OOC: I wrote this for a Tumblr prompt so the tense is off our usual standard (and dates are kinda wacky, too...whatever), but I like it enough on reread that I'm gonna pull it here and consider it 'canon'. Enjoy the teeth-rotting fluffiness, everyone.
“I would like to see your home,” Jaren says one evening.
They’re sitting in their shared living area with Jaren’s head in Jaryd’s lap. The former is reading; the latter reviewing reports. Now the Red sets his work aside to take Jaren’s hand in both of his own. “Why’s that?” The Red asks, lips curving up in a pleased smile as he peers down at his lover. They’ve discussed traveling and visits in the past of course, but it has never been a directly expressed desire for either of them.
“A person’s home is part of who they are. It tells their story better than words,” Jaren says, watching pale fingers and dark curl together with a faraway expression on his face. “I would like to know that part of you.” His answer is straightforward, honest, much like the man himself. He’s smiling as he speaks and Jaryd feels himself melt inside. He has known love and passion before, of course, but this quiet, comfortable companionship belongs only to Jaren.
“That can be arranged,” Jaryd responds easily. “Right now could be good.”
“It’s nearly Low. Surely Ebou Dar is sleeping?” Jaren frowns up at him as he speaks, but there’s curiosity and hope dancing behind his eyes.
The Red laughs. “What, you think I can’t handle myself in the dark?” he asks, teasing. Jaren laughs and that’s it, the decision is made. The Yellow goes to retrieve his jacket with an over-the-shoulder command for Jaryd to stay put. Jaryd neither follows nor obeys. Instead he ruffles dark curls into a suitable level of disorder and walks through the double doors that lead to their balcony.
Outside it’s quiet, save for the faint rustle of wind, and cool for early summer. It smells faintly of the herbs Jaren is growing on shelves against one wall; Jaryd smiles at the thought, fingers trailing through small green leaves as he passes. He crosses the small space and leans against the parapet, his thoughts wandering down long forgotten paths. It’s a matter of minutes before the Yellow is standing next to him with his face tilted up to study the sky, however, and he returns to the present as if he never departed.
An endless depth of black velvet carpeted in a million tiny lights rolls above them. The stars surround the moon as it hangs like a coin over Lake Somal, fat, round, and ringed by pale refracted light. It’s a breathtaking sight, one Jaryd never tires of seeing. “There’s the Black Dog,” he says, pointing out the stars that form one of the better known constellations. Jaren points out Birgitte’s bow, and Jaryd, frowning, finally finds the cluster that forms the hilt of the Dragon’s sword.
Eventually Jaren shakes himself, as if remembering their plan. “Should we go now?” He actually sounds disappointed.
“We already did,” the Altaran says, eyes sliding sideways to look at the other man’s face. Jaren gives him a blank stare and Jaryd smiles, teeth gleaming in the moonlight. “We were there, yes? And now we’re here.” He turns to pull the other man against him, one arm spreading out to indicate the balcony, their quarters, the sky, Jaren himself. “If you want to know all there is of me, my love, just look around.”
There’s two seconds of terrifying silence and then Jaren makes an indescribable sound, his hands pushing Jaryd back, and back, and back, feet stumbling over one another for purchase and arms flailing in surprise, until the other man’s weight is pressing the Altaran against the door and their mouths meet in a kiss that is surprisingly gentle for the force that preceded it. They’re tasting, touching, soft and warm, lost in touch for what seems like forever. The caress continues until Jaryd breaks away with a gasped “I need to breathe, you overbred grape farmer,” and then they’re laughing like there’s no tomorrow, clinging to each other to remain upright.
Once their amusement fades, Jaren pulls away just enough to speak. “You’re serious?” He asks, his thumb drawing over Jaryd’s lower lip.
“I promise we can go to the Rahad any time you wish,” the Altaran responds, the oath rendered somewhat less serious by the hitch in his breath between words. He runs his fingers through the other man’s hair, fascinated at the sight of moonlight in blonde curls. Eventually he remembers he was saying something. “But you don’t have to step outside our quarters to see my home. Light, Jaren. Don’t you know what you are to me?”
He’s told Jaren he loves him a thousand times before and he’s seen the man’s eyes light up in response every time. It’s been fifteen years since they met in that classroom, after all, and if they’ve ever fought Jaryd doesn’t remember it. This is different, however, deep and intense. Suddenly he’s giddy and drunk like the first time they kissed and he can see a reflection of it in Jaren’s eyes, silent confirmation of all they share. Their lips meet again and they’re free falling together, bathed in moonlight and capped by the stars...and for all the pain he’s suffered along the way, Jaryd would not change a bloody thing if it meant he could not be there in that moment.