Participants:

Adeline_icon.gif Anders_icon.gif Fenris_icon.gif

Scene Title A Queen and Two Fools
Synopsis Fenris has a battle of wills with Adeline. Anders is just… awkward. As usual.
Location The Hanged Man - Varric's Suite
Date Justinian 28, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Sterling. Best bird ever.
Logger Anders

As per usual, Adeline can be found upstairs in the Hanged Man. I mean, sure, she spends plenty of time downstairs too, but she has work to do. Or something. She has something to do. Busy work. Maker, she's so restless. It's obvious, too, how she sits at the edge of the room, reorganizing footlockers for the sixth time. Today.

This is the deal Anders had made when none of his own protests could move the stubbornness of the elf one iota. So he's here, trudging up the stairs from the noisy shithole below and offering his friend a smile and a wave, but rather than stop and chat about those footlockers she seems bent on beating into submission, he's going to move right on past her and go in search of Sterling. Because he brought treats. Bird time is definitely the part of this he's here to play. Silent, Peaceful Bird Time.

Aforementioned stubborn elf is close in tow, glancing around as they climb the stairs. Fenris has not exactly been up here before. But he waits, as they come in, keeping near the door.

The sound of someone coming upstairs makes Adeline turn. Seeing Anders, she smiles a little, nods, doesn't think anything much of it. Especially as he moves to the corner of the room where Sterling is perched. The bird promptly hops to Anders's shoulder, preening golden hair and feathered coat. However, when Fenris enters, Adeline raises a brow. "Okay…" She says, "What do you two want?"

"I don't want anything," Anders states first, projecting far more calm than is really… normal for him. "I'm here for Sterling." And he can't help the childlike smile that always accompanies the arrival of the bird on his shoulder and the start of the friendly preening. "He's the one here to talk to you. I've already lost." Which is why he's digging in his pockets for the little chunks of dried meat he's saved specifically for his preening friend. This is no longer his fight.

Fenris' ears perk at that smile from Anders. But his expression turns serious again swiftly. "Anders has informed me that he has need of going with the Wardens to the Deep Roads." He says, "I… Would accompany him." It is a simple statement, but a weighted on.

"You've already - ?" Adeline's eyes narrow at Anders. What in the world was he playing at? Here for Sterling, already lost… And then Fenris opens his mouth. "Ohh, oh no. No. No strays." She says, but she is not speaking to Fenris, but to Anders. Sighing, she does pull her gaze to the warrior for a minute. "I am sure you are very accomplished, but I cannot allow that."

Sterling, on the other hand, having the time of his life. Happy beak clicking noises abound, and he takes the offered treats with a gentleness that is well trained.

"I know, Adie. I did try." And, in his defense, he really did. Fenris just happens to be the Worst Person Ever to try and argue with. Ever. So Anders is feeding and loving on the hawk, enchanted by the clicking noises and unable to keep the besotted smile off his stupid face.

"Warden Vael," Fenris says, "I am not asking you for anything. I will bring my own supplies. You need not protect me, provide for me, or bother with me. But you cannot stop me from going into the Deep Roads of my own accord." It is, after all, not as though the Grey Wardens own them. Or him. He's being nice.

Adeline groans. "Anders." She says, looking at him, "You obviously did not try hard enough." Sighing, she looks back to Fenris. "You are right. I cannot order you in any capacity. But if you follow us, Fenris, I will see to it that you need stop. I cannot, and I will not, have it."

"There is no hard enough, Adie." Anders at least sounds apologetic about it. "I went nine rounds." And he's taking refuge in Sterling, but that last statement sounds just enough like a threat that he freezes. His palm is still open with bits of treat for the bird to pick at as he chooses, but Anders is no longer smiling.

Fenris was expecting this. There is no offense, there is not even bother. Fenris has actually come to respect Adeline, and thus threats from her are not something that ruffle him. "I respect what you mean, Warden Vael. But I cannot stay behind either. We are at an impasse, and one of us will have to give. I am very bad at doing that."

"Then I suppose you have a new skill to learn." Adeline says with a huff. Glancing to Anders, she catches his tension and shakes her head. "What, Anders? What do you want me to do? Put an arrow in his thigh or let him get killed - or worse, you know what is fucking down there - in the Deep Roads? I'd be doing him a mercy and you know it." Well, someone's snappish.

