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            Damn its cold…

            Despite the heater being turned to full blast, the truck’s cab still stung with the sharp edge of winter. The storm had come from nowhere, a freak change of nature on the tail end of February. Of course, nature decided to hate him and wait until he was a day’s drive away on delivery to drop the packed ice onto the roads. His truck could handle a lot, but his tires would only do so much on the slick pavement… hopefully, the storm would let up soon.

            “-a continuous drop, expected to be accumulating no less than twenty-nine inches through the night, is steadily making its way across the Marches towards Kirkwall,” the radio announced, interrupting his thoughts. “People in the affected regions are being cautioned to find shelter and stay warm until the storm breaks.”

            Hawke didn’t really like that idea. He was headed to Kirkwall himself, finally on the last long stretch of road that would lead him into the historic city he called home.

            Only a few hours left…

            Thoughts of home, filled with a nice hot dinner from Bethany and his mother, along with the idea of Carver’s roaring fire would have to tide him over from the cold seeping into his bones. His little twin siblings had been rather upset over the phone earlier in the day, having shown up to surprise them at the house only to find him gone on a job. But they’d said they planned to stay all week, taking time off from the college a few cities over to visit their family. Things were always best when they were all together, and they promised to have a fun time while they were there. He just had to get home first…

            Up ahead, twin yellow lights flashed into the dark from the roadside. A small black car stood stark against the white, a guy in a leather jacket and beanie attempting to shovel it out of a snowbank. For a brief second, thoughts of warm mashed potatoes and burning embers tempted him to keep going, but it was still a couple of hours to the next town, and this guy didn’t seem to be in a good spot.

            Home could wait a while longer.

            He slowed the truck and pulled off behind the smaller vehicle, the owner not even stopping to look his way as he hopped out of the cab and crunched over.

            “Need a hand?” Hawke offered.

            “My pride would say I’ve got it,” Mister Mystery-Man said, huffing slightly as he finally turned. Holy crap… he’s gorgeous! He could only see his eyes and cheekbones, the lower half covered by a scarf, but damn! “But realistically? Yeah, I think it’s pretty stuck.”

            “I’ve got a few shovels in the back, let me just go grab them.”

            In a few minutes time, they’d managed to clear around one of the wheels, Hawke offering a low whistle as it came into view. McHottness sighed with a shake of his head, groaning as he rubbed a snowy hand over his face.

            The wheel sat about forty-five degrees off from where it should have been, the rubber flayed and the rim slightly crunched.

            “What did you do?!

           “It must have happened when I skidded off. I hit a rough ice patch and it sent me flying into the bank.”

           “Well, it looks like you busted an axle buddy. This car isn’t going anywhere on its own tonight, and tow trucks aren’t going to be running so far out with this weather.”

           “Perfect,” he grumbled. Kicking the snow with a curse.

           “Look, I’m headed to Kirkwall. I could give you a lift to the next town over if you’d like.”

           “Kirkwall,” he perked up, turning back swiftly. “That’s where I was headed.”

           “Well if we can keep ahead of the storm, we should be able to make it by midnight or a little after.”

           “I’m not one to ask favors, but if you’re offering a ride, I’ll take it.”

           “It was more like demanding one,” Hawke said, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’ve been keeping tabs on the storm. If you stay here, either you get buried alive or freeze to death. Look at you, you’re already shaking.”

           “The jacket is more for looks than anything,” he mumbled, white puffs diffusing through his scarf. “Gloves aren’t the best either,” he added, wiggling his frozen digits to show off his fingerless covers.

           “Grab your bags, you can put them in the back. I’ll use the radio to call in your car,” Hawke said, opening his passenger door for his new road trip buddy to climb in. “They’ll pull it into town once the snow melts off and you can pick it up there.”

           “Eh, that’s really not necessary,” the pretty man said quickly. “I, uh, already called someone about it.”

           “Neat. Well, if we’re gonna spend the next six or so hours together, we might as well do introductions, yeah? I’m Garrett, but everyone calls me Hawke.” He offered a hand across the seats, ignoring the jump in his gut as Mister Beautiful pulled down his snow-caked scarf.

           “Fenris,” he said, with a dazzling grin, shaking his hand firmly. Holllly friiiick… could he *be* any more attractive? “Thanks for the help.”

           “My pleasure,” Hawke hummed, pulling back out onto the road. The headlights reflected off the snow banks brilliantly, casting just enough light back through the windshield for Garret to admire his new passenger.

