Chapter 1: Silence
"You sure I don't have to pay?" "Yes, someone decided to pay it forward and it was just enough to cover your meal, dear." He smiled warmly to the young woman behind the counter of one of the food vendors that were in the City. He watched as her cheeks tinted red, clearly getting flustered by him before she excused herself and stepped away to help another customer. I sure do like a free meal. Not to say that he didn't have the Glimmer to pay, he was just like everyone else and enjoyed free things. Now that his stomach has finally stopped yelling at him, he made his way back to his little hallway; it would be right about now that Guardians would come in to play a few games of Gambit, most likely finishing up Crucible matches that've gone to crap or other tasks the Vanguard gave 'em.
Of course, as soon as he stepped back into his little safe spot, he instantly felt that something was off. He couldn't quite place it, but he knew that something was now in here that originally wasn't. ...There. The doors to the weapons storage were a little bit more closed than he normally has them, since that's where he kept his makeshift bed when he didn't feel like transmating back to his ship. Taking slow, cautious steps, he peered through the crack of the door and felt his blood run cold.
There, on his bed, was Shin Malphur.
It took everything he had to not make a sound, already afraid that his hunter was aware that he had returned. Where the hell was he in this fucking Tower? When did he even come here? Questions he desperately wanted answers to, but knew that he might never get the chance to ask them. But then he looked closer at the form on his bed and found that the other man's breathing was slow and even, a steady in and out. Shin was on his side, his back to the doors, but it was clear that his body was in a relaxed state, like he was sleeping...
He was sleeping? Oh... Oh. Oh, holy shit! Shin Malphur is asleep?!
What the hell is going on? Why was Shin sleeping, here, of all places? Drifter may not advertise his presents in the Tower, but you'd have to be one hell of an idiot to miss all of the Gambit regalia he's got littered about his little hallway; it was a very clear statement: Drifter is usually here. Though, he had been getting himself something other than ramen to eat, so he hadn't been nearby. Shin was probably hopeful that Drifter would be in here, going through all of the weapon and armor parts that survived the Guardians who went through Gambit, back to him, sensing that someone was there a few moments later, and the Man With The Golden Gun would have enough of a jump on him that that would be his end.
But, at least for the moment, that wasn't the thing that had been on Shin's mind. Or, maybe it was, but seeing as his little hideout is out of sight, Shin decided to take five before going back on the hunt for the man that would be right outside of the crack of the doors. Light, it now horrified Drifter just how easily he would have missed Shin's presents if he hadn't closed those doors more; he would have had no fucking clue and then he'd suddenly be dead. He quickly swallowed that fear away when he heard a few collective footsteps coming to his little area, the Gambit regulars starting to trickle in.
"Hey kid. Lookin' good." He greeted, acting like he normally did, ignoring the sleeping wolf in the closest for now.
Chapter 2: Curious
He had no idea when Shin left that night. All he knows is that he went to bother the ship wright in the hanger to see if she could get him some spare parts and when he came back Malphur was gone. It didn't put him in as much ease as he was hoping for, but at least the bane of the Shadows of Yor was no longer mere feet away from him. Glad I got out when I did... Didn't stop Drifter from still keeping ties with them, but he no longer called himself a Shadow. After what happen on that icy hell planet, his point of view had changed and he no longer felt like he should be with the ones who followed Dredgen Yor's old ways.
Not when I found myself a better one that holds way more promise than that old bag of bones ever did. He's given the title of Dredgen to many of his rabid Gambit players, but only one of those Lights held any real promise of actually being a proper Dredgen. But, he'll play that card when the time's right; right now, he needed to focus on building a strong hand.
And after three days have passed without a trace of Shin anywhere, Drifter figured he finally skipped town, found a lead on a rogue Shadow and went after that rabbit. Nope. No, Shin hadn't left town at all. How did Drifter know this? The man was back in the closet, once more asleep. Though, this time Drifter noticed that a helmet was now at the foot of the bed. Had Shin been wearing his helmet the last time? Drifter doesn't imagine that had been very comfortable, nor good for his neck. It seemed that Shin decided that if he was going to sleep on Drifter's bed, that he'd shut those doors just a little bit more than usual.
It was actually pretty cleaver of him, too. Outside of Drifter, none of the other Guardians who duck into his little hallway know exactly how open those doors are suppose to be, and no one really bothered to try and peak inside the room either. Well, not recently, anyway; when he first moved in, he had Hunters and Warlocks searching every nook and cranny of the place, trying to fish out some secret stash or hiding spot. But, after a long while of not finding anything, they just gave up the search. It seems to have worked in your favor, hasn't it? He thought as he kept his eyes on Shin for a moment more.
Then he did something really stupid.
He opened up the doors more and stepped inside.
Shin made no sign that he was awake, nor that he realized that someone else was in the room with him. By the Traveler, Drifter wanted to take a peak under the hood of that cloak and see what Shin looked like; he knew his name, his famous gun, at least one set of armor, his patience and tolerance levels, and his voice, but he had no fucking clue on what he looked like. Thankfully, self preservation kicked him hard in the ass and he kept that temptation away. Didn't stop him from picking up the man's helmet and examining it. And for the life of him, he has no clue why he got so worried when he saw just how damaged the object in his hands was.
It looked like he barely survived a nasty collision with the corner of a large wall or building, a large crack visible on the left side that went halfway across the face mask. Not even bothering to think twice on it, Drifter quickly dipped back out of the room, closed the doors again, and set the somehow intact helmet onto the nearby work table, quickly finding his repair tools and went to work. Drifter would pay you with all the Glimmer he had if you could give him the reason why he fixed Shin Malphur's helmet, because he's got no fucking clue.
Peace offering? A thank you for not killing me in my dingy hallway? It made...some sense he guessed. After all, you don't antagonize the wolf who has been eagerly trying to rip your throat out; you show it respect, offer it food and pray to any higher being bored enough to listen that it doesn't suddenly decide that you look tastier than what you're offering. He inspected his work after he was finished, satisfied that his handiwork will hold up out in the frontier and whatever else Shin throws himself into, and ducked back into the tiny room.
And he couldn't help his little smile when he saw that Shin had curled up into a ball, looking like a small child with his hands tucked by his mouth. Okay. That's cute. And it really did a number on his mental image of Shin, but Drifter didn't really care; it doesn't matter if Shin looks cute like that, fact is that he can still easily kill him. So, he set the man's helmet back at the foot of the bed and then left, closing the doors like Shin had before and went about his normal thing.
Chapter 3: A Thanks
Once more, he had no clue when Shin had left. Drifter had been really tired after watching Guardians pull some of the most pathetic matches he's ever seen--No side pulling a Primeval? Really? That was just sad.--and had been wanting to sleep in the bed he had in the closet, but quickly remembered there was a Shin Malphur in there and wisely not tried to spoon with him on the bed, heading up to the Derelict to use the bed he had there.
So, you can imagine his surprise when he comes back to his usual spot only to find a packaged bento box sitting on the table. Even more so when he realizes there's a note sitting on top of it as well. He picked up the note which just had a simple 'Thanks. -S' on it. What was he thanking him for? Letting him use his bed, or fixing his helmet? Or, actually, you know, better question: why was Shin thanking him? To gain my trust? It was a weird thought. The even weirder one was that Shin was actually grateful someone was trying to look out for him, even if it was the man he's trying to snuff out.
Drifter managed to shrug the thought away, taking the chance to examine the packaged food. He didn't see any signs it's been poisoned, and he knows that this kind of bento is only sold at the shop down in the City, so he would've had the time to tamper with it if he really wanted to. His stomach seemed to want to put it to the test, growling like a Taken at him, so he moved into his makeshift bedroom, plopped his ass onto the bed, and opened up the food. ...Nothing tasted different, and he didn't start to feel funny after the first few bites.
It seemed that Shin really did just leave him a thank you for whatever reason (Drifter's gonna bet on him fixing Shin's helmet). And, to be honest? It's been a long while since anyone's done something like this for him. To show some kindness and offer food to a man who'd rather starve himself until his body couldn't take it anymore than risk exposing himself out in the open with no real place to hide. If this was the only kindness Shin was ever going to give him before he puts him six feet under, then Drifter was happy with it.
He always liked a good meal before facing possibly impending doom.
