Author's Note: These are just four ficlets that I wrote awhile ago that I thought sort of went together. Cal/Pell/Rue.
Pell's eyes were on long-legged, blond-headed little thing that kept casting glances in his direction. There were always these beautiful hara at parties in Phaonica who seemed to have no other function than to look good and who seemed to want to capture Pell's attention. Rue playfully referred to them as the "bimbos of Immanion". After awhile, even Pell had taken to using the name.
There was a loud sound near Pell's ear and he realized that Cal had snapped his fingers. Pell looked at him. "I called your name three times," Cal said. His eyes strayed to the har Pell had been admiring and he grinned. "I know he's gorgeous, but just bear with me for a minute."
Pell groaned, cursing himself for his own distraction. "Is it just me or are the bimbos getting more attractive everyday?"
Cal smiled and flicked a glance in Rue's direction. Rue was listening to their conversation and he also smiled, but attempted to hide it when Pell looked at him.
Pell never liked it when hara seemed to know things that he didn't. "What?" he asked.
"He's so naïve," Cal said to Rue.
"Like a little harling," Rue agreed, sipping his drink.
"What is it?" Pell demanded.
"I think you should tell him," Cal said, laughing outright by now.
Rue clicked his long fingernails on the glass table. He looked lovely, even though his hairdresser had gone a bit overboard – all that silver fabric hid his pretty blond hair. "Fine," Rue put his drink down and pursed his lips. "The bimbos haven't been getting any more attractive, Pell. They're the same bimbos that were here a year ago. They've just started bleaching their hair."
Pell's felt his mouth drop open. "Bleaching their hair? Why?" he asked.
"For you, I'd imagine," Rue said, taking another sip of his fruity drink.
"Well, there was that whole thing with Galdra," Cal said, still laughing, though a note of sourness had crept into his voice.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
A smile was playing at the corners of Rue's mouth. "I think that what Cal is trying to say, my dear, is that two times might be a coincidence, but three times is a fetish."
The Tigrina opted for a small, family birthday this year and Pellaz was glad. In the past, Caeru had often thrown huge, raucous parties to celebrate his birthday that Pell would find some excuse to get out of. He didn't like half of Rue's friends and he hardly needed yet another useless social function to take up his time.
This year, though, Rue merely ordered the staff to make him a decadent chocolate cake and have it served with family dinner. So the family sat at one of Rue's pleasant little meals, nibbling at cake -- expect for Loki who was still so young that half the cake ended up on his face rather than in his mouth.
Pellaz glanced at the small stack of presents at the end of the table. He had done well with Rue's gift this year if he did say so himself. In the past, Pellaz had handed the unenviable task of picking out gifts for Rue to Vaysh. "Anything gaudy and overpriced," he said when Vaysh looked at him with those stony eyes. Of course, Vaysh never failed to deliver and as result the Tigrina had a collection of ridiculously huge (even for him) earrings and necklaces adorned with every sort of gem imaginable.
This year, however, Pellaz had made more of an effort. He'd still made Vaysh pick out the thing, but had given him specific instructions on what Rue might like and had even sent back two gifts not deemed good enough. In the end, they settled on a very small marble statue of Rue's favorite dehara (some obscure, feminine looking deity). Pell hoped that Rue would like it.
"Present time," Rue declared, as soon as they were done with dessert. Pellaz smiled at his consort's childlike tone. Caeru did enjoy presents.
Pellaz watched impatiently as Loki bolted from Cal's lap and climbed up into Rue's, jabbering and handing him a handmade card covered in a sticky mess of glitter. "Thank you, Loki," Rue said, spending several minutes looking at the card as Loki told him how he made each part.
Next he opened a gift from Terez and Raven. It was a leather bound book. Caeru wasn't much of a reader, but Pell knew that he liked to have a few expensive books lying about to make his rooms look classy. Rue put Loki down and stood up to lift Pellaz's gift. "Wow, it's heavy," he said.
He pulled off the tasteful cream colored wrapping paper and opened the box to reveal the beautiful, white statue. "Why Pell," he said, softly, surprise tinting his voice. "It's lovely."
