“Ok, I’ve got Sebastian, Varric, Isabela, Merrill…who have I missed?” Hawke looked up from his list of contacts to text and nudged his friend Anders in the ribs.
“Oof!” Anders glared at him, but only for a second. Anders wasn’t the type to anger quickly, and the stupid grin Hawke was giving him just made him want to grin back. “Sebastian won’t be allowed to come, you know that,” Anders said, pushing the fall of blonde hair back from his face and behind one ear.
“He’s heading to university next year! He needs to get his priorities straight, tell his folks not everything is about the Maker,” Hawke grumbled. “I’m inviting him anyway, he might surprise us.”
“Yeah, right. More likely that he’ll sit at home praying for our souls,” Anders said. “Hey, you didn’t include Fenris. You’ve got to invite him, pretty please,” Anders batted his eyelashes at Hawke, the hopeful look on his face softening his gold eyes. Hawke smacked him on the forehead and pushed him away.
“You just want him because you think he’s hot. He’s so…grumpy. He’s a grumpy bastard. I don’t think I will,” Hawke teased, knowing full well that he was going to invite Fenris anyway. “What do you see in him?”
“Are you kidding me!” Anders pushed his hair back with both hands, tying an elastic band around it while he thought how to explain. “He’s so fucking good looking. And I’m sure once I wrangle my way through that broody exterior, he’s probably nice as pie on the inside. And…those eyebrows – have you seen the way he just raises an eyebrow at you when he’s pissed? It’s just…so…hot,” Anders was now trying not to drool, and Hawke was laughing out loud.
“Yeah well, I’ll invite him, but only because you like his eyebrows. Don’t you like mine, baby?” Hawke did a ridiculous eyebrow waggle and this time it was Anders who pushed him away.
“You’re a buffoon, Garrett Hawke. Besides, if I did like your eyebrows, Isabela would get jealous, and we can’t have that now can we.” Hawke, defeated, finished typing out his text message: Party at the Hawke house! Meet tomorrow at the Hanged Man 9pm! Bring alcohol if you are staying the night!
“Shouldn’t that read, bring bedding if you’re staying the night?”
“Anders, you are so boring.”
The Hanged Man was crowded, and noisy, and Fenris’ flicked his ears back in irritation as he entered. He wasn’t sure why he was even here. Hawke’s invitation had been unexpected. They had shared some classes through the year, but he hadn’t realised that Hawke even had his number. Perhaps he had gotten it from Aveline – they worked together at the martial arts centre, teaching the younger kids. It wouldn’t hurt to come along, hed figured. He hadn’t been in town long, and maybe it would be nice to make some new friends. Last semester at school had been…trying. Transferring schools so close to the end of the year hadn’t been his choice, but you did what you had to do.
By the bar, he could see Aveline, her height and red hair making her easy to spot. He drifted over, trying to avoid being knocked about by the other patrons. He didn’t like being touched, sensitive skin and a childhood suffering from severe eczema had left him with touch sensitivity that made walking in crowded places a nightmare. He reached the bar, placed an order for scotch on the rocks, and looked around. Aveline was nodding to him from her stool a few feet away. Hawke was nowhere in sight. Isabela…that was her name…she’d been in his art class, was talking to a tall blonde guy who looked younger than he probably was, and another girl, tiny, green-eyed, an elf like him. He snorted and took a sip of his scotch, turning his attention back to Aveline, who was talking to Varric. The dwarf was standing on his bar stool, and with Aveline sitting it gave him the height advantage. He appeared to be telling some story that had him gesticulating wildly and Aveline laughing into her glass.
“Hey!” a voice from his left was accompanied by what was probably meant as a friendly nudge to the shoulder, but Fenris was already feeling defensive, and being touched by some stranger didn’t make him feel any better. He growled as he turned, catching a distinct hint of upset and fear on the face of the blonde that Isabela had been talking to. He blinked, he hadn’t actually meant to be intimidate, it had just rubbed him the wrong way, and why on earth was this guy scared anyway, he stood a head taller than Fenris. Still, he looked terrififed.
“Uh…hello,” Fenris mumbled, wondering if he had any chance of making friends now, or whether he had just blown it.
“Er…sorry if I bothered you. I’m Anders, a friend of Hawke’s. I’ve seen you at school. We were in the same biology class!” The blonde – Anders – seemed to have gotten over his momentary fright, and Fenris listened as he stumbled over introducing himself. Yes, biology class. He’d been the kid who always knew the answers before the teacher even asked the questions, sat at the front…obviously very interested in the subject. Fenris had only taken it because when he transferred the elective he had chosen, woodwork, was full at the new school. The principal had coaxed him to take biology for the last few months of the year, promising that his marks wouldn’t be penalised.
“Right, Anders…good to meet you,” Fenris rumbled, taking another swig of scotch rather than shake Anders hand. Anders turned the aborted handshake into a swipe of his hand through his hair, obviously something he did often, because there was no style to it, it hung into his face in a way that bothered Fenris. It was very pale, and silky looking, he wondered how it would feel against his fingers…and drowned his blush in more scotch. Where had that thought even come from? He’d known the guy all of thirty seconds.
“So…you coming back to Hawke’s later?” Anders said, and Fenris raised an eyebrow at him considering. As he did, Anders eyelids flickered, and he licked his lips. Fenris blushed again, clearing his throat with a small cough. If Anders was going, then he would go, he decided. But what was with this attraction he felt. He’d never felt this way about anyone before, but right then he wanted to drop the scotch and run his fingers through that cornsilk hair….
