Chapter 1: Handcuffed
Garrett Hawke wakes to the sound of a crack and feels his left hand ache. His head feels like someone badgered a hammer to it- which isn't unusual but the current one is hurting worse than anything he has felt before.
I knew I shouldn't have taken my sister up on her offer on that drink.
He carefully raises his head to observe his surroundings and realizes that he is in a prison cell. Noticing the handcuffs on his wrists, he groans.
I am never drinking with my sister ever again.
The door to his cell slams open and two women he has never seen before in his life enter the room. He realizes with horror that one of them is a Seeker. What has he done now? What has his sister done to him now??
The Seeker hardens her gaze on him, her expression switching from slightly apologetic to suspicion to wariness. "I apologize, Champion, that we had to meet in these circumstances but we need answers," she says.
"The Divine is dead and all who attended the conclave died," she tells him. "All but you."
Nervous now, he slaps a hand to his face, not remembering that he had handcuffs which resulted in him smacking himself with it.
He is never drinking- wait.
"Conclave? What conclave?" And notices that his left hand is glowing green. "And what's with my hand?" He doesn't question the dead people. There is always bound to be dead people as long as he is breathing but he definitely misheard the word Divine. He couldn't have included the Divine in his shenanigans, surely.
The other person takes over now, her voice like a song. She looks vaguely familiar. "Do you not remember? The Divine called upon a conclave to finally settle the war between mages and templars. There was an explosion and only you survived."
Garrett remembers it now. Partially responsible for the war, he and his sister felt obligated to attend the conclave. But something came up and Marian wasn't able to attend.
Garrett sighs. "Lucky me, huh?"
The Seeker snaps and grips his glowing hand, the sudden motion startling Garrett. "The Divine is dead and there is a hole in the sky, Champion. This is no laughing matter and people have begun to suspect that you are behind this."
Garrett opens his mouth, about to start defending himself, when he realizes that he can't remember anything from the conclave.
He opens his mouth anyway.
"Funnily enough, I don't even have memories of the conclave to defend myself." He frowns. "Weird."
Seeing the Seeker about to yell at him again, he interrupts her, "I can't remember anything. But if you showed me what happened then maybe I'll remember something."
The person with the soft voice- Leliana he remembers now- tells the Seeker that they should show him.
They unshackle him and lead him outside where they show him a giant green hole decorating the sky.
"Is it just me or is the sky looking a little green on the side?"
The Seeker tells him that the mark on his hand is connected to the breach, and that it is slowly killing him.
Oh. Not so lucky then.
He sighs in resignation. He always seems to get caught in the most dangerous situations: duel with the Arishok, abominations, the start of the mage-templar war, and now a hole in the sky spitting demons out.
On the bright side, he could tell his sister that he woke up to two ladies who handcuffed him.
Meanwhile at Marian Hawke.
"Hmmm..." She twirls her imaginary mustache, her eyebrow raising.
"My twin senses are tingling."
Chapter 2: Men with Chest Hair Have a 100% Chance of Becoming Best Bro
Apparently, demons have been pouring out from the sky and no one around here knows what to do about it. His hand is the farthest they have gotten and all he did was sleep for two days while people panicked.
Cassandra leads him to an area full of demons and people fighting them, a small rift in the middle of it all. She readies her weapon and shield, and he readies his dagg-
Is that Varric?
Forget about demons! Varric is here! Why- he does not care. His best bro is here and that's all that matters.
"Varric!" he shouts, waving his arms- his weapons around wildly, and sprints to his favorite dwarf. A rage demon blocks his way to his beloved and Garrett slashes it away with glee.
Varric's ears catch a familiar voice, a small smile making its way to his face. He is a little worried however, because he lied to Cassandra about the Champions' location, knowing that the twins are exhausted enough from shouldering the burdens of other people, from trying to save everyone. And now he seems to have wound up into trouble again.
Maybe it's just in their blood.
"Oof!" Varric gets the wind knocked out of him as Garrett jumps on him, his legs and arms locked around the dwarf. They are a comical picture. A dwarf wielding a crossbow wobbling on his feet, trying and failing to defeat demons because of an annoying human clinging onto him.
