This is for anonymouscatastrophe, as a belated happy birthday gift. Here, have some birthday/chess/feelings porn with foreplay shenanigans!
“I don’t get it,” Anders proclaimed as he draped himself over Karl’s shoulders, interrupting his quiet moment of strategic contemplation.
“I suppose you don’t,” Karl agreed and knocked him on the arm with the black little horse he had been about to move across the checked board.
“It is dull. Dull and old, and you play with Niall, the most insufferable prat in the entire tower.”
Karl considered the piece in his hand. This particular set was definitely on the old side and had not been polished in quite some time and was thus rather dull. “Yes,” he agreed once more. It would not do to lie to Anders, after all.
“Why,” he demanded instead of asking, putting all his weight on Karl’s shoulders in an attempt to shift all his attention from the board and to himself, letting long fingers trace an enticing pattern down Karl’s side.
“Well, sometimes I like some adult company, is all,” Karl said with a smile as he put the piece down and finally turned to look up at him.
“Like I don’t count?”
“Not all the time, no,” Karl chuckled into the crook of Anders’ elbow before pressing a brief kiss against it, “and you are not always around, either.”
“Well I am now, so you don’t need to fumble with that old thing by yourself.”
“Is that an offer to play?”
Karl could practically feel Anders’ disgusted expression behind him. “Not that. I don’t know the rules anyway.”
“I can teach you, and then you will never have to admit to only being able to play svälta räv.”
“I can play Wicked Grace!” Anders protested, forcing Karl to shake his head.
“No, no, you really cannot.”
Anders stormed around the table to sit down in front of him, sullenly pushing the white pieces down. “Fine. Teach me your stupid game if it is so great, then.” Karl had to smile; Anders had come to him for something other than a board game, something he could easily get from many others, and yet he stayed to keep him company rather than go get what he came for elsewhere. Oh, he would like the adult chess rules.
“Karl?” Anders asked a little too loudly, his voice echoing through the dark, empty stairwell.
“Shhh.” Karl’s soft tenor brushed against Anders’ ear, coupled with the rough scrape of his beard pressed against Anders’ jaw, smooth save for the slight prickly accumulation of an evening’s stubble.
Anders felt a flush creep up into his cheeks. He knew better, really. He was just terrible at sneaking around and keeping quiet, sometimes. He opened his mouth to speak again, but the question that was on his lips had already been forgotten, and he simply nodded instead.
He sighed, and his head dipped heavily against Karl’s shoulder as they sat huddled close together in the shadows at the base of the stairwell. As long as they were still and quiet enough, the templars would miss them for a few rounds, unless they did bed checks, and even then, there were enough apprentices crammed into their quarters for one or two to disappear unnoticed, at least for a while.
Karl fondly patted his head before letting his hand come to rest atop Anders’ knee. It was a gentle, affectionate gesture, not an invitation for something more, but simply content to be what it was — a subtle physical connection between two people who otherwise felt so very disconnected from everything else around them.
Anders threaded his slender fingers through Karl’s, gently, but unreservedly. He felt the tautness in Karl’s body slowly melt away against him. A subdued sense of relaxation spread between them, overriding their mutual fear.
They sat until they lost track of time altogether, bundled in heavy robes and heavier shadows, swimming in silence, save for the beating of their hearts and the rustling of their breath, sharing precious warmth against the cold stone walls until the templars made another round.
Karl, and Anders, and feelings. I have a lot of feelings, as you might have noticed by now, but right now I am having extra many feelings, because Impressioniste writes the best comfort fics. (Also, KARL! As you know.)
I think I forgot how to draw. On some days it’s like the most natural thing, on others it’s like rolling a rock up a fucking mountain.
Anyway, I wrote a fan fic, because I got that urge in the middle of the night. And it just wouldn’t go away. So yeah, here it is. The grammar is probably bad, the orthography, too. You can also find it on AO3. This is not a happy fic, btw.
PS: I will continue the meme tomorrow.
This is beautiful, and makes my heart ache so much, for him and for all others involved. Since I am a Karl person, the part he takes makes my heart aches all the more, but the ending… oh, this ending. Yes, yes there goes my heart, just the way I like it.
For everyone who has been putting up with my terrible moods and shortcomings and personal issues lately, whether on tumblr or privately, this is really the only way I know how to express my gratitude.
