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Old Wounds

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“Drop the sword!”

“Hildegard!”

“I said, drop it!”

“Let my daughter go, you sow’s tit! I’ll flog you myself!”

“Drop the sword, elf!”

“I’ll make you bloody pay! I’ll ram that knife of yours so far up your arse you’ll spit steel!”

“What’s it matter if he’s holding a sword?” Hawke asks, exasperated. “I’m already a mage.”

The mercenary’s arm tightens around the girl’s neck. “Drop your blade or I’ll slit her throat right here and now!”

Fenris decides that they have, as Hawke would say, completely fucked it.

The job sounded easy enough: a noblewoman under threat from an unknown rival, in need of protection. Fenris hates this cold, muddy country but Hawke loves it and nobody much cares about their reputations this far south, and the opportunity to earn a noble’s reward for foiling a simple assassination sounded almost too good to be true. And indeed it was: Lady Gralhund’s rival turned out to be none other than her own brother, who seems to have hired about half the guard onto his payroll—the rub being that none of them seem to know exactly which half, which is why there are a dozen guards clustered into this cellar along with Hawke, Fenris, Lady Gralhund, her brother, her ten-year-old daughter, and a hulking Fereldan mercenary, and nobody has a firm idea of what to do next.

The exception being the mercenary at the back holding a blade to young Hildegard’s throat. The man must have Avvar blood—he’s as big as Hawke or bigger, and he makes the hunting knife he’s holding look like a shank. The way it indents the skin of the girl’s neck makes Fenris suspect she’s not the first child he’s threatened.

Fenris does not drop his blade, probing the situation for weaknesses. There are many, not the least of which is Hildegard’s uncle gazing at them in muted horror. It is, occasionally, nice to be recognized. But there are still at least a half-dozen guards who will stand against them, and the mercenary as well.

“Are you ready?” Hawke mutters.

Plainly Hawke has a plan, and Fenris is eminently unsurprised when two racks of shelves explode into smithereens before he even has a chance to respond. Clouds of flour fill the room, and Fenris sucks in a breath and holds it as he dashes forward. To either side the guards are doubled over coughing. But the mercenary is gone, and through the clouds of white Fenris spots a towering figure disappearing out of the room and into the hallway. No Hildegard, either. The man must still have her. Venhedis.

Hawke appears a second later with tears in his eyes and Lady Gralhund in his arms, the both of them hacking away.

“He ran,” Fenris says urgently. “Hawke—“

“Get after him,” Hawke manages. “I’ll try and cut the bastard off.”

Fenris is through the door without a second’s pause. He needs to save the girl before her captor decides she’s too much trouble and cuts her throat. He glides through the narrow halls and hits an intersection, halting. Which way? From the left a loud thud, and he’s off again. Another thud and the sound of wood splintering. As Fenris turns the corner he spots the mercenary kicking a door open and disappearing through. “Stop!” Fenris shouts, and sprints after him.

The kitchen. The man yells as Hildegard kicks his shin, but his arm is folded tight around her body as he navigates past the wooden counters towards the exit. Fenris starts to follow, but the man spins around and jams his knife under Hildegard’s chin. “Not a step closer!” he roars.

Fenris halts, barely two steps through the door. Damn. He’s fast, but already a thin stream of blood trickles down Hildegard’s throat. Too risky to make a move, and Fenris remains where he is, frozen in place. The man gropes behind him, eyes still trained on Fenris.

When he pulls the door open Hawke is standing there in the threshold, one hand out as if reaching for the knob.

To his credit Hawke shakes off the surprise as quick as the mercenary does and raises a block, and the knife gouges a cut out of his forearm instead of his neck. Fenris hesitates, still unsure of whether he should join the melee, but the question is soon made moot because Hawke makes a sweeping gesture that sends Hildegard flying through the air.

She’s a sturdy Fereldan girl who, at the cusp of adolescence, probably weighs as much as Fenris does, and he finds himself directly in her path. Fenris barely has time to drop his sword before they collide. He lands on the floor with an “oof,” the breath knocked from his lungs as Hildegard rolls off him. Wincing, he rolls onto his side and coughs, searching for his sword, which he quickly abandons when he finds Hildegard stumbling to her feet and lurching toward the mercenary. “Don’t!” he squawks, and lunges for her, just managing to restrain her before she joins the clash.

