schizoauthoress: (A Spark in the Dark)
Title: Follow Through
Author: D.L.SchizoAuthoress
Rating: PG
Spoilers: for companion conversation (player initiated; this is mostly transcribed)
Warnings: death mentions
Word Count: 1558
Summary: Zevran reveals a bit more of himself to Gylaw.
Note: non-binary (AMAB) Warden, singular "they" pronouns

Follow Through

The Warden was, usually, all business while in the field. Zevran respected that about them -- and he was reasonably certain that he was not the only one. It was comforting, in a way, to know that all Gylaw expected them to do was fight whatever was trying to kill them that day. Nor did they frown on talk in general -- Zevran had often seen Gylaw suppress a smile while listening to Morrigan and Alistair snipe at each other, or murmur some encouragement to Leliana when her overtures of friendship were rebuffed by Sten or Shale.

All the same, Zevran found himself looking forward to the times that the party was able to pitch a proper camp. Gylaw relaxed a bit then, and would walk around speaking to each of their companions in turn.

Zevran munched on the last bit of fresh bread, acquired at a tiny village they'd happened upon just before dusk, and watched as Gylaw helped Leliana replace the lacings on a pair of her light boots. Leliana was obviously talking about a fond subject -- given their activities, probably shoes -- as she worked on the lacing of the other half. The Chantry sister did love to discuss the intricacies of shoes.

When Gylaw finished with the soft boot in their hands, they presented it to Leliana, who beamed down at them. The two exchanged a pleasantry and Gylaw turned to leave. Zevran realized that Gylaw was heading over to where he stood, in front of his tent -- he hastily brushed at his leather breastplate, knocking any stray bread crumbs away into the dirt.

Gylaw didn't seem to notice anything, or was at least polite enough not to call attention to Zevran's sloppiness. They smiled warmly as they approached.

Zevran felt his own mouth curve into an answering smile. Gylaw stopped in front of him, and Zevran gave a questioning "Hmm?" of acknowledgement.

"So," Gylaw said, "tell me about your adventures."

"My adventures?" Zevran repeated. They had asked earlier about Zevran's work as an assassin, without pressing for details. Perhaps they thought now was the time. Zevran chuckled. "I'm hardly an old man just returned from across the ocean, am I? Should I shake my fist at nearby children while I talk about the good old days?"

Gylaw's face fell, and Zevran cursed himself for a fool. Of course the Warden would take such questions seriously, rather than in the joking manner that Zevran intended them. He kept forgetting that he had not been around Gylaw long, and that neither of them had much experience with the other.

"If you don't want to talk, that's fine," Gylaw said kindly, in a light tone of voice that masked their hurt.

"Now, I didn't say that," Zevran protested, keeping his tone similarly light. That Gylaw looked at him hopefully again lifted Zevran's heart, and he continued, "Old men love to talk, after all. Will I get a kiss afterwards?"

Zevran's boldness had served him well in the past, nor had he forgotten that in their last private conversation Gylaw had seemed to express some interest. Or at least acknowledgement of Zevran's good looks. Zevran was awarded with another smile from the dwarf.

"If you're lucky," Gylaw said, laughter tinging their tone and making their eyes sparkle fetchingly.

"Oh?" Zevran pouted outrageously. "Now the anticipation is going to kill me. Thank you very much for that."

Gylaw giggled at his words, as Zevran hoped they would.

"Let's see," Zevran considered his various missions with the Antivan Crows, wondering which one would be best to share. "My second mission ever for the Crows was a bit intriguing. I was sent to kill a mage who had been meddling in politics."

"Meddling in politics how?" Gylaw asked.

"How should I know?" Zevran shrugged. "I got the impression it involved sex... but then, I get that impression about everything. Odd, really."

Gylaw sent him an skeptical look at that last comment. Zevran grinned unrepentantly.

"As it turned out, the mage in question was quite a delightful young woman. Long, divine legs, as I recall. I caught her in a carriage on her way to escape to the provinces." Zevran snuck a glance at Gylaw, both a little gratified by the flash of jealousy that went across the Warden's face, and a bit ashamed of himself for being proud of putting it there. "After I killed her guard, she got down on her hands and knees and begged for her life... rather aptly, I might add. So I joined her in the carriage for the night and left the next morning."

Zevran wanted Gylaw to know the sort of person he was -- and his history and reputation as a 'laughing lover' was part of it.

Gylaw didn't pursue the point, however. They prompted, "After killing her anyhow."

