torch, flambeau@strangeplaces.net
June-July 2013

Disclaimer: I don't usually add warnings in story headers, but I don't usually write non-con gangbangs with bonus bestiality, either. Feel free to back out if you'd rather. Written for this prompt on the Dragon Age kink meme. Do not archive without permission.

Scream Sea Sick

When they finally came for him, Anders had completely lost track of time.

He had a feeling he'd lost track of most things, really. Oh, he remembered his name, he knew where he was and why, he knew the strange weakness he felt was from the magebane in his food, he could tell his left hand from his right and he knew why the cat wouldn't be coming to see him any more. Simple things like that.

Wavering light outside made him wince and cover his eyes. That usually meant food, once the light had gone away again. Anders waited, but the light didn't fade away into darkness. Instead he heard the jingle of metal, the screech of a key in a lock, the clang of a bar being removed. Slow whine of the door being opened, and then there was light, so much light. Anders squeezed his eyes shut, clapped both hands to his face. "Ow."

He heard footsteps. More than one person. Then he felt hands, hands, not imaginary, not wearing gauntlets, gripping his shoulders. "Right, up you get. Time to go back outside and be a good little mage again."

"There's people who've missed you," a second voice said, sounding amused. "Come on, let's get-- Oh, Maker's toenails, is he crying?"

"It's the light," the first voice said. "You've never seen someone who's spent a long time in the dark before, have you? Make yourself useful, Franz, tie something over his face so we can get out of here."

"Bothers you, doesn't it." The second voice was still amused. Anders could feel hands again, hands on his legs, very briefly, and then his tattered outer robe was ripped, the once-fancy cloth tearing easily now.

"We're under the water level here," the first voice grumbled. "Here, give me that." The strip of cloth wrapped around Anders's head, over his eyes. "If you don't take your hands off your face, they'll be tied that way."

Anders jerked his hands down just as the second voice said, "Now that would be interesting."

"Not very practical, though. Now, then. Come on." They both took hold of him, Franz and the other one, who Anders thought from the voice had to be Edder. He remembered Edder, but Franz was new. When they pulled him forward, he moved. But it wasn't until he hit his toes on the first stone step going up that Anders realized, really realized, that his time in solitary was over, that the hands touching him were real, that he was getting out.

He could have kissed them.

Anders tried to keep track of every step they took, up which stairs and along which hallways; he'd spent a lot of time down there in the dark mapping out every part of Kinloch Hold in his head, from the open halls that everyone used down to the most hidden passages he thought of as his, because no other living soul had ever seen them. But he kept getting distracted by the sound of Edder and Franz's breathing, the rustle of their clothes, the warmth of their hands on his arms. The air smelled different up here, lighter and dryer and with a trace of... cabbage, he recognized after a moment, that was the cabbage stew everyone always complained about.

Cooler air, and an added echo to their footsteps: a bigger room, then, closer to the outside. The sound of someone clearing his throat. Anders was brought to a halt. "Why is he blindfolded?" And that was Greagoir's voice; Anders would know it anywhere.

"It's the light, ser," Edder said. "Hurts his eyes."

"I see." Greagoir's voice came closer. "I trust you have learned your lesson, Anders. You have regained a measure of freedom, but you will be closely watched from now on."

Anders rolled his eyes under the blindfold, because just how was that different from before? He'd always had the templars breathing down his neck. Unless the rules had changed dramatically while he'd been locked up, being closely watched was just what being a mage in the tower meant. And if the mage in question happened to be someone who was already infamous for his repeated escapes, well.

"We'll keep an eye on him, ser," Franz said.

"We all will," Edder added, sounding oddly cheerful about it, cheerful and anticipatory.

"Very well." Greagoir's armor creaked as he moved away again. A faint note of distaste crept into his voice as he said dismissively, "And do make certain he gets clean."

"Yes, ser!"

Anders only stumbled slightly as he was dragged away. Warmer air again, closer air, more cabbage, the sound of metal against the stone floor, and the softer slaps of his own bare feet.

