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Caltrops

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Hawke shifted slightly on his perch, crouching with elbows on knees and his chin on his hands. It was going to be dawn soon, if the faint pinkness in the eastern sky were any indication, and still no sign of the damned client.

At least sunrise would be pretty, painting the wide, endless sky and reflecting in the glass-calm water of the harbour. There weren't many good things to say about a long, cold, wasted night lurking in Kirkwall's stinking dockyards, but the view was nice.

Varric was going to owe him a drink for this. Possibly a whole cask, if Hawke caught some hideous bout of the sniffles again. Fucking prissy, entitled nobles and their selfish requirements— Hawke didn't generally meet with clients, except in special circumstances. The deal was, you came to see the dwarf, you explained the target, and the offer was hashed out (usually with a reasonable down-payment). If the contract was accepted, your problems disappeared, and you paid the blighted dwarf and were on your way.

He wasn't builtfor actually dealing with the clientele, especially not the self-important (and thus usually ridiculously wealthy) ones. He knew what he was and what he did, and he knew what kind of man that made him, but by the Maker's sanctified arsehole, some of the nobles up Hightown way were real monsters. Even those who weren't horrifically cold-blooded wanted to be treated like they shit sovereigns and farted the Chant of Light, and honestly, his patience couldn't be bothered with that either.

But this sodding Harimann woman was truly testing his self-restraint (and Varric's, since she wasn't the most agreeable or respectful lady to speak with, apparently). She wanted to meet, to see him in the flesh (like a prize hound or a cut of meat) before a single copper was dragged through her purse strings, and now she'd stood him up.

To the Void with that, then. As if his time was less important than the whims of some pinch-faced harpy, who refused to entertain the simple rules of their operation. Varric could tell her the bloody contract was rejected, and she could find some other stupid son of a bitch to do her dirty work.

Unfolding himself, stretching out his numbed limbs in the pre-dawn chill, Hawke rubbed a crick out of his neck and started off across the rooftops, back towards home.


The warm, crackling fire waiting in the grate when he slipped back into his tenement was a knee-weakening blessing. Maker, it felt like an age since he'd been home, but he still spared only a moment or two of flexing his fingers in the heat before slinking off towards the bedroom.

As silent and as quick as he was, and as much as the thought appealed to both his mischievous and amorous sides, it would be a spectacularly bad idea to try and sneak into bed beside Fenris. A fist through the ribcage seemed like a particularly unpleasant way to end an already shitty night.

Silently stripping down to his skin, Hawke listened to his lover's slow, steady breathing (with a low rumble on the inhale that was not a snoreon pain of death). With this blighted Harimann business, and Fenris just back from a mercenary contract out in some backwater in the Wildervale, how long had it been since they'd last had some quiet time together? A week? No, by now it was more than a fortnight.

He wasn't even thinking solely of the last time they'd had sex, either. It had been just as long since they'd simply kissed (more than a brief peck to mark comings and goings), or practiced Fenris' reading, or even shared a meal and a private conversation. How long had it been since they'd just lain together in a warm nest of quilts?

Too long was the only answer that mattered, and Hawke intended to rectify this tragedy immediately.

Padding over and leaning against one of the bedposts (the left one at the foot of the bed, farthest from his lover's tightly curled, sleeping form), Hawke whispered into the dark.

"Every single blanket," he said softly, barely louder than a breath. "I suppose my taut, lily-white arse has to freeze while you play caterpillar? Or is there room for two in your charming little cocoon?"

As he'd hoped, the quiet words were enough to rouse without lighting up the room with a vivid, blue glow.

Snuffling quietly, Fenris lashed out lazily with one arm, freeing a corner of the quilts. When his voice grumbled up, it was muffled and slurred with sleep, and adorable enough to plaster a ridiculous grin across Hawke's face (an expression he was very lucky Fenris could not see). "Hm… perhaps. Keep your icy toes to yourself."

"On my honour," Hawke replied, utterly dripping with sincerity. Then he proceeded to slither under the gloriously cosy blankets, burrowing close to his beloved, pliant elf, and twisted his legs just right to press his feet between Fenris' calves.

Hissing furiously, Fenris tried to wriggle away, only to be caught up in Hawke's sinuous embrace. Whatever he was spiting in Arcanum didn't exactly sound complimentary.

Trying his damnedest not to laugh (he really did want to sleep in this bed for a few hours, preferably with company), Hawke pressed a kiss against the back of Fenris' neck as the thrashing subsided to a low, simmering fury. "Mm, Maker, you're lovely. Are you through extolling my many virtues in your melodious mother tongue?"

"Hardly." Oh, he sounded positively surly. "You do know you stink of smoke and sea water?"

"Evening at the docks," he murmured by way of explanation. "Not the most romantic cologne, I know, but I've missed the feel of you."

There was silence for a moment, until finally Fenris heaved a long sigh, and Hawke felt long, callused hands sliding over the arm he had slung over his lover's chest. "You are incredibly infuriating." I missed you, as well.

Humming in agreement, Hawke nuzzled the silky soft hair at Fenris' nape, letting sleep creep into the edges of his mind. Despite the knowledge that he'd still have to deal with whatever bullshit Lady Harimann's absence likely stirred up, Hawke was content. Blissful, even.

He was home, in the finest and sexiest of company, and for the moment at least, things were absolutely perfect.

END