Chapter 1: Aviditatis
Dorian recognized the Fade immediately upon entering it, as any self-respecting mage should.
He’d gone to sleep some hours ago, after all, as was customary when the skies drained of their sunset watercolors and blackness swallowed Thedas whole. And though Dorian wasn’t usually much of a rule-follower, he did cherish his beauty sleep.
To its credit, this section of the Fade had made a valiant attempt at replicating the sort of decadent suite Dorian might expect to see in Tevinter or Orlais. Ignoring the fact that it was essentially a farce, Dorian strode further into the suite to admire it. Ornate moulded wall paneling, dark mahogany wooden floors covered partially by a dark red patterned rug, a low fire crackling in the hearth at the rightmost wall and casting flickering light about the room. There was a velveteen settee and two high-back chairs in the corner, accompanied by a coffee table with a stack of leather-bound tomes on its polished surface…and directly in front of him was a four-poster bed, complete with silken covers and pillows in black and crimson with touches of glimmering golden embroidery.
The work of a Desire demon, no doubt. No Pride or Fear or Rage demon—or any of the others—would go through the trouble of painstakingly combing Dorian’s mind for familiarity and reconstructing a setting so meticulously. The creature, hidden though it was, must have already deduced that Dorian would have turned his nose up at something overly plebeian.
I wonder which form it might take this time, Dorian mused to himself, traversing over to the bed to feel the soft, plush covers under his palm. A bit of variety might be fun. The last couple had been human and brunette: a common thing in the east of Tevinter.
They always took male forms—Dorian would’ve been nothing but deeply amused if one had attempted a female form. Women were perfectly lovely creatures, to be fair, all smooth skin and bright eyes and soft curves…but they didn’t stir his insides the same way.
No, typically they appeared as the sorts of men he’d seen and had dalliances with back home in Tevinter; human, often. A few had taken on the convincing appearance of an elven whore, likely after discovering the scant memories of elven whorehouses Dorian had visited before he’d left. One had even tried a hulking Qunari form, although the moment it mentioned the Qun, Dorian had been put off.
Not that he could ever do anything with these demons, regardless of personal intrigue. Demons did not give freely without expecting something in return, and Dorian wasn’t terribly inclined to become a Desire demon’s drooling vegetable of a pet anytime soon.
So long as the form it attempted wasn’t—
A flicker of magic brushed against his senses, feather-light, tendrils of allure twining their invisible way around him. He smelled faint touches of incense in the air, sandalwood and bergamot.
The demon was going in for the kill.
Despite his curiosity over which form the demon would try, Dorian didn’t look its way just yet. Waiting made the surprise all the more enjoyable, and he fully intended to at least ogle the demon for a little while before parting ways with it.
“Aren’t you going to look at me, Dorian?” said the demon.
That voice—deeper than usual, smoother, devoid of its typical cheery singsong cadence, but still completely unmistakable.
Dorian lifted his head and turned to look.
This demon must have been an exceptionally clever one. Dorian recognized the lithe yet muscular elven body in the quick flash of a second. Tight black breeches hugged long, just about perfect legs, emphasizing the slight swells of thigh muscle and calves. The deep blue tunic wasn’t loose enough to hide the trim waistline and slender, toned musculature, although it was long enough to cover what Dorian might have happily ogled first. By the time his eyes reached the face—wavy hair the color of newfallen snow, almond-shaped eyes as blue as a glacier, blue vallaslin lines sweeping over caramel skin—his own face had already begun to flush and his skin to burn.
He’d been thinking almost nonstop of Finn Lavellan since he’d met the elf months ago. And the demon seemed to have every intention of exploiting that.
“That’s very clever of you,” Dorian said dryly. “Bravo. Alas, I would prefer to sleep peacefully and not take part in your shenanigans.”
“You know you can’t sleep peacefully with me around,” the demon said, and the elf stepped closer, blue eyes heavy-lidded. He’d never heard Finn’s voice go so low as it was now—probably because the Dalish elf wasn’t exactly prone to seducing people—but with its touches of Starkhaven accent, the way his tongue rolled over each word, it was…sinful.
And the demon was right, too, blasted thing.
It had been attraction, at first, ever since the elven mage had walked up to him in Redcliffe’s Chantry. A sort of carnal urge to feel body against body, flesh against flesh; Dorian was no stranger to rutting like an animal.
