questionablewit: (z Anders - kiss)
[personal profile] questionablewit
[[Backthreading nsfw romantic history post for [livejournal.com profile] birdhousesoul. Set not long after they hook up, before All That Remains]]



Hawke falls back on the bed, sweat sticking her hair to her forehead, skin flushed. It's the middle of the night, but the fire in the fireplace still burns enough to cast more light than shadows on her skin, and on the skin of the man next to her. "That was amazing." Still breathing hard, she smiles brilliantly at him, then decides that's not enough and rolls towards him for another kiss. She can't seem to stop kissing him now that she's finally able to. Not that she's tried hard to resist the urge for the past...week, maybe two weeks? It seems longer, and not long enough. "Andraste's flaming pyre, Anders, where'd you learn to do all this?"

Date: 2011-12-27 10:11 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
Anders is not averse to being kissed. The past few days have put paid to the entire notion that Justice precludes an active sex life. No, love life, and that notion may have taken longer to dispel than the other, the idea that no mage should dare to fall in love.

He gives a good-natured groan. "Everyone knows where I learned to do all this. Isabela's already told you more than I ever knew she knew about my sordid history, I'd wager." Rolling onto his side to face Hawke, he yields to a less colorful temptation, allowing himself to tuck a stray wisp of hair behind her ear. How many times in the past three years has he longed to do that, something so simple? "I ought to ask the same question of you. You're far too good at, mm, a few things I could list, but I'm too much a gentleman to name them all. And I know you turned down Jethann, so I can't credit him for it."

Date: 2011-12-27 10:35 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"From books." Anders' skepticism is plain. "I've been reading Varric's serials too, you know. I can't recall one where the hero's girl learns how to avoid scraping sensitive areas with her teeth. Varric's women always know what they're doing, except for the ingenues, and even they take to it like ducks to water. Like Ser Quackers to a bath." He cards through the soft short hair at the base of her skull, runs light fingertips down the back of her neck. "Like you, really, which tells me you're no blushing ingenue, love, since real life doesn't work like Hard in Hightown. Confess, now, you've spent at least the past year in intensive training for some sexual triathlon where only the most beautiful rogues can compete."

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Date: 2011-12-28 06:45 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
That parallel has not escaped Anders, either, and he chuckles. "Turned the tables on me, to start with. Then I was on the table; hard to say whose victory that was. Neither of us, I think, after all was said and done. We couldn't afford to develop any obvious attachment, and we couldn't hide anything for very long, so the best expedient was for me to continue what I was already inclined to do." Chasing people, being chased, typical Circle games. "That made him only one of many, safer for him and for me, though he never asked it of me and I never spelled it out to make him hear. I think he knew anyhow, or else he didn't want to let himself care enough to object.

"The only time he ever said a word, I'd gotten involved with this apprentice transferred in from Orlais, she'd been a troublemaker where she was, fairly strong Resolutionist sympathies. Karl and I didn't see eye to eye, politically, and I thought that was the problem, or else that he didn't like my being with a woman, someone he couldn't match or best." They had a tacit understanding: No matter how many lovers I take, you're the one I want most, better than anyone else. Not love. Preferential treatment. "That was the one time he had to speak up. As pretty as you are, he said, you ought to know it isn't you she wants. I thought that was comical, really, coming from Karl; he had less interest in the Circle's romantic intrigues than anyone else I knew." Which was part of why Anders had to be the one to play the field, to confuse the trail.

Anders clears his throat. "This is something I did tell Bethany. Resolutionists, you know, want mages to be free of the Circle completely. They're the main faction supporting the mage underground. And one of the principles they have is, the more mages there are, the harder it will be to ignore their plight or suppress them. The more mage children are born, the more power we'll have to fight for what should be ours. I can't say Karl was right in what he thought or feared, but he could have been. In essence, he decided what she wanted was to ... carry my talents over to the next generation. Posterity, and all that, in a literal sense. It's ridiculous this should ever have come up, but it's the one time he ever asked me to stop seeing someone else. I did cool things off a bit with her, to keep him from worrying too much — he was a world-class champion at worrying. But I got to know other Resolutionists through her, and I wasn't in the Tower for much longer after that. Not as a permanent resident. Being in the cells doesn't count."

Date: 2011-12-28 07:40 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"He considered the Circle the lesser of many evils. He'd been surrendered so young, it was the only life he knew; looking back, I can't blame him for failure to understand why I couldn't be content with that life. At the time I was ... not as sympathetic. There were harsh words. He may have felt I was using our apothecary and herbalist work to cover for other activities, though he didn't accuse me outright and I couldn't have denied it if he had. What disappointed him the most, I think, was that I never quite managed to stay gone once I'd left again. Some of the letters he wrote me from Kirkwall, later on, I got the impression that he thought I was being recaptured deliberately, to put me back inside the Circle walls so I could do more damage. He never asked at the time, I suppose because he didn't want to know. That way, he couldn't tell anyone anything that would hurt me."

