Inns were one of the Warden's few splurges of the party's gold. If there was a roof to be had over their heads -- and walls between bodies -- then chances were good that he would find a way to put the entire group up for the night.
But since he accepted hard gold wherever it was offered in the course of their travels, and salvaged and sold every scrap of equipment from their enemies, it was hardly an issue. Not with the way he flirted and charmed and bartered the prices down as far as he could, quite often calling on Leliana and sometimes Zevran's assistance while he did so. The two rogues and the elven mage had silver tongues, all of them.
That wasn't to say that everyone generally had their own room on these nights. Far from it; everyone almost always ended up paired, and sometimes tripled per room, but it was still better than camping out in the rain and the mud and darkspawn, particularly now that the Blight had crept even further North. There was no true watch to keep in an inn; everyone could sleep the night through.
This building in particular was a large example, and it turned out that the party had rescued the owner's nephew previously and that he'd recognized the large group of mis-matched fighters and mages when they had wandered in the door. Not precisely full of customers or short on rooms with the threat of darkspawn creeping near, the inn put them up for this particularly stormy night for free.
And this meant that Tannusen had Zevran all to himself once again.
It was a good night, despite the storm.
He closed the door behind himself as he entered the room that he and the other elf had picked for the night, his hands still damp from heating multiple basins of bathwater for the other rooms with his magic. A crack of thunder outside had his breath catching for a moment, but he shook his unease off as best as he could.
Storms hadn't bothered him very much in the Tower. Now that he'd slept outside in a few, and now that his dreams were full of thundering dragon roars and the hissing whispering of--
"You look uneasy, my friend," Zevran noted from the bed, interrupting Tannusen's troubled thoughts. He pulled his gaze from the tightly-shuttered window, not realizing he'd been staring at it, and took in the Antivan's tired posture on the bed. Nothing obvious, just the tinniest bit of a slump, the darkness under his eyes that he couldn't hide, and other small things like the way one shoulder dropped a little unevenly down.
They had traveled for something near a year together. Zevran knew about Tannusen's unease with the storms, and Tannusen knew how to read his subtle body-language; his tiny non-expressions when he was trying to hide something.
"And you look tired," Tannusen replied, his ever-present purr sliding over the words as he approached the bed.
"I'm sure I will sleep soundly later, yes?" Zevran chuckled, leaning back onto an elbow on the bed as Tannusen sat down beside him. The rogue wasn't wearing a thing, and his skin gleamed in the light of a few nearby candles and the room's fireplace, still slightly damp from washing the road dust off himself. "We are not wasting this room tonight, my dear Warden. The walls are very thick." That smirk made the threat of dragon-thunder distant, "I checked."
Tannusen's gaze slid away from the Crow, and he leaned forward on the edge of the bed to pull his pack nearer on the floor, opening it and taking out a coiled bundle of his usual scarlet rope. He tossed it on the bed and then leaned over the other man, tracing his fingertips over his chest and nibbling on the edge of Zevran's jaw as the Antivan tipped his head back to accommodate him. It seemed there would be little argument of who was in control, tonight.
Zevran tasted of the clean water still clinging to him, and that sweet-saltiness that was just... skin. Just clean, warm, beautifully-bronzed skin, smooth beneath his lips and tongue. Tannusen pressed a firm kiss to the other man's lips, Zevran returning the brush of tongue and lips but passively keeping his hands to himself, propped up on his elbows still while the clothed mage loomed over him.
Tannusen didn't break away until they were both in need of air, and even then he hovered close, his gaze raking down Zevran's body to his growing interest, and then back up to assess their borrowed bed and its sturdy corner poles. This really was a nice room.
"Hands up," the mage purred, climbing further onto the bed to sit back on it on his knees and shins, taking up the coil of nearby rope and unwinding a measured length. "Wrists together."
Zevran fell back the rest of the way onto the bed with a soft thump, doing as ordered in silence, his heavy-lidded stare focused on Tannusen as the pale elf began to expertly bind his wrists, crossing them to prevent more strain than necessary. Once the Antivan's hands were neatly bound, the mage sat back again.
