Well on the bright side, there’s the parties, I get most of the income, a nice home, and I get to beat the shit out of people whenever I want. On the downside, there’s the necessary social events, Marian takes me suit shopping more times than is needed, and most people view me as a dick. Eh.
There is a scrap of paper sitting on Garrett’s desk in his bedroom. On it there is a list of city photographers, specifically the ones that do photoshoots with his sister. Next to it sits a book, left wide open for the world to see, below it reads:
As of today Martin Somers has been eliminated from that group of pesky photographers. He knows too much about Marian. Donny Brickweld is next.
Sister? —Marian, is that you? I swear to the Maker above that if you even think of touching my daggers you won’t feel your hands for a week, magic healing or no.
Iɴ Sᴀɴɢᴜɪɴᴇ || Bʟᴜᴛ ᴠᴏɴ ᴍᴇɪɴᴇᴍ Bʟᴜᴛ | ғᴀɴᴍɪx ғᴏʀ ᴀ sᴘᴀʀᴛᴀᴄᴜs ᴀᴜ [ʟɪsᴛᴇɴ]
ɪ :: ᴛʜᴇ ᴍɪɢʜᴛ ᴏғ ʀᴏᴍᴇ ʜᴀɴs ᴢɪᴍᴍᴇʀ | ɪɪ :: ᴛʜᴇʏ ʜɪᴛ ᴡɪᴛʜᴏᴜᴛ ᴡᴀʀɴɪɴɢ ᴇᴘɪᴄ sᴄᴏʀᴇ | ɪɪɪ :: ʙᴏʀɴ ᴛᴏ ᴅɪᴇ (ʀᴇᴍɪx) ʟᴀɴᴀ ᴅᴇʟ ʀᴇʏ & ᴡᴏᴏᴅᴋɪᴅ | ɪᴠ :: ɪ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴅᴏɴᴇ ᴀ ᴛᴇʀʀɪʙʟᴇ ᴛʜɪɴɢ sᴘᴀʀᴛᴀᴄᴜs ᴏsᴛ | ᴠ :: ᴍʏ ғɪsᴛ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴍᴏᴜᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ sᴄᴀʀs ʙᴜʟʟᴇᴛ ғᴏʀ ᴍʏ ᴠᴀʟᴇɴᴛɪɴᴇ | ᴠɪ :: ᴇɴᴅ ᴛɪᴛʟᴇs sᴘᴀʀᴛᴀᴄᴜs ᴏsᴛ | ᴠɪɪ :: ᴄᴏᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ ʙᴏᴅɪᴇs ʟɪᴋᴇ sʜᴇᴇᴘ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ʀʜʏᴛʜᴍ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴀʀ ᴅʀᴜᴍs ᴀ ᴘᴇʀғᴇᴄᴛ ᴄɪʀᴄʟᴇ | ᴠɪɪɪ :: ɴᴏᴡ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ғʀᴇᴇ (ʀᴇᴍɪx) ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍɢᴀᴛᴇ | ɪx :: ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ᴏɴ ғɪʀᴇ ʟᴇs ғʀɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴ
"Where are we going? How should I know? Do I look like the leader of this merry band of misfits?"
It was a lumpy, shapeless thing in a shade of green that wasn’t quite right. Bits of yarn stuck out in snaggled snarls and it looked like Marian had taken more than a few liberties with the pattern which appeared to call for a festively decked-out halla but, in his sister’s rendition, more closely resembled a decapitated bronto strung with barbed garlands. Even the sweater seemed aware of how hideous it was. It slumped in Garrett’s outstretched hands, a mass of unwanted Satinalia cheer.
"I really think the colour will bring out your eyes, brother!"
"Serahs, please! Over here!"
"Miss Hawke, can you make a comment on your brother’s recent string of arrests —"
"Garrett Hawke! People are accusing you of crimes against the city, what do you have to say to that?"
