[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 312
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Fenris ♂, Varania ♀, Cormac Hawke ♂, Anders ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Awkward family time, bad decisions, vomit mentions
Notes: Stupid and dangerous adventures in magic and the Fade.
Cormac’s breath caught in his throat, and a split second of wild panic shot through him. That much lyrium. In him. On him. In the Fade around him. Fenris’s hand was solid, as he’d half-expected it would be, and the lyrium bit into him. That was going to scar. A feeling like drowning, like crawling out of a rushing river… "Where are you?" he asked, finally, as if the question had any meaning. There had always been a calm, here. The tides of the Fade, and nothing more. But, touching Fenris was like being in two places at once, and the easy breaths that moved the magic through and around him were disrupted by the choppy stutters of the eddys around Fenris.
Fenris sucked in a long breath, wobbling under the sudden weight of Cormac’s power, Cormac’s air, long, buffeting shoves and currents slamming into him, washing over him. It was dizzying and heavy, and the room spun with it. He buckled and grabbed at Cormac’s shoulder for balance, but that just dragged him further down. "What—?"
"Breathe," Cormac said, suddenly, as though it had just occurred to him. "Meet me in the middle. Breathe with it."
Breathing was something Fenris could do. Generally. In this moment somehow, however, that seemed easier said than done. He still clutched too tightly to Cormac, hoping to use him like a buoy when the mage weighted him down like an anchor.
Eventually Fenris allowed his grip to loosen. "I’m breathing," he said, when he found that he was. "Venhedis. What is this?" Did the Fade always look like this?
"Fenris? Cormac?" Artemis called out to them tentatively. "Are all your limbs still attached?" It was like Fenris was hearing him through water, but he could still hear the nervousness in his husband’s voice.
Fenris counted said limbs. "So it would seem."
"We’re fine, Artie," Cormac was quick to answer. It wasn’t what he was used to, but he was a lot more accustomed to magic, in general. He knew the tides. He heard the voices. "We’re… not in the same place, except that we are," he tried to explain to Fenris. "You make holes in the surface of things. The underlayer rises up through me. It’s like a river. You’re on it. I’m under it. We’re both touching it, but it’s not the same. Just hold on. Keep breathing. It’s settling. Can you feel it?"
And whether either of them could feel it, Varania could see it. Where Cormac had been indigo and Fenris sky-blue, a radiant royal blue, with dark and light swirls had taken up the space between them, spreading out from there. Some sort of middle-ground. She’d seen a lot of things, in Tevinter, but never this.
"Oh, shit," came another voice, from the doorway. Anders had finished up in less time than expected, and this was definitely not what he’d expected to find. Justice battered at the inside of his skull, desperately pushing forward in a hail of questions and demands. Anders absently patted Orana’s shoulder, and then closed the door between them. The song of the lyrium, with Cormac’s magic running through it, was deafening.
"What’s going on?" Anders asked. It was a struggle to keep his voice steady, the way Justice pressed at him expectantly.
Artemis saw the ring of blue around his eyes and slipped off of the chair to stand by Anders. He couldn’t soothe Justice quite the way Cormac did, but Cormac was otherwise occupied. "My husband and my brother are touching each other in new and exciting ways," he answered wryly.
Fenris’s look soured, ears pressing flat to his skull. "Please don’t put it that way, Amatus," he said.
"That’s…" Anders tilted his head. "I can… see you and not see you. You each have one foot in the Fade, and… you can touch like that?" Justice tried to propel him forward, aching to touch as well.
"That’s what makes it new and exciting," Artemis said. "But yes. Fenris, it turns out, used to have Arcane abilities." He tiptoed around using the words ‘mage’ or ‘magic’. "We’re trying to get a sense of whether or not that’s gone completely." There was something strikingly beautiful about the sight before him, the bright swirls of light and the blending of the two men he loved.
"Artie, if I throw up on the rug, I’m sorry. If he throws up on the rug, I’m still sorry." Cormac forced a bit of humour into his voice, as he tried to level things out, with Fenris. Still, the lyrium chewed at him, which he assumed was because he was also engaged with the Fade. If not, Artie was much, much kinkier than he’d ever imagined.
"Getting seasick?" Fenris teased, glad to have something, anything, to give Cormac a hard time about. He wasn’t quite thrilled with the sensation, but he also wasn’t getting the nausea. Too much time in Seheron. Too many damned boats.
Then, everything rippled. "What is that noise?" Fenris demanded, almost letting go of Cormac’s hand in surprise. Like a cacophony of birds, tea kettles, and wolves. It was an unbearable racket, battering at his ears, but from the inside — a deafening clamour.
"Does it sing to you?" Anders asked, voice barely his own.
"I don’t… I don’t know if I’d call that singing," Fenris said, cringing away from the sounds. Or trying to. The hand not clutching Cormac’s clapped over one pointed ear.
Fenris could barely hear his name over the ruckus, his eyes wide and wild. "I’m all right, Amatus," he said belatedly when the Artemis-shaped shadow at the edge of his vision moved towards him.
"I wouldn’t get any closer to that, Artie," Anders said. His voice resonated oddly, not quite Anders’s and not quite Justice’s.
"Well, you know, I just want to be ready in case any of that vomiting happens," Artie joked weakly, scratching at his arm.
Fenris blocked out their voices. There was enough sound roaring around him as it was, and he tried to separate it out, tried to identify certain strands, certain notes, certain rhythms. It wasn’t quite music, but… there was a melody in there, buried amidst the tangle of sound. He listened, but there was a pressure building between his eyes, pressing harder the louder the sounds became.
"I can’t," he choked out. "I can’t." He tore his hand away from Cormac to clutch both hands to his head.
Cormac let him go, curling forward to rest his head on his knees, as the blue light faded from between them. "It’s there," he gritted out. "I can feel it. But, it’s wrong." He groaned and panted, laying his forehead on the rug, as he tried to sit up and regretted it. His hand throbbed like he’d been holding hot iron. "Anders?" he asked, weakly, holding up a hand marked with the patterns from Fenris’s fingers.
"What the shit…?" Anders breathed, as Justice slid back in confusion with the sudden cessation of the song. "What did he do to you? What did you do to him?"
"Fade. Lyrium. Long conversation," Cormac muttered against the carpet.
"I’m almost afraid to touch that," Anders admitted, reaching into his bag for a potion. "Can you drink?"
"Get a bucket. I’ll try," Cormac groaned.