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Chapter 15 - My Star
Anger is an emotion he understands, it's something he clings to most days and in battle he's taught himself how to turn it into a Berserker rage and urge himself forward to victory.
Sleep-deprived, confused and at breaking point with those pesky mixed feeling he has for the elf right now and annoyed at the ideas his twin was coming up with about it all, his anger level was higher than usual.
A fist collided with the elf's jaw when they crossed paths again out in the paddock. "Okay… I guess I deserved that" he said slowly rubbing the point of impact.
"You're damn right you do." Carver barked the first words he'd said to Leto since the hand-through-thr-chest trick. "I have not had a wink of sleep in the last 2 days because of you!"
Leto opened his mouth to speak but the raven-haired boy cut him off. "No. Just listen to me for a second. I thought we were friends, Leto. You are important to me. I care for you like a brother. I've risked my life to save your stupid elven hide more times than I care to count." He took a breath "But then you go and do that angry-glowing-hand thing and attempt to rip my heart out?! Why would you do that? Why? What kind of a person does that?"
The only downfall to this emotion is that it loosens the link between his brain and his mouth and often the truth or secrets are spilled before he has a chance to stop it.
Bethany had told Leto once about flowers having different meanings and that the blue iris meant 'your friendship means a lot to me'. He wasn't sure where the memory came from, why he remembered that said flowers he'd seen growing a short walk away from where they were standing or why his brain had decided he needed to give one to Carver.
He walked over to them, ignoring Carver following him barking something along the lines of 'not to walk away from him, he wasn't finished yet' Leto leaned down and plucked a single blue iris from the tall grass and presented it to the Swordsman.
"What's that, your new weapon of choice?" Carver said impassively with a brow raised and arms crossed over his chest.
"I apologize, Carvy. I did not mean for you to freak you out like this…." The elf looked at him with his ears lowered and a you-just-kicked-my-puppy expression "Bethany said-"
"You talked to Beth? What for? to get permission to dispose of the brother who isn't a mage by crushing the thing that keeps me alive and tossing it to the wolves?"
"...What? No. Never. I couldn't live with myself if I ever hurt you" he pushed the flower towards the younger male again "I was going to say Bethany told me once a while back about the meaning behind some flowers. This one says your friendship means a lot to me"
Was that a touch of blush I can see on his ears and cheeks….?
Carver's anger seemed to melt away, a smile replacing the scowl as elf manhandled the blue flower into his hand and look down to him coyly with his ears lowered even further, like a sad puppy begging for forgiveness.
Awwh. That look is so… adorable
The Tevinter didn't have a chance to prepare himself as Carver suddenly tackled him with a forceful hug. The two boys collapsed onto the grass, tumbling over each other twice before Leto rolled away from the embrace and onto his back.
"Leto?" The elf hummed to show he had heard his name then turned his attention on the speaker instead of the clouds. Carver's chest heaved and he opened his mouth and closed it again as if trying to will himself to speak the words he was planning to say nights ago.
He sighed heavily, finally seeming to catch the words he wanted. He bit his lip, a nervous tic "Forgive me if I'm about to be punched in the face and destroy our friendship that we just patched up but…"
The elf propped himself up onto his elbow and looked at the raven-haired human lying next to him with a bushy dark eyebrow raised in silent question.
He had a feeling of what was going to come next, even if he hadn't already figured it out and had it confirmed by the other twin.
Their friendship could not easily be tossed aside after all they had been through. Carver had saved him from slavers, helped him take down The Spider Queen, saved him from drowning. He had always been there for him to talk, joke, play cards, run, go fishing and spar with. He had listened to and comforted him when told him of how his scars react to magic and emotions, confessed of what had happened to him as a slave and his nightmares, and he kept everything he had ever told him a secret.
He could not imagine that a simple kiss from Carver would spoil their years of friendship.
"My loyalty is not shaken so easily" he said honestly locking his eyes on Carver's as if trying to convince the human not to back down from whatever he was going to do or say.
Carver sucked him a huge lungful of the fresh spring air like it had the power to give him the confidence he needed to go through with this. 'Actions speak louder than words' the voice in his head told him.
The lingering adrenalin propelled him forward in a fluid movement. He pushed himself on to his elbow, his body twisting to face his white-haired sparring partner as he closed the distance between them.
