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Changing Boundaries

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"What in the name of the Maker did you think you were doing out there, Fenris?" Hawke spoke from the doorway of Fenris' room; the elf was honestly surprised to see Hawke here tonight, after the icy dismissal he'd been given earlier in the day, after they stumbled back in from Sundermount exhausted and aching, a still-weeping Merrill clinging to Varric.

Fenris shrugged, carefully casual, as he stared into the fire. "I only spoke my mind," he said with as bored a tone as he could manage. "Merrill will never face reality with you continually coddling her delusions."

"Coddle? She hates me very nearly as much as you do," Hawke said bitterly. "I'm damned no matter what, between you and Merrill. If I don't support her utterly, I'm betraying her; if I let her down gently, I'm coddling her and supporting blood magic, even though you know I abhor it. I'd done everything I can shy of grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her to attempt to convince her her path is folly, Fenris! And yet she persisted. Now she has suffered an enormous tragedy. Her pain is overwhelming her, and all you do is add fuel to the fire."

Fenris swung around from contemplation of the dying flames in his hearth. "Hawke, I've agreed to disagree with you about the Circle; that doesn't mean I hate you. If I did, I would never follow your lead as I do. Do you not see that? Or . . . is that the problem? You cannot accept that I respect you despite our disagreements, because it isn't in you to respect me?" He deliberately ignored the rest of Hawke's statement. Easier by far to focus on the part he knew to be false, the part he could take offense at; in truth, he knew he'd gone too far with Merrill. But he had a use for Hawke's anger. Twisted as it was, he longed for Hawke's touch, however the mage chose to give it. Inciting him had become a dangerous game, walking a fine line between causing Hawke to lose his damnable respect for the boundaries Fenris had established years ago and knew not how to change now, and making him too angry, risking the loss of his affections.

Fenris had mean it, when he'd told Hawke that nothing could be worse than the thought of living without him. Even this uncomfortable balance between love and anger - Fenris could walk that line, would for as long as Hawke would continue to put up with him.

He didn't want to think what would happen when Hawke no longer could.

Unsurprisingly, Hawke wasn't about to let the offense Fenris had given to the Dalish mage go. "What I can't accept, Fenris, is that my lover is a complete arse who can't grasp the concept of shutting up and not grinding someone's losses into their soul while they're already hurting! I wanted to hit you when you said that to her."

"Perhaps you should have," Fenris took a challenging step closer. "If speaking the truth is so terrible, then punish me for it. Would it not be a fine thing to add to your deeds?"

He knew he'd misstepped as Hawke's eyes widened with sudden horror and comprehension. "Maker! You want me to hit you, don't you? Why, Fenris? I know that we argue frequently, but you must know that I'd never want to harm you. I thought we'd reached an understanding, after Danarius-" Hawke cut himself off, his lips set in a bitter twist. With his next words, all of the fight, all of the anger and challenge went out of Fenris in a rush, leaving only a sudden hollow fear. "Do you need more time? I can be patient. You know that."

Fenris turned away, knowing his face revealed too much, and felt a tentative hand settle on his back, resting lightly between the blades of his shoulders. A shudder passed through him at the touch, the sliver of skin-on-skin contact afforded by the long slit in the back of his jerkin and Hawke's bare palm. "Hawke, I-" He bit his lip. "I don't want you to hurt me," he said finally, shoulders hunched. "Not really. And I don't want time, or patience. This- I haven't words, Hawke, don't make me-"

A quiet sigh behind him told him he wasn't getting away that easy, and in a sudden blaze of frustration at his own reticence, this unsought shame for wanting something so deeply, Fenris clawed off his gloves, then spun around and seized Hawke's face between his bare hands. The brush of stubble was rough against his fingertips, but the skin beneath was soft. "I want to touch you," he said lowly, voice barely audible to his own ears. "I want you to touch me. All the time, whenever you're near, all I can think of is reaching out and holding you. I want your hands on me, your body against mine." Stepping forward, he pressed the length of his frame against the mage, sweet relief in the contact. "It's not even about sex, pleasant - no, incredible - as that is. I only- no one's touched me in so long but you."

The understanding lighting up Hawke's eyes made the painful confession worth every ground-glass word. "You know, Fenris, I don't know if I can deal with that. It's a dreadful hardship, touching your gorgeous body and having your talented hands on mine," Hawke said lightly, a small smile quirking his lips. He reached up to cup Fenris' chin, his other arm sliding around Fenris and holding him close.