Though Sterling doesn't seem to care. He's used to his person being fiery. And there are treats! The falcon nudges and Anders' cheek, catching the tension in the shoulder upon which he perches.

Anders physically recoils, though he is quick to raise his other hand to help steady Sterling if he needs to. There are, indeed, treats - and more still in his pockets if need be - but having his own arguments flung in his face stings. "You think I don't know?" The implication that he doesn't have enough regard for the safety of the person he cares about most in the fucking world stings. "You think I didn't say all of this? Exactly this? I made the crossing from Ostwick to Kirkwall alone, remember? I know how hard it is for us to survive, with all the protections we have." That free hand pets Sterling gently in return for that nudge to his cheek now that the moving part of the reaction is over. "I don't like it. Just like I don't like Maura undergoing the Joining or Taril sleeping outside in a tree while the Qunari have a bounty on his head. Just like I didn't like plunging a knife into the throat of the first person I'd ever really loved. I don't like anything, Adie, but I don't get to make decisions for other people." He deflates a little bit then, breath leaving him in a rush and his whole body seeming to get… somehow smaller. "All I get to do is try and minimize the damage. I know, okay? I know."

Fenris just sighs. "I am not some maid in need of protecting." He says, "I have heard you - Both of you - This is dangerous, and likely the worst idea I have ever had. But I have made a decision. If your conscience says you have need to try to put an arrow in me to stop my following you, then so be it, Warden Vael. I will not take offense at it. I will, however, simply take that arrow out, wait for a healing draught to kick in, and follow if I need to. I do not think you will shoot me again once in the Deep Roads." Call the bluff. Best answer possible here, right? Right?

"Oh, I am very sure you said all of this, Anders." Adeline says, huffing again. "But you look at me like that when I tell him I'll put an arrow in him before I let him go to the Deep Roads and you're going to get - " And then Fenris is talking and she stops and just shakes her head. "You're a bloody fool. You're both bloody fools. Fine. Only because I think you're stupid enough to actually try and take an arrow from me. But so help me, Fenris," She says, looking at him sharply, "Down there, I don't care that you're not a Warden. You hang around that close and you will be listening to orders. If you don't, we could all die, and I will put an arrow in you, and not in your thigh, if you make me."

Fenris actually doesn't argue this. "Fine." He says, not sounding bothered. Somehow, and really, he has no idea how, he is the only person in the room not irritated. That might actually be a first.

Sterling isn't fussed, Sterling has golden hair and feathers to preen, and treats to eat, and clicking noises to make. He's cute and attentive.

Sighing, Adeline shakes her head. "I cannot believe I am allowing this." She says, and looks to Anders, "No more strays. I am serious."

Sterling and his cute bird ways are Anders' tether to sanity just now. Even so, he can recognize the close of a meeting when he hears one. Slowly, he crosses the room, slipping his passenger the last of the smuggled treats. "Pounce was a stray. Fen's not - " Aw fuck it, he's lost at this point anyhow. "Yes, Mum. No more strays." And then, perhaps because he's got some of his own to get back after yesterday's sass, he adds, "I'm quite happy with who I've got." And so saying, he twists to one side and lifts that shoulder so Sterling can go back to… whatever it is Sterling does when his human is obsessively re-arranging trunks. "Thank you, Adie." He's not entirely sure if he's grateful or terrified, to be honest, but it's the polite thing to say nonetheless.

Fenris nods, but doesn't thank her. There are some things you don't thank someone for, and he feels as though any form of thanks would sound as though he did not understand the gravity of what he was asking. So instead he stays quiet, and he follows Anders.

"You know full well what I mean." Adeline says, but there is a flicker of a smile. "Yeah, I'm sure you are." With that, though, she turns back to the trunks. It is only over her shoulder after they start to leave that Adeline calls. "Oh, and Fenris? If you break his heart, I will kill you." But the tone she says it in is saccharine.

This time it's Anders' turn to groan and the look he gives Adeline over his shoulder is a combination of 'Mother, seriously?' and 'Kill me now'. And then he's going to try and get out of there before this gets… painfully awkward.

For his part, Fenris just laughs. Truly, actually laughs and shakes his head. "It is good to know he has friends." Is all he says in return to that.


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