Fenris_icon.gif Anders_icon.gif

Scene Title A Horse and His Elf
Synopsis Anders has a bad day, goes on a job with Fenris, the fight is bad, and then… Well… You'll see.
Location Lowtown Inn, Wounded Coast
Date 29 Bloomingtide 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Killing smugglers, angry!Anders, horse!Anders
Logger Fenris

In times of emotional distress, Anders habitually loses himself in some kind of work. The clinic would be ideal, but Templars Bearing Truths did not come at convenient business hours. So, when the fucky business has been dealt with and he still finds himself jittery and full of thoughts he can't shake, there is only one reasonable solution. Trek up to Lowtown and invade the land of Horrendous Quilts to raid terrible wine and follow the prickly one out for bloodshed, obviously. See? He even came prepared… with a spear. Strapped to his back.

Look, there's not a lot of options in Darktown.

He remembers the room and the layout of the inn (it's a memory whose level of detail has been alarming over the past few days) and is only a moment in the main door when he's up the stairs and knocking on the door. With his fist. But it's still knocking.
This Maker forsaken city just would not let him rest. First it's the elves sitting at his table. Then that… Altus, she'd said she was an Altus. Ugh. Then… Anders. The saga that was his meeting Anders. Then the Altus again. And then a Maker forsaken Tiger on his bed. And now, now when he's just settling down for his pre-job drink, there is a thumping knock at his door.

Fenris curses, pushing away from the table that has the last of his dinner and an open bottle of wine, and moves to the door. It's with more than a little trepidation that he throws it open, already glaring. "Can I hel-?" He begins to snap.

And he stops dead.

"What are you doing here, mage?"

"You have a job tonight, right?"

Anders, for once, is not wasting any time at all. "Something to guard, something to fetch, someone to scare, whatever it is people hire mercenaries for? I'm going with you."

The rims of his eyes are red and he didn't exactly stop to get the blood off his face first, but there's a determined set to his jaw and he seems to move nimbly enough around Fenris into the room.

"I don't want the coin, I don't want to talk. I just want to beat the shit out of something for a while."

Those are all the objections he can think to anticipate, especially when there's a bottle of wine to swig from.

"That a deal?" Fenris would get the job done quicker, Anders would get to hit things until he could forget the accusation behind that single 'mage'. Everybody wins.

Fenris blinks. He's surprised enough that he doesn't even stop Anders from moving into the room. Closing the door, he stands and stares at Anders for a minute, considering. Eventually, he sighs.

"Very well." Fenris says, shaking his head, hardly believing he's agreeing to this. "But you…" He stops himself, "Nevermind. Just fine." He didn't want to be owed a debt by a mage, the idea made him uncomfortable. Moving back to his table, he takes up his wine and drinks deep.

Anders is well aware that this - no matter how he presents it to get agreement - is essentially a favor. He's well aware that he will owe Fenris … something for this. But just right this minute he doesn't care all that much. It's the cost of doing business. He shifts from foot to foot, wound tight as a metal spring. Even so, he does not chivvy; he does not rush. There will be plenty of bloodshed in later battles, he doesn't want to pick this one.

"Maker… I get you do not want to talk, but have a drink. You are wound tight enough to make me look relaxed." Fenris says, shoving the wine bottle into Anders's chest. He crosses the room, finding another stashed in some dark corner. This he opens and drinks from himself. Well, that bottle is still mostly full. Mostly. If you believe enough.

The wine shoved in his chest is just exactly what he's joked about needing. But when presented with the opportunity, the futility makes itself blatantly manifest. For a moment, he looks entirely lost - almost hopeless - before setting his jaw and tipping that bottle back to drain in one swift series of gulps.

Being a Warden has its drawbacks; he is always, always hungry and getting well and truly drunk is probably never going to happen. But still, as he drains the bottle dry and hurls the empty shell of it against the wall, he feels… better.

"Sorry," he mumbles defeatedly, sending a flicker of restoring magic toward the pieces and staring at them almost mournfully when two bottles emerge instead of just the one.

