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Title: In Sickness and in Health
Rating: G
Pairing: Hawke/Sebastian
Summary: There’s nothing better than spending a rainy afternoon with the one you love.
Note: Takes place sometime after the last flirty Rivalmance conversation you have with Sebastian in Act III.


It started with a light spattering of raindrops along the Wounded Coast. By the time that they reached the city, the light rain had transformed into a deluge that made it hard to see anything a few feet ahead of them. Sebastian let out a muffled curse as his boots slid in the mud, his leg throbbing from the slashing knife wound above his knee.

“Are you all right?” Elsa asked, holding him up before he pitched face first onto the pavement. Her hood had kept most of the rain out, but black tendrils of hair still clung wetly to her forehead and cheeks.

“Just lost my footing,” he hissed out between clenched teeth. His chest ached as well; normally Elsa, Fenris and Aveline formed an offensive line while he hung back and attacked at a distance, but the ambush happened before they could properly shape their ranks. Sebastian had to rely on the dagger he kept at his hip to fend off the closest attackers before he had any breathing room to wield his bow. He had been swamped and was sure that he’d be hurt more than he had, but then Elsa had thrown one of her smoke bombs and suddenly she was at his back, her knives flashing as she helped whittle away their opponents.

“I don’t think I can take another staircase,” Elsa moaned, favoring her right side as they found refuge underneath the stone archway close to her home. “I’m so glad we’re already in Hightown.”

Now it was his turn to be concerned. “Are you all right?”

She flashed one of her charming smiles his way. “Nothing a hot bath and dry clothes can’t cure, I assure you.”

“Which is exactly what I’m planning on doing once I reach the barracks,” Aveline stated. “Hawke, do you need anything else?”

“No, go get out of this mess.” She smirked. “Or find out where your husband is and see if he can’t help warm you up instead.” Elsa laughed at Aveline’s slight blush, but the guardswoman waved to her friend as she walked off.

“I think I’ll take my leave as well,” Fenris noted. The rain had plastered his hair to his scalp and he looked miserable.

“Are you sure you’ll be…” Concern colored Elsa’s question, but Fenris’ curt nod cut her off.

“There are interior rooms that have fared better than the one I normally frequent.” Fenris frowned and reached out, his fingers tracing a ragged tear on Elsa’s sleeve. “That will need to be cared for,” he said quietly.

She looked down at her arm. The rain had done a good job of cleaning away the blood, but the skin around her elbow still stung like crazy. “I’ll get to that,” she promised him. “Good night, Fenris. I’ll see you tomorrow at the usual time.”

“This rain is coming down in sheets,” Sebastian commented, just to fill in the sudden silence that had descended upon them.

“Yes, and I don’t feel right having you out in this weather. Would you like to come inside and dry off a bit until the rain lets up?” She had seen how he was limping and knew that the steep Chantry steps would be a challenge for him. “I’ll sweeten the deal and throw in a pot of tea and some scones.”

His expression brightened. “Scones, you say?”

“Fresh baked this morning. I made far too many and they’re going to wind up going stale if you don’t help me finish them.”

He smiled down at her, the corners of his eyes crinkling. “With an offer like that, my lady, how can I refuse?”

***

Elsa cringed as she toed off her muddy boots in her house’s entranceway, thinking about the puddles of rainwater they were going to leave behind. Almost as if he knew she would be there, Bodahn was at her side armed with thick towels. She gratefully took one and began to blot her hair, handing the other to Sebastian.

“I thought you might need this as well, Messere,” Bodahn said, appearing once again with a well-stocked first aid kit in his hands.

“You are a blessing,” Elsa told him, taking the kit. The dwarf flushed and mumbled something, hiding his pleased expression in his beard before heading towards the kitchens to heat up a kettle for tea.

“You really are fortunate to have such a manservant,” Sebastian observed, involuntarily taking a sharp breath when he raised his arm too high.

“You’re hurt,” she told him, taking his hand and guiding him through the main room and into the library, the fire blazing in the hearth making the smaller room all the more cozier.

“It’s just a scratch.”

“Uh huh. Why is it that you men decide to tough out your injuries and yet fall to pieces when us women barely break a nail?”

