If He Do Not Propose


Whoever loves, if he do not propose

To the right true end of love, is one that goes

To sea for nothing but to make him sick

-John Donne, Elegy XVIII: Love's Progress


Solara regarded Sebastian with more than a little confusion. He'd walked up to her in the Hanged Man, kissed her and tugged her out of the bar, only to bring her home and sit her on the bed. Now he was pacing in front of her. She must have sighed because he stopped and looked at her, a rueful smile tugging his lips.

"I am sorry Solara, for my behavior." Sebastian offered, know he both looked and felt like a fool. "Please, take off your armor and be comfortable…I…" He shook his head. "When I spoke with Varric I… well it seemed like a good idea and now…well I'm not entirely certain."

"An idea you got from Varric seemed like a good one?" Solara asked dryly as she began to pull off her black and red armor, piling it neatly on a chest near the wall.

Sebastian unbuckled his breastplate and chuckled. "Truly a sign of how desperate I am to do this correctly." He removed the chain mail and the rest of his armor, placing it beside Solara's on the chest. A part of him took pleasure in their armor sitting side by side, like their other belongings in the wardrobe or the chest of drawers.

"To do what correctly?" Solara sat tailor fashion on the bed, still in the lightweight tunic and breeches she wore beneath her armor, watching Sebastian pace once again. Her love was wearing clothing similar to her own but on him… the tunic pulled open slightly at the throat, offering her a tantalizing glimpse of tanned flesh, the muscles of his shoulders and arms were exposed and flexed with every turn of his wrist and hands. It should be impossible for her to be this fascinated by a man. A man she'd seen naked and had over her, under her and every other way they could think of. She should be used to him by now. But she wasn't; she was eternally obsessed with looking at him, listening to him, touching him and having him look at, and listen to and touch her.

Sebastian smiled slightly as he looked at Solara. She was staring at him again; it made him want to kiss her the way she looked at him. He knew that he was guilty of the same type of stare; sometimes he felt as if he were storing up images of her to keep and remember if they were ever parted. This wasn't obsession or some foolish boyish infatuation. He'd been obsessed and he'd been infatuated and neither of those feelings could compare with how he felt about Solara before he'd confessed his love or after he'd received her love in return. Truly love was something indescribable; you could only understand it until you felt it. "To propose," He smiled finally, answering her question. Her slow blink of shock made his smile widen to a grin. "Did you think I would not?" He teased, feeling more comfortable now, "That I would simply assume your agreement?"

"I…I thought you had proposed." Solara almost stammered the words out she was so surprised. "That first night after you were wounded; you asked if I'd make you an honest man."

"And you told me yes you would." Sebastian smiled. "But I think you deserve something a bit more…romantic than me collapsing of exhaustion and a healing potion and blurting it out."

Solara frowned at him. "You were sincere." She told him flatly, feeling a little irritated, "If you hadn't been I wouldn't have told you yes."

"And I am sincere now." Sebastian shot back. "Maker woman, sometimes you try my patience. I want to do something romantic and propose to you properly and you act as if I was taking back the words I spoke then."

"I don't care about romance Sebastian; I care about being with you." Solara retorted, just as unaccountably annoyed.

"Well that is all that matters to me!" Sebastian nearly shouted. "Maker, if I didn't have you in my life I'd probably still be blathering on about what to do with my life."

"I'm so sorry if I'm difficult." She shook her head at him. "If you wanted a biddable woman you should have fallen in love with someone else."

"I don't want a biddable woman, I want to marry you." Sebastian wondered how on Thedas they'd come to be shouting at each other.

"Fine then." Solara crossed her arms.

"All right." Sebastian shook his head and pulled the armcuff out of his belt pouch. Covering the space between them in one long stride he pushed up her sleeve and bent the silver cuff open, closing it around her bicep tightly and attaching the tiny chain and lock. "There." He regarded it in satisfaction. "You can have the torque when we say our vows and not before." Sebastian gave his love a hard kiss on the mouth as punctuation and stood, crossing his arms and staring down at her with a frown.

Solara blinked up at him, looking from Sebastian to the chased silver cuff on her upper arm, back to Sebastian who seemed to be daring her to object. "All right," She said, all irritation gone from her voice.

