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Let’s Close Your Clinic for Today (Dragon Age II, Anders + Male Hawke) One-shot


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Another of my Christmas-surprise-stories. This one is for my friend @Sitruuna. They wanted a laryngitis, fever cuddles and m/m fluff of mature, same-sex attracted men in a secure and fulfilling relationship. Here’s some DA II Anders + Hawke for you. I’ve thought of the canon male Hawke with that black hair and the beard who has an honest, blunt; but also half-way diplomatic character. Sickness-wise, there’s no sneezing but a lot of coughing, hoarse voice and fevers. I hope, you like it. <3

 

Fandom: Dragon Age II

Pairing: Anders / Male Hawke

Other Characters: Lirene, Justice, (Orana, Bodahn, Tallis - mentioned)

Sickie: Anders

 

Let’s Close Your Clinic for Today

 

Darktown had always been dirty, cold and wet. But in winter, it was insufferable. For weeks, Anders - known as 'the healer' here around - kept treating poor men, women and children with respiratory diseases, hunger related issues or frostbites. The misery was hard to bear.

 

When Hawke left Kirkwall to follow the invitation of an Orlesian Duke to go on a hunt; the blond mage decided to stay and keep his clinic open. Nobody else would care for the poor; and he was sure, the warrior who had been his partner over years now, would be strong enough to defeat every enemy on his way without his magical help – even if the whole matter had started with an assassination attack on the Champion.

 

Anders breathed deeply and leaned against one of the dirty walls in his clinic. He closed his eyes, rubbed his aching head and coughed. He’d developed this cough some days ago. Probably, he’d caught the bad catarrh that was going around; and although he’d taken a lot of herbs and lyrium potions; he felt his powers waning. It was late at night; and his clinic was still filled with so many people that needed him.

“Close the clinic, now!”, a strong voice inside his head demanded. Justice – who was always stronger when the mage was weaker for whatever reason.

“I can’t… so many patients…” Anders rasped lowly and another cough was shaking him.

“They can wait until tomorrow. You need sleep. If you faint or die, you can’t help anybody.”

“I thought, I can’t die with you inside me?”

“You can still get very weak; but our movement needs a powerful mage as their leader. You’re also much too hot for my taste.”

Anders chuckled, triggering another cough, “Too hot? Hawke would disagree. I can’t be hot enough for him.”

 

“Who are you talking to?”, a female voice suddenly asked; and then, the mage felt a small hand on his shoulder. It was Lirene, a merchant in her forties who had a shop in Lowtown. She had a rough manner and wasn't especially attractive. But - same as the mage - she cared for the poor, forgotten people that vegetated in the worst parts of Kirkwall; and this was the basis of their trustful and deep friendship. “Come, you should sit down and rest,” the merchant said guiding the exhausted healer to a stool by a wooden table. “I’ve already closed the clinic for you. Now, have some stew and tea.”

 

The next days weren’t any different – many very sick patients; and the clinic rooms cold, drafty and wet. No amount of fire magic could help to make the place comfortable. Anders’s state worsened – his cough sounded terrible, he had a high fever; and his voice was fading. Justice was cursing and raging inside him. “You mustn’t ruin your body this way. That’s not appropriate!”

“Shut up,” Anders mumbled tiredly.

“Pardon?”, the patient, the mage just cared for, looked at him puzzled.

“Oh…” a faint smile scurried over the mage’s pale face, “I said, 'cheer up!' – you’ll be better soon,” he added with his husky voice and turned away to cough harshly into the wide sleeve of his robe.

“You sound like you’re getting sick yourself, healer,” the patient remarked.

“Ah no, I’ve just swallowed the wrong way,” the mage claimed. He left the cot and cleaned his hands before he would look after the next person asking for his help. Standing up caused a dizzy spell. He blinked his eyes and grabbed his staff for support.

 

“Now, now… you don’t need to get all dramatic and faint just because I’m back,” a familiar, deep voice said; and a strong arm grasped the mage around his waist and pulled him to the warm, athletic body of the man he’d missed so much. Looking up, Anders saw the bearded face of his beloved warrior; those vivid brown eyes, the long scar over cheek and temple.

“You’re back, love,” he whispered and allowed himself a moment of weakness when he leaned his aching head against the broad chest of his lover.

“Yes – back and ready to take care of my crazy, overworked mage… Come, let’s close your clinic. You’re ill and should be in a bed.”

“That’s where you always want to have me,” Anders’s voice was breaking and crackling. A bad coughing fit followed, “and I’m not ill! I’ve just…”

“…swallowed the wrong way?”, Hawke ended the sentence, “And that causes hoarseness, dizzy-spells and fever?” The warrior laid one of his large hands on the mage’s forehead and let it rest there. “You’re burning up, Anders,” he added lowly, “Be careful. You know what can happen if you lose control…”

The mage wanted to protest; but with another hoarse cough, he gave in. He felt the Justice spirit rummaging inside. The fever seemed to amplify its rage. What if he hurt the people he wanted to help? That mustn’t happen again. Hawke was right.

Closing his eyes, he heard his partner calling out that the clinic was closed for today; and he knew, just seeing the impressive stature of the Champion and hearing his vigorous voice was enough to convince most of the people to leave without grumbling. Lirene sent the rest away and closed the doors. “It’s good, you’re back, Hawke,” the merchant said and almost smiled before she left to return to her shop in Lowtown.

“How was the hunt going?”, Anders asked his partner when the two were alone. His voice sounded even worse now in the empty hall – so crackling and faint. And he couldn’t breathe without some terrible sounding rattling and wheezing in his chest.

