[ Master Post ]
Title: Assing it Up – Chapter 6
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Artemis Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Aveline ♀, Serendipity ⚧, Merrill ♀, Varric ♂, Gamlen Amell ♂, Charade ♀, Fenris ♂, Ser Thrask ♂, Cullen ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V0 D1)
Warnings: An abundance of dick jokes
Notes: A celebration of the election of the new Viscount of Kirkwall. Drunken meat jokes in abundance.
"We’re throwing a party," Anton said, looking around at the carts of beer and food — still cooking, in some cases.
"We are," Varric agreed, checking that the carter’s ramps on the great stairs weren’t missing any significant chunks. The steps had gotten hit with some stray chunks of Tevinter architecture, much like the rest of a certain sliver of Hightown, but the ramps looked secure — they and the steps had been carved out of the stone of the cliff and were apparently made of much sterner stuff than the flying chunks of Chantry.
"Remind me how this is supposed to go?" Anton asked one more time, as the red-cloaked figures of a pair of elves bearing alarmingly expensive wine approached, giggling between themselves.
"We come down the stairs and head for the Market. The first party’s there. We stop by the Hanged Man, before we head down to the Docks and make another stop down by the tavern and the chowder place. Then we hit the bridge and end up in the Gallows Courtyard and surprise your charming templar husband who just loves parties, especially ones that show up already drunk at his door. At work."
"I’m hoping he’ll let the templars out in shifts to party with us. Let people get used to the idea that these aren’t their enemies. Maybe introduce the new First Enchanter, if the mages have picked one, yet. I kind of liked the old guy with the funny hat. He seemed pretty sensible." Anton leaned to the side and snagged a skewer of meat from one of the carts, before he wrapped his free arm around one of the elves. "Giddy already, Dips? I haven’t even gotten the crown, yet!"
"Of course not, Tony. Bran’s still sulking over the ruffles on his doublet." Serendipity slipped a quick pinch under the firm curve of Anton’s bottom, in his all-too-fitted trousers. "Better start on that skewer, before someone hungrier takes it out of your hand."
"Like you?" Anton asked around a mouthful of meat. "I think people are going to bring me so much meat and beer, you’re going to have to roll me up to the podium, at the end."
"I’ll leave that to the messeres from the Rose," Varric remarked, still eyeing the crowd a little suspiciously. "I’ll just be here taking notes. Always thought it’d be your brother we’d have to roll up to his first public speaking appearance, but it’s a good thing it’s not him, because I will not be providing the buttercream for that."
Anton gave him a cringing laugh. "I did not need to picture my brother covered in buttercream, thank you. Any of my brothers."
"Not even Carver?" Serendipity asked, stretching for Anton’s skewer before he held it out of reach.
"Especially Carver," Anton said around a bite of meat. He paused a moment to chew and hummed at the flavour, eyebrows arched at Varric in approval.
He didn’t quite manage to pull the skewer out of Varric’s reach in time, and the dwarf tore off a piece of meat and ignored Anton’s protests. Varric made an agreeing sound of approval around his stolen bite. "Not as interesting as the last party’s sausage, but a decent reminder that our new viscount is a fan of meat."
"I will hit you with this when I’m done," Anton promised, brandishing the skewer.
"Such violence!" Varric protested, a hand over his chest. "I can see the Gazette headline now: ‘On his Day of Victory, the New Viscount Hits his Campaign Manager with his Meatstick’. Is that really how you wish to start your political career?"
"I can think of worse ways," Serendipity said. She waved cheerfully at Aveline as she spotted her on the street, watching the procession and shaking her head in resignation.
Anton also spotted Aveline. "Where’s Donnic?" he called out. "He should be out here celebrating with the rest of us!"
"My husband is doing his duty as a guardsman, and will not be joining your parade of meat and revelry, Anton." Aveline offered Anton a sour look.
"None of your husband’s meat available for our enjoyment, then?" Serendipity asked, helping herself to a sliver of Anton’s meat from the skewer, as he was too busy looking at Aveline to notice. "Such a pity. Seems like he’d have the sort of meat a lady could really revel in."
"Which is why he has a wife," Aveline snapped, and then turned a brilliant red. She had not, in fact, meant to discuss this at all.
"Tell us the truth, Aveline," Anton encouraged, a teasing gleam in his eye. "You married him for his spectacular meat, didn’t you? His spicy sausage should be a legend to keep Kirkwall a thousand years."
"I am not discussing Donnic’s ‘spicy sausage’ with any of you!" Aveline huffed. "Take your meat-parade out of my sight, before I find a reason to start arresting you all!" She crossed her arms and glared, but the glare softened, after a moment. "And congratulations, Anton. Don’t make us regret this."
Anton fell into a deep bow, almost hitting Varric in the face with the skewer. "Never fear, good Captain!" he said, walking backwards to keep addressing her as he left. "I will at least wait until I’m officially crowned to do anything regrettable!" He grinned and spun just in time to avoid her eye roll.
