[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 306
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Fenris ♂, Natia Brosca ♀, Anders ♂, Nathaniel Howe ♂
Rating: T (L2 N1 S0 V1 D0)
Warnings: Dick jokes, face punching, a lot of ribbing, an unfortunate minor accident
Notes: The next morning goes as mornings go. Mayhem, ripping on siblings, and punching Cormac in the face.
Morning — at least they assumed it was morning — found Nathaniel hung over and trying to start a fire, while Cormac looked on in amusement, from where he sat beside where Anders lay wrapped in a damp blanket.
Anders groaned, as he woke up. "Oh, shit."
"Possibly literally," Cormac confirmed, under his breath. "Need a hand with that?"
"No. No, just… go distract people. Make breakfast or something." Anders looked completely disgusted with himself, as he sat up, folding the blanket down, but not pushing it off. He’d take it with him, when he got up. "And find my other boot?"
Cormac stifled a laugh, leaning over to kiss Anders’s cheek.
"Really? After that?"
"We’ve done worse," Cormac said, with a shrug, eyes still sparkling with amusement as he dug through his pack for something resembling food. Natia didn’t seem to be up, yet, and Anton, although definitely awake, was pretending not to be. He did that, Cormac knew, so he wouldn’t end up having to cook. As he came up behind Nathaniel, still crouched over a pile of dried moss and swearing, Cormac snapped his fingers, and watched Nathaniel jump as the moss burst into flame.
"Magic," he said, with a sly smile, holding up a rope of bag rolls. "Water?"
Nathaniel squinted up at him, less in suspicion and more because even the dim light hurt. "Thanks," he grunted, taking the offered water. Were Anders not… busy, Nathaniel would ask him for healing. The hangover was at least partly Anders’s damn fault, after all.
Behind him, Fenris stirred, stretching his legs and toes inside the bedroll before peering around him blearily. For a moment, he was confused, expecting daylight and not a campfire, before the past few days — and last night — came back to him. He groaned, pulling the blanket back up over his face. He was starting to make a habit of this, sharing mages with Cormac, and that was not the sort of habit he wished to have.
"‘Morning," Nathaniel grunted at Fenris over his shoulder. Fenris answered with a grunt of his own before pulling the blanket back down. He shuffled over to the pair by the fire and took the water from Nathaniel next.
Cormac crouched by the fire, waiting for the water to come back to him, as he adjusted a few broken bits of statuary to hold a small pot. "You’re stuck with me, because Anton’s still passed out. Bag rolls," he announced, coiling them into the pot and fastening them to the hooks there for just that purpose.
Fenris groaned. "I have jerky. I will eat that." He handed the water back to Cormac, all the same.
"I ran out of food, yesterday," Nathaniel admitted, with a shrug. "So, the faster we get out of here, the happier I’ll be."
"Did you not expect this to take even longer than it has?" Fenris asked, looking surprised.
"No, we did. But we didn’t expect to… I got separated from the rest of them. I don’t know where anything but my pack and my bow are. Most of the food was with the bronto." Nathaniel turned and gestured broadly. "Wherever that went."
Cormac stood up, having arranged for breakfast. "Just wait until the lard melts. It should have soaked up enough water to be food by then." He paused, taking a good look at Nathaniel.
"What?" Nathaniel asked, crossing his arms as he stepped back. "If you’re upset about last night—"
"Upset? No! I just haven’t really been looking at you, since we got down here. Kind of busy." Cormac laughed. "But, Anders talks about you, sometimes. He always said you were good looking, and he’s right. You know, you look just like those old paintings of the Hero of River Dane."
Nathaniel’s face drained of expression, and then his fist slammed into Cormac’s shield just in front of his face. Watching, Fenris nearly choked on a bite of jerky.
"Take that back," Nathaniel said, hand still clenched in a fist.
"What?" Cormac staggered back, more from surprise than the impact. "No, I mean, that’s a compliment! He’s… well, old enough to be my father, but the man had a certain … something, when he was young."
"I do not look like him," Nathaniel insisted, face and voice still blank of expression.
"Do you make it a habit of punching people who call you attractive?" Fenris asked, one eyebrow twitching up. "Not that I mind you punching Cormac, per se, but you will only end up punching his shields this way."
"I do not look like him," Nathaniel said again, as though repeating it made it so. "Do not compare me to him." The words came out through his teeth.
Fenris shrugged at Cormac. "I have not seen any paintings of this hero," he said. "I can neither corroborate nor deny." He took another bit of his jerky and waited to see if Nathaniel would punch Cormac again.
"Okay, you’re hot entirely on your own, with no comparison to heroes of the Blessed Age." Cormac shrugged and crouched to check on the bag rolls. "You got something personal against the man?"
"Very personal," Nathaniel replied, gritting the words out through a tight grimace, before his lips pulled into a thin line. "At least he’s dead."
"No shit?" Cormac asked, squinting into the pot and prodding one of the twists. "Who killed him?"
Nathaniel blinked at Cormac. "Did someone not say you were related to Solona Amell?"
"She’s my cousin. Why?" Cormac put the lid back on the pot.
"She beheaded him in front of the entire landsmeet, during the Blight," Nathaniel spoke slowly, as if speaking to a stupid child.
"I’ll be damned." Cormac looked up and laughed. "Well, if Solona had his head off, he must have done something worth it. Sit, tell me how the great hero fucked himself so badly as to get beheaded in front of every noble in Ferelden."
"Not all of them," Nathaniel grit out. "I wasn’t there. Pity I missed it."
