Disclaimer: Bioware owns all, I earn nothing.

WARNING: This story has TWO MEN FALLING IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER AND EXPRESSING SEMI-HEALTHY DESIRE FOR EACH OTHER'S BODIES. If you don't like homoerotic romance PLEASE BACK OFF! If that kind of thing makes you go start praying at the porcelain gods in a hurry, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Please exit quietly using the "Back" button, thank you. Please note that if you decide to continue, we do not supply brain bleach, so bring your bleach brand of choice before your eyes start drifting further. Thank you for your cooperation, and have a nice day.

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to my grammar fairy/editor, Scarylady1. Your advice and patience are much appreciated.

Of Whoresons and Nobles

Chapter 1

The first impression he had of the Warden was that the Warden was a large man.

Of course, he was almost always smaller than the average human male by virtue of his race, but the Warden was a walking behemoth even by human standards.

He remembered that Loghain's lackey (one Arl Howe, if he remembered correctly) had mentioned the Warden's unusual height when describing his mark to him. But hearing about it and actually seeing it were two entirely different things, especially when the Warden possessed a muscular width in his shoulders and chest that was entirely in proportion to his height.

Watching said behemoth stride purposefully after the "bait", his steps light-footed despite the heavy armour and oversized greatsword, Zevran was almost grateful for the fact that the trap was... well, full of traps.

Men like the Warden were precisely the kind of opponent he was trained to /not/ attack outright. They were almost always guaranteed to be stronger, faster, and possess much greater skill in combat than he. Such men, the Crows had taught him, were best dispatched with poisons or a quiet, surprise slip of the blade; preferably with both. Any direct confrontation without careful preparation would prove to be suicidal.

Just as well. He was looking for suicide anyway.

So, with a cocky smile he waited until the Warden was right where he wanted, and then waved his hand in a signal. Out came his men from hiding, and down came the dead tree. The Warden glanced up, seeing the falling log of rotten wood, and with a display of surprisingly quick reflexes he leapt away, dodging the tree mere moments before it crushed him.

"The Grey Warden dies here!" he shouted, drawing his blades. Already he was burning with his usual lust for death... only it was his own death that he sought, and somehow it made the heat so much more enjoyable.

Cold, cold eyes gazed out from beneath the great helm as the Warden gave a battle cry and faced his opponents. The fight began, and he witnessed the Grey Warden in action for the very first time.

Out of combat, the Warden was a giant. In combat, the Warden was a monster, a raging demon from the Fade itself. Inhumanly strong, he wielded the massive sword in his hand as if it was only a fraction of what it appeared to weigh. With fluid, sure movements, and vicious ruthlessness, he struck the travellers down one by one, sundering weapons and shattering armour with powerful swings and precise strikes. The Warden was...

...supremely powerful...

...terrifyingly dangerous...

..and infinitely exciting.

The sight made his heart race, and sent his blood pumping through his veins in a hot, heady pulse. He suddenly very much wished that he could find a violent death at the hands of this man, and at the same time he desired death of an entirely different kind.

The Warden carved his way through the travellers, barking out orders between strokes of his sword. With an ease that spoke of trained teamwork, his companions fanned out around him. The blond man (the other Grey Warden, he remembered) held a shield up and ready, fending off flanking attacks to the Warden with bone-shattering bashes of his shield and threatening taunts. A pretty red-headed thing darted around the battlefield, her voice lifted in a song of bravery and valour as she nimbly uncovered his carefully-laid traps and disarmed them, occasionally stopping to pick off the archers with her own arrows.

A man screamed. He turned in time to see one of his travellers go down under a giant spider, its fangs flashing and ripping into the man's flesh. The spider glanced up at him between the man's gurgling cries, and he had a moment's glimpse of a wild cunning that was too intent, too /human/ within the clusters of eyes before the spider reared up on its hind legs and spat a ball of webbing at him.

He cursed as he leapt aside, the sticky silk landing with a splat on the spot where he had been moments before. He scrambled to his feet, already heading straight for the Warden, who was fending off the last of his travellers. His eyes were fixed on the glimpse of uncovered nape beneath the bottom edge of the Warden's helm. Just a little closer...

"Oh no, you don't!"

The yell, and his prickling instincts, made him duck down in reflex. Just in time, too; he felt the brief brush of air as the edge of a shield sliced just inches above his head.

Caught off-guard, only natural dexterity and sheer luck allowed him to turn and catch the sword coming down at him by whipping his blades up and crossing them, blocking the blow just before it could reach him. He disengaged with a twist and swept down; by the time the blond Warden recovered his balance he was up again with a fistful of soil.

The blond yelped as sand and dirt flew into his face and, while the human tried to scrub it off, a light-booted foot came up and gave him a swift kick in the knee. Seeing the blond go down, blinded and distracted by pain, he turned around, looking for the Warden...

...only to find a pile of hacked-down bodies. He stared at the bloody corpses the Warden had left behind, before he raised his eyes and found himself looking straight at an arrow point. The pretty redhead's face was cool as she held her arrow steady, and behind her a dark-haired temptress in tattered rags watched him with cunning eyes of molten gold.


Pain bloomed in his skull as the pommel of a large sword slammed into the back of his skull. The sheer force behind the blow sent him flying forwards, head reeling, and he heard a too-loud crack as his head bounced off the hard ground.

Dazed, bruised, his head bursting with agony, the last thing he felt before the dizzying blackness took him was cynical amusement that the great Zevran Arainai, of the infamous Antivan Crows, met his end by a man ramming a massive sword into him from behind.

~to be continued~