Sarkan woke silently, shivering as he felt a deep chill settle along his bones. He sat up, disentangling himself from Azar's sleepy clutches. Azar shifted, a faint frown creasing her forehead and Sarkan sighed when her eyes opened. "Wha' happened?" she mumbled, fighting back the urge to close her eyes and go back to sleep. Sarkan reached out and brushed a thumb over the gold markings along her cheek, a smile tugging at one corner of his mouth as Azar gave a content sigh. "What happened, Sarkan?" she asked again, sitting up. Clearly, she was up for the moment.
"…I'm not sure," Sarkan replied with a frown. "But someone's altered Kooza." And there was only one person aside from Sarkan within Kooza capable of that at the moment. "I want to make sure it's nothing permanent." He stood, shivering from the loss of heat. He looked around for one of his sleeping shirts and frowned when he couldn't find one. He glanced back at Azar and sighed when she merely blinked at him, doing her best to radiate innocence, despite the fact that she was wearing one of the missing shirts. "Thief," he murmured, pulling on his robe.
"Mm," Azar agreed as she slid out of the bed. She wandered over to his dresser and stole a pair of sleeping pants, cinching them tight. Sarkan sighed again but started for the door, Azar following. She blinked in surprise as Sarkan reached the stairs and started down them. It was a well established fact that when Cyrus was upset, he headed for highest place in Kooza: The King's Balcony. What would make him break from his usual habit? Azar frowned as she followed Sarkan down and out, stopping just outside the bataclan's entrance.
"Impressive," Sarkan murmured as he looked at the remade clearing before him. The clearing floor was covered in spread of thick grass. The faint burble of a stream could be heard though Sarkan couldn't see it.
"Sarkan…" Azar whispered, shivering beside him. He glanced down at her and was unsurprised to see her looking up. He raised his eyes and felt a flicker of surprise as he saw the rich canopy of stars spread across the nighttime sky. His lips twitched as he spotted familiar constellations, their stars shining just a touch brighter than the rest. "Sarkan…" Azar kept her voice low but there was an edge of tension present, echoed in her muscles. "I can't feel my trapeze…" She slid in front of him, her shoulders nudging his arms aside, silently seeking comfort.
He brushed his hands down her arms, caressing the markings along her fingers before leaning down to press a soft kiss on the side of her neck. "Peace Azar," he murmured, tracing the edge of her jaw with his nose. "Cyrus will restore everything to how it should be before morning."
"He'd better," she muttered, a snarl not-quite audible.
Sarkan chuckled and stood straighter, looking for the perpetrator of the unexpected changes within Kooza. There is a rustle in the grass, a flash of movement. Sarkan frowned as Iman wandered up to him, tongue lolling. He pulled away from Azar to kneel before the large hound. "Where is Cyrus?" he asked, fingers tangling in long fur as he scratched the dog's chest. Iman heaved a doggy sigh, eyes closing for a brief moment before whining as he turned and trotted away. Sarkan and Azar followed, ignoring the tickle of grass on their bare feet as Iman lead them to the outer edge of the clearing, down a slight incline and over by the stream Sarkan had heard earlier. Iman flopped down by Cyrus, who was sprawled in the grass, staring blankly up at the stars he had brought to Kooza. Sarkan let out a soft sigh and knelt next to the boy. "Cyrus?" His voice was surprisingly gentle and Azar abruptly noticed the glistening tear tracks on Cyrus's cheeks and the thick goblet clasped in one hand.
Cyrus blinked, shifting a little to glance at Sarkan before letting a small whine bubble up from his throat. Sarkan tilted the goblet towards him, checking the contents and sighed again. "How much have you had to drink?"
"…'Bout three cups," Cyrus answered after a moment. "Thought it would help but it doesn't, just makes things hurt more. He's gone and it hurts and I can't do anything but sit here." Sarkan brushed Cyrus's hair back from his forehead, deftly avoiding the raw gash that was still healing. Cyrus leaned into the touch and Sarkan pulled the goblet away from unresisting fingers, making it vanish in a quick flex of power. Cyrus let his eyes close, fresh tears trickling down his face as he gave a shuddering sigh. "Grandfather loved the stars," he said, his tone almost wistful.
Azar shifted, feeling distinctly uncomfortable. She didn't know anything about what Cyrus was muttering. However, Sarkan seemed set on sitting with the boy so she sat down next to Sarkan. Sarkan glanced at her and something of her discomfort must've shown as he turned to Cyrus. "Care to share some of his knowledge with us?" he asked lightly.
Cyrus looked surprised and his face started to crumple but he took a deep breath and nodded. "Well, there's Polaris and I always found him by the Big Dipper…" Cyrus raised his hand, pointing to the stars he was talking about. Azar felt a flash of irritation- how did he expect her to pick out the stars he was talking about from the millions above them?- when she saw Sarkan draw in a breath and twisted his fingers in an intricate gesture, wincing slightly as he did so.
