Participants:

Anders_icon.gif Fenris_icon.gif

Scene Title Hard to Breathe
Synopsis Immediately following the events of Return to the Clinic, Adair's parting comment sends Anders into something of a panic attack. This is the aftermath.
Location Darktown Clinic
Date Justinian 4, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Scenes of a sexual nature
Logger Anders

Adair gives a nod and his gratitude is obvious and he leaves the armor in a pile save for one small piece of metal that's taken and placed in his pocket. "A coin from home. There's not much more than ash coming out of Amaranthine anymore," he explains. "I'm in your debt. Remember that. Hopefully I can return the favor before I'm completely useless and drooling on the floor." He says it as if it's all a joke, but then he gestures toward Maura. "Well? Now I really do get to walk back much lighter. Let's go."


A coin from home.

There is a terrible moment where the only thing that exists is the stupid Templar and the stupid words coming out of his stupid mouth.

There's not much more than ash coming out of Amaranthine anymore.

No, no there is not. Nothing comes from Amaranthine anymore and for days he'd forgotten to feel guilty about that fact. As the happy couple walks out into the dim light of Darktown, the blood is rushing from Anders' face, leaving his normally pale skin white as a sheet. His entire body is stiff, every muscle tense and clenched tight - eyes darting back and forth in a seizing way that belongs only in the realm of sleep. He can hear the rush of his own heartbeat in his ears until the stench of smoke and boiling blood and burnt flesh somehow stirs again impossibly vivid in his nostrils, making him feel sick. He is silent, but his breathing is steadily growing more ragged and he can't make it stop. He's not moving - he knows no one is actually screaming - but he can't figure out how to catch his breath despite the fact that already it's coming in great shuddering gasps. He's dying. He's got to be dying. At the very least, he feels dangerously close to passing out.

Fenris catches the word Amaranthine and he cringes. He's heard this tale. As Maura and Adair leave, its not their departure that catches Fenris' attention, but watching Anders. He sees the color leave the mage's face, the tension that coils about his lover's body, the hitching breath. Sliding from his seat, Fenris crosses the clinic back over to the mage.

"Anders," Fenris said, an almost uncharacteristic gentleness to his voice, "Anders, take a breath." He reaches out, a hand upon Anders' arm, not restricting, not grabbing, just there, just contact.

"Trying," Anders manages to pant out, breath coming short and sharp - like the gasping hiccoughs that signal the end of a hard crying jag - in the way that means the attack will fade soon. The touch helps, a single point of sensation to focus on - something to think about that reminds him which reality he's really in. "I - " he tries. Then, "He - " and cannot go further yet again. It's distressing, not being able to articulate what exactly is wrong, but his face - his ever expressive face - speaks to the crushing weight of knowing he's done wrong and not having been ready to be confronted by it so immediately.

"Hush, Anders," Fenris says, "You don't need to explain." Not that Fenris is particularly versed in what to do with this. His instinct is to pick Anders up and take him somewhere comfortable, but he also doubts that moving him will be calming. He wants to hold onto him, but doubts the restriction would help with panic. So instead he just is, keeps his hand in place, his other coming up to brush gently at Anders' hair.

These things pass - they always pass, eventually. And even when Anders is no longer struggling just to breathe, his pulse is still fluttering rapidly against the arteries in his throat. It's an exhausting thing, having one's body rebel against itself, and the mage slumps forward to lean against the nearest table. The hand not supporting his weight reaches out to fasten around Fenris' wrist - gauntlet and all - holding on to that stability even as he leans into the gentle touches to his hair. Eventually there is enough of his voice for a proper sentence, though he can't bring himself to look at Fenris directly when he says it. "It seems inherently childish to wish for a time when I was still young and selfish enough not to worry about anyone but myself." And one thing he has not been for a long while now is a child. "But Maker, sometimes I really do."

Okay, no. He could beat back the instinct to hold him, to pick him up, only so far. When Anders loses the fight with his legs, and leans to stabilize himself on the table, Fenris steps in, turning his wrist to break Anders' hold just long enough to pick the mage up. Toward the back of the clinic, where Fenris knows there is a surprisingly comfortable nest of blankets, they go. He's brooking no argument on it. "It is an understandable want." Fenris says, "I rarely manage to do more than that, myself." Which is actually rather true, despite the actions of the past few weeks.

The sensation of being scooped up is not as surprising as it once was - Fenris has made it enough of a habit now - but in the wake of an unexpected panic attack, it is significantly more disorienting. He doesn't have it in him to argue - at this point he's pretty much resigned himself to being picked up and moved around as need be, even finding the habit oddly… endearing - but he does cling a little harder than usual to shoulder and back of neck. "She still has my phylactery." The combination of Amaranthine and Maura's own reminded him and he can't remember if he'd said. "I imagine when I have to run again I'll re-learn. It's just that the meantime is…" Exhausting, overwhelming, crushing… "Bothersome."

Setting Anders down in the nest of blankets, Fenris sits down beside him, one hand still upon him. He nods. "Perhaps your friend could request it be sent to her? As you're not exactly in her… Jurisdiction anymore?" Fenris offers, though he's not exactly sure how the Wardens handle their mages, or their phylacteries. Or, frankly, the details of phylacteries at all. The idea of Southern Circles was about as far as he'd ever managed to get into looking into them, and Danarius had never spoken much about the own Imperial Circle's practices. At least, not to Fenris. Reaching to pet the mage's hair once more, he sighs. "I would ask then why bother… But I know the answer already." Damn healers.

