Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 41
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Bethany Hawke ♀, Anders ♂, Cullen ♂, Fenris ♂, Isabela ♀, Sebastian ♂, Serendipity ⚧
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V1 D0)
Warnings: Drinking, partying, Anders’s mouth, Fenris’s fist, oh my god Artemis, ambiguously brotherly affections
Notes: The party continues! Artemis is much too drunk! Cormac is not nearly drunk enough for this! Anders suddenly wishes he was a lot more drunk! Cullen should maybe lay off the cordial!
Cormac was terribly tired of Orlesian politics, even Orlesian politics about elves, which usually he could muster an argument about. He’d left Comte Pierre with Carver, Aveline, and Merrill, and it would be the Maker’s own blessing if he came out of that with his skin intact. He seemed nice enough, but Merrill had Opinions, with a capital ‘O’, when it came to the Dalish, to no one’s surprise.
After a quick stop in the kitchen, to steal a bottle that was meant to go with dessert, Cormac spotted Anders and Artemis balefully lurking by a table full of wine, and the doors to the back garden. "And how are we, this fine, fucktacular evening?" The smile on his face said it all, as Anders relieved him of the bottle and a substantial amount of the contents.
"I’m blue," Anders grated, "but if I get enough of this down, he’ll stop trying."
"Hey. Hey, Cormac," Artemis slurred, slinging an arm around his brother’s shoulders in a way that had them both stumbling. "Guess what?" He held up his wine glass, and it waved back and forth in front of Cormac’s face. In a loud whisper, he said, "This isn’t wine."
"On the other hand," Anders said, "your brother’s been drinking enough for both of us."
Artemis loudly shushed him and downed the rest of his not-wine. "He threw a cat at me," he slurred. A few consonants might have gotten lost in there.
Cormac shot Anders a confused look.
"Not me. I don’t throw my kitties."
Cormac took his brother’s face in his hands. "Who threw a cat at you, Artie?" The pieces started to come together. Anton had mentioned Fenris came by… "Fenris? Am I going to have to have a nice long talk with the broody death elf about the proper uses of cats, among which thrown weapons are not one? Poor Purrcy. Poor Lord Assbiter."
Artemis nodded slowly. "He… he might jussss throw a cat at you too," he said. "Fen… Fenners. Fen… ris. Yes."
"Wow," said Anders, taking another drink. Justice suggested throwing something at the broody elf that was far less fuzzy and just as deadly. Anders thought the suggestion worth considering.
Artemis took Cormac’s face in his too. They looked ready to start a weird, Orlesian dance. "He knowsss," Artemis said in another loud hiss, his face unnecessarily close to his brother’s to make sure he heard, "about t’couch."
"Are we still talking about Fenris?" Anders asked. He glanced up and saw the elf glaring down at them from the balcony.
"I think we are. And I didn’t tell him. I didn’t figure it was any of his business. When he wants to play nice, then maybe he can hear about the couch. Mostly how comfortable it is. Still, it’s your couch, and I’m not telling him anything if you don’t want him… sitting on it." Cormac’s words were a little muffled, since he couldn’t quite open his mouth with the way Artemis held on to his face. "Hey, Artie? If you don’t let go, somebody’s gonna start to think you mean to suck my face."
Anders snorted. "I’d pay to see that."
Artemis squinted at his brother as he parsed through what he was saying. "Fenners w’hate that," he said. "His face’d get all twisted up." Artemis’s eyes lit up. "Oooh, let’s do that!"
Then Artemis pulled Cormac into a sloppy, drunken kiss. Glass broke as Anders’s glass slid through his fingers.
Carver came in through the kitchen, took one look and walked right back out.
"Andraste’s flaming knickerweasels," Anders breathed, struck dumb as a door knob, and speaking of knobs, his was remarkably interested in these proceedings. Cormac, though, seemed to just be letting his brother manhandle him. Which didn’t make it any less hot, just… more awkward. Anders was frankly impressed at how little breathing either brother needed to do, but he had already known that, he supposed. It was just more impressive when there weren’t any parts of his own body involved.
A few minutes passed, before a horrible revelation settled onto Anders. "This is a party in your house. Uh, guys? Come on, break it up. I haven’t seen your mother in a few minutes, and all the Orlesians are staring. I will happily kiss both of you, but this is going to be the scandal of the decade, and your mum’s going to cry."
