Title: Kindness and Poison
Author: Traxits
Rating: M. NSFW.
Word Count: 2697 words.
PC: Fem!Cousland.
Pairing: Fergus Cousland/Zevran Arainai.
Spoilers: End-Game spoilers.
Summary: Suddenly alone in the world, Fergus Cousland finds a comforting shoulder in the oddest of companions.
Author's Notes: Birthday Gift!Fic to chaoskitten57. I said once that I pride myself on taking unusual couples and seeing if it's possible to have them work well together. This fic seriously pushed those boundaries. It was far more difficult than I originally imagined to get these two characters on the same wavelength!

[[ ... One-Shot ... ]]

The castle was quiet, but then, most of the merry makers had dissipated hours ago, leaving the servants scrubbing at wine stains and ale spills. He had stayed, nursing a mug of ale, until the servants had finally almost begged him to go so that they could finish their work. Reluctantly, he had downed his ale, leaving the mug in the hands of some maid with the kindest eyes he had seen since-

No, that was a dark road that he wasn't able to travel down just yet. He couldn't let himself dwell on the horror he'd seen in his sister's eyes as she'd whispered to him about what had happened. He couldn't imagine his son's broken body, laying across Oriana's. Even as young as Oren had been, he knew it was his duty to protect his mother.

No details had been given, of course. He didn't know for certain that it was how the two of them had been discovered. In a way, it made it that much worse. It allowed him to see them dead in hundreds of different ways, some far more brutal than others. He couldn't stop himself, couldn't help it now that the day was over. With only moonlight pouring around him, he couldn't help but face the horrible fact: he was alone.

Parents dead. He pressed his back to the nearest wall. Wife and son murdered. His knees gave and he sank to the floor, his arms hanging limply at his sides. Little sister, the last of their line, Grey Warden and queen. The tears came suddenly, pricking heat behind his eyelids. He hated being soft.

He wiped his eyes furiously, sighing as he let his head fall forward to his chest. He didn't hear anyone approaching, so when a voice shattered the silence, he started, his head cracking against the stone wall. He heard a hiss of sympathy, and he closed his eyes tightly as he reached up to rub it. A hand touched his lightly, pulling it away and parting his dark hair to allow his newfound companion to see the wound.

"No blood. Lucky fellow, you are." The accent was thick, and it took Fergus a moment to realize that he knew that accent, if not the voice. Oriana had spoken that way when she first arrived in their household; it was something that had delighted him and horrified everyone else.

"Lucky isn't quite the word I'd use, friend," he muttered, batting away the hand from his hair. He leaned back and looked up, meeting dark eyes that stared at him curiously.

"You are... Fergus, no? Cousland?" It was a probing question, but Fergus could hear no malice behind it. Only simple curiousity.

"Yeah. That's me. Teyrn Fergus Cousland." The words were spat out, and then he realized how foolish he was being. He was the Teyrn now, and he was alone, more than just mildly drunk, and- upon glancing around his surroundings- had no idea where he was. Brilliant. Would be just his luck to manage to get assassinated and end the Cousland line forever. Coughing slightly, he felt something beginning to cut through the warm haze of alcohol surrounding him. "How long have you been from Antiva?" He wanted to change the subject. He didn't want to be Teyrn, not this way.

Surprise registered on the elf's face for a moment, and then he chuckled lowly as he lowered himself to sit on the ground nearby. "Long enough," he answered, and it was all too familiar. It was what Oriana would have said if asked. It wasn't that she was unhappy, just that... Antiva was home to her, as it clearly was to this elf as well.

Fergus couldn't help the smile that crossed his face. "Missing the softer women yet?" He knew that was something Oriana had never gotten used to: his little warrior sister. The fact that she knew how to handle a sword, how to gear up as quickly as any of the guardsmen, or the fact that she spent time in the courtyard training with all of the men; it had all blown her away. In Antiva, she would say, women are softer.

His companion grinned, his eyes sparkling as he winked. "You must be careful. Antivan women are dangerous in their own way."

"With kindness and poison," Cousland answered, laughing softly to himself.

