Title: How Far Can Too Far Go? (Chapter 4)
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Fenris ♂, Anders ♂
Rating: M (L3 N2 S2 V1 D1)
Warnings: Flashbacks, Anders being revoltingly blunt, control issues, past violence
Notes: Fenris is talking himself around an idea. Anders knows exactly what’s going on, and is willing to let it happen. A lot of this chapter is happening on more than one level. There are some jumps that may not quite make sense, if you’re not reading between the lines, but I wrote it like that for a reason.
"What do I think? I think I should be completely revolted. I think I thought I’d never have a mage’s hands on me again."
Anders tried to pull his hand back, but Fenris grabbed it.
"I think I want to put my hands in you and listen to you yowl like a cat in heat, all night. I think I want you to put your hands on me and burn him out of me. I think I want all of this. I think I want none of this. And I think your knob makes a very comfortable cushion for my bony ass."
Anders managed a pained smile. "Can you… just a little to the left? My left. I think you’re right about having a bony ass."
Fenris shifted his weight.
"Thanks." Anders ran his palm along Fenris’s thigh — just his thigh. "I think you’re mostly sitting on my sleeve, though, which is probably why that’s so cozy."
"You might be right. Maker forbid I take comfort in your flesh. Your hands on my skin… it’s sickening. Every time. Even if I didn’t find you intrinsically grotesque and horrifying, he made sure I’d never belong to anyone else." The lines lit, starting at the tips of Fenris’s fingers and slowly curling inward, across his shoulders, down his chest.
"I don’t want to own you. I want to give you back your life. It’s what we all want for you."
"There is no ‘give back’. I never had it in the first place."
"Then I just want to tear out that magister’s tongue and choke the life out of him with it, so you can live your life as you choose, without looking over your shoulder constantly," Anders insisted.
Fenris squirmed. "Stop that, or I might start to find you appealing, you wretched abomination. Just the image of you, without your magic, and with such an interesting choice of garotte…"
"Borrowed that from an Antivan acquaintance. It’s a good one, isn’t it?" Anders tentatively reached for Fenris’s hand. "Will you let me try to burn him out of you?"
"Provided you don’t mean that literally, I may be convinced to permit it." Fenris laid his hand in Anders’s. "But, keep in mind this is no half-impotent Circle mage, studying magic from the safe books."
"I read Tevene. What, exactly, do you think I was studying, fashion design? No, I was reading the history of the Imperium. I’m pretty clear on the difference between ‘mage’ and ‘magister’." Anders ran a finger along one of the lyrium lines on the back of Fenris’s hand. "How do I make sure you don’t throw up on me? Would healing help?"
"No. No healing." Fenris paled and grabbed Anders’s hand, pressing a single finger against a conjunction of lines on his chest. "Start here, and … something electric? I think it might disrupt what’s there."
He didn’t mention how soothing he found the mage’s lightning storms, in combat; how much easier it was to concentrate, to anticipate, with the air sharp with ozone and the gentle touch of electricity on his skin. It was just another thing that bothered him about Anders.
"Like this?" Anders asked, just the faintest sparks dancing between his fingers, as he pressed one to Fenris’s chest.
An easy sigh passed Fenris’s lips. "Just like that. Just follow the…" He gestured vaguely and one line took on a faint glow, winding up across his shoulder and down his arm, as Anders followed it with one crackling finger.
It felt good. The kind of good he wanted to feel through his whole body, a sharp, tart pleasure that lanced across aches he’d forgotten he had, soothing them with a crackling hum. Fenris panted, arms shaking as he leaned over the mage, licking his lips as he tried to form words.
"Take your hands off me."
Anders wasn’t sure he’d ever moved so fast in his life, knocking an elbow against the floor as he jerked back.
Fenris was sure Anders was talking, but there was nothing beyond the rushing in his ears. Magic under his skin, again. Magic that wasn’t the incidental side-effect of battle, but made for him. Hands on his skin, pushing it into him.
He’d asked for it. Literally opened his mouth and spoke the words. But, that didn’t matter as much as he thought it would. He could still smell the mage under him, feel the hum of the abomination’s existence ringing through him.
But, Anders made no move to touch him, just laid on the floor, wide gold eyes tinged with concern. For a long while, all Fenris could see was those rings of gold. Golden rings, golden fountains, the engraved rims of golden goblets, golden serpents swallowing their tails.
"Broody? Not looking so good…" The mage’s voice filtered back into his perception.
