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Peace and Belonging

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You don't have to go.” Grabbing his forearm to stop him was reflex, my grip gentle but firm, it was meant to be a gesture of... support, I suppose. We hadn't touched like this before, as I'd been so very careful to respect his sense of space, he didn't like anyone being too close unless he moved to them. So we'd only ever touched when necessary, in healing, or the time when he'd half-carried me bloody and mostly senseless up to Anders' clinic from the Undercity. His skin was surprisingly soft between the raised lines of the lyrium markings.


A spike of panic, irrational and senseless, gripped me when the lyrium markings flashed to their full brilliance, passing almost as quickly for a nervous calm, confidence in the single thought I had time for, he won't hurt me— this was my mistake, I had presumed too much, and between the two of us I was the one who had all the real power, the one in a position to abuse it. Except... well, it would be too presumptuous to let him knew who was really in charge between us when the others weren't around, and instead I just hoped he'd gathered that from context.


So when he slammed me against the wall, and the back of my head met stone with enough force I saw stars, my teeth clacked hard enough to make my jaw ache, I wasn't afraid. Anxious, yes, because when my vision cleared he looked angry enough to really hurt me, and I wasn't sure at all what to make of that. This darkness he'd spoken of... I wanted to believe he was strong enough to master it, but I suddenly questioned if the tentative thing between us was enough to overcome the unhappy accident of my birth—I could no more change my nature than he could change what was done to him by the magisters.


But the light faded, and the hate in him, and he suddenly looked terrified, started to move away from me again—I didn't let him, more afraid of him fleeing altogether than of breaking the taboo of space between us. So I embraced him, slid my hands across the slim angle of his hips to rest on the small of his back, stooped to be of an even height and leaned in to whisper, “I trust you not to hurt me, even after that.” He wouldn't look at me, still struggling to return to his usual calm, staring over my shoulder at the wall. “I won't stop you again if you try to leave, but I want you here , with me. The terms of that are up to you, but don't ever doubt it.” He twitched, green eyes finally flicking down to meet my own, still afraid but all the lines of his face softening—it was not a fear of something he had almost done, but a fear of what he was considering. It was perhaps the wrong thing to say, but I was well beyond thought at this point, and pleaded softly, “ Trust me .” He flinched, as if about to be struck. “Let me prove myself to you.”


Hawke....” His voice broke on the soft sounds in my name, and I feared I'd said too much too fast for him. But then his lips were on mine, soft, tentative... not at all what I expected after the passion of his anger a moment ago. I hesitated before I realized it was an invitation of sorts, that he was unsure how to proceed and was silently asking me to lead him in this. I gently teased his lips apart and he gave himself over to me, leaning some of his weight into my grip. Mage that I am, I wasn't strong enough to support the both of us, so I reversed our positions, pinning him against the wall, kissed my way up the side of his neck, careful to avoid the tattoos, and began nibbling my way up his ear from lobe to tip. He gave an open-throated moan, a little note of surprise in it, and I nuzzled against the soft skin just beneath his ear, smiling to myself—he sagged against me, against the wall, and by the dazed look in his eyes when I drew away and the heavy hardness that brushed against my thigh as I moved he had been wanting this for a while, unable to let himself open up or let himself go.


Assumptions were made, about how far he might let this go, based on how he moved against me when I pressed him against the wall again, instinct overriding his stoic calm. I had wanted to be careful with him, but couldn't keep myself from grinding back, thrilling at the solidity of him against my own straining hardness. I suddenly wanted to confirm what I'd felt with my own eyes, hands and lips, and began working at the belts he wore until I could slide his pants down, and he gasped harshly into my ear as his erection slipped free, as I closed my fingers around it and began kissing my way down as far as I could go without pausing to remove more, and ended up kneeling in front of him. He was proportional to his build, save that he would be considered thick even compared to most humans, and a little thrill of anticipation ran through me at the thought of the delicious stretch and ache he would leave, more than just a memory on my skin to mark his presence. The tattoos trailed dangerously close to his hardness, marked the shape of his hips and curled down around the inside of his thighs—it was hard to imagine something so terrible could also be so very beautiful. I licked a gleaming drop of precum from the very tip of his hardness, and looked up for his reaction—I had never seen such lust in anyone's eyes, such desire. So I took him into my mouth with no further hesitation, gripping his hip with one hand and caressing with my other as I worked him. Quickly enough he stopped trying to stifle his sounds of pleasure, laying bare before me everything he felt in harsh gasps and shameless sounds, and he came with a lascivious moan that nearly undid me, spilling bright-hot and salty across my tongue. I took everything he could give, swallowing rapidly, eager to move on—I wanted this to last, and having him too eager wouldn't do.


