Dusk had settled across Skyhold when Nyssa Hawke finally left the confines of her room, eyes still heavy with a sleep she wished she could stay in forever. A large part of her wondered why she had even agreed to Varric’s request to make the journey, but even she knew the threat to the world was too important to ignore—especially since she had a hand in unleashing it.
Varric and the Inquisitor had both tried to convince her otherwise; that Corypheus roaming Thedas was not her fault, that there was no way she could’ve known the outcome. Nyssa told them it didn’t matter—that she would still feel guilty for it as long as she lived, even if the Inquisition found a way to stop him.
It seemed to be all her life had boiled down to; the fabled Champion was now nothing more than a fugitive of the Chantry, constantly looking over her shoulder and worrying about cleaning up the mess she had helped to create. At least she had already started making amends, even if it pained her. Her body instantly chilled at the memory; the sight of Anders’ dead body in the burning streets of Kirkwall. She wished it hadn’t ended that way, but that was years ago now and she was trying to move past it.
No matter how hard she tried to forget, however the memory of her lover—her mistake—lingered in her mind. Part of her felt guilty for making him a martyr for the mages to put up on a pedestal, but more of her felt guilty for leaving all the blame on his shoulders instead of her own. She wondered when one of her friends, or lovers would stab her in the back out of mercy.
Nyssa wrapped her coat tightly around herself as she walked, ignoring the way soldiers would pause to stare in her direction. Fame had its perks, but for once she wished she could live in anonymity. All she wanted was to enjoy a small dinner in the tavern, have a few drinks and relish in the cool air of the Frostback Mountains and watch the sunset. It was when she entered the ‘Herald’s Rest’ that she realized she had made a mistake in leaving her quarters.
At a center table, laughing and basking in their merriment sat Varric along with a few other faces she had come to know since arriving a few weeks prior. The Inquisitor, Revas Lavellan sat on one side of the table, the Tevinter Mage Dorian to his left, their bodies leaning against each other as they slowly drank. Comfortable—another thing Nyssa missed. Next to Varric sat the Tal-Vashoth, Iron Bull.
“Hey Hawke!” Varric laughed, raising his tankard high in the air. “Why don’t you come and join us?”
Nyssa was unsure and knew her hesitation was written across her face. Varric was the only one to give her a sympathetic smile—he wouldn’t pressure her. The guilt of disappointing her friend finally pushed her forward and she offered a small smile in return as the Qunari pulled out a seat for her between him and Varric. A tankard was placed before her and pale brown liquor was poured as their conversation from before continued.
“…The dragon nearly collapsed on top of Dorian.” Revas spoke, laughing as he pointed over at Iron Bull. “If it wasn’t for Iron-Man here…”
“That’s what I’m here for.” Bull laughed in response, before winking in Nyssa’s direction. “Pure muscle.”
“Oh don’t be so smug.” Dorian hummed, his face scrunching up.
“Then next time I’ll just let the Boss here carry you to safety.” Bull suggested, earning a chuckle from Varric. Nyssa couldn’t help but smile—the Inquisitor was a strong archer, but was clearly not in any shape to carry a grown human man out of battle.
“So, does the Champion have any tales for us?” Dorian asked, his smile wide as he switched the subject. Nyssa attempted to copy his smile but found it difficult when she was just simply not in the mood. Before she could protest, Iron Bull shook his head.
“What? Can’t you read a book, Dorian?” He teased. “You spend enough time in the library.”
“Now, now.” Revas intervened. Nyssa shot the Qunari a silent nod of appreciation before raising a brow as he winked at her once more.
With a sigh Dorian pushed himself from his seat. “I think I’ve had enough for tonight.”
“Time for bed—” The Inquisitor’s question was cut off by Dorian’s harsh shh, causing the table to laugh; Nyssa included.
She watched as the Inquisitor and Dorian left, their arms wrapped around each other as they both struggled to walk. Varric laughed, shifting to follow with a maybe I should help under his breath. Nyssa sighed, glancing down into her tankard before raising it to her lips to chug the remaining liquid. It left a delightful tingle in her throat and when she placed the drink down, her eyes glazed over in a moment of haze.
“You coming?” Bull’s question caught her off guard and she turned her head to face him as he stood up. It took Nyssa a moment before she realized what he was insinuating. Casual sex. The thought put her in a better mood almost instantly. She had picked up on his flirting, and would be lying if she didn’t like the newfound attention.
