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I Want to Know What Love is

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The song came to him in a dream. Such a rare and wonderful gift…to actually dream, instead of being plagued with the nightmares of his past. As soon as he awoke he rushed down the ladder into his office, only wearing his small clothes. He had to write down the words, fearful of forgetting them.

The song had been strange and beautiful, unlike any music he had ever heard before, but the words made his heart ache. He took it as a sign from the Maker himself that today was the day. Today was the day he had to throw all caution to the wind and bare his soul to the man he loved. Cullen had come to realize he had fallen in love with Dorian weeks ago, but he’d been afraid to tell him. Afraid he’d stumble over his tongue and make a mess of it, like he always had in the past.

Now with a song in his heart, he had a way to convey exactly what he needed, and in song his tongue would be sure and steady. Since a small boy, Cullen had loved to sing, and had been told he had a beautiful voice. Now here was a chance for him to use his gift, to convey something in the only way that made sense.

Once the words were written down, he went back to his loft to dress for the day, anxious for the hour he was to meet Dorian for their afternoon game of chess in the garden. The morning dragged on as he poured over reports and missives, the words all blurring together after a time. His mind kept being drawn back to the song and he even tried singing a few refrains for practice.

Finally the noon bell rang and he eagerly left behind his pile of paperwork and headed towards the Herald’s Rest for some lunch. It was a new habit of his, to make himself eat a mid-day meal before meeting Dorian. He’d promised Cassandra he’d start taking better care of himself and part of that promise was getting proper meals.

Once his lunch was eaten, he headed over towards the garden to await Dorian at the chess table. He sat, fidgeting nervously, his mind going over and over the lyrics of the song he’d heard in his dream.

Finally, Dorian sauntered towards the chess table, fashionably late as usual, and once again looking devastatingly handsome.

“Good afternoon, Commander,” Dorian said smiling. “Looking dashing as always, I see.”

As Dorian took his customary seat at the chess table Cullen stood up. “Don’t tell me, you’re too busy to actually play a game this afternoon?”

Cullen shook his head, not wishing to speak, too nervous that he’d trip over his damnable tongue. Instead he got down on one knee in front of Dorian, and took one of the mage’s hands in his. Cullen’s heart thumped loudly in his chest and he took a deep breath to steady his nerves. Dorian look at him with a shocked expression. “What…?”

Then Cullen opened his mouth, and simply began to sing.

I gotta take a little time, a little time to think things over.
I better read between the lines, in case I need it when I'm older.

Dorian was in awe, his jaw hanging open at the handsome man before him, serenading him.

Now this mountain I must climb, feels like the world upon my shoulders.
Through the clouds I see love shine, it keeps me warm as life grows colder.

That voice. That beautiful, wonderful voice. How had Dorian not known that Cullen could sing? He’d made it his mission over the past few weeks to learn everything he could about the Commander, but this…this was a lovely surprise.

In my life there's been heartache and pain.
I don't know if I can face it again.
Can't stop now, I've traveled so far, to change this lonely life.

I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.
I want to feel what love is, I know you can show me.

Dorian’s breath hitched at the words Cullen was singing, tears welling unbidden in his eyes. Oh, my.

I'm gonna take a little time, a little time to look around me.
I've got nowhere left to hide, it looks like love has finally found me.

Tears were now streaming down Dorian’s face. He hadn’t meant to get so emotional, but something about how Cullen was singing the words, so sincerely, looking at him and only him. Dorian felt he must be dreaming, but this was a dream he didn’t want to wake from.

In my life there's been heartache and pain.
I don't know if I can face it again.
Can't stop now, I've traveled so far, to change this lonely life.

I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.
I want to feel what love is, I know you can show me.

Dorian slid to his knees before Cullen, taking the man’s other hand in his, bringing both hands up to his lips to kiss them tenderly.

Let's talk about love, I want to know what love is.
The love that you feel inside, I want you to show me.
And I'm feeling so much love, I want to feel what love is.
No, you just can't hide, I know you can show me.

I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.
I want to feel what love is, I know you can show me.

I'm feelin' so much love...

When Cullen finished he looked at Dorian expectantly, eyes full of hope.

“Oh, Amatus,” Dorian breathed as he pulled Cullen towards him, looking deep into his honey-brown eyes. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Then don’t say anything,” Cullen whispered, tilting his head towards Dorian’s and ghosting his lips over the mage’s. Their lips finally met in a soft, sweet kiss and it wasn’t until cheers and applause erupted around them that they realized that the Commander had attracted an audience.

Cullen blushed a deep red realizing how many people had just witnessed his declaration of love for Dorian. He went to stand, helping Dorian to his feet, and ushered the mage away from the crowd. They headed towards Dorian’s room to seek some privacy.

Once there, Dorian pulled Cullen closer again, going back to where they left off, pressing his lips against Cullen’s, soft and tender.

When he pulled back he looked at Cullen. “Where did you learn such a strange and wonderful song?”

“It came to me in a dream.”