The nest is soft - well padded - and a uniquely comforting place for Anders. That Fenris brings him here rather than to one of the cots or the strung up bed is… it is his turn to look touched, smiling softly up at his rescuer. "It's a good thought," he admits. "Adie's not the Commander, though. She'd have to - well, she'd have to find Roarke first, then convince him to ask." Anders shakes his head. "And even then I don't know that Sidona would send it. Warden-Commanders are largely autonomous within their own territories. There are procedures, I'm sure, but it'd be an awful lot of trouble." And he's not even that great at being a Warden. He leans into the touches to his hair, but a slowly sinking weight in his stomach forces him to pull back from that comfort and look at Fenris straight on. "I did wrong, Fen. I made the wrong choice and a lot of innocent people died. If I can make up for any of it somehow, I… I've got to try."

Hell if he knows the details of Warden ranks, or who is who. Fenris just nods, shrugging slightly. "Something tells me she's capable of harassing whoever she needs to in order to get what she wants." As Anders pulls away from his touch, Fenris cants his head, brow knitting with worry. The elf takes a deep breath. Alright, real talk time. How to even begin. "Anders…" Fenris says, "Sometimes, people are put in impossible situations and there is no way to do anything but be a terrible person." He shifts a little, uncomfortable, "Trust me, I know. What would have happened if you tried to stop her? You would likely just be dead… And, honestly, I think you do more good living. You would not have stopped her."

The sound of his name the way Fenris says it is… captivating is the only word he knows that can even come close. It never fails to get Anders' full attention and most of the time - like now - even in serious circumstances it makes him shiver. "She's only a mage, I could have - " It sounds like the start to a very old argument, one he's had with himself at least a hundred times before. But instead of finishing it, he sighs, shoulders drooping and head lowered so that he could stare at his hands in his lap. "My life may have been forfeit afterwards, but I could have stopped her. One life in exchange for thousands seems pretty fair to me." But he hadn't been thinking that way, then.

"Could you have, really?" Fenris says, looking at Anders intently. Eventually, though, he realizes that line of thought won't actually help. "How many times do you think I could have killed Danarius?" Fenris says, sounding very much as though he has an exact count of those opportunities. He does. At least, since he could remember them. "I… When Danarius left me on Seheron, I was saved by a group of Fog Warriors. They kept me with them for months. They were good to me. And when Danarius returned, they fought to protect me. And when he told me to, I killed every last one of them." It's all spoken in a voice that says he's not letting emotion connect to the situation, not right now, he can't. He's not saying it to deal with it, he's saying it to make a point. "His guard was down. I could have killed him. I did not. I obeyed. And when it was done, I ran. Sometimes…" He shifts, "Sometimes you just… You do what you have to. Or you don't have another option. I know you think you could have stopped it, but I… Anders, I do not think that is true."

"I - " Could he? A large part of Anders says yes, if he hadn't been a coward, but as he listens to Fenris explain - fill in the missing piece to the story he'd been told last night - there's something very much like hope rolling a tiny kernel around in his chest. It's a mixed sensation because he aches for the pain in the retelling; showcased as only the clipped, distant version can - by its absence. However, this is someone he likes, someone he respects, someone he cares for. The idea that Fenris could be even possibly right is a tantalizing one, though as he rests his head on the non-spiky bit of shoulder real-estate he can get to, he cannot help but feel a little sick for even considering the possibility. Guilt is a terrible, insidious thing. All he can say is, "I want to believe you," and hope that it is enough.

The placing of this piece of his puzzle makes Fenris' mouth go dry. For all the pieces Anders had… They were but the horrors he had faced. They were the picture of Danarius' depravity, this one is different. This one is pained dark with shame, and is that which drives him, more often than not, to refuse kindnesses offered him. And yet here he sat, using it as a tale to convince Anders he could not live in guilt. That's some cognitive dissonance you've got going on there, Fenris.

"I want you to as well." Fenris says, "You… Are a good person, Anders." He shifts slightly, wrapping his other arm around the mage protectively, "And I have every reason to want to believe otherwise. Truly. I… Wanted to. I wanted to hate you. You did not let me."

Being wrapped in strong arms soothes something deep in Anders, a piece of him that is vicious and yet so very fragile. He twists a little to be able to slide his arm around Fenris' lower back, returning that hold with mostly-controlled neediness. He is quiet for a little while, letting gravely words sink in and settle against his (stupidly) tender heart.

"I'm a little bit in awe of you," he says quietly. "You've extended me trust I don't understand, but I very much want to deserve." It's easier to put words to thoughts that have been brewing when he doesn't have to look at Fenris directly while he does so. And as if to explain further, he adds, "I don't think I could ever let a Templar this close without being terrified all the time. I wouldn't do that to myself. Not for anything. But you…" He shakes his head a little against Fenris' shoulder, smiling wryly. "You're a better person than I, that's for damn sure." And if even Anders deserved some peace, then surely Fenris does as well. That's how deductive reasoning works, right?

That is not something Fenris hears every day. It makes him stop, makes him blink. "I…" He shakes his head, "No, I am not. I… You shouldn't be in awe of anything…" Oh, there is every bit of backpedaling that Fenris has kept at bay this whole time. Every instinct to run screaming in his head all of a sudden. There's a tremble in his right arm that he can't quite quell, and his eyes close. His heart is pounding, but he stops, steadies his breathing.

Anders doesn't know precisely what he's done wrong, but he recognizes at an almost instinctive level the signs of panic. He can hear the pounding heartbeat and moves his arm so that it rests against Fenris' back rather than holding onto him. He can feel the trembling in that arm and lifts his head from Fenris' shoulder. It puts their faces mere inches apart, but there is a sadness and an understanding in Anders' amber eyes. "It's okay, Fen." Nothing is holding him down, nothing will trap him where he does not wish to be. "It's okay." And he waits. Fenris will tell him when everything is calm again or Fenris will leave. Either way, he can wait.

