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Quiet in the Library

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Dorian's commute to the library was usually in the comfort of his stylish black convertible. It had a full leather interior highlighted with a brightly lacquered wood. Heated seats, good tunes, and just his own perfect company. Nothing better. That was until the transmission gave out, leaving Dorian to ride the bus like some commoner. He felt completely out of place in his ironed slacks and impeccably fitted vest over some pinstriped button front shirt, while sitting across from him was a hairy dwarf wearing little more than a speedo and what remained of a filthy white shirt. One stop away from his a pair of Qunari women walked on the bus and sat on either side of him, crushing him between their giant bodies.



Every time they turned their heads he had to lean away to keep their horns from wacking him in the face. “Do you mind?” he snarled as one turned and nearly took his eye out.

His accent gave him away and the two women turned their hard gazes on him, “Do you, 'Vint?” the one on his right asked, biceps larger than his thigh flexed at him.

“I'll very much mind if you mar up my beautiful face,” Dorian sniffed, reaching back to pull the string so the bus would stop and let him off before these barbarians ripped him in two. Both women laughed at him. Loudly. They laughed him all the way off the bus and left him fuming as he stormed into the library. Qunari. A bunch of uncivilized savages! All they were good for was slaughtering people, his people specifically. Okay, sure, Tevinter had just as much Imperium sanctioned murder under their belts, and what they had done to the elves was horrific, but Dorian loved his homeland as much as he hated it so he couldn't help it when Qunari raised his hackles. He hadn't met a single one that didn't look like it wouldn't kill him.


Skyhold was supposed to be different. Better. Dorian had come to the Fereldan city to get away from the Tevinter Imperium, and more specifically his parents who had wanted to magically alter him when they found out he refused to deny who he was. A man that loved other men. How terrible. Dorian missed home, but he didn't miss hiding who he was. Great, now he was starting work in a bad mood. His assistant librarian, an odd young man/spirit...thing..., named Cole sensed it immediately.

“They laugh and there is some small fear-mmph,” Dorian slapped a hand over Cole's mouth.

Not today,” said Dorian curtly, “fill me in on today, eugh,” he pulled back his hand as Cole licked his palm.

“A shelf in the reference section snapped,” said Cole, staring up at him with enormous eyes that saw far too much for their own good.

“What?! Again?!” Dorian huffed and rubbed his forehead, “what are we paying maintenance for if they're not going to do their bloody jobs?”

“He drinks a lot, drowns out the-” Cole was muttering to himself and Dorian ignored him.

“We're getting someone new in, all the shelves in the reference section are too old... and we still have that hole in the wall when that Dwarf punched a hole in it.” Dorian stalked behind his desk to sit down behind his computer. He needed to contract out to someone who was actually good. The first group that showed up had the best reviews. Dorian narrowed his eyes as he leaned in, reading all the glowing testimonials on the web page. 'Bull's Chargers'... an odd name for repairmen but the price was right. Dorian booked them to come in over the web page and thought no more of it.

In hindsight he probably should have at least figured out who Bull was. Dorian was at his desk the next day when a hulking Qunari walked through the front doors. He was big even for their kind with black tattoos swirling down his huge muscled arms. His horns flared off to the side of his bald head; it was a surprise he could even get through a door with horns like that. His one good eye was fixed on Dorian, the other hidden by a silver eyepatch. At first Dorian thought him just another patron until he noticed the tool belt wrapped around his waist.

“The Iron Bull,” he said, walking right up and offering Dorian his hand, “you have some shelves that need repairs?”

“Uhh...” Dorian glanced at his hand and then slowly took it, amazed at just how much it swallowed his own when Bull shook it. “Yes, yes we have several shelves in the reference section that need fixing...” he could not stop staring at Bull's naked chest.

“Enjoying the view?” Bull asked, flexing his pecs pointedly.

Dorian flushed and turned his attention on the books before him, angrily stamping one, “Put a shirt on in the library!” he snapped.

Bull laughed, pulling a white tank-top out of a pouch on his tool belt and sliding it on. It only made him more distracting, much to Dorian's fury. A Qunari had no right to be doing this to his head. Bull was just standing there staring at him, he could feel that one eye crawling along every visible part of his body. “What.” Dorian hissed.

“I need to know where I'm going,” said Bull, sounding more amused than anything else.

Cole showed up with a stack of books so tall it obscured his face, “He's handsome. Wondering. What would he look standing over him with his chest glistening with sweat-”

“Nope.” Dorian tipped over the stack of books as he passed by Cole, face flaming with embarrassment.

Bull was laughing under his breath, the great lummox! Dorian silently fumed as he led the way into the darkest, quietest part of the library where books from the ruined shelves were stacked haphazardly on the floor. There were actually ten or so shelves that need to be fixed, some in worse condition than others. Bull picked his way around the books with surprising grace, considering his massive size, and checked out the wood while muttering numbers to himself.

“Alright I'll get to work,” said Bull, turning back to Dorian with one hand resting on the head of the hammer at his hip, “Might take more than one day though, there's more damage than I thought, and you have other shelves on the verge of breaking.”

“Then get to it,” said Dorian, “and try to be quiet.”

“Yeah I'll be extra quiet swinging this hammer around,” Bull whispered, and even his whispering was loud in Dorian's ears.

He threw up his hands in frustration (god that butt looked so good in those torn work jeans) and set up a magical barrier around the reference section so no one could mess with Bull while he was working. Dorian paused before leaving, watching Bull from the end of the stacks as he started to move piles of books out of his way. The muscles in his ashy grey shoulders flexed as he bent down, giving Dorian the perfect view of his ass. Bull glanced over his shoulder and smirked, waving his ass pointedly.

Dorian blushed and stalked off, hands clenched into fists at his sides. He did not find a Qunari attractive. At the desk Cole had taken over his stamping and he looked fairly cheerful, “Don't say anything,” said Dorian before Cole could even open his mouth.

“He thinks you're attractive,” said Cole anyway.

“Of course he does,” said Dorian, putting his nose in the air with a sneer, “I am an exceptionally attractive man!” He gathered up checked in books on a cart and went off to shelve them, using his magic to float them up to the higher shelves when he couldn't reach them himself. It was a slow day in the library, and all he could hear was the pervasive bang of Iron Bull's hammer across the way. This shouldn't bother him so much, Dorian got plenty of action... okay...he hadn't really had any since coming to Skyhold, but back in Tevinter men would line up to take a roll among his sheets.

If he bothered to put himself out there then he could have anyone, why look at a Qunari brute? Dorian sighed and rest his forehead against the shelf, picturing in his minds eye those big muscles flexing with every bang of that hammer, of sweat trickling down the back of his neck, of gripping those big horns and- whoa! No! Dorian shook his head as if he could physically remove every inappropriate thought and grabbed his cart to continue filing his books.

Come the end of the day Dorian was checking in books as his last job, already thinking about getting a drink after work. He needed it after today. A shadow fell over his open copy of Hard in Hightown (why did people keep checking out this book?) and he glanced up to see a large, sweaty, Iron Bull standing before his desk. He had one big hand resting nonchalantly on the head of his hammer, the other hooked into the tool belt. “Well I did what I could for today, but I'll have to come back tomorrow,” he said, “those shelves are a mess.”