Chapter 4: Slip Up
He hadn't meant to do it. Hadn't meant to open the door without checking it first; it was closed like it always was when Shin was inside. But here he was, door halfway open, Drifter looking like he was caught with his dick out as Shin, who was wide awake, just stared at him. "Uh... Well, this is awkward." Drifter coughed, not really sure he wants those to be his last words, but they'd be at least honest ones. Shin didn't respond, hands slowly sliding away from the helmet he was getting ready to remove; Drifter quickly looked at it, glad to see his repair was still holding up. "I, uh, should let you sleep."
He turned to step back out when, "Wait." Ok. Shin did not sound like that in the audio a certain Guardian's Ghost picked up in the Ascendant Plane. Perhaps it distorted how he sounded? Made sense to him. Shin's voice was actually a nicely rich baritone, not as deep as Drifter's own voice, but certainly no where near feminine either. Drifter stilled in his movement, slowly turning back to Shin. "You came in here for something, didn't you?" "Yeah, a nap, but I can see the bed's taken." Shin sighed, and did something Drifter has only dreamed of: he took off his helmet.
FUCK... Shin was drop dead gorgeous: short black hair, jade green eyes, a healthy 5 o'clock shadow, and softly tan skin. If this is the beauty that gets to kill him, he'll happily go. "By the Light, if you're gonna kill me, do it now." Shin smirked--he smirked--before shaking his head. "I couldn't even if I wanted to." If he wanted to? The hell was that suppose to mean? And then he remembers yesterday. Remembers when his Guardian came back with The Last Word; with Shin's gun. "You mean..?" "I have other weapons, but...that was the one I used to kill Shadows; besides, apparently using our Light is forbidden in the City if we aren't under siege." Shin stated, kinda annoyed by the rule, but Drifter for once glad for it.
And then he noticed something he didn't at first (probably because he was too distracted by Shin's face): there was some dark purple ringing under his eyes. Sleep deprivation, Drifter recognized after a moment. Shin's been sleep deprived, most likely for months now. "How are you even functioning? I know us Lightbearers don't need food and sleep as often as the civvies do, but..." "I'm...not sure myself." "...Is that why you've been sleeping here?" Drifter asked now that he had a chance to and was stunned when Shin nodded his head. "Only place I've felt safe, really." "Really? Don't feel that way down in the City?" Again, Shin nodded his head in agreement with Drifter's question.
"...How long have you even been in the City?" "About...three weeks? It's kinda hard to tell. Most of the days have just blurred together minus anytime I come here."
"But, you came in here for a nap right?" "Yeah..? What, you aren't suggesting that--" "I'm...not opposed to it." Shin looked a little ashamed right now, and unlike how he originally thought, the sight did NOT make Drifter happy. He actually got worried, and really, what the fuck is wrong with him? He knows he likes to play with dangerous things, but Shin Malphur is NOT something you toy with. "...Alright." Shin snapped his head up so fast, the other Lightbearer was surprised he didn't see him slump over and his Ghost pop up. "Serious?" "Serious. Just, don't try to kill me in my sleep." Drifter said, removing his duster and letting it crumble into a heap at the foot of the bed, crawling onto it a moment later.
He kept his back to Shin, letting the man have some privacy that Drifter would normally love to invade (ha, Gambit joke), but given the strange...what? Tension? Ah, seemed to fit. But given that the air between them isn't exactly what either of them must have expected it to be, giving the other man some personal space seemed wise to keep his life intact. He heard as Shin's helmet joined his duster on the floor, before hearing as he removed his cloak, feeling as the mattress shifted as Shin finally settled down. His back was just barely touching Drifter's, but his senses were too heightened for him not to notice.
It took him less time than he predicted to relax and start to float into blissful blackness, able to feel right before the world faded away that Shin wiggled a little further back, firmly pressing their backs together, Drifter liking the little bit of heat that bled into him from Shin's body.
Warm, slow breathing washing over his neck was what he woke up to. That, and his arms being full of Shin Malphur. He wanted to jerk away, but managed to keep still, shifting just enough to take in the other man's face. He had no clue how long he's been asleep, but it was clearly for long enough if Shin's arms were wrapped around his back and middle, his own arms curled around him as well. Shin looked at peace, face and body relaxed, and Drifter admitted it was nice to see. Though he was still trying to figure out why Shin had turned around and held him in his sleep, and even more thought went into why his face had been tucked into Drifter's neck.
Did he like how he smelled? I mean, Shin didn't smell like roses and daisies either, but he also smelt kinda nice. Like gunpowder, leather, stale coffee, and Solar Light. It was rather pleasant to Drifter, who imagines that he's got to smell like a dead animal to most people since he hasn't had a chance to bathe in the last two weeks; but most Hunters can ignore the stale sweat and dead skin smell, and pick up on a person's natural scent (and some freaks can actually track people or enemies down that way like they were fucking Hive).
...He wondered what he smelt like to Shin. It was clearly nice enough that he had his face pressed into his neck to get a lungful of it all the time as he slept. And then Shin surprised him again by making an annoyed sound that he had moved a little bit away and wiggled closer to Drifter, his face once more tucked under his chin. ...Is he touch-starved, or just lonely? It was hard to tell; Drifter knows that Shin's been killing things ever since he was a kid. Killing was all he's ever known, and all he ever would know after Yor killed the person Shin held dear, seeking vengeance against the very dead Dredgen and his Shadows. And, good lord, Shin must have been hunting down the Shadows for what seems like eons that this point.
Putting Shin's past to the side, Drifter reveled in the way Shin tried to form himself to Drifter's body, seeking out as much physical contact as he could manage to get. And Drifter let him, let him pull his body close and nuzzle into him, feeling under his hands as all the muscles in his body relaxed even deeper once he had settled. He didn't know what to think. Here was the man Drifter's been most afraid of ever since he reappeared, cuddled up to him like a frightened child. ...Well, I guess this isn't so bad. What did Drifter have to complain about? He got his hunter to cuddle up to him in his sleep. He's gonna call that a win.
Chapter 5: Afterwards
Drifter jerked awake, not having realized he had fallen back asleep, and found himself alone. No sign of Shin. Was Shin even there in the first place? Was it all a dream? All he can really remember is that he wanted to take a nap and stepped into the room, and the next thing he knew he was here. Maybe it was just a dream.
Well, if that was the case, then Drifter will say it was a very nice dream. It's not often that he dreams anymore, and when he does, it's normally about that ice planet that stole every single Light away except his. He hates those dreams, so this was a pleasant change of pace if what happened was one. Though...he couldn't shake the feeling another presence had been in the bed with him, the warmth of another Solar Guardian echoing into his arms, neck, and chest.
And then a detail came to his attention: he had his duster draped over him. Unless it was during The Dawning, the Tower never got cold enough for him to lay his duster over himself to keep warm.
Someone had put it on him.
Shin had put it on him.
Which meant that wasn't a dream. It really happened. Oh, fuck. What the hell was Drifter suppose to do now? He and Shin had slept next to each other and neither one of them tried to kill the other. Did that mean he could trust Shin? No, don't be stupid. Shin's given you no reason to trust him. Two people who wanted to kill each other could share a bed if the issue of survival is at hand. Shin hasn't been getting a lot of sleep lately, and he felt safe in Drifter's little hidey-hole, though Traveler knows why he does.
Maybe it's the fact that he can hide in plain sight from other Guardians while knowing that Drifter won't cause a fuss since it would bring attention to him? Yeah, that's gotta be it. Still, it was nice while it lasted. Drifter hasn't had company in a very long time, so cuddling up with Shin, even if it was only for a few hours, was nice. Sitting up with a long stretch, Drifter slipped his duster back on and stepped out of the closest, no one waiting for him in his little hallway. Or at least that is what Shin was hoping for as he reappeared.
Both of them froze.
What were they suppose to do now? They just slept together, and Drifter's pretty sure that Shin liked it as much as he did. Then he noticed that he had the same bento box in his hands that Drifter had found after he fixed his helmet. "Um..." Drifter just chuckled warmly, noting that it had Shin's shoulders drooping back down into a relaxed state. "You spoil me." Drifter commented as he strode closer to Shin, placing his hands over the other man's. Shin carefully pulled his own away, making sure that the food was still in Drifter's hands, nodded his head after a moment, and then ducked back out of the area.
