Dec. 8th, 2010

dalishstorm: (Cadryn Amell)
Zevran is cold. The Warden decides to help him warm up by sharing body heat. Whether the Warden's intentions are plantonic or he's using it as a flimsy excuse to sex Zev is entirely up to you, anon.
...And yes, I did say 'he'. Not fussy on what the Warden is, just on the fact that he's male. Any takers?
--------
Zevran felt foolish, bundled up as he was in borrowed winter gear, a piece here and a piece there from others amongst their little group, but he'd learned his lesson on the way up. The scarf and the coat were Cadryn's, at least, which meant the coat was too long but comfortably so (it helped cut the wind) and wide enough that Zevran could probably wear his armor underneath. And he felt no guilt over taking such things from the Warden—Cadryn had gone out of his way to make it very clear there would be no arguing.

They walked single file, Sten in front and breaking a path through the deep, fresh snow. On top it was a finger's depth of fine, soft powder, and beneath that an old crust and heavy packed snow. They were foolish, of course, for traveling up into the Frostbacks so close to winter, and had taken too long in the Deep Roads. Zevran took up the rear, behind Wynne and Oghren, chiefly because the Warden had confided in him that he didn't trust the dwarf to be sober enough to hold his place in a fight, and partly because, well, he felt ridiculous, dressed as he was and still cold, and didn't want to feel the eyes of the others upon him. Vanity, but necessary in his mind.

The deep snow slowed their progress and as afternoon drew on the wind picked up. With nowhere near to make camp they had to press on, until the wind howled like like hungry wolves and the soft snow bit at exposed skin like fairy-sized knives, and when he reached out to grab the back of Oghren's coat Zevran lost sight of his own hand in the swirling wall of white.

And after a few more steps he even lost Sten's path, finding only knee-deep snow. Zevran knew nothing about cold weather, only that he needed to find shelter from the wind and should likely wait for the others to find him.

He found a fair-sized boulder to huddle behind, scooping out the snow when it swirled around the sides and threatened to bury him, and heard only that terrible howling in the wind, starving wolves—darkness drew on, white snow turning gray with the failing light, and Zevran was suddenly young again, maybe twelve at the oldest, huddling soaked and alone in the forest while he looked for the Dalish, wolves howling in the distance, tired to death but too frightened to sleep.

Warm hands sliding in under the hood of Cadryn's coat to cup his face, fingers at his throat feeling for a pulse, woke him from either a doze or a daze. Zevran groped for a dagger, but his fingers were too stiff, curled into his armpits for warmth as they'd been for—well, he wasn't sure how long. It was full dark, and the wind still howled.

“It's just me.” Zevran couldn't see him in the dark, but he knew Cadryn's voice, rich and deep and this close carrying over the wind. “Let's get you somewhere warm.”

Cadryn helped Zevran up to his feet, but the assassin had clearly been sitting too long, and his knees simply buckled. Zevran still had enough wits about him to feel doubly foolish when Cadryn hauled him up, insubstantial for a moment, and carried the smaller man against his side, like an adult might a child. But it meant that Cadryn's body was sheltering him from the worst of the wind, and he shamelessly snuggled into the warmth, burying his face against Cadryn's neck.

He was only dimly aware of Cassius joining them, leaping through the snow as if he were having the time of his life, stopping only occasionally to sniff the air. At some point Cadryn spoke to him, but he couldn't hear over the wind now, and was honestly too tired to care now that he had some measure of safety and warmth. Foolish, by his training, but a deeper instinct spoke now. Zevran decided to struggle against his weariness to try and keep from being too much of a burden, but knew the Warden would take care of him.

“Looks like Cassius has found us something closer,” Zevran caught, and the Warden shifted his hold, insubstantial again for a moment while he opened a door with his other shoulder, breaking the wood around the lock and swinging the door open violently. Snow blew in around them in a great gust, and Cadryn had to lean his weight against the door to shut it against the wind. Cassius followed suit, winding in around Cadryn's legs to push himself against it, long enough for Cadryn to set Zevran aside and brace the door with some heavy piece of furniture. Now that they were out of the white-out Zevran could see the little spell wisp hovering over Cadryn's shoulder, and the ghostly green light cast across the room only made it seem colder.

