Snowy Embrace

Waking Up

Light hammered into his skull, the rays trying to snatch up his eyelids. With a groan, Fenris risked a single peek, then reared at the reminder of how much he had to drink last night. Maker’s sake, so much sunlight poured in through the drawn blinds it looked as if someone aimed a spotlight at the window.

He moved to sit up, prepared to nurse his aching head, when the full weight of the situation landed on him. Arms entwined around his chest, cuddling Fenris to a naked Hawke. One meaty leg wrapped around Fenris’ hip, ensnaring him deeper into Hawke’s web. A breath syncopated up his throat as Fenris felt all of Hawke’s hips pressing against his tailbone. It seemed as if the man happily snuggling around him was rather excited.

It was delightful, to be enveloped in such strong, safe arms. It was a mess. What if Hawke regretted it? Hawke was going to regret it. Grumble. Awkwardly, try to throw Fenris aside. As far as he knew Hawke wasn’t even into…it didn’t matter.

Blessed Andraste, how was he going to get himself out of this? Holding his breath, Fenris tried to slide one leg out from under the blanket towards the floor. His toes met with freezing cold air, the five digits wriggling just below the hem of his pants. So he did keep those on at least. Why would he have assumed different? Just a few more inches to touch the carpet, then he could slither to the floor and hustle to his bed.

The limp hand nestled near his heart cinched tighter, pinning him in place. Terror flooded Fenris’ veins, his eyes opening wide. Tender lips smacked in the gum of sleep and a warm yawn broke against the back of his ear.

“Morning,” Hawke said, his voice golden from slumber. Fenris could feel him stretch from behind, the joints locking tight. It was a chance he could take. But before Fenris even managed to slither his big toe to the ground, Hawke locked him back in his burly embrace.

Could he feel his heart fluttering around like a moth trapped inside a lampshade? Fenris grimaced at the thought, but let himself run his fingers over the back of Hawke’s hand. He felt the man’s smacking lips press against the nape of his neck, swirling the thin hairs with his breath. A sigh of contentment rose in Fenris’ throat, but he tamped it down.

“How’d you sleep?” Hawke asked. He wasn’t feeling Fenris up, but he wasn’t letting him go either. What did Hawke want?

He knew what he wanted, but it was impossible to imagine.

Deciding to face the dragon rather than run from it, Fenris twisted in place. Hawke’s fingers went limp, those hazy blue eyes watching as Fenris rotated until he was nearly nose to nose with the man. A man he shared a bed with for a night.

“I did,” Fenris grumbled in his throat.

“Don’t tell me you’re one of those ‘only needs to sleep four hours’ types,” Hawke groaned. Even with sleep sand in the crinkles of his eyes, his hair smooshed to the side, and lines from the sheets embedded into his dehydrated body, he was gorgeous. Fenris glanced down at those lips ripping open for another yawn.

Shaking off the urge to smother Hawke’s mouth with his own, Fenris said with a shrug, “Why do you think I’m so cross?”

At that Hawke snorted, his laugh trembling the bed so hard it caused Fenris’ smaller body to roll closer. Hawke reached out and gripped to his hip, keeping him in place. What did that man want? To pull him close or hold him back?

“I don’t even want to think about how much snow is out there,” Hawke groaned instead. There was a long journey ahead of them yet, but neither were rising from the bed, leaping into clothing, digging out the truck wheels. This creaky, pitted bed was an impossible dream, a refuge from reality. Fenris knew he didn’t have the courage to be the first to shatter it.

“Perhaps we’ll get lucky,” Fenris rumbled instead.

Those blue eyes drifted up to glare at the headboard a moment before swinging down with a twinkle. “Think summer’s already rolled in and melted it all?”

“I was weighing the existence of a plow sweeping the streets but your idea has merit.”

Another chuckle rolled up Hawke’s exposed chest. How long had that been pressed to Fenris’ back, the downy hair coddled by his hoodie? When he realized Hawke fell silent, Fenris glanced up into his smirking eyes. Fenris’ cheeks burned at being caught leering, his tongue lolling around for an excuse, or an explanation. Hawke’s hand released off his hip, Fenris already sliding towards the edge, when it landed upon his cheek instead.

Pinning him to the bed, Hawke raised up. Fenris mimicked him the way a mirror’s reflection would, his back falling to the mattress as Hawke hovered above him. Hawke’s tongue darted out, wetting his lips. When his thumb hooked under Fenris’ jaw, he tipped those glistening lips towards him. Fenris’ eyes closed, his fingers digging into his palm to prove this wasn’t a dream.

Bang. Bang. Bang. “Housekeeping!”

Hawke froze, his head whipping over to glare at the door. “We don’t need any, thanks.”

Another three knocks answered him, and the strangely falsetto-sounding voice once again said, “Housekeeping!”

Eyes rolling wide, Hawke groaned, “I said…”

A creak and rattle of the knob answered him. Someone was barging into their room! Without thought, Fenris dropped to the floor, his ass striking the cold, threadbare carpet. Hawke was yanking up a blanket trying to cover himself from the intruder. At the moment, Fenris was tempted to hurl whoever it was out the window. As he rebounded off the floor, fists raising for a fight, a groan rose in his gut.

“Varric!” Hawke shouted, his hands opening wide for the tiny man in a parka striding into their room.

“Hey Hawke,” Varric grinned, his cheeks pink from the cold. Those shrewd eyes darted from the nearly naked Hawke to the clothed Fenris trying to act as if he spent the entire night in his bed. “Having fun?” Varric voiced the tension in the room without thought.