But he’d refrained from seducing him, difficult as that was. Finn had too good of a heart, too much of an obvious propensity for falling hard and never letting go unless his heart was forcefully broken. And maybe Dorian wanted that sort of falling hard thing too, deep down, but a surprise bout of nervousness had always struck him at the thought.
So he’d done nothing, in the grand scheme of things. Flirted, certainly. Watched Finn move about, of course—the elf joked that he was clumsy, but in battle he had more grace than flowing water. Lost a lot of nights to tossing and turning and thinking about him, naturally.
This, though…fasta vaas.
“Off with you,” he told the elf-shaped demon, adding in a dismissive jerk of the hand for good measure. “I’m more than familiar with your games and there’s nothing I intend to give you.”
The demon only smiled instead, Finn’s cheeky half-smile, and it wore it like a badge of honor. The elf stepped closer again; Dorian didn’t move away. Couldn’t.
“Why?” Desire asked. “I’m not doing anything wrong, standing here.”
No, technically not, but maybe it was wrong to be as Maker-damned enticing as Finn naturally was, wrong to evoke so many wicked things in Dorian’s mind and body without even trying.
He shook his head, cursing himself silently under his breath. It had been unfair of him to think that; none of it was Finn’s fault.
“I suppose you can stand there, then,” Dorian acquiesced with a sigh. And torment me with the sight of you.
“Is that all?” The elf crossed toned, tattooed arms over his chest.
It should’ve been simple enough to say yes, thank you, that will be all, and yet Dorian…couldn’t. In a heartbeat he’d given up a bit to temptation and allowed the demon to stand there, willed it to do so, and now it was trying to sink its metaphorical claws deeper into his psyche.
He wrestled with himself for a moment, with his own already dubious morality. Maker only knew how many times he’d gotten himself painfully hard at night just thinking about the lean, athletic lines of Finn’s body. And Desire had replicated the elf’s long-legged form flawlessly without Finn even standing there for reference.
Would it really be all that bad to give in a little more? Touch him? Perhaps it would satisfy some of the more intense cravings he’d been having as of late. If Finn somehow found out about this, Dorian would ask forgiveness for his own moment of weakness…but surely there was no harm in indulging himself with a creature that had no concept of shame.
“No, I suppose not,” Dorian said in answer, forcing the words out before the little voice of reason in the back of his head stopped him.
He wasn’t a staunch Andrastian, only a believer that a Maker existed somewhere out there in the wild blue yonder. He’d probably already desecrated half of the rooms in Tevinter during his wilder years. He was smart enough to catch when a demon was about to attempt possession, and skilled enough to force it away or kill it entirely.
The demon in the elf’s body watched him with eyes like pools of fresh mountain water, clearly waiting for him to commit to a course, although it looked impatient about the delay.
To the void with it.
“Step closer, damn you,” Dorian growled, sinking back and sitting on the edge of the bed.
The elf grinned, flashing a line of white teeth, and came closer to him, standing only just a foot from where Dorian sat.
Slow. Dorian often took things of the physical persuasion too quickly—something he recognized in himself, at least—and so he’d make himself slow down. He had the sinking feeling he’d lose all willpower and control if he let himself. And he was just going to do a little touching—nothing more than that.
He made his hands curl around the back of the elf’s—demon’s—knees instead. Brushed his fingers upwards, towards the backs of his thighs. He watched his hands move as if they did so of their own volition, saw his palms skim up the backs of Finn’s thighs and felt them grip just slightly.
His legs were muscular, no doubt about that. Finn was too athletic to be anything less than well-built like a rogue.
Dorian’s breathing came much less steadily now, his heart starting to crash around in his chest. This wasn’t just anyone whose body he was currently groping; this was Finn. And maybe the Dalish mage meant so much more to him than he’d ever admit, and maybe that was why he’d denied himself the thought of sex with him for so long. Because having a one night stand with an attractive stranger was one thing, but committing himself to going after Finn was a whole ‘nother.
He sucked in a breath, one hand dragging upwards to cup Finn’s rear.
The muscle was evident there beneath his flesh, too, when Dorian kneaded his fingers slightly. Standing patiently still, the elf wove slender fingers through Dorian’s ebony hair, palms chilled from the ice magic he used so often and so effortlessly.