Then they turned a corner and the smell of cabbage faded, replaced by soap. "Get the door," Edder said, and Anders was hustled into a very warm, steamy room; he heard the door clang shut again. "The knight-commander had a point. You're not quite as filthy as I thought you would be. Still, it'll take a bit of work to make you presentable again. Step in here."

Anders banged his shins on the edge of something. Looking down he could see, in the eye-watering slice of brightness at the lower edge of his loosening blindfold, the side of a tin tub. He stepped into it the way he was urged to, and before he could say anything, his worn-out robes were being unfastened and pulled off him. He tried to say wait, and then a bucket of slightly too-hot water poured over him, and he jerked instead, then jerked harder in the other direction as a second bucket of icy cold followed it.

Someone laughed, and a moment later, he felt a soapy brush start to scrub at his back. Anders tried to find his voice, to remind his throat and his mind both of how to speak, because this wasn't -- templars stripping him naked and scrubbing him down, that wasn't what he expected at all. He was a grown man, he knew how to wash himself. And he wouldn't have used a rough brush to do it, either. Though it was a bit like getting his back scratched, which he'd always loved.

A third bucket of water sluiced over him; the water was up to his ankles in the tub now, barely. He thought the washing was over, but then the brush was replaced by soapy hands that went into some very intimate places. Anders twitched as those hands briskly washed his cock and balls, washed between his thighs and then spread his arse apart and rubbed down. One slick finger prodded at his opening.

"No," he managed to mouth, his first word after all that time in silence. Except that he couldn't summon his voice, so it was a whisper and less than a whisper, just the shape of a word on his lips. "No..."

"Oh, we want you a bit cleaner than this," Edder said, still in that calmly cheerful voice, and the finger pressed harder, breaching the muscle, and twisted inside him. Anders mde a soundless whine high in his throat. More water splashed over him as the finger pulled out again. "There, that's better."

"Out," Franz said, tugging on one of Anders's arms. "Come on." Anders stepped out of the tub, too confused to be outraged, especially when he was met with a warm, scratchy cloth and roughly dried off.

"You'd better be done with this, now," Edder said and pulled the blindfold off Anders's head. He blinked and flinched a little at the sharpness of the light, but his eyes had adjusted gradually behind the blindfold, especially as it grew looser, and it didn't take long for him to see the room properly. This was one of the smaller rooms behind the tower's big bathing chamber. It had barely any furniture, but... But a lot of templars.

Well, not that many, but they were big, so they seemed to take up a lot of room. And they mostly wore their armor, though not helmets or gauntlets. They were all looking at him -- they'd all seen him stand there naked in the bathroom, being washed and, well. Probed.

"There," Franz said with a final scrub of the cloth. Anders was still leaving wet footprints on the floor, but at least he wasn't dripping.

"Some of us wanted to welcome you back," Edder said, and Anders was starting to think that cheerful was the wrong word for his voice right now. Gleeful, maybe. And the anticipation was still there, in his face more than in his voice. "And there's a couple of new fellows here that I thought you could use an introduction to. Show them what a good, obedient mage you are now." He rubbed his hands together. "Right, who's got the stuff?"

"Here," one templar said, tossing Edder a small, round pot.

"Thanks." Edder unscrewed the lid. "Franz, bend him over." Franz, who turned out to be thick-shouldered and redheaded, took Anders by the upper body and folded him in half before he could even draw breath to protest. He would have staggered, except that Franz held him so firmly.

And then Edder pushed a finger into his arse again, and Anders cried out, coming close to making an actual sound. Edder's finger was much slicker now, greased up with whatever was in that pot, and it slid in easily, thrusting a few times, then drawing back, pushing in... two fingers, thick and greasy, twisting just as before, as if they were trying to...

"No," Anders mouthed, clinging to the word. As if they were spreading that greasy stuff evenly, those fingers, getting his hole slick and ready.

"Right," Edder said, "who's first?"

"You and Franz did all the work," the templar with the greasepot said. "You should get to start. Hrr." That sound was probably some kind of lascivious chuckle, hoarse and cut short. "Then we'll draw lots for it."