"Too true." Together, they sat in silence, until the chill of the night air began to get to them both. It was the elf that suggested perhaps they could retire somewhere warmer. And it was Fergus who admitted that he was fairly certain his rooms were... somewhere around the corridor that they sat in. He had hauled himself up and led the way, uncertain of what he was doing. Were Oriana alive-

But she wasn't. That was the point. It was why he'd lingered over ale like a dwarf, savoring and sampling a little of everything each chance he got. It would be easier to face the suite his sister had arranged for him if he were drunk. Now, at least, he wouldn't have to face it alone. He wasn't sure that he could.

The rooms were extravagant, and the Cousland suite was one of the best, due to his relations with the queen. A wine bottle was already out, glasses standing at the ready, candlelight flickering off of them. His heart twisted, and he stepped aside to allow the Antivan in. He didn't really know him, although now that his own haze of alcohol was slowly fading, he thought that perhaps he was one of the companions to the Wardens. There had been a number of them at the coronation.

Finally, he walked over to the wine bottle and uncorked it, pouring himself a glass. He needed something in his hands. "You were with my sister, weren't you? Where did she pick up an Antivan?" He turned back to study the other man. He wasn't tall- no elves were really- but he had an... air about him. Fergus couldn't put a finger on what about him was so troublesome.

"We met under... interesting circumstances. It is her story to tell, I think." A smile was flashed, and Fergus found himself handing his guest a glass of the wine before turning to pour another. "I am Zevran; Zev to my friends," the elf murmured, watching him carefully. He was quiet as Fergus took a deep drink of the wine, and then he asked quietly, "Was she Antivan?"

The nobleman almost snorted into his wine; he hadn't expected anyone to ask. Or even know of Oriana. He wasn't exactly being discreet, but no one else had asked or noticed, so why should this man? Hesitating for only a moment, he blew out a breath. "Yes, she was."

Zevran nodded slowly, understanding...something. "You recognized my accent," he said, by way of explanation. Fergus smiled weakly before he turned up his glass, reaching to pour another. He nursed his ale, but wine... wine he could pour down his throat until he passed out.

"You sound like she did when she first arrived," he answered, and he looked away from his companion. He was aware of the elf closing the distance between them, and he wasn't surprised to see him just beside him. He turned back to look at his guest. For a moment, the two stared at one another, and then hands slid into his hair, pulling him down to give him an almost... soft kiss.

As soon as his lips touched the elf's, he felt something in him shatter, some resolve fade away. He hadn't been touched since he had gone on the march to Ostagar. It had been so long... He absently set his glass down on the nearby table before he brought his hands to touch the elf's face. The kiss was gentle at first, but as Fergus realized how long it had been since he'd had any sort of intimate contact, hunger began to lace it. He devoured the shorter man, tongues caressing and teeth nipping. When they finally drew back, Zevran had a small grin, just barely flashing teeth.

Words were abandoned however as Fergus pressed his advantage, trapping the elf between his own hard body and the wall. Laughter danced in dark eyes, and the warrior knew himself lost. He didn't stop to think, didn't want to let the memories or the guilt begin. He just wanted to feel, to be held and touched. He wanted to be desired, to know that it hadn't died with Oriana. His mouth descended on the throat of his companion, tongue tracing a pulse that fluttered wildly with anticipation.

His own eyes fell closed as he tasted the skin of the Antivan, and he felt tugging hands in his hair. Slowly, he let himself be pulled back, and then those hands slid under the bottom of his shirt, clearly trying to pull it up and over his head. He bared his teeth- the need throbbing through him was making it difficult to call it a smile- and his partner chuckled darkly at his expense. The shirt was thrown away, forgotten the moment it was off of him.

The Teyrn reached down slowly, his fingers tracing the tight muscles of the body in front of him. All the way, these fingers ran, from the side of the elf's face, over his chest, down the front of his trousers, then the hand caught one slender leg, and he lifted it up, encouraging Zevran to hook it over the noble's hip. Those fingers continued their journey then, all the way to the top of a boot, where they stopped, discovering a most interesting object.

A flick of the wrist produced a dagger from those leather boots, and he cast a dark glance at his partner. A grin met his gaze, and he studied the dagger for just a moment before he caught the edge of the elf's shirt with it. "Planning something?" he asked, a faint grin of his own on his lips.

"Actually, no...It is simply lucky." Laughter filled the room, and Fergus couldn't take it any longer. He caught one of the shirt seams with the sharp tip of the blade, and he sliced the offending fabric from his guest's body. Dark eyes heated and pooled, and candlelight flickered, turning the eyes from chocolate to honey. Lips were licked, and then the dagger was thrown into the floor, point down.

