World Thedas. Date unknown:

Arms throbbed in pain, from the rips in the flesh. Sword drawn wounds, open to the meat and muscle. A hiss escaped clamped lips, teeth gritted together from blinding agony. Poison working its way through, tearing down defences slowly, very slowly.

Swinging around on one foot, kicking outwards. The leather-clad limb caught the other between the legs, the weakest point. A strained grunt escaped them, falling to armoured knee and blade rushed forward cutting the throat freely.

Blood gushed forward, staining leather red and armoured hands grasped uselessly, already dead.

The last one fell. All were dead.

–-¬= ;#{+HP+DA+}#; ¬-

Underground Cavern. Wardens Party:

The group sighed in relief and made their way east to the mouth of the cave.

"Am I glad that is over." The blond muttered under his breath.

"Ohh? Where the big bad darkspawn too much for your delicate muscles to handle?" Chuckled the black-clad female at the back of the group.

"Nooo." Armour scraped together as the male turned to look partially back to the trail they had walked. Scouting for new enemies that may have been following in their wake. And sighed, "Again? Are you going to turn the words I speak into your own personal amusement Morrigan?"

"Well, I wouldn't, if you were not so easy to tease Alistair. Just the right words and you act like an imbecile." She swung the staff onto her back and tightened the hardened leather around it carefully, knowing full well that they could be attacked at any moment, and her power would be needed again.

"Oh yes, just pick on me. Push me around like the wretch you are, milady of the wilds." He huffed in amusement. Arms shrugged upwards, shifting the weight of the armour slightly, while teasingly throwing some of the blood on his hands towards the woman.

She wrinkled her nose at him, lips twisting in disgust. While her red eyes mocked him, laughing at his reaction to her words.

Beside them, moving his arms back and forth. While stretching the muscles carefully in measured movements was another male figure, who then stopped and crouched. Fingers ghosting across the ground with sharp eyes seeing what others could not. Tilting his head. Long blond strands shifted position, revealing a pointed ear to those who were watching.

"I do not mean to interrupt your seeming lover's talk. But it seems there to be signs of a new patrol on the path ahead." He looked sidewards, tilting his head towards the two. A smirk playing upon sinful lips, as honeyed eyes glanced up and down the man's fine form.

"Oh, yes, very good." Alistair marched past, a hand grabbing the helmet on his belt. Putting it on, he hoisted his shield and sword, ready for the next bloody battle.

"Well, I do hope it is not a Tuesday. I truly would not want to wake with a severed arm or limb, if you please." He mused thoughtfully, twirling the sword around in a circle playfully.

"I do not know Alistair, perhaps you should give a dance to draw their attention to you," Morrigan smirked, one hand upon the staff on her back. Ready to draw it in the instance she needed it.

"Why, yes…" The blonde's sarcastic voice rang out as hurlocks appeared around the bend in the cavern tunnel, "I should twirl and dance and let the darkspawn howl themselves silly with laughter."

Flipping one dagger point down, the elf darted forward. Slipping effortlessly between the ranks of Darkspawn, to finally get behind the Hurlock that had rushed the swordsman with a bellow of rage. Twirling round in a half-circle, he buried the daggers to the hilt in the necks of two enemies, easing the battle by a margin.

"Perhaps, you could dance and dismember together, my friend." Spoke the long blond as he ducked a swing from a Greatsword and jumped a sweep of a long blade at the same time.

"Really, so I should strut and flutter my eyelashes, waving my dress from side to side." His voice picked up with a high pitched false tone that clearly was meant to represent a female's voice. "While sliding a blade between their ribs? Really Zevran. I think not."

"I think you would look very dashing in a dress dear Alistair, it would certainly bring out your eyes." Morrigan cackled, as fire struck down and spread outwards, lighting all on fire and causing the companions to make a swift retreat away from the line of attack.

The blond male swung his sword around, and through the stomach of another Hurlock in his way, who screeched as it fell. Bringing up his shield, he deflected the new attack while sighing in response to the words spoken.

"Really? Why is it always me?" He muttered, "Am I really so easy to make fun of?"

The last Hurlock then fell, falling forward and revealing the arrow in its neck. From behind, leaning against the wall, looking tired was another elf. Smiling grimly, he nodded in response to the swordsman's question. "Yes, you are. But it cheers us up when we need it. Though you are not the only one that gets the brunt of the jokes, Leliana does as well."

Zevran strode out of the shadows silently. His body seeming to form as he came into the light as though made from shadows. While daggers dripped a mixture of red and black were held in one hand. The blond long-haired elf finished wrapping a strip of clean cloth around a deep cut in his upper arm. As golden brown eyes carefully surveyed the group.

