Winter had descended upon the City of Denver, and the streets were covered by a few inches of soft snow, making the world eerily quiet. Andreas was driving them both to the mission that day. Leto still offered his self-defense training for free there twice each week. They were both bundled into their new winter clothes and Leto was grateful for the warm socks and boots Andreas bought him.
It had been an adjustment, wearing shoes in this world, after he’d gone practically his entire life barefoot. He wasn't entirely sure why the stone and rocks and even snow hadn’t affected him in Thedas, but it certainly affected him here.
Leto finished his work earlier than Andreas, so he stayed around the clinic to help out until the mission closed for the day. He’d gotten good at rolling bandages and playing nurse to Andreas’ doctor. As the last patient left, Leto also helped Andreas put everything away for the night.
“Thanks for your help again, Love,” Andreas said as they turned off the lights, locking the clinic door. “You know if you just learned how to drive you wouldn’t have to get stuck here helping me.”
Leto shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t mind helping, and I’m still terrified of those…horseless carriages.”
Andreas chuckled, putting his arm around Leto’s shoulder. “It’s difficult to imagine you being terrified of anything, my strong, brave warrior.”
Leto huffed at that, leaning into the embrace as they made their way outside.
It was bitter cold out and they hurried towards the car. Unfortunately, it was so cold that the interior of the car didn’t start to warm up until they were parked in their reserved spot in their building’s parking garage.
Leto now had a new ritual every time they came home on a cold night. He headed straight for the kitchen after taking off his coat, hat, gloves and scarf, and popped in a hot apple cider k-cup into their new Keurig coffee-maker. He loved the hot apple cider almost more than he loved apples in general.
Andreas went to the office to check his email. “Hey, Leto, come here!” he called after a few moments.
Leto hurried down the hall, cradling the cup of hot apple cider in his hands. “What is it?”
Andreas pointed at his computer. “I got an email from David Gaider! They found the player and the computer where we probably came from! It says here he will be in Colorado to meet the young lady in Denver this weekend, and he’s asked us to join him.”
“That’s wonderful news!” Leto said, hugging Andreas.
The weekend arrived bright and cold. A fresh layer of snow blanketed everything. Andreas and Leto enjoyed a rare morning of sleeping in and remaining cuddled with each other under the covers in bed. Their apartment was warm, but Leto always shivered when he saw the snow outside their window. Andreas just pulled him into a warm embrace and held him until he was ready to get up and make them both a cup of hot coffee.
Andreas left their warm blankets after a few moments and soon brought back 2 steaming cups of coffee. He burrowed himself back under the blankets with Leto, who began contently sipping his hot beverage.
“I’m curious as to what we’ll find out today,” Andreas murmured, kissing the top of Leto’s head.
Leto huffed. “I’m sure it will involve something technical or science-y that I won’t understand.”
“Aww don’t say that,” Andreas pulled Leto onto his lap. “You may not have been educated as a child, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t intelligent. If you don’t understand something, it’s simply because of a lack of knowledge. There’s a lot in this world I still don’t understand, and probably never will.”
Leto curled into Andreas’ embrace. “I know, you’re right. It’s just frustrating sometimes.”
“I know, Love,” Andreas said softly, tilting Leto’s chin up for a kiss. “Mmm coffee tastes good on you,” Andreas hummed before diving in for a deeper kiss. “Ooh I know how I can cheer you up…” Andreas said, a wicked gleam sparkling in his eye. “We haven’t used the Play Room in a while.”
Leto seemed to perk up at the mention of the Play Room. “You’re right, we haven’t. Feeling naughty are you?” Leto said with a wicked grin breaking out on his face.
“Very naughty,” Andreas nodded. “Care to…put me in my place?”
Leto chuckled. “You’re already where you belong, Amatus, in my heart. But I’d be happy to warm your backside for you nonetheless.”
They made their way into the Play Room. A new addition to the room was a chair that Leto sometimes used for over-the-lap spankings. Leto still played the dominant, but he dispensed with the Master/slave roles after the unfortunate incident when Andreas had attempted to punish Leto. Their play was on a much more casual level now.
They both removed their pajamas and Leto sat himself onto the chair, indicating where their session would go. Andreas grinned and willingly draped himself over is lover’s knees. He loved hand spankings most of all because they were so much more…intimate. Both of them felt the warmth and tingle of every blow.
