Six months after the events of DA:II, The Champion of Kirkwall and his constant companion The Tevinter Fugitive, have vanished from the public eye and are exploring the north coast of Ferelden. The Tevinter Magister, Danarius, having foiled Fenris' attempts to kill him in Act II, returns to reclaim his property and captures the Champion instead.
Fenris, aided (or hindered) by Anders, must strike out together through a world in pieces, to rescue the man they both love and somehow keep from destroying each other in the process.
Male!Hawke x Fenris, Anders x Male!Hawke (unrequited... for now), Fenris x Anders
There may also be some OCs scattered in and around that main triangle. Maybe.
Er, so, I had no intention to ever write Dragon Age fic. I mean, I loved the games, I got completely engrossed, but I didn't want to try writing in such a huge environment, where everyone's experience with the story is different. But then this happened.
Background / How DA I and II Panned Out:
- Alistair is King of Ferelden, Loghain is dead and Anora was locked in a tower
- Carver and Bethany died (I'm not sure how I managed that)
- Isabela ran off
- Rogue!Male!Hawke with default appearance, with the exception that he shaved his beard. Judging by the conversation choices, he is certainly roguish and has a pretty terrible sense of humour.
- Hawke romanced both Fenris and Anders, but only consummated with Fenris (poor Anders). At the end of the game, though, Hawke supported Anders and fought against the Templars.
This is hard... Half the fic is explaining the back ground information :P
I haven't played any of the DLC, so I hope I'm not trampling too much on cannon.
Spoilers for Dragon Age I and II; man sex; drama llamas; humour; violence
Walk Softly and Carry a Big Axe
"You know I did it all for you."
"Hm?" Fenris looked up from his peaceful contemplation of... bushes. Some kind of bush. He should probably know what they were, what their uses were, like any self-respecting elf should, but he didn't. They were green and flecked with tiny red berries. Probably poisonous. Why else would they still have berries on a busy highway like this one?
Hawke smiled. But then, Hawke always seemed to smile. Whether they were in battle or in bed, the man was incorrigible and as free with the expression as he was free with everything. Something Fenris and Fenris' jealousy had had to come to terms with long ago.
"I mean the whole Champion thing," Hawke explained. He gestured at himself, at the matched armour under the dust. "Not just you, mind. All of you. My friends. I think I just got strung along helping people, getting involved with those I care about, and suddenly I was the Champion of Kirkwall." He looked away, gazing thoughtfully along the pale brown highway toward the thin smoke of a nearby town. "Really, given a choice, I'd be Hawke the Baker. Or Hawke the Locksmith. At least then people might have better locks on their valuables." He chuckled.
Fenris watched him, bemused and entertained. "I don't think you have it in you to hold down a job," the warrior said. "You seek out trouble, my friend. It doesn't just find you."
Hawke rested his hands in a loose net behind his head and stretched, then slanted a smirk in Fenris' direction. "You don't think I could be a baker? Ah, you're probably right, at that. I never really understood yeast. What is it? Is it alive? Does that make bread an animal?"
"...I'm going back to Minrathous."
Laughing, Hawke lunged sideways and grabbed the slender figure of his companion. "Only if you take me with you! I'm lost without my companions."
"Then stop talking about bread. I'm hungry enough as it is." Fenris halfheartedly pushed Hawke away, furtively searching for any other eyes on the road. Ahead of them was a peasant family and a donkey cart and behind them, a good distance away, was an old woman hobbling along with a walking stick. He still wasn't too sure what to do when Hawke felt affectionate in public: submit? Hit him? Express affection in return?
"Fine, have it your way. I won't be a baker, then." Hawke released him, his hands lingering just long enough on Fenris' waist to start... something. That faint tension and pressure of desire deep under his stomach and at the base of his throat. He wondered if Hawke felt it to. Then he looked up at the rogue's eyes and saw that he needn't have wondered. Hawke's smile had turned into Hawke's smouldering stare. "Is there anything you want me to be?" he asked in a low, dark voice.
Fenris swallowed heavily, suddenly wishing he had a drink. "More discrete," he replied.
Hawke held that stare for a very long moment, long enough for Fenris to wonder if he would get a closer look at those bushes, and then smirked. "As you wish," he said formally, offering a little bow and turning away.
They walked for about three paces. Fenris, with a slight tinge of disappointment, thought the matter was over.
