Participants:

Fenris_icon.gif Anders_icon.gif

Scene Title Mirror, Mirror
Synopsis After nearly two weeks of silence, Fenris makes the trek down to Darktown to find out why his mage has been absent. He gets more answer than he bargained for.
Location Darktown Clinic
Date Justinian 16, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Plot stuff and awkward courtship
Logger Anders

Late on a Thursday night should see Anders at least trying to sleep. It's been… he can't even remember, actually, the last time he's slept. His hair's coming loose from its tie, little wisps trying their best to curl around his face - there are dark circles under his eyes and his face has the haggard look of someone already a bit unhealthy skipping about a week's worth of meals. He needs to rest. He wants to go up to Lowtown's Inn. But instead of doing either, he sits here in the empty clinic at an empty table staring at a single piece of parchment that's been folded and refolded and read so many times it's in danger of falling apart. The last few days have been anything but kind, but it's a deeper indecision that's left him here, all but paralyzed.

It has been nearly two weeks and Fenris had honestly expected to see Anders before this point. With the delicate nature of the last time he had seen the healer, though, he had kept some distance. Why? He couldn't quite explain even to himself, but he had given some breathing room. Now, though, there's this nagging sadness at the corners of his mind that he can't quite shake, and its call leads him down to Darktown with no small amount of nerves. At the door, he pauses. He'd been about to let himself in, but thinks better of it. With a sigh, he raises his hand and knocks three times, firm but not angry.

It's a moment before the sound registers as a knock inside Anders' twisted mind. It's another before he recognizes that it's to his door and that he'll need to get up and answer it. He could have sworn… but it isn't at all impossible that he had forgotten to douse the lantern. At this point it's not even highly unlikely. So he shoves the note back into his pocket and pushes himself up. Opening the door, he obviously expects to see… anyone but who he finds. "Fen," he breathes, but the surprise melts quickly into a relief so sharp it's painful; it changes so quickly that it's almost pathetic, but there's actual pain mixed in there. It matches the bittersweet mess in Anders' heart and he steps back to let the elf inside. "Please," he begins, voice a little rough, "come in."

Fenris had come into this nervous and more than a little bit afraid. Seeing Anders in the state he is in, however, when the door is opened, changes that feeling swiftly. His brow knits as he steps in, watching the healer closely. "What is wrong?" He asks, tone is serious, protective even.

The question - for all that its tone makes a part of Anders' wretched, traitorous heart become lighter - sparks a bitter little laugh. Anders closes the door behind Fenris and leans his forehead against it just long enough to take a deep breath. That way when he turns, his eyes can be brighter, but his face is entirely dry. "Nothing," he answers first, out of habit, followed by, "Everything." And then, as his shoulders slump forward, he admits in one word to the vicious little fear that has wormed its way deep, deep inside him. "Me." And though his hand slides back into the pocket to worry that heavy note between his fingertips, it's like he's forgotten for long minutes how to say anything.

"I got a note." For some reason that statement is followed by another short, mirthless laugh. "It sounds so simple, doesn't it? 'I got a note'." His next inhale is shaky, but the exhale that follows is a little better. "Someone in the Circle… knew me - oh so long ago, now. They're asking a lot of questions after the Qunari. Someone named Ser Alrik has even been making threats, I - "

And that really is all he knows how to say.

None of that worry eases at all. Fenris' eyes follow the movement of Anders' hand, canting his head. It's not as though he would get anything from the note, but he's making note of behavioral cues. Stepping toward the mage, Fenris gathers Anders up in an embrace that is… Protective but almost awkward. He's not quite sure how to offer comfort about something like this. Though the humming that comes along with his touch likely eases some of the discomfort from his doubt. "Threats of what?" He asks, trying, and failing, to keep the growl from his voice, "It's not as though the Templars have any claim to you now, do they? You're a Warden."

