With Summer's end quickly approaching, and the crisp breeze of Autumn stirring from the east, Elliot found himself wishing over and over to be back at that night weeks ago, back to the day when coffee was deemed the most amazing drink, and when there was a small moment, a brief connection where he'd lost his mind, and was completely fine with it.
Brayden was keeping them both busy, separated, and tired them out with work and training until when they finally had free time again, it was late evening, and they both just wanted to sleep. Elliot was beginning to suspect he was doing it on purpose, but he had no proof, and he had no time to talk to Lune about his suspicions. He had no time to do anything with Lune, barely even enough to wave a good morning at him.
He trained each day when Lune went off with Brayden to practice his skill. He'd worn down several sparring sticks already, and they were turned into wood for late night fires, should they ever have them again. He brutally attacked the trees, taking out his anger and frustraion on them. When he was most upset, he could barely concentrate enough to pretend them as figments of his imagination, as real enemies attacking. They were always just trees. He understood his problem, allowing his emotions to impact how he fought and defended himself. He didn't have any idea how to solve his problem though, and so he ignored it, and tried to push through.
As he sat on the flattened grass with Vali at his side, watching the sky above change colors and stars begin to creep out from the velvet surface o'erhead, he wanted nothing else but to go interrupt the stupid lesson that was going on on the other side of the cabin. He felt lonely. More alone than he'd felt in a long time. He missed talking, reading, and being around other people. It was weird to him, when he thought long about it. He had gotten this far without people, and survived and thrived with just his books. But the very second he established connections with people, he loved it and he needed it. He craved it hard, like a drug, and he was having withdrawals.
"What do I do, Vali?" He sighed, frowning deeply. "What's happening to me? To my world? I thought I understood.. but it's like I don't even know this place at all."
He shook his head and leaned back to rest against the grass rather than the tree to give his neck a bit of comfort from the hard bark and the strain from trying to see all the sky at once. It felt like all his nights were reduced to this, laying in the grass, staring at a sky, at thousands, millions of stars, that could care less that he was watching them. At times like that, when he was doing nothing but staring up, doing nothing but thinking, he couldn't help but feel small and insignificant. Like a speck among thousands.
He heard the back door open up, and someone descend the two low steps into the grass, but he didn't look away from the great space above him. When the sound of the footsteps grew closer and the grass beside his head was crunched flat, he turned it to the side and looked up.
"I told him I was using the bathroom and getting a glass of water.. I just wanted to talk for a minute.. for now."
Elliot blinked up at Lune and raised his brow. "For now?"
"Meet me in my room when we've both gone to 'bed'. Okay? Then we can talk more.. but for now, i'll say this really quick, since i'm not sure how much time i've got before he might come and look for me. I miss talking. I miss you. I know it's hard, because it's hard for me too. It'll be alright though, like you said. And we're both learning really important things. I'm so close to mastering this.. and then.. I want to show you. You'll be so proud, and impressed. Or so I hope. .and you're learning to fight, aren't you? I've seen you out here, stabbing and slicing at the trees with that stick. I'm really happy you're trying to do something as well. Soon we'll be able to show each other what we can do.. and then, then we'll be ready for the world, won't we?"
"We'll sort of be ready for the world." Elliot responded, smiling at him. "No one can be entirely ready for the world, Lune. And what fun would it be if we were?"
Lune chuckled and nodded, leaning down to hug him awkwardly, his nimble arms squeezing Elliot's shoulders. "I'll talk to you later ok? We can start planning. Well, we can do anything really. I just want to talk again."
"Yeah, i'll see you in a bit. Better get going before Brayden comes in search of you for being in the 'bathroom' for so long."
When Lune left again, Elliot laid his head back again and closed his eyes, drowning himself in the very brief, one minute conversation he'd just had. If he could even call it that. He hadn't really realized how much he'd missed hearing Lune's voice. He took in deep breaths, and let the words go through his mind over and over again. He wanted the time to rush by even more than he had earlier now. It was evening already, and it would only be a few hours, one or two, but he knew those few hours were going to take a long time to pass.
The night, as he predicted, took its time arriving, but after one hour had passed, Elliot was glad of that. He had taken a break from sparring, abandoning the vicious art for something more fruitful, calm, and complicated surprisingly. He swiped a few sheets of paper and a pen from Brayden's desk, and returned to his seat in the grass outside. It took him only five minutes to tear through it and he was quick to have a small pile of crumpled paper beside him. He made several trips in and out of the cabin, fetching paper, new pens when he ran the others out of ink, and a book or two on poetry.
He found writing something out, making the words sound lovely and forming his thoughts right, was much more difficult than sparring, or fighting dragons.
It was his thoughts, the things he could never say, going down on paper. He might as well have been writing it in stone. It had to sound right. It had to be as perfect as he could make it.
Twenty wasted pages, and one and a half pens later, Elliot felt ready, he felt as though he had finally done it. He was no poet, not even close, but he had put in words the things he wanted to say. He scooped up his garbage and tossed it in the bin on his way to Lune's room. He tapped very lightly, to keep from risking waking Brayden, and then let himself in, squeezing his paper tightly.
