[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody In Ass Major – Chapter 99
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anders ♂, Fenris ♂, Varric ♂
Rating: E (L4 N0 S2 V0 D0)
Warnings: Cormac’s mouth, Cormac’s ass
Notes: Cormac continues to rattle. Things go from hard to difficult and back to hard.
They stopped off to get Fenris, before setting off on this favour for Anders’s friend, and Fenris got the same explanation of the situation. As they headed across town, Cormac occasionally gasped or coughed or leaned down and held onto the wall or his knees. He looked quite ill, and more than once, someone stopped to ask if they needed help.
"Don’t mind him. Recovering from something. Needs the walk." Anders smiled brightly. "I’m his healer. He’ll be fine."
Anders, however, might not be fine, with the way Cormac kept glaring at him. And Artemis, well, it was a very good thing Cormac so adored his brother.
They came into the Gallows only to hear the Harbormaster’s man complaining there was a shipment, but no name for it. He was sure it was meant to go here, but he wasn’t sure who had to sign. Fenris found the unmarked delivery order sitting atop the crates and handed it to Artemis.
"He’s right. There’s a location, but no name." He’d become much better at reading some words, at least, and he could make out enough of the slip to gather that was the problem.
Artemis hummed as he looked at the delivery order. He, Anders, and Fenris acting like they didn’t hear the buzzing coming from Cormac’s rump. "I take it this is the, ah, ‘shipment’ you were meant to ‘appropriate’?" he asked Anders.
Anders took the delivery order from Artemis and sighed. "You know, code words lose their use when you use your fingers to make ‘quotation marks’ around them."
"Ah, excuse me. ‘Code words’. I see."
"You just did it again."
"So what is the shipment?" Fenris asked, cutting over them. The huffed ‘mages’ went implied.
"Just a little something it will make the templars extremely unhappy to lose. Also happens to be something I have a use for." Anders filled in the blank and handed the page to Cormac. "Here. Go pretend you’re one of the Tranquil, so he’ll give you the box."
"There’s a distinct lack of sunburst on my forehead, you know," Cormac pointed out, through clenched teeth, as his insides continued to vibrate.
Anders dug around in his bag and turned up a bit of paint and a small brush. "I was going to do this, myself, you know, but you just…" He sighed. "I can’t even say your face is less known. It’s really not. But, I’m a little more obvious, as tall as I am."
"And I’m not so dark as to be obvious?" Cormac argued, but he knew it wasn’t true. Dark was much more common than tall like Anders was tall.
"Please, you’re practically invisible, compared to me." Anders painted the sunburst onto Cormac’s face, looking paler and paler as it took shape. "It’s a shite look on you, Cormac. I’m going to advise against taking it up, seriously," he joked.
Cormac took a deep breath and settled his features as best he could. "Artie, seriously, knock it off. If I get dragged off to the Gallows because you rattled my ass at the wrong time, I’m never going to bone you again. Mostly because it’s not going to be possible."
"Spoilsport," Artemis huffed even as the buzzing stopped. But really, it wasn’t all quite so funny with that marked burned — not burned, drawn — onto Cormac’s forehead. "Just be quick about it, will you? You do owe me twelve hours." He didn’t like being around so many templars even in the best of times. He scratched at his arm in agitation until he threatened to leave a mark.
Fenris sighed and leaned back against a pillar. He’d been on his way to lunch when the mages had picked him up. And really, he’d much rather be there now.
Watching Artemis claw at himself wasn’t really Cormac’s vision for the day — of course, his vision for the day might also have involved winning. He took a moment to reassure his brother, before engaging in this profound insanity — a warm, slow, toe-curling kiss. "Stop it. I’ll be right back."
A quick wink, before he settled his face again, and approached the dock worker. "I am here to accept the shipment for Ser Conrad," he said in a smooth monotone, holding up the delivery order.
"Conrad, is it? Tell him to fill out the damn paperwork right, next time." The man nodded at a stack of two crates and the handcart beside them. "You bring that back to the docks, when you’re done, you hear? We’ll be unloading the Antivan Queen."
"I will inform Ser Conrad of your instructions. The hand cart will be returned to the docks." Cormac wrestled the crates onto the cart and wandered off roughly in the direction of the gates to the Templar hall, before vanishing into the crowd, by the merchants, and ducking into a narrow alley. As expected — sewer grate. He hauled it out of the way and dropped the crates down. Anders would know how to get them back from here. A bit of spit, and the mark was gone from his face, which was much more relieving than he’d ever let on. His ass buzzed again, as he stepped out of the alley, and he ducked back in to catch his breath, before he tried to cross the courtyard, again.