Fenris glared as best he could as Hawke's gentle hand traced his cheek. "This is difficult enough for me without your habitual mockery, Hawke," he said sourly, though in truth he understood what Hawke was attempting to do, lighten the mood and make this easier for him, and he appreciated the concern. He ran a hand up into Hawke's hair. Rougher than he'd expected, the first time he'd touched it, long enough that he sometimes found strands of it in his mouth after they'd kissed. It was perfect, sliding through his fingers, catching on the sword calluses on his palms.

Hawke's thumb rubbed along his lips, and Fenris closed his eyes, drinking in the sensations. This was what he craved. To so desire the touch of another - the touch of a mage - had to be a weakness, but at this very moment, he couldn't bring himself to care. As Hawke bent his head down, Fenris' hand slipped to the back of his neck, curled around it lightly.

"I have a fantastic idea," Hawke murmured by Fenris' ear. "Want to hear it?"

"I'm sure I'll hear it whether I wish to or not," Fenris answered dryly, not quite so distracted by the fingers sliding through the open back of his jerkin, tracing little circles against the skin of his back, that he couldn't pay Hawke's wit back with some of his own. "Go on then, tell me."

"I think I should take off my clothes . . ." Hawke's breath burned hot against Fenris' ear. ". . . and lay on your bed. And then you can touch me to your heart's content, wherever you'd like. Sound good?"

"No, that doesn't sound good," Fenris dropped his hands to the ridiculous ties of Hawke's robes, barely fumbling as he started to undo them from memory. "It sounds even better than 'good'." He'd meant it when he said that what he wanted wasn't about sex, but the framework of sex made his need more acceptable, and besides - he wasn't about to turn down sex with Hawke, not anymore. That Hawke had forgiven him and taken him back after three years was a miracle fit for the Maker himself, and one he was not about to waste.

"Which is why we usually go with my ideas," Hawke said with an unashamed smirk.

Fenris rolled his eyes at the smug tone, moving to the buckles of the wide leather belt. "We usually go with your ideas because you're the most infuriatingly stubborn man I've ever known. I've met walls that were more moveable than you."

"I never knew you robbed ancient Tevinter tombs in your spare time!"

Fenris snorted and finally succeeded in removing Hawke's belt. "Hawke, are you going to help me with this, or are you going to stand there being insufferable at me when you could be on the bed, splayed out underneath me?"

It was amusing how quickly the rest of Hawke's clothing disappeared.

Covers turned down neatly to the foot of the bed, out of the way, Hawke stretched out on his back before Fenris' eyes. Fenris had never seen a mage so fit before he met Hawke: Tevinter magisters were fond of parties, food, and wine; less than fond of hard exercise and discipline. But Hawke was as far from a Tevinter magister as one could get and still be a mage, and not only in body. No, they didn't often agree, but Hawke had shown time and again that he would not stand for abuses of power, whatever form they came in. Fenris respected, even admired that, even as he found Hawke's soft, trusting tendency to believe his fellow mages deserved to be free of the Circle, so long as he had no proof of their inevitable abuses, to be naive and frustrating.

Fenris harboured a sneaking certainty that if Hawke hadn't been a mage, he'd have fallen for the man the moment they met.

When Hawke's throat cleared, Fenris snapped out of his thoughts with a jolt, realized that he'd been staring for far too long. He coughed. "Simply- thinking about what I want to do first," he said, making quick work of his own clothing and dropping it to tangle on the floor with Hawke's discarded robes. He liked the thought, that they would need to detangle their clothing before dressing again, as well as detangle themselves.

"I'm hardly offended that you enjoy looking at me, Fenris," Hawke said with an easy grin. "Actually, it's quite flattering. You can look whenever you like - not just when you think I'm not looking."

Fenris was thankful that shadows cast by the warm, low light from the fire would help to conceal his blush as he joined Hawke on the bed, straddling him with his knees planted to either side of Hawke's narrow hips. "Don't start. I've quite enough of that from Merrill and Isabela and Varric and- why do all of your friends think they have the right to bother me about our relationship?"

"Because they're your friends too, Fenris. That's something friends do, when two of their friends get together. They want to hear the juicy details so they can live vicariously." Hawke smiled up at Fenris, piercing eyes half-lidded into a false appearance of complacence. He looked glorious, and Fenris wanted to reach out, to trace that smile- with a thrill, he did, exploring the lush curve that looked so sinful wrapped around his cock, felt softer than silk when they kissed. The gentle pressure as Hawke pressed kisses to Fenris' fingertips was good enough that he managed to refrain from snarling at the suggestion that he was friends with a blood mage.

