Torshael and Tayne's Story: The First Mission

Chapter Six


"After you, brother."

Yet again, Tayne had eaten his words, without even intending them in reference to something like this. He wasn't bitter, or really even all that upset, but... he was a little disappointed. Torshael had every reason to bond, and he'd been so obvious about wanting to do so, and so hopeful at the prospect of this clutch-- Tayne would never have wanted to deprive his brother of the chance to bond at something special like this. Little Haiiro'Hiwatari seemed like an excellent bond and friend for Torshael, already, and a good lesson for the Favored that sometimes unimposing and unprepossessing was all right. 

But why couldn't both of them have bonded?

The rest of the morning was taken up with, first and foremost, feeding the hungry foal-hatchling from the meals available at the back of the bay. Then they had to catch the prism and red supernal-- named Azirahael, they learned-- who had also bonded that day to ask a few questions, which turned into meeting later for lunch, with three hatchlings, three supernals, and a somewhat hyperactive young dragon in attendance. They'd thankfully all managed to get the hatchlings clean first, or else they would have been dealing with damp and sticky foals rather than vaguely sleepy but still generally alert foals, and the couple hours in between had given Azirahael enough time to make sure everyone in his little foursome had a place to stay on the station.

Tayne hadn't paid a lot of attention to the conversation; Torshael was the talker, and already had all his questions in mind, and Tayne was busy watching the foal-hatchlings. With those long legs, it seemed wise to make sure they didn't twist something while romping around Azirahael's new apartment. Besides, Azirahael kept tossing him curious glances. He was too polite to ask, but he had to have been wondering why one bonded and not the other, and Tayne thought that having to talk to him and be looked at even more often might have made his mood fray into something less friendly.

As they left Azirahael's apartment, saying farewell to their fellow supernal, his dragon ward, and Haiiro's siblings, the three made their way back to the hotel room. "We don't have a third bed," Torshael was telling Haiiro, without the confident tone that he'd used with Azirahael. This, after all, wasn't something he was used to dealing with. "But you can share with one of us."

"I think I'd like that," Haiiro answered, still a little shy, himself. He'd opened up quite a bit while playing with his brother and sister, but when alone with Torshael and Tayne, he didn't seem like he knew quite what to do. Torshael shared his awkwardness, whether because they had compatible personalities or because they were actually sharing the emotion, but Tayne did his best, now that he recognized it, not to make things worse.

"You're little, there wouldn't be any problem fitting," he commented.

"That's true. The hotel room is so big!"

"Maybe to you," Tayne replied, amused, "but once we're in our usual forms, it'll probably seem a little crowded."

"We won't be staying there more than a night or two more, anyway," Torshael said. "We've got a mission, and we've rather put it on hold until now."

"What's your mission?" Haiiro asked, blinking up at his bond.

"We're looking for infernals," Torshael explained. "Those are like... the opposite of us. Demons, if you like. They've been escaping into the Nexus realms, and we're supposed to find out where all they've been going."

"That sounds like a big job," Haiiro said solemnly.

"Do we know where we're going next?" Tayne asked.

"Well, Israfil said the two half-infernals on the ship were from someplace called the EverRealms, so I thought we'd start there."

"When are we leaving?" Haiiro interjected, bouncing just a little, as if impatient to get going already. "What will it be like?"

"Tomorrow or the day after," Torshael replied with a smile. "And I don't really know. We'll find out when we go, I guess. --Here we are."

The door to their hotel opened to a scan of their little plastic key-card, and Torshael led the way inside. The rest of the afternoon and into the evening was spent there, Tayne on the computer looking up what he could about the EverRealms and Torshael flipping through channels on the holovision, presumably with the same goal, with Haiiro asking questions about whatever came to mind. He ran out of energy eventually, though, and focused on staying awake until his bond and Tayne were ready for bed, just idly watching the holovision or wandering over to peer over Tayne's shoulder at the monitor. Given Tayne took breaks from research every hour or so to play amusing little games he found online, both were entertaining enough to keep him awake.

It was Tayne who finally suggested bed, more because Haiiro kept yawning than because he in particular felt weary. "Bedtime, I think," he said, shutting down the computer terminal. "It's been a long day, and if we get going tomorrow, we'll have another long day, then."

Torshael looked up from the holovision, and then looked surprised when, catching Haiiro's latest yawn, he involuntarily mimicked it. Tayne chuckled, and Torshael glowed with a faint blush under his fur. "Bedtime, it is," he said sheepishly, and shut off the holovision.

By the time Tayne, who made a point to take the last turn in the bathroom and made sure to take his time, came out into the rest of the hotel room, the lights were out. He paused until he could at least make out the shape of the two beds set into the wall in the dim light of the clock, then made his way in the dark to his bed. From the sound of things, Torshael had fallen asleep fairly quickly, probably with Haiiro with him. They had a soul bond as well as the normal mental bond; he doubted one would sleep without the other being close to it.

Just as he was putting his front paws on the edge of the bed, ready to heave the rest of himself up after them, a little whisper startled him. "Careful, I'm already up here."

Tayne paused, flicking one ear at the source of the sound-- where his pillow would be-- and another to the side, at where the entrance to Torshael's bed stood next to his. Not wanting to wake his brother if he was asleep, he sent rather than said, ::Uh, Haiiro'Hiwatari?::

"Is it okay if I sleep with you tonight?"

Obviously it was Haiiro. Tayne levered himself up onto the couch-like bed, careful not to step on, sit on, or otherwise inconvenience the foal-hatchling. ::No, I don't mind. Though I'm rather surprised. I thought you'd be with your bond.::

"Well, I like you, too. I almost couldn't decide which one to bond...." The mildly surprising comment was interrupted by a long, deep yawn. Before Tayne could think to ask, Haiiro added, sounding mildly embarrassed, "I only picked him cuz I didn't really want to try to bite through all your fur, and then you wouldn't be able to walk since they were paws, and... and yeah, I like you, too."

That the only thing keeping him from being bonded now was, if Haiiro was to be believed-- and Haiiro didn't have any reason to lie-- his furry paws was almost enough to make him laugh. Because Haiiro was so earnest, and Torshael was possibly asleep-- though he was starting to doubt that, now-- he refrained, he just settled down on the well-padded couch, hooked a blanket over him with a claw, and found a part of the pillow which Haiiro wasn't occupying. The foal made that easier by wriggling off the pillow and folding himself up under the blanket and one wing.

::Well, I like you, too, kid. Now get some sleep.::

"Good night, Tayne."

::Good night, Haiiro.::

There was a moment of silence before Torshael-- who obviously was not asleep, though he did sound sleepy-- sent, ::We'll get you a bond, brother. I don't know when or where, but we will.::

It was kind of him to say. ::Don't worry about it. I'll just share yours for a while and see what happens.:: There was a faint snort from the other bed, and Tayne grinned into the darkness at his brother's amusement. ::Good night, brother.::

::Good night.::


Chapter Seven

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