“Yes,” Dorian muttered angrily, stamping the book and shoving it aside before he folding his hands before his face, “rest assured the man previously in charge of upkeep will be fired.”

Bull grinned at him, laugh lines wrinkling up by his one good eye, “Hey now, you're almost done for the day and you're looking tense, Mr. Librarian. Care to join me for a drink?”

“You'd drink with a mage from Tevinter?” Dorian asked caustically, “don't you Qunari prefer to have your mages gagged and shackled?”

“I assure you,” said Bull, his voice dipping into a lower register that had Dorian's stomach flipping uncomfortably, “I'd buy you dinner first.”

“You! Well... I... how-!” Dorian stuttered, crossing and un-crossing his legs as he warred with his arousal. “I'll drink you under the table!” he snarled before good sense could shut him up. Bull's look was positively predatory in response.

“I like that bite,” he said, taking his hand off his hammer to lean on Dorian's desk, “finish up here and I'll be waiting outside for you.”

With a slightly shaky hand Dorian grabbed the next book, glancing at the cover before he opened it up to stamp it. Another Hard in Hightown. Damn damn damn Varric and his stupid books! Dorian smashed the stamp onto the card and slid the book aside, heart beating loudly in his ears. He finished up minutes later, gathering up his things slowly as if hoping that Iron Bull would give up and leave before he got out there. Another part wanted Bull shoving him against the stacks and- no. Not going there.

Dorian left, locking up behind him and saw Iron Bull lounging beside a beat up white truck with his company's logo plastered on the sides. It had a rack on the bed with a couple ladders and all the tools a maintenance company could ever need. The truck was large, but beside Iron Bull's hulking body it nearly seemed too small to fit him. He beamed when Dorian walked towards him, an expression that looked oddly at home on his scarred face.

“Don't read into this,” Dorian sniffed haughtily as he climbed into the passenger seat, the whole car tilting as Bull slid into the driver's seat beside him. “I just need a drink and this is a good excuse.”

“How could I read into this?” asked Bull, looking at Dorian with a smirk, “I'm just an illiterate Qunari savage while you are the all powerful Tevinter magister!”

“Ah ha-” Dorian covered an unexpected laugh with his hand, glancing down at his lap. “Yes...quite...” he looked out the window as they started to drive, fingers tangling together in his lap. “Alright let's make a deal, no Qunari quips, no Tevinter japes. I drink you under the table and we get so drunk we don't remember even doing this.”

“Just for tonight?” asked Iron Bull as they pulled into a dive bar not too far from the library.

“But of course,” said Dorian, “what makes you think I can play nice for more than an hour?”

Iron Bull laughed as he opened the door to the truck and slid out, stretching in the cool evening air. Dorian stared shamelessly at the black tattoos that swirled their way from his shoulders down his arms. Up close he realized they were silhouettes of dragons, all tangled together, mixed in with other marks and symbols that he assumed were a Qunari thing. Dorian got out of the truck, slamming his door shut as his eyes turned from Bull to the bar. It looked like a total dump. The kind of place Dorian would go if he was hankering to get stabbed by a hobo.

Well... he was a mage, it wasn't like anyone would dare mess with him. Oh, yeah, and the hulking beast standing beside him would possibly deter a few folks. They walked into the bar together, so close their arms sometimes brushed together and it sent sparks down Dorian's spine. The bartender called out a familiar greeting which Iron Bull returned with a roar. “So, a regular here, are you?” asked Dorian, glancing down at bar with a disgusted curl in his lip. It looked like it hadn't been cleaned this century. “ right in...” he muttered, grabbing a napkin and trying to clean his part of the bar off as best as possible.

Iron Bull laughed and slapped him so hard on the back he nearly slammed his face into the wood. “Just order, you spoiled brat! Drinks on me!” he told the bartender.

“You did that on purpose!” Dorian snarled, shoving Iron Bull in response. Might as well have shoved a brick wall for all the good it did. Bull just laughed at him. Dorian turned his attention on the bartender, “Do you have any Tevinter wines?”

The bartender glanced at Iron Bull as if to wordlessly say, what's with this guy?

“Alright that was a long shot,” said Dorian through grit teeth, “what about a vintage spiced liqueur? Or maybe a bottle of Dragoness Congeac?”

“Okay you know what,” Iron Bull interjected, “he'll have a nice tall mug of Fereldan beer, and I want that stuff that'll take hair off your chest.”

“Fereldan beer!” Dorian squawked with outrage. “You think I would drink that dirty swill?”

“I think you like things a lot more dirty than you let on,” said Iron Bull with a grin so intense Dorian had to look away.

The bartender set a tall foaming mug before Dorian, giving him a slightly unpleasant look, then gave Bull whatever trash he was drinking. It smelled like something Dorian would put in his car to clean out the engine. He turned his attention to his own drink, wrinkling his nose at the smell before taking a tentative sip. Bitter. Heady. Thick. Fucking delicious but he would never ever admit that under pain of death. “Disgusting,” he muttered for appearances sake as he took a deeper drink.

Iron Bull snorted into his drink, “You keep telling yourself that.”

Dorian opened his mouth to say something extremely clever and scathing but decided not to, they were making peace while drinking. “So, what's a Qunari doing in Skyhold and running a contracting business?” he asked instead, taking several deep drinks of his bitter, disgusting, wonderful Fereldan swill.

Iron Bull shrugged his massive shoulders, “Well, I used to do mercenary work in Seheron but...” he sighed into his drink before finishing it off and gesturing to the bartender for another, “you see so many dead children and it gets to you.”

“Ah...” Dorian had nothing to say to that so to fill the silence he downed his beer and then pointed to Bull's newly filled mug, “I'll have what he's having.”

Bull sat back slightly, giving Dorian an appraising look, “Are you kidding? This stuff will melt your pampered insides into mush.”

“Well...then maybe it's time to toughen them up,” said Dorian, raising his mug in a sarcastic toast before tipping his head back and drinking.

Everything after that point was black.

Dorian woke up to the sounds of construction on the street below. Odd, he lived in a very nice neighborhood and every morning he usually just heard birds singing or vehicles starting. Considering how much his head hurt maybe that distant jackhammer was just banging around inside his skull. Dorian could taste the bitter mixture of beer and vomit still lingering in his mouth, Andraste's saggy tits what the fuck had he done last night? He could recall going out with Iron Bull... some drinks and... then nothing. Dorian smacked his lips, grimacing at the taste before he slowly tried to push himself up. He needed a shower and to brush his teeth. He really shouldn't have drank what Bull had been drinking. It wasn't until he managed to sit up that Dorian realized he wasn't in his room. He was on a mattress on the floor and he was buck naked.

“About time you got up, I thought maybe you'd died.” Dorian turned around to see Iron Bull standing in the doorway (it had bits chipped out of the wood where his horns would have scraped along) holding a tall glass of cold water. “Some night last night, huh?” He walked further into the room handing the water to Dorian who took it with numb fingers, brain hardly able to process what was happening.

“What...what did we do last night?” he whispered, horrified, “did we...?”

“Ha!” Bull threw back his head and laughed, “does it feel like we did?”

