Actions

Work Header

Hopping Borders

Chapter Text

Zevran stood solemnly as they carried the Warden…the Hero of Ferelden…and laid her upon the pyre. Elissa Cousland had sacrificed herself to save them all. It had been the noble choice, sacrificing herself for both her king and her country.

Zevran had seen how Alistair had tried to push her out of the way and deal the killing blow to the Archdemon. Clearly Elissa had foreseen that possibility and she had been prepared for it. She managed to stand her ground and trip Alistair up, giving her the time she needed to plunge her great sword into head of the great beast, killing both it and herself.

The elf stood back as the soon-to-be appointed king approached the pyre, sinking to his knees before his beloved. “It should have been me. How am I supposed to do this without you? You promised…you…promised…” Alistair’s body heaved as he was wracked with sobs. Everyone in attendance gave him the time to grieve that he needed.

Once Alistair had seemingly cried himself out, he took several deep breaths and stood, wiping his eyes. “Light it,” he commanded as he stepped back to a safe distance, right next to Zevran. The assassin had schooled his features into a mask of stoicism, but he felt every bit as much grief for Elissa that Alistair did. For a brief time, Zevran had allowed himself to care for her, until he realized her heart belonged to Alistair. So, he stepped back, allowing the love between her and Alistair to blossom.

Letting her go had hurt, but Zevran knew it had been the right choice. She would have made Ferelden an excellent queen. She had impeccable leadership skills and would have guided Alistair well.

As the pyre began to burn, Zevran couldn’t help a tear or two that rolled down his cheeks. It was merely from the smoke, yes? But then Alistair reached out and placed an arm around his shoulder. Perhaps he needed the comfort as well, but Zevran couldn’t deny it helped ease the ache in his heart just a little as well.

Several hours later, the fire kept burning but it was clear the corpse was nothing but ash. Alistair finally took his leave. Everyone else had slowly left, one by one. Only Zevran remained.

“Will you join me a for a drink?” Alistair asked. “I…I don’t want to be alone right now.”

“Of course, Your Majesty,” Zevran agreed.

Alistair huffed in annoyance. “Just Alistair, please. Especially when we’re alone.”

“As you wish, Alistair.”

“Thanks, Zev.”

Zevran followed Alistair inside and was led to the future King’s study. They both sat on the large couch before the roaring fireplace and Alistair poured them each a generous helping of Antivan brandy.

“I had no idea you had such exquisite taste in spirits,” Zevran complimented.

Alistair shrugged. “It was part of Cailan’s private collection, so technically he was the one with good taste, I suppose.”

Alistair then raised his glass. “To Elissa.”

Zevran clinked his glass to Alistair’s. “To Elissa.”

They sat in companionable silence for a while, sipping their drinks. Zevran couldn’t help but think back on some of the flirting he had done with the strapping man next to him. It all felt so long ago now, although only several months had passed.

“So, what do you plan to do next?” Alistair asked, breaking the silence.

Zevran shrugged as he took another swig of his brandy. “My obligation has been fulfilled and the Crows still want my head. I imagine I should be moving on from here, soon.”

“Yes, that’s right. I forgot for a moment you were once a Crow,” Alistair said. “A shame really, that you have to leave.”

“Why do you say that?” Zevran asked.

“Weeeelll,” Alistair drawled out. “I was going to ask you to stay on as one of my advisors. Maker knows I’ll need all the help I can get, especially now with…Elissa…gone.” Alistair barely choked out the last two words before a sob escaped his throat.

Zevran put his drink down and placed a hand on Alistair’s shoulder. “I am so sorry, my friend. You know that we all cared for her. I…loved her as well,” Zevran confessed.

Alistair looked at him. “I know. I always meant to say thank you. For stepping back and letting Elissa get closer to me. She did care for you a great deal as well.”

Zevran’s heart clenched at hearing those words. He had always known she did, but still to hear it from Alistair. The elf took a moment to reign in his emotions and school his features.

“Yes, but you were better suited to her and I knew she would have made a wonderful queen,” Zevran recalled. “That is why I let her go.”

Alistair took a deep breath to steady himself again. “So, what do you say? Will you stay? I’ll make sure you’re protected from the Crows.”

“So, you really wish me to stay? To do what exactly?” Zevran asked.

“I can’t do this alone,” Alistair confessed. “I know I have Arl Eamon, but I’ll need more help than that. You’re a skilled assassin, surely there are things you could help advise me on?”

“I suppose I could help train your guard to know how to better protect you from assassination attempts,” Zevran mused. “I also know a thing or two about politics. I had to be well versed on many subjects to woo and eventually kill my targets.”

“So, are you saying yes?” Alistair asked hopefully.