“Let me go!” She struggles, yanking at Fenris’s grip. “I’ll stave his head in!”

Fenris wrestles with her, doing his best to keep an eye on the fight. It seems for the moment he’ll have to trust Hawke.

It’s rare Hawke fights somebody his own size, but it’s not the first time. Being averse to violence and usually the biggest one in the room, it wasn’t unusual for him to play peacekeeper at the Hanged Man—by any means necessary. Thus, while his combat forms aren’t near the equal of Fenris’s, he’s something of an expert in bar brawling. Which seems much the more relevant experience here; in fact, as Fenris watches, he nimbly avoids a foot-stomp and connects with a quick jab to the ribs. Hildegard makes another lunge for freedom, and Fenris grapples with her, keeping her back.

The knife is still a problem. The mercenary’s powerful arms make disarming a tall order, and Hawke struggles to control his wrist, arching away from a gut-stab that snags and tears his shirt instead. But he gestures and there’s a swelling in the air, and the mercenary shouts out as lightning wracks his body. Hawke holds him there, electricity pouring out of his closed grip, and for an incredulous moment Fenris thinks the man isn’t going to fall; but then he collapses and Hawke releases him, gasping. “Maker’s fucking balls.”

Hildegard relaxes so Fenris relaxes as well, only to start when a cluster of guards bursts into the small room. But Lady Gralhund is right behind, so she must have prevailed.

“Mum!” Hildegard shouts, disentangling herself from Fenris to go hug her mother. The group of guards surround the unconscious mercenary, and Hawke steps away gingerly.

The two of them meet at the opposite end of the kitchen, away from the bustle of still-confused guards. Hawke lets out a breath. “Big bastard, wasn’t he?”

Fenris plucks a rag from the countertop and pushes Hawke’s sleeve up, because he seems not to have noticed the blood splattering onto the floor at his feet. The gouge is still bleeding briskly. “You’re wounded,” Fenris says, and wraps up his arm.

“Hm? Oh, this?” Hawke snorts. “Done worse to myself a hundred times.”

As a blood mage. Fenris has seen the scars and is glad that power is denied him now. “Can you mend it?”

“Probably. Might take a bit. You know I’m a crap healer.”

“Mm. But an able brawler.”

“Ha. Takes one big bastard to beat another. Er—sorry for, you know.” He gestures. “Flinging the girl at you. I wasn’t really thinking.”

“Indeed. I was holding a blade.”

Hawke winces. “I’m really sorry.”

“You saved my daughter!” Lady Gralhund pushes through her gaggle of guards. “How can I ever repay you?”

Fenris looks up and finds her eyes glide straight past him to Hawke. He might be offended, but in truth he did almost nothing here except make the mercenary nervous. “We are glad you’re all right. Our fee will suffice, I think.”

“Ah, of course,” Lady Gralhund replies, sparing only a glance for him before her gaze returns to Hawke. “But are you sure there’s nothing else…I can offer you?”

Fenris realizes in a moment of clarity that her ex-husband must have been quite a large man to produce a ten-year-old of that size. But Hawke hunches in on himself, holding his arm, and looks away as if shy. “I…it’s late, milady. I should retire.”

She gives a small sigh but takes the rejection with good humor. “Of course, of course. You deserve a good night’s rest after dealing with that goat-sucking bastard.” She waves airily. “I shall see you in the morning. Thank you again.”

Then she leaves them. Fenris regards Hawke, who won’t meet his eye. A bad night, then. There have been a few. Difficult to return where one came from and be reminded of what could have been, and to know what happened instead.

“Come,” he says. “Let’s go upstairs where you can mend that.”

Hawke follows him upstairs, back to their chambers where the fire is still burning low and warm; he kicks the door shut behind them and peels the rag from his arm without ceremony, pulling off little chunks of red, new clot. Misty, pale pink magic glows from his other hand as he lifts it to the wound. Fenris tends to the fire, keeping an eye on Hawke, on his deep frown of concentration. Another log and the flames spit out a shower of sparks, licking at the dry wood.

