Title: Until It Hurts
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Fenris ♂, Anders ♂, M!Hawke ♂, Carver ♂
Rating: E (L2 N4 S4 V0 D0)
Warnings: Dysfunctional assholes are dysfunctional, the internet is for porn, Carver wants brain bleach, legendary warden stamina, waking the neighbours
Notes: Fenris hasn’t been able to figure out what the hell Anders is doing with Hawke. More in the sense of ‘why’ than ‘what’, although a little bit of the ‘what’ answers the ‘why’. Anders finally ends up telling the story of the first time he and Hawke did interesting naked things.
"What is it between you and Hawke, anyway?" Fenris asked, leaning on a rack of potions and bandages, by the wall of the finally-empty clinic. The rack creaked in warning, and he stood and straightened it, glad of the excuse to stop looking at Anders.
Anders sighed. "Fenris, I don’t—"
"No, I’m really asking. I don’t understand. He’s loud, he’s obnoxious — of course, you’re loud and obnoxious — you never tell him anything — I know you better than he does."
"You know me better than anyone. I didn’t think it was possible to be known the way you know me."
"I’m just going to pretend that wasn’t disgusting, and say thank you."
"Oh, it’s completely disgusting, and you love it." Anders collected a few more empty bottles that had rolled under the cot in the corner.
"Love is a strong word. I desire it, as I desire you." Fenris shifted uncomfortably. "And I appreciate that desire being just between us. All of Kirkwall does not need to hear whispers. Varric does not need material for another of his books."
"Varric would misplace his last pint, if he found out. We’d never make it to print. He’d never be able to look at us again." Shaking his head, Anders adjusted the flame under the batch of potions he was brewing. "How are things with you and Isabela?"
"That is between her and me." The corner of Fenris’s mouth tipped up. "But, to answer the question you didn’t ask, no, I do not."
"She’d love it."
"And she’d tell half of Kirkwall." Fenris squinted in annoyance, studying the swirls and blotches of filth that had soaked into the dirt floor.
Anders shrugged and nodded, conceding the point.
"I touch no other as I touch you. They are not us."
And that was it, wasn’t it. They are not us. "No, they’re not."
A deathly calm settled over Anders, and Fenris watched him, carefully. Was this Justice, in some mild form? No, this was just Anders — far too inanimate for himself.
"Mage, you look ill," Fenris pointed out. Not quite accurate, but a more acceptable sentence than ‘you look like you’re waiting to die’.
"What?" Anders blinked and smiled hollowly. "No, just thinking. There will come a day, I’m afraid, when I have to do something terrible, just to be heard. I need you to believe me, Fenris, when I tell you that if we were in Minrathous, I would do the same for you."
"It’s not the choice of victim, it’s the system?" Fenris had heard him say it a hundred times.
"Yes." Anders rubbed his forehead. "I don’t want to do it. Maybe it won’t come to that. The Viscount is weak, but he’s not stupid. The Grand Cleric seems like a kind woman, but so devotedly blind. Someone out there has to be listening."
"Mage?" Fenris hovered at the corner of the table, touching nothing.
"Hmm?" Anders continued to stir and measure.
"I hear you."
For a split second, Anders twitched like he might move, like he might take a step, but his eyes just lingered on Fenris’s shoulder. "I know."
"You still haven’t answered my question," Fenris pointed out, changing the subject, suddenly.
"Hawke?" A single sharp laugh preceded any further answer. "Hawke is everything I could have been, in a just world. But, with more dog. I never went in for dogs, but you knew that."
"Far less Fereldan than you encourage people to think," Fenris teased.
"If people honestly think I’m Fereldan after being introduced, that’s on them, not me. Stinking Dog Lords and their freezing tower." Anders huffed and the fire under the potion flared.
"Speaking of their freezing tower, have you told Hawke you knew his cousin?"
"He knows exactly how well I knew his cousin. I didn’t have to tell him — he told me. The Amell cipher strikes again." Anders laughed, the last cold stillness leaving his shoulders.
"Letters? About you?" Fenris’s eyebrow lifted in disbelief.
"What, you don’t think I’m worth writing home about? Wouldn’t tell your favourite cousin — in a world where you had a cousin to speak of — all of my dirty secrets?"
"You are worth not writing home about. A mage-shaped hole in the story. My very dirtiest secret, and not at all for dinner-table conversation with the family."