He got to cuddle with Shin Malphur AND he's being fed by him? Drifter doesn't care if Shin's trying to wrap him around his finger, if this is what he gets for doing things for the man, he'll happily do it.
Chapter 6: The First Sign
Drifter double checked the manifest before he was satisfied that everything in the shipment to the Derelict was there. Shin was in the closet again; been sleeping for the last 4 hours. Ever since they shared the bed together, Shin's been crawling around his hallway a little more often. Not all the time, of course, he still had things to hunt and the man ate his own food, but it was usually three or four times a week that Shin would curl up on the bed for some sleep. It was disturbing to the rouge Lightbearer just how quickly he's gotten used to this silent arrangement between him and Malphur.
He glanced over to the doors when he heard Shin moving, noticing that he sounded a little bit in pain. Curious, Drifter poked his head through the crack of the doors, and felt some of the blood drain from his face. "The hell are you doin'?!" Drifter barked, quickly entering the room when he saw Shin's left side had been split wide open; it looked like the injury had been from a Fallen sword, not looking as wide or as deep as a Hive sword would've been. "It's nothing. I'm fine." "Bullshit! Lemme see..." Drifter growled, smacking Shin hands away when he tried to stop him, carefully examining the injury.
"And you've been sleeping with this?" Drifter questioned, not seeing any blood stains on the mattress. And then he saw why. "I thought Hunters didn't actively ruin their cloaks?" Shin had it bundled up underneath him, the inside of it completely covered in blood. "Would you rather I have ruined the bed?" Drifter shrugged. "I can replace the bed; you, on the other hand, I can't replace." The words he just said sucked the air out of the room. Why had he said that? Why did he honestly know that he meant those words? "...I'm sorry." Drifter snapped his attention to Shin, taken back by the apology. "I should've told you."
"...It's alright. I can still patch you up." Drifter replied, removing Shin's chest armor to get a better look at him. ...Well, okay, he meant to just get a better look at his injury, not to be quickly distracted by his well sculpted and toned chest. Mentally shaking out of his more interesting thoughts, Drifter carefully spread the injury a bit more open, Shin hissing in protest of the action, but kept still. It didn't look like anything was wrong with the gash, it looked like a clean cut, so why wasn't he healing? Yeah, even Drifter knows that wounds this large will take time to heal up and close, but the bleeding should've stopped long before now.
There. It was hard to see since it was soaked in blood, but there was something inside of the gash; looked like a piece of the Fallen sword had broken off in the attack and made itself at home in Shin's side. "This might hurt." Drifter warned as he wiggled two fingers into the wound, grabbing the slick object and yanking it out. Shin gasped sharply, one of his hands quickly having a death grip on his duster in a knee-jerk reaction to the pain, but didn't do anything else. Shin's Ghost popped up then, doing a quick scan of him before Drifter saw as the injury slowly began to heal.
"You good?" Drifter asked as Shin panted a little bit, clearly not expecting that sharp of a pain spike. He hummed softly, nodding his head weakly. "Hey, look at me." Drifter hushed, cupping one of Shin's cheeks with his un-bloodied hand. Their eyes met and the Lightbearer saw that Shin's eyes were quickly focusing and un-focusing. "Little lightheaded?" "Y-Yeah." "Here. Lay back down." Drifter guided the Man With The Golden Gun back down, quickly slipping his ruined cloak from under him as he did. "Just find a point on the ceiling and focus on it. I'll be right back."
Drifter grabbed one of the random sheets that were on the floor of the room and placed it over Shin, dipping out of the room and went next door. He quickly explained that a Guardian he was talking to got lightheaded and was given a bottle of orange juice, the man quickly cracking it open as he went back to his hallway. "Hey! Lay down!" Drifter barked as he entered the room again and saw as Shin tried to push himself up, his arms shaking pretty bad. Shin gave him an annoyed glare and now he seemed to look like himself. Drifter wasn't sure what happened when Shin apologized to him earlier, appearing so exposed and vulnerable that Drifter didn't now exactly what to think.
"Lay down, idiot." Foregoing the kindness he had been showing his hunter, Drifter placed a firm hand on Shin's shoulder and shoved him back down, the man grunting as his back hit the mattress, throwing daggers at the other man. He set the opened bottle of juice within Shin's reach next to the bed. "Take small sips. You lost a lot of blood, so your natural sugar levels have dropped a lot. Just give yourself some time to recover, alright?" Shin still glared at him, but nodded his head, curling up slowly onto his right side. Drifter sighed, ran his fingers through Shin's hair quickly, then stepped out of the room.
Chapter 7: A Gift
He's not one to be down in the City, but he had something he needed to do, so he had no real choice. Shin had left after his wound had healed enough, which was when Drifter had stepped out to get them both something to eat (the second serving of food didn't go to waste, Drifter can easily eat his body weight in food before he gets full). But, that left Drifter holding the bag, so to speak: he still had Shin's cloak. And while it was horrifically stained with his blood, it wasn't totally un-salvageable. It was gonna take some work, but he knew he could get all of the blood out and make it look new.
Which was why he was in the City in the first place. He needed the ingredients to create the stain remover, knowing that it takes about three days of soaking for this amount of blood to get out of any kind of clothing. And while the actual ones he needed couldn't be found in the City, he knew of alternatives that worked just as well. He gathered what was needed and then went up to his ship, finding a large enough pot to soak the cloak in and began that whole process. In the meantime, he imagines that Shin isn't too pleased that he didn't have a cloak to wear (or at least not one that he liked as much as the one Drifter was currently cleaning up).
Rummaging around the bundles of old cloaks he had among the rest of his old gear, he found a solid black one that had a snake decal around the shoulders and hood, making it look like a snake was coiled around the area. Drifter shrugged and carefully folded it up, going back to his hallway. He was almost expecting Shin to be sleeping on the bed when he got closer to the closet, given how badly he had been hurt. So he was a little disappointed and worried when he didn't find the Hunter in the room. Though, after what happened between them, maybe Shin was just trying to figure out himself why he behaved the way he did. Pushing the thought away, Drifter set the cloak onto the bed, quickly writing a note and placing it on top of it as well, then went back about doing his usual con.
Shin was sore as all get out. His injury healed up pretty quickly after Drifter pulled the shrapnel out of it, still in shock about how gentle he had been in examining him. There was a softness to his eyes as he looked him over that Shin couldn't understand where it came from. He knows that Shin's been trying to kill him for a long while now, so why did he look at him with such kindness? Why had he gotten worried about him when he got lightheaded? And why had Shin felt so shy when he saw the concern on the older man's face? It wasn't like him.
Sighing, Shin ducked under the gate that kept the curious civilians out of Drifter's little corner of the Tower, and found the area empty. Good, he needed to get some sleep. Though he paused when he saw a folded piece of clothing on top of the bed, a note in Drifter's handwriting on it as well.
'Until I can get yours clean. -D'
That's what it said. Wait, was... Was Drifter actually trying to get the blood out of his cloak? Why? Picking the cloak up, Shin bit down a giggle when he saw the snake decal on it. Of course Drifter would have something like this. Still, it let him be more comfortable, not having a spare cloak to wear at the moment, so he felt extremely exposed without one; there's just somethings no one tells you as a Hunter, like how paranoid you can get without something as simple as a cloak. He wonders if Titans and Warlocks have something that, should it go missing or get destroyed, would cause them to feel the same way?
Shaking his head, he slipped the item on and felt the smallest lick of Void Light tickling his neck and spine. Shivering at the sensation, Shin let his own Light wash over the item, sensing that it's bound to Void Light and couldn't be changed to Solar. Maybe that's for the best. After all, this wasn't his cloak; it was Drifter's. Which... Now that he thought about it raised a question: why did Drifter have this? Were those rumors true? Was he originally a Titan before switching over to a Hunter just before the Red War? And if so, why did he have an item bound with Void Light? From what he sensed when they shared the bed together, he was a Solar user.
...Should I even bother asking him? Would he even get the truth out of him? Letting out an annoyed groan, Shin removed his helmet and laid down, agitated from the lack of sleep he just can't seem to get anywhere else but here. And why was that? He still didn't know the answer to that question, and he has a feeling Drifter wants to know the reason as well.
