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The Griffon and the Raven, Chapter 11

Prompt: Need
Rating: Still in the PG-13 territory.

The walk from Redcliffe Castle to the town of Redcliffe was pretty much a blur. Ravena could recall speaking to King Alistair and Queen Anora, could remember pledging protection to the mages and promising to treat them as equal partners, but she could not remember anything past that.

“Easy, my dear,” Dorian said, gripping her elbow as she stumbled down the path. “Everything all right?”

She blinked up at him. “Did we stop it?” she asked, her eyes darting towards Varric and Blackwall. “Did we stop it from happening?”

Dorian tilted his head. “I don’t know. The future is always a shaky subject to broach; certainly we stopped Alexius from his current plans, but who is to say that the actions we took stopped everything else…”

She cut him off. “That will not happen,” she said fiercely. “I refuse to let that happen.”

“The future events that concern everyone in southern Thedas, or just the personal ones involving a select few?”

“Both.” She closed her eyes and shuddered as she remembered the way Blackwall’s body had just…fallen, his lifeless limbs flopping about like a rag doll.

“When will you tell him?”

Ravena stared at the ground in front of her, following Dorian as he led her further down the path and out of hearing range. “I don’t know. I don’t even know if I should.”

“Just for clarification, you do mean that you’re conflicted on telling your strapping, burly Warden that he died in the future so you could return to the present, not that you’re conflicted on professing how you feel about him, yes?”

“Both,” she repeated.

Dorian stared at her. “I know that I’ve only known you for a short amount of time, but I do feel as if our little shared adventure was a bonding experience of sorts. That being said, are you out of your ever loving mind?”

Her head jerked up at his tone. “And what do you suggest I say? Should I tell him that I’m attracted to him, that I have been for weeks?”

“You should tell him that you love him, you ninny. I honestly don’t know what’s stopping you, it’s written clear as day on his face that he feels the same about you.”

“You really think so?” She winced, realizing that she sounded like some lovesick teen instead of a grown woman.

Dorian rolled his eyes, coming to the same conclusion. “There’s only one way to know for sure.”

The rest of the walk was spent in silence.

Organizing a large group of mages proved to be more complicated than telling everyone to grab their gear and make their way towards Haven. It took several hours to notify everyone, and by that time, the sun was sinking low over the horizon. King Alistair hadn’t given them a concrete deadline to leave, so Ravena made an executive decision to stay the night and begin traveling at first light. Leaving her three companions in the tavern below, Ravena made her way upstairs to the rooms they had secured from the innkeeper. Sleep was going to be elusive, she already knew that, so after stripping out of her battle-worn leathers and indulging in an extremely long bath to rid herself of the smells of that horrific future, she made up her mind to write down all of her findings while things were still fresh in her memory.

She got as far as explaining the Empress’ assassination and the demon army when the page of her journal blurred. “Shit,” she whispered, her voice breaking as she hid her face in her hands. “Oh, fuck.” She couldn’t get the image of Blackwall’s hazy red eyes and Varric’s haunted face out of her mind and she wept for them both. Shoving her journal aside, she leaned heavily against the room’s rickety writing desk and sobbed.

This must be a dream, but my dreams haven’t been good in so long. Wiping her face, she tried to rationalize that whatever torture Blackwall had undergone in that dark future had never happened, that she had prevented them. Still, the thought of his lifeless body hitting stone was enough to make her tremble, a new bout of tears spilling down her cheeks.

“My lady?” Ravena’s head jerked up at the sound of Blackwall at her doorway, knuckles poised on the newly opened door as if to knock for permission to enter. His brows knitted together at the sight of her sitting there looking utterly devastated. His long legs ate up the distance between them and he knelt at her feet, his large hands engulfing hers. “Maker’s breath, you’re shaking.”

She stared dumbly at him as he pressed her hands to his lips, his breath warming her skin. “Talk to me, Ravena. Tell me what’s troubling you.” He let go of her hands to frame her cheeks, his thumbs brushing her tears away.

“You died,” she blurted, leaning into his touch. “You sacrificed yourself so I could get back.”

He looked away. “At least my death had some merit.” He meant it to come across as a quip, a desperate attempt to rid the haunted, frightened look in her eyes.

“Shut. Up.” She jabbed him in the chest with her index finger. “Don’t you dare undervalue your worth. No one should die because of me.”

He caught her hand and pressed it against his chest. “And you shouldn’t think so little of yours. One word from you and an entire army would risk their lives for you. You have the world at your feet, myself included.” He shifted on his knees. “Literally.”

“I don’t want anyone at my feet,” she croaked. “Especially you.”

“Then what do you want? What would you have of me?”

She stared into his eyes, her heart in her throat. “This,” she whispered, closing the distance between them and pressing her lips against his. He knelt frozen there for a fraction of a second before uttering a guttural groan and pulling her tightly against him, his mouth slanting over hers. Ravena gladly slid to the floor, her mouth opening on a gasp as her knees hit the wooden floorboards. Blackwall took advantage by sweeping his tongue into her mouth, moaning at finally, finally being able to do what he had fantasized of doing for weeks now. Her hands clawed at the front of his gambeson, blindly attacking the laces so she could get at the shirt she knew he wore underneath. It was her turn to cry out when he hauled her onto his lap, her legs straddling his thighs on instinct.