Marian slowed to offer a wide, bright smile to the gathered press of reporters. Bulbs flashed in her eyes, microphones were held so close that she could smell the breath of the reporters on the guards, feet came perilously close to crushing her expensive Orlesian heels, yet Marian showed no sign of discomfort. Her back as straight and tall as if she were escorting Garrett to the theatre, she turned to the nearest wide-eyed paparazzo and announced in her smoothest public purr, “Citizens of Kirkwall should rest assured that my brother is recovering from his struggles to reclaim our city from the clutches of the crimelords that overrun our undercity. The KCP have been more than generous with their assistance in this matter, as they have always been in their dealings with the Hawke family. We thank everyone for their concern and support during this critical time —”
Her statement was cut short as Garrett gripped her arm and pulled her away from the crowd of reporters, his jaw set as he marched to the black car that waited for them. The driver had barely had time to open his own door before Marian found herself on the plush leather seats next to her brother. Rubbing her arm slowly, she surveyed her twin through her periphery. His light armour creaked gently against the seat, his amber eyes grimly watching as the anxious faces fell away in the wake of the car’s motion. With Garrett’s press of a button to raise the glass separating them from their driver, Marian knew he would tell her what she needed to know. It just so happened to be business between the two of them and the two of them only. Nothing unusual about that and the mage found it almost a comfort to be in the silence of her twin’s company, the only sound the crush of the leather seats as they swayed with the motion of the car.
She grinned at his words, trying to imagine what would stun Garrett Hawke into dropping his phone. It may not have been a good story and Marian knew better than to press the rogue, but she couldn’t help but chuckle under her breath at the scenarios running through her head. If he didn’t think it was worth sharing, that didn’t mean she couldn’t have fun picking something outrageous to fill in the gaps.
"Laying low sounds good." Marian paused, chewing her lip for a second as they drove past the sombre Chantry, "As low as a Hawke can lay these days, at least." Stopping herself halfway through checking her phone, Marian slipped it back into her jacket pocket. Moments like this were rare with Garrett. Moments when they could forget for a moment that an entire city was relying on them for guidance, that most of Kirkwall hoped that they were an answer to the rifts that had nearly shattered the peace in this town. Buildings old and new rose on either side of the black car, the Hawke Building rising ahead like a glittering silver spear. The papers tomorrow would be filled with her brother’s face once more… that meant she’d have to ask Bodahn to call an emergency press conference. Perhaps about the new market square they’d just had re-finished in Lowtown. Something positive to keep overzealous minds off troubling rumours and slanderous lies.
"You know I’ll save all the juicy parts for you. Although, I must say the scrapbook’s getting a bit full and mother isn’t as fond of the clippings anymore." It was meant as a joke and Marian’s voice was light but they both knew that Leandra viewed their exploits as a collossal detriment to the family name and the safety of her children. Maybe it was true that they were publicly in more danger, but operating in private didn’t make you less likely to find trouble in Kirkwall. It just meant they’d be less likely to find your body afterwards. She laughed at Garrett’s comment about the rather chipper cell, "Well, we both know that Aveline has an…. unusual sense of humour! It would be just her style to throw you in the brightest, cheeriest cell just to watch you squirm a little."
She paused. It hit Marian how much she would miss time like this while Garrett disappeared for a while. As much as he hated the press and the ceremony that came along with their newfound success, operating so much apart had been difficult. Gone were the days of competing against each other for how many thugs they could knock out before they cleared a criminal base. Long past were the nights of sneaking back into the house together, with Marian silently thanking Andraste for Garrett’s tips and tricks. Of course, she would always be there to bail him out and stitch him up but she missed his smile matching her own in battle and out of battle, whether they be facing gang members or paparazzi.
But Garrett needed to do what he had to do. She knew this.