There are only a few deep breaths needed to stabilize him again. "I apologize." He says, swallowing hard, "I… The truth is I am terrified all the time."

There is no denying the weight those words carry. Each one sits in the small space of air between them until Anders' feels like his stomach might actually drop out of its place and like he wants to throw up all at once. But even wrestling with both of these facts, he cannot deny that it is a very fair fear. "You have nothing to apologize for." And he means it. Beyond that… Anders' instinct is to let it go, to take a few deep breaths and move on without commenting on the bronto in the room. It's what he'd done as a teenaged idiot playing at love in the Circle, but here… but now? Now he's too old to justify hiding from painful truths. "I just…" He has no idea how to word it. "Then why? Why put yourself through that?" He'd just admitted that he doesn't think he would, so this… "Why do that to yourself?"

"Because you are not Danarius." Fenris answers, swallowing hard, forcing his breathing to remain even, "The day I met you… Why I changed my mind, why I let you help. I decided not to…" He shakes his head, he's too on the edge of that panic to speak clearly. "If I let what he has done rule me so mindlessly, then I am little more than the beast he tried to make me."

Anders is still while Fenris talks, listening but also watching the dilation of his eyes, the fluttering pulse in his neck and temple, the way he stops and starts. "I can pull the edge back," he offers quietly. "It isn't magic," though that way is easier to do when patients can't stand to be touched. "It's a reflex. I use it on myself sometimes when I'm alone and I feel like I can't breathe. It… slows everything down just a little. Just enough."

The rushing in his head is making it so very hard to focus, and it's mostly frustrating, and his pulse is starting to drop. He shakes his head. "No." He says, breathing again, "I have my own way." Eventually, his eyes open again, and he looks at Anders once more. He's used to having to focus such energy into more useful things, it was just a matter of going through those forms in his mind. "Thank you, though."

Those eyes have done funny things to Anders since the day they met; seeing them open now, open and focus in on his face - so very close, uncomfortably close - makes him smile, crooked and dopey-looking. It lasts all of a minute before he pulls back, shaking his head at himself and sitting up as far as he can without pulling away from Fenris' arm around him. "I can't pretend it's… comfortable, knowing you're afraid of me. But I don't blame you for it." He'd be the worst kind of hypocrite if he did. "And to be entirely fair, none of the good things in my life have ever been comfortable. Not Merida, not Adie, not the bloody ragtag Grey Wardens." Not Cenn, though he's still being a childish shithead about that one. He can even smile about all of it in a wry sort of way. "Definitely not Ser Pounce a Lot. Have you ever tried to housetrain a cat in the middle of the Deep Roads? Would not recommend it. My claw marks have claw marks."

That well and truly makes Fenris laugh, nuzzling down into the mage's neck with a fondness. "It's not… Keen… All of the time." He says, after a long moment, "This," He says, nuzzling against Anders' neck to make the harmony between them hum brightly, "Makes it easier. I do not know if I could manage the trust without. Though I do not… Understand it."

That laugh lights Anders up from the inside, adding a brightness to the smile turned on the elf as he shares his mirth. Having his neck nuzzled into is both pleasant and reassuring - visceral proof that this small bump has not upset the entire cart. He turns his head to rub his cheek against Fenris' ear, purring. It… really doesn't take much to make him happy, apparently. "I don't know either," he admits. "Nor does Justice, or at least, he wasn't very helpful when I asked." He drops his voice into a comically low register and mimics the firm monotone of the spirit… eerily well to quote him. "'He sings'. That's all he ever says. 'He sings'. Not at all helpful, that."

Fenris laughs again. "So very specific, he is." He manages, before he gets very, very distracted. So, normally, something like a nuzzle to his ear might make him pause, clear his throat, possibly blush. With Anders however, and this harmony between them, the contact practically makes him jump. Not a lot, mind, but enough to be noticeable. He swallows hard, but in a very different way, blushing at the edges of his ears.

Anders can feel that jump and goes very still, waiting to see if it will be followed by a pull away or some other sign of distress. He can feel the tension-release of the swallow, but that doesn't tell him all that much, so he nuzzles his cheek against Fenris' ear again, shivering delightfully at the hum's resonance added to the base pleasure of skin-on-skin touch. And then, because just at this moment he really, really wants to, Anders lips and licks at the upper part of the cartilage. Slowly.

No, no sign of distress follows. Fenris shivers at that second nuzzle, clearing his throat quietly. Not an attempt to get Anders to stop, just… A noise, something to shock him out of - Not that it matters, because the next moment he's practically writhing, gripping onto Anders' upper arm, lips parting, taking breath in sort of gasping hiss of pleasure. He had not been expecting that even a little, somehow, but he is not complaining.

Fenris' response to Anders' exploration stretches a smile wide across his face and he turns just enough to press a kiss to his temple before returning his attention exactly where it seems to be doing the most good. This time it's the tip of his tongue tracing the line of cartilage across the top toward the tip, then it's little gentle nibbling of teeth along the underside; then it's the catching of the lobe between his teeth where he can suck gently and let his teeth scrape over now-wet skin when he finally pulls just a little bit away.