He retrieves a wet cloth from the washroom and approaches, wiping away the flakes of blood around Hawke’s hand. The wound is hardly oozing now, welling with shiny, swollen new tissue, although the skin-edges won’t close. Hawke breaks away with a grimace and shakes out his hand. “Fuck me. I’m leaving it there. At least it’s stopped bleeding.”

Fenris leans up and kisses him.

It’s a lascivious kiss. He wants to make his intentions known. Hawke freezes at his touch, even as Fenris’s tongue traces the seam where his lips meet; it’s only after a long moment he accepts it, his lips parting. Fenris presses in without hesitation, his tongue delving gently, deliberately into Hawke’s mouth. Still Hawke is passive, receptive and no more. Fenris grasps his shirt and breaks away, searching his face.

“F—Fenris—“ Hawke says, and seems to be struggling with himself. Fenris waits for him to say something; but the gathered ball of breath leaves him without words so Fenris stands on tiptoes and kisses him again.

He still stands frozen, not touching Fenris even as their tongues twine. Fenris moves slowly, slipping under the hem of Hawke’s shirt. Then he flattens his hands on Hawke’s skin and runs them up his chest.

Hawke lets out a startled sound into Fenris’s mouth and his whole body shudders, his chest heaving beneath Fenris’s fingers as he gasps for breath. Fenris holds him there, their lips locked together. Hawke grasps his shoulders, not to pull him away but only for support; his body weaves in the air as he presses himself desperately into Fenris’s touch. Fenris massages his chest, squeezing and releasing the powerful muscle, the fine, curled hair soft under his fingers. Hawkes breaks the kiss with a guttural moan and hunches, burying his face in the crook of Fenris’s neck.

That’s all it takes—Hawke’s moan the spark and his hot breath on Fenris’s skin the gust of wind, and the hunger spreads through Fenris like a brushfire. It’s been so long. In the north he was discerning but not shy about sharing his bed, but the last time he slept with anybody was Hawke, months ago, and it’s not a memory he’s proud of. Now he needs to touch, to be touched. By Hawke.

He releases Hawke’s chest and grabs his waistband, then halts. He knows how much Hawke wants this but whether he’s ready, tonight, is another question. “Are you all right?” Fenris asks.

Hawke is quiet for a moment, though his hips roll into Fenris’s fingers where they’re hooked in his waistband. Then he nods into Fenris’s neck. Good. Fenris unlaces his trousers and pulls the fabric away.

He lifts an eyebrow.

Hawke is aroused. His cock is flush with blood, red and swollen in the air. And he hasn’t even been touched yet. He remains where he is, his breath condensing on Fenris’s skin. Won’t meet his eye.

In the north, the sex was easy to come by and without complication; Fenris was desirable and desired others, and an evening or several spent together led to a satisfactory outcome for both, or all. But Hawke has not been desirable since he exposed himself as a blood mage to all the world. Perhaps less painful when he though the choice was his, when the guilt made him a villain even in his own eyes. Now that they know the truth, however, things are more complicated.

Also complicated is how they feel about each other. Hawke is hopelessly in love with Fenris but won’t act on it, balking any time they get a little too close (in some casual or clever way, always, but balking all the same). Fenris has not pushed. But he fears that contributes to the problem. That Hawke believes Fenris does not want him. The opposite is true. Fenris still finds him as attractive as he did twelve years ago, and it has been an extraordinary relief no longer struggling to reconcile the betrayal in Kirkwall with how much he enjoys Hawke’s company.

It is time. Fenris kisses the base of Hawke’s throat and grips him.

Hawke sucks in air through his teeth. His whole body is tensed, muscles rock hard. Not pain. Only the sting of desire. Of being desired. His cock is hugely swollen, so filled with blood his pulse jumps against Fenris’s palm.

“Come to bed,” Fenris murmurs, and sits.

Hawke relaxes as soon as Fenris’s touch leaves him. It helps, gives him a moment to roll it over in his mind and decide. Fenris waits on the edge of the bed with patience. If Hawke turns him down now that will be fine. But this—what lies between them—won’t simply disappear in the morning light.

Hawke comes and rests back against the headboard, eyes on Fenris. Ready now, or perhaps not yet. But he wants this. They both do.