“Will you be my good boy and hold still, no matter how many spanks I give you?” Leto asked wickedly, his hand rubbing slow circles on Andreas’ upturned arse, while another arm snaked around his torso to hold him firmly in place.
“If you wish me to be still, I’ll do my best, Love,” Andreas nodded.
“If you’re naughty and wiggle too much, what should I do with you?” Leto asked.
“Put me on the spanking bench and fuck me hard?” Andreas suggested.
Leto hummed in approval. “That sounds like an excellent idea, Amatus. Shall we begin?”
Leto’s hand came down with the first spank, and Andreas just groaned with pleasure. Leto was starting off slow, warming his lover up, and the tingle and spreading heat was making Andreas hard.
Leto gave a few more warm-up spanks, noting the tension in Andreas’ body as he struggled to remain still, and then began to spank the man in earnest, raining the spanks down in groups of five before pausing and gently rubbing the increasingly abused flesh. Each time he started again Andreas tensed to try and remain still. Finally, after a particularly hard spank Andreas couldn’t anymore and he yelped and bucked hard in Leto’s lap. Leto grinned wickedly as he let one final spank hit his lover’s reddened behind.
“I’m sorry, Love,” Andreas said through gasping breaths. “I just couldn’t hold back anymore.”
Leto helped Andreas to stand and led him to the spanking bench. Andreas clambered up but Leto left him unsecured. The bench was just the perfect height to give Andreas a proper fucking, which is exactly what Leto now intended to do, at Andreas’ earlier suggestion.
Leto reached for their bottle of lube and began to prepare his lover. They made love often enough that he didn’t require a lot of preparation, but Leto always wanted to make sure because he didn’t want to injure Andreas.
Leto the slicked up his cock and began to sink into his lover’s well-stretched entrance. Leto groaned as Andreas’ slicked up, tight heat engulfed him. “I will never tire of feeling how tight you always are for me,” Leto groaned as he paused after fully seating himself.
Andreas groaned in return. “…and I will never tire of feeling how much you fill and stretch me. Oh, Maker, please move…”
Leto smirked and held Andreas’ hips firmly while he slowly slid his cock almost out of Andreas ass before slamming back in hard, just the way Leto knew Andreas liked it. Without being secured to the bench, Andreas was free to push back into the thrust and he tried to influence the pace until Leto was thrusting hard and fast. Leto angled his thrusts in such a way so that he was hitting Andreas’ prostrate on every thrust.
Leto could feel that Andreas was about to cum even before Andreas said anything. He could feel it in how his lover’s channel gripped and undulated around his cock. “Cum for me, Amatus. Show me how much you love how I fuck you…”
Another thrust or two against Andreas’ prostrate and the man shouted out his release as he came hard, his body shuddering beneath Leto, spurting white streaks against the bench and floor. Feeling the delicious clench as Andreas came, Leto followed almost immediately after, coating the inside of his lover with his seed.
Afterwards, Leto was panting hard, leaning over Andreas. Once he caught his breath he helped Andreas off the bench and they tidied up before locking the playroom and heading off to their master bathroom to shower and dress for the day. In the shower Andreas pulled Leto into a loving embrace, kissing the elf languidly until the water began to turn tepid.
Later that day, they bundled themselves up into their warmest winter clothes and headed out to meet with David Gaider. Henry was also planning on meeting them as well. They had arranged to meet in the heart of downtown Denver at a local book store and café.
As Andreas pulled into the parking space and put his car into park, he looked over at Leto. “Still feeling a little nervous, Love?”
Leto smiled nervously. “Yes. What…what if they have a way to…send us back?”
Andreas shrugged. “So what if they do? I don’t want to go back, you don’t want to back, so we won’t go back. Simple.”
Leto shuddered. “What if we’re forced to go back?”
Andreas put a reassuring arm around Leto’s shoulders. “Then we fight. You taught me a lot over the past several months and I’m a lot stronger than I used to be. I’ll have your back, so don’t worry, Love.”
They made their way to the bookstore and café and ran into Henry as they were approaching the entrance.
“Hey guys!” Henry said happily, opening the door to usher Andreas and Leto into the warmth of the shop. “How are you two? Sorry I’ve been so busy with work I haven’t had time to hang out as much.”
