#01 - Walking
In retrospect, Mahanon wishes that he could remember more of the long walk he had taken from Wycome to the Conclave, but a part of him is glad that it's slipped away because the memory -- of tall trees and stretches of unbroken fields, of the quiet and reassuring presence of his clan mates before his departure -- makes Thedas' current chaos more painful.
#02 - Waltz
Mahanon feels like a puppet on strings -- the threads of which are held by different members of his inner circle, each of them pulling him in different directions and demanding different things, forcing him to dance to a tune that he barely understands -- and when Dorian comes along, asking for nothing more that the opportunity to help, Mahanon wonders which direction this new puppet string will pull him.
#03 - Wishes
They make Mahanon the Inquisitor for a number of reasons -- because he's a unifying force, because he bears the Anchor, because he has been and will continue to do whatever is needed to save as many lives as he can -- but he wishes... he wishes sometimes that they hadn't.
#04 - Wonder
Mahanon struggles under the weight of the expectations that have been placed on his shoulders, painfully traversing the steep learning curve of his new title, and when he comes to Dorian for an update on Venatori, it's with no small amount of awe to realize that the mage recognizes -- recognizes and casually dismisses in such a way that it makes Mahanon smile a little -- the burden of an unwelcome duty.
#05 - Worry
Though Mahanon does not let Dorian know this, he is always, always, painfully aware of what people say when they see the two of them together, but because Dorian too is hyperaware of such things (but often rebellious in the face of it), Mahanon doesn't want Dorian to worry that such gossip will one day drive him away.
#06 - Whimsy
At first, Mahanon grabs for Dorian's hand without thinking -- because he wants Dorian's attention, because he wants him near, because he aches for the feel of his skin -- but as soon as Dorian doesn't refuse the impulse, Mahanon does it again and again and again.
#07 - Waste/Wasteland
The Forbidden Oasis is fucking terrible -- full of blocked off tunnels, spider-infested mines, insurmountable towers of rock, potentially rabid wolf packs, and a stupid temple that demands magical shards in order to be unlocked -- but because they're also so hot that Dorian can't be bothered to wear a full set of pajamas whenever they bunk down for the night, Mahanon can't make himself hate them in their entirety.
#08 - Whiskey and rum
The first kisses that Dorian and Mahanon share taste like the wine that Dorian is always drinking -- overly sweet and tacky across the tongue -- and Mahanon hopes that, someday, Dorian won't need the wine to be brave enough to kiss him.
#09 - War
Mahanon sometimes feels as if his entire life has been at the mercy of war -- war between mages and templars, between humans and elves, between slavers and slaves -- and there are dark days, full of struggle and pain and hopelessness, in which he wishes that Dorian did not unrepentantly represent so many of the enemies of his childhood, while still being so fiercely good.
#10 - Weddings
There's no shortage of weddings during times of crisis -- so of course, Mahanon and his party run across dozens of them during each of their excursions -- and glancing at Dorian, he begins to wonder... No, no, he does no such thing.
#11 - Birthday
Elves in general do not celebrate birthdays because it's difficult to know the exact date when clans are constantly wandering the countryside or young elven servants are escaping the city with new babes, but when Dorian explains it to him, Mahanon can see the appeal of wanting to rejoice on the day that the gods decided to bring a loved one into the world.
#12 - Blessing
"I thank you for your concern, Mother Giselle," Mahanon says with the most charming smile he can manage in the face of her derogatory implications about his relationship with Dorian, "but if I needed the Maker's blessing for anything, I would ask for it."
#13 - Bias
When Solas cautiously suggests that Mother Giselle may have a point -- that Dorian might appear to have some sort of undue influence over his decisions -- Mahanon can only point out that the same could be said of every member of his inner circle, yet Mahanon cannot help thinking it unfair that impartiality is demanded so strongly of him that he can't be seen to love any one person above all others.
#14 - Burning
The Anchor burns -- harder and hotter and deeper than any flame that Mahanon has ever felt, worse than any injury he's ever taken, and worse again with every rift they close -- and as it flickers and sparks and spreads across the width of his palm, Mahanon cringes through the pain, gritting out reassurances whenever Dorian begins to look worried.