Fenris undresses first, pulling his shirt off over his head. shimmying from his trousers. No need to put on a show. They know each other too well for that. Hawke watches him raptly, frozen in place. That’s all right. Fenris approaches and grasps Hawke’s shirt, tugging it upwards. After a brief hesitation Hawke relents, raising his arms. Then he slides his trousers off himself.

For a moment they only gaze at each other. Fenris has always been attracted to Hawke’s powerful body, the fat and muscle that fill out his frame and make a threat of him in any room—even though most of the time he’d rather not be, and it seems more natural to see him like this, relaxed and reclining, completely naked in the soft glow of firelight. Meanwhile Fenris is well used to the sort of look he gets when he strips in front of someone, the wonder and awe of his glittering brands, the much simpler lust for his narrow, muscular frame. That isn’t the look he’s getting from Hawke at all. Hawke’s eyes are locked on his as if pleading for something. Fenris doesn’t know for certain what it is, and doesn’t think Hawke knows either.

He crawls forward and tucks himself against Hawke’s side. This way they can press together skin to skin; the way Fenris’s chest compresses when he leans into Hawke sends a warm thrill into his belly. Hawke cups his face and kisses him as if needing to do so, to ready himself for what’s next—Fenris grasps him and he gasps, hips twitching up at the mere contact. After so many months of the same dance, the two of them drawing closer and closer but never meeting—the pleasure of intimacy is as a river undammed, a flood that Fenris feels as the same excitement that made his stomach flutter ten years ago, back in Kirkwall when he and Hawke were both young men and enjoyed each other’s company more than they had any right to. Hawke seems overwhelmed, shifting restlessly and turning into Fenris’s touch. Fenris does not stroke him yet, only kisses his neck and holds him loosely.

Hawke rolls his hips and he slides through Fenris’s grip, the soft foreskin sliding past his fingers. A shuddered breath, Hawke’s chest rising and falling and moving Fenris’s body like a rocking ship. Fenris responds without thinking, pulling himself up to press his chest against Hawke’s. A moan as Hawke rubs against him, and Fenris bites his lip. Can feel already how aroused this is making him. He kisses Hawke ardently and receives this time an immediate response—Hawke opens up to him, letting Fenris’s tongue explore his mouth. One hand comes to rest on his lower back, and Fenris arches into it, straddling Hawke’s leg. He squeezes Hawke’s shaft and receives a soft sound of arousal in return, uttered into his mouth.

It’s a give and take, Hawke pulling him in closer and shifting his leg at the juncture of Fenris’s thighs, and Fenris kissing him, pumping his cock slow and deliberate. Just that seems almost too much; Hawke breaks off with a gasp, hips jerking at even this measured pace. The loss of control, the way Hawke is swollen and throbbing in his hand, make Fenris pump him faster and the kiss is lost now, Hawke swallowing another gasp. Instead Fenris’s mouth brushes his neck with a feather-light touch, lips and tongue ghosting over his skin.

“Mm—Fenris—“ Hawke manages, unable to keep still; his rough palm roams over Fenris’s back as his body rolls and lifts off the bed in response to the rhythmic pumping of his cock. His thigh slides against Fenris’s groin and the heat builds instantly. Fenris rubs against him, squeezing and stroking him more purposefully now. Hawke lets out a shuddering moan, fists balled in the sheets. It’s nice to hear him like this, willingly giving himself over to pleasure—a lesson Fenris had to learn as well years ago.

"Fenris—"

He looks up, meets Hawke’s lidded gaze. Hawke braces himself against the bed & lifts his hips. “Can I—“

His cock slides through Fenris’s hand, foreskin stretched thin around the red, swollen shaft but sliding down anyway when it catches on Fenris’s calloused skin. “Yes,” Fenris murmurs, kissing his neck. “Yes, Hawke.”

Hawke’s hips rise off the bed until Fenris’s fingers bunch at the root of his cock, then he withdraws in a single long, smooth motion before he thrusts again. At the same time his thick, muscular thigh rubs against Fenris’s groin, and Fenris inhales into his shoulder at the pressure on his cock and hole. “Is it—“ Hawke says unsteadily. “Do you like it?”

