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From Tuesday Promptfest. Part of my "Of Dragons, Griffins and Chantry Mice" collection. 

Rating: T
Word count: 690

(Late I know, but the evil interwebs were against me for a few days. Better late than never right? lol)

“Venhedis!” Fenris snarled again, trying in vain to extract his target from the roiling liquid. 

He had done everything right as far as he could tell, yet what was floating around in the large cauldron was nothing like the desired end product. Admittedly he had never seen it at this stage in it's production before, but it even smelled wrong.

“How in the maker's name am I supposed to...get... this... out...” The elf hissed, batting at the surface of the liquid with a gauntleted finger. 

Sighing in frustration he licked the slightly greasy looking liquid from the now hot metal claws. Grimacing he groaned and wiped the offending gauntlet clean on a nearby cloth, shredding it in the process. 

He leaned on the bench by the fire and sighed, bowing his head. He could fell enemies with a single blow from his sword, but he couldn't read the instructions well enough to help Hawk when she needed him most. 

He overheard the Abomination and Varric talking once when Merril was ill, and they said that this concoction would make someone who was sick feel better. Perhaps he should go to the clinic and ask for help... No. Or perhaps the blood mage. Maybe the pirate... How she would laugh if he went to her for help with this!

“Aww, Hawk, festis bei´╗┐ umo canavarum” He muttered, blowing a strand of silver hair from his eyes.

He carefully pulled a parchment towards the edge of the table, plunked down on the stool and started reading again.

“...when the chi..ken falls off the b..bones, re...remove the car...carcass from the s...soup and se...pa...rate the meat from the bones. Ch...chop the chi...ken up then re...ret... VENHEDIS!!” his gauntlets had begun to gouge tiny divots into the table top when he felt a small hand on his shoulder.

“Messere, if... if I may, is something ailing you?” Came a timid female voice from behind him.

“Orana, I apologise, I did not mean to make more work for you.” Fenris sighed looking at the scored tabletop.

“Oh no, Messere, it is only that I heard you reading and I thought, that is, I thought this might help.” The timid girl handed him a large metal strainer. “It is easier if you take it off the heat first though.”

Fenris looked at the strange piece of equipment for a moment then, looking embarrassed he took it and walked over to the still bubbling pot. 

“Messere, if I may be so bold as to ask, what are you doing? 

Fenris turned to look at her, raising an eyebrow. Orana gasped and started stuttering. 

“I, I mean no offense of course, you are welcome to make use of the house as you will, but it is only that, well Bodhan or I can cook for you, you don't have to trouble yourself... I mean, I am sorry Ser, of course you may cook whatever you like in the Mistress' kitchen...” She trailed off looking pitifully out of her depth in the face of a scorched and miffed looking warrior who also happened to be the most deadly man she knew.

“Nooo, no Orana. I know you and Bodhan are very good cooks, it is just that Hawk is unwell. I...” He let out a huge breath and sagged back onto the stool again motioning for Orana to sit next to him.

“I have never felt about anyone the way I feel about Hawk. She has given so much of herself, and yet she never asks for anything in return. I have treated her terribly in the past, but I care about her more than any other.”

Fenris' brow creased as he looked up at the former slave girl worry and frustration evident in his large green eyes. He finally gave in and took off his gauntlets and weapons, then turned back to the Orana with a look of determination on his face.

“My lady was injured Orana, and I wish to do something for her... to make her feel better. Will... will you help me?”

Orana smiled and nodded. “Of course Messere.”

November 2013

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