He recovered his senses quickly enough, reaching down to slide a hand through my hair and urge me up. “Hawke,” his voice was already growing hoarse, still breathy with emotion, and the sharp tips of his gauntlet pricked the skin of my scalp. When I stood he kissed me, still uncertain but no longer hesitant, and instead of inviting me in he was looking for a duel of tongues. I obliged, moaned into his mouth, because I was having trouble containing myself—beneath his calm exterior he was so full of passion, in every sense of the word, the same energy that colored his frequent outbursts of fury brightening his eyes and turned on me in a way that screamed of want. “Aodhan.” Softer this time, deeper, and he settled a hand against my chest, began urging me towards the bed. Along the way we discarded every shred of clothing between us, and when he pushed me onto the bed with a little shove I expected him to crawl over me in some possessive, predatory fashion, shuddering at the thought—he was so small, but he was beautiful and dangerous and I wanted him to fuck me through the bed—but he slid in next to me, suddenly seeming smaller, as if he were instinctively drawing in on himself.


I refused to let it happen like this, rolled onto my side to lean over him, hardness aching to be touched but I still had enough control to know better. I nibbled at his ear again, and he made an appreciative sound, exposing his neck for me to taste the delicate flesh there again. I accidentally brushed against the tattoos there, and he flinched, but didn't draw away. I did, just far enough to look at him properly, his mossy eyes still bright with desire and the haze and flush of arousal still on him. “How can you stand to wear clothing if they hurt so much?”


He returned my little smile with one of his own, nervous, hesitant. “It's the memory of the pain, they do not ache on their own. I expect pain, even if only the ghost of it lingers.”


“Would you permit me to touch them?” He considered it for a moment, keeping eye contact as if searching for something, then nodded.


I started with the markings across his throat, brushing my fingers across them gently, tracing them with the lightest touch I could muster. They were more like brands than a tattoo, as the lines were raised slightly, and seemed to respond to my magic, the faintest tremor of light trailing behind my touch. When I reached the hollow of his throat and following the lines out along his collarbone, he shuddered, suddenly wide-eyed. The flush to his skin was darkening.


I stayed my hand, opting to caress his shoulder rather than continue with the lines of lyrium. “Is something wrong?”


He looked like someone who had just encountered a confusing taste, considering his words carefully before saying, “They are very sensitive.”


“Is that good or bad?”


“I... don't know.” His uncertainty clashed with the signs of growing desire that seemed clear enough to me.


Still, I didn't want to push him—if this was just about getting off we would've been done by now—so I started following the lines of them, beginning again at his throat, this time with my lips and the occasional flick of my tongue. He gasped, and his hands went to my shoulders, as if to push me away, but he hesitated, putting no force behind the motion, frozen by sensation. “Tell me to stop and I will,” I murmured against his skin, and he flinched, but made no move against me as I continued, hands eventually relaxing into a sort of possessive curl around my shoulders. The tattoos on his chest were scant, but I worked my way down those this time, crossed the hard plane of his stomach marked only by old scars to continue with the marks as they trailed down over his hips. His grip tightened, as if in warning, and I stopped, looking up at him.


“I can't....” He didn't have enough breath to finish, took a moment to gather some. “It feels wonderful. But I can't watch. It makes me expect the pain again.”


I crawled back up over him so we could look each other in the eyes more evenly. “Do you trust me?”


That look again, searching, before he very carefully said, “Yes.”


