Author: S.H. Marr PM
Rey never really thought about the reasons that make staying out late a bad idea until he discovers one: the rest of the people out in the middle of the night are insane. Insane, pushy, arrogant, and maybe kind of adorable. Slash.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 55 - Words: 84,831 - Reviews: 301 - Favs: 53 - Follows: 64 - Updated: 01-05-13 - Published: 04-14-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3013457
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Are you all packed?"
Rey looked at his parents, shifted the heavy duffle bag on his shoulder and nodded. "Yep," he said. He wasn't wearing his black formal outfit—Eiryu had told him that he only needed to wear that the day of the examinations and it was only Friday afternoon. He was wearing loose jeans and his favorite blue t-shirt with the v-neckline.
His parents weren't very happy about the fact that he was leaving to an unknown location for the weekend and staying with people they didn't even know, but when Eiryu told them he wouldn't have to steal Rey away every weekend anymore, they relaxed somewhat.
Rey was confused about that, himself. Just because Eiryu would be done with his examinations didn't mean that he knew everything he needed to. But it made his parents happy, and he was looking forward to having some of his weekends open again. He liked hanging out with Isaac, and he liked Eiryu a lot—and he really wished they had time to go on actual dates again, because they hadn't had one since ice skating in January. But he wanted to have some more time to himself, too.
He was going to drag Eiryu everywhere that summer. They were going to an amusement park and going on roller coasters, they were going to go the film museum, they were going go out to a nice dinner, they were going to refuse to double date with Eva and Isaac and eventually give in, and they were going to go to the beach at least once so he could see Eiryu without a shirt on.
Rey shook his head to clear it. Before they could do any of that, they had to get through Eiryu's examinations. And he needed to tell Eiryu about his plans, but that could wait, too. Maybe it would give him some encouragement to do well on his examinations. He would have to figure that out when they got there.
"All right. Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad. Bye, GG. Bye, Mae." He gave out hugs in order, squeezing each of them before heading back to Eiryu's side. They all squeezed him back, but his sister pouted and clung jealously before he had to pry her fingers off of his shirt.
"Ready to go?" Eiryu asked.
Eiryu grabbed his hand and dragged him out the door before cast the teleportation spell.
Rey's only thought before they arrived in Kellye was that his sister and neighbors had to have seen that.
It was now the third time Rey had been to Kellye, and he could recognize it now. What he didn't recognize were all the people surrounding them. Eiryu had brought them into the middle of the crowd. He spun around quickly to check for witnesses before he remembered none of them would find teleportation that weird and that most of them had probably gotten there that way themselves.
Eiryu smiled. "We're here. How are you feeling?"
"Good, I guess. How are you feeling? Are you freaking out again?" Rey had been fighting his craziness and, he thought, keeping it under control, but now that they were here, waiting for the examinations…Rey was worried.
"I'm…fine." Eiryu shrugged and took Rey's hand. "Come on, let's go see if we can find Resol. Her mom will be around so I can introduce you, and usually we all go out to dinner in groups the night before the examinations. I made plans already with some of my old friends."
Rey shrugged. "Lead on," he said.
Eiryu didn't so much 'lead' and 'wander aimlessly while looking around', but Rey supposed that counted. He wouldn't be doing any better. He didn't even know who Eiryu was looking for.
"Hey," he said after a few minutes of this.
Rey pointed to where he'd been looking, "Who are they? Are we looking for them?" he asked. Two people had been staring at them for a while, a man and a woman. They looked older than Eiryu, but Eiryu looked younger than eighteen and the aging of mages was not something Rey wanted to try to figure out.
Eiryu followed his finger and stiffened. "No," he said tightly. "We aren't looking for them."
"Well, they're looking for us. Who are they?"
"My mother and stepfather."
Rey jumped and looked at him incredulously. "Really? What are they doing here?"
"I have no idea," Eiryu said sharply, turning away.
Rey gave them another glance, more skeptical this time. Both of them were still staring at the two of them, but they were also obviously exchanging words. They both looked normal enough; both had brown hair and nice haircuts and were dressed in clothing that would have fit in anywhere Rey had ever been.
But what were they doing there? Why would they want to talk to Eiryu? And they wouldn't have any other reason for being there, unless Eiryu had a lot more to explain.