"It's by Martanee," Pellaz said, feeling a bit smug. "I'm told he's the best with marble."
"He is," Rue said. He walked over and gave Pell a kiss on the forehead. "Thank you," he said. He admired the statue for a few more moments before turning to his final gift – Cal's.
He picked up the squishy package wrapped in blinding silver paper and looked at Cal. Cal gave him a lazy grin. Pell thought that his chesnari had a suspiciously smug look on his face. Rue carefully peeled the paper away and took the lid off the box to pull out what looked to be an old pair of red leather trousers.
"Hm, interesting," Rue said, turning them over in his hands. "Are these for later?" He quirked an eyebrow in Cal's direction.
"No," Cal said. "Well, maybe, if you want. But these happen to be the very pair of trousers that Cobra was wearing when the Violent Highlights did that wild concert in Coinin."
Rue blinked at him for a minute. "Oh my God," he said quietly.
"What is it?" Pell asked. He had barely understood a word of what Cal said.
"Oh my God!" Rue shrieked, jumping up and down. "Cal!" Cal stood up, as if anticipating Rue actions and Rue threw his arms around Cal's neck and kissed him on the lips. Rue then jumped several more times, clutching the trousers to him. "Cobra's body actually touched these trousers," he said.
"Who the hell is Cobra?" Pell asked. He looked around to see the rest of the family looking just as confused as he was.
"The lead singer of the Violent Highlights," Rue said, still admiring the trousers.
"Who are the Violent Highlights?"
Both of Pellaz's consorts stared at him as if he'd grown an extra head. "Very early Wraeththu band," Cal said. "Very famous."
Pell couldn't help but feel a bit annoyed at Rue's reaction. He'd spent all this time finding a beautiful and tasteful gift for the Tigrina and Rue was floored by a pair of hideous trousers. "Why should you care if some singer's body has touched a pair of trousers?" he asked. "You're the Tigrina, for Aghama's sake."
Rue was ignoring him. "I bet that Cobra has taken aruna in these trousers," he said.
"Oh, I bet that he has," Cal said, winking at Pellaz. "Cobra was a famous beauty as well as a good singer," he explained.
"You know, I met Cobra once," Rue said, his face going wistful as it always did when he thought about his days as a singer. "The Highlights were doing a tour and they came to Ferelithia. He said a few words to me."
"I met him once too," Cal said.
"When?" Pellaz demanded.
"Oh, about a week ago."
"A week ago?" Pell and Rue asked at once.
Cal grinned. "Of course. Where do you think I got the trousers?"
"Pellaz, my Pellaz," Cal's voice came through the bathroom door. "Come out and show yourself."
Pell crossed his arms and glared at himself in the mirror. He looked ridiculous. He didn't know where Cal even found such a dumb looking costume – it looked like the type of uniform that human schoolboys used to wear. Blue checkered short trousers and a navy blazer over a white button down shirt.
"I look stupid," Pell said. "I'm not coming out."
"Pell," Cal's voice was wheedling.
"Aw, come on," now it was Rue's voice that pleaded with him through the door. "I'll bet you look cute."
"The Tigron should not look cute," Pellaz said under his breath, but he opened the door and stepped into his bedroom.
He glared at his consorts as they smiled back at him. Cal was dressed normally, but Rue was wearing an outfit similar to Pellaz, only he had a skirt instead of shorts. He had also done his hair up in pigtails, applied cosmetics in a way that Pellaz suspected was intentionally childish and was currently licking a large, red lollipop.
Cal stepped forward and pressed his lips to Pell's and for a moment, Pellaz was lost in his chesnari's breath. Then, they separated and Pell was brought back to reality. "You're really sick," he whispered. "I hope you know that."
Cal grinned. "Always." Rue had moved toward them and was now licking Cal's neck instead of the lollipop. "Stop that," Cal said, slapping his wrist.
Rue yelped, but a moment later, batted his eyelashes. "Why? Am I being a bad little har? Are you my teacher?"