There is a span of time - small but infinitely beautiful - where Anders melts instantly into Fenris' hold, hands clutching at his back like he could somehow draw strength here. But there's a shame in him, dark and ugly, that taunts him until he pulls back, steps away, walks over so that the table is between them and leans heavily on it. "Not threats against me," he assures quietly, even now a warm little smile tugging at his mouth for Fenris' protectiveness. "Against - against him. He's… he's afraid, Fen. He's asking for help."

That melting is met with a gentle nuzzle from the elf, and a deep breath. It soothes the part of him that set his heart to pounding when he had made his way down into Darktown to find Anders. But that twisting shame that leads Anders to pull away… Stepping back, putting a table between them, Fenris doesn't understand it. It stings, though he can't place why. He glances down to the table between them, clears his throat, and shifts his weight. Looking away, he considers the mage's words, those his looking down means he misses the little smile from Anders. "I see." He says, "What did you have planned?"

This time when Anders laughs, there's something just a little unhinged in it and he struggles to stop, suddenly whipping around to fling an empty vial at the wall behind him… just as he had done with the wine bottle the night they took the job on the coast. "I don't have a plan," he admits, shoulders tense and neck tight - visibly so, even with his back to Fenris. "Half of me wants to leave the bastard to rot."

Fenris blinks, canting his head as the vial is thrown. Shattering glass has never been a thing that bothers him. The sound is… Strangely comforting, actually. That can't be healthy. "Not a friend of yours, then?" Fenris says, moving around the table to place a hand upon Anders' shoulder tentatively. No hold, just a presence, reaching out. Perhaps, even, a small test. "You are not obligated to help everyone who asks you."

This time that laugh sounds more like a sob and when Fenris rests his hand on Anders' shoulder the mage leans into it. He is weak and the offer of comfort appeals to that weakness in a way he can only resist so long. "There are a lot of words you could use to describe what Karl Thekla was to me," he admits, voice muffled from the wet clench to his throat and the way his head is ducked so that his face is down and away; so that he is hidden, even as he leans into that touch. "But 'friend' would not be one of them." Even his breathing sounds a little wet, though he keeps himself from shaking fairly well. "It just - I'm the reason he was transferred to Kirkwall in the first place. He wouldn't be in the Gallows if it weren't for me."

"Anders." Fenris says, almost gentle, though his voice is one that has a very hard time ever truly getting into that territory, "Come here." His hand slides over Anders' shoulders, wrapping around him, though not taking him up as he had before. "I… This does not sound as though it is your responsibility." Fenris says, and shifts slightly, considering, "But, if you decide to… Do something…" He sighs, "And need help, I…" Anders was one thing, but some mage he had never met? One that Anders could not even call a friend? Fenris is having a hard time swallowing this pill. A very hard time. "I will help you."

And that gentleness, the warm siren call of safety in Fenris' touch - it calls to him. He wants it; frankly at this point he needs it, yet still he pulls away, stumbles back and stares up at Fenris with eyes that are swollen and rimmed with red. "You can't - you shouldn't - I - " Thankfully, perhaps, he stumbles into one of the cots for patients, sitting instead of relying on unsteady legs. There's a desperation and a twisted self-loathing in his face, an ache that he can't seem to exorcise. "I was fourteen," is all he can think to say, but it sounds a pitiful defense even to his own ears. "I should have said no and I didn't and I thought it was because we were mages but it wasn't, it was me, Fenris. It was my fault."

And yet still, Fenris does not understand. Anders pulling away stings sharply once again, this time lingering in a way that tells him the worries that had twisted in his mind for the past few days were horribly, tragically true. Pulling his arm back, the elf takes a step backward, his ears falling slightly. It's selfish, and likely more than a little childish, but the rejection burns like a brand and he can't cope with it for a moment. It's not until Anders speaks again, saying something so… Strange. What does his being fourteen have to do with the price of fish in Tevinter? He cants his head, staring at the mage very confused.

