Story Title: What Counts
Author: R2sMuse (r2s_muse on LJ/R2s Muse on FF.net)
Warnings: Graphic Violence, heterosexual sex
Author’s Notes: Special thanks to my beta, meanieweenie, and to vieralynn for the lovely, lovely art! Also, many thanks to the DABB organizers for all their hard work!
Summary: Now a regular detainee at the Gallows, Marian Hawke’s arrests had become a strangely playful game with Knight-Captain Cullen. But the stakes of the game become real as Meredith tightens her grip on the city and tragedy strikes. Hawke’s unorthodox friendship with Cullen becomes their only hope for a peaceful resolution even as they are thrown onto opposite sides of the conflict at last.
“So,” Aveline started, her ginger brows drawn down in disapproval. “Is it Meredith or Cullen I need to speak to about this?”
“Don’t worry, Aveline. It’s over now.”
“But, it’s not, Hawke,” Aveline fumed. “It doesn’t matter if it was templar business. You’re not a mage… or a templar. Cullen has no jurisdiction over you.”
“Mmm, he can have jurisdiction over me any day,” Isabela chimed in.
“He wasn’t really arresting me, anyway. He just wanted to talk. To warn me about my bad behavior in crossing the templars.”
“Well, it certainly looked like arresting to me,” Aveline said. “Believe me, I’ve seen my fair share.”
“You know what this means don’t you, Hawke?” Isabela said with a speculative look in her eye. “Arresting you just to talk? For a templar, that’s like pulling your pigtails on the playground.”
Varric chuckled. “Makes sense. No niceties spared by these templars.”
Hawke snorted in disbelief and pushed back her short-cropped dark hair from where it always fell into her eyes. “Are you saying he threw me in his dungeon because he likes me?”
Isabela’s eyes lit up. “He actually put you in his dungeon? Already? Hmmm. Yes, I now fully stand behind my analogy.” Varric laughed, as usual providing the perfect encouragement for the pirate woman.
Hawke gave them a quelling stare, but both of their grins just grew. “Humph. Regardless, it seems I have to be a bit more circumspect in my dealings with templars.”
“Well, I could have told you that,” Aveline said drily.