[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody In Ass Major – Chapter 171
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anders ♂, Fenris ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S2 V0 D1)
Warnings: Drunken stupidity, hot Hawke-on-Hawke action, Justice likes lyrium
Notes: Justice craves the taste of lyrium. Fenris is really not sure how to take this.
"I WISH TO LICK THE ELF. HE TASTES LIKE HOME," Justice boomed, still not moving to pull out of Cormac’s grip. If Cormac didn’t want him to move, there must be something he was missing. Cormac rarely stopped him. Anders also seemed extremely upset by the idea.
Fenris’s eyes were huge as he pulled Artemis on top of himself, wrapping the blanket over them. It wouldn’t really help, but maybe if he were less visible… He suddenly wished he were a bit less drunk. And then the glowing doubled, as Cormac faded into an indigo shimmer, pressing closer against Justice’s side. Fenris was somewhat reassured that someone was sober enough to look after him, because the only ‘looking after’ he could do for himself, in this state, was going to end in someone dying.
Artemis blinked down at Fenris then over his shoulder at his brother and his brother’s ‘nothing-serious’. As fun as the idea of Justice licking Fenris was, the wide-eyed look on Fenris’s face was decidedly less fun. Justice seemed to be restraining himself — or, rather, Cormac seemed to be restraining him — but Artemis reached for his rock armour just in case. The air twisted a bit, but no stone appeared. Artie tried again, but the magic kept slipping through his fingers.
"What’re you doing?" Fenris asked, watching Artemis wave a hand in the air, frowning all the while.
"I’m trying to… rock," Artie explained. "Don’t worry, Fen. I’ll protect you. Once… once I get this working."
Fenris watched Artie grope the air again. "Thank you," he said dryly. "I feel very reassured."
Artemis gave up and settled for wrapping himself around Fenris instead. It had been a while since he’d been drunk enough for his magic not to respond.
Justice seemed to be momentarily distracted by Cormac, a fact that did not escape Anders’s notice. He encouraged this distraction, reminding Justice of how much he’d enjoyed the sensation of Cormac’s body wrapped around them both, bright with the Fade. "YES," Justice murmured. "THIS IS VERY PLEASING. BUT, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THE LYRIUM ELF HIDES HIMSELF FROM US. I DO NOT WISH TO HARM HIM."
"He’s had a rough couple of decades," Cormac assured him, deep blue fingers tracing the glowing blue seams in Anders’s skin. "He doesn’t like mages, an—"
"I AM NOT A MAGE," Justice pointed out.
"Anders is. And you’re … I’ll be honest with you, Justice. You’re terrifying. And you know that." Cormac shrugged, hands loosening Justice’s belt, picking at the rings to open his coat. "I don’t mind it. You’ve got your own charms, and you live in my— in Anders’s body. If I want him, I get you, too. And that’s all right, because I’m not afraid of you. But, I think Fenris is. And I think he’s not wrong to be."
"BUT, I WILL NOT HURT HIM," Justice insisted, still confused by the nuances of the living.
"And I wouldn’t hurt Anders. You see what still happens." It was a horrible thing to bring up, but it seemed to have the effect Cormac was going for, as Justice grabbed his shoulders and wobbled. "It’s not just about you, my gorgeous blue nightlight. It’s about him, and what he wants, too."
"TO HAVE IT OTHERWISE WOULD BE UNJUST. I WOULD NOT DO SUCH A THING. I SIMPLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I AM SO …" Justice looked expectantly at Cormac.
"Objectionable," Cormac filled in, leading Justice toward the bed. "Excuse us," he said to his brother. "We just need to sit down. Don’t worry, Fenris. He’s not going to touch you, unless you say he can."
Fenris still stiffened at first at their glowy proximity, tensing like a cat ready to bolt, but Justice merely sat next to Cormac and looked longingly at the elf. Which was an odd look to see in Fade-blue eyes.
"Fenris," Artemis murmured, poking Fenris in the arm. "I think there’s enough glowing going on in here."
Pulling his stare from Justice, Fenris blinked up at Artemis, then down at his arms, at the markings he’d lit on defensive instinct. "Ah. That’s…" Yet instead of switching his tattoos off, he cut a glance to the side, eyeing Cormac and comparing the way their skin shimmered with Fade light. There was a part of him that found it unfair that Cormac could do this, that he’d learned how to without having his memories erased or painful scars carved into his skin. Then again, with the way Cormac viewed pain…
Fenris reached around Artemis, hesitating just before poking Cormac’s arm. "May I?" he asked, because if Justice was waiting for his permission to touch, Fenris could ask for Cormac’s.
"You know," Artemis sighed, "it’s really disheartening being the only non-glowy person in a room."
"Electrical halo," Cormac whispered, the kiss he pressed to Artemis’s cheek sinking just below the surface of the skin, as he offered one hand to Fenris. "I bet he’d love it."
Fenris traced his own glowing fingertips down Cormac’s arm, marvelling at the way they didn’t pass through. "I’m inside your shield, aren’t I?" he asked, with a sly smile.
Cormac tilted his head from side to side before answering, chewing on his lip. "Not quite. I took down the shield to do this. I take down the shield for … things." He raised his eyebrows, pointedly. "But, that is my arm, you are touching it, and I have no doubt in my mind you could break it. Please don’t."
"No… I …" Fenris was fascinated, twisting to get a closer look. "You’re not the same colour," he pointed out. "I thought it was your skin, but it’s not. That’s not the same blue, at all."