Stupidly enough, he hadn’t expected his buttocks to feel this nice in his hand. He pulled his lower lip between his teeth, biting down on it a little, and moved his hand from the slope of the elf’s rear to his hipbone, dragging the tunic’s dark blue fabric up as he went.
“You’ve wanted this for a while, haven’t you?” the demon said, wearing Finn’s voice like a cloak.
“Kind of you to point that out,” Dorian said bitterly.
It wasn't something that Finn would have said in real life, the real Finn. The Dalish mage didn't like to drag desires and unpleasantries out into the open like that; he seemed to be purely dedicated to saying things of the more optimistic persuasion, usually. But in the interest of continuing the current Fade scandal he was involved in, Dorian let the inaccuracy slide.
Giving in to his own impatience, he grabbed the elf’s hips with both hands and yanked him forward. Then he thumped his forehead against Finn’s stomach, closing his eyes and breathing shakily for a moment.
Finn smelled like pine and fresh ice and mountain air. It was such a real scent, and so very Finn-like, that Dorian nearly lost track of who—what—was actually standing in front of him.
Cool fingers played with Dorian’s hair, stroking it, grabbing lazy fistfuls and pulling slightly every so often. He’d always wondered what those hands would feel like in his hair…amongst many other things.
Alright, fine, his thoughts didn’t usually stay so mild. Many of them involved wondering how it would feel to bury himself up to the hilt inside him and hammer him into a mattress. He wondered how the elf would feel in his arms, too, wondered what it would be like to have those beautiful blue eyes swirl dark with lust and pleasure when they held Dorian’s own gaze.
He lifted his head and tugged on the dark blue tunic, dragging it up; the elf—demon, damn it—yanked it off the rest of the way and tossed it.
Dorian didn’t waste time, letting his hands roam the newly exposed skin, bumping over the map of fading scars on Finn’s stomach. From a bear attack, he knew; if the demon had even included these scars, it was no doubt trying to be anatomically exact.
Heat flushed through Dorian’s body at that thought and the implications that went with it, pooling in his groin.
Anyone who said elves were nothing but scrawny bags of bones was a complete imbecile and had probably never felt slender elven legs crushed around their waist. Dorian slid his hands up smooth, golden-tanned skin, feeling toned pectorals and traveling back down the slim, minor slope of his waistline. Vallaslin the color of the Nocen Sea in daylight swept in beautifully drawn lines around his chest and down his stomach, clearly venturing farther downward even though the breeches’ waistband obscured their path.
He released a shuddering sigh and leaned forward, pressing a slow kiss against Finn’s stomach, his twitching hand returning itself to the elf’s hip and then sliding decisively inward.
You said you’d only touch him, he reminded himself. That was it.
The fabric of the breeches didn’t do much to disguise the stiff hardness of cock now cupped in his palm; Dorian couldn’t bite back the resulting soft groan.
You promised yourself, he thought.
There was nothing he wanted more right now than to break every rule he’d imposed on himself, toss his moral obligations against a wall hard enough to shatter them in pieces.
He hooked his fingers beneath the waistband, two on each side, and dragged it down an inch.
Chapter 2: Effugio
Got completely inspired by the song Fire and Ice by Olivia Bray for this chapter; well, for the whole thing, really.
"Touch light as a feather...thought I knew better...but he puts fire in my veins..."
:) One more after this! Stay tuned..... ;)
It was an odd state of limbo Dorian found his mind in, in which he was utterly hyperaware of what he was doing and yet had no clue what he was doing in the slightest.
He halted his tugging on Finn’s breeches, pausing to scrape his teeth against the hipbone he’d just exposed. His own breaths ghosted hot around his face, faster than they should have been. Of their own accord his hands reached around to grip the elf’s rear again, squeezing hard, dragging him ever closer with the pressure of them.
“Just let go, Dorian,” demon-Finn said.
It hadn’t been a command to release him—Dorian was smart enough, even with his mind dazed and addled as it was, to recognize that much. It was a command of a different sort; let go. Don’t think. Just feel.
How many times had he told himself the same thing and yet never had the audacity to do as much?
