“I don’t want to hear it, Isabela.” Hawke snapped, ripping a gauntlet off her hand with more force than was strictly necessary and throwing it on the bed where it landed with a muffled clank of metal. Her slim fingers moved to the buckles of her pauldrons, face contorted into one of silent, seething rage. Isabela, unfortunately, knew that look all too well and it hadn’t, until recently, ever been directed straight at her. Over what she had inadvertently caused, yes, but never over what she had done.
“No. Don’t ‘sweet thing’ me. I don’t want to hear why you did it or what great control of his ‘rudder’ he has.” Her words were laced with bitter venom and hurt, throwing a phrase the pirate hadn’t said since she had asked the warrior to assist her friend with a pick up. Isabela opened her mouth, then closed it again, ‘brows knitting as she stopped and actually thought about what she would say. She fiddled with the red cloth tied around her arm, a symbol of her loyalty and feelings (though she would never admit their existence) for the Fereldan refugee-come-noblewoman, eyes dropping towards the floor as Hawke continued to manhandle and abuse her armour.
“Marian.” She tried again, and much to her surprise, the breastplate slipped out of Hawke’s hands to land with a clatter at her feet, the wounded, and tear-filled blue eyes fixating on the Rivaini, shock at the use of her first name registering before it slipped away, drowning in the misery of her expression.
“What?” Isabela wasn’t sure what she was referring to, the wheels of her mind turning at a rapid pace only to come up empty.
“You said you love me, once, do you remember?” Hawke’s tone became beseeching, so unbelievably desperate that it was almost heart wrenching and the pirate’s tan skin paled slightly. “You said you love me and I asked you why and do you know what you said?”
“Just because.” Isabela had been drunk, very drunk, far too drunk to be speaking, let alone making declarations of affection. The memory slowly filtered back, it had been after the Arishok’s death, after Hawke’s miraculous recovery from the heavy wounds and after Isabela had stolen bits of metal from her armour for whatever reason that had possessed her. She had gotten drunk to drown her guilt and Hawke had shown up and she had blurted the words in a slur.
“What do you want from me, Isabela? Just tell me.”
It took everything the pirate had not to say everything. Instead, she took a long look at the quivering lower lip, the vibrant blue that was swimming with tears, the dark hair, the half-undressed body that she knew like the back of her hand and loved more than the sea…and she said “Nothing.”
The pirate turned on her heel, ribs feeling like they were crushing her heart and lungs, throat constricting around the words, the apology, the sobs that wanted to burst free and she walked away, down the stairs and out of the estate, out of Hightown, out of Kirkwall, out of Hawke’s life.
Believe it; it’s over in the blink of a lie.