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Another Time

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Hands grabbed his head, a familiar-but-not voice spoke directly into his ear. "I'm in charge of you now, Tannusen," the unseen man breathed, and Tannu felt himself pale, somehow, even as he held very still in the templar's grasp.

"It's a good thing you're a healer, you stupid slut," the voice continued, "because that stunt with the candle is going to seem mild when I'm done with you... I've watched you," and now the tone lowered, almost a whisper, "I've watched you for a long time. I know what a defiant little thing you are when you think no one is watching..."

Without warning, the man stepped back, hauling Tannusen off of the desk by his head and letting go so that he hit the floor without any assistance. An armored kick to his cheekbone had the mage seeing stars in the darkness, gasping in pain on the floor, half of his face feeling as though it had been struck by a hammer. "But someone is always watching."

Another hand yanked Tannusen up onto his knees by his hair--

But the hand clenched in his hair slackened suddenly, and the blindfold was pulled off of his eyes, letting the room's blessedly-dim light flood Tannusen's senses; warm oranges and reds from the fireplace and a small assortment of candles. The man standing before him was not some pale thing in cold, shining plate -- it was Zevran, still half-dressed in his dark leather armor, his bronze skin warming further in the low lighting.

Tannusen blinked up at him, utterly disoriented.

Zevran stared back, silent for a moment, and then drew a small knife from his belt and stepped behind the mage, out of his line of sight. The ropes binding Tannusen's wrists to his ankles suddenly parted, and he slumped in place with a faint shiver.

"Come on," the Antivan sounded nothing like... like those templars he'd been sure he was surrounded by just a moment ago, his accent warm and rich though his voice sounded oddly uncertain. "Can you stand, Tannusen?"

But someone is always watching.

Tannusen crumbled forward on the floor, pressing his cheek to the worn boards, his vision fogging over with--

"Red." --with red, yes. Scarlet mist. Crimson-- "Red, Tannusen," Zevran's voice sounded sharp and worried, and hands on his shoulders rolled Tannusen onto his back, the mage finding himself staring up at the assassin kneeling at his side. "We are stopping. I am using your word for you. Red."

"R-red," Tannu repeated in a soft whisper, and watched relief flash briefly across Zevran's features. "Okay."

"I have seen you do this before," Zevran noted, brushing the mage's hair away from his eyes. "You look very... haunted, my friend." Coming from anyone else, it would have been a prompt to talk about it -- and it may even have been such from Zevran as well, this time... but Tannu chose to not notice. Zevran was not fond of discussing things, it seemed. Was he?

So Tannusen merely closed his eyes for a moment, and then moved to sit up, the trembling in his frame finally abating. They had been... doing things, just as they often did whenever the party found an inn or an unused house along their path. Everything had been fine until he'd been blindfolded, and then the darkness had slowly started to change in color.

He couldn't even remember what they'd been doing.

"I'm sorry, Zev," Tannusen murmured, re-opening his eyes and picking the lingering bits of cut rope off of his wrists, "I seem to be getting crazier..."

A warm hand settled on his, making the Warden glance up at the still-kneeling assassin beside him. "If you wish to speak of it," Zevran's gaze was intent, searching, "I will listen. You have done the same for me, have you not?"

Tannusen laughed softly, and took Zevran's hand in his, standing and tugging the assassin up after him. "Perhaps another time, hm?" The grin came easily as he backed the partially-armored man up toward the bed behind him, "But for now, I would rather ravish you, in this bed, and then sleep, and perhaps dream of a warm country I have never seen..."

There was no protest from Zevran. Sad stories would always be there, after all. Beds were far more rare.