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Nox Aurumque

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Dorian had to grudgingly thank Val Royeaux for not making him suffer through a miserable climate along with everything else.  At the very least the sun shone cheerfully yellow in the cloudless blue expanse of the sky, radiating warmth between the crisp white walls of the buildings around them.

The meeting with Josephine’s contact had gone bizarrely.  Dorian had found the man a suspicion-inducing twit the moment he’d laid eyes on him; of course, the man had turned out to be a member of the Orlesian House of Repose impersonating a nobody comte, so those suspicions had been confirmed.  Naturally.  Dorian was rarely wrong about these sorts of things.  Luckily the assassin had only come to politely warn Josephine of her impending doom, and had graciously left the four of them alone to continue their day without a murder attempt.

After tracking down a locksmith to help the real comte escape the expensive wooden cabinet he’d been stuffed into, Josephine had insisted on treating the three of them to lunch, since they’d been dears and accompanied her all the way out here.  And that was where they found themselves now, seated in the outdoor balcony of a very Orlesian café and enjoying very Orlesian rolls of buttered bread.

At least the atmosphere would hopefully clear Dorian’s head, purge his mind of the lascivious thoughts he’d been having all morning.

“Oh, you must try the champagne,” Josephine was insisting as she looked around the café, her amber-brown eyes bright.  She was clearly still a little rattled from the conversation earlier, to Dorian’s trained eyes, but Josephine was an exceptional diplomat and an Antivan—she would only show what she wanted to show.  “They serve the best in Val Royeaux.  And I must thank you for meeting me here.”

“It was no trouble,” Nanyehi said.

The elven Inquisitor had always been a little jittery in Val Royeaux, surrounded by buildings and decadence and judgmental looks.  Nanyehi was quite beautiful, even for elven standards—smooth porcelain skin, long and straight hair the color of a cabernet sauvignon, almond shaped eyes with hues of seaglass green and clear bluish aquamarine—and so she had that in her favor, at least.  But one could not claim to be Orlesian unless one treated elves like exquisitely pretty garbage.

Both of the Lavellans were extraordinarily attractive creatures—unfortunately for Dorian, who’d just experienced the supreme joys of nearly taking a demon form of Finn during his dreaming last night.

Finn, naturally, had no idea about any of this.  It was for the best.  Dorian wasn’t certain how he’d react to such news.  And how might one hope to bring it up, at any rate?  Finn, I do hope this doesn’t bother you, but I now know exactly what it feels like to grind against you and grope you through your breeches.  In addition, I would very much like to finish where I left off with the demon mimicking your body.  Have a nice day.

He sat back in his seat and crossed his arms, watching a pigeon peck around the balcony for spare crumbs.

“Dorian, you’re an experienced drunkard,” Finn said, drawing Dorian’s attention back to the present.  “What’s your opinion on champagne?”

“I have much too refined a palette to be a drunkard, silly,” Dorian said, smiling a little.

Finn snorted.  “Is that why you split a nasty dwarven ale with me the other day at the Herald’s Rest?”

“If you’ll recall, you insisted.  I was merely indulging your horrendous tastes.”

“Well I must have horrendous taste in friends, too, since I spend so much time with an overcritical Vint,” Finn teased.

It hadn’t been meant as a jab.  Dorian knew that.  Finn liked to joke around and rarely tossed out insults that actually had meaning behind them.  And Dorian typically thrived off sarcasm and could fire back and forth with Finn for hours if he chose to.

But he’d said friends.

Perhaps there wasn’t any meaning to that, either.  Dorian called Finn his friend in front of anyone who asked; it was a natural thing to do, seeing as they got along so swimmingly and talked so often.  But suddenly, Dorian didn’t like the sound of that word.  It was lacking, shallow, abruptly not enough.

“Finn, I’m afraid you have bad taste in everything,” Dorian said.

The white-haired elf just shrugged, like it was probably true, and took a sip of ice water.  “You never answered me, by the way.  What is a champagne, actually?”

“A lovely, sparkling white wine made here in Orlais,” Josephine answered helpfully, patting her head with a russet hand to make certain none of her intricate braiding had fallen out of place.  "Not to be confused with Antivan prosecco, of course, although the two are similar."

“Sounds fancy,” Nanyehi said, poking an ice cube in her water glass with the tip of her finger and watching it bob down and back up.

“It’s a favorite of the elite,” Dorian supplied.  “Although reds are much more common in Tevinter.  Makes it ever so much harder to distinguish whether there’s wine or blood spilled on your precious carpet.”

“Dorian,” Finn chided, “you’d never commit such an atrocity as spilling wine.”

Dorian laughed.  Then his attention switched to Josephine, whose eyes warmed drastically as she smiled at Finn.

He knew the Ambassador had feelings for the Dalish mage.  She could put a pretty diplomatic mask over her thoughts as much as she liked, but Dorian was from Tevinter, and reading behind masks was something of a forte of his.  Josephine wasn’t necessarily the type to daydream about fucking him senseless—just as Dorian was doing right now, damn everything—but she was plainly attracted.

Normally, it didn’t bother Dorian.  Finn was a friendly sort and chatted with everyone, often inadvertently flirting even though he seemed not to know he did it, but he’d never shown Josephine any above-and-beyond interest.  And Dorian didn’t own him, Maker forbid.  He had no illusions of dictating who Finn flirted with.

Still—when Finn turned to Josephine to ask her if she was really alright from this morning, Dorian’s gut twisted unexpectedly.

“Please don’t worry about me,” Josephine insisted as a waiter set down four glasses of clear, bubbling champagne in front of each of them.  “I have an idea of how to solve this dispute, but for now, let’s enjoy the sunlight.  It’s a lovely day today.”

Dorian raised his glass to take a sip of champagne.

“So long as you know we’d never let anything hurt you,” Finn said sincerely.

Dorian nearly choked on his first sip.

He glowered behind his glass and swallowed too quickly, the champagne’s effervescence burning down his throat.  When he set the glass down, he noticed Nanyehi watching him; but she said nothing, turning to watch Finn and Josephine talk after a moment.

