Author's Note: So I wanted to revisit Varric's protective side when it came to Hawke as once he was aware that Sebastian was living with Hawke at the estate I don't seem him letting it pass that Sebastian has not married Hawke yet. And since I'm having a very hard time coming up with how Sebastian would propose it seemed only fair that he have the same difficulty. The line comes from the same poem as many of my other stories. I've put it here.
Elegy XVIII: Love's Progress by John Donne. The first few lines of which are:
Who ever loves, if he do not propose
The right true end of love, he's one that goes
To sea for nothing but to make him sick.
One Who Goes to Sea for Nothing
Varric regarded Sebastian with narrowed eyes. The Choir Boy was leaning back in his chair, watching Fenris attempt to read through the book Hawke had given him. Sebastian's eyes, as per the norm these days, had turned in Hawke's direction. The Champion of Kirkwall was at the bar, grinning and talking with Isabella.
Fenris lifted his eyes from the page and turned to see what the archer was looking at. "Why am I not surprised." He muttered returning to his book.
"Because Elf, the only time he looks at anyone besides her is when the Grand Cleric is talking to him or if he's using that long bow of his to protect her." Varric grinned. "And since you've had a couple of months to notice this it not much of a shock when Choir Boy here gets distracted by the Champions...laugh shall we say."
"Thank you Varric," Sebastian said dryly. "I am grateful for you discretion and understanding." The ex-Brother leaned forward again and looked at where Fenris was having trouble. "I think perhaps we should review some of the ways to sound out the words when you come to the Chantry next." He suggested to the elf. "You're doing well though."
Fenris grumbled a bit but shut his book. "It doesn't look as if Donnic is going to show up for Diamondback tonight," he shrugged. "If you'll excuse me."
Varric grinned as Fenris left the tavern. "Moody has his moments...sometimes I think the only time he relaxes is when he's playing cards or drinking."
"He does seem determined to overcome what he sees as deficiencies." Sebastian agreed with a smile. "I'm pleased to be able to help him. When Solara mentioned Fenris couldn't read..."
"She wanted to help didn't she." Varric grinned. "But Moody Elf doesn't give her much of a chance does he?"
"Fenris has a hard time understanding that she might not agree with him but she's still loyal." Sebastian shrugged. "That's why I'm glad she told me. Fenris deserves the opportunity to learn."
"Speaking of opportunities," Varric looked at the bar where Hawke and Isabella had been joined by Merrill. "I think we have one here, I'd like to talk to you Choir Boy. Come on up to my rooms."
Sebastian cast another look towards Solara and wondered what Varric could have to say to him that he didn't want Solara to hear. Varric's gaze was rather...determined, the archer decided. "Just ask Norah to tell the ladies where we are." He requested. "I wouldn't want Solara to think I just disappeared without her."
"You are completely whipped aren't you?" Varric chuckled and beckoned to the barmaid as he rose from the table. Telling Norah to bring a pitcher up to his rooms and to let Hawke know where they were he led the way to his suite.
Sebastian smiled. "If I admit I find it hard to deny her anything does that mean you're right?" He took the chair Varric waved at and sat, regarding the dwarf curiously.
"Close enough." Varric's smile was hard. "So tell me something Choir Boy. How much of the Chantry's morals did you hang onto when you left this time?"
Sebastian blinked. If he'd anticipated any question from Varric it would not have been that one. "I'm not certain what you mean Varric. Do I still believe in the Maker and the tenants of my faith, of course."
Varric stared hard at the archer and wondered not for the first time why Hawke had picked this one. The man had taken a ridiculously long time to figure out what should have been obvious. He was pious, condescending and ridiculously moral. But at the same time he was almost fanatically loyal once he gave his friendship and for all his piety he didn't judge Hawke's friends. He was even kind to Merrill and Isabella. "I'm just wondering what the Chantry's stance is on men who take advantage of a woman's heart the way you are."
Sebastian knew his mouth had fallen open in shock and managed to close it again. Norah chose that moment to bring in the pitcher and mugs. Waiting until she had left gave him time to formulate an answer. "I'm afraid I don't entirely take your meaning Varric." He began slowly. "You believe I am taking advantage of Hawke?"
"You're living with her," Varric pointed out. "I'm going to assume that you're sleeping with her. And you're not married to her. Where I come from we call that taking advantage." He eyed the archer and thought that only for Hawke would he have this conversation. He would never have thought six years ago that he'd be taking the place of her father or brother. "So what are your intentions?"
Sebastian regarded the dwarf thoughtfully. His first inclination was to tell Varric to mind his own business, if Solara was happy and trusted that he would treat her honorably then who was Varric to question her judgment? But that was uncharitable and did not take into account Varric's affection for Solara. Finally Sebastian shrugged, unable to resist teasing the dwarf a bit. "My intentions are to stay as long as she'll have me Varric."
"Are you really that much of an idiot Choir Boy?" Varric downed his mug of ale and slammed it to the table, irritation in every word and framed in every line of his body.
Sebastian smiled, "I'm sorry, but I so rarely have the chance to wind you up."
Varric groaned. "My only excuse is that I've been worrying about her for the six years I've known her. The last three years haven't been easy on any of us." He rubbed a wide hand over his face and regarded Sebastian a bit more thoughtfully. "She doesn't have any family here to speak for her-" He began.
The archer shook his head interrupting him. "She has you and Aveline." Sebastian said quietly. "It had not escaped me that in the last three years the two of you have become better friends. Worrying about Hawke isn't the bonding experience I'd recommend but clearly it has done the job."
