freezingrayne: (Lanky)
[personal profile] freezingrayne
Title: Never Ever
Fandom: Dragon Age II
Pairing: Fenris/F!Hawke
Rating: Worksafe
Words: 3500~
No real spoilers
Teaser: Isabela raises her glass in a toast. “About sodding time. C’mon, we want to play a game."

The Champion and her companions play Never Have I Ever. You heard me.



Fenris has just opened a new bottle of wine when he hears the latch on the door rattle. It’s locked—he’d made sure of that—but a moment later there’s a soft click and the door swings open.

He is on his feet in an instant, lyrium sparking hot over his body. The room tips alarmingly, and his sword suddenly seems much farther away than he’d thought it was. Must have gotten up and walked away.

“Broody, this is just unacceptable.”

Fenris steadies himself against the table. “Varric?”

The dwarf marches in like he owns the place (and for all Fenris knows, he might—lately it seems like he owns half of Kirkwall) and shakes his head with a heaving sigh.

“Drinking on your own?” He examines the bottle, giving it a sniff. “Shit, drinking the good stuff on your own? This is how people develop bad habits.”

Fenris cocks a brow. “Oh? I suppose you would know all about that.”

Varric splays a theatrical hand to his chest. “You wound me, ser elf.” Everything about Varric is theatrical, from his manner to his dress, to the thick, gleaming hoops in his ears. “Come on. We’re going to the Hanged Man.”

Fenris doesn’t move. “Why does it matter to you where I drink?”

“I’m doing this for your own good. You’ll thank me someday. And besides, everyone’ll be there.” His grin is irritatingly knowing. “Hawke’ll be there.”

Fenris pulls the bottle out of Varric’s hands. “I thought she was spending the day with her mother.”

He’s taken unceremoniously by the elbow and steered toward the door. “Day’s over, Broody. Time for all good mothers to be in bed. Come on.”

Fenris knows he could still dig his heels in like an ox being dragged to market. If a particularly inebriated ox.

“Very well,” he gives in, following him through the door.

“That’s it, Broody. Besides, I promised Bianca you’d be there. We wouldn’t want to disappoint her.”


It could be his imagination, but the Hanged Man seems ever more raucous than usual. The bar is crowded three deep, sailors rubbing shoulders with mercenaries and the occasional whore. A tanned group of elves toward the back is playing a game that seems to involve a great deal of swearing and the steady removal of clothing. Fenris would have said it was a Feast Day, but by now he knows better. Kirkwallers rarely seem to need a reason to celebrate.

Sometimes Fenris finds it decadent and wasteful. Others, it seems the best way to throw off the horrors of the past, along with the looming threat of the future.

“Watch your step,” Varric sing-songs, as they climb the stairs.

“I’m not that drunk, Varric.”

The dwarf’s smile is smug, worryingly so. “Not yet.”

Varric’s corner of the tavern is awash in firelight and uncorked bottles. Isabela has her feet up on the table, Merrill perched beside her, looking excited and out of her element both. Aveline is already giggly and flushed with drink, in slightly slurred conversation with the abomination and Hawke. Fenris feels a hot rush of irritation as he sees Anders’ arm in a lazy drape across her shoulders.

“Look what I found drinking alone in the dark.” Varric slaps him on the small of the back. “A grumpy elf.”

Isabela raises her glass in a toast. “About sodding time. C’mon, we want to play a game.”

Isabela wants to play a game,” Anders corrects. “I think it sounds idiotic.”

“It’s a drinking game, of course it’s idiotic,” Isabela shoots back. “You want to do something serious, go home and write your bloody manifesto.”

Anders looks exceedingly miffed, but he doesn’t comment. Hawke gives him a placating pat on the arm.

“I love games,” Merrill says happily. “Is there a prize?”

“Not as of yet, kitten,” Isabela drawls, with a leer that would have had Fenris on the other side of the room with his sword drawn if it was directed his way. “But I’m sure I could think of something.”

