Jul. 18th, 2010

dalishstorm: (Zevran)
Original prompt: Zevran/M!Warden.

Neither are great at talking about their feelings [for each other]. They would rather use different words and leave it to the other to interpret and are better at showing it than...saying it.

OP would like to see a situation where they have to, for whatever reason, overcome that uneasiness and talk. Fluff and reluctance-to-talk-about-feelings and h/c maybe?

...and then I guess they could get past the awkward moment and skip right to the steamy bits. Yep.

---------------
Fort Drakon had been unkind to Neirin. They all knew the story by now: Loghain wanted a confession out of the de facto Warden Commander, that the battle at Ostagar had been planned to lead Cailan astray, and now they sought to undermine Fereldan sovereignty, inciting rebellion and raising an effectively foreign army right within their borders.

Their attempts to wring these lies from Neirin were written in his skin, in welts and burns, in his crushed right wrist and his dislocated shoulders, written over the evidence of his thorough trouncing at Cauthrien's hands, the cracked and broken ribs from her shield and the eye swollen shut, all manner of disconcerting colors in the bruising, the one Wynne still wasn't sure she could save. And that angered him, the thought of Neirin marked in a way they could not cover up and forget, so he pressed Wynne on how unacceptable it would be for Neirin to lose the eye, that she must try harder or find a better healer.

Worst, of course, was the mark written across Neirin's heart. They'd done nothing sexual to him, but the memories were already there, the pain and the helplessness. Any sleep that was no magic or drug induced was far from restful, a smattering of taint-fueled dreams and those where his life in the Tower was slowly merging with what had happened in Drakon, and from his deluded mutterings everyone knew Neirin's business, now.

And Zevran had rejected him. That was his chief concern, watching Neirin doze quietly in a drugged state, clean white bandages far from stark against his pale skin, small and frail amidst the human-sized bed at Eamon's estate--Neirin had finally propositioned him instead of the other way around, blushing and eager, had pleaded most convincingly for his touch. But Zevran had turned him away, and when Neirin questioned had snapped, pushed him away.

So now he sat at Neirin's bedside—they took it in shifts, so someone was always with him in case he woke or needed help—unable to tear his eyes away from the heavy bandage over one eye or the bandages peeking over the covers, the bruises on his shoulders so large he could see the very edges of them curling up around Neirin's neck, hideously dark for the mage's snow-pale skin. What if that had been the very last they knew of each other? If Neirin had died? He had been afraid, before, of being too attached, but now he was terrified by what could have been.

Towards the end of his shift watching Neirin roused, murmured sleepily, “Zevran?” He sounded surprised.

Si, I am here.” Zevran sat a little further forward in his chair, leaning towards Neirin. “How do you feel this time?”

You're here,” was all he managed, a soft whisper. “I thought I was dreaming. That I had dreamt you—that I was back in the Tower and all of this—you could still be a dream.”

With a gentle smile Zevran reached for Neirin's undamaged hand, took it up in his. “I assure you, I am quite real.” Though the smile came easy, such talk frightened him. The very last thing they needed, he needed, was a Warden unhinged.

“I know, I know.” Neirin looked away briefly. “A dream would not have turned me away.” Zevran could only stare dumbly, startled by the forward manner and the dry acceptance in Neirin's voice. When he heard no protests, Neirin looked back, met Zevran's gaze, and tried to explain. “What you've done for me is more than I thought I would ever have. I don't feel guilty any more, I don't hate that part of myself that lusts, don't feel like I need to bury it any more, and I'm grateful. You've made me whole. How could I not fall in love with you? I know you're used to a very different sort of lover, but you made those exceptions for me, and I... well, I took it too far, clearly, wanted too much. More than you can give. I know the part of you that loves is hurt as badly as I was, but I don't know how to help you, and I realize now it was presumptuous of me to assume--” the mage's voice hitched briefly, but he issue no tears, “--to assume that I could help you, that if I healed that wound you might love me back. I am sorry I can't help you, sorry I expected more, and you were right to turn me away.”

All this was too much, and he started, “Neirin, please--” uncertain of what he meant to say.

Neirin shushed him, smiling a little. “I've had a lot of time to think about this. It would please me if you stayed to see the Blight through, but you're free now, with Taliesen gone. I free you of any obligations to me, then, including those of the flesh, and if you wish to leave and seek your own way, I won't protest. That's your right. You've already been more help than any simple blade would have been.”

