[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 340
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anton Hawke ♂, Isabela ♀, Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Carver Hawke ♂, Fenris ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V2 D0)
Warnings: Canon-typical violence, a background hanging
Notes: Castillon meets his end. Carver opens his mouth, inserts his foot, and repeats with the other side.
When Castillon was hanged, the Hawkes were there. Cormac and Anton stood to either side of Isabela, Cormac’s arm around her shoulders and Anton’s around her waist.
"Watch him go, my queen," Anton purred, pressing a kiss to her hair. "You’re free."
"On the contrary, Anton. I’m very expensive," Isabela joked, glancing nervously around, as if expecting the guards to seize her, next.
"Only if we’re drinking," Cormac argued, "and in that case, not much more expensive than Artie." Who thankfully wasn’t standing close enough to have heard that, but Fenris shot him a dirty look all the same.
Nearer the front of the crowd, Bethany and Sebastian sat among the spectators of rank. It was harder to forget the Gallows had been designed for torment and execution at times like these, and it featured a balcony for noble spectators who wished to enjoy the suffering below. Although ‘enjoy’ might not quite have been the word — Sebastian still looked like he was going to light someone on fire with the power of his wrath. Or maybe that was just because he sort of looked like Anders, with his face scrunched up like that. And that was something Cormac was not going to consider, right up until he got jerked around into a fist in his face.
The punch skidded off his shields, reduced to a faint tap at his nose, and Cormac looked past the knuckles still ramming into the shields to find Carver on the other end of that arm.
"Saw the Gazette, did you?" Cormac asked, grabbing Carver’s wrist. "And do stop, before you slip and hit Izzy. I’ll be pissed."
"I’ll be pretty pissed, too, Junior." Isabela didn’t take her eyes off the spectacle in front of her, afraid if she blinked it would all fade away.
"Yes, I saw the Gazette! It’s true, isn’t it? I’ve been saying it for years, and now someone else sees it! It’s not me, it’s you!" Carver roared, yanking his fist out of Cormac’s grip and laying a smite on him, before punching him again.
This time it landed, and Cormac’s nose began to bleed. Cormac caught the next punch and laid Carver out, arm twisted up behind him and one foot on his back to hold him down. "Knock it off. Even if it were true, which it isn’t, the story seems to imply that he would be hitting on me. Which does not add up to you punching me in the face."
Carver struggled to get up.
"Stay down or I promise you’ll have to see Anders about that shoulder," Cormac growled. "Even if it were true, which it isn’t, because it’s Page Six, what business is it of yours, anyway? As Artie pointed out to your nose, the last time you brought it up, we’re both older than you, and he can make his own decisions."
"Aren’t you supposed to stop him from doing bad shit? Isn’t that what you always say?" Carver snapped, still struggling. "How can you let this—"
"You’re confusing fiction with reality again, Carver." Cormac twisted Carver’s arm a little harder — not hard enough to cause that promised visit to Anders, but definitely enough to make the point that he wasn’t joking about it. And really, Carver had managed to hit the one thing Cormac could still be bothered by. He hadn’t stopped Artie. He’d gone right along with it, from the start — whatever would make Artie smile would be worth the price. But, still, no one had been hurt by any of it, except Cormac, himself, and that was because he was fond of the idea of being hurt just right. But, he hadn’t protested. He hadn’t made any move to stop it, to not do what Artie was asking of him. But, that didn’t matter, he reminded himself, because there was no harm that could have come of it, and no harm had come of it, aside from the part where he was dripping blood on Carver’s back, and he was sure that would’ve happened regardless of what was going on between him and Artemis. "The story isn’t real, and it didn’t happen. Well, aside from the part where I slapped Anton in the mouth, and then kissed Artie on a dare."
"To gross me out," Anton added. "Which worked." He shook his head. "I’m not stepping in, Carver. I don’t know what you expected."
"Cormac," hissed Artie, pushing his way over to his brothers, "you are getting blood on everything, and you’re both getting stares." As he spoke, he eyed Cormac’s nose to make sure the damage wasn’t anything serious. No. Cormac had had worse. Much worse. "I’d ask what’s going on, but I suspect I can guess part of it."
"Carver saw the Gazette," Izzy informed him helpfully if distractedly. They had started to loop the noose around Castillon’s neck as he stared into space, eyes dull and distant.
Artie’s face twisted, shifting between expressions and never quite landing on one. "Of course he did," he said in a flat voice. "And then he blamed Cormac for it and punched him. Actually landed a hit this time, did you? Smite. Now that’s not playing fair." His words were light, but there was no humour in his voice or his face.
"I’m not the only one who sees it," Carver grunted, still bent under Cormac’s grip.
Those words put a sick feeling in Artemis’s stomach. Try as he did to convince himself otherwise, that worry kept him up at night.
"Because if it’s on Page Six, it must be true," Fenris drawled, coming up beside his mage to wrap an arm around his waist. Artemis leaned into the touch.
"But—" Carver started to protest.