He knows how you feel, wine bottle.

"Are you ready?"

It's a good thing Anders said he didn't want to talk, because, Maker, Fenris would be asking some questions. Instead, he just drinks, watching the mage with more than a little curiosity, and something that could be called concern but mostly just makes him look grumpy. The wine bottle crashing against the wall makes him blink, but nothing more. Maker knows he's done the same plenty of times. Enough, even, that when Anders restores the bottle, and two emerge, part of him laughs quietly to himself. Well, at least he wouldn't have to deal with that later.

At Anders's question, Fenris just sighs and sets down his bottle. "Yes, fine, let's just go." He says, and moves to the door, opening it and stepping out before Anders says anything else.

Anders is entirely amenable to that, following Fenris out into the hall and closing the door behind them. He doesn't say anything else - what else is there to say? - but simply falls into step at the warrior's shoulder. He's paler even than usual, but there's a hardness to him that seems almost brittle.

Whatever it is they're bashing in cannot possibly come too soon.

Out through the city toward the Wounded Coast, Fenris leads him. And he'd said no talking, but really that will not do. There are important questions. "How good are you at being quiet?" He asks, looking over as they reach the outer areas of the city. Sure, they fought one Hurlock Alpha together, but that was hardly a real fight, and he needed to know what he was walking out with.

Anders snorts, as though there is something inherently ridiculous about the question. "I spent half my life in a Circle."

But then he remembers that Circles Fenris would know look nothing like the prisons they are here in the south. He sighs and his tone when he gives a better answer is a twisted mix between bitter and apologetic.

"I'm no Crow, but I got the drop on one a few times."

Zevran had made the mistake of making it a challenge.

Yes, as it turns out, that Fenris actually knows about the Southern Circles is fairly limited. Just that most of the time they sound like a solid plan, if he's honest. Though, he manages to keep whatever opinions about the situation he has from his face… This time. Must be a good day.

"I see." He says, "I do not tend to… Fight fair, as it were." Almost a strange statement from a warrior, much less one that uses a blade the size he does. But Fog Warriors are fierce, fast, and unforgiving, and he'd taken their training to heart.

"Work smarter not harder," Anders intones in reply. "Sensible."

It would be so much easier to think about this and not the haze of buzzing, intrusive possibilities he did not mean to ask for. Focusing is hard but he sets his jaw and exerts the raw stubbornness that's kept him alive so far.

"I can function in that method of strike. Maker knows that's the majority of our Deep Road skirmish tactics. Or you can point me in the right direction and I can be obnoxious with the front line while you pick them off as you like."

Normally self-preservation would dictate that he at least inquire what they are going up against before proposing that kind of strategy but tonight he really doesn't care all that much. Might do him a little good to bleed.

For the smallest moment, Fenris had almost forgotten Anders was a Grey Warden. He hadn't really, it had simply stayed in the back of his mind, and having it brought up again, he nods. At the very least, Anders had some form of training, which he knew already, but it eased some his worry to remind himself none the less.

"I doubt I will need you to be a distraction. Besides, few distractions actually… Work, once I enter the field. Ideally, I'll have you up on a ridge line, but we'll see where they've actually settled themselves down."

The comment about the ridge line has Anders pulling a face, but he doesn't argue. "Most of my training is in closer quarters than that." The Deep Roads often mean combat in extremely close quarters and he'd already told Fenris how he felt about using magic to kill when a blade worked just as well. "But I can function in either capacity if required."

The message is clear; he has accepted Fenris' command, at least for now. It's his mission, his field. Anders can tell him what he knows and how he can be useful, but the final decision isn't his.

And there's something… weirdly comforting about that.

"Well, that is fair." Fenris says, considering. Looking Anders over, he heaves a sigh. "I am no Templar with some shield to defend both of us behind. If you get into the thick of it, you will have to get yourself out of it." There's not a tone of doubt in his voice, just a seriousness, though it is spoken with a strange amount of respect. After all, he knew well enough just how terrifying mages on a battlefield could be.