Chapter 8: Concerns
Drifter hasn't seen Shin in a couple of weeks now. It still was freaky just how comfortable the duo had become with their arrangement, but this was worry beyond that agreement. He's not gonna lie, he likes having Shin around; yeah, they both know that the man has been dying to put an end to him, but he still enjoyed having someone around that stayed for more than five minutes (ya know, someone who wasn't one of his Gambit regulars). And over the nights Shin's slept in the closet, Drifter's noticed some of his habits, like keeping his back to the door as he first falls asleep, but later facing it.
It was thanks to those habits that Shin's actually silently allowed Drifter to join him on the bed from time to time. Don't get him wrong, he's totally fine with Shin having the hallway bed, but to feel another Guardian's Light gently pressing against his own as they slept was a comfort he hasn't had in years, and it seemed that Malphur liked it as well. ...Maybe he really is just lonely? After all, he clearly doesn't hate Drifter's company if he's allowing him in the bed when he's sleeping. And it almost always ends up the same too, with Shin tucked into his arms and nuzzled up to his body, Drifter's own arms simply holding him in place. It was so odd to see Shin so relaxed like that, as he's held by the man he's been out to wipe off the map for years.
He was yanked out of his thoughts as his Ghost popped up, telling him that he's got a message from someone he didn't recognize. "...D-Drifter...Annex transmat..." That was Shin. In clear pain. He didn't think, just sprinted out of his hallway, slamming into a couple of Gambit regulars who looked shocked by his actions. "Gambit's on hold for a little bit, brother! Just got a lead on somethin' I've been lookin' for a while!" He lied easily, not waiting for their answers or questions, and went straight down to the annex, which was only open thanks to Spider and the Black Armory being in need.
Drifter wanted to puke when he saw the state Shin was in: blood covering his legs and the lower half of his chest, gripping his right arm which looked dislocated, face pale and coated in sweat. "The fuck happened?!" "Our...Guardian got kidnapped by Scorn. Couldn't just leave them, went after them... Made a bit of a mess of myself." Shin grunted, taking a stumbling step forward. Drifter gasped as he saw Shin's legs buckle, springing for him. Shin groaning in pain as Drifter caught him, but grateful that he was hitting the older man and not the floor.
"T-Think you can patch me up again?" "Yeah, but I can't do it here." Shin cocked a brow, mouth opening to speak when they heard the echos of footfall coming from deeper in the area. "That was weird. Drifter's normally up for us playing Gambit." "Wonder what it was he's been looking for? You think he would've sent some of us to try and find it for him." Two Guardians exchanged, their pace and direction changing to head downstairs towards Ada-1. "...Oh." "Yeah, I didn't think my regulars would show up so soon. Crucible must be a fuckfest if they're here now." "So where are we... Hey!" Shin was cut off as Drifter effortlessly scooped him up into his arms, the man going back to the transmat zone. "No choice. I've gotta take you up to the Derelict."
He felt Shin stiffen in his grip. "...What?" He figured that would be his reaction. "You want me to fix you up in private, or in a place where random Guardians can see you?" He counter and Shin growled, chewing on his lower lip in thought. "...Alright, fine." Drifter nodded and a moment later, his Ghost popped up, prepping both of them for transmat into his ship.
Drifter made his way to his bedroom, setting Shin down on the bed before ducking back out to find his med-kit. Shin admits, this isn't exactly what he expected the inside of the Derelict to look like, surprised by how cold the place was. You'd think Drifter wanted to keep warm like everyone else, but apparently not. "Okay, let's get you out of all of that." "ALL of it?" Drifter nodded his head. "You're fucked up pretty bad, so you might have injuries you can't feel right now." Well...it was reasonable. Shin sighed and nodded his head, trying to remove his armor, but grunted in pain when he did.
"Here." Drifter quickly reached out and began undoing the armor, pulling it off piece by piece, being careful when removing the gauntlet on his right arm. Shin watched the other man as he did this, noting the clear familiarity he has with Hunter armor. "...So you're what? A Hunter too?" "Hm? Oh, yeah, but its a recent thing; started out as a Titan, quickly learned enough to actually be a Warlock, and then settled on Hunter." "...Wait, you've been all three classes?" That was a shock. It wasn't totally unheard of for a Guardian to transition from one class to another, but to go through all three? THAT was unheard of.
"Would you ever go back to the others?" "Nah. I've actually got a nasty trick I can pull so it won't even matter which class I actually am." "Oh? What trick?" Drifter smirked as he removed the last of Shin's armor. "Get me out on the field with ya and I'll show you." He purred, a dare in his eyes that Shin was very tempted to take up one day. Right now though, he needed to get patched up. Drifter frowned at the bruising on Shin's legs, which went all the way down to the bone no doubt. "What did they do to you? Use you as a ping pong ball?"
"Certainly felt that way." The words didn't make his frown lessen. Prodding around the bruising carefully, there wasn't any signs that the bones had broken at any point, which was nice. He took in Shin's limp and dangling arm and exhaled through his nose. "Not gonna feel too nice when I put that back." "Just do it." "Alright. Tried to warn ya..." Drifter grabbed the limb in one hand, placed his other on top of Shin's shoulder, and lined it up. "On three. One." He then shoved the limb back into its socket. "FUCKER!!!" Shin barked from the pain as the pop echoed softly for a moment between them, Shin's body almost instantly sagging down once the intensity of it left him. "Hey don't glare. If I got to three, you would've tensed up and made it worse." He said, taking the man's face into his hands, doing a quick check on the rest of his vitals.
Breathing's still fast...heartbeat is too... He pressed a hand to Malphur's forehead, checking for a fever, which wasn't there thankfully. But given his still elevated vitals, he doubled checked the rest of Shin's body. And fuck was that ever distracting; for a Hunter, he doesn't have the typical lean build, having more toned and defined muscles. It made it so he was very easy on the eyes, but it kinda pulled some of Drifter's attention that should be going into making sure that Shin didn't have any hidden injuries towards some rather pleasing thoughts that many would call extremely lewd.
Satisfied when Shin didn't suddenly jerk or hiss when he prodded the rest of his already banged up body, Drifter straightened up, putting the med-kit back together. "You're gonna be sore as fuck for the next week or so, but other than that, you look fine." Very fine... Traveler, how he wanted to risk just kissing this man; it would be worth the death. Shin looked over Drifter for a moment before he pulled his legs up and settled down on the bed, obviously tired after what he went through.
Wait, hang on. Did Shin call a certain famous Guardian, 'our' Guardian?
"Hey..." He started, but cut himself off when he saw that Shin was already deep into sleep. Wow. It must have been one helluva fight if he's this drained. Laughing under his breath, Drifter gently pulled the sheets out from under the man and draped them over him, tucking some of his hair out of his face before he chanced it and leaned down, pressing a kiss to Shin's temple. And since he wasn't instantly dead nor staring at a very pissed off Golden Gunner, it seemed that would be the only chance he'd ever get to do that.
"...God, I'm going soft." He's not one to actually show these kinds of emotions, to actually mean these emotions, but Shin just...pulls them out of him. It was a wonder on how or why he does, but Drifter just knows that he does. It should annoy him, but it doesn't. Maybe because Shin shows him shyness and subtle submissiveness when his true emotions are on display? It could be it. But that was for another day. Right now, Drifter settled at his work table, sparing another glance to his bed where a wolf slept and went about modding some weapons for rewards later down the Gambit road.
Chapter 9: Tipping Scales
Shin yanked himself awake. He hadn't meant to fall asleep after Drifter had finished patching him up, but fuck he was so tired at the time. He had been hunting down a Shadow that had been targeting the Hero of The Red War, which of course lead to them getting kidnapped and Shin going after them instead of his prey. It didn't sit well with him that he let a Shadow get away, but at least he knows what they look like now. He felt a weight around his waist and glanced down. And there was Drifter, fast asleep himself.
Figures. Not like this cagey of a man was gonna leave someone like him on his ship alone. What actually surprised him was that Drifter wasn't wearing his duster; in fact, he wasn't even wearing a top, the only thing still on his upper half was his necklace. And...wow, yeah, Drifter was an attractive man. A healthy amount of chest hair, sculpted body that he clearly keeps toned, dozens of scars littering his torso, and a winding jade snake tattoo on each of his arms. The snakes started on his forearms, just above the wrists, and ended about his mid-bicep.
