"Coming here of my own free will feels wrong." Isabela commented offhand, entering Viscount's Keep behind Hawke. "Like diddling a sister."
"Why!" Bethany cried out, cheeks instantly flaming as she tore her eyes away from the back of Hawke's head. A very graphic image accompanied Isabela's words, only reddening Bethany's cheeks further that something so dirty could pass her thoughts. "Why do you say these things?"
Isabela laughed, delighting in the younger girl's embarrassment as Hawke shot Isabela a look for the teasing, then rolled her eyes and turned away. "I need to speak to Aveline," Hawke's eyes softened on Bethany. "Will you be alright? I can call Varric in here if it helps."
Bethany shook her head, eying Isabela warily. "I'll be okay."
"Okay," Hawke squeezed her hand before turning to Isabela. "Stop corrupting her. I'll be back shortly."
"I can work with shortly."Isabela grinned as Hawke turned away, shaking her head on her way to Aveline's office. Bethany watched her go forlornly, only turning away when the door had closed behind Hawke's back.
Isabela grinned devilishly. "Sis certainly has a nice little swagger, doesn't she? Makes me wanna grab her around the ass and- "
Bethany's hand was covering her mouth before Isabela had realized the girl had moved, which was quite an impressive feat for the mage to have surprised her. "Stop talking about Marian that way." Bethany dropped her hand, stepping back as Isabela's curious eyes roved over to her. "I know that's what you do and all... but not about her. Or me." Bethany blushed. "Or her and me. Just- stop the incest jokes and eying her for sex."
"Why? Your sister's a thing of beauty, Beth."
"I know, but- just... "
"Well, don't you look all flustered," Isabela joked. "Nervous about someone moving in on your sister's territory, sweets? You shouldn't be; I'd take good care of your girl there."
"Isabela!" Bethany practically pleaded. "Don't seduce her, okay? She's not for you. She..."
"Is that an air of envy, I hear?" Isabela joked, chuckling.
"No! I didn't mean- "Bethany flushed so hot, she could feel the warmth in her cheeks. She turned away. "Nevermind. Forget it. Forget I said anything."
"Wait a minute here," Isabela held up, hand lifting to Bethany's shoulder. "Bethany, are you..." Beth shuddered. Isabela was actually taken aback. "Really?"
"Isabela- " Bethany turned, horror quickly melting into panic across her features. "Isabela, no! It's not- you're thinking, it's not- "
"I'm into some pretty kinky things," Isabela freely admitted. "But I guess there's a new surprise for everyone still. That... you and Hawke? So that's how much you admire her. Work a little magic of your own, both of you?"
"Isabela, no!" Bethany pleaded. "It's not like that. I don't- we don't... you can't say anything. You can't say anything to her. It's-"
"So this is one-sided." Isabela speculated. "Hawke doesn't know?"
"Please don't tell her," Bethany begged, crumbling.
"Damn," Isabela cursed. "If Hawke was open to doing sisters, the possibilities for other experimentation woulda been almost endless."Hawke's little sister looked ill. "I'm not going to tell her, Peaches." Bethany sagged in relief. "But if you and Hawke ever... I totally want in."
Bethany pulled away warily and almost collapsed against the wall. She prayed Isabela would keep her word silently. Isabela grinned, looking from the girl on the wall to above the stairs, where Aveline's door was opening and Hawke walking out. "Hey, Hawke!" Isabela called up the steps. "We've been waiting for you!" Hawke started down the steps to them. "Bethany, particularly, has been waiting for you."
Bethany closed her eyes, knowing her flush was only spurning the other woman on in her jokes. As long as she keeps her word... Bethany could only pray.
"You tie him down," Hawke instructed Isabela, eyes twinkling. "I'll find some honesty."
Bethany choked on thin air.
Isabela grinned ruefully. "You're welcome to help us, Beth. You can scan the areas big sis misses to find that truth."
Hawke hit her at Bethany's extreme responsive flush. "Hey."
Isabela remained cocksure, smiling. "You started it."
"You have such a grasp on your magic," Bethany praised. "You embrace it so well, I don't know how you do it, Sis. I could never attain the grasp you have on your abilities."
