Cat in the tree
When Fenris wasn’t with Hawke and his band of misfits, he sometimes worked for some people. The elf didn’t exactly know for whom, since there was always a middleman, who Varric brought to Fenris. The way the middleman behaved let him assume, that it was some noble, but the payment was good and none of his principles where crossed so why not? Also since the work had a wide range from different tasks, he assumed, that he had different employers. It ranged from easy tasks like bringing a secret message to someone, over to guarding something or someone and sometimes kill some bandits or slavers.
Today he should investigate one of the big agricultural gardens right outside of Kirkwall, which delivered food and other necessities and where someone seemed to steal things from. Since Fenris was asked to see into this and not one of the guards, he was pretty sure that there where some illegal things destroyed instead of, let’s say, some pulled carrots.
He went along a path, on his right side golden yellow corn weighed their heads in the light breeze while on his left side two rows of apple trees rustled softly, sounding like little waves crushing on a beach. It was a peaceful sound, the sun shown brightly from a blue heaven only interrupted from soft little white dots. For a moment Fenris stopped and turned his face towards the sun, enjoying its warmth, taking in a deep breath. The early summer smelled like… well grain and warm earth. He took some more deep breaths, feeling relaxed and, for a moment, free from all worries and sorrows of his life.
The sudden sound of cursing near him brought Fenris’ mind back from his happy place, remembering why he was here in the first place, he followed the cursing. The voice sounds oddly familiar. Then the sound suddenly vanished. Fenris came to stand under one of the apple trees, bent his head to one side to better listen he waited, if the voice came back. Instead he heard cracking above him. Is gaze shoot up and found… “Mage?”
The mage stopped trying to hide and instead looked nonchalant down to Fenris, trying to look completely self-confident and normal. “Elf”, he nodded as greeting. “What are you doing here on this beautiful day?”
Fenris frowned. “I’m… taking a walk. And you?”
“I’m gathering stuff for my portions.” That sounded honest.
“On a tree?”
“Why yes, obviously. Though not only here but also here.”
“I never heard about portions that need you to climb a tree”, he raised his eyebrow in disbelieve but also curious.
“And obviously you know everything about every portion, being a mage like you… oh how could I forget, you aren’t a mage!” He answered snarky, wild gesticulating with the arm with which he does not hold on to a branch.
Fenris crossed his arms and his ears dropped a little, while his face went blank. “Well no. Then enlighten me what are you gathering and for what portion is it?”
Anders started to plug out leaves. “I need the… leaves, yes the leaves. For… an abscess… portion, yes.” He nodded to himself, while he stuffed the leaves with one hand into the pockets of his rope, while he hold himself steady with the other hand which hold onto one of the bigger branches.
“An abscess portion?”
“Yes! Got a problem?” he stopped in his tracks and stared at Fenris, who leaned against the tree trunk and watched him. “You know, you don’t need to observe me doing this. It’s boring. Just continue with your walk.”
Fenris shrugged. “No, no problem.” Then he smirked. “Oh I am not in a rush. It is nice weather and I have a nice view. Also I never saw a mage up in a tree, collecting leaves.”
Anders starred at the elf, his mind racing until he realised, that by standing up here, Fenris could see under his robes. Heat rushed into his cheeks but he only rose proudly his nose. “Wish I wouldn’t wear trousers, don’t you?” He then laughed since now the normally stoic elf blushed. “Aww why Fen, I didn’t know you like mage-ass.” Anders snorted because of the face Fenris made.
“I never said I like… kaffas!” He shook his head in disbelieve, trying to will away his blush. “Just gather your leaves, stupid mage.”
He watched while Anders stuffed more and more leaves into his pockets, occasionally throwing a more and more desperate glace towards the elf. Fenris, now with normal skin color again, smirked. He still remembered, that the curses from Anders had lead him here, so he was quite sure that the mage hadn’t been honest to him. “You are stuck, are you not?” he asked, after Anders’ pockets were full and the human sat on the big branch, his back leaned against the tree trunk. He didn’t look like he would try to climb down soon.