Anders smiled as he approached, trying to keep the relief off his own face at seeing that mark gone. There was still a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, but it was quickly forgotten when he heard the buzzing. He knew exactly what that felt like and admired Cormac’s ability to keep standing.
Next to him, Artemis huffed, staring at Cormac’s forehead. He’d missed a speck of paint, and it was going to drive him to distraction if it stayed there. Artie tried to ignore it, keeping his arms folded, but it was no use. "Damn it. Hold still." He held his brother’s chin with one hand and wiped away the rest of the paint with his thumb. The stone kept buzzing.
Fenris turned to Anders. "I do hope there was a point to this other than to steal from the templars? Excuse me. To ‘appropriate’."
Anders scowled at Fenris and fought the urge to look over his shoulder and make sure no templars were nearby to hear that. Not even Fenris was that stupid. "There was a point," he said. "It is, however, not a point that is safe to discuss here, so." He turned to the brothers. "When you two are done grooming each other…"
"Oh, we’re good," Cormac said, wrapping himself around Artemis’s back. "Where are we off to? More adventuring, or can we eat?"
"Both," Anders made his way across the courtyard, toward Lowtown. "We’ve got a stop to make at the Hanged Man, and then we can go for lunch. I’d say we could have lunch there, but I think Artie might explode."
"If he’s doing any exploding," Cormac joked, still wound much too close around his brother, as they walked, "it’s going to be my fault."
"We get to watch, right?" Anders asked.
"I might even ask if we’d get to participate, if it didn’t mean I’d probably end up touching one of you two," Fenris grumbled.
Cormac whispered in Artie’s ear. "You know, if you keep doing that, I might stop being able to resist your charms. Might have to drag you into a nice dark alley and push you up against the wall, have my way with you until I’m good and done. Of course, you’d still have this thing inside me for hours, yet, so ‘done’ might not mean what I think it does."
Artemis fought to keep his own breathing even, at those words, at the shiver of Cormac’s breath at the shell of his ear. His brother the demon, always knew how to tempt him. But he wouldn’t let it be that easy, not for either of them. "Is that so?" he asked conversationally, turning his head to give Cormac the full force of his smirk. He made the stone rattle faster, just enough to make Cormac’s knees weak, before taking pity and slowing it back down. "I wonder how many alleys there are between here and the Hanged Man."
Fenris smirked to himself as he listened. At this rate, participating might almost be worth the risk of accidentally touching the wrong mage. Almost.
"More than enough to keep you guessing," Cormac purred, staying close enough to keep his voice down. "I’d have to slick you up with my fingers, since I’m not allowed to touch myself. That’s all right, though. Anders taught me a trick for that. Might catch up with you, though. Gravity works. Maybe I should let you taste me, first. What do you think, hmm? Should I push you down in some dark alley and fuck your pretty face until you choke? Might not need to worry so much about the grease, then. I could just flip you over and yank those pants down and ram myself into you, still dripping with your spit. What do you think of that, little brother? Your big brother still following all your rules, and just throwing you down and taking you. Using you."
At some point, in there, Anders stopped listening. He had a sense that was what Artie was into, but hearing it just made his skin crawl. It was all right to watch — he could tell Artie liked it — but even in Cormac’s voice, he couldn’t listen to that. His breathing got a little shallower and everything seemed a little further away than he was expecting it to be.
"I think you know exactly what I think of that, brother-dear," Artemis replied, his voice a bit breathy. He turned, slid a hand around the back of Cormac’s head and pulled him into a bruising kiss.
Fenris looked around to make sure no one they knew was watching. "Venhedis," he swore, shaking his head. He approached Artie’s other side. "Not that I mind the view, Amatus, but you’re in the middle of the street, and the urchins are staring."
Artemis pulled back reluctantly and cleared his throat. He couldn’t exactly blame that on the alcohol this time.
Cormac tried to get his breathing back under control. "You do that again, and it might be an hour before I have what to follow through with, again." He laughed and squeezed Artemis’s hip. It had only been a couple of hours — the walk across town and halfway back — and already he was aching terribly, a wet spot gathering on the inside of his robes, which sat just a little differently. It wasn’t really noticeable, but the bit of a bulge in the drape was obvious to him. Mostly because he could feel it, with every step he took. This was, all in all, an excellent argument for smalls, and one he might be willing to consider, the next time he thought about not buying any.