Then Hawke threw up his arms and spun around. "Never fear, Fenris," he said, startling elf and nearby birds with the boom of his voice. "No one will ever know how much I love you!"
"Oh, Maker," Fenris sighed into his palm. Not for the first time, he wondered why he was here, following along with the Champion of Kirkwall, the world's most irritating man. "I defended mages for you," he added sternly. "Do not mock me."
Unusual sobriety passed over Hawke's face, showing for the briefest instant what the man had seen and done. "I would never mock you, Fenris. I know what you did for me."
Of course, on hearing that, Fenris was guiltily reminded that, of the two of them, Hawke had done so much more. Not just for Fenris, but for everyone. He had a kind of selfless bravado and curiosity about him; like he strode through the world righting wrongs and being brave for fun. Looking at him, Fenris couldn't even see the Champion of Kirkwall; in truth, that man had never existed. There had only been Hawke, following a nose that was too well-suited to sniffing out conflict and danger.
There was nothing Fenris could say that would adequately express his feelings of gratitude and frustration at the human, for being so wonderful and so oblivious at the same time. So he didn't try. "See that you don't," he growled. "Or I'll never do it for you again."
Hawke, who seemed to eat, breathe and live sexual innuendo, grinned wolfishly an instant later.
After that, their walk to the next town slowed to a fraction of its former pace, and Fenris vowed to keep his mouth shut in the future.
The unnamed town's unnamed inn was medium-sized, good enough for anyone not important enough for the mayor to take note of. Fenris looked about at the taproom while Hawke made arrangements with the innkeeper. It bore a faint, nostalgia-inducing resemblance to the Hanged Man, what with the filth, the drunk people and the air of desperation mixed with camaraderie. Fenris half expected to find Varric in one of the back rooms. Or maybe a man selling poisons.
"Room and dinner for my friend and me," Hawke said, leaning over the bar and sliding a few silver pieces across. "And something in a bottle that won't make us blind."
"How about the dinner?" the woman asked blandly. "Can that make you blind?"
"I'd like to see it try." That ready smirk returned and Fenris forced his jealousy down.
"Here you are, ser," she said, passing over a generic iron key. "Third door on your right. The establishment appreciates your patronage."
"And your patron appreciates your establishmentage."
It was hard to tell if the white-faced innkeeper was flattered or annoyed. Fenris decided not to stick around to find out. He lay a clawed hand on Hawke's shoulder and tugged. "Come on. If we wait too long, dinner will probably try to crawl away." With the other, he reached for the key. He noticed the innkeeper's eyes follow the lyrium on his skin and he burned with the usual rush of self-consciousness, the desire to hide the markings that he never indulged.
On their way to their room, Hawke skillfully pick-locked every other door, startling one poor girl in the middle of her bath ("Water inspector," the rogue said to the frightened face and smooth shoulders. "Here to ensure your well-being." "Come on," Fenris growled, dragging the man away.), and discovering about four chests full of other people's belongings. Now that the Champion had a fair bit of coin at his disposal and the world's most efficient killing and looting abilities, he didn't actually take these things. He just liked to look at them and show them to Fenris, who most often stood in the doorway and pretended not to notice.
"How many moth-eaten scarves are there?" Hawke asked distastefully, brushing off his hands and rejoining his companion. "We should be knee-deep in caterpillars."
Their own room was plain, but clean...ish. Cleaner than sleeping on the side of the road, which they had had the pleasure of doing once or twice before in their explorations of the southern coast of the Waking Sea. The window was a nice touch; they had had to escape from places enough times in the past that it was worth trying the latch on the shutters and examining the drop to the courtyard on the other side. In the gathering purple gloom, the sun setting on the other side of the building, Fenris saw nothing more interesting than the cart and donkey belonging to the peasant family.
Hands slid around him from behind, ghosting over his waist and then up, into the narrow gap between breast-plate and tight clothing, as far as they would go. Fenris shivered at the ticklish sensation of someone touching that protected area.
"You're not too hungry, are you?" Hawke murmured close to one pointed ear, making Fenris twitch and goosebumps rise.
Fenris' stomach, empty as it was, was also the most generous of his organs, and willingly gave up precedence to other bits of his body. He closed and latched the shutter, then turned in Hawke's embrace. "Very hungry," he replied. "For Champion-meat."
Hawke blinked and stared. Then he burst into laughter.
