Blahhh, first fic, just an authors note, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING! LOL! But yeah, if I have to delete this and repost it get it in chapters well, yeah, haha, I've got more chapters coming for this, review are welcome, hope you like
The Fruits of Etiquette and Desire
Chapter 1 – Tenderness in mind
Phoenicis had long been heralding the return of its most celebrated hero's and king with the end of the war. Ashnard defeated, Crimea liberated and its Princess restored to the throne, as was well, and the warriors of the Southern laguz country kindly bid their allies farewell, as they returned to their blissful isolation. Yes, for some the journey back was somewhat trialling, the hawk king and his subjects were more than comfortable with the harrowing distance, but for a certain heron prince, making such a long journey had become a test of strength.
"Reyson, you appear to be…struggling"
Reyson shot Ulki a half insulted glare as he attempted to remain aloft, but found himself making a note to concede to this. His ego and desire to appear stronger than he was had kept him going this long through the late afternoon, but making such strenuous flights through such harsh winds forced him to give in to his frailty.
"Yes…you're right…I'm sorry." Reyson replied, feeling guilty for holding everyone up as he had a tendency of doing.
"Pay it no mind, I'll fly ahead and notify Tibarn," Ulki said in an unconcerned tone, taking a more caring tone as he continued to speak, "He's always concerned about you Reyson, he's only flown ahead this moment to assure your safe passage."
Reyson blushed, Tibarn, always thinking about him, not in a manner of usefulness but in a way of liability and weakness, must protect Reyson, must make sure Reyson is ok, must ensure Reysons safe passage, why nobody else, why only him? The hawk king had allowed Ulki and Janaff to brave hoards of soldiers, what would be on the brink of classification as a small army, yet would flinch at the idea of Reyson going near a child with a butter knife if he were present, it always annoyed him to no end. He knew of his importance, him and Leanne being all that remained of the Herons, but why…why was so much unnecessary effort made to his well being, didn't anyone trust him not to die from being hit with a pine cone?
For several moments he was left to brood on this, wondering why they bothered with him, anything as useless and weak as him probably deserves to be wiped from the earth, why did they bother. With a sigh, Reyson tried to lift himself from his mental slump, he had always desired strength….power, the ability to awe others with his feats, yet he found himself awing people in quite the opposite manner, how useless he was. He envied Tibarn, Tibarn the strong, the unbeatable, a god among men, a ferocious wind of death, how he longed for Tibarn to say such things of him. It never was the case, Tibarn saw him as Prince Reyson, and that was it and all it would ever be.
"Reyson, are you alright? I know your eager to return to Phoenicis for the moment but right now is no time to be foolish."
Tibarns words were no less than expected in Reysons eyes, Reyson being foolish, not admitting to being weak, Tibarn being overprotecting, and lecturing him like his own child. It always seemed this way, but Reyson would have to deal with this for a fair bit longer until he was ready to return to Serenes, but it was too early for that.
"I…was fine Tibarn," Reyson said, his gaze turning from the hawk king, "it's just these winds, they're somewhat daunting and I…may need to rest."
"I thought as much, the skies are clear and Janaff has confirmed there is feasible space to camp for the night, would this suit you?"
"I think, I mean I…of course" Reyson replied, somewhat thankful, yet at the same time resentful.
"The proposed camp site isn't far from here; would you like me to carry you?" Tibarn said, that same fatherly concern ever so present in his voice.
"No I'll be…" Reyson spoke, but began to feel his body drift, Tibarn making a small but gentle swoop to cradle the young Heron in his arms. Without speaking the hawk king smiled, noticing the young prince had fallen asleep, he really had exhausted himself, but even in his weakened state, the prince was all the more beautiful. Hastily taking wing, he went to where he could now see Ulki and Janaff circling closer to the forest canopy below them, still scouting the area and readying for the night to come.
Reyson awoke sleeping on what appeared to be a simply woven quilt, his mind still hazy and somewhat confused. It was night, stars at full glow and the moon clearly visible in the small clearing within the woods. Night time… Reyson thought to himself, suddenly jolting up as he began to comprehend what had happened, oh no I couldn't possibly have…
"Evening Reyson, glad to see your awake!"
Oh no…I did… Tibarns words were more than enough to make it very clear what had happened, and he wondered to himself how long it would take him to redeem for it.
"Yes…I feel much better, thankyou Tibarn." Reyson said, giving him a somewhat forced smile as he attempted to recoup his own sense of dignity after falling asleep mid air into the hawk kings arms.
Must've been comfortable though.
"What!?" Reyson said, sitting up suddenly, had he heard correctly or was he being delusional? He may've still tired with the fatigue that seemed to come after sleep.
"I didn't say anything?" Tibarn said warily, appearing unsure of what the Prince was currently referring to.
"Well that's good then but…"
The poor boy, he can barely keep his head together…
"…what was that…Tibarn?" The heron prince continued, his eyes now sharpening to form a somewhat amused yet threatening glare.
The hawk king turned to face the prince, trying to piece together exactly what was going on until… 'Oh for…' was all the hawk king could think before he became aware that he had let his guard down around the young prince. He had defied the first rule of Reyson, always guard your thoughts, but as he steadied his composure and reasserted a somewhat well structured guard against the princes passive abilities, he tried to consider how bad what had come from his mind had been.