By then most of Hightown had taken to the streets to see what the fuss was about, and they cheered for him as he passed, whether they’d voted for him or not. He was a celebrity today, on display. Odd after so many years in the shadows, but he could get used to it.
By the time their procession had turned down the street to the Hanged Man, it had swelled in size, and Anton found himself using a pair of miners as a sedan chair. Sitting on their shoulders, he waved at the crowd, unsure who had handed him the mug of beer or set the flower crown on his head. He’d spotted Artie and Bethany somewhere in the crowd but damned if he could find them now.
To his left, another miner hoisted Varric on his shoulders, and the dwarf offered him a grin and a wave.
They came down through the Foundry District, if only because the stairs by the Alienage were too narrow, and the heat was oppressive, but the cheering kept on. As they rounded the last corner before heading down to the docks, they came upon a group of elves, just past the stairs.
Merrill stepped forward, smiling. "Congratulations, Anton! Are you happy? You should be happy."
Anton patted the shoulder of the miner on his left, and the two of them put him down. "Well, I won, didn’t I?" He grinned and held his arms out, and Merrill leapt forward to hug him. "What about you? Is it okay that I won?"
Merrill laughed. "I didn’t think I’d win! Orana and I just had to try. We wanted to see what it would be like. It’s not the sort of thing elves are allowed to do in the city, you know."
"Well, I’m going to change what elves are allowed to do in this city!" Anton declared, turning to face the crowd, with an arm around Merrill’s shoulders. "I’m going to make you the Bann of — wait, you guys don’t have banns. What’s the equivalent of a Fereldan bann?"
After some mumbling in the crowd, someone called out, "Baroness?"
"Sure!" Anton clapped his free hand to his chest. "I’ll make you the Baroness of the Kirkwall Alienage! The first elf to hold a title purely on her own merits and not by marrying my brother." He paused, squinting into the crowd. "Which was cheap, Fenris! You could’ve been a nobleman on your own merit! You’ve got it in you!"
"A nobleman in me?" came Fenris’s unmistakable voice, cutting through the drunken cheers. "I’m afraid you’re confusing me with your brother."
Anton followed the voice and spotted Fenris, standing just behind him, next to the aforementioned brother, who was wiping a hand over his face. "More than they needed to know, Fenris," Artemis said just loud enough for Anton to make out. Fenris looked more smug than chastised.
Merrill squealed as someone set a flower crown on her head too. "Oh, this is just too much!" she said, grinning from pointed ear to pointed ear.
"My parties are always too much," Anton replied, "and somehow, just enough, my dear Baroness!" Anton dipped into a bow, forgetting the flower crown on his head until it nearly tumbled for the ground. "Oops!" He caught it just in time.
"Please don’t do that when you’re wearing the actual crown," Artemis sighed, reaching up to straighten it before Anton swatted his hands away.
"Why not? Keep any petitioners on their toes. Or perhaps I could have a new crown made, one more fitted."
"Or we could just glue it to your skull," Fenris suggested, earning him a swat from his husband.
Anton considered that. "But, you’d ruin my hair," he finally settled on. "I’ll tell you what. If I die in office, you can glue it to my skull and use my head for a paperweight. It’ll keep my sister from doing anything too bizarre with it."
Fenris looked a bit ill, like he so often did when he considered Bethany for too long. It wasn’t that he didn’t like her — in fact, he liked her quite a bit — but every once in a while it slipped his mind how utterly terrifying she really was. And that was a lot coming from him, he thought.
"Oh! That would be very special, indeed!" Merrill smiled up at Anton. "Like a Chantry relic!"
"But, much less holy," Fenris pointed out. "Now, if it were Sebastian’s head…"
"Where has Sebastian been?" Merrill asked, as the party started forward again, trying to get the cart to turn onto the stairs to the Docks. "Did he go back to Starkhaven?"
"I don’t know," Anton admitted, after a moment. "The last I saw, he was being carried off by that other Warden and a supposed Antivan Crow, but the Crow got on the boat with my brother, I’m told, so who knows what happened to the other two."
As Anton stepped up to help with one of the carts, he nearly bumped into his uncle, waiting for him at the top of the stairs.
"Your grandfather was supposed to be viscount," Gamlen pointed out, with no preface.
"That’s me, Uncle. Righting the family history. Bringing in a new era for the Amells." Anton grinned, crouching down to replace the broken pin on one of the wheels. "It’ll stop wobbling now, Colfax," he called up to the front.
Gamlen harrumphed but reached past Anton to grab his own skewer of meat. "That flower crown looks ridiculous," he said before stuffing his face with meat.
"Nice to see you too, uncle," Anton cheerfully replied.
"Oh, ignore him!" From around Gamlen appeared Charade, and she stepped to her tiptoes to give her cousin a crushing hug. "Congrats, Anton! I’m proud of you, and so’s he. He’d say as much too, if he could manage to pull the stick out of his ass!"
"Hey!" Gamlen protested, the word garbled by meat.