Sebastian was almost waiting for Solara to continue spitting at him like a cornered cat. "All right?" He repeated curiously. "I was waiting for you to throw it back in my face." He rubbed a hand over his face as if to scrub away his confusion.

"I wouldn't do that." Solara shook her head. "And I'm sorry I got angry…it just felt for a moment like you didn't think we were betrothed until you made your official 'romantic' proposal." She reached up and tugged on his forearm, pulling him so he sat down beside her.

"I'm sorry a ghrá," the archer sighed. "That was never my intention. I simply wanted to do something you would like to remember, so you could tell our daughters maybe, how their father proposed." He pulled her into his arms so Solara was half in his lap and leaning against his chest.

"Sebastian, I can understand that," Solara said quietly. "I suppose I just liked remembering that moment so much, how you were so tired but still managed to get the words out to ask me. And what you said afterward when I told you I would." She looked up, her lips pressing a kiss to his jaw line. "I like to remember that so much I couldn't see how a romantic proposal would be better. Because that was the night you said you loved me. That I was your sign from the Maker."

Sebastian chuckled slightly. "Well leave it to me to try and be romantic and make you angry doing it." He began to pull the pins out of her hair, dropping them on the bedside table. "Do you think we'll ever have a normal significant moment as a couple?" His fingers combed through her hair, unraveling the braided knot so her hair fell over his arm where he could rub his cheek on the silky stuff.

"I'm fairly sure that if I bear your child and go into labor I'll be cursing you all through it." Solara laughed. "That'll be normal." How he knew exactly what to do with her hair was a question she'd never asked, suspecting it led back to his misspent youth.

"Ah…" Sebastian laughed with her, "Something to look forward to."

"Indeed." Solara grinned. "So I'm almost afraid to ask, but how did talking to Varric give you the idea to propose?"

"Ah, he observed that we were living together but unmarried and was concerned about my intentions." Sebastian smiled. "He truly cares for you, I think he worried I would revert to my rakish ways."

"Well you have if your behavior in this room is anything to go by." Solara laughed. "But that's the only aspect I've noticed."

"Well he behaved in the manner of a typical older brother, asking my intentions, what I was waiting for, that sort of thing." The archer explained. "And when I told him I couldn't decide how to propose he said I should simply ask you." A chuckle escaped him. "Somehow I doubt what happened tonight is what he had in mind. And he also pointed out that you and I had the evening free and that I shouldn't waste it."

"Well I agree with that." Solara grinned. "But where did you get the cuff? Its beautiful, but you can't have had it all this time?"

"I don't know what happened to the marriage bands that belonged to my parents." Sebastian said quietly. "My grandmother, wife of the man whose bow I carry, was buried with hers, as it should be. I hope he was as well." He traced a finger over the words on the edge of the silver cuff. "So I explained to a jeweler what I needed and what they should say."

"I couldn't read what it said, you put it on me so fast." Solara grinned. "What does it say?"

"Le ghrá go deo, anamchara, síorghrá." Sebastian told her quietly. "They mean 'with love forever, soulmate, eternal love'. All that you are to me."

Solara smiled. "I should like to have something like this made for you." She said quietly. "So you can wear something as well."

"I would be honored." Sebastian smiled. "I hope you do not think me presumptuous but I commissioned matching torques for our wedding, whenever it may be. They are locked safely away from mischievous dwarven children or prying eyes."

"And what do they say on them?" Solara nestled into his arms and Sebastian moved slightly, laying back on the bed and carrying her down with him so he could feel her entire body against the length of his.

"Mine says 'my soul will find yours in every life'." Sebastian smoothed her hair and kissed her cheek grateful to have her beside him. "And yours says 'eternal love from this life to the next'."

"And what should I have commissioned on your marriage band?" Solara smiled. "I don't know much of your language."

"Have a hawk carved into it." Sebastian suggested. "So that everyone knows I belong to you."

"I like that." Solara propped her chin up on his chest so she could look in his eyes. "Because something tells me that if the noblewomen find out you're on the market there will be ladies throwing themselves at your feet right and left."

