Look, I'm telling ya, there's somethin' movin' and it ain't us! "You know, I'm not a fan of darkspawn," Anders says. "Too creepy and crawly. Especially those bug-like ones."
"If you like darkspawn, you're doing it wrong" Sigrun says, crouching down and looking over the ledge they're all standing on. "That's a lot of darkspawn."
Kiva steps beside her and looks over the ledge as well. "I could throw some acid flasks at them. Ooo, or those new explosives! I've been wanting to try them out."
"And then the rest of them would know where we are and come up here to eat us. Getting eaten isn't fun." Anders pauses in thought. "Unless it's the right sort of being -"
"You can stop talking anytime now," Sigrun tells him. "Any time."
"Yes, please stop talking. You'll alert all the darkspawn to our presence simply by being ridiculous."
Anders sets a hand to his chest. "You wound me, Nathaniel!"
"Ssssh. Hey, Howe. I have an idea."
"Is it better than your last idea, Tabris?" The archer crouches beside her, and now everyone but Anders is looking down at the darkspawn.
"It's a wonderfully rogue-y idea," she tells him with a smile that is entirely too innocent. "Sigrun could even help."
"What about me?" the mage asks, pouting.
"You can stay here and play with your cat."
Dancing Lessons"I really don't think I need to learn this," Kiva says, standing stiffly, uncomfortable out of her armour. "I mean, I can just stand to the side! And not be on the dance floor."
"You haven't been to that many noble parties before, have you," Nathaniel says and she narrows her eyes.
"Is there a reason I should have gone to them, Howe?" she asks, voice deceptively sweet.
"Just let me teach you how to dance, Tabris."
She wrinkles up her nose and juts her jaw forward, quite unhappy with this entire thing - it's not as though she wants to go to some ball put on by King Alistair and Queen Anora - but she allows Nathaniel to take her by the hand. Still, she jumps when he sets a hand to her waist.
"What are you doing?"
"This is now you dance," he says. "There's an actual form to it. You can't just cavort aimlessly around on the floor."
"It's more fun that way."
"Yes." She stumbles as he tries to lead her through the steps. "You're a terrible teacher."
"You're a terrible student. Come on, let's try this again."
I guess things are different nowFerelden smells like wet dog.
She had always thought that was just an exaggeration, that all the cities and villages and houses smelled of dog, but, apparently, it's true. At the very least, this city smells like wet dog. Possibly because it is a port city and every other person seems to own one.
At the very least she's off the ship and no longer has to get seasick every five minutes.
Still, this is definitely not Kirkwall.
She is struck by a sudden sense of regret, of worry, of apprehension. Now that she's standing on foreign soil, it seems so much more real. She's run away from home with anapostate.
Malcolm is at her side, hand slipped into her, and he must see some of her worry on her face. He squeezes her hand lightly, reassuringly. "Are you all right, love?"
Leandra smiles just a bit. "I will be."
She should amend that last part. She's run way from home with an apostate who she loves.
Then I take the leapShe knows that it's him the moment she sees him, even with the silly mask that he wears. He's good at blending in, but his clothes are a shade less rich than everyone else at the masquerade. Plus, he's got that stupid ponytail and facial hair that he thinks makes him look dashing.
It does, but that's not the point.
Leandra grabs his hand and drags him behind one of the pillars in the room as quickly as she can. "What are you doing here? Everyone is looking for you!"
She can barely see his eyes behind his mask, but he seems to be giving her an incredibly soft, sweet look. "I had to see you again."
She gives a little shake of her head. "Ser Carver has already asked me about you. Twice! They're going to find you!"
"I couldn't leave without seeing you," he says, and her breath catches.
"You're leaving?" He nods, and her heart lurches painfully. It makes sense, he cannot stay in Kirkwall, but still...
She's thought about this before, back when she first realized that she was in love with an apostate, and so it's not too hard to make the decision now. "I'm going with you."
His eyes go wide. "Leandra, you can't!"
But she is determined, steps close to him, hand tangled in his. "I can. And I want to. Come one, we have to go. Now. I can slip away from the party and we can be out of Kirkwall tonight."
