Jun. 23rd, 2010

dalishstorm: (Default)

Original prompt: mouth-to-mouth
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For some reason, waking to warm, soft lips against his was startling—he had expected something else, something violent, or not waking at all, but exactly why remained unclear for a moment, only that he had experienced a sensation of falling, a sudden, sharp cold, a brief moment of relief in the thought that death might be upon him--

Never one to miss an opportunity, Zevran returned the awkward kiss with his own eager motions, tongue darting up to run across surprisingly rough lips—the other mouth drew away almost immediately, and Zevran opened his eyes, making a sound of mild disappointment.

The Warden's heavily tattooed face lingered over him, dark eyes glaring out of a scowl, chestnut hair slicked to his skin—indeed, the Warden was soaked, and Zevran gave him an appraising look. Somehow, Vanastin's permanent scowl deepened, and he growled, “If you're well enough for that, you're well enough to move on.” And the Dalish elf offered him a hand up.

Alistair and Morrigan regarded Zevran with annoyance as their leader took up bow and quiver again, but Zevran only smiled in response, a flirty expression. He remembered, now, how a spike of panic at seeing the Warden driven to the ground under a werewolf's pounce, bow held under its chin by arms trembling under the exertion the only thing keeping snapping jaws and their cursed bite at bay, had driven him to foolhardy action. And once he had convinced his opponent he was the greater threat, how he'd so easily been cornered against a cliff edge, one that had collapsed beneath him, dumping him into the swift and icy river below. Thoroughly soaked, Zevran shivered against the forest's cool mist, wished for the dry heat of the Antivan interior or even the wet heat of his beloved Antiva City for at least the tenth time since coming to Ferelden—or for the warmth of the Warden's body against his.


~*~


Zevran spent a good portion of the night staring up at the slanting walls of his tent, well visible in the bright moonlight, sleep elusive. Now he understood the Warden's mouth pressed to his had been entirely utilitarian, but the offered hand up, even in the Warden's obvious annoyance an apparent disgust, on top of the daring rescue (Alistair retold the tale with unusual art, of Vanastin throwing aside his weapons and leaping into the river like an expert diver) and kiss of life, that seemed a metaphor. And in spite of his surly nature, the Warden was forever proving that he listened, that beneath his extremely prickly exterior he cared about each of them, or was at least good at playing their heartstrings like a master lutenist.

He had wanted to die, surely, but the chosen instrument of his demise staunchly refused to let it happen. After falling in battle, Vanastin was always the one to offer a hand up, first to see to his wounds. Always with that scowl, permanently etched into his sun-browned skin (still not so dark as Zevran's, these pale Fereldan Dalish) as definitively as the tattoos twining across Vanastin's cheeks and forehead, the little patch of ink on his chin. Vanastin was hardly the sort he fancied, hard and lean and small even for an elf, but for all his presence the man might as well be nine feet tall and Qunari—even powerful humans seemed to cower before Vanastin, given a moment's attention from his sharp tongue and his hard eyes. Such control Zevran found attractive, that Vanastin was an incredibly dangerous man—flirting with him seemed to Zevran rather like flirting with a thunderstorm, potentially lethal but beautiful.

When he hastily dressed and left his tent, Zevran had no idea what he intended. He only knew the Warden would be on watch, as the other elf always took middle watch unless physically incapable. Vanastin huddled by the guttering fire, blanket drawn tightly around his shoulders, bow and quiver and daggers leaning to one side and the mabari curled at his other. Stealthily as he could Zevran approached, coming around to one side, hoping to evade Vanastin's notice for a moment while getting a good look at the Warden to assess his prey.

What he saw was not the Warden. Vanastin hunched before the fire, left hand idly scratching at the sleeping mabari's head, right clutching the blanket in a white-knuckled grip at his throat, staring into the fire without his usual scowl, but what seemed almost a grimace of pain. Zevran wondered briefly if the Warden had been injured, but dismissed the thought immediately. Immeasurably proud, yes, but Vanastin wasn't foolish enough to conceal an injury. With no good explanation for that expression, Zevran turned away, because Vanastin would surely resent anyone witnessing a moment of weakness.

“Did you want something?” The gravel in Vanastin's voice, an undertone of anger, brought Zevran a sense of relief. They could pretend, perhaps, that he had seen nothing? So Zevran turned back, sat next to Vanastin, careful to avoid coming between the Warden and his weapons.

“I have a question, if I may.” Vanastin stared at him blankly, expectant, so Zevran continued. “I am curious as to why you spared me, and why you now go to such great lengths to keep me alive.”

Vanastin drew his left hand away from the mabari's head, drawing it into the confines of his makeshift cloak, and grunted, a darkly amused sound. “Would you rather I didn't?”

Sometimes. “No,” Zevran said instead, a laugh rolling beneath his words. “No, I am quite content with the situation. I simply wondered—it seems your life would be much easier without me, yes? I am, after all, an unknown quantity, a foreigner and an assassin hired to kill you at that.”
Looking away, Vanastin seemed to consider the question for a long moment, and Zevran worried that he'd given Vanastin an idea, made his point too well. Eventually Vanastin nodded toward Sten's tent and said, “The Qunari. He murdered a family who gave him succor. He could crush the life out of me at any time he wished. I may be faster, but I could never match him for strength. Leliana,” nodding to where she slept in turn, “is quite clearly crazy. As Alistair put it, 'one archdemon short of a blight'. She's said some frighteningly obsessive things to me. Morrigan's lethality needs no elucidation. Wynne clearly takes issue with my morality, and seems outraged enough to act on it. Alistair could easily end us by his incompetence. Of this group, I fear you least, aside from the hound: you are the only known quantity.”

Chuckling, because the depths of Vanastin's paranoia frightened him a little and he had to conceal it somehow, Zevran said, “And here I'd hoped it was simply my dashing good looks and exotic charms.”

This, too, made Vanastin pause, gazing into the dying flames. “You're not too useless,” surprised Zevran more because he hadn't expected a response. “Though you could learn to pick a lock, that would help immensely. Not that I can't do it myself. And you say something entertaining every once in a while.”

“Ah, I would never have known it from how often you laugh, Warden. How am I to continue winning your approval if you give me no signs?”

All the little night sounds crept in around them as Vanastin seemingly ignored the comment, and Zevran grew uncomfortable with the silence, then relaxed into it. This wasn't entirely unlike Vanastin, to ignore a question he had no interest in answering, behaving as if the words had fallen on deaf ears. So when he stood, Zevran looked up at him in surprise, quirking an eyebrow, and grew even more concerned when the other elf retreated to his tent. Vanastin emerged a moment later, and from a glimpse of bare skin as the blanket shifted Zevran realized he was nude underneath—it made sense, since his armor was still drying and the Dalish was something of an ascetic—and before sitting down next to Zevran threw something into the Antivan's lap. “Here.”

Zevran picked up the gloves and, as a knee-jerk reaction, said, “Gloves? You're giving me gloves?” confusion and mild derision evident in his voice.

Vanastin growled in response before saying, “If you don't want them, I'm sure someone else could use them. I'd look a little more carefully before turning them down.”

But Zevran was already running his fingers over the fine embroidery, a smile teasing at the corners of his lips. “They're like my mother's. I didn't expect you to listen. Surely,” he looked up, still smiling, “you expect something in return?”

Stubbornly refusing to make eye contact, Vanastin said, “I didn't know my family, either. I may have grown up among the Dalish, but none of them claim me as brother or son or anything of the sort. Not any more, at least. Just like you can never go home to the Dalish, neither can I. You're very much a known quantity, Zevran.”

Vanastin stiffened at the kiss, little more than a soft brush of Zevran's lips against his, but startling all the same, surely. Zevran really had no other way to express his gratitude, and it allowed him to indulge his growing attraction. It seemed like an appropriate moment, this admission of shared wounds, and Zevran worried very little over Vanastin rejecting him, confident he could play the situation off as a joke. He didn't expect Vanastin to dig a hand into his hair as Zevran drew away, dragging him back into a hard, bruising kiss, tongue searching his out. Zevran quickly overcame his shock and responded in kind, battling Vanastin for control in this, refusing to submit. As they fought Zevran brought a hand up to run his thumb along the underside of Vanastin's ear, following that line down along his throat to trace his collarbone in a light touch. The hand that had been clutching the blanket shut was the one now knotted in his hair, and so Zevran took advantage of this unimpeded access, hand drifting lower still and tracing the lines of Vanastin's chest, pausing to tease a nipple to hardness.
Already trembling under the assault, Vanastin moaned into his mouth, the hand tangled in Zevran's hair spasming as he relented the contest, letting Zevran take control. Opening his eyes and glancing to one side, Zevran saw Vanastin's off-hand stilled halfway to returning these caresses, now twitching forgotten in place. He broke off the kiss, which left Vanastin gasping for air, and disentangled the hand from his hair, pushed Vanastin down onto his back, splayed on the blanket by the fire.

Zevran continued down by tracing the suggestive lines of Vanastin's abdomen, breaking off to follow the v of muscle down toward Vanastin's growing hardness.... But he hesitated, drew away, teasing the other elf. It earned a growled, “Zevran,” threats of violence in Vanastin's gravelly voice, the sound of which sent a jolt of fire down Zevran's spine to the heat stirring in his own loins. Keen to see the Warden's face rapt in ecstasy, to hear him growl that name without the threat of violence but in release, Zevran palmed Vanastin's erection and set to work, establishing a variable pace, quickening to match Vanastin's thrusts but drawing back when he seemed too near. He leaned in to catch Vanastin's mouth in a kiss again, the other elf drawing his hands up and across Zevran's shoulders to keep him close, fingertips digging in hard enough to surely leave bruises. By such reactions, Zevran wagered it had been far too long since the Warden knew another's touch, and took pleasure in obliging.

Vanastin's body tensed under him, and Vanastin spilled himself across Zevran's hand and his own taut stomach with no more sound than a quiet gasp. Zevran drew back from the desperate kiss to find Vanastin's eyes closed, face uncharacterisitcally peaceful. Something in the expression was faintly touching, and Zevran took pride in his own success at smoothing the lines of perpetual anger from the Warden's face. He looked young like this, unspoiled by hardship.

When Vanastin opened his eyes he offered a faint smile, catching Zevran's gaze with his own. “You see what I mean about not being too useless?”

dalishstorm: (Default)

Original prompt: Zevran tries making moves on the Warden as s/he's trying to tend to a rather serious wound of his.
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Zevran winced more at the sounds coming from the next room over than Vanastin's careful testing of the arrows embedded in his thigh. His own pain he could deal with, terrible though it was, but the sight of Alistair after he'd been swarmed by undead—Vanastin had led him away to another side room of the ruined temple, offering a shoulder to help him keep weight off the leg, then lowered him down to the floor against one wall. They were out of the way here, as Wynne had plenty of help and Zevran's injury needed to be seen to, even if it wasn't nearly as dramatic.

“Sorry,” Vanastin mumbled, more for propriety's sake than any actual regret from his voice, and that little sickle-shaped blade appeared in one hand, flashed silver in the temple's faint light as it slashed his leggings open far enough for Vanastin to get at the arrows and wrap the wounds after. Zevran had yet to figure out where Vanastin kept the thing, and that amused him. He liked that Vanastin was deft enough to keep things even from him. He liked a challenge—and that's what Vanastin was, surly and dark and deadly and beautiful, like a storm. Again and again he returned to that metaphor, but no storm made flesh could have such a delicate touch.

So he said as much. “It occurs to me, that for one so stoic you have an oddly gentle touch. Is this something you have cultivated, or do you come by it naturally?”

Vanastin hesitated, hands hovering over the first arrow, but he didn't look up. “I'm a hunter,” he said, as if this should explain perfectly well.

“But an archer has little need of a delicate touch, yes? Strength and dexterity, certainly, but this softness--” As soon as the word escaped him Vanastin braced the first arrow and pulled, and Zevran ground his teeth but couldn't contain all sound.

Smiling darkly up at him, Vanastin asked, “You were saying?”

Zevran couldn't contain a little chuckle, even if his eyes pricked with tears (he'd been through so much worse, but that didn't make this hurt any less). “I was about to ask what need a hunter would have for an almost sensual touch.” 

Vanastin jerked the other arrow out, and Zevran's vision went white for a moment, pain nearly flooring him. “Pulling arrows out of idiots, and binding up wounds, for one.” He allowed a careless touch with his free hand, fingers running up the inside of Zevran's thigh, while he began cleaning the wounds. The Warden was confident but soft in his motions, and Zevran thought he'd never been treated with such care, even by Wynne. “Aside from the obvious uses.”

“Ah, so it's more recreational in nature? Somehow, I doubted you had it in you. I believe I require a demonstration to be convinced.”

Vanastin's lips twitched, perhaps hinting at a genuine smile, not one colored by darker emotions. As he treated the wounds, laying on healing salve and binding them, he let any necessary touch away from the injury linger, and carefully controlled the strength of his touch in wrapping the injury. Zevran already knew the Warden was practiced in field medicine, but this was interesting. Such tenderness made him feel cared for, frightening and unexpected from the Warden.

As Vanastin finished Zevran reached out, slid two fingers down his jawline to beneath his chin and tiled Vanastin's face up just in time to catch him in a kiss. Again the Warden's manner was uncommonly gentle, not the violent and hungry creature Zevran was used to feeling pressed against him, passionate in a different fashion. Vanastin's right hand lingered over the bandages, but his left tangled in Zevran's hair for a moment, fingertips sliding across Zevran's scalp in just such a way—Zevran shuddered at the tingling warmth down his spine, and Vanastin moved that hand to flick at the tip of Zevran's ear with a fingertip, then tracing down the underside. If they kept this up, Zevran wasn't sure he'd be able to contain himself.

As if sensing that point of no return, Vanastin put just a little pressure down on the injury, and when Zevran gasped in pain the Warden he knew so well returned, sensual kiss suddenly more a claiming. When the Warden drew away abruptly Zevran wasn't sure if he wanted more or wanted to flee from this game of give and take the Warden played.

“I have not been so prolific in my lovers,” Vanastin sneered when he said the word, as if he found it distasteful, “but just as practiced with them. I wouldn't question that again, were I you.”

dalishstorm: (Default)
Original prompt: M!Mahariel is still upset about what happened to Tamlen. Takes place after Shriek!Tamlen attacks the camp and Mahariel was forced to kill him. Comfort fic, anyone?
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Tamlen!”

Zevran glanced over his shoulder in the same instant he tore out a Shriek's throat with his dagger, startled by the agony in Vanastin's voice, convinced the Warden must have suffered some truly grievous injury. Instead of seeing the Warden fall under a Shriek's blade, though, Zevran saw him chasing one off into the woods, slipping into the underbrush sleekly as a fleeing halla. The Warden would never quit the field so hastily under any conceivable circumstance, so Zevran turned to pursue, pushing aside the blade of an attacking Shriek with his dagger and slashing his sword across it's abdomen, spilling blood and viscera. Then he ran.

Vanastin made so little disturbance in the undergrowth that Zevran had trouble following him, at least until he caught up to the Shriek. Voices, Vanastin's and another, which startled Zevran nearly as much as the pain in Vanastin's earlier cry. Zevran broke into the small clearing, no more than three paces across, nearly stepped on Vanastin's discarded bow. The Shriek lay twitching on the forest floor, Vanastin's hands just leaving a dagger embedded in its chest to run bloodied fingertips up on jaw and up an ear, tracing across the naked scalp as if running through thick hair. Zevran had known this gesture from the Warden exactly once, loving and gentle, unlike the dark storm Zevran knew so well and welcomed to his bedroll.

“Thank you, lethalin.....” If the Shriek meant to say more Zevran would never know, as Vanastin sealed his lips over the Shriek's in a kiss so passionate it made even Zevran uncomfortable. That he could tell the Shriek returned it weakly, and knew when the darkspawn breathed it's dying gasp into Vanastin's waiting mouth, disturbed him. Vanastin didn't draw back immediately, waiting until the body began to relax in death, and as the other elf pulled away Zevran saw the faintest hint of blood on his lips, wetness on his cheeks. Vanastin gripped the Shriek's shoulders tightly and screamed, a sound of rage and grief that echoed between the trees, the gravel in his voice eventually giving out, voice failing him, and then he buried his face in the crook of the Shriek's neck and sobbed, for the most part silent save an occasional, broken sound, not quite a gasp but clearly a reflexive intake of breath.

Zevran couldn't claim to know much about darkspawn, but it seemed clear what had transpired here, at least the basics of it. He knew any sort of contact would anger Vanastin, perhaps deadly in his current state of mind, and yet he couldn't simply leave the Warden there mourning, unprotected. This was the lover he'd mentioned, however unlikely, and Zevran could not step into that last moment, though he had hoped to supplant this man in Vanastin's desires.

Alistair and Leliana came barreling into the clearing, and Leliana gasped, otherwise silent, understanding the scene in some degree. Alistair swore, “Maker, what--”

Zevran silenced him, holding one hand up. Before he could warn them off Vanastin shifted, turned his head to face them, showing his tears and his grief openly. ”Leave,” he ordered, and with Leliana tugging at one arm Alistair obeyed. Zevran turned, stooping to retrieve Vanastin's bow for him, and would've followed them but for a hand catching his wrist. Turning back, he found Vanastin kneeling now, one hand still gripping the cooling corpse, looking up at him, silently pleading. Zevran simply stood, letting Vanastin use him as a brace to pull himself up. Vanastin muttered something, and Zevran' didn't catch it, the gravel in his voice conspiring with thick emotion to obscure any softly spoken words, but he was pushing away from Zevran, then pulling him along at the same time, letting go after a few steps. Zevran decided he would retrieve the dagger later, and instead settled a hand on Vanastin's shoulder, following him out of the forest.

When Wynne approached to fuss over a gash across Vanastin's left temple, the surly Warden they all knew resurfaced for a moment, snarled and shook her off. As they moved away Wynne caught Zevran's eye, and he saw none of her usual derision there—Vanastin's unabashed tears shocked them all, and he was still crying openly, though silently.

Eventually the Warden stopped crying, though he moved automatically, mechanically, as he helped clear bodies and prepped to break camp quickly in the morning. Zevran used the end of their work as an excuse to clean up, and convinced the other elf to join him, but Zevran took none of his usual pleasure in getting the Warden alone, nude, drenched—Vanastin wasn't there, in his place a body simply going through all the correct motions. By the time they finished the middle watch started, and so Vanastin took his place by the fire, staring blankly ahead. Zevran knew that numbness intimately, felt a pang of it returning at the sight of it expressed so profoundly, and remained quietly at Vanastin's side regardless of how weary he was.

