Posts Tagged 'baby malcolm hawke'

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Sapling

A Fenris/Hawke (and family!) story, featuring Metis, the gardener

Written and recorded by Ranna Dylin 🙂

When the moment arrives, the
signs are evident and all preparations are in place. The sapling arrived just
in time, the night before, from a farm two miles out of Kirkwall; since last
night its roots have been soaking. The weather is fair this afternoon; a bit
cool, but sunny and dry, excellent for digging. And the midwife waits, three
blocks away, for the signal to swoop in.

It begins just after lunch.
Hawke sits, pushed away from the table, valiantly trying to balance wee Malcolm
on a knee, having surrendered all other lap territory to her thoroughly swollen
belly. The boy giggles and makes a game of it, pretending to slip down from her
knee only to be caught in the Champion’s strong hands again, held secure in a
loving, if very precarious, grip. One moment he is bouncing and chortling and
Metis laughs along as his grandson’s antics draw a chuckle even from Fenris.
The next, Malcolm slips suddenly to the floor, unharmed but startled, silenced
mid-laughter to balance on his toes and look back up at his mother in surprise.

“Oh,” Hawke says, staring off
into space. “Oh. Fenris, I think it’s
time.”

And then the plans prepared are
put into motion: Hawke, bundled up to bed for her lying-in; Malcolm, delivered
to Orana to be tucked into his own bed; Fenris, off like a bolt from Varric’s
crossbow to fetch the midwife.

And Metis, seeing that
everything is as it should be, waits by Hawke’s bedside, distracting her with
anecdotes about Varania’s birth, till the midwife shows up to shoo all menfolk
from the room.

Then there is nothing else to
do but to wait, and to plant.

He chose the spot weeks ago, in
the garden attached to Hawke’s estate. The flowers and herbs and vegetable
patch have been in his care alone since the family returned to Kirkwall months
ago; a decent enough yard it makes for this season, but he has plans for the
expansions the next will bring, very detailed plans. It will go through dozens
of variations, this garden, year by year, if he lives so long; but every
version of it will focus around the row of trees he’s begun at the high end.
The apple tree was the very first to go in, at Fenris’ request. The chestnut
tree beside it is Hawke’s (there are few people in this world for whom he would
have planted nuts, but in her garden it thrives). A few yards in front of
these, a peach tree for Malcolm. And beside the peach tree, the spade awaits
for the orchard’s newest member.

He digs the hole shallow, lest
the sapling’s roots be smothered. As the earth yields to the spade, he
remembers the orchard in Seheron, the day he dug this hole for Varania’s
pomegranates. That tree had grown broad and strong since his daughter’s birth,
heavy with fruit, alongside the orange tree he’d planted on the day Mara became
his wife. They had been the chief of all the trees in his orchard. Perhaps they
grew there still, long abandoned or now feeding new settlers. He did not like
to think that the slavers might have set fire to his trees along with the
buildings of the town.

The earth is ready now; he
lowers the sapling into the space he has created, making room for new growth in
his garden as they have made room in their hearts and home. Gently he showers
the soil back in place, cradling the fragile roots, as blankets in Hawke’s
chamber wait to cradle new life. He leaves a space around the trunk clear, so
that the roots can breathe and grow strong, listening all the while for the cry
at Hawke’s window that will signal the newborn’s first breath. At last he hauls
water from the well, soaking the earth and the roots with its blessing, feeling
his cheeks wet with anticipation and joy.

And then he places a hand on
the slender young trunk, and calls to earth, to sun, to the tender life within.
Life sings through the bark, through roots and cambium all the way to the tips
of the fragile new branches. Not too much: time and nature will do the bulk of
the work, but with the gardener’s magic a single tip buds, and blossoms, and
the sweet cherry-scent brightens the air. Metis smiles, and pats the bark
approvingly. And there, at Hawke’s window, the cry of life rings out on the
breeze to mingle with the scent of spring.

He plucks the first blossom and
makes his way inside, up the stairs, into the chamber. Fenris looks up at
Metis’ approach and beams with relieved pride, the bundle in his arms still softly
whimpering.

“She’s here,” Fenris whispers,
holding the bundle up for Metis to see. “Mara.”

“In record time, compared to
her brother,” adds a wry and weary Hawke, looking immensely pleased with
herself, from the bed.

“Mara,” Metis greets the little
one, tucking the flower behind her tiny round ear. “Welcome, little blossom.”

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Quis Custodiet: Pars Tertia

Prompted for Fenhawke Week by @beautifultoastdream

A tale in three parts (there might will end up being a fourth, actually, because part three here is not the end…and I can make the final chapter fit the Sunday theme of “Hope” so there’s the rest of my Fenhawke Week writing accounted for, if a bit late!) to the tune of Juvenal’s quote: quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who shall guard the guardians themselves?

