So you know how, in a romance, you ask Bull about how Qunari show a relationship is serious, and he goes off on this whole: “Yeah, so you just kill a dragon, take a tooth, split in half, something something always got a piece of them with you no matter how far apart you are”?
I was just thinking, what if he’s lying?
Or, rather, not lying but exaggerating the truth a bit, or purposefully being overly specific. Dragons are supposed to be pretty rare and also were thought extinct for awhile right? It wouldn’t be plausible for that to be the tradition. (Not to mention not everyone under the Qun is a fighter.)
So what if instead of being a standard everyday thing, it’s actually, like, a tradition that’s the sole purview of ridiculous over-the-top legends and the Qun-equivilant of romance novels (probably full of relationships that strengthen the whole of the unit, full of glorious dutiful purpose and the people who slot easily into position alongside you and make it easier for you to fulfill your role, like a well-oiled machine where all the cogs fit just right, which is, like, probably the most romantic thing the Qunari can think of, and these two Qunari conquering a dragon at the climax through the sheer perfection of their partnership’s cohesion and strength, and they take the tooth in remembrance of that perfect moment and a reminder of how well they can serve the Qun together), and wee little Bull with his stubby little horns and gawky limbs curled up with a candle “practicing his reading” taking it all in with wide eyes and ever since his heart was set. And, yeah, he never thought it was really gonna happen, but then the Inquisitor asked and it’s the first thing that popped into his head and then it was like, “oh, shit wait,” but it was too late.
Because as far as I’m concerned, either Bull is a giant romantic doofus, or he was trying to trick the Inquisitor into taking him dragon hunting.
How it pretty much happened: Iron Bull romance edition
Inquistor: ….so, just wondering ya know….how do Qunari show they care about each other…..*nonchalant mode activated* I mean not that I’m asking for any special reason or anything.
Iron Bull: *talks about dragon’s tooth*
*some time later*
Inquisitor: CRESTWOOD IS HAVING PROBLEMS WITH A DRAGON! A DRAGON! WITH LOADS OF DRAGON TEETH…..uh that could be dangerous for villagers if dragon tries to eat them….DRAGON! IN CRESTWOOD! LET’S GO KILL IT!
Iron Bull: OH YEAH! HELL YEAH LETS GO KILL A DRAGON BOSS! I’M ALL FOR THAT….hey that’s so weird. Weren’t we just talking about dragons the other day? And now we’re going to go face off with one. Haha. Weird coincidence, right?
Inquisitor: .uh well….pfft it’s not like…uh ya know uh that that has anything to do with that…um……LETS GO KILL A DRAGON!
*some time later*
Inquisitor: *presents dragon’s tooth necklace*
Iron Bull: OOOOOMG THIS IS SUCH A SURPRISE. NOT OFTEN PEOPLE SURPRISE ME KADAN. KADAN, MY HEART. DID I MENTION HOW MUCH THIS WAS A SURPRISE?!?!
tbh I love that Bull calls the inquisitor ‘kadan’ before you give him the necklace.
He says it during the tavern scene after the first dragonslaying if you have the romance initiated at that point. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a way to get a dragon’s tooth without killing one yourself. So that scene always comes before the “tough love” quest scene.
Maybe this was an oversight by the writers, but I really love the idea that it just slipped out while the two of them were drinking. Like he’s already got it bad for the inquisitor before they give him the necklace.
A migraine hit Kasra while he was studying in the library.
The musty smell of the old tome in front of him, a smell he was usually fond of was suddenly twisted by his current heightened senses into something akin to rot. With a sneer, and then a sigh, he closed the volume. Frustration washed over him because he was eager to continue working, but the pain steadily increasing in his head would soon make that impossible.
Dorian rolled onto his side away from the Bull in an attempt to work up his nerve. This was going to be a decision he couldn’t take back. However the Bull reacted was going to change everything. He could not remember how it had gotten to this point but he and the Bull had been consistently sharing their time together for some time now. Dorian found the giant Qunari to be quite endearing and wonderfully adequate in bed. He had become so constant in Dorian’s life that being with the Bull seemed like a part of him now.
