We do not own Dragon Age, nor the characters from it. We do not make any money from the writing of this story.
Alright, so here it is, the modern day AU that my best friend and I wrote.
A few warnings up front:
One, it is an AU. There are no mages or dragons, so some liberties have been taken with some characters. I personally would describe Anders as a mix of Awakenings and DAII. Just because it is an AU doesn't mean it is all butterflies and roses. They all still have personal issues, and have to find ways to deal with them, just like real life and is honestly the whole point of this story.
Two, this serves as my warnings. I do not give trigger warnings, to me that gives away plot points in the storyline especially when given ahead of time. If it sounds insensitive, I apologize but books, movies, games and TV do not either. There is graphic violence of varying types, and I will make author notes before these scenes if it would rather not be read. I personally have not put a single character through a scenario I haven't been in myself in some form or fashion. No, I am not trying to write from experience either, I just followed where the story took me.
Three, along with the violence we have graphic sex, mostly male on male.
Thank you to sehnsuchttraum for reading this first.
So, there you have it. If you still would like to read it, Thank you very much and enjoy!
A typical Tuesday crowd filled the first floor and VIP balcony of the Hanged Man- not that it varied much on any given day, the only thing that changed was the wait at the door, the weekend bringing on hours of wait time for the queue.
A couple crossing the floor drew attention and Douglas Hawke asked of his best friend as he leaned over crossed arms at the balcony railing, "Who is that with Nathaniel?" He had been watching the gyrating mass with pride but outwardly appeared to be indifference when the rogue ex-cop had entered the night club with a slightly shorter and thinner blonde man, jostling through the already packed lower floor.
Isabela leaned over to take a look. "Oh, I know him. That's Anders, he's a doctor." She stood back up, readjusting herself in her black corset (the girls had shifted from leaning over) and pulling down the black leather mega miniskirt that had ridden up slightly, her outfit completed by black thigh high boots.
Hawke raised an eyebrow. "And you know him how?"
"Oh, he and I had sparks one night," she smiled slyly, adding at Hawke's slightly disappointed expression, "Don't worry, babe, I'm fairly certain he's like us and his gate swings both ways."
Varric sauntered to the balcony and looked over, his own comment deep and raspy, "Howe has some real balls to show up here."
The ex-cop looked up as if he had heard his name and the three companions smirked at him, letting the man below know they were aware of his presence. The long haired, brunette man squinted back with a frown before turning his attention back to the blonde and directing him to the bar.
"Maybe I should go make sure they have a good time," Douglas said while straightening. He rerolled one of his sleeves on the ice blue dress shirt that accentuated the color of his glacial blue eyes, gave his black tie another slight, loosening tug over the unbuttoned collar before dusting off black slacks. He raised an eyebrow, looking for approval.
Isabela ran her fingers through his short, black hair, helping to fan out the front, "Alluring as ever; Merrill would be drooling," referring to her younger, half-sister who had a major crush on the man.
Varric asked, "Are you sure this is a good idea, Hawke?"
"What is he going to do, punch me again? In my own club? He may be crazy, but I don't think he's stupid."
"What does he have to lose now since that incident got him fired?"
Douglas' bodyguard, Fenris, spoke up in answer, "His life."
Douglas just shrugged with a smirk.
A new, feminine voice interrupted the conversation, "Hawke, I need to speak with you."
"Aveline! You come here too infrequently," Douglas replied.
Her red hair shook along with the stern, freckled face, "Not a social call, Hawke. A warning. There was another incident downstairs. You need to control the times we are called out here; you know Chief Cullen is gunning to shut this place down," the police Captain chided.
"That bastard is only after me because I wouldn't let him have my sister."
"Regardless, he'll follow the book to get what he wants."
"Duly noted. Thanks, Aveline."
"Come by your next off day; we'll reminisce about old times," he told his childhood friend as she was already turning to leave after saying her piece.
"I'll try," she replied.
"That's what you always say!" Douglas called after her, but he knew they were both smiling; this place wasn't exactly her scene. The two had been friends since they were kids, growing up near each other and many times saved each other's hides in scrapes.
Aveline stopped and turned to look at Isabela, "Shouldn't you be at the Rose?"
"What, just because we have competing businesses, we can't still be best friends?"
"I meant in the backroom."
"Only if you're gonna join me, Big Girl."
Aveline chuckled and waved over her shoulder as she left.