Understanding dawns like daybreak on a stormy morn and his look changes entirely all at once. "That…" He starts, shakes his head, "I imagine…" So many assumptions, the elf huffs his frustration at thinking he understands but not. "Anders, that is not your fault." Nope, he's just going to place bets on his assumptions.

"I loved him."

Anders' voice is so, so small.

"I thought I mattered. I thought I'd finally found someone who wasn't going to abandon me just because I was born different." The loss of his family is one he never really got over, only folded down and deeper down until he couldn't feel it so keenly anymore. But in the process he folded it into part of himself, into something intrinsic in his being - a need that he cannot ever seem to shake. "I ran like a bear in a cage every chance I got, thinking I could go back to that. I came here to get it back, to run off and never be alone again." Everything comes out in a rush when it's been bottled up. "And then Cenn - " His jaw clenches and his hands shake until he balls them into fists and then forces them flat again. "The day I asked to go on the job with you, he'd told me why they really moved Karl. Because I'd been fourteen and he'd been thirty." And there's the root of that anger, directed both at Karl and himself - one for what had been done and the other for not having understood it sooner. "And then there was you and Maker, Fen, I was - I was so happy and I'd forgotten what it felt like just to be entirely, stupidly happy that the rest of it just didn't seem important but this note…" He stops, takes a ragged and shaking breath, closing his eyes against the tears sliding down his face without his permission.

"I didn't feel fourteen then, you know? But now I have to make this decision and I really, really feel just about exactly that old."

There is a long, silent moment where Fenris just listens. Listens, and then thinks. There is… Absolutely nothing good to say to something like this. Not a single sentence comes to him that doesn't feel trite, selfish, or worse, false. Nothing that doesn't weigh on his mind, or tear up his heart, or taste bitter on his tongue. What platitudes were there that could ease a hurt like this? An anger at oneself, a shame you can't really name, and a loss… Fenris didn't even want to think about too much. He knew it too well. And that mirror makes him uncomfortable, shifting his weight again, looking down to the floor.

Once more, he closes this distance. This time, though, he doesn't touch Anders. No, Fenris just sits down beside the bed. His back toward the cot, just to the right of Anders' legs. Far enough not to touch, but in ease enough reaching distance if Anders wants it. And there he stays, quiet but present, as he turns over this situation in his mind. The thoughts are obviously happening, though the contents of them are murky when reading his expression.

"Whatever you choose to do," Fenris eventually says, "I'll be here." Anders didn't need his opinions. He didn't need his advice. It didn't matter what Fenris' thoughts on the matter were. It didn't matter that the thought of a fourteen year old boy and a man more than twice his age, and that boy having been Anders, twisted his stomach into knots. It didn't matter, that unfamiliar crushing in his chest as Anders had said 'you.' It didn't matter what he would do, or the memories of the own that this dredged up. All that mattered was that Anders had a decision to make, and that he would not be alone.

Anders is not at all prepared for the physical impact of such simple, gentle words. They steal his breath at a time where he's already short on it and they press in on him like medicine; a balm to a fear he had not even dared to name.

Losing Fenris over this would have been…

No, those are thoughts best left alone; what-if does nothing good for anyone.

With half a thought, he engages the most basic kind of force magic to shove another cot up behind them, a brace so that he can slide down to the floor and sit next to Fenris properly without either one of them falling backwards. He lays his head on Fenris' shoulder then, curling his body around his lover's side in the way that bodies tend to when seeking comfort. He doesn't know what to say either, at this point. Some kind of thank you is in order, without question, but that will have to wait until he has the presence of mind to do it properly. For now, all he can do is lean into Fen and finally just let himself cry quietly without pushing it back down.

As Anders joins him down on the floor, Fenris puts his arm around the mage. Releasing the closures on his gauntlet on his opposite hand with his teeth, he pulls it off, letting the metal fall to the floor, and not pay it much mind. His hand, once freed, comes up to Anders' hair, petting gently. No more words, they weren't necessary. He just lets Anders cry, petting his hair, holding him there against him. Surely, there are soft syllables of comfort, but they are little more than quiet hushes and soothing, protective rumbles that aren't growls but couldn't quite be called purrs either.

