By Scarlet Fever
Daeva yawned, flipping through the newspaper from behind the counter of the Winhill Hotel. The flowers thrived and bloomed all around him, even though the winter weather had killed most of the other flowers in town. Winhill had once had a moderate climate, but over the past three millennia, their weather had changed, and now they had very cold winters. People didn't really question how Daeva made the flowers grow, just like they never questions why he was still alive after 3500 years. Today was pretty much like every other day. Daeva never had to worry about disease or death, but he did have to worry about crushing boredom and loneliness. Over the thousands of years, he'd had a few lady friends, but they all died, while he didn't change at all. He didn't like getting attached to them, because he would have to see them die. He hadn't really had any boyfriends. There was something that made him prevent finding a male companion for more than just a one-night stand, which he'd had a few of. A memory of a man. He couldn't remember this man's name, or how Daeva knew him, but he knew this man really meant something special to him, that their love was different than any emotion that he'd ever experienced, and somehow it felt like it would be cheating if he found a male lover, even though he couldn't remember this man's name.
There was a lot about himself that Daeva couldn't remember. Like his family, or why he was living for so long. People assumed he was a Witch, mostly because of his pointed ears, or they thought he'd been kissed by the gift of Sanviar. Sanviar was the name of a god that a church in Trabia worshipped. A priest named Alexander gave sermons on how Sanviar had given him eternal life, and anyone could achieve this if they walked the same saintly path that he did. Daeva thought that was all a bunch of bullshit, and didn't trust Father Alexander as far as he could throw him. He wasn't sure why he hated the priest so much. He seemed mostly harmless, but still.... And, besides: Daeva thought that Alexander was just using the fall of Esthar and Time Compression to take advantage of people's sorrow and fear.
Esthar had fallen just before Time Compression, when Ultimecia had finally defeated Kikimora, the ruling Witch at the time, after a long and brutal Sorceress War. Then, after millions of people had died, Time Compression had happened. Nobody could remember what happened during Time Compression, and a few people had just vanished afterwards. Things were starting to get back to normal, which meant more boredom for Daeva. He'd run the Winhill Hotel for as long as anyone could remember, but it was pretty slow since it was past tourist season. He was currently sipping some tea as he read the local news, yawning out of both boredom and because it was cold.
Daeva looked up from a story about the Winhill Council giving subsidies to cattle farmers when he heard the bell on the door chime. A dark-haired man came in, casually looking around. Daeva looked back at his newspaper, but a headache started to grow behind his eyes. Images started to flash in his memory, as if he were watching a movie. Except this movie was about him. Things that had happened to him that he'd forgotten. Things he'd thought were dreams. That the reason he lived forever was because he was really the Dark Messenger, that he'd once been a member of the Necrophage, that he'd been betrayed by his King and burned at the stake, that he'd become Diablos, that this man was Etanin Alwaid standing before him. The man that he'd been remembering, the man he'd been dreaming of but couldn't remember his name.
Vhax dulla xrael'da kui, Etanin murmured, standing at the counter, only that slab of wood separating them. He said that phrase that nearly broke Daeva's heart right there. You look very pretty today.
It had been so very long since someone had spoken fey language to him. Daeva couldn't reply because he couldn't find his voice. So many memories were crashing down on him that it made him dizzy, that he was panting and struggling for breath.
"You always could make the flowers bloom."
"Eta....?" He let out a long breath, finally finding oxygen.
"Have you learned your lesson?"
A tear trickled out of one of Daeva's black and blue eyes. He came out from behind the counter, having to keep his hands on it so he wouldn't swoon. He stopped in front of Etanin, and reached out to touch the side of his face, but stopped, his fingers hovering mid-air. It was Etanin that made the first contact between them for 3500 long years. It had been about that long when Diablos had been locked in the lamp, but at least his powers had still been part of the Court, and at least they'd been able to talk through telepathic connections. Daeva gasped when he was enveloped in Etanin's strong arms. He could now remember everything, but this feeling in his heart wasn't a memory, because he'd never felt it before. He'd never loved someone before he'd become Diablos, and Diablos couldn't feel the true nuances of human feelings because he wasn't human. But, Daeva was human again, so he was feeling his feelings for Etanin like it was the first time, and it hurt. He could barely breathe because Etanin was holding him so tightly, but he didn't care. He welcomed it, and he held Etanin back just as tightly.
"Have you come to take me home?" Daeva asked, whispering in Etanin's ear.
"Not just yet," Etanin whispered back.
"Not just yet?" Daeva repeated, pulling back and looking into Etanin's dark eyes. His euphoria was lessened a little bit. "What do you mean, Eta?"
