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18 October 2017
@femdeku said: Hawke / Varric - "Unrequited."

Sometimes, when it was late and they were both languid and tipsy, he could get the sort of answers out of her that she would never have surrendered under other circumstances. Hawke was funny like that — you had to come at her sideways, with care, because she'd spook and bolt if you approached her head-on. It was like all the wariness, all the fear that she didn't ever exhibit in the thick of battle was saved up and brought out only when she was faced with a personal conversation. She'd be quite happy to let you think she never felt any emotions other than amusement, curiosity, and self-gratification. The rareness of it made her anger truly terrible to behold, and her grief even more terrible.

Which didn't explain how Varric had stumbled into this conversation.

It was late enough that the Herald's Rest was empty. Even Cabot had retired for the night, although not without a firm admonishment to the remaining pair still drinking by the fire. Most of the lanterns had been doused, making it seem like the only light came from the low red bank of the fire. Varric and Hawke both sat in chairs positioned before the hearth — bottle between them, legs stretched towards the heat — although Hawke's legs stretched considerably further than Varric's.

"Surely you're joking," said Hawke.

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15 October 2017
@musicalheart168 said: Anything Hawke x Varric, let’s be real

I hope you're enjoying this. I much prefer being written to (or about) to having written, but yes, all right, I'll concede that a near-death incident is enough to win you a proper response, if only because I apparently need to remind you that you aren't allowed to die yet. I have a signed contract saying so, and you dwarves are sticklers for contracts. Brief aside: I took great amusement in imagining your reaction at being lumped in with "you dwarves."

My hand already hurts, Varric. Why in the world would you do this for fun?

Hang on a moment -- there we go, back again. Carver was rooting around in my pack for something. Gave him a kick in the rear. Serves him right, the idiot; I knew someone was stealing my jerky.

Anyway, it's a good thing you provided me with this list of questions as a guide to letter-composition (Hawke said sarcastically). You can be a bit of a control freak, Varric, has anyone ever told you that? Other than me -- my memory isn't so bad I don't remember mentioning it half a dozen times.

Oh, fine. On with the letter.

1. Dear Varric,

(That was admittedly a bit belated, but I never really feel as though our conversations have beginning and ends -- it seems that even on paper, we're halfway into the discussion already.)

2. I live!

(Didn't you indicate this is the most crucial piece of information to convey? Vaguely recall something about "life and livelihood," perhaps paired with an admonishment about concealing injuries. In the interest of honesty, I offer a complete catalog:

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11 October 2017
Anonymous: One shot bianca dealing with hawke/varric. <3

"She's not what I expected."

"Who?" Varric said. "Hawke?" He dragged his eyes away from her and finally looked at Bianca, who remembered a time when she'd been able to immediately command his attention with no more than her presence. He had a dozen other things to occupy him now, not the least of which was the tall human woman consulting with her brother on the other side of the hall.

They'd been so young then. Too young, although Varric had always seemed just a little bit younger. It was all those stories, going to his head, buoying him above the waterline when the weight of his world threatened to pull him under. And then there was her own fatal flaw, which was that she had to take everything apart to figure out how it worked. She didn't have patience for fiction.

"Hawke," Bianca said. "She's a brassy one, isn't she? I always thought you needed a sobering influence, even if you are a tangled ball of worry, but you went in the opposite direction instead."

"I haven't talked about her that much," Varric protested.

"And that speaks volumes," Bianca said. "Anyway, I read your book about her. Caught a case of hero-worship, haven't you?"

He snorted. "Please. Trust me when I say that I've seen Hawke at her best and at her worst."

"Have you now?" she said. He was slow to catch her tone, but when he did, bam, there it was: all his focus, right on her. Varric largely came across as a mild sort of man -- friendly, good-humored, a little stubborn, maybe a touch roguish, but overall easy-natured. He was slow to change his mind and sometimes a touch too complacent. But what people didn't realize was what lay behind all that: the slow molten devotion, the sharpness, the protectiveness, the watchful edge and guile. She used to live for the moment when she had all that heed trained on her.

From over and away, Hawke let out a loud cackle of laughter, and just like that, Varric's gaze slid away again. Ah, well -- it had never really been more than borrowed in the first place.

"You know," Bianca said, "I'm glad you have her, Varric. I really am."