“I’m up for it,” Varric cuts in smoothly, demonstrating his unwavering and uncanny talent for keeping Merrill out of harm’s way. “How does it work?”

Isabela spins one of her bracelets around her finger, sending light bouncing over the opposite wall. “We take turns saying things that we’ve never, ever done. Anyone who has done it drinks. Last one standing wins.”

Aveline lets out a loud, guffawing laugh. “You want to play Never? I haven’t played that since I was a barracks soldier!”

“Like I said, idiotic.”

Hawke laughs. “Sounds alright to me,” she says diplomatically. “What about you, Fenris?”

Fenris shrugs. “I suppose it could be worse. At least we get to keep our clothes on.”

“For now,” Isabela says rakishly.

The abomination makes a disgusted sound in his throat, attempting to get to his feet, using Hawke’s shoulder for support when he can’t quite manage it. “I’m leaving. Before things get even more ridiculous.”

Isabela tips her chair back against the wall, blocking his retreat. “Coward.”

Anders’ mouth opens in outrage, throat working. “I am not—.” Fenris half-expects him to go blue around the edges (it would be just like the man to unleash a demon on the Hanged Man over a silly trifle like this) but after a moment he manages to composes himself. “Fine.” He sits back down. “But I assume no responsibility for the trouble this will cause.

“Noted,” Hawke says, patting him on the leg. That’s three times she’s touched him now, Fenris thinks. “Varric, put it on the record.”

The dwarf gives a lazy salute. “Oh, don’t worry about that,” he says, tapping his pen. “I’m not letting a word go to waste.”

“I doubt future generations will want to hear about this,” Fenris says.

“And that’s why I’m the storyteller, elf. You just stick with what you’re good at.”

“Which is?”

“Being handsomely tortured and swinging around a big sword. And do you not have a drink? Daisy, poor Broody some wine. We don’t want him sobering up.”

Merrill reaches for the bottle beside her, sliding the glass across the table hesitantly, like she’s afraid Fenris might go for her throat. He accepts it from her with a nod—he’s not in the mood for an argument.

“I’ll go ahead then, shall I?” Isabela swirls her glass thoughtfully. “Hmm…something I haven’t done…”

“Enough with the buildup already, your highness. Bianca’s getting bored.”

“Tell Bianca that good things come to those who wait, Varric. Alright..” Isabela’s gaze falls on Fenris, lips twitching upward. “I have never had sex…with an elf.”

Fenris snorts before he can help himself. The wine is flowing through his veins, loosening his tongue. “There is a whole race that you’ve managed to abstain from? I find that highly unlikely.”

That gets a rather mean snigger out of Aveline, and a grin out of Isabela. “I’m going to take it as a compliment, that you think so well of my carnal prowess. But there aren’t that many elves in piracy, and I don’t often get down into the alienage, or lost in a forest. Of course…there is one elf who I’ve had my eye on lately.”

Fenris definitely isn’t drunk enough for this. “How nice for you,” he intones. He is growing weary of her jokes.

“So, we drink if we’ve done the thing you haven’t done, right?” Merrill asks lightly. She raises her cup to her mouth and drinks, face twisting slightly at the taste. “What?” she says, in the face of the silence at her words. “I’m not as naïve as you all think I am. And I am an elf.”

“Fenris is an elf,” Anders breaks in, the smug bastard, after drinking himself. “He didn’t drink.”

Fenris experiences a strong desire to reach into his chest and pull out his heart, but then again, it’s not exactly an unfamiliar urge.

“What of it?” he asks. He isn’t ashamed of his past, not ashamed of the things his servitude has robbed him of.

Anders doesn’t seem to have an answer for that, so he subsides back against the wall, looking gloomy.

“Go on,” Isabela prods. “Your turn.”

“Err…” Fenris casts his mind around. “I have never…fought a darkspawn.”

There’s a general groan as Hawke, Anders, Varric, and Aveline drink.”