“I do appreciate that,” Josephine said, her pupils dilating a bit, her cheeks flushing just slightly with a tinge of dark rose.  “You’re most kind.”

I swear, Dorian thought, if he makes doe-eyes and says something sappy, I’m going to merrily fling myself off this balcony.

But he didn’t.  Finn just smiled pleasantly and took his own sip of champagne.

Ah. The famed green-eyed monster.  Jealousy was rearing its ugly head, uncertainty, and Dorian was powerless to stop it.

Blasted Fade dream.

This whole scenario was strangely reminiscent of adolescence, what with its sparks of jealousy and suspicious looks cast over the table and no one saying precisely what they were thinking.

Or, conversely, rather like Tevinter.

Dorian sighed.  The rest of this day was fated to be just...peachy.

* * *

“Finn,” Nanyehi said, “I’m turning in early for the night.”

They’d paused in the inn’s hallway; Dorian shifted on his feet, watching the two elves.  Finn had been looking at Dorian, but he moved his gaze to his younger sister instead, curiously lifting his brows.  “You want me to join you, Nani?” he asked.

Whatever Dorian had been foolishly hoping for, there went that.

The redheaded elf wrinkled her nose.  “You’re noisy.  You kept babbling about sandwiches in your sleep.  And you roll around a lot.  I think you kicked me in the face last night.”

Finn, naturally, looked horrified.  “Sorry—”

“—And I’d rather actually sleep tonight,” Nanyehi interrupted, crossing her slender arms over her chest and fixing her brother with a firm, no-nonsense look.   “Dorian can deal with you.”

In the split second that Finn turned to look up at Dorian, as if making sure it was alright, Nanyehi caught Dorian’s gaze and gave him a coquettish look.

Then she turned and set off down the hall, a bit of an unusual spring in her step.

Clever little elf.

“Come on, then,” Dorian said, not about to waste whatever opportunity the Inquisitor had just given him.  Not that it signified anything.  Possibly.  A man could hope.  “Orlais is quite fond of its merlots.  I saw a bottle in my room last I was in there, courtesy of the inn’s staff.  Help me drink it, if you’ve a mind.”

Not that Dorian needed any help knocking back anything alcoholic.

“I’ve a mind and a mouth,” Finn said, gesturing for Dorian to lead the way.

Yes, you very much do, Dorian thought, setting off down the hall.

“And apparently a grumpy sister,” he continued.

“Now, now,” Dorian said, reaching his room and slipping the key into the lock, “never discount the merits of a good night’s rest.”  He twisted the knob and opened the ornately carved door, letting Finn step inside first.

“Oh, I know,” Finn said, “I’m half convinced we’d all look like disgusting hags if we didn’t sleep.”

Dorian chuckled, shutting the door behind him and spotting the bottle of merlot, arranged amongst an assortment of cut flowers on top of an ornately carved wooden teacart at one side of the room.  Orlesians and their need to add frills to everything; Dorian shook his head, not ungratefully, as he uncorked the bottle and poured the merlot into two crystalline glass goblets.

“Here you are,” he said, handing one to Finn.

“Mm, thanks,” the elf said, accepting the glass.

Dorian took a sip.  Merlots were often too mild for his tastes—they usually sufficed as a sort of starter wine for those hoping to ease into the fine art of wine snobbery—but this would do.  It was ever so much better than the stuff many Fereldans called drinks.

He glanced over, watching Finn sit casually down on the bed, stretch his legs out flat, and lean back against the mound of throw pillows with all the luxurious ease of a lounging cat.

This wasn’t exactly how he’d pictured Finn lounging on his bed—and he’d pictured a vast many scenarios, many of them sans clothing—but he certainly wouldn’t protest the alternative given to him.

“This is good stuff,” Finn said, lifting his glass and swirling it.  Dorian watched the deep bloodred liquid swish about in its sparklingly clear cage.  “Merlot, you said?  We didn’t have much exposure to wines when we lived in the Free Marches.”

“Living the life of a wayward savage and all,” Dorian teased.

“Oh, stop it, you.” Finn grabbed one of the bed’s many embroidered throw pillows and chucked one at Dorian, pegging him harmlessly in the knee.  “If you’re letting me stay in here tonight, you aren’t that offended by my savagery.”

“You have a good point there,” Dorian said.  “Although I thought I might rinse you off with bleach before I allow you under the covers.”

“Ooh, allow me.”  Finn chuckled and stuck his hand beneath the comforter.  “Look, Dorian.  I just dirtied your bed.  Whatever will you do?”

I’d love to dirty it even further, so to speak.  Dorian took a small sip of merlot.  “Sob profusely and book passage on a ship back to Tevinter.”

Finn lowered his eyes and picked at a loose seam on the comforter.  “I know you’re joking, but you’d better not.  I’d miss you.”

Dorian’s heart knocked against his ribcage.

Such an honest, candid thing, and yet Finn admitted it so freely.  When Dorian told people he’d miss them, he said it in more roundabout ways: do try not to die.  I would notice you were gone.  Because it wasn’t easy to admit you’d miss someone after their hypothetical departure; because even such a small act involved exposing a piece of your heart to the elements.

“I’m not cruel enough to deprive the Inquisition of my velvety voice,” Dorian said.

“Yeah, I’m sure that’s why you stay around,” Finn retorted.

Dorian lifted a brow, regarding him.  The elf took a long pull of wine from the glass—Dorian was really going to have to teach him how to drink in a more sophisticated manner—and then set the glass down on the nightstand nearest to him.  His eyes were heavy-lidded from the alcohol and the room’s dimmer lighting, irises darkened to cerulean.

“If you’re referring to the Inquisition’s cause itself,” Dorian said, “then yes, I suppose I’m not reckless and irresponsible enough to pretend the current world crisis isn’t occurring.  I’d much rather see this through to the end, whatever that might be.”

Finn’s chest rose and fell in a deeper breath.  “And then you’ll go home, afterwards?”