"As if I would want any woman who would do such a thing." Sebastian grinned wickedly and rolled so Solara was pinned to the bed beneath him. "The only woman I want is the one who leads me a merry chase each day, who has the strength and honor to stand beside me in every endeavor and captivates me like no other. That is the woman I'm going to marry."

Solara smiled. "Terrible things brought us together…but I am so glad we found each other."

"Without you Solara, I do not doubt…the anger that lived within me would have broken me…but your fine example showed me how to live with the demons of my own making." Sebastian murmured.

"I am not such a fine example." Solara denied. "I have no patience, I'm stubborn and I have dubious morals."

"And because and in spite of your faults you are my guiding star." Sebastian smiled kissing her gently at first and then more deeply. When their lips parted they were both breathing heavily. "I have a notion to show you my love with other than words." Sebastian told her firmly. "I'm afraid the clothing will have to go."

Solara slid her hands under his tunic, her hands caressing the warmth of his back. "I could say the same for what you are wearing my prince." She pressed her mouth to his neck, nibbling hungrily on the salt of his skin. "Maker help me you taste good," she moaned slightly.

Sebastian groaned over the feel of her lips on his skin, if she were a mage he would have accused her of using lightening on his flesh, her touch was so inflaming. He pulled at her tunic, succeeded only in baring her stomach to his gaze and groaned. "We're going to have to give in and part if we want to undress." He told her reluctantly. Solara's expression could only be called a pout. Sebastian almost laughed but since he felt the same it was difficult to be unsympathetic. "Quickly then," He told her. "Last one undressed is on the bottom."

That got her laughing as he knew it would. He rose off her body and pulled off his tunic, ripping his breeches and smalls off at the same time. Sebastian thought he probably ripped a lace or two but it was a small price to pay. He was completely undressed while Solara was still in her smalls and breast band.

"You cheat." She accused as her hands pulled at the laces holding the fabric over her breasts. "You have less clothing."

Sebastian moved slowly over her, his hands pulling the breast band off her body and pushing her back on the bed. "You are in command every day, responsible for so much." He murmured as he pressed kisses to the soft skin of her collarbone. "Do you not enjoy being free of accountability when I have you under me?" His fingers slid to the ties of her smalls, pulling them apart. He slid down her body to kiss her stomach. "Do you not enjoy simply being Solara in our bed and not Hawke the Champion?"

Solara watched, hypnotized as his mouth dipped lower and lower on her body, his lips setting her skin on fire with each touch. "You know I do." She whispered. "But what of you?"

Sebastian paused, his lips brushing the curls over her mound, "Perhaps when we rule Starkhaven together, we might take turns at our little games." He suggested, his tongue sliding wickedly through her nether lips and drawing a long breathy moan out of his lover. His hands held her hips, keeping her pressed to the bed and unable to move away from his mouth. "A chroí you enjoy this I think." He found her clitoris within her folds and began to kiss and suckle it as he would her mouth or nipple, feeling her body tremble under his with each wicked caress. She was so honest in her responses, sweet and passionate in her need, his body responded to hers without thought. She was truly the other half of his soul.

Solara put her hands on her breasts and held them, pulling her nipples between her fingers and thumbs, wanting the sensation and knowing how mad it would drive Sebastian when he looked up from her body and saw her breasts in her own hands. He loved to give her pleasure, needed somehow for her to achieve it before he took his own release, but Maker he drove her mad with it at times. "Sebastian," his name was a moan on her lips as she shuddered under his mouth.

Sebastian groaned against her body, she was close, arched and open to his mouth, as desperate for release as he. He looked up her body to watch her face, to see her eyes when she came and groaned against her again. She was staring down at him, her lower lip caught between her teeth, her hands on her breasts pulling and squeezing the soft mounds, guaranteed to drive him mad. That she watched him giving her pleasure did something to him inside, she was so open with him. With an effort he kept his eyes on hers and surrounded her clit with his mouth, suckling hard on the sensitive flesh until passion rolled over her body, blinding her to everything but sensation.