That practical writhing turns to actual writhing, the elf making small, muffled sounds of pleasure. He turns his head down, burying into Anders' shoulder to stifle the sound. These gauntlets… These insufferable gauntlets… Letting go of his hold on Anders, he reaches behind the mage to pull the blighted things off. Once free, one of his hands laces into Anders' hair as Fenris gasps at the touch of the mage's teeth. This… Was not how he thought this was going to go. He was just trying to take Anders home.

Anders soaks up those pleased and pleasured sounds, humming his own pleasure against sensitive skin in return. He can feel that something's going on directly behind him, but it's not until there's a hand in his hair - oh Maker, the hand in his hair - that he recognizes the gauntlets have been tugged off. Anders turns to trail little sucking kisses around Fenris' jawline and the soft skin below that and below his ear. He works his way down over the carotid, then back up to press his lips against warm skin. "Tell me to stop," he murmurs quietly - not for anyone else but Fenris to hear. "And I will stop. Alright?"

Fenris is easily caught up in the sudden and bright pleasure from this affection. Shuddering under Anders' kisses, his other hand comes to rest upon the mage's side. But it is when Anders speaks… It is, perhaps, a strange reaction, but the shiver that travels down his spine is one he can't control. Gripping Anders' hair firmly enough to feel, but not to hurt, he turns his head to catch Anders' lips with his own, moaning quietly against his lips.

That tug and pull against his hair feels glorious. He exhales sharply, melting into that kiss with a series of ragged exhales that manage to convey something deeper and more desperate than desire. Both arms he wraps carefully around his armored lover, holding only as tight as a hug (though with fingers twitching into flexion every time a little jolt of pleasure hits his system). Kissing Fenris is an experience to which he should have at least started to adjust. He hasn't.

There was so much between them that Fenris should have been accustomed to, but he was not either. Not even a little. He was really starting to think he never would be. Every touch of the mage's skin was like glorious daybreak, and it made his head spin. And while he was a man with the ability to focus through a lot of distraction, when he let himself give in to the white, bright music that jumped between their flesh, it weakened him in a way he couldn't describe. Though he did not need to. At least, not this time. There's an openness this time, offered, perhaps, in that quiet reassurance from his lover, that makes his feelings keenly plain. And they are beautiful and terrible things, the rush of his heart, this time from desire. The tremors that raced under his skin in response to the kiss that he turns his head to deepen. But beyond that and somehow inside of all of it, a keening, crushing weight in his chest that dares to sting at his eyes, something so wholly overwhelming in its simple beauty, a feeling of undeniable safety, and an affection that grasps his heart in its hand, and hitches his breath with an emotion he's never felt and cannot place.

Anders opens to that deeper kiss, a high, soft whine accenting the way he arches up into Fenris, seeking - asking for - more contact without making it any kind of demand. His lover's intensity makes him shiver and grip tighter to the back he clings to, drowning in something fragile and exquisitely sweet - something that he's only ever been faced with once before in his life. It frightens him, the shivering turning to trembling turning to shaking, but…

But Fenris can stay while being afraid. How could he do any less?

The hand that is not in Anders' hair parts layers of fabric to seek the bare skin of Anders' side, pressing there and pulling up along the mage's skin, over ribs, across his chest. Breaking that kiss with a shuddering gasp, Fenris leans to press a line of feverish but affectionate kisses along his lover's jaw, nuzzling against him gently as he feels that trembling begin, and escalate. There's a sound like a purr, but it's a little more aggressive, something protective and primal. "You are free to stop this as well, you know." Fenris says, a surprising gentleness in his tone.

"I know," Anders breathes back, back arching a little as Fenris' hand brushes over his skin. There is something definitely soothing about the way his lover nuzzles against him, to the protective edge in that purr that also makes a part of him squirm and preen. It's the same place in the back of his mind that makes his heart flip funny when Fenris does silly things like stand between him and danger or put on an obnoxious display of strength like deciding to just pick him up and carry him where he needs to go. "I think…" He hesitates and then laughs a little at himself, soft and breathless. "It's possible I might be a little bit afraid of you, too."

It's fear for different reasons, but when Anders tilts and twists his head to kiss Fenris again, it is slow and gentle and tender and achingly, sharply sweet - giving away as much as his face ever did.

"I don't want to stop."

At least Fenris was somewhat more used to people being frightened of him. Maker, he facilitated the thought most of the time. The admission earns another soft nuzzle from the elf, however. There's no argument about it. No questioning. Fenris is well aware of the fact he can be frightening, though perhaps he does not quite understand the sort of fear that Anders is speaking of. So, instead, he is just remarkably, suddenly tender. It's not often he is this soft with anything, but does have the ability to be. Meeting Anders' kiss, he takes that sweetness almost in stride, returning it with an affection that is warm, inviting, a sort of safety that comes with a fierce predator offering no signs of aggression. His hold on the mage's hair softens, and turns to him running his fingers through, releasing the tie that holds it back, petting the man even as he breaks their kiss to assure his wish to continue.

It's then that Fenris leans back some, the hand in his lover's hair coming instead to cup his jaw, thumb swiping slowly at the edge of Anders' cheek. Looking Anders in the eye, he holds his gaze a moment, just appreciating his eyes and their honey golden warmth. His hand upon his lover's side travels downward once more, firm but not demanding, a stability and strength that comes from surety and not feverishness. Coming to rest at Anders' hip, he holds him there, tight but not painful. Offering the mage a small, lopsided smile, he leans to press his forehead to Anders' with a tender nuzzle to his nose, followed swiftly by another kiss, sweet and keening with that same sharp, beautiful feeling in his chest that he has been given no name for.

