damalur: (Default)
no, use my SPACE name! ([personal profile] damalur) wrote2015-08-17 07:55 pm

amnesty: modern AU (dragon age)

I think I started this for DA Big Bang. Hawke was a PI, Varric was a journalist maybe??

-

Hawke's flat was too small for one average-sized human and one oversized dog. She might be able to inhabit the space comfortably by herself, but the fact was the her dog was enormous--more of a camel than a dog, really. Camels smelled terrible, didn't they? Although Rabbit didn't precisely stink; Hawke bathed him frequently. If she was being honest, she probably bathed him more frequently than she bathed herself, although there was no need to advertise that fact.

Actually, the flat would probably feel quite a bit larger if Rabbit didn't insist on curling up in her lap. He outweighed her by a good twenty pounds, and as a result, many of her evenings were spent pinned to the couch with her legs falling asleep while the cartoon channel ran on infinite loop in the background.

She was there now, flat on her back; Rabbit had his head nested on one of her shoulders and was drooling on the pillow under her head. The program she was watching had ended, and a new one--one she didn't like--had replaced it. Unfortunately, the remote was a good two or three inches out of reach. Every time she shifted, Rabbit gave a little snort and shifted with her. It wasn't like she couldn't wake him up and make him move, but they'd both had a hard couple of days, and he deserved the sleep.

Hawke narrowed her eyes and tried to will her fingers to grow. No luck.

A little judicious application of magic would help, but there was a good chance that would short out the TV, and the last thing she needed was to be stuck on the couch in a dark room with only her thoughts to keep her company. It was the cartoon or nothing, then. She heaved an enormous sigh; Rabbit snored in response; and the lock in her front door slid back.

Hawke went still--

The door opened, and light spilled into the room. "Hey, Hawke," Varric said. "I brought dinner."

She melted back into the cushions. "Oh, it's you," she said. "Dinner, hmm? Trying to bribe your way into my good graces?"

He kicked the door shut with one foot, dropped a bag of take-out on the coffee table, and shrugged out of his damp coat. It was raining outside, much as it had rained last night, and the night before that. Hawke noted approvingly that beneath his coat, he was in his shirtsleeves and suspenders.

"You're kidding, right? When am I ever out of your good graces?" Coat hung up to dry, he came to stand over her. Hawke managed to turn her head enough to look up at him and ended up with a wet dog nose in her ear for her efforts.

"A better question is whether you've ever known me to be immune to bribery, good graces or not," she said.

He took his hat off and dropped it on the table next to the take-out. "And take-out's the way to your heart?" As she watched, he thumbed off first one of his suspenders and then the other. Unfair. That was unfair, and he quite probably knew and, and yes, she was bruised and blooded and wearing an enormous dog, but there was no excuse for being a miserable tease--

"I prefer something more creative, actually," said Hawke. "The personal touch."

He braced a hand on the back of the couch and leaned over her. "Personal touch, huh?"

"Yes," said Hawke.

"Did you have anything specific in mind, or--"

"Are you going to kiss me?" Hawke demanded.

Varric laughed at her, the ass, but he did obliged--before he'd gotten himself under control, even, which meant she swallowed his laughter when he pressed his lips to hers. He tasted like peppermint, which probably meant he'd been raiding the candy dish at the Nevarran restaurant down the street from whence the takeout had come.

Rabbit sneezed right in the middle of the kiss, which had the tragic consequence of putting an end to the bribery. "Eech," Varric said, pulling back from her to wipe the drool from his forehead. "We're going to have to get him a bib."

"Rabbit," Hawke said. "Come on, boy, get up. That's a good dog. Oof--" Rabbit planted one of his monster paws right in her gut as he climbed to the floor, and every bruise on her body gave a twinge. There were more than a few of them, too; she'd finished a case that was best summarized as "grueling" the day before, and although the lyrium smuggler she'd been hired to find was now rotting in the city jail, even the promise of a sizeable paycheck from the police chief was enough to mitigate how much her body hurt.

"You okay? Here, sit up." Varric levered an arm behind her shoulders and sat down behind her. Hawke, sensing an opportunity, rolled onto her stomach, folded her arms over his lap, and buried her face in the crook of her elbow. After a couple of seconds, one of Varric's big, warm hands fell on the back of her neck, and he started to rub her nape.

"Mmm," said Hawke. This thing between them, whatever it was--it still caught her off-guard sometimes, when he touched her after so many years of careful not-touching, but the surprise and the unease her uncertainty inspired seemed like a fair trade for his massages. He worked his way down to her shoulders, despite the way she was awkwardly draped over his legs, and it felt so good that Hawke couldn't decided if she wanted to fall asleep or straddle him.

"Food's getting cold," Varric said.

Hawke mumbled a response into her elbow.

"And you really need a new antenna for the TV," he added--not that it mattered. The antenna was useless, and of the six channels in Kirkwall, she could only pick up three even with a working antenna and a lot of aluminum foil.

The take-out kept cooling on the coffee table, and Hawke felt every muscle in her body relax; not all at once, but in stages, so that every time she thought she couldn't loosen any more, she felt another knot of tension somewhere else. Her calves, her back, her shoulders…

"Are you taking tomorrow off?"

She turned her face. "No rest for the wicked, which means no rest for those of us who earn our bread and butter putting a stop to wickedness."

"And which one of those are you?"

Hawke smirked even though he wouldn't see it. "A little from the first column, a little from the second?" she offered.

"Sounds about right," said Varric. He chuckled, but it didn't last, and his hands started to move more slowly on her. "A day off couldn't hurt, though."

"Mmm, well, I know laziness is one of my better qualities--"

"You're beat to shit," he said mildly. It was true; the lyrium smuggler and the lyrium smuggler's friends had done a number on her, although she'd come out on top in the end. Didn't she always? Hawke was rather magnificent at her job, if she did say so herself.

"The good news is that I don't have anything particularly strenuous planned," she said. "Down to the station to collect my hard-earned wages from Aveline--I'm hoping she's included a thoughtful thank-you note, you know how much I love greeting cards--and then straight to the office to meet with a client. No high-speed chases and absolutely no duels."

"You say that, Hawke, but with you, there's no telling what kind of shit will find you."

"Varric, there's no need to refer to yourself like that." He'd been one of her first customers, all those years ago; shortly after obtaining her PI license, there had come an astonishingly mouthy dwarf, offering to pay her to dig up dirt on his brother. The rest was history of the ancient sort--interesting only to the people who had been there. "I'm glad you recognize that I don't go looking for trouble. It's a common misconception about me, you know. Absolutely no trouble."

"Unless you're bored," Varric said.

"Obviously."

"Or drunk."

"That depends on what I've been drinking," Hawke countered. She rolled over and flung an arm over her face before sighing dramatically. "I'm thinking tomorrow evening will be some very strong spirit that makes me very agreeable."

"Ah," he said. "Family dinner?"

"Bethany's still insisting, and since Carver's in town…"

"How is Junior?"

"Certainly not agreeable, I'll tell you that." Which was probably unkind of her; Hawke was far more similar to her brother than she was to her sister, and it was maybe that more than anything that made them inclined to needle each other. "I'll have to share some of my liquor with him. What an enjoyable evening we'll have."

"If either of them give you any grief--"

"Grief? My family? You must be thinking of someone other than the Hawkes. We're a happy people, Varric--known for our sunny dispositions and unfailing agreeableness." Varric tolerated her siblings, but she hadn't brought him around either of them since she and he had started falling into bed together; for some reason sleeping with Hawke had made Varric tetchier about certain things, her siblings among them.

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