He ran his fingers down Zevran's taut stomach in a brief caress, pleased to see the assassin harden further beneath his gaze. Anticipation was a wonderful thing. "On your stomach," Tannusen ordered after another stroke of his fingers down warm, still-damp skin, "arms toward the door."
Turning over in place was a little awkward, when one had their wrists bound in such a way, but Zevran made it look effortless all the same, turning his cheek against the bed to watch Tannusen from the corner of his eye. A few moments later, and his wrists were leashed firmly to the bed, several loops of crimson rope stretching between the relevant two posts and the leading bit anchored to the middle.
"You are being very submissive tonight," Tannusen noted, stroking the fingers of both hands down Zevran's gleaming back, alongside his spine. "No argument, no rebellion. What is the occasion, pet?"
It wasn't the first time he'd called Zevran that name, and yet it still made a soft shudder go through the other man. It should have repulsed him, he'd told Tannusen once, but... it didn't. Not at all. Not from the Warden's lips.
"I am rather tired," Zevran's thickening accent betrayed how hard he was against the blankets. "Besides... rebellion just isn't as much fun with such thick walls to block the sounds, now is it?"
Tannusen laughed at that, "You think I couldn't spank you hard enough for it to carry to everyone anyway?" he traced his fingers down Zevran's back again, this time following the curve of his tattoos, sliding his fingers over Zevran's hips and tugging so that the man went obediently up onto his knees, thighs spread. The rope at his wrists remained taut; Zevran knew better than to give himself slack without an order.
"I think... that I would love to see you try," Zevran countered a little breathlessly, as Tannusen shifted behind him, spreading him open with a firm grip on either side of his ass, leaning forward, his breath ghosting over Zevran's damp skin...
"Another time, I think," Tannusen purred, and closed the distance to lap delicately at the water still clinging to that exposed ring of sensitive flesh, causing Zevran to jerk reflexively in his hold, pushing back against him with a soft hitch in his breath. So few had done this to the Antivan over his many years as a Crow that it never failed to undo him, just a little bit. It wasn't something you did to someone you were using, as a general rule.
"So," Tannu smirked in between delicate brushes of his tongue, teasing, "will you succumb to an interrogation tonight?"
"I... ahh..." distracted, Zevran squirmed a little beneath Tannusen's tongue as it pressed harder against him, the mage not playing fair. "...You... ask what you wish, my devious Warden!" That last was gasped out as the tip of Tannusen's tongue wormed against the Antivan's entrance, not quite pushing in but so close.
Tannusen pulled back with a soft chuckle. "You have a scar here," he murmured, giving strip of slightly-lighter skin at the base of Zevran's spine a hot lick in illustration. Scar tissue had a similar texture as the soft, tense little ring his tongue had been against seconds ago, and some scars could be quite sensitive. Zevran jumped a little. "Do you remember what it is from?"
"Ah... the... ah, the window I was pushed from," Zevran shuddered beneath Tannusen's lips as he sealed them against his skin and sucked gently on the spot in question, "during the assault on... on the prince. It had glass, before I went through it..."
"And this one?" Tannusen scraped his teeth delicately against the old mark of a distinctive stab-wound above Zevran's hip, his long ponytail sliding over his shoulder and brushing against the Antivan's bare skin as Tannu loomed over his lower back.
"When another apprentice tried to kill me," the other man answered much easier this time; this scar wasn't as sensitive, "but he failed, and paid the price." Tannusen moved on before the hardness in Zevran's voice could lessen the hardness beneath the rogue's body, brushing a soft kiss against something that looked distinctly like a long-healed burn, dangerously close to his spine.
And so it went for a while, the mage purposefully ignoring the long, thin lines from an unknown number of over-eager whippings and deliberate torture, but otherwise working his way up Zevran's back with slow kisses and licks and nibbles. When the killer seemed to sag a little beneath the weight of memory, he brought him back from it again with a knowing hand wrapped around Zevran's length, stroking slowly.