Dorian's stuttering brain came to realization that Bull was also buck naked, and the cock hanging flaccid between his legs was large enough to make Dorian's breath hitch. Oh yeah, he would have felt that this morning. “I...suppose not,” he muttered, taking a gulp of water.

“Nah, we fumbled around a bit and you passed out before anything good happened,” Bull was grinning, and without his eyepatch on Dorian could see the mass of scars that now made up his left eye. He plopped down on the mattress next to Dorian, his weight causing him to slide right up against Bull. One big arm encircled Dorian's waist, hauling him closer and nuzzling into his messy hair. “It was fun though, you have quite a filthy common mouth on you, for a pampered Tevinter brat.”

“Us pampered Tevinter brats know how to throw a party,” Dorian muttered, still trying to process just what was going on. He wasn't used to waking up in someone else's bed. He liked to leave before an awkward morning, men in Tevinter could never risk staying together. Bull seemed perfectly at ease as he breathed against Dorian's temple, ruffling his hair slightly. It was...odd.

“Want something to eat? I'll make breakfast. Something hearty to put some meat on those bones!” Iron Bull pinched the skin at Dorian's waist and he yelped, almost sloshing water all down his front. That just made Bull laugh again. Despite how much his head throbbed, Dorian couldn't deny how much he liked that laugh. It was perfectly unapologetic. Iron Bull had nothing to hide, wasn't ashamed of anything. It didn't matter that Dorian was Tevinter, the very people the Qunari had been fighting for centuries...he just... he just seemed to see Dorian himself.

“I... I suppose I could stay for breakfast,” Dorian muttered, looking down at the condensation gathering on his cold glass.

“Good,” Iron Bull stood up, grabbing a pair of pajama pants to slide on before he left the room.

Dorian finished his drink before even daring to get up, stumbling around until he found the restroom. His hair and mustache he managed to fix with just his hands, and Bull had some mouthwash to take away the taste of vomit and beer. That being said, Dorian had no idea where his clothes had gone and he was not going to eat breakfast naked. He padded around Bull's room until he found a button-front shirt in the little closet, possibly the only one a man like Bull owned. Dorian slid it on and buttoned it up, marveling at just how large it was on him, it hung down to his thighs and he had to roll the sleeves several times to free up his hands. Finally, somewhat, decent he found Bull in the little kitchen cooking up scrambled eggs filled with veggies and meat. He was engrossed in his cooking so Dorian took a seat at the two-person table that constituted Bull's dining room and waited. How strange. All the things he thought would be unbearably awkward were just... normal. Bull hummed some strange tune to himself as he cooked, the scents wafting over to Dorian and making his mouth water. The TV was on mute but some action flick played on the flat screen.

“Eat up!” Dorian turned back as Bull came out of the kitchen with two plates piled high with steaming scrambled eggs and buttered toast. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Dorian. Fuck, was there something on his face? Dorian hesitantly reached up to touch his cheek, wondering what Bull was staring at. Bull growled, eye darkening, “You look good in my shirt... stand up.”

Oh. Dorian grinned, he always liked people telling him how good he looked. He stood up, turning in a small circle for Bull's intense eye. “It's basically a circus tent,” said Dorian, putting his hand on his hip as he stood by the table, “but it will do.”

“Heh heh, yyyeeah,” Bull set the plates on the table to free up his hands, grabbing Dorian by the hips to haul him forward. “Mmm, damn you look good enough to eat...” he bent down and Dorian found himself stretching up onto his toes so their lips could meet. They must have kissed last night, but it didn't count because Dorian couldn't remember it. As far as first kisses went, Dorian thought it was excellent. Bull took over immediately, one huge hand on the curve of Dorian's lower back to haul him in close as their lips moved together. His tongue was slipping into Dorian's mouth, taking what it wanted and then pulling back so Bull could suck on his lower lip. Dorian responded eagerly, hands gripping Bull's shoulders as he chased his tongue wantonly.

They finally pulled away for breath and Dorian fell back down to his feet, feeling lightheaded. “I've never kissed a Qunari before,” he said breathlessly.

“Are you kidding? I couldn't keep your mouth off of me last night,” said Bull, taking a seat at the table.

“It doesn't count if I can't remember it,” Dorian sniffed, sitting as well. Bull had hiked the shirt up Dorian's thighs so he tugged it back down before digging into his eggs. They were delicious. Damn.

“What do you remember of last night?” Bull asked, already four enormous bites into his own plate of eggs and piling more onto a piece of toast.

“I remember drinking your drain cleaner,” said Dorian, taking far more manageable bites.

“That's...that's the last thing you remember?” Iron Bull had his egg-covered toast halfway to his mouth, staring incredulously at Dorian as if he would lie about something like that. “You don't remember a single other thing? Oh, and I did warn you, by the way.”

“Yes I think I vaguely recall a warning,” Dorian muttered, picking at his eggs. He could feel embarrassment heating up his cheeks and ducked his head further to hide the flush blooming on his face. “Why do you ask, did I do something particularly embarrassing?”

“Not really,” said Bull, taking a huge bite out of his eggs and toast, “you juff geth thupper hanthy when yer drunk.”

Dorian cringed, “Don't talk with your mouth full, this is why people think the Qunari are barbarians.” He paused as he realized exactly what Bull had said, “And... and I do not get handsy!” he spat.

Iron Bull laughed, swallowing his food before continuing, “Ohhh yeah you do. You touched every bit of me before we even got out of that bar.” He wriggled his eyebrows with what was clearly supposed to be a lecherous smile, “they kicked us out for being indecent.”

“What?! Ohhh noo,” Dorian groaned, putting his head in his hands, “are you kidding? Please tell me you are kidding. I have a reputation to maintain!”

Bull chuckled and Dorian glanced up at him, “Peace, Dorian. No one knew you and they didn't actually kick us out. I left because if I got any harder I would have ripped my pants open. You're a wild cat.”

“Charmed,” Dorian muttered sarcastically, taking another small bite of his eggs, “give me a summary of last nights events.”

“Well, you were all over me at the bar,” said Bull, finishing his plate long before Dorian had even made a dent in his. “We left and you were in no condition to tell me where you lived so I took you back here. I had to keep pushing you away when we drove because you were trying to suck my cock-”

“Fuck,” Dorian whispered, voice muffled as he buried his head in his hands.

“-when we got here I had to practically drag you out of the truck.” When Dorian got up the courage to glance between his fingers he saw Bull was leaning back in his chair, gesturing his way through the retelling of Dorian's humiliation. “You kept kissing me and grabbing me and we finally got to my apartment and... well...” Bull grinned and Dorian's stomach clenched, “you threw up all over yourself and passed out.”

“Maker's balls,” Dorian didn't even want to look at Iron Bull. He'd made more of an idiot out of himself than he could have imagined. A heavy hand landed lightly on his shoulder, pulling Dorian to look up at Bull, he moved... very quietly.

“Don't worry about it, Dorian, you were drunk.” Bull tugged him up to his feet, wrapping him up in an all encompassing hug, “I cleaned you up, threw your clothes in the wash, and put you to bed.”

Dorian could not remember the last time he'd been hugged. An odd thing to think about. He relaxed into Bull's grip, resting his head against his massive chest with a small sigh. “I don't think I ever could have expected this sort of treatment.”