Shin found that his fingers had come to rest on one of the tattooed snakes, lightly tracing the image with the tips. He could feel firm yet yielding muscle under his touch and it caused something to spark in the pit of his stomach. His skin was nice to touch too; it was soft despite everything Guardians went through, his hands slightly calloused, but that was about it. And his smell... Light, did Shin really like how he smelled. Smelled of gun oil, leather, all three Light elements at the same time, with a crackle of the Ascendant Plane as well. It was intoxicating and Shin really couldn't get enough of it.
He combed his fingers through Drifter's hair, his bandanna still on, and felt a smile spread his lips at just how soft it was. It was nothing like his own, having grown a little rough to the touch from the decades he's spent in the wilds hunting things. His hand trailed over his full but groomed beard, a little jealous about it, if Shin was honest with himself; he's always wanted to grow one, but he never got past his 5 o'clock shadow. And then he realized he was tracing Drifter's lips with his finger. He froze, stunned by his action, and then stayed that way when Drifter shifted.
His mouth had parted a little bit, Shin's finger still on his bottom lip and... Well, he didn't know what to think as that spark jumped in his stomach again. What was that? He's never felt it before and was honestly a little worried about it. ...He would know what it is. Doesn't doubt it, really. The man next to him has seen some shit. Maybe even more shit than Shin has seen himself. To quickly get rid of any temptation, Shin moved his hand so it now rested on Drifter's chest, fingers lightly tangled in his chest hair, and felt as a little bit of heat washed over his cheeks.
Fuck, what was this man doing to him?
Chapter 10: Charged
Drifter stirred awake, having decided to get some shuteye himself after a few hours of working on some home brewed guns and armor designs, having half stripped so he could keep comfortable; he hasn't slept naked in a while and his clothes start to feel like they're fusing into his skin if he doesn't sleep nude after a certain amount of time. So imagine his surprise when he realizes that he's on his back and Shin is curled up on his chest. Huh. Not a bad thing to wake up to. And he really liked the way Shin's skin felt against his own, all soft and smooth and ripe for him to mark up with his teeth.
Easy, Drifter, no need to get too frisky and spook him out of the bed. He wasn't gonna lie, with how things have been going between him and Shin, he's hoping they'd bang at least once. And he personally doesn't care who takes the lead as long as he gets to fuck Shin Malphur. Lordy, that'd be something to brag about with Yor's little cuckoo's nest. Who else could say that they've had Shin Malphur in their bed and lived? He glanced down when he felt Shin move, face scrunching up a little tighter before his jade eyes met his brown. "Mornin' darlin'."
Shin wasn't sure what to do with such a warm greeting. There was no smirk, no humor or playfulness; Drifter was just plain happy that Shin stuck around this time they shared the bed, not slinking off before Drifter woke up like he usually did. And it made that spark jump in his stomach again. What was that? "How ya feelin'?" "I'm...okay. ...I think..." "You think?" Drifter asked as he carefully sat up, not wanting to shove Shin off him, but also not wanting him to move off him either. "I don't know. I mean, yeah, I feel like someone beat me against the fucking Tower, but there's...I don't know, something else I'm feeling too." "What is it?" Drifter didn't exactly like how he said that last part. "Some kind of... I don't know, spark? I keep feeling something jump in my stomach and I don't know what it is."
Maybe Drifter's wish will come true sooner than he thought.
"When are you feeling it?" "Well, just a moment ago, but..." Shin sighed. "I'm not sure what's causing it." "...Let me test something out; promise not to kill me?" "...Promise." As much as he's most likely going to want to, Shin needed to figure out what was causing that spark to jump in his belly. Drifter moved quickly, grabbing Shin's wrists and putting him on his back, arms pinned to the bed as he settled easily between Shin's legs, pressing nearly all of his body against the other man. Shin gasped and that spark jumped again. "Happened again." "Ah, thought so." Drifter locked his eyes with Shin's. "That spark is caused by arousal."
"I guess you find me attractive." Drifter said almost offhandedly, and Malphur saw a little bit of hope deep within his eyes. What was he hoping for? Him to agree with that statement? But I mean...was he? His thoughts from when he first woke up, those were just...because he was admiring Drifter and his body, right? Wait, why was he admiring his body? Was he... "D-Do you, too?" "Hmm?" Shin's face turned bright red. Drifter got him to blush. Oh, happy day for me. He doesn't think he'll let Shin live this moment down for QUITE some time. "A-Are you...attracted to, to me?" Drifter's mouth curled into a wicked smirk as he lowered his head more, his lips brushing over his neck as he asked, "And what makes you think that, darlin'?"
Shin's whole body shivered, a soft little moan leaving him. Drifter smirked wider into his neck. "Careful, you'll give me...ideas." Shin whimpered, which did NOT help Drifter keep control over himself at all, the other Lightbearer quickly removing himself from Shin's body, but it only caused him to whine more, seeming to mindlessly reach out for him. "Relax, baby. I'm not going anywhere." Drifter cooed, taking the hand that had been reaching for him and pressing a kiss to the palm. Fucking hell, Shin looked so shy and exposed from a mere kiss to his hand; what the hell is this boy gonna do when Drifter decides to really tease him?
Though, he kept still as Shin wiggled his hand free from his grip only to reach up more, the tips of his fingers brushing over his lips. "You like 'em?" He asked, placing his hands on either side of Shin's head and lowering himself back down so the Hunter didn't have to strain his already sore muscles. Drifter liked the echo of Shin's touch on his lips as he traced them, enraptured by the feeling. Drifter's gotta remember that, while Shin's good with people and most likely does have a good handful of close friends, he's not exactly experienced with intimacy like this, sexual or otherwise. Not like Drifter was; Traveler, the man has an appetite when the craving hits, taking several of his Gambit regulars as one-night stands (at their place, of course) to sate himself.
Shin sheepishly pulled his hand away, cheeks scorching, but right now he didn't mind it. "It's alright. I don't mind if you touch." Drifter reassured, threading a hand through Shin's hair. "Y-You sure..?" Drifter hummed. "You and I don't get time to properly spend with company, and if we're gonna keep each other company when you take your naps in my closet, well...might as well make the most of it, right?" Drifter suggested and it seemed that Shin was on board with the idea after a moment to think on it. "Just know that I'm gonna be touching you too. Gotta keep the playing field fair and even, after all." "W-What..." Shin started, getting Drifter's attention, "What if you try to touch some place I don't want you to?" "Then stop me."
"...Not exactly what I was expecting you to say." Drifter openly laughed at this point, sitting up on his calves, Shin pushing himself up onto his elbows. "What? You'd think I'd force myself on you?" Shin looked away, which was all the answer he needed. "I'm not someone most people trust, it's true, but I'm not THAT much of an immoral asshole." "No?" "No. Now, if I've been drinking beforehand, that's another story since I do get handsy." This time, Shin chuckled. "Ooh, that's a pretty sound." Drifter complimented, a little bit of pink coming back onto Shin's cheeks.
"Look, I find you attractive, and you find me attractive; anything we do that's like this from this point on is you just exploring things, okay?" It kinda threw Shin for a loop. "You...won't mind if it's like that?" Drifter shook his head. "I've been a port in a storm before. People come and go, and I tend to not get too attached to anyone who stays in my bed while I'm in it." Shin frowned a little at that. "Hey now. Don't pout, I might have you bite you." Okay, Shin couldn't deny that made him really smile. "Ha! Softie." "Shut up." Shin moved so he was resting his weight on his hands, thinking. It was clear that Drifter didn't mind if he kept exploring these feelings he has towards him with him, but there was the fact that Drifter DID have those feelings for him as well. What the hell was he suppose to do with that? He already gives the man food nearly every time he sleeps in the closet, and now he knows that he likes him for more than just that?
"...I... I guess that's alright. But, if I wanted to, say...go further than this?" "Let's cross that bridge when we get there, if we get there." Shin raised a brow, confused. "You and I have been playing the longest game of cat and mouse that I can remember, and given what's been happening between us recently, it could be that your attraction to me is just based on adrenaline, finally being so close to your prey, and you're feeling arousal anytime you touch me." Drifter stated and it did sound like a possible reason. "...So, we agreed?" "Yeah."