Zevran picked up his glass and took another slow sip of brandy before looking back at Alistair. Some part of him knew that it was foolish to stay, but if truth be told, he also didn’t want to face the future alone. At least, not yet. “Si. Yes, I’ll stay. For as long as you have need of my services.”

Alistair looked relieved and a small part of Zevran felt happy to still be needed, if nothing else. That same part had dreaded going on the run from the Crows.

***

Arl Eamon did not approve of Alistair’s new choice of advisor. Not one bit. “He’s an assassin! He was hired by Loghain to kill you and Elissa! You told me so yourself. You cannot make him one of your advisors!”

“He also helped bring down the Archdemon and end the Blight!” Alistair argued. “He was faithful and loyal to the oath he swore to Elissa. I trust him to be just as loyal to me!”

Zevran really didn’t wish to be in the middle of this argument, but here he was, so he may as well settle the matter.

“Arl Eamon,” Zevran interrupted. “If I may? I do understand your concern regarding my past and what danger I may post to your future king. If it would ease your mind, please feel free to place your own personal guard to watch me. They can make sure I do nothing but my sworn duty to his Royal Highness. That will suffice, yes?”

“I was going to do so regardless,” the Arl huffed. “However, yes. It does ease my worry that you would even suggest such a thing. As long as you are never left alone with Alistair, then I will put this matter to rest.”

“Now, I do believe Alistair should be readying himself for the coronation, no?” Zevran suggested.

Alistair sighed. “Alright, let’s get this over with. Oh, before I forget, I had the tailor make you some new clothes. Something more befitting a Royal Advisor. They should be waiting in your quarters.”

“A gift? Why Alistair, you shouldn’t have,” Zevran teased. “You go get ready and I will meet you back here at the appointed time.”

As Zevran turned to go, Arl Eamon rang for the servants who were to help Alistair into his new set of armor that had been crafted especially for the coronation. Alistair looked particularly miserable and Zevran chuckled to himself.

The former Crow made his way back to his quarters. Alistair had moved him to one of the rooms in the Royal Wing of the palace. His room was now next to Alistair’s own chambers. Zevran had often enjoyed such accommodations before, back in Antiva. However, this was the first time there was no planning or anticipation of a kill.

Zevran found the new clothing lying upon his bed. It was a rich red brocade, with golden accents. Cut in a Ferelden style, but it was still quite fetching. Upon closer inspection, built into the garments were various slits and leather straps, perfect for concealing daggers. Zevran approved.

Since he still had an hour before he had to meet Alistair again, Zevran chose to take a quick bath. After bathing and dressing, Zevran checked himself out in the full length mirror that was in his room. He was amazed at how well his new clothing fit, despite not having been measured by a tailor. Had Alistair guessed his measurements so accurately?

Regardless, he was quite impressed.

Brushing out his long hair, Zevran decided to change up his normal style for the occasion, and braided it into a single braid in the back. His hair had grown quite a bit longer and he hadn’t had the opportunity to trim it. Satisfied with his appearance, Zevran made his way back to Alistair’s study, followed of course by the Arl’s ever present guards.

As Zevran rounded a corner and approached the study, he noticed a shadowy figure lurking behind one of the braziers lining the hallway. Zevran paused, pulling out one of his daggers. He foolishly forgot about the Arl’s guards as they came barreling after him with their clanking armor. The racket they made caused the figure at the end of the hall to flee, rushing out one of the open windows.

The Arl’s guards disarmed him and dragged him to the study, informing Alistair and Arl Eamon of what they saw. “He was sneaking down the hall with his dagger out. Looked to us as if he were planning to assassinate you, Your Highness.”

“Zevran? Is this true?” Alistair asked, his voice sounding shocked.

Before Zevran could respond the Arl interfered. “Of course it’s true! I told you he would try to finish the job he came to Ferelden for. Guards, throw him into the dungeon. We’ll deal with him later.”

As the guards grabbed him again Zevran shook his head. “No! Wait. That was not my intention! I was stalking another assassin!”

Alistair stepped forward. “Wait! Give him a chance to explain.”

“There is no time Alistair! The coronation is about to begin!” the Arl argued.

“No!” Alistair insisted. “If I am to be your King, then I will be obeyed. Now let him go! Zev, what happened?”

Zevran shrugged off the men as they loosened their grip. “I was just returning to you, when I noticed a figure lurking behind a brazier outside of your study. I drew my dagger and I was trying to sneak up on them when these fools came crashing after me. Whoever it was, they slipped out through the window.”

“We didn’t see anyone, Your Majesty,” the one guard said. “We only saw this one sneaking towards your study with a dagger.”

“Why would I be sneaking from all the way down the corridor?” Zevran sighed. “That would be a ridiculous waste of time, no?”

“I believe you, Zev,” Alistair said. “Give him back his dagger and keep vigilant. There may be an intruder on the grounds.”