Solara screamed as she came, unable to stifle her cries as she bucked against Sebastian's mouth, pleasure sweeping over her body. She felt him surge over her, his body covering hers and his erection pressing insistently, implacably inside of her body in one deceptively slow stroke. His mouth came down on her lips, kissing her as his hands gathered her up to his body, holding her in arms like iron as he pumped in and out of her. She could taste her juices on his mouth, felt him groan as she began to kiss him back.

Sebastian wasn't certain how long he could last. Her arms wrapped around him, her hands caressing his back, and he felt the press of metal warmed by skin. The realization that she wore his pledge to her, that she was truly his, would always be his roared through him like a storm.

Solara could feel the instant Sebastian lost control, a groaning growl of need vibrated in his chest. His breathing grew rough and his mouth pulled from hers as he pulled her closer, his hips thrusting madly against hers in a rhythm that was driving her mad. His breath was harsh in her ears and she was gasping beneath him, unable to do anything but let his hands hold and move her beneath his body. Helpless beneath him, but safe and protected…and loved, Solara felt, shuddering as her climax began to explode in her belly, he made her feel loved.

Sebastian felt Solara's body clutch around his, deep vibrations that grew into a storm that shook her, drawing him deeper inside as she cried out her pleasure. "A ghrá," he growled as he slammed his hips against hers again. "A ghrá!" It was a shout as his orgasm hit him without warning, his seed racing through his body like fire, as he shuddered, his hips still pressing his body hard up into her.

Solara sighed with pleasure under him, her hands idly stroking his back. She could feel his seed inside her, she realized with a soft smile and wondered when he would get her with child. A tiny frown marred her forehead. For the first time that possibility wasn't something to fear. Sebastian made her believe, believe that he would help her, take care of her, or support her own decision no matter what. Maker willing, a child would come after the wedding, but if their timing was…precipitous, she knew Sebastian would make things right somehow.

Sebastian raised his head slightly and saw her smile, saw her little frown and how it eased. "My guiding star, what are you thinking?" He wondered, raising himself up on his elbows slightly to let her breathe.

"Oh, that for the first time I'm not worried about getting with child before the wedding." Solara lifted her hand and slid it through his auburn hair, loving the feel of his thick curls under her fingers. "I don't know why I'm not. Or why it worried me before…"

"You didn't wear my pledge before." Sebastian dipped his head to kiss her. "that helps…that symbol." He told her softly. "I'm sorry I didn't give it to you sooner."

"Don't be." Solara looked up at him and hope he knew how much she adored him. "I wouldn't have had you give it to me any other way." She smiled, "I suppose I'm just realizing that if you got me with child that you would make certain I was all right. We'd have a quick wedding or…something, but I don't have to worry about it."

"I'm glad you trust me." Sebastian smiled. "I know you trusted me before…but this is different." He fingered a lock of soft dark hair. "Elthina wants to marry us." He said softly. "I told her I would ask you."

"I would be honored." Solara blinked in surprise. "Amazed but honored."

"Then next I see her, I will tell her so." Sebastian frowned as her white skin prickled with gooseflesh. "You're chilled." He regarded their position on the bed and shook his head. "Do you know how often we end up on top of the quilts instead of under them love?" He pulled away from her reluctantly and scooped her up in his arms. Solara reached down to pull the quilts back and Sebastian set her down, pulling the sheet and quilts up around her shoulders before sliding beneath them himself.

"I think it's about half the time." Solara grinned. "Do you think…" She paused wondering how to word it.

"What is it love?" Sebastian gathered her in his arms, one hand cupping her belly protectively as he thought how a child would grow within her someday.

"I just wish sometimes we didn't have the fate of Kirkwall hanging over our heads." Solara sighed. "We agreed that to wed would be a distraction…the Champion and the Prince of Starkhaven, but sometimes I don't wish to wait."

"Nor do I." Sebastian kissed her. "You truly are my guiding star." He chuckled. "So often what you say leads me to that path I am most suited or inclined to follow."

"Guiding star." Solara repeated. "You've said that before." She pushed a pillow behind her head and regarded him curiously. "What do you mean?"

"My grandfather…the one whose bow I carry, used to tell me that the stars were the eyes of the Maker, looking down on us." Sebastian explained. "He said there was a guiding star for each person on Thedas. We had only to listen to what it said, to what the Maker told us."

