[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 369
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Cormac Hawke ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Bethany Hawke ♀, Carver Hawke ♂, Anders ♂, Cullen ♂, Fenris ♂, Merrill ♀
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Puns, horrible puns, worse puns, return of Tevinter assbaby jokes
Notes: Getting spoony over swording. Fantastic uses for whiskey and cream.
Cullen was well into his whiskey, Mintaka’s head in his lap, when another Hawke walked into the room. Not Anton, it turned out, which was unfortunate. Drinking whiskey was so much more fun when his husband was in the room, especially if Cullen was drinking said whiskey off of said husband.
"Hello, Artie. Fenris." Cullen saluted them both with the bottle.
"Hello, Captain," Artemis replied, watching him in bemusement. "I’m looking for my idiot brother."
Cullen gestured at the chair across from him. "Carver’s right there," he said.
Carver scowled while Merrill snickered in his lap.
Artemis raised an eyebrow. "I suppose I really should have been more specific. Apologies. I’m looking for the oldest of my idiot brothers."
Cormac leaned out from behind Anders, who stood in front of the couch, looking contemplatively at the assortment of ingredients on the table before them. "Why am I an idiot this time?" Cormac asked, hand darting out to grab a sliver of candied orange peel. He got it, but Anders still slapped his hand.
"That’s supposed to go in the bowl," Anders scolded, mixing fresh tea with cream and mint leaves in another bowl. "Sweet?" he asked Merrill.
"Ooh! Yes, please!" Merrill smiled broadly, looking terribly excited. "This seems so adventurous! I wonder why we never thought of it…"
"A speciality of Kinloch Hold," Cullen drawled, tongue thick with the whiskey. "Solona used to make it for me, sometimes."
"As for you, Cormac, you’re always an idiot," Artemis said without rancour. "I was simply— What are you making?" Artie approached the sideboard, trying to get a look at what was in the bowl Anders handed to Merrill.
"I know of this," Fenris said, ears pricking up. "Danarius would serve it as a dessert to his guests. Gelatus. I… don’t know your word for it."
"What’s gelatus mean?" Merrill said, scooping up a spoonful and examining it before taking a bite. She let it melt on her tongue, and let out a pleased hum.
"‘Frozen thing’," Fenris said distractedly, watching Anders pull out another bowl. Gelatus was a delicacy he’d never had the opportunity to try.
"We call it ‘ice cream’," Anders said without breaking stride. "Would you like some, Fenris? Artie?"
"I see how it is," Artie said, folding his arms across his chest. "Don’t invite me to your mage-templar shenanigans, and then try to win my affections with food. The food part, at least, is a very good idea. Yes, I would love some."
Fenris cleared his throat and mumbled something agreeable as he followed Artemis to the couch.
Anders started the next bowl with honey and added whiskey, first, blending the two together, before he poured in the cream. Candied cherries and a fistful of crushed nuts followed, and he stirred as he cast the ice spell. "Wasn’t much in the way of shenanigans," Anders said, passing the bowl to Cullen. "There was a sewer and some decomposing corpses involved. I didn’t think you’d much want to go along. Of course, it ended in demons, but it’s Kirkwall and it’s Tuesday — you can come out for demons in less-sewery places with us next week."
Cormac nodded, snatching another bit of candied orange peel, while Anders was distracted. "That’s about the size of it. Oh, and Anders got a very nice sword."
"Can we not discuss the healer’s sword?" Fenris groaned. "Or swords that may have been inserted in the healer?"
"No, no," Cullen corrected, waving his spoon. "A real sword. Alamarri design, I think. Old, too. Cormac thinks it’s Calenhad’s."
"And Justice showed off his incredible swording techniques." Merrill smiled mischievously. "The Knight-Captain was admiring them."
A strangled sound escaped Cullen.
"Stop it," Carver groaned. "I really don’t want to be the one who tells Meredith that the Captain died of ice cream and sword jokes."
"Then don’t mention the ice cream," Anders replied, reaching for another bowl. "And I’ll show you my sword once I’m done with this, Fenris. The Alamarri sword with the blade, not the other one. Although…"
"Just the one sword, please," Fenris cut him off. "The other one can stay where it is."
"You might want to specify which sword," Artemis told him, grinning at the sour face Fenris gave him.
The next bowl went to Fenris, the ceramic cold against his fingers. There was something backward about this, a mage serving him gelatus, but that seemed to be the theme of his life the past few years.
"Next bowl goes to Artie," Cormac said, standing up and making his way around the table. "I’ll go get his hefty Alamarri blade."
"Will you show us your swording skills, too?" Merrill asked, eyes sparkling. "I know you’re very good with a polearm."
"Can we not, ever, discuss my brother’s swording? Or his … polearm talents?" Carver looked like he might stick a spoon in his own eye, if this went on much longer.
"Carver! You can’t be the only good sworder in your family!" Merrill teased.
"Actually, he’s right. I’m really much better with a polearm. No stunning swording skills, here." Cormac shrugged and stepped out to retrieve the sword.
"Fruits and nuts, sweet," Anders announced, handing a bowl to Artemis. "Just like you."
"Which part is like me?" Artie asked, picking up his spoon, shifting his fingers around the bowl so they wouldn’t freeze. "The sweet, the nuts, or the fruit?"
"All of the above," Fenris answered sweetly.
"Should I be offended by how quickly you said that?"