Douglas scanned the club floor again, finding Nathaniel and his companion still near the bar, "Well, time to go see if my new honored guest is having a good time."
Isabela chuckled, "Going poaching, Hawke?"
Hawke smiled back, "You know my motto: why work for it when you can just steal it."
Douglas made his way downstairs with Fenris by his side, the smaller deeply tanned, platinum haired man saying, "I hate when you mingle."
Douglas laughed, "Oh, but it's so much fun when people look at your size and think they can take you only to have their asses handed to them."
"I'm glad you find me amusing," the very deep baritone indicated he was not at all glad.
"Oh, Fenris, stop being so serious."
"Do you want me to dance now?"
"Well, we are about to cross the dance floor..." Fenris made a sour face and Douglas just laughed before picking his way through the crowded floor, stopped every few feet by a regular or an admirer. Douglas flirted his way across but finally made it to the bar, leaning sideways against it beside the blonde, both men facing Nathaniel who was now looking back at Hawke seething. Douglas was unaffected, and asked almost cheerily, "Mr. Howe, what brings you to this fine establishment?"
Nathaniel didn't answer, but the blonde did with a slight drawl to his words; finally looking at Hawke for the first time and smiling as he did, "It's my birthday."
Douglas was taken aback upon seeing the blonde up close for the first time. The man was gorgeous, his skin smooth and slightly darker than Douglas', the sides of his blond hair pulled back from his angular face in a small ponytail, a stray strand hanging alongside his cheek that Douglas wanted to reach out and tuck behind his ear, fine stubble all along his jaw, sparkling amber eyes, and luscious pink lips that Douglas had the sudden urge to deck Nathaniel Howe for touching.
Douglas recovered quickly, "Well, then this is a special occasion." He waved at the bartender and received immediate service, "What are you having?"
Anders looked uncertainly at him and looked at Nate who was still squinting angrily at Douglas, "I don't know."
"Right, well, three Mage's Revenges here," Douglas ordered, smiling at the men. The drinks were placed in front of them in ice-coated glasses and set on fire. Douglas raised his toward Anders, "Happy Birthday," before tipping the glass back and downing the contents in one swallow. Nathaniel glared at him and tried following suit, but gagged on the drink and Douglas tried not to burst out laughing, knowing the beverage made one's mouth numb before burning like hell going down, but his already moving on to the warm glow in his belly.
Anders looked like he was going to laugh, too, and Hawke winked at him. Douglas wasn't sure but it looked like the man's cheeks flushed before he looked down at his bought drink. The blonde picked it up and with a raised hand to Douglas he took a tentative sip and smiled before downing the rest himself. Douglas raised an eyebrow, smiling broadly back. The empty glass was replaced on the bar and the blonde said, "Well, you know Nate," with an extended a hand, "I'm Anders."
Hawke accepted the offered hand, the other soft in his, "Douglas."
"So, how do you two know each other?"
"Oh, one memorable evening I am still trying to forget."
"You aren't friends then?"
"Then why are you over here talking to him?"
"Technically, at the moment, I'm not," he smiled at Anders, "but I'm here to ensure Mr. Howe is having a good time. I don't want any trouble."
Nathaniel finally spoke, his deep baritone easily carrying over the noise of the club, "I'm not here to cause problems."
"That's good; the last thing I need is Aveline yelling at me again."
Anders looked surprised. "You know Captain Hendyr?" obviously knowing the woman himself, possibly through Nathaniel.
Douglas shrugged. "Childhood friend."
"So, are you the manager or something?"
Douglas smiled. "Owner."
"Really?" Anders looked conflicted for a second before blurting out, "So, why did you call it The Hanged Man?"
Douglas smiled wickedly, honestly used to the question, "Well, I was going to call it The Hung Man but I didn't want to mortify my mother..."
Nathaniel snorted, "I always pegged you for a mama's boy."
Anders turned to Nathaniel quickly and chided, "That's not necessarily a bad thing," causing Douglas to smirk at the former cop smugly, but adjusted his expression to wounded when the blonde turned back to him. Anders apologized, "Forgive him. I had to drag him here."
"Well, I'm glad you did." Douglas was certain the man blushed that time.
"I always wanted to come here. I heard it was the best club in Kirkwall."
"Well, you're doing a good job."
