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Chasing Cars - 30_hugs prompt

Title: Chasing Cars
Fandom: Dragon Age Origins: Awakening
Theme: #7; tangled up
Characters and Relationship: Nathaniel Howe/Moira Cousland, romantic
Rating: PG-13 for pillow talk, Wardens with wandering hands, and overall fluff.
Summary: Certain people almost falling out of bed each night prompt a serious change in Nathaniel and Moira’s relationship.

After spending two nights tucked close to the edge of Nathaniel’s mattress with his arm around her waist the only thing keeping her from falling off, Moira had convinced him that they had needed her considerably larger bed. Nathaniel had feared that it would feel strange to wake up naked in his parent’s bedroom, but he had to admit that it hardly resembled the room that he remembered from his youth. For one, the massive bed was clearly new. The dark wood might match the bedside tables – one of them suffered a chip in the corner when he and Thomas had gotten too boisterous during their roughhousing in their youth – but the four-poster style was more modern looking than the ornately carved headboard that once sat there had been. The portraits that had lined the walls for as long as he could remember were also gone, pale lines on the stone the only reminder that there had once been anything hanging. The armoire in the corner actually used to belong in Delilah’s room. His sister had been quite the clotheshorse during her teenage years, and the massive piece of furniture had barely contained everything she owned. The armor stand was also a new addition, as was the trunk at the foot of the bed Moira said had come from her childhood room in Highever and the weapon rack nearby Moira kept her swords housed upon. Even the chairs that flanked the fireplace were from other rooms in the Keep.

Besides the tables, the only original pieces of furniture were his mother’s vanity and jewelry case. Moira had added her own touches: squat glass jars and thin vials containing pleasant smelling lotions and tonics that were neatly arranged next to her wooden cosmetic case solved the mystery as to why she always smelled of lavender and a silver backed brush that still had strands of her dark hair tangled in the bristles lay close at hand. Nathaniel’s eyes lingered on the mirror attached to the vanity and he had a brief flashback of watching his parents prepare for a party. He had been quite young at the time – Delilah had been but a bump underneath his mother’s dress. He might have been young, but he could clearly remember the way that his mother would hum to herself as she sat before the mirror applying rouge to her lips, one of her hands patting at her hairstyle. His father had been standing behind her, fastening a golden necklace with a scattering of rubies set here and there around her neck. What struck Nathaniel about his memory was just how happy the two of them had looked back then.

Thomas had been the one to enlighten Nathaniel to how things had soured between his parents, when the stony silences and cold glares had begun. His mother had been unfaithful to her husband, falling for a traveling musician. Nathaniel’s father had found out about their affair and instead of merely banishing the man for his crimes, he had brutally killed him in front of his wife. At the time, Nathaniel hadn’t wanted to believe his father capable of such horrible things, but with everything that he had recently learned, he didn’t put anything past him any longer. His mother’s indiscretion would have been forgotten, but Rendon had a daily reminder of her tryst in the form of Nathaniel’s little brother. It was after Thomas’ birth that he had grown distant from all his children, when Nathaniel had often felt as if he had to work to earn the slightest bit of praise or affection from his father where both had come so readily before when it had only been him and Delilah around.

The only thing that had kept Regina in Amaranthine all those years had been Nathaniel’s grandmother. His mother couldn’t leave soon enough the moment her own mother had died, retreating to her family’s estate in the Bannorn. As a further display of callousness, his father had ordered her to leave without anything but the clothes on her back. Nathaniel had done some questioning and it seemed as if his mother had not survived the Blight; her estate having been burnt to the ground and skeletal remains of everyone inside all that was left.

Strangely enough, Nathaniel couldn’t bring himself to grieve too much. While she never came across as hating him outright, she had been cold and showed little affection, if any at all, to him once Thomas had been born. His only guess now would be that he had strongly favored his father, the one man that she had despised more than anyone else. If anyone had been a mother to him, it had been Adria. She had freely given him and his siblings her love where their own parents hadn’t and he deeply mourned her passing still.

He stared at Moira, who was still asleep at his side, and vowed that the same would never happen between them. His expression softened when she murmured something in her sleep, her face turning towards him and a faint smile on her lips. She was on her back, her left arm tucked underneath her pillows and her right arm stretched up near her head. The sheets had slid down, baring her from the waist up. He wasn’t complaining; the scene before him was utterly breathtaking. Propping himself on his left elbow, he reached out and stroked her side, her skin indescribably soft under his fingers.