He slowly dropped his arm over the side of the bed to reach for his pack, his back stretched and it drew the Bull’s attention. His large hand smoothed over Dorian’s skin as he rubbed lightly.
“What’s going on over there?” Bull’s voice was light and tired. They had only just recovered from a round of sex that had Dorian’s muscles aching.
Dorian hesitated with his hand inside the bag. The Bull had told him once about a Qunari tradition, shared between Qunari who cared about one another. It felt odd now, with his fingers wrapped around the dragon tooth, to have thought this was something he should have done. This act of sharing, of connecting them in this way. It felt far too intimate for anything they’d been through. He wasn’t sure how the Bull was going to react. Some times he was so close… so within reach, that Dorian couldn’t see anything beyond the Bull. Other times he felt obscured by distance and casualness.
But then Dorian’s resolve hardened. He had set his course and now he would brave the waters, as they said.
“I- I have something for you,” Dorian said, still half hanging over the side of the bed. He clutched the dragon tooth hard in his hand and as he pulled up he tucked it tight against his body.
“For me?” The Bull asked with a devilish tease to his voice. “I could say I have something for you too if you’re already okay for round two.”
Dorian laughed and sat up, still cradling the intended gift. “Bull. You’re an insatiable leche.”
“Mm,” The Bull stroked a hand up and down Dorian’s back. “When it comes to you, I suppose so.” Lips pressed into Dorian’s shoulder softly. It was hard not to lean back into the Bull as nice as it felt.
“I’m aware I’m impossible to resist but this is another matter,” Dorian shifted, turning himself to face the Bull. Dorian was still half under a sheet while the Bull lay uncovered, unashamed and semi-hard. Dorian cleared his throat and looked away from Bull to the prize in his hands. “This. I thought you might- I thought it -” He struggled for the words now that the moment had come. So much for his elegant tongue. “A Dragon’s tooth. Fresh and very disgusting. Quite a pain to get this, by the way. I was digging the grime out from under my nails for three days.” Not elegant nor romantic enough. Maybe the Bull would forgive the blundering.
The Bull seemed to miss the last bit of what Dorian said and looked down at the offering. A large dark Dragon’s tooth. Split long ways down the center and already decorated as if they were meant to be worn almost like necklaces. Dorian didn’t understand the practice, as the tooth was far too large and awkward to work as a necklace. But his neck was quite small in comparison to a Qunari’s. And their tastes were notoriously awful.
“A Dragon’s tooth,” The Bull repeated in a voice that sounded surprised. He reached his hand out and touched the tooth with a gentleness that Dorian had grown to understand was a deep part of the Bull.
“Now we’ll have this to connect us,” Dorian said quietly. “Is that not how it went? We’ll always be together, no matter how far apart we are.” He knew it sounded absurdly sappy but it couldn’t be helped now.
The Bull shook his head slowly but not to disagree but still in a quiet disbelief. He looked up at Dorian with an eye that shone in a way that made Dorian’s heart stutter. “Not often people surprise me, kadan.” He leaned forward, his face achingly beautiful with all its scars and the earnest love written clearly for Dorian to see.
Dorian smiled even as his brows knit in curiosity. “Kadan?”
“Kadan,” The Bull said, voice even lower. “My heart.”
“Oh,” Dorian breathed as the Bull kissed him. His hand tightened around the dragon’s tooth and Dorian’s own fingers. When he pulled away Dorian felt light headed but still had his wits enough to add, “So we are both aware, I will keep it on my person but I will not be wearing it anywhere.”
The Bull chuckled against Dorian’s lips. “Not even here? For me?”
Dorian felt himself being slowly dipped to the bed, the Bull moving to lay above him. “Well,” he thought long and hard about it as the Bull kissed him again and dangled one of the pieces from its golden chain. “I suppose,” he relinquished all his remaining dignity to the idea.