Overcome with a need to shut Neirin up Zevran leaned forward, laid a soft, chaste kiss against his lips, but Neirin turned away from it after no more than a brush, frowning. “You don't have to do that,” Neirin muttered. “I don't need your pity.”

Zevran settled down on the bed this time, close to Neirin, legs drawn up so he could turn on the bed and face the smaller elf, still clutching Neirin's undamaged hand. “I am no good at this, my dear Warden. At words. I only know how to speak with my body. I was confused, yes, when I turned you away, but I have had some time to think as well while you were gone and while you were sleeping. And what if you had died?” Shaking his head, Zevran looked away, unable to meet Neirin's impassive gaze. “I would have regretted those words that passed between us for the rest of my life. I realize now that I have been trying to say it to you all along, in the way I make love to you, and with the earring, but I am a fumbling idiot and you are so very dense in spite of your silver tongue.” Zevran looked back now, found Neirin's one good eye wide with shock. “I--You mean more--” Zevran swore, covering his face with his free hand, groaned in exasperation. “I cannot say it.”

Please,” Neirin whispered, and when Zevran looked he was just as small and frail and weak as he seemed, trembling and wounded. “Please say it. I know it hurts you, but please.”

So Zevran leaned in, tangling his hands in Neirin's hair, kissed him softly on the lips, moved back down to his jaw, up his ear, because this gentle passion made it easier to whisper--in Antivan, of course, because it was still too hard in Fereldan--”You are everything to me, Neirin. A new beginning, life and death, the innocence neither of us ever had, and I--” He paused, nearly choked on the words, because a lifetime of being told it was wrong was still so hard to break. Zevran realized Neirin was silently weeping, for he'd understood the tone if not the words, and in a moment of exultant defiance Zevran managed, in Fereldan, “I love you. The scars will never leave us, but we have healed each other, made each other whole. How could we not love each other after all this?”

They kissed more deeply, and Zevran still tasted a faint hint of copper in Neirin's mouth, but pushed it to the back of his mind, focusing on the motions and the texture. Neirin still fumbled in this, but he was improving, and there was more emotion in this kiss than Zevran had ever known, a shared proclamation without words. Parting left Neirin breathless, and Zevran began kissing his way around to one of Neirin's ears, giving it gentle attention while Neirin gasped beneath him. One hand tangled in the mage's unbound hair, and the other traveled low, pushing the covers aside and trailing down his abdomen, skipping lightly over the bandages holding Neirin's chest together, across the smooth, taut skin of his stomach, dipping beneath the waist of his soft linen trousers to tangle in the curls down there, to fondle his half-hard need to something a little more urgent. He squeezed gently, stroked with just his fingers, kissed his way back down Neirin's ear to his neck, sucking at each familiar sensitive place until it reddened, teasing the darkened flesh with his tongue, and Neirin responded as expected, hardening in his hand with a soft moan, rubbing against Zevran's grip. But he fell back with an obvious wince, breath catching.

“Hurts,” Neirin whispered, voice husky. “I can't get enough breath, can't move around my ribs.”

“Another time, then?” Zevran asked, keeping the disappointment from his voice, only mirth. He was, after all, terribly pleased with this turn of events, even if Neirin couldn't engage in any celebratory activities, and drew back up to a sitting position. Neirin only nodded, trying to calm himself with shallow breaths, clearly still in some pain. “I still have the earring, you know. I want you to have it.”

“My ears aren't pierced,” Neirin said flatly. “And that sounds like a proposal.”

“Only if you wish it.” Zevran made no effort to contain his surprise and his hope at the suggestion.

“When I'm well,” Neirin said, “we'll have to pierce one ear. I think I'd like that, to wear your mark--we'll have to find something for you, though.”

“A tattoo, of course.” Zevran smiled impishly. “Your mark of choice on me. Across one ass cheek. A brand of ownership, of sorts.”

Neirin smiled, feigning a little disgust. “You only say that because it's the only place you haven't inked already.”

“Oh? There is somewhere more appropriate yet untouched.” At Neirin's open shock and revulsion, Zevran grinned widely. “It is not unheard of.”

“I think perhaps not,” Neirin said, settling into the pillows and soft bed. A contented smile broke over his face. “Maker's breath, Zev, you're perfect. I'm lucky--I love you. I hope you know that now.”

Si, amore. I know.”

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January 2013

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