A.N. So I had this one shot dancing in my head for awhile, and thought, why not? So here… we… go…!

Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Age 2 or any of the characters therin. I'm just playing with Bethesda's toys while they're working on Inquisition :D

The Hanged Man was ripe with the voices, shouts and scents of every drunkard in lowtown tonight. Varric wasn't overly positive what the occasion was, but guessing from the ragged and vomit-stained 'good clothes' he assumed it was a wedding.

"Eyes off the bride, Varric, lest you catch her attention and rob her husband of his new bride." Varric chuckled as Isabella slid provocatively into the chair next to him, her eyes on one of the men in the crowd. "I believe there may be more of a risk of you robbing the bride of her new husband, Rivani. The looks you're giving him would make even Bianca jealous." Isabella turns said wicked gaze onto the paragon of manliness himself.

"But how can I not, Varric? He's a pinnacle of manliness, second only to you of course." "Of course." "Although that one in the red tunic keeps giving me eyes…" Varric tilted his head to see which one she meant.

"All the men are wearing red Rivani, in case you've failed to notice." "Exactly." She said, winking saucily at the chuckling dwarf. Hawke took that opportunity to slide into the seat on the other side of Varric, the female mage looking harried.

"I think about 5 of those men pinched my ass on the way in." She scowled, blowing a tuft of her silver hair out of her face. Varric was forced to shove down a possessive burn of outrage and give Hawke lecherous grin.

"We could always sic Rivani on them." Hawke smiled almost grimly. "I don't think a bum-pinching deserves a trip to Anders." She murmured to Varric, causing the dwarf to chuckle into his pint of the piss Coriff calls ale.

"I heard that." Isabella glared at the two of them before getting up with a huff.

"Anyways, I think I'll try my luck with that one with the dark hair. He's been giving me eyes since he walked in. Later Hawke, Varric." She said, winking and waving as she walked away.

"Don't they all have dark hair?" Hawke murmured to Varric. "Exactly." Was Varric's response, much to Hawke's amusement.

They watched the party for a bit, drinking and sharing tales, before the brawl began. "Here we go…" Hawke murmured before shifting her staff so it was more easily accessible, Varric doing the same with Bianca.

"Do we even want to bother with them this time, Hawke? Remember last time?" Hawke grinned at the dwarf, the old mischief that had died with her brother in the Deep Roads back for a moment.

"Oh come on Varric, it took them WEEKS to defrost the guy – and he never tried anything again!" "I know!" Varric chucked, "But it cost me an arm and a leg to keep that from going to the Templars." Hawke flinched and instantly the mischief was gone. Cursing internally, Varric stood and grabbed Hawke's arm.

"Come on, let's go up to my room. There's something I want to give you anyways." Curious, and suddenly unwilling to fight, Hawke weaved through brawls, around vomit and broken bottles, and followed Varric up the stairs.

Safely in his room, Hawke sat on the corner of his table, the only thing tall enough for her to rest against temporarily. It was a piece of work trying to get in and out of those chairs, so she only really bothered with it when she intended to stay there for awhile. Varric, in the meantime, had disappeared into his room a moment, before returning with a book in his hands. He passed it to Hawke, grinning. She met his eyes a moment, confused, before looking down and reading the title.

"Mystical Stone." She read aloud, her grin large and infectious. "First addition." Varric added, sinking into a chair, also grinning. His fingers steepled as he looked at Hawke, grinning and sitting on his table. Maker she was beautiful… long legged, toned, and perfectly proportioned. Her hair cascaded down her back like a silver river, pooling on the table slightly, her vibrant blue eyes scanning the first page of the book eagerly.

"You actually finished it! Between selling all the junk from the Deep Roads and the trip itself, I wasn't sure if you would anytime soon." Varric moved a hand to his chest, a mock hurt look crossing his features.

"Hawke, I'm hurt! I'm a story teller first and an adventurer second!" Her eyes glanced at him even as her smile turned into a smirk. "So you couldn't escape as many merchant meetings as you wanted, huh?" Varric's sheepish grin made her chuckle.

"They're like hounds Hawk, I'm telling you! They could sniff me out through anything – including the Hanged Man's aromatic perfume!" "I wouldn't call this stink 'aromatic', Varric." She teased before closing the book with a gentle 'snap'.

"At least now I've got something to hide behind. Mother's been insistent I go out and find a fiancé." Hawke shook her head, not noticing Varric flinch as his gut twisted. She looked back to him and already his features were smoothed out into a mask of amusement.

"Nobody on the market catch your eye Hawke?" The mage's eyes glittered as she winked at him. "Sadly the only one I want is the paragon of manliness, stolen away from my tender embrace by a mysterious woman who he named his crossbow after." Varric's breath caught in his chest a moment before he chuckled.

"Now Hawke, while I know there is no other man or dwarf quite as magnificent as I, there must be someone who's got your eye." Hawke's grin was teasing, though there was something in her eyes he couldn't quite place.

"Nary a one. But no matter, I have a book to keep me company now. So adieu, good dwarf, I shall come a-calling when I have an adventure for us to share." She teased, the darkness still in her eyes when she left.