"I’ve been hearing about some missing Templar recruits - don’t look at me like that, I may not like them but that doesn’t mean I won’t help them if I can!" A lop-sided grin before continuing, "Maybe while you’re laying low you could ask around at the Hanged Man or something? Stir up a few leads, if possible. They won’t breathe a word to me. For obvious reasons…"
The Hanged Man. Scoffing, Garrett allowed himself a roll of the eyes. Leads were harder and harder to get a grip on nowadays and it was even more troublesome to try and spot where the rot was coming from. He nodded, watching the city lights fly by as they sped downtown, away from everyone else. A glance was spared to his sister and than simply brought a frown to his face. She had changed so much, on occasion Garrett thought her unrecognizable. She had become the face attached to the Hawke name— at least, the good part. Besides the templars that is.
He knew she missed the thrill of killing bandits on the streets in Lowtown. Of course he did because some times Garrett did too— no longer were his days and nights spent doing jobs for others, but more for himself and his family and he had to admit that confused the living shit out of him. He’d always looked for self-gain, true, but to find it in ways like this was just mind boggling. Garrett tapped his foot slightly, unable to stop it as a sign of apprehension or anxiety. That just reminded him of all the work he had to do.
"I’ll look into the deal with the missing recruits. Do you know their names? Perhaps something else to go on? Varric will know something. Then again, he knows everything." That led to a quirk of his lips, a twitch upwards. Staring at the dark armor, he sighed and fiddled with one of the straps. It was starting to become a bit cumbersome. What he’d do for jeans and a sweatshirt right now. And a beer. Ah, well, that’d all wait until he got home.
But the topic of missing templar recruits was interesting. After all, you heard rumors about Knight-Commander Meredith often enough. But this was another deal entirely. If her recruits were missing and she wasn’t doing much about it, well… Perhaps it was time to go down to the Gallows and drop in for a quick chat. Missing recruits raised suspicion and doubt, and suspicion and doubt led to mage uprisings. Of course, Garrett was sure that Marian wouldn’t have minded that at all, being a mage herself and wanting freedom for her own people—… But he was a bit more biased when it came topics like that. Magi were powerful, and dangerous, if they chose to wield magic destructively. The templars in Kirkwall weren’t doing much with the recent apostate-blood-mage infestation, but that didn’t shock him either.
"Perhaps you could do me a favor and check in with the Arishok— he’s dropped contacts with me and has been having trouble with some dwarf," there was the sneer, "who took his explosions. Something along those lines. Varric’s not having any luck either… most likely because he’s a dwarf as well." The leather of the seat creaked as he shifted his weight and then looked to Marian again.
He paused. “By the way, I hear you’ve been wandering around the Wounded Coasts with someone. What’s that all about?” Call him over protective, but it was more for her safety than his own. It was risky being a mage in Kirkwall, riskier being a mage in front of the public eye. Riskiest? Leaving the city at night; or during the day. Or being a criminal and deciding to do something completely and utterly stupid.
—Sometimes the only way to fight fire is with fire. The amount of fucks I give if someone other than my sister doubts me is zero to none. The only time people see the change is after one of us does the dirty work for someone else.
As cliche as that sounds.
A split-second flicker of white hit his eyes as the sudden and stunning pain of his assailant’s fist connected with his jaw. His aim was true, his force, enough to cause Atticus to stagger back a step or two. Though not the type to start a fight, he was more than certainly the type to finish one and this character had been just short of begging for it. After a wisecrack stabbed out from behind the beard, the time for conversation, and civility, was gone.
Open the window of opportunity and negotiations go right out of it…
For a moment, in Atticus’s eyes, as his attacker paused to crack his neck time slowed to a crawl. In this time he managed to, rock his ankle forward, his body snapping in tow, and ramming his entire knee deep into his opponent’s gut. Feeling the flesh give way under the force, he slapped his hands onto his opponent’s shoulders and easily rolled himself over his back. Landing on his feet, he turned back, his smile flattened, his lively eyes deadened, tightly squinted, locked to his target.
“Sorry about that,” he said, his voice low, almost territorial, spitting saliva and blood to the path below.
