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Relationships take Time. Sometimes Shared Trauma Helps.

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Varric and Edyiss Hawke were quite the new duo when talk of them was spreading during The Hanged Man’s busier hours. How the thief was caught, the way Hawke held herself and gave her brother's sharp tongue a duller side. In all matters she was intriguing. There weren’t many in town that were so quick to join the game and jump on his offer. Many of their other potential investors thought the expedition was foolhardy.

Hawke may have thought the same (her brother did) but she still took his offer with the eagerness of a templar seeking lyrium. She hid it all behind a bloodthirsty look in her eye. As if she was ready to start slicing the gold right off of people. Her brother Carver was unfazed by the look, but Varric made sure to mentally take a picture of it. If they were to work together he was sure it would not be the last time she would look that way. Perhaps she used it often, and that was how she was so effective in her old line of work. It was probably the reason they had yet to find new jobs since.

Varric smiled up at Hawke at that moment. Happy to have found at least one more partner for the expedition. His brother was less than ecstatic about their additions, but he eventually saw it Varric’s way. Bartrand always took a bit longer to see the smartest choice. Not like himself. Edyiss Hawke was the smartest choice, even if she did not seem the most congenial. Now that he thinks about it, all alone in his seat at their table. Listening to some of the other customers share their woes with each other and the unsympathetic bartender.

If they wanted to share their woes or find an apathetic hero to help them out then it would take a while. Hawke would eventually barge in. Coming in with her red ears popping out from under her pristinely, white hair. Having just finished an argument with Carver or Gamlen, perhaps both. It was usually both, Varric had learned early on.

Edyiss was a useful source of terror. She had a particular talent of pissing off everyone she meets. Even those who joined their little group were always edging between blinding anger and begrudging respect for her. Varric could not see himself getting too close to Hawke. The two of them would probably never be friends. His brother had enough of a temper for him to handle. Why would he want to handle another? However, she was the perfect muscle for the expedition. A part of Varric wonders if he would even need to go at this rate.

He dips his head and rests his hands behind his neck. Connecting his knuckles together as he does. He leans back in his chair. Staring at the two other patrons who had stood up in a rush, Varric wonders if he should even go on this trip. Yes, Bartrand was counting on him, but his brother could finish the underground part without him. Hell, even Bianca had been writing him again. She had been in his room only two nights ago and no one seemed to notice her presence. Varric still remembers how her skin felt under his fingers. When he closes his eyes, ignoring the two now brawling idiots was an easy task. Her face fills his eyelids, and he could almost taste her lips. Even on her best days, the taste of sweat, salt, and hits of copper was always there. A testament to her work effort. As well as a give away to her nervous habit.

Varric’s mind takes him back to the first time he had spent in her workshop. Hiding in there from her family. She used work as an excuse to lock herself away with him. Yet she always said she had to show some progress or her father would be suspicious. Somehow she was known for her work effort. Bitterly Varric was jealous over that sometimes. He couldn’t even get his parents to glance at him.

Bianca always would touch her project and then touch her lips. As if she was subconsciously trying to taste the metal and wood. When she was really stumped she would do it three or for times in a row. Never noticing her quick hand going back and forth, again and again. He asked her about that tick once. She called him a liar and a terrible shot. He laughed because back then she was right about one of those at least. Nowadays she would be right about the other.

“We could go Varric. You and me. Our families would never find us.” She urged as her fingers entangled themselves within his chest hair. It was always the first place her hands go to.

“What like elope?” He could still remember his hair standing on end at the suggestion. Sure he had thought about it. They could. “Bartrand would never find us, but your family might just go to the merchant’s guild for assassins.” He rubs his neck for emphasis.

“No we could do it Varric,” She insisted sitting up. “We could have it all planned before they even realize we are planning something.”

Varric only laughed nervously. Which made Bianca upset. With a heavy sigh, she rolls away from him. In moments she was dressed and leaving him alone in his bed. By the time he was standing she was out his door and gone. Varric sighs and rests his feet on top of the table.

Opening his eyes slowly Varric saw that one of the men were now on the ground and the other had a knife to his throat. Only it wasn’t from a friend of the downed man. No the woman who held him still was no other than Edyiss Hawke herself. The only other woman around who could distract Varric.

He almost calls out to her. Almost asks why she was alone. Where was Carver or any of their other companions? Why was her hand covered in blood? Most of all he wants to ask what kind of business of hers it was if two drunk men fight? Varric asks her none of those questions. Instead, he simply watches. Focusing his eyes on the handle of the curved blade. He notices her hands were squeezing the black handle so tightly they become sickeningly white. Her teeth were gritted, but Hawke’s mouth was open. Showing her canine to the rest of the group at the table. When she talks spit flies out but Hawke doesn’t pay it any mind. She snaps at them all before pushing the fool she held still away. She kicks him once in the back of his leg. Varric tries not to laugh as he lands awkwardly on top of the other man.

He was still watching the men fumble with each other on the floor when Hawke set her eyes on him. They were bloodthirsty just like before.

“Where’s Anders?” Hawke asks as she storms over. Her words are filled with venom. Varric wonders what could that warden have done now to call for such an emotion. When he doesn’t answer her right away Hawke asks again. “Where’s the abomination?”

Varric waves his hand. “Now, now Hawke. If we are going to work together we should all be civil. Anders is the only person who actually knows those what kind of danger we are heading into.”

“Where is he?” This time she leans over the table towards him. Holding her face a mere few centimeters away. He could smell her breath. Surprisingly it was better than Bartrand’s.

“I don’t know.” He admits wishing he did know so he could warn the mage. “What did he do this time?”

“None of your business dwarf.”

“As always our conversations are so pleasant Hawke.”

She stands up straight again. The way she held herself was that of a true leader. Always taking charge, making the first move, going out of her way for others. Especially for her family. Honestly, if she would learn to maintain a little decorum or to reign in that anger just a bit, Edyiss Hawke would be like a hero from legend. All armor, muscle, guts and that staff clear as day on her back. Just as if she stepped right out of a book.

When she moves to leave he jumps up from his seat. It clatters to the floor as soon as his feet hit the ground. She doesn’t pause.

“Wait up,” Varric urges grabbing Bianca from beside his toppled chair.

Hawke doesn’t wait. He throws his crossbow on his back. Taking a deep breath his gives a short run just to catch up with her. He matches her pace on the spot. Varric doesn’t talk. The air is always heavy around Hawke. Not a lot of space for words, but he still lets a few slips out now and then. She always glares. He always smiles. Just as they were doing now as they stroll out of The Hanged Man.

Bianca Davri may be the one who could always distract him, but Hawke was always the one to pull him away. Even when he wasn’t invited Varric finds himself tagging along. They may never be friends, but life was better with her around. That much he would admit.