"Oh….. Maker….. Oh… maker!"
Zevran stepped into the entryway of the humble dwelling, kicking his boots off, glad to give his travel worn feet a well deserved rest. Pausing in mid sentence, his ears perked to the kneeling whimpering coming from the bedroom. With a smirk, Zevran tucked a loose strand of his hair behind his ear, and licked his lips approvingly.
"Ah, getting a start without eh?" he chuckled richly. "That is what I simply love about Arthur. Fierce and unpredictable on the battlefield as well as the bedroom! Ha ha!"
The air reeked of magic and potions as well. Ajar from the kitchen and living room was Arthur's personal study and laboratory. The elven mage had an entire room packed to the brim with books on potions, magic, herbs, poisons, and the like. The scent of lyrium constantly clung to the walls of the house, sticking to the walls, and half made poultices, grenades were always strewn about the floor. More often than not, Zevran would return home and find Arthur asleep atop a pile of books either in his study or the living room.
Not that Zevran minded. His lover being a fully trained and proficient mage made sex ten times better when magic was involved after all. Sometimes a trip to the Pearl was in order as well.
"Maybe he brewed a love potion tonight…. Or a new stimulation charm." Zevran guessed roguishly, the smirk creeping into a lustful grin. He ran a hand through his dusty hair, contemplating a quick bath before going to his boyfriend's side, but the continuing mewling cries only made the temptation that much stronger, and the need that much greater. There was a sharp pitched cry, then the thrashing of sheets, and heavy breathing. The sound of the wooden baseboard of the bed scrapping against the wall. Zevran groaned, willing himself to keep steady until he'd managed to get into the room, and rid himself of all his clothing.
He must have really missed me. Well I missed him too. Hang on love, your dashing Zev is on his way!
He crossed the room in three large strides, fingers nimbly working his vest, and shirt open. He paused outside the room, cursing to the Gods why the straps had to be so damn intricate on these Antivian blouses before stepping over the threshold and lounging casually in the doorway. The room was dark, except for the thrashing coming from the bed a few from him. Zevran reached to light the lamp, purring silkily
"Alas, have no fear, I have returned to sweep you into the thralls of untold pass….."
With the lamp wick blossomed into light underneath the match's touch, casting the room into a warm golden haze, Zevran peered through the disappearing darkness to see the form breathing heavily on the bed.
It was a dream alright, but the cries were far from the passionate nature. Arthur rested against the headboard, bare chested, slick with sweat. He gasped for breath in great heaves, drinking in air like a dying fish would. His sweaty hands gathered up the sheets in bunches with white knuckles, his short auburn hair sticking in damp patches on his forehead, emerald green eyes wide, alert, and full of fear. He tried to speak, his words coming out in choppy panting breaths.
"Z- Zev….had…nightmare…. I'm… so…damned…tired… of…. This!"
The mage brought his knees to his chest, head bowed low as great silent sobs wracked is body. Zevran inwardly cursed himself- of course separations were painful, especially when he had Crow business in Antiva for weeks at a time, and with the approaching winter months, always left Arthur susceptible to frail health, being a mage of all things! With his jaw set, Zevran crossed the room, gathering the shaking elf into his arms, rubbing his back soothingly.
"Shhh, they're just dreams m'love. The hero of Ferelden can slay the archdemon, but not his own nightmares?" Zevran joked. Arthur pressed against him hungrily, fingers digging tightly into his arm. He felt Arthur's tear soaked cheek on his chest, and soon the tiny fluttering of grateful kisses on his collarbone and neck.
"You're real. You're home. You're finally home. Gods, I missed you so damn much." Arthur looked up with weariness burning in those gorgeous green eyes that made Zevran go weak at the knees. Always inquisitive, searching eyes that could pierce him like no other weapon could. Zevran cupped the elf's face in his hands, and kissed him passionately.