Fenris realizes in a crystalline flash that it’s almost like another first time, with how long it’s been, how much they’ve both changed. But different now, with Fenris in the lead and Hawke the shyer partner; although not so shy on the whole of things. The way his body undulates in the candlelight, the muscles in his stomach tensing and then relaxing again, how his eyes meets Fenris’s as he moves.

“It’s good,” Fenris manages, losing any eloquence or arch remarks he might attempt with another partner. Doesn’t have the presence of mind for it. Hawke was the first man he ever loved. He rises up on an elbow just to better see Hawke’s face, his cheeks flushed and lips parted. Even that much is enough to stoke the heat in Fenris’s groin, and unable to resist any longer, he lowers himself and takes Hawke’s nipple in his mouth.

Hawke lets out a sound of surprise, and his hips jerk, swollen cock twitching in Fenris’s fingers. Fenris does not let up, his lips locked to Hawke’s skin, tongue nursing the thick nub.

“Fenris—“ Hawke gasps, arching as if offering his chest to Fenris’s mouth. In fact his whole body rises off the bed; he fucks into Fenris’s loose grip with long, powerful strokes. In doing so his thigh slides through Fenris’s legs, each time rubbing against him with a deep, inexorable pressure. Fenris moans into Hawke’s chest and rolls his hips, sucking his nipple yet more ardently. Hawke’s shaft is hot with blood as it plunges through Fenris’s fingers, and Fenris squeezes gently, provoking another gasp as Hawke twists toward him.

Then a strong hand grips his ass and this time Fenris gasps, pushing back into it. Whatever hesitation Hawke displayed earlier is gone; he palms Fenris’s ass with unbridled desire, and Fenris responds, urging Hawke to guide him. It only takes a moment for Hawke’s fingers to tighten and Fenris shivers with pleasure as Hawke’s grasp grinds his throbbing cock and wet, messy hole against the firm muscle beneath him.

“Do you feel it?” Fenris’s voice shivers as the heat in his groin rises like a spring-tide. “How—how ready I am?”

Hawke groans, and his hips jerk, pelvis colliding with Fenris’s fingers. “Fenris,” is all he manages, fucking into the loose grip at a punishing rhythm. His cock is red and straining, and glimmers of precum leak from the tip. The overwhelming need spills over as well into his grip on Fenris’s ass; Hawke grinds Fenris’s wet, swollen cock against his thigh with a deep and powerful pressure. Fenris shudders, his chest dragging over Hawke’s. Another moan as Hawke’s back arches and presses into Fenris’s body. “Fenris,” he gasps. “I’m—I’m going to—“

“Yes, Hawke,” Fenris answers, almost a whine. “I want to feel you come.”

He’s hardly finished speaking when Hawke cries out and rams his cock once more into Fenris’s grip, before he starts fucking into it with long, forceful strokes that Fenris wishes wildly were pounding into his hole instead. Hawke’s entire body is beholden to the climax, up off the bed with his feet braced against the sheets as he plunges through Fenris’s fingers. Seed pulses from his tip and slides down his shaft, lubricating his passage. And his thigh, too, slides between Fenris’s legs, building a hot, wet friction that cannot fail to make Fenris’s toes curl. Hawke reaches down and his hand wraps around Fenris’s, the two of them together grasping him as the orgasm runs through him. His head lists forward and the pink flush blooms in his cheeks and chest.

But as the powerful thrusts die down, Fenris finds himself caught by surprise when Hawke cups his face and kisses him.

He returns the kiss as soon as his lust-fogged mind figures out what’s happening, and he strokes Hawke’s softening cock, milking out the last of the orgasm. Hawke moans against him, tongue entangled with his. Fenris squeezes Hawke’s thigh between his legs, unable to stop himself from grinding against it. The pleasure still burns hot in his belly, stoked with every needy noise Hawke makes into his mouth.

Fenris takes Hawke’s hand from his face and drags it between his legs.

He rises a bit, just enough to meet Hawke’s eye. Wants to hold his gaze for this, and he guides Hawke’s fingers to his dripping hole, rubbing them over his slick folds. Hawke’s deep brown eyes widen, and his breath catches. “Fenris—you’re so—“

Fenris nods and presses two of Hawke’s fingers inside him.