"Come on, tell me the tale. It’ll pass the time until the rolls are done." Cormac refused to take this amiss. Obviously, he’d missed an important piece of Fereldan history, while he was scraping by in Lowtown, and he’d just inadvertently insulted a good man, because of it. "I’m afraid I was poor and in Kirkwall at the time. Not the best angle for Fereldan news. Is this about the thing at Ostagar? My brothers told me about that."
"Your brothers?" Nathaniel slid a look at the bedroll containing the Champion of Kirkwall.
"Not that brother, from what I hear," Fenris said.
"How many brothers do you have?" Nathaniel asked Cormac, recalling what Anders had said about two of the Hawkes earlier.
"The same number of brothers I have," Anton said, rolling onto his back and pausing to yawn into his fist. "Which is too many."
"Five Hawkes," Fenris said to the confused look on Nathaniel’s face. "Four sons. One daughter. I married the pretty one. The rest are insane."
"One might argue that ‘the pretty one’ is insane, too," Anton muttered. He joined them by the fire, poking at the lid and peering into the pot. His face twisted. "Ugh. Bag rolls?" He frowned at Cormac and then turned pleading eyes on Fenris, who chewed contentedly on his jerky.
"I am not sharing," Fenris told him. "And stop pouting. That only works for Artemis."
Nathaniel cleared his throat and turned back to Cormac, rubbing the inside corner of his eye with his thumb. "About… him. Loghain. If your brothers were there, you know what happened at Ostagar and to king Cailan." Nathaniel shook his head in disgust. "Cailan’s death left a vacuum of power Loghain tried to fill. You didn’t hear about that? Or the Landsmeet?" He laughed dryly. "Odd. At the time it seemed like the world was falling apart. Seems strange to know that most of the rest of the world kept going on just fine."
"Dragons. There were dragons and darkspawn. I let an ogre punch me in the head, just so my family would have a chance. I can’t say I had a lot of concerns at the national level, for a while, after that." Cormac choked on a bitter laugh and cut loose one of the rolls, tossing it to Nathaniel. "Should let these cook longer, but I know how Wardens eat. I’ve been living with one long enough."
"Thank you." Nathaniel was, if nothing else, polite. "That’s the second time someone’s mentioned you getting punched by an ogre."
"There was only the once. After that, I didn’t really find myself in positions where getting decked would help. Except that one time, when I almost lost my arm to a high dragon. That was worth it." Cormac covered the pot again and sat on his heels.
"That was not worth it," Anders shot back, coming up behind him, much cleaner, drier, and more empty. "Don’t do that. Feeding your arm to the dragon is never worth it, Cormac."
"Feeding your arm to the dragon is only worth it if it comes home with me," Anton clarified. "Which it did not. And I am still upset with you."
"It was a bit worth it," Fenris added. "As the only other one who was there, I can say that. Nearly losing an arm to a dragon is preferable to that same dragon eating everyone, weapons and all." He thought of the morningstar they’d found in the beast’s intestines and shuddered. "But, like I said, all the Hawkes aside from mine are crazy."
"All the Hawkes including yours," Anton argued again.
"Especially Bethany," Anders said with the haunted look of a man who had seen too much.
"Yes," Anton and Fenris agreed. Nathaniel wasn’t going to ask.
"Anyway," said Nathaniel around a bite of food. "I wasn’t there for most of the Blight either, but from what I hear Ferelden was on the edge of civil war for a while. While fighting back the darkspawn. It was madness."
"That’s how we both ended up with the Wardens," Anders said. "Sheer madness."
"Are you saying my cousin is crazy?" Anton demanded, suddenly squinting at Nathaniel and then Anders, as if considering something. "Because if you are, we’re wrong. It’s not all the Hawkes. It’s all the Amells."
Cormac cackled and handed Anders his missing boot. "You shit. Although, I think Uncle Gamlen backs that up. How’s our other cousin doing?" He tossed the next roll to Natia as she wandered over, yawning.
"Charade? Oh, she’s doing great." Anton nodded and changed the subject almost immediately, with a glance at Nathaniel. "Darkspawn, civil war, and madness? Maybe we should have stayed in Ferelden. It’s got to be better than demons, blood magic, and the Knight-Commander."
"I’m not sure that would have been an improvement," Cormac muttered, pulling out the rest of the strand of rolls and offering it to Anders. "Just leave me one."
"You’re that way about everything, aren’t you?" Nathaniel observed, slyly, holding out a hand to Anders for another roll.
Cormac looked up, catching Nathaniel’s eye. He stared a moment too long, before speaking again. "Pretty much everything, yeah."
"Are you— You are." Anton huffed and covered his eyes. "You’re flirting. With the Warden. You already have your own Warden. Isn’t one enough? Don’t answer that!"
"One is good. Two could be better." Cormac shrugged and reached back to grab a roll, but Anders had lifted the bottom of the strand above his head. "Could be. It’s possible."
Nathaniel cleared his throat and looked away. "I’m sorry. I’m not … I’m not interested in men."
"Could’ve fooled me!" Natia laughed.
"Not men. Him." Nathaniel looked despairingly at Natia, pointing to Anders. "He’s not… It’s not…"
"He’s different," Cormac agreed, tugging on Anders’s coat and pointing to the rolls in his hands. "I know. Still, think about it. It’s a week to the surface, and I’m not asking you to get that close to me. I’m just asking you to share him with me."
"Can we not be having this conversation where I can hear it please and thank you?" Anton complained.
Fenris just smirked, looking slightly intrigued.
Nathaniel shoved his face full of roll in lieu of an answer. Anders knew that wasn’t a no, at least, and he wondered if Nathaniel had any more of that whiskey.