“Yes,” was all he said, and left it at that.
“Right…well…I guess I better go rescue Merrill, haha,” Anders managed, and peeled away through the crowd to drag the little elf away from the gang of thugs who’d come in. She was probably trying to interest them in a mediation class or something. Fenris was odd and…intoxicating. What was it about his eyes, and those elegant eyebrows that captivated him so much? He didn’t know, and he didn’t care, as long as he got to look at them some more. He grabbed a can of soda from the bar, and went looking for Hawke.
Hawke opened the door of the pub’s courtesy mini-van and leaped out onto the paved drive of his family’s estate. He pulled Isabela out, drunk and laughing as she stumbled in bare feet, her high heels held in one hand and a can of ready-mixed drink in the other. Merrill popped out after her, landing neatly and skipping up the drive. Then came Anders, unfolding his long legs one after the other and cursing the cramped seats. Varric, laughing, after him, teasing ‘Blondie about the benefits of being a dwarf. Last of all came Fenris, the other elf in the group, whom he’d barely said a word to all night, but he’d watched with fascination as Anders practicaly drooled into Isabela’s cleavage while not taking his eyes from Fenris, and the way that Fenris kept blushing and drinking – hard – said that either he was not interested and was horribly embarrassed, or that he was definitely interested, and maybe just shy. Hawke wasn’t sure which, but he gave the elf a grin even though Fenris ignored the hand he had held out to help him down, and they walked up the drive toghether, trailing their drunk and not so drunk friends.
“So, Fenris. Glad you could make it! I hope these guys haven’t made you wonder why you came?” Hawke said, trying to initiate a conversation more interesting than discussions of homework or school.
“It’s fine. Thank you for the invitation. I would like to make more friends,” Fenris said, looking down at his feet, clad in a soft pair of black moccasins. They were irritating him, and he couldn’t wait to take his shoes off. He wondered suddenly whether that would be okay, then relaxed as he remembered that Isabela had her shoes off already – obviously Hawke didn’t stand on ceremony.
Hawke meanwhile was watching him, watching the way he looked away or down when he spoke, reading the tension in his shoulders – probably shy, and not used to the people here yet. He decided Fenris was probably good people…Anders would be fine. He had better be, because Garrett Hawke protected what was his, and Anders had been his friend since preschool. They chatted as they made their way to the house and in, Hawke managing to get a smile out of Fenris more than once, and deciding maybe Anders did have good taste after all.
The evening was a bit of a blur after that. Fenris had drunk way too much scotch, followed by red wine – not the best combination, but it was all Hawke had at home. He had curled himself up on the sofa, bare feet tucked beneath his legs. They were watching horror movies, and somehow Anders had ended up next to him, and was shrieking – even at the parts that weren’t remotely scary. Fenris laughed, too drunk to be self-conscious, and Anders leaned into him, hiding his face behind Fenris’ shoulder. “It’s ok, you can look now” Fenris said, and Anders looked up, just as the second victim was messily disembowelled with a chainsaw.
“You…bastard! You did that on purpose!” Fenris was laughing too hard even to apologise, and Anders pouted at him. Those full pouty lips drew Fenris eye, and he wasn’t thinking at all when he reached out a hand and pulled Anders to him. Anders gasped, soft lips opening under Fenris’ own, and then there was nothing else but the two of them, Anders blonde hair falling forward to hide their faces, and Fenris’ green eyes staring into his.
“F…Fenris,” Anders groaned, “Not that I don’t like this, because I do, I liked it a LOT, but…I feel compelled to tell you that you’re drunk.” He watched as Fenris blinked at him with those big eyes, a little frown creasing his pretty black eyebrows. Fenris reached up and took him by the shoulders, a serious look on his face.
“Shut up, Anders,” he said, and kissed him again.
“Oh…okay,” Anders gave up, falling forward until they were curled together on the couch, kissing and cuddling until Fenris’ drunkenness got the better of him and he fell asleep, legs tangled with Anders.
Hawke dragged Isabela up from the floor, ignoring her giggles and stumbles. “So what’s with the sleeping beauties?” she asked, pointing vaguely in the direction of the couch where Fenris and Anders were curled together. Hawke wrinkled his nose.
“I dunno. Anders likes him. Looks like Fenris likes him back. He’s not a bad guy. Anders likes his…”
“Mmm?” Isabela was all ears, waiting for something crude.
“His eyebrows!” laughed Hawke.
“Oh, Hawke…let me play!!” Isabela was bouncing up and down now, clapping her hands, loud enough to catch the attention of Varric who was the only other still awake, Merrill having curled up into a ball earlier. Aveline had headed home after the Hanged Man, citing work tomorrow as her reason for not coming.
“Isabela…” Hawke’s voice had a warning tone. “What are you planning?”
“Nothing permanent! Promise, cross my heart hope to die. It’ll be fun.” Hawke had been drinking all night too, and his resistance was low – that was the only excuse he had when Isabela grabbed Varric, insisted he be ready to make a Vine, and proceeded to shave off Fenris’ eyebrows with her LadyShava 5000, personal bikini shaver. It was up on tumblr before Hawke could say a word, and he fell asleep in Isabela’s arms, vaguely aware that he was going to regret something in the morning.