“Alistair! You can’t let him be armed!” Arl Eamon protested.

“I can and I will,” Alistair insisted. “If there truly is an assassin on the loose, Zevran may need a weapon in order to protect my person.”

The guards returned Zevran’s dagger, which he promptly slid back into its hiding place. “I must compliment your tailor. The cut of these clothes is absolutely perfect.”

“After watching you fight for so many months, I had a pretty good idea what your measurements were,” Alistair shrugged.

“Also let me compliment you on your new armor,” Zevran said. “You look resplendent. Every inch of you looks like the king that you are.”

“I just wish it were a bit more comfortable,” Alistair whined. “I’m going to requisition something else for after the coronation. If I’m not out there fighting Darkspawn every day, I don’t see the point of wearing heavy plate armor.”

“Alright enough chit-chat,” Arl Eamon interrupted. “We need to proceed with the coronation before everyone thinks you’ve already abdicated.”

“Alright, alright,” Alistair sighed. “But I want Zevran at my side to keep an eye out for that intruder.”

“I will be more effective from behind the scenes,” Zevran said. “I will go ahead and make sure no one lurks for you between here and the throne room, yes?”

“Good idea,” Alistair agreed. “And keep your noisy guards away from Zevran,” Alistair said to the Arl.

Zevran slipped out then, working his way quietly along the path Alistair would take to the throne room. A few times Zevran also doubled back, making sure no one slipped in behind him either.

The path to the throne room remained clear, so Zevran slipped into the crowd, keeping his eyes open for anyone suspicious. He slowly made his way towards the dais, keeping to the shadows. Alistair made his entrance moments later and the musicians announced his arrival, playing the coronation march as he made his way down the aisle, towards the waiting Mother Superior.

Zevran saw no sign of the earlier figure, but just to be sure, he slipped through the crowds and made his way around through the shadows until he was behind one of the pillars on the wide dais. For a moment Zevran watched as Alistair made his way up the steps towards the Mother Superior and knelt before her on one knee.

That’s when Zevran saw them. They slipped out from behind the opposite pillar from where Zevran hid, the glint of a blade in their hand. Zevran had to admit to being impressed that someone would be so bold as to assassinate someone so publicly. Clearly they weren’t a Crow. The Crows prided themselves on their stealth and cunning. They would never dare attempt a public assassination like this.

Zevran knew the moment the assassin would strike. It would be after Alistair was crowned and he would stand, turning and raising his arms to greet his people. His back would be to the Assassin then, and one of the vulnerable points in his armor, below his arm, would be exposed.

Due to Arl Eamon’s suspicions of him, Zevran needed to time this perfectly, and stop the assassin in full view of the gathered audience. He wanted to save his friend, but he also wanted the Arl off his back. Saving the new king publicly like this would solve both problems.

The coronation ceremony was slowly drawing to its close, as the Mother Superior said her final blessing and reached out to place the crown upon Alistair’s head. Zevran watched the assassin closely, knowing he would have to be swift to act.

As Alistair stood to the applause of his new subjects, the assassin crept forward. Zevran’s heart hammered in his chest. He had to time this perfectly.

Just as Alistair began to turn, raising his arms, Zevran shot out of hiding at the same precise moment the assassin lept towards the new king. Zevran caught them off-guard, their weapon clattering on the ground as Zevran pinned them down.

A gasp came from the audience and Alistair shouted in alarm. “Zev! What’s going on?”

“I do believe I caught your would-be assassin,” Zev said, loudly enough for others to hear. He pulled away the shroud that had hidden the assassin’s face. She was human, but Zevran did not know her.

“Gaspard de Chalons sends his greetings!” the assassin spat. Ah, an Orlesian. Zevran should have known.

“Guards!” Alistair called out. “Take her away. Throw her into the dungeon until I can decide what to do with her.”

The guards clasped the assassin in irons and hauled her away and Alistair came over to give Zevran a hug. A rather uncomfortable one seeing as he was wearing all that heavy plate armor. “Oh, sorry,” Alistair apologized.

Alistair then stood before his subjects. “As my first act as your King, I declare Zevran Aranai both my principle advisor and my personal champion and protector. He fought alongside me and the Hero of Ferelden. He helped us end the Fifth Blight as much as any one of the Hero’s companions. Now he bravely put himself into danger to protect my life, as well. May he always be welcome within these halls.”

A loud cheer arose from the crowd and Zevran blushed at the very public praise. He preferred to work from the sidelines and shadows. He had no desire to be thrust into public view like this, especially knowing that word of this would certainly reach the ears of the Crows.

However, it was too late to change that, so Zevran stepped forward and humbly bowed towards the crowd.

***

Later, after the celebrations wound down and they made their way finally to their chambers to rest, Alistair stopped just before Zevran was about to enter his chamber.