It drew a scowl to Fenris’ already throbbing psyche. “What are you doing here?” he spat, wishing the damn man a pain in his leg.

Varric, never bothered by anyone, extended his arms wide. “I couldn’t let my best friend suffer in the middle of some terrible snowstorm nearly all alone. Also, you promised pancakes.” He jabbed a finger at Hawke, who was laughing and trying to mold his bedhead into shape.

“Waffles, I distinctly said waffles.”

“Nope, I’m only hearing pancakes,” Varric kept on, causing an exasperated Hawke to bundle a hand to his hip. The movement snared Fenris’ gaze, only for a flicker, but he couldn’t help himself. On the way back to glaring at nothing, he caught the knowing look from Varric. Damn him for butting into everyone’s lives.

“Better question is how did you get here?” Hawke seemed unperturbed that his friend was able to finagle a key off of the staff and break in. Though, Varric did make a habit of going where he was often not wanted or allowed. Why not break into a hotel room?

“Hitched a ride on a snow plow come dawn. Here,” Varric hurled one of his Hard in Hightown books at Hawke who caught it and smiled wider. “Your signed copy.”

Hawke flipped through it, cracking up from whatever inscription Varric left for him. After closing the book and cupping it to his hip, Hawke asked, “What about the others? Are they…?”

“Here too. It was a tight squeeze in that plow’s cab but we managed. They’re all down in the café eating…pancakes. Which you promised me.”

His eyes rolled at the continued jabbing, but Hawke was dancing on pins and needles at the thought of food. That was one of many things that seemed to bond the ex-quarterback to the jack-of-all-trades author.

“I did,” Hawke stepped forward, his blanket trailing him. “Let’s get some breakfast.”

“Er, Hawke,” Varric jabbed a finger at his naked chest, “might want to put pants on first. Unless you’re trying to score us free food again. If so, we’ll have to get a shit ton of melted butter first.”

Fenris frowned at that, having no memory or even heard of such an occurrence. But Hawke was blushing from below his black chest hair. “Right right,” he nodded, a hand cradling the nape of his neck. “Uh, think you can give me a few to get clothes on?”

“I suppose.” Varric raised up the fur-lined hood on his coat and stepped towards the door. “But don’t be late or Merrill will drink all the syrup.”

Hawke escorted him out, one hand clinging to the frame as he laughed to Varric, “Just hide one of the blueberry syrups behind a stack of toast!” After a wave that served as either a promise or brushoff from Varric, Hawke closed the door. For a beat, his eyes met Fenris’ before the man rushed to try and cram his legs into the wadded up jeans on the floor. The promise of breakfast had him racing while Fenris forlornly wandered over to button on his cuffs.

It didn’t happen. It was amazing how much it didn’t happen. Hawke didn’t crumble in your arms, you didn’t hold him tight and soothe his trembling body until sleep took you both. He certainly didn’t cling to you as if he never wanted you to leave. And in the morning, all that happened was…a visit from Varric.

With a sigh, Fenris rose up from his buckled boots. Hawke had his plaid shirt on but not buttoned, the man cramming his feet into shoes without socks. He really wanted to get to that breakfast. Maybe laugh at the night he had to spend in a crappy motel thanks to the snow. Fenris could fade into the background, doing his best to slice apart the bud of hope that tried to sprout in his heart.

“Is that everything?” Hawke asked, his wild eyes glancing over at Fenris who walked in only with the clothes on his back. He still shrugged and gave a quick look under the bed.

“I think so.”

Hawke stood sentinel beside the door, his meaty hands working up the buttons fast. He abandoned ship with two or three left undone and shrugged it off. Summoning up his armor, Fenris walked past Hawke and reached for the door handle to return to the cold. A warm hand grabbed his, twisting him on his toes. Fenris’ back flattened to the wall as Hawke wrapped a palm to his cheek. Soft, pliable lips plunged to his. The heat they’d nurtured all night roared inside Fenris’ body, a tingle sparking from his kissing lips and down to his toes. Hawke’s nose brushed against his cheek, his hand kneading against Fenris’ hip while their bodies melded together. It was bliss.

Lapping his bottom lip against Fenris’ before breaking off the kiss, Hawke’s blue eyes gleamed a touch away. “I had to do that,” he breathed, his voice deeper than the ocean.

“Hawke…” Fenris skirted his fingertips just above the man’s cheek, the ends trembling at the thought of touching him. “I didn’t think, you didn’t seem to be into… I thought…”

Hawke locked his hand over the back of Fenris’ hand and pressed his palm into the black thicket on his cheek. It was soft as down, a smile rising to Fenris’ freshly-kissed lips as he thrummed it. With a laugh, Hawke pulled the stroking palm over and kissed that.

“You’re so damn intimidating, I was scared to try,” Hawke admitted, Fenris swinging his eyes over to him in shock. “But there was no way I was missing this opportunity.”

This time Fenris kissed him, a sweet melding of lips. Hawke’s head tipped to the right as he cuddled the nape of Fenris’ neck. It was impossible, but it was real. No one could convince him otherwise.

Tugging in a breath, Fenris asked, “What now?”

Hawke shrugged, his crystal eyes trailing around the room before landing right in Fenris’s. “Waffles?”


“Oh, not you too…” Hawke pouted, but even as he opened the door, he kept his hand entwined with Fenris’s. Before leaving the room to whatever awaited them, Fenris cast one last look out the window. A gleaming new day awaited, purified by the snow.


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