He is still for one long moment, before he leans down and kisses her gently, their masks clicking against one another.
"I love you," he tells her.
Number one sonBethany got all of mother's beauty, Ismat got all of father's charm. They both got his magic.
And he got...what? Nothing. Nothing at all, save for his father's eyes.
He's the son that they didn't need, the useless, angry, stupid one.
But then Ismat hands him a stack of letters and tells him to read them, and they are to a man named Carver - a Templar named Carver - and they are from his father.
He doesn't understand.
He speaks to his mother, later, asks her. And Leandra is at first surprised, then she smiles.
"Ser Carver was a good man," she tells him. "A very good man. He helped us escape Kirkwall. Chased your father everywhere before that, but when it came down to it, he helped us rather than bringing him in to the Gallows." And she looks at him and smiles very softly, eyes touch by sadness. "You're a lot like him, you know."
"Like a Templar?" he asks, and that word is such a terrible one in this family that it tastes bitter on his tongue.
Leandra shakes her head. "No. Like a man who was your father's best friend." And she pauses, touches her son's shoulder. "Your father would be proud of you, Carver. Whatever you choose, he would be proud."
That's Physically Impossible!"I shit you not, Rivainni. She beat him to death with his own skull."
Isabela looks at him skeptically. "That doesn't seem physically possible."
Varric leans back in his chair, propping his feet on the table. "That's what he kept saying! But that's what happened."
Isabela gives an ungainly snort of laughter. "Right. And you said my friend-fic had too many unbelievable situations. Hey, Hawke!" She turns in her seat, calling to the woman who's at the bar, talking with someone or another. "You really beat a guy to death with his own skull?"
"Oh, yes!" she calls back. "All the time."
"See?" says Varric, grinning. "Even Hawke is backing me up on this one."
"I'm a healer, Hawke, not a...""Just...be a little taller? I can almost reach it!"
Anders sighs and adjusts his hold on Hawke's feet. "Hawke, I'm a healer, not a plant. I can't just grow because you want me to."
"Plants grow because I want them to?"
If his hands were free and she weren't perched precariously on his shoulders, he would have poked her.
"You know what I meant."
"I've almost got it!" She strains upward and her fingers catch the ledge above them.
"You're going to fall."
You know what this calls for? Ice cream.The first time her heart is broken, she is five years old. She's had a crush on the butcher's son for ages (two weeks), only to find out that he liked the dressmaker's daughter.
She hides up in a tree after she finds out, terribly unhappy and wishing that she could set the other girl on fire.
And that's where her father finds her.
"Sweetheart, what are you doing up there?" Malcolm asks, one arm looped over a branch, pulling himself half into the tree. She explains in a rush of tear choked words, and when she's done her father has a very serious look on his face.
"I know what we need to do," he declares. "We need cookies. Lots of cookies."
She sniffles. "Daddy, cookies won't help."
"Cookies always help," he tells her. "Come on, lets get you out of this tree."
She climbs down slowly, and once she's on the ground Malcolm picks her up swings her up onto his shoulders. This, at least, makes her smile.
It's just a cobweb, stop being a weenie. "It's got me! Get it off, get it off!"
Carver stops in his track and stares as the Warden Commander of Ferelden jumps and flails around, shaking her arm about like something deadly has caught hold of it.
"It's just a cobweb," he says.
"Just a cobweb? Have you seen the spiders down here?" Kiva pauses in her flailing, holding out her arm and showing the strands of spider silk caught around it. "This means that we're probably going to get chewed on. By spiders. Giant spiders."
"It's still just a cobweb."
"This from the boy who's afraid of anything snake-shaped." Sigrun grins and elbows him as she picks cobswebs from her own armour.
"I sort of hate you," Carver tells her. Which is possibly the lamest retort he has ever used.
"Ooo, my soul is hurt. Look at how hurt it is. I'm hated by Carver! Woe is me!"
"You know that there are spiders crawling down the tunnel now, right?" Nathaniel asks them. "Big, giant spiders? That will probably chew on your face?"
