Cullen paced nervously in his office. The Inquisitor’s party was late. They should have been back two weeks ago. There had been no word since they had left their camp in the Western Approach three weeks prior, and it should have only taken a week to return to Skyhold.
Cullen’s heart clenched every time he replayed the memory of his first kiss with Dorian, just over two months ago now. Cullen had finally gotten up enough courage to confess his interest to Dorian, leaning over the chess table to plant a quick kiss on the mage’s lips. Dorian had initially been startled before pulling Cullen in for a deeper kiss, clearly showing his mutual interest.
Then the Inquisitor ran in, pulling Dorian away on yet another urgent mission. More Venatori and something about time magic. Dorian had looked at Cullen apologetically before running after the Inquisitor.
There had been so much Cullen had wanted to say. He had been delaying for too long and now … now he tried not to dwell on the fact that Dorian may be lost to him forever. The mere thought nearly made his heart stop.
They couldn’t have been lost. They were needed. The Inquisitor most of all was needed for the sake of all of Thedas. However, for Cullen, Dorian was the one he needed. The Maker couldn’t possibly be this cruel.
Cullen started when he heard the horn sound. Three times – that meant the Inquisitor’s party had been spotted approaching Skyhold.
Without another thought, Cullen ran towards the gates, to see the party approach in the distance. Normally he would wait patiently for the party to arrive at the keep, but Cullen was still too full of worry to form a coherent thought. He ran down the path, meeting them half-way. Cullen ran right past a startled Inquisitor, looking for the flamboyant mage.
At first Cullen didn’t see Dorian, until they rounded a bend in the path and he appeared from behind the large bulk of the Iron Bull. They all looked exhausted, but otherwise well. Cullen was sure he’d get a full report from the Inquisitor in due time, but for now all he cared about was that Dorian was back, alive and well.
“Dorian!” Cullen launched himself at the tired mage, uncaring of who saw. His need to feel Dorian in his arms was too great to ignore any longer. Dorian’s yelp of surprise was cut short by Cullen’s lips slanting over his.
“My, my, Commander, I hadn’t quite expected this enthusiastic of a greeting,” Dorian said with a wry smile, “not that I’m complaining, mind you.”
“I was worried,” Cullen confessed. “You are two weeks overdue.”
“Ah yes, that. We were held up a number of times along the route home. I’m sure the Inquisitor will fill you in on all the details,” Dorian replied.
Cullen took Dorian’s hand as they walked the rest of the way back to Skyhold together, not wanting to let the mage go. The Iron Bull looked back at them and chuckled, but said nothing.
Later that evening, Dorian awoke from a much needed nap, to find a note slipped under his door.
After you’ve rested, meet me in my office.
Dorian smiled, and began to dress. He opted for a simple outfit, instead of his more elaborate leather outfit he usually wore. Instead he chose a pair of soft suede breeches, a loose silk shirt, and soft leather boots.
Dorian made his way towards Cullen’s office, noting the flickering of candlelight from the windows. He tried opening the door to let himself in as he normally would, only to find the door locked. This was highly unusual as the Commander’s office was nearly always open, even when the man was asleep in his loft.
Dorian knocked on the door, “Commander?”
He heard the soft click of the door being unlocked, and Cullen waiting on the other side. The door was quickly closed and locked again.
“Come up to my loft,” Cullen said, with an edge of nerves in his voice, before quickly climbing up the ladder, hoping Dorian would follow.
Dorian noted that Cullen had also opted for a simpler choice of clothing for the evening, rough spun breeches and shirt, instead of the armor he practically seemed to live in.
Once up in the loft, Dorian saw that Cullen had a meal set up for them on a small table in the corner of his loft, complete with candlelight and wine.
“Oh my, what’s the occasion, Commander?” Dorian asked.
“Cullen,” Cullen corrected. “Please, call me Cullen.”
“All right, Cullen, so what’s the occasion?” Dorian asked again.
Cullen looked at Dorian with adoration, making Dorian’s heart skip a beat. Cullen closed the distance between them, and as he leaned in for a kiss he whispered. “Us.”
Dorian’s breath hitched when he heard the whispered word. Us? What could that possibly mean? Dorian’s mind was reeling as the Commander … Cullen … was kissing him so softly and sweetly. Could Cullen possibly, maybe, want something more?
Dorian had tried not to put too much thought into Cullen’s actions until now. Their first kiss had been brief before they were torn apart by needs of the Inquisition. Dorian didn’t think the Commander would be one for a quick tryst, but whatever else could he be up for if he was interested in Dorian?
Dorian pulled away from Cullen, looking deeply into those soft brown eyes. “Us?” he queried. He needed to know more before things went too far.
Cullen smiled warmly, not letting Dorian out of his arms. “Yes, us. As in you and I.”
“Care to elaborate a little more, Cullen? I’m not entirely sure I understand your intentions,” Dorian asked hesitantly.
“My intentions are to pamper you and spoil you, as much as I am capable of,” Cullen said sincerely.
Dorian looked confused. “Why?”
“Because, my dear Dorian, I find myself hopelessly in love with you.” Cullen confessed.
Dorian wasn’t sure he’d heard that right. His pulse quickened at the sound of those words. Those sweet, amazing words he never thought he’d ever hear anyone say to him.
“You’re in love … with me?” Dorian asked incredulously.
“Yes,” Cullen responded, leaning in for another kiss.
Dorian felt overcome with emotion and kissed Cullen back with all the passion he could muster, while tears threatened to cascade down his cheeks.
Dorian was breathing heavily when their lips finally parted again.
“I … I don’t know what to say, Cullen. I never dared to hope for anything like this from another man, most especially from you,” Dorian said breathlessly.
“Just say you might find it in your heart to love me, too.” Cullen said hopefully.
Dorian leaned his forehead against Cullen’s, trying to steady his breathing. His mind was still reeling from Cullen’s confession. For a moment he just stood there in Cullen’s arms, thinking back on the past year they had spent getting to know one another. Talking amicably over their games of chess, laughing together over drinks in the tavern, walking the battlements together discussing everything from war strategy and politics, to the latest tales Varric was always writing.
Dorian suddenly realized that Cullen had been courting him all that time, and Dorian had been letting him without even realizing it. It hit him that he’d also been falling in love with Cullen as well. Now here he was, wrapped in Cullen’s arms.
Dorian looked up, tears falling freely as he finally allowed his emotions free reign. “Oh Amatus, I do love you. I just hadn’t realized it until now.”
Dorian pulled Cullen into another kiss, sweet and tender, trying to convey the depths of his newly realized emotions.
“What does ‘Amatus’ mean?” Cullen asked after they pulled apart again.
Dorian placed his hand over Cullen’s heart.
“It translates to ‘my heart,’” Dorian said simply. “You are my heart, Cullen.”
“And you are mine,” Cullen breathed, pulling Dorian close enough that they could feel each other’s heart beat … in perfect unison.