"Turn over," Tannusen eventually murmured, releasing him with a parting squeeze, looming fully over Zevran's bare and bound form on the bed.
"Do you intend to ask about every scar you find?" Zevran asked as he maneuvered onto his back, forced by the cage of Tannusen's thighs and arms to all but squirm against the blankets in order to turn as ordered. "We could be here all night!"
In response, Tannusen dropped a kiss to a tiny, barely-visible scar just above the other man's right eyebrow. "Perhaps," the mage suggested silkily, "you should go back to answering, then?"
"A bar fight," Zevran gasped, arching up into Tannusen's hand as it closed around him again. "A wine bottle was broken over my head. It was full, by the way. Very tragic."
Tannusen murmured a wordless encouragement, knowing that the blow had probably laid the assassin up for weeks unless he'd had a healer on hand -- thick glass full of liquid was no minor thing to be hit over the head with! He worked his way slowly down Zevran's bared throat with a drag of his lips, sealing over a fresher scar atop the man's collar bone.
"I once tried to kill a handsome Grey Warden," Zevran relaxed beneath the attention to this scar, arching up a little against Tannu's lips, "whose dog has very sharp teeth."
The mage laughed softly at that, and moved along. The Crow had had so many injuries from their very first contact that he'd barely survived at all... even after Tannusen had agreed to keep him. He'd gotten soaked in the man's blood, trying to heal him back up again. Red, red blood had been everywhere, thick and heavy and hot on Tannusen; on the dry, dusty road. Had he known the man at all, it would have been a lot more distressing at the time.
"Th-that doesn't have any scars!" Zevran gasped, hips lifting from the bed as Tannusen took his length into his mouth and down the back of his throat without warning, a silent and perhaps completely insufficient apology for not really giving much of a damn back then. "Tannusen!"
Tannusen didn't withdraw completely until the assassin thrashed wildly beneath him, gasping out a warning--! And the mage squeezed his fingers around him like so, stopping the other man from falling over the edge. Zevran writhed, so close it was agony, and Tannusen drank in the other man's hoarse cries of frustration until the moment had passed and he sagged back against the bed again, panting.
"What... about... you?" Zevran asked breathlessly, after Tannusen shrugged out of his robes, and unwound the rope attached to his hands from the bedposts, leaving the man bound but able to move his arms as he wished. "You have one... here, that I have always wondered at..." bound hands caressed a scar over Tannusen's breastbone even as oil-slickened fingers slowly opened the assassin up beneath him, the mage's weight held on his knees and one elbow.
"I once tried to carve my heart out with a knife," Tannusen murmured, dropping a kiss to Zevran's forehead, "it turned out to be harder than I thought it would be."
Whatever Zevran's reply may have been, it was interrupted as the mage shifted between his raised thighs, one pale hand on the back of a bronzed knee bending the flexible assassin nearly in half. Ties to his remaining clothing were undone, lowered out of the way... and Tannusen scraped his teeth against a faded mark on the side of Zevran's throat as he slid home in one long, tight movement.
There were no more words for a while, only the slide of skin, the sparking of white-hot pleasure behind eyelids; the desperate fumbling kissing as first one -- and then, a few moments later -- the other found release.
Some time later, Tannusen finally shifted off of the other elf.
Eventually, he reached for the ropes around Zevran's wrists, rubbing the freed skin between his hands once the rope was coiled to one side. "...Not your sanest moment, then?" Zevran asked sleepily, watching Tannusen work with mostly-closed eyes. The golden-brown color only looked even warmer in this lighting, just as the rest of the man did. It suited him.
Tannusen chuckled softly in reply. "Sanity and insanity are black and white, and shades of grey in between," he stretched out beside the other man, kicking his boots off and lounging on his side. He'd wriggle out of his lowered trousers later, too tired to care at the moment. "But back then? I saw things only in shades of red."
"Mm," Zevran agreed, sounding half-asleep, "so... not your sanest moment."
Tannu smiled crookedly and let his eyes slip shut. Keeping them open was an awful lot of effort, it seemed, and the storm outside seemed very distant and unimportant now. "...Nope."