"Oh for the love of Andraste," Izzy groaned, rolling her eyes dramatically. "I wrote it, all right? I just couldn’t resist the thought of Sexy Hawke and Sexier Hawke getting their hands on each other’s lovely asses." She paused to purr at that image. "But if you think it’s true, then you must think your other brother—"
"Sexiest Hawke," Anton supplied.
"—had similar lusty relations with the Arishok. Now can you kindly keep quiet? Some of us are trying to watch the show."
Carver turned a pale shade of green.
"I knew it!" Artie hissed, jabbing a finger in Izzy’s direction. "It was you!" He paused, brows knitting. "Hold on, which of us is ‘Sexier Hawke’?"
"Me," Cormac decided, landing a sharp kick in Carver’s armpit, before letting him up. "Knock it off, Carver. It wasn’t funny fifteen years ago, and it’s still not funny, now. And I swear to the Maker, if you upset our brother again, I will let him pound the piss out of you. I’ll even hold you down while he does it." He wiped his nose on the back of his hand and tipped his head back, a faint thread of healing working its way through the bloodiest of it. Anders could fix the rest when he got home.
"Oh, I don’t know," Isabela said, squeezing Anton’s bottom, affectionately. "I think Artie might be sexier."
"That’s just because you can’t have him," Cormac reminded her. "You always prefer things you can’t have."
"On the contrary, I prefer things I can have and have frequently."
"Then I am, in fact, Sexier Hawke." Cormac smirked.
"You know, you really are getting better, if that was yours, Izzy. Not that I thought there was anything wrong with the Arishok one, aside from the part where that was my ass, and no, but this was … deeper. You really got some passion into it."
"That’s not the only thing I can get passion into, you know. Let’s go visit your husband in his office, after this, see if we can pry him out of his shiny metal tin for some two captains on champion action." Isabela groped a bit more affectionately.
Carver dragged himself to his feet, glaring. "I really thought you getting married would help," he grumbled to Artemis. "I thought maybe putting the rod to some pretty elf, night after night, would get you out from under him."
"I’m truly flattered, Carver," Fenris drawled. "Pretty. Am I pretty, Amatus? I always liked to think I was handsome. Maybe even rugged."
"I’d say you’re gorgeous," Artemis said. "Pretty handsome and pretty terrifying, and exactly how I like you." He kissed Fenris’s cheek, feeling it shift as his husband grinned, but something in Carver’s phrasing stayed with him, like an itch he couldn’t reach. "Though I don’t think ‘putting the rod’ to Fenris is… quite right." He cleared his throat awkwardly, ducking his head to hide his embarrassed smirk.
"What?" Carver asked, blinking at his brother.
Izzy guffawed. "He means there’s some swording going on," she said, arcing her eyebrows. "And of the two of them, we all know who’s most comfortable with a sword." She couldn’t quite reach Fenris’s ass but tried to squeeze it nonetheless.
"What." Carver’s face and voice dropped. He looked at Artemis, at Fenris, at Artemis, and finally at an unsurprised and unimpressed Anton. "What?"
"Careful, Carver," Anton said. "Your face might stick like that."
"And I thought you fancied yourself an expert on our brother’s sex life!" Cormac taunted, rubbing dried blood off the back of his hand. "Or is it just that you fancy the idea of him with me? What’s it been, Carver, fifteen years? Almost twenty? Might want to seriously consider your own obsessions."
"That is some of the ugliest shit I have ever heard out of your mouth, Cormac, and that’s saying a lot, considering how loud you get." Anton shook his head and turned a sharp eye on Carver. "Still, I think you have a point. Pretty sure that’s not healthy, Carver, thinking about two of your brothers hooking up, all the time."
Carver’s face turned a brilliant red, and with a single-finger salute, he shoved past Cormac, vanishing into the crowd.
"He really has to stop that, if for no other reason than I’m getting really tired of it." Cormac sighed, squeezing Artie’s hand for a moment, before he wrapped his arm around Isabela, again. "Sorry about that. We’re here for you, even if Carver’s got trouble seeing past the end of his own knob, some days."
"It’s big, but it’s not big enough to lead a blind man," Isabela sighed, resting her head on Cormac’s shoulder as the life choked out of Castillon.
"You know, Amatus," Fenris whispered, up on his toes to reach Artemis’s ear, "I don’t think you’ve ‘put the rod’ to me once, in all these years. Well, not your rod. You’ve always seemed so …" He choked on a laugh. "I’m sure he sees things differently, because he’s your brother."
Artemis turned to look at Fenris, eyebrows rising towards his hairline. "Well, no, I haven’t," he whispered back, bending to say the words by Fenris’s ear. "I just assumed…" He trailed off, shrugging.
"Assumed?" Fenris prompted.
"Assumed you didn’t want it like that." Artie’s shoulders shrugged higher, cheeks and ears burning. "It just seemed like we both enjoyed things as they are."
Fenris hummed. "I believe we do. But that doesn’t mean I’m not occasionally… curious." Fenris brushed a kiss along Artemis’s cheek while Artemis blinked at him, surprised but speculative.
Anton acted like he hadn’t heard any of that conversation and wished he hadn’t inherited his dad’s good hearing.
"Drinks?" Isabela suggested with a sharp smile. On the platform, Castillon had stopped moving.