I guess that's why we get along so well. We're both just a couple of lovers. "Well, you've finally stopped chasing me. I'd say that's a good sign." Malcolm crosses his arms and leans back against the wall. "I guess you're getting old."
Ser Carver just scowls at him. "I'm doing something nice for you, you bloody idiot."
"Yes, because chasing me all over Kirkwall waving that giant sword of yours around is nice."
"It wasn't all over Kirkwall. Just the back alleys."
"Oh, just the back alleys. Should we do the docks next time? How about Hightown?"
"I hear the Wounded Coast is nice this time of year," the Templar says. "Either way, it's not like anyone knows what you look like, with that stupid mask you wear all the time."
"It makes me look mysterious."
"Like an idiot, you mean."
Malcolm shrugs. "That, too. You know, Maurevar -"
"Don't call me that, please. I don't know what my parents were thinking when they named me that."
"You know, Carver," Malcolm corrects, grinning, "it's a good thing we get along so well."
"I'm just honoring a debt. Don't think too much of it."
"Ah, you're just a softie."
"...I seriously hate you."
"So, I have a Templar friend who hates me? I feel so special!"
Malcolm should probably know better than to sass a Templar. But, really, who wouldn't, given the chance?
You're not keeping that as a pet!"You can't have that. It's a stupid idea. Sigrun, you're supposed to tell her that this 'reeks of stupid'."
"It reeks of adorable, that's what it is," Sigrun says, which makes no sense, because she's a dwarf. She should know that deepstalkers are trouble!
But no, she and Kiva are crouched down on the ground beside a newly hatched deepstalker, and they are positively cooing over it.
It's the sort of thing to make Nathaniel's perpetual headache even worse.
"Worst. Idea. Ever," he says, each word harshly punctuated to try to get the point across. "Besides, what if you take it back to the Keep and it goes after Ser Pounce?"
"Well, then Anders would have to come back to defend his cat," Kiva says, and there is some venom underlying her words. Nathaniel knows that she's still pissed off over the whole situation.
"But he'd be angry that we even let a deepstalker near Pounce."
"Anders if funny when he's angry," Sigrun says. "I think we could risk it."
Nathaniel throws his hands up in the air. "Why do I even try?"
"Because you're sweet," Kiva says. "Now, what do we feed a deepstalker?"
"I swear, the dragon was right here!" "You lost it? How could you lose a dragon? It was right here!"
"In our defense, it was a very tiny dragon," Carver says, though he knows that's not quite enough to cut it this time. It's not every day that you manage to lose a dragon in the Keep. "And, to be fair, it's not actually a dragon. It's a deepstalker. There's a difference."
Garavel, though, looks about like his head is about to explode. "The Commander is going to kill someone. I just know it."
"Oh, she won't kill anyone." Sigrun stands there, arms crossed, looking very serious. It's a bit disturbing. "Maybe maim them. And that's if we don't find the dragon before she gets back."
"Is this all going to get blamed on me?" Carver asks, looking to the elven woman at his side. "It's all going to get blamed on me, isn't it."
"It is your fault."
"It isn't all my fault, Velanna."
"If you'd remembered to lock the cage after feeding it -"
"Both of you, shut up." Sigrun crosses her arms over her chest, and Carver is reminded that she is technically the Senior Warden whenever Nathaniel and the Commander are gone. "You're going to search the Keep until you find it. Both of you. And, if it's eaten Ser Pounce...well, just hope that hasn't happened."
Holy crap, WHO IS RUNNING THIS ARMY? Something that he never expected to happen has happened: Carver agrees with Anders on something.
That something, namely, being that dalish women are crazy.
Or, rather, that female elves are crazy. Completely and utterly insane.
Merrill had been cute, at least. Adorable, even, but the whole blood magic think just reeked of stupid, as Sigrun would say.
But now he's met a lot more elvish women and it seems like they are all equal parts crazy and terrifying.
There's Velanna, who he does get along with at all, who can apparently command trees to eat people. He hasn't seen that yet (though there are stories that Oghren and Sigrun have told him, and he can completely believe them), and he's not sure he wants to. She's also threatened to curse him once or twice, and...yeah, he doesn't want that to happen, either.
And there's this Surana girl, who keeps accidentally setting herself on fire with her own magic. And who doesn't stop talking. And she can't heal, which does not go well with the whole 'getting set on fire' thing.
Also, she has accidentally set Carver on fire. More than once. That wasn't very pleasant.
And then there's the Warden Commander, who is deceptively tiny and has far too many knives hidden all over her body, and who carries explosive flasks everywhere. She likes sneak-attacking ogres.
Carver does not like ogres. Also, sneak-attacking is stupid. Everyone knows you just run at them head one with a giant sword.
Needless to say, with all of the evil trees and accidental fireballs and explosives, Carver is surprised that Vigil's Keep is still standing.