"Yes, yes, you're a very bad little har and I'll punish you later. Now go sit on the bed while I talk to Pellaz."
Rue skipped over to Pell's huge bed and flung himself down on it. Pell could only shake his head at his consorts' antics. "Sick," he said again.
"It's just a fantasy, Pell," Rue said from the bed. "Play along."
"Yeah, play along," Cal reached out to touch Pell's hair. "You know Rue and I played along when you wanted us to do that weird hair washing thing."
"That was odd," Rue agreed.
"It was completely different," Pell said, crossing his arms. "This fantasy doesn't even make any sense. Do you have a thing for human children that you want to confess to?"
Cal rolled his eyes. "Of course I don't have a thing for human children. The outfits represent innocence … or something. Don't ask me. I used to go to private school, so maybe it fucked me up a bit."
"Well, what about him?" Pell jerked his head at Rue who was currently doing something lewd to his lollipop. "Why is he wearing a skirt? I thought you didn't even like girls when you were a human."
"I didn't like girls," Cal said. "Now boys in girls' clothes, on the other hand --"
"Cal!" Pell punched him in the arm. They both laughed, but then Pell became serious again. There was something about all this that was really bothering him. He chewed his lip as he tried to think of what it could be. "Am I not enough for you?" he asked, finally. "Are you still longing for that innocent little sixteen-year-old Pellaz from Saltrock?"
Cal blinked at him. "God, Pell, is that what you think this is about? No. I just like a little variety in bed, that's all."
Pell looked at him, feeling uncertain. "Come here," Cal said. Pell went to him and they shared breath. "I love you the way you are now," Cal whispered. "You don't have to do this if you don't want to."
Pell looked at his chesnari and then around at the room. Rue was still lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling and whistling to himself. Pell looked down at his schoolboy outfit and suddenly the whole thing seemed comical. He laughed. "No, we can do this," he said. "What do I do? Just bat my eyelashes a bit?"
Cal laughed. "Yeah, something like that. Watch Rue – he seems to be a good actor."
Rue sat up, apparently relieved that they were paying attention to him again. His blue eyes went very wide and he licked his lips. "Pellaz is being a bad, bad little har, teacher," he said. "I think you should punish him." He reached into the top drawer of Pell's nightstand and pulled out a wooden ruler.
"I don't remember buying props!" Cal said.
Rue shrugged. Pell found it amusing that he seemed to be able to turn the childish act on and off at whim. "Props always liven things up. When are we doing my fantasy, by the way?"
"Soon," Cal said. "Let's not traumatize Pellaz too much in one night, okay?" Rue grinned.
"Do I want to know what his fantasy is?" Pell asked.
"Probably not," Cal said.
Pell felt a smile creeping over his face. "Well, as long as it doesn't involve costumes!"
Pellaz walked into Rue's rooms to find Cal and Rue eating lunch together, chatting amicably. Pellaz was a bit hungry, despite having been fed a large breakfast in Galhea, so he threw himself into a third chair and began stealing food off Cal's plate. Caeru, who did not approve of this behavior, called the servants to bring Pell a plate and a drink.
"This is a pleasant surprise, Pell," Rue said, as a serving har put a plate in front of Pellaz. "We weren't expecting you back from Galhea for another two days."
"What can I say? I missed my beautiful consorts."
"Of course you did," Cal said and without further preamble, he lifted Pell's hair and began sucking on his neck.
Rue shook his head and smiled, waving away the embarrassed looking servant. Pellaz enjoyed Cal's hungry lips and Rue's hungry gaze for a few moments before Cal pulled away.
"What's this I see?" Cal said, turning to Rue. "It appears that somehar has already kissed our Pellaz's tender little neck before you or I could get to him."
Pell smiled, thinking of his tryst earlier that morning. Rue's eyebrows shot up. "Oh really?" he asked.
"Really," Cal said, lifting Pell's hair so that Rue could see. "He has quite the love mark."
"Hm," Rue pursed his lips. "You're going to have to stop taking aruna with Cobweb every time you go to Galhea, dear. Your brother is going to get jealous."
