Dorian’s heart lept into his throat when the door to the Herald’s Rest slammed open and one very angry looking elf stormed towards him.
“Now I remember you, Altus Pavus,” Fenris said. “I knew you looked familiar from the moment I met you. You were there! Admit it!”
Dorian was a bit flustered and the entire tavern had grown still waiting for Dorian to respond to the accusation.
“My dear Fenris, I have been a great many places. Would you care to elaborate?” Dorian asked.
“At the Wintersend party Danarius held. It took me awhile to remember because you hadn’t grown in your mustache yet, but I remember now. You were there. You saw what they did to me!”
Dorian thought back. His family rarely attended parties thrown by Danarius. The magister wasn’t well liked among the Pavus’ family circles. Then it clicked. Dorian did remember that one awful Wintersend party…and what Danarius and his guests had done to that poor slave.
“Oh, my word. That was you, wasn’t it? I completely blanked the awful memory of that party out of my memory until now. I am so sorry.”
“Sorry doesn’t cut it, mage,” Fenris snarled. “How can you look at me knowing what you’ve done to me?”
“What I’ve done? Fenris, I never participated in that…that…orgy.” Dorian protested.
“Well you didn’t stop it from happening, either!”
“I was merely a boy of fifteen! What could I have done to stop the great magister Danarius?!”
That finally seemed to catch Fenris off-guard. “You were…only fifteen? You looked fully grown…I’m sorry…I thought. Argh…never mind!”
Fenris stormed out just as he stormed in, leaving Dorian speechless. Krem came over to him. “You better go after him and make sure he’s alright.”
Dorian nodded, buying a bottle of wine from the barkeep before hurrying out of the tavern, hoping to catch up with the elf. Once outside, there was no sign of Fenris anywhere. Dorian searched high and low and finally found Fenris at the top of one of the towers. This one was still in disrepair and currently unoccupied.
As Dorian climbed up the latter and peered into the room, he saw Fenris curled up in a corner. Dorian came all the way up and sat himself next to Fenris, who didn’t bother to lift his head. Dorian held out the bottle of wine as a peace offering.
“For what it’s worth, I am so very sorry you had to suffer so much at the hands of that monster. If I could have interfered that night, I promise you I would have. As it was, my father noticed how upsetting it was for me and he dragged me home early. It was quite the snub actually and my father was rather proud of himself for it.”
Fenris looked up and took the bottle of wine, uncorking it with the sharp tip of his gauntlet and taking a long pull from the bottle, before handing it back to Dorian. “I’m sorry as well, I hadn’t realized how young you were. Somehow I had it in my head that you were at least a decade older.”
“Have I aged so poorly? It must be this harsh climate in the south. My skin just isn’t used to all this cold!” Dorian said in mock protest, which elicited a chuckle from Fenris.
“My father did do whatever he could to sanction Danarius’ actions. It’s just that Danarius and his ilk had far too much power in the Magisterium. In fact, many of them are now the leaders of the Venatori.”
“You do seem quite…fervent in your hatred of them. Perhaps I have judged you too harshly. I…tend to that when it comes to mages.”
“I seem to recall Varric warning me about that when he heard you were coming to Skyhold. Why did you choose to join the Inquisition, if I may ask?”
Fenris shrugged. “Hunting slavers alone grew tiresome. I realized I missed the adventures I had with Hawke and Varric. I thought working with a group of people, trying to save Thedas, sounded like fun.”
“So, are you having fun?”
“I was until he showed up,” Fenris said with a sigh.
“Hawke you mean?” Fenris nodded. “I had heard you two were once…intimate?”
“Yes, but…I walked away. I broke his heart and he chose to turn to…that abomination…for comfort. As far as I know Hawke is still protecting him.”
“Abomination? You mean Anders? The one who blew up the Kirkwall Chantry?”
“The one and the same. The fact Hawke let him live…”
Dorian shrugged. “I’m sure he had his reasons. We’re all fools when in love.”
“Have you? Ever been in love?”
Dorian took a drink before responding. “Once. I had this foolish notion of running away, sharing a little cottage together somewhere far from either of our families. He…refused. Instead he did what I would not. He married the girl, produced the heir and pretended to be happy about it all.”
Fenris took back the bottle and took another drink, making a grimace. “The Inquisitor really should get the barkeep to stock a better selection of wine.”
“I hear tell you enjoy Agregio Pavali. I have a bottle in my room I’d be willing to share.”
“Are you trying to tempt me into your lair?”
Dorian laughed. “I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered it. You are very easy on the eyes.”
“I bet you say that to all the pretty elves,” Fenris groused, before giving Dorian a little smile and a wink. “Perhaps I’ll take you up on that offer…but not tonight. I should head back to my quarters and get some sleep. I’m due to travel with the Inquisitor in the morning.”
“Fair enough. I’ll keep the wine on reserve for when you get back,” Dorian offered. “Perhaps it will be something to look forward to? The wine at least, if not the company.”
“Perhaps,” Fenris said as he stood and made to leave the tower.
Dorian followed Fenris out, before they went their separate ways. Their quarters were on opposite sides of the keep from each other. Dorian was fairly sure Cullen arranged that for fear of an all-out war between himself and Fenris.
Dorian had no idea what the future held, but he couldn’t help smiling to himself when he thought of having Fenris in his quarters, sharing his wine…and perhaps something more.