Chapter 11: The Little Moments
It took Shin about a week to recover from his injuries, Drifter keeping him at his side as much as he could in case a complication came up. He's normally not so protective of anyone besides himself, but Shin? He'll take a chance on him. And it'll be worth it too, if things play out like he's hoping. In the meantime, Shin's been pulling Drifter's thoughts away from Gambit and his current con, taking a moment now and then to comb a hand through his hair or run his fingers over his neck or lips.
Shin was actually pretty touchy, which Drifter was NOT opposed to. He liked to touch, liked to feel Drifter's body under his hands. He wasn't sure why he liked the feeling of Drifter's skin on his own, but he does. And Drifter kept his word and has returned some of these touches, playing with Shin's hair or tracing patterns onto his back with the tips of his fingers. It was comforting. It was soothing. And, to be totally honest? Shin REALLY liked it. Though, he's still not sure if he likes it because he's finally getting the physical contact his mind and body have been craving for fucking years, or if it's simply the fact that Drifter is the one touching him.
The duo were currently on the Derelict, Shin just about fully recovered now, both of them finishing up the meal Drifter made (which, damn, this man can cook). Like he usually does, Drifter finished his meal before Shin, putting the dirty dishes to the side as he stood up, and made his way to the bed, stripping out of his duster and top. Shin watched as Drifter spread himself over the mattress, arms under his head, content. A few moments later, Shin was done with his food and was making his way towards the bed as well, climbing onto it and laying down on Drifter, feeling as one of the man's hands quickly came to rest on the small of his back.
Shin was strangely getting cold a little too easily, wanting to blame it on the internal temperature of Drifter's ship, but it's happened in the Tower as well so he couldn't. Neither man knew what could be causing it, but Drifter was more than happy to cuddle up with him to keep him warm when the cold spells hit, which was almost always after they ate. What was surprising was that Malphur really didn't mind when they shared the bed, nor Drifter's sometimes wandering hands when they do. "...Did you fall asleep yet, hero?" "Not if you keep talking to me."
Drifter's laugh vibrated against his cheek and he felt it heat up from more than just the other man's body heat. "Jeez, and here I thought my endless talking helped put you to sleep." Shin smiled as well, the man not completely wrong; there were some nights when he's become suddenly hyper aware of everything around him, and Drifter's voice and smell were the only things to break through and pull him back, to lull him to sleep.
"...I got a lead the other day." "Yeah?" Drifter asked, glancing down to Shin. "Yeah. It's on the Shadow who kidnapped our Guardian." "Gonna make him pay?" "Dearly." Okay. So don't piss off the Chosen One AND Shin. Got it. There was a very long list of people Drifter needed to not piss off if he's gonna live. "...You said 'our' Guardian." Drifter stated, getting Shin's attention, and seeing that he mouthed a curse before looking up at him. "Does that mean you trust me to protect them too?" "...They seem to trust you, and I can tell you need them for something; plus, given how powerful they are, I doubt you'd let a good gun like that just wander out of your life." Drifter chuckled, the other Guardian not wrong.
"So, yes. I trust that you'll protect your assets." There was a comment Drifter wisely kept behind his teeth. Shin shivered as Drifter trailed his hand up his spine, feeling the gentle crackle of Arc energy wash over his skin and through his nerves. Drifter smiled when Malphur made a pleased groan, slumping further against his body. "That feel good?" "Mm-hm..." Shin mumbled, too engrossed in how Drifter could make him melt like this with just a simple touch. How he could get him to relax no matter what. "You think you'll be gone long?" "Not sure... Should I message you when I get back, or just appear like I normally do?" Drifter shrugged. "You do you."
Chapter 12: Lonely
Shin had left the next night. He waited until Drifter woke up before he left, but still.
He didn't think that it would bug him as much as it did. A couple of his Gambit regulars asking him what was wrong, but he just gave them a smile and shrugged it off. Didn't stop his bed from feeling empty though. Had he really gotten so accustom to Shin being next to him? Well, if him reaching over to where Shin normally would be and becoming distressed when he didn't feel him there was anything to go by, then yes he had. Finishing the last of the Gambit matches, Drifter headed back up to the Derelict, needing to clear his head.
He quickly found Shin's once bloodied cloak neatly folded where he had left it on the work table, totally forgetting to give it back to him. That hunger dug its claws deep into him as he stared at the item, no longer caring at the moment if Shin would kill him if he ever found out what he was about to do with his cloak.
He grabbed it and moved towards the bed, quickly stripping naked. He got comfortable before he brought the cloak up to his face, inhaling deeply. Oh, fuck yeah... Like he thought, despite the stain treatment, the cloak still had Shin's scent burned into the fabric. His dick twitched in interest as he kept breathing in Shin's smell, rapidly getting hard and aching. A hand found his cock and he started to jerk off, Shin's cloak now just draped over his face. "Mngh... Fuck, yeah, baby..." He cooed, a pretty little image of Shin spread wide and waiting for his cock in his head.
It was easy for him to see Malphur completely flustered, cheeks crimson while his eyes were filled with lust. His lips slightly swollen and bleeding from rough, thirsty kisses from Drifter; a light film of sweat making his pleasingly toned body shine in the low light. He moved his hand faster on his cock, focusing his attention onto the head as he mentally pushed into the image of Shin, hearing as he moaned loud and hotly, his mouth falling agape from pleasure. His strokes matched the hard, fast pace he had set in the fantasy, pleasure burning under his skin like an inferno.
He came faster than he has in what feels like years, back arching with a deep, heavy moan has he shot his seed over his chest and hand, panting hard as he slowly sank back onto the bed. The high was intoxicating, but it only emphasized a point in his mind: he missed Shin. This wasn't him beating his meat because he needed to; no, this was a desperate move to keep the feeling of Shin echoing throughout his body. It's only been a day, but he's already wanting Shin to be back, to be able to touch him, to feel his skin against his own.
When had this even happened to him? Yeah, he wanted to roll around in his bed with Shin, but this? He can't remember the last time he's felt like this, if he's ever felt like this. To think I'd get actually attached to him... Drifter was NOT expecting that. Not at all. "...You better come back to me, Shin."
Chapter 13: Return
A full fucking month and Shin is still no where in sight. The level of anxiety that was giving Drifter wasn't healthy from any angle. Was he okay? Had he gotten hurt again? Was it worse than last time? ...Did his Ghost get got? Not having answers to these quickly spiraling questions was driving him up a lotta walls. And it didn't help that he knew the man was an excellent hunter; he's heard through the grapevine of other Shadow dens that Shin can usually kill whomever he's after within a week of catching their scent.
So him being out for a full month was very worrying.
And he must have been letting it show, his regulars asking him from time to time if everything was ok when he'd snap at them for no apparent reason, or when Hunters are just getting destroyed by the enemy and Drifter goes ballistic on their teammates. He's quickly realizing as well that those outbursts are tied to him not knowing if Shin's even alive, let alone where the bastard was in this cursed system.
Shin limped heavily as he leaned against the freezing wall of the Derelict. He wasn't sure why he was allowed to transmat onto Drifter's ship without the man being here, but he wasn't going to complain right now. His whole body felt like it was made of dark matter and it took everything he had just to keep moving forward. He was hoping he'd at least make it to the man's bedroom before he passed out.
Did his ship get colder? Shin was basically freezing, shivering like he'd just stepped out of below freezing water, limbs feeling just as stiff. The Shadow had played a rather annoying game of cat-and-mouse, managing to slip out of Shin's gun sights three times before he managed to put the fucker down. In that time, however, he learned that the Shadow had managed to make a deal with the Scorn and had lured the Chosen One to the place where they had been kidnapped, the Shadow hoping that the Scorn would kill them and make life easier for the rest of the Shadows of Yor.
Everything hurt. Every fiber of muscle in his body was sore. But he didn't care. The Shadow was dead, their Guardian was safe (for now), and he was back home. He stumbled after a moment had passed, getting tripped by that last thought more than his feet.
