Disclaimer: All character names, locations and plot elements are the property of Bioware and Electronic Arts (EA) Games. 'Dragon Age 2' and all related characters are the sole property of these entities. This is a fan-written fiction.
This story takes place during Acts 2 and 3 of 'Dragon Age 2', with some speculation as to events following the story.
Warning: this story contains sexual content and themes, psychological and emotional manipulation, violence, some brief strong language, and adults discussing philosophical things.
So run with the eyes of a devil
And keep him in your dreams
If you succumb to the lies of the rebel
You'll cleanse yourself of me
A fist beat rapidly at the front door of the Hawke estate.
On the second floor, a bleary-eyed pirate sat up on her side of the bed, squinted into the darkness, and then walked naked across the floor. She exited the room, leaned on the top railing of the staircase, listened for a moment to a muffled voice on the other side of the door, and then wandered back into the bedroom. "It's for you," she said, poking the man in the bed.
"Of course it's for me," the man muttered, his face in the pillow. "It's always for me. I'm a right popular person. If it wasn't for me, then this wouldn't be a normal night."
"It's your crazy friend."
"Which one? Last count all my friends were crazy."
"You're talking into the pillow again, sweet thing."
Marekh Hawke lifted his head, raking his black hair back from his forehead. "If that damned mage is out there again..."
"That would be a 'yes'."
"Bloody hell," Hawke grunted. He reached out for the nightstand table, groping for his robe. "All right, Isabela," he said, "where'd you hide it?"
The pirate grinned. "You tell me where my clothes are first."
"Oh you naughty thing," Isabela said, tossing his robe at him. She sauntered out of the room, offering her lover a show.
Hawke rubbed his forehead. "Maker's breath, woman," he muttered, before he wrapped his robe around his upper body, gathered a pair of trousers from the floor, and padded barefoot down the steps. He opened the massive front door to confront a chilly rainstorm, and a soaking wet blonde mage, leaning on his staff.
"Oh," the mage said, "you are here. I was… worried you might not be."
Hawke arched an eyebrow. "The witching hour, as it were," he said dryly, "and you show up because you were 'worried'?"
"I needed to speak with you."
"By all means, let's have it out, right here. Why, pray tell, did you wake me up at this Maker-forsaken hour?"
The mage rubbed his wet hair. "Could I come in? It's wet out here."
"Indeed it is wet. It is also late. I was asleep."
"Yes, yes, I'm well aware how much I interfere with your needs," the mage snapped.
Hawke grinned, but he bared his teeth as he did so. It was not a friendly smile. "Let me guess: oppression this, templars that, and all that your little mad brain can imagine. Again, at this hour of the night. You couldn't have gone to the brothel and paid some little slip of a girl to listen to you talk?"
The mage glared. "Don't joke about this."
"It's all a joke, Anders. If it wasn't a joke, I wouldn't be laughing at it."
"You laugh at everything!"
"I do. Wonder of wonders, and laughter has not drawn me into blood magic, slavery, or any other unsavory mage activities." Hawke folded his arms, still grinning. "So tell me what in the Void you want, or I'll sic the damn dog on you."
Anders paled. "I hate that dog."
"I'm well aware. So is he."
"Oh, Marrrrrrekh…" Isabela called from within the library. "I'm fully naked on the floor in front of the fire, and I await your attentions!"
Hawke grinned at Anders. "And duty calls, my friend," he said.
"You two are so caught up in your petty pleasures that you can't even see what's going on around you," Anders said, shoving his way past Hawke, his wet footprints soaking into the carpet.
"Lovely," Hawke remarked as he closed the door. "Sandal will have a field day cleaning that up."
"You need to start taking this seriously."
"Anders, have you ever known me to not take you seriously?"
"You have never taken me seriously. You don't even listen to me. I tell you a hundred times what they are capable of, and you never listen."
Hawke nodded. "Yes, Anders, because you talk and you talk, but you don't say anything. You tell me what my father spent his entire life telling me, and it was no more enlightening when he talked about the Circle."
"So your father understood."
"No, my father accepted that there was a purpose for all people. Did you know a templar helped him escape? Pretty good man for a templar, I suppose. Gave my brother a good name in the end." Hawke's eyes grew hard. "Then again, I'm sure you'd find a way to blame the templars for Carver's death as well."
