Back Again

Back Again*
by Mnschoen

Story Notes

So, thanks to all of you who helped me find the two awesome Azriel/Aleeme fics that exist, and those of you who commented on my last fic (Don’t Leave Forever) so positively. I appreciate the feedback! Here, for Christmas, is some smut, before I get down to finishing what I started in the little “Aleeme is a nut-job” ficlet.

* Editor’s note: This fic arrived w/o a title, so I added one.

Back Again

Galhea had shed the fiery skin of autumn and was buried beneath heaps of snow before Aleeme reappeared at the gates. Azriel was out when he rode in: for what purpose Cobweb couldn’t say, except that his high har was restless and ill-tempered recently, and liked to spend his time alone. So Aleeme waited in the kitchen, nursing a cup of warm cider while Yarrow went about his business. He was getting a bit anxious, watching as the sky bled against the long line of the horizon, the sun slipping away as night captured Galhea.

Aleeme, staring into the dregs of his cup, began to doubt that Azriel would be glad to see him. They’d been children when they parted, making promises they weren’t fit to make, and it had been long months since they’d last seen each other. Perhaps Azriel—-kind soul that he was—-was with another lover even now, imagining a way to let Aleeme down gently. The fire guttered; there was a bustle of activity as Yarrow began to make ready the dishes to be served at dinner. By the time the table was to be set, Aleeme’s stomach was twisted into such knots that even the smell of shellfish in wine sauce couldn’t whet his appetite. He pulled restlessly at a lock of dark hair, laying his plans to be on the road by tomorrow; he was unwilling to overstay his welcome, and surely if Azriel had another lover he would be unwelcome.

Yarrow put a hand on his shoulder. “Dinner’s set. Come on out to the dining room. It’s not as warm out there, but I’m putting the fire out anyway.”

Making his way to the table, Aleeme frantically planned what to say to a bewildered Azriel, what excuses to make for returning. Of course the vows hadn’t been in earnest — only a child could make such hasty promises.

Determined to put these thoughts aside and appear polite at dinner, even if he was not longer a desired member of the household, Aleeme hurried his step and ran straight into somehar. With a little yelp he fell back, but hands clasped his and pulled him upright once more.

Azriel stood there, face flushed, breathing heavy as though he’d been running, still holding Aleeme’s hands in his own. At the sight of that familiar face, Aleeme felt relief and desire go rushing through him, and he couldn’t help but offer up a smile. “Az,” he said, careful to disguise the huskiness in his voice. He might be a fool for love, but Azriel was a fool for nothing.

For a moment, Azriel didn’t speak, then he said, “You were a long time in Immanion. I thought you’d found somehar else better-looking than me!” and let out a nervous laugh.

“No!” Aleeme said, lacing his fingers through his friend’s. “I’m sorry; it’s a wonderful city, really beautiful-—you should see it—-but Galhea…well. Ag, never mind, it’s stupid.” He knew he was blushing badly, but Azriel didn’t seem to mind his sentimentality and only reached out to caress his cheek. He bit down on his instinct to chatter, reigning in his nervousness, and made himself look up. Azriel looked satisfied, gloriously so, and so Aleeme found the courage to say, very softly, “I missed you. I really did. Is that silly or what?”

He found himself drawn into an embrace, Azriel’s arms resting around his shoulders, and he pressed his face into the soft cloth of his friend’s shirt. He felt as though he were home; he belonged here, against Azriel. “Beautiful ‘Lee,” Azriel murmured, and kissed his temple. “Come on, it’s dinner. Cobweb might have a fit if we miss it. He’s been missing you, too.” He released Aleeme from the embrace but kept a firm grip on his hand and led him into the dining room, where several pairs of eyes leveled on them and a few smirks were hidden politely behind napkins. Azriel sat nearly oblivious to his family, focused on pushing his dinner around on his plate. Where their hands touched, the heat seemed to conduct Azriel’s desire, and Aleeme found himself evading images of his friend naked all through the meal instead attempting conversation with Cobweb, who did seem glad that he was back.

“You met with Pellaz?” Azriel really did look like his father, who was a beauty himself even if he wasn’t the same calibur as Cobweb.

“I met the Tigrons,” Aleeme said, hastily swallowing a mouthful of wine. It was making him giddy; Azriel’s hand on his thigh was making it difficult to eat. “My hostling knew Pellaz when he lived in Saltrock. They got pretty drunk.”

Cobweb said, “Your hostling’s an interesting har.”