This has been a long time coming, the kind of base, physical release Anders has been denying himself for years - staving it off with distraction after distraction after distraction. When Fenris' arms come up, Anders' go down, one wrapping around lower back and the other draped sort of uselessly over his lap. There's a point where despite all the soothing sounds his breathing becomes hard and rough and erratic. It sounds like the beginnings of his panic attack from before, but the warm presence holding and being held is surprisingly effective in helping him stay here, stay now.

It passes - everything passes - and Anders is left limp against Fenris, feeling hollow and spent but also strangely… relieved. It's not a feeling he'd ever associated with crying before, but the stillness in its wake brings its own kind of clarity.

He also feels rather foolish.

"Sorry," he murmurs, not pushing Fenris away this time but making an effort to at least be a bit less of a sprawling, clinging dead weight.

"No." Fenris says, simple and finite. Brooking no argument. He had waited, he had soothed, and just been, as long as it had took. He did not keep track, there was no part of him counting the seconds. These were seconds he could bear to lose, seconds that were long overdue for someone he… What even to call this? He did not know what this was. "No apologies." Fenris leans down then to place a kiss to the top of Anders' head just before the mage straightens himself up some.

"No," Anders parrots back, voice quiet and awed. Here, here for the first time is Anders' laugh - open and inelegant and entirely real for all that it's still quiet, still somehow shy. "Just like that. No." And it's possible that he's slightly drunk off his crying jag, but there's open wonder in his voice, wonder and affection and something deeper - something almost wild. "Maker, I'd hate to be on the wrong side of your no. You must be maddening to argue with."

But his ridiculous giggles trail off into silence too and Anders is left with the reality of a decision still in need of being made.

"If I leave him in there," Anders begins, a moment of rare insight into his own psyche. "It'll eat me forever." He huffs a sigh and sniffs. "And I… I don't want that hanging around my neck and poisoning - " this " - everything. I suppose I might deserve some answers, at least."

"I would not know." Fenris says, offering a small smile, "I do not bother with arguing very often." No, most of his time had been spent ripping the hearts out of those he would have been having arguments with. Most anyone else, he simply had not spoken to enough to have anything to debate with them. It is true, though, though Fenris does not know it. Completely maddening. The laughing earns another kiss, this one pressed to Anders' brow.

Fenris nods then. "Very well." He says, swallowing hard. It's still not an easy idea. Helping some mage he did not know - Some mage that had done… No, no, no, this was not his fight. This was not his righteous anger to bear, or his punishment to bring to bear. The want is there, though, surely.

"I'll tell Adie to let you argue with the Arishok next time. I think you might have him beat."

His voice is a mix of disgustingly fond and the kind of pride one takes in those they care for - the kind that's not entirely rational but oddly powerful all the same. This kiss to his brow makes his chest hurt and he noses up under Fenris' jaw to nuzzle at the column of his throat.

He rests there, breathing in the unique scent of Fenris' skin. So when his decision is met with a hard swallow, it gives Anders pause. Beating back the initial choking 'but you said' panic, Anders remembers Fenris' constant fear and finds that for once the unselfish words come easy rather than each one being a struggle.

"You don't have to do this, Fen. I know it can't have been easy even to offer." He nuzzles once more against his lover's neck and presses a gentle kiss there. "I don't want to be the reason you hurt."

Fenris smirks. "Something tells me the Arishok and I could have had a very productive conversation. If his opener hadn't been…" He stops himself, though the hand that had been petting at his lover's hair moves to his forearm gently. Though the topic doesn't linger properly, and Fenris shakes his head. "No, I meant what I said." Fenris says. It isn't easy, but he doesn't agree to something that he does not intend to follow through on.

Ever.

If there was one thing that could be said of Fenris, it was that he always got the job done.

