Another night at the Hanged Man, another argument.
“Why are you always so loud, mage?” Fenris demanded. “Every five minutes at the Bone Pit, screaming at Hawke should she so much as trip.”
Isabela guffawed in laughter, and Fenris grits his teeth. Anders was in fine form tonight though, and just rolled his eyes.
“I was never very good at being quiet, no,” Anders said, with a wink back at the pirate that is definitely designed to rile Fenris up more.
“Ooh, I bet you drove the templars crazy,” Isabela purred. “Getting caught with your skirts above your waist, eh? Moans ringing off the chapel walls…” Her voice trailed off.
“That is probably why I got caught all the time,” Anders admitted.
“Getting caught seems to be one of the things you are good at, mage,” Fenris said. “What, seven escapes, and you couldn't stay free?”
Anders' lips turned down, and his eyes sparked. But he seemed determined to not be wound up by Fenris today, and that made Fenris want to keep going, to prod at him until he reacts--
“Hawke is the best woman I know,” Anders said quietly. “Don't mock me for caring if she lives or dies.”
“You care too much,” Fenris sneered. Maker, what is wrong with him tonight? “Caterwauling everytime she takes a knee in a fight--”
Anders goes bright red, and his teeth pull back in a snarl. Fenris is treated to the unusual sight of Anders being simultaneously humiliated and furious.
It's a good look on him. Unfortunately.
Also unfortunate is how Anders pushes back his chair with a clatter and clumps away in his heavy boots. He waves off Hawke's querying noise by waggling his empty cup at her, and in a moment is out of sight, down into the roar of the Hanged Man's first floor.
“Very nice,” Isabela said, without rancor. “Maybe you could tug his ponytail next time as well. I'm sure that will be just as effective as what you're doing.”
“Isabela,” he sighs, and he can't help but sag a little in his seat. It's a testament to how much he and Anders argue that the rest of their friends had not even noticed. Instead Hawke is building a card tower with Merrill, Varric is offering architectural advice, and Donnic and Aveline have their heads bent together, murmuring intently.
“I'm just saying,” Isabela said, leaning back and propping her feet on the table, miles of boot and skin on display. “I'm all for tension to make things exciting, but you're laying it on pretty heavy. Anders has enough of that for you from his side anyway. What I think you should do--” she said, leaning forward, eyes snapping with excitement, and Fenris cannot help but smile at her as she detailed, for his ears only, a ridiculous plan to finally lay hands upon the stubborn mage.
“...And remember to save any torn trousers for Hawke at the end.” Isabela concluded, after several minutes. “There! What do you think about that!”
“Perfect,” Fenris said gravely. “It's much simpler than the way you got me into bed. I like it.”
“Don't worry, a few more years and you'll be on my level,” Isabela said, grinning. “You'll be coming up with your own plans in no time.”
“I'll go get started immediately,” Fenris said, intending no such thing, instead gathering up the empty glasses and an empty bottle, and making his way downstairs for another round. And if he could use any of his sparse charms to coax Anders back into their little circle, well, that would be a bonus.
It was fortunate that he left when he did.
For if he hadn't none of Anders' friends in Kirkwall would have ever seen him again.