Hawke smiled kindly, stringing the magic rod at her back as she crossed to Bethany. "I'll still never match you in healing magic,"she stood behind her sister and took Bethany's arm gently. "Let me show you." Hawke triggered a stimulant magic, pouring it into Bethany at her touch. Bethany shivered. Hawke began to guide her.
Isabela found the two a few hours later as Bethany shot a fireball in Hawke's direction. Her aim was perfect, but Hawke deflected smoothly and Bethany suddenly felt a sweeping, invisible blast that knocked her back. Bethany started to tumble with a surprised, "Oh!" but Hawke was fast to shoot under her so she tumbled right into her lap.
"That was very good."Hawke complimented.
Bethany smiled proudly, content and clearly admiring every little bit of her sister. "Not as good as yours."
Hawke chuckled and bent her head to kiss Bethany's forehead. "We'll get there."
Isabela faded back into the shadows, watching the two with a faint smile as Hawke helped Bethany to her feet and the younger girl so evidently blushed from her little crush on Hawke, to which Hawke remained completely oblivious. I'll tease her next time. Isabela decided. For the moment, she just watched.
"How's my little Spring Flower?"
Bethany looked up from the desk in enough time to see Isabela enter. "Hawke's not here, 'Bela."
"I wasn't looking for Hawke."Isabela closed the door behind her and hopped up on the desk, pushing away the age-old cheese chunk to the back corner. Bethany blinked.
"You're looking for me?" Bethany immediately went into panic mode. "Is something wrong? Is Marian okay? Have the templars found us?"
"Settle your tits on down, Sweetness. Hawke's fine." Bethany breathed a sigh of relief, then furrowed her brow at Isabela's insistence upon vulgarity. "I just wanted to check up on you."
"Check up on me?" Bethany blinked again.
"Of course, Darling. You're like a sister to me," Isabela winked. "If you know what I mean."
Bethany blushed furiously and scooted back her chair, standing. "Must you do that?"
"Does it make you uncomfortable, Sweetness?"
"Yes." Bethany crossed to the closet and reached up for the top shelf. She was a little short to it. "Especially when you're so verbal about it in front of the others."
Out of nowhere, a dagger sailed over Bethany's hand and nicked the edge of the box. The dagger sailed right on through to impale the wood of the closet ceiling, but the box tumbled down into Bethany's reaching hands. "Thanks." Bethany murmured, fumbling with the thing in her hand.
"I saw you and Hawke the other day," Isabela started. "Playing magics in the the back of darktown, stumbling and falling into each other's arms..."
Bethany swallowed. "Isabela..."
"What? I'm just making conversation here."
"It's not the same," Bethany turned towards her, still trying to pry the little box open. "The way someone like you would find her attractive and... and how I see her, it's not the same."
"Honey, I'm not reprimanding you." Isabela corrected. "I'm just curious to know how an innocent thing like yourself became so persuaded to the dark side in this matter."
"I'm not stupid." Bethany bit her lip, still trying to rip off the lid of the locked box. "I know it's... not gonna happen. I don't even know if I'd want it to... but I'm happy looking in from afar, from the place I'm at with her."
"Well that's no fun, Peaches." Isabela reprimanded, hoping off the desk and striding over to her. "Where's the life and spice in that?" Isabela took the box from her lockpicking-clumsy hands and skillfully inserted a needle to the keyhole, expertly picking it. "You should have a few drinks with her sweetheart, maybe after you can persuade her to have hot, sweaty sex with you." Bethany's face lit up again, as it often did with Isabela around the corner.
"It's not like that, 'Bela..."
"I know." the lock box clicked and Isabela pressed the open box into Bethany's hands. She surprised Bethany then, lifting a hand to the girl's cheek and pushing back her hair. "But maybe it'd help you get over her, Sweetie..."
Bethany swallowed, catching Isabela's goldeny brown eyes. "What if I don't want that?"
Isabela smiled, unusually soft without her usual, witty mirth.
"Bethany?" The door to the secluded room opened suddenly, revealing Leandra Hawke in the doorway. She caught up short at the sight of her daughter so suspiciously pressed to the wall by the big-breasted tan woman wearing very little clothes and thigh-high boots.
