Author's Note: I finally decided, though it was rolling about in my head for a few days, to write another one-shot set up to take place a couple of days after the setting of What Makes A Hero Tick. I thought it would be a bit of fun to go on and write a bit about the whole Isabela/ Hawke scene (if you romanced Isabela... you lot that are reading this will know what bit in the game I am refering to.) When I received a couple of reviews about wanting a bit more for the story... I thought, 'Why not? Just have a go at it and see what it comes out as.' (As a few might see I have taken the liberty of using a few of the words from the scene itself... but of course our lovely friends at Bioware own all those words you recognise, not me. Unfortunately.) Also, this one-shot is after Isabela has received her ship... so we can say that there has been at least a few weeks that has spanned between the two one-shots. And so here is the final product of it...
Isabela sits by the fireplace in the Hanged Man, looking nervously around the tavern. 'Andraste's arse, this was a bad idea.' She picks up the tankard in front of her and downs the contents held within. 'Bugger it all! Why in bloody hell did I decide to be sober for this?' She thinks to herself with a grimace as she realises that the mug had contained water instead of her normal ale.
Trying to steady her nerves, the pirate queen thinks about the past several years to try and figure out when exactly she had fell in love with the eldest Hawke. A smile crosses her face as she thinks about the time when she and Hawke had just begun their trysts.
"That was..." Isabela laughs softly before turning around to face a still barely clothed Marian. "Thank you. I should go. I wouldn't want to take advantage of your... hospitality." The pirate turns to face the door, away from Hawke's eager gaze.
"I like it when you take advantage of my hospitality." The Hightown rogue quips as she sits up in bed still staring at the back of Isabela.
"It was fun, wasn't it? Well, you know, if you ever want to do it again..." Isabela freezes her actions when she realised what she had said. She had never been this forward before with wanting to do anything with anyone again. It just happened... but, more often than not she never ever went to bed with anyone more than once. No matter how sufficient a lover they were. "Wait. You're not thinking about bringing 'feelings' into this, are you?" She turns around and sees the slight grimace on Marian's face, making her feel guilty for even coming to Hightown in the first place.
"What about love?" Hawke asks with a look that even Merrill couldn't out do.
Steeling herself for the words she was about to utter, the pirate started to hate herself even more for even thinking such a comeback. "Love isn't for everyone. It's not for me. It's just... messy."
Isabela is shaken from her musings by footsteps reverberating off the dusty wooden floor of the tavern. Looking up, a small smile falls easily to the pirate's lips as she sees Marian sitting down in the other chair at the table built only for two. But the smile is short lived when she realises the reason she had asked Hawke to join her in the first place. "You... You're here. Good." The swashbuckler stumbles with her words and seriously regrets ever deciding to do this sober. "I... wanted to talk to you."
"So when do I get the grand tour?" Hawke says with a smile when her eyes lock on Isabela's.
The pirate smiles slightly, "Haven't you already... Oh. You mean my ship. It isn't fit to be seen. Castillon had an obsession with mustard coloured satin. Anyway... I am glad you're here. Saves me the trouble for having to go look for you."
"Well, you did leave a note with Bodahn for me to meet you here. Which I don't understand... you stay here in a room on the second level. So, that means you left from here, came to my house, left a message, then came back here, and waited for me to meet you." Hawke states with a slight smirk on her face that causes Isabela to really wish she had decided to have a round or three before the rogue got there.
Steeling herself to continue on with the reason she had asked Hawke to meet her there in the first place, the pirate leans her elbows on the table and stares at her hands not at the beautiful rogue that she has realised she had fallen head over heels for. "I... wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me. I'm glad you walked in here all those years ago."
"I was drawn in by the intoxicating aroma of stale piss and vomit." Marian quips, hoping that her joke would help the pirate out of her unnaturally somber mood. Hawke had noticed that Isabela had been not quite herself when she had entered the tavern, but really hoped that her witty remarks would make the slightly older woman laugh more.
