[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 262
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anders ♂, Fenris ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂
Rating: M (L3 N0 S0 V0 D1)
Warnings: Questionable decisions, breathplay, fade-fisting, ‘do us all a favour and get less drunk’: the potion
Notes: Fenris has a favour to ask. Anders is a little less than entirely thrilled, but he’ll go with it.
Anders had plans for the evening: cats, his favourite Hawke ass, and possibly a bath, not necessarily in that order. After a harrowing afternoon at Cullen’s bedside, Anders felt he needed at least two out of the three, and he was in the middle of reminding himself of the medicinal qualities of Cormac’s ass when someone else tugged at his sleeve.
"Fenris." Anders eyed the elf and the way his ears stuck out at odd angles. "Are you here to visit Cullen? Tell me you’re here to visit Cullen." He’d had enough Hawke-family-related trouble for one day.
The words brought Fenris up short. "Cullen?" He blinked at the door behind Anders. "He’s back?"
"Yes, if a bit worse for wear. Why are your ears twitching?"
Fenris grabbed hold of one ear. "They’re not," he muttered. "When did Cullen get back?"
"A few hours ago," Anders answered. He looked Fenris up and down, noted the way the elf kept fidgeting. "So, if you’re not here to visit Cullen and your ears are not twitching, why did you grab my sleeve? Is Artie all right?"
"Artemis is drinking," Fenris sighed, as though that said everything. Which, Anders supposed, it probably did.
"Drinking enough that I need to be concerned?" Anders asked, wondering exactly how much that would be, considering how drunk he’d seen the man.
"Yes, but not about the drinking. He has some… exotic ideas, and refuses to be dissuaded," Fenris explained, hands close to his body, even as he gestured with them. "I thought, with a healer…"
"I don’t need this, Artie. Why tonight?" Anders groaned, staring up at the ceiling, shoulders slumping anyway.
"I can make it worth your while," Fenris offered, finally looking up from Anders’s knees.
"I don’t need coin. I need a hot bath and a hot Hawke," Anders whined.
"I wasn’t offering coin." Fenris paused, considering the rest of that statement. "Are you implying that my Hawke is not hot?"
This time it was Anders who paused, taking a moment to re-evaluate what Fenris had just said and — no. No, Fenris couldn’t be implying…? Justice was suddenly far more interested in this conversation.
"I would never imply that," Anders finally managed, once his tongue had caught up with his brain. "I would definitely put Artie in the ‘Hot Hawke’ category, but I would also put him in the ‘Don’t Touch or the Glowy Elf Will Kill You’ category." Except for that one time in the gardens, and a part of him was still surprised that his organs were intact after that.
Fenris’s chin tilted up, like he was trying to look down his nose at Anders, even if the height difference made that impossible. "That is a wise assumption," he rumbled, lips curling in a grin. "But I am willing to make an exception, if he is interested. And if you can help keep him from doing anything too foolish."
Anders ran a hand over his hair and tugged at the half-ponytail at the back of his head. Fenris. Fenris and Artie. At the same time.
"And there are hot baths in our house too, if you have your heart set on one," Fenris added.
"Throw in a cat, and that offer would be irresistible."
"Throw a cat in the bath?" Fenris replied archly. "I don’t see that ending well." He smirked and headed for the stairs, trusting — expecting — Anders to follow. The smug bastard.
It was about halfway across Hightown that Anders slapped his way past Justice’s fascination with the lyrium elf to get the argument out that he would absolutely not accept sex as payment for his services or as a bribe, but he would concede the point that he was in no way averse to having some. With either of the parties in question. Or both. Both sounded outstanding, as far as he was concerned. Anything to get Cullen out of his head, really.
His nerves were still clattering with the experience of standing at the bedside of someone else who’d been down there — not in Kinloch Hold, perhaps, but the cells were much the same — but wasn’t a mage. He supposed he’d never really considered the kind of damage it could do, even in the short term, to a templar. It also made an excellent argument for the illegal trade in lyrium, now that he’d seen what happened without it. He’d been much the same, when he’d come up, that last time, but he’d been below a lot longer.