“Why? Because I'm a Qunari?” asked Bull, but he didn't pull away much to Dorian's delight.

Dorian shrugged, idly tracing the tattoo on Iron Bull's shoulder, “It's not like this in Tevinter. You don't make breakfast for a man, it's all physical. It's not that you don't care it's just... there can never be anything more.... and I suppose I sort of expected you to slam me against a wall and fuck me,” Dorian admitted.

“Hey now,” Bull growled, arms moving from around Dorian's waist to grip his arms and crowd him back into the wall, “I can still do that.”

Dorian shivered, recalling that he was wearing nothing but one of Bull's enormous shirts and nothing else. He could just be picked up and...everything would be bared. Bull's big hand was splayed by his head while the other one was running up his thigh, pushing the tail of the shirt higher...higher... Dorian groaned, squirming when the hand stopped right before reaching his hip. Bull bent down to bite at his neck and Dorian glanced over his big shoulder, eyes already fogging with lust. That was when he noticed the clock.

“Wait! Wait!” He pushed at Bull's shoulder insistently, “is that the time?!”

“Sure, what about it?” asked Bull, eyes still on Dorian's neck even if he was no longer working a bruise into the skin.

Vishante kaffas!” Dorian slipped under Bull's arm, “I'm going to be late for work!”

“Aww man,” Bull grabbed him around the waist before he could get too far, hauling him back against his chest. “Can't you call in sick?”

Venhedis! No!” Dorian slapped Bull's meaty arm until he was released, “where are my clothes!?” Imagine the chaos that would ensue should he leave Cole alone in the library all day. Bull laughed against the back of his ear before letting him go. That laugh did odd things to Dorian's chest. It did make him want to call in sick. A little.

Bull found him his clothes, freshly cleaned though not ironed. It would have to do. Bull got dressed as well and Dorian walked around behind him tapping and prodding him to keep him moving so they were both tumbling out the front door only a few minutes later. “I have some other jobs before I come back to the library,” said Bull as they drove. “But...uhh...” his fingers drummed on the steering wheel, “let me take you out to dinner tonight, to make up for getting you black-out drunk.”

Dorian was checking himself in the visor mirror, making sure his hair and mustache were perfect, “Are you going to take me to another plebeian establishment?”

Iron Bull chuckled, “You think I would fit in anywhere else? It's not going to be one of your hoity-toity places, but it's got great food.”

“That's sounds to me like...” Dorian flipped up the visor with a hum, “code for food poisoning.”

“Is that a 'no'?” asked Bull.

“I-well...” Dorian looked out the window, picking at a seam on his vest, “I didn't say that.”

“Then we'll leave together again tonight,” said Bull, stopping before the front doors of the library, “don't fill up on all that bile before we eat.”

“So rude,” Dorian opened the truck door, “classic Qunari manners.”

Before he could slide out a big hand clenched in the collar of his vest and hauled him backwards. Dorian reached back to grip Bull's hand, trying to keep him from ripping his clothes but a big face blocked his vision and then their lips were pressed together. Dorian froze, Bull's tongue slipping between his slightly parted lips. His eyes slipped shut and Dorian opened his mouth to the kiss, relaxing back against Bull's grip. This was the weirdest thing he'd ever done. Not the kiss, although kissing upside down was plenty odd, but having someone... say goodbye to him. It was all happening so fast, what did Dorian even call this? Maybe Bull only wanted to get a chance to fuck him and then they'd go their separate ways. That sounded about right. Dinner, a fuck, and then Dorian would go home and Bull would be added to his growing list of flings. His first Qunari.

“I'll see you later,” said Bull, pulling away with the slight wet sound of lips parting.

“Try not to drag dirt onto our carpet,” said Dorian, sitting back up with a grunt. He smoothed down his vest as he left the truck, trying his best to look like he wasn't actually wearing the same clothes as yesterday.

“The feeling of his breath on your ear. He's still here. Does he care? How could he?”

“Good afternoon, Cole,” said Dorian wryly, settling down behind the desk to get his routine started. “Update me, anything happen this morning?”

“Varric is here,” said Cole, “he gave me this hat!” Cole pulled out a ridiculously oversized hat and placed it on his head with clear pride.

Dorian narrowed his eyes and as if on cue (maybe it was) Varric materialized between the stacks to stand before Dorian's counter. His head barely cleared it but he still had the gall to grin like he was seven feet tall. “Hey Sparkler, how's it hanging?”

“What are you doing here, Varric? Please tell me you haven't released any new books, my IQ couldn't take it.” Dorian sat back in his chair as Varric came around the counter like he was an actual employee to throw himself into another chair.

“You know you love them,” said Varric with a grin, “and I'm working on the next part of Sword and Shield-”

“That's the worst one!”

“-for Cassandra, since I found out she loves them so much.” Varric's eyes sparkled with mischief and Dorian couldn't stop himself from smiling in return.

“She will hate and love you,” Dorian said, “can I be there when you give it to her?”

“I wouldn't have it any other way, I was actually going to invite you to join us for cards after work, we haven't seen you around since your car broke down!” Varric looked over at Cole and gave him a thumbs up to see him in that stupid hat, “Looking good, kid!”

“Dorian has a date tonight!” Cole blurted out, clutching the sides of the hat with a smile on his face. It was so hard to get mad at that innocent face.

Dorian sputtered, “Cole! Go...go file the checked in books!”

“Sooo...” Varric scoot his chair closer, like a shark smelling blood in the water, “you have a date tonight, do you?”

“It's not a date,” said Dorian, turning to his books just to have something to do with his hands, “we're going out to dinner, we'll probably fuck after, and that will be that.”

Varric leaned on the counter beside him, “What makes you say that?”

Dorian sighed in exasperation, “Because that's just the way things work. You wouldn't understand, Varric.” It wasn't as if Dorian didn't care; he wished he didn't. It would make things so much easier if he didn't care about any of the men he went to bed with. Then, when they separated the next morning, a little piece of Dorian wouldn't go with them. He found expecting it made it easier, and what would a Qunari want with a 'Vint anyway?

Varric was watching him silently, far too observant for his own good. “Tell you what, Sparkler, why don't you bring your not-date to join us in our game of Wicked Grace at the Dog and Pony? Does he like cards?”

Dorian tried to picture Bull sitting beside him at the bar with his friends, playing cards, laughing, drinking... not only was it tempting but he could picture Bull fitting right in. Dangerous. Maybe too dangerous. To bring Bull would be to slide him into Dorian's life, it would hurt that much more when they went their separate ways.

“Just think about it,” said Varric, slapping Dorian on the shoulder.

“Fine,” said Dorian curtly, eyes on his books as Varric left.

Iron Bull showed up in his tool belt a few hours later. Dorian noticed him the moment he came through the doors but pretended not to see him until the shadow fell over the desk. Only then did he look up, heart stuttering at the grin on Bull's face, “Sorry I'm a little bit late.”

Dorian hadn't even noticed, “Don't make a habit of it,” he said, “or people will start thinking Qunari can't tell time.”