Fenris sat up and back, catching Anders’s knee with his ribs, and sliding back to his perch across the mage’s hips. "That’s not my name," he grumbled, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
"Exactly. It’s a matter of time and place. You weren’t here, and I didn’t want you mistaking me for someone else."
Fenris’s eyes focused sharply on the mage. "I couldn’t possibly take you for other than you are."
"I feel like I should be offended by that, but I really can’t raise the shit to give, under the circumstances." Anders slowly pushed his own hair back, somewhat pointless since he was laying on the floor. "What did I do? So I don’t do it again…"
"You won’t. Just don’t touch me." Fenris stretched up with one arm and grabbed a bottle of wine from atop the mantel.
"Do you just always have a bottle in reach?" Anders managed to look almost amused.
"If I can help it." Fenris took a long swallow and squinted at Anders. "Don’t look at me like that, abomination."
"Oooh. We’re back to ‘abomination’." Anders rolled his eyes. "Look at you like what, like I’m checking for damage? Or like I’m lying under an extremely attractive man who loathes my very essence? Or like I’m wondering if you’re going to reach into my chest for less pleasant reasons, because speaking of lying, I’d be lying if I said that hadn’t crossed my mind?"
"When I kill you, it will be as a man, not a monster," Fenris muttered into his wine.
Anders looked like he might dispute the last, but choked it back. "Is that just so you don’t have to clean up the puddle on the floor, when you’re done?"
A smile touched the corner of Fenris’s mouth, behind the bottle. "Among other things."
They watched each other, for a few moments. Fenris perched askance across Anders’s hips, leaning back against the mage’s raised knee, drinking wine. Anders sprawled on the floor like he owned the place, one knee propping up Fenris, a hand on his own belly and the other by his head, fingers twisted in the ends of his hair.
Fenris shifted one leg, pulling it up so he could reach the tip of the scar that curved into Anders’s hip. "Tell me about this one. How far down does that go?"
"Wrong question. That’s how far up it comes. Tentacles. I told you." Anders sighed and pointed with the hand that had been on his belly. "The other end is on my ankle."
"Tentacle what? That looks like a slice." Fenris distracted himself with the simple subjects. He knew how to read scars, and he knew the mage would talk, if prodded.
"It is a slice. You want the rest? You’re leaning on it." Anders tugged at his robe along the leg behind Fenris.
"Showing me your legs, now?" Fenris teased, leaning forward as Anders hiked up his robe.
"You’re already sitting on my knob. Might as well get the full Anders experience."
"That’s disgusting," Fenris muttered, reflexively, twisting around to get a better look.
"You want disgusting, that’s the scar for it. Razor sharp, but not all of them were, so I got lazy. Too busy trying to kill her to watch behind me. Felt it grab my leg, and then everything gets fuzzy." A breathy laugh slipped out of Anders. "The condition of my robe told the rest of the story. You know intestinal ruptures!"
"I… have had some experience in that regard. And then I learnt to reach higher, because that’s not nearly as satisfying as it feels like it should be." Fenris shuddered a touch, as punctuation.
"You mean you…"
The exasperated look in those big, green eyes said it all.
"You poor bastard," Anders laughed.
Fenris took a drink and avoided looking the mage in the eye. "Shut up. It sounded like a good idea. I was young."
"Anyway, not the first or the last time I had my organs violated." Anders stretched his other leg, shifting slightly under Fenris. "You’d think I’d stop letting that happen."
"I’d think you’d stop getting up from it, but your demon…"
"Justice wasn’t with me, then. I was saved by old Tevinter magic. Like dragon-worshipping, Old Gods, thousand-year-old Tevinter magic, from before the First Blight, that was also raining fire from the sky in a much more convincing way than I ever managed." What followed was less a grin than a grimace.
"Fortune favours you," Fenris observed.
"Oh, yeah, I’m destined for something. Like an entry in Ferelden’s Famous, for most organ violations in a lifetime."
"Or maybe your idiot crusade will actually succeed," Fenris suggested. "I’d have to kill you, of course."
"Might have some competition, there."
"No serious competition. You’ll fall to me, because I don’t want to wring repentance from you, first. There is no sufficient repentance for what you are," Fenris reasoned.
"Maker’s breath," Anders sighed, holding out a hand. "If you’re going to get like that, at least hand me the wine, first."
"You drink a lot for someone who claims not to drink," Fenris remarked, smacking the bottle into Anders’s palm.
