Title: Rhapsody In Ass Major – Chapter 83
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cullen ♂, Sebastian ♂, Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Bethany Hawke ♀
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V2 D0)
Warnings: Mistakes, face-punching, half a duel
Notes: Meanwhile, back in Kirkwall… Sebastian is a blithering idiot. Cullen is dreadfully confused.
Cullen was on his way out of a meeting with the Grand Cleric, halfway down the stairs from the Chantry, when a voice called out from behind him.
"Knight-Captain! I have heard you have been seen in the company of Bethany Hawke…"
"Well, ah, yes…" Cullen came to the bottom of the stairs and turned to find an irate Chantry brother behind him. "I rather enjoy her company. She’s a very nice girl."
His head snapped to the side as the brother whipped off a gauntlet and cracked him across the cheek with it, pulling it back on, rather than tossing it to the ground. "And I would duel you for her honour."
"What?" Cullen sputtered. "But— I don’t… what?" Her honour? Bethany’s honour? What did Bethany’s honour have to do with him?
Sebastian drew the sword at his hip, a sword Cullen didn’t recall Sebastian ever carrying before. He lifted his chin defiantly. "Draw your sword, Knight-Captain."
Cullen had so many questions. He reached for his sword reluctantly but didn’t draw it, not yet. "Can we talk about this first?"
"Talk?" Sebastian roared. "I didn’t take you for a coward, Knight-Captain!"
He swung at Cullen, who easily sidestepped. Maker, the man’s form was terrible. Did he even know how to use a sword? A few more swings, and it almost looked like they were dancing. Sebastian would strike, and Cullen wouldn’t be there when the sword landed. With a sigh, Cullen wrapped his arm around Sebastian’s, on the next strike, and straightened his elbow. The sword popped out of Sebastian’s hand and Cullen caught it.
"You idiot," Cullen muttered, punching Sebastian in the nose with the hand holding the sword. "I’m dating her brother."
"You…" Sebastian looked confused, blotting half-heartedly at the blood running down his face. "Which brother?"
"The attractive one, obviously," Cullen replied, handing back the sword.
"I thought he was with that elf…?" Sebastian’s voice suffered, somewhat, as he gripped his nose, in an effort to get it to stop bleeding.
"Elf? Wha—? Maker, no. Not Artemis! Anton!"
Sebastian blinked. "Oh," he said through bloodied fingers. Cullen folded his arms across his chest, and he was about to walk away when Sebastian asked, "So… you and Bethany."
"She was our chaperone for a few dates," Cullen explained. "And now she’s a friend. Do you… do you wave a sword around at all her friends?"
"No, I…" Sebastian took his hand away from his nose only to put it back when he found the bleeding hadn’t stopped. The red was stark against his white armour. "I do apologise, Knight-Captain. It seems I was misinformed."
That wasn’t all Sebastian was, but Cullen bit his tongue. "All right, well. Word of advice. Next time you challenge someone to a duel, try something other a sword. Or learn how to use one." Cullen paused to consider. "Maybe ask Carver for some pointers. I hear he’s good at ‘swording’."
Neither Bethany nor Carver were home, that day, as it turned out. Something about a family holiday in the mountains, but Sebastian returned, a few days later, just in time to catch the middle of some argument the Hawkes were having about their father.
"Is that what killed him? Did whatever he did in there catch up with h—" Cormac stopped as Bodhan entered the room.
"Sebastian for you, Bethany." Bodhan bowed. "Shall I put him in the west sitting room?"
"No, no, just bring him in. We’ll take this up, later. Go find that book, Cormac. I want to know if you’re right about that, at least." Bethany straightened her skirts and straightened up from where she’d been leaning against a bookcase.
Sebastian’s face was still a bit purple, a streak of bruise running across the swollen bridge of his nose.
Bethany’s eyebrows arced towards her hairline. "Sebastian!" she gasped. "What happened to your face?"
"Shame. That is what happened." His hand flit up to his nose. "And also a… misunderstanding with the Knight-Captain."
Bethany’s eyebrows tried to defy gravity by arcing higher. "Cullen?" She exchanged a look with Cormac. "Honestly, we can’t leave you boys alone for a few days. What was this ‘misunderstanding’ about?"
Sebastian wrung his hands, looking at everything around the room except Bethany. "Well… you, actually. Bethany."
Anton swung his feet off the couch and sat up. "Cullen punched you in the face over my sister? This I have to hear." His face waffled between confusion and amusement, as he somehow managed not to laugh. Yet.
"I’m … I was going to get Anders, but I have to hear this, first." Cormac gestured at the chair he’d just abandoned. "Sit down before you manage to get assaulted by a bookend."
"I thought… There are stories about the Knight-Captain. That he was wooing some noblewoman. That he’d been seen spending time, here. And I— well… When I heard you’d been having lunch with him…" Sebastian shrugged, helplessly, like he’d done the only sane thing left. "I challenged him to a duel. With a sword."
"I thought you were an archer." Bethany squinted at him. "An exceptional, championship archer."
"Well… yes, but you cannot duel someone with arrows."
"Sure you can!" said Anton. "You just have to shoot faster than the other person. Much quicker than a sword duel, I imagine, if less entertaining."
"Can Cullen shoot a bow and arrow?" Artemis asked from the corner where he was straightening books.
Anton shrugged. "No idea. But I tend to doubt they teach templars that sort of thing."
"Then maybe you shouldn’t be giving Sebastian ideas."
"It’s… not like I plan to make a habit of this," Sebastian said, turning so he could address all the Hawkes in the room.
"You’re an amazing idiot," Cormac pointed out. "And you’re lucky Cullen’s polite, or you’d be dead."
"He’s not actually a nobleman. It helps with that." Anton shook his head. "But, you really are lucky. You drew a sword on a templar, and all you’ve got to show is a bloody nose?"
"Don’t forget the Grand Cleric’s displeasure." Sebastian sighed. "Elthina was less than amused with my decision. Perhaps I should return to Starkhaven, but if I’m making mistakes like this…"
"Don’t stab anything that doesn’t show up at the door, making trouble, and you’ll be fine," Cormac said, tossing a book to Bethany. "I’m going to go get Anders. Your face is bothering me. Your face is probably bothering you."