“You know, I have this theory,” Dorian said as he pulled back to give John air, his own voice perfectly even. The only indication that he was affected at all, the smug bastard, was the erratic flickering of his circuits as he looked John up and down. John glared exasperatedly, chest heaving as he struggled to suck in air through bruised lips.

“I think,” Dorian continued, nonchalantly sliding a hand under John’s shirt, “that you’re so ornery because you don’t like being comfortable.” John flinched as he felt fingers tracing up the knobs of his spine, grazing over sweat-slick skin. “You don’t like people being kind to you. You don’t like being treated gently.”

“Fuck you,” John snapped, because he could, and hissed in surprise as Dorian pushed his face against the side of his neck and kissed the pulse point beneath his jaw with aching tenderness.

“But you’re worth it.” Dorian’s voice lowered in pitch, the edge of a growl entering it. “So I’m giving it to you whether you want it or not. John.”