"What?" Fenris scowled. That wasn't the appropriate response.
"I can't believe you just said that," the rogue said, still snickering. "I must be wearing off on you." He pitched his voice low to mimic Fenris' growl, "Champion-meat." When Fenris tried to pull away, angry and a little hurt, Hawke pulled him back, quickly sobering. "Sorry, it's just that that's usually something I would say. I like it, I promise. I was just, uh, surprised." That last he said against Fenris' neck, before kissing the dark skin.
Hawke made it very, very difficult to stay angry. In fact, Fenris was quite sure that Hawke had some ability that did the same thing in battle; he had seen experienced soldiers leave the rogue alone, under the impression that he wasn't a threat. Though Fenris knew this, he was willing to succumb and allow Hawke's lips to litter kisses under his ears and, soon enough, in the places where his armour had been.
Fenris had spent years looking at himself as a weapon or a tool, at best efficiently designed and at worst ugly. He was all thin muscle, sinew, bone, scars and that map of lyrium. Hawke, apparently, was blind to all of that. He treated Fenris like Fenris was made of... of something very good. Something that Fenris had yet to encounter. The rogue touched, kissed, nibbled and occasionally bit every part of the elf's body, his sharp gaze often on Fenris' face, watching every reaction.
Sometimes, Fenris couldn't handle it. He forced Hawke to look away, or turned off the lights, or just shut his own eyes. This evening, though, it was good. It was all right, comforting even. He wanted the other man, wanted him badly, wanted his eyes and his attention and his dark, dark voice.
After several minutes of Hawke's teasing ministrations, Fenris finally pushed the man over, using the strength of Danarius' folly to manhandle the Champion of Kirkwall. He straddled Hawke's hips, savouring the feel of the man's need so close to his own, separated by only the thin fabric of Hawke's undergarments. He took the opportunity to return the favour, exploring flesh that was his and his alone, no matter how easy Hawke was with his smiles and flirtation. How many people would kill to be in the position he was in, staring down at his own dark hands splayed on the Champion's broad chest, those eyes heavy-lidded and desirous?
"Thank the Maker I found you," he murmured, curling down to press his cheek against Hawke's, appreciative of the fact that the man had shaved off that terrible beard.
It was a youthful gesture, almost chidish, but Hawke didn't complain. The man crushed Fenris in a tight embrace and rolled them together, pressing himself against the length of Fenris' body. He said, in all seriousness, "Thank Him for me, too."
They eventually made it down for dinner and their bottle of non-blinding something. The taproom held significantly more people after full dark and Fenris was immediately on edge, keeping an eye out for anyone to make a move toward Hawke.
"You can relax, Fenris," Hawke chided as they waited for another white-skinned wench to bring their suppers. "No one knows us here." He had a sleepy, satisfied expression on his face, looking very much like a man who has everything he wants in the world.
Because he has me, Fenris' growing self-esteem suggested. The rest of Fenris' mind thought that this was very doubtful, but wasn't up for arguing when he was feeling so well-sated himself.
"Being unknown does not make one invulnerable," Fenris replied. He leaned back when the serving girl set a bowl of steaming something-or-other in front of him.
Suddenly, he was starving. It took effort not to lower his head and wolf down the chunks of potato, vegetable and meat as Hawke did. One bite at a time, he chewed and kept an eye behind him, always vigilant.
Hawke snickered. "Come on. No one is going to attack a man carrying an axe larger than himself."
"It's not larger than me."
"Well, just about." Hawke seemed unusually pleased with himself, even for him. He set his empty dish down and lifted a hand to signal the serving girl for another. While he waited, he propped his head on his fist and watched Fenris' slow, methodical progress. He smiled dreamily. "I could just sit and watch you for ages."
"Hawke," Fenris reprimanded quietly, embarrassed and worried about drawing attention. Since Hawke was apparently watching his back, among other parts of him, he took the opportunity to hurriedly finish his meal. The sooner he finished, the sooner they could leave.
The girl brought more food and more drink, the first to satisfy Hawke's large appetite and the latter for them both. From somewhere, the man produced a deck of battered cards, with which he plied Fenris until the elf relented to a game. About two hands in, Fenris started to feel good and slightly drowsy. He made some unlucky bets and verbally agreed to questionable acts with the rogue, in the hopes that Hawke would forget by morning.