They stood for a moment unbundling themselves when they noticed that Henry was only wearing a light coat, with no gloves, hat or scarf. “How are you not freezing?” Leto asked.
“I’m a Colorado native,” Henry said with a laugh. “It’s not really that cold out today.”
“Speak for yourself,” Leto grumbled.
Andreas put his arm around Leto again, sensing his continued tension. “Leto’s not in the greatest of moods today. He’s afraid that whatever David and BioWare uncovered could be used to send us back to Thedas, and neither one of us has any inclination of ever going back there.”
“I highly doubt they would make you go back, even if they did,” Henry said reassuringly. “Let’s go meet David and see what he has to say, OK?”
Leto nodded. It was best to get this over with. He just hoped he’d understand whatever explanations were being made. The three of them headed through the bookstore towards the café section. In a back corner of the café at a larger table sat David Gaider and a rather waifish looking young woman. As they approached the woman’s eyes went wide with surprise and tears actually fell down her cheeks.
“Oh my gosh…you really are real,” she gushed before she began gibbering. “Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh.”
David chuckled and reached a hand to the young woman’s shoulders. “Take a deep breath Madelyn.”
The young woman did so and began to calm down. She then extended her hand and composed herself enough to make an introduction. “Hi, I’m Madelyn. Um…I’m kinda part of the reason why you guys are here…I guess.”
Andreas reached forward and shook the young woman’s hand. “I’m Andreas, this is Leto, and that’s our good friend Henry. He sort of rescued us when we first arrived.”
“Wow you changed your names?” Madelyn asked curiously.
Andreas nodded as he sat down at the table. “Yeah, you know Anders wasn’t my real name, right? I was born Andreas Bauermann.”
Madelyn giggled. “Do you know how many fangirls would love to know your real name? Wow I feel so lucky.”
David spoke up then as Leto and Henry also sat down. “So as to the reason I asked you both here. It turns out Madelyn here is a bit of a computer genius.” Madelyn began to blush and shrank a little in her seat at the praise. “She was dabbling with an A.I. program and decided to test it on a mod she wrote for Dragon Age 2. She was trying to see what the game characters would do if an A.I. mod controlled the characters instead of her, and she left it running continuously.”
“Yeah, and when I went to check on the game after about week, I noticed that both Fenris and Anders were gone, and then Merrill disappeared too,” Madelyn added. “I had the computer set up to record everything, but whatever happened, it happened off-camera, so I couldn’t see where you’d gone.”
“That must have been after we’d gone to Merrill’s to help her with her Eluvian problem,” Andreas mused. “I wonder why Merrill would disappear though? Could she have been drawn in with us?”
“No she wasn’t, she came back eventually,” Madelyn noted. “Although I could no longer recruit her for any of Hawke’s missions anymore either.”
“So let me try to understand all this,” Andreas began. “First, what does A.I. mean?”
David spoke up. “Sorry I should have explained, it stands for Artificial Intelligence. It’s a way to try and give a computer the ability to think on its own, and make its own decisions.”
“You can give computers…intelligence?” Leto asked in shock.
“Well, not precisely, at least not yet, but we’re getting really close,” Madelyn offered. “My A.I. program studies all the various scenarios in the game and tries to make logical choices based on the algorithm I wrote. The only parameter I gave it was to remain pro-mage.”
“Pro-mage? As in, siding with mages instead of Templars?” Andreas asked.
“Yeah, exactly,” Madelyn nodded. “I am always pro-mage in Dragon age. I hate how the Chantry and Templars treat mages.”
Andreas smiled. “I know exactly what you mean. I hated how they treated us as well.”
“So tell me, do you have full memories of when you were a child and everything?” Madelyn asked.
Andreas nodded. “Yeah the farm I grew up on was pretty idyllic. My life there was great, until I nearly burnt the barn down. After that my life was a nightmare.” Leto reached out and took Andreas’ hand for comfort.
“I’m really sorry for that,” David said, reaching out to give Andreas’ other hand a comforting squeeze. “That is my fault. I wrote your backstory. Whatever hell you remember suffering…I’m really sorry.”
Andreas covered David’s hand with his other and patted it reassuringly. “Don’t be. It made me who I am today, and I honestly wouldn’t change who I am right now.”
