This is the promised piece that is connected to "Leaf Green" so make sure you read that one if you haven't gotten there yet, alright, my darling koi?
Since I missed Valentine’s Day, I wanted to write something romantic. While this piece will have lovey-dovey sentiment, it will not resolve properly until the Valentine’s Day piece!
Prompt: (26) Two Shot
Perspective: First Person –first Ellery’s, then Algernon’s
Genres: Fantasy, Drama, Romance
Length: 2021 words
-Difference of Station
-Lack of Resolution
The low noises he made as he bustled about eased me into consciousness and I stared up at the emptiness that was my sight as I listen to him hum and move and create. There was nothing particularly unusual in any of it, but he seemed inordinately happy for such an ordinary day. Still, I shoved the thought from my mind as I reached for my dressing gown and muttered a simple spell that lightly blasted my entire room with magick. It was a spell I used very rarely, but I could not quite recall the way I’d left my room the night before. When one works to the point of exhaustion, the spell became something a little more than just handy.
As the magick revealed the state of things to my sight, I winced to see how my clothing was scattered about my room and my boots left sideways at the doorway where I must have toed out of them. Groaning, I crawled from the warmth of my bed and draped myself in the cool dressing gown before setting the room right again. A sharp chill rode the air and I shivered against it, but knew that resolving to dress quickly was a waste of time.
It was yet another day I was glad I had not listened to Algernon while purchasing my wardrobe. Honestly, over the years, buying my clothes had somehow become a bit of a game between the two of us. He always complained that a monochrome wardrobe was incredibly boring and insisted that I have at least two colors. Though my color selections had shifted a few times, he was never quite happy with the two dark colors I chose, but I always held my ground on the subject. Dressing was complicated enough when one couldn’t see –and I really didn’t wish to worry about choosing clashing colors.
Algernon was one of the few people I’d ever encountered who could pout at a soul-deep level, and I normally had to put up with it for several hours each and every time he deemed I needed to change my wardrobe. Still, he would eventually relent, grumbling but procuring a single item in a bright, outlandish color. He insisted I needed “some color in my life” and on occasions he deemed appropriate, I would find myself playing his dress up doll so I would be “presentable and not embarrass him in public”.
Chuckling to myself, I recalled the day that he had bought be the dressing gown I wore. It had most certainly cost him something, relenting and agreeing I was right that first time, but be damned if he had still wanted to have his way somehow. It had also been the first tangible gift my master had given me, and I loved it dearly, even though Algernon insisted that it was close to a decade out of fashion. Still, I occasionally wore it just as far as the kitchen because I could feel him lighten the instant he saw it, much as he would deny it. I wasn’t actually sure when it had happened but his happiness had become quite important to me.
One way or another, the warlock had crept under my skin. I was certain it had been quite difficult, too, because I had never been very good at letting anyone in. Life had taught me the hard way that letting someone in only led to pain, whether it was emotional or physical. It was almost especially true when that person should love you or care for you no matter what. I had yet to grow to fancy such a thing as pain, so I tended to keep my distance.
Yet somewhere, during the long days and longer nights of him barking orders at me, his bizarre attachment to titles, his austere and strangely condescending tones and his moments of such kindness, his strange quirks and even stranger moods... Somewhere, amid all of the reasons to shut him out, with all of the things I could hate about my master (and probably should hate about him, as it were), I had to go and fall in love with him instead.
When Fei had figured out I was in love with Algernon, he had thrown back his head and laughed hysterically before ruffling my hear and telling me I was “most certainly an adorable little masochist”.
But if my mentor knew –if Algernon St.Clair, the High Warlock of Edana knew, what would he think of such a thing?
The question had rolled around my mind like a lost marble often enough, yet I still couldn’t seem to grasp how he would react to such a thing. He would not be able to hide it –that we both knew almost painfully well. Due to my native ability and the blindness that left that ability my only method of sight, the tiniest flickers were perceptible. Since I had been by his side for these years, I knew each mood by sight and manifestation. If I were candid, that was exactly why I hadn’t mentioned it to my mentor at all. There was nowhere for me to go if it soured our relationship –not unless that surly dragon wished to share his nest with me.
Sighing heavily and shoving my hands through my hair roughly, I did my best to push such thoughts from my mind. Crossing the room to the wardrobe, I drew out a fresh tunic and clean breeches.
It was time to face the day –and Algernon St.Clair. And one of them would most certainly be more difficult to face than the other today, but only time would tell which one.