Dorian swallowed.  Much as he wanted to redeem his country in some fashion, he wasn’t entirely certain if he could go home.  Not just yet.  “I might ask the same of you.”

“I am home,” Finn said.

“My friend, if you’ve adopted Orlais as your new home, I might have to question your sanity.”

“Not Orlais.”  Finn laughed lightly.  “Could you imagine?  What if I picked up an Orlesian accent?  Oui oui.  Baguette.  Anyway—no.  The Inquisition.”

Dorian’s brow edged higher.  “Do elaborate.”

“You want me to be cheesy?  Fine.  I’ve been told it’s my specialty sometimes.”  Finn studied one of his blue-tattooed hands.  “We’ve got everyone here we care about, right? Everyone who matters to us, right now, is in the Inquisition.  At least…I’m speaking for myself.  I don’t know exactly who you left behind when you came south.”

“No one I regretted saying goodbye to,” Dorian said.  He’d left things on a volatile note with some, and merely erased himself from the lives of others, but he didn’t pine away for their lost presence in his life.

“And now that you’re here…”  Finn sat up and fixed Dorian with curious eyes, obviously searching for something.  “Is there…anyone you’d regret saying goodbye to?  In the Inquisition?  Anyone you’d miss?”

Unless Dorian was mistaken—and he rarely ever was—Finn was fishing for a very specific answer.

“I think I’d miss our Spymaster constantly tracking my every move.”  Dorian casually set his wine glass on the table.  “I think I’d miss Mother Giselle staring at me like I spawned in the nastiest depths of the Fade.”

The elf rolled his eyes.  “Be serious.”

“Oh, but I am.  I couldn’t possibly live without those things.”  Dorian approached the edge of the bed and sat on it, then swung his legs up to lie flat on the mattress, leaning back against the mound of pillows.  His shoulder just barely brushed against Finn’s.  “I don’t know what I’d do without my weekly insult rounds with Sera, either.”

Finn laughed, shifting a bit to his side so he could look at Dorian.  “Getting a bit warmer.”

Dorian had made things infinitely harder for himself, pun intended, by joining Finn on the bed.  He didn’t exactly have a tradition of lying next to another man without either sleeping with them or without having just slept with them.

But this wasn’t just any man next to him.  And if he gave in to his own urges and rushed it, and maybe pushed Finn too far or scared him away…he couldn’t risk that happening.

He liked all sorts of risks, usually.  Gambling.  Testing the bounds of magic and theory.  But he staunchly refused to risk his heart.

“I’d be simply heartbroken if I never heard Cassandra make another disgusted noise,” he said, shifting slightly onto his side as well and propping himself up on one arm.

Finn’s pupils, he noticed, had dilated quite a bit, leaving just a ring of pure blue around them.  Larger elven eyes as they were, they were nearly pools of bottomless black; Dorian had stupidly never expected the real Finn to look at him like this.

It was vastly more intoxicating than the wine he’d just drunk.

“It’s become a familiar sound, I’ll admit,” Finn said.

Dorian edged just an inch closer, testing the boundaries, dipping a metaphorical toe in the water.  “Shall I wax poetic about how much I’d miss Solas’s scathing critiques of human society?”

“It’d be funny,” Finn said, his breathing slightly more irregular, his eyes fixed on Dorian’s.  Not a terribly noticeable irregularity, but Dorian had a trained ear for these things.

He’d assumed his dream last night had only been some form of undeserved torture, but what if its nature had instead been unintentionally prophetic?  What if Finn really did want him the same way, every way, and just hadn’t been able to say it either?

It had been obvious from day one that Finn was, at the very least, attracted to him.  But what if there was…more?

You didn’t hope for more in Tevinter.  It never was more, it couldn’t be.

Could it?

He nearly chewed on his tongue, but stopped himself before he indulged in such a base habit.

“Goodness knows I’d long for the sight of Blackwall’s copious amounts of body hair if I never saw it again,” he said, leaning just an inch closer.

“I wonder if kissing him would give you a rug burn,” Finn said, his eyes fluttering lower, to Dorian’s mouth.  The elf sucked his own lower lip into his mouth, biting it just briefly.

“We’ll never quite know, will we?” Dorian said.

“I wonder a lot of things,” Finn said, his voice a little lower.

The side of Dorian’s mouth twitched into a bit of a wry smile.  “As do I, you know.”

“What sorts of things?” Finn asked.

Like what it might feel like to kiss you, for one.  He might’ve swapped that with what it would feel like to fuck you this morning, when he’d only just awoken from Desire’s dream.  Goodness knew he still wanted it, badly.  But he had to take one step at a time, right now.

“Maybe you should tell me what sorts of things you wonder about first,” Dorian said.

Finn’s gaze flickered up to his eyes, then back to his mouth.  “That’s two questions you haven’t answered now.  Not completely.”

“I answer things in all sorts of fashions,” Dorian said.  “Words are often my least favorite manner.  Shocking, I know.  I am so beautifully verbose.”

“Maybe you could...show me what your favorite manner is,” Finn said, a bit roughly.

That was as much permission as anything could ever be.  Dorian wasn’t a clueless ninny, and he’d been around the block a few times, as the saying went; he knew exactly what the other man was hinting at.  And Dorian knew Finn was often clueless at picking up hints, but the man was neither stupid nor devoid of all experience.  He plainly knew what he’d said.  Finn expected an answer of some sort, a reaction, whether it constituted a display of mutual affection or a swift rejection.

Let go, a voice in his head said.  Not the demon’s, this time—his own.

Try.  Go out on a limb.

Dorian wasn’t typically interested in the long pause before the kiss, especially not since he’d done exactly that with the Desire demon.  But he’d been delirious and drugged up on lust at that moment.  Everything had seemed like exactly the right thing to do, and he’d known the Desire demon wasn’t something whose feelings and opinions he cared about.  It wasn’t like he had weekly tea with the thing.

Right now, risking that long, laborious pause meant the risk that one of their resolves would crumble away into fear.