Bull leaned forward on the desk and whispered, “I can tell you want my cock stuffed up your ass, my fingers in your mouth muffling your cries for more.” Dorian's full body shudder was so powerful he ended up stamping the back of his hand instead of the book. “So what were you saying about Qunari?” asked Bull playfully.

“Nothing,” said Dorian quickly.

“I'll be getting to work then.” Bull left him to his own painfully beating heart, feeling a tad hot under the collar.

Cole came back as Dorian was scrubbing the stamp off his hand, muttering angrily to himself. “This is ridiculous,” he said as Cole sat next to him.

“Why do you fight against yourself, Dorian?” asked Cole, taking over the book stamping. “Wouldn't it be easier just to fall into it? You want to but you aren't letting yourself.”

“Cole, do you ever talk about the weather?” asked Dorian lightly, finally rubbing away the stamp.

“Why would I talk about the weather?” Cole cocked his head like a confused dog.

“Never mind,” Dorian sighed, there was no use arguing with Cole. It just worked him up and worked Dorian up. “Things are more complicated than you think they are, Cole. I'm from Tevinter, he's Qunari. We're both men. It's just... it's just something fun.”

“But you want more, you know you do,” Cole insisted.

“Uhg,” Dorian rest his face in his hands, elbows on the desk, “it's not about what I want.”

“Why not?” Cole put his hand on Dorian's arm, gently pulling one hand away from his face.

“Ahh Cole, if I could explain it then we wouldn't be having a problem.” Enough of this, Dorian got to his feet and gathered up some books that needed shelving. He needed time alone with his thoughts. Of course, the moment Cole or Varric weren't distracting him all he could hear were the sounds of Bull working in the back of the library. Maybe he would ask Bull to play Wicked Grace with them tonight. Maybe that would scare him off and then Dorian could let this whole confusing mess drop behind him.

Dorian finished shelving which gave him just enough time to pretend he didn't care either way. Bull was sitting back against one stack with a shelf held between his legs which he was sanding smooth. “Hey, Dorian,” said Bull, glancing up just long enough to grin at him before getting back to his sanding.

“Well you're certainly making a mess,” said Dorian, stepping around stacks of old broken shelves and piles of wood dust.

“Just doing what I do best,” Bull wiped some sweat from his forehead with the back of his arm and got to his feet. “You need something?” Bull pushed him against the stack, a wicked smile growing on his lips. He smiled so easily.

“I was thinking, ah-” Bull was sucking on his neck, “instead of going to your dive b-bar would you like to join my friends for a g-game of Wicked Grace? Maker's breath, Bull!” Dorian shoved at him but Bull just crowded him further against the stack, his teeth closing down on his shoulder hard enough to cause Dorian to yelp.

“Shhh,” Bull put his hand over Dorian's mouth, “we're in a library.”

Dorian swore but it was muffled by Bull's hand.

“You ever wanted to have sex in here?” asked Bull softly. “You ever think about me bending you over right here and fucking you against the books?”

Well. Now he was. Dorian shivered, knowing he should be kicking Bull off of him and yet his body didn't want to respond. Well, nothing besides his prick that was. Bull's breath was hot against his temple as the hand not on his mouth traveled south. Dorian reached up to pull his hand away from his mouth, hoping his mustache wasn't ruffled. “We can't do this in here,” Dorian whispered harshly, well aware that two stacks over people sat reading books at a study area.

“Because you don't want to or because you think you can't be quiet enough?” asked Bull, that traveling hand finally closing around Dorian's cock and squeezing just hard enough to send Dorian to his toes with a hiss of pleasure.

“I... that...that's completely irrelevant!” Maker help him he was picturing it. He was imagining Bull turning him around and bending him over. They wouldn't get undressed, his slacks would just get pulled down enough to let Bull's huge cock slide right in and... Dorian was breathing too hard and Bull had a knowing smile on his face.

“Well,” Bull raised his eyebrow, “do you think you can keep quiet?”

“No,” said Dorian. Bull's disappointment was palpable but he was pulling away. Until Dorian clenched his fists in his white tank and hauled him close again. “So you had better keep that hand over my mouth.”

Bull's lips crushed against his without warning and Dorian had to hold back a pleased moan. He was at work, in a library! Quiet, quiet. He opened his mouth to Bull's insistent tongue, one hand clenching around the base of Bull's horn just to feel grounded. That was all it was for a few moments, just hot and heavy kissing, lips and teeth meeting, tongues swirling together with soft pants for breath. Dorian arched his hips, rubbing against Bull's massive thigh and whimpered into their kiss when that thigh pressed up, lifting him onto his toes.

“Maybe we'll find it down here-”

Dorian and Iron Bull pulled apart so quickly that his head smacked against the shelf behind him. Dorian smoothed up his mustache and tried to look casual with one leg crossed over the other to hide his erection while Bull hunched over a shelf. Two dwarves turned the corner and stared right at them. Dorian cleared his throat, trying to rest his elbow nonchalantly on the shelf but only succeeded in slipping and cracking his chin against the stack. “Ah, uh, this section is close for repairs,” he said quickly, rubbing his aching jaw.

“Uhhh, wrong section,” said the woman, grabbing her friend and leading them both away.

Dorian turned to see Iron Bull looking right at him, a predatory gleam in his eye. “I'm going to fuck you so hard,” he growled before shoving Dorian face-first against the stack, one hand on his hip to arch out his ass. Dorian opened his mouth to gasp and felt it stuffed with thick calloused fingers. He tasted like wood, an odd earthy taste that Dorian eagerly sucked off each finger.

Another hand fumbled at the belt around his waist, undoing the buckle so Dorian's pants could finally be opened and pushed down his hips. Just as he pictured they were only lowered just far enough to free him. Dorian's groan was muffled around Bull's fingers and a string of drool dripped down his chin. He could hear the rustling of denim and a slow zip before Bull's hard cock was pressed tight against the crack of his ass along with the rough scratch of his zipper. Dorian had only ever seen him flaccid, so to feel him hard was frightening. Could he even fit all of that?

The fingers slipped from his mouth to grip his chin and Dorian sucked in a soft breath, “Bull...maybe...” the fingers covered his mouth again. Bull leaned in real close, hand on Dorian's belly to haul him close, their bodies flushed together.

“Shhh, don't worry, Dorian... I know what I'm doing,” Bull slid the hand on his belly further down to grip Dorian's cock, stroking it lightly. “I won't hurt you.”

Dorian nodded, relaxing in Bull's grip; Maker help him, but he believed that. More rustling and then Dorian heard a cap pop before something warm and slippery was dribbling down the crack of his ass. He let out a muffled cry, jerking back against the feeling and having Bull's cock thrust against him at the movement. They both let out soft grunts at the feeling. The oil slid between his thighs like the slippery caress of fingers followed by Bull's actual hand spreading it thickly right below Dorian's balls.

Ahhh, he understood now. His nerves switched from fear to pleasure and the tingling traveled all the way down his spine to settle heavily in his balls. Dorian pressed his thighs together tightly, glancing over his shoulder at Bull to watch him. “Yyyeeah,” Bull groaned softly, the fat head of his cock pushing between Dorian's legs, his muscles flexing just to provide more friction.