           He’d seen the olive tone to his skin when they’d been digging his car out, but there was so much more going on. He had dark brows, brilliant green eyes, and a striking set of tattoos set into his skin.

           “So um, where are you from, Fenris?” It sounded shaky, even to him, but the awkward silence was deafening.

           “I travel a lot,” the handsome man said, fingering the tab on his jacket’s zipper. “But I’m from Tevinter originally.”

           “A Vint, eh? I moved to Kirkwall from Ferelden, myself. I guess that means you’re pretty used to warmer weather, right?”

           “Uh, yes,” he chuckled. “Its probably a balmy day there, people playing out in their yards still.”

           “Ferelden had its share of rough winters, but this is just ridiculous.” He let the quite settle back in for a few moments as the ice got worse on the road, picking up again once it’d calmed down some.


           A few hours had passed, the pair exhausting all the opening conversation topics for getting to know someone. Hawke continued to sneak glances out of the corner of his eye, part of him making sure his new buddy was comfortable, the other part having a hard time believing the handsome stranger was actually in the cab with him.

            “Would it be rude of me to ask about the uh…”

           “The tattoos,” Fenris finished for him, shaking his head. “They were a ‘gift’” he said, making air quotes with his fingers. “I used to be part of some shady business, this was their way of marking me.”

           “Shady business? Like… a gang?”

           “Everyone who’s anyone in Tevinter is part of a gang. Nobody says it, and if you accuse someone they’ll deny it, but everybody knows its true. Either you run the gangs, or you work for them.”

           “And they decided tattooing your face would be cool?”

           “Not just my face. They inked me everywhere. My boss, Danarius, decided he needed to make a statement…”

           “That’s… rough…”

           “Yeah, but it's over now. I got out of Tevinter, and thus away from the gang… and if I stole Danarius’s favorite car on the way out? Well, serves him right.”

           “That’s why you didn’t want me to call it in!”

           “Eh, not my car, not my problem. Besides, he’ll be hard pressed to catch up with me now. His little pet knows all the tricks. I won’t go back easily,” He laughed, shifting in his seat. “Your turn. What’s your tragic backstory?”

           “Bah, I’m just a guy driving trucks,” he deflected, laughing to keep the air light. “Nothing interesting there.”

           “Come on, a handsome guy like you? No way there’s nothing more to this.”

           “Nope, just a humble Garrett Hawke trying to make a buck.” His skin flushed. Fenris thought he was handsome?

           “You’re a… spy.”

           “What?” Hawke sputtered, laughing. “No way.”

           “An undercover agent? A superhero? An Orleasian infiltrator trying to stay off the radar?”

           “Oh no,” Hawke drawled in an awful fake Orleasian accent. “How could you have ever found out? I was being so careful.”

           They laughed again, and Hawke could feel those piercing green eyes on him as he navigated the roads, watching warmly, enough to make him shiver.

           “My dad,” Garret started. “He used to take us out driving with him in Ferelden when it snowed. Said we couldn’t be trusted to stay warm alone out at the house. He was on the Lothering Bridge when it collapsed a few years ago.”

           “Hawke… I’m sorry.”

           “Its been long enough for me to talk about it,” he answered honestly. “He was that kind of guy who did the low jobs because he thought they were interesting. Drove for one of the best groups in the area as a personal chauffeur. They were the ones who called us afterward, saying he’d never shown to pick them up… It's just been the four of us ever since. Driving makes me feel close to him, you know?”

           “Who are the other three?” Fenris asked timidly.

           “My mom, she’s a saint. Andraste herself couldn’t have been a more perfect woman. Then there are my twin siblings, Bethany and Carver. They’re going to school right now, but they’re in Kirkwall for the week. I’m excited to see them, Bethany is making food late so it’ll still be warm by the time I get there.”

           “Kind of her,” Fenris smiled.

           “She’s the best sister a guy could hope for. And she always makes extra. If you’d like, we could go to my place and I could get you a rented, specifically not-stolen car to get around town with.”

           “You’ve done so much already, I’d hate to be a bother.”

           “It’s no trouble. My Uncle Gamlen works with a place, all it’d take would be a phone call. And when I say Beth makes extra, I’m saying enough to feed the whole block. You’d be doing me a favor, honestly.”

            Fenris frowned, twisting Hawke’s gut for a second before he reached out and turned up the radio.

