Hawke’s bored with writing his letters when Anders clambers into the main hall from the Darktown stairs. It’s getting darker. A quarter hour ago, Orana built up the fires in the rooms they’re likely to use.
Hawke waves Anders over for a kiss. It’s a simple press of lips, the taste of Anders and pine almost covering a faint lyrium potion, but Hawke detects anticipation under Anders’ touch. Hawke cradles the back of Anders’ neck to kiss with tongue and passion, and Anders’ breath hisses as he returns the kiss.
This is odd: Anders avoids his eyes.
“Good evening to you,” Hawke says.
“Evening, Hawke,” Anders replies, shy.
“Something you want?” Hawke teases.
Normally, Anders says yes, but tonight he flusters. “Maybe. If you want. Can we discuss it?”
“Always,” Hawke assures him. “Should I ask Fenris to stay home?”
Anders simply shakes his head. “It’s fine if Fenris joins.” Hawke expected worse fluster. Curious.
“Go take your feathers off. I’m nearly done.”
Anders walks backwards, saying, “Okay. Good. See you soon.” He backs into the parlor, staff clunking into the door.
Hawke sends wine in after him and finishes this letter. No, the Champion will not attend a gala to which elves and mages are unwelcome. He sighs. The letter will cause a fuss. With a pang, he wishes for his mother’s flair for refusing graciously.
The Search for the True Prophet is on the parlor table, notes sprouting between the pages, but Anders stares at the fire, twisting his fingers in his lap. His armor is on its stand with his staff. When he sees Hawke, Anders takes a deep breath and splits his ponytail to pull it tight. He tugs the tie to the usual place at the back of his head.
Hawke uncorks and pours the wine. “How is Justice?” he asks, passing Anders a glass.
Anders accepts with a surprised laugh. “Better. We’ve, uh, worked out a deal.”
“That’s promising. Details?”
Anders’ eyes turn desperate. “Details, Hawke? Now?”
“I suppose not,” Hawke says, settling into his chair. “You need something tonight.” It’s not a question.
“I’ve-I’ve figured out an interesting way to hit good headspace.”
“When did you think of it?” Hawke asks, sipping his wine. It’s another bottle of the Antivan Fenris found, with a spicy cinnamon nose.
“This morning,” Anders says and then chokes out, “but if you’re not comfortable, you don’t…” Anders quiets, unsure how to finish or unwilling to.
“You’ve imagined it all day,” Hawke rolls wine over his tongue to savor the notes of apples and berries. “Did Justice help?”
“No!” Anders says.
“Pity,” Hawke mumbles so Anders can ignore him.
Instead, he snaps, “Hawke, isn’t your harem big enough?”
Hawke glances questioningly. “Isn’t Justice—you know, I’m not calling my partners a ‘harem.’ You’re not prizes or a sex pool. Anyway, there are two of you.” Hawke waves vaguely. “Three if we count Justice.”
“I don’t think of Justice sexually. Please, I don’t want to discuss him.”
“Should we focus on sex?” Hawke warns with a mischievous smile. When Anders nods, he continues, “I forget your embarrassment over kink when I remember your lips around my cock.”
Anders turns red. “I’m not… embarrassed. I love those things… Andraste’s frilly knickers, I don’t discuss kink with Justice of all people.” He gulps the wine.
Hawke leans forward. “What do you want tonight, Anders?”
“I want…” Anders takes a big breath. “I want to offer something nice.” Hawke can hear his nervousness rising again. He hasn’t been this flustered since the first time he asked me to hurt him. It clicks for Hawke. Anders has a new kink.
“You mentioned a way to hit your headspace for me,” Hawke says. A thrill of excitement and just a touch of dread flit through him. He wants to get this right.
Anders breathes deep and locks eyes on his wineglass. “I enjoy asking you to use me for your pleasure.” Anders pauses for another breath. “I want to be an object tonight. I could be a fancy toy designed for you, something you might play with and put in the wardrobe when you’re done.”
“You wouldn’t fit,” Hawke jokes to cover his delight. This could be fun for us.
“A toy like that would be Hawke-levels of ostentatious,” Anders says, playful now that he’s through the hard part.
“I’d rather set than follow trends,” Hawke admits. “Help me think this through. You want to be a sex toy?”
“It doesn’t have to be sex. What were your plans without me?”
“Think about you?” Hawke teases.
