Author Note: (A little story dedicated to Shadowfox13 featuring Fenris, Anders and Zevran. Thanks for everything).
I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Age Origins, DA2 or any of its characters.
Anders stared at the flames a frown creasing his brow. He knew he was getting too comfortable in the mansion; that he needed to get back to the clinic, but he had exhausted himself and he had little left to give. Justice was becoming increasingly vocal the longer he stayed and he was becoming almost impossible to block. Justice ranted that his lover was a distraction, so too were his friends. Anders tried to make him understand that he was only human; that he had to rest, that every minute could not be spent steeped in a battle that was centuries old. Leaning forward to soak up the heat, Anders closed his eyes taking what few precious moments he could before the fragile happiness he had managed to build finally crumbled around him. He heard the door to the mansion open and then close hearing the subtle movements as Fenris climbed the stairs. He glanced to the door as it opened his breath catching. Fenris was soaked from head to toe; but Anders was spellbound by him, a slight smile tugging at the corners of his lips as Fenris shook his hair, droplets of rain joining the others on the floor as they dripped from his armour.
Fenris smiled appreciatively at the fire and drew close, stopping to press a soft kiss to the top of Anders head.
Anders loved those tender moments when Fenris let his guard down for a brief moment or two.
"I invited Zevran to the card game tonight. He spends too much time alone."
Anders bit his lip to stop himself from speaking, to stop the tirade of hurt that was desperate to move beyond his lips. He simply nodded and continued to gaze at the flames. Zevran had joined their group just over two months ago. Anders had been busy at the clinic and so had been unaware of the job to capture him, but Hawke changed his mind liking the flirtatious former Crow and Zevran had stayed on. Little by little Anders had noticed how much time he and Fenris spent together, how relaxed Fenris was in his company and how often the assassin could bring a smile to his lips. His heart could barely stand it given how often their hands would brush together.
Looking up startled Anders realised Fenris had been trying to get his attention for several moments. "Sorry I was just thinking."
Anders blinked and looked away. "Nothing important."
Fenris gave a soft grunt realising Anders was not himself. "Tell me anyway."
Anders glanced to him and rose. "I'm going for a walk while you have your bath." He grabbed his staff; flinching as Fenris gripped his arm, the warrior easing his hold but not letting go.
"Anders tell me what is wrong."
Anders knew he was close to tears and had to leave before Fenris realised. He patted Fenris's hand. "Nothing, I just need some fresh air."
"I will accompany you."
Anders felt a surge of panic. "No! I'm not a child Fenris I can walk unaccompanied in the streets."
Fenris stared at him in alarm. "I was not suggesting …"
"Yes you were!" Anders yelled; his voice trembling. "You don't have to look after me; I can take care of myself!" He yanked his arm away and stormed down the stairs slamming the door.
Fenris stared after him in utter bewilderment. He quickly scanned the events of the day trying to discover what he had done to upset his lover, but he came up blank. With a deep sigh he moved to the bathroom, the bath Anders had prepared for him was still hot. Fenris smiled softly his fingers drifting across the water; Anders was always doing thoughtful things. They had come a long way from their days of openly hating each other, but given his outburst perhaps not as far as Fenris had thought. He quickly undressed and sank into the soothing water his mind playing over and over Anders troubling departure.
Anders stormed through the rain slick streets; his hair plastered to his face, his jacket sodden in minutes. At least the streets were relatively empty. He headed for the clinic, spending the next hour trying to work on his manifesto before he stood up and in a fit of rage tore it apart scattering the paper to the floor. Justice raged in his head and Anders raged back. He was tired of the spirit always telling him he wasn't doing enough. He hated mage oppression but he was one man and though he would never admit it he had lost hope a long time ago. He hated Kirkwall wishing not for the first time he had stayed with the Wardens. He leaned against the desk giving a weary sigh as Justice raged on. He tried to drown out his voice thinking of Amaranthine, of Aedan his former Commander and wondering how his friend was doing. He sighed again wondering if he had any right to still call him friend. He felt the familiar ache for the man he had been before Justice. He had his inner demons then of course; but he was quick to smile, quick witted and fun to be around. Now he was irritable, overly sensitive and quick to argue.
