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: 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."

Date: 2012-01-05 07:37 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
Details should rule out the Warden-Commander, sooner or later. “For one thing, she was bloody hard to avoid. Anything halfway interesting or downright dangerous within miles of the city, somehow she found her way into it, or someone dragged her into it. I think she had a problem saying no. When we met she’d already begun to acquire a certain reputation: eye for the main chance, discreet and unafraid to get her hands dirty, would do most anything for the right price and would make sure it got done well. Hungry, too, and young, a Fereldan immigrant living in the Old City slums. In other words, good value at reasonable cost, if you were looking to hire that sort of person, and people always are. I remember very few times she ever turned down work, and she wasn’t haggling for higher pay when she did, either. She had principles. That’s a secret, by the way, the part about having principles. She was smart enough to keep them to herself.”

Anders warms to this conceit, telling Hawke the story of herself as though she were someone else. Let her see herself as he sees her, mirrored in his eyes. “I wasn’t doing the best job lying low, around the time she started looking for maps into the Deep Roads. Only thing keeping the Templars off me was Fereldan refugee solidarity, some self-interest in that for them since if I got hauled off to the Gallows they’d have had to start paying doctors when they got sick. That didn’t help me much where this woman was concerned since she had the same Fereldan connections. Once she knew I existed, I might as well have replaced the lantern in my window with a white flag. Too blighted easy to find, and easier to persuade. Just as I am now, I’ve always been. Too easy, in general.”

He grins at her, and kisses her on the nose, and from nose to lips isn’t such a leap so he kisses her there too, and then he wants to make that a proper kiss so he gets distracted for a moment or two or ten. “Mm. I talk too much. I should stop talking. Make a long story short, she found me, she made a deal with me, she got the maps she wanted. That’s all I thought she wanted, really. Then she kept coming back, a healer’s a useful thing to have following you about, and she’d keep me supplied with useful things by way of incentive. Lyrium potions, for one. I went through those like crazy, drank them down like water sometimes, there was so much to be done. Expensive stuff, and me without a reliable source of income, which she had and was. Then there was her sister, a mage, and I spent more time hanging about to talk with the mage, really, which brought us into contact more often as well. So there were several reasons why I put up with the constant aggravation, as you so rightly term it, besides the pretty backside view.” Said backside is currently being groped. Anders has no shame.

“In fact I tried to ignore that view, after a while. It became a deterrent rather than an enticement, as pretty as it was. The woman was the most incorrigible flirt, and ordinarily I might have liked that — I did, at first — but I couldn’t stand it for long, not from her. She’d flirt with anyone and anything, and as you know I’ve never been in the running for Kirkwall’s most eligible bachelor, what with the contest lacking a special category for impoverished apostates with Fade spirits in their heads, so obviously she couldn’t have meant any of it seriously when she’d flirt with me. She would say the most ridiculous things, Hawke, I can’t repeat them because they stretch credulity."

Date: 2012-01-06 07:40 am (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"I put up with it because I hated the idea of anything happening to her," says Anders, simply. Though he loves making Hawke giggle — he thinks she's done far too little of it, these past years, and wants to give her more — the shameless groping gives way to a gentler stroking, up and down her spine, from sacral curve to cervical vertebrae and back again. "If I were there with her, I wouldn't worry so much. I did try to warn her not to flirt with me, as no good could come of it; but then, if she wasn't flirting with me, she'd be flirting with someone else, and that was worse, for some reason I couldn't quite name. I took comfort in the differences I could notice — what she aimed at me felt a little different than the charm she turned on others. Quirkier, I suppose. When she found out about Justice, she commented something to the effect that he'd chosen a nice body. Who says that about a possible abomination? Whether or not she meant it is almost immaterial, for the purposes of gauging relative credulity against the finer examples of dialogue in Varric's oeuvre."

1/2

Date: 2012-01-06 09:16 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
He can't say She didn't know I was suffering, I was hiding it too well, or some such thing, though it would work best for narrative purposes. The way he tells the story, he's following the pattern she invented for this game: It started slowly enough, mild interest combined with sympathy and admiration, Hawke said, and he supposes that was the truth for her, and she's the character he has been describing up to now. But he can't rewrite their history to make the deepening of his feelings match the trajectory of hers, so he has to be more honest now, even if he keeps pretending he's telling a story about someone who isn't her. Hawke was there; Hawke will remember what he was like from the very beginning. More serious than he had any right to be, more serious than he really knew how to be, Anders' habit of flirtation colliding with Justice's inclination to undertake nothing lightly.

He remembers the conversation so well because he repeated it in his head, night after night, wincing at his own presumption and the unattractive neediness made naked in everything he'd said to her that time, practically at the outset of their acquaintance. Setting the tone for everything that followed, blight it all.

He started out well enough, the promising start Anders would have made before Justice. Kind, wise, and beautiful ... you must have made a deal with some demons yourself, but then rethinking, stopping himself, I'm sorry, I shouldn't presume, I just — we've hardly met and I feel like I know you. Am I making you uncomfortable?

And Hawke, lightly: Keep telling me I'm beautiful. You can't go wrong with that.

