“It must be special.”
Fenris was pacing up and down the rug in Varric’s room, gesticulating wildly as he spoke. Varric’s eyebrows were somewhere along his hairline as he watched the elf with something akin to amusement. He didn’t want to look too amused however, or the elf might get offended.
“So you want... what exactly? Cake, streamers, strippers, presents, and booze?” Varric asked, trying very hard to keep his lips from curling upward.
“Do not be ridiculous, dwarf.”
“You said special. You also said something about Hawke and happy and surprise. You haven’t really elaborated on what you mean by special yet,” Varric pointed out dryly.
“I... It...” Fenris wrinkled his nose and pursed his lips, glaring at the dwarf. “That is why I came to you, Varric. I need help.”
“Obviously.” Varric grinned and leaned back into his chair. “Think clearly Fenris, what exactly do you think would make Hawke happy?”
“I don’t know!” Fenris sat down in one of the empty chairs around Varric’s table, frustrated. The dwarf sighed and rubbed his face.
“Okay. How about this?” He picked up his quill and flipped over a piece of parchment he had been using earlier. “What are things that Hawke likes?”
Fenris sighed and ran a hand through his hair, thinking. “Books. Magic. Helping people. Getting into trouble. Frustrating me. Annoying me. Making me want to kill him-”
“Come on Broody, things he actually likes, not things you imagine he does to you on purpose to drive you mad,” Varric said, rolling his eyes and scratching a few things off the paper he had started to write.
“Baths. Food. Laughing,” Fenris said, trying again.
“Okay, so you have books, magic, dogs, baths, food, and laughing. I’d say that’s a good start,” Varric said, looking at the parchment.
“How? What do I do with any of that?” Fenris said, frowning.
“You want to give him a nice name day, right?” Fenris nodded. “Well, all of these items have romance written everywhere. Candlelit dinner, sensuous bath, reading in bed... Use your imagination, Broody.”
Those did sound like things that Hawke would like, Fenris thought, gnawing on his lower lip. He stood up then, his head swirling with ideas now.
“Thank you, Varric,” the elf said, and the dwarf swore he saw the elf almost smile on his way out of the room.
When Bodahn had sent him out of the house at after noon, Hawke had been slightly suspicious.
When Fenris was not answering the door of his mansion, Hawke had become more suspicious.
When Isabela bought him a drink, he knew that they knew.
When Varric let him win at cards, he was positive.
They knew it was his name day.
He wasn’t sure who had told them, perhaps it had been Carver, though why his templar brother would have worried about his name day when he hadn’t cared for years was beyond the mage.
The others came by the Hanged Man that afternoon, one by one, in passing mostly.
Merrill had brought him a Dalish amulet that she said she had laying around and never used any more. It had a carving of Sylaise. She then went into a lengthy explanation of the elven goddess and her affinity for weavers and healers.
Aveline had brought him a history book about Ferelden. She claimed Donnic had finished it and thought that Hawke would like it.
Sebastian showed up as well, giving him a book about the Free Marches.
Anders was the only one that didn’t pretend to just randomly have something laying around that he suddenly thought Hawke would like.
“I don’t see why they’re all pretending like they don’t know. It’s not like they’re being subtle or anything,” Anders had said. “I live off the kindness of strangers, so I don’t have anything interesting for you.”
The older mage had shrugged and grinned. “Happy name day. I’ll say it, even if they won’t. I’m not sure what they’re playing at, but it’s silly.”
Hawke had laughed at that and shook his head. He wasn’t sure what they were doing either. Perhaps because he had never really made a big deal out of his name day previously they were afraid to acknowledge it? Whatever it was, Hawke gave up trying to figure it out and just accepted the gifts with a smile.
Around dinner time, Varric finally shooed him out of the Hanged Man, telling him to go home. He had been slightly disappointed, hoping to spend the evening with his friends, playing cards (badly), and not being alone with the dog and the dwarves and Orana.
Fenris had never showed.