Each part corresponds to one of the Fenhawke Week daily themes, since I fell behind on them after Wednesday’s post.

Quis Custodiet is set in my Hawkquisition AU, post-Warriors Such As. Hawke and Fenris, along with their children and Metis, have returned to Kirkwall to support Viscount Varric. Their second child is around three years old at this point, and Malcolm is around five. As a sort of Champion Emerita, Hawke’s primary focus now is raising that family, but she and Fenris both do occasionally take on odd jobs the way they used to, just to make ends meet before the Deep Roads and even during her Champion days. One – or two – such odd jobs lead to the beginning of our story. It is probably not a story to take too seriously…

This is Part Three of this little more-than-a-drabble; Part One is here and Part Two is here!


Pars Tertia: Ragged Band of Misfits (Saturday’s theme: through the eyes of their
friends)

Metis was generally an early riser, but nothing said “Good morning
Sunshine!” like one’s two small grandchildren clambering into one’s bed to
question why their grandfather was still lingering there past the first light
of dawn. He groaned and rolled over to find that the weight on his left leg was
Mara, while Malcolm was bouncing up and down with a death grip on his arm,
singing out, “Papa Metis! Papa Metis!”

“Well,” he yawned, sitting up with difficulty while Mara continued
to lean on his leg and Malcolm burrowed close under his arm, “good morning to
you, too. Are you sure it’s actually morning yet?” He glanced at the window,
narrowing bleary eyes at the light slipping past the shutters. “Kirkwall could
just be on fire. That happens often enough, doesn’t it?”

“You can’t see it’s morning, Papa,” Malcolm giggled, and, “Mara,
Papa needs his speckacles!” The little girl obliged, slipping down from the bed
and scurrying to pick up the glasses from their place on the side table. Metis
thanked her gravely, fixing the frames into place over his ears and blinking
dramatically at the children, making silly faces till they squealed with
laughter that he could not help but echo.

This was a regular enough routine even when Fenris and Lisbet were
at home to put the children to bed the night before, even when Metis was not
minding the children while his son and daughter-in-law were out, stamping out
trouble or stirring it up. So he herded them down to breakfast, shushing them
to not wake their parents in the next room.

When those parents still hadn’t come down to breakfast after his
second cup of tea, Metis began to worry. “Orana,” he asked the housekeeper,
busying herself with something that smelled of sugar and butter and an
afternoon of children unable to sit still, “how late did they get in last
night?”

“The mistress?” Orana asked, glancing up from her batter.

“And Fenris too? I gathered he was working a night shift, but it’s
well past dawn now.”

“I’m not rightly sure, messere,” she said, frowning. “I didn’t
hear them enter. Everyone was in bed by then, I suppose.”

Ten more minutes passed, while Malcolm chattered amiably about the
various games he had planned for Metis to play with them that day. Nodding over
his third cup of tea without taking much note of the boy’s agenda, Metis
suddenly felt a tug on his sleeve and looked down to see Mara gazing up at him
with her big grey eyes, so like those of Fenris’ mother, her namesake. He
leaned down to brush back from those eyes the fringes of her auburn hair and
asked, “What is it, Buttercup?”

On tiptoes she whispered into his ear, “Da. Mum.”

“They’re still sleeping, love,” he whispered back. But Mara
scrunched her nose up in a frown and shook her head.

It was indeed odd that they weren’t up yet, he decided. Even
working night shifts or sneaking around on the Viscount’s business overnight,
it would be difficult for them to sleep through the children’s morning clamor.
So he stood and gathered the girl up in his arms. “Perhaps we should wake them,
then. But gently,” he added with a stern glance at Malcolm. “No jumping
on the bed this time.”

They headed back upstairs, Malcolm trailing after without much
effort to lower his voice, while the dog came padding up to join the parade.
Even so, Metis knocked lightly at first on the master bedroom door, calling,
“Fenris? Lisbet? Are you up yet? Mara’s here to see you.”

“And me!” Malcolm shouted, and it would be a wonder if they were
still sleeping through that. Metis sighed and slowly pushed the door
open to peek in, holding the boy and dog back until he had ascertained the
situation.

The situation, he quickly ascertained, was that the bed was empty,
sheets unstirred, never slept in.

“Da?” Malcolm asked in a quieter voice, poking his head in past
Metis’ waist. Mara threw her arms around her grandfather’s neck, nuzzling her
face into his shoulder with a hum of discontent.

“Shh, love,” Metis said, patting her back. “Not to worry.
Something’s kept them out tonight, but we’ll find them.”


He fetched his staff and squirmed the children out of their
pajamas and into their clothes. The dog marched along beside them once more as
they crossed the courtyard and made their way up the steps into the Viscount’s
Keep. The guards at the door looked askance at the dog but grinned at the
Champion’s children and waved them on through.

