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Into Your Arms, Anders/Thea

Title: Into Your Arms
Rating: PG for implied nudity
Summary: After a grueling first day as Warden Commander, Theodora Amell fights the urge to go all Mother Hen over a certain unconscious mage.

Theodora settled in her chair and refused to look behind her. It had been a long day; first with the final leg of the journey from Denerim to Amaranthine, then with the surprise attack on the Vigil, and finally with the Joining she had recently witnessed. She stared into the fire. It had been such a shame to lose Mhairi, she had been a valuable asset in the fighting and Thea had genuinely enjoyed her company on the road.

She bent to pick up a basket that had been shipped before her arrival. Her fingers circled around familiar rosewood needles and the softest wool she had ever had the pleasure of working with, courtesy of one of the families she had helped along her travels. Deftly creating a slipknot, she decided that she’d make a new blanket for herself. If the Vigil was anything like the Circle Tower in regards to hidden drafts and seeping cold, she’d soon need the extra warmth. As if on its own accord, several rows of garter stitching quickly formed - it was the most basic of patterns that she knew and something that she could do mindlessly. It was a good thing too; all her attention was riveted on the scene behind her, the very same scene she was trying very hard not to look back upon. If she did, she knew that she’d abandon her project to go over and hover. Hovering would soon turn to sitting, which would give way to worrying, which was something she had done far too much of in recent months.

Yet she couldn’t ignore the sudden rustling sound and accompanying groan. Dropping her needles back into the basket, she quickly stood up and turned around. Anders had collapsed after taking his Joining – she shuddered at the memory of his eyes rolling back and his legs falling out from under him. The events had been a jumble afterwards; her robes rustling as she ran to his side, a frantic Anders! slipping from her lips as she tried to catch him, his dead weight too much for her to hold up on her own and her knees taking the brunt of the fall. She’d let out a sigh of relief when she felt his pulse beat strongly underneath her fingers, yet she refused to leave him, watching like a hawk for any sign of him waking. She’d never thought to inquire from Alistair how long she had been out in Ostagar and she hadn’t had the time or the resources to research the process herself, so she had no idea how long the last portion of the Joining took. When it was obvious that he wasn’t going to wake any time soon, she had asked two of the remaining guards to help her get Anders to a proper bed. Surprisingly, they hadn’t said a word about putting him in their Arlessa’s bedchambers, nor did they object when she dismissed them with a quiet word of thanks.

Perching at the side of the bed, she took one of Anders’s hands in her own and brushed hair out of his eyes with her other. His fingers tightened around hers before his eyes finally opened.

“Hey,” she whispered, carding her fingers through his hair. She’d long since taken out the leather string he’d tied it back with, the firelight turning his hair a soft copper-gold as it settled around his face.

Anders licked his lips. “I’m feeling an incredibly strong case of déjà vu,” he murmured, reaching out and running his hand over her arm. “Didn’t we already do this when I passed my Harrowing?”

She gave him a small smile. “With a few minor changes.” She could remember the day that templars had dragged Anders out of the Harrowing Chamber and back to the Apprentice Quarters. No one had been able to pry her from his side as she waited for him to wake and she had never been so relieved to see him give her one of his cheesy little grins that he always had for her.

“Ah, yes. There’s no templar posted at the door and…” he used his free hand to lift the bedcovers and peek underneath. “I wasn’t naked. My, my, I wonder which sneaky mage-thief stole my robes.”

Thea could feel her cheeks turn a bright red. “I didn’t want to get my nice, clean sheets dirty.” She’d never seen Anders nude before – they might have had numerous trysts hidden behind darkened stairwells or alcoves in the Tower, but the most she’d ever seen of him had been the little triangle of skin right where the collar of his robes gaped. While she had taken her time undoing hidden ties and hooks in order to disturb him as little as possible, she had been far too preoccupied to actually take the opportunity to appreciate the expanses of flesh that were rapidly being exposed with every layer of clothing she had taken off.

She looked now, finally noticing the span of his shoulders. Years of practicing staff-work had carved out lean muscles on his lanky frame in contrast to the massive bulk of the templars and their swords. She wondered just how long he had been on the run; she could see the barest hint of his ribs at his sides when he sat up, telling her that he hadn’t had a decent meal in quite some time. There were also fresh bruises along those very same ribs; the familiar shape of gauntleted fists and metal tipped boots sharply displayed against his sun-deprived skin made her eyes narrow. Without thinking, she gingerly traced the outer edges of his bruises and let out a tendril of healing magic that made the marks fade considerably. Had she been any better in the Creation school of magic, she probably could have healed them completely, but she was more adept at summoning destructive forces of nature instead.

“That tickles,” he quipped, picking up her hand and dropping kisses on her fingertips. Looking around the room, he gave her one of his lopsided smirks. “So, not wanting to get your sheets dirty led to me being without my pants, huh?”

“You don’t wear pants.”

“Pants, robes, you get the idea.” Leaning on his elbow, he waggled his eyebrows at her. “If you truly wanted me naked, my lady, all you had to do was ask.”

She rolled her eyes. “Only you could think of jokes after what we just did. Even Alistair had given my Joining some sense of reverence.”

“If I had known that all it took to be free of the Tower was drinking down a bit of darkspawn blood, I would have done it a lot earlier.”