Douglas smiled at him, almost certain the tone had been flirtatious. "Thank you." A song started playing that Anders obviously enjoyed because he started moving faintly to the beat, Douglas watching his swaying hips with a smile. "Why don't you go dance?"
"Nate doesn't dance."
"I'll dance with you," Douglas responded, not giving Nathaniel a chance to jump in.
Anders looked at him with a smile, and after a moment answered, "Alright."
Douglas grabbed his hand and pulled him to the floor, standing behind Anders but leaving adequate modesty space between the two so not to send the man running scared and refraining from actually touching the blonde as they started dancing to the suggestive song playing over the club's loud speakers. Now that they were standing together, Douglas could see the man was a few inches shorter than himself which Douglas found strangely endearing.
After a few lines of the music, Anders closed the distance between them, grinding his backside into Douglas' hips. Hawke almost jumped backward at the unexpected advance, but smiled as the blonde continued rubbing against him and Nathaniel looked like he was about to cross the dance floor to kill Douglas. "Your boyfriend is glaring at me," he spoke into the blonde's ear.
"Oh, we're not together. Well, at least not anymore."
Douglas had initially started this for revenge, just to show the former cop if he wanted the blonde he could have him but was surprised when he actually felt relieved the two weren't together. "So, if you are here with a friend, is it safe to assume a man as handsome as yourself is actually single?"
"Yes. And you?"
Douglas' heart had actually done a cartwheel in his chest at the response to his question, but his own tone remained playful as he answered, "Terminally, so I am afraid."
"What do you mean?"
"Most people usually only want something from me, and the few relationships I have had ended with either their bad timing or them being commitment-phobes."
"I'm sorry to hear that." Anders actually did sound sorry.
Douglas placed his hands on the other man's hips pulling them a bit further into his own, nuzzling the blonde's ear. "At this moment, I'm not." He smiled when Anders shivered against him, adding, "Unless, of course, you are only using me for this one dance."
"Well, I don't know about you, but now that I'm out here, I don't plan on stopping."
"If that was an invitation, I accept."
Anders rubbed up against Douglas' length and he had to bite back a groan when the man replied, "It was."
Douglas looked up at Nathaniel again, who was glowering and really starting to get antsy now, and he smirked at the man. Nathaniel took a step toward him, but Douglas shifted his gaze with a smile toward Fenris, who was standing in between the two men, and the brunette's silver eyes followed before retreating back to the bar.
The first few beats of the next song started playing and Douglas turned his attention to the balcony with a large smile. Isabela nodded knowingly with her own smile on her lips, dancing herself to the song. Douglas slid his hand down Anders' thigh and then brought it back up, sliding the hand underneath the pale tan, light sweater pleased to find the man's cargo jeans riding a bit low on his slender waist and Douglas hand was now resting on bare skin of the blonde's hip bone. Anders' faint cologne was intoxicating and Douglas nuzzled his ear again, singing into it, "Dirty babe, you see these shackles, baby, I'm your slave. I'll let you whip me if I misbehave; it's just that no one makes me feel this way."
Anders' hips bucked back into his at the words and Douglas slid his hand to the midline of the man's abdomen the very tip of his pinky under the waistband of the other man's pants and letting it linger for a few moments before sliding the hand up surprisingly well defined abs. Anders spun around to face him, Hawke's hand now on his back and Douglas was struck stupid for a moment by the amber colored eyes looking back at him. He pulled the other man into him, their hips rubbing together, Douglas trying hard to remember a time he was more turned on, simultaneously trying harder not to think about it at all. Douglas repeated the lines of the song, his mouth hovering over the perfect, pink lips and his gaze completely fixated on them. Douglas tried to not be surprised when Anders grabbed his backside, playfully swatting it at the word whip and Douglas smiled while biting his lower lip.
They danced through several more songs before a slow one started playing and Douglas was about to pull away when the blonde wrapped his arms around his neck. Hawke smiled and wrapped his arms around the slender waist, swaying together to the slow rhythm. Douglas swallowed nervously when the thought crossed his mind this man in his arms felt so right and the thought nagged him further when Anders' hands lowered to the small of his back and a head rested on Douglas' shoulder, faint breath caressing Hawke's neck. He wondered if the other man might be drunk, but he wasn't acting like it and his breath didn't smell of it. Douglas allowed himself to think for a moment the man might actually like him before he banished the idea, knowing Howe would never allow it and would probably scare Anders with his lies. He would have to be content with this one night and try not to be disappointed it meant ending up back home alone. Besides, he'd only just met the man an hour ago, and didn't do one night stands on purpose.
