It was pathetic really.
That consistent longing; a tugging at his heart that interrupted him from the deepest of sleeps on the loneliest of nights. Sometimes there was a crack in the wall he'd built around himself. Only now and then. Mended as quick as it fell, hidden behind bright smiles and a near constant facade of perfection. That was Dorian. He always had to be perfect, unfazed by whatever inconvenience he encountered, always prepared with an arsenal of witty remarks. This crying mess isn't him. Sometimes it made him feel sick, having to live up to the unspoken expectations.
He brushed the thought away. Don't be selfish, he told himself. Everyone has them. Sera was expected to be witty and silly; Vivienne level headed and efficient. It's normal, it's business, no one cares about your personal trifles. Just put on a show, fight when you're asked, stop being so damn pathetic.
So why did he feel this way?
The sun was just coming up, casting long shadows across his sheets. There was a strong wind across Skyhold, causing the long fingers of the trees to tap, tap, tap against the stained glass windows. Dorian sat solemnly on his bed, resting his chin on his knees, a sheet around his shoulders. With every tap he flinched, anxiety causing him to be more on edge than usual. And that's saying something, he thought to himself, a dry chuckle escaping his chapped lips.
He was lonely. Pathetically so. Stupid, dumb feelings of painful longing hurt him more than any stab wound, any sharp fire spell to the chest. These early hours were his time to drop the facade, allow himself to wallow in the sadness that came from the dirty looks, the slight roll of eyes from the bartender when he asked for a drink. The concerned gaze of the Inquisitor when he said something particularly self depreciating. Dorian pretended it didn't bother him. Just smiled or grinned or winked to hide the sudden waterworks set off behind his eyes.
Dorian groaned, tilting his head back and lightly hitting it against the wall. To feel something other than this crushing loneliness, he justified. His chest felt tight, feelings of self hatred swallowing him whole. His cheeks were wet. Why are you like this? Why? Crying because your people won't fulfil your ridiculous need for attention. You're so pathetic.
And yet he still found himself rising, the pink silk sheet he had wrapped around his shoulders falling down onto the floor as he did so, revealing his bare back. He stumbled slightly on his way over to the dresser, the room still fairly dark. Dorian grabbed the first shirt he laid eyes on, unfitting for him even in this state. It was cream, and creased beyond belief, something the usually prim Dorian wouldn't be caught dead in, but in this moments he couldn't find himself to care. He quickly fumbled with the buttons, certainly doing them incorrectly, before pulling on a pair of dark brown pants. Dorian barley spared himself a glance in the mirror before running out the door.
Dorian gasped slightly at the cold breeze hitting his badly covered chest. His terrible button work leaving a couple gaps in his shirt, exposing his body to the wind. Half jogging half stumbling, tears streaming down his face, he made his way across Skyhold. Like some sort of upset child trying to find their mother, a comfort figure, to make it all better again. His bare feet felt frozen against the hard stone floor.
Dorian only stopped for a stuttering breath when he reached the Herald's Rest. Walking inside, he ignored glances of drunk patrons, one in particular being Krem passed out at the bar. Dorian ascended the stairs. He tried to clean up his face with his shirt, make himself look like less of a pathetic mess. Looking slightly to his side as he walked, he noticed Sera's door slightly ajar. He smiled slightly seeing her sleeping form though the gap, snoring. His smile faltered slightly when he noticed Dagna, sleeping soundly, resting her head on Sera's chest. Another stray tear escaped his tear duct, and he felt blessed that Cole wasn't there to harass him with somehow overwhelmingly misplaced kindness.
Approaching the door, he suddenly felt... wrong. No, no. What are you doing? You idiot! Why are you so set on destroying others happiness. Dumping your problems on other people you pathetic-
His heavy, distressed breathing must of attracted the rooms inhabitant. There was shifting from inside. Dorian didn't hear it, to focused on his utter self hatred, breathing became harder and harder; tears starting to flow once more.
The door creaked open. And Dorian yelped in surprise.
"I'm sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry! I-I was just trying to- I don't, I don't. I'm so pathetic, stupid pathetic stupid pathet-"
He was silenced by strong arms pulling him towards an unnaturally strong chest. At first he tried to push away, still breathing heavy, but began to calm at the soft shushing.
"It's okay, you're okay," The Iron Bull murmured, rocking back and fourth with Dorian in his arms.
The rest of the night consisted of calm gentle touches and calloused thumbs wiping tears off cheeks. Dorians walls broken by Bulls' strong arms wrapping around him, reassuring but not pressuring, allowing him to leave at any time.
Dorian lay on Bulls' chest, eyes fluttering slightly, allowing himself to fall into the wave of calm before sleep. He loved the warm touches, reveling in the positive attention. As he finally slipped into a comfortable sleep, a last thought crossed his mind.
This is me.