#15 - Breathing
It had taken only a second for Dorian to step between Mahanon and the spell -- a spell which now has Dorian's chest rising and falling with a ragged shudder -- and there isn't anything more terrifying for Mahanon than the realization that Dorian would probably do the same thing all over again, for as many times as he needed to.
#16 - Breaking
When the elfroot potion finally takes effect, easing Dorian's breathing into something more natural in the early morning hours, Mahanon pulls Dorian's hand to his mouth, kissing his knuckles as he says, voice cracking amidst the threatening tears, "Please don't ever do that again."
#17 - Belief
"I'm glad I have you," Dorian tells him one night, with the golden candlelight dancing across their tangled fingers, "because without you, I don't think I'd have any hope, for myself or for my homeland."
#18 - Balloon
They're sitting on the courtyard steps, watching as the soldiers below grapple in a mud pit, and when Dorian laughs at something he says -- head tossed back, hands braced across his belly, his mouth curling around the round sound of his delight -- Mahanon feels the words swell into being inside his chest, ready to burst across his tongue:
#19 - Balcony
"I love you," Mahanon says at last -- out loud, to the open air breezing in from the balcony that Dorian had stood in front of just a half hour before -- and though Dorian is long gone, Mahanon says it again, tasting the words purely for the pleasure of it and practicing for the day he'll actually be heard.
#20 - Bane
Mahanon knows that he shouldn't take the Iron Bull's flirting to heart -- he does it with everyone after all -- but he can't help the reflexive spike of annoyance, of jealousy, of insecurity that tightens his jaw whenever the Qunari does so with Dorian.
#21 - Quiet
After the meeting with Magister Pavus, Dorian is prone to long, pensive moments -- eyes distantly focused on the hazy horizon past the mountains that surround Skyhold, tome lying slack in the cradle of his lap, mouth turned down beneath the curl of his mustache -- and Mahanon does his best to be a supportive presence at his side, watching as Dorian's hand comes to his throat, reaching for an amulet that is no longer there.
#22 - Quirks
"Have you considered," Dorian says sourly as he shoves a hand through his sweaty (and perhaps, slightly singed) hair, "not guarding your back with a wall of fire mines?"
#23 - Question
Dorian strides toward him -- an affected kind of leisure in every step as he circles around Mahanon -- and Mahanon shivers rather helplessly when Dorian asks, "How bad does the Inquisitor want to be?"
#24 - Quarrel
After they meet with the man who has possession of the Pavus family amulet, Dorian is the very picture of frustrated, silent fury -- shoulders squared and spine rigid as he urges his mount ahead of Mahanon's so that they aren't riding side by side as usual -- and Mahanon trails behind, wondering how his attempt at a loving gesture could have gone so wrong.
#25 - Quitting
Their disagreement passes -- each side talked out in an altogether very mature manner that absolutely does not end with them whispering their adoration to each other in a private alcove in Skyhold's library -- and soon after, Mahanon is stretched out across his bed, clutching Dorian's shoulders as the other man slides long and slow between his thighs and pleads, "Don't stop, don't stop, don't--"
#26 - Jump
The walkway at Adamant Fortress starts to crumble beneath their feet, weakened by the force of Clarel's spell, and Mahanon reaches for Dorian's hand even as he orders his team to jump, hoping that for once the Anchor will allow him to catch them all.
#27 - Jester
Mahanon appreciates Dorian more than he can say -- for the way Dorian twists cruel words and worse assumptions into a mockery of itself with a few deflecting remarks and an amused curl to his lips, turning the opposition into fools for trying to make them into enemies.
#28 - Jousting
Sera makes an inquiry about Dorian and Mahanon's sex life that is half in jest, half serious, and much later, when he and Dorian are sliding together, cocks trapped between their bodies, Mahanon gasps out an odd kind of cheer that sends Dorian into giggles.
#29 - Jewel
Mahanon's met 'Vints before Dorian, and by comparison, Dorian doesn't need a single one of their jewels or baubles or silks in order to be just as eye-catching.
#30 - Just
The Anchor -- unpredictable at the best of times, sparking and growing perhaps in response to yet another rift, painful despite Solas and Dorian's combined attempts to tame it -- flares to life like a savage beast, eating away at the ends of Mahanon's nerves until his arm is numb up to his elbow, and it's... it's not fair, Mahanon thinks, that the very thing that led Dorian to him might be what kills him.