Leliana relieved them towards morning, a little earlier than expected, and Vanastin didn't notice at all. Now Zevran wasn't sure what to do, whether it was safe to leave Vanastin alone and seek his own rest or if the Warden was just as unstable as Zevran had been. When he hovered, uncertain, Vanastin eventually said, “I don't want to be alone tonight.”

Zevran longed for some space other than the Warden's tent, somewhere less cramped, somewhere he could properly distract the Warden, who was always dominant and more than a little forceful. Given a little more room he could offer the Warden more of a release, perhaps, instead of the simplicity he found himself forced into. But as soon as they were alone, instead of his usual manner Vanastin stayed close, running the tips of his fingers up the back of Zevran's arm, reaching up to make that same gesture, running his fingers through Zevran's hair then sliding his hand down along one ear. Unable to contain the sound of his pleasure Zevran gave a soft, appreciative moan, and as soon as his lips part Vanastin darted up, caught them in his own.

They'd kissed like this exactly once, and Vanastin had done it simply to prove that he could. Now Zevran wasn't sure if Vanastin was kissing him or the memory of that lover, and that stole some of the sweetness from the kiss, but Zevran reminded himself that he was here for the Warden's pleasure, in all senses of the word, here to assure his own safety from the Crows, not to get caught up in all the subtext Vanastin provided, in how much the angry outcast seemed to care in spite of himself. Vanastin drew away for a moment, and for this first time that night truly looked at Zevran, dark eyes focusing sharply on him, none of the usual hardness there, only pain and desire. Surprising himself, Zevran wanted nothing more than to take Vanastin into his arms, to kiss that pain away, to offer comfort in more than the physical ways he understood. The thought frightened him, and he had no idea how to go about it—no one had ever offered him the same, after all.

He tried anyway, wrapping one arm around Vanastin's shoulders to draw him close again, letting the other slide down to the small of Vanastin's back, and drew him in for another soft kiss. Vanastin relented, letting Zevran lead the dance for once, not so much reprieve as an utter surrender. Normally deft hands fumbled for the buckles and ties of Zevran's armor, sliding along flesh wherever it could be found in feathery touches, fingers leaving a wake of shuddering pleasure. Zevran pulled away to make a mutual effort at this, mirroring Vanastin's motions to remove the Warden's own armor, eventually stilling Vanastin's hands in his own to peel away the archery gloves, giving him more than two bare fingers to trail across Zevran's flesh. But first Zevran brought one hand up to his lips, took fingertips into his mouth one by one, swirling his tongue around the tips briefly in a suggestive fashion. Obvious and immediate was Vanastin's reaction, and encouraged Zevran continued his assault, laying a kiss on Vanastin's palm before directing that hand to his shoulder and leaning in to trail his lips across Vanastin's collarbone, pausing to nip at what he knew to be a sensitive spot. He'd leave no marks tonight, though, repaying like with like. This soft and gentle thing between them, strange as it was, had an appeal all its own.

Zevran mused, as he worked his way up Vanastin's neck to suck and kiss at one sensitive ear, that this must be how the Warden behaved with his previous lover, which led Zevran to all manner of conclusions about the Warden's behavior otherwise. Perhaps he had not always been so harsh, so full of darkness. What was he like, then, beneath all of that pain? Zevran sincerely doubted this was his true face any more, this almost delicate creature making wordless gasps under his ministrations. When Zevran worked his way back down the other side, pausing to catch a nipple between his lips and rolling his tongue across it, he had the frightening and liberating thought that he could perhaps tell Vanastin, that the other elf might understand. As he worked his way down across Vanastin's taut stomach, trailing kisses and soft touches, Vanastin raked his hands through Zevran's hair, already trembling under the effort of holding himself up. Zevran ran his hands down over Vanastin's hips and around to the back of his thighs, encouraging Vanastin to lay back with a light pressure, pulling Vanastin's knees up as he did so, and with that shift carried his own ministrations lower. Avoiding any contact with Vanastin's hardness save a brief, soft brush against one cheek as he passed, Zevran wandered lower, pausing to nip at the interior joint of Vanastin's thigh before trailing lower still, gripping Vanastin's hips with both hands to shift them once more before pressing his tongue to the ring of muscle at Vanastin's entrance. Tensing, Vanastin gasped in surprise at that touch, then relaxed without any coaxing, so Zevran continued. Zevran had a vague plan, more of a goal, and otherwise he was simply improvising, doing the things he thought would disarm Vanastin most, things he was certain he wouldn't be allowed to do at another time.

Once he had Vanastin shaking, gnawing at his lip to keep from making noise, Zevran pulled away. He knew exactly where Vanastin packed the oil meant for this, used to preparing himself for the Warden's sudden and almost violent lust. As he slicked his fingers Vanastin opened his eyes, until now screwed shut, and whispered, “Zevran?” Zevran made a curious noise, looking down at him slyly. “Thank you.”

Zevran tried not to think about Vanastin's tone of voice, about the depth of emotion in his eyes, as he pressed first one finger into the smaller elf, then a second. Vanastin arched into his touch, trying to take more of him in, managed, “Please,” but Zevran wanted to ensure Vanastin's comfort, waited until he was certain Vanastin could accommodate him before slicking himself and entering Vanastin. The other elf was hot and tight around him, reached up to wrap his arms around Zevran's shoulders and rocked his hips to meet Zevran's. By his motions Vanastin was accustomed to this position, moreso than those they found themselves in usually, but by the feeling of him and his eagerness it had been much too long since anyone had pleasured him in such a fashion. And once they were joined together Vanastin went strangely silent, no longer trying to contain the little noises of his lust, as if trained to this.

Zevran didn't let the thought bother him long, instead stealing as many little kisses against the Warden's jaw and neck as he could, trying to focus on drawing the Warden's pleasure out, on moving against a particular spot. No matter what he did he couldn't get a further sound out of Vanastin, not until Vanastin tensed around him, deliberately working his muscles in an attempt to make Zevran climax with him. It worked, and they shared their release, Zevran burying his face in Vanastin's neck as Vanastin arched against him, again trying to take more in than Zevran had to give—alarming and enticing, for how small and tight he was. The name Vanastin gasped wasn't his, but Zevran ignored it, and was shortly rewarded with Vanastin nipping at one ear, touch still gentle, whispering, “Thank you,” voice hoarse and breaking on soft sounds. “You deserve better than this. Than me.”

“They'll have to invent someone, then.” Zevran joked to disguise his own pleasure at Vanastin's clear regret. And for once Vanastin didn't send him away, so Zevran spent the rest of the night curled around him, holding him—there were no more tears for now, and Zevran took that as a victory.

dalishstorm: (Default)
Original prompt: May I please have some Zevran/M!Dalish? H/C about the whole Taliesen-Rinna mess, pre- or post-Taliesen encounter, something dealing with Zevran's deathseeking tendencies?
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Those left behind stayed out of his way when Zevran returned to Eamon's estate. For a while he drifted aimless through the halls, angry and anxious, unable to settle the matter in his heart. He knew who would win, and it frightened him. The longer he spent with Vanastin, the more he understood that circumstances had twisted the man into someone the Crows would be proud to call their own. Zevran still couldn't tell if Vanastin's bouts of kindness and apparent special treatment of Zevran were manipulations or genuine. Either case worried him. Was it worse to be used by a cruel man or to have him truly fond of you? Sometimes, it was Taliesen all over again.

Vanastin would never have slit Rinna's throat.

At length he changed into plainclothes, too jittery for the confines of hard leather, and settled in the library. It seemed the least likely place for any of the others, since the girls were with Vanastin, and Zevran could hardly imagine any of the others taking a sudden interest in the Arl's library. He wanted desperately to be elsewhere, relieving his frustrations, but getting into trouble before the Landsmeet would surely earn Vanastin's ire, and be a generally bad idea.

He could still run. He could do it right now, in fact. With few material possessions of any value, he could easily pick up and leave in a matter of perhaps an hour. He would be free of Taliesen, free of the Crows for a while, free of Vanastin. It would be only himself and his despair, the ghost of Rinna. He could seek death again with no reservations.

With a groan Zevran settled his head into his hands, grinding the heels of his palms against his closed eyes. That man made him want to live, for those glimpses of the person who came before the Warden, the Dalish hunter who'd died from the taint with his lover, so Vanastin claimed. Such melodramatic declarations made Zevran laugh, but he understood that darkness too well. He himself had wanted death, still craved the release of nothingness like one might the soft caresses and sweet murmurs of a lover, if only to end this confusion. But where Zevran sought oblivion to silence his ghosts, Vanastin rolled like a fire across the Blighted countryside, dispensing violence even in his peacemaking, harsh with allies and vehement with enemies.

Zevran sat up abruptly, staring into the middle-distance as the light of day waned. A servant brought in a lit lantern, sat it silently on the table before him, and left unobtrusively. So now Zevran focused on the flaming wick. That was exactly it. The Warden was like a wildfire raging across Ferelden, burning everything in his path as fuel to stop the Blight. His desire to stop the Blight was the only thing Zevran knew to be genuine, and it had taken some time to reason out, but now his time spent with the Warden all seemed to fit together as lost scraps of a painting rent asunder.

Firstly, never again. The Warden wanted no one else to suffer what he and his lover had suffered. Secondly, there will be nothing left. A wildfire consumes itself once all fuel is gone, after all, dies out in pathetic fashion, suffocating under its own nature. Vanastin had twisted himself into this thing on purpose, made himself a weapon, made himself a martyr no one would miss. Ending the Blight could destroy him and no one would care but a misfit handful of near-strangers, as no one could ever love the truth of Vanastin as a hero.

They sought the same thing, if by different ends. Zevran had meant to go out in a blaze of glory, and Vanastin meant to choke on his own hate.

It made the minutes and hours to Vanastin's return even more nerve wracking. Zevran had to tell him now, had to let Vanastin know that he was not alone in this.

He heard Wynne's voice from the entry hall, then Vanastin's low rumble in response. They stopped while Morrigan and Leliana moved on, and the conversation didn't end in an argument, for once. Zevran could scarcely imagine what the two might not tear at each other's throats over, never mind come to terms on, and could only assume it meant Vanastin was in a good mood.

Surely he knew what Taliesen meant to Zevran. Had he taken pleasure in tearing apart Zevran's former lover? On eradicating that last real tie to the Crows so he could claim Zevran for his own? Zevran could almost imagine Vanastin reveling in the blood, something he'd only seen amongst the most depraved of Crows. His rational mind, the part that wasn't currently occupied with trying to come up with reasons to push Vanastin away and be disgusted by their growing emotions for each other, disagreed. Vanastin understood, better than anyone, what it was to lose a lover to fear and carelessness. No, he would surely have treated Taliesen with more respect than the Crow deserved.

When Vanastin left the entry hall Zevran had to strain to hear his footsteps, silent as an owl's wing. He remained where he was for a few moments to collect his thoughts. As such, Vanastin found him, the Dalish Warden cracking a door open and peering in, obviously looking for him. “Here I am, my dear Warden.” He had no quips for this. Vanastin stepped in, closing the door behind him, and Zevran smiled softly. They thought too similarly, for Vanastin's first action had been to change into the plainclothes Leliana had insisted he buy instead of going about in armor and padding constantly in the city, plain green tunic and brown trousers in linen, muted forest colors that stood out among the City Elves almost as starkly as his heavy tattoos. Crossing to him, the other elf ignored any chairs at the table where Zevran sat and instead leaned against the table's edge. Zevran wanted to tease him about an aversion to furniture, about his savage nature, but simply couldn't bring himself to.

“Are you alright?” startled him, the last thing he expected to hear in that gravelly voice being the first. “He was important to you, wasn't he?”

“Taliesen is dead, then.” Zevran wasn't sure what to feel. The man had been his only true ally for so long, but his eager disposal of Rinna still ached.

“You should've stayed,” Vanastin said.

Forcing a grim smile, Zevran explained. “Believe it or not, despite my feelings about the Crows in general I had no argument with Taliesen in specific. He was a good friend whose only fault lie in his priorities. I had no wish to fight him, and truly I would have preferred he not come after us at all. But what is done is done.”

Vanastin let him ramble, leaning back against the table's edge a little further, gripping the side as if to still his hands. “To deliver the final blow,” Vanastin eventually said. “That should've been your right, not mine. He was more than a friend, wasn't he?”

“There is no need to relive the past,” Zevran said. “That is all behind me now.” Whether I want it to be or not. Would Taliesen have been the same person free of the Crows? Did he somehow not deserve the same chance Zevran had been given?

Vanastin almost said something, lips parting to speak, and then thought better of it, hands reflexively tightening in their grip on the table. He looked away, down and to one side, and Zevran studied him for a moment, as he often did in silence. This man is more dangerous than Taliesen could ever have aspired to be. After an uncomfortably long moment of this Vanastin made a swift motion, drew the little sickle-bladed dagger from wherever he kept it, and offered it hilt first. “I took his heart's blood with this. It was quick, I'm sure he didn't suffer. You should have it.”

 

Zevran stared at the blade, clean and glinting in the lamp's faint light, tried to imagine the blood. He tore his eyes away from it, the image of Vanastin slitting a helpless Taliesen's throat overlaying the image of Taliesen doing the same to a tearful, terrified and heartbroken Rinna. Zevran had been the true betrayer, to both of them, and surely he would do the same to Vanastin some day. “That was given to you when you took on your vallaslin, yes? I could not possibly accept such a weighty gift.”

“You know I hate knife work,” Vanastin said, a little more of the usual agitation slipping into his voice. “I hunt so little now I hardly need it as a tool. And I want no trophies. This should have been your kill, and I would relinquish it to you if you'll let me.”

“Washing your hands of it?” Zevran asked. “Guilt does not suit you, my Grey Warden.”

A thin trickle of blood slid down the knife when Vanastin's hand tightened over the blade, and the lines around his eyes tightened. His entire posture shifted, muscles tight and coiled, as if a cat about to pounce. “Tamlen gave me this,” Vanastin said, voice dark and toneless. “It has taken two precious lives in the past year. They are bound to it, in a way, by the mercy it exacted. Do you understand?

He did, and it was just as terrible. “I say to you again, I cannot accept such a weighty gift.”

Please,” Vanastin said. “I'll beg if I must.”

“We can't have the mighty Grey Warden so debased, can we? I will accept it, then.” And Zevran took the knife from him, inspecting the blade and its rivulet of blood. It was not nearly so curved as it seemed in Vanastin's quick hands, nor as delicate, but it was clearly meant for hunting, for slitting throats and gutting. It seemed appropriate, somehow. And it would be appropriate to die on the same blade Taliesen had, wouldn't it? One from the Warden's own hand, even, neatly completing Rinna's posthumous revenge.

Another awkward moment of melancholy silence passed, Vanastin clenching his right hand into a tight fist around the thin cut in his palm, neither of them looking at each other. Zevran had started out thinking he'd seek an understanding with Vanastin, but this....

“I suppose it would be possible for me to leave, now, if I wished,” Zevran finally said, the words welling up almost of their own volition. “ The Crows will assume that I am dead with Taliesen. So long as I do not make my presence known, they will not seek me out.”

“Where would you go?” Toneless as before, but the Warden's voice sounded more hollow now.

Shrugging, Zevran looked up at him, said, “I do not know. I have never had this much freedom before. I confess, I do not have the slightest idea where to start.”

“Would you stay?” Vanastin's voice grew quiet, and he dared no more than a glance, almost as if afraid.

The sentiment amused Zevran, brought a little life back into his tone, a smile tugging at his lips. “Until the Archdemon is defeated? I suppose saving the world is a noble enough cause.” Vanastin nodded, swallowed harshly—he was normally so guarded in everything but anger. And Zevran was beginning to understand Vanastin a little better—finer details in the portrait. He will understand.

So it all came spilling out: Rinna and her death, the Crows' careless dismissal, taking the contract as suicide. Vanastin met his eyes, and listened intently, blankly, no judgment there. Zevran perhaps expected a sneer at his weakness, at his naivete in assuming either of them meant anything to the Crows, but he got no such reaction. He was practically shaking with relief over having the story out and tense anticipation of Vanastin's response by the time he said, “And then... this happened. And here I am.”

The usual intensity returned to Vanastin's dark eyes while listening, the surety to his posture and his voice when he asked, “Do you still want to die?”

Shocked, Zevran sat up a little more properly. He hadn't thought about it very hard, not since the initial decision to take the contract, seeing his path to certain oblivion in a pair of stray Grey Wardens. He was equally shocked by the answer he found, how quickly he came up with it. “No. What I want is to begin again.”

 

“I wanted to die,” Vanastin began, “rather than leave my clan behind, rather than leaving Tamlen to his fate. I was too heartbroken to do anything but follow Duncan, though, as he was the only person to offer me any direction. I thought that I would surely find death as a Warden. I was elated when I found out that the Joining itself can kill. I prayed to the Creators for oblivion when I took my Joining. When I woke in the Wilds after Ostagar, I hated Flemeth, hated our betrayers, hated everyone--they had robbed me of my quickest route to destruction. There is no honor in falling on your sword, so I needed to fall in battle, or by some other means, but I knew that Alistair stood no chance alone between the Blight and human wars. And no one else should have to endure this. I meant to rage across Ferelden and destroy the Archdemon as quickly as possible, so I could seek my release sooner rather than later.” He took a deep breath, deliberate, clearly meant to be calming, and pushed away from the table to stand properly. “Then you happened.” Vanastin paused, as if looking for a response, but not long enough for Zevran to form one. “You give me hope that life might still have some worth after defeating the Archdemon. You make me want to live, and you make me regret what I've become. You deserve more than I can offer, now.”

All that intensity remained, but only a thin sliver of the hardness. Vanastin had relaxed while speaking, slouching ever so slightly, canting his hips just a little as he shifted more weight onto one leg. His voice remained dark, but a little of the gravel left it, all rage fled. This was not the Warden, but the hunter Vanastin kept so deeply buried, the man Zevran wanted to know, seen only in beautiful but fleeting glimpses, like an animal through the bars of a cage. An invitation, an open hand offered—Zevran could return with like. “Whatever I was looking for when I left Antiva, I think I have found it.”

“You helped me, after Tamlen. Kept my mind off it. Let me do the same for you.”

Chuckling, Zevran responded, “If you are proposing what I think you are, how could I ever say no?”