They found Varric not in his office, but in Aveline’s, feet up on
the Guard-Captain’s desk while she paced by the window, filling him in on the
details of some interrupted heist and occasionally casting meaningful scowls at
his boots. Both of them looked immensely relieved at the interruption of a
mage, a mabari, and two small children bursting in on them.

“Well, Professor,” Varric beamed, swinging his feet down and
coming forward to chuck Mara under the chin, prompting a shy smile as she
pulled away to hide her face in Metis’ shoulder again. “Tell me you’ve got
something more interesting than smugglers in the warehouse district.”

“Hawke didn’t come home last night,” Metis said without preamble.
“Nor Fenris.”

Varric exchanged a glance with Aveline. “She was on an errand for
me, of sorts, spying on agitators. I would have expected her back well before
morning. She took the elf with her?”

Metis shook his head. “He hired on at the Marquis du Rochelan’s
estate as an extra guard for the week. This was the third night, but he’s been
home before dawn every night before and…why are you looking at me like that?”

“Du Rochelan, huh?” Varric echoed. “Shit. That would be the
agitator.”

Metis’ eyes grew wide. “You think they both ran into trouble
there?”

“You know them as well as I do, Professor,” the dwarf said with a
crooked grin. “If there’s trouble to find, of course they ran into it.”

“What sort of trouble, exactly? What did you have Hawke spying
on?”

“At the worst,” Varric said, rubbing at his neck, “an
assassination attempt in the making?”

“Varric!”

“Hold your brontos, Professor. Look, I probably should have sent
backup, but it’s Hawke. She can handle herself. And we both know your son can
too.”

“And yet they’re not, at this moment, safe at home enjoying
Orana’s excellent sticky buns.”

“They can handle themselves until we get there, I meant to say,”
Varric grinned. “I’ll go after them. It was my errand in the first place.”

“I’m coming with you,” Metis insisted.

“You need proper backup this time, Varric,” Aveline stepped
forward. “Let me send guards.”

“What, and make it obvious we suspect something?” Varric waved his
hands at her. “No, no, and you’re not going either, Captain. One look at your
face and they’ll know. At least if I go, it looks like just a political
maneuver. Plus you have smugglers to deal with.”

Aveline glared at him but finally gave a sharp nod. “Metis? What
about the children?”

He looked down as Malcolm tugged at his robes. “Papa, I wanna go
too!”

Metis knelt down, loosing Mara’s arms from his neck to stand her
by her brother. “Now, lad. This is not an adventure. Probably it will be just a
very boring social call, while Varric talks to some annoying people and we find
out what’s keeping your mother and father. You’d get very tired of it and wish
you were at home with Orana.”

Malcolm raised sad eyes to his grandfather’s. “But Papa, Da needs
me! Mum says I used to go into battle with her all the time.

Varric chuckled. “I bet she still has the sling you rode in, kid.”

Metis shot him a you’re not helping glare and turned back
to the boy. “It’s one thing for your mother to carry you into battle, Malcolm,
and entirely different for me to do so. She’d probably forbid me ever to
mind the two of you again.”

“But I wanna help!” Malcolm wailed.

“And so you shall,” Metis assured him, laying a hand on the boy’s
elbow. “I need your help here, my boy. Someone needs to look after your sister.
Make sure she’s not scared.”

Malcolm glanced at Mara, who was regarding him with calm eyes and
a thumb in her mouth. He faced her with a scowl so like Fenris’ that Metis had
to purse his lips to hide a smile. “Mara,” said the boy, “what did I tell you
about sucking your thumb?”

Varric did a very poor job of hiding a snicker at that, covering
it with a cough as Mara tucked her hand behind her back and glanced up at the dwarf.
“See, kid?” he said. “Looks like you’re needed here.”

“They can stay at the barracks if you like, Metis,” Aveline
offered. “I’ve got smugglers to deal with, but Donnic’s off duty.”

Malcolm’s eyes lit up. “Can he teach me to use a sword?”

Aveline cast a panicked glance at Metis. He sighed. “Perhaps a
practice sword? If you’re very, very careful?”

The children ran off, shouting for joy, into the barracks in
search of the unsuspecting Donnic. Metis sent the mabari off after them and
turned to Varric.

“Okay, Professor,” said
the dwarf. “Let’s go see what the holdup is.”

Do Lisbet and Carver ever come to a healthy place in their relationship?

Oh, definitely. I think the key to Carver’s relationship with Hawke always boils down to him finding a way out of the elder sibling’s shadow and standing on his own two feet. Of the in-game options for him, joining the Wardens probably helps more with both of those, but in Lisbet’s playthrough he became a Templar. Still, there was the “glad to call you sister” conversation before the final battle, and I think all that time doing his own thing in the Order did help him to grow up to that extent. 