He twisted to lean over Finn, cupping his jaw and kissing him in one swift, devil-may-care motion.

Slender, cool fingers wove through his hair, and Finn leaned up eagerly into the kiss, pressing their mouths harder together.

At the very least, it became plainly aware to Dorian that Finn was no stranger to kissing.  The elf had obvious experience with it, knew how to move his mouth firmly against Dorian’s, knew how to tilt his head just enough so their noses didn’t bump together.  The heady swirl of emotion and desire firmly drowned any hesitancy, sinking it down to the depths of nothingness where it belonged.

“Mmm,” Finn sighed, almost a groan, and stroked his hands over Dorian’s shoulders.  His palms left cooled trails against Dorian’s skin, even through the layer of fabric.  Yet his body was warm where his hands were not; Dorian slid a leg between Finn’s thighs, pressing closer, wanting the heat of the other man’s lean and muscular form.

Finn groaned softly at that, rocking his hips upward against Dorian’s thigh.  He was plainly—unmistakably—aroused, if the hardness against Dorian’s thigh was any indication.  Any lingering doubts about Finn’s bisexuality died a quick and painless death.

Finn was as easy to read as a newly painted signpost.

“So…um…” Finn said, as Dorian trailed his mouth down his jaw and to his neck, “I wasn’t aware you liked men.”

Dorian snorted.

“Your awareness, or lack thereof, doesn’t change that I always have,” he said.  His hands slipped under Finn’s tunic, tugging up the fabric.  “Although I’m quite baffled you missed all the signs.”

“I’ve been known to do that,” Finn said with a breathy chuckle.

The elf lifted his arms, and Dorian tugged his tunic up and over his head, tossing it uncaringly off the bed.  It could be retrieved later, and the avoidance of rumpling Finn’s tunic was not exactly at the forefront of his thoughts right now.

The demon had perfectly replicated the anatomy of Finn’s torso, it looked like, down to the map of scars.  Dorian lifted his head and ran his thumb over a triad of short scratch marks on Finn’s right pectoral, remembering that a great bear had done this to him.  The scars were over a year old now, and fading nearly to match the golden tan of the rest of Finn’s skin, but they’d always be noticeable.

Dorian’s mind took that inopportune moment to remember the damned demon.

Not that he preferred the thing over Finn, nothing like that—suddenly it felt devious, to not tell Finn how he’d already seen and felt so much of his body.

I’m about to shoot myself in the foot, he thought bitterly, lifting his head further.

Finn watched him with curious, suspicious eyes.  “You knew I had a lot of scars, Dorian.”

“No—it’s not your scars, Finn.  It’s…how do I explain?”  He exhaled sharply through his nose, for once having to search a minute to piece together the right words.

“With words, for starters,” Finn said.  “And by making noise with your throat.  That’s usually how talking works.”

Dorian almost rolled his eyes, but refrained.  “I feel as though you have the right to my honesty,” he said.  “Last night, a Desire demon visited my dreams in your form.  And I can’t say I was entirely chaste with it.”

He cringed, stiffened, waited for the inevitable backlash.

“Gods,” Finn said.  “That’s hot.”

Dorian blinked.

The elf cleared his throat.  “Er, I mean…it’s…no, fine, stare at me all you want, I think the fact that you were thinking of me enough for a Desire demon to take my form is…really fucking hot…”

This night was full of surprises.

Dorian shifted over Finn, crushing his body into the mattress and burying his face in the elf’s neck once again.  Finn tilted his head again, releasing a shaky, breathy groan, and Dorian trailed hot kisses in a path down to his collarbone, letting his hands wander wherever they pleased.

“I didn’t take the demon to bed, you should know.”  Dorian slipped his fingers under the hem of Finn’s breeches, planting a rough kiss on his sternum as he did so.  “I thought of you and couldn’t go through with it.”

“Nnf,” was Finn’s eloquent response as he lifted his hips just a bit.  “That’s even hotter.  Fuck.”

“You think so?”  Dorian smirked, dragging the breeches down just past his hips, tripping his fingers over his exposed hipbones.

“I think,” Finn said, “that your shirt is making me angry.”

“Oh?”  Dorian chuckled knowingly.  “Has it offended your particular tastes?”

“It’s still on you.”

Impatiently, Finn reached for the hemline of Dorian’s tunic and all but yanked it up.  Smirk increasing in its intensity, Dorian grabbed it with one hand and dragged it off the rest of the way.  It landed in a heap somewhere, rendezvousing on the floor with Finn’s tunic.  Dorian reached for the hem of Finn’s breeches again…only to be rocked back onto his ass when a pile of aroused elf leapt into his lap and squeezed slender legs around his waist.

“Maybe you’re the Desire demon.”  Finn ran his hands greedily over Dorian’s torso in big, sweeping motions.  “Where’d you get these muscles?  The Fade?”

“Good exercise habits and fantastic bloodlines.”  Dorian grinned, reaching for Finn’s long, knife-pointed ears and gently tugging on them; Finn’s eyes nearly rolled back into his head.  He repeated the motion, tugging harder as he dragged his fingers along the rims of Finn’s ears, and the elf groaned approvingly.  “Mm, you do like having your ears pulled.”

“I like…a lot of things…” Finn managed.  “You’d be…surprised…or horrified…”

“Surprised, potentially.”  Dorian gave his full, rapt attention to Finn’s pleasured expression for a moment, rather liking the fact that a motion as simple as ear pulling could elicit such a response.  “Horrified?  I sincerely doubt it.”

“You don’t know that,” Finn breathed, finding the front of Dorian’s trousers and undoing the laces with unsteady fingers.

The hot ache pooling and throbbing in Dorian’s groin made him desperately want to grind his hips against Finn’s, but that would have the not so lovely effect of crushing the other mage’s fingers.  So he held himself back, refrained, only rocked his hips ever so slightly out of an inability to sit still.  He moved his hands from Finn’s ears to cup his face, pulling him forward to crush their mouths together.