“Oh, my lady,” he murmured, mouth moving down the column of her throat, his nose brushing aside the wide collar of her shirt. He bit at the juncture of her shoulder before soothing the ache with the flat of his tongue.

“I love when you call me that,” she gasped, her hands tunneling in his hair as she dragged him up for a kiss, swallowing the growl he made when she grinded her hips against him. His hands flew to her waist to keep her steady as he thrust up to her, her sharp cry of pleasure ringing out in the room. “I love…ah!

The bite of her fingernails at his neck was grounding. Breathing harshly, Blackwall let his head fall forward against the softness of her breasts. “Tell me you want this,” he pleaded, dragging his eyes up to hers and feeling a masculine thrill of satisfaction at the glazed look of lust that stared back at him.

She shifted, her eyebrow arching. “If you have to ask, then obviously I’m not doing a proper enough job of showing you,” she replied.

He bit back a moan, his hands moving up her sides to briefly cup her breasts before sliding around to her ribs. He gave a gentle push to set some distance between them and stood, his knee protesting. “I mean, will you want this tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that?” He bent and helped her to her feet.

“You’re leaving.” She frowned, wondering what she had done wrong.

As if reading her mind, he settled his palms against her shoulders and kissed her forehead. “You just had a draining day. You mean too much to me for our first time together to be…”

“A mistake?”

His fingers tightened on her shoulders. “No, never. I don’t want fear or sorrow to mar something I intend to never forget. I’d hope that you’d want the same.”

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “You’re right,” she finally said, sounding just as frustrated as he felt. “But once we get back to Haven –”

“Once we get back,” he finished. He brought his hand to her chin and gently tilted her face up for a kiss. “I intend to tell your advisors to sod off while we lock ourselves up in your cabin for a week.”

She snorted a laugh, the darkness that had surrounded her finally lifting. “I’m certain everyone will take that news well.” She draped her arms across his shoulders and rose on her toes to give him a parting kiss that was meant to be light, yet quickly deepened into something that had Blackwall sliding her nightshirt up in an attempt to get to bare skin.

She broke away first. “Goodnight.”

“Remind me why I decided to be chivalrous,” he bit out, running his nose against her cheek and greedily inhaling the floral scent that rose from her skin.

“Because you’re a good man,” she told him, smoothing her hands down his chest. “Get some sleep. We move at daybreak; we’ll both need the rest.”

“Don’t know how much sleep I’m going to be getting tonight,” he told her, picking up her hands and pressing kisses against her knuckles.

“If it makes you feel any better, at least now I can blame my sleeplessness on something more pleasant than what was originally going to keep me awake.”

He sobered. “Whatever you saw in that future, it won’t come true,” he told her. “You told Dorian that you wouldn’t allow it to happen, but you aren’t alone. Together, we’ll make sure that none of the things you saw come to pass.”

She stared at him, and in that instant, she believed him. “Thank you,” she said.

He turned her hand and kissed the pulse at her wrist before stepping away and heading to the door. “Goodnight,” and now that he knew the effect his words had on her, he added with a wink and a grin, “my lady.”

She heard the latch to the door securely catch. Letting out a breath that had gotten caught in her throat, she fell across the bed, a smile on her face. She tilted her head so she could look at the journal sitting on the writing desk. Invigorated, she began to plan a course of action that she intended to take once they arrived at Haven. Firstly, the Breach needed to be sealed as soon as possible. Secondly, this Elder One needed to be taken down before he grew so powerful that their fledgling Inquisition would be easily overtaken.

Thirdly, and most importantly, Ravena needed to feel Blackwall’s mouth on hers again. No matter what came their way, knowing that he wanted her just as badly as she wanted him strengthened her resolve to see everything through to the end.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2015 04:43 am (UTC)
I still always picture the Origins Redcliffe tavern instead of the new one. I feel like I knew the old town so well after doing that mission a zillion times.

I think Blackwall as a personal handwarmer is a recurring theme in things and I'm 100% supportive of this.
Jul. 17th, 2015 04:06 pm (UTC)
I have to keep telling myself that ten years have gone by and Teagan would have expanded as refugees decided to settle in the area, but I still miss Origins Redcliffe. My M!Cousland would have also demanded a bigger statue, just because. He and Dorian would either be BFFs or bitter rivals vying to see who has the bigger ego, I think.

I have this headcanon that Blackwall's this huge furnace of a bear man who never gets cold. Sera's usually sticking her ice cold hands up his collar or under the back of his shirts at campsites to get warm (and because she likes the way he jumps and curses at her surprise attacks.). It also makes him a prime snuggling candidate on dreary rainy days.

And since he never gets cold, summertime means he's usually overly hot, and oh dear, now he has to work shirtless.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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