He stopped himself a breath away from the Leto's lip, bracing himself inwardly for a punch to the face, a head-butt; he wouldn't put it past the elf to send a knee in to his manhood. But none of these reactions came, he only felt the warm air slowly escaping the other boys' nose so he took this as a sign it was okay to continue.
He tentatively caught the very corner of Leto's bottom lip between his own, still no punch, so he moved slightly towards the centre taking it again once, twice before he felt the elf's head angle slightly to catch his top lip.
He let out a shaky breath, he couldn't believe it, this had to be a dream. He was completely sober and kissing the elf and he was kissing him back!
Confidence came crawling to him, his hand slinking around to burry itself in white locks. They moved against each other for a short time, the elf's nose rubbing against the splatter of stubble as he switched sides. Leto let out a low growl.
Out of the corner of the swordsman's eyes he could see the deep blue light coming off the hand between them. Carver pulled back, turning his face away trying to steel himself against the sudden burning in the corners of his eyes, his voice uncharacteristically small and shaky when he spoke "You're angry. I knew it… I – I-I'm sorry. I shouldn't–"
"Carver…" two long fingers found his chin, pulling his face back to look the rather smug looking Tevinter. "I'm not angry at you. Quite the opposite really…" he said quietly his eyes flickering down the length of his lanky body. Carver's blue orbs followed the line of site to the slight tent built under the leather, cheeks colouring a bright red he grinned sheepishly at the elf.
"I am… surprised. I did not expect that could feel so…." lost for words Leto closed his eyes and let a throaty purr rumble in his throat. He asked eagerly, "Can we do it again?"
Carver only got halfway through his nod before the elf put a hand to his opposite shoulder and knocked him onto his back, swooping down for the capture. He took the polar opposite approach as the human had and moved against the younger male hungrily, building pressure and pushing his tongue into the others mouth receiving a muffled noise of approval from the teen beneath him.
"Carvy stop smiling like that it's interfering with my tongue" the Tevinter elf murmured lowly against the human's lips between kisses.
"M'sorry" he mumbled, breaking their lip-lock and placing a kiss over the bruise starting to blossom on the elf's jaw before joining their mouths again.
Leto wasn't sure which he was apologizing for punching him or the smiling, he couldn't think on it. He was too lost in the musky manly smell of Carver that filled his nose, the lingering taste of the blueberries on his tongue, the feel of the teen's light stubble moving against his chin and the hand gripping at the hair at the back of his neck.
You have no idea how long I've wanted to do this… Carver groaned fisting the material over the elf's racing heart pulling him closer. "Tell me this is not a dream, Fen"
The Tevinter shivered at the word the Dalish called him by and deepened the kiss while letting his free hand wander over the cloth covered muscles and boldly adventured between the hips. The Ferelden made a squeak-like noise of surprise and squirmed bucking his hips away from the unexpected touch, making the arm holding the elf up collapse inwardly sending their chest to collide with a grunted 'oof' spilling from both of them.
"Whoa… Ok" Carver let out a husky chuckle, the smile almost splitting his face from ear-to-ear. "Defiantly not a dream"
"Shit," The elf whispered urgently "someone's coming." rolling off him and sitting next to the younger man's hip and pulled out the dagger he kept strapped to his boot and pretended to clean it. Carver stared at the back of the elf's head like it held an answer for his head was still lost in the clouds. What was he to do?
Sensing the others eyes on him he looked over his shoulder and suggested "Pretend you are doing push ups?"
"Oh there you are!" Bethany's voice rang out happily as she spotted the two boys.
Upon hearing his twins' voice he rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in the grass trying to hide his wide grin and the blush burning on his face.
"Hawke has been looking for you all afternoon. Something about oh, I don't know… your anniversary" Bethany elaborated dramatically as if they had missed the sun falling from the clouds. The elf shot her a puzzled expression and she made a tutting noise at him "Don't tell me you forgot"
"Can it wait? I'm busy torturing him" Leto thrust a thumb over his shoulder at the male twin who was struggling to contain his laughter. Of all the days he decided to take that leap and kiss him… it was on their anniversary…
"I do not think it wise. She is not a very patient woman but perhaps…" she trailed off noticing her twins' shoulders shaking behind the elf. "Is he…. Okay?"