This is something entirely new - something with which Anders has no prior experience. Roughness, firmness, sternness, these are things he's known since he was a teenager (and Maker only knew he had a proclivity for them) but this… gentleness, this careful tenderness like he was something precious and fragile…

This is beyond his ken and Anders has to ride a whole minute of foolishness where, staring back at dark, sylvan green eyes, he feels the ridiculous urge to cry. He nuzzles happily against Fenris' nose and he cannot stop smiling into the sweet kisses that follow, both hands lifting to his lover's armor. These are catches he has some practice with, and he works through them slowly while indulging in kisses and floats on the adoration bubbling in his own chest.

Admittedly, Fenris' own experience with being so gentle has its own wash of unpleasantness to it. But he knows the motions, and applying them now… Doesn't feel the same way. Maybe it's the lack of sleepy haze and numbness, maybe it's because he… No, he doesn't linger on that thought. The closures of his armor are simple enough things once one knows how they function, they have to be, for ease of his getting himself in and out of it, and they release at fingers that have learned them by now. Each tender kiss is returned with a building energy that is almost playful, as opposed to the tumbling ferocity Fenris has previously shown. As the armor shifts down on his torso, Fenris pulls away just long enough to separate it from his torso and set it aside with perhaps little more carelessness than he would normally show it.

This playfulness delights Anders. He returns it - escalates it even - with little nips at lips and jawline, with every kiss shaped by a smile. He is happy and it shows in the soft laugh that escapes when Fenris almost tosses his armor out of the way. He doesn't hesitate this time in lifting his own shirt off over his head - Fenris knows these scars and hasn't been put off by them yet - and that he does toss away before reaching for Fenris' hand and falling back to lie face up on the nest, his hair falling loose over one shoulder - grinning up at Fenris like he's hung the moon.

And this, this is completely different than anything Fenris has ever known or done. The gentleness was one thing, that was behavior trained and rote. The ferocious passion that had driven them before, he had known that many times, it was the easiest way to work through the pain most of the time. But this was something else entirely. For possibly the first time Fenris can remember, he actually feels his age. He actually feels like a man in his early twenties, such a young man, really, when he stopped to think about it. Leaning down over Anders, Fenris pauses a moment to stare again into honey color eyes, returning that grin with a smile of his own, though by his very nature it is a shade more reserved. But that reservation carries through in nothing else as he leans into Anders and presses kisses to his lover's neck and collar, purring. The playfulness of young lovers is a high he hasn't known before, and combining with the strange song between them, it's disorienting. Fenris doesn't really know which way is up, but he doesn't really care as he reaches to pull at the closure of Anders' pants.

Torn between multiple sensations - the skin on his neck is so, so sensitive - Anders can't help but feel a little dizzy himself. And he's the one lying down. One hand twists in ratty blankets as a particularly pleasurable spot is kissed, but he's lifting his hips to help with their removal. Also trying to kick off his boots while also also reaching his free hand to the ties of Fenris' pants means that for a moment exactly nothing gets done, but Anders is able to laugh at himself and try again in a more organized and linear fashion. So it is that by the time he reaches for those fastenings properly, his other hand is also lifting to rest flat against Fenris' side, thumb rubbing back and forth over the slight ridges of ribs.

There were certain benefits to not wearing shoes, and that is the lack of need to remove them when hastily falling into bed with a lover. The tangle of actions, of limbs and clothes makes Fenris laugh a little, but in an easy, interested way that is without mockery. Eventually, the fight of clothing is dealt with. Most of it tossed to side as if it really does not matter. Because, frankly, as far as Fenris is concerned, it doesn't. When finally they are both free of clothing, Fenris leans once more into Anders' neck, having made note of that place that had distracted the mage enough to try and do for things at once, and nipping at it playfully, none of the claiming heat that had come with his bites before. He purrs again, the muscle of his side shivering under Anders' hand.

There hadn't been time before - even though he'd given it a good try - to explore the expanse of Fenris' warm skin. Having it bared to him now is too much to resist. Flat palms sweep up his lover's back, over shoulder blades and back down his sides. One moves to grab at Fenris' hip when nipping teeth at his neck pull a sharp moan from him, the other sweeping down the curve of his backside to trace light fingertips over the thin skin covering the tendons of his hamstrings. Everywhere there is a feeling almost like static electricity between his skin and Fen's, humming and crackling in a way that - combined with this further attention to his neck - makes Anders squirm and pant and flush all the way down his neck.

The exploration of his skin finds… Fewer scars than one might imagine with as much fighting as Fenris does. He's surprisingly smooth, all whipcord muscle under skin that is still youthful despite all the elf has been through. Fenris purrs again, exploring with teeth and tongue and lips what places upon his lover's neck get the greatest reaction from him. Leaving little marks, sucking blood up to the surface of his flesh, in his wake when he finds them. A map for himself. When, however, Anders' hands come to the back of his legs, one, upon his left thigh, will find a scar that is so much more noticeable than the rest. A healer's hands would know the pattern of the scar tissue should continue through the lines of lyrium on his thigh, though the lyrium is as unbroken and smooth as ever. And as the hand finds that scar, Fenris near jumps out of his skin, instinctively tensing though he manages to stop himself lashing out beyond that.

Anders is, frankly, very easy to turn into a mess when the right buttons are pressed. Fenris' assault on his neck turns what was a smooth caress into both hands grabbing at the flesh beneath them just for a little bit of purchase against unexpected pleasure. When Fenris' whole body reacts almost violently, it's like having cold water splashed in his face. Instantly both hands go flat again, rubbing palms against skin in soothing strokes as apologies tumble from his lips.

"I'm sorry, Fen, I stopped paying attention to what I was doing and grabbed and I shouldn't have."