            “-storm has resulted in several blockages and road restrictions. Drivers on the East, Southeast, and South Highways are heavily cautioned from traveling between Kirkwall and the neighboring towns of Emporium, Lowtown, and Chantry Hill. Current snow levels in these areas are measuring at twenty inches and climbing.”

            “Doesn’t look like either of us will be getting to taste your sister’s food,” Fenris sighed. “Lowtown should only be a few more miles, right?”

            “Should be, yeah. There’s got to be at least one place where we could get a few rooms at and wait until the plows run in the morning.”

            Hopefully, with a better heater than the truck’s, he thought, shivering already.

            Lights emerged from the blizzard soon enough, traffic moving at a snail’s pace as people tried to get where they were going without sliding off the roads. They passed three hotels, all boasting signs that read ‘no vacancy’ or had no place for them to park. The truck was a bit big in comparison for most of the surroundings, but eventually, a half-lit sign beckoned escape and a parking lot for larger vehicles.

            Hawke found a spot, pulling in with practice and flipping the engine off. Fenris hopped out of the cab with a groan as he stretched, following Garrett like a shadow as they made their way to the hotel's entrance.

            One of those old-timey iron signs swung outside the lobby, blissfully incased in silent ice as they entered. A short guy sat behind the counter, dressed far too loosely for the weather, and he waved to them from his perch.

            “What can I get you boys?” he asked, sounding surprisingly friendly for the rough shape the motel was in.

            “Two rooms,” Garrett said, rubbing some of the cold out of his fingertips.

            “Oooo, sorry. No can do. We only got one room left.”

            “You mind?” Hawke asked, turning to the other man who deftly shook his head. He turned back to the counter. “One is fine.”

            “You got it,” the guy said, taking their cash before hopping up and going over to a rack of keys, picking up one under a label reading ‘37’. “I’ll show you to your new home away from home. Just follow me.”

            They dutifully trailed the worker past an elevator that had clearly been broken for a while, up three flights of steep steps, and around a hallway to the right before he stopped in front of a door matching their key label.

            “Here we go,” he said, handing over the key. “Room thirty-seven. There’s toiletries under the cabinet in the bathroom, if you need more just ring down to the lobby on the intercom. Ask for Varric- that’s me, by the way- and I’ll have it up. Or if you’re night owls, there’s a half decent bar downstairs. A reminder that check-out is at one in the afternoon. Anything else you two need?”

            “I think we’re good,” Hawke smiled. “Thanks.”

            “Not a problem. Enjoy your night at The Hanged Man.” Varric swept a dramatic bow before sliding past and vaulting himself over the stairwell and out of sight.

            “A character, that one,” Fenris mused, unlocking the door and heading in.

            “I like him,” Hawke smiled, setting his own small duffel in the tiny entrance hall. He shrugged out of his jacket, hanging it in the little closet, pleased to note some extra bedding.


           Fenris had stopped further in the room, staring at something the wall had blocked. Garrett walked further in and felt his heart drop to his feet.

           There was only one bed.

           “It's not a big deal,” he said quickly, trying to ease Fenris’s tension. “I’ll just steal a pillow and one of the extra blankets in the closet and sleep on the floor.”

           “No way,” Fenris shot back. “You’ve been nothing but nice, and you paid for the bulk of the room. You get the bed.”

           “What if I don’t like beds?” He couldn’t resist the urge to tease, watching that little furrow form between beautiful green eyes as Fenris tried to decide if he’d be snarky or laugh.

           “Well if its preference, then I like sleeping on the floor,” he said, crossing his arm and leaning against the wall, looking like a broody anti-hero from one of Carver’s action shows.

           Maker preserve me…

           “Psshh, whatever,” Hawke chuckled, rolling his eyes in defeat- for the moment. “My cell’s dead, so I’m gonna run back to the lobby and see if they’ve got a phone I can use.”

           “Alright, you do that. Mind if I shower?”

           “Go for it.” Fenris… soaking wet…Maker above! Garrett Hawke get your head out of the gutter! “I’ll be back.”

           He bounded down the steps two at a time, winding his way back out into the reception area of the lobby. Varric was more than happy to show him a payphone around the corner, (a payphone?! Those still existed?!) and made sure to close the door to the little call room behind him.



           “Hey Beth, its Gare.”

           “Hey! Mom was hoping you’d call, we’ve been really worried. Are you okay? Why aren’t you calling from your cell?”

           “Ugh, it died about an hour ago. Have you started your dinner yet?”