Oh, I'm sure I can get more creative — but stopping himself again, turning serious again, no, I shouldn't do this. I don't want to hurt you.

Again, her light reply: Hurt me? I might like it. Reciting it in his head afterward, Anders was certain she was trying to keep him from embarrassing himself further, trying to re-establish a playful and altogether risk-free tone.

Which Anders was too stupid, too singleminded, to pick up on. Concerned about hurting her, breaking her heart, as if there were anything on the table beyond some sociable banter. Presumptuous, this, embarrassingly so.

That didn't develop over three years of aching. That was at the beginning. It can't be reimagined or reconstructed to make Anders better at hiding his feelings, or to underplay the feelings he hadn't hidden. He knew from the outset that if he let himself get involved with this woman at all, he'd be involved to the fullest extent possible, whatever she thought she was getting into. He no longer knew how to go about it any other way. As long as the words were just words, she'd be safe, so words were all there could be between them, and the shallower, the better.

Perhaps that sometimes created the impression he wouldn't be averse to something more than words, provided it stayed as shallow as the little verbal skirmishes he did permit himself. He might have been the worst tease in the Free Marches. That was still better than the end he saw for them if she responded to the advances he wanted to make.

Which he's made, now, consigning them both to ruin. But he has such faith in her, he's certain if anyone can prevent him from destroying everything, that person would be Hawke. He wants to believe they can make this work. He does believe it.
Edited Date: 2012-01-07 02:46 pm (UTC)

2/2

Date: 2012-01-06 09:17 pm (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
"My own fault," he says. "I told her not to tempt me unless she was ready for the consequences. That's as good as issuing a gilt-edged invitation. I wouldn't use the word unkind for her. Merciless, perhaps. That might suit. I did put a lot of effort into behaving above reproach, and refusing to respond, and all, so it's possible she lost the scent after a while, good tracker though she is. I can't really be sure. There were times I couldn't help suspecting she had every intention of making me suffer. With Isabela's assistance, damn that woman. A lengthy session of practicing how to sheathe a dagger, in front of everyone, really? Not that she needed Rivaini help to make me sweat."

He decides to requite her kiss with another of the same temper. Anders revels in it every bit as much as Hawke does. The fact he was the one preventing it from happening for so long doesn't make their new arrangement any less satisfying to him, or any less a relief.

"Not that she needed to try at all, in fact. I'm not sure she could have been aware, sometimes, of what she did to me, or even whether I was watching. This one I'm not proud of — on the Wounded Coast, with our warrior friend off glowering and our Dalish friend off gathering things, and I was supposed to be gathering things too, useful stuff, looking for a certain kind of flower. I swear it was by accident I came upon her washing off spider blood in a convenient spring. However, it was not by accident that I somehow failed to make my presence known, or to leave. And certainly not by accident that I ... hid behind a rock."
Edited Date: 2012-01-07 01:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-01-08 12:18 am (UTC)
birdhousesoul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdhousesoul
She did know, then. The smile's what gives it away for certain, though Anders had his suspicions at the time. The complete disrobing was what made him wonder — the shirt, he understood, but the rest of it, he thought less likely under the circumstances — and he had no will to question that, because he couldn't have kept watching if he'd questioned, and he could afford to entertain no suspicion strong enough to tear his eyes from Hawke or flush him from concealment. Justice hadn't cared, surprisingly; it was all part and parcel of the ongoing distraction that offended the spirit's sense of priorities, not troubling in any other aspect; all the guilt attached to this particular indulgence belonged to Anders. Likewise, all the reluctance to relieve the consequent tension in his trousers belonged to Anders. Justice has neither interest nor distaste for bodily functions beyond the inconvenience they can pose.

"The view? Not clear enough to suit me, more than clear enough to keep me transfixed. I couldn't turn away if I'd wanted. I had to savor every moment, every inch of skin revealed, even knowing what this would do to me, the dreams I'd have, worse than before." The amount of laundry the dreams would occasion. "It was over far too quickly for my liking, and when she'd gone, I couldn't rejoin the group, not in that state. There was a tent, not far away ..."

Another of the little camps that raiders and apostates had a habit of leaving in place, what with sudden death preventing them from breaking camp, whether that death came from mercenaries or rival raider troops or Hawke's friends themselves. Merrill found it, that day, and it demanded a cursory looting although everyone knew it'd probably been well picked-over. The most they found were a couple of coppers, and they not too proud to pick those up, Deep Roads wealth notwithstanding. Those, and some of the typical assortment of torn trousers and the like. A silk headscarf torn beyond darning, not the right stuff to be sold for rags. These weren't worth taking, the pack growing full with richer pickings found earlier.

"What could I do? Took refuge there and, ah, took matters in hand." His hand has better tasks now, creeping round the back of her thigh and to the softer flesh inside. His voice is low, conspiratorial. "I came so hard I thought I might pass out. That would've been difficult to explain."

(With his luck he'd have hit his skull on the way down. The others would've come looking for him and found him in what could be euphemistically termed a compromising position, breeches open, a conspicuous wad of old silk fallen nearby.)
Edited Date: 2012-01-08 05:21 am (UTC)

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Hawke

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