Title: Who Invented Summer?
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anders, Nathaniel Howe
Rating: M (L3 N1 S0 V2 D1)
Warnings: Stabbing, booze, flirting
Notes: Nate hasn’t learnt not to wear smalls in this weather. Anders would like to get laid sometime this week. These two situations do not fit well together. Mayhem ensues. Anders almost loses a nipple.
"Stop looking at me, Anders. It’s a billion degrees out here, and your stare weighs as much as another pack," Nathaniel complained.
"Your problem, Howe, is that you’re wearing too much. If you take some of that off, you’ll feel better." Anders grinned wickedly, long legs easily keeping pace. "If you take all of that off, I’ll feel better."
"No." Stripping everything off and stretching out on the branch of a tree, until nightfall sounded so very good, but Anders. Also, they were supposed to be making the walk to town, which was a few miles out, but not that far. Just a quick patrol to check the road wasn’t overrun with darkspawn, which it wasn’t. They’d been doing it once a week, just in case. Sometimes, things actually got exciting, but thankfully, today had been quiet. He wasn’t sure how much he had in him, in the midday heat of midsummer.
"How are you not sweltering? You’re wearing just as much as I am!" Nathaniel complained, after a few minutes more.
"My people come from the sweltering north. Mountains. Deserts. It’s a lovely spring day, yet." Anders shrugged and laughed. "And I’m not wearing just as much as you. You’re wearing smalls."
"That’s an unfounded assumption on your part," Nathaniel grumbled.
"It is not unfounded. You walk like you’ve sweat through them, and they’re starting to wear into you." The wicked grin returned. "Trust me. I’ve been watching your ass long enough to know what that looks like."
"Must you?" A pained look shot across Nathaniel’s face. "You’re not getting me naked. Not in the middle of the road, not in the middle of the day, not in the middle of summer. If you get me naked, you’re going to want to fuck, and that’s not going to help."
"Must I what, stare at your gorgeous ass, and remind myself what it feels like when you sit on my knob? I don’t think that’s optional. Your ass is in front of me. I’m looking at it." Anders laughed.
"That’s going to get you killed. The only question is whether it’s going to be by a darkspawn or by me."
"Always with the threats, Howe, and you never deliver." Anders hadn’t stopped laughing, yet, but the laugh turned into a shriek as Nathaniel whipped around, dagger in hand, and carved a sliver out of his chest. The ringmail robes were great, but Nathaniel was a rogue, and one already extremely familiar with the design of warden armour.
"Shit…" Anders panted, looking down at the blood pouring down the front of his robes. "You fucker. You actually cut me."
"You’re the healer. What do you care?" Nathaniel grumbled, dagger still in hand. "Close it up and let’s go."
"No, I think I’m keeping this one. You actually cut me. That… Andraste’s polished ass that hurts. Outstanding delivery, though. That’s going to be my reminder you might not be kidding." Anders giggled, a little bit hysterically, and tugged at the gash in his robe, to get a better look. "By the Maker, Howe, if you cut off my nipple, though, I will fill your bedroll with spiders."
"Good luck finding that many spiders," Nathaniel scoffed, unwilling to admit to the cold sweat that just joined the hot sweat trickling down his spine.
"Magical spiders. I can summon those, you know." Anders discovered his nipple was still attached, at least on one side.
"I will kill you in your sleep. You know that, right?" Nathaniel wiped the dagger on his leg and re-sheathed it. "I don’t even think the Commander would be that pissed."
"Are you kidding? I’m the healer. She’ll let her pet Antivan punch you in the junk a few more times." Anders picked through his pack, as they walked, until he found his cloak pin and used it to hold the gash in his robe closed. He figured he’d have to drop a few stitches in it, once they got to town, but he wanted to be sitting down for that. "Good news. I still have a nipple. You’ll be spared the spiders, for now."
"Maybe you’ll even live until we make it to Amaranthine," Nathaniel grumbled.