I left him for only a moment, retrieving a silk kerchief meant to go with some ridiculous noble's clothing I refused to wear, red as blood itself, and returned, folding it very precisely. I crawled up onto the bed, leaning over him again, finding his gaze expectant, curious—that he was letting so much emotion show so plainly was just as arousing as the little sounds and twitches he'd been making under the work of my mouth a moment ago. “You don't have to watch,” I told him. “I won't tie it on, just lay it over your eyes, so you can take it off if it becomes too much. Lovers do this, sometimes; removing sight temporarily increases other senses.”


He gave a sharp little intake of breath, and his eyes flicked briefly to the kerchief in my hand. “If it gets much more intense I'm not sure I'll be able to stand it.” But he took the folded kerchief from me, leaned up to kiss me, tugging at my lip, and then set it in place himself.


I started back at it again where I'd left off, kissing my way down the markings on his hips. He was fully hard again by now, and his hands were grasping for me once I was beyond his reach, panting and gasping at each little suckle and nip and lick, light following my touch, a little brighter this time, as if he were having trouble controlling it. When I ran my tongue down the arc inside his thigh he bucked a little, the blindfold falling askew. I paused to let him right it, and continued down, finding the lines running down the back of his thigh and lifting his leg gently to nip at them, down across the back of his knee and around his calf until I was nuzzling at the tattoos around his ankle. He was already panting and groaning, hardness twitching and weeping, when I started back up his other leg.


Fenris kissed me greedily when I returned to his lips, hands sliding up into my hair and keeping me close. He lifted his hips off the bed, straining to bring our erections together, and I wanted the contact but I knew I wasn't strong enough to pin him and it might undo me before either of us was ready for it.


Hawke.” Fenris growled, untangling one hand from my hair long enough to rip the blindfold away, and the demand behind his voice made me shiver. “Are you going to fuck me or just play around all night?”


I nuzzled at his neck again, drawing an appreciative sound out of him, and murmured jauntily, “Have you heard the old adage, 'tis better to give than to receive?”


“Yes.” He was clearly annoyed with me, but his voice was still full of desire, husky and dark.


“If you apply that to sex,” I propped myself up, grinning down at him, “then I'm what you might consider 'greedy'.”


“You don't....” He seemed confused, gave me a suspicious look. “But you're human.”


“How astute of you.”


“And I'm an elf.”


“I'm glad you're so self-aware; few are.” He narrowed his eyes in mistrust, and I couldn't help but laugh. “Why would I joke about something like this? Someday; variety is the spice of life, after all. But given the option I prefer to take rather than give.”


Fenris hesitated, still suspicious, working the kerchief between his fingers. “I have never... done this, to someone. Only had it done to me. I don't know....”


“Do what feels natural.” I leaned down to kiss the tip of one ear, ran my fingers through his snowy hair. “I'll let you know if you're hurting me.”


As with all of his actions that were not purely instinct-driven this night he weighed this one carefully, pursing his lips just a little, before asking, “Oil?” I retrieved it quickly, and he rolled up, leaving the kerchief on the pillow where his head had lain, taking the oil from me and pushing me onto my back. A little thrill of excitement passed over me at the forceful motion, the hungry way he looked over my body as if seeing it for the first time when he settled down between my legs. He explored with his hands, learning the shape of me and the feeling of my skin until his fingers just naturally wandered down to my hardness. He hesitated a moment, looking up to me as if for approval, before continuing down further. Fenris paused to slick his fingers, looking up at me again nervously, so I gave him a little smile, lifted my knees. He took that for the sign it was meant to be, circled the tight ring of muscle at my entrance with a slick finger before working it in.


Fenris was efficient at this, which I'd expected—if he'd had no pleasurable experience in preparing himself or being prepared, why would he think to draw it out? At two fingers the fading burn was a delectable sensation, and he was gentle, so it was far from unpleasant. He brushed against a particular spot entirely by accident, and I bucked against his hand, seeing stars and gasping open-mouthed. “Aodhan?” Something about the way he said my first name—Hawke was so impersonal--”Are you--”


“Talk later,” I grit out, and worked myself on his fingers when they stilled, but the angle was frustratingly wrong. He laughed at me, a beautiful sound, and left me empty and wanting, whining for the weight of him. Fenris hooked his hands under my knees and adjusted them to give himself more room, and when I saw him starting to line himself up I had to fist my hands in the sheets to keep from just thrusting against him.