Maker he was so hot. Dorian could feel sweat trickling down the back of his neck as Bull began to move, thrusting between his thighs as if he were fucking Dorian for real right up against the stacks. Dorian's knuckles were white as he gripped the edge of the shelf, thighs trembling with the effort of staying clenched. Bull's hand was still over his mouth while the other jerked him roughly, somehow bordering perfectly between too much and just right. Dorian knew if his mouth wasn't covered he'd be making all kinds of indecent noises, the whole library would know Bull was dominating him amongst the darkness of the stacks. That just gave him another thrill.

“You love it, don't you?” Bull hissed right up against his ear. “You want this cock in your ass.”

Dorian nodded helplessly.

“You want to be dripping with my come.”

His eyes were rolling into the back of his head, every word bringing that heat inside him flaring to tickle along his ribs. Dorian nodded again, flexing his thigh muscles just to hear Iron Bull's breath hitch.

“Tonight.” Bull promised, cutting the word off like a man whose tongue was sharper than a surgical scalpel.

Dorian shuddered and those fingers stuffed themselves back in his mouth right as he came, a big palm cupping the head of his cock as he emptied himself with jerks of his hips. Bull bit the top of his ear and went stiff behind him, his cock throbbing between Dorian's thighs, gushing come all down his legs and splattering it over his pants. Iron Bull stepped back and Dorian's aching, boneless legs had him collapsing to the rough carpet, staring up at Iron Bull with foggy eyes. He must look a mess, his pants around his thighs, cock smeared with his own come going flaccid against his belly, Bull's come thick between his thighs.

Bull stood over him holding the base of his dick as it softened, the shaft smeared with his own spunk and Dorian couldn't look too long before a jolt of arousal had him averting his eyes. This was too much. Bull fell down to one knee, pulling a clean-looking rag from his back pocket, almost lovingly cleaning Dorian up. Between the two of them they somehow managed to get their clothes straightened (Iron Bull made sure Dorian's hair was as neat as it could get, all things considered, and Dorian loved the feeling of those thick fingers against his scalp).

“I'd love to join your friends for a game of Wicked Grace,” said Bull once they were put together, clapping Dorian on the shoulder.

“What?” Dorian had completely forgotten about what had brought him back here in the first place. “Oh...Oh! Right...well...” he looked away from Bull, fussily straightening his shirt collar, “...well good. Library closes in an hour.”

Bull slapped him on the ass he turned to walk away and Dorian jumped in shock before practically fleeing the reference stacks with that big ox-man laughing his head off behind him.

Cole had the good sense, shockingly, not to say anything when Dorian fell into his chair with a relieved sigh. His thighs were killing him. It seemed to get everyone out that night but soon enough Dorian found himself in Iron Bull's truck with Cole crammed into the middle seat looking pleased as punch to be there. Seemed a shame to have him make his own way to the Dog and Pony when they were all going to the same place.

“Do you think everyone will be there tonight, Dorian?” asked Cole, holding the sides of his big hat to keep them from hitting Dorian in the face.

Dorian shrugged, “We won't know until we get there.”

“I'm glad you're coming,” said Cole, turning to Iron Bull.

“Me too,” said Bull with a grin, placing one big hand on the top of Cole's head, glancing over at Dorian and winking.

“You look ridiculous, trying to wink with one eye,” said Dorian.

Bull did it again and Dorian had to look away, smothering a smile. Why was he doing this, Bull would leave just like all the others and Dorian was just making it so more of him would get torn away when it happened. A cool hand touched his and Dorian glanced down to see Cole staring right at him.

“You don't know that,” said Cole.

“I know enough,” said Dorian, pulling his hand away from Cole. He could tell Bull was looking curiously over but Dorian didn't say anything more. Neither did Cole.

The Dog and Pony was a cozy little bar in the middle of the city. It had big long tables, shadowed booths, a long full bar, and several pool tables in the corner. Dorian walked through the door first with Cole and Iron Bull right behind him. It looked like Varric had been making the rounds because almost everyone was crammed around the longest table in the bar. Dorian took a bow when they noticed him.

“Yes yes, it's me,” he said, straightening up and rubbing his chin with a slick smile, “hold your applause, I am simply too humble to take it.”

“Shut up, Dorian,” said Cassandra.

“Charmed!” Dorian crowed as Cole ran out from behind him to take a seat next to Varric while Iron Bull stood so close behind him Dorian could feel the heat radiating off him. “Ah, allow me to introduce you all to The Iron Bull,” Dorian stepped to the side to present Bull to all his friends as if he were on a show demonstrating a new product.

“Who's ready to lose at cards?” Bull growled, cracking his knuckles with a series of loud pops.

“We'll see about that,” Varric laughed.

Everyone introduced themselves as Bull and Dorian sat down, but they did it all at once so Dorian wasn't sure how much Bull got out of it. There was Cullen next to Dorian, Skyhold's own Chief of Police. Cassandra, the homicide detective. Sera, literally a thief. Josephine, Antivan diplomat to Skyhold. Blackwall, a cop who had no aspirations of promotion. Varric, the irritating author. Leliana, who did something she couldn't talk about no matter how many times Dorian tried to wheedle it out of her. Vivienne, ex-model and current fashion mogul from Orlais, a mage of incredible caliber. Solas, a local professor at the University who taught courses on the fade. Then of course Cole who had already slid under the table to pay attention to the dog that lived in the bar and liked to beg for scraps whenever they showed up.

“Darling, as charmed as I am to meet you I hope you know I won't take it easy on you,” said Vivienne to Iron Bull, wearing a hat that made her look like she had dragon horns.

“Good,” Bull grinned as Varric dealt out a hand, “makes it more satisfying when I win.”

Iron Bull fit in just as well as Dorian thought he would. He also kept throwing his arm over Dorian's shoulder and hauling him close when he laughed or told a stupid joke, of which he had many. Varric kept looking over and giving Dorian a knowing smile which just incensed him and he made Varric's beer boil over with a glare and a gesture.

The night ended when Josie won one game too many and everyone threw in their cards with disgust. “Never bet against an Antivian,” she said smugly, gathering up her winnings.

“Arrg,” Bull sat back in his chair, arm still wrapped securely around Dorian without a hint of shame, “bad luck,” he grumbled.

“That's probably it,” said Josie, saying with sincerity something that would have been obvious sarcasm from anyone else.

“Well I'm calling it a night,” said Varric with a long stretch and that was everyone's cue to scrape back their chairs and put down their money on the table amongst individual conversations and laughter.

Dorian got up as well, popping his back with a long yawn. “I'll try to make it next week,” he said.

“Darling be sure to bring Bull too,” said Vivienne, grabbing Dorian's arms to kiss both his cheeks before leaving.

“Yeh! 'e's pretty fun!” said Sera, sitting on the back of her chair. “Next time come along with a Qunari lady!”

“Deal,” said Bull, wrapping one arm around Dorian's waist as he stood up. “You need a ride home, Cole?”

“Nah,” said Cole, laying on the dirty floor next to the panting dog.

“Don't worry,” said Varric, “I'll get him home, you two get out of here.”

Varric winked.

Dorian opened his mouth to swear at him about minding his own business when Bull pulled him out of the bar laughing. “I had a great time,” he said, taking Dorian's mind off of Varric for the moment, “you have a good bunch of friends. I should introduce you to my Chargers!”

