Title: Don’t Mind Him. He’s… Antivan. (Chapter 1: Nate didn’t sign up for this shit…)
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anders ♂, Nathaniel ♂, Zevran ♂, M!Surana (Lucien) ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S1 V1 D0)
Warnings: Smooching, innuendo, and junk-punching
Notes: Mid-Awakening. Zevran drops by, between murderous escapades, to visit his favourite Warden, now Warden-Commander. The Warden-Commander will do anything to keep his charming assassin the hell out of Amaranthine politics, and foists him off on a certain delightfully knavish mage. (Who is really doing his best to keep his ass both out of the fire and firmly attached to himself.)
Anders didn’t notice the assassin, until Nate got punched in the balls. To be fair, it wasn’t like the man was trying to kill any of them, just to get to the Warden-Commander’s office without being noticed. And, really, that’s why Nate was there — to keep things like that from happening. The Warden-Commander had an interesting relationship with a couple of factions of the Crows, he’d gathered, and while no new contracts were being issued, there was still one outstanding, and every once in a while, some young fool would try to close it out.
Fool though this one might be, however, he was faster than Nate, who crumpled to the floor with a strained sound of surprise. Anders heard it happen, before he saw anything. He’d learnt to recognise the sounds of the Wardens he worked with, so he could judge who to heal first, in combat.
"Luke?" he shouted, unshouldering his staff, as he sprinted down the hall of the keep. "Luke? Nate’s down!"
There was no response, and as he swept around the last corner, fist full of ice and cat peeking out the collar of his robe, he saw why. That was unmistakeably Warden-Commander Lucien Surana, bronze-skinned and strawberry-haired, deeply engaged with a honey-haired elf in intriguing leather armour, while Nate leaned nearby, clutching the wall with one hand and his junk with the other.
Anders shook the chill from his hand and just took in the scene, for a long moment. "So, which one of them hit you?" he finally asked.
"The short one. The Crow." Nate wouldn’t ask, but he stared expectantly at Anders.
"Well. That’s a new tactic." Anders and Ser Pounce-A-Lot watched the Warden-Commander’s hands wander over the man whose fists were clenched in the back of his robe. "Seems to be working well for him."
The kiss broke, at last, and one of the Crow’s hands drifted up to cup Ser Luke’s cheek. "Lucien," he breathed, with a strong Antivan accent, looking like he might fall into the Warden-Commander’s eyes and never resurface. "You didn’t tell me you worked with such handsome and handsy young men! This one almost got the better of me. Well, not really, but it was a good try."
The Warden-Commander nearly purred. "You meet the very best of my men, when you don’t use the front door, Zev."
"Why should I use the door? It’s so pedestrian. How am I supposed to visit you by surprise, if I come in through the door?" A heated and knowing smile spread across the Crow’s face. "I do remember how much you like to be surprised."
"Mmm, and I remember how much you like to be knocked on your ass and tied up, and you’re not getting that coming through the front door, either, are you?"
It really blew Anders away what a man of Lucien’s stature could get away with saying in semi-public, some days. He handled the Crow just like he handled the Banns, with jaw-dropping bluntness and a charming smile that hinted at exactly how far he was willing to go.
"Just like when we met," the Crow agreed, "I surprised you, and you knocked me on my ass and tied me up. The best worst mission I was ever sent on."
"And now that we’ve traumatised my men, I suppose proper introductions should be made. This is Nate." Lucien gestured to the dark-haired man, still looking a little less than enthused about the state of his junk.
"Nathaniel Howe." He glowered resentfully over the offered hand.
"Howe?" The Crow exchanged a look with the Warden-Commander, and then smiled pleasantly and shook the offered hand. "I met your father. My apologies to any children you haven’t had yet."
"My… father." Nate shot a horrified glare at Lucien. "So I’ve heard. You’re that Crow."
"Does your commander make a habit of slipping the tongue to random Crows, in the hall? Not that I’d necessarily blame him. The Crows are very talented in many regards." Somehow, the Crow in question maintained a straight face.
"Just the one, that I’ve noticed." Nate’s glare took on a certain radiant displeasure.
"Getting a little less fond of men who try to kill you, Lucien? You really had a thing, for a while, there."
Nate looked at anything that wasn’t the Warden-Commander, and the Warden-Commander pointed the other way down the hall. "And this is Anders."
"Yes, obviously." The Crow’s eyes narrowed, thoughtfully, as he considered the mage. "The runner, right? Very good at running, not so good at hiding, I hear."
"Not everyone can be as multi-talented as Luke." Anders shrugged.
"Have you become so familiar with his multiplicity of talents?" The crow batted his eyes flirtatiously and fanned himself with one hand.
Anders froze, tongue suddenly leaden in his mouth. "Not— No! Not like that!" he sputtered, but the Crow went on without him.
"Ah, but I have not introduced myself, and Lucien knows better than to give out my name." Hand settling on his chest, the Crow leaned back and looked over his shoulder at Nate. "You may call me Zevran." He turned back to Anders, with a smouldering smile. "And you may call me whatever you like, any hour of the day or night."
"Zev, you just got here. Don’t traumatise my men before dinner." Lucien draped an arm around Zevran’s shoulders and shrugged apologetically at Anders.
"In front of you?" Nate murmured, now twice as horrified.
"Before me, behind me, over the sea from me — Speaking of which, how was your journey, beloved?" Lucien offered Nate an amused smile, as he looked back up from Zevran’s beautifully unperturbed countenance. "Gloriously, unapologetically Antivan. Just the way I like him."
Nate stared a little longer, face lingering in the distance between baffled and disgusted, before storming off down the hall. "Elves. Antivans. I’m getting tea."
"As charming and inviting as that sounds," Anders finally managed, edging carefully around the couple in the middle of the hall, "I like all the parts of my body still attached to me. You’re an Antivan Crow. A legendary assassin. And Luke kicked your ass. I’m not getting in the middle of this without an engraved invitation."
"Actually, he froze it, set it on fire, and then switched targets and cracked me over the head with his staff." Zevran laughed. "This man is the case in point for the danger of purposefully applied magic."
"Zev’s a free man, Anders. He just happens to be the free man I love. If you want to enjoy his company, maybe do it while I try not to choke on my tongue, tomorrow afternoon?" the Warden-Commander suggested.
"Andraste’s ass. Bann Esmerelle, again?" Anders asked, wincing sympathetically.
"The very one." Lucien’s smile was bleak and exhausted. "In fact, if you would please keep him out of my office during that meeting, by whatever means you see fit, I would be eternally in your debt."
"You are trying to keep me out of politics, mi amore?" Zevran asked. "It may be a little late for that. But, come, let me put something more interesting on your desk, for a while."
"Don’t… break anything, you two." Anders shook his head, as Zevran herded the Warden-Commander back into his office, all kisses and quick hands. "I’ll see you… tomorrow… I guess?"
"I look forward to your charming company, dear apostate. But, for now, I must look after my own mage. Look how tired and hungry he looks! Do you wardens not take care of him?" Zevran squeaked as Lucien’s hand grabbed his ass and hauled him off the floor. "Mmm, yes. Definitely hungry…"
Lucien grinned indulgently at Anders and then slammed his office door, leaving Anders to follow Nate toward the kitchen, muffled thumps and laughs drifting after him down the hall.
"Don’t listen to them, ‘Pounce. What is going on behind that door is not for kittens," he said, quietly, as the cat clambered out of the front of his robe and took up residence on his shoulder.
"Hey, Nate? If you’re making tea, I want some!" he called down the hall, picking up his pace.