Eventually, they leave the city, out onto the Coast, and Fenris's lack of shoes makes a lot of more sense. With the tight fit of his armor, and the lack of heavy footfalls that come along with boots, he's actually very quiet. Even with that ridiculous blade.

"I know," is all Anders replies. "I wouldn't have a Templar at my back."

It's a backwards sort of statement, but the implications of trusting Fenris that way - Fenris, who would probably be a Templar if he could - are left unqualified.

Anders doesn't have the robes most mages prefer - doesn't have the heavy coat he left the Deep Roads with. He has his clothing and his spear. As they leave the city, he loosens the tie on the strap holding his weapon against his back, making it much easier and faster to draw when needed. There's a small burst of magic and the faint sheen of a barrier lays tight against his skin, sustained with no fanfare and no fuss. He is ready, that is all.

Fenris goes then without further comment, just a small nod. That burst of magic, though, makes Fenris take a deep breath. He'll have to get used to that. He knows that. But the small tingle, the trickle of ice water down his spine, that feels each time magic is used around him, he'd never really gotten used to it. None the less, he doesn't even look at Anders, he's agreed to let a mage come with him, he knew what he'd agreed to.

Ahead, the light of a campfire glows orange over the top of one of the many secluded gullies that make up the Wounded Coast. That are, frankly, a large part of its crime and villainy, so many little hidey-holes. Fenris's posture changes, dropping, distinctly more lupine, the stance he takes while stalking. Finding purchase against the hillside, the warrior scrambles quietly toward the top, careful to only peek over the ridge, making a count. The camp seems to be a group of smugglers, and a good number of crates sit at the back side of the camp, likely what Fenris was actually hired to retrieve. The elimination of "competition," as it were, though, had been a bonus for his employer.

Anders hears the breath, but only in a peripheral sense. His mind is full of white noise he can't afford to rasterize; the quiet will come soon. He hopes.

He reads the change in posture better, his own weight going to the balls of his feet and his shoulders rolling in a distinctively feline manner. The little noise his boots had made in the sand fades to silence as his stride shifts. He climbs behind Fenris and off to one side, but stays below him, head somewhere around his knees, watching Fenris watch their quarry. His orders will come in a moment, he knows.

Not long now.

Dropping away from the ridge's brim, Fenris moves closer to Anders to speak in low tones. Low enough that the wind will whisk them away, out onto the sea and not up over the ridge to be heard by the camp.

"Six, though I do not disbelieve there will be two others out on patrol." He says simply, and then nods to the left. "You come down from that side of the ridge when you think it sounds bad enough to wade into." And without waiting for a response, Fenris himself is moving to the right, meaning to slip over the ridge on the opposite side and kill as many as he can before the camp can recognize what is happening and rallies.

"Bad enough to wade into," Anders mouths to himself as Fenris moves away, rolling his eyes at the fool elf. As if he would simply wait around and let Fenris take the brunt of this alone. Who does he think Anders is?

So when Fenris disappears over the right side of the ridge, Anders slides the spear into his arm, letting the shaft roll into his hand and flipping his grip as he slides down the far side.

Using the momentum of his downward slide, he takes aim and hurls forward in a throw that Oghren would have been proud of.

His spear hits home, piercing a mercenary right in the back with enough force to knock him off the crate where he had sat. Ripping the weapon back out takes effort and does far more damage than going in, but Anders has been twirling heavier mage's staves for years and is up to the challenge. The weapon is gory and dripping blood, but it serves just as well to knock away the bow next to him - specifically before it can loose the arrow aimed at Fenris.

Wait until it sounds bad enough to wade into… Pah.

Fool elf, indeed. At least the fool elf is decent enough with a blade to kill two men before they can alert the rest of the camp. Then again, they were standing close together, speaking, and that blade, that ridiculous blade, has enough of an arc on its swing to do such a thing. The minute he crested the ridge, Fenris began to glow, a haze of blue pulsing over his skin. He'd been about to go for the archer training on him when Anders gets there first. Which is a very, very good thing, because it gives him the time to turn and block a strike from behind him. It seems, at least, the first four men to fall were… Well, fodder, this little clash that Fenris has gotten himself into is more of a struggle.