He hadn’t forgotten the time he’d watched over Finn’s broken, sleeping form after the elf had taken a Terror demon’s talon through the gut during the events of the twisted future Alexius had forced them into. He’d watched him sleeping there with his middle bound snugly in medicinal wrapping, skin glistening with fevered sweat, white hair a tangle of curls and demonic ichor and darkening red blood. He’d been sitting there the moment Finn had broken out of the fever and woken up, sat up, insisted he was feeling ever so much better with a smile and a slight flush to his cheeks.
Dorian should have kissed him then. He nearly had. His hand had been seconds away from lacing around the back of Finn’s neck and drawing him forward to crush their mouths together. Instead he’d settled for more flirting, hoping foolishly that Finn would read between the lines of subtlety and come forward, meet him in the middle. But Finn was, unfortunately, too oblivious to really do subtle.
Let go, he should have told himself then. Forced himself. Grabbed the elf and held him and kissed him, showed him how desperately he never wanted to see him so hurt again.
But what if that wasn’t what Finn wanted? Dorian was fairly certain the other mage was interested in him, confident in the electric tendrils of attraction that surely wove between the both of them, but…what if?
“Dorian,” the elf said again.
The demon, it appeared, was losing all forms of patience in the face of Dorian’s wavering. He balanced on a knife’s edge between right and wrong, and it must have been evident to the creature that a hefty push might send him falling on the right side of the blade.
The elf shoved him down.
It wasn’t gentle, and a heated shockwave of excitement ripped down Dorian’s spine as he fell on his back on the mattress, the air rushing out of his lungs.
“Bloody handsome bastard,” Dorian cursed, his voice shakier than he’d been intending, as the elf climbed on top of him and straddled his pelvis.
“You like it,” said the demon, the pressure of his body making achy heat rush straight to Dorian’s groin.
That had sounded exactly like Finn. The demon was still combing through Dorian’s mind, sifting through sights and sounds and memories, plucking out everything it could about the Dalish mage and using every ounce of it against him. In battle demons didn’t deviate from their usual attacks, trying the same thing again and again, but in the Fade…a Desire demon trying to seduce him was liable to keep tweaking its performance in order to make it more effective.
His head spun, and he reached for the elf, dragging him down.
No kissing his mouth; for some reason Dorian staunchly refused such a thing even though the demon’s body was technically Finn’s. He went for his neck instead, pressing his lips against the lines of his jaw and then underneath it, his fingers finding the long pointed ears and tugging on them.
Ears were often erogenous zones for elves. The demon might have forgotten that, seeing as it didn’t groan the way Dorian had expected it to; no matter. That didn’t matter right now.
He reached for Finn’s hips, his own bucking up almost of their own accord, grinding their two bodies together. The sensation alone made Dorian nearly whimper with arousal, biting down on Finn’s neck and sucking on the spot. Blue-tattooed hands slipped up under his tunic, cool and nimble-fingered as they groped his stomach and chest.
“I hope you know you’re still getting nothing from me,” Dorian managed between fevered kisses, his own hands finding Finn’s biceps and squeezing. “No thieving my body and taking a lovely stroll around Thedas. Although I know it is tempting, to be me. I certainly can’t blame you.”
“Mmm, I don’t want to be you,” the elf said, wicked hands skimming down Dorian’s sides and back up, fingers tripping over his nipples on their next pass downward. “Maybe I just want you.”
I want you.
Dorian shuddered all over, locking his arms around Finn’s back and yanking him down. The elf’s body glued to his own as if the two were made to fit up against each other. He reached for the knifelike ears again and dragged his fingers along the rims, tugging on them; this time, the elf groaned softly under his touching.
Clever. The demon was learning.
A cruel trick, though, using Finn’s voice to say those words. Maybe I just want you. He was already addicted to the sound of it, to the things Finn had never said and might, in fact, never say.
Maker damn it all.
“Keep talking,” Dorian said roughly, letting his fingers feather at the edge of Finn’s breeches, a breath away from slipping them under the fabric. “Anything that comes out of your mouth is good enough.”
He was almost surprised by how much he needed to hear Finn’s voice.
“Dorian.” Finn’s lips were at his ear, teasing him with his breath. “I want you to fuck me.”