"They had best not hear about this," Fenris muttered instead, settled his weight just above Hawke's hard cock, felt it rub against his ass. Hawke's low curse fueled the slow burn of Fenris' need, and he leaned down to follow the path of his fingers with his lips.

It was a challenge to keep the kiss slow, lazy, but they had done fast and hard a number of times before, and the time felt right for something different. Fenris explored Hawke's mouth with inefficient thoroughness, his hands braced on either side of Hawke's head, pinning the mage in place with fingers laced through hair and planted on the bed.

For long minutes, the only sounds in the room were the cracks and pops of the fire, well on the way to hot, long-burning coals; the sharp inhalations of their breaths, quickly snatched between kisses that Fenris could feel searing him to his soul; and the wet, almost obscene sounds as their mouths sealed and parted, trading pleasure back and forth between them like it was the queen of clubs and neither wished to be left holding it when the hand was called.

The slowness maddened and enticed, and finally Fenris broke free with a gasp, only to fasten his mouth lower, latching to Hawke's neck, sucking and biting, a chain of bruises following in the wake of his attentions.

"You can help yourself more of that any time you like," Hawke drawled lazily, throat bobbing under Fenris' lips. "Make yourself at home, I insist."

Fenris had found that the only way to shut Hawke up was to occupy his mouth so thoroughly that he couldn't speak a word. It had been a very pleasurable discovery, and became an increasingly tempting option the more Hawke flapped his lips. But right now, Fenris had other goals in mind.

"You spread yourself out before me, a feast before a starving man, and beg me to glut myself." Fenris abandoned Hawke's throat, lifting himself carefully over the jutting cock behind him and scooting down the bed to straddle Hawke's thighs, their shafts sliding together temptingly. Fenris ignored the sensation only with great effort. He leaned down, stroked his cheek against Hawke's broad chest, feeling the sparse, springy hair. "Maker, what you do to me."

"I could say the same. We are a pair, aren't we? One moment, nearly at blows, and then - sweet nothings in bed. One thing you definitely aren't is boring, Fenris." Hawke's nails scratched lightly down Fenris' spine, sweet torment, and Fenris scraped his teeth over a nipple in revenge. Hawke's choked moan sounded sweet as honey, so Fenris did it again, worried it until it stood stiff and darkly flushed and Hawke was gripping the sheets as though he feared he might float away.

"Lorne." Fenris pushed himself up with one arm, replacing his mouth with the fingers of his other hand. "Roll over for me."

"Must I? We're doing so well like this," Hawke's eyebrows danced upwards and down, and Fenris fought down a smile, pinched hard. When Hawke yelped, he let the smile loose.

"Roll over, Hawke," he growled and Hawke sighed.

"And you were doing so nicely on following the 'in bed, use Hawke's first name' rule." But when Fenris lifted his weight and widened his legs to give Hawke room to turn, the mage flipped over with a smile and a quick adjustment to keep himself from being ground cruelly into the bed in a most unenjoyable way.

Fenris gazed down at the length of Hawke, stretched out beneath him in lazy splendor, fair skin flushed warm in the firelight, and felt his own skin aching with the want to be pressed against the man. Pain like a wound over his entire body, but with a hurt entirely unlike the remembered agony that drove him to fend off anyone who wished to touch him, this pain left him without words, only need. He needed this, needed to cover Hawke's body with his own, spread himself out full-length over the mage and feel him. To feel Hawke. He would never have enough of it - the mage was lyrium, and he was addicted, and this would never end well -

After another moment of resistance, Fenris caved to the pressing need, lowered himself until barely supported on knees and elbows, most of his weght resting on Hawke's back. Soft skin, marked with the occasional scar, pressed against his, from cheek to groin, filling him with warmth, satisfying the ache so abruptly and completely that he couldn't hold back a groan at the utter relief of it, thick, syrupy pleasure pouring over his mind and body, weighting his thoughts and limbs. He never wanted to move again, never wanted to leave this perfect contact.

"Maker, Fenris, you sound-" Dimly, through the thick haze of satisfaction, Fenris could hear an echo of his own desire in Hawke's voice, and he nuzzled Hawke's back, listened to another bitten-back curse. It reminded him that they both had another need left unfilled; the ache in his groin had been drowned out by the rest of him, but now he could feel it again, and he knew Hawke had to be feeling the same.