“When have I ever fallen to pieces?”

She arched an eyebrow and set the kit on the sofa situated near the fireplace. “Last week when we were hunting that bounty.”

“Elsa, you were set on fire. I think that ranks a little higher than a broken nail.” He had panicked, but then again, who in their right mind wouldn’t when the woman that they cared for was rolling on the ground in an attempt to extinguish the flames that had enveloped her legs? After sending an arrow into the apostate mage’s skull, he had rushed to her side, checking her for any extensive damage. Luckily, her pants had only gotten scorched and besides bemoaning the loss of a favorite pair of trousers, she was otherwise unharmed.

“All right, I’ll give you that one. Now humor me and get this armor off. I need to patch you up.” Without asking, she stood on tiptoe and began to unbuckle the straps holding his breastplate together.

He attempted to bat her hands away. “I told you, it’s just a scratch. Don’t fuss, Hawke.”

“Scratches tend to get infected if not cared for, Vael,” she told him. She only used his last name when she was irritated with him, which wasn’t often, but it was enough of a warning for him to silently capitulate, his fingers undoing familiar clasps faster than her fumbling attempts.

“That is not a scratch,” she stated, her stomach flipping at the angry looking slash across his collarbone that his torn tunic exposed. “Why didn’t you say that you were hurt earlier?”

“We didn’t have any potions with us; what good would it have done if I had told you?”

“We would have come back earlier!”

“And then traipsing about in the rain would have been pointless if we only had to go back without getting what we had set out for in the first place.”

“Of all the stubborn, pigheaded…” Elsa tugged at the hem of his tunic, un-tucking it from his waistband. Sebastian effectively stopped her tirade by lightly pressing on the skin at her left elbow, making her suck in a sharp gasp of her own.

“You were saying?” he asked, an eyebrow winging up. Gently, he pushed her sleeve up her arm, exposing a long, thin cut that was sluggishly seeping blood. “I’ll make you a deal: you let me tend this and I’ll let you play nurse to your heart’s content.” His leg nearly buckled after standing for so long and he sank down onto the sofa, the kit sliding towards him on the cushions.

“Fine, but I’d rather…”

“I’ll have no arguments, Hawke. The matter is closed.” He palmed her hips in his hands and drew her in to stand between his legs so he could reach her better, fully aware of the little squeak she let out and the way her eyes widened at the contact. He fought the urge to hold her close, wondering exactly when this woman had managed to get so deeply under his skin that it pained him to ever think of living his life without her. Sebastian had told her that he wouldn’t give her anything less than what a prince could offer the last time their relationship came up in a discussion, but he had started to put more heat in his gaze when they were alone together. He’d also taken to letting his hands wander over her body in a way that was probably straddling the line of gentlemanlike behavior, but she’d never voiced a complaint as of yet.

“Sebastian?” Her fingers were in his hair, absently brushing the still wet strands out of his face.

“Sorry. I was woolgathering.” He reached for the pot of red medicinal paste, gingerly dabbing a thick amount onto her injury. The tips of his fingers tingled as the paste helped heal tiny nicks and paper cuts he hadn’t known he had. He wrapped Elsa’s arm with gauze and tucked the loose ends together. “I don’t like seeing you get hurt.”

“And I don’t like seeing you hurt either,” she said softly, tracing his cheek with her fingers. She plucked at the neck of his shirt. “Now, I do believe that you said once I was put back to rights that I could play nurse to my heart’s content.”

“Get out of those wet clothes first and we’ll talk.”

She laughed, stepping away from him. “Why your Highness, are you suggesting something?” The teasing tone was back in her voice and he was glad to hear it, even it if meant that a flustered blush spread across his cheeks. That never ceased to amaze him – a man who once left scores of broken hearts all along the Free Marches was reduced to a blushing boy whenever it came to her. It was just another thing that he loved about Elsa.

He grinned up at her. “You know what I meant. Go get changed before you catch your death of cold.” He watched appreciatively as she walked out of the library before pulling the leg of his pants up to examine the damage above his knee. He winced as he doctored himself, the bandage he tied on uncomfortable even through several layers of gauze padding. Job done, he sat back and let out a great sneeze.

