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20 March 2011 @ 02:20 pm
Left Unfinished, Sebastian/F!Hawke (Dragon Age 2)  
Title: Left Unfinished
Fandom: Dragon Age 2
Rating: PG-13
Characters: F!Hawke, Varric, Sebastian
Pairing: F!Hawke/Sebastian
Word Count: 739
Summary: Not every story gets a happy ending. Per her final request, Varric tells Hawke about one that does.
Warnings: Involves character death and general angst. Set post-game, but no real spoilers.

"Tell me a story, Varric," she says in a weak voice. Her lips, speckled with blood, wrap around the next word. "Embellish."

"You got it, Champ," Varric replies, patting her hand. "One happy ending, coming right up."

He knows she hasn't got long, so he keeps to the abridged version. He knows which parts to leave out -- the death, mostly -- and lingers on the elements that better fit a fairytale. A prince denied his birthright, a heroine in need of his help, and a love that transcended earthly restraints. There may have even been a dragon or two, he teases. She smiles at that.

She coughs, and a crimson line falls from the corner of her lips. "Skip to the end," she tells him, fading fast. There's no time for the details he enjoys the most, the little things that make his tales believable. Varric knows, right now, it doesn't matter. Hawke wants to believe. She needs to. And he'll be damned before he lets her down.

"He asks her to marry him," Varric says.

"What's the proposal like?"

"Nothing too extravagant, I'm sorry to say. The Prince takes his beloved to a quiet spot, and gets down on one knee. It's all very traditional and boring, really."

Her eyes are swimming with tears. "It sounds lovely."

"The heroine thought so, too."

"She says yes," Hawke concludes dreamily, and Varric nods. "Does she make him happy?"

"Very. They have lots of beautiful babies, too. All with delightfully ironic names like Chastity and Faith."

This makes her laugh -- a sound that would once have pleased him, but now causes him great worry as she grimaces and clutches at the sword in her stomach. Varric has never felt more powerless, and he casts an anxious glance down the alley. Hurry up, Choir Boy.

"Varric," she says, drawing his attention. When he looks back at her, he notices how pale she is. How very pale. He knows she's read his gaze, that this is the end. That he won't make it in time. "Tell him . . ." She cringes in pain, grabbing feebly at the hilt of the weapon imbedded in her, and tries to catch her breath. It's killing him to watch her. He's never cared too much for endings, and this is one he will not enjoy the retelling of.

A lifetime of emotion crosses her face -- happiness, sadness, joy, regret. She's searching for the right words. Final words.

Hawke manages one, last smile.

"Tell him, I'll put a good word in for him with the Maker."

Then it's all over.

He closes the lids over her vacant eyes. His hand shakes. It's worse than when he lost Bartrand. Bartrand may have been his brother, but Hawke is family. Was family, he corrects himself. She's gone now. His mind can't wrap itself around the idea. This wasn't the way the story was supposed to end.


Sebastian's footsteps beat against the stone pavement, growing gradually slower upon approach. Until, finally, he stops altogether.

"Is she . . .?" Varric nods. "No," he says, firmly, as if giving an order. "No," he says again, and a mournful note cracks his voice. He sinks to his knees beside her, hands hovering over Hawke's body, helpless. He doesn't know what to do. There's nothing for him to do, but that realization hasn't hit him yet.

And then it does. His head bends to hers, and he’s squeezing his eyes shut.

"She told me to tell you . . ." Before he can finish, Varric understands. It's all suddenly clear to him. Circumstances prevented Hawke from ever baring her true feelings for Sebastian, but Varric can do it for her. He can be her biographer, like he's always done. He can give her that happy ending. "That she loved you, very much."

The Prince is broken as he cradles his brave heroine to him, murmuring private words to her that Varric does not catch. He does not bother to be dignified about his grief, weeping openly for his unspeakable loss, and it is one of the first real shows of emotion that Varric has seen from the prim and proper man in a long time. Sebastian proves himself human after all, but too late for Hawke.

They could have been happy, Varric thinks to himself. In another time, another place, another life, maybe.

In another story, they could have been happy.
lady_boromir: Sebastian Vaellady_boromir on March 25th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Whoa, really?! That's fantastic news! I eat up Sebastian scenes, I eat them up! ;) Plus, with the possible ending with Seb, I can see him logically coming up in DLC. *nod* But I'm with you on Hepler's writing, she destroyed Anders character, imho. I preferred Gaider's version of him, personally. Who knows, maybe she'll improve in upcoming installments. *crosses fingers*
Lywinis: Now imagine it with the accent.lywinis on March 25th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
She just confirmed in the Sebastian thread on the BSN. To be perfectly honest, I think she grates on me because of what she said about hating video games and wishing there were a fast-forward button for combat. That seems to be such a horrible thing to say when it pays your bills and puts food on your table. It's hypocritical, and I can't really take her seriously because of it.
lady_boromir: Sebastian of Starkhavenlady_boromir on March 25th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Huh! I hadn't heard that, but it does seem odd coming from a writer who writes for video games. *shakes head*
Lywinis: Now imagine it with the accent.lywinis on March 25th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, she said it in an official interview. Way to go, good PR there, good job. *facepalm* Ah, here it is:

>Q: What is your least favorite thing about working in the industry?

>A: Playing the games. This is probably a terrible thing to admit, but it has definitely been the single most difficult thing for me. I came into the job out of a love of writing, not a love of playing games... I'm really terrible at so many things which most games use incessantly -- I have awful hand-eye coordination, I don't like tactics, I don't like fighting, I don't like keeping track of inventory, and I can't read a game map to save my life.

>Q: If you could tell developers of games to make sure to put one thing in games to appeal to a broader audience which includes women, what would that one thing be?

>A: A fast-forward button. Games almost always include a way to "button through" dialogue without paying attention, because they understand that some players don't enjoy listening to dialogue and they don't want to stop their fun. Yet they persist in practically coming into your living room and forcing you to play through the combats even if you're a player who only enjoys the dialogue.
Kerrisolan_t on March 27th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
And, see? I can totally sympathize with her. Loves me that Casual setting.
Lywinis: Now imagine it with the accent.lywinis on March 27th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
I can sympathize, yes, but it doesn't mean that she should be saying these things when she works for a gaming company and it's providing her money to pay her rent and food on her table.

There's a time and place for personal opinions, and this time wasn't it, really. Not when the game was so close to release and everyone was watching that PR nightmare like, well, a hawk. If you'll pardon the pun. If you don't like video games, why work for a gaming company? You can make decent money writing elsewhere, and there are jobs available. Other jobs might even offer you a chance to write and get your own stuff published on the side.

I'd be surprised if she didn't get reprimanded for it.
Kerrisolan_t on March 27th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
But, you see, it's because of people like her (and me) that we HAVE the Casual setting. It will even say it's for people that are more interested in the story. If the gaming industry was peopled entirely by the combat fanatics... I probably wouldn't be playing the games, because they would be 'too hard'. I doubt she got repimanded: she's a writer and she's all about the story. They hire other people to be all about the combat. Now if those people said something like that, I would expect repercussions. And seriously wonder at their career choices, of course.