"Ah, but we were all mages, there, and the dirtiest secrets were nothing to do with who had gotten under who else’s skirts. Although, I tell you, if I’d gotten my crack at the Knight-Captain, I wouldn’t be here, now."
"Very." One of Anders’s hands fluttered, for a moment, before he went back to cleaning.
Watching Anders roll bandages and re-arrange the shelves, Fenris realised something. "I still don’t understand."
"Well, I was going to bi— Oh, you mean about Hawke." Anders shrugged. "It’s stupid. I’m stupid."
"You love him." It wasn’t a question.
Anders slung a dirty rag across the room, and it slapped wetly against the wall, before sliding into the washtub. "I do. You don’t see him the way I do. He’s a shining light, everything a mage should be. And all this, untouched by the Circle. This is what happens with caution, but not fear."
"He’s an emblem, to you, and not a man."
"He’s much more the man than any of that. Did I ever tell you how he talked me into bed, that first time? Because before that, he was just an emblem. And I wanted to use him as the face of the good apostate." Laughing, Anders rubbed his face.
"You’ve said it was something about Warden jokes…"
"I kept telling him it was a bad idea, that I was dangerous, that it wasn’t going to end well, but he came up behind me, one night, and reminded me he’d been at Lothering, when the Wardens marched through, to Ostagar. I said I trusted he hadn’t gotten too close, since he was still standing to tell the tale, and that’s when he told me he hadn’t been, the next morning, and he’d been nothing but disappointed, ever since." Anders coughed scrubbed at a stain that had been there seven months. "I can’t believe I went for it."
"Because you were a Warden?" Fenris looked horrified.
"Because I was, as he said, ‘a terribly handsome Warden, with strong legs and nowhere to be in the morning’." A blush crept across Anders’s cheeks, at the memory, and his face pulled tight, chagrined and wry.
"How many times?" Fenris asked, expecting to hear that Hawke couldn’t keep up. Nothing, he was sure, could keep up with Anders.
"All of them." Anders looked up, smiling widely, but no less mortified. "And you have to remember that you exhaust me, Fenris, so that’s a lot."
"I’m a fool for asking, but… tell me?" Fenris tried to tug subtly at the thigh of his leggings, but Anders’s eyes caught his hand and followed the line of his arm up, before settling on his face.
"I should tell you that’s between him and me." Slowly, Anders unfolded himself from where he knelt beside a stained cot and a basket of clean cloth, eyes lingering on Fenris’s. "I should tell you it’s none of your business, but knowing Hawke it’s already made it into Varric’s next draft, so all I’m going to tell you is to open your pants."
Fenris squinted, confused. "My pants."
"Put your hand on yourself, and I’ll tell you everything," Anders offered, returning to the potions that had nearly boiled, to turn them down.
"You want me to try to pleasure myself, while you tell me about fucking the obnoxious apostate you love?" The words should have been scalding, but Anders just smiled impolitely.
"You want me to tell you, and I’m not blind, so yes. That’s exactly what I want."
"Pushy fucking mage," Fenris grumbled, and Anders knew he’d won.
Anders batted a tin of salve down the workbench and Fenris stopped it at the edge, with his hip.
"He just wanted to fuck a Warden. I just wanted to fuck. It was that simple, and after a couple of weeks of him throwing himself at me, he laid that line on me, and there was no turning back. He knew what I was, and that was what he wanted — you have no idea, Fenris. You eased into me. You didn’t have any expectations for me to ruin." Anders busied himself decanting the potion he’d been working on.
"Of course I did. And you destroyed most of those expectations, only to replace them with new expectations — which you keep destroying." Fenris’s eyes drifted closed as he half-sat on the edge of the workbench, hand slowly smoothing over his flesh. "Burn salve?"
"I thought you’d appreciate the tingle."
The tingle that preceded the numbness… Fenris’s hand moved faster, and his eyes opened just enough to glare sideways at Anders.
"So I let him take me home with him — that shitty place in Lowtown they were staying. And I walked in and knew it was a bad idea, and I knew I was going to do it anyway." Anders tried to tuck a lock of his hair behind his ear three times, before it occurred to him it was too short to stay. "He’s light on his feet, I’ll give him that. Had to be, to get through everyone sleeping on the floor. But, he pulled me into the back room — the storage room — piled full of stuff they’d brought from Ferelden, expecting to have a real house to come back to. And the magic in that room — I couldn’t breathe. That room was so loud with enchantment, it was crawling through my veins."