           “Good, because I’m not gonna be able to make it home tonight. I’m stuck in Lowtown. I got a place to stay, so no worries about that, but the truck’s not gonna be able to handle the roads until the plows go through tomorrow morning.”

           “Gaaaareeee…” Disapointment laced her voice.

           “I know, I know, I was excited too. But the guy at the front desk says they’re sending the plows out at four, so the roads back to home should be clear as day by six.”

           “So home by nine?”

           “For you, home by eight-thirty.” He smiled, knowing she couldn’t see him.

           “Dork.” She giggled.

           “Nerd.” He responded.

           They talked for a while longer, the phone passing between her, mom, and for a few minutes, Carver. His little brother only said, “Don’t end up an icicle, idiot.” Short, abrasive, but the sentiment was there.

           “Hey, I’ll make breakfast in the morning, since dinner is a bust,” Bethany said animatedly as he prepared to hang up, which gave him a thought.

           “Hey, Beth? Make enough for five.”


           “Yeah, I’m bringing a friend.”

           “A friend, huh? Ohhhh is it Aveline?!”

           “Nah, He’s a new friend, you’ve never met him.”


           “WHAT?! You’re bringing home a BOY?!”

           “It’s not- stop yelling- it's not like that.”

           “Uh-hu. Is he cute?”

           “I will see you tomorrow morning, Beth.”

           “But Gare!”

           “In the morning.”

           “Ugh, fine. Night Gare-Bear, don’t get eaten by the monster bedbugs in your sketchy hotel.”

           “Night Bethy-Pie, don’t choke on your own hair again.”


           He laughed as she huffed and hung up, settling the black phone back into its cradle and heading back out. Varric tossed him a wave on his way through the lobby, and he let his feet carry him absentmindedly back up to room thirty-seven.

           He opened the door just in time to see Fenris rummaging through his suitcase with nothing but a towel slung low over his hips.

           Holy. Fricken. Flames. Of. Andraste.

           He hadn’t been lying when he said the tattoos were everywhere. He hadn’t really had the chance to look at the little ones on his face in good lighting, but the white trailed all over Fenris’s olive skin. He tried to not find it attractive because he wasn’t entirely sure if Fenris had gotten inked willingly or not, but at least they weren’t like, ugly or anything.

           “Like what you see, Hawke?”

           Fenris was shooting him a wicked grin from under that damp mop of silver hair that had been hiding under his beanie until now. He wanted to shoot back a witty retort, but words were something his mind wasn’t really focusing on right now.

           Abs, biceps, pecks… there’s nowhere to look, even his calves are amazing. Someone call the Chantry, for I am being swayed by a demon of Lust.

           “I’ll take that as a yes,” Fenris smiled, pulling some dark fabric from his bag and stepping back into the bathroom for a second, quickly emerging in a pair of loose sweatpants. They hung just as low as his towel, not helping the rising flush Garrett was fighting at all.

           The slightly smaller man crawled onto the bed, peeling back the covers and stuffing the extra pillows from the closet under the sheets.

           “Gonna take the bed then?” Garrett asked, finally finding his voice.

           “I decided we were being ridiculous. The bed is plenty big, and we’re both adults,” Fenris said, sitting back on his haunches to survey his work. The extra pillows were lined down the middle of the bed, making a divide. “I’ll let you pick your side first.”

           “You take the right,” Garrett said, smiling as he dug his private towel from his duffel bag. “I’ll take the left.”

           He left the silver-haired, olive-toned, fever-inducing Tevinter to settle into his side of the mattress as he went to the bathroom and took a quick shower of his own. The water was at least warm-ish, but it left much to be desired. Oh well, beggars and choosers and all that. Besides, a colder shower was probably a good thing, considering the piece of perfection in the other room.

           “About time,” Fenris teased from the bed. “I was starting to think you’d drowned.”

           “Nah, you’ll have to try harder than that to get rid of Ole Hawke here.”

           “Good, I’m just starting to warm up to you.”

           “I hope you’ll be warm in general. Don’t you want to wear a shirt?”

           “I prefer to go without. Besides, in spite of the hotel’s cheap appearance, upkeep, and general ambiance, they do have nice blankets. We’ll be fine.”

           “Right,” Hawke said, sliding under the covers and mildly displacing Fenris’s pillow wall. “Night then, Fenris.”

           “Goodnight, Garrett Hawke.”


           It was warm.

