"Is it too late to change my mind?" Alistair asked, eyeing the set of needles Zevran had pulled out.
"Far too late," Zevran said cheerfully. "Shirt off." Alistair looked nervous. "I promise I shall not molest you – that is, unless you want me to? Maybe afterwards–"
"You never stop, do you?" Alistair took off the shirt.
"I try not to." Zevran winked, and pulled out a bottle of clear liquid. "Drink."
Alistair looked dubiously at the bottle, but did so. He came away spluttering. "Poison. You've poisoned me." He clutched his throat with one hand. Zevran laughed.
"Yes, I've waited all this time, and now it is done. Are Antivan spirits too much for you for you then? You would rather do this sober?"
"Oh." Alistair was already going red. "No, that's fine. That's good." He took another long drink from the bottle, pulling a face as he did so, then thrust it back at Zevran. Zevran took a swig of his own. "You're not going to do this drunk, are you?"
"You think I would get drunk off one measly little mouthful? You insult my honour as a Crow, you do."
"Sure I do. Let's just get on with it, shall we?"
"Certainly." Zevran gestured at the bed.
"I feel like I should brought a chaperone," Alistair said, before he lay down. Zevran chuckled, and set to swabbing the alcohol over Alistair's shoulder blade. Then came the fun part.
"Ow." Alistair managed to sound offended.
"What's this? You let darkspawn poke holes in you with nary a whimper, and one little prick –"
"Oh, give it a rest. I know, it's all I'm good for, having holes poked in me. And I can't even do that properly." Zevran stopped, and waited for Alistair to finish with his emotional outburst. "It should've been me. I meant to do it."
"She knew that," Zevran said, voice was clipped. "It was her choice."
"Maker, I know that, I just – you're right. I know you're right." He shut up after that, and didn't make a sound when Zevran began work again.
He knew the design so well, the curves of it embedded in his memory. There was no need for a reference, and why should there be, when this was a design he'd kissed and caressed, when it was this image he'd wiped the blood away from oh so many times? It didn't matter this was a different location, different body. He remembered.
It was hours later that he pulled away, pronouncing, "It's done." He felt exhausted – from the concentration, from the memory. Alistair stirred, and sat up gingerly, his eyes red. When he began peering over his shoulder, Zevran handed him a mirror. It was still awkward to see, but Alistair stared, until, at last, he nodded.
"Do you – do you think she'd like it?" he asked, meeting Zevran's eyes. He looked fragile. And Zevran wanted nothing more than to make a crude joke, to run away from this.
"I think she would be honoured," he said, and supposed he was feeling fragile too. "And so amused, to see the two of us ensconced like this, don't you think?"
"We are not ensconced," Alistair said.
"And it is a great pity indeed." Zevran made a dramatic sigh. "I am glad we did this," he said. "It is good that I am not the only one who will remember her as I do."
Alistair looked over his shoulder again, and nodded. It was good.