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

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January 2013

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