“I’m sorry, Hawke.”
Hawke turns at the sound of Isabela’s voice behind her. The ship is pulling away from Kirkwall’s docks, Isabela’s crew hard at work, and the two of them are up on the deck, Hawke taking one last look at the city that became her home, the city that she championed. First Lothering, and now here. Maybe it’s for the best: she wouldn’t want to be the champion of a place that treated its mages so horrifically, and now, she’s the champion of their freedom instead.
Kirkwall was still home, though. Still where she met all the friends she has today, still where she met Isabela. Hawke shrugs. Isabela’s done nothing she should feel the need to say sorry for. It wasn’t her who blew up the chantry, and even then, what else could have been done?
“You don’t have to be sorry. If anyone should be apologising for anything, it’s Anders, but I’m not blaming him. He did what he thought was right. What is right, even. I don’t think anything could have been done to get Meredith to see reason. Still – it does hurt to see Kirkwall go. It was Varric’s home, and it became Merrill’s home, and Fenris’…”
Isabela nods once – solemn, unlike her, seemingly at a loss for what to say – and steps forward, closer to the edge of the ship, closer to Hawke.
“Maybe I’m not the best person to be offering sympathies about lost homes,” she tells Hawke. “I mean – I am a pirate. I only really stayed in Kirkwall because of you. And because of the relic, of course, but after that… mostly you.”
“Mostly me?” Hawke asks, raising an eyebrow.
“You and the Hanged Man.” Isabela’s smirking now. Hawke can’t help but let herself smile a little, too, her first real smile since leaving the shore. This is what she needs: a brief moment of peace and playfulness after all the chaos and destruction. Amid the chaos and destruction, really, because it isn’t over yet.
“I think I could learn from that,” she says. “From you and all your moving around. I had my first home ripped away from me, and now the second. Perhaps it’s just best to drift between places. Not to get too attached.”
She only hopes that Isabela doesn’t think she’s completely cancelling out getting attached to people, too. Hawke knows that Isabela has issues with relationships, and she isn’t going to push her, isn’t going to try and make what there is between them anything more than whatever Isabela is comfortable with, but Hawke would like that, if Isabela would have her.
“So, it’s a pirate’s life for us, then?” Isabela wonders, and Hawke nods, taking one of Isabela’s hands in her own, silently rejoicing when Isabela doesn’t try to pull away.
“A pirate’s life for us,” she agrees.
Home, after all, is wherever she makes it.