"Mother!" Bethany's eyes widened as her eyes went from her mother in the doorway to Isabela, whom she just noted as practically pressing against her. Bethany coughed, sliding out from the conspicuous position as she stuttered for an explanation. In truth, she hadn't even noticed Isabela's proximity- not until Mother showed up at the door anyway. "I was just- that is, I..."
"We can continue this later, love." Isabela spoke, giving Bethany a dirty, dirty seductive smile. She took Bethany's arm and pulled the younger girl over to kiss her on the cheek. When she pulled back, Bethany looked on at her incredulously, hapless. "Meet me at the Blooming Rose at two. I'll be waiting for you." With a smile and a wink, Isabela pushed past Leandra in the doorway and made her exit.
Bethany gawked. "Mo-"
Mother seemed faint. "Bethany? We need to..." The words seemed to take all the effort from her. With one last glance at Isabela's swaggering ass on the way out the door, Leandra passed out in her innocent daughter's arms.
"I wasn't patronizing the Blooming Rose!" Bethany insisted, face red hot. "It was Isabela! She was just helping me open something when Mom came in- then she was all like, 'meet me at the Rose' in front of Mom!"
"Pushaww," Isabela waved off. "Is that more likely than the fact she was actually patronizing the Rose?"
Hawke looked from Isabela to Bethany and shook her head with a reprimanding, "Isabela."
Isabela tossed up her hands. "Surre, buy the mage's story. Bethany neverrr neglects the truth."
Bethany reddened. "I'm not like you!"
"In some aspects..."
Hawke rolled her eyes. "That's enough, children. We've got a raider mess to clean up here. Come along now."
"Sis, wait." Bethany stopped her before they could get too far along. Hawke turned back to her. Bethany glanced nervously at Isabela, but quickly fixed back her attention on her sister when that made her skittish. "You know your Lothering ring, the one Sister Leliana gave you that you misplaced the last few days?"
"You found it?"
"I have it," Bethany corrected, pulling out the ring out of a crevasse in her outfit.
Isabela's mouth quirked. "Where were you keeping that exactly?"
Bethany did her best to ignore her, though she could feel her face warm nonetheless as Isabela continued to look on, giving her a curious, amused eyebrow. Bethany presented her with the palmed ring. "I had it enchanted," Bethany explained as Hawke took it from her hand. "I know you've been meaning to sync it with your staff on fire modules, but you've been busy and it was just sitting there, so I figured it'd be a nice thing to get around to..."
Hawke admired the new brilliant glow on the stone, deep crimson to match the ones on her staff. "I thought I'd lost this," she looked up from her ring with a warm, graceful smile. "Thank you, Bethany. You're right, I wasn't getting around to it, and then when I thought I lost it..." Hawke's smile warmed. She stepped forward and encompassed Bethany in a hug. "It must have cost you a fortune to have this done for me, and to find the ingredients... I love it, Beth. Thank you."
Bethany hugged her back, content in her sister's arms until she saw Isabela's knowing look behind her. She pulled back from Hawke quickly, coughing a little. When they started off again, Isabela nudged her, cracking a smile at Bethany from the corner of her mouth. "Was it worth it?"
Bethany glanced nervously to the scarred, tattooed elf beside her. Unlike the seemingly chipper one to her left, this one had been deadly quiet and contemplative throughout. Bethany hadn't even gotten his name as of yet, but he was way too quiet for her to risk whispering the question to her sister.
On her fourth peek, the man finally spoke, startling Bethany. "Yes, it is lyruim, Mage. Do not watch me like so; only I can use this lyruim, for it is branded into my skin. I will not let you touch it."
"I don't want to touch it."
The scarred elf scoffed. "I know mages, and you always want to touch. I will not allow it, for I am a free man now." Bethany was silent. "You are an apostate, yes, Mage?"
"My name's Bethany..." Bethany replied uneasily avoiding the question.
"I'm an apostate too!" Merrill volunteered openly.
"Two of you?" The elf glowered. "I can't think of anything more dangerous."
