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The Cave [Complete M-S]

Nathaniel Howe

Warden Commander of Ferelden
Canon Character
Noble
Grey Warden
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
183
#41
Nathaniel plucked olive into his mouth just before Fergus draped an arm across his shoulder and pressed forehead to forehead. "I will never give you a reason not to, Nate. I promise."

The contact was gentle, almost tender. How long had it been since someone embraced Nathaniel in such a manner? Delilah had been the last. He was not a man that accepted such attentions easily, body tensing slightly at Fergus’ touch.

Nathaniel did trust Fergus and did not think his friend would every break that trust. If he did and Nathaniel’s hand was forced, he would do what must be done no matter the cost to himself.

Maker they were being morose.

Fergus agreed and changed the subject. "So, now that is taken care of...” Fergus picked up his bottle once more. "I have a meeting with an old acquaintance in the morning. A man named Ferren. He worked as a guard here before, but hoping he'll take up the position of Guard-Captain. Ser Cavagh has been pulling double duty since the illness that spread a while back. I saw him in the Green Spears Inn the other night, so thought I would take the opportunity. He and Lene were good friends. I would like to think she would approve.”

Ferren was not a name heard often. Nathaniel knew a man once named Ferren. Theirs had been a brief encounter in an alley outside a less than reputable tavern in Amaranthine. But there was no way it would be that Ferren. That Ferren was a wreck and did not at all strike Nathaniel as the type of man that would be fit for such an honorable position as Guard-Captain.

Without much thought or hesitation, Nathaniel pursed his lips and spit the olive pit at Fergus’ nose. His aim was as true as if he had let one of his arrows fly. A grin claimed his mouth.

“I fucked a Ferren once before. It wasn’t very memorable.” That night had not been about making last memories, though. Nathaniel hadn’t wanted to think and gone out looking for either a shag or a fight. The shag happened first. “I’m sure your Ferren will be a far better Guard-Captain than mine was a lay."
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
189
#42
Nathaniel spit an olive pit at him, and it hit him in the nose. His face pinched, eyes not quite closing all the way before he rubbed his nose. He would make Nathaniel pay for that... just as soon as he figured out how.

I fucked a Ferren once before. It wasn’t very memorable.” Fergus gave Nate an odd look. How many people in the world had the name Ferren? He rubbed at his chin as Nathaniel continued to speak. “I’m sure your Ferren will be a far better Guard-Captain than mine was a lay."

"I'm sure he'll be excellent at it. He's been through a rough patch, but who hasn't. Probably not the same man, he didn't seem the type to be interested in other men." Fergus was beginning to believe that his adult life was becoming a series of rough patches. He chuckled at the thought of helping Ferren break into his home in Denerim. The ladder was shaky, and he was sure a guard was going to turn the corner at any moment and arrest them. It was not the case, but there had been a sort of boyish thrill that evening. He had invited Ferren out for a drink while Kali and Lene had went about spending an evening with just them.

Happy, yet bittersweet memories. "I'm slowly building things back up around here, though I'm still short on guardsmen. But now isn't the time to speak of the state of Highever." He wanted to change the subject again, but it took him a few moments to figure out exactly where he should go next.

"It has been a while since I've visited Orlais. Are the Wardens there as pompous as the nobles, or are they a more respectable sort?" He took another drink of his brandy giving Nate a grin. Better than talking about the troubles of Highever or Amaranthine. Better than speaking of death and and bitter memories.
 

Nathaniel Howe

Warden Commander of Ferelden
Canon Character
Noble
Grey Warden
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
183
#43
"I'm sure he'll be excellent at it. He's been through a rough patch, but who hasn't. Probably not the same man, he didn't seem the type to be interested in other men."

A lot of men didn't seem the type to be interested in men until they were. That was Nathaniel's experience, at least.

"I'm slowly building things back up around here, though I'm still short on guardsmen. But now isn't the time to speak of the state of Highever."

"I have some good guards at Vigil's Keep. My Guard-Captain, Penelope Bridge? Best Guard-Captain the Vigil has seen in a long time. Her husband, Ser Brendan, looks after Eunice. He's actually from Highever." Nathaniel quirked a grin that quickly became obscured behind the bottle of whiskey. "Tried to kill me when we met. So, I understand rough patches." Brendan had his rough patch. Nathaniel certainly had his fair share.

"It has been a while since I've visited Orlais. Are the Wardens there as pompous as the nobles, or are they a more respectable sort?"

Nathaniel snorted at the question. "An Orlesian is an Orlesian. It hardly matters what heraldry they wear." He shifted atop the bed, crossing one leg over the other at the ankles. "There is a couple I respect."

Philippe, though Nathaniel would never tell the man, had become Nathaniel greatly respected. While he did inform the First Warden about Aedan, he did not do all the First Warden asked. And there was the wisdom of experience the elder warden possessed.

"and one I..." Jean, Nathaniel did not respect. But he was a good distraction and a more than willing bed partner. His grin askew, he continued, "...he's a bit of an insufferable shit when I let him talk." Which wasn't often when they were alone. "He's very fond of himself."
 

Fergus Cousland

Teyrn of Highever
Staff member
Canon Character
Noble
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
189
#44
Fergus almost choked on his brandy when he said the man who looked after his daughter had tried to kill him. His eyes burned and he had to set the bottle aside a moment. "Ferren's ex tried to kill me. She's the one who stabbed Lene a few years back."

He still hadn't liked the thought of Kali becoming her handmaid for the duration she did. He understood her reasons but he was uncomfortable with her being around Lene again. His wife had insisted. He found himself going down that path again and shook his head. "Glad you and Ser Brenden worked things out." He gave a small smirk at that.

Nathaniel went on to talk about the Orlesians and he crinkled his nose a little. "Almaric is the only Orlesian that I know that isn't obnoxious, but he doesn't even have an accent."

He thought about the minstrel he had seen in the bar the other night. The man was funny, but he still had that Orlesian superiority that drove him mad.

"and one I..." Nathaniel didn't offer any names, and that was fine. It was likely something Fergus wouldn't care to remember. "...he's a bit of an insufferable shit when I let him talk. He's very fond of himself."

"When you let him talk?" He laughed. "More than Warden business in Orlais, eh?"

He went in for another olive, and after he had popped it into his mouth he flicked his fingers at Nate, the remaining juice flying off of them and straight at Nathaniel.
 

Nathaniel Howe

Warden Commander of Ferelden
Canon Character
Noble
Grey Warden
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
183
#45
"When you let him talk?" Fergus chuckled. "More than Warden business in Orlais, eh?" Fergus helped himself to another olive and even flicked a bit of the residual juice upon his fingers at Nathaniel, perhaps in retribution for having being pitted earlier.

"When I let him talk." Jean's mouth was best put to other uses, a fact Nathaniel told the Orlesian often.

After taking a final sip of whiskey, Nathaniel placed the bottle and olives on the table by the bed. Fergus' bottle? That had to go as well. Reaching over Fergus, he took the bottle from where Fergus rested it and placed the brandy next to the whiskey. Each movement was precise but unhurried, much like what was to come.

In the cave, when they returned to the castle, everything was rushed. Immediate need required satiation. There was no reason to hurry now. There was every reason to take his time and keep that promise he made to Fergus in the cave.

A whisper of a smile formed upon his lips as he captured Fergus' gaze. He did not ask. He commanded, "Roll over."

Who was Nathaniel if not a man that kept his promises?
 
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