The long and the short of it was that Iron Bull was the ideal firefighter.
He was, in fact, built like a brick shithouse, almost naturally fireproof, and capable of felling small trees with one push of his hand. That said, he was also an accomplished lockpick, salsa dancer, and on weekends, painter. Diversity was important to have, and while busting down doors, walls, windows, and occasionally vaults was part of the job requirement, it was good to have some fine motor skills. The Iron Bull was a man of many talents.
It had been long and circuitous routes that lead him to station 4, neatly sequestered away in a reasonably sized city with two malls, one university, excellent fishing, and a terrifying looming castle. Skyhold and its surrounding city of New Haven was a pleasant, prosperous place, and most importantly it was far from the memories of Seheron. Iron Bull liked it here, and had been more than happy to take control of one of the fire houses and move his people in. The Charger House had grown comfortably, and was now home.
Unfortunately, home also came with obligations.
The wailing of the siren was enough to make him want to strangle every person on the planet. He’d just closed his eye when it went off, and for the love of all that was holy, he did not want to get up. But duty called, and the Qun was a very good teacher of obligation.
“One night,” he growled, standing on autopilot as Krem stumbled past in his binder and not terribly much else. “Just one night, for the love of Koslun. It’s Skyhold again, isn’t it?”
“Not today,” Dalish said, pulling on gear. “Not the university either. One of the fancy new apartment complexes- Minrathous?”
“By all the elven gods,” Krem groaned, pulling a headset out of a closet. He had drawn the short straw of coordinator for the house that evening, and as the only speaker of all four local languages was going to have the dubious pleasure of handling the calls that came in directly. “Tevinter, the lot of them. Two full blown magisters moved in there not a week ago, can’t they manage a standard ice spell?” He switched to muttering in Tevene and settled himself at the desk, rummaging through the box of lost and found on it for some clothes.
“Apparently not.” Bull dragged his gear on, waving Grim and Rocky down first. “Which channel?”
“5,” Krem said shortly, pulling a shirt on. “Do not be an idiot about it, Mr. I-have-one-eye. You shouldn’t even be going out!”
Bull gave his lieutenant a quick salute, and slid down the pole.
In his defense, Dorian Pavus had planned on things being set on fire.
Just… not the drapes.
Or his clothes.
Or his date.
Maker damn it.
He shivered out in the cold of Skyhold, his now thoroughly uninterested date a good 20 feet away. His hair was singed, he now had no sleeves instead of one, and there was smoke damage in his kitchen. Everyone else had left the building and were chatting while deliberately not looking at him, so he stood there in pure embarrassment as the fire truck came down the street. Thankfully his father wasn't speaking to him, or he’d never hear the end of how much he’d fucked this up. He’d just planned on being a little flashy, showing off his cooking, and then things were on fire and the alarms were going off, and, well.
He watched miserably as it came to a stop, and out came the firemen. He frowned when he saw their jackets. Each had a name emblazoned on the back, and none of them made much sense. Dalish, Grim, Rocky, Stitches?
And then out stepped one of the biggest Qunari he’d ever seen, one eyed, horns easily three feet across, and holy shit his biceps were easily the size of Dorian’s head. Muscles rippled like waves as he slung his coat over his shoulder, the name obscured.
“Shit,” he breathed, and drew himself up when he was pinned by the eye. Taking a deep breath, he forced himself to march over.
The Qunari grinned, and Dorian resolutely did not swoon. Not at all.
“Good evening,” the Qunari said wryly.
“It was my fault,” Dorian said without preamble. Best to get this over with quickly, he decided, and he refused to blush when the Qunari’s grin widened. “I was a little overzealous in my cooking endeavors this evening.” There was an answering angry rumble from the crowd, but he didn’t flinch. He’d faced down his father before, nothing could make him afraid anymore.
“That so, Magister-?”
“Altus,” he corrected quickly, fighting back his shudder at the word. “Altus Dorian Pavus, late of the Tevinter Minrathous.”
“Altus Pavus, then,” the Qunari said, nose twitching just the slightest. Dorian prayed that the rumors about Qunari smelling arousal were lies. “Perhaps you and I should chat over here while my team clears the building.”
They moved off to the side, and Dorian stared as a massive hand was thrust out for him to shake.
"I'm the Iron Bull," the Qunari said, positively cheerfully.
Dorian shook cautiously. So far, so good. No one had thrown down any gloves, and neither of them had commented on the whole 'Vint thing. Excellent. "Er. Thank you. Obviously you know my name by now."
"Indeed. So, tell me, how did this come about?"
Dorian sighed dramatically, looking over to where Lucian had taken out his phone and was pointedly not looking at him. "See that charming and lovely assed piece of work over there? I was attempting to flambe some things for us. Orlesian food, you know how it is."
The Iron Bull bit back a smile. "Go on."
"The flames got away from me at a rather... delicate moment, shall we put it." Dorian congratulated himself on the fact that he hadn't blurted out that Lucian had been more than a little interested in his neck at the time. And his ass. And- focus, Dorian. "Unfortunately, there was oil on my sleeve, the flames jumped, and now I'm without a sleeve. Also drapes. And a date. He only got that damned beard singed though."
The Iron Bull glanced at Dorian's crisper than normal hair, and he glowered.
"I know, it was dumb, and I will think twice before cooking Orlesian again."
"And dating someone that vapid, I should hope," the Iron Bull said dryly, glancing over at Lucian. Dorian grimaced. The man was taking a selfie, chars and all.
"Do you have somewhere to stay?"
He turned his attention back and nodded grimly. "Not ideal, but yes. I do."
In the cold, brutal light of morning streaming through one of Skyhold’s windows, Dorian wondered if he could actually kill Lavellan for putting him in the Northern guest suite. While he was very fond of the Herald, he was also very fond of his sleep, and given that he’d been forced to move nearly half of his collection to save it from smoke damage, he was not exactly thrilled by the situation. Sitting up, he stretched and grimaced as his shoulder ached. While his apartment was being fixed, he had the dubious pleasure of staying in Skyhold. Lavellan, damn her sorry hide, was gleefully going to get all the research she could out of him.
His shoulder gave another twinge, and he scowled as he grabbed the little bottle of healing cream beside the bed. Apparently he had been hurt while tearing his sleeve off. Not enough for it to do serious damage, but just enough to be annoying.
Once he had risen and dressed, he dared to brave the rest of the castle.
To absolutely no ones surprise, Solas sneered at him when he came in. As it was, the elf was half buried in a mountain high stack of books on- herbalist culture on the Storm Coast? Whatever. Dorian flounced past him, heading up to his newly designated research area, and settled in.
The fire alarms went off in the middle of his translation of what was easily a 400 year old text, and it was all he could do not to scream.