She stood from her chair, taking a quick glance around to see if anybody was watching. The tavern was practically empty now and she followed him up the stairs, holding her breath as they crossed into a tower attached to the building. The last time she had seen this area of Skyhold it was dilapidated but now it was a respectable bedroom. Nyssa paused just past the doorway as he secured the locks, and suddenly found her heartbeat getting stuck in her throat. Iron Bull circled her, and raised a curious brow in her direction.
“Having second thoughts?” Bull asked.
“You…have a reputation.” Nyssa spoke, wondering where her nerves had come from. She was a sure woman, confident in her sexual desires and yet faced with the possibility—the very high possibility—of sex with the Iron Bull she felt her heart beat quicken. How long had she denied herself this basic pleasure?
“Oh?” Iron Bull quirked a brow, his tone humorous as he prompted her to sit on the edge of the large bed. “Listening to rumors are we?”
“Oh yes.” Nyssa let out a chuckle. “You are quite the deviant.” She licked her lips, watching as he knelt down before her. “Ropes and chains and a rough grip.” She pursed her lips in thought. “Is that what you plan to do with me?”
Iron Bull smirked, eyeing her expression. “No.” Was his simple answer as he reached down to remove her boots. Nyssa watched him carefully.
“No?” She questioned. “How dull—”
“You see…” Bull paused to reach up, silently asking permission before starting the task of unlacing her breeches as Nyssa nodded. “I’m quite certain that what you need isn’t a good fucking.”
Nyssa felt her cheeks heat at his curt words. “How do you know what I need?”
“Trust me.” He laughed as soon as he said it. “I will understand if you don’t.”
His hands had stilled and Nyssa took a moment to drink in the situation. As much as she did not want to admit it, he was right. What she needed was something tender, something that would make her feel alive and not like the hollowed out person she had become since Kirkwall. Her heart fluttered in anticipation, wondering if she could find that with the Qunari who knelt before her.
When she nodded his fingers continued pulling the pants from her legs, his large hands sweeping in slow circles along her legs as he nudged them apart to scoot closer. Gentle—she wondered what other surprises he had for her. He prompted Nyssa to lay back and she did, tilting her head to the side to continue to watch him as he pressed heated kisses to the inside of her thighs, his fingers now massaging the flesh of her hips over her smalls.
“Now, I can be as thorough as you’d like or—”
“Don’t.” Nyssa started, a gasp on her lips as he instantly pulled away. “I mean…I’d rather get on with it.”
Iron Bull smiled, a small chuckle leaving him as he rested his hands back on her waist. “If that’s what you want.”
It was. Nyssa watched as he tugged her smalls away, a shiver running along her spine as a few fingers delicately ran along her core, parting her to him. He shifted, and Nyssa struggled to see him tug his billowing pants far enough down to expose his length; already half-hard. Another shiver and he glanced up at her, his smile twisting into a smirk.
He didn’t say another word, pressing himself off the ground to instead lean over between her spread legs. Nyssa grew nervous, cursing her anxiety—she had numerous lovers and trysts in the years since leaving Kirkwall, but none held the intense focus that Bull did. He pushed up at her coat so it fanned out beneath her, his hands gripping her waist as he aligned himself at her juncture.
A heat she couldn’t describe pooled in her belly at the sensation, and she snapped her eyes shut at the pressure of his cock meeting her entrance. He filled her in a delightful way and after a moment spent adjusting to the feel, Bull hooked one of her legs over his arm. It provided a sinful angle for him to begin his strokes, pulling out slowly before thrusting back in with a similar tempo.
Slow was something she wasn’t expecting, but already behind her closed eyes she was seeing white and stars. Nyssa gasped as he tugged her closer, snapping her eyes open to see him hunched over her as he continued; long meaningful strokes that had her back arching to meet him every time. No words were exchanged—they didn’t have to be—they both understood what this was. Nyssa was rather fond of the silent agreement, enjoying the way her body became engulfed in the flame of her passion.
She came much sooner than she anticipated, body shuddering as she clamped her legs tight around his waist. A small cry left her lips as her body came undone and Bull followed her a few thrusts later, pulling away to spill his seed across her thigh. Nyssa struggled to catch her breathing as the Iron Bull collapsed next to her, a half grin pulling his lips to the side. After a moment she reached down, using the length of her coat to wipe at her leg before shifting. She was surprised when his arm stopped her, reaching to wrap around her torso.
“You don’t have to leave.” Bull prompted, a slight chuckle on his lips as his hands slid to hold her hips in place against his.
She regarded him for a moment, her heart a flutter with feelings she had not experienced in years. Slowly she settled back into the mattress, resting her head along the large expanse of his chest. When Nyssa finally closed her eyes she marveled at the warmth that surrounded her. For the first time in a long time she felt content.