They’re never going to be overly affectionate with each other, I’m sure (well, Lisbet might well try, but she’s also grown up enough to learn that such advances only push Carver away more), but by the time of Warriors, they do get along well enough. The intense sibling rivalry has mellowed to more typical but affectionate bickering. 

And as for Carver’s place in the world: Since Meredith’s fall, he’s left the Order and Kirkwall entirely to avoid the red lyrium, and he’s found a stauncher ally (and lover) in Merrill than he expected. Traveling with her and her refugee clan, he’s become someone her people all rely on, a shemlen they trust because Merrill does, and all of that has nothing to do with Lisbet Hawke. 

Pretty soon now, Lisbet and Fenris will head back to Kirkwall, but Carver and Merrill and their patchwork clan will stay at Skyhold as long as the Inquisition remains (will Thayer disband in Trespasser? stay tuned…I haven’t decided yet 🙂 ). Merrill’s pretty much the best friend Lisbet has after Varric, so for her to not rush off after Lisbet but to come to the decision, with Carver, that their place is with the new clan and the clan’s place is in the Inquisition, is confirmation to Carver of his independence, and that’s one of the healthiest things that could happen to his sibling relationship.

Also, it does help that he’s got a really cute nephew now. That’s an excellent reason for Carver to stay on Lisbet’s good side…

FenHawke Question of the Day: Sunday, January 31

fenhawkearchive:

What’s the status of your Fenris & Hawke post game (DA2 or DAI)? Where do you hope they eventually end up?

I may have written a small series of fic about this very question. A summary (spoilers if you’ve not read Hawkquisition yet):

  • Lisbet Hawke became Viscount and stepped down, as is mentioned in DAI, when the templars there started using red lyrium and getting paranoid.
  • After that she and Fenris were investigating the red lyrium and also hunting slavers till he got injured and she left him behind to answer Varric’s letter.
  • Hawke survives Adamant. Fenris catches up with her on the way to Weisshaupt.
  • Weisshaupt is boring and Lisbet is pregnant, so they return to Skyhold.
  • They’re sort of like extra members of the Inquisition now, whose adventures (and birth of their firstborn, Malcolm,) can be read in the rest of my stories so I won’t spoil any more! (the above was basically Part 1 of the series.)
  • After Warriors Such As they’ll return to Kirkwall with Varric, to help him out when he ends up being viscount. Also, baby Mara will be born there soon…
  • They might return to the Inquisition for a Trespasser-timeline story; at least that’s what I’m currently thinking about for part 5 of Hawkquisition. 🙂
  • But in the end, they’re raising kids in Kirkwall with Metis’ help, probably with a reconciled Varania visiting occasionally, and with Aunt Merrill married to Carver.
  • In other words, my hope for them is family. The theme and mission statement of my fic series seems to have turned out to be “Give Fenris all the family” and, well, two kids and one dad and eventually one sister later…

Fenhawke Week Day 6: Ragged Band of Misfits

  • Today’s theme: friends! Their friendships with others, their relationship through the eyes of their friends, whatever way you want to take it is good!

So, I’m a bit behind on Fenhawke Week prompts, actually working on one to fill a Latin Quote prompt that will perhaps end up being three parts to fit the Thursday/Friday/Saturday themes, but this snippet from the next chapter of Warriors Such As seemed to fit today’s theme nicely on its own! Have a glimpse of Fenris and Hawke through Metis’ eyes, and be warned that as with most anything I post about Metis at this point, it’s spoilery if you haven’t read through Chapter 10 of Warriors to know who he actually is…


The Champion of Kirkwall was certainly free with her affections. Her claim on Fenris’ heart was evident from the never-broken flow of touches, Metis thought as he watched them approach where he sat in the garden the next morning. She walked at his side, close enough to brush shoulders, and he leaned over to brush a kiss to her hair. She took his hand, while he balanced Malcolm against his hip with the other, and he twined fingers with hers. When her arm slipped around his waist, his went to her shoulder, drawing her in closer. To say that they could not keep their hands off each other would imply the desperation of a younger relationship, still working out the details. This seemed a union whose details were worked out to the point that they fit so neatly into one another’s space as to seem incomplete without those touches of reassurance: You’re still here: Good. So am I.

Hawke’s presence brought smiles to Fenris’ face more regularly than at any time since Metis had met him. He lit up at her touch; sometimes, even literally, his markings giving off a faint glow. Metis sighed as he looked down at his own markings. They hurt, still; their song was an ever present danger; they might just kill him, if they could not be cleansed soon. But to see his son smile like this, he regretted none of it.

ruby-rust:

☆ Giveaway prize ☆ 

Just in time for Fenhawke week!