“Speaking of someone catching their death,” Elsa mused, seeming to appear out of nowhere. She’d changed into the soft rose colored dress she often wore around her house, but had neglected to wear any shoes. She had a bundle of cloth in her arms and she laid it across the arm of the sofa. “I’m going to see about getting that tea and scones while you change.”

Sebastian grunted as he pulled off his sodden tunic and pants. The dark brown replacement ones were a bit baggy around the waist and had multiple patches on the knees, but were soft and warm. The shirt she had offered him was a light tan that had similar patches sewn on the elbows. He left the shirt where it was for the time being, padding barefoot towards the fireplace to warm up. He turned his head when he heard Elsa making a great deal of noise in the hallway to announce her presence, dishes clattering on whatever tray she had with her.

“I have to warn you, Bodhan made the tea. Tea isn’t tea unless it makes your beard stand on end, or so he always says.” She left the tray on a nearby side table and went over to Sebastian. He had always marveled about her: how this petite woman whose head barely skimmed his shoulders could be and a compact bundle of deadly energy one moment and the picture of serenity the next. Now that her feet were just as bare as his, their height difference was even more apparent. He absently noted that she had red lacquer on her toenails, which he had overheard being a popular trend among the women in Kirkwall. The bright color stood out from her pale, pale skin and he found that he couldn’t tear his eyes away. “Now, about that cut.” She guided him back to the sofa and lit a nearby lamp so she could see better.

“It looks worse than it feels,” Sebastian eyed the platter of round scones. Even though she said that she had made them that morning, she must have placed them near the kitchen fire because they looked as warm as if they had just gotten out of the oven. “Is that clotted cream over there?”

“And strawberry jam.” Her lips lifted up in a fond smile. “Should I bandage you up now or should I wait?”

“No, no. Bandage away, Nurse Hawke.” He returned her smile with one of his own. “It’s just that I haven’t had scones like those in a very long time.” Not since I had been a boy, my legs dangling in the air while I sat on a stool in the kitchens and listened to the cooks work. It was a homey memory, one that he was glad that Elsa had brought up.

“I’m happy to see that Carver’s clothes fit,” she said, dabbing a cloth with a strong smelling antiseptic. Her family had stuffed their belongings into bags without any care to whom it belonged to when they had fled Lothering. It had been a comfort to find out that several pieces of her brother’s clothing had made it into her pack and she kept them carefully folded and put away in a chest for sentimental reasons. “He was bulkier about the chest and shoulders than you are, but your height is just about right. This is going to sting a little.”

Sebastian claimed a small victory in the fact that he hadn’t jumped out of his seat once Elsa dabbed at his cut. “What is that, acidic coating?” he yelped, flinching as he watched bubbles form across the shallow line.

“It’s something Anders swears by in the clinic to ward off infections. I know it hurts, but trust me, it really works wonders in the long run.” She leaned closer to him and gently blew on the offended skin, raising gooseflesh in her wake.

“If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you did that on purpose,” Sebastian told her, an involuntary groan slipping past his lips. Elsa looked up from her handiwork and noticed his hooded eyes and shallow breath. In that moment, she gave up all pretense of keeping a clinical viewpoint on having him bare-chested in front of her. She gave him a wicked smirk and let her eyes sweep leisurely across the expanse of naked skin before looking him in the eye.

“Well, that wasn’t my intent, but,” she let her breath ghost across his shoulder again. “This was entirely on purpose.”

Sebastian specialized in long distance fighting and normally had a slow, deliberate pace to all his movements, which made Elsa forget that he could move with lightning-fast speed when it suited him. He used that speed now, dragging her into his lap, heedless of his injured knee. “You test the limits of my control,” he rasped, nipping at her earlobe before burying his face in her hair. He felt her pulse jump against his cheek and he wrapped his arms tighter around her waist, not wanting to break contact just yet. It was only when the back of her knee pressed against his wound that he reluctantly let her go, his hands warm on her sides.

“I’m sorry,” she told him, fumbling for the jar of ointment. “I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I can’t help myself.” She ducked her head, her hair falling in front of her face to hide her red face.

