Fenris and Varric jumped at the sound of the door banging the wall as it was flung open. If that had not grabbed their attention, Hawke's loud drunken song would have. She was wavering in her step and they both figured she should have fallen over before she reached the chair at the long wooden table. She slumped down into the seat, continuing her song and Varric joined in with a much crisper voice. It was all Fenris could do to keep from laughing out loud at the two of them as Varric mimicked an opera singer and Hawke flung her mug around wildly in the air to the tune. After a moment, the song was done and she slung the drink back before slamming it on the table. Varric gave a hearty laugh and sat back down beside her.
"Varric! You didn't tell me there was a little woman in your eye!" Hawke slurred and gave a sheepish grin to the dwarf.
"There's a woman in my eye? How did I not know this? Can you get her out for me?" Varric replied.
"Haha, don't give me that. You know what I'm talking about."
"Shh, not so loudly in front of Bianca! You know she's the jealous type." He caressed the handle of his crossbow in a lecherous way that almost made Fenris cringe.
"Give her here and I'll make her feel better." Hawke made a beckoning motion towards Varric. He pulled Bianca to his chest and hugged her tightly.
"There there, she meant nothing by it. I'd never let her hurt you!" Fenris couldn't help but join them in a laugh at that. Varric put Bianca back and Hawke leaned back in the chair, slinging a foot onto the table.
"So, who is she? Or are you keeping her from me because you know I find you dwarves irresistible and might have to make a move myself?"
"And that messere is why you will never know."
Hawke shook her head and turned her gaze to Fenris, just having realized he was there. "Oh, hi! What brings you to our neck of the woods?"
The elf cleared his throat, strangely aware that he was out of place in the filthy pub. Hawke had been teaching him to read and he wanted to thank her for doing so by getting her a gift. Since Varric knew her best- better than he did at least, he had come to him for advice on the matter. But now that she was here, it was obvious that conversation would not take place. He fumbled for an excuse and realized how terrible a lie it was before the words left his mouth.
"I just wanted a drink." He had always drank at the mansion, alone with only his thoughts. He preferred that to trying to avoid Isabela's advances and Varric's constant needling.
Hawke gulped the last of her drink, inspecting the empty mug with a frown before looking back to him. "I will accept your lie only because I am too hung to inquire further."
She hummed along to the music coming from downstairs; closing her eyes for what Fenris hoped was just to hear the song better and not the beginning stages of her passing out again. He didn't mind helping her home but he did mind being stared at when she woke up on his shoulder and made remarks about the people they passed… very loud remarks. It drew too much unwanted attention on them even if he found it amusing himself.
"I heard that Seamus boy is getting in pretty deep with those horn-heads. Word is he's been rallying elves in Lowtown and trying to convert them." Varric stated.
Fenris scoffed, "What of it? They have a less than ideal living situation in the Alienage but they won't join the Qunari once they know what their lives will be like as a Vidathari. If they're that desperate, they have bigger problems than living situations."
"I'm not so sure about that." Varric leaned toward the elf. "Apparently that crazy elf bitch we killed got more support than we initially thought. There's a rumor going around that the Chantry's involved and lending them their resources. I'm not quite sure how much Seamus is involved in that or if he even knows about it but something's brewing."
"Not very surprising. You remember that sister from a few years back?" Hawke chimed in. "I think it was Patty… or maybe Penelope."
"You mean Patrice?" Varric answered.
"Yeah, that's the name! Well, she was determined to give the Arishok a worse name than he already has back then. Chances are she succeeded in wrestling together enough idiots. It was a good plan, just… poorly executed."
"Very." Varric added.
"You think she's involved in this?"
"I wouldn't doubt it. I know the Chantry is involved and Elthina isn't one to take sides so she couldn't have instigated it." Hawke frowned at Varric when he finished speaking and huffed.
"I don't want to talk about this anymore. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it."