His answering smile was a little rueful, a little grateful, and more than a little crooked. "Yeah," he said. "Me, too."
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09 October 2017
Anonymous: for a prompt, varric/hawke, "all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story"

"It won't work, you know," said Hawke. She was drinking her very fine, very dark stout nonetheless, but she found she had little patience for these sorts of games anymore. Wonder of wonders – and she'd always thought her patience with Varric infinite.

"What won't work?" he said.

"This," Hawke said. "All of it. I might be cracked, but I'm not stupid, Varric. The tavern, the beer, the music, the company – how much did you play that minstrel to switch to Ferelden folk songs? And an inn like this should have thirty crowded around its fireplace, not three." They were at the corner of a busy crossroads, and although the hour was late, there wasn't an empty room to be had, but other than the minstrel playing softly in a corner across the room and a pair of thoroughly-soaked messengers, there wasn't a customer in sight.

"Thought you might now be in the mood for a crowd," said Varric. "Come on, Champion – "

"No," she said. "Don't call me that."

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08 October 2017
Anonymous: As for a distraction, I'm terrible with prompts, but maybe some good ol' MCU as family? Team bonding? Tony trying to get everyone else into Risk?

“What we have here,” Tony said, “is a failure to communicate. No, hang on, let me be clear: what we have here is a failure to communicate the basic concept of the game.”

“Tony, man,” said Rhodey, “I have played Risk before.”

“Really? Because you’re losing badly enough that I wasn’t sure knew you’re supposed to be trying to win.”

“Hey, don’t look at me,” Rhodey said. “I’m an invalid.”

“I was given to understand that Risk is a game that tests strategic reasoning. Given Colonel Rhodes’ occupation, one would assume he would win quite easily.” The Vision paused, blinked, and invaded Siberia. “Which merely proves that assumptions are dangerous.”

“Did I just get trash-talked by a robot?”

“He’s not a robot,” Tony said, at the same time as the Vision said, “I am not a robot.”

“I got trash-talked by a robot,” Rhodey said. “A robot. Incredible.”

“I am a fully self-aware synthetic being,” the Vision said. “More correctly, an android.”

“Most correctly, a mandroid,” Tony said. “Oh, come on, don’t look at me like you’re a dog trying to figure out quantum tunneling. We all know you understand humor.” Somewhere hidden deep inside the Vision was a kernel of JARVIS that remembered both sarcasm and those early days spent playing Risk when Tony was still trying to perfect machine learning.

Perfectly straight-faced, the Vision said, “Perhaps you aren’t as funny as you think you are, sir,” and started to lay siege to Mongolia.
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07 October 2017
Anonymous: maybe some carver/merrill?

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07 October 2017
Anonymous: Varric/Hawke, URT, idiots in denial, Varric POV? :D

She found the note in a ledger, where it was being used as a bookmark. It forewent any address whatsoever and instead started mid-lamentation, like the author was halfway through a thought before he’d bothered to pick up a pen.

But it’s been three years, which lends a little perspective, if not a little relief, and I wouldn’t mind setting the record straight at least once. You’re right, there’s plenty that didn’t make it into the official accounts. I never exactly exaggerated, but I did omit liberally, both in the story itself and in what I told the Champion.

Our first meeting wasn’t nearly as coincidental as I let on. I guess you figured that one out by yourself. She’d already developed something of a reputation – the sort of reputation that made Bartrand turn up his nose – but it caught my interest. There was a dash of crazy in there, sure, and she was an absolute scoundrel right from the beginning, but there was no denying that she got shit done. I put myself in her path in the interest of hiring someone competent and dangerous, but I didn’t really need to orchestrate a show to make that happen. She needed money, and I had an attractive offer; it was a simple enough business transaction – but if I’m laying all my cards on the table, I’ll admit that I wanted to impress her right from the start.

Have you ever… Maker’s tits, this is going to make me sound exactly like the asshole
artiste Orlais’s literary circles think I aspire to be… but have you ever met someone you immediately knew was your match? Or, if you want me to be even more flowery: I adored her. She thought she was hard to love, but damn if I wasn’t head-over-feet from the minute I first clapped eyes on her. And part of it was knowing that she liked me right back – not, maybe, in the way I cared for her, but I never once doubted the depth of her devotion.

