A/N: So, we have arrived at the epilogue. It's been fun, but don't worry - like I mentioned, if you liked this story, there's plenty more short ones about these two for you to enjoy. I'll start posting those up soon. Would anyone be interested in an extended author's note explaining where certain ideas came from, etc? If so, I can write one, but I won't bother otherwise. Until next time, zhaihelleva!
Starwind sighed. He was so tired, sore and dirty that he didn't look like one of the legendary Tayledras at all. He knew he'd never make it into his ekele, though he would have slept far more soundly there; one of his legs hurt so much it hardly took weight.
:You have returned, shay'kreth'ashke.:
As exhausted as he was, Starwind still smiled at the sound of Moondance's voice in his mind. :I am incredibly tired. My apoligies, but I fear there will be no celebration of my return on this night.:
Disappointment radiated from Moondance. He had obviously been lonely; not only had Starwind been out of the vale, Brightstar had as well. :I understand. But please, stay with me tonight. I simply will not allow you to climb to your ekele in the state you are in.:
:I did not intend to try. You know how rarely I sleep there, and I would certainly never do so after a fortnight away from you, ashke.:
Starwind pushed open the door to their bedroom, and an involuntary smile tugged at his lips at the sight. Moondance was stretched out on the bed, leaning on his elbow, naked, the sheets pooling just below the curve of his hipbones. A feather was clutched between his teeth. Starwind opened his mouth to remind his lifebonded he was simply too tired, but what came out was, "I thought we were beyond the exchange of feathers… otherwise, we would each be in possession of enough to make an entire bed."
Moondance beamed, and allowed the feather to fall from his mouth. "And that would be nothing good, seeing as you are not fond of such soft beds…"
Starwind laughed weakly, and it made his chest hurt. He managed to get stiffly onto the bed, and as soon as he was within reach, Moondance kissed him soundly.
"I will do all of the work tonight, ashke…" Moondance nearly purred as he moved away, his arms hooked over Starwind's shoulders.
Starwind chuckled again, placing a kiss to the nearest bit of Moondance, which happened to be his jawline. "I seem to recall," kiss, "Vanyel's ridiculous mother," kiss, "calling you an angel. I believe she was mistaken."
Moondance laughed as well, resting his forehead against Starwind's. "An angel? I? Surely, she must have been."
"An angel," Starwind continued, "is beautiful. As is my Moondance." Moondance laughed harder. "An angel," Starwind fixed him with a very serious look, hiding his amusement expertly, "is kind and selfless. As is my Moondance." Moondance was still laughing, but looking slightly coy as well. "An angel," Starwind had to fight very hard to hide his smile, "is pure and innocent. That is not my Moondance. Therefore, I very much hope you are not an angel, for if that is what you are, you cannot possibly be my Moondance."
"Do not fear, shay'kreth'ashke." Moondance said softly, pressing a gentle kiss to Starwind's lips. "I am no sort of angel. I am your lifebonded; I am your Moondance. Just as you are my Starwind."
"That, ashke, is most excellent." Starwind said, finally allowing himself to smile.
They fell to the bed in a tangle of limbs. Within moments, Starwind's filthy clothes were on the floor, and he'd forgotten how sore his body was.
And, as promised, Moondance did almost all of the work.