Merrill pouted. "Not all mages are dangerous. In fact, hardly any become abominations. We're statisticly misrepresented."
Merrill ignored him and turned to Bethany. "It's nice to be traveling with another mage who understands."
"Yeah," Bethany nodded. "It's good if we stick in numbers. Maybe some day they'll even see us as people instead of threats..."
"There's a barrier." Hawke announced, vaguely listening to her party, but more concerned with the shiny blue shield blocking their path.
"Oh, I've got it!" Merrill jumped forward- and pulled a knife, cutting herself across the palm before any of them could stop her. She smeared it over the shield, which glimmered, then faded away.
"Blood magic!" All of them took a wary step back.
Merrill turned back around, happy and smiles until she saw their uneasy gazes. "What?"
"To the brothel?" Aveline eyed Isabela warily. "Must be like a homecoming for you."
Hawke stepped in before something could start between these two again. "We're searching for the missing Templars. It's where they were last seen before failing to show up for duty- it's been over two days now."
"Why are we helping the Templars again?" Bethany peeped. "I'm very fond of the leaving-this-one-alone idea. The Templars have soldiers of their own... we should let them do it."
Isabela companionably tossed an arm around Bethany's shoulders and hugged the girl to her side. "Don't worry, pet. It's like the good Commander here pointed out, I know the brothel in and out with more friends than not. I'll keep you safe. 'Sides, might be time to break lil' sis from holding out, eh? I know it's not your first choice preference," Isabela grinned ruefully, dropping her hand from Beth's shoulder. "...but I'm sure I could arrange something special for you."
Bethany squeaked and jumped as Isabela's sneaky hand pinched her.
"Isabela!" Came the simultaneous protests from both Hawke and Aveline at once. Aveline fisted the table while Hawke moved in to steer Bethany away. "By the Maker, whore! If I see you touching Bethany once more, I'm going to lock you down for assault until you forget what the word sex even means!"
"That would be a terribly long time," Isabela chuckled. "I suppose I'll have to touch her when I know you're not around." Isabela's eyes flickered over to the Hawkes, where she suspected Bethany was particularly enjoying the caring administrations of her sister. She winked when she caught the girl's eye, practically making Aveline growl in fury.
"No matter," Isabela waved off. "I've still got options, even without Bethany's chastity." Bethany colored something furious and half-hid behind her sister in her embarrassment- a sister that was whisked away not but seconds later to be held firmly by Isabela, who gripped her around the ass firmly. "There are more Hawkes than one after all..." Isabela started to lean in.
"Whoa there!" Hawke half-chuckled, pushing Isabela away by the shoulders. "Still not worth the herpes, 'Bela."
Isabela grumbled, releasing her hold on Hawke's ass and stepping back moodily. "Bloody teases, both of you.. I get checked on a regular basis, you know!"
Hawke gave her a smile, but nothing of the heat she lusted for from that strong family name. Aveline appeared deeply disturbed. "I sincerely hope you'd never be that desperate, Hawke."
"No comments from the Peanut Gallery, Man-Hands."
"Give me one excuse to wrap them around your neck, you dirty slattern."
Hawke sighed. "It's just going to be one of those days."
"What do we have here?" Hawke stepped out into the open from the above ledge they'd found the group upon, looking down on the poor hostages they'd taken.
"Looks like a group of virgins who wouldn't know a tit from a cow's teat," Isabela rounded up behind her, joining Hawke at her side as the lead among them turned from his demon lore and grabbed up a fallen staff. "Bunch of blowhards."
"Stranger," The man warned. "Leave this place."
"Everyone okay back there?" Hawke called out to the hostages, the closest of which was inching away.
"Please," a young girl whimpered from the back. "Help us."
Isabela pulled her blades from her back in one fluid motion. "Let's give 'em a ride they won't forget."
Hawke spanked her forward. "After you."
Already summoning up his first protective enchantments, Anders squinted at the action and frowned, brow furrowing.
"Grow a set or give it up, boy." Varric loaded and cocked Bianca, aiming a hail of arrows to the cultists below. "Those two will be knee-deep set in each other in no time, mark my words. That whore's hot on Hawke like a fast spread in the Blooming Rose."