Isabela drums her fingers on the tabletop. “Boring.”

“You never said it had to be about sex.”

“Bloody Grey Wardens,” Anders grumbles, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Can’t even win a drinking game.”

“I think the point is to get drunk, Anders,” Aveline says. He’s leaning on her now. Fenris could have predicted he wouldn’t be able to hold his drink. He’s certainly unable to hold his tongue.

“And it’s your turn,” Hawke tells him, slapping him on the back. “Go on then.”

“Oh alright.” He tips his head back, doing his best to sit up straight. “I have never…been married.”

Aveline lets out a grunt of irritation. “What? You can’t—that is pacifically—.” She swallows and tries again. “Specifically directed at me. That’s against the rules.”

“There are no rules,” Isabela cuts in. “Drink up, Avy. Be proud you managed to reel in a man. I can’t imagine what’s gone wrong between then and now.”

Fenris can see Aveline’s knuckles going white around her glass as she takes a swig. “Fine, then,” she gasps out. “If that’s how you’re going to play. I have never had sex with Anders.”

Beside her, Anders seems to be choking on his own tongue.

Isabela cocks her head thoughtfully. “Define sex."

“I could get out a dictionary, Bela,” Varris says, clearing his throat. “But I wouldn’t think you’d need help with that one.”

“No, I only meant, do you count fingering him while he goes down on the Hero of Ferelden as sex? Because if you do, then I have to drink.”

Anders buries his face in his hands. “Maker help me.”

“You know,” Varric says faintly. “I could have gone my whole life without that mental image, and been perfectly happy.”

Hawke manages to suppress her chuckles long enough to say, “I…think that counts.”

“I didn’t know you knew the Hero of Ferelden, Anders,” Merrill says brightly. “What’s he like?”

“Flexible,” Isabela supplies. “But Anders could tell you more.” She winks. “I just watched.”

“Is it my turn?” Hawke breaks in.

“Yes, please,” Fenris says. “I need to be drunker than this.” =

“Alright, then.” Hawke toasts in his direction. “Here’s one for you. I have never befriended a Qunari.”

Fenris smiles, raising his glass to his lips and taking a healthy mouthful. Not bad, but certainly nowhere equal to what he had back at the mansion. “No, all you’ve done is told the Arishok that you thought he’d be taller.”

Hawke’s grin widens. “I was just trying to lighten the mood.

Isabela looks thoughtful. “When you say befriend…”

“I mean befriend,” Hawke assures her. “Not ‘copulated with’.”

Isabela chuckles. “Of course not. The Viscount’s son isn’t here at the moment. There would be nobody to drink.”

That gets a general groan and a smattering of laughter. Aveline in particular is giggling so hard it looks like she may fall off her stool.

When it’s Varric’s turn, he gives Isabela a sideways look. “I have never paid for sex.”

Anders and Isabela drinking is fairly predictable, and for a moment Varric lets his pen droop, but then Hawke raises her glass to her lips and drains it. She catches Fenris’ eyes with a wry smile. “I got a bit…overexcited for awhile, after I came into all that coin.”

Fenris begins to picture Hawke with one of the prostitutes at the Rose before he can force himself to stop. The thought both makes him at once burn with something that feels far too much like jealousy, and also glad he’s had enough alcohol to make bodily reactions a bit sluggish. Two bright spots of color paint Hawke’s cheeks, on top of the blush from the drink, and Fenris can’t help imagining what it would be like to follow that color down her jaw to the elegant curve of her neck, under the mouth of her coat to follow the line of her spine…

“You alright there, Broody?” Varric asks, pouring himself another. He’s been drinking steadily through the game, in between rounds. “You’re going a little cross-eyed.”

Fenris gives himself a mental shake. “I’m…fine.” He looks down at his hands, at the ceiling, anywhere except back at Hawke.

“Is it my turn next?” Merrill asks brightly, picking up her glass.

