also a disgruntled cat
Their first kiss was under an apple tree after brave Mr. Wiggums—likely never to be knighted for this kind of behavior—dropped from the top branch right into Anders’s waiting arms.
‘I told you I’d help you get him down,’ Garrett said.
Hawke. Like the bird. Making a nest with his family nearby—but able to fly away whenever he wished to. He was always a little too big for his clothes.
‘You threw rocks at him,’ Anders replied. ‘That doesn’t count.’
‘Cats.’ Garrett rolled his eyes. ‘Any mabari worth its name would chase that rock and bring it back to you with some rabbit for dinner.’
‘What if you don’t like rabbit?’ Anders asked, soothing a hand between Mr. Wiggums’ flattened ears. ‘Besides, cats win because they purr if you rub them just right.’
‘Anyone can purr if you rub them just right,’ Garrett said.
Anders’s heart dove from the branches of his ribs straight to the ground at his feet, but there was no one there to catch it, or hold it in their arms, or soothe a hand over his feelings until he forgot about the patches and the wrinkles and the clumsy stitching, all the parts that didn’t fit trying to make something that did.
‘It’ll never work,’ Anders said. ‘You like dogs.’
‘I like you, too,’ Garrett replied, and he even made sure not to squish Mr. Wiggums when he leaned in.
Warm lips. Apple tarts. Something a little like peaches. And always mud in Ferelden.
‘You taste funny,’ Anders told him after, the color on his cheeks matching the color on Garrett’s nose.
‘That’d probably be breakfast.’ Garrett shrugged. ‘It was really good. Father was making it. Well, if you ever get your silly cat stuck up a tree again, you’ll know who to ask for. I’ll be your champion anytime you like, Anders.’
It took days of hard work, but eventually Anders got Mr. Wiggums to do exactly as he needed in order to see Garrett Hawke again—the boy with the name and the mouth that made Anders feel like flying.
And everybody said you couldn’t train a cat.