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What's Left Unsaid

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Rare was the occasion Fenris could sleep peacefully through the night without waking. No nightmare or dark memories of his past leavened his slumber. There was nothing but sweet, heavy darkness; the soft bed, and the quietness of Hightown in Kirkwall on a cold autumn night. He only stirred at daybreak, when noises from the outside world filtered into the room...the cheerful cries of the muffin seller, a rag man, and the sounds of animals pulling carts through the streets.

Slowly, Fenris drifted into consciousness, his arm reaching across the bed before he was fully awake and aware of his actions. Eyes shut, he lazily searched for that missing something to lull him back into sleep, but his hand only ever came into contact with more and more silken sheets, cool from the morning air.

His brows furrowed in displeasure; a grumble of annoyance rumbled from his throat as the familiar warmth continued to elude him.

He was sprawled halfway across the bed when his sleep addled mind finally realized he was actively seeking out Anders, the abomination's body to pull flush against his own. What his waking mind denied him, in his dream-like state, he craved for someone to hold, to bury his face in the crook of the other's neck and take in their comforting scent.

Fenris' eyes snapped open, disgusted with himself. Despite his history with mages- and with this mage in particular-  his body with its deep seated need didn't discriminate nor care. So long as the person was warm and willing, a demon possessed apostate was good as the next person.

Completely alert now, Fenris pushed himself upright to a sitting position; the thin blanket covering his naked form pooled around his waist. As he figured, he was alone in the room; Anders long since gone if the coldness of the bed was anything to go by. He grunted with mild irritation, but did nothing more than silently sit and listen.

Breathing deeply- every inhale a slow drag, every exhale a quiet sigh- Fenris cocked his ears for any sign of movement in the mansion. At first, he heard only his own breathing, but his patience eventually paid off. He caught the sound of a soft curse located somewhere down the hall, his ears twitching as he recognized the voice. In a barely there smile, the corner of Fenris' mouth lifted in amusement.

Anders didn't slink off in the middle of the night after all.

Fenris rolled out of bed, his footfalls silent as he paraded about the room in search of his clothes. Unlike his namesake, outside of battle, the Tevinter elf's movements were sleek and graceful like the cats Anders favored; in a fight, he was  power and strength compacted into a lithe, lyrium-lined body. Whether it was a wolf or panther Fenris resembled, he attracted attention with his beauty. He was beautiful not in the same way flowers and poetries were, but in the sharpness, the deadly precision of his actions.

Beautiful, like a masterfully crafted sword made to protect or kill.

Fenris gave up looking for the rest of his clothes. He simply pulled on his leggings from last night, found  hanging off the back of a chair, and left the front laces untied. They hung loosely around his hips as he stepped out into the hallway half-dressed.

Dust motes danced across streams of sunlight trickling through the broken ceiling. Fenris pondered his next move: should he join the mage wherever he was, or should he break his fast first? The decision was made for him when he heard more swearing coming from the library. If he had to deal with a foul mood Anders, it'd be after he filled his stomach. Perhaps he'll even have a glass of wine to soothe his nerves.

Turning away from the hallway, Fenris trotted downstairs to the kitchen. Joking aside, Fenris paired his simple meal of bread and cheese with tea rather than wine. Once done, he made his way back to Anders and to whatever it was the mage was doing; a crisp, red apple in hand.  

Upstairs, the library door was left opened. Quiet, with hardly a whisper of a noise, Fenris leaned against the doorframe, watching Anders frantic movements with a smirk. Unaware of the elf's presence, Anders mumbled to himself as he wrote on a parcel of paper, no doubt working on his manifesto. Though Fenris considered Anders' work on mage freedom futile, he loathed to disturb him. He was happy with where he was, leisurely gazing at the mage's profile to his heart's satisfaction. Whatever annoyances or irritation he felt in the morning, was washed away by calm contentment.

As he continued gazing at Anders, wisps of smoke curled around the mage's head like a halo. Fenris assumed with disdain it was magic, but when the subtle scent of lavender hit him, he realized it was from the incense Anders lit. His eyes scanned the room, quickly finding bits and pieces of Anders belongings scattered among the furniture- herbs drying by the windowsill, vials waiting to be filled on the table. And it was only the library. In other rooms, robes hung next to his armor; a staff leaned against the wall near his sword. That ridiculous pillow Anders always carried with him, now sat on his bed.

It dawned on Fenris just then, he hadn't been living alone in the dilapidated mansion, and hadn't been for quite some time. Slowly, so slowly that Fenris didn't even notice, the mansion became theirs rather than his. Anders more or less made this place his home, perhaps more so than Fenris ever did.   