Varric tops it off a little, from the bottle that Fenris has seen him reserving for himself. Possibly he doesn’t think the little witch could handle the same dubious shit he’d served to the rest of them. “Go on, Daisy.”

Merrill stares at the ceiling for a few seconds. “Hmm…I have never…never had a boyfriend,” she finishes firmly.

Isabela chokes on her whiskey. “What?”

Merrill shrugs, taken aback by the strength of the reaction. “It’s not…it doesn’t bother me, or anything…”

“You mean, you’ve never…” Anders lets the question hang there like a fish on market day.

“No, I…” She drops her eyes to the tabletop. “I have, it’s just, no one’s ever stuck around. A-After, I mean.”

She looks so distraught and small that Fenris is nearly ready to come to her defense, if only on principle. He has never understood humans and their need for these shaming, hierarchical ideas of sex.

Before he gets a chance to, however, Isabela, who’s busy drinking for this round along with Aveline, Hawke, and Anders, says, “But what about Varric?”

There’s a slight choking sound from the vicinity of the fireplace. Varric splutters and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. “Andraste’s jiggly thighs, Rivaini—.”

“What?” Isabela takes another increasingly clumsy swig of whiskey. “You buy her presents, you keep her safe, you spend at least half your waking time worrying about her.” She cocks a knowing eyebrow toward Merril. “What, have the two of you not had sex yet? Is it the racial thing?” she goes on, digging the sort of hole that only she can dig. “Or the size difference? Because, believe me, you can work around that.”


By midnight the game has more or less dissolved, though not before Fenris has learned a great deal more about his companions than he’d ever wanted to know –including those of them who’d had relations with more than three people at once, who’s had scandalous dreams about Knight Commander Meredith, and whether anyone has ever had a sexual fantasy about a Qunari, among other things. Anders is the first to pass out, snoring softly on Aveline’s shoulder, which Fenris takes as one of the Maker’s small mercies.

Merrill is asleep with her head pillowed on Varric’s shoulder, curled up in her chair like an underfed cat. She’d barely had to drink at all.

Varric, who’d been drinking from a tankard about as big as he is looks sober enough to play a few rounds of Wicked Grace and wipe the floor with all of them.

Perhaps it’s magical liquor, Fenris’ wine-sodden brain provides helpfully, and it doesn’t affect dwarves.

Varric shifts in his seat to wrap an arm around Merrill, stroking her hair gently away from her face. He catches Fenris watching and shrugs, before jerking his head toward the corner of the room.

Hawke is extricating herself from the tangle that Anders and Aveline have managed to get themselves into, swaying slightly as she makes her way across the room.

“Shall I walk you back to your mansion, then? I imagine ruffians will be much less likely to attack two highly-inebriated, heavily-armed people than one.”

Fenris laughs. “Alright then.” He holds out a hand, which Hawke proceeds to grab, hauling him up out of his chair. The two of them stagger together, laughing as their shoulders jostle. Fenris doesn’t typically enjoy being touched—the marks react oddly to heat and pressure, and his skin burns for hours after the lyrium in them awakens, but with Hawke he can tolerate it. It may be the wine coursing through his veins, but at the moment her touch feels good, slender fingers strong and cool against his flushed skin.

Varric tips them a little salute on their way out, burrowing down in his chair a little further, letting Merril cuddle up closer to him, stroking her hair. Isabela makes a snuffling noise from where's she's asleep draped over the table, but she doesn’t wake.

Outside it is cool and wet, late enough for the heat of Kirkwall’s day to dissipate. Rain as fine as mist settles on Fenris' bare arms, dampens his hair.

"Come on," Hawke says, taking his arm and weaving slightly as they turn for the steps to Hightown. "I'm sure Joey is frantic by now."

"Joey is overprotective," Fenris grins, referring to Hawke's enormous Mabari. Honestly, that dog would probably follow her into the pub if she let it, and out-drink them all. The mental image makes him laugh.

