Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 49
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Fenris ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Aveline ♀, Bethany Hawke ♀
Rating: T (L2 N1 S1 V0 D1)
Warnings: Extreme drunkenness, oh my god Artemis, zero relationship skills but trying
Notes: Fenris gets a look at Artie’s new exciting underwear. So does Cormac. Artemis is extremely drunk. (So are Fenris and Cormac, to be fair…)
Across town, Cormac and Fenris sprawled on embroidered sofas in one of the drawing rooms, the door closed and two bottles of applejack and a bottle of brandy on the table between them. Their heads were to the same angle, so they both saw the bottles, but not each other, which suited them both, fine. It was the conversation Fenris had started with Anders, but felt he needed to finish with Cormac.
"He’s neurotic. It’s not personal. He’s just like that." Cormac said, the words nearly echoing what Anton had said about Artemis, months earlier. "Just let him clean, and remind him everything’s going to be fine. If it’s not going to be fine… well, that’s a little more difficult, but I’d expect by that point there would be less cleaning and more stabbing and slamming people into walls. He’s good in a fight, once he gets going."
Cormac trailed off and poured himself some more brandy. "But, it’s true. You’ve got to let him know that you’re not worried about the earthquakes. He’s got a bit of a history with shaking shit up, and he’s afraid he’s going to hurt someone, one of these days. If it’s me, he’ll be upset. If it’s you, it’ll kill him. I’m a lot less worried about it, than he is, because the worst it’s ever been was that night in the wine cellar, so as long as you don’t do things like that around unsecured bottles, or Maker forbid kegs, the worst he’ll do is rattle the dishes a little."
Fenris hadn’t even had dishes until Artemis moved in. As far as he was concerned, Artemis could rattle them as much as he liked. "He could shake down the house if he wanted," Fenris said, a drink at his lips, "and I’d consider it a compliment. I don’t mind the idea of dying in his bed rather than in battle. In fact, I’d prefer it."
All of this made Fenris wonder just how much of his sex life or lack thereof he should be discussing with his lover’s brother. He took another long drink of the applejack. "At the party," he said, and maybe this wasn’t something he should be bringing up but, "did he… kiss you or was I drunker than I realised?"
Or maybe Cormac had a doppelganger. Some non-relative who looked just like him.
"Ok, first? That is the sweetest fucking thing I have ever heard anyone say about Artie in my entire life, and you need to tell him that. Unadulterated. Just… say it." Cormac knocked back the glass of brandy and put the glass on the edge of the table. He took a deep breath, before getting around to the actual question.
"He gets … you’ve seen what he’s like when he’s drunk. It’s gotten you laid twice, that I know of, and possibly more than that, that I don’t know of, and please don’t tell me." Cormac considered the bottle for a long moment and then poured himself another glass. "So, yes. He kissed me. And I let him. It’s not really a big deal. Better me than someone who’s going to get offended. He’s my little brother. If he wants to suck my face and fuck my lover when he’s drunk, so be it."
It occurred to him that last might not have been the thing to say to Fenris. "They’ve stopped, by the way. I can tell. I don’t have the magical vibe chair in the library, any more."
"Magical vibe…? Eugh." Fenris made a face, nose crinkling. That put him in mind of Anders and Artemis, likely on that Maker-damned couch, Artemis making all those little noises for the abomination instead of him. But that was his fault, wasn’t it? If he hadn’t left Artemis in the first place, Artie wouldn’t have gone to the mage at all.
"Mages," he muttered in exasperation, as though that word could sum up all of Artemis, Anders, and Cormac and their bizarre relationships.
"Mages? Really? That’s all you’ve got to say?" Cormac laughed and shook his head. "But, yeah, if you don’t want him snogging people in corners, you should probably keep him close if he’s drunk. I’m … I’m not sure if he’s got much more control over that than he does with the cleaning. And if he does, I have no idea why he picks me. Not that I’m complaining."
The front door slammed open and shut for a pair of whispering, snickering voices. The dog’s head perked up, his tiny nub of a tail thumping against the floor before he sprang up to greet Artemis.
Artemis, who had an arm around Aveline’s shoulder and a bottle of rum in his free hand. They stumbled to a stop in front of the drawing room door, seeing the light of the fire and the shapes on the couches.
"Hello!" slurred Artie. "We went shopping!"
Fenris wondered if there was blood magic involved, that they were just talking about drunk Artemis only for him to appear moments later, as though summoned.
