[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 354
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Bethany Hawke ♀, Carver Hawke ♂, Isabela ♀, Cullen ♂, Varric ♂, Anders ♂, Fenris ♂, Theron Mahariel ♂, Varania ♀, Paivel ♂, Serendipity ⚧, Gytha ♀, Sebastian ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V0 D1)
Warnings: Inappropriate sausage humour, codpieces
Notes: Paivel annoys Sebastian. Certain parties sneak off to better enjoy the sausage privately.
At least it seemed that Bethany was keeping an eye on Varania, and Fenris found himself grateful. It wasn’t that he thought his sister incompetent, but perhaps that she might be too relaxed, having come away from so much trouble, too trusting in a city that had been comparatively good to her. But, Bethany was wise and cunning and dangerous, and Fenris believed her an excellent influence — she certainly had been, for him.
Beside her, Sebastian wore his royal armour, all white with the face of Andraste in an indiscreet location, and not for the first time, Fenris wondered about that. A man who’d likely never had anyone else’s face in his crotch, with the face of the Maker’s supposed prophet slung across his junk. There was a crude humour in it, he supposed. Just his kind of jest.
"That is absurd!" Sebastian insisted, interrupting Paivel for the sixth time in the middle of the same story, while Bethany and Varania amused themselves with wine, sausage, and talk of strange magics. "The Maker is the father of all creation. Why would another, lesser god need to make the stars? The stars have always been the light of His glory, even in the darkest hour. He made the Fade, first, and his First Children, and then he made the world, and we, his second children, in it. And never were the two intended to meet, but the glory of the world — and its stars — were his gift to us!"
"The world and what you call the ‘Fade’ were one, until the Dread Wolf tricked the Creators and sealed them away by splitting the world into three parts," Paivel explained, as if he were speaking to a small child. Shemlen always thought they knew best, and Paivel had always thought it a minor miracle any of them could lace their own trousers.
"One?" Sebastian repeated, incredulous. "You believe we walked next to spirits and demons once, as if we were neighbours?"
Paivel looked even older in that moment and decidedly unimpressed. Patiently, he started telling Sebastian a story, while, impatiently, Sebastian listened. Bethany and Varania watched them, grinning and exchanging sausages and sauce.
"He has promise," Fenris decided, noting the distinctly uncomfortable way in which Sebastian held himself. "And here I thought the codpieces and the sausages would have put that look on Sebastian’s face."
"He had warning for the codpieces and sausages," Gytha pointed out, reaching around Fenris for a glass. "They were right there on the invitation. He had time to prepare."
"Paivel’s the best," Theron said again, grinning.
"I know what you like. Next you’ll tell me he’s some revolutionary trickster, and I’ll have to be offended again," Fenris grumbled around a bite of a heavily spiced Nevarran sausage. "This tastes like deep fried licorice," he noted, after a moment, eyeing the platter, suspiciously.
"Isn’t that usually an Antivan flavour?" Serendipity asked, spearing a slice of the sausage in question, for a thorough inspection.
"I can’t say I’ve had much experience with Antivan sausage," Fenris admitted, as Anders reached over his shoulder for a salt-boiled roll and a few slices of the disputed sausage.
"Not to say you didn’t have an excellent opportunity to avail yourself of some genuinely delicious Antivan sausage," Anders teased, before stuffing his mouth with the sandwich.
"I didn’t see you taking advantage of that opportunity, either." Fenris poured himself a glass of a bubbly bright-pink wine, and declined to sample any more sausage, with Anders nearby.
"I had, of course, already experienced the joys of that particular sausage. I was merely saving some for you and Isabela." Anders smirked, a mouthful of bread and sausage stuffed in one cheek.
"As I recall," Fenris said primly, "Isabela did not avail herself of any Antivan sausage…" A self-satisfied grin curled his lips.
"What’s this about Antivan—?" Gytha started to say as she turned, only for Anders’s griffin to prod her in the chest. She slapped a protective hand over her bosom. "Ancestors! Careful with that thing!"
"Can’t say that’s the first time I’ve heard that," Anders said, adjusting the codpiece with one hand. He twisted his hips so that the griffin was no longer staring down Gytha’s cleavage, but she still circled him warily as she topped off her wine.
"I imagine so, if the stories are true," Theron said, eyebrows creeping up. He snagged a piece of bread for himself.
"All the worst ones are," Anders replied.
"Ooh!" Serendipity’s hand leapt to her lips. "Are there truly depraved stories about you, then? Worst of the worst? Worse than that one Jethann tells?"
"I was drunk then." Anders tipped his chin up, squared his shoulders primly. "You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen me sober."
Serendipity swooned, artfully, right into Anton’s arms. "A wonderful party, Tony. I think the Warden, here, was about to tell me about all the terrible things he gets up to with his sausage."
"And I’m going to get a glass of that bubbly wine and then I’m going back to my husband. I’ve heard all about this Warden’s sausage, and so has half of Hightown, the way my brother shouts its praises every night." Anton reached for a glass, and Fenris handed him one and poured.
"It’s a very light wine. You’ll need several glasses, if he starts talking," Fenris joked, the corner of his mouth twitching.
"No, no, you don’t get to pretend I haven’t heard you enjoying his sausage, too. Maker, it’s like nobody in this family has ever heard of a gag," Anton huffed, pouring the wine down his throat and following with a dainty belch.
"It’s not like you have, either, with all your ‘dragon noises’ and squalling for your husband’s dragon meat!" Anders pointed out, between bites of another sandwich. "And technically I was the one enjoying Fenris’s sausage. Lyrium makes for a lovely seasoning on Tevinter sausage, it turns out. Who knew!"