“Serious, huh?” Hawke rubs his chin. “I suppose Varric wants the third act of my memoir, but it’s not fit for… eyes. Usually, I enjoy revising, but everyone in Kirkwall is flaunting their banana pants. I can’t concentrate.” Hawke gives Anders a half-smile. “Got anything for productivity?”
Anders thinks a moment and asks, “Ever used a cockwarmer?”
“No,” Hawke admits, “but I like it already.”
“It’s a… how do I…”
Maybe I can help him pick a perspective. “You said it is for pleasure,” Hawke prompts.
Anders locks eyes with his wineglass again, but he’s more relaxed. “I’ve heard it’s pleasant. It’s like a mouth, warm and moist, but not… active. I would—it would!—hold your cock while you write.”
“I can’t think when I’m hard, Anders. That’s why we negotiate beforehand.”
“It’s not quite a sex toy, more of a comfort. It would hold you soft until you want… advanced services. It improves your focus and enjoyment. Nasty duties become palatable. Tasks you enjoy become delightful.”
“What do you like about this?”
Anders looks like a startled deer.
“Don’t get me wrong, love,” Hawke says gently. “I want to do this for you. If I know what you need I can provide it.”
Anders nods and his brow furrows. “Being a pet gets me out of my head. Can’t speak, can’t argue. That’s usually enough for me. Being an object… I’d have no decisions, no desires. Just making you happy and feeling you. When I hit that space, I know you’re getting what you need. I’m good and useful, but you make it easy.”
“What if I hurt you?”
“I’d take it. Easily. It would wash through me, but I wouldn’t care.”
Hawke nods. “Okay. You like pain, but I need to learn how you react as an ‘object’. The first few times, you’ll choose between pain and objectification.”
“You know I can heal it if we go too far?” Anders snarks, goading.
“I know,” Hawke says, “but that’s my condition.”
“That will work.” Anders nods.
“Fenris will need the rules before he joins us,” Hawke says.
Anders looks away again. “Tell him when he gets here.”
“Anders, Fenris might see this and misunderstand.”
“You remember when I told him to use me?”
“I do.” Hawke smiles. “You were so far gone, I’m surprised you do.”
“We talked about it. He said he likes it.”
Hawke shakes his head. “He was horny but won’t be when he walks in.”
“Offer him a go,” Anders says with a snort. “That should do it.”
Hawke shakes his head. “Consider his history. Removing your agency might be too much for him.”
“Or he might like the surprise! New toy! Come play!”
“Or he might flip out. He comes from a country where people are owned, Anders. If you’re my object, I’m your owner. We’re just playing, but it might cut too close for him.”
“The difference is you don’t own me.” Anders waves his hand vaguely. “I’m your boyfriend outside this game.”
Hawke shrugs. “Fenris thinks a lot. Sometimes that goes unexpected directions.”
“Fuck that,” Anders snaps. “He likes it, Hawke. We talked about it. If he suddenly hates it when we take it further, he can fuck right off.” Anders is breathing hard. Not angry. Frightened.
“This isn’t about him,” Hawke says. “You’re afraid this kink is too much.”
Anders shoves himself up and walks over to the fire, staring into it. Hawke approaches like he might spook and wraps him in a hug. He’s warm and smells like iron and the leather of his armor.
“You are the mage who dares to love,” Hawke says. “And I love you back, so much.” Anders turns to bury his face in Hawke’s shirt, and Hawke’s hold tightens. “Even if Fenris changes his mind, even if I decide it’s not for me, it is still healthy and good you have this desire. I hope we can fulfill it, but even if we can’t, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
There’s a long pause. Before Hawke can invent more eloquent phrases for it, Anders responds.
“They taught me to squelch any emotion I’m not using for magic.” Anders is muffled by Hawke’s shoulder. “I’m safe thanks to Justice. Should get easier, but every new desire… or outrage or joy… is hard to allow myself.”
“You’re safe from more than demons,” Hawke tells him. “I’ll love you even if I can’t fulfill your desires. If you don’t want something we normally do, I’ll still love you then, too.”
Anders shifts so he’s not muffled anymore. “Flaming knickers, am I being an ass? About Fenris?”
“Here’s what I suggest,” Hawke says. “We write him before we start, give him enough information to decide. Tell him our safeguards.” Hawke pulls back. “We can take care of him, too.”
Anders reluctantly lets Hawke catch his eye. “Fine. I hate when you’re right.”
“That’s not what you said the other night.”
“Which night?” Anders demands, grinning back.
Hawke flaps his hand vaguely. “All of them.” He makes a comically lewd face for Anders’ chuckle and fetches the parchment and two quills.