[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 241
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anton Hawke ♂, Cullen ♂
Rating: M (L2 N3 S2 V0 D1)
Warnings: Maudlin drunkenness
Notes: Anton’s troubled about the day he’s had, and Cullen interrupts his love affair with the tailings of a bottle, clearly not the first of the evening.
[ Master Post ]
"Oh the bodies of drowned sailors and dead mages," Anton sang, taking another swig of brandy between lines, "flounder upside down beneath the rolling waves."
Cullen could hear his husband singing, loudly and drunkenly, long before he reached the door of their room. Drinking to that sort of excess wasn’t something Anton usually undertook alone, but given what he was singing, Cullen had some suspicions about how the afternoon had gone. Opening the door, he found Anton sprawled across the bed, with a bottle in his hand, where he’d been since Cormac had gotten home and Anders had decided to do something about that fact.
"And the sea is so much deeper than the grave," Anton finished the verse, holding out a hand to Cullen. He stopped singing and squinted, trying to focus on his husband. "Just so you know, I don’t think I like your boss very much."
"Maker, Anton, how much have you had to drink?" It took an awful lot to get Anton maudlin, Cullen knew.
"Not enough." Anton laughed bitterly. "Ooh, wait! Weren’t we going to do spicy Fereldan horseradish, for dessert? I could drink horseradish sauce, instead."
"I’m not sure that would… um." Cullen wasn’t sure how to finish that thought, not now when he could see the resemblance between Anton and Artie when his husband was like this. He pushed that uncomfortable thought aside and took the bottle from Anton’s lax fingers.
"Did something happen?" Cullen asked as he sat next to Anton.
Anton hummed and nodded. "Somethings happened." He lifted his hand as though to take a drink, only to blink at his hand, only just realising it was empty.
"Is everyone all right?" Cullen asked when all Anton did was frown and turn his hand this way and that.
"No. Well. The important people are. No, that’s terrible. She was important to someone too."
"Mage. That mage. The one Meredith wanted back. Or… one of them." Anton nodded solemnly to himself as though that explained everything.
Cullen wiped a hand over his face. ‘She’. Only one of the three mages had been female, and he remembered her. "Evelina? Shit." He remembered the day he’d met her, the way she walked right into the Gallows, wide-eyed and shaking but her head held high. She’d been one of the good ones.
Anton let his hand fall flat to the bed again as he stared up at the ceiling. "She had kids, you know. Adopted, but hers." Suddenly Anton was looking at Cullen again, his stare unsettlingly sharp for someone so drunk. And Cullen realised that the ‘you know’ was more than rhetorical.
"I didn’t know," Cullen said softly.
Anton wasn’t sure if that was better or worse than not knowing. "Come here," he insisted. "Make it right."
That was unfair, and Cullen knew it. More than that, he knew Anton knew it. He wasn’t sure if anything would ever be right again, and he wondered if Meredith was trying to break up his marriage. "I’m right here," he said, laying a hand on Anton’s chest. "How much more here should I be?"
"You should be the kind of ‘here’ that isn’t wearing pants. You should be the kind of ‘here’ that I can pull the blankets up over both of us and pretend we’re the whole world. Seems to be working for Anders. He took the other bottle downstairs when my brother got home. Can’t hear the cellar from all the way up here, thank the Maker." Anton reached up and started picking at the buckles along Cullen’s sides.
Cullen didn’t even try to argue. He set the bottle aside and unfastened his own buckles, platemail stacking on the floor, as he let himself out of it. "How did—"
"A demon. She made a deal to protect the children. And she said some really nasty shit about Anders that I didn’t want to know, and what he said back I wanted to know even less." Anton struggled out of his shirt, tossing it somewhere he’d find when he was less drunk. "They just want what we have. Mages. They just want to have families and the freedom to go to the market for noodles. They just want to be people under the law — humans, under the law, I should say, since it’s not like being an elf has much going for it. Can’t even defend yourself, as an elf. And that’s not right either. Fenris and Merrill are people, too. So are my brothers, my sister, and Anders — of course, Anders is a Warden, so he’s people anyway."
"Under the law, he is, but I’ve come to understand it was a series of illegal events that brought him to Kirkwall, most of them not actually his doing." That still upset Cullen horribly. Here was the order he’d pledged his life to, sacrificed his own freedom to, not just malignantly avoiding its duties but actively subverting its very purpose, in a return to the barbaric mage-slaughtering roots that preceded the Nevarran accord. He had, of course, some sympathy for the templars who had been following the orders they were given — the Order provided little recourse or room for dissent, with the way the lyrium hung over them all — but the whole was no less horrifying.
"That’s it," Anton said. A melodramatic sigh followed. "The whole world is shit. Come on, help me hide from it under the sheets. Pantless."
Cullen helped him undo the laces, then helped him with the rest when Anton ended up wriggling around the bed while trying to kick them off. "Pantsless is a good way to hide from the world," Cullen said with a fond, if small, smile. "And generally not the best way to face it."
"Speak for yourself," Anton mumbled, slithering under the blankets as Cullen pulled off the rest of his plate.
"I just did. But apparently the Hawkes live by a different motto. At least the elder three." He poked the lump in the blanket he assumed to be Anton’s knee.
Anton hummed sleepily. "Yes, Carver always did prefer a pants-on approach."
"And thank the Maker for that." Cullen pulled up the blankets and crawled in next to his husband, bending for a peck on the lips before pulling him into his arms. "There. Now it’s just you and me, pantsless, against the world."
"Something under the pillow," Anton grumbled, not remembering having put it there, himself, much earlier in the day. "You and me and a lumpy pillow against the world. Maybe I should campaign for more opportunities for pantslessness, next. Champion of Kirkwall, defender of man’s right not to wear pants!"
"Not sure how I’d feel about you flashing your bits to the whole of Kirkwall," Cullen teased, one hand moving down to cup those bits protectively.
"First off, how much of Kirkwall was intimately familiar with my bits before we ever met?" Anton asked, with a wink, nuzzling in closer to nibble Cullen’s lip. "And next, I said pantsless, not nude. I grew up with mages. There might be something to this robes thing. Namely the part where I think we could get a lot more involved in your office, with a lot fewer comments from anyone walking in."
"Maker, Anton, you’re terrible." Cullen huffed a laugh and kissed his husband soundly.
"Is that a complaint?" Anton asked, winding his leg around Cullen’s. "That sounded like a complaint."
"It’s not a complaint. It’s a statement of fact. Anton Hawke is terrible, and that’s just the way I like him."
"Is it just liking me now?" Anton teased. "And here I thought you—"
"Anton Hawke is naked, and that’s just the way I love him," Cullen replied, nuzzling Anton’s ear. "That a bit more what you were hoping for?"
"Mmm, tell me what you think of me when I’m naked and terrible, and then I’ll figure out why this pillow’s lumpy."
"You don’t have a dagger under there, do you?" Cullen asked. "Pantsless, drunk, and in bed with a dagger might not be the safest combination."
"Mm, yes, I prefer being pantsless, drunk, and in bed with your sword," Anton purred, reaching down to fondle said sword.