"Hey." He said, shuffling forward, grinning widely when the other boy raised his head from his pillow and smiled at him.
"Hey yourself... I was beginning to think you had forgotten about our meeting... what d'you got there?"
"I wouldn't forget. We've barely talked lately.. and it's a um.. it's a poem. A very bad poem. That I wrote.. because i'm incredibly stupid." He sighed out, growing less and less confident by the second. "I guess I just wanted another way to say the things I want to say to you, but can't. Does that make any sense?"
"Not even a little!" He chuckled warmly, patting his bed. "Sit down and read it! I'm excited to hear the things you never say. This is like a treat to me, you know. I get to see how your mind works, and you've got quite the mind."
He was flushing red, growing scarlet by the second. "Erm.. well, if you're sure you want to be deafened by my terrible choice in words and absolute corineness then alright."
"I'm quite sure." He smirked, brow raised. "Go on."
Elliot tried to suck in as much air as possible, hoping that in doing so he would calm himself down a lot more, and be able to read. The way his heart was hammering, he had a feeling it would all come out in a giant ramble and cluster of words, and he would be humiliated beyond a doubt. Not to mention laughed at.
"Well, here goes." He frowned, squinting at his chicken scratch and clearing his throat, like the mayor would do before a grand speech. Though those were never actually that grand, Elliot couldn't remember ever making it through one entire speech from him. He usually fell asleep in the middle. He hoped that wouldn't happen to Lune in his tiny poem. Though in a way, he did. He was so nervous he felt sick, he felt like he was going to pass out, and he was hoping that Lune would just fall asleep and never hear a word he was about to say.
"You, are the blossom at Spring's first morn, the first sign of life
Far brighter than the heat of the Summer sun, that warms the soul
In Autumn you are the leaf of every color, ever changing
And at the cold of Winter, you are the first snow, unique
You are the fire that burns dangerous and beautiful
And the ash that remains, ever mysterious, is you
You are the rain that cleans the world, and begins life anew."
He continued to stare at the paper in his hands after he was finished, at his words, in disbelief that he had actually read them, and gulped, waiting for the laughter.
The silence scared him almost worse than he thought the laughter would have. Finally he tore his eyes from the page and looked up. "W-Well?"
Lune smiled shyly and folded his hands in his lap, wringing them a little before quickly moving on to poking at his blankets, and pulling loose threads or not so loose threads. "That was-"
"Horrible right? I know, but I was just trying.. I knew it would be terrible, and you'd laugh or hate it or hate me or something crazy, but I wanted to try anyway. Ugh."
"Again you interrupt me and assume and ramble!" Lune cried, kicking back his sheets. He crawled down his bed to the corner where Elliot sat and placed a gentle hand to his cheek, going forehead to forehead, nose to nose with him. "It was beautiful, Elliot."
Elliot smiled a little and relaxed quite a bit, relief washing ov er him. He was always finding himself putty in the other's hands, even when he tried not to be. It was hopeless to fight it, and in the back of his mind, he knew he didn't really have any problems being so. It was nice, in a very strange way.
He could smell the spearmint toothpaste he'd brushed with after dinner that evening. His breath was sweet and warm against his skin, he flushed red near instantly. "Really? I'm glad you think so." he mumbled, absently tucking Lune's hair behind his ear, and out of his face. "I could never just say those words to you. For some reason I found it easier to write down and then say them. Don't ask why."
"That's probably what all the best authors do you know. First they think out their story, then they write it down, and as if to reassure themselves that it sounds as good as it did in their head, they read it aloud."
"That's a pretty clever thought." He said, taken aback just a little. "I'm envious, you're going to be vastly more intelligent then myself."
"No way! You taught me everything I know. Well I mean, everything from the books. And since you are the teacher.. logically, you are the more intelligent one between the two of us. A teacher cannot be outdone by his student. He is always the one who gives the knowledge, and that makes him the intelligent man that he is. Or woman of course."
"I seriously doubt that. It sounds nice the way you say it like that, but there is no way i'm smarter then you. Even in the fairy tales, the elves were smarter then the adventurers or humans or whatever else. It's got to be the same in real life."
"No, let me do the honors.. Self? Yes? Shut up."
They shared a brief laugh between them, rushes of hot air rushed out against each other's cheeks, flushed faces all around. Elliot drew in closer, inch by inch, his breath going in and out in small pants, across the soft lips of Lune. He boldly went in for a kiss, but he was rejected lightning fast, however, as Valentino leapt up onto the bed and nudged them both apart, nearly knocking Elliot onto the floor.
They both cleared their throats, gave an awkward cough or two, and avoided each other's gaze, tension building thick walls in the room, crowding around them. It could've been cut with a knife, or maybe a chainsaw, it would have probably broken the knife.
Elliot had never felt like he did then. He had never even thought of doing what he'd almost done, it was something that he only read about, something he had no interest in. And it confused him further when he thought about how close he had been to it, before his brain had even worked. He shook his head and let out a tiny sigh, unable to look up at Lune again just yet.
"I um.. alright, i'll just be going to bed now. Sweet.. sweet dreams, Lune."
"Yeah. Yeah, you too, Elliot. Night."