“Zev, I just wanted to say thank you, again,” Alistair said. “I knew I could count on you.”

“Si, I promised you my services and my loyalty,” Zevran said. “Now get some rest, Your Majesty. I believe you have a busy schedule tomorrow, yes?”

Alistair nodded. “Don’t remind me. Good night, Zev.”

“Good night, Alistair.”

Chapter Text

Zevran began to settle into his life in Denerim. Making sure Alistair was always protected meant that he had to remain at his side most of the time. However, when Alistair was busy in his study, it was easy enough to leave guards posted to protect him, and that was when Zevran would take the opportunity to help train the rest of the guards on how to protect the king against future assassination attempts. It was a tedious task because Fereldens did not understand the concept of subtlety.

Spending so much time with Alistair meant getting to know him better, whether Zevran wanted to or not. He learned firsthand exactly how unholy Alistair’s love of fine cheese really was. However, what was truly unholy was how much cheese the man ate, without gaining any weight.

In private, Zevran still enjoyed trying to flirt with the interminable Chantry boy, causing Alistair to blush and stutter. On more than one occasion Zevran found himself thinking of how endearing that was before internally shaking himself back to his senses.

***

One afternoon, nearly a year since Alistair’s coronation, Zevran and the king were just walking back to his study after their lunch when Alistair pulled Zevran into a doorway and shushed the elf. Zevran waited for a few tense moments until he felt Alistair relax. “I think he’s gone,” the king whispered.

“Who?” Zevran inquired.

“Arl Eamon!” Alistair sighed. “He keeps hounding me about the details for the coronation anniversary celebration. I keep telling him I don’t care, but he wants me to decide on everything from flower arrangements to dishware.”

Zevran smirked. “Ah yes, the life of a monarch is truly to be envied, yes?”

“Laugh all you want,” Alistair grumped. “He’ll probably start pestering you next!”

“Perhaps he should,” Zevran shrugged. “I generally have a better sense of style than you do, my friend.”

“I really don’t want to deal with this today,” Alistair slumped against the wall. After being silent for a moment, it was clear Alistair had an idea. “Come down to the yard and spar with me, like we used to at camp. It’s been ages since I’ve swung a sword.”

“That is an excellent plan,” Zevran approved. “Come, I think the coast is clear.”

Without even thinking about it, Zevran took Alistair’s hand and led him swiftly through the palace until they made it to the practice yard, which was thankfully deserted.

Alistair immediately stripped himself down to just his breeches and boots before making his way over to a weapon stand and selecting a practice sword. Soon he was taking some swings with it at one of the dummies set up at the one end of the yard. Zevran took a moment to admire Alistair’s physique, enjoying how his muscles still rippled and flexed with each swing of his weapon.

“C’mon Zev,” Alistair said as he pulled the elf out of his reverie. “You should get warmed up first too!”

Zevran followed Alistair’s example and stripped down as well, before selecting two daggers from the stand. He went over to one of the dummies and began stabbing and slicing at it, leaving it in shreds within moments.

“I believe I am warmed up, as you put it,” Zevran smiled wickedly. “We can move on to sparring now, yes?”

Alistair gave a dubious look to the destroyed dummy and laughed.

They squared up then, Alistair attacking first, swinging the great sword with both hands while Zevran deflected by crossing his daggers in front of him. Their sparring was like a well-choreographed dance, one they had rehearsed many times before, back when they still followed Elissa Cousland and her impossible quest to end the Blight.

They both nicked each other half-a-dozen times, Alistair rusty from spending the past year on the throne instead of in constant battle. Zevran circled the king slowly, piercing his defenses at every opportunity, but never injuring him beyond the small prick of his daggers.

Alistair grew increasingly frustrated and finally threw away his sword. “Drop the weapons and come at me unarmed. Let’s see how well you do against simple brute force,” Alistair challenged.

Zevran tossed aside his daggers just before Alistair lunged at him. His approach was all wrong and Zevran easily sidestepped the attack, instead tripping Alistair and smoothly flipping him onto his back. Alistair landed with an “oomph” in the soft dirt.

Zevran quickly straddled the king and held him pinned by the shoulders, using his legs and hips to also pin the king’s lower half. Alistair struggled to rise but Zevran had the advantage. “I believe I have you at my mercy, Your Majesty,” Zevran teased.

Zevran was intrigued by the blush that crept over Alistair’s face and even more intrigued when he could have sworn he felt a twitch coming from the man’s nether region as well. Zevran was about to remark on that when several guards stormed the practice yard, pulling Zevran off Alistair. “Unhand his Majesty!”

Alistair stood and dusted himself off and smirked for a moment as he watched Zevran struggle in the grip of the guards. “Alright, alright let him go. We were just sparring.”