"He's just struggling to get his breath back after.. doing so many push ups" He said with a shrug, hoping the slight pause before his cover-up went unnoticed.
But she did, Bethany rose an eyebrow at him in disbelief.
"Well at least we know he will sleep like a baby tonight" a smug smirk crossed his face as he locked eyes with the light brown of the middle Hawke.
Her mouth fell open when her brain added the words and the look on the elf's face together. "You didn't…." he shook his head and glanced over at the boy beside him who appeared to have dozed off emitting soft snores. "He did? About blighted time to!" she chuckled, smiling at her twin. "The idiot could have picked a different day… Alas, I will tell Hawke you are busy running Chantry errands and will return for the evening."
She turned to walk away but stopped and turned to the elf once more, her eyes hard but the amused smile never leaving her face "Do not make a habit of this. I do not like to lie to family, but your secret is safe with me for as long as you wish me to keep it"
He bowed his head in a silent way of saying 'thank you'
He lay down on his back next to the younger boy with his arms tucked behind his head looking at the sky "If I knew this was going to be the outcome maybe I should have showed you that trick months ago" Leto mused out-loud to himself.
There was a pang of guilt stir inside his gut as the reality of what they did minutes ago fully sunk in.
Maker, he'd just kissed his best (male) friend of almost four years on the one-year anniversary of being in a relationship with the Carver's eldest sister.
He couldn't help but compare them. How Carver looked like he'd be aggressive with his touches but in fact they were feather-light and gentle where Hawke appeared that she would be delicate when in fact she was a beast demanding and clawing at him for his attention.
He gnawed on his lip and ripped up the grass and weeds around him with his free hand as Carver had rolled over at some point and was using the underside of Leto's bicep as a pillow. The dreamers' breath danced over the base of his neck and side of his chest under the fabric of his loose sleeveless tunic.
The two lay there like this for a couple of hours. By now Leto had built a pyramid with all the grass at his side and place the partially crushed iris on its peak
He let his mind play over the kiss, he had never felt such a.. spark as he did from the gentle movement of Carver's lips when they first moved against his. Carver's words he'd said weeks ago ran through his mind. 'The first kiss should be all butterflies and awkwardness in a peaceful place like… an open field under the stars.' He smiled up at the colours of sunset painting the sky. He didn't think it would possible for three out of four of those boxes to be ticked for his friend.
Maybe he would bring him back here when Hawke was done with him and they could pick up where they left off so all the boxes could be ticked. He let out a short amused chuckle, and turned his smile then to the other boys sleeping form. "Well, Carvy, looks like you got your fairy-tale first kiss you always wanted"
Azure eyes blinked open, a sleepy smile plastered on the teenagers face. "How…. How do you know that?"
"You told me once" he answered simply with a shrug.
"Oh? Did I? Well then you would know we were missing the… stars" he said slowly, his brain struggling to wake up and form words. A look crossed his face and the elf knew some sort of silly idea had popped into his companions head. "Well… you hair reminds me of the moonlight and the moon is friends with the stars an' I was under you…." He bit his lip, grinned sheepishly and poked the elf's cheek with a finger, "so I say I ticked all the boxes. If the Maker strikes me down for that at least I die happy"
"…Are you calling me a star?" he asked raising his brow at the other.
"My star" he corrected.
Leto faked a gaging noise and then broke into laughter.
Carver frowned and thumped the elf on chest, "What's so funny?"
"You" he replied smiling at the other boy and shaking head "I never thought you would ever say something so…." He couldn't find a word that described it "What do you even call that?"
He pinched the stubble on his chin between his thumb and forefinger and thought for a moment "A sleepy man's ramblings…?"
"Oh no, you my friend are what that Warden friend of yours would call a 'closet romantic'."
Carver fidgeted with his fingers nervously, looking at the pile of ripped up grass beside them. "So…. You are, uh… okay with this? I mean, I would like this to not just be a one-time thing… but if you're not comfortable with that, even for a second. I…I will step down. We'll go back to being just – "
"I did kiss you back, did I not?" Leto cut in, gripping his chin and leaning over to plant a swift kiss to Carver's cheek before his companion could stumble over his words anymore "So no, we cannot go back to being just friends. We can't let kissing skills like that get rusty now can we?"