She stirred against him, her eyes fluttering open as she slowly stretched. “Mmmm, good morning,” she said, smiling up at him.

“Hello,” he replied, reaching out to brush an errant lock of hair out of her eyes.

She rolled onto her side, her hands pillowing her head. “Have you been awake for long?”

He shook his head. “No. I didn’t want to wake you.” Nathaniel rested his hand in the dip of her hip. “You sleep like an angel.”

She giggled. “A drooling one, I’ll bet.” She yawned, covering her mouth with her hand. “I probably look a mess; I have bed hair.”

“I happen to like bed hair.” He knew that his own wasn’t in the best of shape either. He slowly drew her closer to him, smiling against her shoulder when she draped her leg over his. “I’m sorry.”

Her brow furrowed. “Whatever for?”

“Last night.” His hand settled over the darkening fingertip shaped bruises on her hip. He’d spent the entire day helping Captain Garevel train the newer recruits to Amaranthine’s army, frustrated with the fact that all they had to work with were boys who more than likely hadn’t seen fifteen summers go by in their young lives and old men who had seen more than their share of seasonal changes. Nathaniel had gone back in that evening to sullenly take his dinner in the kitchens when he had seen Moira already there doing the same. She’d been studying some inventory or another, completely unaware of his arrival. She’d nibbled at her bottom lip, and it had taken everything in him to wait until they had both finished eating - especially after the warm smile she had given once she had realized he had entered the kitchens was the first welcoming thing he had seen after such a long afternoon - instead of dragging her off to her bedroom right then and there. As it was, they hadn’t even made it past the bedroom’s threshold. He’d pressed her up against the door as soon as he had finished locking it behind them, both of their clothes impatiently discarded on the spot. “I was a bit rough.”

She arched her eyebrow. “You won’t hear me complaining,” she said, touching her finger to the thick cord of muscle where his neck connected to his shoulder. There was a purpling mark there where she had bit him sometime during the night, either there at the door or later when they had finally reached her bed. She hadn’t pegged herself to be a biter, thinking that out of the two of them, Nathaniel was more likely to employ his teeth than she. The bruise on the underside of her breast was proof enough of that. “It was exciting that you needed me so badly that you couldn’t wait. I liked it.” He’d been an incredibly gentle and giving lover since coming back from Amaranthine with Mistress Woolsey’s salvaged goods two days ago, and it had been thrilling to be part of something so frenzied, so unrestrained that she’d found her release even without the usual prolonged foreplay Nathaniel was so fond of.

He caught her hand and brought it to his lips. “Still...”

“Still nothing. Don’t ever apologize for what we do together. I’m not about to hold back who I am when we come together and I hope that you can do the same.”

He let out a relieved sounding breath. “I was afraid that I might scare you away.” This was still so new between them and the last thing he wanted to do was foul things up.

Moira shook her head. “Not going to happen. You’re stuck with me, Nate.” She freed her hand from his grasp and trailed it down his chest, following the whorls of hair there that tapered down to a line at his navel before slowly going back up, her hand rounding over his side to splay against his back.

He bent his head and gave her a lingering kiss. “Good. I’ll have you know that you’re stuck with me as well, my lady.” It felt right to be in bed without any intention to let things go further than a lazy exploration of the other’s body, tangling limbs together and touching just to reassure the other that this was real.

“It’s not quite daybreak,” he murmured after a while. “I ought to get back to my room.”

She made a protesting noise and buried her face against his collarbone. “Do you have to leave?” The two nights that they had spent together had been nightmare-free and they had both disliked parting ways each morning, if only to keep up appearances. “Do you really care what the others think? I’m positive they already know about us as it is.” She shuddered as she remembered Oghren commenting about Nathaniel “finally getting the stones to don the velvet hat,” as he had put it, giving Moira a lecherous chortle and a wink as he added “and about sodding time, if you ask me. He’s been too uptight since we’ve met him. Good for ya; a man needs a good hair pullin’, back scratchin’ romp every now and again.” Out of everything that she had heard during her travels, that had finally made her blush worse than anything Zevran had ever told her, which made Oghren laugh so hard at her mottled expression that he snorted. He laughed even harder when Velanna and Anders asked what was so funny, which if possible, had made Moira’s face go even redder.