Anders had been such a mess today that he hadn't even remembered the bracers that kept his warped and twisted skin out of sight. So when Fenris' fingertips rest against his forearm it's partially against bare skin and he jumps a little.

"Alright," he says. "I - Fen, thank you."

They're two paltry words that can't help but sound trite to his own ears. They don't convey the kind of soul-deep relief Fenris' presence brings to any endeavor - but especially this one. They don't convey any of the things he needs them to, but they're all he's got.

That jump makes Fenris pull the touch back, his hand going instead to Anders's upper arm, thumb rubbing back and forth there. More soothing, not a touch to some place still sensitive and charged. He nods, then, and gives a small smile. There were no good words for all the thoughts he had before, and there were no good ones for this sort of gratitude, and he expected nothing less, and nothing more, than what he had been given. For a moment, he just pauses then, looking at Anders, not sure of what comes next. It's his heart that pulls him to the next action, though he's not sure of why it does so, even as he leans into Anders and places a soft, tender kiss to his lips.

This kiss is… it's different. It's not heated, nor is it full of the lazy weight of sated passion. It's not part of any greater exploration, it's not a way to make him stop talking. It just… is, tender and gentle and fleetingly exquisite. It makes Anders suck in a sharp breath against a chest that is full to bursting just from this. He lingers in this kiss, luxuriating in the novel sensation of an expressed emotion instead of an expressed passion. When he finally withdraws, it's with a long, happy sigh and one of his hands pressed against one side of Fenris' jaw.

"Stay with me?" There is certainly room in his bizarre nest of blankets and pillows and there is an ache at even the thought of separation right now.

Fenris still isn't quite sure what the feeling that drew him to this kiss is exactly, but it is pleasant and soft in his chest. Occasionally overwhelming, but not at all painful. Something he can't ignore, that nags at him and that he wishes, sometimes, would just be quiet for a moment, but it is bright. Bright in a way he had never known. Freeing, too, somehow, for something that kept drawing him back to the same place.

To that request, Fenris nods. "Of course." He says, and pauses, as though about to say something else, though he thinks better of it. "You look like you haven't slept in a week."

"Hah," Anders huffs out a slightly self-deprecating laugh. "I would argue with you, but I can't honestly remember the last time I slept." Which means he's either right or close to it. "You don't have to do that either, you know." It's too gentle to be actual chiding but instead is something like it. "You do this thing sometimes where you absolutely look like you're about to say something and then you stop and say something else. I don't know what that's called, but you don't have to do it. I -" he falters, ducking his head a little. "I am really bad at not arguing, but I do actually want to know what you think about things." Acting on pure impulse, Anders turns enough to press a kiss to Fenris' cheek, soft and sweet. "C'mon. My leg's going numb."

The blush that comes the edge of Fenris' ears mark the next statement he makes for the lie that it is. "I do not know what you are talking about." He says. Though he's already moving. Not getting up, though, but slipping his arm under Anders' legs, since one is already under his shoulders. And when he stands, he brings them both up with him. Really, greatsword wielding, it's great for training in wooing gestures of strength. Very effective.

When Fenris starts to move, Anders is more prepared for this eventuality than he ever thought he would be. He still chuckles and rests one bare hand on the back of Fenris' neck to enjoy the arcing hum of their touch. He still rolls his eyes and blushes like a madman, but he doesn't fight it. At this point he's pretty sure they both know he secretly enjoys these kinds of displays. Even so, it happening in his own clinic does rather bring one point home and he presses a softly laughing kiss against Fenris' jaw as the reality sinks in.

"We really are ridiculous, did you know?"

"Are we?" Fenris says, smiling a little at the kiss to his jaw. Moving to the back of the Clinic, he sets Anders down in the pile of blankets, "I wouldn't know." And really, he wouldn't. His exposure to relationships has been… Well, let's just not go there. Taking the time remove his armor before joining Anders, he rolls his shoulder, easing a tension from the weight of wearing the metal every day.