"So, now’s maybe not a good time to suggest that you might be more open to some naked fun, if I healed the sweat rash on your junk? Because I guarantee I’d be a lot less pleasant, too, if I’d been stupid enough to wear smalls on a day like this." One of these days, Anders’s mouth was going to get him killed. But, he was pretty sure he’d mind less if he got taken down in the pursuit of Howe’s incredible ass, which he’d already had the pleasure of introducing himself to on multiple occasions.
But, that was the way this worked. Nathaniel pretended he wasn’t interested in men, and then he got drunk and threw himself at Anders, who reminded him of it at length, when they were both sober. Anders really wanted it to happen just once, while they were sober. Anders really wanted to get laid even once by someone who wasn’t drunk, paid for it, or a mage, but he was a Warden, now, and that cut the pool down sharply. Nathaniel’s protests were bullshit anyway, especially since the whole Keep was pretty sure it was going on, so he wasn’t fooling anyone. But, he’d been raised noble, and that made him weird about some things. Like this thing.
Nathaniel scanned the road as he turned to face Anders, walking backward. No one but them, as far as the eye could see. "I am not nearly drunk enough to let that unholy flagpole anywhere near my ass," he hissed, quietly.
"Who said anything about your ass?" Anders grinned wickedly. Oh, this was a step forward. This was a huge step. Of course, he also still had blood running down his chest, and he could feel it gumming up to one side of his crotch. Not the first time he’d have found himself in that position, but the first time he’d done it intentionally, which should mean something.
Nathaniel turned back around, hands clenched, refusing to admit, even to himself, that the idea of pinning Anders down and pounding into him had some appeal. Quite a bit of appeal, actually. Anders was a man; there would be no accidents. Anders was a Warden; he knew what to expect. Anders was a healer; whatever went wrong could be fixed before it caused a problem. Even drunk, Anders was free with the healing.
And there he was, actually considering it. No. He was a good man from a noble house, and there were enough rumours about the family, already — most of them justified. Not on the road. Maybe back at the Keep. Maybe after a couple-six drinks. He didn’t really need to be drunk, he just needed to have had enough to blame the drink, if they got caught. He didn’t need Anders to think this could ever be something, but… Anders, hah, no, that would never be the problem.
"Now, what would I need with your ass? There’s a perfectly good brothel in Amaranthine."
Anders smirked. "You’re a Warden, Howe. Just like me. You don’t take enough coin in a month to buy satisfaction at those prices."
And that was a point, if another one Nathaniel hated to be reminded of. What ever happened to the simple days of just getting off once or twice and passing out? If anyone had suggested, in his youth, that his sex drive would go up after he hit thirty, he’d have laughed them out of the arldom. But, then, he’d never thought he’d be a Warden, and this unfortunate side effect was one of those ‘dirty Warden secrets’ that no one ever mentioned, until it was too late. Bastards.
Nathaniel huffed and ran a hand through his sweaty, greasy hair. Fuck summer. Who designed this bullshit weather? "Just fucking heal me and let’s get on with this. The faster we get there, the faster I can have a nice, cool beer and forget this ever happened."
"No." Anders sounded almost offended.
"What do you mean ‘no’?" Nathaniel glared over his shoulder.
"You just stabbed me in the tit. No. I’m not healing your crotch-rash without at least an apology, and probably a bribe."
"A bribe? You had it coming! You know you did!" Nathaniel turned, walking backward again.
"All the same, I’m the healer. You’re the one with a sweat rash on your thighs. As long as I’m alive, I’ll be as well as I mean to be, and if you kill me, you’ll still have a sweat rash. So, yes, a bribe." There was that cocky grin and the little shoulder twitch.
"…Just so you know, I’m buying magebane, when we get to town," Nathaniel grumbled.
Anders paled, his breathing suddenly slow and deep, smile not quite reaching the hollow eyes he turned on Nathaniel. "You really want to see what I can do with this staff, you could just ask."
