The little fic I wrote to feed my unhealthy Thiede/Orien obsession.
Rating: PG (no rooning, sorry)
Spoilers: everything, ’tis set after Ghosts.
Disclaimer: everything belongs to Storm Constantine, except for the typos, which are all mine *pets them* and the quote belongs to Leonardo DaVinci.
I am Aghama, the first, and he was the second. But in a way, he was also first: the first addition to my great race, Wraeththu, the conquerors of the earth. Of course that was not how it seemed at the time. It was nothing like that at all.
Thiede stood silently on his balcony, staring blankly out over the glory of Immanion, a single tear running slowly down his face. Since his return, Thiede did not spend this whole day in mourning as he once did, but even now, nothing could relieve the sense of loss. The fact that nohar else remembered the death this day represented did little to sooth his feelings.
Since his return to the earthly realm, Thiede had felt a bit “out of the loop” so to speak. While he had traversed other dimensions of reality, life here had gone on without him, as it had gone on without Orien. Even Pellaz, who was the only one he felt he could talk to, had moved on, barely needing him anymore. Pellaz had Cal and Caeru to confide in, but now Thiede had no one, and he hadn’t for many years. The time after his ascension was the first in many years that he had had somehar that understood, really understood. Hara of the later years didn’t understand the beginning, and those near to the beginning chose to forget it. In the endless depths of the otherlanes, Thiede had regained his partner, his confidante, and now he had lost him yet again.
Personally, Thiede blamed it all on Calanthe; that devilish har brought disaster wherever he went. At the time of ascension, Thiede had thought it all to be brilliant retribution. Thiede had taken Pellaz from Cal, and in turn Cal had taken Orien from Thiede. On that day in the sanctum both hara were giving back, and taking away. Tigrons together, and the two highest lords of Wraeththu reunited. Thiede had thought it to be the end. Even those disastrous events had their purpose, as do all things.
Thiede smiled sadly, turning away from his view of Immanion’s splendor to stare dejectedly at the glass of wine in his hands. Everything has its purpose, but what was his? The birth of Wraeththu was over, they had no more need for their hostling, the youth of Wraeththu was over, and they had no need of their father. Wraeththu had moved on, why couldn’t he? Why not leave him peacefully in the otherlanes with Orien? It seemed all he did these days was sit in on Hegemony meetings, of which there were far too many for his taste.
Sighing heavily, Thiede poured himself another glass of strong wine from the carafe on a side table. At least in the otherlanes I was nearly complete again, he thought, and once tasting paradise, can I return to this blemished earth?
“There is nothing on this earth for me now, is there,” Thiede said aloud, expecting no response and receiving none. “If Orien were here, he would have the answer for me,” he muttered, taking a large gulp from his glass and quickly refilling it. Thiede leaned back in his chair, resting his feet on the balcony rail and running a long-fingered hand through the length of his hair. Tilting his head back, Thiede stared up at the sky, musing over the oddity of his situation. It wasn’t exactly god-like to be this lost.
The Aghama walking the earth in harish flesh, yet he had no purpose, no duties, nothing. Nothing at all. At least in the otherlanes, when Cal had banished him, he had had the one things he could never have on earth again; he flew over the far reaches of the universe with Orien by his side, together as they should have been. Now he was alone, with nohar to hold. When he had needed to come back down to earth, the idea of retirement had been good, for a moment, but now… What purpose was there in staying, what purpose was there in anything?
Thiede recalled an old saying he had once heard many, many years ago in the cities of men, about tasting flight, and forever looking skyward from the earth, longing to return to the heavens. Thiede had long forgotten where the proverb had come from, but now the thought of it was very dear to him. He had tasted the heavens and now there was nothing for him on the earth. He longed once more for flight, the heavens beckoned, why stay another day?
“Why stay,” he whispered, “why indeed…”
Suddenly, Thiede stood up and slammed his glass down on the side table, with enough force that the wine sloshed over the edges, and ran from the room. Reaching his office, he ransacked his desk searching for paper to write a note to Pellaz. The Tigron deserved to be told, the others could wonder. And blame Cal. Thiede grinned at that thought, and finally finding a pen, hastily scribbled a note to Pell, signed it, and left it in the middle of his desk where somehar would hopefully notice it.
With that done, he stripped off his robes and jewelry and tossed them away. No earthly coverings were needed where he was going. Sinking down onto his knees, Thiede slowed his breathing and focused his mind, forcing his earthly body into a trance-like state. He reached out mentally into the otherlanes, tentatively at first, then more and more strongly as he sent forth a call to his beloved with every particle of his being.
With a sharp cry, his astral body shot forth, rising above Phaonica, above Almagrabra, and finally, above the world.
Thiede laughed joyfully, rushing through the welcoming darkness, passing worlds unknown, until he felt a familiar presence. He turned, and would have wept with joy had he had a body, for there before him was Orien, with stars in his hair and a smile on his ghostly face.
“I have returned for you, my love, and you alone. If I cannot live with you, I will not live at all.”
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
Leonardo Da Vinci