Anders shook his head. "Hawke wouldn't stoop so low. She's got standards, and Isabela isn't much of one for anybody."
There was a puff of smoke, and Isabela appeared just behind Anders. "Make a bet?" Isabela put a hand on Varric's shoulder. "Thanks, Varric." She pushed the smaller dwarf off to the side, out of range. "Hold this for me, Anders." Isabela pushed something into his hand then disappeared in another flash.
"What's-" Anders didn't even have time to finish the question before the miasmic flask burst in his hand, sending a numbing chill throughout his body. Anders was left stunned where Varric shook his head, cracking a smile.
"Who would you rather sleep with?" He released another hail of arrows to finish off the last of the cultists, inclining his head to Isabela on the field, who was presently knifing one of their foes through the back. Hawke grinned and stepped forward as the last man fell, touching her shoulder only momentarily on her way to the captives.
"Nice backstab, Riviani."
"You should see how I am from the front," Isabela caught the corner smirk on Hawke's face and started on after her.
Varric gave Anders a knowing look. "Neither you or Justice can claim anything on that."
Anders grumbled under his breath.
"Are you planning on taking Bethany with you?"
"I can't leave Bethany behind," Hawke argued. "I need her."
Isabela's mouth quirked at the glow she found in Bethany at Hawke's words. "Hear that, Beth?" Isabela sidled against her, giving Beth a smile. "She needs you."
Bethany reddened as mother's eyes roved over to her and widened at the sight of Isabela again, leaning against her daughter so seductively. Bethany opened her mouth to explain, but Isabela was always quick to jump on her opportunities. Her arms curled around Bethany's waist, pulling Bethany back, flat to her impressive chest. "Just like I need you..." Bethany meeped as Isabela bowed her head to kiss her neck and stiffened, yelping, she slapped Isabela's hand away when the older woman traced fingers to her breast.
Mother seemed faint again.
"Oh, for Andraste's sake." Hawke reached out and grabbed Isabela's arm, giving a forcible tug to pull her away. "Stop that, Isabela." Hawke could see the swirling concern and lightheadedness in her mother's eyes. "Bethany is not patronizing a prostitute, Mom. Isabela doesn't even work at the Rose."
"You're taking her with you?" Leandra reached out for Bethany's arm, as much to protect her daughter as she had to steady herself. "Bethany's not going. I forbid it."
Hawke cradled a hand to her forehead where the growing headache was manifesting. If she took Bethany with them now, Mother was at risk for an early heart attack. "Fine, Mother. Bethany can stay."
"Hey!" Bethany blurted, protesting. "I want to go!"
"I'm sure you do," Leandra eyed up Isabela suspiciously. It didn't help that Isabela found this all deeply amusing. "But I have...other things... for you to do."
Isabela winked. Bethany slapped a hand to her forehead and groaned. "You wretch."
Leandra barely managed to pull her eyes from Isabela to look at her eldest daughter once more. "Be careful, my dear... sleep with four eyes awake. If anything happens to you, from darkspawn or..." her eyes slid back to Isabela before flashing back. "Something else. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself for letting you go."
"I'll be fine, Mother." Hawke insisted. "You don't need to worry." Hawke stepped forward and kissed her mother's cheek. "I promise."
Hawke turned to Bethany, apologetic expression already set. "I want to go with you..."
"I know," Hawke reached up and cradled her chin. "But it's better this way. You'll be safer up here and I'll be back in no time, with treasure heaps to move us back into Mother's old house." Hawke smiled at her kindly. Bethany bit her bottom lip.
"I'll miss you..."
"I'll be back before you know it." Hawke promised, leaning down to kiss her too. Bethany threw her arms around her and hugged her tightly, resting her head on Hawke's shoulder.
"Stay safe, sister."
"I will." Giving her one last squeeze, Hawke pulled away.
"Goodbye, Beth, Sweetums!" Isabela stepped in for a hug too. Hawke sighed and grabbed her shoulder, turning her right around.
"Let's go, you."
Isabela grinned, giving Bethany a last wave before turning down the tunnels with Hawke.
"I've never even had sex!"
