Title: The Spirit of Meow (4/4)
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Fenris ♂, M!Hawke ♂, Anders ♂
Rating: T (L2 N2 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Expletives, nudity, sappy shit
Notes: I’m so done. 200% done. Look at me being done with this. These two are fucking horrible, and I adore them.
It took Hawke about three minutes of knocking, before he let himself in. He checked the bedroom first, only to find Fenris sitting in the middle of the bed, cross-legged, with Anders curled up naked before him, head and shoulders in his lap. Fenris hummed some soft song under his breath, eyes locked on Hawke, as he scratched the base of Anders’s skull. Anders made some low, contented noise, and rubbed his cheek against Fenris’s thigh, eyes closed.
"Bun? Hawke’s here." Fenris spoke softly.
Anders made a small, curious sound and blinked up at Hawke. "I am absolutely certain it is entirely your fault that I woke up naked on top of an angry elf, in the middle of the night. Why didn’t you tell him!?"
"Anders…?" Hawke choked up and sank to his knees on the floor by the foot of the bed.
"No, Hawke." Anders sat up into a crouch and rubbed his wrist against the bridge of his nose. "You don’t get to cry until I’m done having you out for this. What made you think this was a good idea?"
"Yes, do tell," Fenris chimed in from behind him.
Hawke tipped his head to the side to look past Anders to Fenris. "If you knew, you wouldn’t have taken him. If I told you later… I wanted him back alive."
"Do you think so little of me?" Fenris’s voice was cold enough that if the windows hadn’t already been broken, they would have been after that.
Anders sat back and rubbed his cheek against Fenris’s shoulder. "He does have a point. I thought you were going to kill me, when you woke up."
"You were naked and lying on my chest," Fenris pointed out, scratching Anders behind the ear. "I think that was an appropriate response."
"Yes, and I’m still naked. Hawke, please do something about that." Anders paused. "And not what you usually do about that."
"Yes, please, not in my house."
"Andraste’s ass. You — you’re really you," Hawke marvelled, reaching out to take Anders’s hand in his own.
Anders looked cross. "Who else would I be?"
"After the first week, I started to worry."
"And to think, I’m the illiterate one." Fenris rolled his eyes. "It didn’t say seven days, idiot mage."
Hawke blinked in confusion. "Of course it did. The calligraphy was a little ornate, but it wasn’t that bad."
"It said seven weeks, Hawke. That wasn’t an ornament." Anders flexed his hand tightly and pressed it against Hawke’s forehead.
"Of course, I knew! I knew it as soon as I saw the page you were looking at!" Anders shouted.
"You couldn’t have told me this?" Hawke squinted up around the hand on his face.
"I tried to. But, I was a cat at the time!"
"That’s his reason for just about everything, right now," Fenris pointed out, "and I think it’s a good one. Having spent weeks interpreting cat, it is not a condition well-suited to conveying complex concepts."
"You still should have told him what happened," Anders groused, taking his hand back and licking the side of it, before rubbing his face.
"Well, I didn’t. Not much for it now. I was worried about you."
Fenris shifted forward to crouch next to Anders, in almost the exact same position. "You lied to me, mage. You trusted me to take care of him, as long as I didn’t know what he was. Did you really think I would break the healer?"
"Well, I didn’t think he was going to turn into a cat, either, and see where that got us!" Hawke tugged at his beard. "I panicked. I just panicked."
"Considering the last time I panicked, I woke up from it surrounded by corpses and clutching the heart of a slave hunter, I might accept that excuse." Fenris glared down, regal and catlike.
Hawke swallowed hard. There had been only one cat between them, the night before, but Anders had changed back and kept the habits and Fenris… he’d never noticed how feline Fenris was, before. "Fresh apple tarts from the bakery on the plaza, every day, for another week."
"Two weeks." Fenris and Anders spoke at the same time.
"Done." Hawke stood up and reached for Anders, who pulled his head away, arched his back, and hissed.
"Clothes first, Hawke. I am not letting you touch me until I am dressed, and we are home."
A sharp pain rattled down the inside of Fenris’s ribs. Bun — Anders — was going home with Hawke. Of course he was. That had been the plan all along. What was this ache in his bones, now that it was happening? Foolishness.
He resurfaced to find the discussion had moved on without him, and both Hawke and Anders were looking at him expectantly. "What?"
Anders rubbed his cheek on Fenris’s shoulder. "He said there’s gold-drop soup and roast pheasant in the bag. Do you want anything else, since he’s going to have to come back, anyway?"
Yes, I want you to leave me my cat. "No. Just dress the naked mage."
"You can express your thanks in the form of apple tarts, if you must express it at all," Fenris snapped.
Hawke went out again, and Anders pressed his nose against Fenris’s ear. "Thank you for everything."
Fenris wrapped his arms around Anders. "Fool cat."
