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The hurricane lamps didn’t cast enough light, and since there were no sconces on the walls of the Warden-Commander’s bedchamber, Anders waited until morning. When the sun was streaming into the room, leaving little shadow, he quietly dumped Ser Pounce-a-Lot outside and locked the door. He approached the bed with a smile and a plan, and pulled the quilt off of Theron’s small frame, tossing it onto the floor. After a confused, bleary-eyed moment in which Theron groped for the blanket with growing concern at not finding it, he realized Anders was standing over him and his entire demeanor changed. Agitation was replaced with a private, deeply affectionate smile, and Theron gave up his search for the blanket to stretch himself out in the sun, lengthening his limbs as far as they would go, his arms trembling as they too woke from the comfortable relaxation of late morning sleep. 

He had slept naked, a rarity even now, and Anders admired the lean lines of his body, his eyes quickly finding scars and other favored spots. The scar at his hip was long healed, but still indented just enough for Anders to rest his thumb in the crevice; it must have been a terrible wound when it was fresh, and when Anders sat next to Theron, that was the first thing he touched. 

Under the sunlight, Theron was lovely and pale. His skin was flecked with freckles that darkened in the summer and faded out again when the sun was scarce. It was with giddy warmth that Anders realized he’d seen Theron’s skin take on its personal version of a tan twice. It meant that they’d been together—intimately—for over a year, because it was warming enough again for Theron’s skin to go through its summer cycle. The sort of contentment in knowing that he had been so free and loved so dearly for so long left Anders overwhelmed, and despite his intentions, he leaned over Theron to meet his lips, stroking his sun-warmed cheek before pulling back to admire him.

Theron’s body did not have soft curves, nor did it have a masculine collection of broadness and muscle; it was instead small, thin, with hipbones clearly visible on his taut belly, comprised of the same clean lines as androgynous statuary, matching the marble in the artifice of youth but failing to meet that smooth, unblemished perfection. Theron was scarred from ear to ankle, the faded, fish-belly pale betraying how long ago those scars had healed; that, and the brash vulgarity of his cock, red and stiff against his stomach, made him real, not impossibly beautiful and perfectly shaped, but simply a man with simple desires that were difficult to fully sate.

Now Theron was on his back, the muscles tense in his arms as he gripped a tangle of sheet in each hand, his eyelids closed and fluttering, his body mobile, stretching and reaching and arching into Anders’ slow touch. Anders’ lips brushed tenderly over the cords of muscle in Theron’s upper arm and he cupped the side of Theron’s face, stroking his cheek with his thumb when Theron tilted his head into Anders’ long-fingered hand. Anders’ name was on Theron’s lips, silent and terribly needy, but when he lifted a hand to grab his hair, Anders eased it back down to the mattress, holding it there until Theron gave up on his playful struggles. Anders trailed his mouth down Theron’s side, counting the ridges of ribs with his tongue, pausing when Theron groaned and squirmed. With patience that Theron could never hope to match, Anders waited, covering one pink, tightened nipple with the broad flat of his tongue when Theron’s anxious wriggling stopped. Anders laced his fingers with Theron’s, holding one arm fast to the bed, using his free hand to push Theron’s arching hip down.

Theron whined, clearly frustrated, and just like all of Theron’s other flustered, needy noises, Anders felt it deep in his spine, all heat and throbbing nerve, making his blood-heavy cock twitch, and quickening his pulse as desire fought with patience. Anders could easily wait; it had not been long since the last time they indulged, but Theron sent Anders’ blood boiling hot, one glimpse of his blown pupils threatening his resolve. Anders shut his eyes, then closed his teeth on Theron’s nipple, delirious with the jolt of his heart at the sudden jerk of Theron’s hip into his hand.

“Anders, please.” Theron’s voice was raw. He had managed to untuck the sheet above his head, and now held a tight fist of linen in each hand. Anders ignored him, focused entirely on leaving a wet trail with his tongue from his nipple to his belly button, kissing the latter fondly when Theron’s stomach lifted to meet his lips. “Please,” he whispered, incoherently desperate.

“How have you gotten through life with so little patience?” Anders asked, using a gentle touch to trace aimless patterns down Theron’s hip and thigh. Theron was flushed from ear-tip to collarbone, dark pink in the bright sunlight, and when he met Anders’ eyes he worried his lower lip with his teeth.