Rubbing his forehead he sank onto the seat his thoughts inevitably drifting to Fenris. He could hardly blame him for whatever was happening with Zevran. The assassin was sexy; powerful, an elf and the most striking thing in his favour was he was not a possessed mage. Maker if he wasn't so damn jealous he would like to spend more time in Zevran's company himself. He had heard a great deal about the former Crow from Aedan. He clenched his fists and angrily wiped away the tears. He loved Fenris, he had never admitted it but he did and the thought of him being with someone else was crippling. He stood again pacing nervously, maybe it was time to leave Kirkwall afterall. Justice's ideas were getting more alarming by the day and Anders was becoming afraid of what he might be driven to do. He moved to the back room and packed his meagre belongings, ignoring Justice's fury. Leaving was the best plan, before he could hurt anyone. Fenris could find happiness with Zevran perhaps and he could … Anders sank onto the bed. What could he do? He was alone as he had always been, well as alone as you could get with a spirit driving you mad. "SHUT UP JUSTICE!" He roared, the voice finally falling quiet. He pulled on his damp coat, grabbed his pack and staff and glanced around the clinic. He had made some difference here; but it was not enough to ease Justice's drive and it was not enough to give him peace. He was torn from his thoughts as the door was forcibly opened. Anders dropped the pack and gripped his staff as two Templars entered the clinic swords drawn.
"I won't let you take me to the Circle." Anders gasped, terror flowing through him.
"Oh we aren't taking you to the Circle. Meredith's orders; you're too much trouble mage, we put you down here and now!"
Fenris was sitting in Varric's room drumming his fingers on the table in agitation.
"What's up Broody?"
Fenris glanced to Varric and sighed. "Anders was behaving most strangely."
Varric raised an eyebrow. "More than usual?"
Fenris rolled his eyes then nodded. "More than usual."
Varric settled back in his chair and decided some home truths were necessary. "Fenris can you really blame him?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Come on Broody did you think he wouldn't notice you and Blades? Blondie may be many things but he is not stupid."
Fenris looked at him dumbfounded. "Varric what are you talking about?"
"Look Fenris it's not my place to interfere. Be with whoever you like; but don't string Blondie along, he doesn't deserve it."
"Varric there is nothing between me and Zevran."
Varric leaned forward realizing Fenris was being perfectly serious. "Well I suggest you tell that to Blondie, because the way you and Blades have been acting you've had us all thinking something was going on between you."
Fenris gave a low groan putting his head in his hands. "It's not like that. Why didn't he just say something?"
Varric raised an eyebrow. "In his place would you?"
Fenris gave a low growl in his throat before he stood.
"Be nice Broody. I'd hate to have to kick your ass."
Zevran hated Darktown; it was cold, dirty and filled with the desperate, but Tomwise was the best source of a particular poison he favoured and so he would put up with the filth and the prying eyes. He noticed two Templars heading towards the clinic feeling a tug of alarm. His first thought was to get Fenris, but that might be too late. He glanced to the young boy who was always hanging around near the poison master. He knelt down and caught the young boys attention. "Do you know the Hanged Man?"
"Have you heard of a dwarf by the name of Varric?"
The boy grinned broadly. "I often run messages for him."
"Good. I want you to go and tell him that there is trouble at the clinic. Can you remember that?" The boy nodded enthusiastically. "Good. I will give you one gold coin if you hurry."
The boy gave a delighted grin and ran off.
Zevran slipped cautiously towards the clinic hissing as he saw Anders dodge a blade and drive his staff into the chest of one of the Templars trying to get some distance between them. He had not spoken much to him respecting his apparent need to keep his distance, but he was aware of Fenris's involvement with him and Hawke's deep affection for him. Even without that, the way Aedan had spoken of Anders would have brought Zevran to his aid. He darted forward unsheathing his daggers at the mages pained cry. He silently moved behind one Templar driving his foot into his knee driving him to the ground, yanking off his helmet and grabbing a fistfull of hair he pulled backwards sliding his blade across the now exposed throat, kicking him to one side as Anders managed to drive the other Templar back from him, Zevran sliding his blade into a chink in the armour, twisting and pushing until the blade sank into a lung. The Templar gasped, coughing up blood before hitting the ground as dead as his fellow. Zevran glanced to the mage who had slumped against the desk. He was breathing heavily, his face pale.