It, Anders thought, outraged, I'm not an it, and he struggled a bit against Franz's tight hold, which was like trying to struggle against a wall, and then Edder's big, slightly greasy hands pulled his arse cheeks apart and a thick cock began to push into him. Anders made a protesting noise, tried to clench down, but he was so slick, Edder's cock just kept sliding in and in. No, Anders mouthed again, voicelessly, no, just as the head of the cock bumped over a certain spot inside him and a slow pulse began to drum through his entire body, one beat for every thrust.

He'd dreamed about this, in the loneliness and the dark. About being touched, skin to skin. About being stretched and filled and fucked.

Not about templars. Not about just being taken.

Edder groaned. "Maker, but he's tight."

Someone laughed from across the room. "Even a slut like Anders gets tight after all that time in solitary. Bet he's missed getting a cock rammed up his arse."

"He's a lucky little mage, then," Franz said. "Getting such a welcome party as soon as he's out again."

"No," Anders breathed very quietly, the word only the faintest puff of air. He hadn't dreamed about this, and it didn't feel good to be touched again, to be fucked again, and it was just coincidence that Edder kept thrusting in at the right angle, hitting the right spot, lighting him up inside, and it didn't feel good, it didn't...

"Look at that." That was the templar who'd had the greasepot, again. "The little mage slut's getting hard."

Edder made a sound deep in his throat; his grip on Anders's hips tightened and his thrusts grew fast and jerky until he drove in deep and spent himself with a satisfied grunt. He stayed like that for a few moments, unmoving, breathing so heavily Anders could feel it on his back. Then he pulled out with a slap to one of Anders's arse cheeks. "Right, Franz, it's your turn."

Another templar came up and took over Franz's grip on Anders's shoulders, holding him with the same frustrating strength and ease, as Franz said, "Where's the slick stuff?"

"Here, but-- Oh. Yes, you'll need it."

Anders shifted his feet, wondering if he could back up and jerk himself free, feeling as weak and wobbly as he did after spending all that time confined in a small room. He'd tried to keep himself as active as he could in there, tried to move, tried to exercise, even, but he knew he was no match physically for even one templar, let alone a whole roomful of them.

Then Franz grabbed his hips and thrust in, or tried to, anyway, and Anders's breath caught in his throat as he tried to howl. Franz was huge. Felt huge, anyway, and was obviously inexperienced with this, trying to compensate with power for his lack of technique. Anders breathed in rapid little gasps as he tried to adjust to this new stretch, this hard, awkward pushing. He shifted his feet again and rolled his hips a bit, and the angle came right, or maybe that was wrong; Franz grunted in satisfaction as he slid in several inches at once, and Anders whined between his teeth.

Franz must have used half the stuff in the pot, at least. When he pulled back and thrust in again, there was a wet slap of a sound, and Anders could feel the excess of whatever greasy stuff had been used, pressing out over his skin as Franz went deeper. It sounded obscene. All of this was obscene; here he was, finally released from the darkness and the solitude, and he was being held down by one templar and fucked by another, raped by another, and--

Anders bit his lip. Franz was so big, his cock rubbed with thick, inadvertent pressure just where Anders's body was primed to respond, and all the unwilling tension of pleasure that Edder had woken in him came alive again. Oh, he hated this, hated every moment of it, and it felt good. Anders bit his lip harder, but that sharp little pain couldn't override the long, deep thrusts in his arse and the way each thrust sent sparks of silver and lightning through him.

He hoped that Franz, young and inexperienced, would come too fast for anyone to notice how Anders was responding. But Franz just kept going and going, maddeningly efficient now that he'd settled into it, pulling back nearly all the way and then thrusting in until his hipbones slapped against Anders's arse, again and again, over and over, grunting a little every few thrusts. Hipbones, not armor, so he must have stripped down a bit.

Anders tried to think about that, tried to make his mind organized and linear, but he couldn't; instead, he moaned, unable to hold the sound back, weak as it was. His whole body was buzzing now, filled with that tension, that intensity, hands on him cock in him skin on skin, too much for him to handle, darkness and solitude and then this excess of sensation and feeling. "Too much," he whispered, "too much!"