The Bull growled from somewhere deep within and it was a powerful feeling to get that reaction from him without actually doing anything. Dorian wrapped his arms over the Bull’s shoulders as the Bull clasp the necklace around Dorian’s neck. It felt heavy as it sat against his chest. But it was solid and strangely warm.
The Bull took the other half of the tooth and hooked it around his own neck before leaning down for another kiss while his hands roamed Dorian’s body.
It didn’t seem like it would physically change them that much. It was really just a Dragon’s tooth. But something had changed between them, just as Dorian had suspected.
“You see it?” Bull asks, looking up at Nevena who stands on his shoulders, peering carefully over the rock bluffs between them and the dragon’s nesting site.
“Yup.” Nevena gives him the signal, a wave of her hand, and he eases her down to the ground like she weighs nothing. “It’s a Greater Mistral, I think. Ice breather.”
“Excellent.” Bull grins wickedly. “Another tooth for the collection, eh boss?” He nudges Nevena and she stumbles a little. Bull forgets his own strength at times, but she doesn’t mind. She’s used to it by now.
“This is so barbaric.” Dorian sighs, unfolding his arms. “But if we must, we must.”
Nevena grins playfully, “if we leave it to nest then the Emerald Graves will be over run with Dragonlings once they hatch. We’re dealing with a problem pre-emptively.”
Clearly unconvinced, Dorian rolls his eyes. “Fine, fine.”
“Ready Cole?” Nevena asks the forth member of her party. He nods, smiling for a moment.
“Great.” Bull growls softly, enthusiastically. “Horns up.” He says.
“Horns up!” Nevena repeats, quickly lifting hands to the side of her head, index fingers pointing to the sky.
Bull looks down at her, his eyebrows raised and confusion on his face. Nevena beams up at him. “What’re you doing, boss?” Asks the Qunari.
Nevena wiggles her fingers. “I don’t have horns.” She shrugs her shoulders. “This is the best I can do.” She gently pokes Cole with her elbow and he copies her, not entirely knowing the reason why.
“Horns up, The Iron Bull.” Cole says, turning his gaze to the large warrior.
Bull laughs loudly.
“Come on Dorian!” Nevena urges cheerfully, eyes on the other mage who has his arms folded and his lips turned into an unimpressed frown. He tightens his arms in reaction, a clear ‘no’. “Dorian!”
“No.” Says the Tevinter mage flatly.
“Do it!” Demands Nevena, “do it or I… will… tell Vivienne it was you who 'borrowed’ her-”
“You wouldn’t dare!” Dorian gasps, cutting off the Inquisitor, his eyebrows rising in alarm.
Nevena’s lips curl into an challenging smile. “Try me.”
Staring at her distastefully, Dorian slowly unfolds his arms and lifts his hands to the sides of his head. He points his index fingers upwards, vaguely straight. “…” He sighs, “… horns up.”
This is very silly, but I like the mental image of Dorian doing this really begrudgingly. Nevena is ridiculously playful with Bull and her other companions after she gets used to them.
Eventually, Nevena refers to them as Team Fabulously Kick That Dragons Ass
Silly mood today. May be something to do with lack of sleep.
Dorian digs through his pack frantically. Where is it? It has to be here. He can’t have lost it. He can’t possibly have been so foolish. He tips the whole bag upside down, spilling the contents over the floor of the room. He shifts through the clothes and other contents but it’s not there. He casts about for somewhere else to look but there’s just nowhere else. He’s already torn the room apart and shaken out his bedroll.
Five years didn’t seem so long a stretch of time as it once did. To begin with, the months slipped by at so startling a pace that they accumulated before they could be truly felt. Then there was the matter of age. An individual moment would seem to stretch much longer than it used to, which might have to do with patience, but looking back at the accomplishments of a year or two, the events that filled it, it didn’t seem like so much time.
Until he framed it in terms of days spent without the Iron Bull. Then, five years was a lifetime.