Anders held up an accusing finger. "Your brother hated mages."
"My brother hated you," Hawke corrected.
"Your brother despised you," Anders growled.
Hawke's pale gray eyes narrowed. "I killed my brother, Anders. I put that blade in his heart myself. I remember every moment of it. Don't act as though you understood anything about my brother, or me, because you were not there."
"I've been in the Deep Roads," the mage protested.
"I'm sure you have," Hawke said. "I'm sure there are a hundred things you've done that I would envy you for. At this time, however, I hate no patience for you, your paranoia, or your little games. Go away." He opened the door, and gestured into the rainstorm. "Before you do something completely stupid, Anders. Go home."
"What? Something more idiotic than you sleeping with that filth-ridden pirate bitch?" Anders snapped.
Hawke turned at a much older woman's voice from the entry room. Leandra Hawke stood in the doorway, the mabari hound, Puck, beside her, his ears pricked up. Leandra rested a hand on the dog's head, but kept a close eye on her son and the other mage. "Marekh, is something wrong? I heard raised voices."
"Go back to sleep, Mother," Hawke said. "Anders was on his way out."
"Into the rain?"
"For his own good, Mother," Hawke said, glaring at Anders.
"One of these days," Anders said quietly, "you will listen to me. I'm not sure what it will take, but you will hear every word I have to say."
Hawke's lips curled into a menacing smile. "When two grown men can throw fireballs at one another, threats mean very little, wouldn't you say?"
Anders scowled at the other man and stalked out the door.
Hawke closed the door behind him.
"I apologize for waking you, Mother."
"It's… I wasn't really sleeping, dear. The dog and I were reading. I… heard voices." She smiled sadly. "I thought your brother was back."
Hawke pursed his lips, not wanting to discuss the past any longer. Carver was a painful memory that he held close to his heart, and one that he did not discuss with his mother. Leandra had never truly recovered from Bethany's death before her eyes, and Carver's abandonment in the Deep Roads, for that was what it had been, that had broken her heart well beyond repair. Hawke did not think that anything would ever be the same for her again, but he kept his own counsel on the matter.
"I think we'll be up awhile, Mother," he said. "Go to sleep. If the rain's let up tomorrow, we should go talk with that Orlesian dressmaker in the market. I'm sure we can find something you like."
Leandra smiled sadly. "That would be lovely, dear." She patted the dog's head. "Come along, Puck," she said. The mabari followed her back to her room.
Sighing, Hawke leaned against the door, and slowly banged the back of his head into it.
Isabela appeared in the doorway, dressed, but missing her boots. She looked at him, her lips twisted into a frown. "Don't tell me he was asking for money."
"Would that he were."
"Oh, did the big nasty templars hurt his little feelings, again?"
"I'm sure they must have done."
"Poor little thing," Isabela said. She walked forward and tugged on Hawke's hand. "I hate it when you get serious."
"Oh, darling, you know me, I'm never serious." He grinned and lifted her up, her legs wrapped around his waist. She rested her arms on his shoulders.
"Only serious when the right occasion presents itself," she teased.
"That, dear lady, is the only proper occasion when one should be serious."
"Mm!" she said, licking her lips. "I knew there was a reason I liked you."
"What? Not my cutting wit or my dashing good looks?"
"Well," Isabela said, gesturing with her head for him to carry her into another room, "between you, Varric, and Fenris, I am certainly not lacking for good scenery."
"What horrors your mind conjures I will never know."
"Not unless you start using that pesky blood magic," she teased.
"Red really isn't my color," he said. "It clashes with my skin."
"You are as dark as I am, sweet thing," she said.
"Yes, well, it goes without saying that one doesn't ruin perfection. Or is that an Orlesian saying? I can never remember."
"Ooh, Orlais. We should make a trip. I could wear something special for the occasion."
"Would it be a serious occasion?" Hawke inquired.
"Only the most proper serious occasion," Isabela told him. "Now take me into the library, lock the door, and make this a stormy evening to remember."
"I suppose I should just give up on sleep at this rate," he muttered, carrying her into the library.
"Sleep is for the weak, Hawke. Now take that robe off and show me how serious you can be."
"You're doing it again," Varric Tethras said the following evening at the Hanged Man.
"Doing what now?" Marekh Hawke replied innocently.