Too much. The way it made him feel was too much. Anders twisted in the hands that held him, struggling against the inevitable, and Franz's hands tightened on his hips, Franz pounded into him hard and deep.

With a sob of despair and ecstasy, Anders came. He didn't realise his eyes were open until he saw his own seed spatter the floor.

Someone laughed behind him. "Oh, the mage slut's certainly enjoying himself!"

"Aren't you done yet, Franz?" someone else chimed in. "It's time to let someone else have a go at him."

That made Anders shudder, and Franz slammed in and held himself still and deep with a groan, and Anders almost fancied he could feel the man coming, feel the cock inside him twitch and pump out spurts of seed.

Franz pulled out, and Anders bit his lip again, drawing a tiny, salty bead of blood this time. He felt so open and so wet, and all those men behind him were staring at his arse. They'd seen him come, they thought he liked this, though he had no doubt they'd do it if they thought he hated it, too.

"Well," Edder said, "who's next?"

Two or three people answered at the same time, and hearing their voices, realising what it meant, Anders began to struggle again, trying to wrench himself out of the grip on his upper body, though his knees felt like jelly and there was no strength in him at all. "Now, don't be so unruly," said the man who held him, sounding amused and indulgent. "Be a good mage and spread your legs wider, and you'll get more."

"No," Anders said, and this time he managed sound with his speech, not just breath, though it was only a faint croak.

"I'm sure Anders remembers his old friend Bran," said a familiar voice behind him, and confident hands settled on his arse, spread him open for another cock to push inside. Bran wasn't quite as painfully thick as Franz, and Anders thought he could just ignore this, remove himself from what was happening to his body, stand unmoving and let himself be used and think of something else. Like vengeance. Vengeance would be good.

But Bran was also much more experienced than Franz. He had no difficulty in thrusting in and going deep. When he angled himself and stroked downwards, his cock rubbing over that throbbing, sensitive spot inside Anders, it was certainly no accident. Bran did it again and again, and Anders whimpered, because that relentless assault was too much, too soon, and it made his cock twitch painfully. He couldn't ignore it.

At the same time, it didn't hurt, rather the reverse; it was just too much for his body to handle. And it didn't stop. Bran's cock kept pounding in, hitting that spot on every stroke, and instead of being numbed by the assault, it tingled and sparked and sent waves of fizzy arousal through his body.

When his cock gave another twitch and began to harden, Anders bit back a sob. His body was betraying him. Again. His legs tensed, wanting to push him back into the thrusts, meeting them. He glared at them. "No."

"Nice and tight, even after Edder." Bran shifted his grip on Anders's arse, pushing up, drawing Anders up on his toes. If Anders hadn't been held in such a steady grip, he would have fallen forward. Bran went in deeper now on every thrust, and to judge by the sounds he made, little grunts and groans, this suited him perfectly. He went on and on, and Anders, disoriented and unbalanced, cursed his traitorous cock for its response to this vigorous pounding.

The worst thing was, if Bran had really wanted him to feel pleasure, he would have reached around and given Anders a hand. That wasn't quite it, though. The carefully angled thrusts were meant to make a point, and Anders's body was reacting despite the wishes of his mind, showing that the point was indeed being made. Anders felt his cheeks burn with shame. At least no one could see that, see his face, the way he was positioned.

Bran could apparently keep going forever. In and out and in and out. Anders gritted his teeth. He wasn't taking any enjoyment in this. He wasn't going to come.

"Come on, Bran," someone else said. "Fill him up."

Yes, Anders thought, let him come, let it be over. He tried to tighten himself around Bran's thrusting cock, tried to squeeze the orgasm out of it, and Bran grunted and thrust harder and then he did come, and this time Anders knew that he felt it, and knew why he felt it, too. Even through the muffling daze of magebane, he could feel the faint tingle of lyrium, the weak blue spark of it that laced the templars' sweat and tears and spit and seed.

Bran pulled out with a firm slap to Anders's arse, the same way the templar might have slapped the shoulder of a horse he'd just dismounted. "Lellen, I think it's your turn now."

"About time." That was the templar who'd had the grease pot. He came up and took over Bran's position behind Anders and pushed in with no preliminaries. "He's getting a bit slick inside, isn't he."

