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Immortal Bond

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The clock read two more hours until the midnight train they needed to sneak onto… they would need to leave by the next hour…

Fei wished, somewhere within, that he could just forget it all, just stay there in that borrowed bed with Citan, that the outside world could handle its own problems.

He had craved it, a first time that he actually remembered, needed him, and that tension that had built between them, finally breaking in that moment of that mischievous smile and those words that could have just been taken literally as wanting to nap together, but both of them had wanted so much more than that. And now that they finally had, if only for a few hours, a private place of their own…

And, as he looked at his best friend in this world, who seemed to actually be sleeping there in that borrowed bed, for once not on guard or seeming to be afraid but… snoring lightly, an almost blissful look on his sleeping face, Fei knew that he loved him in every sense of the word, had needed him just as much, had needed what they had shared in those moments of passion just as much. 

They didn’t have that strange, almost terrifying bond he had with Elly, one voice speaking inside him that told him she was his true love, another voice spitting hatred at her for that same motherly feeling. Theirs was one forged in this world, in this life, from what both had began as a chaste platonic friendship, one developed over their mutual interests, over their proximity to each other… and one that, this last year, had taken on another aspect. 

One that alarmed them both, at first, as Fei seemed to discover that he actually had those needs, those desires, and they weren’t just a way to be hurt, and as Citan seemed to debate the morals of such a relationship, telling Fei he worried if he had somehow unconsciously guided Fei toward their friendship going this way - until Yui had spoken to him, that one night three weeks before the Gear had landed in Lahan…

And Fei remembered her words as he stood there, looking out the window. “I’ve seen how you look at my husband,” she had said, and Fei felt embarrassed, almost terrified, ready to deny it - until her next words. “And how he looks at you. There’s something there, something neither of you can control or change. And in this world, the more people you love in any way, the better. Because sometimes things happen unexpectedly. I never thought I of all people would fall in love with him, and I’m kind of his exception but we made it work anyway.”

As for everything itself? He went over it in his mind, wanting to make sure this never disappeared. Fei had assumed the awkwardness of a first time wouldn’t be there, bodily memory and that it was not like he and Citan didn’t know what each other looked like naked - bathing together left few secrets there. Yet it had been awkward in its own way: the getting used to actually positioning their bodies, how their “first time” itself with him on top had been over in a few heated minutes, but then they had taken it slower when Citan got on top, Fei had focused for once on the sensations within his body over the goal of relief, and that time had been… Fei wasn’t sure if he could describe it in words, how good he felt, how, oddly, in control of everything he felt even if he was the one in the allegedly submissive position, how he felt so intimate with another person…

He wanted to hold that memory of them forever, regardless of whatever was to happen next. Ideally, he hoped that they would successfully rescue Rico and make their escape from Kislev that night, but he knew how things could go wrong, he knew there was a very high likelihood that if he even got to Weltall that there could be another battle, another city wiped off the face of the planet with him awakening at the destruction and hatred this… voice within him craved as much as the love he desired. 

The clock flashed, 23:30.

Fei knew he had to wake him, that they had to get out of there, if only that it would take more time for Citan to dress than himself. All he had to do to dress was to get his hair back up into its ponytails and pull on his clothes, shoes, and body armor - Citan’s clothes, as simple as they seemed, were far more intricate for putting on, almost a ritual in and of themselves, with the loose white linen button up and pants, his body armor under it, then a full kimono over it all and lace-up boots…

He felt tempted to awaken him with a kiss, but he knew enough by this point - from how he had seen him react having been grabbed from behind or awakened by surprise. Instead of a kiss, he simply sat back down on the bed, and laid down next to him. “It’s time. We have to go now.”

“If only we did not.” Citan reached out for him, and drew him into an embrace, for once silent as they lay there, their lips on each other’s for another kiss. “Unfortunately, it seems we have no choice,” he said, as they sat up together, in each other's arms.