"Oral can pass along disease just as much as sex." Leandra argued determinedly. Bethany gawked. "And who knows what else that woman's been doing to you in your sleep."
"Mother!" Bethany blushed bright red. "Isabela hasn't been between my legs in any way! We're just friends!"
"Mhmm," Leandra murmured. "She looked real friendly with you..." Bethany groaned. "Satisfy your mother, Beth. Put my mind at ease. Take the test."
"Your mind should be at ease even without the test, Mother! Don't you trust me? I wouldn't sleep with Isabela!"Bethany sighed miserably and followed her mother to the door. "Will you let me go outside again when this is done?"
Bethany winced, following her mother through the streets of hightown on their way to Anders clinic.
Anders hand hovered over her bare stretch of stomach and Bethany squirmed, distinctly uncomfortable under the mage's concentration as his tendrils of magic wriggled inside of her, searching for the disease that was not there. His magic wasn't like Hawke's, instead of the soft, warm comfort Bethany always felt with the touch of her sister's mysticism, but felt invasive and dirty inside of her. Hungry, and angry. Bethany wanted to shower after this, and wondered if this was what Isabela felt every time she went for a check up. Then again, it was Isabela... she'd probably just enjoy the feeling of being delved into.
When Bethany twisted again at the probing worm inside of her, Anders eyes lifted to her face as the probe continued. "Doing okay?"
"It just... feels weird." Bethany shivered, closing her eyes. "Kinda wrong."
"I'm sorry." Anders apologized. "It's probably Justice... when he fused with my body, he molded to my magic as well. It has an otherworldly touch. You may be more sensitive to it, being a mage already."
From the Fade. Bethany shuddered, deeply uncomfortable. Justice is from the Fade. "Are you almost done?" She didn't mean to be rude, but the scraping feel of him inside was too unsettling...wrong, even.
"Almost." Anders promised, taking Bethany's hand with his free one. "How's your sister?"
It was a nice gesture, for him to bring up something she was comfortable talking about through this unpleasant scan. Bethany wished she could have appreciated him more for it, but her mind was currently determinedly stuck on the wriggle inside of her. She didn't feel it safe to lose track of. "Still in the deep roads," Bethany shifted, struggling not to reach up and bat his magic away.
"It's been awhile now, hasn't it?"
"Almost two weeks," Bethany strained, reaching up, then stopping herself. "Anders- "
The vile feeling inside of her zapped away in a heartbeat. "Done."
Bethany sagged, relaxing back with the release of his hold in her. Anders touched her forehead gently, feeling her sweat gathered there. He frowned. "You must be particularly sensitive to Justice. I don't get this kind of reaction often."
"I'm sorry." Though she wasn't; Bethany was just glad to have it out of her, really.
"It's okay," Anders murmured. "Not your fault." He politely rolled down her shirt back again. "You're clean, by the way." Bethany sighed. Anders gave her a moment. "Mind if I ask why you're getting tested? Leandra mentioned Isabela..."
"It's not that." Anders gave her a beseeching look. "Mother only thinks Isabela and I... but we didn't. It was just a joke of 'Bela's that mother took to the extreme."
"I see." Anders pursed his lips. "I may have insisted the same, in such a situation."
Bethany frowned petulently. "Doesn't anybody trust me?"
"Of course, Bethany." Anders corrected. "I would originally never assume you would do that. It's just... your sister has made some questionable choices with Isabela, and I know how you look up to her..."
Bethany's brow creased. "No amount of admiring my sister would lead me to follow her to bed with Isabela. Besides," Bethany frowned severely. "Marian and 'Bela are just friends."
"Oh?" Anders lifted an eyebrow.
"They just flirt." Bethany petitioned on her sister's behalf. "It's Isabela's nature. It's nothing serious."
"I would hope you're right." Anders murmured. "'Lest I need to see your sister in my clinic as well?"
It was meant as a joke, playful, but it left a bad taste in Bethany's mouth. Something about Anders was off-putting her today. She was ready to take her leave of this place. "Am I free to go?"
Anders nodded, eyes fixed in concentration. "Take care, Beth..."
Bethany fled the area quickly.