"Oh Varric! I missed you and your chest hair!" Garrett rubs his face against Varric's neck, as much as he is able to anyway due to their height and his position.
Varric laughs heartily but it gets cuts short because- "Hey, easy with the daggers, Hawke. Wouldn't want our reunion to end immediately because of sudden mishaps." He barely dodges the dagger carelessly dangling from Garrett's right hand. How this person became a skilled rogue when he's like this he does not know.
But Garrett does not seem to hear him, too busy kissing all over Varric's small head. Loud smooching noises fill the place, along with the occasional screams of agony, and Varric notices the dwindling number of demons.
Garrett releases Varric a few seconds later, albeit reluctantly, to at least help clear the area from monsters. He pouts when Varric wastes no time to rub his face clean from all the slobber.
Garrett turns around and gets to work. A little slash here, a little slash there, disappear, backstab, run away because he's squishy, and done.
He was about to wipe the blood off on his left hand when, out of nowhere, someone grabs his glowing hand and shoves it in front of the rift.
The rift disappears.
"It seems you are the key to our salvation," an elf with a shiny head begins. "Your hand has the power to close the rifts and we may have the chance to close the breach yet."
Garrett examines his palm, not really certain with what just happened.
But he grins at the elf and gestures to his palm with his head. "I guess you could say it's quite handy, huh?"
A disgusted noise could be heard from behind him while Varric laughs with delight.
The elf greatly disapproves.
Chapter 3: Crotches Are Important But Not In The Way You Might Expect. You Probably Didn't Even Expect The Title To Be About Crotches
Did you know that AO3 allows 255 characters for the chapter title?
Word reaches her ears that one of the Champions of Kirkwall is now the Herald of Andraste. A bit miffed that her brother has been causing trouble without her, Marian Hawke sets to find him.
The Herald of Andraste.
Now that's a big name. The only Andraste Marian knows is the one on Sebastian's crotch. She should congratulate her brother for becoming the Herald of such an intimidating crotch the next time she sees him.
Is this it? She wonders as she looks at the gates of Haven.
The Frostback Mountains is definitely not her favorite place. Not to mention, the rifts that she had come across that spit out demons are definitely worrying. No matter what she did, she couldn't close or disable it. She has heard accounts that her brother could do it though.
When she heard of his achievement over the rifts, she couldn't help bragging that the Herald of Andraste is her brother. She is a proud sister indeed.
After that, people tried to kill her as soon as they recognized her as the Champion but that was just a normal Tuesday.
Before she enters the gates, she catches sight of a wide eyed Seeker who blushed when they made eye contact. Another fan of hers, perhaps. They have been popping out from nowhere after Varric published that book about her and Garrett. She hasn't read it yet but she can already imagine the exaggeration of events that happened.
Marian hopes there's a part where she defeats dragons single-handedly.
Once she got inside, Marian wanders around for awhile, looking for someone to help her find her brother.
And then she sees it.
That hot red shirt revealing chest hair that even the gods envy, that rough beardless chin with his devilish smile, and that polished crossbow that has become the enemy of her and her brother's heart after countless attempts of flirting with the man.
Her eyes start watering and she lifts her hand to cover her mouth.
Her best bro!
"VARRIC!" Her shout rings all over Haven.
The man in question, who was previously busy writing a few notes for his novel, smiles, his eyes crinkling fondly. He stands up and turns around to greet his friend and-
"Oof!" Marian jumps on Varric, locking her legs and arms around him tightly. They wobble dangerously but the Champion cares not as she starts kissing every inch of the dwarf's head.
"Hey, easy with the affection or Bianca will get jealous," is what Varric wants to say but the metal plate on her Champion robes made it difficult for him to talk. What comes out of his mouth instead is a bunch of muffled protestations that flew right over Marian's head.
As soon as Marian dislodges herself from him, Varric does the same he did with her brother: wipe off all the slobber from his face while cursing Fereldans and their dog-like personalities.
"But you love Fereldans and their dog-like personalities. Don't get shy on me now, Varric." She wags a finger at him, clicking her tongue.
Try as he might, Varric can't hold his own smile at the similarity of the twins' greetings.
