Shall I Compare Thee?
by The Hoyden

"Something bothering you, Mikael?" Raphael asked, noting the unhappy downward turn of his lover's lips.

Mikael occupied himself with unpacking the picnic basket. "No, of course not," he said, bending his head so that his golden eyes were hidden from view.

Mikael was a horrible liar, and Raphael could scent an untruth from a mile away. But he allowed Mikael to fuss with the placement of various dishes on their blanket, taking in the way the sunlight played with aqua strands. Something was definitely wrong, because Mikael had a marked fondness for stretching out in the afternoon sunshine, wings stretched wide. Granted, the younger angel couldn't do it for very long stretches, because his very fair skin had two shades – beautifully pale, and lobster red. Not at all like Raphael, who tanned with no effort whatsoever.

In any case, Mikael was upset over something, and Raphael wasn't about to let it spoil a perfectly good picnic. "Mikael," he said firmly. Just that, which was enough to let his aqua-haired lover know that he wasn't fooling anybody.

Mikael finally looked up with a pained smile. "It's nothing, really, Raphael-sama. Just something Cherior said to me this morning. You know how he is, always running off at the mouth."

Raphael turned that over in his mind. "More bluster and less bite, but what did the little bastard say that got you all knotted up?" Cherior was trying, to the immense displeasure of just about everyone, to live up to the legend of Azrael.

Mikael looked down determinedly at his plate, and the simple fear in his expression made Raphael's eyes go wide with concern. "Hey," Raphael said gently. "You can tell me, Mikael. You can tell me."

The aqua-haired angel was twisting his hands in his lap. "He told me the other teachers said there's only one reason I got this job, and it wasn't on my ability." His voice was soft and resigned, as if he believed such a monstrous tale were true.

Raphael felt like someone had punched him in the gut. Because it was obvious that Mikael feared it was true, and Raphael couldn't stand for that. "Well, everyone knows how the little prick gets his jollies, and I know none of the teachers are talking about it like that at all. Except Uriel, and he's just teasing.. And Cherior said that to your face?"

"I gave him detention. He was really angry with me."

Raphael felt the need to pound anyone who made his Mikael look like that. "He deserves detention run by Azrael for a month. But that is beside the point. You know it's not true, right?"

Mikael said quietly, "I know. But it scared me."

Raphael reached for Mikael's chin and tipped it up so he could see those golden eyes. "Everyone knows the fact that you're the Professor's lover is an asset, not an excuse. You were the top of your class, and your Exam was more difficult than anyone has taken in five centuries. If anyone ever deserved to be a teacher, it's you, Mikael. The fact that I love you has nothing to do with how much you love teaching." Raphael gathered his love in his arms, and Mikael held on to him, unprotesting. Raphael kissed him rather chastely on the lips. "This has nothing to do with how well you teach geography." Raphael stroked the arch of Mikael's wing and felt his lover shiver in his arms. "This has nothing to do with how well you teach mathematics," he murmured, burying his face in aqua strands. "Nothing to do with how well you teach Shakespeare," he husked in Mikael's ear, and then reconsidered. "Actually, it may have something to do with that last one."

He gently pushed Mikael down onto the blanket and leaned over him, their lips almost brushing. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" he quoted, then sweetly kissed those pouting lips. He pulled back a bit to look at Mikael, who was delicately blushing and just made the most charming picture he had ever seen. "Thou art more lovely and more temperate." He brought Mikael's hand to his lips, softly brushing the long, tapered fingers with adoring kisses. "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May," he murmured, his tongue seeking out the tender flesh of Mikael's wrist. "And summer's lease hath all too short a date."

Mikael stroked the tousled locks of Raphael's hair with his free hand before gently tugging his former teacher down beside him. Golden eyes softened in the afternoon sun, in the face of love, he whispered, "Sometime too hot the eye of heaven doth shine." He leaned forward to brush Raphael's closed eyes with heartfelt kisses. "And often is his gold complexion dimm'd," he continued, and Raphael could feel his love smiling as gentle hands caressed his cheek.

Raphael sought out the gentle sloping of Mikael's neck, and between trailing kisses he mumured, "And every fair from fair sometimes declines." One hand traced Mikael's side, coming to rest on one narrow hip. "By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd." Their mouths met once again, exchanging a sweet kiss full of passion, tasting strawberries on each other's lips and feeling heady with love and desire. Raphael nibbled gently on the lobe of Mikael's ear, the soft gusting of his breath sending delicate tremors through his love. "But thy eternal summer shall not fade, nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st," Raphael promised, amethyst meeting amber.

Mikael smiled, all unhappiness banished. "Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade, when in eternal lines to time thou grow'st," he vowed, clasping Raphael's hand to his heart.

"So long as men can breath, or eyes can see…" Raphael whispered, his soul in his eyes.

"So long lives this, and this gives life to thee," they finished together. The picnic was forgotten, the warm summer sunshine paid no heed. They whiled away the afternoon, wrapped in one another's arms, loving each other.