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Bull was large enough, Dorian noticed idly, he didn’t need a chair to rest his arm on the side of the bed. They likely hadn’t had one big enough to seat him. It didn’t look at all a comfortable position: his arm folded slightly above shoulder-height, with one horn tucked into the crook of his elbow to hold his head up. His neck would be hopelessly stiff when he woke.

It was around then it occurred to him he didn’t actually know where he was. It was a strange thought, particularly when none of the usual anxiety accompanied it. Even knowing from the thickness of his thoughts that he was drugged with something didn’t bring the spike of memory-driven need to escape -- purge whatever was in his blood and run until he could re-evaluate in safety. It was Bull, he realized; Bull would never let something happen, not within his power. That Bull was casually dozing at his bedside showed there was nothing to worry about. He let himself sink into the warmth of the blankets. The light slowly shifted, drawing the shadows in new angles across Bull’s face. It was oddly fascinating, and he watched, practically enraptured.

Bull’s face twitched. The names of the muscles skipped near enough Dorian could almost remember them. He groaned as he straightened his head, cautiously stretching his neck until it cracked loud enough for Dorian to hear. Sternoc-something -- what was it…

“Dorian,” Bull didn’t quite jump when he spotted Dorian watching him. He did certainly straighten up suddenly, so as to see him better.

“Hello,” even Dorian’s voice was drifty. It was somewhat annoying. “What happened?”

“You don’t remember?” With a grunt, Bull levered himself up, using the bed as a brace. Shouldn’t have sat on the floor.

“Mmm, not in particular.”

Bull perched on the edge of his bed, leaning so he could look down at Dorian. He didn’t seem to bother hiding his concern.

“Shit. Okay, I'm gonna grab one of the healers. I’ll be right back.” Dorian whined as Bull stood, pulling away from him. He managed to pry a hand against gravity and find some sort of shaking grip on Bull’s wrist before he could go. The easy calm was gone, replaced by the much more typical strangling fear.

“Hey. Hey,” and Bull was back. This time when he leaned close, he practically covered Dorian, blessedly filling his field of view. “You’re okay. I’ve got you, you’re okay.” He hadn’t realized his breathing had picked up into a frantic pace until it began to calm.

“Okay, not leaving.” He touched his forehead to Dorian’s, and finally the last of the tension eased. His fingers didn’t want to grip, but that was okay, because Bull was holding him back.

“You feeling okay? Hurting anywhere?” Dorian made a dismissive sound, but the fog dragged it back into his throat, making it soft and muddled.

“Gonna need words here.”

“No.” Speaking was effort, and trying to stop Bull had drained him of nearly everything.

“Alright.” He pulled up enough to see Dorian properly again, but no farther. “Your elfroot should be running out pretty soon. If you’re not feeling it now, you will soon.”


“No?” he liked the humor in Bull’s voice. It was nice.

“Elfroot. It doesn’t let go.” Bull’s brow creased slightly in confusion.

“Let go? You mean it lasts longer?”

“Mmm, makes everything too fuzzy.” It gave the exact source of the weight pressing on his mind. Elfroot had always hit him hard. It was one of the large parts of the reason he avoided any healers without magic. They never listened.

“Does elfroot normally make it so you can’t remember?”

“A bit.” Disorienting was a kind word. “It’ll pass.” Warm blankets and clean light, it was almost enough to ignore the sickening helplessness elfroot always left him with.

“Stay?” So long as Bull was there, he knew he was safe.

“Of course. I’m not going anywhere, Kadan.”