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: 2011-12-28 03:53 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
Anders laughs. "I won't deny I did some chasing. Not of Karl, though. He was a captive audience, you see: my tutor. If you're thinking I cribbed this out of Varric's stories, I promise I'm not. It all seemed very logical to me, only it took some time to construct an argument he would entertain. The sweetest man you could ever hope to meet, but give him a pot of red ink and a report to use it on, and he was an absolute terror."

A pause. He traces the line of Hawke's shoulder, his finger an imaginary pen, her skin the parchment. Idly he draws little glyphs on her shoulder blade. "He knew that it wouldn't be doing me any favors to go easy when the stakes were low. Even when he was being stern, he was really being kind. And I'd seen so little of that, in anyone, for ages," Anders admits, and there is not a lump forming in his throat, and he does not have to swallow hard. "I knew one way to show my gratitude. This will sound dreadful, but I was horrified when he was horrified. I assumed it was the done thing, you see. Everyone talks about their favorite and least favorite of the apprentices and enchanters; everyone claims they've gotten by with something perhaps they really haven't, or that they've earned some special grace, so they can feel special, for a while. And I knew the way he looked at me, and I thought I knew what that meant. Imagine my consternation when Karl Thekla very gently picked my hand up off his knee and deposited it upon the desk. The maneuvering I had to do even to be sitting on his side of the desk, to make that move ..."

Is she going to laugh? Anders has to laugh at his younger self, a little. "Well, then he'd just made it a challenge. I could have let it go, before that. Not after."

Date: 2011-12-28 05:14 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"A man of principle, indeed. He kept on resisting up until he wasn't my tutor anymore. Can you have any idea how long that took?" Anders is amused despite himself, remembering. It's Hawke who does this for him, lets him see what's good amid so much that could be painful. "It wasn't as though I could tally the days on a chart, or count down how many left, because he didn't tell me he'd be all right with it when he wasn't my tutor anymore. He should have done; I'd have worked even harder. I've always been gifted," he says this as a fact rather than a boast, "and I had two strengths, healing and elemental magic. My natural inclination might even have been more strongly toward the latter." Burning down the barn, that was an accident, best not to allow that memory in to taint the rest. Fire and lightning and ice, the sheer delight of releasing those forces, letting everything burn, sizzle, crack ... "It was Karl's work that made a healer out of me. I was very good at it, and he was a good tutor, so soon enough I was advancing to the higher levels. I may have been holding back a little bit, not wanting to let those lessons go, but I couldn't do that for too long. He'd be terribly disappointed in both of us if I didn't perform well."

Anders has disappointed Karl too many times, for too many reasons, for there to be anything much funny in that, the double entendre notwithstanding.

"So eventually we were working together. He wasn't that much older, little more than a handful of years; the way you saw him, the Gallows had changed him, aged him beyond his time. They had no right —" Anders' hand clenches into a fist behind Hawke's back. He's silent for a moment.

He doesn't know whether he can finish this story without ruining something, casting some shadow across the evening that can't be dispelled. It's the middle of the night, he's not inclined to pull on his pants and head back to Darktown, and if he tried, Hawke would probably point out very sensibly that this is the hour for roving gangs with silly names to be waylaying solitary travelers. Anders forces his hand flat, lets it rest in the curve where Hawke's back dips in and yields to the outward swell of her (amazing, incredible) hip. Soaks in the warmth of her skin.

"Anyhow. There was one time, we were making some salves that turned out to be rather convenient, and I asked Karl, is it strange for you, to be working beside me when I used to study under you? And he said, I wouldn't call it strange, it's how the Circle works; you'll be teaching soon enough yourself, and then your students get older. I hadn't gotten that much older, mind. He was deflecting, and I wasn't about to let him get away with that. I took his wrist, and I said, You've done me a disservice. You haven't taught me everything you could. The look on his face, I don't think I'll ever forget it — as though I'd burned him." The barn burning, but it was an accident, an accident, no one was supposed to get hurt.

No one was ever supposed to get hurt.

"I'd really gotten to him. No more evasion. He said it straight out, more honest than anyone in the Circle had ever been. I can't love you, he said. It costs too much. I should have taught you that." Perhaps it does sound too much like Varric's stories. The Circle mages do a lot of reading. Karl might have planned out what to say in this eventuality, Anders has no idea. All he knows is that it happened, in this way, and no other. "Well, what was I going to say to that? I was never as kind as Karl, otherwise I'd have let him go. I said to him, Who said anything about love? And then I kissed him, very smug, probably smirking, I was so damned proud of myself. For about thirty seconds. Then I was the one being kissed, and I couldn't be smug in the slightest."

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Hawke

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