Finn’s fingers fumbled on the laces for just a moment, but quickly resumed their course, undoing the final lace and impatiently tugging Dorian’s trousers and smallclothes down past his hips.

Then Finn pulled away from the kiss and looked down, his eyes widening and his hands stilling.

“Yes?”  Dorian bit his tongue to refrain from snickering.

“It’s, uh…been a while,” Finn said.

“Do elaborate, darling.”  Dorian almost smirked.  Almost.

“And, well…”  Finn audibly swallowed.  “Previous and only one was an elf…”

Whether or not Finn was actually worried about the apparent size difference or just startled by it, Dorian would take that as a compliment.  It was a small possibility, given Finn’s bisexuality, that this previous partner had been a woman, but unlikely—Finn would have said as much.

And Finn's reaction answered Dorian's unspoken and reluctant question about positioning.  Thank everything he hadn't been forced to verbalize it.

“Second thoughts?” he teased, curling his fingers in the back of Finn’s hair.

“Fuck no,” Finn said, surging forward to lock their mouths in another rough kiss.

Now they’d reached an imbalance—Dorian was nearly devoid of all clothing (he quickly solved that "nearly" by using his feet to lever his trousers off entirely) and Finn still had his breeches.  Couldn’t have that.   Dorian let his hands focus on working Finn’s breeches and smallclothes down, a pleased sigh escaping him when Finn got up onto his knees to help out, not once breaking the kiss.  Dorian forced his tongue further into Finn’s mouth, and the other mage groaned throatily, all but melting in Dorian’s arms.

It didn’t take long to divest Finn of his pants and smallclothes; desperation didn’t make Dorian’s fingers fumble.  One could say he had all kinds of practice with this sort of thing.  Not really of the emotional sort, but sex was a carnal act, heavily reliant on instinct.

Finn sank back into his lap once his breeches were somewhere on the floor, and Dorian bit back a moan at the pressure and friction.  Unobstructed this time, he ground his hips upward, grabbing Finn’s hipbones and rocking his pelvis into the motion.

“Gods,” Finn muttered, breathing heavily.  “Fuck…shit…”

To the void and back with waiting; Dorian had made himself wait weeks just to touch Finn out of a fear of losing his friendship.  He wrapped his arms tight around Finn’s back and hauled him closer, chest to chest, sucking in a sharp breath through his nose as he kissed him with impatient abandon.

“Where’s…something…to…?” Finn managed to blurt out between kisses, his hands sliding up from the nape of Dorian’s neck to his hair, legs winding around his waist once more.

Dorian understood.  He pulled his head away, looking about the room, then skimmed his teeth along the edge of Finn’s ear.  “How long has it been, for you?”

“A-about…two years…” he bit out.

Maker.  That kind of dry spell was a cardinal sin in Tevinter.

Sucking in another breath, Dorian leaned forward and onto his side, and Finn didn’t fight it, only hooked his ankles behind Dorian’s back to avoid separating the two of them.  Now in reaching distance of the nightstand, Dorian pulled the top drawer open and fished his hand inside.

But of course he found it.  This was Orlais.

Plucking the vial of oil out of the drawer, Dorian righted himself, and Finn settled himself in his lap.  “Ah ah, don’t get comfortable like that,” Dorian chided, smirking as he uncorked the oil and dribbled a fair amount into his palm.  “Lift your hips up.”

Finn obliged, bracing each knee outside of Dorian’s hips.

Dorian catered to his own urges for a moment, running each hand up Finn’s thighs to reach around and grip his rear.  “I was right when I said you were all muscle,” he said, tsking his tongue.  He’d said that at least once, in Haven, when he’d mentioned that Finn’s deceptively lean frame was rather heavy.  “And someone didn’t believe me.”  He squeezed his rear, and Finn whined.  “You think I’ve got enough evidence to prove my point, now?”

“Yeah,” Finn breathed, letting his eyes flutter shut.  “You’re always right…”

“That’s a good man.”  Dorian slipped one hand further inward, his oil-slicked fingers brushing against their destination. 

Nnnngh,” Finn groaned.

Maker’s breath.  Even the slightest of touches set him off.  Dorian’s cock twitched in anticipation, and he swallowed down a groan of his own, instead plunging a finger inside him.

Those two years of chastity seemed to be doing both of them a service now, if the way Finn’s hips twitched and shuddered was any indication of the sensitivity he’d gained during that time.  Dorian was used to fucking those who’d, like him, been with quite a few partners and quite frequently, and Finn’s tightness was a welcome new sensation for him.  He bit his own lower lip, curling the finger and finding the elf’s sweet spot.

Finn stifled what might have been a much louder noise by biting into his own hand.

“Oh, no no no.”  Dorian set the oil vial next to his hip and used his free hand to coax Finn’s hand out of his teeth.  “When you stifle yourself, nobody wins.”

“It’s—agh,” Finn blurted, when Dorian curled his finger against the bundle of nerves again.

“It’s?  Yes?”  Stretching him a tad would be an easier task with two fingers, so Dorian eased a second one in to join the first.  Finn’s hips jerked again.  "I want to hear you, Finn."

“Trust me…you will…”  Finn rocked his hips back against Dorian’s hand, and Dorian thrust his fingers deeper inside him, enjoying the moan that motion elicited.  “I’ve been…known to be…really loud…it’s kind of embarrassing, actually…”

The elf’s legs were visibly shaking; not from fatigue, Dorian knew he was quite strong and could’ve easily held this half-kneeling position for quite a while in other circumstances.

“Mm, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”  Dorian scissored his fingers, and Finn’s eyes rolled back.  “You be as absurdly loud as you want.  I’d imagine it’s nothing these Orlesians aren’t used to.  And even if it’s not—all the better to disturb them for a night, yes?”

“I’d never say no to…messing with an Orlesian’s…night…” Finn said.

“One of the many reasons I adore you,” Dorian said.

Drat, that had slipped out all by itself.  Dorian checked Finn’s expression, but the elf was too involved in the feel of Dorian’s fingers inside him to really make a mental note of whatever he’d just confessed.