"It wasn't Cobweb," Pellaz said, without thinking.
Cal looked at him in surprise and Rue quirked an eyebrow. "Ooh, intrigue," Rue said.
"Yes," Cal said, running a finger up and down the length of Pell's neck. "Please tell us – who was the lucky har?"
Pell realized, too late, that it might not be a good idea to tell them who he had been taking aruna with. "No one," he said, waving away Cal's attentions and focusing on his food.
"No one, huh?" Cal asked. "What do you think, Rue? Maybe one of Galhea's staff was treated to an unforgettable night with the Tigron."
"Maybe," Rue said, scooting closer to Pellaz. "What about Aleeme? He's always had a big crush on Pellaz."
"Aleeme does not have a crush on me," Pell objected and then groaned as Caeru began stroking his thigh.
"Not Aleeme, huh?" Cal said, casually running his hand down Pell's chest. "Well, I'm stumped. Our little Pellaz is being so mysterious."
"Okay, I lied," Pell said, wanting the subject dropped. "It was Cobweb. Happy?"
Cal laughed. "You really expect us to believe that now? Oh no. It wasn't Cobweb."
Rue was now working on Pell's neck, making it hard for Pellaz to think. "It was no one, okay," Pell said. "Just drop it."
Suddenly, Cal pulled away. "Oh," he said, in an alarmed tone. "I know who it was."
"You do?" Pellaz asked.
"Yeah," Cal said, giving Pell a sidelong glance. "It was Seel, wasn't it?"
Suddenly, there was an annoying lack of hands and lips caressing Pell's body. Pell shrugged, giving his consorts a sheepish look. "Yes."
"Ew! Pell!" Caeru said, leaning away from Pellaz.
"What?" Pell asked as his consorts continued to stare at him. "Seel is beautiful. And he's my friend. Just because you two have an unnatural hatred of Seel, doesn't mean that I do."
Pellaz attempted to put his arm around Rue, but Rue shuddered and pulled away. "I can't touch you when you're covered in Seel essence." He stood from his seat.
"Where are you going?" Cal asked.
"To gargle acid."
Pell rolled his eyes. Caeru could be so melodramatic. "I don't see why you're making such a big deal out of this. You take aruna with Swift, don't you?"
"A few times. What's your point?"
Pellaz couldn't help but smile. "Don't you think there's the slightest possibility that he may have touched Seel before he got to you?"
Caeru made a face. "Thanks a lot. I try not to dwell on it, you know." With this statement, he flounced into the bathroom, nose pointed high in the air.
Cal looked at Pellaz and shrugged. "He'll be back. I've never known Rue to turn down a good roon." Then, Cal ran his hands through his hair and there was a long, awkward silence between them. "So, you and Seel, huh?" he asked, at last.
"Yes," Pellaz said, afraid that Cal would be angry. Cal wasn't too fond of Seel, but honestly, Pell was sick of the both of them. They needed to just forgive each other. Pell didn't like it when people he liked hated each other.
"Does this happen often?" Cal asked, in a strained voice. The morning light cast shadows over his face.
"Not often," Pell said. "But sometimes – when he used to live in Immanion, sometimes I'd have him come to me. I was lonely back then."
"I guess that he was soume," Cal said.
"You know that I'm not usually soume with other hara," Pell said in a soft voice.
"Where did it happen today?"
"Guest bedroom at Forever. Look, if you don't want me to do it anymore --"
Cal waved a dismissive hand. "No, it's fine. What was Seel wearing?"
"A black – hey, wait a minute," Pellaz narrowed his eyes. "What does it matter what he was wearing?"
Cal shrugged, his mouth fighting a smile. "Just answer the question."
"This is getting you roony, isn't it?! I thought you didn't like Seel anymore."
Cal smiled and shook his head. "Pellaz, Pellaz, Pellaz. When will you learn? I don't like him anymore. That doesn't mean that I don't want to know what he looked like when my beautiful consort rooned him senseless."
Author's Note: So? What do we think? Favorites? Not-so-favorites? Reviews are love.