“You actually want to introduce me to your friends?” asked Dorian, his stomach flipping around as if he was standing at the top of a skyscraper and looking down.

Bull frowned, “Yeah, why wouldn't I?”

Push me , Dorian thought, push me off this fucking building and let me fall.

“Hey, Dorian,” Bull stopped them right before they reached his truck, cupping Dorian's face in his big hands to force their gazes to meet, “what's on your mind?”

Dorian reached up, brushing his palm along the stiff black stubble on Bull's jaw, “Nothing,” he said, eye darting to Bull's thin, scarred lips.

“You can't lie to me,” said Bull, leaning into Dorian's palm, eye shrewd.

“Not going to stop me,” Dorian cupped the back of Bull's neck and stood up on his toes, urging him into a long slow kiss. They kissed for what felt like forever, slowly moving until Dorian felt his back hit the side of the truck. He ground his erection against Bull's thigh, whispering against his lips, “take me back and fuck me.”

“Glad to,” Bull growled, nipping Dorian's bottom lip.

Dorian didn't work tomorrow, he could lose himself in Bull's touch tonight and spend tomorrow recovering. He told himself that tomorrow there would be no breakfast, no small talk. Dorian would grab his clothes up and catch a bus back home, things would go back to normal. Why did that sound so false now?

Bull drove back to his apartment with Dorian sucking vibrant bruises into his thick neck the whole way. Every now and again he would reach down to squeeze Bull's cock through his jeans but his hand would always be grabbed and moved away. It was a miracle they didn't get into an accident. Bull carried him up the stairs and had to fumble one handed with his keys while Dorian greedily devoured his mouth. They stumbled into the silent apartment, filling it with soft pants and loud moans.

“Has anyone ever told you you have the perfect ass?” asked Bull, punctuating this statement by giving each of Dorian's cheeks a firm squeeze.

“Multiple times,” said Dorian between kisses, “as they should it is an excellent ass.”

You're an excellent ass,” said Bull, dumping Dorian unceremoniously onto the mattress.

Clothes were thrown across the room to be forgotten where they fell, shoes kicked off to thump against the walls. Dorian ran his hands over every inch of Bull's broad body, trying to memorize what he was afraid he would soon lose. Dorian was flipped onto his belly so Bull could pin him to the bed with one hand splayed on his back while another spread oil all around his tight hole. Dorian panted, clawing the sheets with want as Bull teased him, just massaging the muscle but never pushing in.

“Hurry it up, damn you!” Dorian snarled over his shoulder.

“You'll thank me later,” said Bull, staunchly refusing to move any faster.

“Vishante kaffas!” That may have been true, but that was future-Dorian's problem. Unable to over power Bull, and not actually willing to use magic, Dorian was forced to just take it as Bull's fingers rubbed and pressed and teased. When that first finger finally did press into him Dorian cried out, ducking his head against the mattress at the feeling of his needy body finally getting a taste of what it wanted. Yet Bull still didn't speed up, for too long it was just the single finger rubbing in and out, finger crooking to rub Dorian's prostate just enough to keep him on edge.

Dorian was nearly sobbing with want by the time a second finger pushed into his asshole. His cock was so hard it hurt but every time he tried to rub himself against the sheets Bull would lift his hips up to keep him on edge. A third finger and Dorian was shuddering, knuckles bright white as he clenched them in the sheets. Bull was methodically taking him apart, piece by agonizing piece. Dorian could only hope he would get put back together later.

One by one the fingers pulled free, leaving Dorian's hole open and twitching. The emptiness was the worst part by far. Dorian tried to reach back but his hand was grabbed, and he was hauled up and flipped onto his back. Bull looked just as wrecked as Dorian felt, his eye was shining with lust, his jaw clenched, a muscle ticking at the obvious strain he was under. Dorian rubbed his fingers up and down his own chest before pinching his nipples, lowering his lashes invitingly. Enough playing around, he wanted it. Now .

Bull settled between Dorian's thighs, hauling him up before moving to place his hand beside Dorian's head while the other guided his cock into his ass. “Auugh, Dorian... you're still so tight .”

Dorian panted, nearly folded in half by Bull's bulk. He pressed his fingers under Bull's palm, pleased when he lifted up enough for Dorian to slide in and tangle their fingers together. “Keep going,” he groaned, rolling his hips up with a hiss, “it's not enough .”

“You're a greedy man,” Bull whispered, but he pressed forward regardless, that impossibly huge prick sheathing itself inch by inch into Dorian's needy asshole.

“Ah...ha...” Dorian grit his teeth, the hand that wasn't held down by his head by Bull's reaching up to grab one of his horns tightly.

“Are you alright?” asked Bull shakily, finally settling his hips against Dorian's ass.

“Maker yes!” Dorian couldn't tug Bull down to kiss him, he was too big, but he could turn his head and press wet, open-mouthed kisses over Bull's wrist and arm. The pain was minimal, Bull had spent so much time preparing him that Dorian's body just sucked him right up.

Apparently Bull had been waiting for Dorian to say that because he pulled back in one smooth roll of his hips just to thrust back harshly, rocking Dorian against the mattress with a wheeze. Bull finally started to really fuck him, just the way Dorian had always imagined. It was merciless, a brutal slamming of hips that, if it weren't for Bull's hand, would have sent Dorian against the wall. His prick was leaking clear precum all over his belly and Dorian had to shut his eyes tightly, fingers clenching against Bull's hand as he tried not to come too soon. It wasn't fair, Bull had been working him up for ages! How was any sane person supposed to last?

“Maker's breath, Bull!” Dorian groaned and clenched, letting the small jolt of pain bring him back from the edge. Bull growled like an animal and that did nothing to help Dorian's arousal.

“Yyyyeah,” Bull let the word drip off his tongue, “I want you screaming out my name when you come, Dorian.”

“I-If I can form words,” said Dorian, and even that was nearly too much to string together while his brain was leaking out his ears.

Bull just laughed breathlessly, a low thunder crackling over the storm that was tossing Dorian about. He could only hold off his orgasm so long; the heat building with every thrust of Bull's hips, the feeling of heavy balls slapping against his ass, the sound of his harsh breathing. Dorian went stiff, yanking on Bull's horn with a wordless wail of pleasure.

“My name!” Iron Bull snarled and Dorian thrashed as his cock let out another splash of come at the sound.

“BULL! I-IRON BULL!” Dorian arched up, his legs crossing tightly around Bull's waist, heels digging into his ass to pull him in as close as he could go.

“YEAH!” Iron Bull roared, rolling his hips.

Venhedis!” Dorian came down from his orgasm slowly, completely limp as Bull thrust into his body. The only thing keeping him from floating away were Bull's fingers tangled with his. Before Dorian could impatiently kick Bull off of him for taking too long he thrust in balls deep with a low groan.

“Ahhh, Dorian...Dorian...” Bull's cock throbbed, flesh pulsing as he shot his come deep into Dorian's ass. He felt some trickle out and whimpered, eyes slipping shut at the sensation.

Fasta vass, say my name again,” Dorian whispered as he shut his eyes, all his walls crumbling uselessly around him as Bull pulled away, cock slipping out of Dorian's hole in a rush of hot come.