The ringing of blades meeting alerts the patrol Fenris knew would be there. Two more of the smuggler crew arrive, both archers, looking more than a little bewildered.

The ringing of blades is enough to alert Anders that Fenris is Busy. He uses the bow from his disarmed opponent to snap his neck in a way that crunches unpleasantly and is probably at least slightly an abuse of healer-learned anatomy. He spares only enough of a glance to ensure that Fenris is fine (which takes almost no time at all to discern) and then he's hefting his spear again and facing these two archers. His barriers get a small reinforcement (because arrows are a bitch to heal oneself around) and he moves so that while approaching the archers, his body is between them and Fenris - effectively blocking their shot. He knows the minute he throws he'll be a human pincushion, so he stalks a little, creeping closer and gathering little sparks of electricity from the air around him.

Well, he's holding his own at least. Seems the leader of this little camp isn't something to scoff at, and Fenris is actually having to put in effort. A lot of his jobs recently have been, well, routine, and this is… Not. Bloody fool employers, hiring one man for this job. He was good, but he's starting to think that without Anders here this would be a hell of a lot messier. The man he's fighting manages a particularly vicious blow, which Fenris manages to catch in a sturdy gauntlet, but locked together now between armor and blade, they both tumble to ground, Fenris beneath the other.

There's not much to be done for him, however, as these archers have decided Anders is their problem at the moment. The crackling of electricity alerts them to his being a mage, and they do not seem amused with that at all. They're loosing arrows, not waiting for the mage to have time to do whatever terrifying thing he's likely brewing up. Magic is scary, kids. What's more, there's still another warrior in this camp, and seeing Fenris and his captain fall to the ground, he's decided getting rid of the mage friend is probably his best bet as well.

Yes, this would have been a lot more messy if Fenris was alone.

As it is, he places a kick to the captain's chest, shoving him up and over him as he tumbles away. He scrambles to his feet quickly, taking stock of the fight. This has turned nasty, quickly, and he's not having it. Stepping to the captain who is still rising, he glows brightly, shifts his hand into the Fade, and reaches into the man's chest. In a smooth motion, without mercy and without second thought, a heart is crushed, his hand retracted, and the man falls over, dead, leaving the evidence to the dark red gore upon Fenris's gauntlet. With the lyrium active like this, he closes on the second warrior much faster than is reasonable, but there's only so much he can do at once, and he is but able to get his attention before he bares down on Anders.

Magic is scary indeed.

Anders' barrier does its job, deflecting arrows like skin-tight armor while he can summon the necessary energy to unleash. When it is time, when the arc has reached its peak, Anders unleashes it all into a wide bolt of lightning that arcs down from the sky to meet the first archer head on and then to surge on to the second. Both targets fall to the ground, one dead on impact and one choking on his own vomit as he seizes, but Anders had accidentally loosed his barrier into it and so finds one leg taken out from under him entirely as an arrow buries itself painfully into his hip.

Welp. That's gonna be fun in a minute.

Arrows suck. A lot. Fenris winces a little for Anders as that arrow shoots true, at great price of the archer who loosed it. Nothing he can do for it now, though. But alone, raving mad, and practically cornered, the last remaining smuggler is a force to be reckoned with. Someone in the throes of mortal terror is either useless, or a nightmare on the field and this guy… He's the latter.

The wince buys the man the time he needs, and he manages a strike on Fenris that takes him to the ground, bleeding at his shoulder, getting all too familiar with a particularly poorly placed rock to his temple. Maker, that stung, made his ears ring, and he only has enough time to shake his head before he rolls away, avoiding the downswing that follows him to the ground.

Arrows do, in point of fact, suck. Anders is definitely hissing some choice curse words strung together with perhaps some impressive creativity. That will have to be dealt with later.

Except that the sounds of almost-feral combat steal the entirety of Anders' attention. The lone survivor has gone savage and manages to land Fenris with two more injuries than Anders finds acceptable. It infuriates him. It's offensive to him. How dare he?