He reached out and pushed her hair behind her ear. “My very own temptress,” he teased, giving her a lopsided grin. “However did I get so fortunate?”

She finished wrapping a long bandage over his collarbone and around the top portion of his chest before stepping away to put her first aid kit back in order. “Blind luck that I decided to accept your letter on the Chanter’s Board?”

He slipped his borrowed shirt over his head and came up behind her. “I prefer to call it fate instead.” Mindful of her injuries, he settled his hands on her arms and bent his head so he could press a kiss to her temple.

She sighed his name, tilting her head back so it could rest on his shoulder. She bit her lip when he trailed his lips along the side of her neck before turning in his arms. “It seems that I’m not the only one testing limits today,” she said. She was trying for a playful tone of voice, but what came out sounded low and throaty like something Isabela might have said instead. She looked up at him, noticing that the ends of his hair were starting to curl as it dried. Her fingers itched to run through the thick auburn mess, to drag him down to her level and kiss him like she had wanted to do ever since she first met him. Her breath caught in her throat at the way that his eyes darkened and she silently cursed whatever chivalrous vows he had taken to replace the recently lifted ones from the Chantry.

“My heart, you’ll be the death of me,” he murmured, taking her hand in his. He pressed her palm against his cheek, turning his head so he could kiss her fingers. “I swear once I retake my family’s lands, I will be yours. Until then…”

She stroked the side of his face, the beginning traces of stubble catching on her fingertips. She resigned herself to the fact that Sebastian was a man of his word. Nothing she could do would sway him from the promises he made to others or himself, and honestly, she would not have him any other way. “Until then,” she said, leading him back to the sofa and the table full of snacks. “We’ll sit and drink our tea and wait for the rain to let up.” She poured a cup and offered it to him.

Settling down on the sofa, he bit into one of the scones, savoring the warm, buttery taste that complimented the strong, black tea. Elsa curled her legs underneath her and leaned against his side. Content, he slung an arm around Elsa and smiled when she began to yawn, thinking that there was no greater pleasure to be had than spending an afternoon drowsing in front of a roaring fire with the sound of rain hitting the windowpanes.

Sebastian stretched his legs out in front of him and closed his eyes, hoping that the rain never stopped.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
liltxangel83
Jul. 16th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)
I think I'm in love!
iceprincessd
Jul. 16th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
Yay!
phoenixblaze
Jul. 16th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC)
Okay, it's official. I'm in love with your Sebastian/Hawke. Sebastian is such a great character to fulfill my excessive fluff needs. Now if I'd stop being a bad fangirl and actually write what I've been trying to work on...
iceprincessd
Jul. 16th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I've been wanting to write something with him in it for a while now, and it's funny that even when I want something serious to happen, nothing but fluff seems to work.

That and I did a search before posting this and realized that I had several "Nathaniel"'s written in place of "Sebastian." Oy. *headdesk*

Edited at 2011-07-16 06:18 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
iceprincessd
Jul. 16th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I haven't written anything yet, but I have at least two more parts to this wandering around in the back of my head.
(Deleted comment)
iceprincessd
Jul. 16th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info, I didn't know he had a community! *goes off to investigate*
reconnoiterer
Jul. 17th, 2011 06:35 am (UTC)
Sebastian, honestly! Get out there and retake those lands already geez! Those curling auburn locks...
iceprincessd
Jul. 18th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
I KNOW, RIGHT? Or at least find some sort of loophole that allows for hawt accented makeouts, sheesh! While they're nice, a girl can't live on snuggles and G-rated kisses alone.

(I might have something in the works for this too, just because.)
night_is_fallen
Jul. 18th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC)
I love this!!

I was actually kind of on the fence about Sebastian for awhile, but then I went ahead and made a Hawke who rivaled him and I SAW THE LIGHT. Rivalry is the way to go with this one, I tell you what. LOL Fenris is still my favorite LI in the game, but Sebastian has his own place now, too. XD
iceprincessd
Jul. 18th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
I've never romanced him before, but now that I'm doing this playthough, I'm all WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! Fenris and his puppy eyes are still my numero uno LI in this game too, but there is a spot for princes with accents. Sebastian has kind of taken over my plot bunnies, so there's going to be more with these two in the future. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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