"What can I say? You’ve temporarily freed me from my bright-blue inhibitions." Anders hiked himself up on one elbow and took a swig. "Thanks, by the way, I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be just a man."
"Is it sufficient payment for the way I have handled your scars? We made a deal. I am afraid I may not be able to keep my end." Fenris snatched the bottle back, as soon as it left Anders’s lips.
"Sufficient payment for the way you handled my scars is currently soaking into my robe." Anders stared into the fire and rubbed the corner of his eye with one thumb.
"I would have thought your smalls sufficient, or is that another Warden thing?"
"You would have thought I was wearing smalls," Anders pointed out. "I got out of the habit, when I was still in the Tower. There’s just no point to them, with robes, and it’s just another layer, when you’re trying to get away with impolite things in polite company."
"Mages. Do you ever think of anything but fucking and killing?"
"Because drinking and killing is such a step up?"
"I do have other interests."
"As do I. But, lying here with a puddle of my own fluids soaking into my robe and you on top of me, fucking and getting killed are in the forefront of my mind," Anders admitted.
Fenris scoffed and leaned back, without thinking, resting his bare back against Anders’s bare thigh. Surprise and mild discomfort flashed across his face. "I can feel it, you know. The magic rides your skin. I touch you and the lyrium in me hums."
"If you’re going to keep leaning on me, you can pull my robe back down."
"Do you want me to?" Fenris asked.
"I don’t actually care, but you looked a little uncomfortable. My discomfort has already passed its peak, maybe somewhere around where you put my hand on your throbbing knob, and told me my touch was sickening."
"I thought I wanted you to touch me. I was wrong." Fenris finished the wine and tossed the bottle across the room, with no real force behind it. He reached back and dragged his fingers along the scar that wound around Anders’s leg. "Do you mind?"
Anders took it for the peace offering it was, but not without commentary. "You stuck your hand in my chest and squeezed my heart until I came all over myself. I think I can handle you groping my leg."
Fenris had the decency to look faintly abashed. "Entirely unintentional."
"Just to keep your intentions up to date with your actions, if you keep rubbing next to this scar, that’s going to happen again. It’s twisted the nerves along my inner thigh in some fun ways." Anders shrugged, tipping his head to the side, to rest on his shoulder.
"Do you want me to stop?" Fenris asked, thumb paused in a particularly delicate place.
"If you can handle it, I can handle it." Anders didn’t sound entirely sure of that, but no more than a slight tension disrupted the line of his repose. "Touching me doesn’t sicken you?"
"It’s different," Fenris tried to explain, fingers nervously kneading the scar. "I know where you are. I know what part of me will touch you, where, and how. I can change the texture of the touch, if it’s not right. I can take my hands off you, if it’s too much."
The ‘and you let me’ remained unspoken.
"So, you just need to be in control. I can work with that." Anders shrugged again and flexed his thigh against Fenris’s hand.
"You defeated this creature." Fenris changed the subject, turning to get a better look at the scar under his hand, running his fascinated fingers along the curves. "This thing that almost took your leg, almost took your life."
"The Hero of Ferelden defeated her, I think. I’m missing some time. Went down, got back up, it was still raining fire. I’m pretty sure I just kept throwing lightning until Nate slapped the sense back into me." A tremor ran through his body, at the memory. "Blood loss didn’t do me any favours."
"I find blood loss does a great favour to many mages," Fenris offered, with a rumble of amusement in his chest.
"By virtue of making them dead?"
"You know me so well." Fenris phased his fingers out and dug them in, taking the depth of the scar.
Anders gasped and swallowed, his eyes drifting shut.
"Where did it open you?" Fenris asked, moving his hand so the scar trailed through his fingers like a rope. "May I see?"
"I’d have to be naked. You sure you want that? A naked mage with a throbbing knob, entirely at your disposal?" The words came out strained and breathy.
"With the understanding that if you get anything on me, you will clean it off." Fenris tugged at the scar a little, and Anders nearly bit through his lip. "With your tongue."
"You know that would involve me touching you, right?"
"It might be worth the trouble, just to see you try."
"You have a kink." Anders shifted, trying to wriggle out of his robe. "You’re also going to need to move, if you want me to take this off."
Fenris slid his fingers out of that warm flesh, almost regretfully, and stood, stepping back. He stared into the fire, instead of watching the mage stripping off at his feet.