"Oh dear," said Anton, wrapping an arm around Charade’s waist to squeeze her back. "Doesn’t he know the stick’s supposed to go in his mouth? It’s not that kind of party, uncle."
Gamlen’s next words were garbled too, but no less rude for it.
Charade settled back on her heels, walking beside Anton as he followed the flow of the procession. "Now where is that darling husband of yours? He should be celebrating with you!"
"Working, of course. Which is why we’re bringing the celebration to him!" Anton grinned and pressed a mug of beer into her hand that she didn’t see him grab. "It isn’t officially a Hawke party until I get him alone in a closet!"
"Does this mean I’m going to have to wander around the Gallows opening closets, until I find your darling husband stripped down to his underthings and just waiting for the right dashing thief to steal them?" Charade grinned and took a swig of the beer. "Or maybe I should just steal everything he’s not wearing. And everything you’re not wearing. Oh, that sounds like a good time. The Viscount and Knight-Commander of Kirkwall, running around pantsless, on a quest for vengeance."
"You are evil." Anton laughed. "It’s good to know that runs in the family, at least, even if none of my siblings were blessed with our glamorous talents."
"Other than your sister," Charade noted, watching the carts descend. "She’s got a good eye for it."
"She’s terrifying for totally other reasons," Anton corrected, without explaining a thing.
"Your sister reminds me of my mother," Gamlen grumbled around another mouthful of meat.
"You see that? The whole family’s come back around. It just skipped a generation in the middle." Anton smiled brightly and followed the carts down to the Docks.
Thrask had barricaded himself in his new office. He could hear the festivities before they were in sight, and from his window, the party had looked like a wild mob, brandishing food and drink like weapons and ready to pillage. Cosmetically, the Gallows was still recovering from the rebellion, and the last thing it needed was some rambunctious revellers ransacking the place. That said, something smelled absolutely divine, and Thrask considered leaving his post to see what the fuss was about.
When it came, the sound of singing wasn’t a surprise, but the sound of it getting closer to the window was. Just one voice, at least, but Thrask reached for his sword. A hand curled around the windowsill, and Thrask jumped up from his chair.
"It’s a time honoured tradition!" sang a voice Thrask knew but couldn’t place. "To get enough nutrition!" An arm followed the hand into view. "To stay alive until you die!" Next came a flower crown on a dark-haired head. "And that’s the end of… you are not Cullen!"
"This… isn’t this my husband’s office?" Anton pulled him the rest of himself into the room and glanced around.
"Oh!" Thrask didn’t quite understand, but he was pretty sure what had happened. "This is the Knight-Captain’s office. Ser Cullen is the Knight-Commander. He’s across the hall, now, in Meredith’s old office."
"Ah! Of course." Anton shook his head and chuckled, the light flush on his cheeks more from exertion and beer than embarrassment. "I’ll just see myself out, then, Ser… I’m sorry, I should know your name. You were there when we rescued my brother from that blood mage, weren’t you?"
"Thrask," Thrask filled in. "Knight-Captain Thrask. And I’m still sorry about your brother. That was a poor decision."
"Oh, don’t worry about it. He’s fine. If he wasn’t, you wouldn’t be standing here." Anton smiled brightly and opened the door. "Thank you for the directions, Captain Thrask. I hope my husband is more merciful to his captain than Meredith was."
Thrask’s answering laugh was polite but a bit strained as Anton closed the door behind him.
"Oh, Knight-Commander!" Anton singsonged, knocking on Cullen’s actual door before realising it was open. He poked his head in. "Kirkwall’s viscount-elect has need of you! Terrible need of you."
"I thought I heard your singing," Cullen said, fighting not to smile as his quill continued to move. "Have you finished partying for the night then? Come to start a new party with just the two of us?"
"Look out the window, love," Anton said, circling Cullen’s desk and leaning his hip against its edge. "I’ve brought the party to you!"
"You…" Cullen squinted up at his husband and the crown on his head before glancing at the window. He couldn’t see the crowd from here, but now that he was paying attention, he could hear it. "Anton, what did you do?"
"Meat and beer and revelry, Commander! I’ve brought them all down to the courtyard, so you and your men can come out and play, without leaving anything unguarded for too long!" Anton grinned proudly. "And, tomorrow, I get my crown and make speeches. You’ll be there, won’t you? With the First Enchanter, I hope. Do you have a First Enchanter, yet?"
"We’re… working on that. So many mages left that half the suggestions are useless. They’re all still trying to decide who’s the best choice from who’s stayed." Cullen smiled sadly, remembering the older mage who’d suggested Enchanter Thekla, not realising the man had been dead for years. "I’ll bring some mages along, if they’d like to come. Probably your brother and Keran, as well, to keep an eye on things. The last thing we need is the crowd rioting."
"Well, we’ve got beer and meat enough for everyone! I’ll make sure to suggest watering down any beer served to the mages or templars, so you don’t end up with more idiocy than usual." Anton kneaded the few unarmoured parts of his husband. "Let them celebrate. And then, let us celebrate."