"Now you know how I feel," Fenris muttered, resting his back against the bottle-filled shelves that rose up from the back of the workbench.
"Yes, but there’s only one of me."
"There are two of you, and I can tell the difference," Fenris protested, hand pausing in its ministrations, as he shot a pointed look at Anders.
Anders snorted. "I wish I could."
"You do it all the time," Fenris pointed out. "Weren’t you telling me a story? Hurry up before the salve catches up with me."
A sly smile slid across Anders’s face. "So, I was standing in that choking room, blinking and holding on to the wall, when he took my face in his hands, and everything stopped. As long as I was touching him, I couldn’t feel it. And he apologised, said it was the only room with a door that closed that didn’t also contain his uncle, and let me tell you, that would have been a real mood-killer."
"I can imagine." Fenris’s hand moved lazily, just enough to keep his own attention.
"So, he’s sitting on this crate, taking his boots off, and I’ve got my hand on his head, just to keep my head on, and he asks me if I’m the Anders from Kinloch Hold. And I just panicked. ‘Who was your sister? Did I fuck your sister? I’m so sorry.'"
Fenris’s other hand moved up to his face and he snorted against his fist.
"Right?" Anders rubbed his face and reached for another bottle. "So he tells me who his cousin is, and I’m critically relieved it’s not a closer relation, and then he tells me apprentice Amell told him all about me, and to look for me, if I made it out again. Whose cousin does that? Hawke’s apparently. Why am I not surprised, looking back, and why was I surprised at the time?"
"Tell me I’m—"
"You’re not allowed to give Hawke a hard time. He’ll wonder how you knew." Anders’s eyes were damp from the laughing he wasn’t doing. "And somewhere in there, I wasn’t paying nearly enough attention, he’s stripped down to his smalls, and he’s just miles of gorgeous brown skin and shag rug —"
"Shag rug?" Fenris choked back another laugh. "All you humans are fluffy. You probably qualified as ‘shag rug’ before those scars."
"No, I didn’t. Enough of the scars came first."
That line hung awkwardly between them for a few seconds, before Anders went on. "So, I get my hands on him and, Maker’s breath, he’s got shoulders, for a mage. It’s like a mage outside the circle isn’t left to atrophy into a crumpled scholar."
"Yet, here you are, just as thin."
"Thinner, actually. I used to have pretty nice shoulders, too." Anders prodded at one of his shoulders and sighed. "You have to realise, I was expecting to be thrown over a crate and put to good use. I’m quiet, flexible, pretty hard to break, and I can outlast nearly anything that isn’t another Warden, and that’s about fifteen stories unto themselves. So, I get down on my knees and suck — and if you ever have that chance, for some weird reason, take it. He’s less to choke down than me, and he tastes so good — heady and heavy and like he washes his smalls in spice tea. If they ever make a liqueur that tastes of Hawke’s dick, I will become a dedicated drunk, once again, and half of Kirkwall will beat a path to his door. And I’m on my knees, falling in love with his knob, when I completely forget that I meant to get fucked, and he doesn’t stop me — I’ll give him that he tried to pull out when he started to go, but it was too late, by then. I took it. Took all of it. Sucked him until he was soft, and he finally made me stop."
Fenris looked subtly horrified. "He let you?"
"Ohhh, yes. Every time. There is a masochistic streak in that man wider than his back." There was a reverence in the words that was usually reserved for saints and sages. "And as I knelt there, dripping on myself, still dressed, staring up at him like he was the prophet herself, he told me what he wanted, and I almost bit through my lip. Shot out all over myself, just trying to get my pants open — of course, by then, it had been months, which, really, never in my life, until Kirkwall. Fuck this place. Literally. Maybe it’ll lighten up."
"Do a stint at the Rose," Fenris teased. "Fuck Kirkwall and come back with an impressive amount of coin. You’re a Warden and a healer; you could bear it."
"Did you just tell me to change the world with my knob?" Anders put a cork in the last potion and put it on a shelf.
"Of course not. What kind of man do you take me for?" The smile was nearly irrepressible, and Fenris’s lips twitched.
"The kind of a man who’s going to fuck me stupid and pass out across my back, in a couple of hours?" Anders batted his eyes and started cleaning off the workbench.