They danced through a few more songs before Douglas asked, "Want to come up stairs and meet my friends?" He looked toward the bar, grudgingly adding, "Nathaniel can come too if he wants."
"Okay," Anders smiled at him widely and Douglas couldn't help but smile back. They made their way back over towards Nathaniel, Douglas lingering by Fenris and watching the two men. Howe looked angrier than he had before, silver eyes looking daggers at Douglas, and clearly flat out refusing to go upstairs and trying to convince Anders to do the same. Anders shrugged and turned to rejoin Hawke, Douglas smiling widely at him while Nathaniel boiled with rage. Douglas slipped his arm around the blonde's waist, guiding him through the club and up to the balcony.
He introduced Anders to several of the usual guests before turning to his lithe shadow, "This is my bodyguard, Fenris, by the way."
Anders raised an eyebrow, "Your bodyguard?"
The tone at which the small man answered left no doubt in anyone's mind he could snap someone in half like a twig, "Yes."
They turned their attentions to Douglas two best friends. "This is Varric Tethras," allowing the two men to shake hands, before adding, "And everyone knows Isabela."
"Oh, yes, Isabela." Anders looked slightly embarrassed at the fact Hawke seemed to know about the two of them together.
"Don't worry about it, sweetness, he says everybody because he's guilty too," Isabela and Douglas laughed, Hawke winking at Anders. Her lips twisted into a sultry smirk before she added, "I hope you know that right now you are the most hated man in this club."
Varric tagged on, "Probably in the city when this story gets out."
Anders looked at them in confusion, "What are you talking about?"
Isabela said, "Not only did you get Douglas Hawke to dance with you, you got him to continue dancing with you for well over an hour."
Varric chuckled, "A slow dance too."
Anders replied shyly, "Oh, he's just being nice because it's my birthday."
Isabela smiled slyly, "Is he now? What did you give me for my birthday, Hawke?"
"That motorcycle parked in my spot."
Varric asked, "And mine?"
"I introduced you to Bianca."
Varric chuckled, "I'm still not sure that was a gift," he joked, looking lovingly at his fiancé, a very tall, beautiful, curly haired redhead, who was smiling back at the very short, stocky, blonde man in the long, brown, leather coat.
Fenris was curious, "And what are you going to get me, Hawke?"
"Ballet lessons if you don't learn to lighten up." Douglas laughed along with his two friends. Fenris scowled slightly, before he chuckled too.
Isabela grudgingly admitted, "Okay, fine, maybe when it comes to birthdays, he is a giver; that doesn't change what I said though."
Varric asked curiously, "Didn't you happen to read the article not that long ago about the most eligible bachelor in the city?"
When Anders shook his head no, Varric looked wounded, but Douglas said, "Thank the Maker."
"All I am saying is wait until Vera gets wind of this."
"Please, Varric, we all know you freelance under that pen. What I'm completely shocked at is you didn't add that last t."
"You know, I almost did, but Starricht seemed a little much."
Douglas snorted at that, "Leave the name of the innocent out of it and you can write your story."
Anders cocked an eyebrow, "What if I don't want my name left out of it? What if I want everyone to know just who brought down the most eligible bachelor in Kirkwall?"
Varric chuckled, "Ah, the adventurous type are you?"
Douglas was firm, "No, trust me, it's better this way."
Varric shook his head in agreement, "It is, Blondie." A smile crossed Varric's lips, "Although, how about a compromise? That's your new nickname from me and I'll use that, how does that sound?"
Anders shrugged. "Fine with me."
Douglas grumbled his assent and Varric looked pleased with himself. Nobody had actually noticed Isabela had disappeared and reappeared except for Douglas. The sexy brunette came back holding a cupcake and Douglas lit the candle with a lighter he procured from his pocket. Everyone sang happy birthday to the blushing blonde and urged him to make a wish. Anders closed his eyes, making his wish before blowing out the tiny flame. A celebratory kiss was placed on a blonde stubbled cheek by Isabela as everyone else clapped and cheered. The blonde man looked so happy, Douglas felt a small pang of regret but when Anders' smile turned to him, Hawke smiled back faintly.