Dorian had always prided himself on his own sense of composure. One had to be composed at all times in Tevinter, after all, unless one really enjoyed the idea of being a social outcast and a laughingstock. Back home, people never outright said what they wanted or showed any sort of reaction; topics were ritually danced around, emotions held under a mask of pretty silken lies. Weeks ago, he’d have been loath to display a gut reaction.
That was before he’d heard Finn’s voice say that.
It was almost authentic; he had to give the demon credit for that. Finn tended to be a big advocate of blurting things out without running them through many filters, if any, and “fuck me” sounded like something Finn might actually blurt out, given the desire to.
And it just made everything worse.
“Sweet Maker,” he hissed, searching his mind for a witty retort—something to slip himself safely back under the mask—and finding none. His back arched, his hips ground upwards against Finn’s, just as he gripped the tops of the elf’s thighs near his hips and pulled him down.
“You like that?” Finn rocked his hips in response, and the friction made Dorian suck in a sharp breath and grapple for a better, firmer hold on his thighs. The elf pushed on Dorian’s chest and sat up a little, lifting his head; his eyes were darkened with obvious lust, deepened from their usual ice-blue to a multihued cerulean. “Don’t you want to hear me do something other than talk?”
“Yes,” Dorian said, yanking him back down, burying his face in his neck and resuming his fevered kissing and nipping.
Teeth nipped at Dorian’s ear, clasping around his earlobe and tugging. “Don’t you want to hear me scream your name?”
Maker, please, please… He could already feel himself swelling to the point of near pain, his pulse throbbing in his cock, white-hot fire burning him from the inside out. Not many things made Dorian lose his eloquent speech, and yet he could feel words failing him, evading his tongue, unwilling to string together into anything coherent.
Never mind responding. Kissing Finn’s neck was a much more interesting task at the moment. He could taste the slight saltiness of sweat under his tongue, smell the pine needles and winter air that Finn always smelled like, and he inhaled it like a drug, pressing harder with each open-mouthed kiss.
What might his mouth feel like? He had to wonder.
He’d been wondering for weeks now. Finn had a nice mouth—never mind that he was always moving it, whether he was talking or grinning or laughing or biting down on a lip while thinking—and Dorian daydreamed about kissing him quite a bit. He’d been close to doing it, many times, not just when Finn had recovered from the demon talon.
And this wasn’t the first time he’d cursed himself for not doing it. But Finn was more than just a potential one night stand. Dorian had been a port in the storm for some, handled rejection from others; if Finn didn’t want him the same way, that rejection would scald him, strip him down to his bones. It didn’t feel any better, this stalling, this hovering in limbo, but Dorian couldn’t reach out with his hand and his heart unless he knew the other man wouldn’t turn him away.
But he could kiss him now.
Maybe it wouldn’t be exactly like kissing Finn, but it’d be close. The body was the same. Despite the raging hellfire of desire filling him, boiling beneath his skin, Dorian wanted to at least kiss him first before he did anything more…drastic.
A silly sentiment, maybe. And Dorian wasn’t beyond laughing at himself for it.
He forced himself to stop kissing the crook of the elf’s neck, instead cupping Finn’s face between his hands. Forcing a deep breath through his lungs—in, out, in, out, in, out—he pulled Finn’s head back just slightly, just enough so their noses brushed.
Dorian wet his lips, his eyes nearly fluttering shut, but a flash of Finn’s own blue eyes made him force them back open.
Such a gorgeous color, the way a deep navy shade radiated out from the pupils, the way it faded starkly into cerulean and glacier ice.
But they weren’t Finn’s.
In a sense, perhaps they were. The look of them belonged to him, after all. But these eyes, striking though they were, had none of Finn’s energy and heart and life behind them. They were shallow with nothing underneath, demon’s eyes, a pretty façade around a corrupted core.
Something struck him hard like a blow to the chest, and he turned his face away, thumping his head sideways against the pillow it rested on and trying desperately to clear his mind. The reality of it all had him nearly gasping for air, unaware of whatever the elf straddling him was currently doing—this is fake. No matter what I do here, this isn’t Finn.
“Off of me,” he commanded the creature, struggling to breathe evenly, biting his lip against the jolt of displeasure from his aching groin. “Torment someone else, why don’t you? I have places to be and things to do. The woes of being immensely popular and all that.”
The elf sat up fully, eyebrows pulling together, eyes widening in a shocked expression. The demon would no doubt put on a convincing show, and Dorian had to admit he hated seeing such hurt twisting Finn’s features.
