Jul 122015

Title: Brotherly Love: 9:14 Dragon
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke , Artemis Hawke
Rating: G (L0 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: BEEEES!
Notes: Cormac's 11, Artie's 9. Artie, please don't scare the shit out of your brother…

They always slept the same way, Cormac curled protectively around Artemis, one blanket for both of them. The twins were small enough to still be sleeping with their mother, and Malcolm and Anton slept side by side, as if there were no magic separating the mage father from his yet-unafflicted son. Malcolm would point out stars and constellations, until Anton fell asleep, and then Cormac and Artemis were left to quietly amuse themselves, which generally involved several reprimands from their mother for laughing when they should have been sleeping.

Cormac whispered another story to his brother, something he'd picked up from one of their father's books. Malcolm refused to abandon his library, no matter how many times they moved, and the shelves he'd had built to store the books folded into trunks, leaving little excuse for any of the rare texts to be left behind. This one was a story about Andraste, and Cormac found the more he learned about Andraste, the less he liked the Chantry for lying about her. It wasn't fair, he thought, that they'd taken away her magic and her best friend, so he told Artemis a story about Andraste, the mage, saviour of Thedas. They were mages, too, and he thought maybe some day, they could be heroes and bring down the templars, like Andraste forced the Imperium out of Ferelden. He told his brother this, as well.

Artemis's eyelids were growing heavy, and in that liminal stage between waking and dreaming, Artie could see everything Cormac described. It would be fun to be a hero, and he pictured him and Cormac as taller versions of themselves, staffs held high as they led an army of mages. He pictured their family safe, a home they could stay in, without wheels, where their father didn't hold his breath every time a shadow moved in the night.

"But I don't want you to be Andraste," Artemis murmured, forcing his eyes back open. There was no doubt in his mind that Cormac would be the 'Andraste' of their story. "They lit her on fire." He didn't want to see Cormac lit on fire, but he supposed he'd just have to be there to put the fire out if anyone tried.

"Well, they can't light us both on fire at the same time, right? You can put me out. I can put you out. We can just go in soaking wet, and then it won't even matter." Cormac stifled a giggle against his brother's shoulder, at the image of the two of them charging into battle, dripping wet, calling down rain and thunder on templars who looked like wet cats.

"Cormac!" Leandra hissed, from a few feet away. "Go to sleep and stop keeping your brother awake!"

Cormac really wasn't very good at quiet. Especially not when things were funny. "Yrs mmm," he mumbled, hand clapped over his mouth. Seconds later, he was nudging Artie for another story. "Your turn," he whispered.

Artemis's shoulders shook with his own silent laughter. It seemed like Mum was always yelling at Cormac to be quiet but not him. He still kept his voice softer than Cormac had, words spilling out unchecked. His eyes kept wanting to fall closed, but his mouth had no trouble staying open.

Artie told his brother a story based on something he'd heard in the last town they'd stopped in, a story about the last Blight and the brave Grey Wardens who ended it. He only knew the bare bones of the story, that there were monsters and heroes, and he filled in the blanks with whatever images came to mind. Darkspawn, he decided, all had six legs like an insect with large bulbous eyes and a striped body like a wingless wasp.

"Like really big ugly bugs that needed to be squished," Artemis slurred, eyes sliding closed and staying there. "The Grey Wardens were best at squishing them. They squished the archdemon too, which was how the Blight ended. Because the archdemon was the greatest of the ugly bugspawn." His words grew softer, running into each other. Most of what he mumbled next was incoherent, but it sounded like he said, "The archdemon is full of bees and can only be slain by a warden because the hordes of wasps would destroy the countryside otherwise."

Cormac froze. Wasps. Wasps? He wondered if there was a spell for banishing bugs. There was definitely one for summoning them, but that was the very last thing he wanted to do. This was not reasonable at all. "What!?" he hissed, panic in his voice at the thought of being overrun by wasps. Not that they hadn't been overrun by worse things, but worse things were usually bandits or angry farmers who suspected their father was a mage. Worse things were more likely to be fatal, but much less likely to be quite as painful as a gigantic swarm of wasps.

The last Blight had been centuries ago, of course, so even if it was true… But, Artie had said it, and now Cormac couldn't unsee it. He reached around Artie and tucked the edges of the blanket under his brother's side, before flipping the top of the blanket up over their heads. "No. No wasps. No."

"Mmrgh," Artie mumbled in agreement, wriggling closer to his brother and pillowing his head with his arm. "No wasps. Grey Wardens squish the wasps." He was already asleep by the end of that sentence, dreaming of armoured warriors swatting at giant bugs.

Cormac lay awake until dawn, sure he could feel wasps landing on the blanket, creeping in between his toes. The next day was oddly quiet as he slept across his brother's lap in the back of the wagon, occasionally muttering 'no wasps,' when someone tried to wake him.

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