"You might want to leave room for a sheet of paper between you," Anders suggested. "Isabela gambles in some of these places — the games she can’t play in the Hanged Man. I don’t want to know what she’d write about this. And if she knows, Varric knows. And if Varric knows, there’s going to be a serial."
"Shit." Cormac let go, after one more fond squeeze, stepping forward to drape himself around Anders, instead. That might also be scandalous, but a very different kind of scandal. He figured if anyone asked, he could claim to have been witlessly drunk. He was a nobleman. It was believable by default.
Fenris stepped into the space Cormac left before Artemis had time to miss his warmth. He wound an arm around his mage’s waist and pressed a kiss to one flushed cheek. "I have to admit, I would read that serial," he said, earning him a huff and a jab of an elbow from Artemis. "Though I suspect there would be words in there I do not yet know the proper spelling for."
"Well," Anders said, "few children’s books cover the topic of incest, let alone the… finer details."
"You know what else children’s books don’t usually cover?" Artemis asked, arcing an eyebrow at Fenris. "Those same words in Tevene."
Fenris muttered a few of those words under his breath. "Venhedis. I was hoping you’d forgotten about that." Blight take Isabela. Blight take rum. Well. Not all the rum. Just the rum that made him think that conversation with Isabela had been a good idea.
And now his mage was looking at him with those unfairly pretty eyes, pleading without saying a word, while his brother’s ass buzzed nearby.
Anders held the door open for the rest of them, reluctantly letting go of Cormac. They gathered again around the end of the bar. "The man over there in the templar plate is one Ser Roderick. All we’ve got to do is pass on a little misinformation, and he’ll take it right back home with him." He grinned at Fenris. "It’s not about the appropriation. That’s just a bonus. It’s about removing this one without killing him. He’s not as bad as Alrik, but he’s not safe for mages. I’d like to think he’s just in the wrong line of work. So, that’s all we’ve got to do. Just … mention a little something, other than the lyrium, of course, since that’s already going to be a glaring gap in the supply chain."
"Demons? Blood magic? Looking for prostitutes in the likeness of the Knight-Captain?" Cormac shrugged and leaned back, pressing his intensely vibrating ass against Artemis’s thigh.
"I was thinking something a bit more… likely?" Anders scratched under his chin. "I’m just not coming up with a good wild story, here. Scandal, you know?"
"You want scandal, we could accuse him of having an affair with a mage. Maybe one who escaped? Maybe even one we know is already dead, and nobody else does." Cormac smiled slyly.
"Like one of the escaped blood mages?" Artemis said, shrugging. "Goodness knows we run into an inordinate amount of those."
"Indeed," Fenris growled, aiming his brooding at the opposite wall. Granted, he was used to that much blood magic. More of it, really.
Artemis peeked around Anders at Ser Roderick. The templar’s heavy plate exaggerated his drunken sway. "That man is terribly drunk," he said. "As the resident expert in drunkenness, I feel confident in that assertion. He’s definitely drunk enough to believe whatever we tell him, but will he remember it in the morning?"
"Does he have to remember it in the morning? We could convince him to report it straightaway… Yes, he’s drunk, but there’s also the extremely blatant missing lyrium with a certain someone’s name on it," Anders pointed out. "With something like that going on, even a half-assed accusation’s going to carry some more weight."
"Why don’t we accuse him of what he’s actually guilty of?" Fenris suggested. "Then there might be evidence."
"You’re missing the part where mages involved in accusations against the templars have an unfortunate tendency to turn up with pretty little sunbursts that aren’t painted." Anders shook his head. "The truth’s too risky. I don’t think Cullen would stand for that shit, but I also think he keeps taking things to the Knight-Commander, and I’ve heard some things about her. Either way, it happens, it’s still happening, and I’m not putting an innocent mage in the way of it."
"Look, let’s just do this thing and get out of here. The longer I stand here, the less I care. The longer I stand here, the less likely it becomes that I’m going to be able to keep standing, and if I end up on my hands and knees in the middle of the pub, I’m really not sure what’s going to come out of my mouth, so let’s not have that problem in front of the templar and half of Lowtown." Cormac rocked forward and stopped leaning half on his brother and half on the bar. "And when we get out of here," he hissed at Artemis, "I am going to fuck you so hard it’ll be Friday, before you can sit down."