Cormac finally managed to break away, smoothing Artemis’s hair back. "Not in public, Artie," was all he could manage to say to that. Carver was going to punch him in the face, later. He probably needed it, even more than deserved it, all things considered.
Artemis took a stumbling step back from his brother, licking his lips and swaying slightly on his feet. He looked around until his eyes caught Fenris up in the balcony. The elf’s eyes were trained on him, wide enough to fall out of his head, and the pretty elf next to him was laughing so hard she was in danger of ruining her make-up. Artemis gave them both a clumsy, sarcastic salute.
He turned to Anders. "I can’t feel m’lips," he declared.
"And I think I swallowed my tongue," Anders replied.
"And on that note, I’m going to leave you with the bottle and go check on Anton. Please don’t let my brother give himself alcohol poisoning, Anders. You won’t like cleaning that up any more than I will." Cormac planted a kiss on Anders’s scruffy cheek and vanished into the kitchen, to steal another bottle of cordial.
Anton seemed to be having a lovely time, as Cormac approached, cackling at some terrible tale Isabela was telling, while his pet templar blushed, nearby.
"You can’t do that with a knob!" Cullen protested. "They don’t work … like…"
Anton was grinning and nodding.
"Can you?" Cullen looked horrified and raised his knee to put his thigh in the way of anything reaching his crotch. "Maker’s breath."
That just turned Anton’s cackling into guffawing. "Don’t you have special armour for that, Ser Templar?" he asked, gesturing at the way he was standing. Cullen looked like he wished he’d worn the plate.
"Armour might never be enough again," he said, which sent Anton off again.
In the midst of his chortles, Anton spotted his eldest brother approaching. "Cormac, hello!" he called out. "Come join us. I’m sure you have some wisdom to impart on the usage of knobs!"
"Everything all right, Cormac?" Isabela asked, cheeks still red from laughter. "You look a bit dazed."
"Share this bottle with me, Anton. I am just not drunk enough, as I keep discovering." Cormac poured himself a tall glass of cordial and swallowed it all in one go, before pouring another and handing the bottle to Anton. "Orlesian politics, rumours of Nevarran maleficars, and I just found out Fenris threw a cat at Artie. Can you believe it? Cats are not appropriate thrown weapons. And throwing weapons, however small and fuzzy, at my little brother is a direct ticket to the shit list."
"A cat? Where did he even find a cat to throw?" Isabela asked.
"Anders has a pair of kittens. Purrcy and Lord Assbiter." Cormac sipped the second glass of cider in a somewhat more subdued fashion, and said nothing about Artemis suddenly snogging him in full view of half the floor.
"Lord… Assbiter?" Anton cackled, yet again, pouring cordial for Cullen. "Will wonders never cease, this evening?"
"Well, ‘Ser Nibbles’, technically, but the bastard little beast keeps getting up on the bed at the worst times," Cormac explained.
That sent Isabela into gales of laughter. "‘Lord Assbiter’. And here I thought you’d promoted Anders."
"Now there’s a visual I could have lived without," Anton said around another laugh. Cullen seemed to agree, judging by the speed with which he downed his cordial. Anton raised an eyebrow but poured him a second glass.
"So what do you think, Ser Cullen?" Isabela asked sweetly. "Is this party better or worse than the last one, so far?"
Miraculously, Cullen managed not to choke on his next sip. "Well," he said with a nervous laugh. "To be fair, I really only saw… part of the last party." He coughed into his fist and made it a point not to look at Anton.
"The best part," Anton said with a smirk.
"It… certainly left a g-good impression."
"That part of any of this family is bound to leave a good impression," Cormac pointed out, holding up his glass. "It’s legendary."
"A magically delicious Rivaini import," Anton agreed, tapping his glass against his brother’s. "Only the very best."
If that was the part Cullen thought it was, he wasn’t entirely sure where ‘delicious’ came into it, although with enough saffron or hibiscus syrup, most of Anton’s body was well worth licking. Even without the syrup… A warm flush crept down his neck.
"Oh, he’s thinking it." Isabela cocked a thumb at Cullen. "Have you introduced him to the fine taste of the legendary Hawke ass? I’ve met three out of five, and I have no complaints. None at all."
