After the Storm, Restless Fire

Editor's PickAfter the Storm, Restless Fire
By Thevina

Story Notes

Title: After the Storm, Restless Fire
Pairings: Ithiel/Cobweb, Ithiel/Terzian
Rating: Adult
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.

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Changes

Changes
by Oshun

Story Notes: My friend Keiliss requested I write her a fic with Cal/Pell. This story was inspired by the following line from Fulfillments: “I’m not the same person, Cal. You do realize that, don’t you?”

Author’s Email: heartofoshun@aol.com

Web page: http://heartofoshun.livejournal.com/

Pairing:  Cal/Pell; other characters: Caeru, Vaysh
Rating: R

Word count: 1,530

Disclaimer: Characters, plot and setting all belong to Storm Constantine.
Spoilers:  Fulfillments of Fate and Desire

Changes

Under the gaze of an omniscient smirking moon, they stood at the top of steps leading down from the portico of the Hegalion. After the meeting where Cal first met the Hegemony, Cal, Rue and Pell had left the council chamber together. Pell felt the entire universe held its breath and observed. This was momentous.

Cal exhaled heavily and looked from Pell to Rue. “That was strange, wasn’t it? Do you think it went all right?” The unasked question: ‘Did I do well?’

“Better than all right,” Pell answered, moving to press his thigh and hip against Cal. He needed to touch him, assure himself that Cal was real.

“Oh, you’re good,” Rue admitted grudgingly.

In the space of less than three hours, Cal had managed to surprise, annoy, anger, frustrate, and delight Pell. It had been the shortest and certainly the least formal of any meeting of the Hegemony Pell had ever attended. Cal not only won the hearts of the spectators at his first meeting, but there was no doubt he had impressed the members of the Hegemony. Perhaps he had even softened part of the formidable resistance among them.

That fit entirely with Pell’s memory of the Cal he had once known. Brash, overwhelming, unpredictable. And yet, he did not know this new Cal. The old balance between them apparently had been completely turned on its head. Pell was no longer innocent or fresh and the guilt and darkness had been scoured out of Cal. Pell recalled he had worried how Cal might react to how he had changed if they ever met again. Thiede had hardened, tempered, and refined Pell, burned away the sweetness Cal had once loved. But Cal had somehow spectacularly wrought his own reforging, if not entirely without help. Pell wondered if he could be wrong: that the more things had changed, the more they had stayed the same.

Cal distracted Pell from his ruminations by squeezing his hand forcefully. Casual but alert, Cal nodded in the direction of Rue, who fidgeted and looked furtively after Velaxis who descended the steps near them, clearly anxious to leave. Temporarily appeased, yet still chilly with Pell and wary of Cal, Rue mumbled a hasty good-bye, and accepted a short embrace from each of them before turning quickly away.

Cal reached out and grabbed Rue’s arm, pulling him back, his voice simultaneously careless and caressing. “It won’t be so bad.”

“Hmm. Well, I don’t know . . .” Rue answered, shivering and shaking his head at Cal’s lazy conspiratorial smile. “We’ll see.”

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