Dorian nearly spat out his wine at Bull's less than quiet admission about the qunari's suspected lineage. There was no way to tell if it was true, the few high blood dragons who had willingly mixed their blood with the mortal races were never particularly keen to keep a written lineage. There was simply no way to account for them all if they did in any case.
Due to the nature of his own culture, his blood line could be traced clearly from the first bond to his own prospective mate. Selective breeding indeed. His father had often boasted about the sources of their blood lines, recalling proudly how he had beaten out several other prominent suitors for the right to marry his mother.
"strong magical talents and the best potential to breed successfully." He had claimed.
His mother, when she could be dragged away from socializing, said much the same thing save for a small addition, that he smelled correct. She refused to explain any further dismissing him with increasing agitation and "you will understand when you are older."
Older indeed. He thought, watching as Bull called for round after round until the inquisitor, swaying dangerously, had to call an end to their own servings. Undeterred Bull gave them a firm pat on the shoulder that nearly toppled them as they staggered out the door.
He was briefly concerned that they wouldn't make the trip back to their quarters, but a guard quickly came to their aid.
Content to drink with or without company, Bull ordered yet another drink and sat nursing the tankard. Thankfully it smelled less...fiery than the one he had been drinking before.
"Dragon blood?" Asked Dorian. He took the vacated seat next to Bull, perching carefully on the it and taking a measured sip of wine.
Clearly still excited from their victory in the Hinterlands, he upended most of his beer before saying. "Has to be something like that. Most others look pretty well the same when you strip down. We are bred just as carefully as you Vints, though it would take anyone a few pints to admit it. And if you want Big, strong and deadly there isn't anything better then a dragon."
"Wouldn't doing that invite more magic into your blood as well?" He asked, his curiosity about Bull's theories growing.
"All in the breeding. Get groups of some more resistant to magic and a beast with weak magic and you can kill it off." Bull explained.
It made sense. His own family had worked until they had magic so strong it was a physical force. His mother had near perfect control of her aura, suppressing it with a thought. When his own had started to show it had been rather hellish. Fire had crackled easily around him spontaneously setting things alight, the most memorable of which had been his father's robes. Still too young to have the same level of control, It was necessary for Dorian to maintain a small series of seals to keep his appearance and aura in check. Something as commonplace in tevinter as having his horns out would surely get him killed elsewhere. Someone his size with horns so deep in the south would quickly be judged as an abomination and disposed of.
So although he longed to walk about unchecked, as it was he stayed content with the sparse personal time he could grasp.
He stayed with The Bull for a time, listening to his theories and found himself more and more charmed as the evening passed.
The topic didn't rear its head again until after they had fallen into a relationship of sorts.
Liliana had discovered the location of a Venatori agent within the hills of the exalted plains. They had found the man easily enough, camped out alone in the Rocky foothills. What began as a walk in the park, quickly turned sour. There was indeed an agent there, but he was hidden among the crags with a dozen other men. All of whom attacked as Serra' first arrow cracked uselessly against the decoy they had placed in camp. The felt like madness from there, weapons clashing as spells and arrows peppered the Fray.
A shout of pain from Bull called his attention away from an irritating archer. Bull had flattered, a lucky blow had landed across his thigh, the wound deep enough to threat toppling him under his own weight. The arc of lightning he had been preparing to throw feel away as he instantly threw up a barrier to cover each of them.
As it caught there was a sharp crack of magic colliding with his own the tore at the spells surrounding him. The magister they fought had been preparing a counter for the lightning, only for the spell to vanish and be replaced with a barrier that was too quick to catch. Let loose it tore into the delicate spell blocking his aura and draconic features. The sudden rush of it scorched the ground black, charring anyone and anything that was not protected. It left a ruined patch of land some 30 meters across, leaving only the patches under their barriers still green.
Working fast, Dorian threw up a rough sort of seal that would stop the heat before it could damage anything else.
"must have been some natural magic or a terrible mistake in the counter somewhere." He lied, dusting off his robes. "I dont think I have ever seen anything this violent before, but backfires have been known...too.." Dorian's speech trailed off as he noted the shocked expressions of his companions. Running his tongue along the points of his teeth to check that his disguise was still in place, he found the delicate points the proved its absence.
