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Secret Santa fic for [personal profile] miri1984 I am *so* sorry this was late! Real Life kicked in, and I ran a little behind in everything.

It is Fenris/Isabela though. I hope you like it!

Title: Unintended
Summary: It's a fool-proof plan for Isabela; teach Fenris a few things he's never had the opportunity to learn, have her own fun then leave him to pursue Hawke...



Unintended


Isabela doesn't consider herself a team player; she's been Captain Isabela of her own ship for long enough that following someone else's lead, even someone as charismatic as Marian Hawke seems... counterproductive somehow. There are advantages, both financial and visual to working with Hawke however, Isabela finds.

Hawke is well-known, well-respected and handsomely paid for her time; she's also quick to share the profits of her labours among all of her companions.
That said, it's the alternative benefits which are of more interest to Isabela; the coin she could take from any one of the over-filled purses in Hightown should she care to.

No, what Isabela finds herself most interested in are the aesthetics of her new situation. Hawke herself is a sight to behold, (and an arse worth following too) and she somehow seems to attract the most delightful of companions. Isabela is a little jealous – she's been in Kirkwall for over a year now, and not found anyone nearly as interesting outside the Blooming Rose, but for now she's quite happy with what she has to look at.

Isabella has always believed in being straightforward about what she likes, at least where sex is concerned - it's by far the easiest way to get what she wants. She's pleasantly surprised to find Hawke to be just as brutally honest herself, though decidedly less pleased when her flirtations with Hawke are firmly rejected.

"I'm flattered, really," Hawke replies to her suggestion that they make good use of her room, "but I'm afraid your answer is no."
Unfortunate, perhaps, but Kirkwall is a large sea, with plenty more options, and Isabela has never been adverse to a little fishing.

And fishing sounds like an even more interesting idea when she meets Fenris, the latest addition to Hawke's crew: The elf may be surly and antisocial, but he's also a walking work of art. Isabela hasn't been this taken with an exotic elf since the first time she met Zevran.

"I suggest you keep your distance,"
Fenris proves difficult too, though Isabela is nothing if not persistent. Hawke plans to leave for the deep roads soon, taking along her sister, Varric and Anders. Isabela plans to use the time wisely; after all Fenris hasn't yet said no exactly.

--//\\--


Secrets don't stay secret for long in their circle: When Hawke returns from the deep roads, missing her sister and more subdued and serious than Isabela has ever known her to be, it's simple to coax Varric into revealing the reasons why. When Anders single-handedly wipes out a troop of templars, armed with nothing more than a blue glow, Merrill and Fenris are quick to offer wildly conflicting versions of the same story, and Aveline's rise through the ranks of the City Guard is common knowledge almost before it's official within the Guards.

Some members of their party are a little more guarded about what information they let slip, however, and as Isabela has now exhausted Varric's supply of gossip along with Fenris' (somewhat limited) patience, she's had to come up with another way of finding out anything really interesting about her target. Which is why she's currently hidden in a dark corner of Fenris' borrowed mansion, listening to his conversation with Hawke. All's fair in the pursuit of pleasure, she decides. Besides, she's been guilty of far worse.

Fenris' chat with Hawke proves more enlightening than she'd expected:
"I have never had the opportunity," she hears Fenris reveal, "or if I have then I do not remember."
She's horrified at the thought. Such a waste of a handsome elf. Maybe she should rectify such an unfair situation...

--//\\--


Though finding an opportunity to even offer proves difficult. Hawke's schedule keeps them all busy, and the few times she has the chance to speak to Fenris there are other members of Hawke's social circle around; Isabela doubts that Fenris would like for their companions to overhear what she has to offer.

Inspiration strikes one day in a dingy cave near Sundermount. She's joined Hawke, Merrill and Fenris for another of Hawke's charitable errands, sincerely hoping that she'll be paid slightly better for this one.
Fenris wants Hawke, though he doesnt seem prepared to make a move. It's subtle enough that Isabela wouldn't have noticed but for her current interest in Fenris, however once she spots the signs it's easy enough to note every time that his eyes linger a beat too long on Hawke, or the slightly over-long pauses before he responds to Hawke's questions.


"I can help you with that," she ventures one day.

Fenris whirls to face her, startled. Oh sweet thing, Isabela thinks, you must know how transparent you are.

"With Hawke," she clarifies.

The protest Fenris is preparing dies on his lips as she raises her eyebrows at him. Instead he growls, "what do you propose?"
Though he's guarded, suspicious still. Isabela can't quite blame him- it isn't as though she doesn't have an ulterior motive, after all.

"I can give you some experience, perhaps teach you a few tricks," she offers, "I know some good tricks."

"You wish to teach me tricks?" Fenris echoes, his voice full of uncertainty.

"Yes, darling, tricks. The kind which will keep Hawke coming back to you. I happen to be a very good teacher of these things."