Inspired by @rannadylin‘s fan fiction Patchwork Families, Lisbet Hawke, Fenris and their son Malcolm.

This turned out so amazing! My favorite duo ever, and Malcolm in his combat ride-along sling, and all the details. Thank you so much!

Warriors Such As: Chapter 20

I think this is the next to last chapter! Unless, of course, all the epilogue style scenes I have in mind prove too cumbersome for a Chapter 21 and demand equal time in a Chapter 22. Time will tell. But here is the beginning of the end, at least! Have some happy fluffy Fenhawke reunion time. Bonus: Hawke meets [redacted for spoilers if you still haven’t read through Chapter 10] Metis.

Word count: 3311
Rating: G
Fenris/F!Hawke
Summary: Hawke and Malcolm rush to Jader to meet Fenris straight off the ship.

Read it here or on:  DA  |  AO3  |  FF.net

Masterpost in case you need to catch up or start from the beginning!

Comments and reblogs are always appreciated! I love seeing what you think of each chapter, what parts you liked or want to respond to, or even just a note if you enjoyed it!

Hawkquisition
Part 4: Warriors Such As
Chapter 20
Wherein Hawke provides
the hero’s welcome

Jader’s docks buzzed with life. Lisbet Hawke clutched her son
tighter to her chest as she walked the wharves, watching the horizon. Malcolm
struggled in her arms, muttering, “Go,” and then, louder, “Go!”

“Uh-uh, little mister,” Hawke muttered back. “Not after the last
time. You stay put. No more exploring Jader without me.” She shifted her hold
on him, aiming for more secure with less constricting, and resumed her march
from pier to pier while Malcolm babbled to himself.

“Bo,” Malcolm said very solemnly after several minutes, twisting
to look out to sea.

“I know a pirate who’d send you off the plank for calling that a
boat and not a ship, dumpling,” she chuckled, but she followed the boy’s gaze
to peer at the incoming ship he’d spotted. It was barely a dot on the horizon
as yet, but as the first ship into the harbor this morning it held her
attention as well as her son’s.

Then the growing dot resolved itself into two dots, a second
closely following the first, and her heart seized. The flags. What flags were
they flying? She quickened her pace towards the furthest pier, straining to
see, and nearly jumped out of her skin when she bumped into a passerby in her
hurry. “Sorry,” she said, breathless, glancing aside to see the grizzled old
man she’d jostled smile and wave a dismissal of her apology. As she turned to
move on, she noticed the spyglass clipped to his belt.

“Wait,” she said, thinking of one like it that Isabela had once
shown her as they traveled along the Wounded Coast. “Is that – I mean, your
spyglass – could I – Oh, this must sound horribly odd, but would you mind if
I borrowed it for a moment? The ships coming in…I’m waiting for my husband,
you see.”

You’re babbling, Lisbet. She frowned and clapped
her mouth shut, but the stranger chuckled and held the spyglass up to her. “Be
my guest, lady.”

She thanked him in all sincerity, shifting Malcolm to her side so
she could extend the spyglass with a gentle flick of her wrist and bring it up
to one eye. Malcolm’s tiny hands, surprisingly strong and quick, made a grab
for the new toy, but she twisted him out of reach, focusing on the image in the
lens, scanning the distant waters until one of the ships filled her view. Even
with the spyglass’s aid it was small, and time seemed to stretch on as she
watched it draw closer, trying to see what flag flew from its mast.

“Bo?” Malcolm asked, grabbing for the spyglass again even as
Lisbet gasped in sudden relief.

“All right then, Mal,” she said, grinning as she held the lens up
for him to take a turn peering into. “Have a look at that boat. See the flags?
That’s Uncle Thayer’s boat. That’s your Da coming home.”

~*~

As the sailors lowered the gangplank into place, Metis adjusted
the staff at his back and tugged at the glove now concealing his left hand.
Weeks of fresh sea air had done much to heal the burned flesh and ease the
fresh pain of the markings, but weeks of instruction and practice had barely
begun to acclimate him to the sensation of sharing with the lyrium the space
that had been all his own for all his years. Its song persisted, but grew no
stronger over the days, and he had grown confident in his ability to guard his
thoughts from its siren call. Under Fenris’ watchful eye, he had managed at
last to bring the markings to life without succumbing to the sudden frenzy into
which their activation threw their song. Solid objects, primarily the spare
sails and wheels of cheese into which he had attempted to plunge his fingers,
continued to resist such intrusions, but Fenris said with solemn nods after
each attempt that the phasing would come in time and that his progress was
satisfactory.