“But…Your Majesty! You’re injured!” one guard exclaimed.

“These are merely a few nicks. That does happen when a warrior spars with a rogue,” Alistair reassured them. “Now let him go.”

They finally eased their grip on the elf and he wrenched himself free of their grasp. “For the past year I’ve been training all of you, and you still think I would purposely harm your king? Is this how little you think of me?”

There were many stammered apologies but Zevran was not placated. He would always be seen as a dirty knife-ear and a Crow. When his scowl only seemed to grow darker, Alistair reached out. “Zev, I’m sorry. That shouldn’t have happened. I’ll make sure it never happens again.”

Only then did Zevran allow himself to relax. “Thank you, my friend.”

***

After that, they went back to their quarters to bathe and change clothes before joining Arl Eamon for dinner. All throughout the meal, Zevran noticed Alistair kept sneaking looks at him, and he kept flushing with embarrassment every time he realized Zevran had caught him looking.

“I heard from the guards that you two had been…sparring?” the Arl said as dessert was being served. “You have guards to fight for you now, there is no need for you to be…training…in such an undignified manner. Especially, when I wasted the afternoon looking for you. I need your input on the anniversary celebration plans.”

“All of this planning is giving me a headache,” Alistair sighed. “I asked Zevran to spar with me because I’ve found the entire process frustrating and I needed to just let go some steam.”

“Well, if it’s frustration you’re dealing with,” the Arl mused. “Then perhaps now is the perfect time to also start looking for a wife. Having a woman to lie with will help ease most frustrations!”

“Eamon!” Alistair admonished. “I’ve told you time and again I have no interest in taking a wife. Being a Grey Warden prevents me from ever having any children so there really is no point to it.”

“So, you would rather scandalize the crown by sleeping with whores?” the Arl accused.

“What?!” Alistair was now livid. “Where in the world are you getting that idea from? Ever since we lost Elissa, I’ve been completely chaste!”

“The rumors say otherwise,” the Arl huffed. “Several servant girls have been overheard bragging of your…prowess.”

“You honestly believe the palace gossip?” Alistair groaned. “I have not been having…relations…with any of the servants, of that I can assure you.”

Zevran had to laugh internally to himself, trying to imagine a bumbling Alistair trying to seduce a servant in his quarters. He recalled Alistair’s efforts with his beloved Elissa had been ridiculously awkward and had made for much amusing discussion at camp whenever Elissa and Alistair stole away for some time in private.

“I can assure you that Alistair speaks the truth,” Zevran confirmed. “I am always alert and I am quite certain I would have noticed if Alistair was engaging in any…untoward exertions…in his chambers.”

The Arl looked suspiciously at him, but finally relented. “Well, they do say elves have sharp ears.”

They finished their dessert in silence and finally the Arl excused himself.

Zevran escorted the king back to his chambers and was about to walk past him to his own when Alistair laid a hand on his shoulder. “Join me for a drink?” Alistair asked nervously.

Oh ho, this was new. Whenever Alistair invited Zevran for a drink, they always retired to his study. In the past year since the coronation, Zevran had never seen the inside of Alistair’s private chambers.

Alistair entered first and held the door open for the elf. The room was unsurprisingly larger than Zevran’s own. The large bed stood upon a raised platform and was the centerpiece of the room. In one corner was a bath, similar to Zevran’s, but while Zevran had a small fireplace with a couple of upholstered chairs, Alistair had a massive fireplace with a large, overstuffed couch in front of it. Before the couch also lay a bear skin rug.

“Very nice,” Zevran said with admiration. “Fit for a king, yes?”

Alistair laughed nervously before leading Zevran to the fireplace. Off to the side stood a small table with several bottles of liquor and a set of goblets. “What would you like?”

“Do you have any more of that Antivan brandy?” Zevran inquired.

Alistair nodded and picked out a bottle and began to pour into two of the goblets, handing one to Zevran. They seated themselves on the couch and stared at the fire for a while. Zevran was curious as to what Alistair had in mind, but as the moments stretched on, it was clear he was at a loss on how to proceed. So Zevran decided to move things along.

“What is it you want, Alistair?” Zevran asked, deciding to be blunt.

“What…what do you mean?” Alistair asked nervously.

“Come now, my friend,” Zevran gave his most wicked grin. “You never invite me into your private chambers. What do you want of me?”

“Oh, um, well…” Alistair stuttered, a blush once again creeping across his face. It was clear he was trying to express something but he stumbled over it incoherently.

Zevran placed stood, taking Alistair’s goblet and his own and setting them on the mantelpiece. He then sat down closer to Alistair and took the king’s hands into his own. “Is it that you find yourself desiring me? Do not feel embarrassed by that, I am very desirable, yes?”

