12: ghost kiss
//the hell is a ghost kiss? I’mma just go ahead and take it literally!
It had been four years since her death, but still, her companions held the tradition. Hawke had taken to pestering the Maker into letting her take spirit form for the occasion. They gathered in the Hanged Man; even Fenris who hated the place. Giving each other weak smiles, the silence deafened despite the hubbub of the pub surrounding them. They sipped at their drinks as Varric absently shuffled the cards. He broke the silence in the best way he knew how; Hawke’s way.
"Do you remember the time she came flying in here naked, because she’d somehow managed to be relieved of all her clothes while taking a bath at Gamlen’s?"
"I might have had something to do with that.” Isabela smirked, her eyes flickering over to Merrill, who had begun to giggle.
"One day, I saw her flirting with one of the guards,” she covered her mouth with her hand. “He was trying so hard to stay focussed on his post!”
"I knew she had something to do with it when Thoms refused to take that patrol again!” Aveline rolled her eyes, but there was a smile on her lips.
For the rest of the night, Hawke watched her friends with a smile on her face as they shared tales of her misfortunes, things she had done to stir up the nobles, anything to make the others laugh. They played Wicked Grace, and Isabela lost more coin than she would in a year; this was the only occasion she would fulfil her promise not to cheat.
The night wore on, until finally, regretfully, Corff asked them to start clearing out. He was not without compassion; Hawke had livened up his many years at the bar, despite the number of tables and chairs and mugs that had been destroyed in her wake. Varric stood at the door, saying goodbye to each of the companions as they left, a smile plastered on his face. It fell as he closed the door, and he solemnly helped Corff clean up, despite the protestations of the barman.
Barely aware of his movements, Varric shuffled his way to his room, changing and getting into bed. He lay sleepless, his expression full of sorrow as he sighed softly. Hawke watched, her heart aching for the dwarf who had never really let her go. Silent to him, she approached the side of his bed and bent, placing a soft, ghostly kiss on his forehead. He barely felt it as more than a soft breeze, but his eyes grew heavy in response.
"I miss you, Hawke." He whispered breathily as his eyes closed and he drifted into a peaceful, dreamless sleep.