Aeson and the Bearer
You turn to assess the shafts of light entering through the glass. Hazy sun, cool breeze. The sun is sinking. The wheel of the landscape turns underneath the last of its golden light. Signs of departure are everywhere. Beneath you, people gather around the ruined spire of a building to watch the sky fold into itself.
There is open wreckage to both sides, and overhead, plumes of smoke obscure the new moon from view, a lone tree curling into the sky, branches extended like fingers.
The problem with pain, is that it hurts. You’re tired of having to feel it. Whatever leaves you, never returns the same except for pain. Pain is placid in its reliability, as much a part of you as anything else.
You hear Aeson before you see him, coming up behind you in the glass, the face you know from every angle, so well, that in a way, you’ve stopped seeing it. You turn it, reflexively, over in your heart. You’ve seen before the lines in the forehead, the faint scar traversing the eyebrow, the tension that sours the mouth. There’s a dark smear on his cheek, and you reach without thinking to wipe it clean. He leans unhesitatingly into the touch, and you smile despite yourself.
You drop cross legged onto the floor, and he settles beside you, knees touching. You don’t wonder what he’s thinking, because you’re thinking it too.
“I have something for you.” He says, after a long minute. He doesn’t turn to face you. Your fingers, brushing on his thigh, feel very warm and soft.
“Yeah?” “A Nyquil, I hope.”
He squeezes your hand in response, but there’s no answering laugh. “Hold out your hand.”
You raise an eyebrow, but do as you’re told, and he drops something cold into your palm that glitters as it catches the light.
Afterwards, darkness will be what is left of a pair of lips, nearly blistered with kissing, or a hand laced in a hand; but right now, you hold the ring up to the glass, silhouetted against the world outside, and let the silence sit between you like a third person.
“The moon,” you say, finally, amused, “and you’ve got the sun?”
“Don’t laugh.” He says. “I saw it and thought of you.”
You hold your joined hands in front of your face, and note with some laughter, that he is wearing one. “A signet ring,” you repeat, “with a crest. You want us to wear twin crests.”
“You said you wouldn’t laugh.” He says, and narrows his eyes at you.
“I didn’t say that.” You say, bringing his fingers to your mouth. “I’ve never said that.” “But, anyway. Why do you get the sun?”
He turns to you, looking mildly surprised. “Do you want it? I just thought you’d like the moon.”
“You should have gotten two suns. That would’ve been fair.”
“Really?” He says, brows drawing together in alarm. “Do you really want ‐”
“I’m playing.” You say, and laugh, again, when he cuts you a glare. “This is sweet.”
When you kiss him, he smiles against your mouth.