My main writing muscle (i.e. my brain) has been crippled lately, but when Bioware announced that they'd allow fanfiction in their Mark of the Assassin fanart contest, I had to join in to show that dammit, fanficcers want to play, too! The length limit was 1000 words; I had to trim this a bit to fit, so here is the uncut version. Hopefully I didn't make any typographical blunders while "uncutting". ^_^;Hrm, I need a Tristran icon. ^_^; A Fenris one wouldn't hurt, either...Sweet Something-or-OthersAuthor: jenovaRating:
Spoilers for the DA2 DLC, Mark of the Assassin :o
Tristran looked up hopefully as the door slowly opened, but the look on Tallis's face when she stepped into the sunlight was not encouraging.
"This is officially my worst night ever,
" the elf groaned, "but Lord Cyril's our ticket — he has the key."
"Wait, you know he has the key? What's the problem?" It was hard for Tristran to understand how someone who could take out half a murder of Antivan Crows could have so much trouble breaking into a house. It could be that her expertise is mostly in combat,
he reasoned, but still...
"Maybe he just doesn't like elves... or women," she said, emphasizing the last word meaningfully. "You, on the other hand, are just his type, I bet. He sure seemed happy to talk to you before — did you see the look he gave Bann Perrin to get him to leave us alone?"
The man restrained the urge to smack his forehead. "You're not
asking me to—"
"This is our best chance, Hawke!" Tallis pleaded. "You're good at this witty banter stuff, just be charming for long enough to get the key off his belt and get out!"
Tristran sighed. It wasn't that he minded having to flirt with a man — obviously Tallis knew that
already, even if he and Fenris weren't exactly the most demonstrative pair, especially in public. And it wasn't that he thought of it as cheating on his partner, since this would hopefully be nothing more than some smooth talking, none of it sincere. No... it was mostly that he felt like he shouldn't have to, just like he felt like they shouldn't have had to take down a damned wyvern to get this far. Tallis, he thought, could stand a few lessons in planning a caper. Even some of the thieves in Varric’s crime stories had better plans than this. Maybe he'd recommend them to her, if they got out of here with their hides intact.
"All right, all right," he finally sighed with a show of ill grace. "Let's see what I can manage with my dashing good looks and dangerous reputation, eh? Or was that dangerous good looks and a dashing reputation..." He smirked at Tallis's grimace and walked in the door she'd exited a minute ago.
Cyril’s eyes seemed to light up as Hawke entered the room. As Tallis had said, he’d been eager to speak to the Champion earlier, but people were always striving to get Tristran’s attention, usually for political gain or a name to drop among their peers. Tristran hadn’t realized that Cyril’s interest might have gone further than that, but if it was something he could use to his advantage right now, all the better.
"Tell the elf that her pleas are for nothing," the young lord said with an air of disdain. "She's pretty enough, I suppose. No doubt there are some men who would like that sort of thing." Despite his dismissive tone, there was a hint of amusement in Cyril's eyes; it was easy enough to guess why.
"A-ha. I thought you might be a man of... refined tastes," Tristran drawled, meeting the other man’s gaze more directly. A glance like that would be difficult for someone with a noble upbringing to misunderstand, unless he was hopelessly simple, but Cyril hadn’t seemed so foolish.
"I have heard the same of you, Monsieur Hawke," the young lord murmured, the suddenly intent look in his eyes confirmation enough of Tallis’s assumption.
"Oh?" Tristran put as much arch curiosity as he could into that single syllable as he stepped closer to Cyril, close enough to whisper a few choice words in his ear. The discretion was probably needless — there didn’t seem to be anyone else in the small room — but a whisper conveyed more than the words it carried.
As Hawke spoke, keeping Cyril’s attention on what he was saying rather than what he was doing, he very carefully lifted the key from the young lord’s belt and—
"What did you whisper?" Fenris interrupted, speaking in a low, intense undertone himself. Tristran was describing the infiltration of the chateau as the two of them turned tiles in an attempt to recreate a large portrait on the floor. The Montforts’ treasures, whatever they were, were well-guarded by a barrage of puzzles, and Tallis and Anders were down a different corridor working on another one, some mad thing involving colored seals. Anders found the enchantment mechanism fascinating, so Tristran had left him to it.
He looked up now at his sole companion, who had paused in his tile-turning to pin Hawke with his green eyes. "I don’t remember, probably something that sounded cleverer than it actually was," he said with a shrug. "Maybe something double-entrendre-y, those always go over well."
"You don’t remember?" the elf echoed dubiously.
Tristran looked at him with a raised eyebrow. Was he actually jealous?
"Does it matter?"
"I suppose not," Fenris grudgingly acceded, his gaze dropping back down to the tiles.
"Fenris, look. It got me close enough to get the key, and kept him from getting too curious when I left. I could have whispered ‘The Ballad of Bonny Bess’ if I thought it’d be distracting enough. Although," Tristran added as an afterthought, "I don’t think he’d be much interested in bonny lasses..."
The elf only grunted at the weak joke, leaving Hawke with nothing to work with. "If it makes you feel any better, I’ll think of some really scandalous nothings to whisper to you once we’re out of here," he said in a playfully seductive tone that earned a hint of a smile from Fenris. "Although, speaking of getting out — how did you and Anders get in to begin with?"
Fenris glanced sidelong at him, then smirked as he reached up to brush his fingers over the grip of the broadsword slung across his back.
"I should have known," Tristran complained. "We go through all the trouble of sneaking in, and you two just charge in like madmen. We could have saved ourselves a lot of time that way..."
"You could have saved us all a lot of time by not agreeing to this little jaunt," the Tevinter elf grumbled. "Remember what I said to you earlier today about helping others?"
"But Fenris," Tristran said in a mock-chiding tone, "how else would we ever meet new people? Waifish Dalish blood mages, pirate captains, unhomed princes... fugitive elves..."
"Hm. Perhaps you have a point," the elf admitted, sounding slightly abashed.
"Glad you could see it my way," Hawke said cheerfully, giving his companion a friendly clout on the shoulder. "Now, let’s figure out this damn portrait before we both go mad from flipping tiles, eh?"