Vanastin grabbed up two of the unoccupied chairs and wedged them at the library's doors, to prevent any unwanted intrusion, and as he stalked back Zevran began to stand. With a hand against his chest Vanastin stilled him. “Stay.” Zevran sat back down, and Vanastin crawled up into the chair with him, straddling his lap, leaned forward to kiss up one side of his jaw to the base of his ear, tugged on the earring briefly before continuing. On the other side of Zevran's head Vanastin made that strange, affectionate gesture, running his fingers up the bottom of the ear there and then into Zevran's hair, touch almost delicate... it still made Zevran shudder, and not at the dichotomy this time, the threat of violence in the Warden's every gesture, which had fled for tenderness and desire.

Zevran tried echoing the gesture, and got a low sound of approval out of Vanastin, but Zevran continued the motion, removed the tie that held back Vanastin's chestnut hair. He'd seen it loose before, usually wet, but never had the opportunity to run his fingers through it. It was not fine and silky, or even especially well cared for, but it was soft and smelled of misty woods in spring, promises of growth in the soil, appropriate metaphors for the Vanastin Zevran saw now.

Vanastin started working his way down with lips and hands, searching under Zevran's collar for any flesh he could easily reach, and Zevran allowed himself a little sigh of contentment. Such sweetness was strange and novel, and by Vanastin's wandering hands and lips on his way down (he edged Zevran's shirt up far enough that Zevran decided to simply be done with the thing) the Warden made his desire clear. Zevran knew the art well, and though he took great pleasure in working it he was so rarely subject—Vanastin had unlaced his trousers, set about easing them down, and found a sensitive place in the hollow of his hip that made Zevran gasp—subject to it, and Vanastin made him feel almost worshiped.

 

With the Warden, he wasn't wanted for his flesh or his skill with a blade, but for his company. That realization was more heartening than any kind words, somehow just as arousing as Vanastin's ministrations. He felt wanted, of consequence, for the first time since Rinna's apparent betrayal, with only the slightest fear that more of Vanastin's cruelty awaited him for falling so easily. So in addition to the eager tension between his legs there was a growing warmth in his belly, a fullness in his chest, strange emotions that simultaneously made him want to run and to embrace the man now kneeling in front of him.

Vanastin ran his lips up the side of Zevran's length, taking just the head into his mouth at the end, working his tongue against that particular spot on the underside—but it was brief, Vanastin quickly abandoning that work to tease further. By the time he returned to it Zevran was ready to tangle a hand in Vanastin's hair and none-too-subtly nudge him that direction, painfully hard and approaching frustration. The warmth of Vanastin's mouth engulfing him again produced another sigh, this one of relief, and he could see the smile in Vanastin's dark eyes as the other elf glanced up at him. After tracing all the lines and folds of Zevran's hardness with his tongue, slowly as if memorizing the feel and shape of it in his mouth, Vanastin set a pace of long, slow strokes, the seal of his lips perfect. Repetitive motion shook his loose hair forward, and after so much time pulled harshly back it framed his face quite perfectly. This was the lover Zevran was looking for, intense as the Warden but passionate and graceful, conscious of his appeal but unaware of its true extent. Zevran reached down to brush Vanastin's hair back so he could watch it fall forward again, and Vanastin gave a low hum of approval, the resonance of which pulled a sound of pleasure unbidden from Zevran's own throat. Vanastin was still smiling with his eyes, clearly amused.

When Zevran drew too close Vanastin closed the fingers of one hand tight around the base of his length, but Zevran could tell by now it would be too soon for his liking, so he knotted his hands in Vanastin's hair again and tugged gently, urging him off and up. The seal of his lips had been so tight that Vanastin slid off with a popping sound, making just the faintest scrape of his teeth against the head, and he looked up at Zevran from this kneeling position, hair mussed, face and lips flushed from the effort, eyes still burning in intensity. Zevran urged him up again with a tug, and Vanastin stood, leaning forward, settling his hands on Zevran's shoulders, to kiss him. It was soft at first, little more than a slide of their lips together, but when Zevran started working at the lacing of Vanastin's trousers Vanastin took initiative, begging for entrance by sliding his tongue along Zevran's lips, and when Zevran allowed it he reveled in the fact that he could still taste himself on Vanastin's tongue, and he wondered again at that strange tactile memorization Vanastin seemed so interested in, testing the shape of things with his tongue. The thought of Vanastin pleasuring himself to a memory of Zevran in his mouth, recalling the taste and the roll of soft skin across his lips, the weight occupying his tongue, was almost too much. Zevran's haste to divest Vanastin of his trousers increased, and once he had Vanastin free of them and all beneath he tugged the Warden into his lap, straddling him again. In the hasty motion their teeth clacked together softly, and Vanastin drew away for an instant to laugh, hands moving to splay against Zevran's shoulder blades, slouching to reach a more equal height in their position.

“We look like idiots,” Vanastin said, “sitting in this chair with our pants around our ankles.”

 

Zevran just tugged Vanastin's shirt off and kissed him again, relishing the feel of Vanastin's smile against him, and thrust softly up, drawing Vanastin's attention to the fact that their lengths where no more than a finger's width apart in this position. In response Vanastin trailed one hand down across Zevran's chest to grip them together best as he could, but Vanastin was proportionately smaller in all regards, so Zevran trailed his opposite hand down to join, such that between the two of them their hands formed a sort of “o” into which they could both thrust with no worry of slipping apart.

As he set a middling pace Zevran abandoned Vanastin's mouth, tracings his lips over the tattoo on Vanastin's chin and down his throat, which Vanastin eagerly tiled his head back to expose. The flesh here was soft and sensitive, particularly down near the hollow of Vanastin's throat, which Zevran kissed and sucked and licked at. Vanastin tilted his head back further as if trying to expose more flesh, and Zevran had to circle the Warden's waist with his free arm to keep him from tipping back. Zevran decided to abandon this particular spot, as the effect seemed more than they could handle in this position, hunching down to take a nipple into his mouth, teasing it to hardness with his tongue before biting softly. When Vanastin responded with a sound something like a whimper, Zevran bit a little harder, tugging with his teeth this time in a carefully measured amount of pressure. Breaking the rhythm of their thrusts, Vanastin ground against him jerkily for an instant, but recovered himself and realized his precarious balance. Vanastin's grip on Zevran's shoulder tightened, and he drew himself up, bowing his chin almost to his chest to watch Zevran kiss his way over to the over nipple, stopping to trace with his tongue the arrow slit scars that marred his breast.

Creators,” Vanastin breathed. “You're amazing.”

Zevran only smiled in response and continued his ministrations, eventually drifting back up to nibble and suck along Vanastin's collarbone, looking for sensitive places yet undiscovered. The hard sex they often shared could hardly be called lovemaking, and so despite having been together for months now their bodies were still relatively new to each other. Vanastin still remained strangely silent, as he had whenever they went beyond the simple sating of lust, but his physical reactions spoke loudly as the most licentious moan. The spectacle of the Warden writhing against him, at the mercy of Zevran's tongue, spurred Zevran on, and so he came an instant after Vanastin, the smaller elf jerking and arching against him, spilling himself between them with a soft but guttural cry.

When they were both spent Vanastin curled around him, kissing and nibbling at Zevran's neck and ear. Zevran repeated that gesture again, the affectionate one Vanastin made on occasion, and whispered, “Let me make love to you as if I were your Tamlen.”

No,” Vanastin said solidly, and pushed away. Zevran found none of the anger or sorrow he expected in those intense, dark eyes, but something just as frightening. “You deserve more than that. We will make love to each other as befits us, as befits you, not as surrogates for ghosts.”

Zevran leaned to the side and snatched his shirt up from the floor, used it to clean them up as best he could, Vanastin chuckling at the effort and the unusual implement. No one would think much of Zevran walking the halls half-disrobed and disheveled in the middle of the night, especially not with Vanastin in tow. So they made themselves presentable enough to make it to the bedroom without attracting more than snickers and sneers.

And as Vanastin walked beside him Zevran decided that, yes, there really was something to stick around for, to live for. Perhaps they could begin again after the Archdemon, somewhere new, strangers to all but each other, including to themselves.

Panacea

Jun. 23rd, 2010 12:45 am
dalishstorm: (Default)
Original prompt: Zevran is the only companion who seems to realize just how stressful the Warden's position is. I'd like Zevran providing support to stressed out Warden.
---------------------------

Zevran noticed it first on their way back to Orzammar: Vanastin snapped needlessly at Leliana for some comment on the beauty of a lyrium formation. “The sooner you're done gawking, the sooner we can leave this Creators-forsaken hole.” She shut her mouth but scowled at him from behind, and Alistair tried to imitate Vanastin's “angry face” to break the tension. Zevran agreed with them, initially: Vanastin was being foolish and cruel. But he did it more frequently, and even to Zevran. So he began to watch the Warden carefully, looking for signs of some irritant.

He didn't catch it until they were back in Orzammar, Vanastin distant and distracted while speaking to Morrigan, perhaps the only member of the group aside from Zevran that he truly respected. His eyes seemed unfocused, as if unable to maintain attention, and she eventually sneered, “Are you listening at all?”

Vanastin only made a quiet sound of dissatisfaction and turned from her, stalking off, leaving Morrigan standing with her arms akimbo, scowling at his retreating back. She turned to Zevran, asked, “Why do we follow this fool?”

“It is certainly not his pleasant disposition,” Zevran said, and he turned to follow Vanastin.

Zevran caught another clue on their way into the council chambers, as Vanastin hung back from the group while they waited for entrance, leaning his head against a door frame and sighing quietly, eyes closed. No one else seemed to notice, and he looked away before Vanastin caught him staring. They handed over the crown and made Bhelen king with little incident, as Vanastin let Oghren do most of the talking for him.

They were graciously granted quarters in the palace to recover from their excursion into the Deep Roads, and Zevran got his third clue there, walking with Vanastin down the hall to their rooms. He bade the Warden goodnight, and only got an unintelligible murmur from the Warden, who continued down to his own room just around the corner.

Zevran was down to just the leather breeks he wore under this particular set of armor when he heard it, a sound of impact and a rumble of vehement elvish muffled by the stone. He weighed his concern for the Warden against his desire to avoid the Warden's displeasure, and in this case his concern won, driving Zevran out and to the Warden's door, where he knocked.

Expecting nothing more than a tongue lashing from an angry Warden, Zevran hardly schooled his alarm when Vanastin answered the door in relative silence, no more than a glower, half out of his armor and bleeding from a shallow cut on his temple, the area around which was quickly bruising. “Did you need something?” He seemed to be putting most of his weight on where he held the door.

“May I come in?” Immediately, Zevran started trying to fit the clues together, these little snatches of stressors, and none of the conclusions seemed to fit Vanastin's personality.

The Warden made something like a choking noise, an unusual sound of surprise, dismay. “Not tonight, Zevran. Please.”

Holding up a hand, Zevran said, “I only want to speak. It will take no more than a moment of your time.”

Vanastin nodded, opened the door further, and Zevran stepped in, crossing the spacious room to the bed, barely sized for the larger races, and sat on the edge as if he had equal rights to the space. Vanastin lingered at the door as he closed it, eying the distance in long, measuring glances, something akin to fear in his dark eyes.

“Firstly,” Zevran began, “are you well? I heard....” And he gestured, hoping to indicate the small but fierce looking wound.

“I fell,” Vanastin said, words quick, regaining a little of his snappish temper of the past few days. “Damn room wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get out of this... stuff.”

“I see.” Zevran tried to keep his voice calm, tried to imply no emotion at all, in fact, wanted to avoid Vanastin's ire. “May I assist, then?”

Vanastin thought about it for a moment, long enough that Zevran feared the Warden had forgotten his presence or decided to ignore it, but eventually nodded. Zevran took this as leave to return to him at the door and guide him to the bed, placing a steadying hand on Vanastin's shoulder. All usual grace seemed to have fled the Warden for clumsy motions, disoriented, overcompensating for a lack of balance, almost like a man drugged. Zevran saw no other signs of poison, and so assumed he was simply dizzy for some mundane reason. Vanastin ended up standing next to the bed, clutching one side for balance as Zevran's hands danced lightly from buckle to tie and shucked the armor off him. When he indicated that he needed Vanastin to step in order to remove part of the armor, Vanastin lurched dangerously, and Zevran steadied him as he put more weight down on his arms on the bed. Paler now, eyes closed, Vanastin swallowed heavily, looking for all the world like a man about to be sick.

Zevran got him down to his small clothes quickly and sat Vanastin down. While Zevran rifled through Vanastin's pack searching for supplies to clean and wrap the wound, Vanastin drew his legs up onto the bed and curled around himself, setting his elbows on his knees and grinding the heels of his palms into his eyes. His color had yet to return by the time Zevran sat down again, and he was all but shaking.

Nudging Vanastin's head up by grabbing his chin, Zevran set about cleaning the wound, and asked chattily, “Do you have any idea why this happened? The room lying to you in so dastardly a fashion about its orientation, I mean.”

Vanastin glanced at him, jerkily, then away. “I don't understand these shemlen and durgen'len politics. If something must be done, you do it. Personal concerns don't enter into a life and death situation. There is no 'I' when the whole clan is suffering. It should be the same everywhere. This threatening and pleading, these sly word games... they are like laying traps for coy prey. I was never any good with traps.” And his deep voice sounded hollow, ashamed to confess, “The nightmares have been worse underground.”

“Ah.” Zevran began smearing on a little dab of poultice, and the symptoms made sense now. “When was the last time you slept properly?”

“The night before we entered Orzammar.”

It was hard to tell with no night or day, but that was not quite two weeks in Zevran's estimation. “Have you slept at all?”

“I can't recall,” Vanastin said matter-of-factually, almost as if challenging Zevran. “I don't sleep much on the surface, either, but there's no air in this place unless I fight for it, and what if the ceiling falls in? I don't want to die in my sleep. But the dreams, they're vivid down here.... I've seen them in waking hours, too.”

“I have noticed no change in Alistair's behavior,” Zevran said. “Have you asked him why, perhaps, they would effect you more?”

“I already know,” Vanastin snapped. “I almost became one of them—a sharlock, like Tamlen.” He grimaced at the name, but continued. “Or nearly died from the taint—the latter is more likely, from the sickness. I expect the taint is a little more advanced in me.”

“Just how often do you sleep on the surface?”

“When I'm exhausted.”

“And before you became a Grey Warden?”

Scowling, Vanastin growled, “Are you my mother, now? I was regarded by my clan as a hard worker—if one could wake me to begin with.”

Zevran shook his head, smiling faintly, as he finished laying on the bandage. “May I try something to help you rest?”

“No. Leave me be.”

So Zevran gave him no choice, pushing Vanastin down onto the bed before flipping him onto his stomach and pinning him there, kneeling, straddling the backs of his thighs. Vanastin swore, tried to throw him off, but Zevran was stronger even on Vanastin's best day. He leaned in, let his lips brush the tip of Vanastin's ear as he whispered, “You are going to let me help, or I will tell Wynne, and I will personally hold you down while she drugs you.” That stilled the struggling elf, who gave a final curse and fell silent.

Lamenting his lack of proper oils, Zevran started by working his thumbs in little circles across Vanastin's shoulders, testing the stress there. Vanastin's entire body seemed a coil of tension, a spring wound tight, a mass of knots and too-taut muscle. Each knot made Vanastin twitch, tensing for a moment when touched, and when he prodded a particular knot toward the center of Vanastin's back the man beneath him made a pathetic, mewling noise of pain, half-sobbed, “What are you--”

“Shush,” Zevran commanded. “You will understand if you keep that sharp tongue still for a few moments.”

When he started to work in earnest, carefully working down the back of Vanastin's neck and to his shoulders in slow, methodical strokes, Vanastin's little cries and gasps of pain quickly fell to silence. Once Zevran reached his right shoulder Vanastin gave his first gasp of pleasure as Zevran's hands stroked and kneaded the muscle into some semblance of order. It would take several sessions over at least a week to right Vanastin's tension, but this first attempt would have a dramatic enough effect. Soon enough Zevran had the smaller man writhing beneath him, tension melting away under the former Crow's skilled hands, Vanastin moaning like an overly dramatic whore. Hearing such lascivious sounds out of a man who was all but silent during sex hardened Zevran quickly, and he could only imagine it was having a similar effect on Vanastin.

But those open-mouthed sounds of pleasure faded quickly enough to soft murmurs, and by the time Zevran was done Vanastin was asleep beneath him. It was no great loss, Zevran decided, if he had to pleasure himself while the Warden got his first real rest in two weeks, but when Zevran dismounted and his weight left the bed, a slender hand wrapped around his wrist, quick as a snake's strike. He turned to find Vanastin staring up, dark eyes hardly visible through the faintest slits.

“Lethallin. Ma serrennas.” Then he tugged, made a pouting frown when Zevran didn't sit back down immediately. “Stay. You chase the dreams away.”

Confused and pleased, Zevran sat back down, and Vanastin rolled onto his side, curling up and falling asleep immediately. Zevran wondered if he would remember those words in the morning, or anything that had passed between them. And then he decided it didn't matter.

Another glimpse of the Dalish hunter, the man Vanastin had been before becoming the Warden, was well worth any impending anger.

dalishstorm: (Default)
Original prompt: M!Mahariel/Tamlen
--------------------------

It was a clean shot, the arrow taking her in the throat, and she tried to bolt, staggered, fell. As Vanastin approached her head whipped around, dark eyes glittering and large, rolling in the sockets as she looked for her unseen killer. Finding him, she struggled, tried to flee, but her legs betrayed her as surely as her panicked breath betrayed her.

He didn't let her suffer, soothing those last moments with a gentle touch and quiet prayer. For a moment she seemed to understand, in that instant before he ended it quickly as possible, that she would be a life-giver even in death, that though by her age she was certainly past the rearing of fawns she was still plump enough to fill a few bellies, to sustain and supply the roving stewards. So she died quietly, no fear or struggling in that last instant.

"Impressive, for someone who's vallaslin is hardly dry." Vanastin rolled his eyes before glancing over his shoulder to look at Tamlen, who approached with practiced silence otherwise.

"If a year and a half is hardly dry, then you're fit to serve as elder." The jab was light as he could make it in his dark voice, and Tamlen would surely understand.

"I've often thought so myself," Tamlen said, stretching languorously, just a hint of a smirk betraying his words for a jest. "But then I might have to do my own work instead of pushing it off on you."

Standing, Vanastin turned to him, stopped Tamlen with a hand against his chest. "In that case, you can carry her."

The undergrowth in this northern forest was too thick to rightly stalk prey, and they had waited so long for this deer that returning to the aravels would be more prudent than finding a new site and waiting for a second. True darkness was fast approaching, and they'd find little hunting then—best to return at morning twilight.

