[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody In Ass Major – Chapter 98
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anton Hawke ♂, Anders ♂, Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂,
Rating: E (L2 N2 S3 V0 D0)
Warnings: All of these flowers mean the same thing, hot Hawke-on-Hawke action
Notes: Talk of another celebration. Cormac loses a bet to the wrong brother.
The first thing, Anton had decided, was to do something about the garden and the goat. Cullen knew what to do with goats, so Anton set aside the area formerly occupied by the topiary for whatever Cullen thought the goat would need, but the rest of the garden still needed to be done. Clueless, he wrote a note to the florist, asking if she was familiar with anyone who understood plants and landscaping. Not only did she know, but she showed up with them, one morning, with Orana and a tremendous quantity of Tevinter delicacies in tow.
"Anton!" Orana handed the trays to Bodhan and took Anton’s hands. "Evie told me you were having trouble with the garden, so I came to make sure everyone was fed. Messere Artemis worries so. When I mentioned you were having the garden done, he just… I’m not sure how long Messere Fenris can keep him away!"
"That is… so very Artemis." Anton shook his head and then leaned in to kiss Orana’s cheeks, in a friendly greeting. "Evie, hm? So the two of you are…?"
Orana laughed. "Didn’t you know?"
Evie, meanwhile, had managed to open the garden doors and introduce herself to the goat, as Bodhan laid out the food. "Messere Hawke, this is a goat!"
"Oh, don’t mind Goatilda," Bodhan said. "She won’t be in the way for long. As soon as a couple of those trees come down, she’ll be right out there eating all the leaves she couldn’t reach. Just don’t let her in the house! Can’t have her chewing up the furniture."
"Bodhan spends more time with the goat than I do. It… she… was my mother’s. I suppose I’ve inherited the goat, along with the house." Anton sighed.
"Well, she is… a very lovely goat, Messere," Evie said. She crouched to give the curls on the goat’s head a quick pat. "Lovely fur. Hair? Very springy."
"Maeh," the goat thanked her.
"My boy, Sandal, brushes her everyday," Bodhan said, barrel chest puffing with pride. "Combs out her tangles and such."
Now that he thought of it, Anton wondered when they’d decided the goat was a ‘her’. Had they decided? Had anyone checked?
As Anton picked at the fruit platter, Evie walked around the garden, tutting at goat-chewed topiary. Anton popped a few more grapes into his mouth and followed her. "Thinking of getting rid of these altogether," he said, gesturing at the sad bushes. "Despite the… fond memories they inspire." He thought of Cullen writhing at their roots and smiled.
Evie was wise enough not to ask. "I am glad you said so," she said. "I was trying to find a polite adjective for them."
"Green," Anton suggested. "Green is an adjective."
"This is true, but they’re mostly brown at this point."
"Green and brown, then. These bushes are very… green and brown."
"What are you going to do with the goat, messere? I fear anything we plant, she will eat," Evie pointed out, gesturing to the wide range of goat-chewed plants.
"Oh, I thought we’d take out the hedge maze and put in a goat pen. My fiancé was a … er, his family kept goats, back in Ferelden. He’s been kind enough to draw me a picture." Anton fished a folded page out of his sash and passed it to Evie.
She unfolded it and smiled. "Oh, how very kind. It has labels and measurements. Yes, of course, this will make things much simpler. So that removes everything past this point… And what did you mean to do with the rest of the garden?"
"I’m not really sure. I have some plants I know I definitely want, though." Anton gestured along the line of hedges. "Can we put in something safe for the goat, along the fence? Maybe with fruit? I definitely want lime trees, somewhere. My brother insists on lime, and I agree."
Evie’s eyebrow didn’t so much raise as twitch. Lime blossom. Hawkes. That wasn’t the first time she’s encountered that combination. "Of course, messere," she said pleasantly. "I am sure that will be quite lovely and will provide some shade during the hotter months. For you and the goat."
Evie glanced back to see the goat nudging Orana’s hand.