Eiryu dragged him in the opposite direction and Rey watched over his shoulder as the man put a hand on his wife's shoulder.
He scowled at them for good measure.
Eiryu, in his obvious attempt to run away, nearly ran into Resol. The collision was only avoided by Resol's reflexes, stopping herself before Eiryu and placing her hands on his shoulders. "Eiryu!"
"Resol," the mage said, his face breaking into a smile again. "Good to see you. Where's everyone else?"
"They've been here for a few hours." The girl gave him a chiding look. "They're already waiting for us at Javel's."
"Oh." Eiryu shrugged sheepishly. "I had to wait for Rey to get out of school. I'm not late or anything."
"No, but come on. I've told everyone about Rey and they all want to meet him."
Rey flushed and Eiryu groaned. "You did what?" he protested. "But…it's so…"
Resol waved off his protests, whatever they were going to be, and took Eiryu's wrist, the one that wasn't occupied by Rey's hand. "Come on, hurry. I'm hungry."
"So am I," Eiryu admitted.
Rey decided that his opinion wasn't important. Neither of the mages had asked him, after all, and he didn't even know if "Javel's" was a restaurant or a home. As long as he was at least sort of welcome, he supposed he didn't care.
"How far is this place?" he whispered to Eiryu. Despite the grip the mage had on him, he could tell Eiryu was starting to forget about his presence.
"Not far," Eiryu said. "We were just at the town square, which is at the center of…everything. We'll meet there tomorrow morning."
"Oh. Um. They'll tell me where to go, right?"
Resol rolled her eyes and nodded. "Yes. My sister will take you there. She has to be there anyway."
Eiryu perked up a bit. "Oh, did she find someone else?"
The girl nodded and her ponytail swung behind her. "Yeah. But you don't know him, so you shouldn't run into them tomorrow."
"Well, I'm glad for her." He turned and smiled at Rey. "And I like being partnered with Rey, anyway."
Rey felt his cheeks heat up, and he worried when they all stopped, because it meant they could question him about it.
They didn't ask him any questions, though, and instead knocked on the door to the two-story house they were standing in front of. So "Javel's" was a person's home. The door opened immediately for a boy who couldn't have been any older than Eiryu.
"Hey!" he said, brushing floppy red bangs out of his face. "You made it. Come on in, we were about to order pizza." He looked at Rey over Eiryu's shoulder. "Your new familiar? You brought him?"
"He doesn't have anywhere else to go," Eiryu replied, waving his hand dismissively. "Don't worry about it, I think you'll like him. Rey, this is Javel. Javel, Rey."
"Uh, hi," the red head offered with an awkward wave. He stood aside so the three could come inside and stand in a tiled section of a carpeted living room while they all removed their shoes. There were four other teenagers waiting for them inside. Two of them, a boy and a girl, were taking up a loveseat, and the other two boys sprawled out on the floor.
"Eiryu!" the boy on the couch crowed. "It has been a damned long time, you know. Why don't you ever call?"
"I email?" Eiryu offered, pulling Rey next to him and diving for the couch before Resol could get there. The black haired girl glared at him, but she then stole the rocking chair from Javel, so Rey figured she couldn't complain too much.
Rey sat next to Eiryu, a little closer than was maybe necessary, but he was nervous and Eiryu didn't shove him away.
"So," Eiryu began, "I heard something about pizza?"
"Oh, right!" one of the boys sprawled on the floor said. He had a blond mohawk, and Rey had honest to God never thought he would be meeting a friend of Eiryu's that had one. "There's…8 of us, so four would probably be okay. What does everyone want?"
After a too-long discussion about toppings, Javel picked up a phone and retreated down the hall to order. Mohawk turned to Rey. "So, how are you? Eiryu's new familiar?"
Rey nodded cautiously.
"So, how come you're holding Eiryu's hand, then?" he asked, pointing.
Rey looked down at his hand, which he hadn't noticed had clasped itself around Eiryu's. Eiryu apparently hadn't noticed, either, because he flushed red. At least he didn't let go of Rey's hand as he explained hurriedly, "It's a very long and boring story. I'm sure you don't want to hear about it, Tomo."
The newly named Tomo raised an eyebrow. "Uh, okay…."
Resol grinned at them. "Oh, I'm sure he does, Eiryu. Come on, tell us how you and Rey met."