"The last are dead. Tried to run, but I caught them." His eyes gleamed with the thrill of a hunt gone well. "Mayhap we can find a place to set up camp soon, yes? The darkness is ahead of us on this day."

Green eyes flicked over to the other elf, and his grim smile turned into a gentle grin. "Got them all did you assassin?"

"Yes. They were quick, but I, am quicker." The blond elf spoke with confidence lit to his voice. "After all, the crows need to do their work well to escape a flogging for failure."

"Sounds just terrible that does. Do the crows really flog you for a mistake?" Alistair murmured, sliding his sword home into the leather scabbard with a click.

The witch lifted a vial to her lips and took a sip, shuddering and smiling as the potion did its work to heal the wounds on her body.

"Interesting… I think I want to meet these crow masters of yours elf." Morrigan looked far too interested for the human males' comfort, and he moved to put the elves between himself and the female.

"You, my lady, scare me."

"Such flattery Alistair." The wild's witch laughed, amused with his reaction.

Green eyes rolled, amusement showing on his face as he listened to the two human's banter. Tilting his head, he gave a toothy grin towards Zevran while waggling his dark eyebrows. The blond elf chuckled in return.

Stepping up to the other male, the crow assassin threw the black-haired elf's arm over his shoulder and took some of the wardens' weight, knowing earlier that the younger one had been clipped in the leg by one of the poison blades. And even though the wound had been treated for poison and healed by magic. The feeling of the cut and the hurt that had been there still throbbed through the muscle. For the body did not forget wounds, as readily as magic took them away.

"They never stop…" Spoke the dark-haired elf with a fond smile.

"Hm?" Grunted Zevran in question.

"Alistair and Morrigan. They never stop arguing." Green eyes glanced over at the assassin, while the elf tried to walk as gently as possible on the throbbing calf muscle of his leg. He was also trying not to lean too much on the taller blond at his side, but the other just gave him an irritated glance and decided to pick green eyes up bridle style.

"Zevran!" He yelped, clinging to the other in shock at the sudden change in his balance.

"You are so hard-headed, my friend." Spoke Zevran with a grin. "Perhaps you could just lay back and enjoy the ride, yes?"

"Put, me, down." The dark-haired elf was glaring at the other now, not amused in the slightest.

But the assassin just laughed, while leaning down and brushing lips across that sweat beaded brow under his chin. "Hadrian, you are always so prideful. Let me carry you, at least for today amore."

The dark-haired elf's eyes were wide, staring at the blond with surprise. Then pale lips twitched into a grin before laying his head on a strong shoulder. "Fine," Hadrian grumbled, as he closed tired eyes.

"Always so proud. But accepting help does not make you weak, no?"

"Shut up you." The black-haired elf muttered back, shifting his face into the blonds neck and shoulder area. "Don't make me smack you, cheeky."

"Such harsh words my own. You can be so cruel." Said Zev with a forlorn sigh.

This attracted the attention of Morrigan and Alistair, who stopped and looked forward at the other two. Alistair tilted his head, eyebrows raised in both question and curiosity. "Well, that's not something you see every day." Spoke the blond human. The corner of his lips turned upward into a smile, eyes crinkling with laughter lines.

"Hmmm... yes. Our warden certainly does not like to show weakness, does he not?" Replied the witch with a slight smile. Alister just grinned at her, carefully rotating his arm around in a circle under the heavy armour as he tried to loosen the tight muscles of his elbow. The weight of holding the iron sword for hours had begun to make his arm ache.

"Zevran! See if you can spot a place to camp out, would you?" He called, as the swordsman stopped and stared back the way they had come. His fingers tightened around the sword's hilt as he lifted his shield up into a guard position. "Morrigan and I shall stay here to deal with the darkspawn."

"What?!" The black elf looked up, eyes wide. His hand gripped Zev's left shoulder as Hadrian looked back at the two humans in horror. "No! I shall stay and fight with you."

"Hadrian..." Groaned Alister as he turned to stare at the black-haired elf with a severe frown. "You cannot."

Zevran gritted his teeth as he wrestled with the wriggly lithe body of his partner, who was determined to get down and face the enemy head-on once again. "Amore!" He snapped, causing the elf to freeze and look up with wide eyes.

"Enough..." Breathed the blond, pressing a gentle kiss to Hadrian's forehead. "You need to rest."

"I'm fine, Zev." Those bright green eyes gently smiled. "It doesn't even hurt any-more."

"My own." Zevran shook his head. Shifting the elf's body slightly, he raised his hand up to eye level, fingers coated in red. "Your healed skin has split. I can bind it, but rest will be best to stop the bleeding."

Green eyes stared in horrified silence at the glistening liquid coating bronze coloured fingers. Swallowing, Hadrian nodded relenting to their wishes while relaxing back into Zevran's hold.

"Very well..." the black elf frowned, "but you, my king, better make it back alive."

