[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 202
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Fenris ♂, Anders ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Cormac Hawke ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Non-sexual appearance of dildo
Notes: An exchange of swords.
It was the morning before the wedding, and everything had already been arranged. There would be a celebratory supper, in the evening, leading into a rather wild party, if things went according to plan, and assuming everyone managed to get out of bed, the wedding itself would go on the next afternoon. Two straight days of revelry.
Cormac and Anders, of course, had shown up mid-morning, to try to calm Artie’s inevitable panicked fluttering, which Orana told them had begun five hours earlier, when the house was still dark. Fenris was already drinking tea so strong light did not pass through it, in the dining room, she’d told them, and Cormac caught his brother’s arm as Artemis dashed through the room, in search of some other invisible particle of dust.
"Artie? Breathe." Cormac caught his shoulders in both hands. "There’s a party, tonight. It’s not here. It’s at the Rose. Nobody’s going to notice if the dust of a single day has settled in here. And I swear Jethann was cleaning the bar hardware with a carver’s brush, when I left. It’s not even his job, but he’s … He likes you."
Artemis twisted the rag in his hands to keep from scratching at his arms. "It’s not just the dust," he said, almost too fast for Anders to catch. "I’m counting. What if no one shows up? What if too many people show up? Will there be enough food? Seating? What if I’ve forgotten something? I know I’ve forgotten something."
"Blinking," Anders said.
"What?" Artemis’s wide-eyed stare darted to Anders over Cormac’s shoulder.
"That’s what you’ve forgotten," Anders explained. "I haven’t seen you blink since we’ve gotten here. Or breathe, but Cormac’s already pointed that out."
"Oh." Artie blinked and took a deep breath and then another. He stopped looking like he was in danger of passing out.
"What about that sword, hm? I think it’s going to be a little difficult to sneak that into the rest of the gifts. It’s… kind of large. Maybe you should give that to Fenris, now." Cormac was hoping that would provide something else to focus on, for a while. "Just a little something between the two of you, before the party starts."
"Speaking of Fenris, I’m going to go check on him." Anders winked. "I should make sure he’s approachable, before you bring swords into the picture." With a laugh, he followed Orana out, intent on getting Fenris’s gift into presentable condition, should the elf not already have done so. Of course, it was Fenris, so ‘presentable’ might not have become a concern, yet.
"Come on, we’ll wrap it in a sheet and tie a bow on it, or something. He’ll love it." Cormac bumped the tip of his nose against his brother’s. "And then, I’m sure, he’ll show you exactly how much he loves it, while we … help Orana with the cakes or something."
"Sword. Yes. That’s…" Artemis took another deep breath. There was plenty he still needed to check, but he knew that there was little he could do at this stage of things anyway. The sword would be one less thing to worry about. Though now he was worrying about it. "He will like it, won’t he? Oh Maker. What if he finds it offensive or something?" He continued muttering, half to himself and half to Cormac, as they went in search of the sword.
Anders found Fenris in the dining room, one hand still curled around a mug of tea while he had his face planted in the other arm, half sprawled on the table. "Morning," Anders greeted him cheerfully, leaning against the doorway.
Fenris muttered something against the table that might have been another "Morning." He tilted his head up to rest his chin on his arm and blinked up at Anders.
"You should tell me where you hid that … er … thing you got for Artie, the other week. Mostly because he’s about to walk in here with a present for you, and I’d really rather you not be caught empty handed."
"What?" Fenris took a moment to focus. "Now? I thought that was for later!"
"It would be, but your husband-to-be is panicking all over the house. He needs a distraction." Anders glanced at the door.
"And you want me to distract him with that?" Fenris blinked. "That hardly seems wise."
"No, I just want you to give it to him. He’ll be surprised. It’ll be great. And he’ll stop…" Anders flapped a hand in the direction of the door. "That."
"He has been … ‘that‘ all morning," Fenris admitted, taking another swig of tea. "It’s impossible to hide anything in this house, the way he cleans. There’s a passage behind the kitchen that leads upstairs. It’s in one of the linen nooks. He doesn’t know the hallway exists, so please don’t tell him. He’ll clean it."