“So, this… fantasy of yours,” Hawke prompted hesitantly one night as he and Anders were undressing for bed.
“Beg pardon?” Anders’ brow wrinkled sharply as he tossed his feathered pauldrons over the back of a chair and began tugging at his shirt.
“What you mentioned during our daring dungeon escape?” Hawke offered as a refresher, sitting on the edge of the bed as he stripped off his boots.
Anders froze with his shirt halfway off and shot Hawke a look.
“Hawke. Love. You’ll have to be more specific than that. Do you have any idea how many dungeons I’ve seen the inside of over the last ten years?”
Hawke cleared his throat. His boots and shirt were gone, now, and Anders was down to his smallclothes, rubbing his tired eyes as he dropped down onto the bed and spread himself out. Hawke leaned across the space between them on the bed and planted a nuzzling kiss at the side of Anders’ mouth, drawing out both a tiny, contented purr and a small, indulgent smile from his warm, rough lips.
“So, what were you referring to?” Anders asked, affectionately running his fingers over Hawke’s thigh and toying with a loose thread on his pants that he could feel, but not quite see.
Hawke plucked Anders’ hand from his thigh and settled himself down on the bed beside him, tucking his arms behind his head and staring up at the ceiling. “Our little trip to Chateau Haine.”
Anders’ brow furrowed in bafflement for a brief moment before his memory dug up that particular reference, and everything suddenly clicked. Templars. Chains. Hawke in shining armor. It had been a while since then, but yes, he remembered. In exquisite detail, in fact.
“Oh. Oh,” he began, groping for words as a sheepish grin overtook his face.
“I take it your memory has been properly jogged?” Hawke continued to look up at the ceiling as if it were the most interesting ceiling he’d ever seen, though he couldn’t help smiling a little at Anders’ somewhat flabbergasted reaction.
“You could say that,” Anders replied lightly. Then, a pause.
“So…?” Hawke trailed off.
“I’ll admit, the idea of you bursting into the Gallows to sweep me off my feet amidst a sea of templar corpses is an attractive one.”
“I think I’ll overlook the fact that the thought of dead templars is a primary featuring detail in one of your… bedroom fantasies, and instead point out the fact that you’re forgetting one very important thing.”
Oh, oh no one write comfort fics quite like you do - you have this way of channelling calm and safety with your words, and it is soothing to read, so much like a gentle hug when you need it the most. I have a soft spot for romance that is bittersweet, and you always manage to put just the right amount of it in your stories. Aah, feelings!
I’ve been promising combination-nc Karl fic since forever (at least since Karl week, which might as well be since forever), so here’s something to try and make up for the wait.
This week is first times week for DA Fanweek (I really can’t say ‘deflower’), and this is about the only pairing I think I could comfortably manage to write this kind of fic for, so…
Karl is his first.
He isn’t Karl’s, but that doesn’t matter — it just means that Karl knows where to put his hands when Anders falters and freezes, knows what to say when Anders can’t seem to find his voice. Anders has never been shy before, much to the contrary, in fact, folding himself into Karl’s lap whenever they can manage to secure a precious moment alone, sliding his arms around Karl’s neck and pulling him close for a playful kiss, or two, or three, slipping away again before things go too far.
But now, when the playfulness melts away and seriousness edges up on them so quickly that there’s no time to think about turning back, Anders finds himself at a loss.
They’re alone in a study, with books on the table and books at their feet, their discarded robes strewn haphazardly between the tidy stacks.
It’s dangerous, even though there shouldn’t be any interruptions — they’ve just heard the templars clang past for their predictable hourly rounds, and an hour is more than enough time for a frenzied coupling — but the door doesn’t lock, and it’s the only thing between their clandestine rendezvous and the rest of the mages and templars bustling about the tower.
The danger isn’t enough to keep them apart; loneliness and yearning and desperation outweigh fear, after a time.
But then they’re naked, and Anders’ face is hot. He’s bathed and dressed in front of the other apprentices before, Karl included, but this is different. And for once, Anders doesn’t feel the immediate instinct to shrink back from someone else’s body, someone else’s hands, because the arms in front of him aren’t raised in anger or fear, but rather in affection, poised for an embrace, not a blow.
