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The Shifting Times

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The first time Krem had sex with the Chief, it just sort of happened.

One minute they were sitting around the campfire, sharing drinks and pointedly trying not to blatantly listen to whatever it was that Dalish and Skinner were doing in their tent. The next, The Iron Bull was on his knees with his head between Krem's legs, making it very clear that he had a lot of practice with using his mouth for things other than just talking.

The Chief didn't even bat an eye about was or wasn't in Krem's pants. He just matter-of-factly asked what Krem wanted and then went to work. No judgement, not like back in Tevinter. Just a shrug and what might have been the best orgasm Krem had ever had in his entire life.

Neither of them really talked about it in the aftermath. Once the Chief was done with Krem, he'd reciprocated with just as much eagerness if not quite as much skill. Then they'd cleaned themselves up and gone back to drinking beside the fire as if nothing had happened.

*

Sex was commonplace among the Chargers.

It was a good form of stress relief, and as long as you weren't doing it in public - or, at least, you warned people before doing it in public so they could be elsewhere if they didn't want to see it – then nobody really cared about what anyone else did in their spare time.

Krem had to admit, he enjoyed it when the Chief turned his attention on him. It wasn't anything regular. The Iron Bull had eclectic tastes, after all, and there were a lot of people out there who caught his eye. But it was always a nice experience when it happened.

The Chief knew what his strengths were, and he put them to good use. Plus he never made any judgements, at least not where Krem could see them. If Krem asked him not to do something, he didn't do it. End of story. No questions asked.

Besides, Krem liked the Chief. He'd lost a fucking eye to save a Vint that he'd never even met before. He flirted with everyone indiscriminately. He let the kids brave enough to ask ride on his shoulders do it every time they passed through a town or village.

He wasn't half-bad. For a qunari.

*

The moment Krem realized he'd spent the past twenty minutes glaring at the stable boy sharing a drink with The Iron Bull on the other side of the tavern, he downed his own drink and went to bed. He knew damn well that he didn't have any right to be jealous, but his head – or maybe it was his heart – didn't seem to care about that particular argument.

Well, it was going to have to listen, whether it wanted to or not. Krem wasn't an idiot. He knew damn well that the Chief didn't do relationships. He had sex, sure, but that's all it was. At the most, it was some casual stress relief between friends, and nothing Krem could do would change that fact.

So there wasn't any point in getting fucking feelings involved in it.

He'd just have to work on not letting it show. It wasn't any of his business who The Iron Bull fucked. It never had been, and he damn well didn't plan on that changing.

*

Dorian Pavus changed everything.

Krem wasn't blind. As many issues as he had with a Tevinter Altus joining the Inquisition, the man was easy on the eyes. There was a betting pool among the Chargers about just when the Chief would wind up in bed with him five minutes after they met the mage.

It surprised all of them that it took as long as it did, but no one blinked when The Iron Bull and Pavus kept fucking on a regular basis. The Chief didn't usually stick with one person for long, but it had been known to happen if the sex was good enough. Krem was proof of that, even if it had always been more off-and-on with them than it seemed to be with the Altus.

But then Krem picked up on the fact that the Chief wasn't sleeping with anyone other than Pavus. And that was a surprise.

In more ways than one.

*

The first time Krem walked in on The Iron Bull and Pavus having sex, he'd stood there for a moment taking in the view before sighing and turned around.

"The door has a lock, Chief!" he called out as he slipped back out of the room, smiling a bit despite himself at the loud thud and muttered curses in Tevene that he heard coming from behind him. "Learn how to use it!"

"Learn how to knock!" Pavus shouted back.

The Chief just laughed.

Krem turned back around. His eyes darted over the scene for just a second – he was only human, after all, and both of them had some pretty damn impressive bodies – before he shrugged. "I did," he said, shooting them a carefully feigned grin. "Nobody answered."

Then, without a word, he turned and headed back out.

*

By the fifth time Krem walked in on the two of them having sex, he was starting to suspect that it had to be intentional. Especially since the two of them were going at it in his own damn quarters.

"Really?" Krem asked dryly. "On my bed?"

"The Inquisitor's passed out in mine," the Chief replied with a shrug.

Pavus just hid his face in his hands, a faint flush visible even with his darker skin tone.

Krem opened his mouth. Then he closed it. He was pretty sure that he was better off not knowing any details when it came to that one.

The Iron Bull patted the bed beside him. "There's room for one more," he said. "Want to join us? Dorian here can do this neat trick with his tongue that he swears isn't magic, but I'm not so sure."

Pavus dropped his hands and shot the Chief an incredulous look.

Krem felt a tiny pang of something in his chest at that reaction, but he purposefully didn't think too hard on it. He just turned and walked out.

*

Krem was three drinks in when Pavus dropped down into the empty chair beside him at the tavern.

There was a part of him that was tempted to just ignore him, but Krem had seen firsthand that ignoring Pavus didn't usually make him go away. It tended to make him louder and more tenacious.

"Can I help you?" Krem asked, taking another sip of... whatever in the Void he was drinking. Fermented mabari piss, maybe?

An almost awkward expression flashed across Pavus's face for a moment, there and gone so quickly that Krem might have missed it if he hadn't been looking straight at him.

"It's come to my attention that there was—" Pavus stumbled for a moment, as if he was looking for the correct word and failed to think of it. "—something going on between you and The Iron Bull before I came into the picture.

Krem snorted. "It's called 'sex,'" he said lightly. "I'm pretty sure you're familiar with it."

Pavus rolled his eyes. "Something more than just sex."

Krem stared at him for a long moment. Long enough that Pavus actually began to shift a bit, an almost uncomfortable expression appearing on his face.

"Whoever told you that was full of piss," Krem finally said, shaking his head. "We fucked from time to time, but that's all there was to it."

For a second or two, Pavus didn't say anything. Then he sighed. "Maker, you're as blind as him, aren't you?" he asked. Then, without giving Krem a chance to speak, he stood up. "Stay here. If we're having this conversation, I need a drink."

Krem blinked as Pavus made a beeline for the bar.

*

It had been a long time since Krem had felt awkward undressing in front of someone, but he couldn't help but hesitate for just a moment before he finished pulling off the rest of his clothes in front of Pavus. Dorian. He really needed to remember to call him Dorian.

Krem had heard the rumors. It wasn't exactly a secret that Dorian had, well, more specific preferences than some people. Plus he was from Tevinter, on top of that.

He didn't really know what type of reaction he was going to get once he was out of his clothes.

"As much as we're enjoying the show," The Iron Bull said with a grin, "maybe you should—"

Dorian elbowed him in the side. Hard. It probably wasn't enough for the Chief to even feel it, but he still cut off abruptly and made a big production of how much it had hurt. Krem couldn't help but grin, just a little, some of the stress he was feeling fading away.

... which was probably the entire point.

Before he could change his mind, Krem let the rest of his clothing drop to the floor. The Iron Bull let out a wolf whistle, which Krem gave a quick eyeroll to and then ignored. He kept his gaze focused on the other man in the room.

After a long moment, Dorian quirked an eyebrow. "Well, are you going to join us or not?"

Krem let out a breath he hadn't quite realized he was holding.

Then, forcing himself not to hesitate, he stepped forward to join them.