“And you don’t have any questions? Anything at all?” There was so much that she wanted to tell him, but she didn’t know how to say I just gave you a life expectancy of only thirty more years, Anders. You’ll be plagued by nightmares and we’ll never have any of those magical, troublemaking redheaded babies with your eyes that we always talked about, but look on the bright side, at least you’re free of the Circle!

“I’m sure I will later,” he drawled, tugging on her arm to bring her closer. Before she knew it, he had swung his legs over the side of the bed and trapped her between them, his fingers nimbly undoing her robes with a speed that only a fellow mage familiar with the clasps and bindings of her clothing could be. “But for right now, I’m just glad that we’re together and safe.”

“Relatively safe,” she agreed, tilting her head to the side to give him room to trail a path of kisses down to her exposed clavicle. Thea sighed and sifted her hands through his hair to keep him close. “There’s still the threat of darkspawn attacking and there’s that prisoner in the dungeons that needs looking after and…”

“And all that can wait until later.” Anders pulled her into bed with him and with a few moves, had his arms around her and Thea’s head against his shoulder. “You’re so tired that you’re shaking.”

She pressed a kiss against his chest, the sound of his heart beating against her ear making her drowsy. “Mana depletion,” she said as an explanation. “I’ll be fine in a few hours.” Morrigan had tried to teach her how to use death magic to replenish her stores, but Thea had never gotten the hang of it.

“I’ll bet,” Anders agreed, his fingers taking out the pins in her hair that kept the twin buns at the base of her neck in place. “I’ve never seen you cast firestorms that large before.”

She yawned. “I’ve had some real-world opportunities to practice.” Thea stretched and sighed contentedly at the feel of Anders’s fingers rubbing the base of her neck, his touch loosening tension she had held there for so long that she had forgotten just what it had felt like to have it disappear.

“Mm-hmm. This is a nice room,” he commented, switching topics. “You have a very comfortable bed. I’m almost afraid to see what we non-Arlessa folk are going to be offered for sleeping quarters.”

Idly, she ran a finger down his chest, following the sparse line of hair, her touch making Anders suck in a breath. “You can stay here,” she told him quietly, almost cautiously. “If you don’t mind sharing a very comfortable bed with me.”

He tilted her head up to meet him as he bent his head down for a kiss and it was like standing in the middle of a rainstorm after a very long drought. Anders might be one of the most gifted healers she had ever come across, but the magic that leaked from him when they were intimate was primal, the tang of lyrium and ozone enveloping her like the embrace of an old friend she hadn’t seen in a very long time. “I think that arrangement would be suitable,” he murmured against her lips. Where their first kiss had been gentle, the second kiss quickly grew into something that left them both gasping for air, the prickle of barely contained lightning underneath Anders’s fingertips drawing out a ragged moan from Thea.

Anders let out a groan and buried his head against the crook of her neck. “Hold that thought, sweetheart,” he said, his thumbs running lazy circles against the curve of her waist. “There’ll be time enough for this later, when we’re both not so tired.”

She made a token protest, but she could feel the day’s events catch up to her. Had she not been lying down, she would have swayed on her feet. “Tease,” she said, nipping at his bottom lip one more time just because she could.

“It’s one of my more endearing traits,” he said breezily, not bothering to cover his yawn. “Maker’s breath, Amell. Tell me that being this tired isn’t part of the Warden job description. I don’t know if I can handle feeling like this all the time.”

She shook her head. “No, you just had a big day.” Walking her fingers up his chest, she propped herself on an elbow. “However did you manage to get caught anyway?”

He shrugged. “They snagged me in Denerim.”

Thea’s brow furrowed. “What were you doing there?” She would have thought that once escaping, Anders would have taken advantage of the general chaos that still lingered weeks after the defeat of the Archdemon and jumped aboard a ship bound for someplace else.

Anders reached out and twirled a long lock of her hair between his fingers. “I was looking for you.”

She opened her mouth to say something, but words failed her. Over the years, Thea had discovered that Anders had a knack for saying something without actually uttering the exact words. The way he stared at her coupled with the way that his hand slid over her skin to gently cup her cheek told her that when choosing between complete freedom and the high probability of getting caught again in a large city while looking for a mage that he didn’t even know was still alive or not, Anders had chosen her. Leaning over, Thea brushed her lips across his, her heart beating frantically against her chest. “Well, it looks like you found me,” she said, emotion making her voice crack.

“And so I did.” He gave her one of his lopsided smiles, his fingers tangling further in her hair. “Funny, I was brought to the Vigil on the same day that you yourself arrived. It’s almost like it was meant to be.”

She settled against Anders’s side, her arms holding onto him tightly. “Things are so uncertain,” she said, her cheek pressed against his chest. “I can’t tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow or weeks from now, but I do know that I’m glad that you’re here with me, Anders.”

He pressed a kiss against her forehead. “Ah, Theodora,” he murmured. It was rare for him to use her given name. “There’s no place else I’d rather be.”


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2011 10:38 am (UTC)
*squee!* Once more, brilliantly written and so sweet :D
Oct. 11th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
Yay! Thanks! :)
Oct. 8th, 2011 05:36 am (UTC)
This is wonderful, thank you!! :)
Oct. 11th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading, I'm glad you liked it. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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