[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 213
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Bethany Hawke ♀, Carver Hawke ♂, Anders ♂, Cullen ♂, Gamlen ♂, Fenris ♂, Charade ♀, Merrill ♀, Sebastian ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V0 D1)
Warnings: Totally inappropriate dinner conversation
Notes: Dinner, which gets worse, instead of better.
Fenris asked Bodhan for more wine, eyes on the drama unfolding at the table. This was far more entertaining than Wicked Grace. Leaning in to Artemis, he said, "I think Anders might be right about the punching. Do you think it’s too late to put in my own wager?"
Artemis chuffed. "Personally, I’d rather we avoid the punching. Is anyone else going to comment on how lovely the soup is? What about the wine? Wine is good."
"The wine is excellent," Cullen agreed, "although for both our sakes I believe myself glad it isn’t cordial."
"For my sake, I’m glad you’re not drinking cordial," Anton laughed, one hand on Cullen’s thigh, under the table.
Carver looked down the table, squinting suspiciously at Anton. "Is this gross? This is gross, isn’t it. I don’t want to hear about your gross sex things, in the middle of dinner. Or ever."
"Well, I can tell you you’d see a lot less of them, if you learned to knock," Anton drawled, groping his husband thoroughly under the edge of the tablecloth.
"Well, it’s hardly our fault you married the man with the dreamiest non-Hawke backside in all of Kirkwall!" Bethany pointed out. "Of course Carver wants a look! It’s not like he got dad’s ass either!"
Sebastian looked across the table at Anders. "I feel like I should be insulted by this, but perhaps I’ll just be grateful I’ve been spared the temptation."
"I’m banned from everyone’s sister, so don’t look at me." Anders shook his head. "At least her brothers will let you near her."
"At least I’ll let you near my brothers," Bethany said with a wicked smile.
Gamlen narrowed his eyes at her and at Anders. "Brothers? Plural? No, I don’t want to know." He cut his free hand through the air, eyes squeezing shut.
As Bodhan and Orana cleared the soup bowls, Mintaka padded into the room, tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth. Anton whistled and snapped his fingers next to his chair, calling Mintaka to him, but the dog plodded up to Gamlen and sprawled across his feet, belly up and begging to be scratched.
"Traitor," Anton gasped.
"Shoo." Gamlen tried to nudge Mintaka aside with his toe, but the dog was deadweight on top of his feet. "You better not fart on me. I had enough of that when you were living with me."
Mintaka whined but could not be budged.
"Sure, Gamlen," Carver said, "blame the dog."
Anders put on his best blatant too-innocent face, sipping his wine and watching a fascinating part of the ceiling.
"What’s that look?" Carver demanded. "I don’t think you were ever even in that house…"
"A few times, actually," Anders replied, with a faint smile. "For your mother. But, did you ever consider where your brother got a taste for that cabbage salad?"
Anton stared down the table, pointing his fork at Anders. "I know where you sleep."
"That was the deal! If he ate my salad, he wasn’t staying with me!"
Cormac leaned forward, face in his hands, and rested his elbows on the table, groaning. "Can we not talk about cabbage salad?"
"Yes, please," Artie groaned, "can we not? I’m the one who shared a room with Cormac for how long? Those are not memories I want to revisit."
No sooner had Artemis spoken than Orana and Bodhan glided into the dining room, dishes balanced in their hands. The first dish Orana plunked down was a bowl of cabbage salad, which she placed right in front of Cormac.
Anders set his drink down before he could choke on it or shoot it out his nose. Orana smirked at him as she set down the other plate in her hand, a smirk that said she’s overheard their conversation. "No," he told Cormac, picking up the bowl and setting it on the other side of him. "None for you."
Anton took the bowl and placed it even farther down the table.
Cormac eyed the bowl balefully and then turned the same look on Anders. "This is all your fault, you know. I wouldn’t even know about that stuff, if it wasn’t for you."
"Yes, and I found out that night that I shouldn’t have introduced you to it." Anders smiled impolitely.