"Sebastian, I'm a stubborn, willful, impatient, violent woman, an occasional thief." Solara protested. "I am not a guiding star. I'm the furthest thing from it."

Sebastian chuckled. "I must admit, I didn't remember the verse my grandfather quoted me, until recently, maybe it was having Varric quote poetry at me tonight that reminded me of my grandfather's words. But when I think of you they seem…apt."

"Verse?" Solara stared at him, "and…Varric quoted poetry?" She considered a moment. "All right that doesn't sound as strange when I think about it for a minute but… Sebastian…first you say I'm the Maker's plan for you, now you call me a guiding star… I'm afraid of what you'll call me tomorrow, no woman could possibly live up to all that you think I am."

"I'll address your concerns in order, shall I?" Sebastian smiled, pulling her closer to him. Maker he simply adored her, it wasn't false modesty, she truly didn't realize how extraordinary she was. "The verse my grandfather told me was old when he was young. Its part of a sonnet. 'Til whatever star that guides my moving, Points on me graciously with fair aspect, And puts apparel on my tattered loving, To show me worthy of thy sweet respect, Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee, Til then not show my head where thou mayst prove me'."

"It's lovely." Solara had tears in her eyes and Sebastian leaned forward to kiss them away before she could wipe at her eyes. "It's…about timing isn't it?" She murmured, "The idea that until we're ready, until we have something worth offering, we shouldn't speak, until the star guides us to the right direction."

"As being your friend guided me to be worthy of you, to take my place as the Prince of Starkhaven and your husband," Sebastian nodded, "that is how I understood it, yes."

"I still don't think I'm a star." Solara warned him. "But now…Varric was quoting poetry at you?"

"He did. When he asked me why I hadn't proposed yet." Sebastian grinned at the memory. "I wasn't terribly surprised; no one can weave stories the way he can unless he's well read. It was another poet, from Starkhaven, and the beginning of a long wordy elegy, 'Whoever loves, if he do not propose, To the right true end of love, is one that goes, To sea for nothing, but to make him sick'." Sebastian shook his head. "Which is basically telling me that if I truly love you I should propose."

"Like going to sea, if you hate sailing, without a destination," Solara grinned. "All right I understand that. And if Varric was so eloquent I'm not surprised you dragged me out of the tavern in order to propose."

"As for no woman being able to live up to my expectations…" Sebastian kissed her gently. "You need never worry. All I see in you is only all you are. A strong, beautiful, intelligent and wonderful woman who I am lucky enough to have love me. You are my guiding star, and my sign from the Maker of the path I should be on, because you are what draws my heart and have ever since I saw you." He pulled her closer, the better to kiss her and stroke her hair. "You exceed my expectations each day, situations that confound me, you manage to derive reason and order from. With everyone in Kirkwall looking to you, somehow you manage to bring hope and order and reason. How can I not find guidance in you? You are amazing."

"I would rather you find guidance in the Chant." Solara grumbled. "What if I disappoint you one day?"

"You mean if we disagree? Or if you do something I think is wrong or don't understand?" Sebastian grinned. "Correct me if I'm wrong but don't we disagree on the Chantry and mages and Templars?" he asked teasingly. "And in spite of basic differences in our morals, do I not find you amazing anyway? Did I not fall in love with a woman who challenges my every assumption?" He pressed a kiss to her nose teasingly. "If I wanted a woman who would fall at my feet and agree with my every word I could have. I've never wanted easy or agreeable. I want you." He paused. "That did not sound…polite. Or nice. Let me put that another way."

Solara laughed and shook her head. "I know exactly what you mean. And that you put it in such a way reassures me that you do see exactly who and what I am." She sighed. "I fear sometimes that you'll put me on a pedestal like the rest of Kirkwall does. I can't live up there."

"No, I think you're safe in that I'll never put you on a pedestal." Sebastian grinned. "You'd be too far away for me to kiss if you were up there."

"Thank the Maker for that." Solara said fervently.

Sebastian couldn't help but laugh. "A chroí, we can marry whenever you wish." He said gently. "There is no law says we must marry in Starkhaven or have a huge wedding and invite all of Kirkwall. We could marry with only our friends as witnesses."