Fenris groaned, loudly. "Don’t you have to go home to Hawke?"
"I’ll tuck you in, before I go. My bed’s no more dangerous than yours."
"Tell that to my spine. I have no idea how you sleep on that thing you call a bed." Fenris squinted at Anders. "Weren’t you telling me a story, or am I just sitting here with my knob out for your amusement?"
"Both." As Anders washed his hands, he started in again. "I will never forget what he said to me. ‘Put it in me, Warden. Put it in me, and fuck me, and don’t take it out until you’re done.'"
Fenris sucked air through his teeth. "And he knew what he was asking?"
"And he knew what he was asking. And then I found out he meant it. My coat was the only thing I took off, that night, and looking back, I’m still glad. I took him right there on the floor. We made it through three rounds and five positions, and I had him on his knees, clutching at the carpet, pounding into him like he was unbreakable, and … well, Hawke’s a little loud." Anders cleared his throat and stepped around the table to wrap himself around Fenris’s side. "And by ‘a little loud’, I mean half of Lowtown probably heard him screaming for more. ‘More, harder, oh maker, put it in me’, you know how it is. I wasn’t thinking, by then. I was so far beyond thinking, at that point, and the door slams open, and there’s Carver with a belt and a sock in his hand."
"And I thought I was just going to die. Right there. Here we are, two grown-ass men, fucking on the floor with his family in the next room, like teenagers, and he’s screaming his head off, and there’s his little brother, looking like the Maker’s own wrath." Anders rested his forehead head against the top of Fenris’s head as he laughed, a blush creeping up his neck. "And Carver takes one look at us, and throws the belt and the sock at me. ‘Shut him up, before he wakes mum,’ is all he’s got to say, and then he shuts the door and … I don’t know, probably goes off to rinse his eyes out with lye or his brain out with gin. I’m not the healer who handled the fallout, for obvious reasons. And Hawke starts fucking laughing so hard he nearly chokes on his tongue, and tells me he dosed everyone else with a sleeping potion, but Carver was still out flirting with the girls at the alienage, at dinner, and he hadn’t come back by the time Hawke left to try to chat me up. And then I’m laughing, because this is the most ridiculous situation I’ve probably ever been in, and I’ve been in some pretty ridiculous situations, over the years. So, we’re lying on the floor, laughing so hard we’re drooling, still trying to fuck — actually, the laughing helped with that. Get me laughing, later, and I’ll show you."
"You’re not ticklish." Fenris muttered, as Anders’s hand joined his.
"You’ll just have to be hilarious, instead."
"Because we all know what a wit I am."
"Mmm, when you’re not being a twit." Anders twisted his wrist, and Fenris sucked in a sharp breath. "So, we heard the outside door shut, and Hawke was just on me. I’m not even sure how that worked, but every time he says something about ‘a more flexible man than I’, I roll my eyes. At some point in there, his heel passed over my face. But, I ended up flat on my back, with beautiful, naked Hawke riding me like a prize Nevarran stallion in a royal race. I flipped him back over, before he could come all over my shirt, of course. I had to walk home in that."
"Your vanity never ceases to amaze me," Fenris panted, tipping his head back to lick under Anders’s chin.
"One of my redeeming virtues, vanity!" Anders picked up the rhythm, pulling Fenris tighter against him. "Hours, Fenris. I fucked him for hours, until he was raw and still screaming for it, and then I sucked him off again. I fucked him until the idea of getting it up hurt."
Fenris was panting hard and his leg had started to tremble. "Fasta vass. Move your hand. I can’t do this with you touching me."
"And you want to, don’t you…" Anders breathed.
Fenris bit him, in response, and Anders’s hand finally moved, resting on Fenris’s still-clothed thigh.
"And when we were done, he kissed me and told me he wanted to do it again. He knew what it meant, he wanted it, he meant it, he took it, and he wanted more." Anders breathed against Fenris’s ear, and Fenris arched, his other hand wrapping tightly around himself, fingers digging in, as he dragged himself back.
Fenris pushed Anders off himself and settled to his feet. "Remind me why you’re still wearing clothes."
"Obviously, because I haven’t taken them off, yet." Anders hung his coat on the corner of a cabinet, and backed toward the back room, opening his trousers, as he went.
"Hurry up," Fenris demanded, half tucking himself back into his leggings, and stalking after the mage.
"And that," Anders finished, "is why Hawke."