Anders glanced up at Zevran. "Thanks." He groaned, holding his side.
"You do not look well." Zevran muttered moving to his side.
"Bastards hit me with a Smite." Anders gasped. He pulled his hand from his side wincing at the blood. "Think they had magebane on the blades." He mumbled as he sank to his knees.
Zevran glanced at him in alarm seeing the blood spreading across his tunic. "Come, let me help you." He coaxed Anders onto one of the cots helping him out of his tunic so he could better see the wound. "Now my friend, I am no healer but I have had to attend to wounds before. May I?"
Anders nodded; he felt exhausted and this was not something he could do for himself, his mana was drained and he could barely stand.
"You have healing potions, yes?"
Anders pointed to his supplies and watched Zevran delicately pick the items he required. "Zevran could you get a blanket, it's cold."
Zevran nodded and wrapped the blanket around his shoulders supporting him to drink a healing potion. He gently and carefully cleaned the wound and threaded the needle. He kept a straight face, but the wound was deep and spanned from Anders upper ribs to his hip. "This may take some time my friend, but I need you to stay awake."
Anders felt the cold settle on his limbs realising if he lost much more blood he was not going to make it. He shuddered as Zevran began to sew the wound trying not to whimper. He wanted more than anything to pass out and was frustrated when Zevran stopped and shook him gently.
"I said stay awake my friend."
Anders tried to focus on him, coughing painfully. "When were you last in Amaranthine?"
Zevran smiled and settled down picking up the needle. "I came to Kirkwall by way of Amaranthine as it happens."
Anders closed his eyes trying to control the rush of nausea as he felt the tug of the needle and thread. "Aedan is he … is he well."
"He is. Our enigmatic Warden Commander speaks of you often. I believe he misses you."
Anders swallowed the lump in his throat feeling the tears of old grief well. "I miss him too." He whispered. They remained silent for several minutes and Anders felt the weariness drift over him and take hold.
Forcing his eyes to open he glanced to Zevran, blond hair and hazel eyes not unlike his own. Perhaps in that they were equal in Fenris's eyes, but he was no elf so Zevran got that point and Zevran was no mage, yet another point to him. Anders sighed deeply; Zevran was no abomination that was probably at least ten points in his favour.
"What are you thinking of?" Zevran coaxed.
Anders felt a little hazy and blinked rapidly trying to focus. "I was just thinking I understand why Fenris would prefer you."
Zevran raised an eyebrow. "Prefer me to what?"
Zevran hesitated realising now why Anders had kept his distance. "I am not a threat to you." He said gently. "I may flirt, but people can be friends without being lovers. That was something Aedan taught me."
"You make him smile so easily." Anders murmured. "I mean really smile." He sighed miserably. "I never make his eyes smile like you do." Anders tried to focus on him, but gave up and lay back on the cot. "I've made so many mistakes." He gave a shuddering breath as Zevran finished stitching the wound, wincing as he applied a healing salve and began to bind the wound.
"We all make mistakes my friend."
"Not like mine."
Zevran raised an eyebrow. "Perhaps. Of which mistake do you speak?"
"The one where I have a spirit in me that is slowly driving me crazy." Closing his eyes Anders sighed in relief when Zevran finished and wrapped another blanket around him. "That's why Fenris is with me you know, to keep an eye on me. He thinks I don't know. He and Hawke weren't very subtle." Anders shivered painfully. "Could I have another blanket please?"
Zevran grabbed several blankets and surprised Anders as he wrapped his arms around him pulling him to his chest, wrapping the blankets around them both. "You need heat."
Relaxing against his chest Anders soaked up the warmth, he was shivering badly and each movement caused him pain. "Thank you for helping me."
"You are welcome. It is perhaps not my place to say, but I do not believe Fenris is with you from duty or obligation."
Resting his head on Zevran's shoulder Anders allowed himself to relax. "It's okay. You don't have to worry about me, I'm a big boy."