It quivered, stuck in the floor, and before it could stop, Fergus had swept the blonde into his arms and was walking boldly into the bedroom of the suite, wine long forgotten. He stretched the other man out on the bed and stared at the wiry form for just a moment. A pair of fingers caught him, just under his chin, forcing him to look up to meet honeyed eyes. He swallowed thickly, trying to dislodge the lump in his throat.

Those fingers slid from his chin, over his face, and into his hair. Cousland made an almost strangled noise as they twisted around a lock of hair, and he gasped into the muscled chest under him. His mouth found a peaked nipple, and he purposely brushed his tongue over it, wanting to make the man under him as wild and heated as he was. The sharper intake of breath was encouraging, and Fergus drew the small nub of flesh into his mouth, swirling his tongue over it.

Fingers pulled sharply in his dark hair, and the Teyrn's eyes fell closed as he heard the first moan he'd managed to extract from his lover. He savored it, the way Zevran's chest was beginning to heave as the elf tried to breath, the way he could feel the proof of his partner's arousal digging into his belly; he drank deeply, then renewed his assault on the other man's senses. His fingers took the other nipple, rolling it lightly between them, as his knee pressed between the assassin's legs.

He gently nudged upward, and he was rewarded by a throaty groan when he began to apply pressure to the Antivan's still covered length. However, when the same tactic was used on him, he found himself moaning softly over his lover's chest. He couldn't think, could barely even feel as his partner took it upon himself to shift their positions. He was only barely aware of what was happening as a hand replaced the thigh rubbing against him.

Deft fingers unlaced his trousers, and he forced his own, less agile, fingers to return the favor. Although, when he got hung on the knot, a low chuckle greeted him before Zevran took over. Pants were shed quickly, although the elf did keep some sort of vial that he'd had in a pocket somewhere. Fergus found himself watching, hypnotized, as the assassin took one of his hands and slowly put, at first one, then two fingers into his mouth. The motion of slowly pulling those fingers from his mouth was painfully arousing, and the nobleman wasn't sure he was going to be able to take it.

But then knees were hooked over his shoulders, and he was pressing those fingers, at first one, then two, into the other man. Stretching him slowly, the Teyrn of Highever found himself counting the number of little gasps he could elicit from his partner. One, two... He scissored his fingers just slightly- three- and, four, he began to push then in a little further. Five came just as he began to pull out.

A soft noise escaped the Antivan as the vial was uncorked and its contents spread over Cousland's waiting member. His tip replaced his fingers, and both men drew a breath before Fergus pushed into him. It was an explosion of sensation around him, heat and tightness enveloping him. He moaned, barely able to focus on what he was doing. For a moment, he simply held there, swallowing and trying to breathe. Zevran's legs were tense over his shoulders, and he absently kissed one thigh, as it was the only body part he could reach without feeling as though he would snap his partner in half.

However, at the assassin's encouraging whispers, he started to move slowly, each thrust a combination of heaven and hell rolled in one. It had been so long- too long- since he'd done this, and it felt far more intensely than he could have possibly remembered. He held himself up on a hand that was placed just beside Zevran's head, and his other snaked between them to stroke his companion, wanting to make certain that at least a fraction of the pleasure coursing through his own body could touch the Antivan.

Pressure built far too quickly, and as he continued to move, he found himself moving faster, thrusting less deeply. His hand tightened around his partner, evoking a deep moan that was his undoing. His world shattered at the sound of Zevran's cry, fragmenting around him and leaving nothing but the two of them, suspended in complete euphoria. He felt something hot and sticky splatter over his stomach and chest, and only after they were both spent did he carefully pull out and roll away from his lover.

They lay like that for a while, chests heaving with desperate breaths that couldn't be drawn during the act itself. An almost giddy high was clouding them, and when they glanced at each other, stupid grins broke out of their faces. Finally, when they had caught their breath and schooled their expressions, Fergus managed to keep a serious face in place when he looked at the elf.

"Why?" he asked, soft enough that even he wasn't sure that he'd said it aloud. It didn't really matter, but he was curious what had sparked the other man to kiss him at all. Let alone finish everything so... spectacularly. He met those dark eyes, now almost black from the lack of light, and teeth flashed in a grin at him.

"Why not?"

It took a moment for those words to sink in, and when they finally did, the Teyrn smiled faintly. Why not, indeed.