Ellery Wylan towered over me and had the broadest, strongest shoulders I’d ever seen. He was so large that rooms seemed to shrink about him but he breathed unimaginably rich warmth into everything. I couldn’t help but think he was everything I wasn’t: genuinely kind, generous and positively wonderful. Yet it had been the vulnerabilities of this man that had spoken to me so deeply.
The first night he’d been in my home had been startling, heart-wrenching, and eye opening, to say the very least. With his empathic abilities untrained and uncontrolled, he’d nearly sent both Fei and myself past the brink of suicide before we realized he was the source of such dark thoughts and emotions. I had burst into his room only to see the large man whimpering and straining as though his hands were bound, in the throes of what had to be an incredibly violent nightmare. Judging by the sheer intensity of the emotions he was projecting, I had realized it had to be a memory. Reaching out to touch him, I had recoiled sharply when he had growled at me and bared his teeth like some sort of wounded animal. I remember thinking, What have I brought into my home?!
I have no recollection of what occurred after that, but Fei swears that I chanted his name like some sort of mantra or spell, yet in the most gentle, tender, earnest manner he had ever heard me use.
“Ellery. Ellery. Won’t you wake up, youngling? You’re safe here, Ellery. Ellery.”
I don’t even know how long it was before the straining form relaxed against the bed for a moment before bolting upright. But I did remember the way the tears had glistened down his cheeks and the tight way he clung to me. The way he felt pressed against me hadn’t even registered: all I had felt was my own need to comfort him as relief had washed over him and out onto Fei. It had been so beautiful to me to see those tears. All of my life –and it had been considerably longer than his so far; there was no point in lying about that– I had been taught that all expressions of emotion beyond amusement were signs of weakness. How beautiful, then, to see a man of such strength weep like a child and know that he trusted me with those tears and those emotions! And to have survived where he had for so many years, he was impossibly strong.
It was pretty fair to say that I had been utterly doomed from that evening on. A once-strong relationship with Fei, based on mutual affection tied in with our long life-spans, crumbled so quickly under the weight and strain of the growing affections I held for my apprentice. Only the collapse of the relationship had shown me just how flimsy it had been. Still, that I felt so much for my apprentice was worrisome, and it was the very relationship already established between us that held me back. Ellery was my apprentice and I would not abuse the trust he placed in me or use it to my advantage. The stars knew that he had been used and abused enough and I refused to be someone who would willfully add to that.
Today, however, ten years to the day when Fei had brought him to my door and asked me to train him –today, we would cease to be a master and his apprentice. I had imparted all of the knowledge and wisdom into him that I could; the rest he would have to learn by living and practicing and eventually, taking his own apprentices. The relationship, the only thing that bound us together, would come to an end. Perhaps we would become something more or perhaps we would never speak again.
Yet I knew that I had to take this chance. I had to reveal my feelings to him, to ask for a chance for us, because I feared my life would never be complete without him in it. And despite all of my relationships and all of my years, the thought of letting go of him and never knowing if we could have been more than what were had been sliced me deeper than anything else I could imagine.
As the sound of his scuffing footsteps registered, I without a doubt knew what they signaled. He was so adorably sluggish and rumpled in the mornings. A smile crossed my lips in sheer anticipation as I put the final touches on this morning’s oatmeal. The nervousness dissolved into a sizzling anticipation and I did my very best to control the tremor that developed when I heard him reach the staircase.
Today was the culmination of all our hard work, but also of the stirring of my lust. Honestly, despite our years and past, I had no idea whether or not this would explode in my face like a misfired spell.
But my breath still caught in my throat when he shuffled into the room wearing nothing but the breeches he’d slept in and the leaf green dressing gown I’d bought for him all of those years ago. It was rumpled and faded –not to mention, at least ten years out of fashion. But I had given it to him and he still wore it. He hadn’t even bothered to tie it at his waist, so it fluttered loosely about his broad, strong chest and danced against his thin pants.
Surely, that he wore it this morning was a good omen. Surely.
“Good morning, Maître,” he greeted, his low voice rough with drowsiness and sleep.
“It is at that,” I replied, ignoring that my voice sounded breathless on my own ears. “It is at that.”
I realize I write so much from Ellery's perspective that I frequently forget to write from Algernon's. That was why the two-shot prompt was so perfect: I could write 1000 words from Ellery, then switch it up and write from Algernon!
I hope you guys are enjoying some of the intimate peeks into the past with these two --because I'm really enjoying writing them!
Until later, my sweet koi!