Healing the arrow wound properly would require cutting the damn thing out and then healing the ensuing damage. Anders doesn't have time for that. Instead, he does something maybe possibly just a little bit stupid. He won't be walking with it where it is either, so he pulls it only part of the way out, shooting a burst of healing magic behind it and effectively sealing the damn thing in. Then he breaks the shaft, hauls himself to his feet and charges.

If this guy's going to attack a grounded foe, he's going to end up with a side full of Anders' spear.

Grounded and, inconveniently enough, disarmed. That knock to the head had done a number. What does a bigger, number, though, is that spear hitting home. He'd been expecting boom from the mage, not stabbing, and the last of the smugglers falls to the ground with a clatter of blade and armor, clutching his side. Fenris takes a deep breath, cursing quietly. This would have been a total mess alone. What were his employers thinking.

Anders can't help the primitive surge of satisfaction that comes with the sensation of his spear hitting home. When he yanks it back again and the smuggler hits the ground, it's probably good enough. But no, the butt of that spear shaft is brought down sharply on the man's face - aided just a little by a hint of Force magic. It's enough to crush his skull and only then does Anders seem satisfied.

That done, he drops to his knees (ignoring the wince that causes) and reaches instinctively to begin healing the damage done to the grounded elf. But before his hands can even brush skin, he stops - pulls himself back and flexes his fingers once before taking a short, sharp breath.

"May I?"

Truthfully, though he's tried to shake it off, Fenris's ears are still ringing and he's more than a little dizzy. That was a good, solid concussion. And in his jostled, wounded state, his initial reaction is to hiss, yes literally, at Anders's reaching out to him. That's when his conscious thought catches up to his instinct though, and the hiss stops short.

"I…" A pause, a swallow, "Yes."

Anders rests his hands on the bare skin that shows through the armor on Fenris' arms, doing his level best to anticipate - and therefore ignore - the humming resonance that sparks to life on contact. He doesn't need the contact to heal, but for reasons he hasn't really bothered to examine all that closely, the impulse now is 'touch, heal' rather than simply 'heal'.

Cool magic - of the fizzy, restorative, 'honey bee' variety - washes through the elf from Anders' point of contact. The injuries, while no doubt painful and immediately debilitating, are not extensive or severe. It is no complicated matter to repair the damage and soothe the surrounding tissue back into healthy ease.

Finished, then, Anders drags his hands from Fenris' skin and flops back to sit on his uninjured hip, a long breath escaping his lungs.

"You need a better job." Because an employer who'd send one man into this mess - even one as talented as Fenris - was really kind of an asshole at best.

Truthfully, if he had been alone, Fenris probably would have waited for more of the camp to be asleep. Not just charged in while they were all awake and ready, more or less, for a fight. But he'd misjudged them. He takes a deep breath as Anders heals him, his flesh knitting, the ringing in his head ceasing, replaced by that sweet humming.

"It is what I am good at." Fenris says simply, sitting up finally, and looking to Anders's wounded leg. "Do you need help?"

"Oh, I'm not denying that," Anders clarifies, rolling the shoulder that isn't supporting his weight and trying to crack a stiff place in his neck. "You've got combat down to an artform, but only an idiot sends one of their valuable assets into cesspool situations like this." Anders shrugs - he doesn't know the nature of Fenris' mercenary career other than that he has one. Even so, the offer of help is a welcome one, though he pulls a face at the jolt of pain that comes when thinking about an injury results in movement of the affected area. "Do you have a small blade hidden somewhere? I've got to cut into healthy tissue now and I don't have anything thin enough."

"I do." Fenris says, pulling a small blade from his hip. Just a utility thing, really. Sharp enough to get the job done, but it wouldn't likely be pleasant. He offers it over none the less, and then shrugs. "I am not with a company. Just a blade for hire. I wouldn't call myself an asset."

