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In case you missed it, I started playing Dragon Age 2, and to the surprise of absolutely no one I have a lot of feelings about f!Hawke and Isabela. And (also to the surprise of no one) the longer thing I’m writing is full of awful, so I wanted a counterpoint.

Early Act 2-ish, after they get together but before the stuff with Leandra. And if I could write sex there would be some but I can’t so you’ll just have to use your imagination.



It’s strange, getting dragged into do-gooding by a reckless shit with an overdeveloped conscience. Stranger still to be looking forward to her showing up, sauntering over to the bar and asking if I’d come along on her latest hairbrained scheme.

It was more fun when she was just Hawke, slumming around Lowtown like the rest of us. Hawke the… whatever she is, nobody seems quite sure but the Viscount calls her up to fix his problems so whatever fancy words you want to use, she’s important somehow and everybody knows it. Anyway, that Hawke takes the responsibility she never really asked for entirely too seriously.

She jokes about it, sure, but it’s the kind of joke you don’t get too close to, because it’s hiding knives.

Which is probably why I couldn’t talk myself out of… this, whatever this is (and speaking of phrases hiding knives). Showing up at her house, hauling her up to bed, dismantling all that cool efficiency until smart-mouth Hawke is reduced to — certainly not silence. Incoherence.

This time though, it was Hawke who found me. Well. Nearly. Came to the Hanged Man anyway, was leaning back against the bar, looking around and drinking and generally looking like shit. I mean, it’s not like the Hanged Man is a classy place, but even still people usually wash off the blood at least, before coming in.

Hawke hadn’t bothered, just stood there glaring around the room, brow furrowed, tossing back her drink without a wince. At which point I thought I’d better see what she was up to, in case all hell was about to break loose right here in the bar. Maker knows it happens often enough, and nobody else was around to watch her back.

She caught the motion from the corner of her eye as I came down the stairs toward her, and her head whipped around to look, hands coming up ready to grab for a weapon. And then she saw it was me and relaxed, and that’s the kind of trust that gets people in trouble.

“There you are,” she said, trying for something light and joking and not coming close. She turned toward the bar just long enough to wave at the bartender for more drinks, then it was back out at the room.

“Expecting trouble?” I asked.

She shrugged, handed me a glass, downed hers and slid the glass back across the bar. “Only as much as usual,” she said, and the edge wasn’t hidden there.

“Ah,” I said, edging closer. She stiffened, then relaxed as I slid my arm around her waist. “I’ll keep my eyes out then,” I said.

She gave me a crooked, weak smile, but stayed quiet.

Two drinks later she finally spat it out. “Anders almost killed someone,” she started. “Not— a mage, a kid really, girl we were supposed to be rescuing. That fucking demon thing took over, I was afraid I’d have to kill him.”

“Well that’s hardly surprising,” I said. “He’s mad, what do you expect.”

Hawke shrugged, still staring through the back wall. “He ran off.”

“Probably for the best.”

“I should go talk to him.” She looked at me, sighed. “But I hate dealing with all that, and I didn’t want to go home and frighten Mother again so I came here.”

Well, that answered the question of why she was telling me any of this. Because Maker knows I don’t give a damn what the crazy mage boy does.

I looked around. If she wanted relaxing, this wasn’t really the place. Every time someone moved, stood up, waved too broadly she tensed. Hawke’s had too much fighting and not enough rest, that’ll leave anyone jumpy. But dammit, I cared enough that it bothered me.

“Come on,” I said, jostling her a little. “Get the bartender to sell you the bottle and bring it to my room. I’ll get someone to bring up a bath, too, because you need one.”

She rolled her eyes, but she waved for the bartender again, while I ducked out to find a kitchen girl to bring the hot water.

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