[ Master Post ]
Title: Pranksters of Kinloch Hold: A Matter of Coming and Going
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anders ♂, Karl Thekla ♂, Alim Surana ♂
Rating: T (L2 N2 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Fire, corrupt systems of governance, bees
Notes: Anders pisses off the templars again. Some more talk of breaking out again.
Anders was furious — the sort of scared and angry he usually was after the kind of day he’d just had — and the scrap stack at the end of the table, behind him, had started to smoulder, as he hissed and snarled about exactly how vile and disgusting he found the entire templar order. Karl and Surana were trying to make sense of the expletive-filled half-sentences, to figure out what had happened, this time, when the smoke caught Karl’s eye.
"Anders?" Karl nodded in the direction of the smouldering pages. "Hot enough without the help, aren’t you? Or should I come over there and warm you up? No need to burn down the library, because Ser Loathsome can’t keep it in his pants."
Anders held up one finger toward Karl. "Don’t touch me. Not now."
Karl looked away, nauseated and uncertain, as Surana put out the fire with a heavy, leatherbound tome, and then reached for Anders’s face. The one thing that was understood between them was that ‘don’t touch’ almost never applied to Surana.
"You actually are hot, this time, roundear." Surana pointed out, hefting himself onto one knee on top of the table, to scan the library for more smoke. "If you can’t find it, maybe you should talk to Wynne."
"I’m not sick. I’m just pissed off." Anders shook his head. "They caught me in the bath in one of the apprentice dorms. Greta was complaining again — you know Greta. Nobody believes her except the ones who know, and they’re not talking. So, I told her I’d solve the problem. Either we’d know she was wrong, or … I’d get dragged through the tower naked." He shrugged. "It’s not like anyone’s going to be surprised by the sight."
"How’d the First Enchanter take it?" Karl asked, finally, still looking into the stacks.
"Andraste’s blessings on the old man until the end of days. He caught us in the hall and gave me his belt — you know, that big wide one? It helps, when you’re not trying to carry on a serious conversation with your sausage and eggs in the breeze." Anders laughed, a light flush chasing across his cheeks. "Greagoir, understandably, completely lost it when he figured out what must have been going on. Of course, to him, I was in just as much shit as Chrome-pants and the Tin Bucket. Imagine! A Harrowed mage as old as I am bathing in the apprentice dorms! Scandalous!"
"And it’s you, so I’m sure he was pushing for the worst," Surana sighed, stroking the teeth of the skeletal rat on his shoulder.
"He was arguing that I had to be treated like any other maleficar. That it didn’t matter whether I’d done blood magic, that I should have never been permitted a Harrowing, that it might be too late to make me Tranquil, but it was never too late to send me to Aeonar." Anders started to shake, looking irritatedly at his hands, as it he couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t make it stop.
Surana just laughed, maybe a little too loudly for the library. "Aeonar. As if such a place would hold you, for long."
"Don’t joke." Karl shook his head. "Not about that place."
"Why not? The world outside is his world. It’s his dream. He just keeps coming back because he can’t go on without us." Surana laughed again, and the rat scuttled up to the top of his head. "It’s not as if you’ll go with him."
"Me? What about you? You’re not exactly lining up to bust out of here," Karl pointed out, with a sharp look at Surana.
"I’ll know when it’s my time to go. I won’t need to sneak out. The walls will part for me, when I go. They remember the magisters who raised the real tower, and not this demon-infested echo. I will go, when the stones know me for what I am. I will go, when I am enough to command them." Surana smiled at Karl as if he’d just explained fireballs to a young apprentice.
"Well, the next time, I’ll make it. I almost made it the last time, but those windows are murder. Find a nice town and grow a beard, grow some barley. A couple of years, and I’ll come back for you. Both of you. We can grow barley and keep cats. Maybe somewhere in the south. Down in the Chasind lands. They’ll never find us, there."
"I want to go north," Karl said, looking down into his lap. "I want to go to Minrathous."
"Then we’ll go to Minrathous," Anders promised, reaching out to run a hand through Karl’s hair, tugging gently until he tipped his face up into a long, passionate kiss. "I’ll come back for you. I promise. And when I come back, they’ll have to go search the cellar to find something that would stop me from taking you away from here, because there will be no post-Imperial magic that will hold me back."
"There are still templars," Surana pointed out. "Templars tend to make magic irrelevant."
"I’ll come back with an army, and we’ll sneak out the back." Anders smiled slyly and slid into Karl’s lap, pulling him into another kiss. "I promise I’ll get out, and I promise I’ll get you out. And I guess elfhole over here can be a smartass about it all. You coming with us, or what?"
"It’s not like you’ll be rid of me for long, either way," Surana yawned, stretching. "But, I suppose I’d better be prepared, if you come back for him. I’m sure you’ll end up back in here — both of you — if I don’t go with you."
"Andraste’s tits, but you’re full of yourself, elfhole," Anders teased, pinching Surana’s thigh, before he remembered how entirely pointless that was.
The elf smirked wickedly at his fellow mages.
"No. Don’t." Karl jabbed a finger at Surana. "Do. Not. He’s sitting on my lap."
A faint humming could be heard from between Surana’s palms, and the rat peered down, inquisitively, from his shoulder. Karl leapt up, flipping over the bench and tripping on it, as Anders fell forward, smacking his face on the table. Surana laughed so hard he lost the spell, and by the templars found them, cackling madly in the corner of the library, there was no sign they’d been up to anything but reading, and no one was ever quite sure what was so funny about Nevarran histories of the Tevinter occupation of the Marches.