Fenris' caution dwindled. He didn't notice when the taproom started to empty out, he didn't notice the growing quiet. He was focused entirely on a handful of cards that didn't really make sense. For some reason, the pictures and numbers were all jumbled. He felt like he was trying to learn to read again, that there was some meaning behind them that he just couldn't get.
Then there was a very clear footsteps, loud in the silence of the room.
Fenris jumped, dropped his cards and turned to look. The room turned with him, spinning, making him cringe and hold onto the table. His stomach squirmed and flipped and felt rather like a high dragon had just smacked him with her tail. Again.
"Hawke," he tried to say, his tongue and lips numb.
There was a clatter and a scrape of wood on wood behind him as Hawke tried to stand and failed.
Blurry figures approached from the bar, filing out from the back room. Fear, anger and battle lust mingled fruitlessly within Fenris; his body was incapable of responding. They had been drugged.
"Stop right there," Hawke slurred. "Don't you have the decency to... to not be blurry? Like a decent, unblurry person?"
You tell them, Hawke, Fenris thought. Surely, the human's quick metabolism and experience with poisons would let him act.
Hawke held out one of his wicked daggers and promptly dropped it under the table.
"Well, well... I'm glad we can rely on the Champion to let his guard down." That voice... It came from Hell. It came from the dark places, the evil places. That voice had died a year ago! "I believe we have you to thank for that, Fenris. You always were such a good boy."
"D-Danarius," Fenris stuttered. The figures approached close enough to resolve themselves into the unmistakable magister, flanked by mages and soldiers. "I... I killed you."
The magister laughed lightly. "Of course not. I'd never allow it. Now, come along, boy. You have a lot to atone for."
"Like Hell he will," Hawke growled. "You'll never—never touch him again."
"Admirable. Foolish, but admirable." Then, gently, "Kill him, Fenris."
The lyrium in Fenris' skin burned to life. Of their own volition, Fenris' arms and hands moved, gripping the massive axe on his back and bringing it forward. He struggled against the compulsion, harder than he'd ever fought anything, until his entire body was shaking and sweat dampened his hair and trickled down his neck, but slowly, inexorably, he readied himself to attack.
He turned to Hawke, the only man, the only person, for whom he had gladly fought, loved and lived. Hawke was pale, but also very still, staring up at the elf. He looked relaxed, that smile turning up the corner of his lips, hands flat on the table.
"Run," Fenris whimpered.
"I won't turn away from you," was Hawke's noble, stupid response. "I can't feel my legs."
"Now, Fenris. I don't have all night."
"I forgive you," the Champion of Kirkwall said.
I don't, Fenris thought, raising his axe.
Fenris froze and the compulsion faded ever so slightly as Danarius was distracted. He could have cried. This was a nightmare, the worst of his nightmares, trapped in the act of killing Hawke at the behest of his true master.
Danarius' answer was cold enough to crack stone. "Yes?"
"Master, the Champion is worth a... a lot of money." It was one of the other mages. Fenris could only barely see her from the corner of his eye; likely another apprentice. Soon enough, she would be another footstep in his dreams, torturing him waking and sleeping. "Would, would my master not want the prestige, the power, of selling the Champion?"
Again, the hold on Fenris weakened somewhat, enough for him to feel his own body again, to feel the lyrium burn. At least it seemed to have banished most of the drug. He stared down at Hawke, desperate, begging him to run while he had the chance.
Hawke, apparently, got the wrong message. "Go," he mouthed.
"Perhaps the Imperial Archon?"
"You make a good point, Claudia. However, you will not presume to know what I want." There was a choking noise and Fenris could twitch his fingers as Danarius' attention and power were both diverted. "Do I make myself clear?"
"Y-yes, master," she replied, voice strained.
The instant Fenris realized that he could flex the muscles in his legs, he obeyed Hawke's silent command and launched himself away, toward a window.
The soldiers and mages erupted in cries and Danarius' control tightened like a vise, but Fenris was already moving and forward momentum carried him through the thick, greasy panes of glass. He landed, lacerated and bleeding, on the dirt of the courtyard. For the moment, out of sight of Danarius, he had some semblance of control over his body. He took off, running like he hadn't had to run since... since Kirkwall, since Hawke and the knowledge that someone, somewhere, had his back. He ran and he hated himself for running and leaving the rogue in Danarius' clutches.
"Find him!" Danarius thundered behind him, voice of a god echoing over the small town. "I will not lose him again!"