Because yeah he felt the scar, but he hadn't lingered on it. What was one scar compared to the mess that was his back?

Yes, what was one scar in comparison to Anders' back, or even to the other, though much fainter, ones that were present on Fenris' own body? Well, it was rather quite a lot. At least for Fenris. He clears his throat, shakes his head, steadies himself with a deep breath.

"It is fine. It wasn't the grabbing." He explains, forcing down the instinctive wave of terror that came from any touch to that scar. He's not ready to face that demon, not necessarily, and he doesn't really want to lose what they had going. Nuzzling down into Anders again, he takes another deep breath, taking in his lover's smell, focusing on the arcing harmony between them, letting the situation that is distinctly not what had caused that scar come back to the forefront of his mind.

There is a light that goes on in Anders' head and he only barely restrains himself from a very unhelpful 'ohhhh' sound. Instead, he waits until Fenris lowers his head back into the crook of his neck and then slides both hands up and around his back, holding him while he breathes Anders in and stroking slow circles over less weighted skin. He isn't going to force anything about this; it's just not his way.

The tension eases quickly. It's simple enough to identify that this situation is not the same, and before long he returns to his gentle kisses to Anders' neck. He smiles against his lover's skin, glad for the patience. There is a small pause, though, a moment where he holds his breath, considers something. This amount of playfulness that had just been there… He'd never known it but he enjoyed it. Returning to his kisses, one hand goes to Anders' side, and then very suddenly the mage is being tickled.

There are moments in every man's life where he has to face the fact that he is not always some grand stoic - some dare say poetic - figure. That he is, like the rest of us, mere mortal flesh and blood. For Anders, this day comes a lot.

Even so, he is not ready for the brush of fingertips in crawling motions over sensitive skin. He'd been cuddling nice as you please and then to be assaulted out of nowhere, well. It's no wonder the noise he makes is undignified. Surely. Everyone squeaks when their grumpy bastard of a lover decides to tickle them out of nowhere, right? Helpless with giggling, breathless laughter, he writhes underneath Fenris and is… really not all that successful in his laughter-enfeebled escape attempts.

This day comes less often for Fenris, but it seems he is giving into it none the less. The surprised sounds and wriggling of Anders makes him laugh, though it is still the quiet, rumbling thing it always is. But the tickling only lasts a few moments before the elf bends to replace his fingers with his lips, kissing at recently assaulted flesh to sooth the lasting flutters that remain. His hand slides down Anders' thigh instead, no tickling now, just a slow journey downward and then over, exploring his lover's inner thigh before his finger brush across Anders' length with a teasing lightness.

The sudden change from ohMakerno to ohfuckyesss leaves Anders gasping for breath. As those touches stray lower, he shifts his legs a little further apart to give Fenris better access. Propped up on his elbows now (with his hair tumbling in a mess over part of his face) his head dips back momentarily with a truly obscene little moan. He is pliant and responsive under Fenris' hands, but when he rolls his head back to look down his own body to Fen's clear green gaze, his own eyes - though definitely pleasure-hazed - showcase a wicked mischief just waiting for its chance to pounce.

Well, at least no one could call him predictable. Fenris grins up at Anders, his ears perking playfully with the motion. Ceasing the teasing, Fenris' hand wraps around his lover, setting a pace that is steady and firm. His head dips, but he does not break eye contact with the mage, his tongue playing circles over the head of Anders' cock. Sudden changes seem to be theme for his day, or at very least, very powerful distractions. He purrs low in his chest, shifting to put his weight on his knees so that his other hand can explore the expanse of Anders' naval.

Anders' mischief goes almost comically wide-eyed as Fenris leaps from teasing to steady pleasure. It's a moan broken by a gasp that makes his heart start racing, his hips already lifting to thrust into Fenris' hand. The addition of that wicked tongue brings panting whimpers, but it's the gaze he cannot break that constricts his chest until he starts to feel light-headed. "Fen," he breathes, but whatever thought was going to follow is lost to the perfect tension creeping slowly up his spine.

Fenris purrs at the name, that same low, rumbling thing. Breathing deep through his nose, he takes his lover into his mouth more fully. He's attentive and unceasing, exploring and finding the places that make Anders react the most. And when that edge of pleasure approaches, and if it sets Anders to being overwhelmed again, he eases enough to draw out the pleasure for as long as it takes for Anders to be comfortable, and to not quite know which way is up by the time he finally is ready to reach his climax. Drawing up to nuzzle him as the pleasure eases, he purrs into Anders' ear.

It's a wild ride for Anders, rising tension winding him tight and desperate only to ease until the sensations become something he can cope with. He doesn't know which way is up, only that he's coming with a series of ragged moans and that he is dizzy enough that only his lover's name is left - panted out on every exhale as Anders tries to gather him up. The arms going around Fenris are shaking, but they pull him close with an affection all their own.

With a contented purr, Fenris allows himself to pulled into Anders' shaking hold. He nuzzles into his lover, warm and pleased. His hand lifts to run through Anders' hair once more, soothing and steady. None the less, Fenris cannot stop the amused little smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.

The hand in his hair pulls a purr from Anders as well, hands petting along Fenris' warm back while he catches his breath. He catches that smirk, though, and huffs out a slightly self-deprecating laugh. "What are you so pleased about, hmm?" His voice is a little rough, but it's too fond to have any bite to it. One of his hands lifts to brush fingertips at Fenris' hair on the opposite side, tucking a bit of it behind one long ear - and perhaps letting his hand trail along that skin more than strictly necessary while doing it.