"Shopping for rum, or did you get something else, as well?" Cormac asked, pulling himself up a bit more against the arm of the couch. "If you got anything exciting, you should show us. We’ve been drinking to excess to fend off the boredom."
Bethany passed by on her way between the kitchen and somewhere. "Aveline? Is that you? Oh, I haven’t seen you in a month! How have you been! Did you get my brother drunk?"
Aveline leaned against the wall beside the door. "Your brother got me drunk."
"Oh, dear. Well, come on, he’ll be fine with Fenris and Cormac. Let’s you and me go have a bit of tea. I’ve got a box of those wafers you like. It’ll settle your stomach." Bethany smiled and offered her arm to Aveline.
With Bethany taking off with Artemis’s armrest, Artie leaned against the doorframe instead. He didn’t think he was going to fall over, but it was better to be safe in this instance. "No, we weren’t shopping for rum," he said with a loopy smile. He squinted down at the bottle in his hand. "In fact, I’m not even sure where this rum came from. Maybe it was magic. Magic rum. Is there a spell to summon alcohol?"
Fenris snorted into his drink. "Not even the magisters have mastered such dark magic," he said with a smirk.
Artemis blinked up at him. Fenris. Fenris was making a joke about magic and magisters. Their eyes locked over Fenris’s bottle of applejack, and there was already heat there in Fenris’s eyes.
"Well…" Artemis cleared his throat and glanced at his brother. "It is exciting. What we bought. Well, hopefully it is. To Fenris. Exciting to Fenris."
Fenris squinted up at his mage. "You’re making even less sense than usual," he said.
"Well, come in here and show us!" Cormac demanded. "Stop lurking in the doorway like that!"
Cormac studied his brother and noticed the distinct lack of any bags or baskets. Nothing but the bottle in his hand. Maybe it was something small, something that would fit in a pocket. Andraste’s tits, if Artemis proposed, Cormac was just going to explode with pride.
Cormac grinned. "Maybe close the door behind you, if it’s not something you want Carver to punch me in the face for, just yet."
Closing the door was probably a good idea. To do that, Artemis had to stumble away from the doorframe, but then the door clicked closed and it was just the three of them in the warm glow of the fire. He was drunk enough to not even consider asking Cormac to leave. His brother had seen him more drunk in less clothing, so what was the point?
"All right. I’ll show you."
Fenris watched in bewilderment as Artemis started to undo the ties of his robes. "Artemis?" He sat up, cautiously setting his drink aside.
It wasn’t the most graceful display. In fact, more than once, Fenris considered getting up to help the poor drunk fool.
"By Andraste, if you got his name tattooed on your ass, Artie…" Cormac choked back a laugh. "Do you need a hand with that?"
Artemis would have waved Cormac away if he hadn’t gotten his head caught in the neckline. Maker, this was the most unsexy strip tease in the history of Thedas.
By the time Artie was freed from his robes, his hair was sticking up in all directions and the ribbons on his legs had moved a bit, but he hoped the overall effect was the same.
Cormac was left holding his brother’s robes as he stepped back, out of Fenris’s view. "Andraste’s infinitely squeezable ass, Artie… You— you look good. That’s, wow. Where did you even get that?"
Backing into the tea table, Cormac faltered a bit, dropping the robes on the floor, as the bottles clinked, but he didn’t knock anything over. He’d seen Artemis in both more and less, but he’d never seen him in anything that colour. Or that cut. And Cormac had no doubt in his mind that this one was all Artie. He could never pull it off. Anders would just laugh. But, Anders would not be laughing about this. Cormac struggled to remember the little things, like how to breathe, and how to shut his mouth.
Fenris, for his part, was glad he’d set down his drink or there would be applejack all over the floor by now. "You… er…" He didn’t know how Cormac had been able to form words, let alone string so many words together. Doubly so when Artemis stepped towards him, firelight playing off the planes of his body in a way that had Fenris staring.
"Aveline knew a place," Artemis answered Cormac. He was getting fidgety, fingers twisting in his hair, the way he did when he was trying to hide his nerves. "Somewhere in Lowtown, I think. Couldn’t find it again if I tried." It took them enough stumbling just to find their way back here, after wandering down the same alley three times and accidentally interrupting a Chantry service. "The owner’s a very nice lady."