“I thought I mattered to you,” he—it—said.
“Oh, you think you hold the same rank as the real Finn?” Dorian said harshly. “Adorably delusional.”
The elf’s jaw clenched.
The demon was losing ground, and it knew that. Any moment now it would attempt something drastic so it wouldn’t forfeit its foothold. Dorian had let it go too far, but he still knew how to fend off one. Goodness knew the blasted things hounded him all the time.
“Off,” Dorian growled. “I would strongly advise vacating this section of the Fade before I burn you to a crisp.”
“You wouldn’t,” the creature hissed.
Dorian readied spells in his palms, two fireballs sparking into existence and roaring to life, hot flames licking around his fingers and dancing over his skin.
He wasn’t certain if he could actually harm something wearing Finn’s face. The image would surely traumatize him for days to come, if he managed. Luckily, he didn’t have to—the demon’s weight vanished from his pelvis in a mere second. Thankfully, Dorian held back the breathy whine that threatened to escape his throat at the loss of the warmth over him; still, he sat up and spotted the demon standing a couple yards away, still holding on to the lithe elven disguise.
“You still want me,” the demon purred, crossing blue-tattooed arms over its chest. “You’re aching. You want nothing more than to fuck me senseless.”
“If you were Finn, perhaps,” Dorian said, standing.
His breeches were uncomfortably tight around his groin—considering the current situation down south—but he’d have to ignore that for the moment.
The demon was persistent, and Dorian came to the uncomfortable realization that he’d likely have to defend himself from it, or at least forcibly banish it from his presence. Not an easy task, attempting to kill something that looked just like Finn. Still, it had to be done, and Dorian was no simpering weakling.
He readied a shock spell.
Something yanked on his mind from beyond the Fade, warping his vision around him, making his eyelids feel like they were made of boulders rather than skin.
Then that something tugged harder, and before Dorian could regain his balance and fire the shock spell, the vision crumbled away into solid black.
* * *
“Hey.” The voice permeated Dorian’s mind like a needle, jolting him out of his stupor. A mildly chilled hand grasped his shoulder and shook it, then roughly patted his chest. “You know Josephine is waiting for us, right? You can get your beauty sleep later. Time to wake up and comb your moustache.”
Finn—no doubt about that.
Dorian groaned and stretched his arms over his head, popping his back in three places with three satisfying little cracks.
He opened his eyes, trying to remember where they were.
The room was similar in architecture to the one his mind had just been siphoned out of, but the colors were no longer Tevene. The rug was a deep royal blue, the settee and chairs a sort of powdery blue suede, the sheets and comforter twisted around his body a very Orlesian design of blue, white, and gold with leonine motifs.
Thank the Maker for those sheets—Dorian didn’t have to look under them to know he’d woken up stiff as a board.
“Took your sweet time waking up,” Finn said.
Dorian finally regarded him; the elf leaned one hand against the mattress, the other giving Dorian’s chest one last firm pat before retreating. Finn’s frost-white hair had been combed into neater waves, and he’d left it down, the ends of it just barely tickling his neck. His eyes were alert and ice-blue, fixed on Dorian’s; if Finn actually looked alert, he’d probably been awake for a while. Even Dorian knew the other mage wasn’t terribly chipper the second he woke up.
He wondered briefly, with a quick thrill racing along his spine, if they’d slept in the same room that night. Then he remembered that no, they hadn’t—they’d come to Val Royeaux with the Inquisitor, Finn’s sister, to help Josephine with something, and Finn had roomed with Nanyehi. To stave off the Dalish archer’s claustrophobia, no doubt.
Finn must have slipped in here to wake Dorian up.
“You think I could maintain these looks if I didn’t practice proper sleeping habits?” Dorian teased, sitting up in bed and dragging a hand through his own ebony hair.
“Well, you must be trying to win a beauty contest, because it’s late morning.” Finn straightened up, clearly amused, a smile tweaking the corner of his mouth. “Nani has already eaten breakfast twice, waiting for you. I told her I’d haul your Vinty arse out of bed so we could get going.”
Briefly, foolishly, Dorian wondered if he’d slipped out of one Fade realm and into another rather than being roused from his sleep. It wasn’t very likely, but he was a curious sort, and he felt the sudden urge to test this conjecture.