"Oh, I shall make it so," says Morrigan with a twisted smile. "Upon our return, he shall be unharmed and still whining as ever."

"I do not whine..." Said Alistair with a pout, as he turned and began walking back towards the tunnel the party had come from.

"My dear Alistair, yes, you do."

"No, I don't." The swordsman sang back at her in playfulness, his voice fading into the distance as they walked away from the two elves.

"Oh! So, you do not whine about there being too many darkspawn and not enough cheese…?" Was the last they heard as Zevran and Hadrian made their way further into the caverns ahead.

–-¬= ;#{+HP+DA+}#; ¬-

Deep within the Thaig with Zevran and the Warden:

A hiss escaped as Hadrian was placed upon the ground of the side cave, away from the main cavern. It was large enough to hold all four of them adequately, along with a campfire and still have room to move comfortably. The black elf's hand pressed harder down upon his wound as blood pooled up between parted fingers though the sodden bandaging.

The hardened leather armour, spelled against damage or was meant to be, had been split jaggedly by a coarse blade which had splinted off at the end. That darkspawn had been very lucky to get off such a hit before the daggers of the crow had embedded themselves in the infected creature's skull and ended its life for hurting his partner.

But as the blond elven had taken down the creature of the spawn, a shard of the sword broke off, as the beast fell to the assassin's blades as they tasted blood. It was this novice mistake that had ended up wounding the black elf severely, tearing the skin and slicing deep into the muscle where the piece of the festering blade now resided. It had near cost the black-haired elf his legs. To never walk again would have devastated the forest loving creature for the rest of his natural life. This didn't include the impact it had on Zevran when he saw Hadrian collapse with neither sound nor movement. It was like the spirit of life had been cut, and all that was left behind was the body.

Thankfully he was still alive. The shard had done a lot of damage, but a potion helped to patch up the wound somewhat to allow him to walk and fight without collapsing. But without getting him to a healer, there was no telling how bad the situation they were in could get, trapped down a cavern system, below the earth in a Dwarfen Thaig…

"This is the most idiotic thing you have ever done, yes?"

Pale lips slowly moved up into a gentle smile. Watching as the blond gave a grunt as the male knelt down beside the smaller elf. "Maybe not the most idiotic." He muttered, shaking his head with a sniggering laugh.

"Amore, No laughing at this elf. Not when he holds all your prayers within." Said Zevren with a wriggle of his eyebrows.

The black-haired elf let the blond reposition his hands from their place over the wound on his leg, to around the injury itself, fingers red and sticky with old and new blood. "Really now, you are making me very intrigued sir elf." The wounded elf tilted his head to the side a teasing smile on his lips, as he tried to ignore the flashes of pain as the other cleaned his wound as they bantered back and forth.

Then the gentle laughter cut with a hiss as the black-haired male winced, fingers white from where they pressed tightly against the skin of his thigh around the wound. These were new lengths of cotton linen strips and roughly square-cut pieces of fabric, all had been sterilized in boiling water and been packed over the wound. This helped to keep the air away from open flesh and allow the party at a later time to remove the shard of the sword without having to open the skin once it had healed anew.

"You are ok now, la mia ombra (my shadow), yes?" Queried the blond quietly, as the last strips were firmly tightened over the wound to keep it from being contaminated from the surrounding area any more than it could have been. A gentle hand reached forward and ran his knuckles down smooth cheeks, causing green eyes to lift and to catch onto golden irises which looked worriedly at the ground-bound warden.

"I shall be fine, Zev. I am not going anywhere see?" The black-haired male shrugged, breaking the stare the two elves had been locked within. Reaching over to the side, Hadrian pulled his daggers and bow over, holding them in a tense grip as he held them in his lap. "I will be sure to keep my weapons close at hand at all times."

"I know you shall, but let me help you at least tie on your daggers amore. It will make me feel more at ease knowing you are at least equipped, while I go scouting for dangers abound." Zevran tilted his head, smiling cheekily as he reached down and gripped the daggers, pulling them out of the slacked grip of the gently laughing Hadrian. Leaning forward, the blond elf gently rubbed his nose against the other elves making the green-eyed one duck away eyes shut. The taller elf carefully tied the daggers to the belts that crisscrossed over the black male's chest.

Making sure the knots were tight, but easy to undo in an emergency or need to do maintenance. The blond then helped to fit the bow and quiver stuffed full of many different arrows (like magic, poison & normal) before leaning back to nudge his head into the black-haired elf's and nuzzle the others forehead murmuring affection into the other's hair. The other black-haired elven kin just shook his head in bemusement, huffing in stifled laughter.