"Hawke," he muttered against the mage's skin. "Lorne." Vivere possem vobis, he thought, but closed his lips against the words. Though Hawke did not know the language, Fenris knew his tone alone would give the meaning away, reveal the terrifying 'for you,' the hopeful 'I could,' the desperate want that altogether was 'I could live for you.'

Perhaps Hawke wouldn't mind, perhaps Hawke would even welcome that sentiment - but Fenris himself wasn't quite ready to express it. Someday he might say those words and more, but this intimacy was still too new.

Underneath him, Hawke was growing impatient. Fenris could feel it in the shifting of the strong muscles of his back, in the faint lift of Hawke's hips. Banishing his sentimental thoughts to the corner of his mind he usually reserved for such weaknesses, he laughed softly.

"I'm glad this is amusing for you," Hawke muttered, and Fenris hissed as Hawke ground his ass up into Fenris' cock. "Though honestly," the mage continued, sounding utterly sincere, "if you need to take a little longer, just tell me. I want you, but this is about what you need right now, Fenris."

No, perhaps Hawke wouldn't mind at all. Fenris shifted his weight, putting more onto his knees. "I think my addiction to the feel of you is sated for the moment," he admitted. "Though I do have another need that is becoming most pressing."

"Oh? Tell me about it, maybe I can help." The hunger in Hawke's voice was as arousing as the feel of him, and Fenris nipped Hawke's back, listened to the catch of his breath. With one hand he reached down and adjusted them, spreading Hawke's ass slightly to fit his cock into the furrow between his cheeks. "Or don't tell me," the mage continued, a haze of lust spreading over his words. "This whole silent taking-what-you-want thing is working for me."

With Hawke pliant and needy under him, Fenris knew he wouldn't last long. The rub of tight muscle and unbelievably smooth skin against his cock was too good, the little noises of pleasure Hawke made at Fenris' use of his body heady beyond belief. He bit again at Hawke's shoulderblade, the taste of him adding to the rising, clenching pleasure. "Lorne," Fenris groaned again, licked at the mark his bite left behind. "I want you. Need you."

He felt a tremor under him at his words, and then Hawke was pressing back into his thrusts. "You have me," Fenris heard dimly. "I'm yours, Fenris."

It was too much. His cock throbbed, a warning pulse, and then pleasure overwhelmed him, threw threw him to sea and towed him under, immersing him in the scent and sound and feel and taste and sight of Hawke. His limbs trembled and he barely held himself up as he came, hard and so, so good, across Hawke's back and buttocks.

After taking a silent, shivery moment to recover, Fenris pushed himself up and looked down at his seed on Hawke's back with a deep sense of satisfaction. "Mine," he whispered. Louder, "Roll over again, Lorne."

The mage was clearly eager to comply, finally out of smart remarks; Fenris deeply enjoyed knowing he'd brought Hawke to a point of desperation that could shut him up. He leaned over his lover and took his lips again, a searching, claiming kiss that repeated his whispered word louder than a shout. He reached down and found Hawke's hardness, felt Hawke's hands clutch desperately at his shoulders.

There was nothing slow or gentle anymore; this was possession, this was desperation, this was Fenris' determination to bring Hawke to completion on his terms. He jerked roughly at Hawke's cock, slid his thumb over the engorged head and felt wet droplets smear under his callused grip. He was going to have bruises on his back from Hawke's fingers, when this was done, but he didn't mind; if he minded, he'd slow this down, ease it up.

Fenris tightened his grip, twisted slightly at the end of a stroke, and Hawke made a choked sound into his mouth, then came, shuddering, lips open and slack for Fenris' tongue, wetness splattering against their bellies. Yours, repeated clearer than words. Fenris stroked him through it, until a soft whimper told him that Hawke's flesh had become too sensitive, the touch bordering on pain instead of pleasure, and only then did he let go, rolled off of Hawke to lay by his side on the bed while the mage gathered his shattered thoughts.

After a few minutes of sharing contented silence, Hawke rolled onto his side, facing Fenris, and draped an arm across his waist. "So," he said, voice warm, "I hope this will be the end of incidents like the one earlier."

Fenris quirked one corner of his lips. "I think I've found a better way to get what I want," he acknowledged.

"You mean 'asking'?" Hawke grinned at him, his usual cheeky self once more. "I hear it works wonders."

Fenris refused to rise to the bait. "Yes," he said simply, and wrapped his own arm around Hawke. He had taken an accidental step off the careful line he walked, but it had turned out to be not a high wire, only a simple line in the sand, dividing him from Hawke. No longer, he promised himself. No longer will I hold us apart.