nagia: (da2; adder; yarrrrr i r pirate mage yarr)
YOUR CHILDREN DESERVE LEXCORP JETPACKS ([personal profile] nagia) wrote in [community profile] terzarima2011-03-22 02:03 am

Dragon Age 2; Rated M; "The Dreams Where You Fall" (1/???)

Title: The Dreams Where You Fall
Fandom/Pairing: Dragon Age 2; f!Hawke/Fenris
Rating: ESRB Rating of M for Mature
Summary: We built this city on rock and roll. (No summary yet. Whoops.)
WARNING: Spoilers for Act 2 abound. Seriously. Abound.

The Dreams Where You Fall
zero: the black powder clung

For this part of the tale, Varric is his own primary source. He remembers Javaris, the slippery weasel, all too well. He remembers the slow stride of the Arishok, the way the man seemed to perch, like a predator, even as he sat on his throne.

The Arishok had been a mountain, ready with a rockfall. Waiting for any excuse to crush them, Varric had thought at the time.

He looks into the face of the Seeker and isn't sure if he'll tell her what he remembers.

"You want to know where her dealings with the Qunari started? This is the beginning," he stalls.

Cassandra folds her arms across her chest.

He chuckles. "Got to respect a woman who knows what she wants."

"Get to the point, dwarf. I came here for answers."

Addelaide Hawke walked into the Qunari compound with an even, deliberate pace. He was half-sure she moved the way she did to keep her staff from smacking her in the knees, but it could just as easily have been Hawke being Hawke.

Fenris prowled at her heel. The elf seemed not in the least disturbed by the presence of so many Qunari in one place. Which struck Varric as a little strange; Fenris had been all but paranoid in what time they'd known each other.

Hawke stopped exactly at the dwarf's right hand. Automatically, she rested a hand on one hip. In the smuggler's leathers, with her staff gleaming over her shoulder, he had to admit it was probably exactly the right image.

"And here's my right hand. Summon your Arishok. Our bargain is done."

One of the Qunari atop the dais sighed, but then the Arishok stepped out from one of the buildings.

Qunari were huge, even compard to humans, who were tall enough. The Arishok wasn't huge.

The Arishok was massive. Larger than life. The easy, dangerous grace with which he moved, with which he seated himself, commanded respect. He might not be turning into some sort of lyrium-fuelled ghost, but he probably wouldn't need lyrium to introduce someone to the contents of her ribcage.

Varric began to wonder if this had maybe been a bad idea.

Fenris said something. Varric had no idea what any of it was, beyond Qunari. There was certainly no guessing what it meant, but apparently hearing the words, "Anaan essam Qun," calmed the rest of the Qunari down.

The Arishok looked long and hard at them. "The Qun from an elf? The madness of this... place."

Hawke twisted to peer over her shoulder. Her eyes glinted. "Friend of yours?"

"Friend of no one," Fenris snapped.

"Right. Well. That said, your hated Tal-Vashoth have been slain one and all. Right? Yes, they were. So we're ready to open the negotiations now. For the explosive powder. As agreed."

The Arishok didn't even pause to consider. Slowly, smoothly, as deliberately as Hawke's stride had been, he said, "No."

Javaris turned to Hawke. "He's not getting it. Make your chatty elf say something else."

Hawke's fists clenched. The fingerless gloves creaked. Still, she turned her head. "Fenris? Any insight that would be helpful?"

Fenris waited a moment. His gaze dropped to the clenched fists, but it was just a flicker and then he was looking at the Arishok. "The Qunari do not abandon a debt. I humbly request clarification from the Arishok."

"I have a growing lack of disgust for you," the Arishok rumbled. "The merchant imagined the deal for the gaatlok. He invented a task to prove his worth when he has none."

Fenris bowed his head. "I see. Then we have wrongly inserted ourselves in your affairs. Would you have us kill this dwarf?"

That got Javaris's attention.

The Arishok talked over the merchant's protests: "If you have faced Tal-Vashoth, he is not worthy of dying to you. As he was not worthy of dying to them."

There was a pause. Hawke seemed willing to let Fenris speak for her, while Fenris... seemed to be waiting for further explanation? Further instructions?

All of this bore watching.

"But you..." The Arishok said at last, this time to Hawke. "You keep good company. Let him live. And leave."

"Javaris, you may want to take this opportunity to go." The dark amusement in her tone added an unspoken You might not get another.

"But it's a product. People want it; you have to sell!"

That sounded uncomfortably like something Bartrand would have said. And that put Varric back on edge. Maker's breath, did no one in this town understand self-preservation? When a spear-carrying mystery three times your size said leave, you left.

"There is no profit in empowering those not of the Qun. The means of creating the gaatlok is ours alone. It shall be dispensed only to our enemies, in the traditional manner."

There was a hiss as Fenris drew in a breath. In the same moment, Hawke stifled a chuckle.

Even Varric had to smile a little at that one. A Qunari — the Qunari, at large and in charge — making a joke? What was the world coming to?

"I don't care about your Arishok and his sense of humor," Cassandra snaps.

Varric can only laugh. "You should, considering Hawke's claim to fame."

"His sense of humor is irrelevant."

"I'd say it's very relevant. Establishes that the Arishok was nuts from the start, even by Qunari standards."

That earns him the fiercest scowl he's seen since she hit him with the book.

"And the other matters?"

He can see in her face just where she's going with that. And it's the last thing he wants to talk about. Bianca might be the only story he's oathsworn not to tell, but he doesn't want to go into the horrors that Quentin inflicted, or the fiasco in the Fade.

Even if they would help the Seeker make sense of Hawke.

"Those are irrelevant. And besides, I've only got secondhand stories for those."

"I'm sure they're from good sources."

This woman could make an invitation to tea sound vaguely menacing, he swears.