Fenris frowns, still unconvinced. "You wish to bed me?"

"It wouldn't have to be in a bed kitten, if you prefer something more adventurous then I'm happy to experiment."

"...why?"

Over the past months she's learnt a little of what constitutes a right or wrong answer for Fenris. Somehow, she thinks, 'you're hot' might be a wrong answer

"I'm bored and I think it would be fun. I'm not being charitable in any way."

Fenris frowns once more at that, but seems to accept it as valid. He makes no further comment.

--//\\--


Despite their talk she's not expecting Fenris to actually turn up; he is uncertain around her at best, often skittish even, and he's obviously very taken with Hawke. Isabela doesn't blame him.
Still, she thinks rather wistfully, it would have been nice. He is very attractive.

She's so certain that he won't come that she's leaving the Hanged Man in search of some entertainment when he does. It's a quiet night in lowtown, or perhaps it's just too early for the thugs to be prowling the streets. Either way, she's half-way to hightown before she comes across anyone. Fenris is still fully dressed for battle, focused and ignoring anyone who passes him. Only once he approaches her does he slow his steps,
"I was looking for you," he begins, "were you sincere in your offer last time we spoke?"

The shock must show on her face, because Fenris stops, clearly unsure.
"I would not usually ask this of you."

It might be the most honest she's ever been when she replies, "believe me kitten, this is no trouble at all."

--//\\--


Here, in her bed, he is just as beautiful as she'd suspected. The lyrium lines over all of his body contrast beautifully with his tanned skin, and he's taut in all the right places.

Fenris may have no experience, though he makes up for this with a natural talent that Isabela can't deny; he's quick to take instruction, though not submissive. He's responsive too, with a warrior's stamina added to that. All in all it makes for a pleasant night.

Isabela's no stranger to the small gestures which indicate that one partner is eager to end the night; indeed she's usually the one guilty of such things, so she can't help but notice the small quirks which show her that Fenris is ready to leave.

She can't blame him, though she's surprisingly reluctant to let him leave. Once she does, he's left before she has even noticed him dressing.
It doesn't bother her.

She's never done this before, but days later she can't help herself.
"I can't stop thinking about that night," she whispers to him as they follow Hawke through Hightown. Perhaps, she thinks, she can convince him to spend another night with her bfore pursuing Hawke.

His reply is as blunt as it is unexpected.
"Then I shall see you tonight."


--//\\--


"Hawke has ...expressed an interest."

"Of course she has, sweet thing," Isabela replies, "Hawke has had an interest in you since she first saw you."
Fenris' response is a glare, and a curt, "do not jest, Isabela," which she knows better than to argue with. Eventually the frown fades, and he's more hesitant when he next speaks;
"I would like to pursue this opportunity."

He's asking permission, and being incredibly polite about doing so! Isabela chokes back a laugh at the thought, certain it wouldn't be appreciated.
"Oh kitten, don't worry about me. I was only making sure you had some transferable skills. Go ahead and get your girl, but be sure to tell me all the naughty details afterwards!"

It's unnerving to watch him leave, to know he's not coming back to her (at least not in this capacity; Isabela is well aware that Hawke doesn't share) and feel something other than the usual relief at the return of her freedom.

It's been good, certainly. Fenris is a quick learner with a wicked sense of humour and seemingly endless stamina. Isabela thinks she'll certainly be sorry to see an end to that aspect of their acquaintance, perhaps more than any other.

Unlike others he's never expected anything of her either, so this whole experience has been a pleasant surprise for both of them. It is time to let go now though, before either of them get too attached – she does have a rather bad track record of breaking hearts.
So, she sees him off with a cheerful smile and a lewd comment then returns to her usual spot at the Hanged Man's bar. Corff has a full glass waiting for her, and another following that, so soon enough she's forgotten any reason why she might not be happy about Fenris moving on.

--//\\--


Isabela's rules, such as they are, are nothing if not clear: No attatchments, no involvement, and nothing more than a little fun. Which is why it is best that Fenris left when he did, she tells herself once again. The fact that she is once again doing nothing more than sitting at the bar, attempting to get drunk on Corff's cheapest ale has no bearing on anything which happened between them; Kirkwall is just boring her now. Perhaps it is time to move on.

She's still debating the advantages of Antiva over Starkhaven with Corff when the door to the Hanged Man bursts open. It is Fenris, looking for all of Thedas like an offended cat. Those in the bar give him a wide berth, though he pays none any heed but her.

Isabela tells herself she isn't glad to see him, nor is she happy about what this signifies for his relationship with Hawke. If she doesn't listen too closely it almost sounds like the truth.

"What happened with Hawke?"

Fenris shakes his head, "I... could not. She was not you."

Isabela curses herself for ten kinds of fool as he accompanies her to her
room once more.
So much for not getting involved.


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