Cormac, for his part, was sure he should go. Sure he should leave them in peace, to enjoy Artie’s new completely spectacular underclothes. But, he couldn’t tear his eyes away. For Andraste’s sake, this was his brother. And for once, he thought maybe he understood why Artie would get drunk and kiss him. Or, well, he would, if he looked anything like that. Still, Anders swore they had the same ass, and Cormac was inclined to agree. It was hard to make a good Anders sandwich without he and his brother grabbing each others’ asses.
"I’ll ask her for the address. You… I know what I’m getting you for your name day, this year." A dizzy grin lit Cormac’s face. "Or maybe I should say I know what I’m getting Fenris for your name day, this year."
Artemis let out a nervous laugh. Well. The corset was exciting for his brother, at least, which wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. Not that he minded, necessarily. Fenris, meanwhile, kept staring at him like he’d swallowed his tongue.
"Well?" Artemis asked, his crooked smile aiming for cocky and landing somewhere around awkward. Which was fine, really. He was comfortable around ‘awkward’. "Do you like it? Hate it? I mean, if it’s terrible, you can tear it right off me and be done with it."
"No, leave it on," Fenris said, finally finding his words and getting to his feet. "Tempting as that offer is."
Cormac moved behind Artemis and waved for Fenris’s attention. ‘Tell him’, he mouthed, pointing to his brother. He nodded and gave a thumbs up. This was the hard part. This was the important part. He had to make sure Fenris actually said the things Artemis needed to hear. That and he wanted to see the look on Artie’s face, when all this heartfelt shit came tumbling out of the broody death elf’s mouth. If nothing else, he could scrape up Bethy and Anders, later, and tell them all about it over hangover broth and cookies.
Fenris nodded at Cormac over Artemis’s shoulder. Artemis started to turn to see what he was looking at, but Fenris stopped him with a hand on his cheek. Lyrium prickled like ice against the skin of his cheek. "Tu mirus es," Fenris murmured, looking into his mage’s eyes. "I want you, Artemis. All of you."
Artemis cupped the hand on his cheek, laced Fenris’s fingers through his. His expression was so very adoring that Fenris forgot to breathe. "All of me, hmm?" He said it with a teasing smile, but Fenris heard the undercurrent of fear there. Fear, but also defiance. This was who he was. Hawke. Fereldan. Mage. And that wasn’t going to change.
"Yes," Fenris said. "All of you. Even your magic. Because your magic is a part of you, and I… I love you."
Cormac whistled and applauded. "You know what this man said to me, Artie? He told me he’d rather die in your bed than in battle. And I think he meant it, too. And there was a whole lot of other sappy shit in there, too."
Picking up the brandy, Cormac clapped his brother on the shoulder. "And now, as delightful as you look, I think the brandy and I need to have a much more intimate conversation, while I beat my penis against the counter."
"That poor counter," Artemis laughed, and it was the laugh of someone giddy with relief. There were two pairs of eyes drinking him in, and that was at least one pair more than he was expecting. He was buzzed enough, giddy enough to speak without thinking. "Why don’t you stay and finish your brandy here? This is your house, after all. Technically."
Fenris’s fingers twitched against Artemis’s cheek, and he wondered if the mage knew what he was implying.
Cormac didn’t answer his brother. He answered Fenris. "That’s your decision, not mine. We’ve… shared, before. I don’t think you want to be shared, but if he wants me here — to watch — I’ll stay, if you’ll let me."
It was terribly clear that Cormac’s entire point was ‘whatever Artemis wants, I’ll give him’. But, as true as that was, he didn’t want to step on Fenris’s toes. The last time he’d done it accidentally, if a bit more literally, he’d had a very angry elf pointing a sword at him.
"Shared?" Fenris said, eyes narrowing. "What do you mean you’ve ‘shared before’? With the abomination?" He knew Anders and Cormac were fucking. He knew Anders and Artemis had fucked. He hadn’t considered the three of them fucking at the same time, and it made his brain short out for a minute.
Artemis’s hand on his cheek brought him back to himself, and he realised he was growling. "If that’s not something you want," Artemis said. "It’s all right. We can forget I ever —"
Fenris shut him up with a harsh kiss, all tongue and teeth and more possessive than passionate. The abomination wasn’t going to have something Fenris couldn’t, not where Artemis was concerned. "He may stay," he said to Artemis.
Cormac nodded and ran his hand affectionately down Artemis’s arm, before tossing himself back onto the couch. "I’ll just be over here, drinking, if you need me."