Fenris’s chuckle broke off into a pleased hum as he slid the spoon into his mouth. Oh yes. He could see why the magisters loved this. He slid the next bite along his tongue, picking out the blending tastes as it melted.
Artemis paused in his eating, spoon halfway to his mouth. He doubted Fenris even knew he was making those sounds, sounds Artie knew well but that he usually had to be trouserless to make. "Uh. Enjoying the ice cream?" Artie was, perhaps, enjoying his enjoyment a little too much.
"It is good," Fenris answered neutrally between spoonfuls.
"Don’t worry, Carver," Merrill assured her templar, patting his chest. "I’ll stop making sword jokes. Clearly we’ve moved onto spooning anyway."
Carver made a strangled sound around a mouthful of ice cream.
"I think those two are spoony enough for the room," Anders laughed, cocking his chin at Artemis and Fenris as he made himself a bowl flavoured with just tea and chestnuts.
"I’ll get spoony for your sweet cream in a minute, pretty thing," Cormac said, returning with a sword resting on his shoulder. "Knifey time, first." He offered the sword to Fenris, who took it in one hand.
Fenris blinked at the sword, resting the blade across the arm still holding his bowl. "That’s an impressive replica. Where did you find it? Is there a maker’s mark on it? Varania would be so amused."
Anders and Cormac were very still, looking at each other, for a long moment. "Ah, whatever that is, it’s the real thing," Anders said, quietly.
Fenris shook his head, still examining the blade for some sign of its maker. "Can’t be. Doesn’t make sense."
"The demon said it had a piece of ‘everything to hold a throne, here or in the black’." Merrill quoted slowly, trying to remember the words. "It was a pride demon, and it was very old."
"Tevinter vintage. A few hundred years, at the very least, it’s been down there. Wards finally finished giving out, in the last couple of days." Cormac accepted a bowl of ice cream heavy with candied fruit. "I’m pretty sure that thing is Calenhad’s."
Carver snapped his fingers. "Nemetos," he filled in. "It was called Nemetos."
Fenris’s next spoonful didn’t go down as easily, and he took a moment to swallow, processing what he was being told. "No," he said, drawing out the word. "It is originally of Alamarri make, yes, but… no. No, it’s can’t be." He set down the bowl to hold the sword with both hands, taking note of every imperfection in the blade, every crease in the hilt’s leather.
"You keep saying that," Artemis said, eyeing the sword. It was old but otherwise looked like any other sword to him. "Could you tell us what it isn’t, then?"
"The book my sister gave me," Fenris replied. "It has illustrations. Detailed ones. There is one such illustration of a sword bearing a striking resemblance to this one."
"The book on Shartan?" Carver asked around a mouthful of ice cream. Fenris nodded. "Are you saying you think this sword belonged to someone who knew Shartan?"
Fenris cleared his throat. "I’m saying I think this sword belonged to Shartan. If it is the real thing. Which I still think it can’t be."
"Oh," Artie said eloquently, bending to get a better look. "An important sword, then. From an important sworder."
"The Blade of Brona was last seen somewhere near Minrathous, wasn’t it?" Cormac asked, referring to it as Andraste’s mother’s sword — which was how he knew it from his own studies. "In Tevinter. So, what’s it doing in Kirkwall— stupid question. Demons. But, why is it here?"
"I don’t recall Shartan being a king," Anders agreed around a mouthful of melting cream.
"Brona was almost a queen, sort of. A wife to the leader of the northern Alamarri. But, that’s still pretty weak." Cormac shrugged, eyes still on the sword as he licked candied orange peel out of his teeth. "Who owned it after Shartan? Where did the blade go, when he died rescuing Andraste?"
"A sword like that, you’d think it would be passed down to the next generation," Carver pointed out. "His children, if he had any."
"Or hers," Cullen volunteered. "She also had children. Or I should say, she definitely had children, two daughters. Do we know if he did?"
"Wasn’t her husband renowned for his swording?" Merrill asked, suddenly. "Andraste’s, I mean. He was some great barbarian sworder, right?" She squeezed Carver’s knee. "Those barbarian sworders are very attractive."
Carver was looking less and less thrilled with the ice cream. Or with the day in general.
Fenris turned the sword over in his hands. "I am unsure if he had any children. If any are mentioned in the book, I have not come across it yet. It is not impossible, but since he married a man, it is unlikely."
"You never know," Artie said, scraping the bottom of his bowl with his spoon. "Tevinter. Blood magic. Ass-babies."
"Thank you for that," Fenris drawled. Artemis smiled sweetly and stole a spoonful of Fenris’s ice cream. His husband looked nothing short of offended.
"I imagine ass-babies would have come up in the book," Anders assured them. "Otherwise the book is focusing on all the wrong details."
"We’re focusing on all the wrong details," Carver muttered.
"Carver’s right," Merrill said solemnly. "We should get back to spooning."
"Who’s getting spoony?" Anton asked, slinking tiredly into the room and stopping just short of dropping into his husband’s lap, when he spotted the half-finished bowl of ice cream.
"Oh, you slept through all the fun," Anders said with a smile. "Cullen was getting spoony over my swording."
Cullen sputtered futilely, cheeks reddening as he struggled for words.
"Have you been showing your sword to my husband?" Anton demanded, smiling wryly.
"Just that one," Anders said, cocking a thumb at the Alamarri blade. "But, he’s seen the other one before. The pride of Kinloch Hold."
"You’re lucky that didn’t end up in that demon’s pile," Cormac joked.