Solara sighed. "It feels as if I'd be cheating Starkhaven out of seeing their prince wed." She said quietly. "But quiet is what I wish we could have. With only people whom I know care for me to be there."

"Under my cousin's rule, the treasury of the crown may not be able to afford a wedding for all of Starkhaven to see." Sebastian shook his head ruefully. "Also…" he hesitated.

"Also?" Solara looked at him warily. "Also what Sebastian…that tone of voice tells me you've been less than forthcoming about something."

He smiled at how well she knew him. "The nobility of Starkhaven might be in an uproar over not witnessing our wedding, but if we wed here, quietly, we would still be wed, and without anyone trying to… displace you from my side." Sebastian hoped she realized that he wouldn't tolerate that for a second but the nobles might still try.

"Ah…" Solara chuckled. "I wondered why you were so happy to stay here for so long." She teased him. "Worried about finding some nobles daughter in your bed whether you wanted her there or not?"

"More worried about her father and a half dozen witnesses seeing her there with me before I could throw her out on her ear." Sebastian returned. "If you are wed to me and live with me…then it will be hard for them to try and separate us. And it also…well it also reinforces my position that I make the decisions about my life, not them."

"Ah, you're hoping to present them with a situation they cannot undo." Solara grinned. "Something they can't manipulate to their advantage."

"And something they can all dislike equally." Sebastian grinned back at her. "If I marry none of their daughters there is no one family favored over the other."

"A sound plan." Solara chuckled. "What do we need to make this possible?"

"The approval of the Grand Cleric," Sebastian drew her closer, murmuring the words over her skin like a caress. "Which we have." He kissed her cheek. "A willing bride and an eager groom."

"Which we most definitely have." Solara giggled. "I daresay you have an eager bride and eager groom."

"Witnesses, at least two each." Sebastian said quietly. "I know Fenris and Varric will willingly stand for me. Any of the ladies will stand for you, though of course the genders of the witnesses need not be equal. They need only be willing."

Solara hesitated. "I…do not think it wise to invite Anders." She said quietly. "But I do not know how hurtful it would be to…exclude him."

"Send him a note inviting him to a dinner afterward." Sebastian suggested. "We do not wish him to be captured in the Chantry, there is a heavy Templar presence there."

"And if he chooses not to come, that is his decision." Solara agreed. "Very diplomatic my love."

"Then all we need is…" Sebastian considered and shook his head. "I cannot think of anything else."

"I can." Solara told him firmly. "First thing in the morning I'm taking you to a jeweler and we're getting an armcuff made for you. The minute its done we grab everyone and we go to the Chantry."

Sebastian laughed. "I bow to your insistence a chroí."

"You'd better." Solara kissed him passionately.

"Then it's settled? We marry as soon as we can." Sebastian confirmed with a smile.

"Yes." Solara nodded. "Before something else happens with the Bone Pit or the mages or Templars or any other craziness that Kirkwall can throw at us. In fact if I thought the silversmith could have the cuff done by tomorrow night I'd say send word out right now so everyone could be ready."

"With enough coin, and a simple enough piece that's possible." Sebastian pulled her on top of him. "And then…I am, officially, yours forever, to do with as you like."

Solara kissed him. "Hmm…I do like the sound of that." She smiled against his lips.

"As do I." Sebastian began to kiss her passionately, everything in him reacting to the idea that within a few days she could be his in earnest, before the Maker and all of Thedas.


Varric read the note he held a second time and rose from his chair. Walking down to the taproom he observed Isabella regarding a piece of parchment with a quizzical expression. "Rivaini, does yours say the same thing?" He asked curiously.

"See for yourself." Isabella handed him her note and took his reading it over. "Well, except for the names…the notes seem to be identical."

"So he finally got up the nerve to do it." Varric grinned. "And Hawke's going to hold him to it."

Fenris entered the Hanged Man then and made a beeline straight for Varric. "I need your help." He held a note in his hand. "I don't understand all the words, the ones I know, I am surely misreading."

Varric took the note and held it so Isabella could see over his shoulder. "Well unless you think you're being invited to a Wallop competition I think you probably understand pretty well Elf." Seeing that Varric looked confused and ready to debate the point in the taproom Varric gestured for his two friends to follow him up to his rooms. "All right Fenris, what's the problem?"