"It’s not control," he started, then stopped. A moment later, he tried again. "It is control, but not force. I would not take this from you, but when you throw it at my feet, it would take a stronger man than I to turn it down."
"Hardly throwing myself at your feet," Anders muttered, throwing his robe across the room and missing the bed. "You wanted to show me I was wrong. Instead, you showed me I was a totally other kind of wrong. But, we’re exactly where we started: I satisfy your curiosity and you satisfy mine. We’ve just moved on to different stakes."
"Even when I have been free to touch, I have rarely been invited. And even when invited, never quite like this." Fenris crouched as Anders tugged his own boots off. "I have never wanted to accept the invitation. I didn’t want to accept this one. But, you just keep giving, and I can’t stop taking."
"I’m pretty comfortable giving my body. You’re not even the first person who’s wanted to kill me, and got me naked anyway." Anders tossed the boots in the direction of the table and stretched out on his side, back to the fire. The scar widened considerably with the curve of his hip and slimmed down again as it tucked between his legs.
"I shouldn’t be doing this," Fenris protested, standing and stepping back, even as his eyes lingered.
"It’s different. I’m not doing it to save my life. You’ve got worth, as a man, and so do I." Anders ran a hand through his hair. "We’re just two crusaders with different battles getting a little kinky over war stories. You want me to put my clothes on and leave, just say the word."
‘Just say the word.’ Again, the mage had put control into his hands. This mage, Anders, had bribed his way in with food, and then surrendered to him, flesh and dignity. This mage, Anders, who had covered his back and healed his wounds a hundred times, with no thanks. This mage, Anders, with his idiotic crusade for mage rights, that would only end in chains and death.
He wanted to say the word. Thought he would. But, instead, Fenris knelt again, tracing fingers along the twisted, misformed skin between the thick line of the scar and the sunken outer curve of where the muscle had retracted, when cut. Fixed now, but the path still showed so clearly, pocked and bare of the light dusting of golden hair that covered the surrounding skin.
Anders rolled onto his back, bending that leg again and angling his hips to show where the ropy scar passed under him, following the bottom curve of his ass-cheek to join with the spiral that wound up his leg.
"Stay. Please." Those weren’t the words Fenris intended to say, but they were the words he meant.
Anders relaxed. "See anything else you’re curious about, or should I roll over, so you can manhandle my back?"
Fenris squinted, assessing the new expanse of flesh. His eyebrows arced up when he encountered a line in an unusual location. He pointed, instead of touching. "This one."
"Andraste’s ass. Does that actually still show?" Anders sighed and showed the back of his hand. "Templar. It’s the other half of this one. Someone took an objection to me amusing myself in solitary."
"Lash?" Fenris’s face twisted in understanding.
"Yeah. Just the one." Anders tucked his fist under his head, so he could squint down his chest at Fenris.
"Didn’t you heal—"
"Magebane." An unnatural calm settled along Anders’s limbs, followed by ghostly traces of blue light. "It got a little nasty before anyone thought to fix it. Templars joked they were just going to let it rot off, that maybe I’d quit going over the wall, if I didn’t have anything to offer the village girls. Shows what they knew. I didn’t have to leave the tower for that, and I knew some extremely imaginative girls. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that, and the bobbing knob of the Anderfels survived to plunder more willing flesh."
Whatever response might have followed that caught in Fenris’s throat.
"And if you want to play with that one, I’m definitely going to have to lick something off you."
"I’m not in the habit of playing with wizards’ knobs." Fenris seized the opportunity to extract himself from his memories. After everything he’d done, and everything done to him, he’d never been left to fester. He was worth too much in perfect working condition.
"You’re getting into the habit of playing with my scars. I figured it was worth a warning."
"Aside from the obvious, which of your scars would most likely leave you licking me clean, do you think?" Fenris studiously examined the long lines, natural and unnatural, of the mage’s lean body.
"The one that got me naked, of course. From about mid-thigh to where it curves up and starts to spread out. Maybe this one on my shoulder. That one goes all the way through and has some interesting memories attached. And I’m sure there’s a few more, but they’re nowhere you can see them." Anders grinned and rubbed at the stubble on is cheek. "Trying to avoid making a mess of me, again?"
"On the contrary. I want to watch you writhe and lose control of your body at my touch." The slim smile offered was almost a challenge. "Will you give me that?"
"Take it." Anders spread his legs a little further and pulled the pillow back under his head. "If you can wring it out of my scars, it’s yours."