Uneasiness unfurled inside his chest. He frowned, not because the mage had the audacity to invade his space, sullying it with his demonic presence, but because Fenris had allowed it. How many times did he turn a blind eye when Anders brought in more of his things? How many times did he wake up to Anders curled up beside him, gladdened the mage spent the night, rather than go back to that hole in the wall he called a clinic? Too many to count, and he had no one to blame but himself.

When Fenris started this...this game, this wasn't how it was supposed to play out. At first, he only wanted the abomination to shut up with his whining. On and on he went about mage rights and oppression, as if he was incapable of any other topic! Even those that shared his sentiments of the Circles and their treatment of mages, grew tired of Anders' insistent ramblings. But as insufferable as he was, as their only healer, he was also too important for them to leave behind on missions.

Fenris was at the point of punching his fist through Anders' chest for some much needed peace and quiet when out of pure luck, he found an easier way to silence the mage.

Per usual, Anders was in one of his moods. He was reciting what he'd written for his manifesto, Hawke his chosen victim, but it didn't matter who the sacrifice was. Just the same, the rest of them was subjected to the same speech since they travelled as an unit.

The sky turned a pale pink as the sun began to set over the horizon. The mission, getting rid of a few bandits, was simple, and had taken them no time at all. They were expected to arrive back at Kirkwall before nightfall, but thanks to Anders' dawdling, they were losing daylight.

Having had enough, Fenris laid a hand on Anders back, intending to shove the mage forward. It was on the tip of his tongue to snap at Anders to stop wasting their time and pick up his pace, but the moment his hand touched the mage's back, Anders stiffened. Mid-speech, he swallowed whatever he was about to say, and immediately clamped his mouth shut like he'd been frozen.

Surprised by the sudden reaction, Fenris glanced curiously at Anders, his hand emitting a subtle pressure against the blond's back. Before he could dissect whatever emotion it was that crossed Anders' face, Anders briskly walked off, leaving everyone far behind.

For the rest of the trip back home, the chatty mage remained unusually quiet. How odd...

Of course, Fenris thought nothing of it. What the mage did was none of his concern. A few weeks passed, and Fenris had forgotten about the incident until it happened again. They were gathered in Varric's room, drinking and playing a game of Wicked Grace. Anders was in the middle of arguing with Sebastian about the Chantry when Fenris accidentally brushed his thigh against the mage's. Just like last time, the brief touch caused a profound reaction in Anders. He choked on his next word, promptly shutting up.

An idea, horrifying as it was amusing, began to form in Fenris' head. To test his theory, whenever Anders started on his speech about mages, the elf reached for him. Subtly, he'd touch the taller man: brushing their hands together, placing an arm around the mage's waist- anything. And each time, Anders grew still from his touch.

Fenris found unending amusement from this new found power he had over Anders. To say he didn't take advantage of it would be a lie. It began innocently enough, a hand graze here, a touch there, but somewhere down the line, shutting Anders up involved kissing him breathless; of biting and nipping at his skin until the only words that tumbled out of his mouth was Fenris' name.

"Are you going to stand there all day and stare at me?" Anders' voice shook Fenris out of his reverie. The mage set the quill down, shifting in his seat to face the elf. Suddenly under the scrutiny of golden eyes, Fenris straightened his spine, instinctively jutting his chin out in challenge. Anders sighed. "If you're waiting for me to sprout two heads and four arms so you can run to Hawke and say I've turned into a demon, too bad. You missed your chance by an hour."

Fenris ignored the quip. He entered the room and stood in front of Anders' chair. "Mage, you have not slept yet." It was a statement, not a question. Up close, Fenris could now see the bruises under Anders' eyes.

Anders shrugged diffidently. "Warden stamina. Besides, I couldn't sleep. I got sudden inspiration, and staying in bed while I was awake seemed indulgent. I thought I might as well write down my thoughts. The mages in the Gallows- no, all the mages in the Circles are - "

Fenris shoved the apple into Anders' mouth. "If you do not sleep, at least eat," the elf said dryly, "I doubt you have eaten either. Whatever it is you are planning, it can wait."

The mage shot Fenris a glare, but nevertheless obediently took a bite out of the apple. "You used to be more gentle when you wanted me to stop talking. I miss that Fenris. You should let him out to play more often."

"I have not gone anywhere. I have not changed. I simply found more gratifying ways to stem your insistent babbling."

Anders quirked up an eyebrow. "Like shoving your cock down my throat?" he said, not bothering to hide a lascivious grin behind the apple. He took another bite.

"That is where you are wrong." Fenris crossed his arms over his chest. He refused to let Anders see him squirm. "In bed, that is the only place I do not mind if you are loud. I prefer it, actually."