He’s so ready that they breach his entrance with hardly any resistance, and he lets his head fall forward, eyes fluttering shut. “Fenris,” Hawke says, so he opens his eyes to lean down and kiss Hawke once more, their mouths opening into each other. Only to break away with shuddered breath as Hawke’s fingers curl inside him.

Hawke kisses his neck. “Do you want to lie down?” he breathes.

Fenris flips onto his back, eager to give himself over. Hawke follows, never leaving Fenris’s hole, lips trailing from the base of his throat down to his breastbone before locking around one nipple. Fenris inhales and reaches down to pleasure himself, rubbing his cock in broad circles. Hawke’s fingers pump into him steadily, lips and tongue mauling his nipple. It’s been so long. Fenris tilts his hips, urging Hawke deeper; but he gasps sharply when a third finger enters him, spreading him open.

“Fenris—“

“Hawke,” he moans, planting his feet on the bed so he can take Hawke’s fingers deeper into his slick hole. It requires almost no effort for him to sink down all the way, his entrance hugging Hawke’s knuckles.

“You feel amazing,” Hawke murmurs, stroking his inner walls.

“Mm—“ Fenris’s leg twitches as he catches the tip of his cock. “Fuck me,” he pleads.

Hawke’s fingers withdraw and then plunge into him and Fenris writhes, his hole burning with desire, with the need to be fucked. Hawke follows relentlessly, pumping into him at an unyielding pace no matter how much his hips thrash and twist. Fenris hears the breathless panting rising from the base of his throat and has no ability or wish to stop. He wants Hawke to hear this. How hungry he is to have Hawke pleasure him, to bring him to climax. Between his legs his cock throbs with arousal, and he strums it with practiced motion, well in tune with his own body by now.

Then his eyes fly open as the orgasm spikes through him, gathering all at once. “Hawke, I’m going to come,” he gasps, with only seconds to spare—

Hawke’s lips find his neck and he comes.

Hawke’s hot, sweaty body is bent over him, and as a cry escapes him he wraps his arm around the hulking mass for something to hold on to. An anchor, before the climax washes him away entirely. His hips jerk as he fucks against Hawke’s fingers—which are still thrusting into him, even quicker now as the climax ravages his body. “Hawke,” he whines, bucking uncontrollably, unable to escape the heavy fingers pounding his helpless hole. Even the rhythmic clenching of his inner walls does nothing to impede their unforgiving pace. Impossible how the pleasure won’t let up, streaking out from his swollen cock like lightning to sear through him from his throat where Hawke kisses him to his shaking thighs and curling toes. The orgasm devastates him, and he arches his back only to meet the solid wall of Hawke’s chest, caging him in from above. He presses against it, tilting his head back and offering his throat to Hawke’s ardent lips and tongue.

At last the climax begins to release him, and he lowers himself slowly to the bed, massaging his cock to milk out the last of the pleasure. Hawke rolls to one side, making him moan again when the fingers slip out of his thoroughly-fucked hole.

It takes him a moment to gather his thoughts. When he does he rolls to face Hawke, whose eyes seem stuck on his own hands, lying on the crumpled sheets.

“I very much enjoyed that,” Fenris says, and is unable to keep a smile from rising to his face. No matter. A situation that should be treated with seriousness, but more so with sincerity.

Hawke hesitates; but then he smiles in return. “So did I.”

Fenris rises to an elbow and rests a hand at Hawke’s waist. “May I?”

“Hm?” Hawke looks up. “Oh! Of course.”

He flops onto his back with a heavy thump and Fenris crawls on top of him, head resting on his chest. The thud of his heartbeat is quick and strong under Fenris’s ear.

“I’m sorry,” Hawke whispers, wrapping an arm around his back. “For…”

He’s silent for a moment, searching for the words. But he doesn’t need them. “It’s all right,” Fenris says, and kisses him just below the collarbone. “It’s all right, Hawke.”

Hawke’s chest falls and then rises again, and Fenris hears it in the air. Words Hawke knows this time but won’t say. I love you.

Fenris pulls his body a little further onto Hawke’s chest and shuts his eyes.