“Why do I need to be patient?” Theron moved to sit up, grabbing Anders’ hand when Anders attempted to ease him back down. He drew his hand to his face, leaning his cheek into it before turning to kiss Anders’ palm, the tip of his tongue hot and unexpected. Anders brushed his thumb over Theron’s lips, sucking in a sharp intake of breath when Theron caught his thumb with his tongue and closed his mouth around it. Distracted now by the heat and the pebbly press of Theron’s tongue, Anders tightened his grip on Theron’s hip, drawing from him a surprised, muffled squeak. 

“Because otherwise I might not be inclined to give you what you want,” Anders said, laying out the rules of the game and waiting for Theron to either refuse or acquiesce. Theron released his hand, kissing the tip of Anders’ thumb when he released it from his mouth.

“Anything I want?” Theron asked, having long since shaken off the haze of sleep in favor of a coquettish tilt of his head and half-lidded, curious eyes.

“Oh, I know what you want.” Without releasing his hip, Anders used his newly free hand to brush his wet thumb over the tip of Theron’s cock, catching the bead of pearly moisture that had collected in the shallow slit. The involuntary jerk of Theron’s hips sent the sweetest ache rippling over Anders’ skin, punctuated by a shiver when he brought his thumb to his mouth to taste it. 

When Theron sat up, he did so swiftly, reaching for Anders, throwing his arms around him with a contented shudder when Anders did the same. Theron kissed him, his tongue immediately pressing into his mouth, and though his breath was fast through his nose, Theron gasped for air when he pulled away. 

“I want you,” he hissed lowly, bringing down his teeth on Anders’ lower lip, giving it the most careful of tugs. 

“So impatient,” Anders whispered, chiding him though he stroked his ear tenderly, smiling at how it twitched between his fingers.

“I want you now.” Theron failed in an attempt to pull Anders down on top of him, and instead straddled Anders’ lap, bracing himself on his knees with his arms loose around Anders’ shoulders. A small lean brought his cock flush with Anders’ belly, and as he lowered his head to suck eagerly on Anders’ earlobe, he shoved his hips against Anders, shameless and needy. Anders ran his hand down Theron’s spine, his knuckles rolling over the bumps of his vertebrae. There were cute dimples at the base of his spine, just above his ass, and Anders found these with his fingertips before sliding his hand lower, slipping his fingers between Theron’s legs. Anders smiled again as Theron shifted himself around, spreading his legs, a contented sigh tickling Anders’ ear.

“Now, huh?” Anders asked, dragging one finger lightly over Theron’s sensitive skin, using his other hand to cup the back of Theron’s head and pet his hair when he pressed his face against Anders’ cheek. “Can’t wait another moment?” 


“On your stomach then,” Anders said, and released Theron. Theron hesitated, sweetly kissing him again, laughing into his mouth when Anders swatted him playfully on the ass. “I thought you couldn’t wait another second.” Theron growled and nipped his lower lip, then slid off of his lap and stretched out onto his belly. 

Theron’s back was scarred too, though less so than his chest and stomach. Anders didn’t have to ask to know that this was due to Theron’s near paranoid awareness of his surroundings. It made for a pretty picture, Theron’s pale back, peppered with freckles, his dark red hair swept over one shoulder, and Anders bent over him to press his lips against the back of his neck. 

“Right now, huh?” Anders whispered, combing Theron’s hair further to the side so that he could nibble at his shoulder. Theron nodded, wrapping his arms around the pillow he was resting on before turning to try and catch Anders’ lips, huffing in frustration as Anders moved down, instead kissing his shoulder blade. “What if I wanted to wait?” Anders murmured against Theron’s spine. 

“You’re just teasing me now,” Theron said, his voice muffled by the pillow. 

“Of course not,” Anders said, making a good effort to sound offended, moving away from Theron’s spine to kiss one of those dimples above his ass. Theron sighed, shifting his hips and arching his back to lift his pelvis, propping himself up on his knees though his chest and shoulders were still flat against the mattress. Anders ran his hands up Theron’s thin sides, admiring the utter lack of shame, and the trust, just as much as the warm sun exposing all the freckles on Theron’s smooth skin. He gave his hips a little squeeze before sliding his thumbs down the cleft of Theron’s ass, spreading him open further, and licking. 

With a strangled noise, Theron jerked his body forward, away from Anders, his thighs flexing as he pushed himself further into the pillow. Anders stopped, released him, and stroked his back gently.

“No?” he asked, listening as Theron let out a slow, shuddering breath.