Anders kisses Hawke's forehead, again. The same place where the Tranquil brand would go, he thinks, despite himself, and shudders. Part of the justification for allowing himself to be with her, to love her, to let her love him: she's not a mage, she will never be subjected to that.

"When they put me in solitary confinement, that was the end for Karl and I. It saved us from all kinds of unpleasant discussions we'd otherwise have needed to inflict on one another, I suspect. I hated being alone, thought it was the cruellest sentence they could have imposed, and Karl thought they were doing me a favor, going lightly on me. They don't want to make an example of you, you idiot. They just want you to stop giving people stupid ideas. That's what he claimed to believe, anyhow, the one chance we did get to talk before they locked me up for a year. It wasn't as bad as you might think, hardly the stuff of martyrdom — there was Mr. Wiggums the cat on that floor, and I wasn't being starved, and I had books, and I knew half the guards already so there were chats every now and then, sometimes shouting matches if it was a guard I didn't like. But it was like torture to me, all the same. If it took becoming a Grey Warden to keep from ever going through that again, by the Maker a Grey Warden was what I'd be. I didn't plan on becoming a Grey Warden, of course. But I don't regret it. Or the same, for Bethany," he tells Hawke firmly. He knows there's hard feelings there, will always wonder whether Bethany blames him for the hardships of her new life, too.
Edited Date: 2011-12-28 07:43 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2011-12-29 07:51 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
Now that Anders hears the details, the mental image is considerably less exciting than he would have expected. "Like a naughty sort of obstacle course," he muses. "In the mud. In Ferelden." He's well acquainted with Fereldan mud. It holds no sensual appeal. "You're only confirming my deepest suspicions about female rogues, you do realize. Intensive training in the erotic arts, with the end goal to sweep all categories in the triathlon of lockpicking, trap-springing, and the Orlesian kiss."

Date: 2011-12-30 07:40 am (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"I'm afraid the last thing I think of after finishing off a sortie is grappling against trees," says Anders, bemused. "There's usually lots of other people's blood, which is not sexy, or darkspawn blood, which is even less sexy. Aside from any bleeding your allies are doing, of course, but that's the healer's problem, I suppose." He tries to imagine being a rogue, a female rogue (that is important; it might be different for women, and this story is about women), who does not have to worry about healing anyone, and who may be inspired to fierce arousal by a light rain of darkspawn blood. The closest he can imagine is Sigrun, but he thinks Sigrun would laugh at the idea. Sigrun would point out that trees have scratchy bark.

Sigrun might not find all the blood excessively offputting, though. She was always very practical.

Why is he thinking about Sigrun, again? And why is he imagining Velanna trying to convince her that trees are sexy? Crazy Dalish woman. Velanna would be into trees.

Focus, Anders. "Well, anyhow, her lessons must have stood you in good stead, where all the lockpicking and rogue things are concerned. You're brilliant at it." Compliment the lady! Do not breathe a word about dwarf-on-elf-on-tree action!

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Date: 2012-01-01 06:26 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"Mm. This is a fascinating story. I was almost positive this was going to be about Varric Tethras, only you haven't mentioned any luxuriant chest hair yet, so I'm still being kept in suspense. Tell me more about this horrible person, because if he isn't Varric, he isn't already married to a jealous crossbow, and therefore his actions in this story have no justification whatsoever. Also, why did you become so deeply enamoured of a complete idiot, and how did your many admirers fail to distract you from this silliness, and where was Isabela during all this that she didn't contrive something outrageous to throw you into one another's arms. This is the most improbable part of your entire history thus far, Hawke. I think you're making it all up to tease me."

Date: 2012-01-03 09:10 am (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
He nips at her finger. He tries an opportunistic little shift and arch, capitalizing on that inviting position she's adopted, only to be foiled by a maneuver at once evasive and tantalizing. She did not learn this up against some Fereldan tree, surely. No?

They've been sleeping together less than a fortnight and already Anders wonders whether Hawke plans to repay him in kind for the preceding years of frustration. He could swear she delights in teasing him to the point he can't do anything but pounce. Perhaps that first kiss set a pattern — or a bad example — or a good example — whatever the case, her games haven't palled, and he enjoys playing along.

