The only thing Carver got from his father was his nose. Tristan had called dibs on everything else: the magic, the humor, the skin that Peaches had always called “dusky” before dissolving into giggles, and basically all his belongings, too. Not like Carver had any use for Father’s staff or robes, but it was the principle of the thing. It wasn’t any different Kirkwall, not really. Tristan stepped into the city and made it his and all Carver got out of that was Mother’s anxiety and a fair share of Gamlen’s debt.
“Cheer up, Junior,” Varric said over the swill they called drinks in Lowtown. “You know what they say: smile and all of Thedas smiles with you; cry and blah blah blah someone will cut your purse while you’re whining.”
“Must be a dwarven saying,” Carver said and went back to watching the tavern. He and Varric were at the bar and Tristan was at a table. With Anders, who Carver didn’t give a shit about, and Merrill. Merrill, who Carver shouldn’t like but did anyway. She looked like a spring sapling, even in the damp dimness of the Hanged Man, all fresh and surprisingly strong against storm.
There’s been squabbling over it when they came in, of who got to sit next to Tristan, but Anders had won that battle and outmaneuvered the elf and propped up so close to Carver’s brother that their shoulders rubbed whenever they reached for their drinks. Idiots, Carver thought and then said aloud to Varric. Though he was secretly relieved. Anders was good something after all.