"I…um….Reyson…what did you…I mean what you…"
Reyson suddenly felt guilty as he watched Tibarn blush and stutter from embarrassment, he hadn't been informed of anything…to personal, but none the less, enough to be invasive.
"I'm…sorry Tibarn I didn't mean to really…you know it just…"
"Happens…" Tibarn continued, still trying to recuperate.
"Yes…" Reyson said, then still seeing a Tibarn who seemed almost afraid, "Oh my apologies…nothing I heard was what I would consider…personal…I considered it to be in jest."
With that, Tibarn seemed somewhat relieved, but Reyson couldn't quite figure out why…perhaps he were moments too late from having woken up to some far more intimate thoughts the king was having? He couldn't quite figure it out, but there was somewhat of a tension until he had clarified somewhat what he heard, as though something far more secretive were lying beneath his strong, well guarded mind.
"I'll have to remember to focus more when your around," Tibarn said, a half hearted laugh accompanying his words, "It mustn't be nice to have to hear another's thoughts without even your own consent?"
Reyson nodded, but realised that continuing the discussion would do no more than cause worry for his friend, "Ulki and Tibarn, where are they I don't see them?"
"Sleeping," Tibarn said, giving a small nod as he stared somewhere not far beyond Reyson. Sure enough though, nearly right beside him were Ulki and Janaff, both of whom appeared quite worn from the night.
"I had Ulki look for food, fish mainly, knowing he could find them better than us, I had Janaff keep guard on the camp while I searched for…berries…"
"For me?" Reyson asked, somewhat surprised, yet thankful, he began to wonder how many people the hawk king would scavenge for, why was it he would deny his pride to do things for him?
"Well of course, your well being is of many priorities for me…I'm not certain about the quality of what I found though."
Reyson gave Tibarn a puzzled look, before he was shown the assortment and variety of what he had found. Having gone through a fair few of them, had Reyson not know Tibarn were his ever faithful friend, he would have presumed he were trying to kill him. Five varieties of poisonous berries were nestled among the assortment, which he promptly removed and insisted he was 'saving for later' so as to not hurt the hawk kings feelings. Reyson was quite familiar with berries as in his life, he had been taught about all varieties, should he ever need to himself find some for survival, and it was quite clear that Tibarn, who merely learned what to hunt, had not had such strict tutoring. Then again, being Reyson, ever so frail, unable to digest anything manly Reyson, he figured Tibarn was far better off, why would he ever have to concern himself with 'fruits' as the prince did, it wasn't like Reyson knew anything about fish or ever more detestable, red meats.
As Reyson nibbled at the berries Tibarn had provided, he couldn't help but find himself noticing Tibarns almost ceaseless gaze, as though he weren't even concerned with his staring. As Reysons eyes met Tibarns, he again noticed what seemed to be an almost flustered man, hidden behind a laguz of such strong demeanour.
"Are they…err…good?" Tibarn asked, seemingly unsure of what to say, but still trying his best to engage his friend in conversation. Reyson smiled at this, he was becoming ever more amused with all this sudden awkwardness, he had known the king for years yet only now had the king shown personal interest in his eating habits, although he had always been overprotective.
"They're fine Tibarn," Reyson said after swallowing a particularly plum, juicy berry, which left a thin trail of juice rolling down his cheek. As though instinctively, before Reyson had the chance to wipe it away, he felt Tibarns hand brush against his face, cleaning the messy trail of juice from his fine features as he caressed his cheek. Suddenly trembling to the kinds touch, he couldn't help but feel overwhelmed at how such a seemingly innocent, yet intimate touch from the king made him feel. His heart began to pound rapidly, his wings drawing inward as he felt himself trying to contain emotions he felt were taboo between the two friends. Tibarn merely father him, even brothered him as he would his own child, there was nothing else to be seen between them. Yet he couldn't help but note the way the king acted, so lovingly, caringly, yet now in a far more self conscious manner, perhaps the journey he had made with Ike made Tibarn somewhat wary of his need for independence. He couldn't quite place it, but Reyson knew something had changed within Tibarn towards him, a side of him he hadn't seen before the war.
"Our other troops, I presume they've made it home safely?" Reyson said, taking the opportunity to give Tibarn something to talk about while he ate.
"I'd presume so, I sent them ahead several days so we could discuss terms more substantially with Crimea without leaving our home defenceless."
"Yes…I feel Elincia will make a fine queen, and perhaps should Ike ever relinquish his mercenary duties, he would make a excellent commander and envoy for his nation."
The hawk king nodded at this though didn't seem to be thoroughly concerned, it seemed as though whatever was on his mind had little connection to the liberation of Crimea and its people. Even when discussing matters of his own people he seemed to pay little mind, perhaps because their own journey was of more importance.
"We should be able to reach Phoenicis by tomorrow, Janaff has informed me we're in a southern area of Gallia. Therefore should all go well, we should have no problem making the journey home."