"It's nice seeing you again, Hawke. Heard you've been busy," he says.
"Not as busy as my brother, it seems. He's the Herald of Sebastian's crotch now, I heard."
Varric looks confused for a second before getting the reference, laughing. He won't ever say it out loud but he really missed the twins and their humor.
He knows why she's here though, so he tells her what happened with her brother: Garrett sealed the first rift that appeared at the Temple of Sacred Ashes, cheered so hard when it worked, and fainted from cheering too much. He's been asleep for three days now, whether from exhaustion or because of laziness he isn't sure.
Marian slaps a hand to her face. "And where is he?"
Varric points her to the cabin where Garrett is currently staying and leaves to give the twins some alone time.
Inside the cabin, she notes with offense that her brother is lying on an uncomfortable looking wood that she thinks is supposed to be the bed.
She approaches her sleeping brother and checks for injuries. "Wakey wakey, brother. It's time to stop pretending now."
She won't admit this to anyone but she's a protective sister and that the smallest of things worry her. Not that this is a small thing but her brother sleeping for three days is doing nothing good to her oh so fragile heart.
With her at his side now, he'll definitely wake up either from her noise or- from her noise but louder.
She takes a stool she found beside a desk and moves it close to the bed. She makes herself comfortable before starting to work. And by work she means babbling her mouth off until Garrett wakes up.
"I'm confessing," she starts. "I really did eat your cookies back when we were seven, not Carver."
Garrett responds with silence.
"You know that girl you said had a crush on you because she kept looking at our direction? She confessed to me, actually."
She waits for a moment, continuing when she receives nothing.
"I know how to transform into a dragon now."
His face twitches.
Good. A response.
"They say that Sandal is the Maker."
His expression says that he is not surprised.
"Thedas needs you, brother. You have to wake up."
Huh? For some reason he looks more comatose now than earlier.
"Isabela still keeps pushing me for that twin sandwich. Help me stop her. "
"Varric has broken up with Bianca. It's time for us to capture our beloved dwarf's heart now, brother."
His mouth slightly curls up. Oooh it won't be long now.
She sings, "Come on now baby brother." Marian knows he hates being called that.
Garrett's eyes open to glare at his sister, the sides of his mouth turning down to a frown. "I'm two minutes older than you."
Marian grins. "That's what you always say, baby brother."
Garrett pushes himself up on the bed, still a little dizzy. He takes in his surroundings and wonders where he is.
At least it's an improvement from his previous prison cell.
"Is this an upgraded prison cell? With you here it must be an upgraded prison cell."
Marian huffs, folding her arms over her chest. "Rude, brother." And then remembers that she's here to congratulate him. She stretches her arms wide saying, "Congratulations!" and hugs him. "You're the Herald of Andraste!"
"You mean the one on Sebastian's crotch?" he questions and returns her hug.
"Yup that's the one."
His only answer is a disgusted groan.
They stay like that for a few minutes in silence before Garrett murmurs to her, "You know, I woke up to two women who handcuffed me."
Chapter 4: Varric is a Terrible Non-Fiction Writer But His Inaccuracies Make the Twins Giddy So Screw That One Critic Who Called His Book Unrealistic
I wanted to call both of the twins Hawke but it would have been confusing so I just used their default names. I'm so used to calling them Hawke and it makes me sad that I can't do that here :(
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
After Garrett woke up, the twins used the time to catch up with each other even though they have only been separated for a week. They rummage the cabin for food, find nothing, and complain about the world. Then they discuss what happened to him, how he got the anchor, and who's the villain this time.
"And then, sister," Garrett continues his story, raising a finger and narrowing his eyes. "Once we arrived at the temple, there was this suspiciously familiar voice. I swear I've heard it before."
Intrigued, Marian leans in. "What did the voice sound like?"
"It sounded like someone who'd go Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!"
Her expression turns sage-like. "Hmmm... That does sound familiar."
They have met a lot of villains throughout the course of their lives: the Arishok, Bianca, Knight-Commander Meredith, Cullen's noodle hair, Bianca, Corypheus, and that one Chantry sister whose name rhymed with petri dish.