Isabela came to stand beside Douglas and grabbed his hand, giving it a squeeze before leaning against his shoulder and whispering in his ear, "You're starting to look like someone just kicked your dog." His only response was a vague smile. "I'm sorry, Hawke," she knew her best friend well enough to know why he was upset. "Up for a ride later?" she smiled wickedly when he turned and looked at her before nodding his agreement. She gave him a wink and his hand a pleased squeeze before they turned their attention back to the blonde who was now eating the cupcake with relish. Douglas had to chuckle at the enthusiasm.
They stayed upstairs, chatting for a while until Anders started to look tired, unsuccessfully trying to stifle a yawn. The man other probably had to work today and most likely tomorrow also. Douglas couldn't resist the urge this time to brush the strand of hair back, "Are you ready to go? I can take you home if you want."
Anders looked down at Nathaniel, the man still glowering from the bar. Douglas had completely forgotten about him and tried to cover his disappointment at the coming no. Anders answered shyly, "Alright."
Douglas was shocked and smiled widely at the unexpected response. "Okay, well, wait here a second. I'll be right back." He walked over to Isabela, demanding as a best friend could, "Let me borrow your extra helmet."
Isabela chuckled, "Really? He's letting you take him home?"
"Yes. I was surprised too."
Fenris asked, "Why can't you just take the car?"
"I don't think he's going to give me any problems, Fenris."
"No, but the other might."
"I'm willing to take that risk."
"Then why do you bother paying me?"
"Fine, how about this? I'll call you; let you know I'm alright."
Fenris threw up his hands, "You're the boss, do what you will."
Douglas sighed, "I'll call you," knowing the other man wouldn't relax unless he knew Douglas was fine.
Douglas went through a hidden door and down a small hallway to his office, handsomely decorated in antiques while a wall of one-way mirrors looked out at the club. He made his way past his large, overly neat desk to the large walk-in closet. After changing into a tight black t-shirt, straight leg blue jeans and a pair of black boots, he put on his red and black chaps, grabbed his matching motorcycle jacket, gloves, keys, helmet, wallet and cellphone before heading back out into the hallway.
Isabela was waiting and holding up another helmet. "Good luck, tiger."
Douglas sighed and rolled his eyes. "You know my rule, Isabela."
She groaned back, "Of course, I do. I think you might want to forgo that just this once."
"What? So I can regret it more when he doesn't call back?"
"No, this time, so you don't when he doesn't." Douglas frowned at her, and she shrugged, "See you later, babe," and kissed his cheek.
Hawke reemerged from the hidden hall with the two helmets and the jacket. He held the coat out to Anders, who was looking at it wide eyed. "We can take the car if you want but then we'll have at least two other guests." Anders slipped the red and black leather jacket on and it was slightly too big for him, but he looked so cute in it Douglas had to smirk, helping him zip it up. "Let's go tell your friend bye."
Anders nodded and they made their way back to the bar, and Nathaniel looked a bit shocked to see Anders standing in Douglas' coat and Hawke behind him with two helmets. "What are you doing?"
"Douglas is going to take me home."
"I don't think that is a good idea. In fact, I think it is a terrible one."
"You worry too much, Nate. I'll be fine."
"You… on the back of a motorcycle with him? No, I don't think so."
"You aren't my father. You're supposed to be my friend but right now you just seem like a jealous ex."
"You don't know the real him, Anders, please!"
"It seems you don't either. Maybe one of us should actually get to know him before we start judgin' him."
Nathaniel shook his head and looked at the ground. Anders turned to leave and Douglas went to follow, but Nathaniel jumped up, grabbing Hawke's upper arm. Fenris went to remove the offender but stopped with a look from his employer. Nathaniel growled, "I swear, if you hurt him, I will kill you."
Fenris growled back, ready to eliminate the threat, but Douglas held up his hand and smiled at Nathaniel, replying, "Once again, I think you have me confused with someone else." He leaned in closer, smirking and whispering seductively, "But thank you for giving me some really wicked ideas." After removing the shocked man's hand, he nodded at Fenris, indicating he was done. The small man smiled almost gleefully at a chance to get a hold of Howe. Douglas lead Anders out the double doors after throwing a parting wave toward the flood balcony railing, already, he knew, abuzz with talk about him.
Song sang belongs to:
Song Title: Sexy Back
Artist: Justin Timberlake
Writer(s): MOSLEY, TIMOTHY / HILLS, NATE / TIMBERLAKE, JUSTIN