It was entirely too much.  The combination of the dream from the night prior, the sight of Finn losing his senses in his lap, and the feel of the tight warmth his fingers were encased in, had the effect of making Dorian agonizingly hard.  He felt so sensitive that even a slight breeze might have a solid go at getting him off.

From the subtle spasming of muscle around his two fingers, it seemed like Finn had the exact same conundrum.  Finn dropped his head and sucked in a hissing breath, muscles spasming harder as Dorian worked his prostate with the pads of his fingers.

"Sorry..." Finn muttered, panting, leaning his forehead against Dorian's shoulder as his fingers fucked him slowly.  "Yet another problem of mine...I'm always way too fast.  And, uh, frequent."

"Oh, the tragedy of such a thing," Dorian teased with a smirk.  "I might have to experiment another night with how many times I can bring you to climax."

"Gods, please," Finn said.

He slipped his fingers out, and Finn’s brows furrowed at the loss of them, fixing his eyes on Dorian’s face.  The elf’s pupils were blown wide from excitement, leaving only a sliver of a blue ring around them.  Elven eyes did that, Dorian remembered—their eyes were much more adapted to seeing in different lights than human eyes were, and thus the pupils were able to blow out so dramatically during arousal.  Still—the sight of them so dark almost made Dorian whimper, and he never made such a noise.

Finn’s hair was a mussed tangle of wavy white that looked almost ashen in the low light of the bedroom, the ends of it sticking to his neck and making obvious the slight sheen of sweat on his tanned skin.  His chest rose and fell with heavy, uneven breaths, his bottom lip reddened from being bitten into.  And his eyes, ebony with desire, never altered their gaze.

“What’re you…?” he started to ask.

“I’m only taking in the sight of you,” Dorian said, his voice losing its silken baritone quality in favor of anticipatory breathiness.  “It’s quite the nice one, Finn.”

“I’m not particularly great at being stared at,” Finn said, his voice quite roughened as well.  He reached for the oil jar at Dorian’s hip and poured a decent amount into his palm. 

Dorian had a response lined up for that, but it bit off when Finn wrapped his oiled hand around his cock.

He knew what the other man was doing, but that didn’t stop the sharp jolt of pleasure at the sudden pressure and warmth around his entirely-too-sensitive skin.  Finn slicked his hand up and down his shaft, repeating, squeezing slightly each time, and he leaned forward to press their mouths together again.  Dorian covered the back of Finn’s neck with a hand, pulling him ever closer, closing his eyes and losing himself in sensation.

“You might do well to get used to it,” Dorian said, struggling to keep his words composed when he broke away from the kissing to drag in a deep breath.  “Staring at you is one of my favorite things to do.”

“Mmn…we have the same hobbies, I see,” Finn said softly, pulling his hand away at a torturously slow rate.  He smiled breathlessly, leaning forward to bump his nose against Dorian’s.  “Didn’t you notice that my jaw shattered on the floor when I first saw you?”

Dorian couldn’t help but offer a half-smile in return at the elf’s display of raw affection, brushing his nose against Finn’s before he sealed their lips once again.  “Of course I did,” he said, between kisses, “but I’ve seen such reactions before, I’ll have you know.”

“Because you’re stupidly gorgeous,” Finn breathed, groping Dorian’s chest with all the enthusiasm of a quadriplegic who’d just regained the use of his hands and the accompanying sense of touch.  He shifted on his knees, drawing closer, their breaths ghosting together with the close proximity of their faces.  “And stupidly brilliant.”

“Oxymoron, darling.”  Dorian smirked, once again gripping Finn’s rear and kneading his ass beneath his fingers.

He didn’t know how much longer he could possibly wait—the effort had nearly become futile.  He’d been considering how many orgasms he could draw out of Finn before his own, how loud he could coax the elf into crying out…but it occurred to him that for this time, their first, there needn’t be any games or challenges involved.

Just the two of them, caring for each other in the most intimate way possible.

To Dorian, it was as peaceful a thought as it was wildly thrilling.

“It’s—” Finn started.

“That’s enough of that, don’t you think?”  Dorian settled on his back, grabbing ahold of Finn’s hips with a strong grip to hold him in place.  Lean and muscular and well-proportioned as the elf was, his body was still small, especially for human standards; he wasn’t difficult to maneuver about.  Elves had such birdlike bones that no amount of muscle made them particularly heavy.  “I’m much more interested in fucking you than I am in conversation.”

Finn shivered.  “Fuck me, then…I want you…”

I want you.

Hadn’t Dorian remarked to himself only just last night that he’d probably never hear those intoxicating words come out of Finn’s mouth?  How drastically only one day could flip things on their end.

“Your desire is my command, then,” he said, almost cheekily.  He lined himself up, checking his positioning with a hand, and Finn braced his hands flat-palmed on Dorian’s chest.  Finn spread his thighs a little more, giving Dorian better access between his legs, and he pressed the head of his shaft against his entrance.  The elf let out a garbled groan at just the feel of that alone, his ears flicking downwards and his eyelids fluttering.

The curious side of Dorian suddenly wanted to study what sort of range of motion elves had with their ears, but the carnal portion of his brain kicked the curiosity to a dark corner and snuffed it into near nonexistence.  He sucked in a breath, nearly overwhelmed with feeling and heat and lust, easing himself inside Finn as the trembling elf sunk down.  His hips twitched and bucked, wanting to go faster, but he bit his tongue and made himself slow down.  Despite the previous oil and fingering, Finn was still quite tight, and forcing himself inside him like some sort of battering ram could hurt him.

Tight and warm, like a sheath perfectly and mesmerizingly fitted to his girth.  Dorian could wax poetic about how damned incredible it felt already, but it would be a waste of thoughts.  Once he was finally in up to the hilt, Finn seated himself fully in his lap, sweaty and panting.

“It…really has been a while…” Finn groaned.  “Fuck, that’s good shit…”

Such elegant phrasing.  Dorian almost laughed.