“No! … I mean yes! Ugh, I don’t know,” Alistair sighed. “Just this afternoon, after you flipped me down in the yard and straddled me and…”

“Ah yes, I felt your interest, as it were,” Zevran smiled as he lifted a hand and reached up to cup Alistair’s face, turning the blushing man to face him. “You know very well that I desire you. I have from the moment I saw you. I wouldn’t flirt with you so mercilessly if I didn’t.”

“But…I’m the King and…you’re an elf…and male…and ugh, why is this all so confusing?” Alistair whined.

Zevran looked at Alistair and empathized his confusion. “I believe you are over thinking this,” Zevran purred. “You are feeling a desire that I also feel. We are in your private chambers. No one need know if you choose to take your pleasure…in me.”

“I…i..in you?” Alistair stuttered again. “I never even thought about that…is that…even possible?”

Zevran chucked. “My dear Alistair, I assure that it is. Come, let me show you?”

Alistair seemed frozen so Zevran moved in closer, cupping Alistair’s face with both hands, pulling him in for a kiss. Zevran began the kiss quite chaste, hoping to not scare off the nervous king, but as soon as their lips met, Alistair groaned and wrapped his arms around the elf, one hand sliding up his back to run his fingers into the elf’s long hair, which he had kept down after his bath.

Encouraged by this, Zevran parted his lips and soon he and Alistair was exploring each other’s mouths with a hunger and passion that Zevran had not experienced in a long while.

When they both finally came up for air, Zev smiled at Alistair as he stood, holding out his hand. “Come, Your Majesty. Let me help relieve you of some of your…frustrations.”

Chapter Text

Alistair stared at Zevran's out stretched hand for a moment. He then reached up, his larger hand engulfing Zevan's, as the elf helped him stand before leading him towards the bed. Zevran thought the mix of desire and confusion in Alistair's face was actually quite adorable. 

Zevran reached up to start unbuckling Alistair's fur-lined leather top he had become fond of wearing, when Alistair grabbed both of his hands in his. "Zev, wait..." 

"What is it, mi querido?" Zevran asked, looking up into Alistair's eyes. 

Alistair took a deep breath. "What about Elissa? What would she think?" 

Zevran felt a wistful sadness for a moment thinking about the beautiful, strong and courageous Elissa Cousland. "She would approve, I believe. She cared for both of us, yes? I think if she knew that we might find some comfort in each other after her passing? I think it would bring her peace." 

"You don't think she'd find it...weird? Because we're both...?" Alistair struggled to convey his doubts. 

"Because we are both men? Do you really believe Elissa would have been bothered by such a triviality?" Zevran asked.  

Alistair blinked and then shrugged. "I don't know...but when I was in the Chantry..." 

"The Chantry probably tries to teach all their Templar recruits to be chaste, to keep you focused on your studies and your duties," Zevran dismissed. "You are no longer beholden to their rules and the Chant of Light says nothing about two men lying together as lovers." 

Alistair seemed to relax then. "No, you're right...it doesn't." 

"Then come," Zevran lowered his voice to a more seductive tone. "Let me show you how two men make love, hmm?" 

Alistair blushed beautifully and finally nodded, removing his hands from Zevran's. The elf went back to disrobing the king. "Lie down," he instructed, as he began to remove his own clothing. Alistair complied, crawling onto his bed and lying down in the middle of it, looking at Zevran with a mix of awe and embarrassment. 

Once Zevran was completely nude, he stood proudly before his king. "Do you see how much I desire you, mi querido?" 

Alistair merely nodded as he stared at Zevran's erection. Zevran crawled up next to Alistair and pulled him close, letting the man just feel the elf's body against his own. Zevran could feel Alistair trembling, probably from a combination of anxiousness and excitement. He lay down and pulled Alistair over him, coaxing the king into another passionate kiss.  

As their kiss deepened, Zevran felt Alistair slowly relax as the man practically melted against him. When Alistair began to absentmindedly rut against his hip, Zevran thought he was finally ready to move on to the main event, as it were. 

Zevran broke the kiss for a moment. "Have you any oil?" 

Alistair looked embarrassed for a moment before nodding. "In my bedside table." 

Zevran rolled over and retrieved it. "I know you and Elissa made love many times, so I know you understand the basic mechanics of the act," Zevran began to explain as he poured some oil onto his fingers. "However, as men we cannot naturally become slick like a woman, which is why I require some oil to help ease your way." 

"Ease my way where, exactly?" Alistair asked, still confused. 

Zevran lay back down and spread his legs, exposing himself fully to Alistair. "Just watch for now, mi querido." He reached around and found his own hole and began to insert a finger, spreading the oil well inside and out. Alistair merely gasped and stared, his heavy cock twitching with interest.  

