What Would Mother Say part 2
Isabela fidgeted nervously, it was funny she could take on the biggest burliest thug on the streets of Llomerryn without batting an eyelash, but this woman…this woman frightened her, why?
Maybe because it was Hawke's Mother.
She was expecting it to start any minute, the angry rant: The "Stay away from my son you pirate hag." It is what she expected from such a refined noble woman. Isabela had never kidded herself, she knew what she was, and never made any excuses for it. She was ready for whatever Hawke's mother had to say to her.
"Honey or milk in your tea dear," Lady Amell asked her.
"Honey…please," she replied.
Had she actually said please, Maker what was wrong with her?
Okay she had not been prepared for that.
Leandra was not acting as she would have expected, most noble women would have roused a servant expect him or her to prepare her morning tea, but here was this fine noble lady preparing tea for the both of them. It was…surprising.
"I'm so glad I'm able to meet you at last my dear," Leandra said warmly, handing her a cup of tea, "Garrett speaks very highly of you as you may well know?"
Really? She had not expected that. She knew that Hawke valued her skills on both the battlefield and the bedroom, but the thought that he respected her…well that was just; well to be honest she was not sure what it truly was.
It is because he truly does not know you. A nagging little voice in the back of her mind said, if he knew why you were here in Kirkwall. If he knew what happened between you and the Qunari he wouldn't be so respectful.
"Your son is a good man my lady," she said respectfully, speaking this way without her usually bravado was hard, "he is perhaps a little too good for someone such as me, but…"
"Nonsense," Leandra cut her off, "Garrett is many things dear, not all of them good, but he tries to be a good man and a good judge of character, much as his father was."
Isabela had to admit, Hawke did not talk about his father much. She knew the man was an apostate, much as Hawke himself was, but little more than that."
"Was your husband like Hawke…Garrett I mean?"
Leandra smiled fondly.
"Malcolm was a fine man, he was not the kind of man my parents would have chosen, but I loved him deeply."
Isabela cringed slightly; there it was the dreaded L-word. She had tried to avoid it, but it had started to come up more and more frequently lately. She could no longer deny that she had changed much in the last few months. The random trysts she enjoyed had become fewer and farther between. When she wanted companionship she would find herself hoping that Hawke would show up, eager for him to whisk her away on some new adventure. These adventures were exciting, but more and more she found herself wanting to go on them because Hawke had asked her to, not because it brought her gold or giggles.
I can't fall in love; an angry voice snarled inside of her, I won't surrender my freedom again, I won't!
She glanced up at Leandra; Lady Amell had just a hint of a smile on her face. The pirate's eyebrow went up, questioning what was so amusing.
"It is funny you know," Leandra said wistfully, "thirty years ago I sat in that very chair your sitting in right now, my Mother sitting across from me. She had caught me sneaking home after I had spent the night with Malcolm. She was not pleased with me."
Isabela giggled, it was hard to imagine the proper noble lady sitting before her as a rebellious young girl getting caught on a walk of shame. Not that Isabela was ashamed that she had been with Hawke, oh no, she was just sorry for getting herself caught.
"I can still hear her voice, even after all these years," the Lady sighed, "He is no good for you Leandra. You have a betrothed for Maker's sake. You should remain loyal to him."
"Which you didn't," Isabela smirked.
"No, I did not," Leandra admitted, "what my parents could never understand was that I loved Malcolm, it had nothing to do with a title, wealth, or even the fact that he was an apostate. I loved him, the man he was. I wanted nothing more or less,"
A cloud of sadness passed over the noble woman's face as she drank the last of her tea. She rose placing the empty tea cup off to the side where it could be washed later. Isabela wondered if she should take this moment to leave, the last thing she wanted was to see Hawke's mother cry.
"I want the best for my son my dear," Leandra said sadly, "much as my parents wanted for me, but unlike them I know that what I want and what he can have are two different things. As an apostate he will never be able to find a proper noble girl and settle down. The Templars would never allow that, not to mention the fact that no noble family would marry into ours for fear of the magic in our blood."
A surge of anger pulsed through Isabela's heart; she understood where the Lady was coming from. Hawke would never truly be accepted into their world because he was a mage.
But does that mean he would be better off in mine?
The pirate had no answers.
"He is all I have left dear," Leandra said bowing her head, "My Bethany walks with the Maker now, and my poor Carver is Grey Warden doing Maker knows what. I would like my son to find some kind of happiness."
Isabela did not think she was the woman to give Hawke that kind of happiness. Not with the Qunari and Castillon breathing down her neck. Perhaps it was time to trust Hawke with this, he could help, he could…
No deal with it yourself, you're not some whimpering damsel in distress damn it!
She could not tell Hawke the truth, she just couldn't.
Leandra still wouldn't face her. Despite her misgivings, Isabela rose; she nervously placed a warm hand on the woman's shoulder.
Leandra turned a hopeful smile on her face.
"I won't hurt your son Mistress," she said, "I can't and never would."
It was a lie she knew, but it was a lie the woman needed to hear. Perhaps it would be better if she just left Kirkwall, took her chances with Castillon.
It would be better for Hawke she knew, but it would hurt him…
And that was one thing she did not think she could bear.
They returned to their chairs at the kitchen table, Isabela prepared a second cup of tea for them both, and they sat together quietly for a time.
Twenty minutes late,r Hawke entered the room to see his Mother and Isabela having a quiet cup of tea.
"Morning love," Leandra said to her son.
"Morning Mother," the apostate replied, "Isabela."
"Hawke," she smirked.
The look on the apostates face was priceless she thought. Here she was having tea with his mother, he clearly couldn't decide if he should be relieved of concerned.
The thought made Isabela smile.
"Thanks for the tea Mistress," she said rising with a small curtsey, "See you at the Hanged Man Later Hawke?"
The apostate nodded.
Feeling a little more secure since her talk with Leandra, the pirate popped up on her toes and gave Hawke a quick kiss on the lips. It was the first time she had displayed any affection for him outside of the bedroom. He was a little shocked.
"Later handsome," she purred as she made for the door.
Hawke tried to forgo his usual ritual of staring at her behind as she sauntered lazily out of the door, swaying her hips, after all his mother was present.
Rubbing the bridge of his nose he poured himself a cup of tea.
Maker help me he thought, that was awkward.
"She is a nice girl love," Leandra said placing her hand on her son's, "You should have brought her home sooner."
Hawke was a little flabbergasted, Mother liked Isabela, he never would have thought that that was possible…
But he found himself pleased that it was.
He would find some way to help Isabela. He would help her find this relic of hers and get out from under this Castillon's thumb. After that, well who could say?
One day perhaps Isabela would not have to sneak out in the wee hours of the morning, maybe she would stay, perhaps one day she would learn that she was worthy of staying.
Author's note: So what did you think, not as funny as I would have liked, but the story took me where it wanted to go.