She opened her mouth to ask what he'd done to hurt himself when he reached out and touched her arm. "Now look up," he murmured. Azar did so and gasped. The stars and the- constellations?- were outlined with thin silver lines, with elaborate, semitransparent portraits laid over them.
Cyrus stopped talking as he caught sight of Sarkan's additions to the night sky. He looked as surprised as Azar felt. After a moment he blushed, turning his head to look at Azar. "Sorry…I forgot that you wouldn't know what I'm pointing at," he apologized.
Azar stared up at the stars, acknowledging his apology with a faint nod. She spotted two figures, identical twins in robes of white and gold with matching feathery headdresses. "Who are they?" she asked, pointing.
"Castor and Pollux… Together they're called Gemini," Cyrus replied. "I can't remember the story behind them though…"
"They were twin half brothers. Castor was mortal and Pollux was immortal," Sarkan spoke up, making Azar and Cyrus turn to look at him. "When Castor died, Pollux begged his father to let him share his immortality with his brother. The father, moved by Pollux's pleas, made them into the constellation we see in the stars."
Azar nodded and pointed at another constellation. "What's that one?"
Sarkan slid back under his blankets with a groan of relief. Azar waited until he was completely settled before clambering over him, not wanting to walk around to the other side of his monstrous bed. She entertained the notion of sprawling over him for a brief moment but decided that she wanted to be under the covers first if she chose to do so. She curled up next to him with a sigh and closed her eyes. They had just returned from escorting to Cyrus to his bed after the teen had restored the clearing in front of the bataclan to normal and Azar was tired.
A few seconds later, her lips curled up and she laughed softly as she felt Sarkan's hands tracing patterns down her ribs. She felt for his hands and intertwined her fingers with his as he started caressing her hips. "I do want to sleep at some point," she murmured.
Sarkan sighed, a hint of regret audible. She felt him shift so that he was on his side, facing her. "I merely wished to express my appreciation for the compassion you showed Cyrus tonight." His breath was warm as it brushed over her throat, making her shiver.
Azar opened her eyes enough to see him watching her. "Even I wouldn't harm him when he's so …" Azar's voice trailed off as she searched for the right word. "Damaged," she finished. Sarkan smiled sadly and leaned forward to kiss her on the lips. Azar stilled, surprised, before kissing back. It was short, chaste kiss for the pair but it fit.
After a moment Sarkan pulled back enough to touch his forehead to hers. "Perceptive," he whispered.
Azar huffed. "Even the clowns would've been able to see it tonight." Before Sarkan could speak, Azar yawned. "We can talk in the morning," she mumbled as the combination of warmth from Sarkan and the blankets pulled her back towards sleep. Sarkan hummed his agreement and settled beside her, draping an arm over her waist.
AN: (Gods damned formatting.) This is the last drabble I have currently written for this little story arc, so no double update *hangs head* This set doesn't feel finished, so when I get more relevant plot bunnies, I will write them out and post them. Bad author, no cookie. Still, for the moment, the story will be labeled Complete.I don't know what I'll post next since none of the other mini-story arcs are finished : They may not be finished for a while since NaNoWriMo starts in 2 days and I will be focused on writing my Kooza novel.
Three things to share: One, Sarkan and Kooza have been together for so long without any physical changes that anytime something withing Kooza is altered, Sarkan feels it physically. Sarkan can change things in Kooza, but it's not as easy as it once was. When he made the constellation illustrations, it hurt. Not a lot, just some assorted joint aches. Azar would've pounced on it but Sarkan side tracked her. As the author, I decided focusing on Azar's development was more important than Sarkan explaining his wince.
Two, Azar's development. Yay, she's grown as a person and while she's still not fond of Cyrus, she can see he's hurting and that her usual approach wouldn't help matters. She won't be as kind as Aysu or Cita, but she will be gentler. Somewhat.
Three, random tidbits of info. Iman is the name I gave the Dog from the show; it means faithful. In my head, Iman is built as a cross between the tall, leggy lines of an Irish wolfhound with the sheer mass of a Newfoundland. Second tidbit, anyone who has seen the finale of Varekai should recognize the the outfits I described for the Gemini constellation xD I think that's as close as a crossover between two Cirque shows will get as I will ever write (between other fandoms is a different matter...). If Castor and Pollux figure into my novel, they will be their own characters and not based off of Varekai's Castor and Pollux.
Final thing: This drabble was spawned when one of my friends asked if anyone of the Koozans (Many thanks to ToMordor for the name xD) had seen the stars and how they would feel. Answer: No, they haven't outside of books and they would feel uncomfortable. Azar's discomfort is doubled by the fact that her trapeze was put somewhere when she couldn't feel it. The highwire artists would feel the same.