"You're shaking." Fenris answers, as though that is every ounce of information needed to explain his amusement. The shiver that follows, however, eases the edge of his smugness. His eyes close, and Fenris leans slightly into that touch to his ear. He takes a deep breath, but it is calm, pleased, warm. There's that twisting, heavy feeling in the center of his chest again, and he doesn't know what to do with it, or whether he likes it, though it is pleasant, somehow.

Anders huffs again, but it's a lazy sound. "I do that sometimes. I get… a little carried away." Like that would be a surprise to anyone who'd ever met him. Fenris' contentment sets up a warmth and a lightness inside his own chest, sparking the irrational desire to wrap around him entirely. Like a limpet. Just to hold him, because Anders is the worst kind of sap. Except that shiver gives him an even better idea.

Both hands trail down over warm skin to rest against Fenris' hips and lift them up and back so that his lover's weight is on his knees and not on Anders. Those hands slide down - one over the top of a thigh and the other teasing along the inside - but only for a moment. Soon, Anders is levering himself up to steal a deep, affectionate kiss - a sweet moment that he ruins with playful nips and licks as he pulls away and begins to work his way down, tasting skin on neck, chest and stomach as he goes and propelling his journey with surprisingly coordinated heels and elbows.

"Yes, so it seems." Fenris says, but the warmth in his tone removes any sense of disapproval. He purrs as Anders' hands wander over his chest, and he is simple enough to get to shift his weight. When the mage begins his journey downward, though, he trembles slightly to the kisses to his neck, breath hitching by the time Anders is kissing at his naval.

Anders sucks at the skin just below the navel, worrying it very gently between his teeth before pulling back enough that the now wet skin slips from his hold. He blows on it once - testing to see what response that gets - and then levers himself down just a little more. Settling his own hips down into a dip in the blanket pile, Anders runs both hands up the backs of Fenris' thighs, nuzzling nose and cheek against the side of his cock before turning enough to drag lips and lap tongue against the head - simultaneously teasing and learning and… frankly, just enjoying himself.

The shiver that is elicited from breath upon damp flesh is not an unpleasant one. Fenris hadn't been expecting that, but he doesn't seem to mind it, looking down toward Anders though the angle makes his hair fall in all manners into his face. At the touch of his lover's lips, however, Fenris moans deep and low. His fingers grip the blankets beneath him, winding around his fingers as he shudders, eyes closing. Inhaling sharply, his lips part, and it is every ounce of his willpower to not press his hips down against his lover's tongue. "Anders…" Fenris pants the name, tremors following the touch of Anders' hands upon his thighs.

That low moan sends a hard shiver up Anders' spine, his breath trembling with it on a sharp inhalation. The tremors he can feel are sweeter still; he chases them, fingers following the arc and dip of strong muscles. His lips curve into a slow, wicked smile pressed against heated flesh; he sweeps his tongue in a broad circumference that ends with his lips around the very tip and the flat of his tongue rubbing and pressing on the underside. He's thoroughly enjoying himself, but with a focus on remembering what he's doing at any given moment. It's important to be able to repeat desired results, after all.

Fenris' breathing grows quick and heavy, and the effort of his composure becomes obvious. "Maker, Anders…" He moans, biting his lips and taking a deep breath, holding it. Some of his composure breaks as his hips press down, though admittedly gently, before he realizes and eases the action. Instinctively, he reaches to slip his hand under Anders' head, fingers lacing into blonde hair.

The changes in breathing, the struggle to stay still - the way Fenris moans his fucking name - they please Anders on a base and instinctive level. He hums his own pleasure and rewards that press of hips by relaxing his lips, by opening that little bit wider. He whimpers when the motion stops, sucking at what mouthful he's left with and making no attempt to silence the wet noises he makes doing so… but it's not until that hand finds his head - finds his hair - that Anders actively whines.

There were some things in this world that simply were not fair, and the sound of that whine was one of them. That, combined with the success of his previous movement, all of that attempted composure breaks. Pressing himself as far down as Anders will comfortably allow, Fenris groans, shuddering, the hold on his lover's hair tightening enough to feel. Not to pull, no pain, just a secure hold that is difficult to ignore.

Anders not only allows, Anders welcomes. Whine cut off by being given exactly what he wanted, the mage drops his jaw and adjusts the bend of his neck as far as the hand in his hair allows. It's not the right position to get much in the way of depth, but that does nothing to stifle his enthusiasm, swallowing convulsively around as much as he can get. His hands slide up further, palms resting against both sides of Fenris' ass and taking hold, encouraging and clinging in equal measure.

The pure, undeniable pleasure that this is completely breaks Fenris down. Any ceasing of the instinct to thrust into his lover's mouth completely fails. Though the pace his hips set is easy, gentle even, it does not appear to be something he is control of all that well. Moaning, Fenris pulls breath from his teeth, a hiss of trying to keep the keening edge of the pleasure at bay, to keep some of his mind, though the brightness of this contact is making such an endeavor immensely difficult.

Anders handles this easy pace very well, able to suck in little breaths in a rhythm that has him feeling rather like he could sustain this all day and yet also pleasantly lightheaded. His lover's moans elicit a low, short purring sound and he would lift himself into each thrust save the firm (delicious) hold on his hair keeping him just there, just exactly there.

And there is precisely where Fenris seems to want him. That easy pace doesn't remain forever, however. Between Fenris' own pleasure, and lack of control, and the knowledge that, coddle him though he might, Anders is, in fact, not a delicate mageflower, his pace quickens. What's more, that grip upon Anders' hair tightens again, and he's stopped simply holding his still, but pulls him to lift against his movements as he can feel the instinct for.