He rubbed his hands up and down the elf’s arms, soothingly, feeling his taut biceps opportunistically when his palms passed over them.  “I’ve got you.  I won’t push you to the point of pain.”

“I’m not in pain,” Finn panted.  “Just...adjusting.  By all means, pound me into a fucking pulp.”

Maker, Finn’s blunt dirty talk was already spoiling him.

“As you say.”  Dorian winked, rolling his hips and holding Finn’s to pull him into the rhythm.  He bent his legs at the knees and braced his feet against the mattress, giving himself a bit of leverage to thrust with.

He rocked his hips upward, starting out not nearly as hard or fast as he could potentially go.  The first were more akin to gentler hip rolls, wanting more to accustom himself and Finn to things before really diving deep into them.

“I’m not…made of glass,” Finn grunted, giving Dorian a flushed and almost desperate look.  “What part of ‘pound me’ did you not—”

“So the elf likes to bait his partners,” Dorian noted breathily, yanking Finn’s pelvis into a particularly hard thrust; the elf let out a short yelp that trailed off into a long groan.  “I’ll file that away for future use.”

“The human has too much…self-control,” Finn managed.  “He seems to forget that the elf is…much more durable…than he thinks…”

“The elf is also an incurable chatterbox,” Dorian teased.  Out of a desire for a mutually beneficial manner of stopping the current conversation, he grabbed Finn’s head, tangled his fingers in ice-white waves, and pulled him down for a rather rough kiss.  Not an easy task, kissing while their bodies were moving in such a manner, but he made it work.

“Hmmn...”  Finn hummed what was probably his agreement and slid his hands past Dorian’s ribs, fingers curling, nails lightly scratching his back.

Dorian groaned his approval, finally releasing Finn from the kiss—he needed to breathe, and he seemed to have forgotten to do that.  Forgotten how.  Both of them sucked in draughts of air, hips rocking together, exploring each others’ bodies with warm, needy hands.  Gone was the typical frosty touch of Finn’s fingers and palms; his touch was all heat now, warmth and a slick of sweat and oil, and the room smelled of sex and sandalwood and bergamot.  The last two were the oil’s contributions, no doubt, unless rooms in Val Royeaux inns were typically perfumed in such a manner and he just never noticed until precisely this moment.

It became soon apparent that he no longer had need of the slower adjustment period he'd insisted on; each harder thrust was met with a longer and louder groan from the elf seated in his lap, eyes rolling back senselessly into his head, lower lip sucked into his mouth and trapped between his teeth.

Dorian’s own vision fluttered briefly up to the ceiling, his eyes almost unable to focus from the shockwaves of pleasure rolling through his body, promises of unbridled climaxing on the near horizon.  Then he found himself enraptured by Finn again, by the utterly shameless groaning and sighing and whimpering, by the look of complete delirious ecstasy on his face.

“Agh—shit,” Finn whimpered after a moment, his muscle walls spasming around Dorian’s length, shaking with each pump of his hips.  He dropped his head, hair falling over his forehead, breaths coming high and fast.  “I…I think I’m…”

Dorian managed a smirk even through his hard breathing, grasping Finn’s shaft and stroking him, bringing him right to the edge and over.  The elf’s entire body tightened, clenched, shook, his teeth audibly snapping together as he stifled a cry-out and spent himself on Dorian’s abdomen and much of his hand and wrist.

“Fucking halla balls,” Finn muttered, his head hanging, panting raggedly as he struggled to regain his senses.

Rocking his hips a little more gently now, but no less urgently, Dorian felt a red-hot ache pull into his groin, tightening him as well.  But he wasn’t there quite yet, so he sucked in an unsteady breath, curling his free hand around Finn’s nearest thigh and continuing his pace.

“Told you…” the elf said, his face reddened when he lifted his head, probably equal parts from arousal and exertion and shame.  “If Varric saw that, he’d have nicknamed me Speedy instead of Frosty…”

“Well it’s a good thing I’m not done with you, isn’t it?”  Grinning wickedly, Dorian pulled his hand off Finn’s cock, brought it to his mouth, and licked off the sticky white ribbons that were already starting to cool.

Finn’s face turned a vivid shade of tomato, and his hips jerked, obvious arousal washing through his body.

Dorian snickered, pleased with himself, and stuck his own finger into his mouth to suck on it.  The elf watched him raptly with wide eyes the color of pure jetstone.  “Something tells me your previous partner didn’t do that,” he said, quite aware of his own feline expression of self-satisfaction.

Finn shook his head.  “Apparently I’ve been missing out for twenty-six years of my life.”

“All the more reason to make up for lost time, mm?”  In the interest of making up for said lost time, Dorian snapped his hips up against Finn’s pelvis again, burying himself deep inside him, unable to quell his own needy groaning by now.

If the sound was any indication, Finn was no more successful at controlling his own grunts and moans.  Dorian reached around to grab his ass, hard, yanking their hips together with each upwards thrust.  He felt raw inside and out, burning with the need for release, his pulse throbbing in his cock and siphoning all of the blood from his head.

As such, he had almost no more control over his own body.

Sparks jumped on his hands, purplish-white, cascading from his fingers down to his wrists; obviously feeling the jolt of electricity, Finn cried out again, his whole body shuddering.  The elf’s hands sparked in kind, of their own volition, the sparks mixing with flickers of icy blue frost. 

This time, when he brought the elf to orgasm, he followed himself, the boil of it pulling tight in his groin and swelling and filling Finn’s insides with the final release.  He nearly didn’t hear Finn’s throaty, desperate cries over his own gasping and groaning and the pounding of his pulse in his ears.

For quite some time afterwards neither of them moved, struggling to catch their breaths, the Dalish mage still seated firmly in Dorian’s lap, both of them painted with sweat and release and completely uncaring about either of those things.

Dorian reached upwards to stroke hair off Finn’s forehead, feeling the beads of sweat drip off his own forehead.  He opened his mouth to suck in cooling draughts of air, chest heaving, waiting for the haze and trembling aftershocks to die down.