What was that really? Was being back in the Sol system home? Was being on the Derelict home? Or was the fact that he was back in the place Drifter was home? Was the man himself home? Too many questions, and he was too tired to bother trying to answer them. Finally, he made it to Drifter's bedroom.
He had just finished the afternoon games of Gambit, knowing that his late night games wouldn't start until after most fireteams come back from raiding the Leviathan or hunting down Riven once again. He rolled his neck to get it to pop, loosening the muscles a little as he did when he heard something fall onto what sounded like his bed. He was curious on what the hell had fallen in his room until he heard the light moan that followed the noise.
A human moan.
He booked it to his room, excitement and relief pulsing through every vein in his body. Shin was finally back. Which also meant that he was alive; maybe not for long, depending if he's hurt or not, but still. "Took ya long enough, hero." Drifter cooed as he entered his bedroom, Shin laying on his bed, still armored minus the helmet, his face buried into the pillow Drifter normally slept on as another groan left him. "Heh, did ya miss me?" He purred as he sat down next to Shin, gently rubbing circles into the man's lower back, pushing Solar Light into his muscles to try and soothe whatever aches might be there.
Though, he quickly wanted to change to using Void Light when he felt just how hot the man's body already was. "Christ... What's gotten into your Light, huh?" Shin, like almost all Solar users, was warmer than he'd normally be thanks to his Light, but this was much stronger than normal.
That's when he noticed the man's shivering and panting.
Drifter quickly rolled Shin onto his back, ripping off one of his gloves and pressing the back of his hand against the man's forehead. The four seconds of contact between their skin made it feel like Shin's forehead had severely burned the back of his hand. "Shit, you're burnin' up, Shin." "What? No, I'm fucking freezing!" He grunted, trying to push himself up, but his arms shook too much and he fell back onto the bed.
Apparently, sitting up was too sudden of a movement for him as the world violently spun. Drifter cursed when Shin half hurled himself off the bed, catching the man in his arm and felt against the limb as Shin's sides constricted as he vomited. And it kept going for a good two minutes, Shin dry-heaving halfway through. Drifter didn't think, he just stripped Shin naked, put him under the sheets, and then found an empty bucket and set it next to the bed, quickly cleaning up the pile of puke off the floor so the smell didn't trigger another round.
Shin's vision grew a little hazy as he watched Drifter hurry around the room, stepping out of it with a long string of rather colorful Fallen speak leaving his lips. He came back with a small water basin, setting it down on the work desk and fished out a towel from the water, wringing it out and carefully folding it before he walked back to Shin and draped it over his forehead. "Try taking slow breaths, Shin." He cooed softly, Malphur seeing the fear in the man's eyes. Doing as he asked, Shin quickly found that breathing slow was rather hard to do, and it was a little painful when he did manage it. He glanced up when he heard Drifter cuss again.
"Drifter?" "Where was this asshole anyway?" Must have meant the Shadow he hunted. "Just a little past the edge of the Sol system, why?" "Dammit! It looks like you pick-up a nasty bug from wherever you went." What? "But how? You know how much I hate removing my helmet." "Did you scrub your armor and the interior of your ship after you got the guy?" Shit. No, he hadn't. "...I'm gonna take that as a no, and that's your answer on how you got sick."
There was a beat of quiet before Drifter chuckled, Shin doing his best to look angry given his flustered expression thanks to the fever. "What's so funny?" "The mighty Shin Malphur is sick." Drifter smirked, and... Okay, yeah, that was kinda funny.
Chapter 14: Care Giver
Shin has been in and out for what only feels like a couple of hours, but it might be longer. In that time, Drifter's been strangely attentive of him. Like, he grabbed a chair from his work desk and set it next to the bed. It was weird. Wasn't he worried about catching whatever Shin had?
Drifter, having been in and out of the Sol system several times before, knew he had nothing to worry about; his immune system, thanks to some reluctant help from his Ghost, has been bolstered to the point that he could most likely fight off most cancers if they still existed in the system--without medical help. From what he's seen so far of Shin's symptoms, he's got a nasty version of the flu and there's a few planets that come to mind that carry this version of it. Regardless, he needs to help Shin fight this off. "Where's your Ghost? Can you call 'em out?"
Drifter watched as Shin's Ghost popped out after a moment, its eye staring at him expectantly. "You're not trying to heal him, are you?" It bobbed a yes. Looks like his Ghost doesn't like to talk to strangers. He knew that the Ghost Shin has technically wasn't his, originally belonging to another Guardian, but since it clearly liked Shin enough to take care of him after what happened between Dredgen Yor and the one Shin cared deeply for, Drifter needed to make sure somethings weren't happening.
Like his Ghost healing him.
"Well, I hate to say it aloud, but Imma gonna need you to stop." "What?" Drifter threaded a hand through Shin's sweat soaked hair, checking the towel he had resting on his forehead and frowned. Needs to be changed soon. "Anything you catch out of the Sol system, your Ghost is only going to prolong if they try to patch ya up; your body's not used to fighting off this stuff, so it's not like I could cap ya and you'd be right as rain again." Drifter explained, taking the towel off and stood up, going back to the basin and switching out the towels; thanks to how cold the Derelict was, he didn't need to worry about the water warming up. Now, keeping it from freezing solid was another story some nights.
Shin groaned in relief when the warm towel settled on his forehead again. Given how cold he was, he was grateful for the warmth, his shivering quieting for a little bit. He watched as Drifter settled back into the chair and frowned himself. "...How long has it been?" "Since?" "Since you started taking care of me?" Drifter leaned back, folding his arms across his chest. "About...three days now? You've mostly been asleep; this is the first time we've actually talked since you got sick." Drifter didn't like the way Shin's face paled. Then he noticed the strange way he was swallowing his spit.
He grabbed the bucket by the bed and moved closer to Shin, the man quickly turning his face into it and puked. Drifter hushed soft sounds to him, his hand encased with Void Light as he rubbed it against the man's back. Shin was surprised to see that something actually came out of him, expecting to be dry-heaving again. "...When..?" "I was careful about it, but I fed you some water and broth while you were sleeping." Ah. That would explain it. "Seems to work pretty well." "Yeah?" Shin asked as Drifter lowered him back down, moving the towel back into place.
"This is only the second time I've seen you hurl, so yeah." What was that in his eyes? Concern? "...What's wrong?" Drifter sighed, leaning onto his knees, head hanging a little low. "I can't afford to step away from you for even a minute." Shin cocked a brow, reaching out to touch Drifter's shoulder, but stopped short. "How come?" "...The planet you were on, could you describe it to me?" Ok... This was getting a little strange. "Um... Kinda arid, thick forests, smelled like ozone and dirt." "See any wild life?"
Shin carefully nodded. "Strange colored birds." "What colors?" "A few...purple ones, I think? Some with red eyes and pink feathers." "...Fuck, the bastard went there?" "You know it?" Drifter hummed, quickly standing up and beginning to pace. "...Drift?" Oh. That was new. "That planet is Mora CSY." Okay... And? "...I think from now on, you're gonna contact me if whoever you hunt goes anywhere out of the Sol system." "Why?" "Breathing the air there without a filter will give you food poisoning; eating anything--and I mean anything--will destroy the lining of your stomach and cause you to die from internal bleeding. That planet is a death trap, and in truth? You should've left the bastard there to suffer."
Well, that was rather cold of Drifter. "He would've got off-world at some point." Drifter let out a dark chuckle. "No, he won't of." Shin gave Drifter a puzzled look, starting to breathe a little harder. "But we can talk more later. Try to relax and get some rest." "According to you, I've been sleeping for three days straight." "And you'll need more to get over this." Drifter retorted, settling the closest thing to a mom look Shin's ever seen on his face at him; the Hunter sighed and didn't try to fight back, shocked at just how exhausted he was.
Shin jerked awake. Pain was ripping through his back, but his body felt too heavy to try and move. He tried to move a hand up to rub it over his face and was confused on why it wouldn't move. Looking down, he quickly understood why his body felt so heavy.
Drifter had fallen asleep, his upper body resting carefully against Shin's middle, one of his hands holding his own. Shin frowned when he saw that the worry Drifter had about him had kept his brow furrowed. "...You're gonna look worried about everything if you keep that up." He muttered, reaching with his other hand to settle it into the man's black hair. The touch made his brow un-furrow a little bit.
