It just had to be spiders.
Although saying that would imply that it wasn’t every other weekend that Hawke seemed to find himself in some dark corner of some dank cave, knee deep in spider guts. You’d think he’d have gotten used to it by this point.
Then again, there was no real way to get used to spider guts.
Hawke felt the tension in his gut subside as he released the last bout of magical energy necessary to roast the final remaining spider. Isabela, who was already on her way over to it, jumped back from Hawke’s flames and shot him a look. They both knew he’d never have hit her, but Hawke liked to keep his team on their toes.
Varric’s whistle rang out from somewhere behind Hawke and to his left;
“You’d think, eventually, this mountain would just run out of spiders, right?”
“Not a chance!” Isabela laughed, “Besides, what fun would Kirkwall be if we lost the one thing that could scare our dear old Champion?”
Hawke gave a strained smile at that, but turned his head when he heard Fenris’ low chuckle. The elf was moving back towards the group, having done his best to wipe off his blade on a stray spider carcass.
Fenris had been in fine form today. He had woken Hawke from their bed that morning with quick, playful kisses that had turned hot and heavy the moment he realised he had the man’s full attention. Hawke was not foolish enough to question a good mood, and allowed himself to be caught up in Fenris’ early morning joy as the elf nipped at his jaw, hands roaming where they pleased.
And while Hawke’s cheer had dipped a bit since the first spider had jumped out at him, barely missing his head, Fenris seemed intent on retaining his pleasant attitude.
Coming to stand at Hawke’s side, Fenris looked up at the mage, smirk firmly in place. Hawke took a moment to appreciate the way his lips curved, his eyelashes long and dark over his narrowed gaze.
“Maker’s balls,” came Isabela’s voice, “I thought you two would’ve managed to fuck this out of your system by now.” Fenris broke Hawke’s gaze to turn his smirk on Isabela, one eyebrow raised. The pirate just rolled her eyes.
A faint skittering in the distance tore Hawke from the memory of his fairly incredible morning that Isabela’s words had drug up. Grumbling at nothing and no one in particular, Hawke gave his neck a much-needed stretch before refocussing his attention on his companions.
“Well, I’d daresay our day wouldn’t be complete without another two dozen or so spiders, so we may as well push forward.”
Varric and Isabela shouldered forth with only mild grumbling, but Fenris stayed back at Hawke’s side. When Hawke went to follow after the two rogues, Fenris reached out a hand to grasp his forearm, effectively stopping his progress. Hawke turned to Fenris with an inquisitive hum.
The elf was still wearing that damned smirk on his face and Hawke was suddenly quite sure that he had never in his life wanted to kiss someone so badly. Intending to do just that, Hawke leaned in, but a finger pressed against his lips stopped him in his tracks.
“I must say, Hawke, how courageous you have been today, facing these spider hordes.” The look Fenris was giving him made Hawke’s throat run dry and he couldn’t care less that he was technically being made fun of, “Bravery such as that merits a reward.”
“Yeah?” was approximately all the response Hawke could muster.
Fenris took a step closer, bringing his body flush against Hawke’s. He ran the pad of his finger down over Hawke’s lips, twisting that same finger a moment later to let the claw of his gauntlet ghost over Hawke’s throat, across his adam’s apple, which jumped when he swallowed.
The cave seemed to have grown at least 20 degrees warmer, and Hawke hoped against hope that his face hadn’t gone as red as it felt. Fenris laid the flat of his palm against the mage’s chest, just over his heart, before looking up to meet Hawke’s eyes once more. That frustratingly beautiful smirk was still in full force.
“Later.” He said, eyes glinting.
And then he was gone, headed off down the corridor after Varric and Isabela.
Fantastic. Hawke thought. Now I have to battle spiders and an erection.
A distant, but distinct “Ruttin’ nug shit!” drew Hawke’s attention away from his current predicament back to his former predicament, and he set off at a run after his companions. Turning a sharp corner, stave at the ready, Hawke barreled headlong into a room that was, essentially, floor to ceiling spiders.
“Oh, Maker’s tits.”
Varric had managed to scramble up onto a rocky outcropping, out of the way of pincers and fangs, and was firing bolt after bolt into the swarming, hairy mass. Fenris and Isabela were both dancing across the room, a play of shadow and light, beautiful and fatal. Sharp steel flashed around them, slicing through thick, sturdy spider legs with improbable ease.
Having taken in the scene, Hawke took a moment to steady himself, channelling all the energy he could amass. He let himself embrace the familiar feeling of lightning rushing through his veins, illuminating him from within, heightening his every sense. He closed his eyes for the briefest of moments, feeling the energies that surrounded him. There were just over two dozen spiders, give or take.
With a sharp smack of his staff against the cave floor, Hawke’s eyes flew open as he let his own energy fly, the bolts of electricity ricocheting off the ceiling, each as precise as it was deadly. Six mabari-sized spiders seized up and fell dead where they stood.
“Well it’s about damn time!” Came Varric’s jovial reproach.
“Hawke certainly knows how to light up a room!” Came Isabela’s response, which might have been funny if it hadn’t been the fifteenth time Hawke had heard that particular quip. Fenris turned to smirk at Hawke again and, in a move that shook the unflappable mage to his very core, winked.
