no. He isn't proposing." Merrill laughed at the silliness of her friends. They could be so daft sometimes. "He's a burglar, you see!" she clarified, enthusiastically. "He's very good!" she stage-whispered to them.

"A burglar?" Isabela furrowed her brow, subconsciously reaching for a knife, her protective streak flaring up. Nobody messed with Merrill.

"Yes. I was," Warwick confessed, rising to his feet, "Until this earthly spirit of all that is virtuous showed me the error of my ways," he said. "Her grace and compassion is unlike any I've ever known."

"Aw, he's so nice," Merrill said, looking rather chuffed. She wondered if all burglars were so sweet.

"I've been inspired to lead my life by her example. I have sworn that I will strive to become a person worthy of the trust she placed in me," Warwick declared with the kind of conviction that could only come from a man who genuinely believed what he said.

"Huh. Right," Isabela said, eyes narrowed hawkishly, hesitant to believe him so quickly, yet all indicators were showing her that he was telling the truth. "Well...good..." she trailed off, electing to sheathe her dagger. For now.

Varric's smirk widened. "Come to think of it, Hawke, why do we even bother fighting bandits, crazed apostates, darkspawn and Tal-Vashoth?" he pointed out. "We should just send Merrill to befriend them all. That would be much more effective," he said, convinced he had just solved all their problems in one fell swoop.

"What?" Hawke looked crushed, feigning hurt. "You mean all this time I've spent hitting people with swords, I wasn't making friends with them?" she pouted, distraught at this revelation. "I'm devastated, Varric. Here I thought when people tried to kill me it was because they liked me."

"I like you, Hawke," Merrill chimed in, pleasantly, failing to catch on, and apparently unaware of Warwick's idolising gaze, the big man utterly enthralled with his new role model.

"Oh, well, in that case I'm happy again," Hawke jokingly replied, not that Merrill seemed to follow.

"Go on, now. Take these," Merrill instructed, placing her amulet and rings in Warwick's hands, not about to hear another word of modest resistance to the idea. "I must insist," she said, unwilling to shift from her goal that her first burglary should be by all accounts be a proper one. Otherwise, it didn't really count, and it left her no closer to being a real part of Kirkwall.

"Thank you, my lady. And I promise that, when I am able, I will repay you for this," he vowed, committed to making things right. He didn't look upon these as gifts, but as an investment; a gesture of good faith that he would use them to set his future on the right track.

"Repay me? I don't know. Do burglars normally do that?" Merrill pondered to herself before electing to shrug off the thought, chalking it up to Warwick's peculiarities. He was very unlike all the other burglars she'd ever seen or heard about, but he was very good, so she trusted that he had to be doing it correctly. Leave it to the experts, and all that.

"I'll always remember this," Warwick continued, holding one hand to his chest like a military salute. "Maker's blessings be upon you, my lady," he said with a bow, though, on second thought, he doubted she needed such blessings; she was already clearly a saint in disguise. "Goodbye," he said, taking his leave of the hovel.

"Right. Well...don't do it again!" Isabela called out into the street after him before closing the door, shutting out the cold night air. After a moment, she blinked. "Wait, why am I the one saying this?" she pondered aloud. She was the last person who would ever discourage thievery. "Ugh. You've gone and got me all muddled, now," she gave up, waving her hand as if to dismiss the issue from her mind once and for all. This was too confusing.

"Hmm." Merrill tilted her head, thoughtfully, reflecting on her experience. "You know, you city dwellers can be very odd, but I don't mind. I rather like your quirks. They're really quite endearing," she said, able to admire the adorable curiosities and idiosyncrasies of these folk who called Kirkwall home.

Varric and Hawke exchanged glances. "We can't all be as level-headed as you, Daisy," said the dwarf, without a trace of irony or falsity.

"No. I suppose not. But that's good, I think. If everyone were like me, the world would be very dull," Merrill observed, speculating that such a society would likely become very boring very fast.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a banging sound. Though not very loud, it was enough to startle them. Three heads glanced over to see Isabela standing on a stool, fiddling with the hinges of the perpetually ajar door.

"What are you doing?" asked Merrill.

"Fixing your damn door," Isabela replied, as if it should have been plainly obvious. She wouldn't be able to sleep at night, knowing people like Warwick could just wander into Merrill's house whenever they bloody well pleased. Only she was allowed to break into her friends' houses at will.

"Oh. Well, that's nice and all, but where am I going to get the money to replace it on such short notice?" Merrill wondered.

Isabela and Varric both stared bluntly at Hawke. She blanched. "What? I never agreed to this!"

"Hawke..." Isabela said, warningly.

Hawke sighed, rubbing her forehead, realising the democratic process had sided against her. "At this rate, I'm never going to raise the money for this expedition," she lamented.

Varric laughed under his breath. "With friends like these, who needs burglaries?" he joked.

Hawke groaned louder.