Slick enough that this Lellen's cock met no resistance, that much was certain. Anders wished he had something to bite down on, or at least press his mouth against. He didn't want to make any noise for the templars, definitely not any noises that sounded like pleasure. Not that anyone seemed to notice when he tried to say anything, but they had definitely noticed him coming, and if he started moaning and grinding back, they were bound to notice that, too.

Bran's relentless fucking had made Anders hard, and now Lellen was pounding into him in much the same rhythm, and at just the same angle, hitting that spot over and over. Anders tried to focus on the discomfort of his legs, particularly the stretch in his calves, and the slight wooziness in his head from being bent over, and the sheer wrongness of all these templars acting as if they had their favorite fucktoy back. But there was a cock in his arse, giving him just the kind of stimulation that his body wanted, and though Anders tried to tell himself that he was a mage with unparalleled will and determination, and his mind had the power, here, all the same he arched his back, getting just that little bit of extra pressure.

"No," he whined quietly to himself, though he might just as well have said YES, or nothing at all. Lellen's cock was thoroughly average, neither very long nor very short, very thick or very thin. But the way Lellen swivelled his hips as he drove in, making every thrust a deep rush of sensation, that wasn't average at all, and the way it felt was flooding all through Anders's body, building up a pressure that he held back for a little while by clenching his teeth, once again wishing desperately for something to bite down on, something to hold. He didn't have anything, and in the end, there wasn't anything he could do to stop the dam of his self-control from bursting. His toes curled, his fingers spasmed on empty air, and he could barely hear his own soft cry over the heavy roaring in his ears as he came and came.

"Oh, that's good," Lellen rasped out as Anders twitched and trembled with aftershocks. "Little mage bitch." He slammed in and spent himself, and Anders felt the tingle of lyrium again, a little stronger this time. Either the magebane was starting to wear off, or Lellen was more heavily addicted than the others.

When Lellen pulled out, Anders could feel all the templar seed inside him start to leak from his hole, thick globs sliding down the insides of his thighs.

"You hold him again, Franz," said the fifth templar, the one who had a grip on Anders's upper body. "I reckon it's my turn now."

Anders was handed off from one firm hold into another. His knees buckled a little at the move. "Might as well get him down on all fours," Lellen suggested, "he's so wobbly."

"Be easier that way," Franz agreed cheerfully, and the next instant, Anders was being guided down, settled on his hands and knees on the cold stone floor, and then tugged forward so Franz could take him in a steady grip once again. "There, arse in the air and waiting."

"He's dripping," the fifth templar said in a dry voice. "Filthy little mage bitch."

"What, too dirty for you? You don't want your turn?"

"Oh, I didn't say that." The fifth templar thrust in, and oh, Andraste's holy nose hairs, he must be Franz's older, bigger brother. The templars must be recruiting for cock size these days, Anders thought dizzily, and also, ow. All the slick in him, all the seed in him, wasn't quite enough to ease this stretch, this burn, and he could feel that he was already tender from the first four, and now there was... this. And he'd thought Franz was huge.

"Bet he's grateful you went last," Franz said.

The fifth templar made a dismissive sound. "You think I'm grateful to get the sloppy leftovers? You think I want to fuck a hole full of your spunk?"

"If you don't like it, you can always stop," Edder said. The fifth templar thrust harder, deeper, faster, and Anders whimpered. "Thought so. I thought you'd appreciate an easy fuck for once."

Bran laughed raucously. "They don't get much easier than Anders."

Anders wanted to strangle him. No magic, no lightning bolts; he wanted to strangle Bran with his bare hands. He would strangle Bran with his bare hands. If he was able to move after the fifth templar was done with him. That huge cock kept ramming in and all he felt was sore, over-used, and in some odd way he was thankful for that. Not that he wanted to be hurt or damaged, no. But he'd rather be uncomfortable. He didn't want it to feel good.

"No," he mouthed quietly to himself and let his head hang down as the fifth templar's forceful thrusts drove him into Franz's grip. He felt dazed, as if all of this was unreal, as if he were still alone in the dark and all this was an illusion -- being freed, being cleaned, being touched, being abused.

