By the time Anders got home from the clinic, the kids were already asleep in bed. By the time he had a bath and entered the master suite, Hawke was already in bed, too. But sleep was the last thing on the big guy's mind.
“It’s about time!” Hawke growled from the massive bed. In the light from the fireplace, his whiskey-gold eyes gleamed with lust. “Now, drop the robe and get over here.”
Anders laughed wearily. “If you think you’re about to get lucky, think again.” He pulled sleeping drawers up over his hard, strong hips, way too tired to encourage Hawke by getting into bed naked. He was still smiling when he climbed under the covers.
“I feel lucky whenever we are in bed together,” Hawke said, rolling over to claim Anders’ mouth in a long, devouring kiss. The first thing he did after that was reach up to untie the band that held Anders’ hair back. He carded his fingers through the still-damp locks. “If we ever have sex again, I’ll feel like I hit the jackpot.”
“Yes, you're so deprived, aren't you.” Anders didn’t point out that they’d enjoyed a long session that very morning, with Hawke hitting the jackpot twice. No, Hawke wasn’t going without. He just wanted to be able to indulge whenever he felt the need. Anders, who had been forced to learn self-control from an early age, didn’t suffer quite so much. Or, at least, didn’t complain as much.
Their sex life was different, no question about it, since the children came along. From the day they were brought home, things changed. The nighttime feeding schedules, the unscheduled childhood illnesses, the mysterious crying jags that required the men to give up sleep until the kids calmed down… And that was only the first year. Now that the twins were five, the challenge was different.
Hawke skimmed a hand over Anders’ long, flat torso, then shoved it down the front of his pajamas for a quick grab. “A-ha! I knew it! You want it, too.”
“Of course I do. But that doesn’t mean I’ll risk it.” In spite of his words, he let Hawke grope him, eyes falling shut and breath quickening. “We really shouldn’t…”
“Come on, relax. I checked on them a few minutes ago. They’re fine. They’re sleeping. The coast is clear.” Hawke slid down the bed and sucked Anders’ nipple hard while starting to slowly stroke his cock.
Anders arched his back, moaning, “Why do you do this to me, when you know that at any minute –”
Hawke pulled his mouth away to murmur, “Because I love you, and all day long, all I can think about is doing this, and getting you to make those cute little whimpery noises that you make when you’re enjoying it.” He swirled his tongue around the nipple.
“This is really not a good idea,” Anders said, then gasped at the sensations Hawke’s hand and mouth were creating. His head rolled back, deep into the pillow.
“Your body seems to think it’s a very good idea. Just go with it, baby. I guarantee we won’t be interrupted.”
As if on cue, the first flickers of lightening and rumbles of thunder announced that the storm they’d anticipated all evening had finally arrived. It was the rainy season in Kirkwall.
Anders opened his eyes and laughed, releasing the sexual tension that Hawke had been so expertly building. “You were saying…?”
“Son of a bitch.” Hawke’s hand stilled as he shifted upwards to nibble at Anders’ neck. He whispered, “Maybe they’re over that irrational fear of thunderstorms.”
“Not likely. You’re the one who put it there, you ass, just the other day. There they were, dancing in the garden, reveling in the rain. And who yelled at them to come in before they got ‘fried in their boots’ by a lightening bolt?”
“Hey, it’s good for them to learn a healthy reverence for nature’s power. When they’re safe in bed, then it’s irrational,” Hawke said, chuckling sheepishly.
“Don’t worry, they will get over it. We both love thunderstorms, and so will they. Someday. Maybe. But you should be prepared for –”
Just then a long flash of lightening lit every corner of the room; a crack of thunder followed immediately, starting as a low rumble and ending up strong enough to rattle the knick-knacks on the shelves.
Anders laughed again. “Here we go! Ten… Nine… Eight…”
Sure enough, not long after he got to ‘zero,’ the latch on the bedroom door clicked open. With an exaggerated groan, Hawke slid his hand away from Anders’ cock and fell back to his side of the bed.
“Cavil,” they heard Bettany say in a sweet, high-pitched whisper from the hallway as the door slowly swung open, “you know we’re supposed to knock. Remember?”
The door was promptly pulled closed. Then came the pro forma knock. Followed directly by the door being pushed open again and four little feet pattering into the room.
Anders and Hawke exchanged smiling glances, then they both rose to their elbows, and responded in unison, “Yes?”
The twins, wearing matching sleeping gowns and bed socks, stood hand-in-hand halfway between the door and the foot of the bed. Together, they chimed, “Can we—”
“Get up here, you two!” Hawke hollered good-naturedly, drawing happy yea's from the twins.
Cavil got a fine running start and made it onto the mattress in one go. Bettany, who’d started out with a bit too much restraint, didn’t quite make it, but luckily her twin was right there, ready to pull her the rest of the way up. The two scrabbled across the covers, forcing their parents to slide quickly to the sides of the bed to make room for them. When they got within reach, Hawke grabbed Cavil around the waist, Anders did the same for Bettany, and the four of them were soon nestling together, wiggling and giggling.