Zevran felt his heart clinch. He knew the front the mage put up to hide his vulnerability, he knew too some of the horrors he had suffered in his time in the Circle. Aedan had told him during a night when he got so drunk he could barely stand. He missed Anders terribly, felt he had failed him and worried for him. He had sworn Zevran to silence knowing he would never break his oath. Zevran glanced at the pack on the floor. "You were leaving?"
"I stayed longer than I should have, much longer than I meant to." Anders murmured sleepily. "I'm sorry we haven't spoken much. I … I wanted to but …"
Zevran gently ran his fingers through Anders hair smiling as the mage relaxed further. "But you thought I was stealing Fenris from you."
Anders shook his head. "Later maybe, but at first I was scared to speak to you. Afraid Aedan hated me and …. I …. I wanted to keep pretending he was still my friend."
Zevran made a tsking noise. "There is no need for pretence; he misses you just as you miss him. It is foolish to keep this distance between you. Sometimes we must stop running."
Anders closed his eyes; there was no way to outrun himself. He was aware Zevran was telling him to stay awake, but he was warm and comfortable and tired of fighting.
Fenris raced through Darktown his heart pounding fiercely. The boy's words still ringing in his ears 'trouble at the clinic'. He skidded to a halt seeing the door tilted at an odd angle having been wrenched from one of the hinges. He spied Zevran who was gently laying Anders down wrapping several blankets around him.
Zevran smiled to Fenris and held up his hands calmingly. "He is sleeping only. I have dealt with the wound."
"What happened?" He moved quickly to Anders gently cupping his cheek.
Fenris clenched his fists. "I should have been with him." He glanced to the pack. "Yours?" He paled as Zevran shook his head.
"Anders seems to have misunderstood our friendship."
Fenris closed his eyes groaning. "Foolish mage." He muttered.
"Do not be too hard on him, we have spent much time together my friend and I am flirtatious by nature and you are incredibly handsome."
Fenris sank onto the opposite cot. "I never meant to hurt him; I simply find it easy to speak to you. I am comfortable with you."
Zevran smiled and sat next to him. "Perhaps the fault is mine for being so utterly gorgeous."
"Perhaps the mansion would be more comfortable for his recovery. I will aid you and then I will travel for a while, perhaps return in a few months to visit."
Fenris swallowed. "I would be sad to see you leave."
Zevran smiled. "I too will be sad to leave, but some things are more important."
"You don't need to leave Zevran." Came Anders soft voice.
Fenris moved to his side. "Anders, can you not stay out of trouble for five minutes?" He winced as a pained look crossed Anders face. Gently caressing his cheek he smiled. "Come you will be more comfortable at the mansion."
Anders swallowed hard; theirs had always been a fragile relationship each walking the knife edge and he was tired of pretending to himself that he had no heart to hurt. Anders shook his head. "You go to the mansion I'll be just fine here."
Fenris growled at his stubbornness. "Why must you always fight me?"
Anders licked his dry lips. "It's time to stop pretending Fenris." He winced painfully and clutched his side as he slowly sat up.
"What are you talking about?" Fenris could feel his anger rising and struggled to control it. He was not angry at Anders; but at himself, but he knew when they fought he fell back into old habits of blaming Anders for everything. It was something he had not done for some time and he did not wish to do it now.
"I'm a burden you never wanted I've always known that."
Fenris felt his stomach knot, his anger fading into a deep sorrow. "Anders."
"I heard you and Hawke. I know. He asked you to watch me and you have. You don't need to anymore."
Fenris cupped his jaw forcing Anders to look at him. "Perhaps at first, but that has not been my reason to be with you in a long time. Look in my eyes and tell me you do not know how I feel about you."
Anders realised he was trembling, tears threatening to spill. "Don't do this to me." Anders whimpered. "Don't give me hope where there is none."
Fenris swallowed the frustration and settled beside him. "Anders I am truly sorry that you thought there was something between Zevran and I. He is my friend only."
Anders allowed Fenris to hold him and was almost grateful for the sharp pain that lanced through him as he lost consciousness.
Fenris looked to Zevran in panic. "I cannot lose him Zevran."