"Yes, but not on purpose, actually." Zevran made a bit of a face, still a bit embarrassed at the actions of his younger self. His tone conveyed just how unbelievable he found the events, with the distance of experience, "The woman had actually convinced me to speak to the Crows on her behalf."

Gylaw arched an eyebrow. Zevran laughed, softly and briefly.

"What can I say? I was young and foolish at the time." He shrugged again. "Then, as I was kissing her goodbye to return to Antiva City, she slipped on the threshold and fell backwards out of the carriage. Broke her neck."

Gylaw startled at that.

"Shame, really, but at least it happened quickly," Zevran said, wondering what about what he'd said had shocked the Warden.

"So you didn't ACTUALLY kill her."

"Not actually, no. I was a bit unimpressed by the development, at first," Zevran admitted. He saw the unimpressed look on Gylaw's face, too. "THEN I found out that she had told the driver to take her Genellan instead. She had planned to lose me in the provinces. I would have looked very foolish to the Crows."

Gylaw nodded, but said nothing.

"As it was, my master was very impressed that I had done such a fine job of making it look like an accident." Zevran smiled slightly. "The Circle of Magi was unaware of foul play and everyone was happier all around."

"These sorts of things happen to you often?" Gylaw asked, a small smile gracing their own face.

"Like being spared by a benevolent mark who then helps me escape the Crows?" Zevran lifted an eyebrow and gave Gylaw a significant look, "Yes, it DOES seem to happen now and again, doesn't it?"

Gylaw hummed an acknowledgement of Zevran's point, but otherwise said nothing.

"It was after that when I learned that one needn't let a pretty face go to your head. Professionalism was key." Remembering the way that old sailors would usually end their tales, Zevran finished, "That's my moral of the day, you see."

Gylaw nodded seriously. They had been quiet, as was their way, for most of the telling, interrupting only rarely with brief questions (or statements that might as well have been questions). Zevran could get used to such an attentive audience... and for more than just talking, he hoped.

"So," they said, this time in a low voice that made Zevran's insides flutter in a familiar, pleasant way, "you NEVER mix business with pleasure?"

"Hmm." Zevran pretended to consider, as if he didn't know exactly what the handsome dwarf was getting at. Gylaw smiled up at him knowingly. "Well, there is YOU..." Zevran said, "But I'll point out that you did have to capture me and tie me up, first. Every rule has its exception."

Zevran could see Gylaw's cheeks flush with heat at the reminder, brown skin going pinkish beneath their close-trimmed beard and dark blue tattoos. Their dark gaze dropped from Zevran's face, and they only regarded him again sidelong, with lowered lashes.

Maker, he wasn't used to WANTING this badly and not acting on it.

"Now that I've mentioned tying me up in that context," Zevran asked, with a sly smile, hoping to garner another of those lovely flustered reactions, "do we have extra rope about?"

"Yes," Gylaw answered promptly, "but all of such poor quality it'd leave marks."

And it was Zevran's turn to stare. Only for a moment, however. He laughed delightedly. Shy and soft-spoken the Grey Warden might be, but totally inexperienced? Apparently not.

Gylaw beckoned to him, and since the pair were already standing so near each other, it could only mean that they wanted Zevran to come down to their level. Zevran took a knee promptly, even as he wondered what Gylaw would do. The thought of refusal had not even entered his mind; Gylaw requested accomodation for their smaller stature so rarely, after all.

Without a word, Gylaw leaned in close -- Zevran could smell the clove and galangal powder that they combed into their hair when, as now, actually washing it was not possible -- and brushed their lips against Zevran's cheek. He wanted to turn his head, capture that full, soft mouth with his own, but he didn't dare. Zevran was aware that his own face had flushed with heat now.

"You asked for a kiss afterward," Gylaw murmured, still close to Zevran's ear. "And since the anticipation didn't kill you, I suppose you've earned one."

They pulled back, smiled at Zevran again, and then walked away.
schizoauthoress: (Love Monster (pit bull in advert))
Title: Unlike / Like
Author: D.L.SchizoAuthoress
Rating: G
Spoilers: probably none, lol
Warnings: none
Prompt/Fill: none
Word Count: 215
Summary: Musings on attractiveness.
Note: Zevran Arainai/Male Aeducan pairing (Non-Binary and Assigned Male at Birth, actually, but I know how fandom categorizes)
Word of the Day: glissade, noun:
1. A skillful glide over snow or ice in descending a mountain, as on skis or a toboggan.
2. Dance. A sliding or gliding step.

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