Aleeme shrugged; Azriel’s fingers were inching slowly up beneath the table, and Cobweb let the conversation trail off as the clink of silverware against china echoed about the large room. He thought he couldn’t stand this stillness much longer—-he was itching for aruna, and he was sure everyone in the room could tell. He knew Azriel wanted it too; his friend was tensed and quieter than usual, unduly concentrated on his food. Azriel’s fingers smoothed the juncture of his thigh, slipping between his legs so that he started and said, “Excuse me. Really, I’m tired-—” and nearly ran from the room.

Azriel followed, but neither heard the laughter that followed them out of the dining room, for as soon as the door closed Azriel pushed him against the wall, kissing him fiercely. Aleeme moaned at the desire and the anticipation lacing Azriel’s breath, the sweetness of the wine on his tongue. His belly lurched uncomfortably downwards, his own breath seemed stuck in his throat as he wrapped his arms tightly around his lover and pulled him close. Azriel broke away, panting, and murmured against his lips, “I’m not going to make it upstairs. You’re beautiful. Too long—”

Aleeme bit his lip as hands slid under his clothes, soothing burning skin, clutching his waist. He burned, aching for Azriel’s breath once more, and pulled his friend’s head down. With a little slump of defeat, Azriel groped for the handle to the nearest door, shoving Aleeme into what looked to be an unused office, and snapped the latch shut.

“’Lee?” Azriel said, kneeling and tugging at his clothes. “Are we chesna?”

Aleeme put out greedy hands to stroke the stretch of pale skin, his mouth following the same path, devouring the silken ivory before him, delving his tongue into Azriel’s navel. “Yes,” he murmured against skin. “Yes, yes.”

So they took aruna frantically on the floor, Aleeme lying in a pile of discarded clothes, clutching Azriel’s arms, his hair a halo of shadow around his face. Azriel was so close, inside him, and he groaned as he felt his body rearranging itself, clinging to the intrusion. “Oh,” he muttered, unable to think of much else to say, blearily gazing up Azriel’s flushed, intent features, the muscles standing out in his shoulders, the churning rhythm between his legs. He tilted his head back; he couldn’t breathe. “Shit.”

Azriel laughed breathlessly, and cried out; inside Aleeme felt the spark of his being lashed with an insistent pleasure, and he jerked beneath his lover and let out a strangled groan. Over him, Azriel slumped, resting his head against Aleeme’s shoulder, their skins sticky with sweat.

“You’re not like anyhar in Galhea,” Azriel said quietly, pressing kisses wearily along the sharp line of Aleeme’s collarbone. “Not at all. I think you might be kind of crazy.”

“You’re crazy!” protested Aleeme, but he shook with suppressed laughter.

“Maybe I am,” Azriel muttered, shifting his weight off the other har. Aleeme whimpered as Azriel left him empty, curling close to assuage the chill that suddenly overtook him. He rested his head on Azriel’s shoulders and Azriel pushed his hair away from his face. “I think you made me crazy. You don’t become chesna with someone you just met.”

Abruptly Aleeme sat up, and at the look of hesitant fear in his eyes, Azriel’s own heart clenched. “You didn’t have to tell me that to roon with me,” Aleeme said. He wasn’t angry — he never got angry, but his voice shook.

“That isn’t…I didn’t…” Azriel sat and gathered Aleeme into his lap, kissing him. “I think I meant I’m not usually so…impulsive. Ty makes fun of me for it. He says I’d plan my own funeral if I could. But you…. I don’t know. It makes me feel strange, having you here. It was like hell when you were gone. I need you. Does that make me a fool?”

“I can’t say. Everybody knows I am a fool.” Aleeme paused, hesitating, and then said, “I love you.”

“I know. I feel so stupid. This isn’t a smart thing to do. I’m sorry — no — don’t go — I don’t mean that I don’t feel for you — I do. I love you — but — Ag, this is hard for me. I feel like there should be plans or something.”

Reprovingly, Aleeme said, “You don’t plan things like this, Az.”

Azriel chuckled. “No one could plan on you, of course.”

Aleeme agreed. “Let’s get out of here before someone walks in.”

Pulling a face, embarrassment dawning now that the urgency of the moment had passed, Azriel said rather dryly, “Everyone knows what we were doing anyway.”

“Doesn’t mean they want to see it,” countered Aleeme, slipping into his clothes and beckoning Azriel to follow. “But let’s go upstairs, and then we can roon all night and lay around naked as much as we want. Your father and hostling don’t come in unannounced does he?”

“I’m a big har,” Azriel said. “They let me alone.”

Smiling, leaning in to share a brief breath filled with promise, Aleeme said, “Then what are you waiting for?”

The End


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: