He wasn’t sure when, but at some point going to the Inquisitor’s room, to Elden’s room, at the end of the day had just become habit. Dorian didn’t even think about it, didn’t even realize, until he reached the top of the stairs and found himself standing in the dark room and staring at the empty bed. There wasn’t even a fire going but Dorian wasn’t certain the involuntary shiver that ran through him was from the chill alone. It was ridiculous. He knew the Inquisitor was only away on a mission, he would return by the end of the week, but having him gone like this for so long–
It was aggravating. Every time his thoughts strayed they always went back to Elden. He wasn’t alone, he would be safe, and yet Dorian couldn’t help but worry. If he let his thoughts wander long enough he always managed to come up with ever worse fates Elden could meet and there was nothing Dorian could do to help him.
He stared at the empty bed for a long time, unable to pull his gaze away. It just seemed so wrong. Usually Elden would still be up waiting for him, book in hand and candle lit on the bedside table. Now it was all dark and It was unsettling not even seeing a lump under the blankets where he usually slept. Truth be told Dorian had been avoiding this room since Elden had left. Sure, it was depressing returning to his tiny barely-used quarters near the library, but it was better than seeing this room so empty and without life.
He thought about leaving and returning to his own room as usual, but Dorian was gripped with such an overwhelming sense of longing that he couldn’t bring himself to go. He missed Elden so much it hurt more than Dorian thought possible. He sat on Elden’s side of the bed, lighting the fireplace with flick of his wrist. He touched the pillow, not really sure what he was doing. He shivered again and climbed under the blankets, pulling them tightly around himself.
It smelled like home and comfort and safety. It smelled like Elden. Dorian hurried and buried his face in the pillow, feeling so foolish and wondering how he had fallen so badly when he’d told himself time and time again how unwise this all was. And yet here he was, sleeping in another man’s empty bed and longing for him to return, counting down the days until he could finally touch Elden again, hold him tightly and feel his warmth, kiss him until they both ran out of air. He couldn’t help but wonder if Elden felt the same.
Doubtful. Dorian was never that lucky.
He hadn’t meant to fall asleep here. He’d intended to return to his own quarters but he just couldn’t bring himself to leave, not when he was engulfed here by the memories of Elden.
Dorian woke to the feel of someone running their fingers through his hair. His first thought was of Elden, but of course he was gone. Annoyed, he readied a spell just in case as he cracked open an eye to see who had disturbed him in such an intimate way, but froze. It really was Elden. He was sitting on the edge of the bed leaning over him, covered in dust, sweaty and with his hair sticking out at odd angles. Helmet hair, Dorian thought. He wondered if Elden had come looking for him straight away but of course he remembered he was in Elden’s room, not his own.
Well. This was awkward. Sure, he had spent more nights here than not as of late, but this still felt intrusive. A half-formed protest or an explanation, he wasn’t really sure which, was about to come tumbling out but Elden spoke before he could get his mouth working.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” he said and Dorian felt light-headed and stunned in disbelief. “You weren’t in your room or the library; I was beginning to get worried.”
“You’ve– been looking?” Dorian repeated, his mind having trouble keeping up, sluggish from sleep as well as surprise. “What are you even doing here? I thought you weren’t due back ‘til the end of the week.”
“We may have rushed a bit,” Elden said sheepishly, an adorable blush creeping into his cheeks and Dorian berated himself for being distracted by it. “I missed you.”
And then Dorian was kissing him. He didn’t even think about it. He just pulled Elden close, overwhelmed with affection and relief and so much more that he’d rather not think about right at this moment. All that mattered was that Elden was here and that Dorian had been missed. Perhaps as much as Dorian had missed him. He feared it all might be a dream, too good to be true.
Suddenly Elden was pulling back and Dorian tried to mask his disappointment.
“Sorry,” Elden said, chuckling a bit. “I am covered in dirt. Probably some blood too. Not my own, don’t worry. Just give me a second to get cleaned up.”
“Ugh, yes, you really are a mess,” Dorian said although truth be told he didn’t particularly care at the moment.
“Don’t go anywhere,” Elden said as he quickly removed his armor and headed for the wash room. “I’ll be right back.”
Dorian watched him go, feeling a swell of affection as Elden tripped over himself slightly in his haste. This was really happening. This man was his and Dorian could hardly believe how happy he was. He reminded himself that there was still a war going on and no doubt this would all end in tragedy, but perhaps for the moment he could put that aside.
He just wanted to focus on this moment, on Elden and everything he had with this man. Dorian had been told his entire life that he would never have this, this closeness and affection, someone like Elden, and yet here he was. And Dorian still found himself constantly fearing for the worst. But then Elden would smile at him, like he was now as he returned from the other room, and his expression said more than words ever could and Dorian knew the depths of everything he felt for him. It was overwhelming and terrifying and perfect and all Dorian could do was pull him close and kiss him, hoping Elden knew that he felt the same.