Anders meowed quite convincingly, and Fenris lit up trying to still the shaking that seized him.
"I know," Anders breathed.
They stayed like that, until Hawke returned with clothes for Anders. An obnoxiously flamboyant robe, in fact. New.
"Hawke, I’m a healer, not the Empress Celene," Anders complained, trying to find all the buckles and buttons to keep the thing on.
"Well, you definitely look like a queen, in that," Fenris teased.
Anders looked like he might say something, but his breath caught in his throat for a long moment. "Grace night?" he asked, finally.
Fenris nodded. "I’ll be there. I’m sure your time as a cat hasn’t improved your game."
Fenris didn’t answer, but his eyebrow looked like it might need to be rescued from his hairline.
Hawke opened his mouth, but Fenris pointed to the door. "Out. There are too many mages in my house."
"Yeah, we love you too, Broody," Hawke retorted, on his way down the stairs.
The door slammed and Fenris curled up on the bed and stared silently into the fire, for a long time.
Time and apple tarts went by, and Fenris found his life lacking. He began following Anders’s example and setting bowls of cream out for strays, hoping one might like him enough to stay. Wouldn’t be Bun, but he missed the purring and the fluff.
Grace nights turned into comedies, as Fenris exploited the few cat instincts Anders had yet to shake, sprinkling dried catmint in Merrill’s hair, toying with a feather just at the level of the table. Anders took it fairly well, with some glaring and complaints about what a useless asshole Fenris was.
It was Varric who first started to notice something else going on, though. Anders rubbing his cheek on Fenris’s shoulder, when he thought no one was looking. Fenris absently reaching out to scratch behind Anders’s ear. Anders was still Anders, certainly — the healer and revolutionary they knew and loved — but he was looking a little like a cat, like Fenris’s cat, around the edges. As far as Varric knew, Fenris didn’t even like cats, and he definitely didn’t much like Anders. Something about that creepy Fade-cat thing, the other month, most likely. Still, he took notes. One never knew when this kind of thing would come in handy, whether as a plotline or as ammunition.
Every once in a while, Anders would come back to his clinic to find a string of bells and feathers hung by the door or a well-wrapped packet of catmint and ham. Each was accompanied by a little note bearing nothing but the Tevene ‘week’ symbol. He’d look fondly at Fenris, the next time they met, and Fenris would always snort and look away.
Long past the apple tarts, weeks turned into months, and still this went on, quietly, under it all. Finally, Anders showed up at Fenris’s door, with a large covered basket.
"What are you doing here, mage?"
"Does this mean we’re not running away to Antiva, together?" Anders shot back, offering the basket.
Fenris accepted the basket and stepped back, letting Anders follow him into the house. "Bribing me with more apple tarts?"
"Among other things. But, it’s not a bribe, this time. It’s just a gift." Anders closed the door.
Setting the basket down, Fenris pulled back the cloth and found a small grey cat, sleeping, and several bags and bundles. He looked devastated, as the hollowness in his chest crept outward. "Are you…? Bun…?"
Anders leaned down and rubbed his cheek against Fenris’s ear. "I’m right where you left me. I just thought maybe you shouldn’t be alone, any more. If I’m wrong, I’ll take him back with me. There’s always room for a cat in the clinic."
Fenris reached up and scratched behind Anders’s ear. "What’s his name?"
"That’s up to you and him."
The cat woke up and blinked up at the two of them, calm but confused. "Mew?"
"How sacrilegious do you think it would be, if I named him Shartan?" Fenris asked, fluttering his fingers over the cat.
Anders blinked. "I think it says a lot about you, that you would even consider it. Says even more that you’re asking me."
"You’re my cat. Who else would I ask?"
"You are now a very lucky man, with two very lucky cats."
"Are you very lucky?" Fenris asked, quietly.
"Luckiest cat ever to cat. Unlike some people, you didn’t drag me into the deep roads. And that catmint-sprinkled ham? Darktown is lucky I got out of bed, the next morning. I could have spent the whole day lying in bed, eating ham and grinning at the ceiling."
"You should have. You need a day off." Fenris squeezed the edge of Anders’s ear. "Why are you so good to me, mage?"
"I could ask you the same thing."
Fenris paused for a moment. "Shartan, then?"
"I like it. It’s offensive, but strangely appropriate, just like you." Anders grinned, and Fenris slung an elbow back, knocking him on his ass. "I’m still right!"
"What’s in the rest of these?"
"Jerky, feathers, apples… stuff for my elf and his new cat."
"Your elf?" Fenris bristled.
"Hey, if I’m your cat, then you’re my elf. Your shoulders and ankles belong to me and Shartan."
Fenris laughed and scooped up the little grey cat from where it was sniffing at bundles of stuff. "Tell Hawke he’s forgiven."