"What an absolute trial it must have been. You, lying awake, saddled with such an active imagination. All alone, left to your own devices. Your own ... inventive ... devices." She's not making this easy on him. "I can pity your poor chimera, who probably spent most of those nights suffering the effects of your wiles. I met a woman like you once, a few years back, and she was an unholy terror. I lived in mortal fear of her, I swear it. Never knew when she might materialize from the shadows to demand aid with some dodgy mission or other, perhaps to help find someone's lost hat or to recover some illegal shipment that a thief stole from a smuggler. You'd think I might have learned to tell her no, and perhaps I might have, too, except for one thing. She always walked at the head of the party. And that meant I got to walk behind her. Wherever we went, the view was always stunning."

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Date: 2012-01-08 05:44 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"Something about dreams," he repeats, mock-incredulous, still low and with the hint of a chuckle in it. "If you had any idea, you wouldn't ask. Wouldn't want to know any more than what I've already let slip, thoughtless of me to say even that much." They are pretending he's talking about some other woman, or aren't they? "Since you have asked, and so nicely ..."

It's convenient to have her lying atop him this way. He has so much scope for movement. His other hand makes an unhurried pass up her side, brushing the curve of her breast there before glancing off and over to her shoulder, the side of her throat, the line of her jaw, the kiss-stung swell of her lower lip.

"You know how dreams are," Anders confides. "Anything you've seen or felt or read in waking life is fair game, can come swimming up to haunt you. This woman I've been telling you about ... I worked with her very closely. Saw her every week, sometimes every day, for years, in a variety of circumstances and outfits and moods. And as we've discussed, I am no blushing ingenue. Awake, I knew I couldn't touch her. Asleep, all that reasoned certainty was gone. Everything I'd ever done with a woman, every moment that had ever snagged and caught in my memory, those belonged to her in my dreams, and she belonged to me. Her hands, her mouth, her arse, her breasts pressed together ..."

His fingers have been tracing lazy patterns at the verge of her inner thigh, but now without warning they wander in and up, the lightest ghost of a touch tracing the cleft there, not even granting enough pressure to part. "What I wanted most ..." If her breathing is labored, his is held a moment when he touches her there. He's teasing himself as much as he's teasing her. "Every way I'd ever taken a woman, I took her, in those blighted dreams. However maddening she was in life, in dreams she was most sweetly yielding, would do anything, would ask for more. I'd wake up throbbing or a mess."

He holds her face, cups her cheek, refuses to let himself take the kiss he wants, not just yet. "And that," he whispers, "was before I'd actually seen all of her. Imagine the torture after."

Date: 2012-01-08 09:16 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
No, it's not her imagination. Anders is stroking her, just barely, as she speaks, challenging her to withstand it or to demand more, curious to find how long she can keep talking. On that last word, a practised thumb swipes lightly over her pearl, then bears down a little harder, giving a good rub that's only repeated once.

"Ah, but there's a difference. I was dreaming, you were awake. You could control your fantasies. Even when you imagined him directing it all ..." Now he does part her, against his better judgement, because he wants to feel her, wants her to know he's sure of the effect he's having on her. His fingers slide along slick folds, declining to seek entry. "... really, you held the reins, didn't you? In those scenarios you envisioned, he'd do anything you wanted. However improbable. Though what could be so improbable? Who wouldn't do anything for you?"

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Date: 2012-01-12 09:36 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
Anders, whose use-name is nothing more or less than an abbreviation of the geographical region where he was born, should know very well what it's like to Have Issues surrounding nomenclature. And he does, and he's sensitive to it.

"It's only ... things are different now," he tries to reify it by putting it into words, and finds that words won't do the job they're needed for. "You're Hawke, to me, always. It's how I first knew you, how I'll always know you. But now you're something else as well, and I come home to you at night, and your mother's here and telling me about you, Marian's in the study, Marian's gone out, or ... this is a secret, mind, but she may have volunteered a tale or two about your adorable toddler years."

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Date: 2012-01-13 07:27 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"Yes, well, it took a while to break me of the habit of headbutting people I disliked. And now you know how I developed the thick skull I have today." Anders shivers pleasantly at the feel of her fingers against his scalp. He could get used to that.

"That's my goat story, and I am owed a Ser Quackers adventure in return. What about it, hm?"

Date: 2012-01-13 11:29 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"Mine has a higher value on the scale of potential embarrassments. One strange story is worth five endearing ones. That said, I'll accept the deal proposed." He knows quite well it's teasing. Anders gives backrubs for free, even if you're not his lover, if you look like you need one, and you happen to be someone he cares about. Hawke's companions could be neatly divided into a list of those who merit backrubs, and those who'll never know the pleasure.

"I reserve the right to choose the oil we use, and to suggest an alternate location should you demand one unsuitable for optimal backrub delivery."

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questionablewit: (Default)
Hawke

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