And his magic, beneath the lyrium’s song, called to him as well,
its familiar presence persisting despite the distraction. They had experimented
with Licinius’ potion on a few occasions, quieting the lyrium just enough that
Metis could cast a chill over Thayer’s drink, or direct a healing pulse at
Varric when the dwarf was gripped with seasickness, or otherwise make himself
useful and keep in practice. Nothing came as easily as it should, between the
whisper still coming from the lyrium and the strain of the magebane upon his
mana, but it was a relief just to know he still could cast. There came a day,
nearly at the end of their voyage, when he even managed to summon leaves and a
single blossom from an oar without first applying the potion, though the effort
required to focus past the lyrium-song left him nearly passed out on the deck and
earned him no end of scolding from Fenris. He kept the blossom, nonetheless,
pressed into a book where he could look at it, and smile, and hope.

Hope filled him now, as Fenris hefted both their packs despite
Metis’ objections that he was fully capable of carrying his own. An arched
eyebrow was his son’s only response as he led the way down the gangplank. Metis
sighed and followed, gawking up at Jader’s dark roofs and narrow streets. For
the first Orlesian city he had ever seen, it seemed surprisingly ordinary from
here.

Fenris, glancing around and opening his mouth as if to speak,
froze suddenly when a shout of “Malcolm!” pierced through the crowd at
the docks. Metis saw his eyes go wide as he twisted in search of the sound.
Then Fenris gasped, and Metis followed his gaze to see a dark-haired woman
scrambling to catch a child toddling away from her. Squirming in her grasp, the
child pointed tiny fingers in Fenris’ direction before jamming them into his
mouth and looking back up at the woman.

She looked their way. The smile that lit her face when she saw
Fenris explained everything. When Fenris took a step forward and then suddenly
looked back at Metis, hesitating, Metis nudged him, stifling a grin of his own,
and said, “Go on. I won’t disappear.”

Fenris squeezed his arm and took off, swallowing the distance in
fewer steps than seemed physically possible and sweeping the lady and child
together up in an embrace. No longer stifling his grin, Metis followed at a
more leisurely pace, allowing their reunion the space that months apart would
crave. Between the two of them, the child’s curly head peeked up over Fenris’
shoulder, eying Metis with a familiar green gaze.

“Hawke,” he heard Fenris say as he caught up, “what are you doing
here?”

“Welcoming you home, obviously,” she laughed, pressing a kiss
against his jaw.

“This isn’t home,” Fenris teased. “This is Jader.”

“Fenris,” she said, drawing back to meet his gaze, “you’re
my home.”

“Ah,” he smiled. “Then perhaps I should be the one welcoming you,
Hawke.” Suiting actions to words, he leaned in for a kiss while Metis winked at
the child now pulling himself up Fenris’ arm, the better to stare over his
shoulder at the mage in his parents’ shadow.

“I feel very welcomed indeed,” Hawke smiled as the kiss ended.

“And I,” Fenris said, “am glad to be home. Though I was expecting
no such welcome before we reached Skyhold.”

“The Inquisition sent a caravan to bring everyone back there,” she
explained, glancing around at the soldiers and scouts in Inquisition livery now
disembarking. “So Mal and I tagged along. We’ve been here two days and I was
beginning to worry something had happened to you at sea.” Just then, she caught
sight of Metis waiting three steps away. Fenris followed her gaze and turned
with an embarrassed cough to say, “Metis. This…this is Hawke.”

“So I gathered,” he grinned, stepping forward.

“And Hawke,” Fenris said, his voice lowering, “this is my father.”

Hawke fixed him with a gaze that put him in mind of her namesake
predator. Metis stared back, studying the face of the woman who had claimed his
son’s heart as thoroughly, he judged, as Mara had ever claimed his own.
Somehow, for all Varric’s tales of the Champion and all the times Fenris had
spoken of her in Seheron, it had not occurred to Metis that she would be human.
Nearly as tall as Fenris, perhaps even the tiniest bit taller than Metis
himself, she wore her dark hair in a long braid over one shoulder, tied with a
red ribbon like the one Fenris had been so relieved to find among the pieces of
his armor in the storage room in Ath Velanis. Hawke met his stare with narrowed
eyes, human irises small but a deeper green than that which ran in his family.
Freckles dusted the small nose now wrinkling at him as her coral-pink lips
thinned. Maker, he thought, I’ve somehow offended her already.

Then Hawke appeared to come to a decision. Disentangling herself
from Fenris’ arms, she stepped back, leaving the boy Malcolm clinging to his
shoulder, and reached for one of the packs Fenris had dropped in his haste to
hold her.

“Hawke,” Fenris objected, turning to grab the second before she
had further ideas. “You don’t need to –”

“I’m going to,” Hawke insisted. “They don’t squirm like Malcolm
–” she leaned up suddenly to kiss the boy’s cheek, making him giggle and
wriggle away, burying his face in Fenris’ shoulder, “and he’s going to insist
on being carried by Da today. Meanwhile,” she turned suddenly, the pack slung over
one shoulder, and wrapped an arm around Metis’ elbow, “I want to talk to you,
she finished, pulling him along in her wake with a grin that turned his
stomach. He glanced back at Fenris, but his son was now caught up in an odd
sort of one-sided conversation with the baby.