"Soon." Etanin stroked a few stray strands of hair off Daeva's elegant forehead. "But, not yet."
"Why not?" Daeva demanded angrily, pulling away and putting his hands on his hips. "I want to go home, Bahamut. I want you to make me Diablos again. Now."
Etanin put his hands on Daeva's broad shoulders. Those shoulders that he found so attractive, even though they'd been a curse to Daeva in comparison to what was considered beautiful by the fey. Muscles, broad shoulders and ripped six-packs were considered ugly, uncouth. Human. Any human man would kill to have a body like the one Daeva had without even trying to maintain it, and yet it was something he'd been taught to despise about himself. "Because I'm taking a holiday."
"What?" Daeva was frowning deeply at his King. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Daeva.... I just lost my daughter. I am exhausted, and I miss you."
"What does that have to do with anything...?" Daeva asked, though his tone was less angry.
"We've been with each other in a lot of ways, Daeva. But, never as two men, as two humans. And... I'm tired. I want to be away from the Court. I don't want to have to worry about it just now."
Daeva could see the haunted look in Etanin's eyes. Haunted from losing Thuban. Daeva very well knew that Etanin's feelings about his daughter were complex, and that he would miss his daughter more than anyone would realize. He couldn't help but be flattered. "But... you're not human, Eta."
Etanin pulled the neck of his red shirt back to reveal a thin chain hanging around his throat, with three small gems on it that seemed like they were lit from the inside. A brilliant white one and a shimmering indigo one, with a glowing blue one in the center. The three small orbs hung in the hollow of his collarbone. "I am now. At least for a little while. I meant it when I said I wanted to be away from the Court for a while."
Daeva furrowed his brow. "But...."
"I still have a few tricks up my sleeve," he pointed out, knowing what Daeva was going to say. "I can change myself back with a single word. And, I cannot lose my memory, either. You've waited this long. What's a little while longer, Berith?"
Daeva's hands were still on his hips, and he looked at Etanin sceptically for a while, then he was the one who started an embrace, his arms tight around Etanin. Then their lips found each other, and both made desperate little moaning noises. Etanin had kissed people, and remembered kissing them, but didn't remember it ever feeling like this. It had been a very long time since he'd felt emotions this concentrated. Their hands stroked all over each other, even clawing at each other. They licked each other, and filled each other's mouths with their tongues, the kiss one that was for a much more private area than a hotel lobby. They were whispering each other's names as best they could while still deeply kissing, then they were hugging tightly, both panting.
"But, you're really going to take me home, right? You promise? You're not just teasing me?"
"I'm not just teasing you."
"Eta....?" Daeva asked after some pleasant silence.
"Can you promise me something?"
"What?" Etanin asked, holding Daeva even tighter.
"Never, ever call me Berith again."
Etanin looked in Daeva's eyes, and kissed him in response, tasting his soft, sensual lips. "I promise."
Daeva smiled a very genuine smile, kissing the side of Etanin's handsome face.
"It hasn't been the same without you," Etanin whispered.
"Aria not up to the task...?" Daeva asked playfully. He then cocked his head. "What about Alexander....?" Daeva had never liked Father Alexander, and now he remembered why.
"I came to see you first."
Daeva smirked. "And... what about your little kitty?"
"He's already become extremely powerful."
Daeva chuckled, running his hands firmly down Etanin's back. "I think you like him."
"I'm quite impressed with him."
"Should I be jealous?"
Etanin rolled his eyes. "I'm... proud of him. But, I don't want to talk about Squall right now."
"What would you like to, uh... talk about?" Daeva asked, pulling away and laughing. He sauntered across the room and locked the front doors.
"Locking a hotel?" Etanin asked with a raised eyebrow.
"What do I care? Besides, there's nobody here anyway." He chuckled, walking back over to Etanin. "So, when was the last time you fucked a human?" Daeva lived in a suite in the sleepy hotel, but they didn't make it upstairs. They were tearing at each other's clothing, winding up in a tangled heap on the floor, Daeva's hair spread out around him like a pool of silky blackness. Their clothes wound up scattered on the ground all around them, hands searching each other's bared skin. Their kisses became less animalistic and more sensual as their limbs twined and their bodies rubbed together. Etanin's weight settled down on Daeva, and he ran his fingers through Daeva's long hair, breathing in its exotic scent. Daeva gasped, back arching off the floor, when Etanin's fingers dipped into his body. He tried to find something to grip onto, eventually finding Etanin's shoulders. He felt a bit like an idiot teenager, where even the simplest sexual touch was sending him to the moon. He could also hear that Etanin was panting, so it was probably the same thing with him. 3 million years of not feeling the intense feeling of human sexuality, and then feeling it so suddenly again took its toll.
