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◇ II.
[Phone; unfiltered]

You know, Varric making breakfast in bed for me last month was odd, but being ordered to kill one another -- for fabulous prizes, no less! That was another thing entirely. Is it safe to assume that the murder and violence is commonplace around here? ...Why, it'll be like I never left home.

Regardless, it was very thoughtful of our captors to reward me for my efforts... or lack thereof, I suppose.

[When Hawke pauses, you can hear a dog barking happily in the background.]

You're the very best gift a girl could ask for, aren't you, boy? [More barking!] Yes you are!

[Action; wherever]

[Hawke is taking her puppy for a stroll around town! They could be jogging around town, playing fetch at the park, or maybe the dog is pissing on the tree in your front yard. One might also notice that she is perfectly capable of carrying a conversation on with the mabari; he seems to understand every word his master says to him.]

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[Varric happens to walk into the room as soon as Hawke is done on the phone. He takes one look at the dog, one look at Hawke, and grins.]

Heh, Fereldens.

Oh, don't look at us like that. You have another diamondback partner now!

I guess so, can't really discount a good dog.

But he'll only listen to you, so you might want to keep an eye on him.

Or sick him on the Elf...or Blondie...and just let him have fun.

Even without me to listen to, he's... [She hesitates.] Well, reasonably well-behaved. We'll just need to find something for him to chew on.

This place may be better for him than Kirkwall, though -- more open space for him to run around in. No need to send him after anyone!

Until he starts eating children or something.

Well, it's not like they can die anyway, so it's like a completely renewable food source.

[Varric kneels down to look at the Mabari face-to-face.]

Does that sound good? Little children?

[The dog whines in response. Children? That's practically cannibalism, Varric!!!]

It's all right, boy. You don't have to if you don't want to.

[Varric gives a gravelly laugh, raising up to his full height.]

It's still a little weird having to lean so far down to talk to the dog.

I hope this doesn't mean I'm going to have to clean up the yard.

Well, sooner or later, the town will return your... dwarfiness to you, and you'll be back to your usual stout and handsome self!

[She can't help but chuckle.]

You are the husband, after all, Varric. Isn't that a man's duty in this town?

Dwarfiness...I kind of like that.

[Varric sighs.]

I was afraid you were going to bring that up.

You have to walk him, though.

Whatever makes you happy, dear husband. [She smirks.] I certainly don't mind. I was beginning to miss all of his slobbering and chewing on furniture.

Oh yea, I think I missed that sort of thing most of all.

I wonder if I could somehow get a room at the bar again. [Said in a smart-assed, teasing tone.]

And leave me alone with the children? [Her own town is mocking, of course. She tries to look scandalized.] I thought you a better man than that, Varric!

Hey, it's not like they're mine or anything.

Could you imagine me with children? I think that would be dangerous for the world.

Those poor, poor children...

What? I give them a little alcohol and they usually quiet right down. I think they're happier this way.

Why am I not surprised that your solution to parenting involves alcohol? Maker help us if ever get any real children living in this house.

Oh they'll be fine, I'll make men out of them...regardless of gender.

Hawke. [Does Fenris sound...mildly relieved to hear her voice? It's probably just your imagination.] You were left alone, then?

Fenris! [You can't fool Hawke, Fenris!! Of course, she's trying to mask her own relief...] I received a letter from the town, but I managed to stay out of trouble. For once. What of you?

Now that is hard to believe. [Yes, there's that dry sarcasm.]

I was...preoccupied. Mostly with keeping you out of trouble.

Preoccupied? [Pause. It takes her a moment to figure out what he means by 'keeping her out of trouble.' Of course, if Fenris and the rest of her merry band of misfits had been threatened in her own letter, then...]

...Fenris. Did you actually go through with it?

It's hardly the worst thing I've done, Hawke. And you can hardly tell me I haven't caused you enough trouble as it is.

...still, it hardly seems to have mattered. If there were actual consequences for disobedience, we would have seen some by now.


Did you really think the town would go through with its promises, though? It can't have been worth killing all of those people.

Two people. Not a very high body count by our standards, Hawke.

...but no. It wasn't. [Fenris owes some apologies, that's for sure.] If death were actually permanent here, perhaps I wouldn't have risked it at all.

Not very high at all, no, but all that business didn't sit well with me.

You're well otherwise, though?

I can hardly say I enjoyed it. [Some part of him feels almost...ashamed. No, that's not quite the right word, though shame is certainly part of it. He feels, to some degree, like a hypocrite. He's self-aware enough to recognize that, when he felt he had enough justification for it, he did horrible things. Not so very much unlike another group of people he loathes for doing much the same thing.

Of course, this doesn't make anything mages do any more acceptable, any less reprehensible or less in need of being kept in check. It just means he's...not much better than they are. Not that he'd ever claimed to be, but he ought to be better than this. It's an unpleasant feeling.]

Well enough. I had my sword back, however briefly. And my markings.

Edited at 2011-06-21 02:53 pm (UTC)

I would be concerned if you had.

[Hawke knew he would end up feeling some remorse for it -- which is why she lets the matter drop, lest he become angry. Or angsty. Either one would be very unpleasant.]

--Ah, yes. Those would have come in handy, I suspect. Had them, though. The town took them away again?

[It's pretty hard to avoid both angry and angsty when it comes to Fenris. Usually he's either one or the other. Hawke does tend to inspire calm or even amused feelings, though, so she's generally an overall improvement on his usual moods.]

Well, the sword is gone. But my markings...those seem to have been returned permanently. [And that...he isn't sure how he feels about. On the one hand, he's never denied the usefulness of the 'gift' Danarius gave him. On the other hand...Mayfield had done the impossible, removing them. He'd taken for granted the lingering pain, the open stares, the being pursued, the physical reminder of the man he hated most burned into his flesh...and then, however briefly, he'd been given time without all of that. He wasn't sure to think about it then, but knowing that whatever opportunity not having them might have represented is lost, he can't help feeling some form of regret.

Even if he's not sure what it is he regrets about it.]

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