So forever ago, @sloth-draws gave me the prompt “admire” so of course I had to do something for the ot3. This is silly but I hope you like it! Thank you again for letting me write your Aracari, I love him
This was altogether unfair. Dorian had just been minding his own business in the library attempting to get some work done when he happened to glance out of the window and all hope of concentration was immediately lost. He didn’t stand a chance. Ari and Elden were in the courtyard below sparring together; Ari all liethe muscle and fluid motion and Elden with his muscular bulk and strength. And they had even removed their shirts. Of course, the unusually hot weather could have been the cause of that, but Dorian had his suspicions.
He tried to turn away, to refocus on the book in his hand instead of the display below, but he could hear the clash of practice swords and the occasional laugh and inevitably his gaze was pulled back despite himself. Dorian never would have described either of them as cruel, but perhaps he had been too hasty in that assessment. To be doing this in clear view of the library windows they had to have planned this.
Dorian was gripped with the sudden urge to go join them. The three of them actually sparred together often, their different styles making things particularly interesting and resulting in it being educational as well as enjoyable. He quickly stomped that thought down however. He had important things to do and he most certainly did not feel left out. Besides, if they were trying to distract him, he was determined not to give in. It was a matter of pride at this point. He moved away from the window, trying not to listen, and just buried his face in his book.
Somehow he managed to succeed, becoming so engrossed in his studies that he didn’t even notice when silence fell outside. He didn’t realize they had finished until he heard the sound of laughter as Elden and Ari made their way into the rotunda. Dorian didn’t move to get up and instead lowered his book slightly to watch as they reached the top of the stairs, arm in arm, flushed from exertion but smiling and looking so content and happy. Dorian couldn’t help but smile but he was, however, disappointed to see they had both put their shirts back on. When their eyes fell on Dorian and he saw how they lit up, all other thought left his mind.
“Ah, I see you two have finally finished,” Dorian said, returning to his book, still stubbornly pretending to be uninterested. “I’ll have you know your little plan has failed”
“What plan?” Ari asked as he sat on the arm of Dorian’s chair. Elden dropped onto the ground beside them and leaned against Dorian knee. Dorian tried to suppress a sigh. Where they still at their little game then?
“Oh come now, the only way you could try harder to distract me is to carry me off. Really, practicing right outside the window was a bit much in my opinion.”
“Oh, I didn’t even realize,” Elden replied. He wasn’t the best liar and Dorian could see that he was being sincere.
“You shoulda joined us! Woulda been more fun than all this,”Ari said, gesturing vaguely at the piles of books and notes as he placed an elbow on Dorian’s shoulder as if he were an armrest. He didn’t seem to notice Dorian’s half-hearted glare, so he took Ari’s wrist and placed his arm around his shoulders instead.
“Wait, you didn’t think we were leaving you out, did you?” Elden asked suddenly, looking up at them with an adorably concerned expression.
“Don’t be silly,” Dorian said, leaning against Ari while he ran his free hand through Elden’s hair reassuringly. “If I wanted to join you both, I would have simply come down.”
“Still,” Elden said wretchedly.
“Maybe we shoulda asked first,” Ari said. “We could go another round now if ya want?”
“No, I certainly do not,” Dorian replied quickly. As unnecessary as it was, it was sweet of them to be so concerned.
They were all aware how easy it was to feel neglected with the three of them together, particularly when it was impossible to do everything together. Even after countless discussions, they were still so careful and Dorian couldn’t deny that it was endearing.
“We could help you with what you’re doing here then,” Elden offered. “As way of apology?”
“I think not,” Dorian laughed. Surrounded by them, their warmth and concern, he had once again lost all hope of concentration. Instead, he wanted to \ lighten the mood and wipe the concern from their faces. Perhaps he could afford to indulge a little. “Did you come here straight from the training ring? You are both thoroughly disgusting. How about we go get you both cleaned up, hmm?”
Dorian may have been exaggerating a touch, but it did the trick and the two of them seemed to relax again as Dorian disentangled himself from them and ushered them both towards the stairs. Once on their feet, Dorian looped his arms in theirs, feeling warm and content and oh so very fond and determined to make sure they knew how happy they made him.