Anders is sometimes more of a delicate mageflower than he'd like to admit. This particular time, however, he rises eagerly to the occasion. He opens his jaw a little wider, letting the pressure come from the press of his lips and from the little motions of his tongue. As Fenris' grip tightens in his hair, Anders moans, the sound broken with every thrust. And when his lover begins to fuck his mouth in earnest, he neither fights nor resists. His hands are almost clawing at Fenris' backside now, his chin and neck are shiny from sweat and saliva and from time to time he chokes a little around Fenris' cock… but he doesn't just take it; he loves it.

Yet again, Anders has discovered one of those things that is simply unfair. This eagerness completely overwhelms him. Moaning in a manner that is, frankly, completely undignified at this point, Fenris shudders. It doesn't take all that long at that point. With some other lover, Fenris likely could have continued this a very long time. With Anders? Anders and his humming, arcing pleasure that Fenris can do absolutely nothing to diminish, the elf is simply incapable. Gasping Anders' name, it almost becomes a reverent chant in stolen breaths, twisted toward the lewd by the moans that overtake. His orgasm arrives near without warning, sudden and making his mind reel. By the time it crests and breaks he's shaking, despite his gentle teasing of Anders before, and doesn't quite clearly remember the last few moments in any sort of linear order.

This… this complete abandon is the most beautiful thing Anders can remember. There is a part of him that wants to pay attention to everything, to hoard these memories like a dragon's gems, but he is so caught up in the moment that much is undoubtedly lost. When Fenris finally breaks, Anders takes him deep and swallows everything he's given. Only afterward does he pull back with a slurping sound and carefully lever himself back up to lay where he'd been before he started this. Both arms go around Fenris, coaxing him to rest his weight on Anders again while he comes back to himself. His voice is going to be rough for a bit, so when Anders finds himself nearly overwhelmed with soft affection, he nuzzles down into his lover's neck and leaves an almost chaste kiss there against the skin.

When Fenris' mind is actually properly back to him, he's being coaxed back down. He doesn't make any complaint of it, settling down. Perhaps by some instinct, however, he does shift to be beside Anders, his head rested upon his chest and shoulder. He purrs as he's nuzzled into, and returns the motion languidly. Smiling faintly at that kiss, he turns to catch Anders' lips with his own, warm and affectionate but brief.

Warmth and affection make Anders glow; he's fine with brevity, it's the affection he craves. With Fenris settled against his side, Anders wraps that arm around his shoulders, eyes falling closed while he just breathes… while he just is. Comfortable, warm, entirely sated, he almost drifts off to sleep right there, but for a potentially awkward thought.

"Maura didn't have the lantern lit when we came in, did she? I don't remember."

He doesn't remember much about those first few seconds except fear and determination, but his own shame aside, he can't imagine Fenris would do well if someone walked in on them jut like this.

Contented and feeling safe in a way he had not in very long time, Fenris also drifts toward the hazy edge of consciousness. Even the nights in the Land of Horrid Quilts had been different. It had been secure thus far, but Fenris knew better than to trust an inn forever. So here, in Anders' clinic, though surely it could be a dangerous place if people decide to start trouble, he is able to drift a little more easily. Though perhaps it is just exhaustion. When Anders asks that question, though, Fenris gives a quiet, sleepy groan as he thinks, one eye opening by fractions of an inch.

"I do not believe so." He says, "But if you get up to check right now, I might never forgive you."

This is enough to make Anders huff out a breathless little laugh, rolling his body just enough to wrap his other arm around Fenris and squeeze him in a brief but affectionate hug. "Well, we certainly can't have that." His voice is still rough, but it's impossible to hide the happiness and care in it. So instead he settles again on his back and reaches with his free hand to pull one of the softer blankets over them both.

Purring, Fenris leans up slightly to place a small kiss to Anders' throat before settling back down and closing his eyes. He calms quickly, his breathing even and slow. But there's that pressing feeling in his chest again, and it makes him pause. Not distracted by pleasure, he is forced to stare at it, but he has no idea what it is.

That small, sweet little kiss draws a happy crooning noise from somewhere in Anders' throat - the sound conveying contentment and affection without words to muddle it up. With Fenris pressed against his side and the blanket over them, he is warm and languid and safe; for once in his life he can just be and Anders wallows in the feeling. But there is a quality to this silence that is unlike their usual silence - a difference that he can't put a finger on, but one that exists all the same. So he turns his head again and nuzzles into the crown of his lover's head. "You're thinking very loudly. What troubles you?"

Despite the strangeness of this feeling, it is not unpleasant, and he starts to settle into it well enough. Blinking at that question, Fenris shrugs one shoulder vaguely. "I do not know." He answers, shifting slightly, "And I do not know if I would call it trouble."

Anders chuckles at that. "Don't borrow trouble, that's what my - " He cuts himself off, body strung tight for a split second as he catches himself and then forces himself to relax again. "… what my mother always said." The arm around Fenris squeezes gently and then eases, doing his best to follow his own damn advice. "We should sleep."

As Anders tenses, Fenris nuzzles into him. There are no words offered, no meaningless platitudes, just a gentle, physical affection. He understands that better, somehow. He nods then, "Yes, probably." He says then, sounding tired, but still peaceful. Eventually he'll figure out what the feeling in his chest is.

And Anders can accept that gentle, physical affection - can let himself be open to it, receptive to it - in a way that he just… can't with words, so often. It soothes him and sparks a heavy warmth in his own chest. It makes it a little harder to breathe, but it chases away the last of the tension until he is sound asleep lying there with Fen.


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