“I was hoping to get one of those laughs out of you…”
The threat that game with pain in his gut and rather sassy words was plenty of a statement to Garrett, and it took him a moment to recover before returning to his fighting stance, fists up once more. He could’ve used his roguish speed, but at the moment didn’t feel like leaping everywhere and wasting energy on someone who obviously knew his way around a fight. Normally he would’ve just pulled out a smoke bomb and tossed it at the man, but it seemed like that just wouldn’t work.
He gave credit to where it was due, of course. Who didn’t?
"I have to admit that you’re more than I expected." And he actually did laugh this time, sharply, before moving his left fist forward towards the other’s ribcage. The other fist raised up to block any incoming attack. Another opportunity probably could’ve been if he threw himself over his target— but he’d have to take a few hits before Garrett could even hope to pull that kind of move. It required a lot of strength and a lot of built up speed, which took a while to develop in the first place, especially when in the middle of a fight.
Backing away and shifting his weight to his other foot, Garrett found his leg striking out to kick, not to wound, but to stun momentarily. If he could get that done, he could just pin the man and get him down well enough. Besides, his goals weren’t to kill, only to scare. Shake him up a bit. That would work, and then he could back to his usual routine. With that thought in mind, he moved for the miasmic flask hooked to the back of his belt, only to find that it wasn’t there.
Looks like we’re doing this the hard way, then.
To say that Marian was surprised she was bailing Garrett out of jail would be a lie. To say that she was shocked the police had even bothered to take him into custody would have been closer to the truth. While it was true that Aveline’s influence as Chief of Police could only go so far, it was well known that the Hawkes were untouchables. At least as far as routine arrests were concerned. They would save face by putting Garrett in a cell, maybe give him a few stern words about setting a better example for the citizens of Kirkwall, and then wait for the money they knew was on the way. Marian grew tired of this game but had no other choice but to pay the price to continue cleaning up the streets. Until Aveline cleaned up the dirty police, that is.
It was a different story with the more powerful police force in Kirkwall: the Templars. Despite her best attempts at diplomacy, Marian couldn’t negotiate with the Knight Commander. Garrett had better success with less official dealings involving a few pints with Stannard’s recruits, but there was no world in which the woman would be bribed into releasing either of the Hawkes if it came to that. Even Marian’s pull with the Viscount would be of no use. Everyone knew that Dumar was in the Knight Commander’s pocket.
Heels clicked along the hall, flourescent tubes flickering overhead as Marian followed the officer through the cells. Toothless miners whistled as she passed and a couple brave souls attempted more creatively lewd gestures, but she kept her head high, shoulders back and strode by like she owned this town.
And, to be honest, the Hawkes kind of did.
"This is ‘im."
"Thank you, Officer…?"
"Officer Brint. Fine work, as usual. I’ll take it from here."
With a broad smile and a gracious nod, Marian watched as the officer unlocked the door and slid aside the bars to let her pass. Slipping a few sovereigns into the cop’s breast pocket as she passed, her eyes trailed lazily around Garrett’s dreary cell. Oddly cheerful, given the less-than-sterling reputation of the corrupt force. Leaning against the bars, her suit as pressed and polished as if she hadn’t just sped from the Hawke Building to bail her twin out of jail, Marian crossed her arms in front of her chest. One perfectly manicured brow threatened to disappear into her raven hair.
"You must have had some fun tonight, for the amount of cash I just threw at them to get you out of here." A lop-sided grin. He was still completely armed, a deadly machine from head to toe. It would have been so easy for him to simply slip away. But it didn’t work that way when you were trying to heal an ailing city. You had to play by your own rules. Even if you got a few extra privileges. "Normally they let me keep a few sovereigns in my purse, but they seemed extra committed to… justice… tonight."
The relief was evident on her face. Marian made light of this dance they did with the authorities, but the thought always crossed her mind that Garrett could be taken away for good. No matter how much good they did for the city, the people of Kirkwall would only take so much of her brother’s heavy hand.