They'd passed a deep pool from a spring on the way in, and Vanastin stopped here to wash his hands of the kill's blood before it could dry. He would only dirty them again in dressing her, but it was a habit. Tamlen knelt to drop the doe's carcass silently as he could, because this was an opportunity he simply couldn't pass up. He stalked up behind Vanastin, quietly, then shoved him roughly. Vanastin toppled out of his crouch into the water, flipping as he fell and sucking down a lungful of air.

Too absorbed in his laughter, Tamlen didn't notice the deep breath, and Vanastin's descent into the pool kicked up enough mud to obscure him from the surface. Vanastin was a strong swimmer, and he counted on Tamlen's confidence in his abilities. So Vanastin touched bottom, easy in his armor, counted until his lungs had just started to burn, then relaxed, letting himself float back to the surface face-down. Though garbled, he could hear Tamlen's fading laughter. "Quit that. We both know better."

And Tamlen nearly called his bluff, because Vanastin wasn't sure he could hold his breath safely much longer, but a panicked, "Lethallin?" goaded him on. Tamlen splashed into the water, and then there were hands on his shoulders--Vanastin whipped up, taking in another deep breath to ease the ache in his lungs, then put all his weight down on Tamlen to dunk him. When he resurfaced Tamlen sputtered angrily, spitting water, but Vanastin retreated to shallower water to have a good laugh of his own. Pale hair slicked to pale skin, sky-colored eyes glowering, Vanastin couldn't hold back, "You look like a drowned halla," between laughs.

Tamlen joined him in the shallower water, the little waves of his motion lapping at the lower portion of Vanastin's chest, and seized him for a brief, hard kiss. On parting Vanastin asked, "What was that?"

"You know how I feel about your laugh," Tamlen murmured, and he leaned in to kiss his way up Vanastin's jaw, running his lips up the bottom of Vanastin's ear and nibbling at the tip. Vanastin mirrored this motion with his hand, running his fingertips up the bottom of Tamlen's ear and then sliding them into his soaking hair, pushing Tamlen closer as the taller elf descended to kiss at his neck, sucking and biting, but careful not to leave any visible marks.

"Don't tease," Vanastin cautioned. "You know we won't have time to finish this in camp."

"Then we'll make time now," Tamlen growled, biting down a little harder than intended, and Vanastin gasped, arching against him. They made short work of the soaked armor and padding, the motions of disrobing each other familiar, and carefully put everything ashore. By silent agreement they returned the water, an area shallow enough that Tamlen, taller by a few inches, stood more or less exposed, and Vanastin tried to return those intimate gestures, licks and nips of earlier, but Tamlen would have none of it tonight. Tamlen preferred his powerful and confident hunter helpless and quaking with lust before taking him, and toward this end teased and stroked hard, muscular flesh with lips and hands. By the time Tamlen's hand found Vanastin's entrance, the smaller elf was shuddering against him, buried his head in the crook of Tamlen's neck, nodded his assent.

Tamlen lifted him easily, and Vanastin wrapped his legs around Tamlen's waist, bringing Vanastin fully out of the water and supporting him well enough that Tamlen could spare a hand to stretch toward the bank and grope around for the scant pouch of supplies he carried. One of the hunters, originally from another clan, had counseled him on this relationship just after Vanastin's coming of age—and after his cautions on subtlety and secrecy, his advice that the lust of men was unpredictable and to "be prepared, always" was most valuable. As he palmed the purposefully mislabeled bottle of oil from his pack, Tamlen thanked the hunter as fervently as he might the Creators, slicked his fingers, and nearly dropped the bottle, barely retaining the wit to set it aside when Vanastin ground against him. He'd done his job too well, Vanastin too ready and too eager, and such unabashed desire drove him on as well, unable to hold back a little thrust of his own.

So he was a little harsher than he meant to be in preparing Vanastin, a little too eager himself, but Vanastin endured, curling against him once more and kissing Tamlen harshly, all urgency and need. Drawing away, Vanastin worried at his lower lip to stifle any utterance as Tamlen slid yet another finger in, but was unable to contain a whimper—whether in pain or need Tamlen couldn't tell, so he finished as quickly as he could, slicked himself.

"We're alone," Tamlen murmured, and that drew Vanastin's attention back to him. "There's no need to be silent. No one will hear us, and no one will care."

As Tamlen slid in, slowly, giving Vanastin time to adjust, the smaller elf let loose a vehement curse—funny, the parts of their language that survived the ages—and he couldn't help but ask, "Are you alright?"

"You take too long," Vanastin growled. And Tamlen laughed, holding him a little tighter. Moments of intimacy were rare, for fear of being discovered, and this in particular was still new and novel. Though they were often rough with each other, taking out their lust on one another with enthusiasm, the very last thing Tamlen wanted was to hurt Vanastin. Any injury would draw unwelcome questions, and guilt. It was their duty, after all, as young and virile hunters, Vanastin in particular as he was well-regarded within the clan, to find mates and settle down to help strengthen the race. This was seen as a youthful indulgence, to be discouraged in adulthood in favor of duty.

So they both savored this moment, all too aware that as soon as someone questioned their closeness in just the right fashion they had few options, the easiest of which would be what the older hunter and his lover had done—parting ways, leaving for separate clans as if in shame. Every kiss and impassioned exchange was a moment stolen against that inevitable parting, and any moment stolen while with the clan was a risk. Worth it, they had both sworn to each other.

And in moments like this, it was. Vanastin kissed him again, on more equal terms this time, and they set a pace together, trying to find a balance between need for release and need for intimacy. In the end the former won, as Tamlen drew close too soon, Vanastin tight and hot around him, and the quiet sounds of Vanastin's pleasure, normally restrained for fear of prying ears, driving him on. Vanastin matched this new, animalistic rhythm, this driving need, with equal abandon, and Tamlen couldn't resist running a hand down Vanastin's sculpted body to palm his hardness, working it between them roughly. Growling his name, Vanastin nipped just a little too harshly at one ear, but the pain only drove Tamlen on.

In the end, it was more like the rutting of animals than the lovemaking of two mates, Tamlen emptying himself into Vanastin pushing the smaller elf over the edge, Vanastin straining to take more of him in even as Vanastin threw his head back, climaxing with a harsh and throaty gasp, voice breaking. But there was a sweetness in this, too, the promise of playful words and gentle touches later, in the privacy of their own tent at the clan's camp. And a threat of loss, too.

They clung to each other, sweaty and breathless in those moments after, as if it might be their last embrace. It very well could be.

dalishstorm: (Default)
Original prompt: Zevran and Grumpy Theron.

...What? That's kind of a kink, right?

At any post-original campaign, pre-Awakening. Either window-ratting post-Archdemon slaying celebratory boning if appropriate, or something hot and heavy to tide them both over before Theron heads out to Vigil's Keep.
-----------------------

Waiting was the worst part.

Not that Vanastin doubted Zevran's skill. Oh, not at all—the Antivan was more than capable. Zevran could take care of himself, and then some, even against these Crow Masters. But this plan? Royally foolish. He'd been unable to sway Zevran from it, though, even after coming to blows over it. Zevran had struck a pose and smirked, said something witty, after an hour and a half of circular logic, then stated that he didn't care. So Vanastin, unable to contain his frustration, had punched the assassin, growled, “I thought we were both over this death wish.”

So they sat the villa on fire to flush out the lesser Crows, while Zevran was somewhere inside having and epic duel with his fourth Crow Master. Now that flames were licking out of the windows Crows came boiling out of every window, door, crack and crevice in the building. Vanastion moved to the edge of his rooftop vantage across the street, and began loosing arrows into them one by one, until the ground outside was littered with Crow bodies and people began looking for his sniping position as a bucket brigade started forming.

Darting away from the roof's edge, Vanastin muttered under his breath again about how this was a stupid, stupid idea, mostly because even Zevran wouldn't last long in the choking smoke of the opulent villa ablaze. He nimbly hopped to the next roof over, this one tile and slightly pitched and poorer footing, but he found a place to brace himself around a chimney and began picking off Crows again. No one else was coming out of the building, but a few Crows were missing—looking for him, no doubt. Which meant Vanastin had to keep an eye out both for Zevran's escape from the building (to clear a path) and for anyone sneaking up.

A little clatter of clay tiles and a muffled Antivan curse, practically in his ear, startled Vanastin, so the next arrow never made it to his string, gripping the shaft right behind the arrow head and wheeling around to jab it into his assailant's eye—he stopped just short, Zevran staring at him in shock, perfectly still.

Mi amore,” Zevran stammered, shaken by the close call but still able to set a finger to the side of Vanastin's arrow and push it away. He was soot and sweat streaked, skin flush with heat and perhaps singed, blood-spattered, and, “we are successful. Shall we make our escape?”

Vanastin quickly stuffed the arrow back into his quiver and worked his free hand under Zevran's baldric to pull the larger elf forward in a rough, desperate kiss, confirming with lips and tongue that yes, he returned, safely. Zevran tasted like smoke, and not a necessarily pleasant one, but it made Vanastin long, briefly, for a different path. He knew that he could never go home to his own clan or any other, but once they were done with the Crows he would insist on visiting the nearest clan, on teaching Zevran that the Dalish way of life had some merit, and perhaps they could find some middle ground, because this city thing was killing Vanastin.

After a dangerously long moment Vanastin let go, pushed Zevran gently away. “Let's go.”
dalishstorm: (Cadryn Amell)
Original prompt:  In camp, they compete to see who makes the other scream first.
---------------------------

How delightful, that moment of shared release—Zevran clawed at the blankets beneath him, head thrown back in a silent cry, as Cadryn roughly thrust in and stilled, hands clutching the elf's hips in a bruising grip, filling him, coming hard with a throaty gasp. Spent, Cadryn lowered his head to Zevran's shoulder with an moan, somewhere between satisfied and exasperated.

“Ah, do not despair, my dear Warden. That was much nearer than your previous attempts.” Zevran settled a hand at the base of Cadryn's spine, ran fingertips lightly up to the nape of his neck, twining them lightly in auburn hair.

“Its impossible,” Cadryn muttered into Zevran's shoulder. “Not that I don't enjoy trying.” Chuckling, Zevran drew his other hand up to give Cadryn's shoulder a squeeze.

They'd been at this for two weeks now, this contest, and one of them would inevitably fold. Zevran had the advantage, of course, confident that he could tease the most lascivious cries from his Warden at his leisure. He drew the contest out for selfish reasons: Cadryn, a healer by nature despite the intensity of his rare emotional outbursts, was a gentle lover. And this was novel, unique, and honestly Zevran liked it. He'd experienced all manner of fetishes and kinks in his life as a Crow, but never this sweetness, this emotional depth in lovemaking. It frightened him, this near transcendental connection to the Warden during their intimate entanglements, but drew him back, craving more as if some irresistible drug. That didn't mean that he wanted to abandon any of his old preferences, no, and this contest of theirs drew a harshness from the Warden that he missed and sometimes craved. And he had plans, after all.

Plans he decided to enact at Eamon's estate in Denerim just before the Landsmeet. When not plagued by taint-induced nightmares Cadryn was a deep sleeper, and Zevran very quiet and gentle in his preparations. He only worried about the plan for a moment, and braced himself to face a moment of genuine panic from the Warden. That would pass, of course, and would be worth it in the end.

So Cadryn woke in the night to soft kisses trailing up his jaw, a nip at one earlobe, trailing back down to the hollow of his collarbone. With a moan he stretched, hands moving down to trail across Zevran's back--

Cadryn's green eyes opened wide and starkly awake as his wrists met resistance, and he tried to move them again to be certain. Arms outstretched above him, hands very nearly tied together, just enough slack that he could tug in resistance before the ropes started to creak against the wooden backboard. He craned his head to get a look at the knots, but slender fingers gripped him on either cheek and forced his gaze in a certain direction, familiar lips claiming his. Cadryn very nearly responded in kind, but the pressure on his wrists and a spike of fear stilled him. Neither resisting the kiss nor participating, Cadryn just let that tongue slide past his lips, exploring. Past that initial forcefulness it faded into passion, and Cadryn felt himself responding in spite of the circumstances, in spite of the fear.

When Zevran drew away Cadryn tugged at the ropes again, panicking. “Zevran--”

Zevran hushed him with a less involved kiss. “My dear Warden, you are always in control of everything around you. You deprive yourself of so much in this. Submitting to another's whims, relinquishing that control, can be a release in itself.”

“Fine,” Cadryn said, tone clipped. Tugging at the ropes for emphasis, he continued, “Then untie me. I'll submit. Whatever you want.”

Zevran tutted at Cadryn, shaking his head. “You misunderstand. I have removed that choice for you. What do you expect?” Green eyes still regarded him with fear, wide and following his every move in a twitchy fashion. Leaning over Cadryn, stretching his own nude body to give Cadryn a better view—green eyes flicked down and back up briefly—Zevran tested the ropes. “So many associate these bindings with pain,” Zevran mused. “I expect you to find no pleasure in pain, and so I will not offer you that. What I want is to still your roaming hands, to force you to experience. You will have no distraction from any sensation as I am free to do what I please to you.” In spite of himself, Cadryn shuddered, Zevran's tone felt in the base of his spine, and Zevran's smirk broke into a genuine smile. “Ah, yes, that is a nice start.”

Zevran started in with the kisses again, moving down his neck, almost unconsciously brushing his length against Cadryn's with each motion, light touches, never quite satisfying. By the time Zevran gripped Cadryn's erection in one hand, running his tongue down the side and looking up with half-lidded eyes for Cadryn's reaction, Cadryn was already quivering, partly still in fear from having so little control, partly....

“Trust me,” Zevran murmured, and Cadryn did his best to relax. He felt so utterly helpless, and it felt wrong. He was a leader now, a hero, and being at anyone's mercy tore violently at his self-expectations. Closing his eyes, Cadryn took a deep breath, then another, trying to remind himself that this was his lover. And when a familiar warmth enveloped him Cadryn jerked against the restraints, sucked in a surprised breath as that wicked tongue began teasing. Unable to tangle his hands in Zevran's hair, Cadryn grit his teeth against the urge to thrust up, but eventually couldn't help himself. Anticipating this, Zevran used the motion to swallow his length.

Cadryn came embarrassingly fast, finally opening his eyes in time to meet Zevran's, briefly, before their lips met once more. With a flash of hope he realized that he could taste himself on Zevran's tongue, and so returned the kiss with ardent fervor, eliciting a little moan from his lover. Some modicum of control returned with the ability to invoke such a reaction in spite of his helplessness. Zevran broke the kiss off before Cadryn could do much with this new-found control, but the damage was already done. It wasn't about domination, but about Cadryn relinquishing control, if only for a moment. With Zevran's weight off him briefly Cadryn inched up on the bed, trying to get a little slack in the ropes.

“You look amazing like this.” Leaning back, Zevran's tongue flitted out to lick his lips before one hand trailed down across taut muscles and golden skin to fondle himself. And that was the greatest turn-on of all, the thought that in such a state he was a spectacle. It was one thing to make love to someone and know that they found you attractive, but another entirely to see this sort of response. It drove Cadryn to try and imagine himself from Zevran's perspective, how he must look here, flushed and panting from his orgasm, still half-erect, clutching at the ropes—he knew what response seeing Zevran in such a state would pull from him.

Leaning forward, Zevran rubbed their sexes together, and Cadryn couldn't help himself, wanting to be a spectacle, grinding up against him when the opportunity came. And he just let go, carried away on a tide of sensation as Zevran had his way with him, all manner of incoherent cries issuing from him. He surfaced to a shattering climax, jerking at the ropes, Zevran buried inside of him, ”Zev!” tearing itself from his throat, fully voiced with all the volume he could muster. Zevran followed an instant later, leaning forward, grinding his teeth and then biting Cadryn's shoulder to stifle a similar cry.


He surfaced again to Zevran untying the ropes, laying soft kisses on the heels of his hands as if in apology. “That doesn't count,” Cadryn croaked, voice broken from yelling.

Looking down at him, Zevran made a curious noise, so Cadryn repeated, “That doesn't count. We're not in camp.”

Zevran laughed heartily, throwing back his head, laid another kiss against Cadryn's temple. “A technicality, my dear Warden.”

Grinning, Cadryn just said, “I can't win otherwise.”

Still chuckling, Zevran slid down to lie next to him, propping himself up on one elbow. “I propose this: we put it to a vote. I am confident our companions will declare me the winner after that lovely serenade of yours, if only to avoid a repeat performance.”

For the first time in recent memory Cadryn honestly blushed. “You win, then.”

“And I'll be sure to collect my prize in due time.”
dalishstorm: (Cadryn Amell)
Original prompt: Any pairing, preferably slash

Two lovers are in their tent, totally hot for each other, but taking off all that armor proves very difficult and unsexy. By the time they actually get naked the mood has been killed, and they end up just chilling and discussing darkspawn killing techniques or something.
--------------------

Their first moments of privacy in more than a week came when Bhelen offered them rooms in the palace to recover from their trek through the Deep Roads. Indeed, they hadn't even paused to rest, but gone straight to the council with Caridin's crown and their choice. They were standing in an otherwise empty hall outside the room meant for the Warden, hesitating, uncertain of what to do—torn between going their separate ways for much-needed rest or taking advantage of the situation.

Cadryn came to a decision first, and when Zevran opened his mouth to bid the Warden goodnight Cadryn covered it with his own, an almost forceful, lust-driven kiss. Not hard and bruising or claiming, but certainly stronger than the Warden's usual tender manner. Now, when Cadryn gripped his shoulders and pressed him against the wall, that was truly surprising, and Cadryn trailing one hand down to grip his hip, fingers twitching in a grip just hard enough to really feel it through the leather armor, pulled a lusty gasp from Zevran's throat, a sound half-voiced into the kiss. Zevran almost forgot to respond, shocked by the normally reserved Warden's unabashed desire.

When he did, it was to return the kiss with equal fervor, to gather together a handful each of the Warden's robes where they were tighter across the chest, pulling him closer. Cadryn obliged with a little grunt, and ended up having to bend his knees slightly to maintain the kiss, one of them ended up sliding between Zevran's thighs, and Cadryn had to shift his off hand from Zevran's shoulder to the wall in order to take his weight and maintain balance. The position was doubly awkward between the restrictive cut of Cadryn's robes and Zevran's now cumbersome armor, so Cadryn pulled away, whispered in Zevran's ear, “I want you,” hot breath making Zevran strain toward the promise of his touch imperceptibly. And just who was supposed to be the master of seduction here?

The belts of Zevran's baldric fell away as soon as they were through the door, weapons cast aside with less care than they deserved, and the belts at Cadryn's waist and the harness for his staff met a similar fate, clattering down in a heap. They didn't make it far from the door before Zevran caught Cadryn's face between his hands, pulled him down for another kiss, teasing the Warden's bottom lip with a gentle, sucking and biting playfully as if a promise of things to come. It earned an appreciative sound out of the man, who tangled a hand in Zevran's hair for a moment before he went searching for all the little buckles and ties to Zevran's armor.