"I’ll be right back. Is it in a box, or do I have to—"
"Wooden box. Very pretty. Can’t miss it." Fenris tipped his head back and poured tea down his throat. "And tell Orana I need a whole pot of that vile beverage."
Minutes later, the four of them convened in the dining room, where Orana had set up a whole tray of tea. Fenris considered drinking straight out of the pot, but decided that Artemis was flailing enough already. Well. He was flailing less now with that large, wrapped… something in his hands. Large and heavy, judging from the way he braced his weight.
"So," Artie said without preamble. "Presents. Or… present. As in, I have one. For you."
"It is presents, plural," Fenris replied, "since I have one for you as well." He gestured at the wooden box by his cup of tea. "Is there… any sort of Fereldan custom that goes along with this? I don’t have to guess what you’re holding, do I?"
"Maker, no," Artemis said, his smile finally looking less nervous, "or I would have put this in a box. A really big box, just to confuse you. I… here." Artie thrust the present at his fiancé before he could or say anything else.
Fenris accepted the awkward and large object, and began to unwrap it, with the occasional curious glance at the brothers. The shape seemed quite familiar, but he couldn’t imagine that Artemis would have gotten him— And then the hilt was visible, and he knew it for what it was. "This… Is this really?" He tugged the rest of the wrapping off and pushed his tea aside to lay the sword across the table. "This is a Blade of Mercy. How did you even… Where did you find this?" Fenris turned it over, examining the inscriptions for some sign as to whether it was a real one or a cheap replica. The metal felt solid, though, which was encouraging.
"It’s… well." Artemis glanced at Cormac, at Anders. "We went on something of an expedition under Darktown and… found this as a souvenir. This and a book that is much less your taste. Anyway, I… remembered you talking about them. About swords. About this kind of sword, in particular. Do you like it?" The question came out much less casually than he would have liked.
"I never dreamed one of these would come into my hands. You found it under Darktown? Is that what the maps were about?" Fenris glanced up at Cormac.
"Sort of. One of a few things. Not really important right now, but what is important is that’s really probably the real thing. Not Hessarian’s, but not a forgery. It’s all old Tevinter passages, down there. It’s a whole other city." Cormac shrugged. "So, it’s a few centuries old, I’d think."
"I’ll be careful with it, then." Fenris still looked amazed, as his eyes lit on Artemis, again. "Do I like it? Amatus, this is incredible." He paused and reached for the box. "I almost feel the fool having gotten you what I did." He’d felt twice the fool having it made, but he handed the box to Artemis, all the same. "I hope you enjoy this."
Artemis was just relieved that Fenris seemed to like his gift. The elf could have gotten him a toothpick, and he would have been pleased. He accepted the box with a smile, pausing to admire the fine carving along the lid before pushing it back.
Fenris held his breath, watched Artemis’s eyes widen, watched him fight back the smile he’d been hoping to see.
"Did you…? No. You couldn’t have."
"I did," Fenris assured him, tugging at one ear.
"Oh, this is perfect," Artemis said, voice shaking with laughter as he pulled out the lyrium-etched dildo. "I got you a sword, and you got me your sword. Maker, I love you." Fenris found himself with his arms full of mage — his mage, thank the Maker — and he stumbled back a step, just catching his balance as Artie kissed him.
"That’s probably a good thing, since we’re to be married, tomorrow," Fenris teased. "Did you have a desire to practise some swording, of either variety, before we go to supper, tonight? I wouldn’t want to wear you out, before you have the chance to enjoy the evening, but…" He tilted his head back and nibbled on Artie’s lower lip.
Anders fished a potion out of his bag and slid it across the table. "For him. Just in case," he told Fenris. "Don’t thank me until he’s standing up for the ceremony."
"And on that note, I think I need to go investigate a cake, and several other last-minute things. Don’t break anything, you two. Especially don’t break each other. Save that for after the wedding." Cormac grinned and put an arm around Anders. "And that’s my good work for the day."