As they walked, Anders explained the state of things to Fenris — the high points of how Cullen was doing and that Carver and Anton were looking after him. When he mentioned the suspicions of Anton being a mage, Fenris laughed, despite himself.
"A mage? There are mages enough without inventing them whole-cloth." Fenris shook his head, as he opened the door to his house, calling out, "Amatus, are you still upstairs?"
"Possibly," came the reply as Artemis appeared at the top of the stairs. He leaned on the railing and grinned down at them, his smile the loopy kind of happy that told Anders just how drunk he was. "But you are downstairs. I am upstairs, and you are downstairs. When did you get downstairs, Fenris?"
"Please stay up there, Amatus," Fenris sighed, motioning for Artemis to stay put as he started to climb the stairs. "Or I’ll end up breaking your fall a second time, and I doubt the healer wants to put your shoulder back again."
"You are correct," added Anders, nodding. "The healer does not."
"Hello, Anders!" Artie chirped, waving again. Fenris wrapped an arm around Artie’s waist and subtly steered him away from the edge of the railing. "Would you like rum? I have rum!"
"You have had a lot of rum," Anders remarked, eyeing Artemis warily. "Perhaps I should have some." He cocked his head and gave Fenris a look that said it would be so less of the rum ended up in Artemis than might if he didn’t have a drink or three.
"We do, in truth, have an exceptional amount of rum," Fenris warned, leading Artemis toward a bedroom that was not the one they slept in. One mage in his bedroom was enough.
"So, Fenris tells me you’re interested in doing something a little more exciting, tonight, and that it’s the kind of exciting I should be here for," Anders said, following them into the room. "You want to tell me what you’re thinking?" He’d start easy, before suggesting that Artie might want to be a little less drunk, if he was going to do something dangerous. First, figure out how dangerous this plan actually was, and whether Fenris was right to be concerned, which, knowing the Hawkes, Anders had little reason to doubt.
Artemis hummed in acknowledgement, leaning into Fenris as they walked and nuzzling at his ear. He flicked his tongue against the tip just to watch it twitch. Fenris tilted his head out of the way, managing to look somewhere between exasperated and fond. Mostly exasperated.
Artie didn’t so much sit on the edge of the bed as flop onto it with Fenris’s help. "Are you staying for the exciting times, Anders?" Artemis asked, that loopy grin lighting his face again. He glanced past Anders towards the door as though half expecting Cormac to be there too. To Fenris, he asked in a loud whisper, "Is he staying?"
Fenris sighed, stroking back Artie’s hair. "If he wishes to. But first you need to answer his question."
It took Artie a moment, like he was trying to remember what the question was or how to shape an answer that made sense. "You know the glowy thing?"
Anders nodded patiently. "I am familiar with the glowy thing, assuming you are talking about Fenris’s glowy thing." He winked at Fenris, who bristled.
"He means my hands," Fenris growled, ears quivering. "When my hands glow and…" He gestured vaguely. "Not my glowy thing. I hope." He looked down at Artemis for confirmation.
Artie purred, leaning into his elf again. "Glowy hands," he agreed. "Here." He wrapped a hand around his throat.
Anders’s eyebrows arced up as he considered the proposition. Not much worse than what he’d come to expect from Artemis, really, and Fenris had already been groping his heart. This wouldn’t be all that different on a scale of one to completely horrible idea, but that’s if Artie were at least relatively sober. He glanced at Fenris. "You’ve already agreed to this?"
"Pending your approval. I do not wish to make a mistake that cannot be repaired." Fenris looked nervous, but determined, ears still twitching, periodically.
"Artie, my pulchritudinous pastry-puff, I am almost willing to allow this, but you need to be less drunk. Need to be," Anders said, stepping closer so he occupied nearly the whole of Artemis’s vision. "The hard part is asking, right? You’ve asked. We both said yes. But, if you want this to happen, I need to be sure the only thing affecting your breathing is his hand, and you are much too drunk for me to be sure of that."