They'd been in the Deep Roads for nearly a week, beset on all sides by Darkspawn and smaller, more annoying creatures, hardly able to sleep properly, and there had been precious little time to care for his armor properly. So the first buckle took two hands, the leather creaking under new stress. Zevran peeled back the collar of Cadryn's robe and ran his fingers across the sensitive flesh there at the base of the human's throat before attacking it, teasing in the same fashion as he had the man's lips. He took Cadryn's behavior as leave to be a little rougher than usual, made an effort to leave a little mark that would just be visible over the edge of the collar.


Cadryn swore when the next buckle finally gave, then muttered with no small amount of dark humor, “You know, your armor is covered in a very fine layer of lyrium dust. Like you rolled in it.”

Pulling away to nuzzle at the growing mark on Cadryn's skin, Zevran asked, “Should that concern me?”

“It's not enough to worry about.” And he swore again as a tie finally parted, then moved on to another buckle. Zevran's hands wandered down to the lacing on Cadryn's robe and began working at the knots, found the knots tight and the lacing hard and slick, as if worn by overuse. It took more attention than he would've liked, and eventually all of his attention, until the two of them were standing there in frustration and waning lust, picking and tugging at the infuriating impediments to taking their desire out on one another. Cadryn swore again, something colorful involving Andraste's mother, and the fabric and flesh beneath Zevran's fingers flickered momentarily, fading to insubstantial mist, and Zevran felt part of himself pulled along as Cadryn slipped half into the Fade to exert his real strength against an exceptionally stubborn buckle.

Cadryn succeeded first, though Zevran playfully told him, “Using magic is cheating,” trying to lighten the foul mood growing between them.

“I'd do worse things to get you out of this stuff faster,” Cadryn growled, and the last buckle came loose, Cadryn carefully pulling the armor away, which left Zevran in the padding underneath. Cadryn made an exasperated noise, somewhere low in his throat. “And I was just getting excited.”

Finally giving in, Zevran stepped away from the mage, shucking out of the padding and his small clothes as he retrieved a dagger. “This seems the only way, my friend.”

“I'm beyond caring any more,” and Cadryn held out his arms low to the sides, exposing the complex lacing. Zevran split the ties easily with the dagger, which clattered to the floor in favor of running his hands over the faintly golden skin revealed as he pushed the robes away.

They tumbled into the bed, a flurry of kisses and nips, enthusiasm renewed, but each carried a sluggishness to his motions, a weariness. An nothing, it seemed, could fully restore either of them to hardness, too worn and weary by this point.

So they abandoned mutual pleasure by unspoken agreement, simply stared at each other for a moment, each with his head propped against the others thigh (and how lovely this would have been, Zevran thought, to catch snatches and glimpses of Cadryn eagerly working him with his mouth as Zevran did the same).

“I hate this place,” Cadryn eventually said.

“Agreed. Let us never return, if we can help it.”

Nuzzling at the flesh of Zevran's inner thigh, laying a delicate kiss with the faintest swirl of his tongue, got an appreciative moan, a twitch, but nothing else, so Cadryn said, “In the morning.”

“Yes. In the morning.”

Passing the night in each others arms was well enough, at least, and Zevran was too tired to even to worry over the implications of his growing regard for the Warden, as usually happened with such intimacy.


~*~
Zevran stretched languidly, reveling in the relief, the intense sense of comfort from a good night's sleep (he slept better in Cadryn's arms than he'd ever slept, which was still disconcerting) and shared release with an eager lover. He didn't allow himself these indulgences much, this wallowing in the afterglow, but Zevran felt he'd earned it, and his eyes slid over Cadryn's form approvingly as the man's weight slipped from the bed.

He could get used to this, quite easily.

When Cadryn swore, Zevran sat up, propping himself up on his elbows to see the mage standing with his robes in hand, plucking the shredded laces out.

"I didn't bring a spare," the Warden announced, "and am an idiot."
dalishstorm: (Cadryn Amell)
Original prompt: The Warden is always in charge, always in control, and always giving orders. And s/he just wants (or is convinced), for one night, to give that up and let his/her lover take command... in bed of course! Zevran should be ordering the Warden to do things, but nothing humiliating/embarrassing. How much you play up the dom/sub aspect is up to you. Bonus points if the Warden is not too keen on the idea at first but really gets into it after being convinced to try it.

Warden choice is up to the filler, but anon has a preference for M!Mahariel and Amell of either gender. Also, no dwarves or Cousland please.
-------------------------------
At any other time, Zevran slipping into his study and sneaking up to trail a line of kisses down the back of Cadryn's neck would be welcome, the elf draping his arms over Cadryn's shoulders to caress through the fine fabric of his robes, warm breath on his ear, “Time for a break, my dear Warden,” a teasing nip at the top of his ear.

At any other time. His seneschal had come down with some awful illness not a week prior, and so all the work of maintaining Amaranthine fell to Cadryn once again. He reached up with one hand to cup Zevran's cheek, but didn't look away from the ledgers he was comparing. “Not now,” Cadryn muttered. “I'll be lucky to get this done in time to sleep tonight.”

But Zevran wasn't satisfied with that answer, leaned forward to nuzzle his cheek and traced the very edge of one half of his tattoos. “Must it be done now?”

“No.” Sighing in exasperation, Cadryn drew away, shaking off Zevran's embrace with a little less care than intended. “But I'm meeting with some of the Banns tomorrow and having it done would be useful. Being able to offer financial figures for how much it costs to maintain the Wardens versus the--” Zevran kissed him, or tried to, fingers trailing up his chin and tongue seeking entrance, but Cadryn wouldn't have any of it, jerking away again and pushing Zevran back with a hand on his chest. “Are you listening? I don't have time for this.”

Zevran withdrew, and so Cadryn went back to his work, assuming the not-quite-argument over, at least until Zevran stopped directly opposite the desk from him, arms akimbo, hips canted in a very haughty but alluring posture. “My friend,” he began, head tilted forward ever so slightly, amber eyes deathly serious, maybe even a little angry. “I think perhaps in all your time alone you have forgotten a valuable lesson learned during the Blight.” Cadryn only glanced up to take in Zevran's posture, his expression, and while it always upset him to see Zevran angry he was somehow even more attractive, a smoldering fire, a snake about to strike, handsome in a terrifying way, and it stirred more than a little lust in the mage.

Focus, and Cadryn went back to his work, but Zevran would have none of it, starting at one end of the desk and sweeping everything off it in one swift motion. Of course, Cadryn bolted to his feet, drawing to his full height to look down on the elf, shouted, “Andraste's ass, Zevran! What was that? Do I pick the locks on your doors and sneak into your rooms and wreck your poisons lab when you don't immediately go bottoms-up for a hard fucking?”

Before Cadryn even registered that Zevran was moving, the Antivan had a fistful of his robes, jerked him forward so forcefully that Cadryn's thighs banged hard against the edge of the desk, kissed him. In his surprise Cadryn responded, too shocked to do much more than gape at Zevran's behavior. Zevran somehow got enough leverage to drag him down onto the desk, twisting as they fell, and when Zevran swung a leg over to straddle him Cadryn started fighting back again, bucking to throw Zevran off.

Laughing, Zevran drew away. “You see? I know what's good for you. You should listen to me more often.”

“Zevran,” Cadryn snarled. “I don't want to hurt you. But--”

Leaning in again, Zevran fisted a hand in Cadryn's hair, jerked his head down so it banged against the desk just hard enough to hurt, but not hard enough to bruise. “Do you remember the night in Eamon's estate when I tied you down?” Zevran kept perfect eye contact, pinning Cadryn with his intensity as much as with his body. “How you begged for me to stop, to keep going, to do anything? How I had my way with you?” Cadryn shuddered beneath him, eyes drifting closed for an instant, so Zevran applied just a little pressure with his hips, just a taste, a promise. “I think perhaps you have forgotten what I can do to you, do for you.”


Mouth suddenly dry, Cadryn tried to speak, for a moment couldn't find his voice, but eventually managed, “When you put it that way, I suppose--”

A dark chuckle cut him off. “You suppose?” Zevran straightened, sitting up properly, but it shifted his weight against Cadryn's growing hardness and the mage just managed to bite back a groan. “You rebuffed me so firmly earlier, mi amore, I think perhaps I will require some demonstration of your desire.”

Please,” Cadryn groaned, rolling his head to the side. “Don't play--”

A single finger to his lips silenced Cadryn, and the other hand brought his gaze back up. “You were about to say something foolish, my dear Warden. But that was a good start. Shall we begin again?”

Please.”

“Good,” Zevran said, face schooled in careful thought but mirth betrayed by his eyes. “That is a good start, again. But please what? What is it your are begging for?”

I want you.

Shaking his head, Zevran tsked. “While I am certain I know what you mean, there is still some doubt. Could you perhaps spell it out for me?”

Cadryn made a noise of frustration, one that reverberated in his chest, so strong that Zevran even felt it where he straddled the mage's hips. “Fuck me.

“Hm, that sounded like an order. And is just a little too to the point, I think. No, I need some more sincere demonstration, I believe.”

Finally, Cadryn sighed in exasperation, relaxed against the desk. “What do you want me to do?”

Gesturing down to the lacing on his leathers, Zevran said, “Firstly, this will have to go.” So Cadryn dutifully unlaced them, laying careless caresses as he did so. He peeled everything back and down just far enough to expose Zevran, to pull him out half-hard, wrapped one hand around the shaft. “Now, what was it you said to me in the hall a few days ago, when you were so eager to have me in your mouth? Ah, I believe it was, 'I'm Arl, I'll do what I please.' Well, Arl, it would please me to see a repeat performance.”

Zevran moved up until he was straddling Cadryn's chest just beneath the shoulders, and Cadryn reached around to work his off hand under the back of Zevran's shirt, to urge the elf forward. It was a slightly awkward position, Cadryn craning his neck up to bring first just the head to his mouth, laying sucking kisses and teasing licks in the most sensitive places. Zevran offered some support by digging his fingers into Cadryn's hair, grabbing a handful around back and applying a gentle pressure. “You should not have cut this.” Zevran ran his other hand through auburn hair, a tender gesture. “It looks good, but I can't get a sure hold.”

Cadryn glanced up at him, but said nothing, instead finally taking Zevran into his mouth, removing his hand from Zevran's shaft to grip the Antivan's left hip, pulling him a little closer still, until Zevran had to hunch over and plant his free hand against the desk. Awkward as the position was, it was good, somehow more intimate. This wasn't about controlling Cadryn, after all, not about domination or power play, but seeing him willingly surrender, setting aside his self control for a moment. It was the trust implied in the act, something Zevran had never hoped to gain after his assassination attempt and during his awkward face-first tumble into love with this man. That, and having Cadryn so senseless that he didn't know which way was up, just that he wanted more, those were the goals.

Cadryn took him in as far as possible with the awkward angle, still teasing with his tongue as he went, and with an appreciative moan Zevran said, “This is one thing you have not forgotten, at least.”

Zevran felt the amused hum in response all along his length, and Cadryn began to work him in earnest. The human was a little too eager, though, and Zevran feared he might not last long, all this build up leaving him as ready as Cadryn clearly was. Zevran drew away just as Cadryn reached the peak of his momentum, leaving a trail of moisture across the Warden's lips. “Zev?” He looked confused, perhaps even a little hurt.


Carefully, Zevran dismounted the table, keeping himself firmly in hand, and said, “Off with your robes.”

Much as Zevran wanted to unlace them himself, watching Cadryn do it while under the strain of anticipation, skin flushed and eyes locked on where Zevran had himself firmly in hand was somehow more tantilizing. For Cadryn it was that sensation of being a spectacle again, of being enough in sight alone to stir Zevran's desire, and he was shrugging out of his robes in short order, leaving them draped across the desk. Hands went to his smallclothes, but didn't remove them until Zevran nodded his assent.

“Touch yourself,” Zevran ordered, and Cadryn complied, keeping his eyes on Zevran the entire time, strong fingers wrapping around his girth and starting in on long, slow strokes, making a show of the motion and skin gliding across skin. This he had missed, the sight of Cadryn in such a state, and now that he had it again he didn't think he could ever drink in enough, all these little physical cues of their mutual desire and affection. “Harder.” A little twitch from Cadryn as he obeyed, and Zevran wasn't sure if it was the command or hearing the loss of control in Zevran's voice, that it was turning husky.

Approaching again, Zevran kissed the mage, let his hands wander, even briefly putting a hand over Cadryn's as he worked himself, controlling the pace and grip a little more directly. When Cadryn reached out with his free hand to touch Zevran in kind, the elf stopped him, muttered, “Not yet,” against Cadryn's skin.

Zevran got the mage uncomfortably close to release, then pulled Cadryn's hands away, out to the sides, gripped at the wrists. “Zev,” he begged, pleading just as emphatically with his eyes. Zevran just kissed him softly on one cheek, barely missing the bottom curl of the man's tattoos.

“Wait for me,” Zevran whispered, and then left Cadryn lying there for a moment, the man whimpering involuntarily at the loss of contact and even thrusting up a little, hands clenching to keep from reaching out for a caress of flesh.

Zevran shucked off his shirt on the way out of Cadryn's study, every motion calculated to tantilize, as he could feel the man's eyes on him, hungry and wanting. There was only one other room of consequence in the Warden's apartments: his bedroom. And Zevran found what he sought with ease, the little bottle of oil easily accessible (the Warden had learned his lesson early on). Zevran found a stray sash from a set of mage's robes as well, and on a whim took it, carefully folding it as he went.

Cadryn was laying exactly as Zevran had left him, arms outstretched and fists clenched, body just drawing back from the edge, but now his eyes were tightly shut—likely trying to not touch himself in Zevran's absence. So Zevran started in kissing him gently, touching him insistently again, and Cadryn moaned into his mouth, which was a sure sign the man was ready.

Pulling him up into a sitting position, Zevran set about slowly shuffling them around until they were both standing, Cadryn leaning against the desk while Zevran continued his slow attentions, using them as a distraction as he tied the man's wrists together with the folded sash. When the elf ran his lips along a heavy collarbone, Cadryn gasped, “Please,” voice almost pained.

Zevran jerked on the sash like a leash, finally drawing Cadryn's attention to it, then moved nimbly across the desk, giving just enough slack so Cadryn could follow his command of, “Down,” before the leash pulled truly taught. Zevran ducked briefly to tie off the free end underneath the desk, tethering him in place.


“Zev?” Always with that worried tone in his voice when something like this happened, always making Zevran doubt for a moment.

“Amore,” Zevran murmured, stroking his hair soothingly, looking up into green eyes for a moment. “You need only say the word, and I will stop.”

“Never stop.”

Zevran took those words from his lips with a kiss, tangling both hands in what remained of the man's hair (there was just enough to grip now), and when they drew apart stood, presenting himself to the mage's mouth again. “Zev,” he groaned. “Please. Just--”

“I could leave you here like this,” Zevran said, looking down at the Warden with a wicked gleam in his eyes, just the faintest hint of a smile. “Stretched so lewdly across the desk, left wanting, for someone to discover in the morning.”

“You wouldn't.”

Quirking an eyebrow down at him, as Cadryn strained to look up and make eye contact, Zevran's smile only widened. “I wouldn't?” When Cadryn didn't rise to the bait, Zevran said, “You are very right. But I might simply take my pleasure of you and leave you to take matters into your own hands, as it were.”

No. Whatever you want.” Cadryn strained against the bonds, trying to reach out for Zevran. “I need you.”

And from the way he sucked when presented with Zevran's hardness again Zevran believed it--need was the only word that could describe such a state, the dedication there, the complete attention in his ministrations. And the sight of him stretched so lasciviously across the desk—Zevran grew too near too soon, pulled Cadryn away a little more roughly than intended.

He was not as gentle in his preparations as usual, and wondered briefly which of them was really in control here, for the man who was tied up to have him fumbling and harsh and far too eager to be inside of him, to find a shared release. Cadryn's response to Zevran's rough manner in slicking and stretching him was to simply lean into the treatment, biting back a sound half-pain/half-pleasure.

Zevran slid himself fully in with one stroke, and Cadryn managed a breathy, “Finally,” full of sarcasm, almost as if he'd been saving up the will and energy for it. So Zevran made sure to set a quick pace and aim true, to keep Cadryn breathless and moaning instead of snarking. When Zevran finally came, too soon for his liking but at the same time not soon enough, it was intense, near to blinding, but he rode it out, trying to bring Cadryn to climax before before he finished, reaching around and taking the other man's hardness in hand to jerk him to completion. Cadryn joined him with a cry, sagging against the desk as his knees gave out, and Zevran pressed himself to the larger man's back, strangely exhausted, seeking strength in that contact.

There were a handful of moments Zevran treasured between them, moments he felt embodied their relationship in a single phrase or gesture. The needful look and sound around, ”Never stop.” was surely one of them—Cadryn had meant more than this physical thing between them.

Once he had some presence of mind Cadryn mumbled beneath him, “Zevran?”

“Si, amore?”

“These were some of my best robes.”

And now the fine silk beneath them was surely covered in the mage's release, ruined without careful work that Cadryn would surely leave no other to—Zevran laughed softly, cheek pressed against his back. “I have a reputation to keep, yes?”

Succor

Jun. 23rd, 2010 01:11 am
dalishstorm: (Zevran)
Original prompt: This anon was a bit shocked to only find one Taliesin prompt in the archive, and none with Zevran!

Would like to see H/C of some sort with these two, back in the day in Antiva -- one of them gets injured, somehow or other, and the other offers their own brand of comfort or distraction. Bonus if the injured party is unwilling at first but soon changes his mind.

This anon would prefer no Rinna and her associated angst.
---------------------------

Two things came to Zevran's attention when he woke.

Firstly, this room was unfamiliar. This wasn't a room at a seedy inn or the cramped quarters he shared with Taliesen back in Antiva City. It felt clean, the air still but fresh, light filtering in through small glass windows with little white curtains high on the whitewashed walls, making the room bright, but it was delightfully cool even bathed in sunlight. He lay in a soft bed, blankets carefully pulled around him but not tucked tightly, and wanted to relax back into it, closing his eyes. This was strange, entirely novel, but he liked it.

Secondly, he'd been drugged. Everything seemed hazy over a dull, distant ache, his head full of stuffing and his thoughts flowing slow like cold honey. Dulled senses strained to pick up on presences in the room, on scents and sounds in his surroundings, and Zevran started to panic. The last thing he remembered was engaging a pair of guards at the top of a set of sweeping marble stairs in their mark's country villa after the deed was done, as they'd been unable to exit by their alternate routes. He'd killed the mage present, but in doing so activated a glyph of paralysis, and dimly remembered a great brute of a man hauling him up by his hair and throwing him down the stairs.