"And… for the less goat-friendly areas?" she asked, making her way around the property.
"Coriander. Orange roses. Perhaps an assortment of carnations — definitely red and yellow. Always need yellow. Celandine, perhaps?" Anton tapped his lip and looked over the garden. "Keep the roses close to the patio, I think."
"You seem to have a theme in mind, messere," Evie remarked, trying not to laugh.
"Ah! Yes. A very definite theme. I will take any suggestions you have, along that theme. I’m afraid I’m not quite as good at this, without a book in my hand. Many years since I’ve had to convey that intent with flowers alone." Anton did laugh, then.
"I’m sure of that, messere. You and the Knight-Captain seem very happy, according to rumour."
Anders appeared behind them, with a handful of olives. "Are we talking about the garden, because if we’re talking about the garden, I want a bit of it. Just a patch for some herbs that are hard to find. I don’t want to have to climb up Sundermount every time I run out of embrium, and if I don’t have to fight my way through smugglers when I need more spindleweed, I’ll be happy."
"I don’t know," Anton teased. "Evie, can we make that work with our, ah, ‘theme’?"
"Oh, messere," said Evie, "from what I hear about you, I’m sure you can make anything work with that theme."
Anton grinned and turned back to Anders. "Of course you can have an herb garden," he said. "We’ll even be kind enough to keep it away from the goat. We don’t want a repeat of the last time Goatilda got into your embrium."
Anders grimaced. "Well, at least now we know Sandal can’t add enchantment runes to goat poop. Not that that was a question I’d wanted to have answered in the first place, but there you go."
"So, Anders… You coming to this party, or what?" Anton grinned up at him.
"I don’t know. Unlike your brother, I’m not sure I’d look that good in a bustier. You, ah… You understand." Anders gestured at his own chest.
"Ooof." Anton nodded. "I’ll talk to Fran. You want to be there, I’ll find you something. It’ll even be stylish."
"As long as it stays in place, and covers the important parts, I think it’ll be fine. I should probably go see her, myself." Anders sighed and popped an olive into his mouth. "At least she still has my measurements."
"Don’t count on that. My brother’s been feeding you. You’re going to end up round as an Orlesian duke, if that keeps up," Anton joked. "How about blue? Blue and silver…"
"I am not that heavy. I still weigh less than Cormac." Anders thought about that for a moment. "Which is probably not good, honestly. I just want to be a nice, solid seventeen stone, again!" He sighed and ate another olive. "Blue and silver? Are you serious?"
"With a steel gryphon on the chest." Anton nodded.
Anders just stared at him, balefully.
"No, you’re right," Anton said with a dramatic sigh. "You probably couldn’t pull it off."
"Anton Hawke, we both know I could, and we both know what you’re trying to do." Anders threw an olive at Anton. It bounced off his chin and landed somewhere in his sash.
"If I were a woman, that would have landed in my cleavage," Anton said as he fished it out.
"What can I say? My aim is better than your brother’s."
Anton grinned. "So’s mine." He tossed the olive back, and it hit under Anders’s chin and disappeared into his collar.
Evie walked around the garden, taking notes and pretending not to notice the olives flying back and forth.
Cormac groaned. He had to stop making bets with his brothers, if only because Anton always cheated and he’d bet an obvious fail, just to see that wicked smile Artemis gave him, every time. This time, though… This time had been stupider than usual. Twelve hours of anything you want, he’d bet. And that never ended well. And he knew it. He was kind of hoping Artie would pick something interesting — more interesting than an Orlesian maid’s outfit. After all, he hadn’t specified ‘non-sexual’.
"Fine. Damn. What do I owe you?" Cormac sighed, leaning back in his chair and staring at the ceiling.
Artemis took his time considering. He watched his brother, lips curled in that same wicked smile Cormac liked, and tapped his lips. If he were feeling particularly cruel, that could have been twelve hours of cleaning (not that Cormac would do clean right) or, if he were feeling vindictive, twelve hours in a maid’s outfit that wouldn’t look half as good on Cormac (the man was handsome but didn’t have the legs for it). But twelve hours was a long time, and Artie decided on a different kind of fun.