“Bo?” Malcolm asked before launching into a string of less
discernible babble that ended again with, “Bo!”

“Ah…” Fenris hesitated, until Hawke glanced over her shoulder and
stage-whispered, “Boat.

“Ah, yes,” he said, nose to nose with the boy. “Yes, Malcolm. We
were on the boat.”

“Go!”

“Er, no. We will not go on the boat again.”

“Da? Go?”

“No, son. No more going away. I am going with you, back to
Skyhold.”

Their conversation faded as Hawke drew Metis farther ahead,
leading the way back to wherever the Inquisition’s caravan was stationed, he
assumed. “So,” she said at last, with a glance to the staff at his back,
“you’re a mage.”

“As are you, I’m told,” he nodded at her staff in turn.

“But you’re not a magister? I have been informed by reliable
sources that the two are not always the same thing in Tevinter.”

He laughed in surprise. “The last time an elf actually
entered the Magisterium was…well, to be honest, if it ever has
happened, they don’t bother to teach that quirk of history in the Circles. I
was curious about it myself once and tried to find some record of such a
person, but it seems they don’t like to remember it in books much either.”

“Hm,” she said. “But you’ve been trained, nonetheless. I take it
that’s not common?”

“I was fortunate,” he explained. “I saved a magister’s life and
earned her patronage – and my freedom. I suppose I was especially fortunate to
gain the favor of one of the few decent mages in the Magisterium.”

“That’s the thing,” Hawke nodded. “Fenris was…”

“Hawke,” came Fenris’ voice, and both of them stopped and turned
to look at him. But it was not Hawke herself he was speaking to. His mouth
quirked up at the side in a half smile as he repeated: “Hawke. That is your
mother’s name, Malcolm. Can you say ‘Hawke’?”

Malcolm regarded his father thoughtfully, chewing on his fist.

“Hawke?” Fenris repeated. “Come now, try it. Hawke.

“Hah!” Malcolm shouted gleefully.

Hawke snorted with laughter. “Oh, he thinks you’re so
funny, Fenris,” she teased, turning back to the path and once again dragging
Metis ahead with her.

A minute passed before she spoke again, while behind them Malcolm
continued shouting “Hah!” at his father’s encouragement. “I may have to change
my name,” she said, shaking her head. “Speaking of which, you’re welcome to
call me Lisbet if you prefer. No one much does, except Fenris on occasions, and
my brother calls me Liz. But it does seem odd for family to call me Hawke,
doesn’t it?”

He almost stumbled. “You consider me family, then.”

“Aren’t you?” she grinned, and then looked away, tightening her
grip on his arm. “Ah, but then I jump right in with the questions. I’m sorry if
I seem suspicious. It’s just that Fenris has had the worst luck with two
things: mages, and family, and here you pop up out of nowhere as both.”

“If I may,” he smiled, “aren’t you also both of those
things?”

She blinked at him and then laughed. “Fair enough. You and me,
founding members of the Mages Fenris Can Trust Club.”

“Gladly.”

“Welcome to the family, then, Metis.”

He glanced over to see her beaming at him, all trace of suspicion
gone. So he grinned and said, “As your father-in-law, shouldn’t that be my
line?”

She laughed, delighted. “I suppose it would have, but I got here
first!”

“I didn’t even know,” he told her, solemnity sweeping in again.
“For most of the years of his life, I didn’t know he existed. Mara was pregnant
when the slavers parted us. I only learned a few years ago, when I finally
managed to track her and Varania to Danarius’ household, that there was
a son. All these years…”

“It’s still not too late,” she said, leaning into his arm. “I can
tell from his letters that he likes you. Even if you are both family and
a mage.”

“Then I am overjoyed to be a part of this family, Hawke. Lisbet,”
he corrected, and she smiled.

“Does it…bother you,” she asked after a moment, “that I’m human?
That he didn’t marry an elf?”

“What?” Metis stared at her wide-eyed. “No. I saw how he longed
for you, Lisbet, how he came alive when he saw you here. There is a magic
between you that sets my heart at ease.” Metis reached to cover her hand on his
arm with his free hand, which happened to be the gloved hand; Hawke had
apparently known better than to grab him by his marked arm.

She looked down at the glove, pursing her lips. “Is this…?”

“Yes.”

She glanced up again, brows furrowed. “Would you mind if I…that
is…can I see them? Feel free to say no, if that’s too impertinent of me. But
Merrill and Dagna have been making plans ever since we got Fenris’ last letter,
and…”

He was already reaching to pull the glove free. He held out his
left hand ahead of them, letting the bruise-red of the markings catch the
rising sun’s light. She stretched out a finger, hesitating to look to him for
his nod of permission before she ran it gently over one line, frowning.