Leto nodded. “I would agree, Amatus. As much as we both suffered in our pasts, I am happy with who I am today as well.”
Madelyn looked shocked again. “Did…did you just called Andreas your Amatus?”
“Indeed I did,” Leto acknowledged. “Andreas and I grew close after being thrown into your world. I couldn’t imagine my life without him now.”
Andreas moved to put an arm around Leto’s shoulders and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “I couldn’t imagine it without you either, Love.”
“Wow. Just wow. All those fan fiction writers were…right?!” Madelyn blushed. “I argued with them for years that there was no way you two would ever want to be a…couple. That you hated each other too much for that. I guess…I guess I was wrong.”
“Oh my god, I know, right?” Henry chimed in. “I told them that soon after we first met. I mean they were cuddling together even on the first night at my place. It happened so fast!”
Andreas chuckled. “You know, I’m going to have to look up some of these fan fiction stories you guys keep mentioning. I’m rather curious what people are writing about us.”
Henry chuckled at that. “I’ll show you where you can find the best ones later.”
Andreas blushed. “Alright so back to the topic at hand,” Andreas deftly changed the topic. “Madelyn, you made some kind of…artificial intelligence…thing…on your computer and had it play through Dragon Age 2, and you’re only instructions were for it to be pro-mage, is that correct?”
Madelyn nodded. “Yes.”
“Alright so the scenarios we were living that aren’t part of the game, that came from your A.I.? Normally we were just meant to be in some sort of limbo?” Andreas asked.
David nodded. “Generally yes that’s normally how the game operates.”
“So in the version of the game we played, that version of us…they don’t experience what we did?” Andreas asked.
Madelyn shook her head. “No, they literally can’t experience it because they are just computer programs. My A.I. seems to have given you all a life and purpose beyond your normal programming. However, the part of this that still doesn’t make sense is…how you can be here, in our world, physically?”
Andreas nodded. “I was wondering the same thing myself. If Leto and I were originally just…pixels?...on a computer screen, how can we now be flesh and blood?”
Madelyn shook her head. “I honestly don’t know. That goes beyond my knowledge. It would take some extensive testing to see how much you differ from us, although since our air and food seem to agree with you, it seems that you cannot be that different.”
“Well I am planning to go to medical school,” Andreas offered. “Perhaps as part of my studies I could investigate our genetic makeup and see if that will lead to any clues?”
David had a look mixed between surprise and pride at Andreas’ announcement. “You’re…going to medical school?”
“Yeah, I start pre-med next fall, at a university not far from here,” Andreas confirmed.
David got up and pulled Andreas into a hug. “You know, I view the both of you as the sons I never had, and Andreas, you just made me so proud.”
“Well, I guess, in a way you are like our father,” Andreas said as he hugged the man back.
Andreas then looked thoughtful for a moment. “Madelyn, would we be able to communicate with Hawke and the others within your game?”
Madelyn contemplated the request for a moment then nodded. “Yes, I think so. In fact I might be able to make it possible for you to visit with them if you like.”
Leto blanched at the suggestion. “No…no, please do not send us back there.”
Andreas put his arm around Leto again. “You don’t mean to send us back, right?”
Madelyn shook her head. “No, no, that’s not what I meant. I’m sorry but no it wouldn’t be possible to send you back, but I have this device, called an Occulus Rift. You wear it over your eyes and it makes you feel like you are inside the game, but you’re not. It’s just an illusion. But it would allow you to interact with the other game characters.”
Leto visibly relaxed as Andreas rubbed soothing circles into back with one hand before turning back to Madelyn. “That sounds perfect. When…could we do this?”
Madelyn shrugged. “I brought the computer with me…it’s out in my car. I’d just need a place to set it up.”
“Well, we could go back to our apartment, if that’s acceptable?” Andreas suggested.
An hour later they were all gathered in Andreas and Leto’s living room, Madelyn’s computer set-up on their coffee table. Leto was nervously sipping on some hot apple cider while Madelyn explained to Andreas how the Occulus Rift worked. “You’re sure this won’t…pull him back to Thedas…right?” Leto asked nervously.
