Title: After the Storm, Restless Fire
Pairings: Ithiel/Cobweb, Ithiel/Terzian
Genre: PWP, with some character exploration
Word count: 4,979
Summary: Ithiel is rather an enigmatic har in Bewitchments; one of the things obvious about him is his loyalty both to Terzian and Cobweb, though doubtless they manifested themselves differently. This is a mostly PWP exploring Ithiel’s relationship with the two adult monarchs of Forever in the immediate aftermath of Cal and Pel’s departure. I made grateful reference to an image in Elfscribe’s marvelous story, Playing With Matches, by her use of a tattoo on Terzian–though I put mine in front!
After the Storm, Restless Fire
Restless, sullen grey clouds were dragged along by the breeze as Ithiel jogged along his path on Forever’s borders. The leaden skies mirrored his spirit, troubled at Terzian’s refusal to leave his rooms since the Uigenna-devil and his lap-pup’s departure. That was why he was out running; as har, he didn’t ever get truly out of shape, but the steady beat of his feet on the ground and faint burning in his lungs gave him the focus to organize the tumultuous barrage of emotions wreaking havoc with his usual demeanor. It was as though the very house had become utterly still, holding its breath until its Master re-emerged from his rooms. Of course Ithiel had noted Cal’s lazy beauty, but the icy loathing that he felt for the Uigenna-turned-Sarock-turned-Tempter-Incarnate froze any actual attraction to him. Terzian, Ithiel’s commandant and oldest friend, had succumbed. Utterly.
Ithiel continued his swift pace, slowing here and there to avoid undergrowth creeping across the woodland trail. As he ran, he began a list of pros and cons to entering Terzian’s rooms unannounced— not that that was really possible, unless he climbed the outside of the house and entered by stealth, which was out of the question. He was second in command of the Varrish army under the Autarch; he wasn’t a house-hara trying to sneak into their leader’s bedchamber. He’d not witnessed that much of Terzian’s behavior around Calanthe, but what he had seen had worried and sickened him. He and Terzian went back further than nearly anyhar else he knew, incepted days apart, and having suffered the same abuses as human youths in the months prior to becoming Wraeththu.
Ithiel blinked and wiped at his eyes as he jogged. “Rain,” he panted in frustration. The stables weren’t too far down the path, only a quarter mile or so. He decided to sprint, relishing the physical sensation of challenge in his muscles. With each satisfying pound against the earth, he imagined he was smashing Cal’s face with the bottom of his boot.
Breathing heavily, Ithiel availed himself of some fresh water that he knew the stable-hara kept. It wasn’t storming, but a steady rain fell. The clouds seemed to have decided that their burden was too much and they poured it generously to the earth. Ithiel was too agitated to return to his small home, though his sweaty hair was matted to his head and he was in sore need of a bath. As another welcome diversion, he decided to brush down his horse, knowing that she would enjoy the attentions. After that he would go home, get cleaned up and have a meal, and then decide whether or not to keep a third night’s vigil outside of Terzian’s doors— or kick them in.