Hawke supposed he shouldn’t have been upset by that fact, Fenris and he had only recently renewed their relationship. It was likely the elf didn’t even know. Hawke dragged himself home, trying very hard not to be disappointed or upset. He’d received some new books, and a lovely amulet, he should be content with that.
He should have been suspicious when he opened the door and Bodahn was not there.
He also should have been suspicious when Orana was not near the fireplace where she usually waited when she had nothing to do.
He should have been downright nervous when Sandal was not near his enchanting apparatus and the dog was not by the hearth.
Hawke put his books onto the table inside the door, and didn’t even notice any of these things. Not immediately anyway.
Instead, he frowned at the sound of strange noises and something that sounded like swearing coming from the kitchen. Hawke raised an eyebrow and pushed open the door to the kitchen curiously finding the the room in total disarray, and something that looked like a fine layer of flour.
Hawke came around the side of the counter then and found Fenris on the floor in the middle of the kitchen with a mixing bowl in his lap, a cook book on the floor in front of him, and flour all over him, the dog, and something else that was squirming underneath Hawke’s mabari (Spot) and making squeaking noises.
“Fenris?” The mage tried very hard not to look amused, as he was sure the elf would not appreciate it, but it was difficult. The elf made a high-pitched surprised noise that was incredibly cute as he almost dropped the bowl in his lap and looked up at Hawke.
“I live here.”
“I know, I mean... I was hoping you wouldn’t be back yet.” Fenris stood up and put the bowl onto the counter, sheepishly trying to brush all the flour off of himself and failing miserably.
“What are you doing?” Hawke asked, smiling fondly and brushing some flour from Fenris’ hair.
“I... was...” the elf shifted his weight, as he always did when he was nervous or uncomfortable. “I wanted to do something. For your name day. I... was going to make you something, and then draw a bath, and then read... to you...” Fenris finished, sounding miserable that he hadn’t even gotten past the ‘make something’ part before Hawke had found him.
“Oh Fenris,” Hawke laughed and leaned forward, kissing the elf’s cheek gently.
“Just getting to spend it with you is fine with me. I worried you’d forgotten or didn’t want to see me.” The mage brushed his nose against Fenris’, still smiling. “What were you trying to make? And what is that?”
Fenris turned around to see what Hawke was looking at and frowned. Spot was holding the flailing furball in his mouth now, having given up on sitting on it.
“A cake, people eat cake on their name days do they not?” Fenris moved over to the cookbook on the floor and picked it up, frowning at the picture. “It was not as easy as I thought it would be.”
“And the wiggling thing?”
Fenris looked sheepish again, a blush rising to his ears. “Your present.”
“Varric told me to think of things you like, so... I knew you like... dogs...” Fenris said, stumbling a little over the words. Hawke could tell it was hard for him to do this, he wasn’t very good at expressing his feelings and the fact that he’d even thought to try to do all of this was more than enough for the mage.
The elf bent over and removed the wiggling fluff from Spot’s mouth and thrust it toward Hawke.
It was a puppy. Hawke took it from the elf and held it close to his chest, letting it wildly lick his face as it squirmed and made a squeaking/barking noise. Spot did not seem impressed and looked disdainfully away, which made Hawke chuckle a little.
“Sebastian helped me find him. He said it is a wolfhound. But it is still very young,” Fenris told him, reciting what Sebastian had said. “He will be very large when he is full-grown. Even larger than Spot.”
The mabari made a huffing noise, not impressed, obviously. Hawke leaned over and scratched his mabari’s ears placatingly.
“But he will not be as smart, Sebastian said,” Fenris added, which seemed to mollify the mabari somewhat.
“He’s adorable, Fenris,” Hawke said and kissed the elf again, lightly on the lips. “I appreciate your attempt to make my name day special.”
“You’re not angry?”
“Why would I be angry?” Hawke laughed again and nuzzled the elf’s neck. “My favourite person in the world is here with me on my name day, where he had not been previously. This is quite possibly the best name day ever.”
Fenris sighed in relief and smiled a little. He supposed he could be all right with that.