           Really warm.

           And… heavy?

           The static buzz from the heaters pulled him out of the dredges of sleep, the room still and quiet, just like it had been when he’d drifted off to sleep.

           Only now there was one whole unit of Fenris wrapped around his torso.

           Pillows strung out on his side of the floor gave the suggestion that Fenris had been the one to move them, and now he was curled into Hawke’s arms and sleeping soundly with his head on Garrett’s chest. Everywhere he touched seared against Hawke’s skin, despite the fraying control he fought to cling to. The fingers curling around his shoulder, the breath ghosting along his collarbones, the leg curled around his own… vices, traps just daring him to make a move. In his sleep he’d returned the embrace, his own arm snaking traitorously under Fenris’s back to curl around his middle.

           Don't be a freak. Don’t be a freak. Do Not Be Freaky.

           Fenris mewled in his sleep and snuggled in closer, and damn it, parts of Hawke were reacting. He had to find a way to extract himself without waking the Tevinter up. He shifted slowly, shuffling his leg free first, then starting to gently sliding his arm free.

           He was almost out when Fenris shifted, a hand curling in Hawke’s shirt as green eyes cracked open sleepily.

           “Hmm?” The other man perked up a bit when he realized he was the one holding Hawke, sheepishly retracting his hand and flopping back onto the pillows.

           “M sorry,” he mumbled.

           “It's alright,” Hawke said. “I just uh, gotta pee.”

           With that he hurried into the bathroom, praying the other man wouldn’t see the rather large lump in his sleepwear.

           “I’m sorry,” Fenris said again when Hawke came back, now sitting up and fully lucid as he organized some of the pillows on the floor.

           “Don’t tell me you’re planning on cutting out and sleeping on the floor again.”

           “I thought it’d be fine, but it’s not. You’re the only one allowed to drive your truck, you need rest and I’m obstructing that.”

           “Don’t be daft, Fenris. It’s fine. Hey,” he put a hand on the man’s arm to get his attention. “I’m being serious. I don’t mind. In fact it… it was kinda nice.”

           “You don’t care that I’m a man?”

           “Why should I? Dudes share rooms all the time.”

           “Not like that they don’t.”

           “Maybe not in Tevinter. But here? Nobody cares. Some of us… even prefer it.”

           “And do you prefer it, Hawke?” Something about his question echoed heat, and while it wasn’t expressly stated, Hawke knew he wasn’t just asking about sleeping.

           “Tonight? Yeah. I’d say I do, if I’d have a willing partner.”

           “And if you did?”

           “Then I’d tell him to stop being stupid and come to bed.”

           Fenris turned and gave him a look. The kind that made him weak in the knees, and let a horde of butterflies loose in his stomach. The Tevinter pushed his shoulder gently until he pressed into the mattress. He shifted above him, trailing a hand down Hawke’s chest, caressing him as he loomed overhead.

           “Are you tired, Hawke?”

           “Not particularly,” he said, offering a smile as he swallowed around the lump in his throat. I’m dreaming…

           “Maybe I could help with that,” Fenris said, green eyes looking hazy as he brushed his fingers through Garrett’s hair. “If you’d like, of course.”

           “I could at least buy you dinner first.”

           “Then let’s consider tonight a taste-test.”

           If Hawke had the presence of mind to think, he would have tried to say something. Not that it would have mattered, as Fenris, once approval was given, was quick to slot their mouths together. He tossed a leg over Hawke’s hips, settling down to sit on top of him while they began a heady make out session. The low light from the window caught Fenris’s angles all perfectly, the shadows moving to fuel him to reach up and thread his hands into silver locks.

           He wasn’t exactly sure how long they’d been kissing, or when they started grinding, but it was heavenly. The maker himself couldn’t have made a better form to mold to his. Fenris’s fingernails scraped against his scalp as he started rocking faster above him, the sensations combining to a heady whirl in his gut.

           With a savage kiss and a broken moan, it was over. Fenris went to putty atop him, slipping forward until his head was burrowed in Hawke’s neck, his shuddering breath hot against damp skin.

           “Come to breakfast tomorrow,” Hawke said, trailing his fingers up and down Fenris’s bare back, earning a shiver. “I know my family would love to meet you.”

           “Alright,” Fenris sighed contentedly, sliding off to the side. “I like following you.”

           “The feeling is mutual.”

           Fenris hummed, sleep overtaking him, and Hawke wasn’t far to follow.