Anders knows this isn't going to be a pleasant procedure. He knew it when he did the stupid thing, but it didn't seem to matter so much, then. And with that last asshole dead and neither of them in the same boat, he's still pretty sure it was worth it. "Well, you're wrong there," he says, simple and matter-of-fact, as he tugs his shirt up, grits his teeth and begins making the small incisions necessary to remove the arrowhead from where it is embedded in now-healthy flesh. "You don't have to belong to someone just to be an asset." He's focused on being able to cut himself open and do it correctly, so his wording choices are not very precise - or delicate. "You're your own asset. Not many people can say that - fuck." One deep gouge and the knife's in the right place to help lever the arrowhead out, but it's not a comfortable experience by a long shot.

"That's not…" Fenris starts, shaking his head, cringing a little as Anders begins the process of cutting the arrowhead out, "I wasn't being self deprecating." For once.

Anders glances up just in time to see the cringe, but can't really do anything about it other than muffle the volume of his hissed cursing as he works the weapon up and out of his body. "Sorry," he breathes when it's finally laying in the sand by his knee and blood-soaked fingertips are working magic into the places that are ripped and torn to seal them properly. "That's so much less messy when it's not… when it's still new."

Fenris is far from squeamish. The gore that is still drying on his gauntlet is evidence of that. "You do not need to apologize… It does not offend me." Fenris says, shrugging. It was not for disgust that he cringed, it seems. Something else. Was that care? Well, he was not likely to admit it.

Anders gives him a side-long look that says he's not entirely sure what's going on - because yes, he sees the drying gore but he also saw that cringe - and lowers the small corner of his shirt he'd lifted for the procedure. "I've never been a mercenary before," he admits, seemingly from nowhere. "Do we have to take heads or eyeballs or finger bones or something so you can prove they're dead? Do you get paid by the tongue?" It's a morbid thought, but it brings a crooked grin along with it, the result of having spent years reading anything that would let him escape for a while. "Or is there something else to this we're looking for?"

"Those," Fenris says, nodding to the crates of smuggled cargo, "Are the actual job." Fenris rises then, using the excuse to turn away from the mage. No, he definitely had not been expressing concern before. Definitely not. He leans to pull a pendant from around the captain's neck. "And this should suffice as proof otherwise." Yes, it did, otherwise, seem as though Fenris had every intention on carrying each of those crates back to Kirkwall by hand.

Hauling himself to his feet, Anders follows Fenris' nod to the stacks of crates and finds himself slowly turning back until his incredulous gaze is fixed firmly on the mad elf. "You… were going to cart this," he gestures to the crates, "back to Kirkwall by yourself?" Anders' mouth works for a minute like a fish out of water. "I hate to beg the obvious question but… how?"
Placing the pendant into a pouch at his hip, the elf crosses over to Anders and raises a brow. "Do you think I wield this blade for laughs?" He says, and bends to pick up one of the crates. They're not massive, but they're large. You can carry them by yourself, they just weigh… A great deal.

It takes a minute for that information to sink in. It's hard to process logical thought when there's an attractive individual exerting any kind of raw physical strength. It's one of Anders' greatest weaknesses - doubly so when there are shoulders involved - and when he finally shakes himself out of staring, it's with a renewed sense that life is manifestly unfair. Now with his wits (mostly) where they're supposed to be, Anders looks at the size of the crates, counts the crates, then mentally recalls the distance back to Kirkwall. That… is an unreasonable amount of work and his entire life's motto could be summed up as 'smarter not harder'. Or, well, one of them, okay? So it is that he has a better solution… but judging by the look of abject, theatrical pain on his face, it's not one he likes. "Maker help me, if you tell a single soul, I will… well, promptly die on the spot, but then I will haunt you, elf."

See, Fenris has had a lot worse jobs than 'carry a whole lot of crates back and forth' so it doesn't seem to phase him at all. At Anders's display, the warrior raises a brow. "What in the world are you doing, mage?" He says, completely and totally confused.