Reyson nodded, he was thankful Tibarn had been so pliable with the journey they were making, but this couldn't help but make Reyson feel guilty. His previous thoughts of weakness and his weakened state began to rise back up inside him, the turmoil of war had made a once week prince even more frail than before. When Reyson noticed Tibarn frowning slightly, he realised he had given more awareness to his sadness than he would have liked, feeling guilty at having Tibarn have to sympathise for him, he didn't need such pity, he didn't deserve it.
"Carrying you was problem for me earlier; I can carry you the rest of the way home?"
Reyson went to object, but found with his in air sleeping habits, any way he could dignify himself or even refuse had been utterly doused.
"That may be best…" Reyson said, succumbing to the hawk kings caring charm, he still remember what he had dissected from his mind and as much as he wanted to forget it for politeness' sake, it made him feel…strangely warm inside. Tibarn gave him one of his rough, masculine smiles, but seemed to have nothing more to say, he had found a conclusion to their discussion and Reyson would have to push more conversation were they to talk more. So finishing the last of the edible berries Tibarn had provided, he proceeded to lie down again and rest his eyes once more before the harsh rays of dawn made further rest improbable.
As Tibarn watched Reyson fall to sleep, his long, golden lochs spreading elegantly over the quilt undeserving of his beauty, he couldn't help but wonder in what life he would ever be pure enough to touch something of such beauty. The boy had a radiant charm that seemed to soothe all who gazed upon him; he didn't deserve such a person for himself, someone of such godly creation. Never before had he thought of losing such a gift before Reyson had joined Ike, but now, having fought with Reyson at the capital, he had never feared for him more in his life. Torrents of magic, storms of arrows, steel clashing as far as the eye could see, he had fought off countless attackers as he and Reyson assisted Ike in the capital. He couldn't bear to see Reyson hurt, and never before had it seemed so real a possibility. He knew his actions would seem invasive, perhaps ever uncalled for in Reysons eyes, but that didn't bother him, he would always guard the prince and remain by his side, never would he let anyone bring harm to him. For as long as he lived, Tibarn would assure that Reyson was beside him, regardless of whether he ever came to accept…or even be aware of…his love for him. He allowed that thought to remain with him, and remained content with the mere honour of being in the Princes presence, as he remained vigilant till dawn, guarding his love like the hawk he was.
As Reyson awoke to the light of day, he found himself trying to understand exactly what was happening around him. Wind blowing through his hair, causing it to lash wildly against his face, his body cradled in bold, strong arms.
"I thought we'd head off before you woke up" Tibarn said deviously, a smirk coming across his face as Reyson looked up from his somewhat awkward position. Tibarn has hooked one arm beneath Reysons shoulder and his other supported Reysons back, as one would cradle someone of a somewhat full grown size.
"Well thank you, I enjoyed the sleep" Reyson replied, although he was becoming more and more frustrated with the way his hair flicked left right and centre. He had never realised how frustrating it could be to be a passenger to a carrier as far as hair control went, the winds were much harsher on those not in control.
"You'll be glad to hear….well we proceeded about dawn, and at this moment it's approximately some time after midday."
Midday! Reyson thought he realised he slept in but till Midday?! How much rest would his body require until he was himself again? With a sigh, he figured it would probally be some time, but if he spent some time in Phoenicis, relaxing and enjoying a finer more soothing life by the ocean, perhaps he would be able to regain his health quite hastily.
"My sleeping…I've become somewhat uncustomed to proper habits since the war." Reyson laughed, trying not to draw attention to how much it well and truly frustrated him, he was a heron, herons like balance, bad sleeping habits, not good.
"Well we'll have to fix that, I'll assure you have the finest bed made once we make it home." Tibarn said, only to find Reyson now curling inward and embracing the king.
What the? Tibarn though, still trying to contain his true liking to this, but couldn't help but wait intently for the heron prince to speak. Even though it was only a few seconds, with the rapid pulse of his heart, for Tibarn, it seemed to be days before the boy in his arms spoke after coiling his body around Tibarns.
"Thank you for…being so kind…Tibarn."
Huh?! Where is this coming from? Tibarn was still thoroughly confused, was the prince aware of his actions or even what he was saying? Though not unwarranted, it seemed to be such a different line of thought from what had been previously happening.
"You're…welcome Reyson." Tibarns words were hesitant, but came through with a sincerity the prince seemed to pick up on. Though his words seemed insignificant, it seemed as though the prince was content with those three words, and those three words only. Tibarns mind couldn't help but race, surely the prince was embracing him as a friend? Surely, and he would never feel the same as he did, Reyson wasn't like that. But as he flew through the open skies towards their home, Tibarn failed to notice as Reyson whispered four words, four words that not even Ulki who was flying further ahead would hear. Four words that summed up exactly how Reyson felt and confirmed the bond that the two laguz shared.
I love you Tibarn….
Authors Note: HAHA! I'M GETTING IT NOW! Haha, sorry for the confusion, blah, I had no page breaks for a while I was like, AHHHHH! NOOOOOO! But it's fixed I think, lol, yeah, I will be contiiinuing, with more chapters, but I've made it so if I take YEARS, then it's still somewhat mysteriously conclusive...haha I'm clever