Of course, this didn't explain his current situation at all. Those remaining guards would've killed him, unless—Zevran shuddered. He had no qualms about using sex to get close to a target, but there were things he'd thought he'd never have to endure again when Taliesen hauled him out of the pool of apprentices a couple of years early. After all, he was attractive, barely marked, and he looked young, still. They both belonged to a Crow Master, and were theoretically his possessions, but as a team had some autonomy, some say in how they did a mission and who could take what privileges. Such a prospect wasn't a happy thought, but one Zevran had to entertain, so Zevran tried to sit in order to get a better view of his surroundings.

Gritting his teeth against the screaming pain in his chest Zevran managed to get one elbow under himself, but the other arm was bound to his chest, immobile. Blankets slid just enough to let him glimpse his own battered flesh, horrible blooms of color peeking around the edges of clean, soft bandages like a brutal tattoo. Every muscle in his back protested the movement, too, so stiff he didn't think he could sit up any further regardless of his tolerance to pain. When the door opened Zevran jerked his head to face his captor, expression carefully neutral.

Taliesen simply smiled, reading the expression for what it was, and shut the door behind him. The human came to stand, hips canted, arms crossed, at the bedside, Zevran craning his head back to look up at the taller man. Strangely, there was some sincerity to his smile, not just the sarcasm Zevran was so accustomed to. “And so the sleeping damsel awakens, no need for fairytale magic.”

With a grimace more at Taliesen's implications than any physical discomfort, Zevran asked, “Where are we?” voice almost failing him.

“This is a farmstead on the outside of town,” Taliesen explained. “I could get you no farther. We're safe here, though; we've been here two days now, and no one has been so much as curious.”

Satisfied with the assessment of their safety, Zevran laid back, the bed linens now blessedly cool against his skin. “Why should that be? That no one is curious over two strangers, one injured, when their local lord has died?”

“The farm's owners are convinced we're mercenaries of some sort, not Crows,” he said. “Crows don't look after their own, after all.”

So Zevran's injuries had been fortuitous, in a way—darkly amusing, and he smiled as much as he could through the lingering pain under the drugged haze. Whatever he'd been dosed with was fading, but powerful. “Two days?” he asked.

Nodding, Taliesen said, “Two days. I was starting to wonder if I would be in the market for a new partner. That was a nasty hit you took, apparently. It could've used a healer, but we've no money for one here, and I couldn't get you back to Antiva City like this. We're lucky you didn't break your neck, going down the stairs like that.”


Concern in Taliesen's voice was unusual, made Zevran shudder as if under a chill wind. The human moved off out of his restricted range of vision for a moment, returned with a roughly thrown ceramic cup, helped Zevran to sit up a little more properly and to drink. He honestly wasn't aware of his thirst until the offer was made, and both hated and appreciated Taliesen for enforcing moderation. In sitting up, though, other pressing concerns came to Zevran's attention, and Taliesen helped with that, too, no more than an amused, faintly sarcastic smile on his face. Being so weak shamed Zevran, but by the time all this was done he was too tired and achy to care.

“You were at the door,” Zevran muttered once back in bed, fighting against returning sleep. “Why did you come back for me?”

Taliesen sat down on the edge of the bed, still smiling, laughed quietly. “Don't get the wrong idea. We make a good team, and I don't fancy the idea of running solo again.”

With a little scoff Zevran rolled his head away to stare up at the ceiling. “Surely you could find some other pretty little elven boy to rescue from the apprentice's stockyard.”

“But I would have to train him,” Taliesen said, “and wait for him to be mature enough to understand all the nuances of what we do. And he'd probably blubber, too, instead of being mouthy and fighting back. I'll never admit to saying this, but sometimes I am wrong. Have you met another apprentice who has the balls to tell his betters they're wrong?”

Rolling his eyes, Zevran scoffed. “You are far from my better.”

Taliesen reached over to grip Zevran's undamaged shoulder, and Zevran winced anyway because hardly an inch of him wasn't sore or stiff or bruised. “You see?” Taliesen's voice was uncharacteristically light, though he pointedly ignored Zevran's wince. “They wouldn't be you, and it wouldn't be the same. It's you or nothing as far as I'm concerned, Zev.”

~*~
Two more days, and this farm was turning out to be a strange sort of paradise. Zevran made it out into the orchard with Taliesen's help, because the little cellar room was quaint and cool and stifling. The heat of an Antivan afternoon was twice as terrible, but a welcome change, even with angry clouds boiling off the distant coast and the air heavy with a promise of rain. They had some time before they absolutely had to report back, and Taliesen seemed intent on using every spare moment to allow for Zevran's recovery.

Zevran understood, and was quietly thankful. An assassin so injured he couldn't work was a dead assassin. If he returned in such a shape, their Master might simply be done with him, or demote him, and Zevran would fight to his last breath before he returned to the way things had been before Taliesen. After struggling to be free of that abyss, he would not be pulled down again.

Such concerns seemed strangely distant, sitting in the shade of an ancient fig tree, breathing in the scent of wood and fruit and listening to the drone of insects, feeling the unforgiving sun softened to a lover's caress by the leaves overhead. A breeze would be welcome, but Zevran really couldn't complain when every other aspect of his surroundings seemed drawn directly from some florid prose.

Life with the Dalish had not been what he expected. He'd had low expectations for rural life in general, more so after his failed attempt to flee the Crows. This farm was orderly, as tidy as any of the streets in the nicer parts of Antiva city, the well water sweet enough that it didn't need to be cut with wine, all of the food absolutely fresh. Surely he wouldn't wish such a life, because the work wouldn't suit him, but he could stand to bask in it for a few days. It was strange and new, and not what he had expected, a pleasant surprise.

And Taliesen was not behaving as expected, something Zevran could hardly trust. Now, for example, the man was returning from some distant part of the orchard with a handful of the first of the year's main crop, settled down next to him and offered a few. They were just ripe, not perfectly so, probably missed by workers eager to get away to their break for the hottest part of the day. All of this being in the moment satisfied a need Zevran wasn't aware of having until now.

For a while they sat in silence, eating figs, Zevran trying to figure out what Taliesen was on about with all this soft touch behavior. So he asked again, cloaking his dismay in dark humor. “I wonder how long it will be before you decide you should have left me, how long before the pastoral life begins to grate on you, my friend.”

“Quite a while,” Taliesen said, glancing over at him. “I told you—it's you or no one, and I don't want to work alone again.”

“But this,” Zevran gestured with his good hand, taking in the orchard and their circumstances with a simple flex of his fingers and an open palm, “this doesn't bore you? This isn't holding you back? The time we were stalking that nobleman's son, and one of his men knocked me into a daze before we could kill him, you were so livid with me--”

“That's different,” Taliesen said, tone growing a little darker, eyes narrowing. “That was just an injury, and not one that should've hampered you. This time I almost lost you.” For a brief moment they fell to silence again, Zevran pointedly looking down at a particularly interesting bruise on his stomach, all to aware of Taliesen's eyes on him. He didn't like this, at all, because Taliesen was trying to imply that they were more than two men who murdered together, more like brothers—whatever that meant, because Zevran had no idea. This had to be a game, in his mind, because the only people who'd tried to get close to him after leaving the whorehouse had done so to use or hurt him in some brutal fashion. Taliesen was closer than he let most people come, but only by necessity, out of a thin sort of gratitude for pulling Zevran out of the life he'd been living as an undedicated apprentice.

A strong hand on his bare shoulder, “Zevran?” He finally looked up, to see Taliesen smirking. “Don't mistake what I'm saying. The time it would take to bring someone else to your level would be an even greater drain on my time. And they likely wouldn't have your aptitudes or your quirks—they make you easier to work with. I appreciate having you around.” Taliesen drew close, so close that Zevran couldn't ignore him any more, hot breath against his cheek, “I could show you how much I appreciate having you around.”

Scowling, Zevran pushed at Taliesen with his good arm. They played this game from time to time, and Zevran was in no shape to fight back, in no shape for Taliesen's often brutal lust. But the strange behavior made sense now, the soft touch—at least Taliesen understood he was fragile, physically, right now. But Taliesen only laughed, darted inside his guard, laid a hard, claiming kiss against Zevran's neck, surprisingly careful of the tender bruises as one hand trailed down to grip him through soft linen trousers. Zevran hissed, glaring down at him, “Taliesen,” put his good hand against Taliesen's head to push the man away.

Laughing, Taliesen ducked, squeezed him, pinned Zevran's good hand at the wrist with his free hand. Taliesen leaned in again, breathed against his ear, “Submit. Don't fight it, for once.”

Zevran struggled anyway, but Taliesen was larger, stronger, hale, so Taliesen laughed at him, dodged bruises to tease with his lips, refusing to let Zevran twitch away from any touch. In refusing to relent Taliesen eventually won out, Zevran stilling under his touch but refusing to relax. Taliesen was able to let go of Zevran's wrist, tugged the soft trousers and underthings down, finished teasing the elf to hardness. When Zevran hissed his name again, Taliesen glanced up, flashing a grin, before taking Zevran into his mouth, almost to the hilt in one smooth motion.

With that wet heat around him Zevran could hardly get a breath of warm, humid air, gasping breathless curses against Taliesen and his insatiable appetites and his wicked tongue, good hand digging into the grass at his side. The human smiled up at him with his eyes, never stopping in his slowly accelerating pace. Taliesen's fingers sought out all those places on hips and thighs left unblemished by the fall, dragging his calloused fingers up the inside of Zevran's thighs in particular, before he pinned the elf's hips in a hard grip with one hand to prevent any thrusting and cupped him with the other, stroking and fondling.

Finally, Taliesen took him all the way in, nose pressing into the soft blond curls at the base of Zevran's shaft. Zevran couldn't help but bring his good hand up to grip the man's head, taking as near a handful of the short, coarse hair as he could to exert some pressure and encourage this pace. At this Taliesen seemed just as enthused, just as eager for Zevran's release, and obeyed instead of playing with him as Zevran would've expected. He came with a strangled curse into Taliesen's mouth, tensing muscles and the involuntary motion of his hips painful, but that release worth it.

Taliesen, of course, swallowed every bit down, save what was left on his tongue when he removed himself and shifted up to kiss Zevran. Zevran understood this, too: if Taliesen didn't take his pleasure in some way immediately, it would be the thought of sharing this taste that he worked himself to later. So there was no affection in the kiss, only hard lust, exactly what Zevran was used to.

Still smirking when they parted, Taliesen asked, “Better?”

“I think I will require a few more such sessions before I am fully recovered,” Zevran quipped. “But it is a start.”
dalishstorm: (Zevran)
Original prompt: I'm used to seeing M!Cousland portrayed as a rough and tough kind of guy (particularly when paired with Zevran). For once, I'd like to see a shier M!Cousland. Maybe when he first asks Zevran to sleep with him after the whole Taliesin fiasco. Or when Zevran offers him a massage.

Whatever it is, less mean Cousland and more dorky shy Cousland, please!

-----------------------------

Zevran flirted with everyone, so Aedan thought nothing of it when Zevran launched his first few barbs the Warden's way. In fact, Aedan responded in kind, taking great pleasure in getting to exercise at wordplay and innuendo. Their exchanges clearly surprised much of the group, frequently left Alistair blushing and stuttering, Sten doing his level best to ignore them, Wynne shaking her head in disapproval, and Leliana and Morrigan taking bets on who would win a particular verbal joust. They were used to Aedan being quiet and reserved, bordering on moody, used to him speaking simply.

Zevran reminded him of the joys of life. The assassin clearly had problems of his own, a multitude of past hurts that had shaped him into what he was today, but he seemed determined to live happily in spite of it. To Aedan, it seemed the true purpose of Zevran's existence was to spit in the face of fate, and this exotic stranger now in his company rekindled passions forgotten in the name of duty and regret. Aedan itched for a few moments in a good library, for a deep philosophical discussion, and for the touch of another.

But Zevran had made it rather clear, their flirting was nothing unusual—he made advances on everyone else, after all—and that while he had slept with men before, it seemed more business-like from what Aedan could gather, and he preferred women. So Aedan didn't take any of Zevran's advances seriously, but he still enjoyed the flirtations, found Zevran good company, so he indulged the humor in it. And Aedan felt guilty about satisfying himself to memories of stolen glimpses of Zevran's shamelessly nude form, but the Antivan was truly a work of art. Aedan had honestly never thought of an elf in such terms, and felt guilty for that as well, but he had only lain with one other, who was dead for some months now—pleasing as Dairren had been, it seemed wrong, somehow, to use his memory in such a fashion. So it was Zevran's hands and mouth against him that Aedan fantasized about, Zevran's name whispered with his climax.

Aedan typically took first watch, and it was honestly no surprise the first time he saw Zevran sneaking into Leliana's tent. Strangely enough, he wasn't all that disappointed, either, simply thoughtful on the topic. Their affairs were their own, and none of Aedan's business. His evening watches were spent doing mindless, distracting work, caring for armor or applying kaddis or whatever needed to be done, and he tried to think little about what might be going on in the tent across the fire.

“Ah. For once, I have not missed you. This is good.” Aedan startled, dropping the piece of his own platemail which he'd been oiling the straps on, and Zevran chuckled, sitting down next to him. “You have seemed so very weary of late, my dear Grey Warden. So much more withdrawn than I am used to, and I have begun to wonder where the Warden whose tongue is sharp as his sword has gone. And I have thought about this very carefully—all this fighting and walking is getting to you. Do you know what you need?”

“Soft beds and warm flesh are in short supply in the Brecilian Forest, it seems. So surely you have something else in mind.”

Zevran chuckled again, looking away a moment, mirth reaching his amber eyes, and Aedan felt the laugh running down his spine as much as he heard it. “My thought is this,” Zevran began, looking back to the warrior and smiling suggestively. “We retire to your tent, and I will show you the sort of massage skills one only learns growing up in an Antivan whorehouse.”

“You--what?” Aedan sputtered, and Zevran openly laughed at him.

“Nervous? That hardly fits the mighty Warden. Do not mistake me—I do not mean to belittle you, I am simply surprised!”

“What about Leliana?” Aedan finally managed. “Aren't the two of you involved?”


Laughing again, this time riotously, Zevran tried to speak between peals. “Oh, no, not at all! Leliana is lovely, yes, but neither of us is particularly interested in the other. No, you see, I lied about my skill with with locks, and she has been teaching me privately, so I do not make a fool of myself in front of everyone.”

That made a great deal of sense, and eased some of Aedan's concerns, but inspired entirely new ones. He was one night away from a virgin, and Zevran exceptionally experienced... for all his bluster, Aedan would come off as a fool, and to fail to live up to Zevran's high standards for sex would be an unthinkable embarrassment. “Zevran, I don't know about this....”

Another chuckle, and Zevran said, “What is there to fear, my Grey Warden? You deserve a little fun. However, if you're not of a mind, it is no matter.”

“No,” Aedan breathed, afraid to let go of the chance and afraid to take it. “I'm definitely of a mind. But....”

“But?” Zevran moved a little closer, such that they were almost touching, leaned in, face so temptingly close. “I will be blunt if I must, much as it pains me. I have desired you since my first night in camp, and moreso since, not simply for your body but for that sharp mind of yours. I have often wondered what sort of devious things must go on in there when no one is about to disturb you, what you whisper to the dark.” Zevran laid a hand on Aedan's thigh, smiling at the resulting twitch, the quickening of the Warden's breath. “I confess, I have thought of you, about what you must look like under all that padding and armor, if there are any more of those tattoos, about hearing you call out my name at the height of passion.” Still a little closer, and now Aedan could feel Zevran's breath against his neck, hot in the chill night air, and he wanted that lithe body writhing against him, gasping—but his mouth was too dry, his throat too tight to say as much, and he could only nod.

Zevran kissed him, caught his lips and teased them open with his wicked, marvelous tongue, seemed intent on making a physical interpretation of their frequent duels of wit. But here Aedan was inexperienced, far from his equal, and aside from a fumbling attempt to return that passion he had no idea what to do. Drawing away, Zevran shot him a look of longing from half-lidded eyes, but Aedan caught a flash of confusion there, too. “When your watch is over, I will be in your tent,” the elf said. “And we will finish this.”

The next hour passed in anxiety, nerves overriding his lust. Competence Aedan could claim truthfully or fake in most anything, as his education had been rather broad, but this... he couldn't possibly fool Zevran into thinking he'd had any experience to speak of in matters of the flesh. What was it the Antivan had said? ”My only requirement is that it be done well.” Aedan couldn't help but think the elf would be in for a night of disappointment.

When Alistair relieved him for the second watch Aedan only managed a nod in greeting, still uncertain of finding his voice. Zevran was waiting as promised, stripped to his breeks and kneeling aside the bedroll, golden skin luminous in the light of a single lamp sitting to one side of the tent. Fleeting glimpses were all Aedan had seen, too shamed to openly stare, but the Antivan was every bit as glorious as those glances had led him to believe. Zevran had his share of scars, as expected from someone who had lived as he had, but otherwise his skin was smooth, stretched over taut muscle that promised strength in his touch, his posture easy and almost feline speaking of confidence. For all his flirtations and strange affectations, very little about the elf was at all feminine when unmasked like this.


Zevran was rubbing his hands together as if warming something between them, which made his position almost seem to be one of supplication. “Strip for me,” he purred, and Aedan obeyed, trying to keep his motions smooth, but he knew his nerves had to show through in the slight wavering of his hands. With Aedan finally nude before him Zevran glanced over his body with an appraising, hungry look, a little smile turning the corners of his lips, an expression that stirred heat in Aedan's loins in spite of his nerves. “Lie down,” he ordered. “On your stomach.”

Aedan did as he was told, turning his head to one side to rest his cheek against the crook of his arm, and once he heard Zevran move he felt terribly exposed, his nakedness catching up to him. When Zevran sat astraddle the backs of his thighs Aedan tensed, so when Zevran leaned forward and began working his hands against the muscles of Aedan's shoulders, the elf made a tutting noise. “It is very good that we agreed to start with this,” Zevran said, the promise of laughter audible under his voice. “I think, were I to touch you in a more intimate fashion right now, you might simply snap, like a bowstring drawn too tight.”