Three? Cormac wondered. Carver? That was hardly even a Hawke ass, all told, however much of an ass he was. "You just couldn’t resist that tattoo, could you?"
"She doesn’t have any tattoos." And that was Isabela’s victory face. Cormac recognised it.
"My sister? Izzy!"
"Chantry-boy could be doing a lot more for her, you know."
Isabela. Bethany. Maker, that was it. Cullen was hallucinating. Demons, all of them. He considered dropping Smite on them all just to check, but that would be rude. Yes. Rude. Best to keep drinking.
Anton eyed Cullen’s empty glass. "How many have you had?" he asked.
"Not enough. Apparently."
That seemed to be the general consensus. Anton shrugged and poured him another glass. It was his family’s party, and if his templar wanted to drink himself stupid, he was going to drink himself stupid.
The cordial was running out, by the time Bethany swung off the dance floor, with Sebastian in her arms. "Izzy, look out for my prince, would you, darling?"
Sebastian wobbled a bit as she let him go, mid-stride. "It’s just your family, dear. I’ve met them before. And the Orlesians are Orlesian, as they’ve ever been. I am the Prince of Starkhaven. I think I can look after myself."
"And that is exactly why you can’t. Trust the pretty pirate queen, yes?" Bethany’s grin was affectionate, bordering on condescending. "I’ll make it up to you later."
"Well, when a woman makes a promise like that… I suspect I’d be a fool not to take her word. And possibly even a single fool, which I’d very much like to avoid." Sebastian bowed to Isabela. "Your majesty."
"You’re right! I do like him!" Isabela crowed.
"Now, I’m not leaving without someone to dance with," Bethany insisted. "Ser Cullen? May I have this dance?"
Ser Cullen, at this point, couldn’t even tell if he still had feet, let alone danceable feet, but he was nothing if not a gentleman. "Of course, m’lady," he said, clearing his throat when the words came out in slurred jumble. "Of course. My lady." He had to overenunciate, but Bethany seemed to understand him.
He didn’t remember putting his hand on her waist, but there it was. And oh look! There were his feet, somehow moving in counterpoint to hers, albeit clumsily. "You look. Very lovely tonight." Overenunciating. He was overcompensating for the lack of feeling in his tongue.
Bethany looked more amused than flattered, but Cullen didn’t seem to mind. "Why, thank you, Ser Cullen," she said, her smile sweet.
Cullen survived four dances, before the drunkenness was just to much for Bethany to compensate for. He stumbled just a little too hard, and she turned it into a dip, before he could drop them both on the floor. "Here, follow me. Easy steps."
They stepped out into the edge of the crowd near Artemis and Anders. Well, near Anders, really, since he was tall enough to be seen from most other places in the room. "Anders! You’re constitutionally incapable of being too drunk to dance, aren’t you? Save a girl from her brothers, would you?"
"I wouldn’t say ‘constitutionally incapable’…" But the fact that after as much as he’d had, he was still speaking clearly said enough.
"Could you have a look at Ser Cullen, first? I’m afraid he might have had a little much." Bethany looked apologetic.
Anders’s first instinct was to say no. Justice pushed him toward it — the drunker he got, the less interested in actual justice Justice seemed. "Yeah, of course."
He eased a little bit of healing through Cullen, clearing up some of where things had started to break down, but not alleviating much of the actual drunken sensation. It was just a great deal less likely that Cullen would vomit on the floor. "He should be fine. How you doing, Cullen?"
"I’m super!" Cullen managed to find his thumbs long enough to hold them up.
"He sounds a little better, already." Bethany stood on her tiptoes and kissed Anders’s cheek. "Don’t let Anton’s boyfriend die, Artie. I’ll be back in a bit to check on you two. Do you want me to send Cormac over, when I get to that side of the room, again?"
Artemis waved a hand at the lovely blur that talked like his sister. "M’fine," he said, flashing her his brightest grin to emphasize this. "S’fine." He frowned down at his glass, sad to see his not-wine gone.
Anders threw an amused look at drunk and drunker before taking Bethany’s hand and spinning her onto the floor. "We should send Cormac over," he said, only for his eyes to go wide. "Or… not Cormac. But someone. Someone should keep an eye on those two."
"Do I want to know why not Cormac?" Bethany asked, eyes narrowed.
"I really don’t think you do, no."