“Dorian,” Bull breathed, bending down to press soft kisses all along his face, “Dorian, Dorian, Dorian.” A kiss for each repeat of his name until Bull finally captured his lips in a long slow kiss. They parted and Dorian opened his eyes to see Bull's big scruffy face staring down at him.

“I may not be able to move tomorrow,” said Dorian, the silence pressing unpleasantly on his heart.

“Good,” Bull rumbled, settling onto his back before hauling Dorian against him. He pulled the comforter up around them.

Dorian laid awake long after Bull had started to lightly snore, his chest rising and falling under Dorian's ear. He could leave right now. Gather up his clothes and call a taxi, go home, pretend like he wasn't in too deep. Dorian was standing at the edge of that skyscraper again, and to leave would be to step away from the ledge.

No. Whatever this was, whatever pain it would bring him, Dorian was willing to take it. Finally he fell asleep, smaller body tucked tight against Bull's.

“Rise and shine, sleeping beauty!”

“Uhhgg, g'way,” Dorian rolled onto his belly, stubbornly stuffing his face against the pillow. Sleep was so close, if he was just left alone he could go back and-

“No, enough sleeping, you'll sleep the whole day away!” A foot nudged him and Dorian hissed like a cat, slapping the offending limb away. Bull's laughter, the kind that came straight from his barrel chest, was too loud to resist and Dorian reluctantly opened his eyes. He rolled onto his side to glare blearily up at Bull. Uhg. A morning person. He was already wearing a pair of pants but nothing else and had a plate stacked high with freshly cooked pancakes. Dorian's stomach grumbled noisily at the smell of them.

“This sort of treatment is intolerable,” Dorian grumbled, hauling himself up to sit back against the wall. His whole body ached from last night, and if left to his own devices he no doubt would have slept for several more hours yet. Bull wasn't going to let that happen as he waved the pancakes down beside Dorian's nose just to let him get a whiff of them.

“I know, how dare I make you breakfast in bed. Classic Qunari savagery.” Iron Bull plopped down next to Dorian, finally setting the plate down in his lap along with silverware.

Dorian yawned, idly scratching at some of the come that had dried on his belly, “Hmmm, point taken. This is all that saves you from my early morning wrath.”

Bull laughed, his mouth already full of food, “Dorian, it's noon.”

Still too early, any time was too early when Dorian couldn't sleep in as long as he wanted. Instead of replying he ate, completely famished after last out. When he finished Bull took his plate and stood up, “There's towels in the bathroom for a shower, and your clothes are in the wash so you'll have to wear my shirt again.”

“Sounds calculated to me,” Dorian muttered, rubbing his eyes before slowly pushing himself onto his feet. Maker he felt 90 years old.

Bull's bathroom was surprisingly clean much to Dorian's delight. The hot shower did wonders for his stiff muscles and he took a little longer than necessary to clean away the come dried on his skin between his thighs and around his, still sensitive, asshole. They had had sex and Bull seemed no closer to leaving... what did he want? What did Dorian want? They needed to talk, because Dorian couldn't take the stress of wondering when the guillotine was going to fall.

“We need to talk,” said Iron Bull when Dorian joined him in the living room wearing nothing more than his button-front shirt.

“You read my mind,” Dorian threw himself down in an overly-stuffed chair beside the couch Iron Bull was lounging on. He wanted to tuck himself against Bull's chest but realized if Bull was going to tell him it'd been fun but it was over, that would be the most awkward place to move from. Bull frowned and straightened up, his arm falling off the back of the couch. If Dorian didn't know better he'd almost think Bull had sat like that just to get Dorian to sit next to him.

“What do you want to talk about?” asked Bull, the barest hint of a frown curling his lips.

“You first,” said Dorian, forcing himself to sound chipper.

“Look, last night was...” Bull let out a little huff which summed things up pretty nicely, “but it can't happen again-”

“I thought as much,” said Dorian bitterly, his tentatively hopeful heart clenching like an angry fist in his chest.

“-without us talking about watchwords and- wait what?”


Dorian froze in his seat as Bull narrowed his eye, “Dorian...” he leaned forward, one arm resting on his knee. Bull looked like he was going to corner him and he pressed back against the seat, nerves tingling. Dorian so rarely misread situations like this and now that he had he didn't know what to say. “You know what,” said Bull, leaning nonchalantly back against the couch cushions, “I'll finish what I was going to say and then we'll go to you.”

Dorian nodded curtly, swallowing around a suspicious lump in his throat.

“Before we go any farther,” Bull gave Dorian a pointed look, “I want you to know that you will always be safe with me. When I take care of you, I take control completely. I will conquer you, I will give you everything you have ever needed... but to do this, for this to work, we need a watchword. Do you already have one?”

“You're not...” Dorian wrung his hands together without realizing it, fingers clenching together as he faced the unknown, “you're not ending it? What do you want from me, a relationship?”

“Is that a problem?” asked Bull, like it was nothing, like Dorian wasn't having an existential crisis on his stupid over-stuffed chair.

“No,” said Dorian quickly, “no I just... I've never... you know how it is in Tevinter, right?”

“We're not in Tevinter,” said Bull softly. “Dorian...come here.”

He was still dreaming. This was a trip into the Fade and this Qunari across from him was nothing more than a desire demon taking advantage of what he wanted. Dorian moved slowly, as if Bull would suddenly lash out at him, pull back the curtain to reveal all of Dorian's worst dreams after taunting him with his wildest fantasies. But no, when he sat next to him Bull pulled him close, kissing his temple and toying with the hair at the back of his neck.

“What is this?” asked Dorian, still not letting himself relax completely.

“It's... it's something,” Bull whispered into his damp hair.

“Something,” said Dorian, letting the world roll around his tongue, tasting it, feeling the shape. The tension leaked out of him and he sagged against Bull, turning his head to take a deep breath against his neck. “My watchword is Maleficar.”

“Hmmm, I had a feeling,” said Bull, “you're a 'Vint to the bone, Dorian.”

“Indulge me, Iron Bull,” said Dorian, making sure to purr out his name, “what makes you want to...keep doing this?”

“What makes me want to keep hanging around a 'Vint with a wicked, clever tongue, a gorgeous body, and an infectious laugh?” Bull bit the shell of Dorian's ear playfully, “I must just be crazy. Now indulge me, Kadan.”

Dorian didn't know what ' Kadan ' meant, but he liked the sound of it. “What makes me want to hang around an ox-man with a mischievous smile, enormous muscles, and a searing touch? Hmmm... I must be crazy as well... Amatus .”

Bull's lips were moving down his ear to his jaw, then along his neck. Dorian let out a long breath, lazing back against the couch to allow Bull's bulk to cover him. “Tonight I want you to meet my Chargers,” said Bull between kisses.

“Fine fine,” said Dorian impatiently, grabbing Bull's horns to wrench his head back, “now see if you can make me use that watchword.”

The growl that crawled its way from between Bull's lips was a storm warning. One Dorian planned to welcome with open arms. He could be happy with 'something'. He was happy with Bull, as insane as that was. Dorian would ride this out as long as it lasted and savor every moment.