He drifted for a little while, left sitting against a wall, finally shivering again and just noticing that the snow had soaked through the thick leather of Cadryn's coat. Cadryn left him there, the spell wisp following and illuminating the little hovel in small sections. The wind rattled through stout shutters somewhere, whistled through a chimney, but the howling was distant, locked outside. While Cadryn went searching for something, Cassius pushed himself up next to Zevran, laying his head in Zevran's lap, hot breath and the warmth of the mabari's body overwhelming Zevran's revulsion at the smell—Zevran embraced him, and Cassius nuzzled at Zevran's cheek. The hound's nose seemed warm to his skin, and Zevran laughed weakly at the realization.

When Cadryn returned Zevran just looked up at him, trying to smile through the daze, blinking slowly and just now realizing ice caught in his eyelashes had melted, and the eerie light of Cadryn's spell wisp made the drops sparkle like jewels. Then Cadryn was stripping him, taking away his precious collected heat, and Zevran cried out, trying to push him away and failing miserably, ended up holding onto Cadryn's shoulders with a tight grip once the man stood him up and shucked off his lower layers. Then he wrapped Zevran in a dry quilt, musty from a long storage but relatively clean and quite dry. The closeness of the fabric was a comfort, but the scratch against his skin as it came alive again was unwelcome. It kept him aware long enough to mutter, “The others...?”

From Cadryn's look of consideration, it took a moment to reason out what Zevran had said. “I left them somewhere safe, in Morrigan's care. Well, safe provided they don't come looking for us.”

After three tries Cadryn managed to light the wood stacked in the small fireplace, which Zevran hadn't seen him place. The flames caught Zevran's eye, and he lost himself again for a moment in the crackle and dance. Cadryn came back, this time nude, and he laid their wet clothes out to dry, then made a little palate in front of the fire from extra bedding. Still the mage had to help him move, but they slid into the blankets together, facing the hearth. Cadryn curled around him, embracing him loosely but perfectly spooned up against his back, and the press of that familiar flesh was just as comforting as the warmth.

When Zevran started shivering in earnest it was exhausting, and he started to drift in and out between bouts, trying to curl up but Cadryn wouldn't let him. He just kept Zevran's head cushioned on one arm, nuzzled at the back of his neck, kissed him softly and caressed him when the tremors grew more violent and somehow more frightening than when he'd been convinced he was back in the woods as a child. “You'll be fine, Zev. I won't let anything happen to you.”

Zevran clenched his teeth to keep from whimpering again, but shortly after at the height of his shivering struck Cadryn in the chin hard enough that the mage's teeth clacked together, and he made a little sound of surprise and discomfort before laughing it off. As the shivering subsided Cadryn curled around him again, enfolding Zevran in his arms, and Zevran burrowed back into the larger man's embrace, listening to his breathing and the crackling fire and the mabari's soft snores instead of the howling wind outside.

These wolves the Warden wouldn't let in, and Zevran was safe in his arms. Zevran finally drifted to sleep, exhausted and cold but warming.

For his part, Cadryn did his best to ignore his own growing hardness at the elf's little comfort-seeking motions rubbing against him, and laid a gentle kiss in Zevran's hair. I'm sure you'll pay me back for this tenfold when you're well. Because the inappropriateness of such a reaction in this situation did nothing to lessen the smell of Zevran filling his nostrils, leather and exotic spice and musk, or the feel of that muscular body pressed against him, the hard plane of Zevran's abs under one hand, the dance of firelight across his golden skin-- Cadryn had to close his eyes, to settle his hand on Zevran's hip, and do his best to tune out the other sensations.

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dalishstorm

January 2013

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