Carver looked sidelong at the elf eyes wide in surprise "Skills?"
"Yes, skills. Are you sure you have never…?"
"Why are you even asking that? You know you are the only one"
Hawke had to do a second take when her brother walked into their room. Was he… smiling? In the seventeen years she has lived with him she couldn't remember ever seeing such a huge smile on his face. He flopped onto the bed and folded his arms behind his head.
"Brother, why is it you look like the cat who caught the canary?"
"I kissed Lee—uhh" He choked on the word suddenly realizing which sister was in the room with him.
He hoped he didn't look guilty when his eyes jumped to catch her reaction.
His mind raced to think of a believable cover up to explain how happy he was.
The eldest Hawke sauntered over to the bed and sat at her youngest sibling's hip. "This Leah, Is she pretty?" She asked, smiling down at him.
He returned it back almost tenfold. This could work, he could use this to set up a story of half-truth. Change Leto to Leah and all the 'he's' in to 'she's'
"How was it? And why didn't you tell me you had a girl in your sights, you sly fox"
He pushed himself upright into a sitting position. He thought carefully before he spoke. "She's not just pretty. She's hands-down the most stunning elf I have ever seen" he admitted, bitting his lip to hold in his sudden urge to laugh as an image of Leto with long hair with a pink bow in it popped in his head "Well, it sure put an… interesting spin on today"
"Aw. My little Carver is all grown up" she gushed, pulling him into a short tight hug. "Bring her along for drinks at Danal's tonight with us?"
"No. Not possible" he said to, looking away from his sister and letting a disappointed sigh leave him to make his lie sound more believable "The Dalish don't trust us 'Shemlens' easily, most of them are frightened of us so being in a bar will be too overwhelming. I do not wish to give kill her via heart-attack"
"I would call you a liar." She mused, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. Carver swallowed nervously, normally his sister never caught onto his white-lies. "But that shit eating grin you had on your face when you came in here. I've never seen such a big smile on your face. She must quite the catch"
"Oh, you have no idea"
(1 year time bounce)
"Idiots!" Danarius' voice boomed angrily at the 3 slavers that stood before him. "How is it you still do not have my most prized pet. It's been more than 4 years. How hard can it be to capture a single elf?!"
"He… he's good with a blade, sir" the youngest slaver said, lowering his head and kicking at the corner of the carpet with the toe of his boot like a child in trouble. "We found him in the forest south of Lothering. The battle was seven against one and he-"
"Your men are being out-smarted and killed by an elf!" He growled, slamming his fist down on the bench. "You are a disgrace to The Imperium!"
The middle slaver mercenary, Meeran with the scar over his left eye stepped forward, shoulders back a slight smirk on his face and spoke "We have a lead on where he is staying, sir."
Danarius raised his brow at this after all this time without a trace on the elf, he seemed to be a ghost only appearing to slaughter a handful of his slavers and disappear again. None of his men could ever find any reliable information on his whereabouts past the fact he was still looming around South Ferelden.
"A tavern in the northeast part of the town of Lothering which he shares ownership with an overly happy fellow, Danal, I think his name was. This guy from what my men managed to gather from the drunks is that he is acting like a father figure for your elf, sir" Meeran informed him "We have also found that your elf has made quite a the ring of allies, a powerful young blonde mage who looks much like your High Apprentice Malcolm Hawke, a young Lieutenant in the King's army who our spies tell us is some sort of body-guard and the slave even has the mighty Grey Wardens trying to hide him"
"Recruit as many men as possible and prepare them for battle."
"Battle?" the teenage slaver gasped, staring wide-eyed at the Magister "A-are we going to war, sir?"
"If that's what it takes" he hissed "That elf is valuable to my experiments. He is a descendent of the immortal elves of Arlathan his blood can be used for many, many things. Powerful things. I must have him back! I will tear apart the entire South region myself if you idiots can't bring me back what's mine"
"I take it you have a plan, sir?" scar face asked, raising his good brow with interest.
"I do." He smirked wolfishly. "This is your last chance, Meeran. You have a lot to do, now get out of my sight!"
To be continued...
(keep your eyes peeled for the sequel - Coming soon)