"I have an idea," Artemis said, sounding every bit as smug as he looked. "Let’s go look at your toy collection, hmm?"
Cormac should have been afraid, really, but after this many years with Anders, there was nothing his brother could do with anything in that drawer that would even come close to a nine hour marathon with Anders. It was a good thing that man was a healer… He stood up, grinning, and led the way.
Tossing the drawer on the bed, Cormac grinned. "See anything you like?" he purred. "You never did get around to the tentacle." Which really wasn’t something he wanted twelve hours with, but encouraging Artie to pick it would probably make him pick something else. "Anything you want, Artie. I’m all yours."
"Oh, yes, you are," Artie said, grinning as he looked through Cormac’s toys. As expected, he passed over the tentacle, reaching instead for something else, made of polished stone. He picked it up and pushed it into Cormac’s hands. "This. Inside you for twelve hours. And you’re not allowed to touch yourself unless I say so."
Cormac felt his knees get weak at the thought. At least Artie had only said he couldn’t touch himself. He was sure Anders would love to get in on this. If he begged just right, Artie might even give in. He pulled up his robes with one hand and stretched out next to the drawer, licking his lips. "You know, there’s something else in that drawer that might interest you. If you find it, you could ride me for all twelve of those hours, and I’d still be aching hard. Probably need Anders to set me right, after that, but I don’t think he’d mind too much."
Slicking his hand, he made sure Artemis had a good view as he eased the plug into himself. Small, breathy noises spilled out of him as he seated it, and then, reluctantly, he drew his hands away.
"Tempting," Artemis murmured, and it was, especially after that… inspiring sight. "And we can do that, the next time you win a bet." Artie’s smile was still wicked. "Now, straighten your robes. I feel like going out. What do you think? Hanged Man? We can pick up Anders on the way."
Artemis was sure Anders would find this just as entertaining.
Anders met them on the stairs. "Oh. I was just coming up to get you. I’ve got a friend who needs a favour. I’m supposed to go appropriate a shipment from the docks and … redirect the aftermath."
"You’ve been spending time with Anton, again, haven’t you? ‘Appropriate’? ‘Redirect’?" Cormac laughed. "Of course we’ll help, won’t we, Artie? Why don’t you tell him the restrictions I’ll be operating under, for the day?"
"Restrictions? Did you lose another bet?" Anders eyed them both. "Did you actually manage to lose something that wasn’t coin?"
"It was tactical." Cormac grinned.
"I’m not sure I’d say he ‘lost’, exactly," Artemis said, folding his arms across his chest and leaning his hip against the banister. As he was speaking, he focused on the stone inside of Cormac and sent the smallest of earthquakes through it, making it shake. "Though the goal is to make him lose his mind during the next twelve hours — well, eleven hours and fifty-something minutes now. I’m sure it’s a goal you wouldn’t mind helping me reach?"
Artemis looked at Cormac and smiled sweetly.
Cormac clutched the stair rail, breathing slowly through his mouth, as his eyes darkened. No, he wouldn’t lose his mind. Tactics. He could get this back on his own terms. He clenched hard around the stone, smirking at Anders. "Put your hand on my back. Right between my hips. It’ll only take you a couple of seconds to figure out the rest."
Anders did as he was told, looking confused until he felt the vibration. "That’s— Andraste’s knickers, you expect to do that to him for twelve hours? Even I’d go mad!"
"You say that like you’re not already," Artemis replied. He shut off the vibration without even blinking. "And it’s not like it’s going to be constant. Just when I feel like it, really." Granted, there was a chance that he wouldn’t last for twelve hours, if his brother kept making that face, but he wasn’t about to let on. "But yes, of course we will help. We were just talking about picking you up for lunch, as a matter of fact, but that can wait."
Artie waited until Cormac had relaxed before setting the stone shaking again. Only two seconds, then he shut it off. Oh, this was going to be fun.