by Nix 'Nick' Winter
all rights reserved
Note: This story was published by Thunder Mouth Press in 2006, in the 'Zowie, It's Yaoi!' anthology, but the rights have reverted to me now.
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Summary: Kai withdrew from the realm of the Fae, leaving behind the man he loved and all his friends. He'd been injured in a mission. With a ruined hand, a broken heart, he thought he was completely retired. Then Dorian came for him. They both have secrets. These secrets are going to drag them into the middle of a war of succession for the throne of the Fae. Love and war can be very hard on fragile new love, even for a dragon and his elf prince.
There were two of them, standing by the ocean, a lone bed and breakfast in the distance. One was tall, wearing a black trench coat, jeans, bare feet. His blond hair lifted, dancing tangled as the breeze danced lightly down the beach. Cigarette smoke curled back and around him, lazy and yet also tangled on the breeze that promised the world had not yet really stopped for them. He drew his hand slowly to thin piles, the white filter of his cigarette tucked between two bent and stiff fingers, to pull a slow drag of smoke in. Green eyes, half-closed, watched the weak wave as it broke down to nothing. “You shouldn't have come.”
The man next to him was younger, perhaps, but not by much. In a suit and tie, polished shoes that left their own imprint in the sand, he stood with both hands in his trouser pockets, short dark hair untouched by the breeze. He could have been a samurai or a yakuza, a ghost of some of the things a man does for his country that are never spoken of, but when he leaned forward a smile lightened him and hew as just a man. “I had to come, as soon as I knew where you were. Kai, I have missed you so much.”
Surf came closer to them, leaving little bubbles unsaid of the ocean's soul. Kai touched the back of his wrist to his forehead, pushing suicide blond back, smoke trailing over the dark roots. “And now you've found me,” he said, in English, voice mellow, a playboy's voice that could never quite give up on the lazy sensual being. “You're going to miss the ghost I was.”
“I missed the man much more,” Dorian said. It wasn't a Japanese name, but it had been his name for as long as he could remember.
Kai pulled another moment from his cigarette, then tossed what was left into the encroaching ocean. “You should go away and pretend like you didn't find me. I can't work with the team anymore. Even Spades acknowledges that. I could never do intelligence only. I'm just not that smart.” He held out his hand, the mangled remains of a skilled weapon, three fingers broken so badly in an interrogation, left to the ravages of infection and damage. The other two fingers were better only because they'd been broken for less time when the rest of his team had found him. The problem with being an undercover terrorist hunter was that it was sometimes hard to tell the good guys from the bad. “I'm finished, Dorian. Done. Ruined. You have always been smarter, kinder to the world and yourself. You can make a place for yourself in the organization, to do something more than hunt and strike.”
One hand came from the warmth of Dorian's pocket and reached fro the twisted hand, but Kai turned way from the guilt in his friend's face, to the reaching touch. “I didn't find you to invite you back to the team, Kai. I know that's done. If we'd rescued you sooner... if you'd just told her who you were.”
“If I'd started talking, I'd wouldn't have ever shut up, and how was I to know she was really a cop like she said? Terrorist lie too, you know.” Kai pushed his foot in the sand, plowing up a small trough that water slipped into. “I couldn't give her anything that might have been used to hurt you.”
There were so many things that might never rise to the surface, like a soul dragged down to the bottom of the ocean. Usually, things that one hadn't meant o think or do. It didn't stop a person from wanting someone to love them, wanting to believe that someone could, not a ruined hand or a ruined soul.
Kai dropped then, to a squat, then down on his ass in the sand. Salt water and sand weren't going to ruin his faded-out jeans and he'd had about all he could stand of pretending he didn't care about Dorian being there. “Just get out of here. Or are you planning on breaking my fingers to make me talk?”
“Don't be a goddamn ass, Kai,” Dorian snarled, dropping to one knee, a hand reaching cautiously for Kai's t-shirt, to grab hold.
Cautious or not, he had him, a fistful of black t-shirt and Kai looked up, not so cocky, more vulnerable and afraid. “Dori, you want to kick my ass, fine. But I can't go back to being who I was. I learned things about myself, too. It's not just my fucking hand.”
“I understand,” Dorian said, holding Kai's green eyes locked with his gaze. “I learned, too. I learned that I love you. I love you, Kai. You're the only person I've ever really let get into me that deep. You know me and I now you, maybe better than you think anyone can. It's more than just knowing you, it's something so primal. You're the only person I'm attracted to, and I don't make it out like it's some kind of fucking joke. 'Dorian's a fag.' Whatever. I....” He paused, his eyes finally letting go of their hold as his power rolled back out like the tide, leaving little bubbles of feeling that he couldn't quiet put words to. “I love you,” he whispered. “I love you so much.”
Kai's other hand had healed much better and with it, he reached to touch Dorian's cheek, caressing smoothly shaved skin, his thumb moving over soft lips. It had always been that way between them, words of foam, but deep moving emotion that pushed the current of their lives. Kai's other hand, his mangled one, rose, the side of his little finger smearing away a tear and he leaned close, shifting to one knee, smashing sand against Dorian's expensive trousers.
Their kiss was a tentative brush, a passing of spirits where there should be none, Kai's chilled lips against Dorian's blush-swarmed lips that opened back with a willingness of a Christmas just one day delayed, hunger, need, roaring back from the oblivion of a soul which knows it's banished. Deeper into each other, tongues dancing nervous, afraid to touch, needing to touch, until dorian took the kiss, his fingers combed into Kai's hair, holding to him as if he were the only breath. Cigarette smoke, salty ocean air, heat of needing the touch of someone you love and respect and redemption.
Kai moaned into the kiss, his heart and body both waking. Panting, Dorian pulled back, dark eyes dancing with hope and happiness. “And you love me, too. I know you do.”
“I do,” Kai said, lips full of color now, a crooked smiles forcing it's way into being. “I'm not any good for you.”