Title: Beneath The Stars
Characters: Ali, Lawrence (Slightly Slashy)
Summary: Aurens was Arabia's brightest star.

x-x-x-x-x

Night fell on the desert, but there was light enough for Ali. His eyes were always filled now with images of Aurens.

In the daytime, Aurens blazed whiter than the sun as he burned a path across the sand. In the night, he shone under the moon like the brightest of heaven's stars.

Aurens' plans for Ali's people were vast, the doubters' questions predictable: is it possible? Can he do it? The answer lay in the man himself, for if anyone could accomplish such a thing, it would be Aurens. There were times Ali wondered whether Aurens was truly human, or a force of nature or magic instead, like some scirocco-summoned desert djinn.

At night, the blue of Aurens' eyes was softer but no less brilliant. He spoke in quieter tones, sharing the intimacy of dreams rather than the fervor of his visions.

Ali longed for those evenings when the cold brought Aurens closer, when they slept in mingled blankets and Ali could as easily protect Aurens from bands of Bedouins as from the treachery of jackals. It was far more difficult to meet the challenge of protecting Aurens from himself.

With only three day's ride to Daraa, Ali already mourned the coming loss of his privileged time with Aurens. He could not bear to think beyond Damascus, and whether Aurens might forever return to England after having accomplished his mission.

The Arabic version of Aurens' name was more beautiful than the English version. Ali wondered if the same was true for Aurens himself.

The man beside him was still mysterious all these months later, still the most amazing person Ali would likely ever meet. He seemed more than the world (let alone a country) could contain, yet Ali felt certain England would try.

He prayed that he was wrong, that such a thing would never happen.

Without Aurens, life itself would lose its color, and Ali's happiness would wither until it dissipated like so much desert dust.

- fin -