Torshael and Tayne's Story: A New God for a New Mission

Chapter Fifty-Six

Written in Collaboration with Dragonflight


Tayne wasn't sure whether he was happy, stupid, or just stupidly happy. Or happily stupid, maybe, because if it was stupidity, he certainly was happy about it. It was ridiculously hard to keep his hands off of Tekas on the way back to the Red Ferret, almost enough that he regretted letting the infernal walk him back. Almost. But not quite.

Yet again he had to wonder what was wrong with him: not only had he been blatantly fooling around, not only had he been blatantly fooling around with a male, but he'd been blatantly fooling around with a male infernal. And enjoying himself far too much. But surely that he hadn't been recalled immediately was a good sign-- right? Unless the High One simply wasn't speaking to him anymore, but somehow he doubted that. If the High One hadn't deigned to take it all away when he'd first asked, begged even, surely it wasn't that horrible a thing. Right?

And besides, he was happy. Or stupid. Or stupidly happy. Worrying could come later. 

He was glad, though, that he'd had his hands in his pockets when they came to the inn, for Torshael was standing outside, looking quite put out. "Tayne!" he called as soon as he spotted him.

"Hello, brother," he grinned. Tekas just waved, his usual tentative wave when Torshael was involved. Tayne told himself not to get jealous at his usual shyness around his brother; just because Torshael was prettier and more intimidating didn't mean a thing. 

"Where have you been?" Torshael asked, looking quite annoyed. "Thaddius said you never came in-- and all Haiiro could tell me was that you weren't dead! Why didn't you answer me when I sent to you?"

::He can be a bit of a mother-hen sometimes,:: Tayne confided in Tekas, from whom he could sense amused agreement though no actual answer, before soothing, "I'm fine, I just crashed at Tekas's place. It was closer when we decided we'd had enough last night."

"You could have told me! Or answered me this morning!"

"Hangovers aren't very conducive to receiving irritating brothers' summons, Tor'," Tayne said pointedly.

Torshael deflated a little. "I'm sorry, it's just not like you to be out all night and then not show up in the morning...."

"I haven't exactly had the chance, before," Tayne shrugged, then yawned. "I'm all right, Tor', I'm just tired and my head still hurts. I promise I'm not going to make a regular habit of this. Can I go inside now?"

Though he didn't look very happy about it, Torshael stepped aside to clear the way into the inn. "Thank for putting him up, Tekas," he sighed. "I hope it wasn't too much trouble."

"It wasn't a problem," Tekas almost-whispered. "No worries."

Not one to just not worry, Torshael frowned in concern at Tekas. "Are you all right?"

"Strained my voice last night... too much noise to talk over. It'll get better."

"All right," Torshael said, a little dubiously, but not really able to do much about it. Tayne could almost imagine him offering to heal it, if supernal magic worked on infernals. "I hope you two at least had a good time."

Tekas just smiled a bit. "Mmmhmm. It's been awhile since I went out just for fun."

"That's good, then," Torshael answered, looking as if the thought didn't comfort him much in the face of his brother carousing around the city.

Tayne grinned over at him, then said, "But fun tends to smell a bit, I think. I definitely need a change of clothes. See you later, Tekas?"

Tekas nodded in reply-- better for the voice, probably-- then headed off with a wave. Torshael waved after him, as well, then turned on his brother again, but Tayne was already inside. He called a good morning at Thaddius-- and got an amused "good afternoon" back; it was a little later than he'd anticipated, apparently... oops-- and started up the stairs. He hadn't been lying when he said he wanted a change of clothes-- he suspected a bath would be in order, too-- and it was as good of an excuse as any to get away.

"Tayne!" Torshael called, trotting to catch up.

"What, Tor'?" he asked, keeping his voice light and pointedly not waiting for his brother to catch up.

"Tayne, wait. Were you-- I mean, did you-- with Tekas--"

"Can we not talk about this?" he suggested, failing at lightness that time. His good mood was bound to end sometime, but he didn't want it to be yet.

Torshael stopped, and Tayne could almost smell the hurt he was feeling. He might have been his brother, and his charge, but he was also his best friend, and he wasn't going to like being brushed off any more than Tayne would. He sighed, pausing on the landing. ::Later, all right, Tor'?::

::Just promise me, Tayne, that you're not going to wind up hurting yourself, whatever you're doing.::

Tayne took a slow breath. That wasn't really something he could promise, just hope. ::Maybe if you promise not to make me feel guilty about it.::

There wasn't even a pause before Torshael said, without any reproach that he could sense but with more than a little amount of concern, ::Only you can do that, Tayne.::

He viciously squashed the urge to growl. He knew Torshael was trying not to say anything hurtful or disparaging, trying not to judge or upset him; irrationally, that only made him more annoyed, because he could have bet-- and probably won-- that he was thinking the things he wasn't saying. Instead of saying anything he might have regretted, he stalked the rest of the way down the hall and escaped into his room, closing the door behind him. Thankfully, Torshael didn't follow him, and didn't say any more.

So much for the last of his good mood.


Chapter Fifty-Seven

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