“Looks awful,” she finally decided. “They still hurt, I’m sure?”

“It’s getting better,” he assured her. “It was certainly not a pleasant
experience.”

“You did this to save his life.”

“I suspect you’d have done no less.”

“Probably,” she nodded, and then pulled closer to brush a kiss to
his cheek. “Thank you, Metis.”

~*~

It was late by the time the travelers returned to Skyhold. As far
as Fenris was concerned, the welcome Josephine had prepared for the group paled
in comparison to Hawke’s welcome on the docks. Yet the privilege of slowly
enjoying a dinner not prepared over a campfire, seated at the common table with
Metis to his left and Hawke to his right, Malcolm on his lap, made him smile
like a giddy fool no matter how relentlessly Malcolm squirmed and tried to bat
away the turnips his father fed him. Fenris sighed, and kissed the boy’s curly
head, and offered him baked apples instead, for life is short and turnips are
by no means one of the better parts of it.

He slept peacefully in Hawke’s arms for the first time in weeks –
actually, months now. The sun woke him early but only long enough to see that
she was still there, curled beneath his arm to fill a spot too long empty. He
shifted and, with a sigh, drifted off to sleep again.

It was the sound of retching that woke him next.

Disoriented from oversleeping, he looked around their chamber
groggily, squinting at Malcolm still sprawled in his crib, finally spotting
Hawke out of bed, bent over the chamberpot in obvious distress. In a moment he
was kneeling at her side, holding her hair back as she heaved the last of Josephine’s
celebratory dinner into the pot.

“Hawke,” he murmured, holding her gently as the heaves subsided.
“Your letters…you mentioned you were not feeling well, but…you seemed fine
yesterday.”

A low chuckle. “Oh. I’d forgot I wrote anything about that.”

“This is some new illness then? You didn’t drink too much last
night, did you? I did not notice…”

“I mostly drank tea last night,” she laughed. “I…um…Maker,
Fenris, this was not how I intended to break the news, and I wanted to tell you
in person, not in a letter, but yesterday was just so busy and I
didn’t really want to say anything until we were alone, at which point we were
both asleep within seconds, but…”

“Hawke. What is it? What’s wrong?”

She looked up at him with eyes shining. “Absolutely nothing. It’s
morning sickness, and it’s nearly run its course by now, I think.”

“Morning…” His eyes grew wide as he looked at her and took in her
meaning.

“We’re having another baby, Fenris!” she beamed at him.

He blinked and stammered, “How…? When…? How long…?”

“I’m sure you’ve worked out the how,” she teased, leaning
into his arm. “As to the timing: Well, it appears this was a sort of going-away
present the last time I saw you.”

“So you’ve been…” He frowned and took her face in his hands.
“Hawke, I’m so sorry.”

Her eyes narrowed and chin tilted up at him as her hands came to
rest on his knees. “Sorry? About having a baby?”

“Oh, no. Not at all. But that I left you here to bear this alone…”

“Ah.” She leaned up to kiss his nose. “Don’t be sorry about that,
love. You couldn’t have known, and I’ve managed just fine, thank you.”

“Ever capable,” he smiled at her. But the next thought tore at his
smile: “If something had happened to me, though…”

“Well, it didn’t,” she said, driving away the what-ifs with her
fingers running through his hair. “And if it had, I’d still have been
glad of both our children. As I think your mother was glad for both of
hers.”

He nodded finally, holding her close as a smile crept over his face.
“Do you know…er, does Cole know yet…boy or girl?”

“Apparently it’s too soon. And don’t think I haven’t asked him
every single day since I realized.”

“Does…anyone else know? I mean, not about that. Does
Skyhold know you’re pregnant?”

“Besides Cole? You’re the first, although Josie may have guessed.”

“And did you intend to keep this secret longer?”

“Or can you tell your father right away,” she smirked, “is that
what I’m hearing?”

“It…may have crossed my mind,” he blushed.

“Now that you’ve caught me in the act of pregnancy, Fenris, I’ve
no more secrets to keep,” she smiled, leaning in to wrap her arms around his
neck. “Tell the world today, if you wish.”


Blogger Gatherings!



Click the button for reports from the 2010 Spring Blogger Gathering, hosted by Linett of Nimrodel!

Berethron of Brandywine hosted the 2010 Summer Blogmoot.

The Winter Blogmoot was held on December 4, 9 p.m. EST at the home of Telwen of Silverlode.

Next up: The Spring Blogmoot of 2011 shall return to Nimrodel with Tuiliel (Whart, aka user-1027520) hosting! Linett is looking forward to another local moot!

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