Nathaniel hugged her closer, the shelf of his chin resting against the crown of her head. “No, I can honestly say that I don’t give a damn what the others think.” His thumb ran in circles over her shoulder. “Yet I do need clean clothes. I’m going to have to go back to my room in order to get them.”

She looked up at him and kissed his cheek. “That can be fixed. The armoire is far too large for just my things. If you want, you can keep your clothes there as well.” She kept her tone casual and light, but she couldn’t stop her heart from speeding up, hoping that he would accept her proposal.

“You’d want me to move in with you?”

“Well, it would cut the whole sneaking in the pre-dawn light episodes out completely. I will warn you, I tend to steal bedcovers.”

He laughed. “And apparently I hog mattresses. I think we even the other out on that. Are you certain that you want to share a room with me?”

She arched an eyebrow. “I wouldn’t have asked otherwise.”

He ran the back of his knuckles over her cheek. “I don’t have much; it might only take one or two trips.”

Moira smiled. “I’ll help out.” Snuggling closer to him, she wrapped her arm around his side. “Now that that’s finished, what are your plans for today?”

Nathaniel kissed her forehead. “I was going to scout around the land surrounding the Keep. While I was out, I thought it would be good to do a bit of hunting. I saw that the larder’s supply of venison was running a bit low.” With the increased appetite that came from being a Warden, Nathaniel had taken to sneaking down to the kitchens late at night to quiet his stomach’s rumbling. He’d bumped into the others several times during his midnight explorations, so he knew that he wasn’t the only one suffering from hunger pangs. “You?”

“Anders and I are going to work on resupplying the infirmary again and then I thought that Velanna and I would go out later today to find more healing herbs to dry.” She and the Dalish elf weren’t particularly close, and Moira wanted to remedy that. She knew that Velanna was anxious about finding her sister, but they still hadn’t found any other leads to follow as to where the Darkspawn were. Captain Garevel had spoken about a man named Colbert who usually resided in Amaranthine, but the man was proving to be even more elusive than the so-called Dark Wolf had been. Until they received word from Colbert, it only made sense to shore up the Keep and remain vigilant for future attacks.

It might not be normal and they may not be at peace, but at least a routine was starting to form. It was more than they had a few months ago.

Nathaniel broke into her reverie. “You’re thinking again,” he said, smoothing the lines that appeared across her forehead. Now that they had decided to share a living space, he didn’t feel the need to hurry up and leave. “Sometimes, I think you still take on far too much for just one person.”

“I can’t help it, that’s just who I am.”

“And there’s nothing wrong with that, but just remember that everything needn’t be done right this second.”

She glanced up at the window, noting how the sky was still somewhat dark. “You’re right,” she told him. “Do you have any plans for the immediate future?”

His mouth quirked upwards. “Oh, nothing much. I was thinking about fooling around with an Arlessa. Then, perhaps breakfast.”

Moira laughed, but stopped to let out a small gasp when he hitched her leg higher over his hip and rolled them across the bed. Still grinning, she reached up and tugged his mouth down to hers. “I think that can be arranged,” she whispered, smiling against his lips. “I love you, Nathaniel.” She seemed to realize what she had said, because she stiffened in his arms and looked up at him to gauge his reaction. Stupid, Cousland, she chided herself. This is still so new and you have to go and complicate things by slipping and telling him how you feel. It’s too soon, it’s…

He stopped her inner diatribe with a hard kiss that stole her breath. “I love you too,” he breathed when he let them both up for air. “I never stopped, not once all those years. I might not say it often enough, but I hope you know that I’ll always love you.”

Moira beamed, feeling as if her heart were about to burst from happiness. “Make love to me, Nate,” she murmured, dragging him down for another lingering kiss.

Outside, Vigil’s Keep slowly came awake; the smell of freshly baking bread wafted through the kitchens, the idle chatter of the washing women chimed out as they started their day by pulling water from the well in the outer courtyard, the indignant squawk from several of the chickens echoed as Ser Pounce-a-Lot ran through the henhouse during his morning patrol of the grounds in search of his breakfast mouse. Neither Nathaniel or Moira heard any of it – they had eyes only for each other; the only sounds that reached their ears were their soft sighs and heartfelt declarations of love as dawn slowly rose over the horizon.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 5th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
*goes squeeeeeeeee* It's just so sweet <3
Jul. 5th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Very cute!
Jul. 7th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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