While the others were searching the dock for Qunari swords, Isabela sat along the edge of a retaining wall and looked out the sea. She sighed wistfully. There was a voice behind her of the usual sort which followed her whenever she traveled the dock.
"That's the one I was telling you about. For the right amount she'll let you do her like a dog. At least that's what the dock boy said. He saw it just the other night."
Isabela rolled her eyes, but she turned hearing familiar footfalls, she smiled when Sebastian joined her. "What are you doing here? Don't feel like hunting for swords with Hawke?"
He smiled. "I could ask you the same, Isabela." He looked at the two men wandering off still whispering about the pirate. "Doesn't that sort of prejudice and scorn bother you? You're not a dockside whore and I believe I was with you the other night."
She laughed which then brightened when Sebastian realized his turn of phrase. "Should it bother me? You don't think I'm a whore, so that's all that matters. As for the swords, I'm done returning things to the Qunari. They can sod off."
A warm rich chuckle followed Isabela's curt statement. Sebastian took her hand. "I'm glad you came back, and did the right thing."
"I didn't do it for you," she replied.
"I know," he countered.
"I didn't!" Isabela stopped protesting. It was the smirk. When had he learned to see through her bullshit? It didn't matter. She quite enjoyed the challenge. Her head fell to his shoulder with a sigh. "I'm glad you don't think I'm a whore."
"La Venganza?" Standing next to Isabela on the dock, Sebastian straightened his head and turned to the pirate. "What does it mean?"
Isabela squinted up into the sunlight, trying to recall her Antivan. "The Revenge, I think."
It confused the chantry brother. "Odd name for a ship, isn't it? Can't you just erase it and call it something else?"
Isabela's eyes widened agog and defensively. "It's a beautiful name for a pirate ship. Besides you can't just rename a ship. It's bad luck. It's like if you started calling your cock Charlie instead of Stanley."
"I do not.. who does? Men name their... No don't answer that!"
He was beet red and stammering. Isabela thought it was adorable. She turned eager to pounce further on his embarrassment. "You don't have a name for yours? Oh lemme name it, please, please? Dustin. No Dusty. That's perfect!"
This was insanity and wrong and utterly improper. Sebastian wasn't going to dignify this strange and amoral conversation. He was going to pretend it wasn't happening. "Why Dusty?"
Isabela was in full form tonight. Seated on one of the tables in The Hanged Man, she nursed a mug of ale as she continued with her story. "So the next morning, I come down stairs, naked. I mean I thought this was the man's house, not a barracks. So there I am standing in front of a whole campful of soldiers, starkers."
Sebastian sighed. "Maker, Isabela, do any of your stories not involve you getting naked?"
Setting her cards down on the table, Isabela grinned and pulled the coins in the center of the table closer to her.
Fenris snarled, throwing down his hand. "Are you sure you're not cheating, woman."
She smiled sweetly at the elf, shaking her head. "I am but a single woman in possession of a good fortune."
"That's my fortune you're putting into your purse there," he replied. "If I find out you cheated..."
Strong hands rested on her hips and that all too erotic brogue was in her ear. "A little wider. Isabela, your legs. You need to spread them more." There was a pat on her hip.
"There we go. Now, gently pull your hand back gently, and focus." Sebastian steadied her arm and corrected her grip. His touch was gentle as he positioned her. "Now, when you're ready, I want you to just let go."
Isabela dropped her hands with a groan. "Maker help me, Sebastian. I know you want to each me to use a bow, but fuck. Do you have to be so sexy about it?" The lesson was over for now. She needed a cold bath. Shoving the bow into his arms, she stalked off until there was a tug at her arm and she was back with the aggravating archer.
"So you can dish it, but you can't take it? Is that how it is Isabela?" Sebastian replied, almost charmingly.
There was a devilish tilt to his smile, which set Isabela's pulse on fire. "You did that on purpose? I didn't think you..."
"Capable?" He smirked wider. "I've learned a lot about what I am and am not capable of since we last saw each other, Isabela." Sebastian chuckled and pulled her back to her previous stance knowing she was completely thrown off. He quite enjoyed the feeling.
"That's a dress."
She hadn't expected to see Sebastian on the other side of that door, nor had Isabela expected those to be the very first words she'd hear from him if he had been expected. It was good to see him even here though it was a bit off putting to say the least. Kirkwall was the other side of the world almost and he was here, at her doorstep. "Yes. It's a dress."
"A lovely dress." Sebastian couldn't help repeating and amending, but Isabela looked nothing like the woman he'd last seen in Kirkwall. Three months ago, she'd been a pirate, and now she wasn't. It was odd and disconcerting.
These strolls were getting to be a habit. Not that he minded. They offered rare glimpses to Isabela he'd never seen before. This new side of her had taken weeks to adjust to. Richly and properly dressed, a much improved diction, and a nobler air to her. It wasn't surprising now that he was used to it, but she didn't seem to take well to it. With her arm looped through his like this, as it normally was during their strolls, Sebastian couldn't help but think they needed some sort of chaperone. "You know, I think I like the other aspect of you more."
Isabela laughed, taken aback. "Really? You like the pirate? Warts and all?" She blushed. "That's surprising. I figured you to like all these trappings. They're more what you're used to."
"Oh, I'll admit I did at first, but now I can see sadness. Though you hide it well." The way Isabela looked at him now made him laugh. It was those glimpses into the real woman that he cherished more than the lady she tried so hard to be here. "Did I say something wrong?"
This shouldn't be happening. He was not to be here, yet there he stood and there she stood. Yet he could see the fear in Isabela's eyes as Castillion walked purposefully toward her.
Sebastian stood in the tower and arrow primed and aimed at the slaver. He wondered who knew of her plans to go after Castillion. All the weeks of planning and information gathering and the man was here, in her yard. He could hear Castilion's angry yelling along with Isabela's but they were speaking in Antivan and too fast for him to make sense of any of it.
Isabela stumbled over a bench in the garden, and Castillion grabbed her. Sebastian was a heartbeat from loosing the arrow when he saw the Antivan pull Isabela against him and kissed her. His arms sagged and he watched, chest tightening and bile rising up in his throat. This was a bad dream. A horrible nightmare.
He lived though he'd be out for a while long enough for the authorities to arrive. Sebastian grimaced and looked at Isabela. He hadn't even realized she was armed. Though he shouldn't have been surprised. Looking over at her, he saw once again the woman he'd known in Kirkwall. Perhaps it was the blood staining her hands and dress or the angry determination in her gaze, regardless, this was the Isabela he knew.
Isabela spat trying to get the taste of Castillon from her mouth. "I'd love to kill him right now, but I can't. Maker, tell me why I can't?" She looked to Sebastian as if seeking his permission.
"He'll get his just desserts Isabela, but maybe just this one time, I'm sure the Maker will understand." Pulling a dagger from his hip, Sebastian handed it to Isabela.