“No—no, I mean…yes..please…yes.” Another tilt of his hips, more trust, more control relinquished, and Anders had to bite down on his lower lip to keep himself from groaning. He returned to his position, first kissing the inner side of Theron’s thigh before running his tongue between his spread cheeks. This time Theron pushed back against him and Anders could feel the shudder down his spine as he pushed his tongue inside of him. Theron whimpered, and Anders thought he heard him say “please” again, but with how firmly his face was buried into the pillow, he couldn’t be sure. The trembling of his thighs was clear though, and Anders closed his eyes, trying to ignore his own ache and want to feel Theron’s instead, feeling giddily drunk at the speed in which Theron grew loud and desperate. 

When he pulled away long enough to catch his breath, Theron reared around to grab him, his hand firm around his wrist as he yanked him close. Anders let himself be pulled, climbing over Theron as he rolled onto his back, finding the comfortable familiarity of his body over Theron’s, Theron’s legs around his waist. 

“So you like that, huh?” Anders asked, pressing his lips to Theron’s ear. He slipped his hand between Theron’s legs, muttered the spell to slick his fingers, and slid one slowly inside of him. Theron bit down on his neck, a yes, apparently, and Anders hissed at the sharp pinch of his teeth, feeling it much deeper in himself than just on his neck. He curled his finger inward and Theron gasped, tossing his head back into the pillow and squeezing Anders’ hips between his thighs. Anders brushed his lips against Theron’s cheek, feeling sweat beading on his face as he carefully added a second finger to the first. When he moved his lips to Theron’s neck, he could feel his pulse, hummingbird-quick, underneath them. “Oh love,” he murmured fondly, drinking down the sweat and the heat and the tightness of the muscles around his fingers as he slowly slid them out.

When he guided his cock between Theron’s legs, against his heat and the resistance, he kissed him again on the cheek. “Relax,” he whispered, waiting, sighing long and deep as he slowly eased his cock into him. Theron whined and tugged his shoulders close, burying his face into Anders’ neck, his breathing sharp and fast, slowing only when Anders was entirely inside of him and waiting for him to acclimate. 

Theron moved first; a shift, a sigh, and he rolled his hips downward, making a contented noise deep in his throat when Anders braced himself above him, hands behind his knees. Anders moved, and Theron gasped. 

Anders’ hair was in his eyes, and he saw Theron through the messy fall of it, flushed and writhing, the corners of his lips just barely twitching into the shadow of a smile when their eyes met. They rocked together, first slowly, then with delicious urgency, Theron arching into him when Anders snaked a hand between their bodies and encircled his fingers around Theron’s cock. He folded himself over Theron, mouth on his neck, his hips moving fast as he realized there was no way this would last for more than a minute or two. 

It didn’t. When Theron’s nails dug deep into Anders’ shoulders, and Anders felt Theron come, bucking into his hand, wet and sticky and twitching, Anders let himself go, the tense and release making him dizzy. He lowered his weight onto Theron, breathing fast against his neck as he closed his eyes and rode out the last moments of it, taking so long to catch his breath again that Theron had calmed and quieted and was stroking his hair with tender patience. 

When they were cleaned up, a bath drawn and heated and taken before retreating to bed again, the sun was no longer streaming directly into the room, leaving it darker than it was when they began. 

Clearly exhausted, Theron rested his head against Anders’ chest, relaxed and half-awake, murmuring contentedly when Anders stroked his ear. 

“Satisfied?” Anders asked quietly, smiling when Theron nodded. “Enough to let me study that book uninterrupted?” 

Theron’s head popped up. “That’s what this was all about?” he asked, his brows immediately furrowed. 

“Not exactly.” Anders ran a hand over his drying hair to soothe him. “I know what it’s like to feel like you’re suddenly less important to your lover—not because of you,” he added when Theron’s face fell. “I just want you to know that you’re always the first thing on my mind. The faster we kill the darkspawn, the faster we can leave.” 

Theron’s cheeks were red when he cupped Anders’ cheeks, resting their foreheads together. “I’m that transparent, am I?” 

“I like seeing you like this—happy, playful, satisfied—I’d love to see it all the time.” He kissed his cheek. “Hopefully just a little longer, and know that I’m looking forward to it as much as you.” 

“You could have just said something,” Theron said, settling against him as Anders grabbed the quilt and pulled it over him. 

“What fun would that have been?” Anders asked. Theron laughed, and with an arm around Anders’ neck, he lay down against him, letting Anders wrap him up and pull him near, listening to his slow heartbeat until he dozed off. 

Pounce was still outside the door when Anders left, and before he closed it again, he watched him jump onto the bed and curl up against Theron’s back. Anders smiled and closed the door, seeking out the study with renewed vigor, reminding himself to ask Theron how they’d be carrying Pounce when they left.