After some time Aedan found he could relax into Zevran's touch, the ache and relief of Zevran's work lulling him into complacency, Zevran's manner at once sensual and business-like. Under lessening tension he could appreciate the feeling of Zevran, still in his leather breeks, pressed firmly against Aedan's buttocks in leaning over to massage his back. One spot in particular earned an appreciative moan, and Aedan felt him twitch in response, felt him hardening through the leather, and wasn't at all sure how to feel about being so openly desired.

When Zevran moved away Aedan made a soft noise, high in his throat, reflexive disappointment, because that pressure and desire was arousing like nothing else. Chuckling, with a breathy, “Patience,” Zevran started worked at knots and aches Aedan hadn't been aware of, hands moving deftly and strongly across his legs. By the time Zevran was done Aedan felt weak and boneless, but deliciously so. Fingers worked up the insides of his thighs, finding sensitive flesh Aedan wasn't necessarily aware of possessing, stroking, coming so very near but never quite touching.... Aedan moaned again at the teasing, and Zevran laughed, a deep and sensuous sound.

“There is yet more I could do,” Zevran said, “but it seems you might not abide much more.” Aedan could only nod, surprisingly breathless, and Zevran leaned forward, stretching up across his back to lay a line of kisses down his neck, along his spine, taking advantage of the sensitive flesh there by sucking and licking. Aedan shuddered beneath him, and then Zevran was nudging at one shoulder, encouraging him to roll—Aedan obeyed, as he had in everything else so far.

Watching Zevran shuck himself out of the breeks, leather peeling away like a second skin, like the rind of an especially tempting fruit, fully revealing himself, had two effects. Firstly, Aedan wanted him, missed that hard and sleek body pressed against him, those deft hands over his flesh. Secondly, Aedan thought, this is really happening, and even as he propped himself up on his elbows to get a better look he tensed, trying not to tremble. It felt like fantasy bleeding into reality, like a very vivid dream, and for a moment Aedan hoped it might be, if only so he wouldn't make an idiot of himself.

Zevran returned, kneeling, insinuating a knee between Aedan's thighs and leaning down to kiss him as he straddled Aedan's right thigh, and Aedan felt that slender, long hardness brush against him, his own growing heat and hardness becoming almost unbearable. He wanted Zevran, but had no idea how to go about it. When Zevran drew back, running the tips of his fingers through Aedan's short, coarse hair in a reassuring gesture, smiling softly, he asked, “My dear Warden, are you--”


“No,” Aedan said, before the word could escape his lips. “But I may as well be.”

With a little nod, still smiling, Zevran said, “Then we will stick to the familiar. Kneel with me.” So Aedan sat up, moving to sit on his heels as Zevran did the same. The resulting position had each straddling the other's right thigh, tender flesh pressed against tight, corded muscle. Overreaching himself to the left, Zevran rummaged around for the oil he'd used in his massage, and gave a little, “Ah-hah!” at his own success. When each of them had just enough on his right hand, Zevran tossed the vial aside, then instructed, “Do as I do.”

Those words took a good deal of the fear out of him, knowing that Zevran was comfortable with leading, with teaching—and if Aedan was good at anything, it was learning. Any further hesitance fled when Zevran's hand flexed around him, and Aedan groaned out his relief, earning a smile and a little nip at his neck from Zevran, reminding him to return the favor.

Feeling Zevran's hardness under his own hand was just as stimulating as Zevran's work, and while the elf wasn't particularly vocal he gave other cues, little twitches of his hips and a fluttering of his eyelids, involuntary changes in grip or pace, because Aedan was mirroring his ministrations perfectly. This must be how he satisfies himself, was possibly the most erotic thought of all, that this was a strange sort of shared voyeurism.

Aedan couldn't resist reaching around with his other hand to trace the hard muscles of Zevran's back, pulling him subtly closer, and Zevran returned the gesture, running his off hand down the warrior's spine in a feathery touch, then kneading insistently at the muscles of his flank. With a little gasp Aedan thrust forward, this touch spurring him on, until eventually they were standing on their knees and locked in an embrace, sexes pinned against one another but continuing to work at each other with their hands, and Aedan finally had that perfect, sleek body writhing against him, little breathless gasps in his ear, everything he had wanted and somehow more--he stifled the sounds of his release by leaning forward to nip at Zevran's ear, which drew a sharp, surprised sound from the elf, who buried his face in Aedan's shoulder and followed him into climax.

Aedan reveled in the feeling of Zevran's body pressed close, in the slickness of their shared release trapped between them, and groaned in pleasure, little residual shudders passing over him, at the thought of what that must look like, each of them covered in the other's seed. Of course, Zevran recovered himself first and drew away, so Aedan got a glimpse of it--Maker, that would drive him mad if he weren't already spent.

“We will try something different next time, yes?”

“Next time?” Still caught in the afterglow, Aedan couldn't school his surprise.

“Of course,” Zevran chuckled. “If you wish it. Why would I turn away such an eager and quick student?”

Oh, Maker. But Aedan could only grin dumbly, and nod. Next time.

Practice

Jun. 23rd, 2010 01:43 am
dalishstorm: (Zevran)
Original prompt: M!Cousland needs more love, seriously.

Rough, hard, and fun love, that is.
--------------------------
Zevran slipped into the tent with a devious little smile on his face, one that Aedan knew well by now, and he felt a gathering heat in his groin in response. But beyond that initial glance Aedan pretended to be absorbed in his reading some ancient tome found in the temple of Andraste's Ashes—they would be venturing back up the mountain to take care of the dragon, now that they were resupplied. He could hear Zevran undressing behind him, and made a point of ignoring the elf, even when Zevran knelt behind him, draping his arms over Aedan's shoulders, pressing his warm (and, of course, quite nude) body against the warrior.

“How are the lessons going?” Aedan asked, conversationally—he wanted to see how far he could push this game, which one of them would cave first.

Kissing a line across the sculpted muscle of Aedan's shoulder, Zevran murmured, “Well enough,” into Aedan's skin. “I could show you.”

“Oh?” Intrigued, Aedan turned his head to catch the elf staring at him hungrily. “You know I'm always interested in an academic demonstration.”

Reaching over Aedan's shoulder, Zevran picked up the book on his lap and closed it, carefully setting it aside. He reached around with both arms to trace the hard lines of Aedan's stomach while kissing at the back of his neck, nibbling at the sensitive flesh along the Warden's spine, taking devious pleasure in the strange and surprised sound he earned from the warrior, a sort of “hn” high in the man's throat. When he tweaked a nipple Aedan leaned forward into his touch, simultaneously slouching, trying to reveal more flesh for Zevran to tease with his mouth.

So much for the game, but Aedan wasn't disappointed, honestly. Zevran's hands found his shoulders again, gripped him there for a moment, then slid down his arms to cover his hands. Then Zevran began kissing his way around Aedan's neck, searching for other sensitive spots, and Aedan regretted keeping the lower half of his leathers on, now a restrictive prison, almost painfully tight. Grasping Aedan's wrists, Zevran drew his hands back to settle them on his hips, and Aedan pulled Zevran forward into him a little further. The grip was awkward, but enticing all the same, this apparent need Zevran had to feel Aedan's hands on him.

When cold metal slipped around his wrists Aedan jerked, trying to pull away, but Zevran was quick, had already locked the manacles in place. “Zevran.” Aedan couldn't quell a tinge of panic or a rising anger his voice. “What--”

“Leliana tells me I am in need of more practice,” Zevran purred, leaning up to kiss Aedan's ear, stroking a hand down his back in a soothing gesture. “And I thought to myself, perhaps some inspiration is in order. I can think of little more inspiring than the thought of you at my mercy, unable to influence my pace or touch back, completely at my whim. And since my whim is to please you,” Zevran tugged at the manacles with his off hand, testing their strength, “I see no reason for you to be upset. You trust me, yes?”

“Yes.” But Aedan remained uncertain, his shoulders at an uncomfortable angle from the manacles holding his wrists so close together. In an academic sense he understood that this was Zevran's idea of playful, but it was hard to trust a man who shackled you before playing sweet and coy.

Zevran set about seeking every sensitive spot, every erogenous zone, lingering kisses and swirls of his tongue between Aedan's shoulders, mixing those light touches of his mouth with insistent ones, hands gripping Aedan's shoulders with a sort of need, fingers hungry for the lines of Aedan's muscles while his mouth was passionate and soft. Such a contrast was strange, made Aedan feel almost as if he were being devoured in a sexual sense, frightening and intriguing at once. Those fine, dextrous hands snaked around to tease their way down his stomach to the laces of his leathers, brushing over his recovering hardness (because in spite of his trepidation, Zevran knew just how to make Aedan react), cupping him through the leather with one hand as the other tugged at the laces, and Zevran moved back up to trace the line of Aedan's shoulder with his lips.


“This,” Zevran murmured, nuzzling at the flesh just behind his ear, “is something I have longed to see, this view. Tell me,” Zevran finally freed him from the confines of his leathers, sliding down his small clothes just far enough, and Aedan gasped as long fingers wrapped around his girth, warm flesh a sharp contrast to the chill air, “what do you think of when you take matters into your own hands, so to speak?”

Ever coy with his words, and Aedan smiled—he loved that, someone his equal in word games, and capable of rendering him speechless with a glance and a touch. “You,” Aedan said, and Zevran slowly began working him, setting a leisurely pace.

With a little sound of approval, Zevran asked, “And what of me?”

“Your skin,” Aedan answered, “golden and glistening, tracing those tattoos with my hands, oh, Maker,” as Zevran squeezed just so. “Of feeling you pressed--” he stuttered, because Zevran was quickening his pace, and for a good, long moment Aedan wasn't sure he could force any more words out. “--pressed against me, writhing against me, you--” Groaning, Aedan leaned back, trying to arch his hips up into Zevran's touch, unable to get any real leverage without putting some weight on the elf, and his shackled hands brushed against Zevran's own hardness, but the angle was wrong, he couldn't do more than touch and tease. Zevran slowed, refusing to let Aedan get an advantage between them, and he grit his teeth in frustration, managed, “The only way I'll ever win is to put that wicked tongue of yours to good use. That's what I want.”

Chuckling, Zevran moved around to Aedan's front, pushing him back. It pinned Aedan's hands behind him, put too much weight on his shoulders and arched his back, exerted his muscles in strange ways, but he was strong enough to hold the position for a brief while without really hurting himself. Zevran tugged off the leathers and everything else, finally, then laid himself out against Aedan, pressing their lengths together and kissing his way up to to lay nips and harsh, sucking kissing along Aedan's throat, over the stubble on his chin, hovering over his lips to whisper, voice husky, “Is this what you wanted?” and thrust against the man.

Aedan responded in kind, wordlessly bucking his hips, grinding against Zevran, who chuckled and began working his way down, dragging his toned body over Aedan's length in an inexorable descent, teasing both nipples to hardness with his tongue, tasting the sweat gathering along the lines of Aedan's abdomen, leaving a love bite in the hollow of the Warden's hip, before finally nibbling his way up the bottom of Aedan's hardness, then taking it into his mouth.

This was precisely what he'd fantasized about lately, too nervous to ask it of the more worldly Antivan, the feel of Zevran's mouth sealed around him, that clever tongue working at the bottom of his shaft, the sight of his head bobbing in a pace that was just a little too slow, leading Aedan up to a delicious ache, the growing heat and pressure forming at the base of his spine and the tightness of his skin almost unbearable. Desperately he wanted to reach out, to sweep back Zevran's light hair for a better view, to take a handful of it, to urge Zevran just a little faster, because this felt amazing and torturous at once.


But Aedan had no control, totally at Zevran's mercy, because he could only buck his hips so many times before his shoulders began to give out. He was strong, yes, but unused to working his muscles in such a fashion, and as his climax approached he was shaking with the effort of keeping himself up, keeping the manacles from pressing into his back, from putting overmuch weight down on his hands in such an awkward position. It kept his mind off what Zevran was doing just enough to make this last, and that occurred to him shortly before climax, how calculated and deliberate this was, all toward drawing out his pleasure. He finally came with a long, low groan, spending himself in Zevran's waiting mouth, and as soon as the elf pulled away Aedan rolled onto his side, collapsing in exhaustion—holding himself up in such a position was as strenuous as any battle, but it had been so good, each ache mingling with the ache of anticipation until that long, drawn out sensation had consumed his every muscle, and now the relief was similarly distributed and compounded.

Zevran didn't take his own pleasure right away, but began working at the manacles, taking the quaking of Aedan's shoulders for what it was—he needed to be released from the manacles to keep from doing any injury a quick massage wouldn't cure, and much as that display had inspired an ache, an urgent need, he wanted no harm to come to Aedan, in hopes that they could repeat this or some iteration in the future. Eventually Aedan's muzzy afterglow faded, and he asked, quietly, “Zevran?”

“A moment, my dear Warden.” But he was quickly beginning to fear that the manacles might be beyond him. Inconceivable, as he'd been toying with them all night in Leliana's tent, but now it seemed he couldn't pick them even with his excellent tools and growing skill. Even as his lust began to wane, no longer a distraction, he couldn't unlock the manacles, but persisted, until-- “Joder macho!

“That sounded positive,” Aedan said, tone questing. “Is everything well?”

Closing his eyes, Zevran took a deep, slow breath, and answered, calmly, “I broke a pick.”

“You—you did? Well, you can still get me out, right?” Aedan grinned, gritting his teeth. “Right?

“Given another set of picks and an infinite amount of time, yes.” Sighing, Zevran shook his head. “I am deeply sorry, my dear Warden. I believe Leliana has the key, though—I will go retrieve it from her.” So Zevran tugged his breeks back on and left Aedan there, moments dragging on into a frightfully long silence. His shoulders were really starting to ache.

On hearing the tent flap pulled back he craned his head to look, and saw Leliana in time to hear her giggle. “No,” he moaned, and buried his face in the bed roll, trying to pretend this wasn't happening.

“This sort of thing happens to everyone at some point,” Leliana said, but he could still hear the laughter under he voice. “Well, everyone worth knowing.”

“I'm not everyone,” Aedan growled. “Zevran, why did I let you talk me into this?”

And by the little smiles and giggles Leliana directed his way the next day, Morrigan's superior and mocking look, Wynne's extra disapproval, and the way Alistair pointedly avoided looking at either Aedan or Zevran, word had gotten around.
dalishstorm: (Zevran)
Original prompt: Zevran/Mage!PC awkward vanilla sex

PC was abused in the Tower (can be by either/both mages and Templars) and this is his/her first experience with sex that is remotely consensual/normal.
--------------------------------
The Warden was a maddening creature. Sleek, confident, with a presence that more than made up for his race and size and apparent frailty. No one seemed to notice his ears, or to truly look down on him as soon as he began speaking in his rich tenor. They saw only mage, and Grey Warden. He was commanding, handsome even in his delicate build, intelligent and quick-witted. And maddening, because nothing Zevran said or did could perturb him like the other companions. Neirin responded to every flirtation and barb with his own sharp tongue, always smiling.

And sympathetic. He asked all the right questions to work his way under Zevran's defenses, listened to every word with a soft smile and gentle understanding, never pity. Just once, Zevran wanted him to react in some other fashion, be openly disgusted or to laugh in Zevran's face at his weakness so that Neirin would seem normal by Zevran's standards, but it never happened.

Neirin sat with him on watches sometimes, and tonight was such a night. Their easy banter had fallen to a comfortable silence, Neirin staring into the fire with a faint, amused smile lingering from some joke or other Zevran could no longer really remember. Firelight made the sweeping tattoo across Neirin's face dance, gave his pale skin a little more color, turned his vivid blue eyes a strange shade and honeyed his light hair. Like this the Warden seemed more mortal, more approachable, and a little spark of lust tinged these strange emotions, made Zevran decide it was the right time.

Settling a hand on Neirin's shoulder, Zevran noted briefly the surprised flinch, but Neirin turned as he'd hoped. “Zev?”

Zevran didn't hesitate, leaning across the distance to kiss him, the hand on Neirin's shoulder sliding down to trace the fine muscles of his arm. When Neirin stiffened, uncertain, Zevran tightened his grip just a little, made this kiss more urgent, trying to more properly demonstrate his desire for the Warden. Neirin's lips parted to allow him entrance, so Zevran deepened the kiss, I will show you what you do to me, I must make you understand, must know if you feel the same--

But Neirin was suddenly fighting, pushing him away, and Zevran had to let go. Neirin stood abruptly, backing away, pale as fresh linen and shaking, eyes wide and lost. The mage tried to speak, mouth working around the words, but no sound came except, “You—I--”

And he bolted like a terrified halla, gone so quickly that Zevran wondered for an instant if he'd been there at all, sitting by the fire and trading witty little barbs and snatches of armchair philosophy all night.

The next day Neirin behaved normally, but Zevran was beginning to put together the pieces. Neirin was oh so careful about avoiding physical contact, even when injured, but subtle about it, so subtle even Zevran only noticed it in hindsight. Any serious discussion of physical intimacy shut him up almost immediately. And Zevran could not recall seeing the mage even partially nude, which struck him as very odd for so confident a man, and for their situation.

He didn't like the scenario this was forming one bit, so when he cornered the elder mage during their travels Zevran asked, “My dear Wynne, I have a question, if I may.”

Scowling down her nose at him, clearly expecting some trap, she said, “So long as it does not involve my bosom, I suppose I may attempt to answer.”

“Our Warden,” Zevran said, nodding to the elf, who was having some heated discussion with Morrigan at the head of their column, Alistair at his other side looking distinctly bored, “did he have many lovers in the Tower?”

“None that I am aware of,” Wynne said. “But he was always a quiet, bookish thing, painfully shy. I don't know where he found all this confidence, but it makes me happy to see him so full of life.”

Which told him very little, really, neither confirming nor denying his suspicions. And they were suspicions Zevran was loathe to test. So things continued as if nothing had happened at all, until Zevran made his proposition one night.


Neirin's smile slipped away when he asked, “Are you saying what I think you're saying?”

“If you are asking if it will go beyond a massage, well, let's just say you won't be disappointed with any of the techniques I've picked up over the years.” Zevran punctuated the line with a grin, realizing it wasn't his wittiest ever, but he felt it would serve best here.

“No.” Immediate, and Neirin seemed pale again, eyes dark. “This can't happen. Ever.”

For the next few days Neirin seemed a little more quarrelsome, and all their companions shot nasty glares at Zevran, making assumptions that he did nothing to discourage. But Zevran was frustrated with the other elf, confused, uncertain about what he should do or how he should behave now that he'd been rejected and Neirin seemed distant.

Oddly enough, it was Shale who broke the silence between them. “It seems the Painted Elf seeks the attentions of the Grey Warden.”