Not to mention he’d rather be at no more than half-mast before actually standing up. Finn was oblivious when it came to flirting, but he couldn’t possibly miss something like that. Time to stall.
“I’m marginally convinced I’m still dreaming,” he said instead of getting up.
Finn snorted. “I think I’d know if you were.”
“Or maybe you’re in the dream. I don’t know. Say something utterly Finn-like.”
“And how am I supposed to do that? Isn’t everything I say technically Finn-like? Was that Finn-ish enough for you?”
Dorian shook his head. “No, no. I’m certain you know what sorts of things I’m referring to.”
Finn hummed, rolling his eyes upwards toward the ceiling in thought. He was quiet for just a moment. “If you ground up some elfroot with a mortar and pestle, then stuffed it into a pipe, could you get intoxicated off it?”
And that was exactly the sort of thing Finn would wonder randomly about. Test concluded. Dorian smiled. “That’s all I needed. Most helpful, Finn.”
“But now I’m actually wondering that,” Finn said, humming again. “Actually, I’ve been wondering that for a few days now. But now it’s stuck in my head. Again. So thanks for that. You want to test it with me? We probably won’t die.”
Dorian chuckled, thankful for Finn’s chattering—it was allowing the blood to stop racing straight to his groin. “An experiment for another time, don’t you think? I’d rather your sister not rage at us for purposefully intoxicating ourselves in the heart of Val Royeaux.”
“That’s the whole point of being in Val Royeaux,” Finn said, grinning. “Embarrassing yourselves in front of Orlesians. They’ll sneer at us anyway—might as well give them a hilarious reason to.”
“Alright, alright,” Dorian said, waving his hand to shoo Finn off. Not harshly, of course. “Off you go, halla-humper. Might as well inform your sister I’m up. I’ll be down shortly.”
One of the passers-by had called Finn exactly that, last time they’d been here. The elf had found it so amusing that he’d memorized it. He had an astonishingly eidetic memory when it came to phrases and sounds and languages; Dorian knew he’d recall that one.
“Yeah, yeah. Don’t take too much time in front of the mirror, Magister Pavus.” Finn snickered, obviously knowing Dorian wasn’t a magister and that it infuriated him to no end when Southerners didn’t understand the complex workings of Tevinter society. Not every mage was a magister, and Dorian himself was an Altus, but far be it for Orlesians to know details like that.
Still snickering, Finn acquiesced and turned, slipping out of the doorway and shutting the door behind him.
Dorian’s head spun again, more mildly this time, and he slung his legs over the side of the bed. He vaguely recalled that Josephine had unearthed some bizarre information about someone trying to prevent her from reestablishing her family’s trade in Orlais, and Inquisitor Nanyehi had agreed to meet with whoever had more information on the fact. He didn’t remember any more details than that, especially not after the adventure with the Desire demon he’d just come out of.
He’d cursed himself, letting the demon go so far. Now he knew exactly how Finn felt straddling his lap, how his weight felt pressed on top of him, how he tasted. He’d even cupped his cock in his hand through the fabric of the elf’s breeches. All of those details were currently bombarding Dorian’s senses, making it difficult to relax and enjoy the spacious luxury of the room he’d woken up in.
Guilt coursed through him, red-hot and roiling. He had, in a way, invaded Finn’s privacy in an extraordinarily intimate fashion. The Dalish mage had no idea Dorian had touched and seen his body in such a manner.
Nor did he know Dorian had gotten himself addicted to the feel of it, and was desperate to do it again. For real, this time. No demons involved.
First he’d have to survive a day walking about Val Royeaux, though. And that meant forcing these thoughts from his mind. He’d have to make sure to walk next to Finn or in front of him, just to avoid getting any good views of the elf’s arse.
Nice pickle he’d gotten himself into.
Dorian finally stood, pursing his lips. A few more minutes to make sure his arousal was at a manageable level, and then he’d join the Lavellan siblings.
And try his best not to let the mask slip.
Chapter 3: Conventus
Oh, look, smut. ;) Apparently it took me a solid month to finish this? I'm awful!
Thanks so much for your comments, kudos, bookmarks, and appreciation. I adore every bit of it.
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.
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.”
“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.”
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.
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?”
“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.