Settled in his preferred bed, Anders takes the chance to stretch tired limbs while Fenris removes his armor. He catches that roll of shoulder and reaches for Fenris as he settles. It's not magic - he wouldn't do that without express permission - but clever fingers that seek out the knots and tight places from bearing weight - making to work them loose with gentle persistence in a process that almost seems… soothing to him. "We are," he assures him warmly. "The epitome of ridiculous. It's pretty perfect."

"Why?" Fenris manages the question, but only just. Because, see, he's very, very good at keeping his composure in most circumstances. Even in stressful situations, he can remain serious and stoic. Hell, even sex, he had managed to stay… Well, mostly dignified. Mostly. This, though? Nope, the elf is completely done for. There are few things in this world he could compare that to. Few things indeed. The easing of this tension so deep set, from wearing that armor every single day, with none of the trepidation that came along with magic, the sound it elicits is… Undignified enough it can't even be considered lewd. Somewhere between a whimper, a groan, and a gasp, and Fenris just melts under Anders' hands.

Undignified it may be, but that sound lights up in Anders' chest a hot crushing feeling of his own. He rolls and sits up, folding his legs under him so he can get both hands and a better angle involved.

"Why what?"

Fenris can't help his reaction to any of the follow up any more than he could the initial work on the knots in his shoulders. The elf purrs, his eyes closing, taking a deep breath. When Anders asks that question, even, it takes him a moment to know what the hell he's even talking about. It had just completely reset his mind entirely. "Why are we ridiculous?" He manages, though a little breathless, and through more undignified, though smaller, noises.

Fenris' reactions make Anders near giddily happy for absolutely no good reason. He is gentle but thorough, sending up a silent 'thank you' to Wynne and the mental acknowledgment of her 'told you so' if she ever knew he'd been glad she made him learn the 'boring way' first.

"Most people have all these rules in how they do this kind of thing. A very static order in which things are supposed to happen and how they're supposed to talk and behave and all. We've basically thrown all of it out the window." He bends his thumbs back to be able to press in circles against the powerful muscles in his lower back without causing pain. "And like I told you. I don't do so well at rules." So this is… yeah he's not backing down from his earlier assessment; this is pretty damn near perfect.

This kind of thing. This was a kind of thing? Fenris had no idea what this was. Just that it was comfortable, and pleasant, and… Well, if Anders kept this up, he might just be stuck with the elf forever. The sounds turn more toward whimpers, though of a very pleased variety, at that point. Instinctively, he grips at blankets under him, taking a deep breath, trying to focus long enough to speak. "Do they? I…" Pausing for breath, for a shudder that runs down his spine as tension releases over his back, joints popping back to where they ought to be. Truth be told, the elf might benefit from working on his posture, slouching with a greatsword strapped to your back wasn't great for lumbar pressure. "I wouldn't know in the slightest." Really, drunken nights and… Danarius… That's his batting average. He's got nothing.

That admission makes Anders freeze - just for an instant - before carrying on the massage down over gluteal muscles with the lack of hesitation only lovers know. When he finally requests clarification he is careful about it. "What do you mean?"

Fenris shrugs. "Precisely what I said." He says, "Courting wasn't… Exactly anywhere on Danarius' list of things he thought important for me to know." Surprisingly calm talking about this, maybe it's the massage, but it's him just distancing. "Most of my exposure has been drunken nights in taverns." Most. He's not going to elaborate on what the rest is.

Most.

There's a faltering in Anders' work - a hitch in rhythm that holds - legato - out over a flash of confusion-assumption-murder as they all cross his face in quick succession. In the end, however, he simply works his way slowly down the rest of the weight-bearing muscles - all the way down to the Achilles' tendon and the arch in the sole - and then leans up just far enough to drop a kiss between his shoulder blades.

Courting.

This is a much happier train of thought and the one Anders chooses to give voice, collapsing to the pile at Fen's side and trying to nestle into him while he's stills in the 'pile of massage-induced limp noodle' stage.