Unable to contain a grin, Zevran glanced at Neirin leading them, that heavy braid swaying as he walked, the staff across his back all but dwarfing the small man, and marveled for a moment at the contradiction he presented—larger than life, a walking myth, and a puzzle Zevran was determined to figure out. “Indeed he does,” Zevran quipped, smiling foolishly. The thought of Neirin did weird things to him, uncomfortable emotional things, but try as he might he couldn't contain it sometimes.

Some of the swagger came back into Neirin's step after that conversation, and everything fell back into place. Awkward at first, but soon they were spending their watches by the fire together again in easy company. Zevran didn't press the matter, though it was to thoughts of Neirin he satisfied himself in the lonely hours of the night.

After meeting Ignacio in Denerim, telling Neirin about Rinna was a risk he had to take. The man was already skittish in matters of intimacy, and if Taliesen should suddenly appear as Ignacio implied he might, the other Crow's very presence might ruin what little progress they had made. It was a small thing, a silly thing to care about, but Neirin didn't shirk from a simple hand on his forearm, or from careless touches, any more, and at least it was something. It was more than the mage allowed anyone else.

And Neirin listened to him in the firelight with his usual understanding, taking Zevran's story in quietly, only prompting or asking questions when it seemed necessary. At the end Neirin said, “Thank you for trusting me with this, Zevran.”

They sat in silence for a little while before Neirin spoke, facing the fire. “I suppose I owe you something in return.”

“You owe me nothing, my dear Grey Warden.”

“An explanation,” Neirin continued as if Zevran hadn't spoken at all. “I've been cruel to you, in a way. You should know... I do want you. You're the first person to elicit such a response in me. Ever. I had thought that part of my heart and body long dead, buried for my own safety. But here you are.”

“Neirin--”

The other elf silenced him by holding up one slender hand, then lowering it to grasp Zevran's near hand, twining their fingers together. Zevran had never realized quite how thin and fragile the bones seemed. Still, though, Neirin stared into the fire, refusing, unable to look at him. “I was caught reading some forbidden tomes by an older apprentice when I was about thirteen—I don't know my exact age, so I can't say for certain. She promised to keep silent if I served her around my lessons. So I did. At first it was simple things, doing research for her, chores, all the minutia someone about to become a full Circle Mage would find tedious. After her Harrowing, the tasks became more illicit, more dangerous... she was involved in lyrium trade with the Templars, one of the dealers for them, and had me conduct the more dangerous parts of the transactions. I didn't go to anyone because I was terrified of her—she manufactured some proof against me as a blood mage, and used it to keep me in her service. Of course, if I'd known any blood magic, I would've used it to free myself from her grasp.”


Neirin grew quiet for a moment, and his grip tightened almost painfully in Zevran's hand. But Zevran said nothing—he had suspicions about where this was going, and the look in Neirin's eyes told him for lost again.

“She started offering me for favors. I was young, but I looked younger, because I was so small. At first, just other mages, and it was bad, but it wasn't—it wasn't like the Templars. The mages, they just wanted someone smooth-skinned and young. The Templars wanted a mage to punish.” Neirin's voice grew quiet and dark, thick with emotion, and Zevran caught sight of a few tears glittering in the firelight. I have been somewhere similar, he wanted to say, but he didn't dare speak or move, afraid of startling Neirin. “I was more afraid of being labeled a blood mage, though. I was more afraid of losing my place in the Circle. I wasn't afraid of dying, but I was terrified of being thrown out, of going to Aeonar or being made Tranquil. My body wasn't my own, but at least my mind was, and at least I could still feel. Not that the thought of becoming Tranquil wasn't tempting at times. I almost went to Irving to beg for it once, but she made sure I couldn't get away. It stopped when I made friends with Jowan. She tried to get rid of him, but she couldn't shake him, and that meant someone was around to wonder where I was at night, someone who was close enough that I couldn't hide the injuries from them.”

Silence fell between them again, just the crackling fire and the night sounds and the pressure of Neirin's hand. When Neirin finally turned to look at Zevran, he was smiling through silent tears. “I've never told anyone, because I was ashamed. I've always thought, if I had been stronger, it would never have happened. That it was my fault, somehow. I know... I know that similar things must have happened to you in your life, and here you are, strong and more or less whole in spite of it. That gives me hope. Thank you, for listening.”

“Thank you,” Zevran said, giving Neirin's hand a little squeeze back, “for your trust. I understand why you would be hesitant, and I will ask no more of you than you are willing to give.”

“That's just it, Zevran. I'm tired of this. Of being afraid every time you touch me, of being unable to—to even--Maker, I can't even talk about it.” Neirin covered his face with his free hand, groaning out his frustration. “I can't even touch myself without seizing up. Do you know what that's like? Andraste's Ass, I'm a man, and men have urges, but it feels so wrong. I want you. I want you to help me.” The hand over his face fell to his lap.

Zevran let his voice slink a little deeper, let his words roll out seductive, “What do you desire of me?”

When Neirin shuddered this time, it didn't seem to be in fear or revulsion. “I want you to—to make love to me.” As he said it Neirin grimaced, as if the words were distasteful. “I know I'm not supposed to feel this way about it. I want you to show me why. Tonight. I can't take this any more.”

And now Zevran's mind was racing. He wasn't sure how to deal with someone so clearly damaged, not in bed, at least. No one had ever extended him any gentleness or concern in such matters, but certainly he had made love in a romantic sense to marks before. “Leliana should be taking over for us soon,” Zevran said. “Until then, would you permit me to hold you?”

Momentarily Neirin stiffened, almost pulling his hand away, before relaxing and hesitantly leaning into Zevran. Zevran disentangled their fingers and wrapped an arm around Neirin's shoulders, taking that near hand up again with his other and stroking the back of it soothingly. After a while of this Neirin sighed, relaxed further into him, even going so far as to bury his face in the crook of Zevran's neck, nuzzling him experimentally. The Warden's motions were still awkward and jerky, but it seemed more our of unfamiliarity than fear.


When Leliana came to relieve them Zevran had abandoned Neirin's hand to make the same sort of motions along one thigh, and Neirin had looped an arm around his lower back. He was growing more comfortable with simple touch, but Zevran doubted the elf could go all the way, so to speak, in one night. But they would certainly try.

Leliana's only comment was a soft smile, a knowing glance to Zevran—he trusted she'd be discrete about this, so as not to embarrass the Warden later. So Zevran led him away to the Warden's own tent, stopping briefly for a most necessary item. Neirin didn't question.

He didn't encourage Neirin to lay back, but instead had the man stay on his knees once in the tent, standing before him in a like stance, kissing and caressing softly. Neirin fumbled to return the touches, but that effort alone pleased Zevran. He had expected many things from the Warden, but not trust like this. It became harder and harder to ignore his growing regard for the Warden, knowing now that it was almost certainly reciprocated.

That made it easier to be sweet and gentle, things he wasn't used to. Of course, Neirin was a terrible kisser, and Zevran wondered briefly if he'd ever been kissed at all, but it didn't really matter all that much. Zevran was more interested in instilling enough desire in Neirin that he could maybe forget for a moment, to make him feel wanted. Laying a trail of kisses up Neirin's neck, pausing to murmur, “I have desired you since my first night with the group,” catching the lobe of the other elf's ear between his teeth and softly nibbling his way up, caused Neirin to gasp and push against him, shuddering violently, and then to make a little choking sound. Zevran pulled away to find silent tears again, Neirin's eyes wide with some unreadable emotion.

“Do you want me to stop?” Zevran asked, cupping Neirin's cheek with one hand and stroking away the tears with a thumb.

“No,” he stammered. “Zev. I—I don't want you to stop. I....” Pausing, he closed his eyes, took a shaky breath. “I want to be so full of you there's no room for anything else, if only for a little while. No responsibilities, no memories, no pain. Just you.”

So Zevran dove right back in, worshiping Neirin with hands and lips, slowly working the robes off of him, occasionally pausing to discard something of his own. Neirin tried to return the motions, until Zevran stilled his hands by covering them with his own. “This is about you, Neirin.” Saying the Warden's name felt strange, but somehow right. “There will be time for that later.”

By the time they were both divested of their clothing Neirin had no tears left, but he shook slightly, still unnerved by the contact but clearly wanting more by the flush to his pale skin and his lusty gasps, and his clear arousal. Fear sparked behind his eyes at Zevran's size, but Zevran redirected his gaze with a hand on Neirin's chin, forcing him to make eye contact. “I assure you, that is one weapon I am most skilled with.”

The jest earned a small, nervous smile, and Zevran urged him to lay back with gentle pressure on the elf's shoulders. Underneath those robes he was so pale, so slim, so finely boned, marked by a few small scars in discrete places—it would be easy for someone to hurt him. Zevran had no interest in tracing those scars or adding to them, though, felt no need to add to the marks left by previous men and women. This wasn't a claiming or a conquest, after all. So Zevran focused on the natural lines of Neirin's body, tracing down the light muscles of his chest and abdomen with fingertips, stroking his hardness briefly, and Neirin gasp harshly and arched up into his touch.

Zevran gave him a moment to recover, and asked, “Are you certain this is what you want?”

Closing his eyes and swallowing harshly, Neirin nodded. “Don't ask me again.”


Zevran moved away just long enough slick both hands with the oil retrieved from his tent, and one he wrapped around Neirin's erection, stroking him slowly, with no intention to bring the mage to climax yet, only to relax him. Still, when he touched Neirin's entrance with a slick finger, the smaller elf tensed, tried to pull away with a fearful noise, but Zevran shushed him, murmured soft encouragement. For a long while Zevran simply stroked, circling the ring of muscle there, gentle touches, until Neirin relaxed enough to allow a single finger.

Zevran kept going slowly, working up to a second before he went searching, trying to acquaint himself with Neirin's body, fond the spot he was looking for—and Neirin made the strangest face, a weird, strangled noise. “What--” Zevran pressed again, curling his fingers, and Neirin threw his head back, moaning. Once Neirin was properly stretched and clearly enjoying himself, Zevran laid a kiss against Neirin's lips, and this time the other man responded enthusiastically. Neirin made a little sound of discomfort as Zevran finally slid into him, but didn't draw away from the kiss, only shuddered a little.

They took it slow, Zevran giving Neirin time to adjust, and once Neirin nodded for him to continue Zevran sat a comfortable pace. He kept one hand working at Neirin's hardness, matching that pace, and leaned down to continue kissing and whispering soft encouragement. When Zevran adjusted his aim to strike at the spot, Neirin gasped in surprise, as if he hadn't expected it again, and wrapped his arms around Zevran, arching into him and eventually responding to his thrusts with a like motion. As he drew closer Neirin's soft pants and sighs became little moans, and he even wrapped his legs around Zevran. Zevran had to readjust for the change in position, but Neirin's enthusiasm encouraged him—he urged Neirin to sit up with him, such that Zevran was kneeling and Neirin straddling him. It gave the smaller elf a little more control, was a less submissive position.

After so long unsatisfied Neirin had little stamina, but he came beautifully, tossing his head back and sliding himself fully onto Zevran, spilling himself between them, crying out his orgasm in a sound so intensely sensual that the sound alone nearly undid Zevran. Zevran followed, emptying himself into the smaller elf as Neirin sagged against him, burying his face in Zevran's shoulder.

They remained like that for a while, Neirin clinging to him desperately, until Neirin's shoulders began to shake and he gave a quickly-stifled sob. “I had no idea,” he moaned into Zevran's shoulder. “No idea it was supposed to be like that. Maker. Thank you, Zev.”

Zevran curled around Neirin to lay a kiss in his hair. “Thank you, Neirin. You were everything I had hoped you would be, and more.”

Temptation

Jun. 23rd, 2010 01:56 am
dalishstorm: (Zevran)
Original prompt: Unbelievably horny sex-deprived Zevran is tempted in Antiva during Awakenings; but he's faithful and wanks to m!Surana instead.
-----------------------

It had been surprising at first, to find allies in the Crows. Zevran had expected to be alone against the nation, his work grim and dirty—and that it was, lonely and hard work, but eased by the help. None of them knew how to be comrades, really, but they'd grown a strange sort of loyalty to each other, as men and women who are thrown together in desperation do.

This one was barely an adult, a young Crow whose Master had been Zevran's first target. The younger elf had followed him, thankful, looking for guidance and sympathy. Zevran refused to offer the latter, but the former—when the Crow had spilled his story, of being sold to the Crows after his loving parents were taken by plague and he was caught stealing--Zevran took him on as his first ally.

The Master had clearly used him for his youthful appearance, kept him hungry to keep him small, and had very specific tastes. The blacking washed out of his hair had revealed it to be a rather striking shade of red, very familiar, and his eyes were the wrong color, but it was close, so very close--

Zevran endured, and as they acquired more allies the younger Crow filled out and looked less a boy and more a man. But the younger Crow made no secret of his attraction, his desire for their “Master” (because that was what they became, the four of them, a Crow Cell with Zevran as Master). It finally came to a head after a painstaking month of information gathering as they stood in the Guild Leader's office, her still-warm body slumped across the desk, hand wrapped around a dagger in her aborted attempt at self-defense. Zevran's appearance had been too sudden, his strike too swift, and her allies already dead.

In giddy elation the younger Crow kissed him, and then they were against a wall, blood-slicked and sweat-soaked from what had amounted to butchers' work, each keeping a weapon in hand just in case, the other roaming free to touch and explore. For Zevran, more than anything it was that hair, how slender the other elf still was, and for a moment he could pretend it was his Warden, his dear mage. Nibbling his way up the younger Crow's ear to the delicate tip he could pretend, even if it wasn't quite the right shape, just a little too stunted—at least, until the younger Crow laughed. “I would never have pegged you for a soft touch.”

Zevran shoved him hard against the wall, and left him there confused and wanting.


~*~
Zevran almost didn't bother cleaning up that night. Things were more or less done, and for the first time since the drawn out bloodbath had begun he felt purposeless, unmoored, adrift—there seemed little point. Tomorrow he would decide what to do with the Crows, now that he was....

He opted for a luxurious bath to wash away the blood, rather than facing those thoughts in the dark. The Guild Leader's country villa was at least well appointed, and the servants understood who they worked for—slaves, Zevran surmised but he simply couldn't bring himself to care about their state amidst his own—so they scraped and bowed to the elf who was clearly their new master, at least for the time being. And they fled, terrified, to give him his peace.

The kill had been too clean to be satisfying beyond a smug assessment of his own skills, and now that he had slaked his blood lust on the Crows, what now? Once disrobed and in the bath he dunked his head before working at the blood in his hair, scrubbing and scratching so vigorously that his scalp began to tingle, and it mirrored the sudden violence of his thoughts. This made him leader, of a sorts. That meant responsibility. And change. He could mold the Crows to his own liking.

He worked quickly, and the blood dissipated, so the water was still quite warm when he finished, and with a sigh Zevran relaxed, letting the heat soak into his tense muscles. Leaning back, he closed his eyes.

The younger Crow was waiting for him there in the darkness behind his eyelids, pressed against the wall, writhing beneath him, warm mouth yielding to him, and that red hair twined in his fingers. But it wasn't the Crow, not really, but the Warden, and instead of that outburst laughing good naturedly and sighing contentedly when Zevran's lips found his ear.

That ache of earlier returned, and Zevran indulged, running a hand down slowly, teasingly, before taking himself in hand. If he went back, would the Warden welcome him? He had left with no warning, no explanation, and couldn't be certain the one letter he'd sent had arrived safely. A weakness, that—it could've been intercepted by Crows, and they might even had sent a detachment out to finish the contract on the Warden just to strike a blow at Zevran himself. Not that the Warden would be in danger from any Crow, but those around him could be, his new Grey Wardens and his Arling.

No, surely the Warden would welcome him back eagerly. He could imagine it now, the Warden's shocked expression shifting quickly to elation, rushing to embrace him—for the his little mage wasn't at all afraid of such displays—burying his face in Zevran's shoulder, maybe hiding a tear or two there while Zevran whispered his apologies and his promises to stay this time, reminded the Warden just what he meant to Zevran. That was what they had wanted after all, wasn't it? A new start, away from both the Circle and the Crows? They could have it now, perhaps trapped in Amaranthine, but different, together.


And that night, or perhaps sooner, with the road dust washed away, they would tumble into bed together, both eager to reacquaint themselves with each other's bodies—Zevran groaned, truly hard now at the thought of the Warden being too eager for any sweetness in that moment of physical reunion, to the idea of the Warden riding him instead, that tight heat around him, head tossed back and lips parted in a voiceless moan, pale body jerking to meet every thrust and needy cock bobbing with the motion.

Reaffirming his own grip, Zevran imagined reaching out for the Warden's neglected hardness, and began working his own as if it were the Warden's, and in this fantasy he imagined the Warden shifting his hips to improve Zevran's aim, finally voicing that moan in soft pants, sweat gleaming on his skin and a single bead, long in forming, finally rolling down the lines of his stomach. Maker, but the Warden was amazing, especially like this. These moments of abandon, when it may as well just be the two of them in existence, and this thrusting motion building momentum rolling on to a shattering climax--

In this fantasy, the Warden came beautifully, spending himself across Zevran's hand and stomach, clenching tight around him, driving himself all the way down, and the combination of sensations and sights was simply too much for Zevran, finishing himself in the Warden—finishing himself off in the cooling bath, those last vestiges of warmth in the water just enough to help with the illusion of being buried in the Warden.

And that settled it: back to Ferelden.

Misfire #1

Jun. 23rd, 2010 01:57 am
dalishstorm: (Zevran)
"'Twas an accident of sorts." Morrigan nodded slightly for emphasis, and spoke as if this were perfectly normal conversation for adults to have. "I am a mage, you see, and these things do happen when one is sufficiently... distracted, shall we say."

"Maker's breath." Alistair had already flushed to the very tips of his ears, which was honestly the only reason she'd given so much detail in the first place. He couldn't very well run away at the moment, and seeing him blushing and shaking so was worth Zevran's leer across the fire and Leliana's barely-contained giggles.

Aedan, standing behind Morrigan's shoulder with arms crossed, smiled, gave a soft snort of a laugh and a little roll of one shoulder. "What can I say? It's a talent, the effect I have on women."

"I must admit, my Grey Warden, this is something even I cannot claim. To have a mage so thoroughly enraptured she loses control and incinerates her own underthings?" Zevran leaned forward, grinning, and with a flick of his eyes to Alistair was clearly enjoying the not-quite-Templar's discomfort as well. "I scarcely believe what I have heard. I believe a demonstration is in order."

Aedan quirked an eyebrow at that, raised his chin in Zevran's direction, as if acknowledging a challenge. Looking down to his lover, he asked, "Morrigan?"

"I would most certainly not object to a repeat performance. And an appreciative audience could be most enjoyable."

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