Cormac made his way to the drunken templar, trying to ignore the way his legs threatened to stop supporting him, the brush of thick cloth across his painfully throbbing knob, and the vibration that resonated through his insides, like his ass had learnt to purr. Somehow, he was still standing, when he got there. "I’m here to report Ser Conrad," he said, firmly.
"C—Conrad? I know him. Did he… do something?" Ser Roderick asked, wobbling loosely in his plate. Cormac wondered if the metal offered stability, or if the weight made it harder to stand. He was certainly having enough trouble staying upright, himself.
"Ser Conrad’s been carrying on with an escaped blood mage. I saw them, together, over the weekend, but I didn’t interfere, because he’s a templar. But, he must know. I think he’s hiding her." Cormac shook his head, trying to maintain some appearance of moral superiority while his insides felt like hot jelly.
"Conrad? Are you sure?" Roderick looked more sad than disbelieving, but that might have been the drink.
"I’m afraid so," Cormac ground out, between clenched teeth, as the vibration changed.
"This needs to be reported!" Roderick declared, staggering off toward the door. "Can’t believe it…"
"Well," said Artemis to Anders, "that went surprisingly well." He saw Cormac teeter almost as much as Ser Roderick and bit his lip to keep from grinning. He slipped out from between Anders and Fenris and came up beside his brother, winding an arm around his waist and keeping him upright. At least here it was easier to pass off Cormac as drunk. "Still standing?" he purred into Cormac’s ear. "Perhaps I’m not trying hard enough." The vibration changed again.
"Usually framing templars isn’t half this much fun," Anders said to Fenris without taking his eyes off the brothers.
"What’s this? Blondie and Broody drinking together?" Fenris’s ear twitched, and he and Anders turned in time to see Varric coming up between them, a hand clapping each of them on the shoulder. "Do the Hawkes know?" Varric added in a stage whisper.
"The Hawkes are right there," Fenris huffed, pointing at the brothers and praying Artie didn’t try to shove his tongue down Cormac’s throat this time. "And we not drinking. There are no drinks."
"So nugs haven’t learned to fly yet? Too bad. You two would have been my next book." Fenris and Anders exchanged horrified looks over Varric’s head. "And it looks like Cormac’s been drinking enough for the four of you. Huh. Someone drunker than Artie. Maybe those nugs are flapping their wings after all."
"Not drunk," Cormac grumbled, entirely unconvincingly. "Tired." That was his story, and he was sticking with it. "Up all night doing things that would turn your chest hair white."
"And your beard remains black, despite this? What a man…" Varric laughed. "Maybe I should buy you a drink, just to see if adding liquor to exhaustion gets me anything interesting."
Cormac’s knuckles whitened on the edge of the bar. How exactly had he gotten himself into this? He had to stop making shite bets, just to make Artie smile. He also had to not sit down in public, because he wasn’t sure he could keep the chair from rattling. "As simultaneously kind and self-serving an offer as that is, Varric. I’m going to have to turn it down. I’d like to be home, where the seating is soft, before I lose the ability to stay upright. I’m not sure a barstool will do my ass any favours, right now, if you get my meaning."
Anders covered his face and coughed, peering across the tips of his fingers at Varric, and then looking suddenly away. He would not laugh. He would not— No, that was a lie. He burst into mad cackles, leaning against the bar for support.
Artemis bit the inside of his cheek and ducked his head to keep from following Anders’s lead. The din of the tavern masked the buzzing in Cormac’s ass, but it was still there, if Artemis listened for it.
"Oh, thank you for that visual," Varric huffed, making a noise somewhere between a laugh and a groan. "Words like that and my imagination are a dangerous combination, Cormac."
"I really hope that doesn’t end up in your next serial," Fenris muttered. "I’d say reading it would turn my hair white, but." He gestured at his hair and shrugged. Then again, just the fact that reading something like that was an option now was a pleasing thought.
"It was nice seeing you Varric," Artemis said, "but I think we’ll be taking this ass’s ass home." He patted Cormac with the hand still on his waist.
"Your ass and his ass appreciate the kindness." Cormac let go of the bar, wrapping one arm around Artemis and the other around Anders, which lasted as far as the door, which only two of them would fit through together, so he staggered out to the street, with an arm around Artemis and Anders holding the door. Fenris followed, looking faintly amused.