The Inquisitor’s touches were gentle and so so painfully fond as his hand brushed across his cheek, and Dorian was very grateful for the hand resting on his lower back, holding him close and keeping him steady. It seemed so impossible that each small, chaste touch could be filled with so much emotion, but somehow Elden managed. Dorian didn’t think he would ever truly get used to this. Each time it took him by surprise and nearly overwhelmed him, but he would never tire of it.
On the contrary, he sought it out, needing it, and tried to match it as best he could. After all, there weren’t enough words for what this all meant to Dorian. Every time Elden placed a hand on his arm or simply leaned into him when they were sitting side by side, it was a constant reminder, a constant reassurance, that finally quieted the old fears and past injuries that tried to resurface and drown him. Despite his own pains, this all seemed so easy for Elden. He would give all of himself without hesitation and Dorian wanted nothing more than return just as much.
Elden was kissing him now, slowly trailing down to his neck; needy yes but also so loving, wanting nothing more than to make Dorian smile. It was as if Dorian was the only thing that existed in the world and all that mattered to Elden was making sure he knew how much he was loved, and how much he was needed. It made Dorian feel weak in the knees.
As Elden brought his lips to Dorian’s again, he knew. He knew that Elden had examined every part of him, the beautiful and the ugly, and he loved all of it. Elden knew him inside and out, perhaps better than he knew himself, and there wasn’t a single thing he would ever want to change. There were parts of himself that Dorian never liked to look too closely at, and yet Elden still wrapped that part of him up tightly in his arms and loved him all the harder.
But the best part was that Dorian finally knew he could trust all of this to someone. To Elden. He’d kept it all locked tightly away behind his sarcasm and wit for so long, deflecting and protecting himself above all else, but there was no need for that any longer. Elden had found every aching part of him and filled it so full of his gentle love and understanding and Dorian just wanted to do the same for him.
He brought his arm up around Elden’s shoulders, partly to anchor himself but also to press them even more tightly against each other and Elden responded by practically melted into him. His presence alone was a comfort, but now Dorian was drowning in his warmth and it was perfect. He brought his free hand up to run through Elden’s soft hair until he was cradling his head gently, fondly. Lovingly.
Elden claimed that he wasn’t any good at expressing himself, that he constantly lacked the words to truly tell Dorian all he felt. As Dorian pressed his own kisses to Elden’s neck, he mused that the Inquisitor seemed to be doing a fine job as he whispered, “love,” into Dorian’s ear, causing him to shiver as they held each other close.
Then again, Elden seemed to think he fell short in most ways. Elden, the leader of the Inquisition, the man who had practically single-handedly saved the world. The idea that he could ever feel inadequate seemed laughable, really. Dorian was determined to never release him until he would agree. Although, he was fairly certain Elden was planning to do the same for him.
It seemed they were both doomed to constantly seek to show the other how important they were, and how loved. Dorian couldn’t help but chuckle into Elden’s neck. He supposed there were worse ways to spend their time together, constantly showering each other in as much affection as they could.
“You all right?” Elden asked as he made his way back to Dorian’s lips, smiling into the kiss as one hand ran soothingly up his back.
“More than all right, I’d say,” Dorian said with another chuckle.
And his chest ached with the depths of the truth in that statement; pure joy that threatened to drown him, but he had long since accepted his fate. On the contrary, he welcomed it. He had wanted so much in his youth, all of it he thought far beyond his grasp, but now he had it and so much more than he even knew possible. He loved and was loved in every way possible; passionately and deeply as well as gently. Elden was his friend and his lover and it was impossible for him to be happier. He could still scarcely believe any of this was true; that Elden was his and he was Elden’s in return.
He didn’t need to hide anymore. He was wanted. He was home.