“Did anyone else see that?!” Hawke yelled, accusing, pointing a finger at Fenris who was no longer there, having dodged the lunge of one of the larger spiders.
“All is see is a big old mess of spiders not on fire!” Varric shouted back. Hawke sighed and turned his attention back to the battle just in time to freeze a spider that had been attempting to flank him.
The frozen spider cracked, then shattered into a thousand pieces, revealing Fenris behind it, sword raised.
“That was close.” He murmured, as he moved to slide past Hawke, knuckles brushing Hawke’s groin as he passed, just hard enough to be noticeable, definitely hard enough to be intentional. Hawke gave a surprised yelp, but Fenris was already back in the battle, swinging his greatsword around like it weighed nothing. The muscles in his arms stood out. His slender back curved as he dodged blows. His ass. His ass was perfect.
And Hawke was now incredibly distracted. Which was a bad thing to be in a room full of venomous monsters.
Which was something he remembered just in time to duck under some flying, toxic spider goo as it was sprayed at him from across the cavernous room. Because of course it wasn’t enough to have given these monstrosities more legs than common sense, not to mention large fangs that could paralyse their victim in seconds. No, the benevolent Maker in all his divine wisdom had also decided to give them the power to spit acid upwards of 50 feet.
Hawke didn’t even have time to set off a gout of flames as one of the smaller spiders charged him from his right. Raising his staff quickly to put something between the oncoming spider and his face, Hawke lashed out with the long, serrated blade fastened to the staff’s end, neatly bisecting the spider’s head. Hawke did not resist the urge to grimace as dark blood pooled around his boots. Looking back up, Hawke took the time to roast one of the spiders that had been getting too close to Varric for his comfort, before redirecting his attention to Fenris.
When Fenris saw that he had caught Hawke’s eye, his smile widened just enough to be disconcerting before he jumped back into the battle with an increased fervor. And Hawke simply stood there, struck dumb by the way Fenris was, well, showing off was really the only word for it. The elf was always graceful in battle, but this was a grace that bordered on excess. Hawke watched as his lover moved through long-memorised forms with complete precision, each strike ending with a bit more flourish than was strictly necessary.
And Hawke could not stop staring.
Could not turn his eyes from the powerful and beautiful display that Fenris presented, the flicker of the lyrium on his exposed arms, the way his hair whipped around his head, never seeming to impeded his accuracy, the way his limbs moved, confident, and strong, and sure. He was stunning. Fuck, but Hawke was a lucky man.
Before he’d really even had time to realise that he was just standing there doing nothing while his companions fought, the battle was over, the final spider seizing up as a bolt from Varric’s crossbow pierced straight through one of its dark, beady eyes.
“Gosh, Hawke. I can’t imagine how we’d ever get on without you.” Hawke ignored the sarcasm-laden comment from Varric. Fenris was still looking at him, flushed with the energy of battle, looking like he was absolutely ready to devour the mage then and there. And suddenly Hawke was back in their bedroom, as the warm, morning light brushed their bodies, Fenris’ hands everywhere, his mouth on Hawke’s, his hips-
However, before Hawke could say or do anything to embarrass himself, he watched as the look in Fenris’ eyes went from subtle seduction to wide with concern. And that was when Garrett Hawke, infamous mage champion of Kirkwall, got absolutely body-slammed into the dirt by a two ton spider that they had missed, hiding on the ceiling.
When Hawke managed to open his eyes, he was staring up at the cave ceiling, one very large spider dead at his side, Fenris’ sword protruding from its midsection. His head was resting on something soft, and tilting his head back a bit, he met Fenris’ soft gaze.
Hawke huffed out a self-deprecating sort of laugh as he let his eyes close.
“Varric! This story never gets out, do you hear me, Varric?”
But rather than Varric, it was Fenris who responded. “He’s left, Hawke. I told them I would be able to get you home myself.” Hawke relaxed further as he felt one of Fenris’ hands, ungauntleted, sweep through his hair. “If it is of any comfort to you, I believe he was going to hold off on going to his publisher until tomorrow.”
Hawke groaned and Fenris chuckled. He opened his eyes again when he felt Fenris’ hair brush his temple.
“That dwarf is going to single-handedly ruin my reputation.”
Fenris’ smile was contagious when he replied; “Our brave hero, felled by an insect.”
“I would never be able to leave the house again.” Hawke sighed, reaching up a hand to cup Fenris’ jaw.
“Mn, I could think of worse things.” and then Fenris was leaning over him and they were kissing. It was upside-down and awkward, but it was still so good, still exactly what Hawke had been craving since the moment they’d left their bed that morning. Breaking the kiss, Fenris pulled back scant centimeters to meet Hawke’s eyes.
“Let’s go home,” Hawke murmured, the thought of a soft bed and a warm elf with whom to share it was overwhelmingly appealing.
“Indeed.” came Fenris’ reply. “Although I hope you haven’t been overly exhausted by the day’s activities. I have plans for you yet, Champion.” And if that wasn’t the best news Hawke had heard all day. Pulling Fenris down for another quick kiss, Hawke responded,
“I’m all yours.”