Eiryu grimaced. "Ayasaz and I had gotten into a fight and I ran into Rey before I could get better. He was hanging out in the middle of the night, so I thought he was a hobo."
Rey rolled his eyes. The other boys all snickered, but the girls exchanged exasperated glances.
"So, he kidnapped me," Rey said, deciding it was his turn to interject. "And I woke up the next morning bonded to a guy I didn't know who I thought belonged in an asylum."
Eiryu elbowed him while everyone else laughed.
"Okay, but that still doesn't explain the hand holding," the girl on the loveseat said, playing with one of her braided pigtails. From the way she hand her legs draped over the boy next to her, Rey had to assume they were a couple, too.
"Isn't that obvious?" Rey asked tentatively. Maybe it wasn't obvious. Making assumptions about Eiryu's culture didn't seem to be a very good idea considering his past experiences with it.
Instead of answering his question, all other heads turned to Eiryu. Javel walked in while they were still staring in silence and stopped and looked around. "Um. Pizza's on its way. I hope everybody brought money to chip in. So, what did I miss?"
"They're interrogating me," Eiryu answered, sounding a trace irritable.
"Eiryu's dating his familiar," Resol said, smirking at the two of them.
Javel stared. "Really?"
Eiryu flushed deeply and nodded.
"What the hell are you doing that for, Eiryu?" Javel asked. "Not, um, that there's anything wrong with you, Rey. I don't even know you. I'm sure you're awesome. But this is weird. People don't date their familiars. Especially not before examinations. Didn't anyone warn you, Eiryu?"
"Yes," Eiryu muttered quietly. "But it was too late by then. I'm sure we'll be fine."
"What do you mean, we'll be fine?" Rey demanded. "What the hell are you guys talking about?"
Eiryu sighed and glared at his circle of friends, twisting his head so that he could get all of them in it. "We'll be outside," he told them. "Don't eat our pizza if it gets here before we're back."
"No promises," Resol said, waving them out.
Eiryu took Rey's hand and pulled him out the back door and into an empty, fenced off yard with a pool in it. Rey stared at the pool for a moment before he looked back at Eiryu. Obviously they had something serious to talk about.
"So, warn you about what?"
Eiryu sighed heavily. ""I didn't want to tell you. You're going to worry about it too much and you'll be off your game tomorrow."
"I don't have a whole lot of game," Rey pointed out. "Tell me."
"It's…the examinations are a very stressful time. I told you that." Eiryu paused and took a deep breath, running his hand through his short brown hair and making it stick up. Rey wanted to pat it back down, but wanted to distract Eiryu even less. "And, well, they tend to make or break a partnership like the one between a mage and his familiar." Eiryu waved his hand between them.
"And if we 'make it', then…there's no really going back. I probably won't be able to work with another familiar afterwards. Even if we break up. It's why a lot of people my age try not to have one going into the examinations.
"And if it…breaks us…then…then we may as well break up, Rey, because we won't be able to be near each other long enough to have any kind of a relationship."
Rey stared at him. "You didn't tell me this?"
"I didn't want you to worry. There's not a lot we can do about it now."
"But…but…that's…a lot of…pressure."
"I know it is. Uncle…Uncle Richard told me a few months ago, when I saw him back in February. It's why I was so glad that you said you'd want to be my familiar even if we break up. It makes me a lot less worried, because I think we'll make it through the examinations fine, and then…"
Rey sighed. "That's a lot to process."
"Don't try right now. We're going to go back in, have pizza, and you can think about tonight before you go to sleep when you're alone. And then tomorrow, we'll do our best to make it through the examinations fine, okay?"
Rey nodded hesitantly. "Okay."
Eiryu smiled. "I…I'm glad." He pulled Rey into a long hug and kissed him on the cheek before releasing him and leading him back into the house.
The pizza was already there.
A/N: I'm doing really well in NaNo so far! I'm about a whole day ahead! As such, here is a new chapter. I think it's been influenced pretty heavily by NaNo-which is to say, a lot of words, but most of them probably don't need to be there and I'm uncetain about the quality of the writing. Lord knows I don't want to read my actual NaNo novel right now.
Question: Eiryu's friends. I introduced a lot of them at once and only two of them even ended up wth names. Did any of them stick out at all? What should I do to fix it?