"South Reach lassis," Cormac shot back and Anders cleared his throat and looked away.
"Let’s not bring that up at the table. People are trying to eat." Anders helped himself to a few slices of roast and a dripping pudding.
"I love South Reach lassis!" Bethany chimed in. "They’re so smooth and creamy, and they’re not as strong as the Chasind style."
"Let’s just say they don’t love Anders," Cormac choked out, trying not to burst out laughing.
"Speaking of Anders," Anders started, around a mouthful of roast, "Anders doesn’t want to have this conversation. Have I mentioned how big the cats have gotten, Merrill? Assbiter barely fits on my shoulder any more."
"Purrcy doesn’t even fit on Cormac’s shoulders anymore," Artie said, scooping pudding and roast onto his plate, careful to keep space between them so they didn’t touch, "but he still tries. Idiot furball could topple a Qunari!"
"We should let him try," Anton said between bites, "if we ever have another Qunari problem."
"I don’t think Kirkwall could survive another ‘Qunari problem’," Cullen sighed.
"It might, if we decide to use cats as weapons," Charade suggested. "Maybe that was the mistake we made last time."
"Don’t tell Anders that," Fenris muttered, shooting her a weary look across the table, "or he’ll fill the clinic with more of the fur-demons.
"Cats and mages," Gamlen sighed, stabbing his roast with his fork. "This is what my life has come to."
"Could be worse," said Carver. "The dog could still be farting in your house."
"Could be worse," said Cormac. "Carver could still be whining in your house. I never thought I’d be so glad to have a templar in the family."
Carver tried to stand up, but Merrill pulled him back down. "Dad’s best friend was a templar!" he shouted at his brother.
"And of the two children he had who didn’t inherit his talents, he named the older one for a mage and the younger one for a templar. How’s that for fostering hope for the future?" Cormac drawled, reaching for the bowl of cabbage, without looking away from Carver. "I’ll sleep upstairs," he promised Anders.
"Hey, I was named by him," Artemis said, pointing his thumb at Cormac. "And, Cormac, no. No cabbage for you." As Cormac’s fingertips touched the bowl, Artie flicked his fingers and the bowl went skidding away from Cormac down the table… along with Cormac’s plate and the flowers in the middle of the table. "Oops."
Charade’s shout told him where the cabbage salad had ended up. Mintaka jumped up from his seat at Gamlen’s feet as Charade jumped up from her chair.
"Oh, Mintaka, no!" Anton groaned, getting up to shoo the dog away from the spilled cabbage.
Artie swore, pausing to right the centerpiece before rounding the table to clean up the mess, scooping up the fallen food with his napkin.
"Well, this is familiar," Gamlen said, rolling his eyes.
Mintaka declined to be shooed, scarfing down as much cabbage as possible, while dancing around Anton’s feet.
"You could have just let this go at me having some cabbage salad, you know. You don’t even live here, Artie! What do you care? Now you’ve fed the cabbage to the fart demon!" Cormac rolled his eyes and flicked his hand in a dismissive gesture, collapsing the food on Artie’s plate into two small bricks — the meat brick and the veg brick. He was a little kinder than he’d been when they were young, but not much.
"Fart demons. I’m sure those aren’t covered anywhere in templar training," Cullen joked, remembering countless rounds of slightly less magical table shenanigans from his own youth. "What do you think, Sebastian? Does the Chantry have any books on fart demons?"
"If there were to be literature on such a thing, I am certain it would suggest putting the thing outside." Sebastian eyed the dog, warily.
"I imagine such creatures are from the deepest part of the Fade," Fenris said gravely, eyeing his husband who was swearing down at his plate.
"Maker dammit, Cormac!" Artemis groaned. At least his brother had made two separate bricks so his food still wasn’t touching. And so that Artie had two separate projectiles to throw at Cormac’s head.
"Ow!" Anders whined when the veggie brick bounced off his cheek.