When his head breached me I saw stars of a different sort, clenching my teeth and blinking away tears. Even relaxed and stretched as I was and slick as we both were, it hurt, well beyond the sort of pain I appreciated. “Aodhan?” again, gentle, worried, and he had stilled just inside me, leaning forward and planting his hands on either side of me.


“It's been a while,” I gasped out. “And you're not exactly small.” He ducked his head as if embarrassed by that, hiding his eyes behind his hair, and despite the pain I laughed a little at how he could still manage to be embarrassed by a compliment when we were so intimately joined. “Just go slow.”


By the time he was fully seated we were both gasping and panting, doubting if this was the best idea, but I wanted this, reached up to caress Fenris' cheek and draw him down for a kiss. We did that for a while, kissing and caressing, Fenris doing his best to distract me from the pain. I moved against him experimentally, found it much easier now, and we kept at it slow for a while, working up to a rhythm. It became clear Fenris had done this before, flesh remembering what his mind couldn't, instinct taking over when he pushed my knees up towards my chest, pinning them between us, changing his angle and pushing deeper on every stroke. The look he turned on me then was possessive, predatory and full of desire in more than a physical sense. This was a claiming of sorts, and I bucked harder against him, breaking our rhythm. His snowy hair was slicked to his sweat-glistening skin, green eyes dark with lust, skin flushed beneath the faint light of his tattoos, and the sight of him like this almost pushed me over the edge. I set my teeth and tried to hold back.


We did not work up to a frenzy but once we were both close he wasn't so gentle, his grip leaving bruises and his thrusts punishing, driving me down against the mattress, my own erection, long and slender in contrast to the thickness he had buried in me, rubbing against the taut muscles of his stomach. But it was so very like him, and I wanted him. When I came it was blinding, fisting my hands in the sheets and trying to capture as much of him as possible inside me, clenching down around that fullness, spilling myself across his chest and all but sobbing his name. It was too much, every muscle in my body suddenly tight with pleasure, and it left me trembling beneath him. Fenris followed soon after, the heat of his release blooming inside me when he stilled, his face buried in the crook of my neck and teeth grazing my skin while he growled out my name.


We remained joined for a while, neither of us properly able to catch a breath, my issue slick between us. He kissed my jaw before drawing back and pulling out of me slowly, and the absence of him was nearly as bad as the initial pain. Fenris' weight left the bed for a moment and I found I hardly had the strength to roll my head and look for him. He returned a moment later with the cloth from my washbasin, and cleaned both of us up a little, his motions utilitarian but gentle. When he was done I snatched up his wrist, and he didn't flinch for once, grabbed the kerchief from the pillow with my other hand and tied it gently around his wrist.


“Aodhan...?” Always a question, but I was so pleased he was using my first name in this intimate setting that I didn't care.


“For when you expect the pain,” I told him, smiling dumbly and laying a kiss on his knuckles. “To remind you that they can be more than pain. You should own your skin, not fear it.”


For a moment Fenris looked at me, his face unreadable, before he tossed the little towel aside and slid down next to me, his motions uncertain. So I took the lead again, laying my head against his chest and curling against him, too exhausted to do much else. After a moment of awkward confusion he settled one hand in my hair, stroking the shaggy mess away from my face and then continuing in a rhythmic fashion. “You are the strangest mage I have ever met,” he murmured.


“Thank you.”




When he fled the room the sound of the door slamming behind him rang hollow, as did everything else. The room seemed cold in his absence, and though I wanted to go after him I knew I shouldn't. It was not his way to be comforted or consoled, it was his way to come to terms with an issue first, and though I worried I tried to have confidence he would come back to discuss it in time—days, weeks maybe, but he would be back. The night proved restless and I eventually dressed to walk over to the library, find something to distract myself with until exhaustion took over again.


I paused in the entry hall, surprised, aborted my original path even though I knew I must look a mess. “Gamlen? What are you doing here?”