as Basilton said.
It was Hawke’s beard that was lauded beyond measure, Isabela’s bare legs and other assets around the corseted area, Varric’s chest hair and Anders’s nose. Sebastian’s eyes were, Varric grudgingly admitted in all the stories, overwhelmingly blue, even more so than a cloudless sky—the sort you never saw anymore in Kirkwall, at least not from Lowtown—and Carver’s shoulders were as enormous as his head, which really was saying something. Merrill had the cutest toes—‘You’ve no idea, Hawke, how many readers write in to ask me about those,’ Varric said, and Hawke preferred to keep it that way, ignorance being blissful, especially with this crowd—while Aveline had her freckles and her hair. (‘And don’t forget her enormous hands,’ Isabela added, before softening. ‘Those big, bad hands. What I wouldn’t…’)
Hawke had stopped listening at that point. For the good of all, but mostly for the good of his sanity.
It was obvious, then, that Varric would focus on Fenris’s markings—those were most prominent—but also his eyes, soulful and deep green, even darker when they caught the firelight. ‘Like shadows on a canopy of leaves,’ Hawke said once, in one of his drunker moments, and when Varric turned to stare at him, he pretended to be choking on a piece of gristle that had made it through in Corff’s brew.
‘What did you say?’ Varric asked.
‘What did you say?’ Hawke replied. ‘Did you know just the other day Isabela was writing poetry about Aveline’s hands?’
But it was too late. Varric had heard, and Hawke knew he’d see the line about Fenris’s eyes show up somewhere, someday. Even if it wouldn’t embarrass him—there was no brew that potent—he’d still feel it, the swift bolt of chain-lightning heat that always ran through him whenever he imagined Fenris’s eyes raised to his face, in skepticism or anger or familiarity, or…something else.
At least Hawke hadn’t given the true secret away, the real association they should have made whenever they thought of Fenris. It was the bare, muscled round of his ass, the slightest dip in the small of his back just above it, and the little curve before one muscle met the next and his ass became his thigh. It was everything else, too: his fingers, his belly, his ankles, his half-tousled hair—elves never had the decency to be fully-tousled about anything—and the moment Hawke’s eyes met his across a room, when they were the only two left together at the end of a long night, subsequent to an even longer day.
It was his voice, the way he said it after a pause, just like a shadow above a leafy canopy, in fact.
Fortunately, Hawke still knew—despite being trounced by Varric regularly on Wicked Grace night—how to play some cards close to the vest.
‘Fenris,’ Hawke replied, without clearing the pleasure and privacy and even the longing from his voice, and he thought he could detect a matching shiver on Fenris’s bare flesh, something they both shared, better than anything else they were by daylight, when Fenris wasn’t wearing the furred collar of Hawke’s people and nothing else.
When Hawke wasn’t the luckiest man alive.