“Gods…almighty…” Finn breathed.  “Mythal’s…mercy…”

“I’ll take that…as a compliment…” Dorian panted.

“Good…because it was one…” Finn said.  He seemed loathe to part from Dorian’s lap, but he made himself do so anyway, thin whiteness leaking down the insides of his thighs as he lifted himself to his knees and swung a leg over to un-straddle him.

Then he sank down sideways onto his haunch, propping himself up with one arm and catching his breath.

Dorian crossed his arms behind his head, his vision finally starting to sharpen even through the dimness of the room.

“I think a bath is in order,” he said.

Finn nodded.  “Yeah…and probably a change of sheets…”

Dorian smiled slyly.  “What’s this, pray tell?  Are you having second thoughts about making the Orlesian innkeepers uncomfortable when they discover this in the morning?”

“Well, in that case…”  Finn laughed lightly.  “So long as we’re not in close enough vicinity to hear their screams.”

“Mm,” Dorian agreed.  “I think I’ll reiterate the motion of taking a bath, though.  Not that I don’t think the sight of you like this is rather extraordinary.”

Finn smiled, casting his gaze downward.  “Bath it is, then.”

* * *

Dorian leaned the back of his head against the rim of the tub, feeling cooling water lap around his and Finn’s bodies as he closed his eyes and relaxed. 

Finn had settled himself between Dorian’s crooked legs, leaning back against his chest, his head rested back on Dorian’s shoulder.  He looked drowsy and at-ease and altogether half asleep, his chest rising and falling slowly in gentle breaths.

Opening his eyes to a washroom that was nearly encased in complete darkness, Dorian dribbled his fingers through the water they lay in, then skimmed his fingers along Finn’s collarbone.

“Mmn,” Finn sighed.  “I can’t sleep if you keep touching me.”

Dorian laughed.  “Has it possibly occurred to you that this isn’t the best place to fall asleep in?”

Everywhere is the best place to fall asleep in,” Finn sleepily insisted.  “I’ve fallen asleep in all sorts of weird places.  Trees, for one.  You ever slept on a tree branch?  The breeze is nice, but there’s always that fear that you’ll fall to your doom and split your skull open.”

“I can’t say I have the desire to try that,” Dorian said.

Finn breathed a light burst of a laugh through his nose.  “Don’t blame you.”  He settled further back against Dorian’s chest, humming happily.  “I, uh…think we should talk about what happened.”

“I do hope your parents gave you at least a basic sex education,” Dorian teased.  “See, Finn, when a man—”

“I know that!”  The elf snorted his amusement.  “I mean, feelings-wise.  And I know I probably sound like a blubbering village girl when I say that, but there it is.”

Dorian lifted a brow.  “Any particular questions you have in mind?”

“I want to know where it goes,” Finn said.

“Oh?”

Finn sighed.  “I’ll be blunt.  I know that’s nothing new for me and you probably didn’t need that announcement, but—anyway.  Moving on.”  He lifted one of Dorian’s hands, studying it, and Dorian allowed him, letting his hand be boneless in Finn’s grasp.  “I’ve had feelings for you since I met you.  And I’m hoping to gods that what we had wasn’t just some sort of one night stand, because…”  He broke off.  “I don’t want to put pressure on you, but…”

Dorian’s heart thumped hard, and he was fairly certain Finn could feel it.

“I’m not accustomed to this,” he said, finally.  “And I’m vastly inexperienced in how this works.  Yet I suppose this is where I admit to reciprocity.”

“Could you possibly translate that into Tired and Stupid?” Finn said.  “Does this mean you…?”

“It means,” Dorian said, steeling himself almost nervously, “that I have been and still am terrified of losing you.  No matter what capacity you offer me.”  He watched Finn loosely thread their water-slicked fingers together.  “And it means that I’m willing to risk the uncertainty for the chance to be with you.”

Finn hummed contentedly, shifting to nuzzle Dorian’s collarbone and tuck his head under Dorian’s chin.  “I’m with you,” he promised.  “As long as you want me.  You’d have to trample me under a druffalo to get rid of me.”

“And we both know you’d still survive that,” Dorian said.  His heart felt raw and exposed and exhausted, but whole, filled with something he’d never quite felt before.

“I am made of rubber, remember?”  Finn snuggled closer, the water lapping against the edges of the tub with his shifting.  “Hey, Dorian?”

“Hmm?”

“You’ll tell me if I talk about sandwiches in my sleep, right?  Or accidentally kick you in the face?”

“Might I remind you about that one night we all stuffed ourselves into one tent and ended up in some awful twisted heap?” Dorian said.  That lovely experience had been during a simple scouting mission in Emprise du Lion, in which they’d managed to lose two tents and had to stuff all of the men into one.  Dorian and Finn had both woken up crushed and gasping for air with Iron Bull somehow sprawled on both of them and snoring soundly; Varric had managed to find a free corner to squeeze himself into, Cole had probably sat in a ball and watched them sleep all night, and Solas had refused the arrangement out of disgust, but Blackwall had fared the worst, somehow ending up sleeping the opposite way with the heavy Qunari’s feet square in his face.  “If I can survive that, I think I can survive you.”

Not to mention he had, before; they typically shared tents while out in the field.  And he’d gotten his fair amount of chuckles over Finn’s nonsensical sleep-babbling already.

“True.  I’d forgotten,” Finn said.  “So I’m not actually dreaming this?  You’ll still be here in the morning?”

“I might be up and finding some form of coffee, but in the emotional sense, yes,” Dorian said.  “I’ll still be here.  I promise.  Let’s not belabor the point, silly elf.”

“If you say so.”  Finn yawned, his teeth snapping together at the end of it.  “Silly human.”

Dorian smiled, resting his cheek on the top of Finn’s head.

He knew what it was like, dreaming this.  The Desire demon had certainly tried to draw Dorian in and sink talons into his psyche and never let him go.

But he knew just as assuredly that even with a Desire demon’s wicked promises of anything he could ever fathom…the only thing he truly wanted was right here.