"Varric's right," Fenris said, his hand casually gripping a glass of whiskey. "You are doing it again."
"What? Am I going gray? What?"
"He's smirking," Varric said to Fenris.
"As if he were trying to hide something," Fenris added.
"Wanna bet how long it lasts?" Varric offered.
"Is your purse that big, Varric?" Fenris countered.
"Ooh! Ooh! Are we betting?" Isabela asked, sitting down at the table. "I love a good gamble. What are we betting on? Who buys the first round if they lose? And who wants to help me pay for a night at the brothel for that mage?"
Fenris arched an eyebrow at Hawke.
Isabela smiled, and lazily draped her arm over Hawke's shoulder. "Oh, no, no, I'm not sharing him with the girls at the brothel, certainly not one-on-many. They'd wear him out too quickly. He needs a woman's touch."
Varric snorted into his beer.
"You, on the other hand, Varric, you might survive the onslaught."
The dwarf raised his hands in surrender. "Isabela, I adore you, but I don't want any part of your schemes."
Isabela leaned forward in her casual yet flaunting fashion, showing off what she considered among her better assets. "Oh, Varric," she cooed, "I've already got Hawke wrapped around my finger, as it were—" Fenris choked on his drink "—and I'm not willing to share yet, that's all."
"And here I thought she cared," Hawke shrugged.
"I was talking about our blue friend when I mentioned a mage, anyway," Isabela said.
Varric looked at Fenris. "Taking bets on how long it takes for him to lecture the girls into celibacy?"
"I would rather he go take a flying leap, but that is my opinion," the elf responded.
"Could we go one night without discussing that idiot and his suicidal tendencies?" Hawke rolled his eyes. "Anyway, you two were going to explain something before our pirate queen showed up. What was it?"
"We were wondering how long this little tango's going to last, that's all," Varric said.
Varric looked at Fenris. He frowned, and then fished in his pocket, before tossing a few coins at Fenris. "Fine. You win."
"What? You were betting against me already?" Hawke sighed. "Varric, I'm wounded."
"The elf said you were attached at the hip. I said she was a womanizer."
"You whore," Hawke said good-naturedly.
"You bastard," Isabela responded, a wide grin on her face. She stood up, leaning her elbows on Hawke's shoulders. He leaned his head back a bit against her chest, and her smile shifted into a decidedly cheeky one. "You were saying?" she said to Varric.
"Womanizer," Varric said. "But… maybe 'equal opportunist' is the better phrase." He looked at Fenris. "I'll raise the bet," he said.
"Not a chance," Fenris said, grinning. "This is far too enjoyable."
"It is a good night when we're not chasing after slips, rogues, and mageling idiots," Hawke said.
"Chosen a side yet, then?" Fenris wanted to know.
"I'm on my own side," Hawke said, and picked up his drink. "So long as you lot keep my back, I figure I'll have it made easy."
"He's too pretty to lock in the Gallows anyway," Isabela said.
"And she'd break me out the moment she got in the mood," Hawke added.
Varric handed Fenris three more coins.
"Andraste's ass," Isabela remarked, "I'd think they had doubts about us, Hawke."
"I think Varric has doubts; Fenris has enough to cover two months' worth of expenses."
The elf raised his glass to Varric in a mock toast. The dwarf made an obscene gesture.
"With friends like you lot," Hawke said, raising his own glass, "may we earn the enemies we make."
"Oh I have no doubt of us doing that," Varric said.
"You do make interesting enemies," Fenris tossed in.
"Where's my damn drink?" Isabela demanded. "You can't bloody toast without a drink." Seconds later, a whiskey was in her hand, and she added hers to the toast. "To worthy adventures, delicious evenings, and all the coin we can spend," she said.
"I'll drink to that one," Varric said.
"Give me a warm fire, good friends, and a happy tomorrow," Hawke toasted.
They all stared at him.
"Had you," Hawke said, grinning. "Let's drink tonight, see tomorrow, and screw the lot of them if they can't handle it."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Varric said, reflecting the human mage's wild grin.
They toasted, and spent the remainder of the evening laughing, gambling, drinking, and reveling in the company of good people in a good place. It was, Hawke though, one of the finest moments in the five years he'd spent in Kirkwall. To enjoy a good evening in the company of good people, it was all he could have asked for.