"Neither raging storms, nor revenge bent assassins could divide us." He wanted those pretty eyes to stop crying, Arthur's voice to lose that tremble of fear, and to be wrapped in those lithe but strong arms, surrounded by the night in the afterglow of their long delayed lovemaking. Arthur closed his eyes, just breathing in Zevran, the scent of his cologne, the dust from his travels, the sheer manliness of him, as if the blond assassin would vanish if he opened his eyes. Zevran kissed Arthur in the middle of his forehead.
"What was it, this time?" he questioned softly. Shame and belittlement swept over Arthur's face, and he turned away in disgust.
"Nothingthatyouwanttohearabout." Arthur buried himself under the covers. Zevran smirked wickedly.
"I'll keep teasing you until you talk. Not that is a bad thing. I do enjoy experimentation as you well know. Now where did I put that oil and those cuffs….."
"A- archdemon….darkspawn…." came the muffled reply from under the sheets. Arthur poked his head up, a blush creeping up his cheeks. "I- I could feel their claws….on my skin… I felt like…. I was turning into one of them! Every night…. The same dream…. Just this hellhole of endless blackness…"
Zevran shuddered. He knew that Grey Wardens met their end in the Deep Roads, after pestering Alistair about it, in the months following his coronation, and that dreams were a strong part of it. But these were more than jus nightmares- these dreams sent shivers down his spine, and put Arthur into such a state, that Zevran found himself traveling all the way to Orlais to consult mages and their Circle Tower for potions and salves to calm him down.
The Calling, Zevran remembered Alistair mentioning it once, and Arthur too possibly during their months of camping during the Blight war. The dreams had began nearly three years ago, becoming more frequent and powerful as time wore on. Once every six or seven months, then every three or four, then every other month…. And he could only imagine that they would increase when the years piled up, Arthur becoming weaker, more afraid….feral.
He was particularly anxious on the nights of the full moon. His normally shy and quiet lover turned into a animal those nights, a bonafide wolverine, going three sometimes four times in one night, sleeping for a few hours then going at it again. Zevran didn't mind really, he had all types of bedmates in the past and many offers even now, despite turning them down for Arthur's sake. He didn't mind the activity- but it was the eyes- it was not his longtime boyfriend of nearly twenty years that pounded his body on those nights.
No there was something dark behind those irises- something dark. Evil. The room would get colder, and Arthur normally somewhat chatty even during lovemaking would stop altogether, and his partner solely fixated on his own desires, content to simply continue to work him over roughly, at times best bruising him, and at worst clawing and biting him in order to achieve his own personal release. He'd always keep grunting out his climax in the most animalistic of guttural shouts, and collapse beside him, spent and drawn, falling effortlessly into a sluggish restless sleep. It was in those quiet hours, that Zevran would lie awake, staring at the ceiling and wondering about the years to come.
"I…I'll understand if you don't…want to be with me anymore, Zev." Zevran looked down at the younger elf, whose head was currently cradled in his lap. Zevran's hands were gentle, rubbing his temples to alieve the building headache.
"Nonsense. Do you think I'd let a few of these keep me away? Not a chance."
"They won't always be dreams. You know this. Someday…. I'll just be gone."
"Then we'll worry about that when the time comes. If the time comes."
"It will….and let me tell you, I'd a welcome death."
Zevran felt another shiver go down his spine. He leaned down, putting two butterfly kisses on Arthur's eyes.
"Go to sleep. I pulled a few favors and got a nice sleeping draught from a mage of good standing in Antiva."
"Yup. Stuff's so strong it guarantees that you won't wake until a week from now. Used it a few times to drug targets back in my days with the Crows themselves."
He reached into the pocket of his shirt, and handed the small vial over. It glowed with a incandescent light, a grayish sheen. Arthur studied the label written in Antivian elvish and quickly drained the tiny bottle of its contents. Within a moment, his sleep deprived eyes were sagging, a beatific smile lazily appearing.
"I can't believe how you tolerated me all these years…" he slurred drowsily. Zervan leaned close, whispering softly.
"I'll have you know Arthur that I do not tolerate you. I love you."
"Got it. See you next week, Zev."
"Noted. Good night Arthur, I'll be here when you wake up."