Andreas excused himself and got up, walking over to Leto. “Don’t worry Love. From what I can understand, there is nothing that can reverse the process that brought us into this world. I’m just going to see Hawke and let him know we’re alright. I’m guessing he was pretty angry with Merrill for our disappearance.”
Leto set down his cup and clung to Andreas for a moment. “I…I just don’t want to lose you, Amatus. I could not bear it.”
Andreas pressed a chaste kiss to Leto’s lips. “I’ll be fine, I promise.”
“I’m ready,” Andreas said as he made his way back to Madelyn, who picked up the device and instructed Andreas to sit down before she fitted it over his head and eyes. Leto moved around to sit next to Andreas while David and Henry sat on the other couch in the room, watching.
“Does that feel alright?” she asked.
Andreas nodded. “Yeah it’s fine.”
“I’m going to turn it on now, the game is already running,” Madelyn said. “We’ll be able to watch what you’re doing in the game from my monitor.”
Andreas found himself staring at the lowtown marketplace. It looked as he remembered, although slightly off because of the digital projection he was viewing instead of being there in reality. He looked around and then, based on Madelyn’s instruction, tried to walk forward. It was a bit difficult to get used to, but he managed. His first thought was to head over to the Hanged Man. Often there would be at least one person from Hawke’s group of companions loitering about.
As he entered the dimly lit tavern he looked around for a familiar face. Finding none down in the main room, he slowly headed up the stairs to Varric’s suite. Sure enough Hawke, Varric, Isabela, Aveline and even Sebastian were there, playing Wicked Grace. Sebastian noticed him first, nearly falling out of his seat. “Andraste’s breath!” he exclaimed.
The rest turned and looked at him in shock. Hawke ran towards him. “Anders!” he shouted, trying to pull him into an embrace, but instead fell off-balance onto the floor when there was no mage to touch.
Sebastian sprang to his feet then. “He’s a ghost!”
Andreas laughed then and wished he could help his old friend up from the floor where he sprawled. “No, I’m not a ghost…not exactly. I came to tell you that Leto…um…Fenris and I are fine, and if you’re still punishing Merrill, please don’t. In fact, we both want to thank her.”
Hawke slowly rose. “What do you mean? And where is Fenris? And who is…Leto?”
“This is going to take a long time to explain, so let me start from the beginning,” Andreas offered.
Andreas paced the room as he told them everything, from being pulled into the Eluvian, losing their respective Fade magics, meeting Henry, and all their other adventures. The group of them just sat with their mouths hanging open. Varric finally had the presence of mind to order another round of drinks…strong ones.
“Blondie, I think that story trumps every single one I’ve ever written,” Varric said. “And you know I’ve told some doozies!”
“I know it’s all difficult to believe,” Andreas said. “But it’s all true. Look do you want me to send Leto in to verify it? You know he’d never stretch the truth!”
Hawke eyed him. “Yes. Send Leto in. Why can’t you both be here though?”
Andreas sighed. “It’s because there’s only one of these Occulus Rift things and so we have to take turns. Hang on a moment, OK?”
Andreas then lifted his arms up to his face looking like he was about to take a blindfold off, when he disappeared. A few moments later Fenris stood before them, looking a bit apprehensive, shifting nervously before looking up at his old friends.
“Fenris!” Hawke said happily. “So Anders was telling the truth about…everything?”
Leto nodded. “Yes, he was, Hawke. By the way, I go by Leto now, and he goes by Andreas. I’m sure he told you that.”
Hawke sighed. “Yes, yes, it’s just an adjustment. Forgive me…Leto.”
“Is it also true that…you and he?” Hawke asked.
Leto shifted more nervously but slowly nodded. “I love him Hawke. Very much.”
“That’s the part that has me gobsmacked Broody,” Varric chimed in. “I honestly never would have predicted the two of you ending up together.”
Leto smiled. “Good, then we hid our attraction for each other well when we were still here in Kirkwall.”
At that moment Merrill stepped cautiously into the room. “Fenris!!” she squeaked happily, nearly falling down trying to hug him as well. Leto recounted an abbreviated version of events for Merrill, who had been sent for by Varric.
“Oh my, that sounds like quite the adventure,” Merrill said. “I am glad you are both alright, and that you’re both healthy and happy.”