"Oh nothing," Anders replies breezily as he sidesteps away from where his spear lies in the sand. "Just humiliating myself for the sake of practicality. Just a sin in the eyes of the Maker, that's all." Since, you know, he's an impractical person. Taking a deep breath, he looks over at Fenris and adds in a much more serious tone, "This is how I managed to evade capture from Amaranthine to Ostwick. Laugh if you want, but it's future effectiveness relies on its secrecy." Also Velanna would murder him if Sidona found out she'd taught a human even rudimentary lessons in a discipline she took pride in being elven in origin. It's a simple thing, really - no flash, no fuss, no fanfare. One moment it's Anders standing there looking incredibly uncomfortable and the next minute, a small burst of magic and where Anders was standing is a short, lanky Taslin horse with a chestnut coat so light it was almost cream. Said horse does not look amused.
Fenris continues to look completely confused all while Anders speaks. What in the world? He sets the crate down, crosses his arms and just watches the mage. And after Anders performs his tranformation, the elf… Well, he tries. He really does. But he can't manage to keep a straight face, and when Fenris can't manage that you know it's good. He laughs, shaking his head, not even being able to look at him.

Anders does his best to tolerate the laughter with equanimity. It's made easier - and therefore lasts longer - by the fact that he actually… sort of likes making the grumpy bastard laugh. But even that is not enough to quell the discomfort of being laughed at forever. So when he's finally had enough, his ears get pinned back to his head and he trots forward haughty as you please to lip obnoxiously at the elf's pale hair. Because of course that is the mature response. If only Fenris knew… the point had been to blend into the countryside; Velanna had been trying to teach him to be a cow. Anders… well, he was a little bit too flighty for that.

You know, he hasn't asked Anders to be mature. The nip to his hair does make him quiet down, though, gradually. Straightening, the elf reaches out, pats Anders's neck, and then looks around. "They likely have a cart around here somewhere." Because, unlike him, most smugglers weren't willing to carry a bunch of crates by hand.

Anders is confused by the pat to his neck. He can't quite decide if it's a truce or more enjoyment of the ridiculousness of his position. Either way, they still have a job to get done and if they're quick about it they may even get back to Kirkwall by a semi-reasonable hour. Not that Anders often got much in the way of sleep, but moving around this city during the darkest parts of the night had a bad habit of ending… unpleasantly for most involved. He'll search for the cart, he'll even stand for the harnessing to pull it, since there's not another way but Maker does he ever balk at even the idea of the bit and bridle.

It's a truce. Fenris's laughter ceases. Eventually, the cart is found, and Fenris seems to know better than to even offer the bridle. Or, perhaps the idea just makes his stomach turn a little. There were lengths to go for a joke, that was entirely too far for the ex-slave. Making quick work of loading the cart, Fenris doesn't even bother to climb into it himself, but walks beside Anders, quiet, and only smirking a little. "This does make this a fair bit easier."

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how Anders discovers the sad fact that horses physically cannot roll their eyes. He finds this to be an ENORMOUS injustice and would expound upon it at length - however are they meant to exorcise the frustration that inevitably comes from a life lived at the whim of two-legged idiots? - except that he can't and that is even worse. So instead he does the next best thing, dipping his head down and toward Fenris so that lifting it bump-brushes obnoxiously against his side. Hah! So there. Or something like that.

"I see you are just as obnoxious in this form." Fenris says, though there is no heat to the jest. Honestly, he was just glad they had both managed to survive that little… Escapade. And soon he would be getting paid, and Anders said he didn't want the coin, but Fenris would likely toss some of it his way anyway. If only for the indignity of being the cart horse.


Anders does not dignify that remark with any kind of childish retaliation; he simply lifts his head high and picks up his feet a little more. It is the most obnoxious way he could possibly display that of course he's still obnoxious and proud of it too. He displays that obnoxiousness as they come into the city proper. Fenris he walks alongside like an over-large puppy, even going so far as to push his head into Fenris' chest for ear scritches when they end up having to stand still a particularly egregious amount of time; anyone and everyone else… Well, let's just say that between the ears back, teeth bared, biting and stomping on, Fenris is going to end up with a reputation for having some kind of crazy animal in his care. It occurs to Anders that he probably won't even deny the rumor… bastard.

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