"Sorry, Anders," Artemis said, sending Anders a cringing smile. "Hit my brother with that for me, will you?"
"Not if you’re going to keep launching things across the table!" Anders huffed, brandishing the veg brick. "Innocents keep getting caught in the crossfire!"
Artemis handed Fenris the meat brick. "Throw this for me," he said. "Your aim is better than mine."
Barely looking up from his plate, Fenris threw the brick at Cormac, and bounced off the top of his head.
"Going to have to do better than that," Cormac pointed out, picking up the meat brick from where it had landed on the table and taking a bite. "I still have shields."
"No you don’t," Bethany said, with a sweet smile across her wine, watching Cormac’s face turn ashen as his magic left him.
Cormac pushed his chair back and failed to stand, as Anders hooked an arm around him and grabbed the chair.
"That’s a little too far, for the dinner table, Bethy." Anders gritted his teeth against the wash of blue that sparkled across his skin.
"Oh, piffle. It’s nothing I haven’t—" Bethany looked up to see Anders looking at her with blue eyes. "Have I upset Justice? I’m very sorry. It’ll wear off in a few minutes. He’s always just as good as he ever was, after."
"Who’s Justice?" Cullen asked, looking between Anders and Bethany. An abomination. Was he sitting at the dinner table with an abomination? But, demons didn’t have names like ‘Justice’…
"Spirit healer," Anders said, quickly. "Justice is my spirit, and he’s… a little quick to offend, sometimes. He’s mostly harmless. Just a little shouty, sometimes."
"I don’t think I’ve ever met a spirit healer who spoke so easily of the spirit," Cullen looked intrigued. "So many won’t speak of them at all…"
"You’re a templar," Anton reminded him. "You’re lucky they talk to you at all."
A pained look crossed Cullen’s face, though he knew he couldn’t argue with that. Anton squeezed his hand under the table.
Mintaka, meanwhile, was happily munching on the veggie brick that had fallen, forgotten, to the floor.
"You come back from the Deep Roads," Gamlen muttered, still poking at his food and grateful that he was sitting at this end of the table, "move into a fancy house, and yet you’re still having the same childish fights at the dinner table."
"Careful, Uncle," Artemis huffed, "or the plate of roast will end up in your lap."
"Will it?" Gamlen replied, arcing an eyebrow. "Or will it end up on the floor?"
Artie looked at Fenris. "I’m not throwing any more food, Amatus," Fenris said between bites of roast.
"I will!" Merrill cheerfully replied, piling food onto her fork and readying it like a catapult.
"Savages, all of you. Father was right. Leandra should never have gone to Ferelden. Look at the lot of you! Barbarians!" Gamlen complained. "Barbarian children bringing your barbarian friends to supper!"
Charade rested her head in her hand, cackling madly, and one glance at Bethany set her off, as well.
"I am not a barbarian!" Sebastian protested. "My family are Marchers. I was once part of the royal family of Starkhaven!"
"Better a barbarian than a farmer," Cullen muttered around a bite of roast. "Are you hoarding the wine, Carver? Send it up the table."
"Be glad you weren’t at the wedding," Cormac told Gamlen, still working his way through the roast-brick. "Either of the weddings. Very Fereldan affairs. Why, Artie’s even included a duel to the death with a Tevinter magister, and how’s that for entertainment?"
"Your last family holiday also included a duel to the death with a Tevinter magister," Anders pointed out. "It’s really getting to be a habit around here."
"Should I expect this at all family dinners?" Fenris asked, brows knitting as he fiddled with the amulet around his neck. "Because I don’t mind the idea of magister death, but I would rather not have the magisters around in general."
"Well, I don’t see any magisters here yet," Merrill reminded him. "Does this count as a family occasion? I think it does."
"Can we not talk about magisters?" Artemis groaned. "It’s just begging for trouble. I half expect one to show up at the door after saying that."
"Lunatics, the lot of you," Gamlen huffed, sitting back in his chair and throwing his napkin down on the table.