It started just a few months before Corypheus’s downfall. The little glances, the little touches, the little laughs, the flirting – all in good fun yes? He had never really indulged in such play, even back home in his clan. He kept to the shadows – he was his clan’s shadow. He kept them safe from both the seen and the unseen. He had no time for distractions of the heart – or even of the flesh. He stayed alert, stayed distant, stayed close – all in the name of safety; to uphold what he believed was the touch of Mythal placed upon himself, something he would never say out loud.
The day he drunk from the vir’abalesan, met the vessel of Mythal, and essentially bound himself to her (an indirect link to Mythal herself, he liked to believe), he felt that that touch turned into an embrace. He finally felt that he truly had the means to protect his clan, had meaning brought into his life. Yet, he was not with his clan. He was with the shemlen group – a group he somehow….some time ago… looked on as if they were his own clansmen. He shared in their joy, shared in their sorrows, watched their laughs, watched their tears – from both the shadow and in the light…the light, he wasn’t so used to. He was used to the shadows, the unseen. A Being thanked from afar; a Being one knew was there but never openly acknowledged.
With these humans, it was different. With the inquisition it was different. Of course there were the few who disliked him only because of what he was. Those were the ones he did not care for, did not bother even acknowledging their presence; though, he did keep an eye on them.
Some of his little band of misfit soldiers, as they were called when they first started, caught his eye.
The Tevinter Mage – Dorian.
He didn’t really care much for him at first but his peculiar style of storm magic took his notice. When Varric began to call him Sparkler, he only saw it to be a fit name. The man’s magic was…brighter than most he’d ever seen but it never really did more damage than the common spell.
He’d ask Solas about it once, though that led both mages into a conversation about wards and boosting spell damage. Something that only managed to confuse him even more. He let it go – though showing that tiny bit of interest in the mage’s magic seemed to make the Tevinter more….attentive towards him. Something, at the time, he thought was both exciting and nauseating….nauseating because the mage was an ass most of the time. He found, sometimes, he actually enjoyed the mage’s company. He was blunt, which is something he preferred over the sugar-coating and skirting around the issues everyone else had been doing.
The Tevintar mage, against his better judgement of course, had been his first taste at the sins of the flesh. The mage had been, at the time, gentle….kind….but there was just something there that didn’t sit well with Val’Aishlym, and he wasn’t exactly sure what it was.
It could have been his attitude.
Their ideals conflicted – Val’Aishlym was more aggressive than he’d like to believe and Dorian was softer than he realized. Their personalities clashed. Val'Aishlym and his aloof personality and Dorian's bright and open personality.
The other one Val'Aishlym found peculiar was the Qunari Warrior: Iron Bull. He’d never seen a Qunari up close before. He admits, he had been a bit intimidated by the large man. He didn’t have enough knowledge of the Qunari to know what to expect from him. That didn’t stop him from getting close.
The Iron Bull was so much different from Dorian. Where Dorian gave and whispered, Iron Bull took and shouted. Bull was gentle in his own way but his gentleness in his terms was not so very gentle in terms with the elf. For instance, Bull would say he plucks but his plucks are more like punches. His tip-toeing is walking, his walking is stomping, and his running is a herd of brontos.
That roughness that Dorian lacked was in Bull but that gentleness Bull lacked was in Dorian. Bull was too aggressive but Dorian wasn’t aggressive enough.
The relationship with Bull ended. The Iron Bull didn’t seem at all affected by it. He seemed to have welcomed it – had seen it coming.
The obvious clash of character didn't stop him from pursuing either. Desire, something he'd not felt in years, won out with the battle against the logical part of his brain. And for that, Val'Aishlym would suffer.
“At first, mind untainted and body untouched – taste the forbidden fruit. One nibble results in one bite results in one devour. Take thy purity, run away. Take thine innocence, run away. Take thy heart, run away. What shall be left in the wake of mistakes? Shall it be mistake that causes regret or regret that causes mistake? Who then lies responsible? Who shall taketh that which doth not belong to them and belong to them that which is took?
Second now, mind tainted and body touched – eat the forbidden fruit. One devour results in another devour results in addiction. Take thy corruption, hide away. Take thy affliction, hide away. Take thy pride, hide away. Mistakes can be unmistakened, redone, undone, redid, undid, relived, learnt. Shall you learn that which is taught or shall you move in ignorance? ” – Acquired Bloom Codex