The twins think long and hard, rattling their brains for the source of the familiar voice until Marian finally takes an intelligent guess. She deduces, wisely, "It's most likely Bianca. I always knew that crossbow didn't like us."
Garrett perks up. "Bianca's your first guess too? But to actually involve the Divine in her schemes is unlike her. Should we tell Varric?"
Marian is about to answer him when an elf suddenly enters the cabin without knocking. Both twins raise their eyebrow at the intruder which seems to terrify the elf as she falls down on her butt before scrambling to right herself.
The elf squeaks, "You're- You're awake! You are to see La- Lady Cassandra once you've woken. 'At once,' she said." Her voice trembles and she takes a step back. "At once!" She finishes- barely- before bolting out of the cabin, slamming the door behind her.
The twins ask around Haven where Cassandra is because the terrified elf forgot to tell them. At once! the elf said before fleeing with the speed of someone whose butt was on fire.
Yes they'll definitely find Cassandra at once.
They stop by Varric's place, barely able to restrain themselves from plastering their bodies onto him again, and ask if he knows where Cassandra is.
Varric responds by saying that he's hiding from her and her sword so he doesn't know.
They roam around some more until they find Cassandra outside the gates, near the training soldiers. She is pacing back and forth, fidgeting with the thick book in her hands. Then she'd stand straight, her intense gaze landing on the air in front of her, and murmurs something before pacing back and forth again.
Garrett approaches her from behind. "You wanted to see me, Cassandra?"
"Ah!" She jerks around in surprise and Cassandra almost drops the book. "Champion!"
Garrett and Marian give a little wave.
Cassandra gathers herself for a moment, taking a deep breath and clearing her throat. "I've been meaning to... apologize for my rude behavior from three days ago," she says, her cheeks coloring a soft pink. "It was inappropriate and I even manhandled you, the Champion of Kirkwall no less." She sounds horrified.
Honestly, Garrett doesn't mind. If he saw himself he would probably arrest him too. Maybe even pick a fight. Besides, manhandling Garrett is usually the only way to make him listen. So no hard feelings.
But Garrett says nothing of this to Cassandra because because they're uncool thoughts. He spies the title Tale of the Champions on the cover of her book and guesses that she's a fan so naturally, he has to turn on his charm.
He flashes his debonair smile and Marian helps him by adding a twinkle to his teeth with magic. "It's alright, Cassandra. Besides, I don't mind being manhandled by a pretty lady." He throws in a wink too for extra charm points.
He can almost hear his sister's proud cheers for that smooth line.
Cassandra's face turns an alarming shade of red that both twins approach her in concern.
"Are you okay, Cassandra?" Marian reaches out to touch Cassandra's elbow which Cassandra almost jerks away before controlling herself.
"Yes, thank you." She can't maintain eye contact with the both of them anymore so she transfers her gaze to her shifting feet. She hopes they can't hear the loud beating of her heart. She hopes she doesn't faint in front of them. Possibly embarrassing herself in front of the people she looks up to is the worst thing that could happen to her.
They're here. With her. Talking to her like she's a normal person. Marian Hawke touched her and Cassandra touched Garret Hawke's hand three days ago- even if it was in a violent manner.
Tale of the Champions portrayed them as kind, charming, wise, and honorable people. They handle every situation with care, always trying to save everyone and always picking the choice where, if possible, no one but them gets in danger.
Cassandra's favorite is the part where Marian Hawke defeated three high dragons all by herself to save a dwarf. She came out mortally wounded but still, she smiles so the dwarf wouldn't worry about her. When Cassandra read that scene, she cheered in awe. She even shed tears a little.
To think that these people actually exist!
It was different three days ago with Garrett. The situation that time was dire and there was no time to fangir- no time to admire the Champion. And while there is still a hole in the sky, relaxing is not as dangerous as it was days ago.
Wishing her trembling is not obvious, she gives the book to a confused Marian.
"Will you... If it's alright with the two of you, will you please sign my copy of Tale of the Champions?"
Cassandra is going to be very disappointed once she gets to know them better.
Or will she?
Also, I have a lot planned for this story after they arrive in Skyhold. Problem is, my creative juices got nothing for Val Royeaux, Redcliffe, and Corypheus' entrance. Wish me luck.