Hawke looked at Merrill. “I’m sorry I was so harsh on you. Apparently Leto and Andreas are eternally grateful to you for what happened. I’m still not pleased to have lost my best healer and warrior, but because they are happy…I forgive you.”
Merrill clapped her hands in glee. “Oh thank you, Hawke!”
Leto traded places with Andreas once more and Andreas had a chance to thank Merrill in person as well.
Andreas then turned serious and warned them about possible future events, warning about Meredith’s descent into complete madness due to red lyrium, to keep an eye out for Corypheus and how he wasn’t able to be killed by conventional means, and finally warning about the problems an elf apostate named Solas may cause. This timeline in Thedas was already changed by Andreas and Leto no longer being there, which meant that Andreas wouldn’t be blowing up the Chantry, so Andreas didn’t worry about ruining the timeline further. He just wanted his friends to remain safe.
Andreas then said his goodbyes and promised they would try to visit again in the future.
Andreas then lifted the Occulus Rift from his head and leaned back. “Wow, that was…surreal.”
Leto nodded. “Indeed. It was…odd…being in the Hanged Man again, especially without the stench.”
Andreas laughed at that. “You’re right, I knew something felt wrong. It smelled far too pleasant!” Andreas then stood and walked over towards Madelyn who was starting to shut down the computer. “Thank you so much. That definitely gave us some much needed closure and even though they are still just computer programs, it felt good to be able to talk to and reassure our old friends. Hawke even forgave Merrill for her little stunt that sent us here.”
“You’re welcome,” Madelyn said shyly. “I am just really, really happy to have met you both. You have no idea how many of us are absolutely in love with you two.” Leto and Andreas both blushed at that compliment.
“You’re very sweet, my dear,” Andreas said. “Since you also live in Colorado, would it be possible for us to come visit occasionally and check in on our friends?”
Madelyn nodded. “Of course. You both will always be welcome in my home.”
They all shared a final cup of hot apple cider and each other’s company for a short time longer until David and Madelyn had to go. Henry excused himself as well, wishing his friends a pleasant evening.
Andreas looked at Leto once they were alone. “So…want to come check out some of this fan fiction with me?”
Leto and Andreas made themselves another cup of hot apple cider and then retreated towards their office. Andreas fired up his computer and Leto settled himself next to him in his own chair. Andreas pulled up the website Henry had told him about, Archive of Our Own, and went to do a search for stories about Anders/Fenris.
Some of the stories were very sweet, and rated G, which apparently meant it was for general audiences. Many of those were about the two of them falling in love, or pining after each other but being stubborn and missing the clues about each other’s feelings. Other stories were had other ratings, and Andreas was curious about the ones that were listed as E for explicit.
He read each story aloud to Leto, and they both blushed when he began to read the first explicit scene. There were some that were heart wrenching, depicting a death, and others that had Anders being made tranquil.
They spent the next several hours reading through story after story, alternatively laughing, crying, or blushing. Andreas deliberately avoided stories that included Fenris/Danarius as a pairing, glad that Leto wasn’t paying too close attention to all the words. They both found the ones depicting one of them getting pregnant oddly intriguing and more than once Andreas’ found himself subconsciously rubbing his belly while he read those.
Finally Andreas began to rub his eyes and they decided they’d read enough for one night.
Andreas sniggered. “I wonder what any of these people would do if they knew we were reading their stories about us?”
Leto shrugged. “They do have some creative imaginations. I think I like best the ones you say are listed as an AU, where it takes us out of the normal game story. That certainly seemed to work well for us in reality.”
Andreas pulled Leto into an embrace. “Indeed it did,” Andreas said, waggling his eye brows. “I’m tempted to try some of the things our story counterparts have done, what do you think?”
Leto contemplated for a moment. “I don’t know, but I might be tempted to buy you a corset now,” Leto said chuckling.
“Oh really?” Andreas asked, blushing. “Hmm I wouldn’t mind exploring a few other…kinks…with you, Love, if you’ve a mind…”
Leto then looked at him with a particularly predatory smile and stood up suddenly, grabbing the larger man and deftly slinging him over his shoulder and carrying him swiftly to their bedroom. Andreas let out an undignified squeak when Leto tossed him onto the bed and began to swiftly undress.
They spent the rest of the night trying out a number of the more…creative…kinks they’d read about in those very naughty fan fictions.