"Your turn," Zevran purred as he pulled his fingers free and poured more oil into his hand before reaching up to stroke the king's hard cock. Finally, an understanding dawned in his eyes. "Wait, you want me to put my... in your...?" 

"Si," Zevran confirmed. "I wish to feel this beautiful, hard cock fucking my well-oiled ass." 

Alistair blushed again at Zevran's use of profanity. "Won't that...hurt?" 

Zevran laughed. "It only hurts when no oil is used and no proper preparation is made. I am no blushing virgin, for me it will be pure pleasure, I assure you." 

"What do I do?" Alistair asked as Zevran positioned himself and gestured for Alistair to move between his legs.  

"How did you do it with Elissa?" Zevran asked. "Simply slide yourself into me, slowly, then begin fucking me. The mechanics here should be the same. Although perhaps the hole will be a bit tighter." 

Zevran lifted his legs, and effectively his hips, to give Alistair better access. Then he took Alistair's cock in hand and guided him towards his hole. "Yes, that's it, push yourself inside me." 

Alistair pushed tentatively and pulled back when he didn't immediately slide in. "I...I can't. I don't want to hurt you..." Alistair almost whined. 

"You won't hurt me, I promise you," Zevran reassured him. "Come, try again." 

Alistair came back and Zevran helped guide him again. This time when Alistair pushed, he kept going until the head of his cock slipped inside and the king groaned as he felt Zevran's tight heat envelop him.  

"Yes, that's it," Zevran encouraged. "Keep going." 

Alistair slid in a little farther before he began to pull out. "I...I can't go all the way...I really don't want to hurt you." 

Zevran sighed in frustration. "I have taken far bigger men than you, trust me, I can take all of you." 

"But Elissa...she couldn't," Alistair tried to explain.  

Zevran finally understood." Ah, yes. That can happen. If your cock is too long and it hits the back of a woman's cunt, it can hurt them. Rest assured, that problem does not exist here." 

"Are you sure?" Alistair asked doubtfully. 

"I have a better idea," Zevran said. "Pull out and lie on your back." 

"Are...you going to fuck me instead?" Alistair worried. 

"Just do it, and I will show you," Zevran instructed. 

Alistair pulled himself out of Zevran and lay down, only to gasp when Zevran straddled him suddenly. With his uncertainty, the king had lost some of his hardness, so Zevran used his skillful hands to stroke him into a moaning, shuddering mess. Once Alistair was fully hard again, Zevran raised himself up and used a hand to help guide Alistair's length while he slowly impaled himself. 

Alistair's eyes were wide with shock but he let out a pleasured moan when Zevran sat upon his hips, full to the hilt with the king's cock. "There, see? I can easily accommodate you, mi querido. Now you shall never doubt me again, yes?" 

Alistair could barely nod before Zevran began to move up and down his shaft. "Fuck Zev, that feels...oooh...Maker's breath that's amazing." 

Zevran leaned down and captured Alistair's mouth as he continued to impale himself on his cock. Alistair was by no means the largest partner Zevran had ever had, but Alistair had nothing to be ashamed of either. It had been quite some time since Zevran had had the opportunity to indulge in the body of another, and far too long since he'd had a male lover. 

Alistair was practically writhing in pleasure beneath him, his large hands gently touching him everywhere they could reach. Zevran enjoyed how easily Alistair was falling apart for him, even as his hips began to meet his thrusts. When the need for release became inevitable, Zevran reared up over Alistair and took himself in hand, stroking himself with swift, sure strokes. Alistair rested his hands on Zevran's hips and began to take over the thrusting and it was clear the king was close too.  

Angling his hips just right, Zevran helped Alistair to hit his prostrate on every thrust and moments later Zevran came with a grunt, shooting his seed all over Alistair. The final clench as he came is what must have sent Alistair over the edge, as seconds later he cried out and Zevran could feel the pulse of his lover as he came deep inside of him. 

Zevran collapsed next to Alistair as they both recovered from their exertions. Once Zevran caught his breath, he made to get up when Alistair laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Stay, please?" 

"I will return," Zevran promised and he moved over to the wash basin, wetting a cloth and coming back to wipe down the mess he'd left all over Alistair and also wiping off some of his own stickiness and sweat. Once clean, he kept his promise and returned to Alistair's side.  

They lay on their sides, facing each other. Alistair had a look of awe in his eyes as he studied Zevran's face, as if for the first time. He reached out then and stroked Zevran's face with a gentle reverence, and the elf couldn't help the sudden thrill that ran through him. This was getting close to dangerous territory. He couldn't deny that he'd come to care for Alistair, but where his heart was leading to now was... 

The next thing he knew, Alistair was kissing him again, so gently, it actually made emotion prick at his eyes. He could have sworn his heart skipped a beat as Alistair drew him in closer. 

