Fenris was frustrated, more at himself than anything. Somehow Varric had convinced him to play host for the group’s Satanalia party since he had the most room besides Hawke. He wasn’t in the mood for a party with Carver being sent around to check him and his not quite legal claim on the mansion since Aveline stopped bothering with the complaints. He was also worried about Anders and if the mage would show up after their last ‘debate’ over celebrating the holiday.
Victor Hawke was never one for the holidays but his constant bickering with Carver after Leandra’s murder had sapped what little cheer the man possessed. He was currently sulking in his mansion as Isabela tried to get him in the holiday spirit by perching on his lap and waving a sprig of mistletoe in front of his face.
“Oh come, don’t be such a stick in the mud, that’s Sebastian’s job around here.” Isabela said when Victor nudged her off his lap with a grunt.
“Sorry, just not in the mood Izzy. If this wasn’t a thing Varric asked me for, I’d stay here and get blindingly drunk by myself. Holidays aren’t the same anymore.” Victor headed up for a bath to get relaxed and ready for the evening while Isabela pouted rather prettily on his bed as she waited.
Varric had arrived a bit early to find his helpers were setting the table in the dining room while Fenris stood around looking put out as a wet cat in the winter. He slipped by a lass lighting candles to congratulate the warrior on getting things ready.
“Broody, why do you look like someone dumped a bucket of water on your head now?” asked the rogue as he steered Fenris to a seat that was out of the way.
“I am not ...why did I let you talk me into this?” Fenris waved at the servants, all paid well courtesy of the dwarf trying to ply him with wine. “I’m a former slave, not a damned host! I don’t want to endure a whole evening of snide remarks about how the place looks or even how well I clean up!”
Varric knew that Fenris wasn’t actually upset with him, but it took a lot of counting backward not to snap back at the elf. “Come now, you know how our friends are. They mean well sometimes, but well they sometimes suffer from permanent insert foot into mouth disease. Go on and get ready, and I’ll help things get ready here. I know you bought something new to wear ...that a certain mage also bought a new outfit, when he suddenly had extra coin thanks to a few patrons.”
Fenris rolled his eyes and snatched the glass of wine from the table. “I did not buy it to impress him.” he swore.
“Uh huh, sure. You forget elf, I have eyes and ears all over this city. Go on, I’ll let anyone in that comes early.” Varric gave him a wink and headed into the kitchen to finish overseeing preparations.
“Damned nosey dwarf.” Fenris huffed as he headed up to his room and the solitude he would miss once people did start invading his home. He pulled out a long coat of leather, a dark blue that the tailor had assured him went well with his complexion and other things he didn’t care about. While he freshened up, Fenris pondered how he’d gotten to a point of wanting to see Anders, even had gotten him a gift made him uneasy.
He fingered the embroidery on the tunic he’d gotten, a similar blue but adorned with silvery lines and shapes that pleased him, and that was why he’d gotten it. It wasn’t something someone ordered him to wear to look pretty or before he was ...no, that was a dark road for another night. Fenris finished dressing, and headed down to find that Sebastian, Merrill and Aveline had arrived early.
“Welcome, come we can have a drink until the others arrive.” Fenris didn’t give anyone a chance to comment on his attire or the state of the mansion. He was only concerned with one mage and they weren’t there yet.
Sebastian gave him a smile and handed a bottle of Starkhaven malt to the elf. “You look good Fenris, blue suits you.”
“Thank you, please have a seat and I’ll save this for after dinner.” Fenris tried to get them to sit and not gawk at him but of course Merrill couldn’t help herself.
“Fenris! You look so much better when you’re no scowling, and blue really suits you. Sebastian is right.” She gave him a lumpy package with a smile. “Isabela said you’re supposed to bring your host something so I hope you like it.”
“I’m sure I will, thank you Merrill. Please have a seat and I’ll pour drinks.” Fenris sat her package next to Sebastian's and made himself busy with serving them, even though he wanted to change his mind and kick them out already. He noticed Aveline was quiet as she sat down and waited for Fenris to join her.
He did just that glad for someone to be quiet with instead of the inane chatter that Sebastian and Merrill liked to get into. It was nice and slow for a bit, until Hawke, Isabela, and Anders arrived. Fenris was fine until he saw the mage, who had indeed dressed up for the occasion in a green overcoat, pants of the same colour and a dark gold tunic with green stitching that really brought out the amber hue of his eyes.
“You look nice.” Fenris said as he greeted the mage.
“You do too, blue is a much better color on you than the dark grey of your leathers. Makes your eyes stand out too.” Anders replied quietly.
“I could say the same of your clothes.” Fenris gave him a smile then realized everyone had fallen quiet. “We should sit down so dinner can start, sit with me please?”
