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He finds Hawke on the roof of the safehouse afterward, staring out toward Hightown as he is sometimes wont to do. He knows why. There is a lot he doesn’t know about Hawke, and less he is likely to learn, but he knows this. He understands this. He scuffs his boots against the gravel of the roof to alert Hawke to his presence before he approaches, standing next to him at the edge. Hawke grunts a greeting but doesn’t otherwise acknowledge him. His eyes are closed, the Captain sees when he looks over. Odd.

“Is...everything alright?”

Hawke snorts, the ghost of a laugh, and fluffs the dreads at the back of his neck. “Sure.”

The Captain frowns. He decides on a different tack. “I’ll need your report on the mission by tomorrow. There are some things I need to look into.”

At that Hawke nods and his eyes open, shifting to the corners to meet the Captain’s. “Yes, ser,” he says, and the Captain can see his back straighten just a little though he remains where he is. Hawke has been this way since the day they met, something in him responding to something in the Captain. He is...curious, though he knows he shouldn’t be, knows that going down that road will lead to nothing but heartbreak and pain for the both of them. He can’t help it. He wants. And Hawke…

“Face me,” the Captain commands, and Hawke does, revolving slowly on the spot until they’re looking at each other straight on. He takes one hand out of his pockets and lets them both hang relaxed at his sides, waiting, blinking mildly at the Captain. The Captain, whose mouth has run dry, who has to concentrate on swallowing around the tightness in his throat.

“Mission report, now,” he says, his voice a hoarse whisper.

Hawke’s shoulders square up, and he clasps his hands behind his back. “Ser, permission to speak freely.”

“Granted.”

“Ser, all due respect, V has no idea what the fuck he’s doing. He nearly got the entire team killed because he couldn’t wait three more minutes for backup to arrive before sweeping the base. He’s lucky the Qunari weren’t there in the numbers we expected or you’d be talking to a corpse. Another corpse. Ser.”

Hawke’s eyes are fixed just over the Captain’s left shoulder as he speaks, slightly unfocused but hard and angry. The Captain snaps his fingers, drawing those brown eyes to his.

“Look at me when you speak.”

“Yes, ser.” His eyes widen, just a touch. “My opinion, he shouldn’t be leading men, or mark my words, one of these days his whole squad won’t come home and the only good thing to come out of that is that he won’t be coming back either. He underestimates the Qunari. You have to respect them.”

The Captain raises an eyebrow. “Respect them? Why?”

Hawke mirrors the expression, letting the Captain know he understands this is a test and he’s amused by it. The Captain’s lips twitch upward.

“Respect doesn’t mean rolling over. I can respect the hell out of them and still put them down. Respect just means I do it smarter. You don’t have a healthy respect for what your enemy is capable of, you’ll lose.” Hawke rolls his shoulders in a shrug, and the Captain nods.

“Anything else?”

“Some minor adjustments to the team compositions, but that’s it.”

He nods again, cupping his chin in his hand. “You’ll write those up and give them to me tomorrow to review.”

“Whatever you say, ser.”

Indeed.

“Don’t move.”

Hawke’s eyebrows raise in question as the Captain steps forward, into the proper space they had left between them. The two of them are nearly of a height, though Hawke beats him out by a few inches, so he doesn’t have far to go to press his lips to Hawke’s cheek, one hand coming up to slot against Hawke’s jaw. He feels it when all the breath in Hawke’s body is released in a whoosh through his nose.

He pulls back, though he doesn’t let go of Hawke’s face. “Say ‘Mia’ and I will stop. Nothing will change between us; I will hold nothing against you.” He searches Hawke’s eyes for understanding and sees hunger reflected back at him. Hawke’s next exhale sounds like a whine, and the Captain kisses him, first his top lip then his bottom lip, before breaking away.

“Say it now so that I know you understand.”

“M-Mia.”

“Good.”

He can see Hawke’s pupils dilate at the praise and surges forward, claiming Hawke’s mouth with his in a fierce kiss. His hand on Hawke’s jaw holds him steady, not giving Hawke an inch of leeway to move, not that he’s moving. Hawke hasn’t budged since the Captain told him not to, and that fills the Captain’s heart and mind with all sorts of things, mostly static because it’s hard to think pressed against Hawke as he is but some ideas trickle down, floating deliciously through his veins.

He seizes on one and abruptly spins Hawke, shoving him away from the edge of the roof. While he can’t deny a certain thrill that runs through him at the thought of other Templars outside seeing him take Hawke as his, that isn’t why he’s doing this today. This isn’t a public performance, and Hawke hasn’t agreed to be used like that. No, this is for them, for Hawke, whose mind, the Captain can tell, is still somewhat preoccupied with thoughts of the mission that went sideways not two hours prior. He wants to distract Hawke, pull his mind away from the spiraling paths of “what if” and “why didn’t I” that he himself knows all too well.

“It was not your fault,” he growls as he marches Hawke backward until the transformer box halts their progress, driving the breath from Hawke even as the Captain dives forward to capture his lips again. He softens the kiss, slows it, takes his time exploring and teasing with his teeth and tongue. Hawke is wonderfully pliant beneath him, responsive to each move he makes, breaths leaving him in little moans and whimpers. Without breaking away from Hawke’s mouth, the Captain reaches down with his hands, pulling Hawke’s up from where they are still clasped, settling them into the space between Hawke’s body and the transformer. He presses back against Hawke’s hips, effectively trapping the man’s arms with his own body.

“Do. Not. Move.” He punctuates the words with kisses, trailing from the corner of Hawke’s mouth across his jaw. He nips around the shell of Hawke’s ear.

“M—” Whatever Hawke had been about to say cuts off with a strangled cry, and the Captain steps back a few paces, creating space between them, pulling his own hands behind his back.

“Hawke?”

“M-more. Ser.”

Heat floods him and his eyes half close as he smiles, keeping his distance for one more moment, looking at Hawke held against the transformer by desire and obedience. Those brown eyes are hooded and dark, and nowhere can he see a trace of the thoughts that had plagued him earlier.

“Very good,” he murmurs, savoring the hitch in Hawke’s breath at his words. He crosses the space between them slowly, deliberately, wanting to keep this image in front of him as long as he can. He also wants Hawke, and the last few inches he rushes so he can kiss that mouth again and hear Hawke groan into him.

His hands he places one on Hawke’s cheek and the other at the base of his head, gripping firmly. He uses the leverage to tilt Hawke’s head up and to the side, exposing the long, dark line of his throat. He scrapes his teeth across it before placing kisses, soothing and rough. The hand on Hawke’s cheek lowers, grasps the other side of Hawke’s neck to feel his pulse, the stutters in his breath, as the Captain nips and kisses his way over his throat, pausing to nibble on his earlobe before working his torturous way back down to Hawke’s collarbone.

Hawke gasps as the Captain sucks at the juncture of his neck, jerking off the transformer before forcing himself back, his body responding to the pleased hum the Captain emits at that, though he doesn’t let it move again. The Captain makes that sound again as he feels Hawke’s head and neck fully relax, finally, into the stability provided by his hands. He manipulates Hawke’s head to bare the other side of his throat, the static in his mind backed by a litany of thankful prayers. He’s not sure what he did to deserve this, isn’t even sure that he does, but he’s grateful he has it for as long as he may and he’ll do his damndest to make sure Hawke feels the same way.