"You know the press is outside? Asking questions again." She plucked a piece of dust from her jacket. "I can see tomorrow’s headlines now: ‘Garrett Hawke: Friend or Foe?’"
Marian laughed lightly, winking at her twin. “I trust it’s a good story, at the very least?”
Seeing Marian in her usual ironed suit and heels, with the few pieces of jewelry here and there— it was nothing new to him, but sometimes he couldn’t help but look back at the times when they were wearing rags on their backs with knives in hands, murdering bandits in the alley just for their coin, or for whatever group they ran with. Back then they’d wore the banner of blood across the ridge of their noses, warpaint in memory of all they’d been through, of the times where they’d fled across all of Ferelden in search of a home, from Denerim to the Wilds, from Sulcher’s Pass to Lothering. Those were days he didn’t miss, and yet another side craved it. The city may have been in dire need of help, but he wondered, looking at his sister, if it was their responsibility.
Eyeing the policemen with suspicious eyes, Garrett eventually moved his gaze forward until they reached the doors that would lead to a multitude of obstacles: the press, going home, and the sure scolding he was to get from Leandra as soon as he stepped into the upper levels of their dedicated building. The rogue grabbed his sister by the arm, gently so that the gauntlets he wore wouldn’t scrape or tear the quality outfit she had on. “Wait. You know I hate dealing with the press.” He didn’t speak in riddles or a plea of any kind— quite the contrary. It was a simple warning that he might get a bit violent.
The lights above flickered and one actually let out a loud pop, a cracking noise in warning that it might break if they didn’t leave soon. Tossing a look to the current policeman stationed by the door, Garrett huffed and was tempted to rub at his eyes. “Brave the hellfire, I guess.” He looked at his sister with a familiar and wry smirk, almost matching hers— although it faltered a bit earlier. He was never good at keeping up appearances. Rolling his shoulders in preparation for what was to come next, he pushed open the glass doors and was met with flashing cameras and brighter lights than the ones inside the station.
"Miss Hawke, can you say anything on-"
"Serah, is is true that your money scandal with the Du Puis led to your momentary impr-"
"Serahs! Over here, please!"
It was a simple repeating process, one that Garrett and his sister both were used to. Of course it ground on his nerves more than he could ever really say, but the press were like a virus; you got rid of one and a thousand more popped up in their place, spreading infectious stories and rumors. He didn’t appreciate it whatsoever, especially when they gathered around their home expecting answers when the real danger was what hid in the shadows and not the broad daylight, which the press simply fed on.
They were a little bit like vampires, now that he thought about it.
The car wasn’t so far away, but with over a hundred people gathered around, pushing and swarming, it seemed more like thousands of miles to go before they even made it close. Garrett had no remorse shoving through, shaking his head and gritting his teeth, but they all fluttered toward Marian, expecting her to speak in his place. Turning on heel, he grabbed his sister a bit roughly than he’d wanted and pulled her along, shoving the rest of the press out of the way. Eventually the black vehicle pulled up a bit closer, and he threw open the doors, not waiting for someone to open it for him. The driver sat in the front while the Hawke twins remained in the back, and he leaned forward, pressing a button and having the screen that separated the two parts of the car pull up. he preferred to speak to Marian in private for once.
Watching in grim amusement as the press were left behind, Garrett leaned back, arms crossed over his chest. The armor customized to his skills scraped slightly in protest, despite being made of leather and meshed plate. You’d think it’d be more flexible. “I’m afraid it’s not even a good story. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. All on accident, mind you. I was actually on my way home. That’s probably why you got the first half of my text but not the second— I dropped it when I walked in on what was going on.” He gave her a grin, shaking his head slightly.
"If anything shows up in the papers or on TV tomorrow let me know. I think I’m going to lay low for awhile," he paused. "And thanks for getting me out of there. I think they customized that cell just for me. All bright colors and happiness."