Sera was the first to move, sprinting across the clearing to tackle him in excitement. "Sparkler's got horns!" She cried taking the pair of them in hand and using them to turn his head this way and that to get a better look.
"smaller than Bull's, but most are. I meant look at em. But they are wicked sharp! The teeth too!! How do you eat with those little knives for teeth? Have you got a tail too?" She asked all of questions mashing up at once. Before she could get a hand into his mouth, the inquisitor managed to the excited elf off of him.
Scrambling back he tried to recover the binding, grasping for the shattered spell.
"I'm not a demon! He shouted, terrified and unsure of how the inquisitor would react. "It's just, I can't just come out and talk about it. I didn't want anyone to think of me as more or a monster than they already do, but I swear by the maker that I am not a demon."
The spell that seemed to the inquisitor silent broke at his wavering voice. Letting Sera go, they moved back to Dorian's side to offer him a hand up. "After an adventure through time where I was completely vulnerable, it would take a little more than a few physical changes for me to hate you."
Dorian accepted the hand up gratefully, tugging the last of his disguise back into place.
Bull had hardly moved. His actions limited to those that stop his leg from bleeding. He watched the whole interaction impassively, presumably taking in as much as he could.
"If you aren't a demon or some weird Qunari halfbreed, what are you?" Asked Sera.
"A dragon." He admitted, so quiet that he hoped Bull wouldn't hear. A flicker of his ear proves that it hadn't been quiet enough.
There was a brief round of promises to never speak of the incident again, save for a meeting with the advisors for safety. Sera pleaded to see his tail, promising to call in favours to get him treats from tevinter. Bull stayed silent, lost to his own thoughts on the ride to skyhold.
Hi own thoughts were interrupted as they rode across the bridge and in through the gates. Kole had made a habit of coming to greet the inquisitor as they returned, like a pup that had grown desperate for attention while they were away.
As they passed each other the boy stilled and craned his head as if to listen. “Will it all end now because he know? He called them wild and untameable monsters needing to be ended. Power too dangerous to be left unchecked. I can’t change, Never who anyone wants me to be always something wrong with me…”He recited, staring at Dorian in a way that seemed to look past his wards.
A flicker of gray as Bull passed without a word and Dorian had to restrain himself from bolting to his own room. He settled for pushing past Kole and walking briskly, ignoring the inquisitor’s concerned call.
It was some time later that a heavy knock disturbed his thoughts as he lay in bed dreading the meeting to come. Expecting the inquisitor, he shuffled to the door with an apology for his tardiness at the ready. It died in his throat when he noted that it was Bull waiting on the other side.
“Can we talk about what happened?” He asked, stepping inside after a stiff nod, closing the door behind him. Bull sat down on the bed and waited for Dorian to join him. “Would you let me see them?”
Trying not to flinch, he allowed the binding to slip free and his form to change as it did.
A cautious hand came to rest on the delicate arch of his horn tracing it as if Bull was trying to map out each ridge and groove. It was hard not to fidget. This was hardly the first time someone had wanted to look him over for one reason or another, but Bull was different. Instead of sharp tugs or the tap of metal against bone his soft hands ran over their surface, even checking the point where they joined to his head. One hand strayed to run along his spine, hesitating when he found the tail that Sera had been so eager to see. It was thin and flexible covered with delicate gold scales, the end fluted with a fine black webbing on either side.Fingers dug into the flesh around it’s base and despite his nerves Dorian couldn’t help but purr. Instead of pulling back or moving on Bull began to rub the spot more deliberately.
“I thought you were upset.” Painted Dorian. “You refused talk to me, let alone look at me all the way back.”
“It was a lot to take in Kadan.”Admitted Bull. “I was never angry, just stuck between confused and wanting to take you right there on the grass. Didn’t think that the boss would like that much. Now that we are alone...I want to see every inch that you will show me.” He pulled Dorian up onto his lap, dragging him into a kiss. He tongued along the unfamiliar points of his teeth, cutting himself in the process.
Dorian sucked in a short breath and puffed out a plume of smoke. “What would you like to see first?”