"They really mean to marry? In such haste? This is only in a week." Fenris asked his surprise evident. "They showed no sign of it two days ago."

"They've shown every sign of wanting it." Varric pointed out. "He's been living with her, not in the Chantry."

"I suppose I'm simply surprised by the event and that they would want me there." Fenris shook his head. "What does it mean? To witness?"

"You'll be standing with the rest of us and if anyone questions whether or not Sebastian and Hawke are truly married you'll be able to tell them you saw it." Varric explained patiently. "It's not hard. The Grand Cleric will ask if you're there willingly and you say yes or no as you see fit." Varric paused. "Don't say no, unless you want them both to turn around and try to kill you."

"No means I'm unwilling? Or that I don't approve?" Fenris wanted to know.

"Both depending on when you're asked." Varric sighed. "It's not a big deal." He gestured expansively. "Stand next to me or Aveline, we'll help you through it. You can write your name and everything now so you'll even be able to sign the scrolls to mark the marriage."

Fenris shuddered. "Will we need to bring gifts?" He asked in a helpless kind of horror.

"Bring a bottle of wine." Varric suggested. "They're wanting this quiet so they won't be expecting much."

"This'll break the heart of every single woman and man in Starkhaven and Kirkwall." Isabella chuckled wickedly. "You should write a story about it Varric."

"Maybe after they've left for Starkhaven." Varric grinned. "I don't want the Champion mad at me." He looked at Fenris. "Seriously, don't worry, Hawke knows what you're like, so does Choir Boy, they both want you there. You're a friend."

Fenris sat down and studied the invitation thoughtfully. "Should we wear our armor? Or something else?" He looked at Isabella, "something more formal?"

Varric also looked at the pirate. "Maybe pants?"

Isabella rolled her eyes. "As if I don't know how to dress myself." She said her voice filled with irritation.

"Varric!" Aveline's voice sounded from the taproom.

"Obviously someone else got the news too." Varric grinned listening to Aveline's thunderous footsteps mount his stairs. "We'll have everyone here eventually."


Solara looked at Sebastian. "I am trying so hard to not run into the Chantry drag Elthina off and insist she marry us immediately." She sighed.

Sebastian grinned. "Well, she is the Grand Cleric, and we did ask that it be private." He stroked her hair through his fingers as he passed behind her and chuckled. "Though I am very pleased to have such a lovely cuff on my arm. At least that was done quickly." He gestured to the silver armcuff he wore, emblazoned with a hawk and the same words as her own. A sapphire was clutched in the hawk's talons.

"And Varric and the others did point out that this gives Bodahn more time to put together a celebration for afterward." Solara smiled.

Sebastian looked at her and couldn't take it. She was sitting at her desk and he was pacing back and forth. "Solara my love," he scooped her up into his arms and carried her to the library. "All will be well." He kissed her and sat down on the couch still holding her. "We will marry in a few more days. And you will be my wife, and I your husband, and nothing will part us."

Solara rested her head against his chest. "You are right, I just have this...feeling." She sighed. "Bad feeling..."

Sebastian kissed the top of her head. "I know...the storm is coming."

"I have this awful feeling Sebastian." Solara whispered. "I haven't felt like this...not since the Blight. Not since the Qunari went mad. I had this same feeling then. Its bad...its really bad."

Sebastian held her and prayed to the Maker she was wrong. He hadn't known Solara's instincts to ever be wrong, but perhaps the Maker would be kind and this one time they would be.


Varric looked away as Hawke and Sebastian embraced. The two were obviously relieved to see each other alive. Covered in dust and grime, smoke befouling the air, they were oblivious to everything around them as Sebastian pushed Hawke's hood back and kissed her. The Chantry was a smoldering pile of rock and fire, the wicked red glow still hovering like an evil miasma over the ruins.

"I don't suppose Hawke and Sebastian will be able to get married now, will they." Merrill's voice was quiet and sad behind Varric.

"No Daisy, not here." Varric replied just as quietly. "But they will marry." He looked at the couple embracing. "Someday."

Fin