It worked. The swashbuckler laughs for a moment, but quickly turns back serious. "Now that I have my ship, I will need a new crew. And I'd like to have someone like you on board. Someone I can really trust... who has my back. No matter what happens."
Marian's heart soars upon hearing Isabela say those words, even though she knows the pirate probably doesn't mean it the way she had taken it. It was something that the rogue had long to hear from the beautiful Rivaini pirate for the longest. "Exploring the world and getting away from all this... I'm game."
"It'll be you and me chasing that horizon. I can't think of any place I'd rather be." 'Bloody hell, Isabela! Why not just throw yourself at her feet and bare your bloody soul to her as well!' The pirate thinks to herself as she realises how much she had let slip... and all that without a bloody drink. She knew she needed to tell Hawke how she felt, especially after what she and Merrill had discussed a few weeks before. Isabela had felt the need to express her feelings towards the rogue before the little elf decided to tell Hawke for her. But with everything that had happened between the mages and the templars and also the fact that they had a run-in with Castillon, Isabela did not have the time to be alone with the other woman... until now. "I... I'm sorry. I don't know what's come over me." 'Yes, I do... I'm in love with you!' Isabela's mind screams at her for trying to back-pedal out of the situation she had put herself in. Sure, quick witty banter while fighting was one thing... but, truly expressing herself was quite another and if Isabela could wish for one or the other. She would rather be in the former situation.
"What's going through your mind." Hawke says as she feels realisation slowly creeping up in the back of her mind. 'Has Isabela changed her mind about love?' Marian thinks to herself, but is too afraid to ask the pirate.
It was now or never for Isabela to truly say what she has been feeling for the past several years. It was one thing that she had never truly had to deal with before she had met Hawke all those years ago, and she had gotten quite used to the whole 'ravish them and leave them' act she had been doing before she had met the younger rogue. It had all changed that first night they had slept together. Never before had Isabela met someone quite like Marian, as a lover the rogue was quite skilled and very, very attentive. Always finding ways to take Isabela to the next level of bliss without even needing a bit of guidance. Even outside of the bedroom, the pirate noticed how observant Marian had been... not only to her needs but the needs of others. She was without a doubt, the most selfless person the swashbuckler had ever met and that is what made her fall for Hawke even more. It slowly crept into her heart and before she could do anything about it, the love for that one person had held her heart captive and Isabela couldn't do a damned thing about it... except tell Hawke. "I think I... I think I'm falling for you... just tell me Hawke... if I have a chance with you?"
There, it was out in the open. The dread that had been growing in the pit of her stomach, since deciding to proclaim her love, had been lifted only momentarily before it was replaced by an even bigger fear of rejection to her declaration. Waiting for Hawke's reply, made the pain travel further up from the pit of her stomach to her chest; almost causing the pirate to cry before even hearing what the rogue would say in response.
The wait for a reply wasn't as long as Isabela had felt it was. Hawke was momentarily silenced by the confession she had longed to hear, but seeing the hurt look on the pirate's face brought the words spilling forth from her mouth like a wellspring. "Promise you won't run off and break my heart?"
A smile slowly appears across Isabela's face. "I won't if you don't give me a reason to."
The intense, loving stare that Hawke gives to Isabela almost proves too much. The swashbuckler quickly stands up from her seat and faces the fireplace as she feels the tears well up behind her eyes. She had been so scared to love anyone, too afraid to let anyone near her... that she almost lost her chance at true happiness. It all was too much for her to bear. As she stood with her back towards Hawke, she could feel Hawke's presence behind her. The pirate smiles softly to herself when she feels Marian lightly touch her back. She turns quickly and wraps her arms around the Hightown rogue and kisses her passionately, unafraid of who saw them.
Hawke ended the kiss and whispered softly in Isabela's ear. "See, I told you that you could do love."