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All publicly recognizable characters, settings, plot, etc. are the property of Guy Gavriel Kay. Any original characters, settings and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with Guy Gavriel Kay and no copyright infringement is intended. This work is an amateur fan effort and no profit is being made.
"Rodrigo, kindly stop this teasing and proceed!"
The words had been spoken quite loudly, but that should not have mattered up here on the little plateau overlooking the valley. The rest of the company was too far away to hear, and even if anyone picked up the sound, they would most likely pretend that they were not aware. Still, sound did not carry that well.
Or rather, it usually did not, Rodrigo thought in dismay as they both listened to the echoes reverberate throughout the valley. For a moment all movement down in the valley seemed to stop, and he thought he could see them look up to them. The figure in blue and white that had to be Jehane was looking too, and Rodrigo found himself at a loss for whether to be embarrassed or amused.
"I take it this is why the valley is called the Valley of Voices?" he asked, resting his head on Ammar's shoulder. He felt strangely grateful for the high grass around them now.
He heard Ammar laugh quietly. "It is. Although I believe it usually is demonstrated in slightly different ways."
Rodrigo tilted his head then so he could look at the other man's face, his chin on Ammar's shoulder. "Is it."
A hand settled on his upper arm, slowly stroking his skin. "As far as I am aware."
They lay in companionable silence for a little while, amidst dry winter grass and travel gear. Rodrigo watched the little figures stir again and return to their interrupted activities, the blue and white one among them.
"Rodrigo," Ammar eventually said.
He looked at the other man inquiringly.
"I meant it when I told you to proceed, in case you have forgotten about that."
Rodrigo raised his head. "Impatient?"
"As though you would not be impatient in my place!"
They both winced as they heard the echoes again.
"We need to find a better place," Rodrigo said, though he made no move to get up. It felt good to lie together like this, in the open sunlight and sheltered at the same time. "Or you need to be quiet."
"I can be quiet," Ammar protested indignantly. "If you will stop teasing."
"That's well, then." Rodrigo moved up for a kiss, then leaned away to get at his saddle bag. "No more teasing," he promised as he uncapped the small pot of salve, liberated from Jehane's hospital supplies before they had left Ragosa.
He kept his word, as always, and did not draw out the preparations beyond the necessities. No need to test Ammar's patience when they could not linger here forever. Besides, it was not as though Rodrigo did not share the other man's yearnings.
As they moved against each other, he covered Ammar's mouth with a hand, grinning when the blue eyes narrowed.
"Just a precaution," he said. "In case you decide to be vocal again."
Ammar bit his palm, hard enough to make him cry out in surprise as he quickly withdrew his hand.
"They will have heard that," Ammar pointed out, breathless but smug.
Rodrigo shot him an exasperated look, mellowing when he was drawn down into a kiss. As effective as a hand, he discovered when the pleased little moans were suddenly quiet and private, shared just between them.
Afterwards, when they lay tangled together in the blankets, Rodrigo thought of the valley again, and how well it carried what should remain silent and unspoken.
"I have an idea," he said.