But the cock that stretched him wide definitely wasn't an illusion. His arse was telling him in no uncertain terms that this was all too real. Every forceful thrust made a wet, slapping sound; the thick shaft was pressing out trickles of the other four men's spent fluids. Anders felt split open, and it was that more than anything else that drove home to him just how real it all was. He was held down, he was opened up, and even a cock as big as this met no resistance, pounding easily into his hole. With every thrust, he felt a dull pulse inside as that spot was stroked, but there was no pleasure in it, just a low throb, another reminder of what was happening.

"I thought he was good," Franz said over Anders's head. "'Course, I had him early. He's messier now."

The fifth templar thrust faster, long strokes turning shorter and choppier, and his hands on Anders's hips clenched bruisingly hard. "Not as messy as he's going to be," he grunted. Two more thrusts, with the templar grinding himself as deep as he could get and Anders biting back a groan at how full and overwhelmed he was, and then the fifth templar came with only the faintest spark of lyrium.

He pulled out, and Anders felt grateful for that, even with how cold and exposed it left him. "Look at that," Lellen said, "his hole's been fucked open and he's leaking."

"Filthy bitch." The fifth templar obviously wasn't any more sweet-natured after his orgasm than he'd been before.

"I bet," Franz said, and something in his voice made the hair on the back of Anders's neck stand up, "I bet Scout would love a filthy little bitch like this."

The fifth templar laughed thickly. "Why don't we find out," he said, slapping at Anders's inner thigh, spreading his legs even wider. "He's outside the door, right?"

"Yeah. Edder, can you let him in?"

The door opened, there was a happy bark and the sound of claws clicking against the stone floor, and Anders yanked wildly against Franz's grip. "No. No."

"Don't make a fuss, now." Franz patted Anders's back as though he was the dog here, not this Scout -- Anders turned his head, stretched his neck uncomfortably, and could just make out the largest mabari he'd ever seen, chestnut brown and big as a calf. "Scout's a good boy, he's never rough with his bitches. Here, Scout, got you a treat. Mount."

The mabari barked again, short and enthusiastic, and then a furry weight was on Anders and he panicked, trying to wrench himself away. Someone slapped his thigh again, and Franz's grip didn't change or falter, just held Anders in place with the same ease as before.

"Be a good bitch," the fifth templar said, "tilt your arse up for him." Anders felt the jab of the dog's cock against his buttocks, his upper thighs, glancing against his balls, and then sliding in, inside him, a dog cock inside him, pumping at a fast, jerky pace. It was thick, but not painfully so, and Anders knew a brief moment of relief before the shaft started to thicken. The dog thrust a couple more times, and then a large bump pressed into him and stretched him wide.

He cried out, and Franz chuckled. "Found the good part, did you?" Anders bared his teeth and thought about biting whatever part of Franz he could reach, because feeling that bump ram into his arse was just wrong, and he wasn't certain that -- oh, it was growing. It was growing bigger, and when it pushed deeper into him he couldn't keep quiet but cried out louder. Scout tried to pull back and Anders thought he would die, but then the dog just started pumping inside him instead, with that bump staying in Anders's arse, pushing and pressing inside him and growing even more.

He'd never been so full. He'd definitely never wanted to be so full. So this, this was a dog's knot, they called it, and maybe on a small dog it was small like a knot in a string, but Scout was a huge dog and this felt like the kind of knot sailors made to moor a ship. Anders felt a deep throbbing inside as the huge bump filled him and rubbed him everywhere, grinding against the place inside that Anders was trying to pretend didn't exist.

He couldn't react to this. His body couldn't find it stimulating. A dog was taking him, he was being fucked in the arse by a dog cock, he was filled and stretched by an enormous dog knot while the templars watched and laughed, and it didn't feel good at all, it was terrible. Anders became aware that he was still making noise; something had warmed up and eased in his throat and now he was moaning with every thrust.

"Sounds like the bitch is having fun," Edder said.