"If I didn't think of her a very dangerous little sister I'd give you some competition for her hand." Varric grinned. "She's...incomparable."
"Why do you think of her as a sister?" Sebastian wondered. "You were so often at her side when we first met I wondered if you were courting her."
Varric chuckled. "Maybe it was because she and Bethany so obviously needed a bit of help in those days. Or maybe it was Aveline's stern eye." He smiled a bit. "Or it could have been the fact that the minute she saw you she didn't have eyes for anyone else."
Sebastian smiled. "I know she values your friendship. You and Aveline are the ones she trusts the most."
"Aveline and I have been with her the longest." Varric shrugged. "And don't think its gone unnoticed that you never answered my question." The dwarf wondered exactly what was going on in that pious head. Choir Boy had never been the type to avoid answering a direct question unless he felt the answer was no one else's business.
Sebastian chuckled. "So you place yourself as Solara's family," he murmured. "She is a grown woman, well able to defend herself even against me should it be required."
"Choir Boy, let me pass on a little something I read once." Varric leaned forward, to stare at the archer. "And yes I do read. I think this bit even came from a bard out of Starkhaven."
"Go on then, I'll be interested to hear your 'little something'." Sebastian took a sip of ale and wondered what this had to do with his intentions towards Solara.
"Who ever loves, if he do not propose the right true end of love, he's one that goes to sea for nothing but to make him sick." Varric recited quietly. "Do you take my meaning?"
Sebastian smiled and inclined his head. "I've read that poet." He offered. "A bit long winded at times but brilliant in the imagery and language."
"Choir Boy, don't make me get Aveline to come and hit you." Varric nearly snarled. "Just answer the blasted question."
Sebastian rubbed his forehead, how to say this, he wondered. "She has agreed to marry me." He spread his hands. "We spoke of it, we both want it, I simply..."
"Want to wait until she's up the duff?" Varric rolled his eyes at Sebastian's confused expression. "It means you're waiting until she's with child." He explained, his exasperation plain.
"Maker no!" Sebastian shook his head. "I want to marry her."
"Then what's the problem? Why isn't Hawke wearing a dress for once in her life standing in the Chantry next to you in your lacquered pilot whale armor?" Varric snapped the questions out like a firing bolts from Bianca.
"For one thing, we all know there's a storm coming, and she's talked about marrying once we get to Starkhaven." Sebastian sighed. "You know Hawke, she thinks a wedding would be a distraction, at least the wedding of the Champion to the Prince of Starkhaven, no matter where we have it."
"All right, that's understandable." Varric shook his head, clearly not quite getting it but accepting the explanation. "So what's the real reason Choir Boy?"
Sebastian reached into his belt pouch and pulled out an arm cuff. It was a lovely piece, pure silver with elaborate knotwork carved into the metal in an endless pattern. A flawless diamond sparkled from the heart of a loveknot and bright sapphires the color of Hawke's eyes surrounded it. "I've had this...for more than three years." He held it out to Varric.
"Gorgeous piece." Varric took it gently, examining the workmanship and tilted his head reading the words engraved on the top edge. "Le ghrá go deo, anamchara, síorghrá." He read, noticing Sebastian wince as he obviously butchered the language.
"With love forever, soulmate, eternal love." Sebastian translated quietly. "With it I mean to propose." He took the cuff and tucked it back in his belt pouch.
"And why haven't you?" Varric wanted to know. "You can't think she would turn you down."
"I can't figure out how." Sebastian blurted out. Varric, to his credit, managed to keep a straight face for a few minutes before bursting into laughter. "It's not easy." He objected mildly.
"Oh, oh I'm sure its not, considering if you get it wrong the woman you're in love with has the ability to gut you." Varric was still chortling. "Were you not a bad bad man before you joined the Chantry? Don't you have any skills left from those days?"
Sebastian gave him a look that implied Varric's question was foolish at best and prime idiocy at worst. "The skills from those days are not conducive to a proposal." He smiled to himself as he recalled the last time he'd put those abilities to use on Solara. "Pleasing Solara, drinking, gambling and fighting yes, proposals no."
"Have you considered just asking her?" Varric asked. "I mean, I don't think she expects a huge elaborate proposal."
Sebastian groaned. "More times than I could count." He admitted. "But finding the right time, or even just a moment to ourselves is more rare than you can imagine lately."
"Oh I think I have an idea." Varric shook his head. "Why are you hanging around here? Take her home and ask her to marry you for the love of the Maker."
Sebastian smiled. "Varric you are very wise." He rose from his chair and gave the dwarf a bow before striding from the room.
Varric chuckled as he followed the archer and watched from the stairs as Sebastian walked up to the three women still talking together and got Hawke's attention by the simple method of tapping her shoulder and kissing her hard on the mouth when she turned. The blink of surprise on her face was priceless and Varric smothered a chuckle.
The Champion didn't get much of a chance to bid her companions farewell as Sebastian began tugging her towards the door. Varric waved as the couple passed him and watched as they left the tavern.
Walking up to Isabella and Merrill he grinned. "Ladies. I do believe Choir Boy has urgent business with the Champion."
Isabella's laugh was wicked. "I would hope so. After that kiss I'd say she also has some urgent business for him."
Varric grinned. He would bet coppers to cookies that the next time he saw Hawke she'd have that silver cuff on beneath her sleeve.
Author's Note: So let me know what you think and by all means if anyone has a suggestion as to how Sebastian would propose please by all means send it along via review. I'm really wanting to have a story entitled 'If He Do Not Propose'