"Courting, hmm?" he asks quietly once his head is settled close to Fenris' - voice warm and ridiculously pleased. "That's not exactly something they teach us in the Circle, either," he admits. "Which I suppose means we can make up the rules to suit ourselves as we go along."

That other thing he'll think about later, when he can give the murderous rampage stirring in his stomach the attention it deserves.

Funny, that, how little words can have so much meaning. So much more so than even you intend. He hadn't even thought all that much about the statement he had made, there were so many reasons that it could be most. Maybe there had been someone before who had been gentle and kind, that he had invested time into. Maybe he meant stories. Maybe he meant… No, as much as the other options were present, it should have been obvious that they were not true. Fenris catches that pause, the tension of anger that winds its way through Anders behind him, and for half a moment, Fenris is about to say something. Though even he isn't sure what words are about to jump his lips; Most likely, it would have been denials, reassurances that, no no, that is not what he meant, no need to fret, just let it go. Please. Just let it go. Anders resuming the massage, however, cuts those words short before they even really form, and for that, Fenris is thankful.

That's a demon he's not ready to stare down yet.

The elf continues on in his massage-induced-noodle way until Anders settles in beside him. Then, Fenris purrs, shifting, though the weight of his body is heavy, to put an arm over Anders, protective and affectionate. He laughs, then, and nods. "I suppose it means we'll have to." He says, nuzzling against the mage languidly, "And honestly, I am enjoying it well enough."

Anders purrs, so content under that arm and with lazy nuzzles against his neck and ear that for a moment he can't help but feel like an idiot. Had he only reached out sooner, he could have saved himself a good deal of misery. Not that he thinks there will be no more sorrow or confusion over this, but somehow they're easier to deal with when that warm arm wraps around him like a shield.

"Good," he answers lazily. "I should hate to add 'boring' to my laundry list of faults."

Likely would saved Fenris a healthy dose of it, too. But that, for now, is neither here nor there and Fenris seems perfectly content to lay there peacefully. Laughing low and quiet, Fenris shakes his head. "No, I do not think anyone could call you boring." He says then, pressing a kiss to Anders' temple. With a deep breath, he shifts, turning onto his back and sliding an arm under and around Anders instead, pulling him near. "In your wealth of stories, do you know the household tales of the Fog Warriors?" He asks gently. Yes, he's offering Anders a story, likely hoping it will soothe the mage to sleeping. There weren't a lot that he knew, but his months spent in Seheron had included more than fighting. The stories around the fires, told by Fog Dancers, not spread widely across Thedas though they remained in indelible ink upon his own mind.

Anders at this point is perfectly content to let Fenris move him about how he likes, happy to settle with his ear over the reassuring thud of a steady heartbeat and one arm slung over Fenris' stomach. He turns his head enough to press a kiss to the skin of his lover's chest and then settles again with a soft purling noise on his long exhale.

"No," he answers softly. "Before you told me about them I'd never even heard of the Fog Warriors."

Fenris nods, his hand resting upon Anders' side, thumb rubbing gentle comfort there against the fabric of his shirt. He takes a moment to be sure he has details in order, remembers the cadence of the story. And while it is no Fog Dancer's performance, and there is no fire to grant it warmth and gravitas, when Fenris speaks, he does so with a reverence that grants the story weight. Old tales, ancient tales, stories of Seheron before it was not its own, told again and again, the only remaining history of a people long torn between Tevinter and the encroaching of Qunari. None the less, he keeps his voice low through the telling, so it rumbles gently in his chest. And he will speak until Anders bids him stop, or the mage drifts off to sleep.

These are the kinds of stories that Anders loves. He wants to listen attentively, to soak in every detail and hold them close to his chest, but he is exhausted and the rumbling cadence of Fenris' voice has come to mean everything good and safe in his world. For a while, then, there is an almost childish fight to stay awake, to listen to the next part and the next part and the next part, but eventually Anders succumbs, sleeping sound and heavy there wrapped around Fenris.


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