BountyThey pause at the next town to resupply and are quite certain that they aren't going to be recognized, not this far away from Kirkwall.
And then they find the Wanted posters.
"Well, that's new," Hawke says, trying to hide her worry behind humor. "Look, Anders, they've tried to draw little pictures of us!"
She doesn't look at his face, knowing that he's staring at the one of her, knows that he never wanted her to get drawn into this.
"And, oh, look at that! They can't even get my nose right!" She plants her hands on her hips, scowling at the picture. "Though, it seems the bounty for us is going up. I wonder if that's due to the Templars or Sebastian."
"Come on, dear," she says, tearing down the posters and grabbing Anders' hand. "Let's get out of town, then you can have fun burning these."
How many kittens is too many?"If I guess the number of kittens, do I get a prize?" Hawke asks him with some amusement. The man is practically covered in kittens, and she inwardly wonders how in the world he found them all.
"'cause I'm going to go with the number 'stupid'. Seriously, I know you like kittens, but this is just crazy."
The look on Anders' face is rather put out. "There are only fourteen," he says, and the tabby sitting on the top of his head seems to glare at Hawke.
"Only fourteen?" She shakes her head. "I'm just going to say it now: bad idea."
We're Doomed"I'm going to die," Carver announces. "I am going. To. Die."
"You're not going to die, Carver," Sigrun says, though she's a little distracted by the darkspawn that are closing in. "There's not that many of them. We can deal with them."
"Going. To. Die."
"Why would you end up dying?" asks Kiva, again, not fully paying attention to him and focusing on the approaching darkspawn. "I'm thinking an acid flask to slow them down, then Howe uses that bow of his to take a few more out before they get to us."
"I'm not the main character here! I'm the guy who dies to show how bad the situation is!"
Nathaniel gives Carver a very odd look. "You're not going to die, Carver."
That's not really all that helpful, and Carver looks all the more panicked.
"Then what's my last name?"
Nathaniel opens his mouth to speak, then closes it. It dawns on all of them that Carver has never actually told them his last name.
And then Sigrun laughs.
"Carver, if anyone is going to die because they don't have a last name, it's probably going to be me. Though, if you'd don't pull out that sword of yours and help us, you probablywill die.
Mother said there'd be days like this It's raining. And cold. And Leandra feels like she's going to be sick.
"Anything I can do?" Malcolm asks, worry creasing his brow. "Anything. This is all my fault and-"
"Shut up, Malcolm," she tells him. "I followed you. It's not your fault. Also, I'm going to go vomit in the bushes now."
She doesn't quite make it to the bushes before her breakfast makes its way onto the ground, and Malcolm hold her rain drenched hair back from her face as she wipes a hand over her mouth. "Can we please try to find a place to stay? Soon?"
"Of course. I know this place, there's a village somewhere nearby. We shouldn't be a mile out -"
"I really hope you're right," she says, shivering. She's not liking Ferelden so far, not really.
But her mother had told her that she was going to regret this, and Leandra wasn't about to give her the satisfaction of being right.
Malcolm smooths back her hair and presses a soft kiss to her cheek, one that sends little sparks through her skin. She feels warmth flow through her and her nausea fades.
"Did you just-"
Malcolm smiles at her, though his eyes are still worried. "Magic, love. Are you feeling any better?"
She laces her fingers through his. "I will. Come on, let's try to get out of this rain."
No right answer"Donnic," Brennan asks him one day while they're out on patrol, "do you like Captain Aveline?"
"She makes a fine captain of the guard," he says, which is a terribly infuriating answer, and not at all the sort that Brennan was looking for.
"But do you like her? As a person?"
Donnic is silent for a moment, as though he needs time to figure out what to say. Brennan hopes that it means she's going to get the answer she was looking for.
"She is a very decent person. A fine woman."
Okay, fine woman at least meant that he knew Aveline wasn't a man. That was a...start.
"Hard to believe someone like her is single," Brennan says, which is...sort of a lie. Brennan wouldn't be surprised if Aveline intimidated the shit out of any man who she met, and she's also had the pleasure of seeing the Captain try flirting with someone once or twice. Try being the word.
It hadn't been pretty.
Still, Brennan has also known Donnic for a long time, and she's pretty certain that he's got a bit of a crush on the Captain. But he's always been hard to read, so she's got to pry the information out of him. Slowly, so that he doesn't know what she's trying to do.
"She did have a husband, Brennan," Donnic says, and she wonders for a moment if he's catching on. He's sort of giving her a look, one eyebrow raised curiously.
"Yes, well, she...doesn't anymore," Brennan finishes rather lamely. Great. Now she sounds like some insensitive cretin. "I mean...never mind."
She'll try again, later. After all, she's got money riding on this.