Kiva glares at him. "I will stab you in the foot, Howe."
"I'd like to see you try, Tabris."
"Nate, stop flirting with the Commander and shoot the damned spiders," Sigrun says. "I'd prefer not being chewed on today."
Reunion"So...you don't want to see you sister."
Carver groans, because, apparently, they're having this conversation again. He really wishes that he'd never mentioned having a sister to any of them. "Sigrun, bad things happen when brothers and sisters reunite. Terrible, horrible, really bad things."
"I don't know," Sigrun says, still looking at him skeptically. "It didn't got that bad for Nate. Granted, he kind of made an ass out of himself by assuming a bunch of stuff -"
"I'm standing right here, you know. I can hear you."
"Look, I don't get on so well with my sister," Carver says, ignoring Nathaniel. "As in, really not well."
"Maybe you'll get along better now. It's been a long time since you've seen her."
"Right. I'm sure that will have fixed everything."
Sigrun elbows him in the ribs. "Stop being sarcastic."
"Stop being so optimistic!"
"Can't do that," she says cheerily. "Physically impossible. And if I stopped smiling, it would be like Nate here stopped brooding. Very weird."
"I can still here you, Sigrun."
Litter of Mabari pupsLeandra comes home one day to find Malcolm and Ismat sitting on the floor, playing with a puppy.
"Oh, Malcolm," she says, giving an exasperated sigh, because she knows this is his fault. Sure enough, he looks up guiltily.
"Hi, love," he says. "How was your day? Fantastic, I hope. It stopped raining, at least."
Leandra just looks at him.
"We had a good day," he continues, and she knows that the longer she stares at him, the more he'll keep rambling. "Did you know, there was a litter of mabari puppies on the side of the road! They were adorable and Ismat just got the cutest look on her face when she saw them. And this one followed us home! We didn't have the heart to send it back."
"I'll take good care of him, mom!" Ismat says, looking up hopefully. On the ground, the puppy wriggles around and yips. "Please, can we keep him?"
They are both giving her that hopeful - dare she say it? - puppy dog look.
Ismat squeals in happiness, and Malcolm rises to his feet, pressing a kiss to her cheek.
"You're amazing, love."
"And you're cleaning up after any messes that puppy leaves."
"It's only a flesh wound""I'm not going to die, Kiva. Stop fretting."
The elf glares at her, the sort of glare that actually make people listen to her on occasion. "Sigrun, you're bleeding all over the ground and we don't have a healer. I think I'm allowed to fret."
"I have bandages!" Carver has finally managed to get his pack open, pulling them out and passing them to the Warden Commander.
"Besides," Sigrun says, coughing a bit, more humor in her voice than she feels, "I'm already dead. I can't die again."
"That's not funny," Kiva tells her. "Nathaniel, tell her that's not funny."
The archer does not look up from where he is applying pressure to the wound in Sigruns side. "I don't think this is the best time for joking."
"It's always a good time for joking," Sigrun says, letting her head drop back against the ground. "I wish Anders was here."
"So do I," says Kiva. "The stupid man would have you fixed in a moment, and he'd joke while doing it." She pauses. "You're going to be fine, Sigrun."
"I hope so. Dying again would just be overkill."
Warden, Champion. Champion, Warden"So you're the cousin Anders kept telling me I had," Ismat Hawke says, looking over the man standing before her. He's tall and dark, with braided black hair and the hooked Amell nose.
He kind of looks like he could be her brother. Though, not like Carver. Like if she had a different brother that was non-Carver shaped.
"Na'im Amell," he says. "So you're my cousin no one has told me anything about."
There's a long, awkward silence.
"So," he says, shifting slightly from foot to foot, and Ismat tries to ignore the fact that he wears the most terribly, hideously distracting robes she's ever seen. "You're an apostate who ran off with an apostate?"
She laughs a little at that. "Yup. And you're an apostate who ran off with an apostate? You know, we could practically be twins!"
"Or the same person," he says. They both pause. "That's just weird. Forget I said that."