"I don’t know who knew, but I know who didn’t need to know," Anton said. He raised one hand. He downed the rest of the bubbly wine, and Fenris poured him another glass, as well as another one for himself, ears twitching.
"Please leave my sausage and its seasoning out of this," Fenris asked.
But Anders was looking in the direction of said sausage, a speculative look on his face. Fenris held the wine bottle in front of his crotch and looked askance at the mage. "Sorry. With all this talk of sausage and seasoning, I was thinking of a few other… flavours that might complement."
"That’s my cue," Anton said brightly, saluting them with his glass before escaping to chat with Jethann.
"Flavours?" Fenris asked, somewhere between curious and concerned.
Anders hummed, nibbling on another bite of sausage — one of the Nevarran types, if Fenris was reading that label correctly. "I think… chocolate. It would complement your skin." And the lyrium, Justice reminded him, perhaps too eagerly.
"Chocolate," Fenris repeated, blinking. "I am not a candy, mage."
"But you make such a sweet dessert." Anders lipped his fingers and grinned.
Something Anders had said in their last venture to the Deep Roads stood out in Fenris’s mind. ‘Always so sweet on my tongue,’ he’d said, which, from anyone else would be a very strange description of the taste of a knob or of lyrium. But, Justice, he suspected, had in some way altered Anders’s senses. "You don’t like sweet things," Fenris shot back.
"I don’t like overly sweet things. A bit of lyrium, a nice Orlesian dark chocolate… I wonder if any of these cups have an orange— no, that would taste like Cormac. Let’s not do that." Anders studied the table they stood beside. "You know, I do live here. We could take a room and spend the night investigating the limits of sweetness."
"The two of them?" Gytha whispered to Theron. "Really? Isn’t he married?"
"Mmm," Theron agreed, around a mouthful of sausage, before rinsing his mouth with wine. "Yes, but his husband is just as adventurous. Maybe moreso. Though, I am a little surprised. I thought mages were the exception, not the rule."
"I am firmly convinced that magic belongs in everyone’s bedroom." Gytha eyed the two before them. "You don’t think they— That wouldn’t fit, would it?"
"You’d know?" Theron asked, eyebrows arching up.
"I sell enough copies of it," Gytha replied, with a sly smile.
"Then you know better than I do, though I’ve heard some rumours." Theron stuck a pin in an end of sausage and stuffed it in his mouth. "I bet it’s the other way. I know that would work."
"He’s not tall enough!" Gytha protested.
"He’s exceedingly creative. And that I know, for certain." Theron smirked.
Fenris looked like he might refuse for a moment, but then Theron remembered that that was just his usual guarded expression, the one he wore when he was seriously considering something. And apparently he considered it intriguing, by the way he tipped his head towards the door, taking the bottle of wine with him as he followed Anders.
Artemis nudged Cormac in the ribs. "Is that my elf leaving with your Warden? I didn’t realise Anders was offering a private sampling of his… chorizo. I’m a bit envious."
"That is your elf leaving with my warden, who appears to be carrying…" Cormac squinted at Anders’s side and then at the table he stood beside. "… sauce cups. He’s just walked out with an assortment of sausage dressing." He paused and glanced at Artie. "Did I ever tell you about the time he tried licking chocolate off me? It was wonderful and terrible. I didn’t think that was ever going to wash out of my anything. But, Fenris is a whole lot less, well, fuzzy."
"Licking… chocolate…?" Artie pictured it and looked like he might be ill. "That sounds messy. Messier than usual. Certain… messiness is to be expected, especially with you, but. That is… Chocolate does not belong on a person. Not even on their sausage. Is Anders putting chocolate on my husband’s sausage? The horror." Artemis took the drink out of Cormac’s hand and took a gulp, not caring what it was, at least not until it frothed on his tongue. He held the glass out in front of him and squinted at it. "What in blazes is this? Never mind." He pressed the glass back into Cormac’s hand. "Your Warden better return my elf sparkling clean or I’m rearranging his potion ingredients."
Cormac swigged the stuff in the glass and set the empty on a passing servant’s tray. Strawberry, he thought, which was probably why Anders had tried it in the first place. Unfortunately, it was also hideously honeyed, for all the bubbles it had. He whispered, ever so close to Artie’s ear. "The only thing left on your elf will be a thin coating of Warden-spit, and you know it. Or have you forgotten all the times he licked you clean?"
Artemis shivered, hyper-aware of Cormac’s closeness, the lips at his ear, the body at his side. "He was… very good at that," Artie admitted, shifting his weight. Without the stickiness, the thought of Anders licking Fenris was certainly an enticing one. He turned to whisper in Cormac’s ear in turn. "And he’s not the only one."
"What do you think, little brother?" Cormac purred, turning away to help himself to a bit more actual sausage. "Shall we slip away to the library? I’m sure no one’s going to be looking for any books with all this … sausage on display. They’ve just been seen going that way, so no one’s going to think much of it, if we follow. But, I bet they’ve gone downstairs."
"And whatever shall we do in the library?" Artie asked innocently. "Do you plan to read to me, big brother? Or is there another sausage delicacy you will only share away from prying eyes?" Artie picked up one last piece of sausage, taking it between his teeth, grinning at Cormac as he bit down ever so slowly. Waggling his eyebrows, he made for the door.
Theron exchanged a look with Gytha. "Looks like the Hawkes are heading for Fenris and Anders’s sausage party. I wouldn’t mind an invitation to that."
Gytha squinted at him. "Aren’t you married?"
"Very happily," Theron said, eyeing Artie’s rear as it left the room.