...I really gotta pee... Question was, how did he get Drifter off him so he could? He gingerly tried to wiggle himself up and out from under Drifter, but that simple movement stirred the man awake rather easily; he knows Drifter, once he is asleep, is a deep sleeper, so why had he been waken up so effortlessly? "Hey, buddy. You okay?" "Need ta pee..." Drifter hummed, sitting up and stretched before standing, pulling the sheets away from Shin, hands held out. Maybe he was just offering to catch him, since it had been a while since he used his legs.
Drifter watched as Shin slid to the edge of the bed, swung his legs over and tried to stand up; he surprised Drifter by managing to hold his own weight for a good five seconds, but then Shin's legs buckled and Drifter swooped in and caught him. "Shit..." "Gonna be a bit before you can walk again; need your fever to break first." Drifter said as he righted Shin, and... Wait, when did he put on underwear? "Oh, I thought you would've felt a little less exposed if I covered your bits." Shin managed a pretty impressive death glare given how red in the face he was, whether from the fever or embarrassment he couldn't tell.
"I didn't look at nothin'. And those are my boxers, by the way." "Oh, really?" "What?! I didn't have time to buy you anything, and I certainly can't leave your side to do so! Besides, I don't wear boxers too often, so those are basically new." There it was again. "You keep sayin' that, but you ain't telling me why." "Why what?" "Why can't you leave? And aren't you worried about catching what I have?" Drifter shook his head and leveled a look of dread at the Golden Gunner. "My immune system is way better than yours since, I've been in and out of the Sol system a lot more than you have; and I can't leave your side because, should something happen to you while I'm gone, it could very well kill you."
...What? "What you have? It's basically the deadliest version of the flu you could've caught on that planet; I have to be very careful of how I treat you, or I'd end up killing you in a number of painful ways." Shit. Shit, shit, fucking shit! He didn't mean to scare him so badly! "Shh, shh, shh! It's okay, Shin! It's gonna be okay." Drifter cooed, cupping the man's face in his palms and stroking his thumbs against Shin's stubble. "...Am I?" "Yes, baby boy. I'm gonna make sure of it, okay? You just trust ol' Drifter." Shin nodded his head, Drifter pulling him against his body and tucked his face into his neck, kicking himself when he felt tears sliding onto his neck.
"I'm gonna make sure I get you all better, okay?" "Okay..." Shin replied thickly. He had no idea what he had was so severe, and without Drifter's care and knowledge, Shin most likely would've been suffering forever... Wait. "Is...this what you meant when you said he wouldn't be able to go off-world?" "Yes. Without proper treatment, you'll die over and over again; it's maddening, really." Hang on... "Have you had this before?" Drifter nodded his head, his hand sliding onto the small of Shin's back to keep him up. "Took me a long while to figure out how to treat it, but I did manage. But, come on, I should let you pee."
Oh yeah. Shin cocked a brow as Drifter turned him around and then carefully pulled him up and against his body. "It's okay, you can put your weight down." Drifter spoke when he felt against his feet Shin trying to balance himself on the balls of his own. Shin hesitated, but did so in the end when his legs started to scream in pain from how quickly his muscles got sore. Didn't seem to bother Drifter in the slightest, just wrapped an arm around his middle to keep him against his body and began walking to where his bathroom was.
He'll admit, it felt good to feel his legs moving without actually moving them. "We'll be doing this for a little bit after you're better, but it's better if I can keep any atrophy your muscles might have to a minimum." He stated as he entered his bathroom; since his ship was build for deep-space travel, it made sense that he'd have plumbing in his ship for things like running water, showers or baths, and a decent toilet. "I won't look." Drifter teased when he felt Shin slowly reach for the band of the boxers, pulling his body away from his hunter's just enough for the fabric to be moved and then they both had to listen to the sound of Shin peeing.
Drifter doesn't think either of them believed this was a moment they'd ever share together.
What had him worried was that, despite the amount of fluids he's been feeding Shin when the man's asleep, he didn't take that long; less than 3 seconds actually, which was very concerning. "You alright there, hero?" "Yeah, I just..." Drifter raised a brow, but noticed the way Shin was shuffling his weight. Oh. "Think you can try sitting on your own?" Drifter asked, tenderly moving Shin off his feet and turning him to face him. Shin wasn't sure he honestly could, so he grabbed onto Drifter's forearm, the man returning the grip and helped lower him onto the toilet seat. "I'll be right outside, so give me a bark when yer done."
Traveler, Shin felt like he was three again. As he sat there, taking a crap because his body told him to, the pain in his back shot up again and he let out a soft groan. "Ya good?" Drifter called, having leaned himself against the wall just outside of the room, next to the door, legs crossed at the ankles and arms folded over his chest. "Back hurts." Shin responded and Drifter hummed. Might be good to try and have him awake when he gives him the broth this time. "Can you tell me where you feel the most pain?" "...In the middle, more towards the lower back." Thought so... While it was going to suck ass for a good bit, Drifter knew that that was actually the first sign that Shin was starting to get over this.
Drifter heard Shin tinkle a little more, guessing that there was too much pressure in his bowels at the time for him to properly piss. After a moment of quiet, "...I'm done." Shin said, voice soft and clearly embarrassed. Not like Drifter could blame him; a grown man having to tell another grown man that he's finished his business on the pot so that he can help him stand up wasn't something you brag about. Shin glanced up when Drifter stepped back into the room, a gentle look in his eyes as he offered up his hands for Malphur to take, letting himself get pulled onto his feet.
"Um..." "Just lean against me, I won't let you fall." Shin nodded, bending down and pulled the boxers Drifter dressed him in back up, leaning his full weight against him. Drifter pulled Shin back on top of his feet and walked him back to his bedroom. "Down we go..." Drifter hushed as he lowered Shin back onto the bed, letting the man settle himself before dragging the sheets back over him. "Think you can stay awake for a little bit?" "I can...try..." Shin yawned halfway into saying that, the Hunter annoyed by how tired he was; all he did was pee and take a dump, he shouldn't be this tired.
"Alright. I'll be right back." Drifter cooed, tenderly running his hand along Shin's jawline before standing and stepping out of the room. He came back a few minutes later with a small bowl, sitting down and holding it out for Shin. "Try holding this." He understood the confused look on Shin's face, but he needed to make sure that he indeed was starting to recover and not just being stubborn for stubborn's sake. Shin's arms still shook, but it wasn't as bad as when he first got sick. "Well, look-y here. Seems you might pull through this faster than I thought."
Shin fucking lit up. A hopeful look shining deep in those jade eyes that seemed to glow now, a smile cracking his face in half, and his body relaxing in relief. "...Fuck yer beautiful..." "Huh?" "Nothin'. Drink up, but take it slow." Drifter spoke, jutting to the bowl in Shin's hands with his chin. Taking a breath of the steam that wafted up from the contents of the bowl, he realized it was chicken broth--which was most likely what Drifter's been feeding him when he was asleep for those three days. Taking a hearty mouthful, Shin groaned in delight by the warmth and flavor of it, feeling as it slid down his throat and settled into his stomach. "Heh, good?" "Very." Drifter smiled brightly, hand cupping Shin's cheek and stroking his thumb over the skin. "Once that fever breaks we can start tryin' out some more solid food."
"How long will that be?" Drifter shrugged, leaning back in the chair. "Not sure. After I figured out how to treat this, it took a good two weeks before my fever broke; you seem to be healing faster than me, so it might not be too much longer." "And you'll know when it does?" Drifter's only been placing the back of his hand against Shin's forehead to gauge his temperature, but that's it. No Ghost scans, no thermometer; just skin against skin contact. ...Well, okay, so Shin could feel a little bit of Drifter's Light coiled up in his hand when he does that, but his hand's always so warm, so he's not sure how using Solar Light was gonna help anything.
Still, he trusted that the man knew what he was doing. Not like he really couldn't otherwise; Shin's got no fucking clue on how to treat whatever he's got, let alone where to start. Drifter's lips were pulled into a tender smile as Shin finished his liquid meal, the man yawning and groaning in annoyance at the same time, settling down on the bed and almost instantly fell asleep. "...You'll be fine, Shin." "...Yeah..?" Shin mumbled, clearly awake enough to hear him still. "Hand to my heart."