#31 - Smirk
There are moments when Dorian turns to him -- all carefully crafted arrogance, mischievousness glinting in his eyes, delight lifting the corner of his mouth -- and Mahanon knows he never stood a chance of resisting him.
#32 - Sorrow
Mahanon has told himself at least a half billion times before that he cannot save everyone, but a part of him had hoped to never have to apply such a mantra to his own clan.
#33 - Stupidity
Stupid, stupid so fucking stupid to have ever hoped for a moment of peace.
#34 - Serenade
Utterly ignoring the way Solas looks at him, Mahanon grieves as he was taught to -- murmuring a prayer to Falon'Din for his clan's safe passage past the Veil, his face pressed to the roots of the only oak tree in Skyhold's garden, and his heart beating a mournful tune within his breast.
#35 - Sarcasm
Even though Dorian is notoriously bad with emotions (especially his own), Mahanon can tell that he's trying to help, trying to be a rock upon which Mahanon can lean, but Dorian can't seem to stop the occasional quip or two.
#36 - Sordid
"How can you be with him," Solas asks once, voice pitched low, his whole aura radiating disapproval, "after everything Tevinter has stolen from our People, after everything that has happened to your clan?"
#37 - Soliloquy
Mahanon spends the rest of the day in bed -- chest tight with a lingering anger at Solas and a fresh knot of grief -- and with his face hidden in the pillows, he lets Dorian fill the silence around them with a soothing chatter.
#38 - Sojourn
Travel time aside, their mission at the Winter Palace is easily the shortest, with the party itself barely lasting six hours before Florianne de Chalons is arrested for treason, yet when Mahanon spends the remaining time dancing with Dorian, he yearns to stretch the moment out for much longer.
#39 - Share
The Well calls to him, beckoning with an incomprehensible series of whispers -- hundreds of voices overlapping each other, promising power and knowledge as he reaches toward the water's surface -- until Dorian jerks him back with a firm grip at his elbow.
#40 - Solitary
In the end, only one person can lay the killing blow on Corypheus, and though Dorian and the others are nearby, it's Mahanon that must use the Anchor to rip Corypheus apart.
#41 - Nowhere
"Perhaps he'll turn up soon," Dorian suggests when Leliana reports that her spies have been unable to track down Solas's whereabouts.
#42 - Neutral
"I didn't think you'd be leaving so soon," Mahanon says, trying desperately not to make it sound like an accusation as he watches Dorian pack a bag for a trip to Tevinter.
#43 - Nuance
It's different -- the distance between him and Dorian, between Skyhold and Tevinter that cannot be wholly crossed by constant letters -- and though Mahanon reads the words until he's practically memorized them, he misses terribly the sound that Dorian's voice would give them.
#44 - Near
It is a joy to see Dorian again after so long, even if it is because the Inquisition has been dragged to Orlais to stand before the Exalted Council, and Mahanon pulls him close without hesitation -- to breathe him in, to taste him, to touch him, to remind himself of all the little things that letters could not provide.
#45 - Natural
The spread of the Anchor's green has grown like vines across his skin, surprisingly content to do so silently and painlessly without the Breach overhead, and Mahanon cannot make himself spoil their reunion by confessing.
#46 - Horizon
The Fade seems to have no horizon, no distance that the Eluvians cannot reach, and just as Mahanon thinks he might be finding the end of it, the Anchor cracks like lightning, poisonous green lancing all the way to his elbow--
#47 - Valiant
He shouts for the others to get back, feeling the power in his arm surge faster than it ever has before, and he bows over the Anchor, hiding it from Dorian's gaze and hoping he isn't about to kill his vhenan--
#48 - Virtuous
"I'm not leaving you," Dorian says.
#49 - Victory
It should have tasted like a victory, throwing back the invading Qunari force and discovering the truth about Solas and just... everything, but it doesn't -- not until Dorian gathers him in his arms and repeats like a mantra: "I've got you, amatus."
#50 - Defeat
In the end, leaving Orlais with half his arm missing and a new enemy in the shape of an old friend, Mahanon finds it hard to settle until Dorian -- who is not going back to Tevinter, not just yet, not when he's so clearly needed -- shoves him back into the seat of the carriage with a mulish expression, and Mahanon gives in with a sigh, rejoicing in the heat of Dorian's hand over his heart.