"You sure that's not the five pints you've had tonight?" Fenris asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Six, and it's about to be seven!" She gave him a goofy grin before stumbling out of her chair and down the stairs. He wondered if she would make it the entire way when they heard a 'thud' and Isabela's raucous laughing. They waited for her to yell back 'She's okay!' before Fenris shook his head and smiled.
"So what's really on your mind, elf?" Varric asked as Nora came in with two pints. Fenris was starting to regret having come here for his advice but it was already done.
He waited for Nora to leave before he began. "I was hoping you might be able to help me with a small something." The thought of asking for any help made him cringe.
"Let me guess… this has something to do with Hawke?" The dwarf didn't even seem surprised which annoyed him further.
"Yes. I would like to get her a… gift." He couldn't think of any other way to word it and Varric noticed just how out of character it was for the elf. "Any suggestions?"
Varric scoffed, "I bet she'd like whatever's under that armor of yours."
Fenris looked at him quizzically. "What are you talking about?"
"It's no secret that you two have something going on. And by the way, how is it that after three years, you have no idea what Hawke likes?"
Fenris scowled, "We've never discussed anything of the sort. And what does she like outside of coins and drinks?" He didn't mean for it to come out the way it did, but he wanted to be angry at her. It made him feel guilty- an ex-slave having feelings for someone like Hawke. All he had intended from this gift was a simple courtesy to thank her for the trouble she was going through to help him out.
"You know damn well she's not that shallow. Even Isabella likes more than that. You want my advice? Ask her yourself if you're so intent on this."
"Wouldn't that defeat the purpose?"
"How? She won't remember anything you ask her in the morning and you'll get a clear answer. I don't know what Hawke would want." Varric grinned slyly. He knew what he was doing and so did Fenris. He finished off the pint Nora had put on the table in front of him and cursed.
"Alright dwarf. You win… this time." He half-stormed off downstairs and found Hawke dancing with Isabella. Some of the men watching were whistling at them as they continued the slightly filthy scene. He decided to cut in when Isabella slapped Hawke's ass and pretended to straddle her.
As he pulled Hawke away from the pirate, she giggled at him and Isabella shouted her protests. "Hey, that one's mine tonight!" She pouted, arms crossed against her massive cleavage.
"I'll take her place, doll!" One guy shouted out. "No, I'm next!" from another. Fenris gave her an expressionless look.
"Okay, I get it. Just bring her back to me later." She winked at him and even though he knew she was only joking, it caused his blood to boil a bit.
He pulled Hawke's arm across his shoulder to support her weight better. She stared at him with glazed eyes and the same smile she had been wearing all night. "Where are we going?" She asked him as he half-carried her out of the Hanged Man and into the Lowtown streets.
"I'm taking you home." He shifted her to his right side. She wasn't heavy at all and especially not for him, but he didn't want to stab her with his armor or be caught in vomit backlash if she got sick. He thought it best they take the side passages back to Hightown so they would receive less attention. He thought about how to phrase his question and damned Varric silently for making him ask. He opened his mouth to form the question but noticed she had fallen asleep. He had resigned himself to keeping silent the rest of the way so that she wouldn't wake and cause a commotion on the streets when he noticed figures in the shadows up ahead. As he neared them, they came into view and he recognized them as bandits.
Fenris nudged Hawke lightly until she woke. Almost instantly, she was sober and reaching for where her bow normally was. She let go of him and grabbed her dagger while he pulled his sword out. The assumed leader of the group's eyes went wide and he shouted to the others. "That's him! That's the one!" He motioned to another who took off running. Fenris wanted to pursue him, thought about how Hawke could have stopped him if she had her bow, but thought it best to stand with her. She could protect herself just fine but she was all but unarmed at the moment and he didn't want to chance anything happening.
He sprinted forward and clocked the leader across the head with the butt of his sword before slicing across his midsection, striking his armor and knocking him backwards into two others. He looked behind him to see Hawke disappear in a cloud of black smoke before continuing his press. He slung his blade down onto another, slicing through him like water and moving on to the next.
