I figured it was about time to switch fandoms in my search for femslash, and given my current parameters—games that allow for character creation—I figured there was no better choice than to finally dip my feet into the Dragon Age fandom. I’d seen some fantastic fic already from this fandom, but none of it was femslash. Needless to say, I was pretty excited about looking. Unfortunately, the search ended up being a load of trouble: maybe it’s just my inadequate searching skills, but the amount of femslash was much, much smaller than I was anticipating. (I may have been excited, but I did not set my standards high.) I’ve resolved myself to look again, but for now I’ve found a short fic that satiates my need and features one of my favorite friendships in Dragon Age 2.
When writing for the pairing or friendship of Aveline and Isabela, I’ve noticed a trend of making Aveline this shrinking violet in the presence of Isabela’s sexual prowess, and I have to wonder if these authors even played the same game I did. Isabela may be a pirate queen who owns her sexuality, but Guard Captain Aveline is not known for backing down or batting an eyelash at anything vulgar. In the game, I believe the one conversation between them that defines their relationship entirely is:
Aveline: You’re right.
Aveline: About knowing who you are.
Aveline: I’m the captain of the guard. I’m loyal, strong, and I don’t look too bad naked.
Isabela: Exactly. And if I called you a mannish, awkward, ball-crushing do-gooder, you’d say…?
Aveline: Shut up, whore.
Isabela: That’s my girl.
From this, the respect they share for each other is obvious, but it’s also easy to see where certain facets can be eschewed to the point of ruining the nuances that make the relationship so interesting in the first place. In the aptly named Let the Punishment Fit the Crime, author owlmoose refuses to fall into that trap and gives the audience a very real picture of the blooming friendship between these two strong women.
Let the Punishment Fit the Crime takes place after the second act of DA2—after Hawke defeats the Arishok—and starts with Isabela turning herself in to Aveline to receive her punishment for her involvement with the entire Qunari affair—which turns out to be an ass-kicking from the Guard Captain herself. However, Aveline has other ideas for the pirate. Instead of kicking her ass, she locks Isabela away in the dungeons. What we have next is a short interlacing of Aveline’s duties—and a nice scene between her and Knight-Commander Meredith—with the audience’s own reflection of why Aveline didn’t just beat Isabela up as she threatened earlier. The result speaks volumes about their friendship, as well as gives Isabela some unexpected growth and character development.
Although this oneshot is quite short (just under 2.5k words) owlmoose packs it to the brim with poignancy. They not only have everyone in character, but have skillfully kept in mind the events of the game and have crafted a more than believable scenario showing their love for both the setting and the characters. Whereas this may not have been femslash, the unlikely friendship between the hardass, law-abiding Guard Captain and this free spirited, sarcastic pirate is one of the best friendships between women I’ve seen in a long time. I’d highly recommend giving this short ficlet a read, even if you’re not in the fandom.