He trembles as they touch, bumping awkwardly against one another, but it’s anticipation and not fear that sends the shivers through him. It’s not that he isn’t afraid, he is, truly, more than anything, even more than he’s ever been afraid of the templars, but it’s a different kind of fear and trepidation altogether, one that’s almost compelling, drawing him in for a closer look, a better feel, a bigger taste.
He doesn’t remember hearing them fall, but after everything is over and he’s lying back quietly, breathing heavily and wiping the sweat from his brow, he sees more books on the floor, strewn messily about with open, dog-eared pages. But the books don’t matter, not here and now, in this time and this place and this moment with Karl where they can both forget about everything else, and all the chains that bind them suddenly seem weightless.
That weight comes crashing back down as he watches Karl slip back into his robes, but in the midst of those few precious minutes before, minutes stolen shamelessly and without regret from the templars and the Circle and the prison all around them, Anders feels content. The feeling doesn’t last, fading rapidly away like mist, or smoke, or dust in the wind, but before the last tendrils of it completely disappear, Anders savors something unfamiliar on his tongue, a strange sweetness lingering just underneath the bitter, salty tang of sweat and skin, and in that moment, discovers the taste of freedom.
This is one of the most gorgeous fics I have ever read. It is wonderful and perfect in every way, and the last line is overwhelming in its beauty and meaning. Oh my goodness thank you so, so much, this is all kinds of splendid! Feelings.
This fic is a gift, but the gift requires a bit of elaboration/explanation:
Every day I come on tumblr and check my dash, and I see people suffering.
Some of you seem to be suffering alone, some of you have support from friends, or family, or online support. Some of you prefer to suffer in silence or try your best to be strong, but you’re suffering just the same. Some of you are probably suffering without me even knowing.
Some of you suffer from depression, or anxiety. Some of you are lonely, or tired, or stressed, or busy. Some of you are the target of prejudice or hatred or bigotry. Some of you are exhausted from dealing with children, or spouses, or family, or friends, or work, or sometimes even just life. Some of you suffer from chronic illnesses, some of you are in all kinds of pain, either mentally or physically or even both. Some of you suffer every day.
Some of you speak openly about your pain, some of you prefer to keep it private. Some of you are too scared to talk about it, even if you want to.
Your pain is real. Your pain is valid. Your pain is part of you, but it is not all that you are.
Whatever the source of your pain, this fic is a gift for you. I wish I could do more, but words are all I have, and this is all I can really give.
I know not everyone will see the fic posted here, or read it. I already know these characters, or this pairing, or maybe even my writing itself won’t appeal to everyone.
And that’s okay.
I wish I could go around to every one of you individually and write a separate, personalized story for each of you, tailored to the things you personally love. I can’t do that, unfortunately, so I have to fall back on what’s nearest and dearest to my own heart, and hope that that’s good enough, at least for some of you.
Some of you I speak to personally every day, some of you I nudge here and there, and some of you I’ve never spoken to directly at all.
But even if you never read the story, if you stop right after this last part here, don’t forget that I think about you, that I wish the best of everything for you, and that when you’re hurting, I truly wish I could do something to help ease your pain.
And with all that said, below the cut is the fic.
I have a lot of feelings right now. I try to make words happen, but. Feelings. Overwhelmed. You are such a wonderful person and I am so glad that you are here in this fandom, and you write the best comfort fics and I think I need to hug this one, and you, and perhaps weep a little while because, feelings. I need to put all these feelings somewhere! Thank you for being here, and just, you know, being you.
JUSTICE: I have reached a new conclusion regarding your… pet.
ANDERS: Not another lecture on the injustices of kitten enslavement, I hope?
JUSTICE: I do not ‘lecture’. I simply address the injustice that I observe.
ANDERS: Sounds like lecturing to me.
JUSTICE: I did not come here to engage in an argument over semantics.
ANDERS: Well, what did you come for? The pleasure of my sparkling companionship?
JUSTICE: That creature you keep seems to harbor a primitive sort of… affection for you.
ANDERS: When he’s not tearing up my robes for the bits of dried mackerel in the pockets, yes.
JUSTICE: If he is bonded to you of his own free will, I cannot rightfully call it unjust.
ANDERS: You hear that, Ser Pounce-a-Lot? Even Justice likes you.
