The first sound out of Varric’s mouth wasn’t even a sigh.  No, it was, “I don’t want to know, do I?” 

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Eppie sniffed.  Varric’s expression didn’t change.  Didn’t budge.  Didn’t even waver.  And, Maker’s blood, he was actually arching an eyebrow!  At her!  Varric! Eyebrow!

“I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t show up with that thing.”

“That thing” happened to be draped around her shoulders at that moment.  It also happened to be keeping her neck particularly warm, a plus when one’s secret (all right, not so secret, as it turned out) stronghold was located in the frozen-middle-of-bloody-nowhere.  

“Don’t call him that,” she admonished.  "He has a name.

“Oh.  A name.”  Varric chuckled.  “This should be good.”

The fennec that was, at that moment, curled contently around her neck, lifted its head and folded its ears back, sending Varric a look of displeasure so dour, even Eppie had to laugh.  “He’s quite ridiculous,” she said, reaching up to scratch the little beast behind its ears.  The animal’s eyes shut in contentment as it leaned into her hand, trilling softly.

“Ridiculous is a good word,” Varric offered, nodding.  “Disturbing’s another.  Also, creepily familiar.”


“Nothing.  So, a name?”

“Fenny,” she announced, grinning proudly as the fox nuzzled her chin.

A beat of silence passed.  “Fenny,” Varric said evenly.

“Because he’s a fennec,” she explained.  "Fenny Fennec?  Cute, right?“

“Not your best work, Hawke.”

“Hmph.  And I suppose you could do better?”

His lips twitched back a smile.  “Nah.  No, this one can be all yours, Hawke.”