“Now, what’s this all about?” Hawke asked with mock sternness.
“Brother was scared, so I went and got in bed with him.”
Cavil rolled his eyes, looking very much like Hawke right then. It always amazed Anders how similar they were, considering Hawke hadn’t actually fathered him or Bettany. “Yeah right! She was almost crying, so I let her get into bed with me.”
“Oh, Cavil. I was just pretending,” Bettany corrected him airily. She sounded very grown up; wasn’t it just a while back that she was starting to form sentences? Anders leaned down and kissed the crown of her head tenderly.
“Anyway, then we—” Cavil started.
Bettany finished, “—got worried for you, so came to check that you were OK.”
“Is that so.” Hawke fought back a smile. “Well, now that you’ve got proof that we’re surviving the storm, I guess you can go back to your own beds.”
Their little mouths were just forming their protests when another bright flash and loud crack shook window frames. Anders felt Bettany tense up a bit, and tightened his arm around her waist. He saw Hawke do the same with their son.
“You know,” said Hawke, no doubt aiming to soothe and distract the kids, “we had the best thunderstorms ever back in Ferelden. We’d cuddle up in bed and watch the show out the window –”
“You mean you and Auntie Bethany and Uncle Carver?” Bettany asked.
“Yup. Just like you two, they would crawl into bed with me to make sure I was OK.”
Cavil giggled. “You’re just saying that.”
“I am not!” Hawke grabbed Cavil’s ribs and tickled him roughly for a second. “The point is, we liked a good storm. It was about all the excitement we had. You know, life on a farm can be pretty dull.”
“No way! You had cows. And a horse. And chickens! Didn’t you, Poppy?”
“Tell us about them, Poppy, please?”
Indulging them, Hawke launched into an account of what it was like growing up on the family farm. Chickens seemed to be the topic for tonight. Feeding them. Gathering the eggs. Keeping them safe from raccoons and other predators. Raising them from chicks. Every so often the story would be interrupted by a flash and a crack from the storm outside. Hawke would say, “Now that was a good one,” before continuing on.
“Your Uncle Carver, when he was just your age, well, he had those birds follow him around the yard just like a drill sergeant with his troops.”
Anders listened with half an ear. He, like the twins, appreciated the imagery that Hawke’s words invoked. But his mind wandered back to a conversation he and Hawke’d had some six years ago. Why had he even hesitated when the subject of parenthood came up? Hawke made a great dad. Of course, he’d had a good example; by all accounts, Malcolm was everything one could want in a father. Anders hadn’t been nearly as eager as Hawke to commit to raising children, but thank Andraste he’d trusted his partner. He’d never been happier than at this moment.
"Can we get chickens?" Bettany was asking.
"Yeah, yeah," Cavil agreed eagerly. He and his sister exchanged excited looks. "And a big rooster. That would be so great!"
"Ha, wouldn't that just make us the most popular family in Hightown," Hawke declared. Another flash came then, with a longer gap between that and the resulting thunder. “You know what that means, don’t you?”
“No,” said one.
“What?” asked the other.
“It means the storm has passed over us, and is on its way out to sea.” Hawke went on to explain how to calculate the position of the storm based on the timing of the lightening and the thunder. The kids seemed to take it in, counting out the seconds between the next flash and corresponding rumble.
Anders was wishing the thunder wouldn’t leave so soon. He wanted this moment to go on forever. He didn’t want the kids to go back to their own beds, not yet. There wouldn’t be too many more nights like this.
He had one arm wrapped around Bettany, and the other stretched out, his hand on Cavil’s tummy. And his eyes, those were all for Hawke. This, all this, more than he could have hoped for, more than he deserved, all thanks to that man that for some reason loved him. Hawke was the one who made all this possible.
Bettany yawned, then Cavil did, too. Anders caught Hawke’s eye, and silently asked the question.
Hawke’s expression pleaded no! as he shook his head, feigning frustration. But then his lips twitched and eyes twinkled, giving his answer.
Anders mouthed, Thank you, then asked aloud, “Were you two in a hurry to get back to your own beds?”
“No!” Cavil moaned.
“Not yet!” Bettany begged.
“How about one last story, then?”
“Well, all right, one more... Who wants to hear about the time ol’ Dolly got loose from the barn, and trampled Grandma Leandra’s flower bed,” Hawke asked.
The kids closed their eyes and smiled drowsily, content in knowing that they’d spend the rest of the night snuggled in the huge bed between their dads. Hawke started the tale, which was probably not true. But that didn’t matter. His audience would only stay awake for the first few minutes of it, anyway.
Anders let his eyes fall closed. He knew he'd be the first one asleep. It was a shame, really. He didn't want this dream to end, the one that started the minute Hawke welcomed him into bed.