“Oh – it was great. I’ve never seen so many big wyverns before,” Hawke answered while gently guiding his sick lover to the backdoor of his estate. Although situated in Hightown, its enormous cellar reached down to Darktown, “But my most impressive quarry was Duke Prosper himself.”

“What? You killed an Orlesian Duke?” Anders asked, fevered eyes wide in amazement. His poor voice slipped away completely where he intended to emphasize the words. Another bad coughing fit followed.

The warrior almost had to carry the mage up the stairs as the sick man was much too weak to climb them alone. Of course, Anders would never admit this. Hawke felt him shivering, trembling in his arms – the cellar was cold and wet like the whole of Darktown. Hawke was worried – how long had the mage already felt that bad? He was in a terrible state.

Helping his partner in an unobtrusive way, a small smile scurried over Hawke’s lips when he thought of the hard fight with the Duke. “Well yes… him and his horse, all his loyal servants and a whole bunch of Tal-Vashoth,” he answered when they finally reached the upper parts of the estate’s cellar that led to the entrance hall.

“And that elf girl? What happened to her?”, Anders asked, almost voiceless after another bad coughing fit.

“Tallis?”, Hawke asked back when he opened the door to the chimney room – finally some warmth! But not enough to stop the mages trembling. Calling his servants Orana and Bodahn, the warrior asked them to prepare a warm bath and a soup before he went on to answer Anders’s question. “Turned out, she was a Qunari agent. I let her go…”

“She was Qunari? Wow! You must tell me everything!”

Hawke couldn’t help but chuckling a bit. Anders trying to show his surprise with a voice that was clearly fading away was too amusing. He could finally ease his sick partner to the bed and started to help him out of his clothes.

“What are you doing there? I’m cold enough anyway,” the mage shivering complained when Hawke loosened the ribbons of his robe.

“I know. But I can’t bathe you with your clothes on. Also – your things need some cleaning as well.”

“Do they?”, Anders whispered tiredly between his never-ending chills and coughs.

“Oh yes – you stink,” the warrior said bluntly.

“You’re cruel,” the mage pouted.

“I know, but you love me anyway. Right?”, the warrior smiled and winked at his sick partner.

Orana knocked on the door to tell, the bath was prepared; and Hawke just wrapped Anders in a large sheet and carried him down the stairs as if he was a child and not a full-grown man. But the warrior had the muscles of a bull; and the mage had always been a light-weight. During the Champion’s absence, he seemed to have lost even more pounds. Hawke could feel every single rib under his hot skin. “I can’t leave you alone. If nobody is around to remind you of eating something, you hunger yourself to death,” Hawke remarked with a worried head-shake.

The mage didn’t answer. He was coughing again. The fits sounded worse and worse. He felt so miserable. But when Hawke eased him down into the warm bath-water, he moaned in relief – the warmth spreading through his tired and sore limbs was a wonderful sensation. The warrior crouched down and started to rub his whole body with a sponge which felt marvelous. Anders closed his eyes when Hawke filled a jug with the warm water and let it flow over the mage’s head. And when the warrior started shampooing and washing his hair, rubbing his strong fingers over his scalp, the sick man nearly fell asleep under these pleasant touches. “You’re so good to me,” he whispered.

 

A while later, Hawke carried the sleeping mage up to the bedroom where he laid him down and carefully pulled up the covers over him. He was worried about his partner – his face so pale except for these crimson, hollow cheeks; his skin so hot from the high fever; and his breathing so laborious and weak. While he caressed that miserable face with his big hands, Anders was coughing in his sleep. It sounded awful. “You must take better care of him when I’m not around,” the warrior spoke lowly to the Justice spirit. He knew, it was always awake, even if its host was sleeping.

“I’ve tried. But he’s stubborn.” Hawke felt the words of the spirit more than he heard them. It was some kind of vibration in the back of his mind.

“I know,” the warrior answered chuckling, “he’s stubborn and crazy. But I love him that way.”

“Yes, you love him. And he loves you,” the spirit vibrated. ‘And I love you too,’ it thought but would never dare to admit that. It was created as a spirit of Justice, made to feel nothing but justice or injustice. Every other feeling was confusing for the spirit. But living inside the mage for such a long time had changed it. Justice was bound so deeply with Anders’s nature that it felt everything with him – anger, desperation, love, hunger… But revealing these feelings would bring it near to a demon. And no – that couldn’t be…

“Could you stop talking, please? It’s giving me headaches,” the sick mage suddenly whispered, his eyes still closed.

“I’m sorry, dear,” Hawke answered in a voice as soft as nobody else would ever hear him speaking. He laid his fingers on Anders’s burning forehead and started to massage his temples. The mage reacted with a relieved sigh.

“Do you want some cuddles?”, the warrior asked. Anders nodded.

A smile shone in the warrior’s eyes when he pulled the mage’s shivering frame nearer to embrace him entirely with his huge, strong body. “Here… I’m holding you. Try to sleep,” he said and went on to caress him until he heard his wheezing breath calming down.

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I already commented on this on tumblr (albeit briefly and mostly in my tags...) but this deserves a comment here as well : D

My brains are actually pretty dead so I don't know what else to say than just
???? It's so awesome that you do these little stories ??? thank you so, so, so much
I really like this (but I already told you that, lol).
< 3

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Thank you so much for your comment @Sitruuna :heart: You know what? Despite reading this like three times before posting, I've found so many mistakes *lol*. And it's so difficult to edit something on tumblr as soon as it's published. But I could do some editing here at least. :D

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