SER POUNCE-A-LOT: *meow!*
ANDERS: You’re staring down my robes, Justice.
JUSTICE: I was… observing your cat. You appear to enjoy its companionship.
ANDERS: That’s sort of the point of having a pet.
JUSTICE: Does that… make me a ‘pet’, then?
ANDERS: It’s not quite the same thing.
JUSTICE: What is the difference?
ANDERS: A few pounds of fur and lots of sharp little claws.
JUSTICE: I… see.
ANDERS: And you haven’t been pawing through my robes again for scraps of dried fish.
JUSTICE: Should I?
ANDERS: I think I’d prefer it if you didn’t. No offense.
JUSTICE: None taken, I assure you.
Yes perfect. You capture them so well, if I did not know this was fanfic banter I would not be able to tell.
Oh random prompt generator, you are so cruel. I took the challenge posed by “Karl Thekla/Owain, beneath all that armor”.
Beneath all that armor
“Good morning, Enchanter Thekla, how may I assist you?”
“Good morning, Owain, I have a requisition for a summoning censer.”
Karl waited patiently for Owain to return, taking the censer with a pro forma “Thank you,” before leaving.• • •
The equanimity was hard-won every time Karl left Owain to his work monitoring the Circle’s magical stores, answering or not-answering inquisitive apprentices, even taking a turn enchanting the objects that the mages used.
Sometimes Karl felt a burning, irrational urge to knock a requisition form out of some apprentice’s hand, to shout at them, Don’t you know what price is paid for your rod of fire or summoning censer or glyph wand?
That urge rose most often after a visit to the storeroom, after speaking with Owain, after handing over a form and looking into his eyes and searching, searching, Maker searching for some sign of the man he had once been.
Karl had to gird himself every time. He had to put a shield in front of his heart, put heavy armor on his soul, and bear up under their weight in order to look into the empty eyes of a man who had once been a friend and was now as useful as a hammer and just as emotional as one as well.
Then he would take the rod, the censer, or the wand; he would say “Thank you”; and he would walk away with his shoulders slowly slumping under the weight of the armor that did nothing to spare him from self-inflicted wounds.• • •
Please, kill me before I forget again.
It’s cruel to ask, but crueler still to ask someone who remembers who you were to stand by and do nothing.
My heart. My heart.
A/N: Two ficlets from livejounal. The first is from an RP app, and the second a kink meme story. It’s funny how they work well together, though. Uh, also, prepare for all the feels, because there is no happy ending for Karl here.
Karl’s gut clenches at the sight of Ser Alrik and Ser Bardel standing right outside the door to his room, that smug little smile curling Ser Alrik’s lips. He freezes, throat tightening with fear and anticipation. Eyes like a winter’s chill settle on him, the smile growing wider. Run, run, his mind screames. His palms grow clammy and a sweat breaks upon his brow at the keen look in Alrik’s eyes. Karl knows what could bring that smile to Alrik’s face before he even has to ask. He can see the innocent looking sheaf of parchment carefully held between armored fingers.
“Enchanter Thekla, after a routine search was done in your room, I found a most… curious letter. You will come with us to answer our questions on the seditious nature of your words.” Ser Alrik’s other hand rests on the pommel of his sheathed sword.…
Yes. All the feelings. Choking up. Oh yes, that is the spot, that is my heart.
I wrote this as a fill for one of the ‘Dragon Age Kiss Battle’ prompts. I replied there on the thread, but I hope it’s alright for me to crosspost it here, since I really don’t hang out on DW much.
Prompt: Anders/Karl - in the dark ( URL )
Neither of them speak. Even without the risk of being overheard, words are not what either of them needs, or wants.
Touch is what they crave — anxious, fervent touches exchanged in secret, in a silent, darkened stairwell, plunged into shadows at the deepest hours of night when the tower is as quiet as it will ever be.
Anders presses Karl into a corner; He goes without resistance.
It’s their lips that meet first, passing warm, wordless breaths between them, saying everything despite saying nothing at all.
Their palms touch, fingers clasping desperately in the shadows, and the darkness no longer matters during those stolen moments in the night, moments when perfect sight is meaningless and the lightest touch of a lover’s hand matters more than words ever will.
There are days when I need Karl to feel better, Anders and Karl and moments that matter. This is such a day, and like magic, here it is, to warm my heart.