18 September 2011 @ 05:51 pm

This time when he finishes, he doesn’t do that thing where he kind of crumples in on himself and closes his eyes, concentrating on the regulation of his breathing and pulling the blankets around himself before he falls asleep, all easy, like a baby in his mother’s arms. He always does it. I’d almost (shit, am I really admitting this?) gotten used to it.

No, this time he does something a bit different. He just curls up all cute and looks up at me with his eyes lidded heavily, lashes fluttering and lazy like when he’s tired, and he does this: he smiles. Of all the things to do. He doesn’t do anything else like snuggling into the nook between my arm and body (I pull my arm closer to myself so he doesn’t try it) or kiss my shoulder (I roll onto my side and lean on my elbow so he can’t) or God, I don’t know, try something else sappy and stupid and sentimental.

He doesn’t. Ell just adjusts his pillow and closes his eyes, and I leave, but that smile stays with me. Next day, five A.M. sharp, I arrive at our usual spot on the training grounds, but he’s not there. I wait fifteen minutes, half an hour, an hour, and he’s still not there. So I go to his room, ready to lecture him so he won’t forget why he’s never late, but his door’s gaping open and not a sign of him. I notice his housecoat missing from the bedpost he usually slings it carelessly over.

Fuck. Idiot’s going to get himself killed.

I ask around, but he must have started sleepwalking at that inconvenient time when no-ones around. No choice but to walk around Lunadis and find the moron, unless I want him to get killed. He’s probably lost and all sniveling because he’s late and thinks I’m going to punish him. I might. Haven’t decided yet; too pissed off to think straight.

I find him, though, sitting by some teahouse and sipping hot cocoa. The air is cold and all he’s wearing is a housecoat. What’s more, it rained earlier, so he’s sopping wet and really miserable-looking. He spots me and despite the fact that I must look murderous, he springs up, spilling cocoa on his hands, and beams at me.


“Why the fuck are you sitting outside like that? Did you get kicked out of the teahouse?”

“No, no, nothing like that,” he says, bright and happy. “See, their daughter was having trouble sleeping, the poor dear, she’s an insomniac, so she went downstairs to get a cup of chamomile and saw I was sleepwalking, so she helped me into the shop after waking me up, and offered to let me stay, but—”

Wellington,” I growl. “Why are you sitting outside.”

“I was trying to catch a hansom. For the last two hours. They all think I am drunk or will not take me because I have no money in my pockets.” He no sooner finishes than he sneezes right into his hot chocolate. “Sorry,” he sounds so fucking apologetic, like he is genuinely blaming himself for something he didn’t have control over. “I seem to be coming down with a cold. I shan’t allow that to deter me, though! I shall work twice as hard at my training, and I shan’t complain about your punishment!”

This fucking guy. I don’t know what to make of him.

I take him back to the cathedral and we train a little, but I get tired of his sniffles and send him to bed. For some reason, I follow him to his room and sit on his chair as he puts his nightclothes on and slides into bed. I see three or four books under his blanket and with a sigh, hold my hands out for them. Ellis gathers them and hands them to me with a meek look, but then he lies down and gives me that smiles again, the one he gave me last night, all gentleness and sweet, way too grateful for things I feel I haven’t done.

“Thank you, Aidan,” he murmurs as he closes his eyes. Pretty soon, he’s breathing a sleepy rhythm and I realize that I’ve never really seen him sleep before. He’s sometimes fallen asleep shortly after we fuck, but I always left pretty much right after, so I never paid attention. Besides, why would I?

Now he looks peaceful and really happy. A lot of things can make someone as simple as him happy, but seeing him like this, I see that usually, when he smiles, there’s a bit of tightness around his eyes. Sleeping, he has no worries. He looks (goddamn it) really cute, soft and with all that flowering poetic shit he could dictate way better than me. He’s got these long, thick lashes, and a quiet kind of blissful curve to his lips, and I can see the freckles on his nose.

I kind of want to kiss him.

(What the fuck am I saying?)

No, fuck, I put those thoughts away. Damned ponce is way better with people than he gives himself credit for. I grimace and stand up, go to the door and mutter something stupid like ‘Sweet dreams’ before I walk out.

It’s probably just me, but I could swear I hear him whisper my name as I close the door behind me.

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