Anders coughed, covering his mouth as he choked on the piece of apple he tried to swallow. "W-well, that was rather blunt. Points to you."

"Since you've known me, when have I been anything if not direct?" Fenris stepped closer to Anders, a hand on either side of the armchair. It creaked softly under his added weight as he loomed over the other man, trapping him. "Come back to bed, mage," he said, a husky undertone to his already sinful voice.

"You know, Fenris, perhaps we should work on subtlety? A little come-hither, a little shimmy can work wonders. Maybe you can even bat your pretty eyelashes at me."

Fenris sighed and prayed for patience. Exasperating as it was, it took Fenris months of frustration before he figured this was Anders' way of flirting. The mage expected him to play along, exchange witty banter, and sometimes when the mood suited him, Fenris did. However, this could go on for hours, which he was not about to indulge. It wasn't exactly explicit permission, but Fenris took it as such anyway.

His arms wound around Anders' slender waist, and with a careful yank, Fenris hauled the taller man over his shoulder like he weighed nothing at all.

"Mage, when will you learn to stop talking while you are ahead?" The walk back to the bedroom was quick. The elf tossed an unresisting Anders into bed and crawled between his legs. "It gets you into trouble more often than not."

"Perhaps I'll learn," Anders said, a mischievous glint in his eyes that made him seem younger; a hint of the man he used to be before he joined with Justice, "when the punishment isn't so pleasurable."

Fenris smirked. If that was a challenge, it was one he would gladly accept.

Chapter Text

A toss into the bed caused Anders robes to bunch around his waist, revealing he wore nothing at all beneath it. Fenris quirked up a brow, a silent but amused question on his face. Anders huffed out an indignant breath. "I was planning on coming back," he explained, "To our...I mean your bed, but I lost track of time."

"And what were you hoping for when you returned?" Never one to miss a thing, Fenris caught Anders slip of the tongue, but he didn't ask for clarification. To ask, would mean breaking the unspoken rule of the game they were playing. So long as they never voiced what was growing between them, they could continue to pretend. Insults were replaced with flirtatious remarks; hostility turned into desire and tentative affection.

Slowly, Fenris ran a hand up and down Anders thighs, marveling again and again at the sinewy muscles he felt beneath his touch. For a mage that handed out every scrap of food, Fenris was surprised to find Anders wasn't all skin and bone under his robe. Still, his hips protruded from his waist and his ribs were more prominent than Fenris liked, but despite the hard lines and even harsher angles, there was enough of Anders to keep Fenris coming back for more. His legs alone kept the elf entranced, exactly long enough to wrap around his waist as he pounded him into the mattress.

A flood of hot lust shot through Fenris as his body remembered how it felt to have Anders thighs wrapped around him. As their game grew from weeks to months, Anders also filled out under Fenris' watchful eye. There had been more to grab, more to sink into the last few days.

"...I imagine it was something like coming back to this?" Anders squirmed against Fenris, grinning when the elf hissed as his ass rubbed against the other's arousal. He glanced down between their bodies and laughed, the sound of his voice low and throaty. Ah, so that was why Fenris was half undressed, his laces undone. They both had the same idea. "Has Isabela guessed lyrium yet?"

"What?" Fenris said through clenched teeth. The mage proved to be very distracting with the way he incrementally pressed harder into him. Unable to stop himself, Fenris' thrust back.

"Your small clothes." Anders brought his legs up, teasing Fenris with the shift in position. "Has she guessed lyrium? You know, since that's the only think you wear down there."

Dazed green eyes blinked owlishly at Anders. Caught unaware, Anders quip caused Fenris to chuckle in surprise, but he quickly covered it with a scowl.

"Ah, ah, too late!" Anders purred smugly. "I saw you laugh. You ruined your own broodiness. Can't take it back now." He reached up to card through the elf's hair, but Fenris caught him by the wrist.

"Then maybe I can make you forget it," he threatened the mage. The shiver he felt run through Anders had nothing to do with fear, but everything to do with anticipation.

The pretty picture Anders panted- hair coming undone from its' tie, robes hiked up his waist, and his legs around Fenris' waist- made the elf growl with impatience even as shame filled him.

This obsession he had, keeping Anders in bed and pliant, made it seem like he was using Anders like some kind of whore. The entirety of their relationship and the reason they've moved on beyond their petty rivalry was because they found bodily pleasure with one another. But they've moved beyond that haven't they?

