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.

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Don’t Leave Forever

Don’t Leave Forever*
by Mnshoen

Story Notes

And here is Azriel and Aleeme in all their PG-rated glory. No spoilers, sort of short.

Sequel: Back Again

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

Don’t Leave Forever

When Azriel had first met Aleeme, he’d thought the har to be a little insane. Cheerful in a degree that was unseemly and rather more forward than was polite, Aleeme made himself a home in Forever with little more than a smile. His charm was much more obvious than Cal’s had been, but he was well-loved by Cobweb, who said he had an innocence that was rare in second-generation hara (who grew too old too fast).

In the morning, when Azriel was still half-asleep and sluggishly attempting to free himself from the confines of his bed, Aleeme would make an appearance and tug him up into the chilly air and into a long shirt. Azriel learned to appreciate the sunrise, for all that he ended up snoozing in his oatmeal half an hour later.

In the afternoon, when Azriel was engrossed in a thick tome of history and the sun was shining mercilessly outside, Aleeme often stole the book and made his friend chase him for it, eventually surrendering it on the terms that having finished a named number of pages, Azriel would join him outside for a walk or a ride. Cobweb said that Azriel looked like he’d been stained with clay, his skin a deep satiny brown. Eventually Aleeme brought out books of his own — traveling companions, as he called them — and gave them to his friend in trade.

In the evening, Aleeme snuck into his room and climbed into bed with him. The first night, Azriel had panicked and pushed him out, warm as he was. Despite that deterrent — ever the optimist — Aleeme had returned the next night, which Azriel had spent fitfully awake and very aware of Aleeme’s arm around his waist, and the head against his shoulder. The third night, Aleeme had said, “I want to take aruna with you,” quite seriously, and then flashed one of his incapacitating smiles. Azriel had nodded dumbly, and now whenever Aleeme showed up he gladly lifted the covers, even though the other har had a tendency to pull on the blankets.

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