The two look a long few seconds just breathing together, eyes closed before the elder moved away. Those green eyes opened, and he tilted his head to the side. Zev just shook his head and curved his arm under a hip while the other went over the other side to help direct the black elf down onto his side. For a long moment, the younger resisted, just staring up at the Crow Assassin, before a smile overtook that young-looking face and the blond leaned down slightly. "Ora di riposo. Riproduci in seguito? (Rest now. Play later?)"

His eyes went wide, Hadrian swallowed, then nodded before the warden followed the blond's direction and lay down on his side, allowing the stressed leg to rest unheeded from pressure and weight of his body. Tired eyes watched the honey eyed blond nod at his figure before straightening, turning away and walking towards the entrance. Then with a sudden run leapt up the wall and seemed to vanish into the shadows at the top of the cavern wall.

–-¬= ;#{+HP+DA+}#; ¬-

Half an Hour Later:

Half an hour soundlessly passes while Warden Hadrian sleeps, knowing the Assassin patrols the halls of the Thaig. Then…

Breathing gently, green eyes flicker open, irises dilate confused at the gentle light surrounding him in a silvery-white glow. Blinking, it was suddenly inside he felt it, a tight burning sensation, as though Hadrian's whole body was ready to combust into flame right there and then.

With a groan, the warden heaved himself onto his side and then paled as it registered just what that burning feeling inside had been displaying and trying to tell his instincts this whole time.

Right around the black-haired elf's body and a good few feet away was a summoning circle. A Reverse Summoning Circle to be more exact, to summon whatever you wanted was inside as long as you had the strength and control to do so. Distance was matched by power, and as long as you had something that belonged to that which you wanted to summon, nothing could stand in your way to getting what you want.

Gasping breaths as it got harder to breathe, Hadrian pulled himself up as quickly as he could, ignoring his wound as it split and burst once again, the sealed skin opening like a ripe banana being torn apart. Blood coated the elf's inner thighs and dripped down his legs to the ground, as the man tried desperately to get out of the circle. But it was like trying to wade through running water.

Then his leg collapsed underneath, ripping a cry of anger from the male's tense form. Pushing up onto hands and knees, stretched a hand out, concentrating on the fiery spark inside, but even that did not work. This spell was cutting off all avenues.

Green eyes watched in horror as the light got brighter and yelled out to Zevran with all his heart.

Then the cavern, the Thaig and everything Hadrian knew vanished in a blinding glow of white light.

–-¬= ;#{+HP+DA+}#; ¬-

Not a Minute later with Zevran:

"ZEVREN!" It echoed deep in his ears the fear within his Amore's voice before being stolen away. It was unlike anything he had heard within Hadrian's voice before. Never had he listened to the other elf scream out like that, in such terror and fear.

The blond elf's lips were pressed tightly against one another as he stared down at the ground where the black-haired elf had lain, fingers wrapped tightly around the leather-wrapped hilt of his two daggers to keep from punching a wall in frustration.

"Zevren?" Alister's voice was not a welcome distraction at this time, though the female mage beside him may have the answers he needed. "We heard the warden's scream and came as fast as we could. Where is he?"

"Assassin?" At her sharp query, the blond turned and looked over his shoulder at them both. Alistair was covered head to toe in darkspawn blood once more, indicating there had been quite a lot following the group. The mage was, as always, impeccable, her sharp eyes flickering over the area taking in the scene with an emotionless gaze.

"What happened Zev?" Alistair said again.

"Observe beneath your feet, my friend." He said as he turned and gestured at the intricate markings, which had been seemingly burned into the ground, and the blood that showed where Hadrian had lain. His outline was still warm from having been there only moments before. A thin stretch of black indicated that the warden had reached out trying to escape his fate just before he had been whisked away by this strange, most unholy of magicks. The air itself seemed to buzz with energy.

Morrigan bent down, fingers brushing the charred ground. Sparks flickering from her fingers at the touch, fluttered down caused her to flinch back. "Such Dark magic tis this I have ever seen, through my mother I have heard rumour this has been performed many a time."

"You know what magic this is then?"

"Tis a Reverse Summoning Spell. Not one of this realm, though, the glyphs are far too strange for our tongue."

"I care not for the magic of this spell. Just tell me where my Amore has disappeared to!" Bit out Zevren as he turned away, fingers white around the hilt of his dagger which weighed comfortingly in his palm. The other blade was still within its sheath on his hip, the blonds left hand curled into a fist as sharp eyes traced over that blacked mark which was shaped precisely in Hadrian's form. Clearly from the shape, as Zevran could see, the dark-haired elf had struggled to get away with his wounded thigh. But had failed and only time to yell for the blond before the magic had erupted beneath him and ensnared his form to spirit him away.

'Amore…' He thought, fingers clenched. 'Wait for me! I will find where you have gone. And if you have been hurt in any way, retribution will be swift.'

End Chapter 1