Hawke slipped her blade into the back of an archer who had moved off from the battlefield and as his body slid to the ground, she pulled the bow from his grip to begin her assault on another archer across the way that had his sight set on Fenris. The arrow ripped through his neck causing him to fall to the ground leaving only a handful of enemies left. They were just about to call it a victory when she watched one go into stealth.
"Assassin!" She yelled out to Fenris as she threw a pouch of powder. It landed at his feet and enveloped him in a grey haze that Hawke could hardly see him through. She bent to one knee and watched the area carefully. Fenris dropped another with a slice across his waist and turned to the next, heading towards Hawke. She caught him in the chest with an arrow as Fenris' blade punctured the back of his armor. He slid to the ground giving Fenris a full look at Hawke as the assassin came into view behind her, jabbing two blades into her back.
She gave a cry as she fell forward. Fenris felt a searing pain run through his body as his markings lit up. He surged toward the assassin and in four quick swings; the attacker was in pieces around him. He finished off the last two who had began to run before he felt the pain subside and the darkness that surrounded him before came back. He ran to where Hawke was to find her hoisting herself up against the wall.
He grabbed her waist and helped her to a standing position. "Are you alright?" He looked at her back, seeing the gushing wounds through her thin armor.
"Well, let's just say I'm glad I've marinated my insides or this would hurt like a bitch." Judging from her weak smile he knew it hurt now. "I think we should go see Anders, don't you?" He gave a nod in response. She took a deep breath and two steps before her eyes rolled back and she passed out, falling face first into the packed dirt.
"Yep, should have seen that coming." Varric said. Fenris looked toward his short friend who was standing before him with Bianca pressed against a bandit's back. "Meet my new friend." He chuckled.
"We don't have time for that right now. Bring him and let's get her to Anders." Fenris growled as he picked Hawke up, careful not to touch the holes in her back. She would be fine as long as they got there quickly and since they had taken the side passages, it would be fast enough. Varric took the rear with Fenris in front as they walked in silence.
It was not long before they were at Anders's Clinic. Fenris hated the damn mage and didn't even think to knock before he burst the door open. He had been with a patient who shrieked at the sight of a heavily armored elf wearing a scowl and carrying a wounded woman. Anders looked up, clearly angry, until he saw Hawke. His expression changed to fear as he ran to meet them and the patient he had been seeing fled from the room.
"Put her over here." He motioned toward a cot and Fenris laid her on her side on top of it. The mage examined the wounds, his hands giving a blue glow. Varric slowly entered the room with the bandit still making friends with Bianca. Fenris watched Anders and Hawke with a mix of anger and intrigue while Varric seemed indifferent to the whole situation. He knew Hawke would be fine. She was often careless in battle, but that's why he insisted she bring the mage with her whenever they were traveling. In a matter of minutes, Hawke's eyes flickered open; the gashes on her back were closed up and the only damage left was the holes in her cloth armor.
Anders breathed a sigh of relief and both he and Fenris seemed to relax. Hawke sat up on the edge of the cot and tilted her head from side to side, cracking her neck. "Thank you." She spoke in a hoarse voice. She rubbed her eyes, her sweat soaked hair stuck to her cheeks which made her even more attractive. It was normally pulled back in a loose high ponytail but in the battle, her hair band had fallen out and now it fell in a mess over her shoulders. If she had not been sober during the fight, she was now. Varric noticed the other two were staring blankly at her as she settled into herself and cleared his throat to get their attention. They turned to face the dwarf and Hawke looked up at the bandit. "Who's our friend here?"
Fenris pointed at him, "This one fled before the fight."
"Yep, and he's been more than helpful. So, you want to share any information with us now?"
The bandit whimpered, "Will you let me go?"
"Oh, I suppose so. Bianca's in a forgiving mood." Varric chuckled.
"Where were you going?" Fenris questioned, his tone laced with ice.
"To send word to some lady. She's been looking for someone with your description."
Fenris' throat tightened. He knew what the bandit was going to say, but he had to ask.
"What was her name?"