“What? Me? Stuck? No! I just want to relax a bit before climbing down again. Do you realise how exhausting it is to balance on this branch without falling down? And like I said before. Just continue with your walk!”
“So not stuck? Okay.” he chuckled softly but otherwise didn’t show his disbelieve. “Oh I enjoy myself here, no worries.” Fenris stayed exactly were he was, arms crossed, leaning at the tree trunk, waiting. Silence grew while seconds expanded to minutes.
After a quarter of an hour Anders finally sighed and dropped his head. “Yeah I’m stuck.”
Fenris relaxed his stand and looked up to him. “And you are not up there because of the leaves, are you?”
Anders sighed again. “No~.”
“And you are up there because….?”
“By Andraste’s knicker weasels do you need to taunt me, elf?! I’m up here, because a cat was stuck and I wanted to rescued him! And now I’m stuck too, okay? Just laugh and let me alone!”
Fenris did as he was told and laughed but he didn’t leave. “Cute. And were is the cat now?”
“Did you just call me cute?” he asked flabbergasted.
Fenris blinked. “No? I called this situation cute, not you. So did you scare the cat down the tree?”
“He is in my robes.” The mage opened the first two buttons and a black and brown head poked out of it. The cat meowed softly and then pulled it’s head back in, content to stay were it was.
Fenris nodded to himself. “Alright. I will help you two down here. How did you get up in the first place though?”
“On the other side was a low hanging branch but it broke when I jumped to catch this big branch. And it was the only one, that was low enough…”
Fenris nodded again and took his sword from his back.
“Uhm why do you need your sword? Please don’t just cut the tree!”, his voice cracked with fear.
Fenris shook is head. “Stupid mage, it is in my way when I want to help you.” He sat the sword against the tree trunk and stood then directly beneath the big branch Anders was sitting on. “Can you lower yourself down the branch without crushing the cat? You can stand on my shoulders and I bring you down.”
“I’m sure I can… but are you sure you can hold me?” I can’t believe, he will let me - a mage - step on him…
“I once carried Hawke all the way to your clinic, remember? And I am quite sure that he is much heavier than you.”
“Point for you. Alright, let’s do this.” He got up and then lowered himself carefully down, his feet dangled in the air, until Fenris hand first held the feet, than his calves to direct them on his shoulders. Finally Anders could put his weight on him, still holding himself half on the branch. “Uhm and now? I still can’t just jump down…”
“Just lower yourself until you sit on my shoulders.”
“Can you hold me? I can’t reach the branch then anymore and I don’t want to fall down.”
“Sure” Fenris reached up while Anders took one feet down and slowly lowered himself further down, until he couldn’t reach the branch anymore, he then stabilized himself with Fenris arms. With a little flump he finally sat on his shoulders. Fenris stepped slightly wobbling a few steps back. “I will now go on my knees so you can step down. Alright? I need my hands for that.” Said and done, Fenris pressed one hand on Anders’ thigh while he reached out with the other and wobbling kneeled down. When Anders then tried to get down, he fell square on his ass. “Uff!”
Fenris turned around, both stared at each other before both of them started laughing. “You are such a clumsy creature, mage!” He held out his hand and pulled Anders back on his feet, when he took it. Suddenly they stood in each others personal space and Fenris realised for the first time, that Anders was a bit more than one head taller than himself. Their breath hitched and for a magical moment they just stared at each other, like they saw the other respectively for the first time.
The moment was destroyed, when a soft paw boobed Fenris’ nose. Startled his gaze went down. The cat had poked it’s head out again and one paw without claws boobed Fenris’ nose a second time out of curiosity. Fenris took a step back. “I will continue my walk then…” He moved some steps before he stopped again looking back to the seemingly lost blonde. “Did you destroy some plant in this garden?”
For a moment Anders was confused, but then he nodded. “They planted highly addictive drugs which they sell to Low- and Dartowner. I needed to treat more and more addicted the last weeks…”
Fenris nodded back. “They will hire other mercenaries to look into this. Stay save Anders.” He nodded good bye and left.
Anders’ fondled the cat’s chin while watching the elf leave. “He called me Anders….”