A hand ruffled Anders's hair. "Five men wasn't enough for you?" That was Bran, and Anders vowed to strangle him twice. "Maybe we'll take you to the kennels next time to make sure you're satisfied."

"No," Anders gasped, more on principle than because he thought anyone would listen to him. "No, oh, no..." The knot inside him pulsed and grew even harder, and he felt a new pressure. The dog was coming inside him. Pumping him full of dog spend. His head spun, his vision flickered, white sparks showing at the edges of his sight and somehow shooting all through his body and the pressure was too much, it was just too much--

Anders convulsed painfully around the huge knot and came again, only the smallest amount of seed dribbling from his cock. Pleasure and shame roared in his ears.

"There's a good bitch." The fifth templar patted Anders on the head, then turned to the others. "Well, I'm off now, got an hour's guard duty before dinner."

"You can all go if you want," Franz said. "I'll just wait till Scout can get loose."

"Poor Scout." Anders could hear the sound of Scout being patted on the head instead, and panting happily at the attention. "Probably thinks he's made half a dozen puppies."

Scout yelped and squirmed, and then turned around, swinging a leg over Anders's back -- Anders hissed at the scrape of claws, not quite hard enough to break skin, and then hissed again at the sensation of the knot rotating inside him and the way Scout's movements tugged forward and pushed back before settling down. Anders had seen dogs mating on one of his escapes from the tower. Not mabari, just some of the smaller animals that were everywhere in Fereldan towns. They'd been locked together like this, trying to walk in opposite directions and failing, each of them trying to drag the other along.

When the templars went out, Scout moved again, and Anders made a small, frightened sound, because he didn't think his abused arse could take it if a big, strong dog pulled hard enough, but Franz told Scout to keep still and stroked both him and Anders with the same slow, soothing movements.

"How long," Anders had to clear his throat, "how long... like this?"

"Oh, not that long," Franz said. "Tell me when you feel the knot going down, and I'll make sure Scout doesn't just yank free as soon as he can."

Anders wanted to yank free as soon as he could, himself, but knowing what the result could be, he supposed he should be grateful for Franz's consideration. He didn't quite think he was up to healing himself of anything very complicated, yet. So he stayed where he was, bearing with Franz's occasional strokes and pats, rubbing his tongue over the sore patch on his lip, and trying to think of something other than the pressure and soreness in his arse.

Like strangling Bran. Or the whole lot of them, really. He'd been better off in solitary confinement; at least it had been solitary. Anders glared at Franz's hip, which was all he could see of the man. Templars shouldn't be allowed to have dogs.

When the knot in his arse shrank, Anders squirmed against Franz's grip, which had slackened a bit. "I think," he said rustily, and then got no further before Scout barked and pulled free. Anders yelped.

"Oh, oops," Franz said cheerfully, and then his fingers brushed over Anders's hole, wide open and leaking. "You're fine, though." He tugged at the edge of the hole, and Anders felt a rush of wetness. "Lots of doggie spunk here. You'd better wash up again, can't have you going around this dirty."

Franz sounded as if Anders had accidentally stepped in mud or something, rather than been held down and used by five templars and a dog. Putting Anders aside, Franz stood up and dusted himself off, patted Anders on the head, and strode out of the room. Anders tried to stand up, too, but his legs were wobbly. His calves ached. His arse ached. He slumped down again, resolutely thinking that his eyes weren't fully adjusted to the light yet after all, that's why they were wet.

There was a cloth over by the wall, the one that had been used to dry him before. Anders crawled on top of it, because it was still damp, but softer than the floor. He'd get up soon. He would.

Movement next to him made him jerk in surprise, and then clench inside in something too tired to be terror, because Scout was still there. The big mabari nosed at Anders, shoved at him a bit, and Anders wondered, on the edge of hysterical laughter, if Scout wanted a second go. But Scout pushed his way in between Anders and the wall, turned around, lay down on top of most of the cloth, and went to sleep.

The mabari was warm, and Anders couldn't make himself move. Lying on the floor like this, he could see stains glistening in the candlelight, spatters on the stone that he'd rather not think about, so he closed his eyes. Anders lay perfectly still, and dreamed of freedom.

* * *

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