Etanin crawled off Daeva, both of them moving so that he was spooning Daeva on the floor. He kissed the back of Daeva's neck, whispering his name, saying things in his own human language that he'd forgotten he could even say. He ran his hand down Daeva's inner thigh slowly, savouring the smooth feeling of his soft, soft skin. Faeries didn't have body hair, so all of Daeva's skin was satiny smooth. "Eta..." Daeva whispered, head lolling back against Etanin's shoulder as he was slowly entered, their bodies becoming one, Etanin's chest moulding to Daeva's back. "Di lav'xia vae...." Daeva murmured dreamily as he and Etanin's bodies moved together like music, like languid waves of a calm sea. What Daeva had whispered as the fingers on the hand pinned under his body tangled with Etanin's fingers was 'I love you'. It made Etanin make a noise that he couldn't recall ever making, not even in all the other times he'd been with Daeva. It was almost a noise of torture, because he didn't think that he could hold in all he was feeling. God, how did humans exist without exploding?
If there had been anyone in the hotel, they would have come down to investigate the commotion that Etanin and Daeva were making. Both were moaning in ways they hadn't moaned for a very, very long time. Even Daeva's encounters over the years of his second existence with women and men hadn't wrenched moans like this from him. Maybe because he hadn't loved any of them, and he loved Etanin. Loved him like a subject loves their King, loved him like people love people with power, and loved him like a man loves that one special someone. Etanin looked down at Daeva's face as their hips moved together, as he felt Daeva from within. "You're so beautiful," Etanin whispered in his old, human language. He kissed Daeva's earlobe, then his cheek, his fingers moving up Daeva's chest, feeling his muscles, running his fingertips over and over Daeva's nipples, burying his face in that luxurious hair. He also felt like a teenager, no stamina, no lasting power. How could he last when he almost wanted it over because his body was on fire with his lust. It just felt too good to be thrusting into Daeva, to hear the sounds Daeva was making. When Daeva came all around him, he came too. Etanin let out a sob, biting into Daeva's shoulder and holding him as tightly as he could.
"Hmmmm..." Daeva mused, still panting. "I guess not going home yet is worth it for that." His chuckle was broken up by his panting. He melted against Etanin, loving how tightly he was being held, loving how genuine Etanin sounded when he said Daeva was beautiful. He'd been told that before, but it always seemed fake because the person wanted something, or because of Daeva's glamour magic. For his first human life, Daeva had been brought to believe he was hideously ugly, so very unattractive when held to the standards of fey beauty. And, humans had loved his pretty face, so blinded by his glamour, and yet been afraid of him, never really fiercely meaning it when they said he was beautiful. And, Ronouve-Sempra had definitely not made him feel beautiful when he was tying Daeva to the stake. But, Eta meant it. And, he gained nothing from saying it. He rolled over so he was on his back, looking into Etanin's black eyes.
"What do you do for amusement around here?" Etanin asked, looking around.
"Besides fucking anyone who comes through the door?" Daeva asked with his trademark laugh. "Not much." He then became serious. "You asked me earlier if I'd learned my lesson, Eta. Do you mean the obvious lesson, the one that I would have never learned, the one that was impossible to learn? Or, do you mean the more hidden lesson?"
"Which do you think I meant?"
"The obvious lesson was not meddling, and being a good little demon. A lesson you know I would fail miserably at. The hidden lesson? Appreciation for those human lives that I'd so meddled in. I've been a human now for over 3000 years, Eta. That's much longer than my human existence before I became Diablos."
"Did you?" Etanin asked with curiosity.
"How could I have not? Especially when you just made me feel things I'd never felt, either as Diablos or Daeva."
"And, how is that?" Etanin whispered.
"Like a man."
Etanin stroked down Daeva's spine, watching as the half-fey stood up. Etanin admired Daeva's body for a while before also standing. "What now?"
Daeva winked. "Well, we could always go up to my rooms and add a couple hours to our time, eh?" But, they didn't make it upstairs. They only made it halfway up the stairs before the fell into another deep embrace, revelling in each other, savouring every caress that were thousands of years in the making. Millions of years in the making.
Just over two months later, both Etanin and Daeva were in Trabia, walking into the Church of Sanviar during a sermon by the famous Father Alexander. Actually, it was just Etanin walking into the church.
"I think it best you stay here," he'd instructed of Daeva when they'd been walking up the street towards the church.
"What, you don't trust me?"