"Maker Zev," Alistair breathed. "After losing Elissa I never thought I'd feel this way again. I can't even really pinpoint when I started to have feelings for you, or if they were even real, but now I am so sure..." 

Zevran couldn't let Alistair say it. His heart wasn't ready to fall that far, this fast. Not yet. So, he surged up and kissed Alistair. "Shh, mi querido. Such words should not be spoken after the first moment of shared passion. Please. Consider them carefully." 

Alistair looked at him with a bemused smile. "I have thought of little else for the past few weeks," Alistair confessed. "My only concern is whether or not you feel the same." 

Zevran ducked his head and couldn't meet Alistair's eyes, for fear of blurting out exactly what he'd prevented the king himself from confessing. And yet, he could not deny the affection he felt for Alistair, which had only been strengthened by their first coupling.  

Well, in for a copper, in for a gold, as they say 

"I believe I do, mi querido," Zevran confessed. "I must insist on not rushing into anything. We both need to be sure, and we need to be careful. Whatever affection we have for each other must never leave these chambers." 

Alistair groaned. "I know. I know. I definitely wish Elissa had never convinced me to become king. Then I wouldn't have to constantly have to fear for a scandal after every breath I take." 

"Yet, here you are," Zevran said. "It's a little late to get out of it now." 

Alistair reached out again to stroke his hair. Clearly Alistair enjoyed touching, and imagined how often he probably did something similar with Elissa after they began to share a tent together.  

"I should go," Zevran said. "We don't need rumors of me sneaking out of your room late at night spreading around." 

"Oh, that's right," Alistair said with a sly smiled. "There's something I forgot to show you." 

The king rose, and walked over to one wall where a large, heavy tapestry hung. He pulled it aside and gestured for Zevran to come over. As he neared the wall, his sharp elven eyes picked up the nearly imperceptible seam in the stone. There was a hidden door, one that led directly to his own chambers. 

"How marvelous," Zevran exclaimed. "Did you know this was here when you had me transferred to the adjacent room?" 

"Weeellll," Alistair began with a cheeky blush on his face. "Maybe?" 

"You truly are a Ferelden dog," Zevran teased. "You've been planning to seduce me all along, haven't you?" 

Alistair dropped the tapestry and pulled Zevran into an embrace. "Maybe not from the beginning, no, but I did realize this door could be useful to have, especially if I needed to come see you privately, without anyone knowing we were meeting." 

"Yet, you've waited nearly a year to show me? Tsk," Zevran admonished.  

"Well, um, I was afraid you'd take it the wrong way..." Alistair explained. "But now, well...I'm really glad it's there for us to use." 

Alistair made his way back to the bed and pulled down the covers. The fire had begun to die down in the fire place and the room was beginning to get chilly. "Come back to bed? Please? I really miss having someone to sleep with." 

This is not what Zevran usually did. He seduced, he fucked, he left. He wasn't one for staying unless the contract called for it. The mere thought of sharing a bed with Alistair made a funny feeling clench in his chest. At first, he wanted to say no, but he couldn’t deny that the thought of being entangled with Alistair wasn't enticing. So, he acquiesced and crawled into bed.  

Once they were situated, with Alistair embracing him from behind, Zevran had to admit it felt nice. Then as he began to drift, Zevran recalled a long-ago conversation he'd had with Shale and he began to laugh. 

"What is it? What's so funny?" Alistair asked sleepily. 

"Do you recall our discussion with Shale? About how I would find it a worthy challenge to get you to...hop borders?"  

"Vaguely, why?" Alistair asked.  

"Congratulate me, I finally managed to make you do it," Zevran said. "And it truly was worth the challenge."  

"Huh? What are you talking about? I still haven't left Ferelden," Alistair asked confused. 

"Those are not the borders of which I speak, mi querido," Zevran laughed. "I had meant about getting you to have sex with a man, namely myself." 

Alistair was silent for a time, clearly trying to puzzle out Zevran's words. Then suddenly, Alistair went "Ohh!" And smacked Zevran. "You're a wicked elf, you know that?" 

"Yes, I am aware of my wicked ways," Zevran admitted. "But you still enjoy my company regardless, yes?" 

Alistair chuckled and pulled Zevran into a tighter embrace. "Yes, despite all your wicked ways, I seem to have grown quite fond of you." Alistair punctuated that sentiment with a gentle kiss on his shoulder before snuggling deeper into the pillows. Soon Zevran could hear Alistair's breathing even out as he finally fell asleep. 

Enveloped in Alistair's solid warmth felt good and Zevran allowed himself to relax into it. This may all turn out to be a huge mistake, but in this moment, he couldn't bring himself to care less. As he slowly drifted off to sleep, Zevran indulged in a ludicrous dream of domestic bliss with Alistair.