Fenris’s surprise was obvious, and Anders shot him a nervous look — had he been meant to tell Artemis no? But, Fenris would have told him that, if that was what he meant, so it had to be something else. Possibly the idea of convincing Artemis to be less drunk.
Anders took a bottle out of the assortment he kept in his bag for unforeseen circumstances and offered it to Artie. "Drink about half of this, from the look of you. All of it will make you sober. Half of it should make you safe."
Artemis blinked at the bottle and squinted until he only saw one. Then he looked past it to pout at Anders, but Anders was unwavering. Shoulders bowed, Artie accepted the bottle and took a long sip. He coughed, face twisting. "Maker, that tastes terrible every time I drink it. Can’t you make it fruit-flavoured or something? Magic and all. I like grapes, for future reference. Also pomegranates. Those are good too." He rambled his way into semi-sobriety, his dazed look and loopy smile sharpening into something almost embarrassed.
"I’ll keep that in mind, Artie," Anders told him, patting his head and taking the rest of the bottle back. "How are you feeling?"
"Like an idiot because I drank too much again?" Artemis smiled sheepishly up at Anders. "I, um. I’m sorry about that." He tugged at his ear in a way that reminded Anders of Fenris when he was trying to get his to stop twitching.
"Could’ve been worse. I’ve seen worse out of you," Anders reminded him, with a lopsided grin. "So, now that you’re a bit less smashed, but just as delicious, and we’ve both approved your latest idea, do you still want it? Is there anything you want to add to that thought, now that you’re not whispering at the top of your lungs? I mean, I’m just here as a healer, unless there’s something else you want out of me. And that’s up to you, because he already offered. Not you. Didn’t offer you. But, you know me. I try not to get into awkward naked situations without a lot more whiskey than Justice is ever going to let me drink again, so my role here is completely up to you, and I’m good with your decision."
Artemis fumbled for a response to that, keeping his enthusiastic offer on the tip of his tongue as he looked at Fenris, a question in his eyes. Fenris knew that look. It was the same look Artemis had given him that night Theron and Kalli had stayed for dinner. It was a look that said he wanted, but that he needed to know Fenris was fine with it.
Fenris huffed, waving one hand dismissively. "He’s asking you, Amatus," he said. "As he said, I already offered."
"I, uh." Artie cleared his throat. It was easier to respond to these things when he was drunk. "Both… both of you is good. And yes, plenty of yes, to… that." He gestured with a hand around his throat, not quite able to look Anders in the eye as he did.
"Artie?" Anders tucked a finger under Artemis’s chin and lifted. "There’s probably nothing you can tell me you want that’s going to be shocking. Ask your brother about me, some time. I might tell you it’s a bad idea. I might tell you it’s not something I want to do. But, I’m not going to tell you it’s wrong, unless you suddenly develop a taste for doing things to people who actually don’t want them, and I don’t think that’s you. We’ve moved past ‘say yes’. You get to pick whatever you want, and give it to us for consideration."
Fenris looked uncomfortable, for a moment, shifting from foot to foot, as he considered that whatever was going on between the two of them, it had started when he’d been out of the picture. Still, Anders’s point was mostly valid. Mostly. Although he was much more likely to be shocked, he suspected. "You know that my hesitance is only a fear for your safety, Amatus," he reminded Artemis. "I want you to be happy. I want to be happy with you. And if this is what you want, I am more than willing to give it to you." He paused and looked up at Anders. "If you are participating, will you still be able to recognise a problem?"
"Wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t!" Anders grinned.
"I’m glad drunk me made the suggestion, then," Artemis said with a dazed smile. This was a combination they hadn’t tried before, just the three of them. He turned a tender look on Fenris and squeezed his hand in a way that he hoped said ‘thank you for worrying’.
This wasn’t quite how Anders had planned to spend the night, but there was still a Hawke ass involved, and a distraction was a distraction.