"I know you too well, Daeva."
"Okay, I'll be a good boy and stay here."
"Good." Etanin had said, leaning over and planting a slow kiss on Daeva's mouth.
Now, he was quietly walking up the aisle, as if he were a regular man, wanting to come hear the miraculous priest speak of Sanviar's gifts. He chose a seat in the pews in the front, so Alexander would get a very good look at his face.
"It is the evils of black magic that made these horrors happened. The greed and lawlessness that this magic can bring. It is a seductress, and it seduced Kikimora and Ultimecia, and turned them into monsters. I have seen many monsters twisted by this evil magic. I do not wish it for any of you. Please..." Alexander smiled at the congregation that was looking up at him with smiling, rapt faces. "Don't let yourselves be led down this path of wanton, carnal lust for power and things sensual. One must be steadfast to be strong. I'm not going to say it's easy, because that would be a lie. Being as chaste and as strong as Sanviar takes work. That is no lie. Would I lie to you?" Alexander laughed with a chuckle. Some of the congregation chuckled, and Alexander's smile faltered when his eyes scanned the faces in the church, and came across one that brought a stabbing pain behind his eyes.
He gripped the sides of the pulpit and almost swooned, but collected himself, feeling all those eyes on him. He let out a pant, gasping as if he was drowning. Etanin's dark eyes remained on him, fathomless.
"Father Alexander!" A woman in the pew behind Etanin exclaimed.
He held up a hand. "I am fine. Do not worry. Just a momentary lapse. I am well. Just, remember what I have said, and go in peace." He gestured to all the congregation with a benevolent smile. They all began to file out, some of them stopping to speak to Alexander. All got out of the pews, except Etanin Alwaid. All were leaving the church, except for one who was coming back in. Daeva Aka-Manah.
"Nice to see you again, Alexander."
Alexander fell to his knees, looking at his King. "My Lord...?"
"Are you ready to come home, or do you want to give one last false sermon?" Etanin chuckled to himself. "Sanviar was keeping you alive this long...? That's quite the good little story."
"I... couldn't remember you."
"Oh, I know." Etanin looked over his shoulder, seeing Daeva, who was just leaning against a pew, not saying anything. "I thought I said wait outside." Though, Etanin couldn't really stay mad with Daeva, not when he still felt all these wonderful human feelings about Daeva right then.
Daeva shrugged. "It was getting cold. Besides, I'm not saying anything." He looked at the golden-haired priest for a long time. "Alexander."
Alexander just stared at Daeva, like he was the most despicable creature that ever existed. Etanin snapped the chain off his neck that held those three glimmering orbs. He whispered 'Wavhuzerrl', which in his human language, meant dragon. The blue orb in the center became clear and empty and dull, and he was his true self once more. Part of him actually mourned this, because he'd quite enjoyed those human feelings he'd felt with Daeva. The two other orbs also cleared and dulled, and Daeva and Alexander also both returned to their true selves.
Etanin stared at them both, not having to say any words of warning, because the look on his face was warning enough. He vanished, leaving both of them to their own devices, but knowing that he'd see Daeva very soon.
Daeva and Alexander just glared at each other, but Daeva didn't want to waste this feeling of his power back in his veins. He vanished from Alexander's church of lies, wanting to fly again, to feel the wind around him, to feel his wings on his back, to feel the magic flowing through him again, after so long of being like a dry well. When Alexander's church turned into the skies of his own world, Diablos knew that he was home, and that while very soon he knew he would be back up to his old tricks and habits, Bahamut's lesson had been one that he would never really forget. He'd felt a bit like an orphan, being dropped off at a strange place to live without your family, waiting for someone to bring him home, to create a new family with him. And, when that sort of thing does happen to an orphan, when someone comes along and finds them and wants to love them and bring them home, they do get to go home, yet they never forget what happened at the orphanage, and it's something that always sticks with them, and moulds things they do later in life. At first, when Bahamut had stripped his and Alexander's powers away, Daeva had thought that it was simply an awful punishment for disobeying his King's orders, but as time had gone on, he'd seen the hidden layers of the banishment, and what Bahamut had really wanted him to see, and how eerily parallel it had been to the beginnings of Seifer Almasy and Zell Dincht, the reasons that he'd been caught up in this whole situation in the first place. True, Daeva wasn't sent to a concrete, real orphanage, but it was more of a metaphorical parallel, and the irony of the whole thing wasn't lost on him. And, he knew Etanin would be very disappointed if it had been.
Coming soon -
As Heaven Is Wide (Dark Messenger)
Shot To Pieces (Mega Flare)
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