“Sure.” Anders was relieved and happy that the elf was happy to see him too. He had a gift for him but it wasn’t for the others to see and probably mock him about for days. He missed the smirk that was on the elf’s face thankfully.
Dinner was quiet thankfully, with few quips from Isabela about Fenris and Anders appearances which were ignored by mostly everyone. Well except Merrill who had gotten a little tipsy by the time dessert had been brought out. She tried to get Fenris to do more than hum a few bars of a holiday tune that Sebastian had begun to sing but he wasn’t having it.
“I don’t ...sing.” Fenris said from where he’d curled against Anders by the fire. “Sebastian has a lovely voice on his own, I don’t even know the words.”
“You do have a nice voice, when you’re not yelling at people.” Merrill said before Aveline nudged her.
“It’s the holiday, leave off.” she said gently while relieving her of her drink. “That’s enough for tonight, I want you to be able to get home.” Aveline handed her water instead.
“I’m not a child, stop treating me like one Aveline!” Merrill retorted as she took her drink and headed for the kitchen where some people had retreated for more dessert.
“Don’t wanna sing… magisters made me entertain them.” Fenris said outloud then realized what he’d let slip. “I think I need to go to bed now.”
“I’ll help get people out of here.” Anders offered as Aveline and Sebastian took the hint and saw themselves out after thanking Fenris.
Hawke was glad to go and dragged Isabela with him who lamented not figuring out the colour of the warrior’s underthings. Varric was next to last, after he’d paid the servants and made sure they had been paid and gotten more than their fair share of the feast.
He helped Anders put the remaining food away in the cold box, with a bit of frost magic applied to keep things for another day or two. “You staying Blondie?”
“If he’ll let me, yeah. He seems to have regretted that slip of the tongue about his past.” Anders said quietly.
“You know he’s not as prickly as he let’s on. Take care of Broody, I’ll check on you after First Day.” Varric slipped out the back for the cold walk back to the Hanged Man and a night with Bianca.
Fenris came into the kitchen for a glass of wine to take to his room and found Anders still there. “You didn’t have to help clean up, I would have done it in the morning.”
“It’s fine and I wanted to, Varric helped too and I put leftovers away in the cold box for you with a bit of a frost spell so they’ll last longer. I ...also have a present for you.” Anders said with a shy smile.
“I...thank you. I was hoping you’d want to stay a bit longer.” Fenris admitted as he got another glass and beckoned the mage to follow. “It’s warmer in my room and ...I have something for you as well.”
Anders grabbed his coat and followed the elf to his room, which had been picked up as well, the lute that usually leaned against the windowsill had been polished and put on a stand, the notebooks that they’d used for writing and reading lessons were put away neatly on a side table. Even the bedding seemed new and the rug had been cleaned.
“Excuse me while I change.” Fenris slipped behind a screen to slip into woolen leggings and a sweater gifted to him by Donnic. “Make yourself comfortable.” he stepped out for a moment and returned with a square package that he handed Anders before he curled up by the fire.
The mage opened it to find new notebooks, quills and inks in the colours he used for his medical notes. “Thank you, how did you know I needed this?” Anders asked.
“I’m more observant than some realize.” Fenris replied with a shrug. “Glad you like them.”
Fenris heard the mage rustling around behind him then looked up to see a plant being dangled over his head. “That’s poisonous, is that what you wish to give me?” he glanced at Anders in confusion.
“No, it’s only poisonous if you eat it. It’s mistletoe, and tradition says you should kiss under it. So maybe, you’ll let me?” Anders said as he tugged the mage to his feet.
“You could have just asked for a kiss, silly mage.” Fenris said as he flicked the stick that Anders had somehow clipped to his head.
“I didn’t want to presume, remember we’re taking things easy.” Anders said with a laugh before he leaned in to kiss Fenris until they needed to part for air. He leaned back and then handed the elf his real present.
“You didn’t have to get me anything.” Fenris said as he took the heavy bag. He opened it and found several blank notebooks, quills and books to practice his reading. “These had to cost a fortune.”
“A hairy dwarf made sure I had some extra coin so I decided to do a little good with it. You go through notebooks quickly and we’ve gone through a lot of the books here and what I have. I wanted you to feel challenged, if you don’t mind.” Anders smiled as he followed Fenris back to the fire and wine.
“Thank you, I will treasure these.” Fenris gave him another slow kiss, then sat in his lap. He wrapped his arms around the mage, rested his head on Anders shoulder and sighed happily. “Happy Satinalia Anders.”
“Same to you Fenris, thanks for letting me stay.” Anders kissed him on the cheek and settled in for a long night of cuddling, talking and hopefully a lot more kisses. He was warm, safe, full and happy and that was the best Satanalia present he could ever ask for.