If you’re looking for a confession, then yes, there it is. I’ve never been able to decide if I regret withholding that information from her; she marched into the Fade still believing I was hung up on Bianca, but maybe that was for the best – she never gave me any indication she felt the same way, and on top of being something of a coward when it comes to delicate personal matters, I wasn’t about to throw away the best partnership I’d ever had for a mere roll in the hay.

I am aware that the Maker is having his revenge on me right now, though. You know, she told me once she’d never gotten a love letter, and here I am, writing her one that I’m sending to someone else. Not like she’s around to read it, anyway. The truth only hurts the poor bastards who are left standing at the end of the day.

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?” said the woman who had found the note, and then she went off with her letter in hand to address herself to the author.
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01 October 2017
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12 September 2017
I've mentioned it elsewhere, but I'm auctioning off a story for [community profile] harvey_fanaid. Offering Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Marvel. Bidding is up to $30 (somehow!!).
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06 September 2017
I lucked out recently with a couple of five-star reads all in a row. Finally caught up with Kelly Thompson's "Hawkeye" run, and it's better with every issue. I'm really looking forward to reading the "America" crossover. ("America" hasn't been quite what I wanted, but it's significant and I am definitely Not The Target Audience, just an appreciative bystander. I suspect Gabby Rivera and Margaret Stohl are both in the same boat right now - they have potential, but they're still feeling out the ways that comics are a different beast from noveling.)

After (finally! for the first time!) watching Practical Magic on Netflix, I picked up the book and was immediately... "charmed" is a little disingenuous, since parts of the story were melancholy or downright wild, but we'll go with that. The prequel book about the Aunts is releasing next month, so I apparently picked the right time to finally give Alice Hoffman a go.

What really blew me away, though, was Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem. I am several years late to this party, but oh gosh it was fantastic. At times it read more like a thought experiment or a simulation than a novel, but most of the core characters were genuinely rounded - Ye Wenjie, the scientist responsible for first contact, particularly struck me as a brilliantly-drawn figure. The technical portions were dense but still understandable; the bits I needed the most help understanding primarily concerned China's Cultural Revolution, although there were plenty of helpful footnotes. Two main takeaways: I cannot wait for the second book to arrive, and I really need to read more hard science fiction.

(On a fandom note, I've been turning over the thought of a Hickmanvengers retelling that lands somewhere between The Three-Body Problem and The Library at Mount Char, which was another wholly enjoyable book club pick that was equally haunting in a totally different way. It would have to be about Doom and Tony to hold my interest, but can there ever be enough cosmic horror with either one of those two? Survey says "no way.")
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03 September 2017
Lost and Found Festivals and Celebrations Dreams and Nightmares Truth or Dare Autumn
Character Study Tension Character transformed into an animal Case / Mission Fic Relative values: Families
Romance Novel AU Something is Concealed Wild Card Heirs Pre- Slash / Femslash / Het
A Blessing is Bestowed Fade to Black A Brief Encounter is Pivotal Pink (Love it, Loathe it, Embrace it, Reject it) Pining
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics Fundamental Particles Freckles We're all going to die! What do you mean, we're related?
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Title: Off the Edge
Characters: Joker/Shepard
Wordcount: 10k
Additional Tags: ME3, Pining, Mass Effect Big Bang 2017
Summary: What Shepard needed was an anchor.
Notes: See AO3.

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Title: Fireproof
Characters: Hawke/Varric, Hawke/Anders
Wordcount: 8k
Additional Tags: Emotional Infidelity, Angst, Pining
Notes: Written for [ profile] clevermoll in the 2017 Hightown Funk exchange. Many thanks to the National for the title and summary and to [personal profile] odyle for her last-minute beta job.
Summary: Nothing breaks your heart.

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Title: Purplest Prose
Characters: Hawke/Varric, Cassandra, Carver
Wordcount: 5k
Rating: Mature
Additional Tags: Crack, Fluff, Established Relationship, Friend Fiction
Notes: Written for [ profile] timestreams in thanks for her Fandom Trumps Hate donation. This labor would have been impossible without [personal profile] odyle and is also posted on AO3.
Summary: Hawke, Varric, a book convention, and a proliferation of unauthorized sequels.

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23 April 2017
Shepard and Vakarian, post-war but pre-relationship. Also on AO3.

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