"Justice, tell me if I’m wrong," Cormac started, closing his eyes to consider how to put the idea together. He wasn’t nearly sober enough to be talking theory, but he knew what Fenris was seeing. "I don’t know if it’s actual depth or concentration or … I have no idea, but I’m not touching the same part of the Fade that you are. The books say the magic that I have comes from the —" he cleared his throat and raised his eyebrows. "— deepest wells of the Fade. I don’t know why that makes it different, but I do know it occasionally has its own opinions."
Justice stared at where they touched, yearning in his eyes. "YOU SING WHEN YOU TOUCH HIM," Justice told Fenris.
"I… sing?" Fenris tilted his head, fingers still light on Cormac’s arm.
"NOT WITH YOUR VOICE," Justice said as though that should explain everything. When Fenris continued to stare blankly, he sighed and gestured at Fenris’s body. "WITH YOUR… THE LYRIUM. IT SINGS." Justice tilted his head to listen to the song only he could hear, a sad smile playing about his lips.
"Mm, I like it when you actually sing, you know," Artemis murmured, pressing a kiss to Fenris’s shoulder. "You should sing more. I’ve only heard you sing that one time. And then that other time when you were in the bath and forgot I was home." Fenris smiled indulgently and stroked a finger of his free hand along Artie’s spine, the tip disappearing just under the skin. Artemis’s drunken rambling disintegrated into a purr.
"LYRIUM ELF," said Justice, voice still booming but somehow softening, like Justice was trying to lower his voice. "FENRIS. YOU ARE FREE TO OBJECT, BUT MAY I TOUCH YOU? JUST MY HAND ON YOURS."
Fenris stiffened again, hunching tighter against Artemis, but the look he gave Justice was appraising, not fearful. He darted a look at Cormac, sending him a look asking the elder Hawke to help him if this didn’t go as planned. "…you may," Fenris said, one ear twitching. "Just my hand."
Justice moved with exaggerated care, tracing one finger from Fenris’s wrist down to the point of a finger, following the line. He felt it twice, just as he had with Cormac, making contact both physically, with Anders’s body, and in the Fade, with his own. The lyrium song, so long so quiet, became nearly deafening, inside his head. He had not been so close to Fenris, in the library. That had been Anders, and Anders had been trying to hold him back. He thought he finally understood why, with the tips of his fingers pressed against Fenris’s, Cormac’s hand caressing his cheek. It was so loud. It was so powerful. He could understand the fear of it, even as it comforted him.
Fenris watched a blissful smile spread across Justice’s face, at the contact, the monstrosity settling out into a purring kitten — and he did seem to be purring, if Fenris understood that sound correctly. He didn’t really understand it, but he recognised it, and wondered if that was how he had looked the first time Anders had run lightning down his arm.
"It was," Cormac said, eyes still on Justice, answering the question Fenris hadn’t realised had come out of his mouth.
Artemis hummed in agreement, pressing another kiss to Fenris’s shoulder and tracing a hand down Fenris’s other arm. He sighed in disappointment when only the barest spark jumped to his fingertips. He had liked seeing that look on Fenris’s face and liked seeing it now on Anders’s, even if it was Justice making that expression.
Fenris surprised himself by stretching his arm further, offering more of his vulnerable underarm to Justice. The spirit’s eyes widened, and Justice traced the lines of lyrium down to the crook of Fenris’s elbow. Fenris shivered, his skin prickling at the contact, though it was a different kind of sensation than he was used to from Artemis’s touch or even from Anders alone.
Artemis rested his chin on Fenris’s chest and watched the two of them, one hand smoothing down Fenris’s side. He could feel his elf’s breathing pick up, and he smirked, exchanging a look with Cormac, eyebrows twitching upward.
Cormac used his free hand to gesture for Artie to roll over, and then dragged his fingers suggestively down his brother’s leg. There was something going on here that they weren’t really invited to, and he meant to keep an eye on it, but also not to waste the opportunity. Usually, this was the other way around — he and Artemis on display, while Fenris and Anders tried to ignore each other, in the corner. But, Cormac had no intention of ignoring Artemis, if they were being granted the opportunity to watch.
Cradling Fenris’s elbow in one hand, Justice showed the other hand to Fenris, as Anders suggested one might do with an unknown dog, and then traced the lines back down Fenris’s forearm, to his fingertips, with one finger, every motion cautious and gentle. His awe was obvious, even as Anders shifted uncomfortably in the back of their mind, reminded of other less-pure songs. But, Justice soothed the concern with memories of the Fade, and the chorus of life that infused every part of it. Out here, only the lyrium still sang of home. Everything else was too far from its roots.
Artie nestled back against Cormac, one hand reaching behind him to squeeze Cormac’s thigh even as the pair in front of him had his full attention. A part of him was uneasy, remembering how Justice had been in the Deep Roads under Corypheus’s influence, how he’d almost attacked that mage girl while fighting Ser Alrik. It occurred to him that, despite the amount of time he’d spent with Anders, he’d seen relatively little of Justice.
Justice inched closer to Fenris, his body language still submissive, as though trying to soothe a spooked animal. Fenris watched him move, unblinking, but didn’t tense this time, and Justice bent over his open palm, pressing the barest kiss to the collection of lines there. Fenris’s breath hitched, eyes wild, but he didn’t draw back. "IS THIS ALL RIGHT?" Justice asked. "HAVE I OVERSTEPPED?"
Fenris swallowed, staring at Justice and at where the spirit still touched him, hands gentle on his arm. "Not yet," he said guardedly. He caught Artie’s eye, comforted by the presence of his mage.