“You were an idiot to leave Hawke.”
“And you were fast enough to replace me.”
“I love him. You can't even imagine what that is.”
“Do not bare your heart to me, mage, unless you would have me rip it out.”
Hawke was about to turn around and tell both of them off - both of them for always baiting each other and now making it all the worse by picking this particular topic. It hurt that Fenris left. It hurt that Fenris and Anders hated each other.
It hurt that Hawke desired them both, and he could only have one and watch the other get bullied. He felt like the worst person for falling in love with two men who hated each other. He probably deserved neither, but he needed them both.
He had his mouth open to snap at them, hoping his hurt would not show, when Anders managed to cut in the next remark.
Surprisingly, it was not as snide as he had expected.
“Oh, like you don’t do that anyway.”
Hawke stopped walking abruptly, and the sudden stop made that Anders bumped into his back. The mage made an indignant sound, but Hawke was too distracted by what he had just heard.
Anders had sounded genuinely sad when he said that. Like he tried to cover it up, of course, but Anders’ tells were all clear as day even at his best attempts.
Fenris seemed to have heard it too, faltering in the argument, clearly not expecting the vulnerability in Anders’ voice.
Hawke just swirled around to wrap his mage in his arms, pulling him tightly to his chest. Anders made a startled sound of protest at being squished against Hawke’s armour, but he would have to make do.
“Sebastian, why don’t you head back by yourself from here. I need to talk with these two.”
Fenris stood frozen, hands balled into fists of spiky gauntlets, glaring at them from under his fringe, but he remained unmoving while Sebastian gave them a careful ‘goodnight’, waiting for the archer to leave.
“What did you mean, Anders?” Hawke finally demanded when he was sure Sebastian was out of earshot.
Fenris’ head shot up in surprise, clearly having expected to be the one to be called out on it first. Anders flinched in his arms, and started squirming.
“Nothing, it meant nothing. He goes around ripping hearts from chests everywhere doesn’t he? Isn’t that his style, to intimidate with his superior skills that clearly aren’t magic? Because he’d never touch magic, the bast-”
“No,” Hawke interrupted sharply. “That’s not what you were talking about. Fenris told you not to bare your heart for he would rip it out, and you said he did that anyway. This is not about the magical fisting thing.”
Anders went quiet, so Hawke looked at Fenris instead. The elf was clearly having trouble to look at either of them right now, and the silence drew out to be uncomfortable enough to make even Hawke want to squirm.
“Would you physically rip Anders’ heart out, Fenris?”
“No!” The answer was so fast, so shocked, it made Hawke sigh in relief. Whatever this was, Fenris didn’t hate Anders enough to kill him. Now better would be if he could take it a step further.
“So you didn’t mean physically either. You meant emotionally. I think you were talking about Anders’ compassionate nature and how telling him the truth would make him hurt.”
Fenris scoffed, but at the same time he was starting to look more and more like a trapped animal. Anders was starting to shake slightly in Hawke’s arms, but he was too focused on Fenris right now. He needed to figure out the elf first.
If only he knew where he was going with this himself. Was this just his greediness trying to make Fenris admit he loved him too? What good would that do, except for more pain on all sides?
If only Anders and Fenris could love each other too .
“Do you love me, Fenris?”
Anders tensed up in Hawke’s arms but he held him tight, watching for Fenris’ reaction. The elf’s face lifted marginally for him to meet his eyes, and it broke Hawke’s heart. He was certain Anders wasn’t looking now, because there was no way Fenris would allow himself to look this vulnerable where the mage could see. He looked like Hawke had just kicked his puppy and Hawke felt as sorry as if he had, maybe more.
Fenris’ eyes told him enough, even if there hadn’t been a minute nod.
Silence stretched between them, uncomfortable, stinging, until Anders was the one who snapped.
“Of course he bloody loves you, Hawke. Don’t be ridiculous. Now if only he didn’t hate me so much we could all be one big happy family together, so too bad he’s more likely to rip my heart out, isn’t it?”
Fenris didn’t miss a beat to snap. “I just told you I would not, did I not!? I believe you are the one more likely to set me on fire or something equally preposterous than-”
Anders was now struggling against Hawke’s grip, trying to get to Fenris, and all Hawke could do was watch in amazement. For all the fighting he’d seen them do, this was definitely the first time they fought about how the other hated them most. He would’ve expected it the other way around.
“You have been itching to use your magic on me,” Fenris accused.
“I have, because you won’t let me heal you unless you’re about to get killed by a giant spider!”
“The mage admits it!”
“Admitting to wanting to heal you, you blighted son of a-!”
“Hold it!” Hawke ordered, squeezing Anders hard enough to let the last word of his sentence end in a surprised wheeze. “Are you both completely insane? Can’t you just stop fighting for one moment and listen? Maker’s balls, just kiss and make up, would you?” He finally released Anders, just to give him a strong shove to make the mage tumble into Fenris’ arms.
He cocked an expectant eyebrow at them when they gaped at him, until they turned to face each other. The pause was so long Hawke definitely started squirming this time, but he didn’t dare rush them any further lest there be casualties.
He shouldn’t have worried.
Both their faces grew to the brightest shades of red he’d ever seen on them, but they leaned in - Fenris slightly down because Anders was barely standing on his own two feet after that shove, Anders stretching up ever so little - and Hawke had to bite his tongue when their lips brushed together.
He was jealous, but not at either of them. Both of them. He just wanted them both.
But more than that, he wanted them to be happy.
He breathed in deeply, as quietly as he could, before turning away and attempting to sneak off. Heavy armour didn’t lend itself well for sneaking though, and before he could finish even a second step he was called back by an indignant ‘hey!’ from Anders.
Before he quite knew what was happening, his arms were grabbed - and it took him a full second to realise each got encircled by two arms, one clad in dirty robes and the other in leather and sharp gauntlets. He was pulled down, and suddenly there were lips on either cheek, heat flaring up into his face immediately.
“If we both just admitted to loving you, do you honestly think we want you to walk away?”
“I believe the mage spoke of... ‘one big happy family’, did he not? I expected you to want to give that a try, Hawke.”
Hawke felt so happy he could cry.
No, he did cry.
“Oh, you oaf.” Anders cupped his chin with one hand, fingers scratching through the bristles of his beard as if he were a cat, before leaning in and pressing another kiss to his cheek. “And you were badmouthing my bleeding heart.”