"You're in good spirits tonight," Hawke says amusedly. "I wouldn't think you would be up for playing a game like that, considering your past."

Fenris thinks that, in the light of day and more sober, he might have been angry at the implications of that, but he is momentarily distracted by the way the torchlight gleams off Hawke's damp hair, makes the rain on her skin shine like she is glowing, like her body is the one painted in lyrium.

He shakes himself out of it. “I’m not half so gloomy as the rest of you make me out to be. Nor so fragile.”

“I don’t think you fragile,” Hawke protests, kicking at a loose stone, watching it skitter across the road. “Just that you’ve endured horrors.”

Fenris realizes that they have slowed to a halt at the top of the Hightown steps. This isn’t a good place for an argument, especially at this time of night.

“As have you,” he says anyway. “As have you all.”

“I know that. Maker, do I know that.” Hawke makes a frustrated noise, pushing damp hair out of her eyes. “It’s just, with you—.” She squeezes her eyes shut for a moment. “Andraste’s kneecaps, I’m not saying this right.”

Fenris feels something strange moving up his spine, like the ghost of a touch. “Hawke, I don’t—.”

“No one won, you know.”

Fenris blinks. “What?” His hair drips into his eyes.

Hawke grins a little. “Isabela’s game. There wasn’t a winner. So…one last round.”

“What—.”

Hawke puts a pale hand on his breastplate, backing him toward the stone wall. Adrenaline floods Fenris, the lyrium reacting in a flash of silver-blue.

“Hawke, don’t—.”

“I have never.” Hawke laughs, soft and deprecating, eyes glassy. “I have never been hopelessly head-over-heals for someone and not been able to find the words to tell them.”

Fenris can feel his breath shaking in his throat as he swallows. “I—I don’t have anything to drink.”

Hawke’s lips twitch upward. “Neither do I.”

Her mouth tastes like whiskey and rain, tongue warm and questing, a hand wrapping tight in Fenris’ hair. She makes a soft, hungry sound as he wraps his arms around her shoulders, pulling her against him.

He can taste something strange and powerful, an ever-moving force beneath her skin. It’s the magic—he knows it is—and he thinks it should probably repulse him, but tonight all it does is make him wonder if she can taste the lyrium on him.

When they break apart Hawke is laughing, wiping her mouth, the deep blue of her eyes black in the torchlight. “Maybe we should call it a tie,” she says after a moment, and when she looks up at him there is rain water clinging to her lip.

“I think that is an…excellent idea.” Fenris hesitates for half a breath before he raises a hand to cup her cheek, brushing the drops away. It seems a marvel that the woman he’s watched burn slavers alive without pause could feel so soft. The part of him that hasn’t even begun to sober up wants to bury his face in her neck, smell her skin, roll around in the salt of her sweat and the fragrance of her hair.

“Shall we…go back to yours, then?” she asks, cheeks coloring a bit. “It’s only, I’ve got a mother and a household of dwarves.”

“That sounds—.” He stiffens as the clink of weaponry announces the presence of a brigade of Carta thugs, slinking round the corner of the marketplace, heads down, noses turned up as if they can smell out their presence.

“—Perfect.”

He tightens his grip on Hawke’s arm for a moment, one light squeeze. When she turns around there is fire blossoming from her palm, erupting into the night, throwing shadows dancing up the wall. The thugs scatter, the leader letting out a war-cry.

“What do you say?” Hawke calls as the fire spreads to her other hand. “Tie-breaker?”

Fenris hefts his sword, the weight of it familiar even with the drink swimming through his veins. “It would be my pleasure.”

--

So um. One day I will have this fandom out of my system. But I doubt it'll be anytime soon.

Date: 2011-06-14 04:03 pm (UTC)
mmefrankenstein: (Hawke)
From: [personal profile] mmefrankenstein
Second read-through = still the bestest ever, buddy. ^_^ Heeeeee......

Thank you~~~~~~~<3!

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