Author: Zalia Chimera
Warnings: Spoilers for the end of the series.
Notes: Set post- episode 25
Summary: Allelujah and Tieria talking in the middle of the night about changes and fitting the pieces together.
There are nail marks on Tieria's shoulders when Allelujah wakes up and he frowns for a moment, not remembering making them or the feel of fingernails digging into flesh, but he's been getting that a lot since Hallelujah... He thinks that he's mostly Allelujah now, but he can't quite be sure. The pieces still don't fit together right, but he thinks that at least now they're on the same table and he's piecing the mismatched emotions together slowly. That strange joyful rage that he's almost sure is wholly Hallelujah keeps getting the best of him and he remembers it welling up earlier, drowning out everything else. He knows that there's a place for it, he just hasn't found it yet and it's that part which left the marks on Tieria's skin. But Tieria leaves his own marks, Allelujah can feel it in his back and legs and buttocks, so it doesn't matter too much. Tieria isn't pushing him and he knows he'll find the right place eventually.
He pushes himself up into a sitting position and runs a hand through his hair, pushing it back out of his face and against his skull. The bedcovers have slipped low around his hips, the cool night air welcome against his sticky skin.
He feels Tieria's gaze on him and twists to meet it, propping himself up on the pillows. "You're awake."
Tieria snorts at the redundancy of the statement, a faintly amused smile on his lips although it's gone before Allelujah can be certain that it was more than a shadow in the darkness. "You're too loud," Tieria says and Allelujah gives him a sheepish smile of apology, even though they both know that he hasn't made a sound since waking. It gives him an excuse to stay awake and talk if he wants to.
Tieria stretches sinuously beneath the sheets, his tough lean body against Allelujah's in the way that makes his breath catch and his chest tighten. It always surprises him when someone calls Tieria slender (although never to his face). Slender is far too gentle a word for him when he's all muscle and sinew beneath his clothes and Allelujah can feel it now when one of Tieria's legs twines between his. He comes to rest against Allelujah's chest like a possessive cat. Allelujah tenses when he feels clever fingers running across his stomach idly. He's still wary of touch and oddly, it's usually Tieria who initiates things. It's like he took the crack that Lockon made and decided to wrench it open, filling the gap with every experience, every emotion, running through them all until he finds those he's satisfied with, but still hoarding the others away greedily.
Allelujah relaxes by the time Tieria's fingers are tracing across his chest, only hissing when he presses too hard against bruises and the marks left by Tieria's fingernails the night before. They sting but he wouldn't wish the cause of them gone.
There's a serious, focussed expression on Tieria's face as he pushes himself up to sit and his wandering fingers touch the side of Allelujah's face as Allelujah had known they would, running along the edges of the scar across his right eye. It's a curious touch, not quite tender; it's too firm and definite for that, but a good imitation of it. Enough to fool most people.
After a moment, Allelujah leans into the touch and he sees Tieria's eyes widen a little in shock (He's easier to read without the glasses), because Allelujah has always endured that touch before, never welcomed it like he is now. There's a part of him that is oddly gratified to take Tieria even a little off guard.
Tieria's palm covers his eyes, fingers splaying across his face and for a moment there's an irrational voice, not his exactly, the half of him from months ago, whispers that that's Hallelujah's eye and Hallelujah hates being touched. He shakes off the thought and sees Tieria gazing at him, a frown on his lips as he studies Allelujah's face. He pulls his hand away slowly, gaze flicking from one eye to the other. His fingertips linger for a moment longer than they have to.
Tieria nods firmly, obviously coming to some conclusion about him. "You're different," he says with a solemn tone and it's the first time that either of them have acknowledged it.
"We both are," Allelujah replies with an awkward shrug, but Tieria shakes his head. He grasps Allelujah's chin firmly, making him look up and meet Tieria's eyes.
"I'm accepting things that were already there but that I ignored," Tieria says slowly, perhaps a hint of uncertainty in his voice. "You're acting differently. You might not notice it, but I do. You react differently to things. You..." He smiles slightly. "You get angry about things. You don't just accept things."
"Something happened between you and the other one, didn't it?" Tieria interjects, looking at Allelujah intently.
Allelujah's mouth goes dry for a moment at the mention of Hallelujah and he just nods dumbly before finally finding his voice. "How?" He thought he'd been so careful to make sure none of them ever saw that other side of himself.
"Veda," Tieria replies calmly, apparently unconcerned with, or just not recognising Allelujah's discomfort. "It had reports about you," he explains. He finally seems to notice the expression on Allelujah's face. "I didn't look out of curiosity," he says defensively. "Only out of the necessity of knowing one's allies." He looks away, biting his lip for a moment and then shrugging dismissively. "And maybe a little out of curiosity," he admits, sounding as embarrassed as Tieria ever sounds. He looks back up at Allelujah with a tiny smile. "You talked to yourself."
Allelujah swallows thickly, his hands clenching on the bed sheets for a moment as he tried to think about what to say. Tieria didn't sound angry, didn't give away anything of what he was thinking and Allelujah still wasn't certain enough of himself to know how to react. "In the last battle we," he pauses, not even sure how to explain it. It wasn't as though Hallelujah had died, but he wasn't two personalities anymore. In that sense Hallelujah was still there. "We worked together but we were hit. He said he was going on ahead." A soft sigh escapes his lips. "I'm not sure who I'm meant to be anymore and sometimes I feel things that I don't know what to do with." And maybe that was it, the reason why he and Tieria had drifted together afterwards. Neither of them knew how to react naturally and Allelujah can't point out the flaws in Tieria's perfection.
Tieria doesn't reply, because there is nothing to say and he never wastes words, especially not with empty comfort. Allelujah doesn't think that he'd have been able to accept it if he had offered shallow words. Tieria stretches again beneath the covers and then rolls over, pushing himself out of bed, his skin painted orange by the streetlight outside the window, not a trace of shame evident at being nude and watched. He pads near silently out of the room and Allelujah can hear him moving in the kitchen, recognises each of the sounds as they come. Filling the coffee pot with the grounds and then water. The click of it being set on the stove to heat and the whistle it makes when it boils which always makes Tieria give it a dark look. Allelujah knows this ritual by heart by now. In a moment, Tieria will call him into the room, a mug of black coffee on the table in the kitchen waiting for him, while Tieria stands at the counter.
But the call never comes and just as Allelujah is about to get up and go check for himself, the door opens again and Tieria steps inside carrying two mugs. There's a tiny smirk on his lips and Allelujah thinks that this must be subtle revenge for surprising him earlier. Tieria catches his look and the smirk widens. "Routine is dangerous," he says and that's all the explanation he gives before he settles down on the bed and passes Allelujah his mug.
Allelujah takes it, letting it warm his hands before taking a sip, and then staring down at the cup. It's ridiculous to be drinking coffee at this time of the night, but Tieria seems in no hurry to go back to sleep, has picked up a book from the bedside table, the one he staunchly refuses to read at any time other than when they've just gone to bed at night. Allelujah smiles and thinks that tomorrow they'll lie in.