The cold sweat chased down Nathaniel’s spine, again, less because he was afraid of Anders and much more because he’d just made some terrible connections, in his own head. Magebane, that smile, those scars — why would a healer be so badly scarred? Magebane. Or, conversely, stupid-ass decisions like walking down the road with a gaping gash in his chest, but he had a feeling about this one, and it was not a good feeling.
"I already know what you can do with your staff, and I already told you I’m not drunk enough for that, and it’s too hot out here, anyway."
"I can tell it’s too hot for you. You’re still limping. And I’m not going to fix it. I’m just going to watch your ass bounce. Turn back around."
"I swear it, Mage, I will fucking stab you. Again."
"As long as you’re stabbing me in the ass with your meat-sword, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem." Anders smiled rakishly.
A long minute passed, so long it might have been two, and Nathaniel glared at the bloody gash in Anders’s armour. "If I do, will you please just heal me?"
"Nope." Anders shrugged. "You don’t get to bargain with your knob. You can probably bargain with a bottle of brandy, though. And if you want to give me your knob, of your own free will, no strings attached, I will happily bend over and take it for as long as you can give it. But, you don’t get to bribe me with it."
That was not the answer Nathaniel was expecting, and it stopped him in the middle of the road, for a moment, an uncertain look on his face. "Fine," he said, continuing, still backward. "A bottle of Antivan brandy."
"Two bottles," Anders demanded.
"You stabbed me! Two bottles!"
Nathaniel sighed. "Fine. Two bottles."
"Take your smalls off, or you’re going to keep having this problem, and I promise the price goes up every time I have to reattach your thigh to your crotch." Anders gestured with one hand, looking dismissive, and Nathaniel hiked up the hips of his underthings, slit them, and pulled out the cloth, wadding it up and slinging it into the shrubbery on the side of the road.
"There. Smalls-free. Are you just going to stand there, or…?"
"What? Oh, just taking a moment to appreciate the lovely weather." The tiny smile on Anders’s face was outright evil, but he waved his hand and a bit of a glow danced off his fingertips.
Nathaniel sighed with relief and stretched. "I’m still not sorry I stabbed you."
"Nah, don’t be. That was fantastic." Anders laughed, just a touch hysterically. "Seriously, though, that hurts like murder. You almost cut my fucking nipple off."
"And for some reason, you still want to bone me." Nathaniel rolled his eyes.
"Howe, you could stab me in the dick, and I’d still want to bone you. What are my other options, really? Two dwarves, a walking corpse, and the Commander, which… the Commander? Yes, please? But, no. I’m not stepping in front of the Crow."
Nathaniel eyed Anders. "I notice you don’t mention Velanna."
"That’s because I’m an intelligent member of the species, and I know Velanna’s not an option. She doesn’t much like humans, you might have noticed," Anders pointed out. "Or maybe you didn’t, because you keep trying."
"And I don’t much like you. What’s that got to do with anything?" Nathaniel shrugged. He did like Velanna, even when she was insulting him, which seemed to be a little less frequent, recently.
"Yeah, but from you, it’s different. It’s personal. It’s actually because I’m a raging asshole in mage clothing, and that’s something I’m pretty comfortable admitting about myself." Anders unshouldered his staff and stretched with it, as they walked. "For her, I’m just another one of the faceless horde."
Nathaniel looked a little unsettled. "I don’t hate you, you know."
"Obviously. Even with our limited options, you probably wouldn’t be boning me, if you hated me. Huge difference between not liking, disliking, and actually hating. I like to keep myself just on the right side of tolerable." Anders stretched back and immediately regretted it, as he tore open the fresh scab. "Ow, shit."
"What, did you forget I stabbed you?" Nathaniel squinted at the vaguely tolerable mage at his side.
"Yeah, actually. Ow." Anders patted at his chest.
"There is something very wrong with you."
"Just one thing? I can think of a few." Anders grinned. "And at least one you could fix with your knob."
"You’re hopeless," Nathaniel pointed out, stating the utterly obvious. "But, if you get me drunk enough, I may become willing to discuss that solution."