Outside the bedroom, their ideals couldn't be any more different. They could never see eye-to-eye or reconcile their fundamental differences. But sex was purely physical. They didn't have to agree or even like each other in order to fuck. However, despite their history and years of vitriol spewed back and forth, here in bed, they never insulted one another.  Too often in both their pasts, sex was used to manipulate, dominate. It had been nothing but humiliation and pain for Fenris, and Anders was no longer the boy that used his body to barter for favors. What should've been a hard fuck with nails and teeth, biting and bruising, couldn't be any more gentle and sweet.

They were two broken men used to running and hiding. The things they couldn't convey with words, was told in silence as their bodies surged together.

Fenris tried to think of ways to tell Anders this, that this wasn't a simple fuck no matter what it seemed. He wouldn't sleep with a mage no matter how good a lay he was if he didn't feel a certain something for him. But the act of servicing, of being submissive brought back memories Fenris rather much forget.

"I will not have your cock in my mouth," he said more as a reminder to himself than a warning to Anders.

"I never expected or asked you to!" Anders scowled, his mood suddenly turning sour at the unexpected statement. He began to struggle in earnest, no longer wishing to stay in bed with the damn mage-hater.

Fenris' hand tightened around Anders' wrist. "But I will kiss you."

The mage stopped struggling.

With his free hand, Fenris reached up to stroke the side of Anders' face almost tenderly, as if he was afraid he'd startle him. "Mage, may I kiss you?"

"Oh, now you ask me, after tossing me over your shouldering and throwing me into bed like a sack of potatoes?" Anders said sarcastically, his immediate response when something veered off script. His heart was in his throat; his pulse raced. There was an ache in his chest, growing, throbbing the more Fenris treated him gently like he cared. Whatever it was Fenris was playing at, it was becoming dangerous. Sooner or later, the elf wouldn't have to reach inside his chest in order to rip out his heart.

Fenris pressed a little closer. "Mage, may I kiss you?" he repeated the question.

"Yes, elf," Anders bit out, angry at his own weakness. "You may kiss me since you're being so bloody polite about it."

Fenris chuckled, amused rather than deterred by Anders' lovely pout. He leaned down, covering the mage's body with his own as their lips met. Just as he suspected, Anders tasted of the apple he gave him earlier. Sweet tartness filled Fenris' tongue as he swept into Anders' lush, supple mouth.

Bodies damp with sweat slid against each other, sending tiny trickles of sensation until they trembled with it. Nerves were alighted where skin touched skin, where warmth seeped into flesh. A weight, so familiar and yet kept him wanting, finally settled against Anders. The friction, Maker above, the friction grounding against him had him gasping silently with unbelievable pleasure.

A voice, so tender and sweet, murmured against his neck, but Anders could not understand a word, not a single word because everything had become white noise. Everything faded into the background except where Fenris touched, the push and pull where their bodies met. Locks of his blond hair stuck to his face and the back of his neck as he felt Fenris press against him, melting into his heat.

To Fenris' surprise and ultimate frustration, Anders was always quiet in the bed. The mage was used to sex being conducted in secret lest he attract templar attention. It was in these rare moments Fenris wished he could hear Anders voice as the mage clung to him. He wanted to hear his name come from those red, kiss-swollen lips, but he knew he was being a fool.

There was no favor to wear. They weren't lovers. They weren't even friends.

This was the furthest their relationship could go.

 The next time Fenris woke, it was to more soft cursing. Blearily, he blinked, catching sight of Anders wandering around the room looking for something. Fenris smiled, his mood a drastic change from earlier this morning. He always did like it when he woke up and Anders was still in the room with him. It would've been better if the mage was next to him in bed, but beggars can't be choosers. Not that he would ever tell Anders such a thing, but to himself, he admitted it was nice waking up to someone he shared intimacy with, mage or not.  

As Anders continued to curse under this breath, Fenris feigned sleep as he watched his mage scurry about the room, hair in disarray, muttering about losing his leather tie. It was the third one he lost this week! After a few minutes of fruitless searching, he sighed, brushing strands of hair away from his face. It was no use. It was gone. A quick glance out the window told him it was close to midday. He'd delay opening the clinic long enough with his romp in bed with Fenris. It was time to open it and see to his patients.

When Anders turned back towards the bed, Fenris relaxed his body, further pretending to be asleep. There was hesitation, the air was so thick with it Fenris could taste it on his tongue, but then Anders softly brushed hair away from Fenris' face; the blanket was lifted higher to cover the elf's shoulders before Anders turned away and left.

Fenris opened his eyes as the door gently clicked shut behind Anders. Long after Anders left, Fenris stayed in bed, eyes staring at where the mage once stood. The arm he kept curled under the pillow, straightened and he brought the soft tips of Anders' tie to brush against his lips, humming contemplatively.