Title: The Soggy Set-Up
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anders ♂, Varric ♂, Fenris ♂, Aveline ♀, Merrill ♀, Isabela ♀, Irving ♂, Greagoir ♂
Rating: T (L2 N2 S0 V0 D1)
Warnings: Non-consensual voyeurism, Anders has no sense of self-preservation, Templars making trouble
Notes: Anders tells a story of his time in the tower. Do we remember Greta and her trouble with the Templars, from the Mage Origin? Greta gets a happy ending, Anders gets dragged naked through the hall, and Irving ends up with an awful lot of ammunition.
Anders sat sideways, across two chairs, leaning against the wall. It was probably a sign of all the time he’d very quietly been spending with Fenris that a glass of wine hung from his fingers, rather than a cup of tea or a tankard of ale. Apparently, he’d won the fight, tonight, if he was drinking at all.
"Did I ever tell you about the time," he started, and Aveline groaned.
"Probably," she shot back, as Merrill leaned in and Varric dipped a quill in Fenris’s wine, much to the elf’s displeasure.
"No, not that time. The time we proved the Templars were watching some of the apprentices bathing?" Another sip of wine, and Anders started to snicker at the memory.
"I’ve heard this one!" Isabela declared. "Tell it again!"
"So, the rumours had it that one of the girls — Gretchen? Gretel? I was never any good at names — was complaining about being watched, but no one had found any proof. One girl was easy enough to overlook, but I started to hear it in more places, usually in groups. Girls who shared particular washtubs. I was older than all of them, of course, and I wasn’t an apprentice any longer."
"Which is, of course, the only reason you’re not Tranquil, I’m sure," Fenris cut in.
"Fenris, be nice!" Merrill demanded.
"Why?" Fenris poured himself another glass of wine, and shared an amused look with Anders.
"No, he’s probably right," Anders admitted, holding up his glass. "And why should you be nice to me, Fenris? Because I’m the healer, that’s why."
"He’s got a point, Broody. Don’t want to be stuck leaking like a sack of wet meat, with no healer to clean it up."
"And to think, Varric, you’re the writer among us, with phrases like that. It’s almost enough to make me glad I can’t read."
"I write, too!" Isabela protested. "Mostly dirty stories about you and mister critically self-righteous over there having brutal hate-sex."
"Do we seem so lax in our convictions that such a thing seems even remotely possible?" Fenris sneered, the disgust perhaps a little overdone.
"Oh, shit no. I just write it because it gets me off. So does watching you try to restrain your urge to projectile vomit, when I read it to you."
"She reads them to you?" Anders blinked. "She doesn’t read them to me! Why does she read them to you?"
"Perhaps because I have something to offer." The corner of Fenris’s lips quirked up, and Aveline nearly reached out and slapped that little half-smile off him, on principle.
"Hey, Blondie, you gonna leave me hanging?" Varric asked.
"Oh, right. So, I find a group of the girls, and I tell them to use my bath, that night. That I’ll use theirs, and we’ll take the Templars by surprise. After a couple of nights of it, they’ll give up, right?" Anders grinned and held out his glass. Merrill refilled it, without thinking, using the bottle that sat in front of Fenris. Anders’s eyebrows twitched up pointedly, and Fenris huffed.
"But, it doesn’t take a couple of nights. It takes about an hour. I’m in there, naked as the day is long, and working it like a dancing girl. Washing, of course, but with a little extra oomph."
Aveline finally cracked, clapping a hand over her mouth as she tried to swallow a hysterical laugh at the idea of Anders putting on a peepshow performance, in some apprentice’s bath.
Isabela’s grin said she was waiting for the punchline she knew was coming.
"And two Templars bust into the room. So, I did what any man would do in that situation. I screamed like a little girl." Anders took another drink. "And they dragged me out of the bath, shouting about violating the sanctity of this, the privacy of that, something about being a grown mage in a lady apprentice’s washroom. I wasn’t listening, I was too busy laughing. So, they’re dragging me down the hall, either to Greagoir or to the dungeon, one pulling my ear and the other holding my hands behind my back, and I’m laughing a riot, and every sane apprentice in the place shuts their doors, not to get involved. I respect that. It was probably a good move. And suddenly, there’s the First Enchanter. Did I mention I was still naked?"
"What he means to say," Isabela interrupted, "is that you can ask any mage in Ferelden what’s under those robes, and they can probably tell you. So, before any of you start about me not wearing pants, again, let’s have a go at tall, blond, and shameless, over there."
"I’m gorgeous and I know it. What’s to hide?" Anders grinned, boldly.
"And that’s my point about pants!"
"You do have a very shapely bottom," Merrill pointed out.
"We’re all clear on that point, Daisy. Let the man finish his story."
"So, Irving listened to their whole story, and then he asked me if it was true. And I’m naked and dripping in the hall with two Templars hanging off me. It’s not like I’m going to be able to deny it. But, I asked the one question that no one had answered. How did they know? How was I in there for an hour, before anyone noticed?" Anders looked triumphant. "Irving gave me his belt and told me to go get dressed. I borrowed a robe from an apprentice and hid out in the chapel, until he was done with Greagoir. I thought they were going to bring down the tower, with all the shouting. Needless to say, we were short a couple of Templars, after that."
"And you tell everyone you were a self-interested jerk," Varric scoffed.
"I was a self-interested jerk! That was a fantastic prank! My name is legend in those halls!" Anders insisted, smacking his glass onto the table. "Or, it would have been…"
"Blood magic," Fenris grumbled. "Even in places designed to keep a mage from doing that very thing, there it is."
"Knock it off!" Isabela shouted, slapping Fenris across the back of the head.
His eyes were huge, and the rest of the table froze.
"Fenris? Have some more wine and tell us a funny story," Merrill suggested.
"I don’t have any funny stories." Fenris snorted and looked away.
"He has angry stories. Angry stories and broody stories."
"At least my stories involve pants," Fenris growled, and Merrill and Varric began to laugh.
Anders looked up to see Hawke lingering by the door, looking confused and having apparently missed most of the context.
"What’s so funny?"
"Pants," Anders replied, surrendering to the ridiculousness of all of it.