Authors Note: This is only my second fanfic on this website ever. Reviews fuel my need to write more and dissipate the writer's block. So… hint hint.

P.S. If I get enough reviews on this I'll post a second chapter up. My imagination never ceases to create possiblities for these two.

And then there was hope

Niall shot upright in his king-sized bed with Irial's name on his lips. It was still dark outside. He was instantly aware of the strings that bound the other faeries to Iri- his court. He plopped back down on the bed and turned to his side.

"Boo." Niall jumped. Irial laughed at him.

"What the hell are you doing in my bed?" Niall whispered angrily.

Irial leaned his head against the carved mahogany dashboard.

"Couldn't sleep," he replied. His black hair, which he had grown out after Niall's suggestion, fell messily into his face. Unkempt wasn't an option with Irial. Even if a bird was living in it, it was still plain sexy. To make matters worse, we wasn't wearing a shirt either, just the rumpled royal purple silk pants he slept in. Royal purple silk pants that hung too loosely for anyone's sake. "But better question would be why you are repeatedly saying my name during your sleep."

Niall rolled his eyes and patted the pillow next to him in hopes of Irial avoiding the subject. He didn't want to talk about the nightmares he had where Bananach's talons ripped open Irial's chest and stole his heart. That heart belongs to me, Niall thought as Irial happily slid under the covers. He got as close to Niall's side as possible, and every time he tried to get away Irial would just keeping scooting over until Niall was on the very edge.

"Now what are you doing?" Niall rolled on top of Irial and tasted a bolt shock and something else before Irial put his barrier back up.

"I'm not tired anymore, let's talk."

Niall sat on the other side of him, hugged his knees to his chest and sighed. He agreed but made it look like he wasn't happy about it, even though he was thrilled at this opportunity. They rarely ever discussed anything that wasn't court related, and Niall missed Irial. The former Dark King's quirky mannerisms and playful attitude but also how he held himself and the seriousness he could quickly adapt to was what attracted Niall to him.

"Fine." Niall waited for the other to say something, but Irial just stared through heavily lidded eyes with a slight smile on his face.

Suddenly Niall felt self conscious. "What?" he asked.

"I miss you, that's all." Irial's blue eyes looked up at Niall. They traced the shape of Niall's shoulders and rested on the partially exposed chest behind a button down shirt.

Niall looked away. Even though he had forgiven Irial for what he had done centuries ago and asked him to come home, visiting him in the middle of the night, especially shirtless, was not part of his offer. He wanted so badly to believe that this didn't bother him in the least, that they could just lay there and chat, but if Irial said one more thing like that Niall would snap.

"Irial, stop."

"What's wro-"

"You know exactly what's wrong. I asked you to come home, not sleep in my bed with me."

Irial pouted. "You're no fun," he said. He sat upright and made a motion to get out of the bed, but was interrupted.

"Fuck it," Niall muttered. He hugged Iriall tightly, so tightly that Irial's wall came crashing down and all his emotions spilled out.

Sadness. Jealousy. Protection. Hope. Love. They tasted better than a butter-cream cake with chocolate and French vanilla ice cream piled on top. Niall drank every single one of Iri's emotions. Somewhere in the back of his mind he felt his arms go even tighter around the other boy.

Irial tried to put the barriers back up, but is efforts failed; he was too lost in Niall. He wrapped his arms around him and buried his face in the other's neck. He let free every thought and feeling he had been trying to hide from Niall and waited until his King had sucked it all up. When Niall was done, his grip loosened around Irial and his hands slid down from his shoulders. Iriall sighed at how Niall's warm hands felt on his back and wished for the tenth time that night that Niall slept without a shirt. Clothes were bothersome. Were he a hound this skin contact would keep him fueled for a month, but only because it was with Niall.

Niall's head was spinning. He was shocked and didn't know what to say, so he just sat there, hugging his Iri. When both of them were relaxed and comfortable and all the tension had fled, Niall felt Irial's head pull back. He too looked up and met the other's blue-black gaze. In those eyes, Niall saw all secrets exposed and felt his own heart beat with a speed he didn't know was possible.

"Iri…" he started, but Irial shut him up with a kiss. It sent an electrical current through both of them even though all they did was softly brush their lips. The need to be closer grew, and their kissing deepened. Niall pushed Irial back down on the bed so that he was lying right on top of him. Somewhere during the next ten minutes Irial had managed to take Niall's shirt off, and their bare torsos were touching.

Irial pulled away first. "I don't want to push you…"

"Trust me, Gancanagh," Niall assured him, "I've been lying to myself, I've always loved you and this just feels right to me."

Irial had never expected the Dark King to return his feelings, let alone voice them aloud. But still, he didn't want to take things too far and lose Niall again.

"Let's go to sleep?" he suggested.

Niall was surprised for a moment but then he saw the logic behind Irial's thoughts. He chuckled, "but we never had the little chat that you initially came to me for."

Irial shrugged, "If you still want to chat we can do that tomorrow night," he added, "my King."

Niall chuckled and snuggled into Irial's side. He was the only one who could put Niall's mind at ease and take away the pain. He was tired of lying to himself. Inside, he felt the court rejoice at their love. How long have they waited and known?

"They're happy," Niall whispered.

"I know. You're body echoes their joy," Iri said. He stroked Niall's hair as Niall entwined their fingers.

"They should thank you," Niall said sleepily.

"Hmmm?" murmured Irial, "for what?"

"For staying by my side, always."

"I love you, my King…"

Niall kissed his forehead.

"I love you too, Irial."