- "Woah, when did you get that?"
- "Who did this to you?"
- "How many times have I told you to be more careful?"
- "You’re saying this was an accident?"
- "What a shiner!"
- "If you look like this, I’d hate to see the other guy."
- "I’m not buying it, you don’t walk into a door and get a bruise like that!"
- "Does it hurt when I touch it?"
- "Let me kiss it better."
- "If you don’t rest, you won’t heal."
- "Another fight?"
- "What happened to your face?"
- "I don’t think your arm is meant to bend like that…"
- "Let’s get you to bed."
- "Let’s get you to the hospital."
- "Why are you so calm about this?"
- "You’re bleeding!"
- "What are friends for, ey?"
- "So, instead of helping you, they ran off the moment they saw what was happening?"
- "You need to look where you’re going."
- "I’m not accusing anyone, I’m just saying it looks suspicious."
- "Do you want to tell me what really happened?"
- "Don’t move! You’ll faint!"
- "I’ve got some bandages, wait a sec."
- "You’re the clumsiest person I know."
- "I won’t let you be on your own, not when you’re like this."
- "How could you be so careless?"
- "I can’t even look at you, you promised not to get into any more fights!"
- "H-how many of them were there?"
THEORIES ABOUT THE UNIVERSE
I am trying to see things in perspective.
My dog wants a bite of my peanut butter
chocolate chip bagel. I know she cannot
have this, because chocolate makes dogs
very sick. My dog does not understand this.
She pouts and wraps herself around my leg
like a scarf and purrs and tries to convince me
to give her just a tiny bit. When I do not give in,
she eventually gives up and lays in the corner,
under the piano, drooping and sad. I hope the
universe has my best interest in mind like I have
my dogs. When I want something with my whole
being, and the universe withholds it from me,
I hope the universe thinks to herself: "Silly girl.
She thinks this is what she wants, but she
does not understand how it will hurt.
Ship my muse with someone and I’ll let my muse respond.
"Have’t you heard?"
"Risk only ranks above reward when it comes to mage freedom."
I really hope she’s not talking about the guy I’m 80% sure is following me…
"My friend?" Rick asked with complete innocence. "That’s… really sweet of you, I mean we have a lot to catch up on… not that my life is any interesting. But I’m sure you have things to do and places to be in the usual Hawke fashion."
There was the possibility that he came off a bit rude but he could never tell… maybe that’s his upper-middle class upbringing or the fact that in the hospital niceties weren’t that common. Or Hawke assumed something completely else. He could never quite follow the chaos that was going on in Marian though he used to know a rather sweet and goofy version of this chaos. Given what happened to her family… not he was even less sure what was going on inside her head.
He kept his eyes on Hawke, not even trying to glance at the stranger. The last thing he wanted… and the last thing probably Marian needed was being dragged into his troublesome business with some questionable companies.
She received a startled glance, and then a generous dose of good old fashioned Richard redirection. Was he seriously still this edgy around her after all this time? Pushing back that one aggravating piece of hair, Marian let her gaze rove, watching a flower delivery truck rumble past the cafe window without really seeing it. Around them, spoons clinked, newspapers shuffled, the queue moved forward another step; life hurtled on.
They’d had this conversation before. Countless times, in fact, like a scene they’d could never get just right. Once again, from the top:
'Why are you here?'
'Father isn't finished his rounds yet.'
'Don't you have someone else to bother?'
'It's summer. Geez, Rick, don't you ever go outside?'
"You’re right," Marian looked back at him. "I’m sure my unfinished laundry is pacing the floor as we speak, wondering where I am. Best get home and…rescue it." she finished lamely. Where did she come up with this nonsense?
Still, she wasn’t going to just let Rick off that easily. Before he could protest, Marian captured his wrist and - with the pen she kept in her pocket for crosswords - wrote her number on the back of his hand, right beside the freckle.
"There," she said, adding Hawke in bold print above the digits. “In case you ever want to call and assume I’m busy, or just want to talk about your cat or whatever.” Marian shrugged and hoisted her latte in farewell. “Either way: don’t be a stranger.”
She had enough ghosts in her life.
Try as he might, Bilbo couldn’t keep from feeling flustered. That was incredibly bold. Something he should have come to expect from her. “I am quite happy with my bachelor status.” the reply sounded grumpier than he had intended.
"But it is not common at my age to still enjoy such a free lifestyle. My kin often settles down for a family not long after they come of age. I have done what I could to be a respectable hobbit, yet it pains me some to admit that being unwed has contributed to my growing reputation of being, well… odd."
He paused, thinking. “I’m afraid I don’t know enough about humans to know if you are required to already be wed as well. I was always of the belief that you seemed to be more free in such matters.
Hawke pressed her lips together at the way Bilbo said ‘quite happy' the way her father used to tell her and Carver 'that’s quite enough' whenever their playfighting got too close to his crafting table. Not harshly, but forceful enough to let them knew he meant business.
Maybe Bilbo was truly happy. Maybe he wasn’t. There were so many dimensions to happiness that Hawke had given up trying to be all of them at once. Moreoften than not: one was enough to propel her through the day - or at least as far as the Hanged Man’s door. Of course, Marian could barely stay a whole round in the same Thedosian tavern these days without getting jumped twice. She’d consider settling down for a family when she could settle on a barstool uninterrupted.
"We can be odd together," she suggested warmly, wondering what year Bilbo’s people came of age. In Ferelden it was generally around eighteen, and oh to be eighteen again. Even twenty-something. Kirkwall had been so full of promise then. She had been so full of promise. Discovering treasure, thwarting danger, making a difference where she could; respect was a statue that looked nothing like her and a crest above her door. Respect was meant to be enough, and it had been, while mother was still alive.
Coming back to their conversation, Hawke’s cheer snapped back into place. “Sort of,” she chuckled. ”Marriage is usually seen as a duty to one’s family first and pleasure second. Not that that stopped my parents from eloping. Freedom and love are birds of a feather, I’m told.”
"Perhaps like adventure and the curious."