Meantime, while Fate allows, let us be one in love. Soon will Death be here with his head cowled in dark. Soon will steal on us the inactive age, nor will it be seemly to play the lover or utter soft speeches when the head is hoar. Now let...love be my pursuit while it is no shame...
To love a Scion is a dangerous thing; to love an Archon, doubly so. It's not just the implicit threat to life that they face in battle after battle, though after besting several Calamities together, Tetri figures that doesn't exactly help matters. It's that Tetri's become used to loss, used to losing the ones she loves, and she hates that. Hydaelyn didn't exactly give her a concise summary of what her duty as the Warrior of Light would entail when Tetri was given Her blessing, nor was she informed of the possible risks.
The years since in Ishgard, Doma, and Ala Mhigo, however, have proven to her the real cost of her title. The cost of caring about the Warrior of Light. When the Miqo'te dragoon chases sleep at night (or what passes for night underneath the accursed bane that is the Flood, anyway), she sees them in her mind, in the gossamer mist between wakefulness and slumber: Papalymo, Tesleen, Moenbryda, countless others. As the fallen parade past her, fixing Tetri with accusatory glances, it is always Haurchefaunt who brings up the rear. Her kind Elezen lover, the noble Ishgardian knight who died saving her life, always smiling, always bleeding from the corner of his mouth, his skin the ashen grey of the dead.
"Smile, my love," he tends to say. "A smile better suits a hero."
She awakened with a start, jolting upwards from her bedroll with a gasp. Her body was drenched in sweat underneath her blouse and leggings; only loose clothing would do, to ease her jumps into the skies while fully clad in her dragoon's armor. Still half asleep, she instinctively grasped for the spear laying beside her, its weight a comfort once it was gripped in between her clenched fists. She struggled to slow her breathing, to calm her racing heart, and looked about, seeing her armor kit on the ground beside her, and beyond that, a campfire filled with dying embers, warding off the chill of what passed for evening in Kholusia.
“Are you alright, Tetri?” asked Alphinaud, and she looked up at him where he sat on the other side of the fire. He was clad in his raggedy clothing, loose leather trousers and a long brown traveling tunic adorned with feathers like a village shaman, with his braided queue pulled over the hood. Beside him, his grimoire lay open, and sitting obediently next to it was his moonstone carbuncle, who turned its shimmering head and, seeing her, warbled in greeting. He smiled at her, and Tetri felt disarmed at the sight of her friend.
“I figured I would take the first watch,” he said. “You seemed tired after your journey here from the Crystarium, though I heard you muttering and moving about in your sleep. Do you want to talk about it?”
I thought you were dead, Tetri thought, looking at his azure gaze, feeling a pang of sorrow at remembering his seemingly lifeless body in Gaius van Belsar’s arms. I thought I had lost you forever, that I would never behold your eyes again. That I would never be able to tell you--
She shook her head, both to clear it and to answer him.
“Just nightmares,” she replied, looking down at the ground, her hands still about her lance, though she lay half in her bedroll. Alphinaud and Alisaie were both twenty summers old, now; they were most certainly adults, but that didn’t mean they deserved to be burdened by Tetri’s feelings, both for them and about them. She didn’t fully understand her own feelings, herself, so she shoved them down into the recesses of her mind where she could avoid treading, filling the space between with her many quests and battles. After all, she had her duty; it didn’t quite matter what she thought, or felt, about any of it. Besides, the Archons had been through enough, being stuck in a different world, confronted with all manner of horrors brought on by the sin eaters. They didn’t need the Warrior of Light’s ill-focused desires to distract them from the mission.
Lost in her dark thoughts, she missed Alphinaud gazing at her across their camp with his own thinly disguised longing. He stared at her, having thought of her nearly every day since his arrival in the First a year prior. Tetri seemed no worse for wear on the outside, as far as he could determine: same elfin, round cheekbones adorned with myriad brown and white facial markings, characteristic of most Miqo’te, same long purple ears and tail, same close-cropped purple and white hair. Same ruby eyes that he loved to lose himself in when she wasn’t looking. Alphinaud had worked hard to improve his skills as an arcanist and a healer in the year since his arrival, wanting to hold his own with Tetri once she had inevitably arrived, and he finally felt like he could do so. What he could no longer do, however, was deny how he felt about the Warrior of Light, now that she was mere fulms away from him.
They had more than several malms to cover to reach the shantytown outskirts of Eulmore, however, and the prospect of that long journey on foot, sans mount, plus the subterfuge necessary to get into Eulmore, required that they both had their wits about them. That meant they had to sleep. Alphinaud had slept deeply in the town of Wright during the previous bright evening. Though the light of the Flood was ever present, the people of Norvrandt still made sure to observe a sort of evening, regardless, for the sake of survival as well as preserving what semblance of normalcy available. He thus didn’t mind taking first watch, even if it was for most of the night; from the dark circles and bags around her eyes, he could tell that Tetri needed her rest more than he did at the moment.
“Tetri,” he said, and the Miqo’te startled at his voice, her hands shaking around her spear as she looked up at him, her long ears twitching with anxiety. Her ruby eyes were glassy, bloodshot from lack of sleep.
“You should rest, my friend,” Alphinaud said gently, allowing his regard of her to shine through in his voice. Just because he could not touch her, didn’t mean he couldn’t show his friend that he cared about her in some other fashion. He no longer wanted to deny his feelings for the Warrior of Light, this was true, but he also knew the time was not right to reveal them, if ever. They had their duty, as Archons, as Scions of the Seventh Dawn, and Norvrandt would never see the return of night again if they didn’t solve the ever-present mystery of the Flood.
Alphinaud watched as Tetri regarded him silently, blinking, before slowly lowering her spear to the side of her bedroll. She ran her hands over her face, then, groaning.
“Right,” she croaked, “you’re right, I’m exhausted.” The Miqo’te moved further into her bedroll, peering at him from across the camp.
“You have the watch, then?” she asked, and he nodded, gripping the edge of his grimoire, giving her a small grin.
“We have this, Tetri,” he said, wanting to reassure her. His moonstone carbuncle twitched its shimmering ears and warbled beside him, as if to echo the promise of its master.
“Please rest, for now,” he said, and was rewarded with a nod from his companion.
“Alright,” said Tetri. “Wake me in a few bells and I’ll take over then.”
She snuggled into her bedroll, turning over with a huff, and Alphinaud could see the movement of her long tail underneath as she attempted to get comfortable. Alphinaud hid a smile; he was glad that, after all they had been through together, through the Dragonsong War and beyond, the Warrior of Light trusted him to have her back. He was grateful for all his hard work over the past year at improving his magical combat abilities. No more would he be a nuisance to warriors like Tetri or Estinien, getting in their way while his allies turned back the tide. He was a Scion of the Seventh Dawn, and he could now hold his own! His carbuncle squeaked beside him, feeling an echoing surge of its master’s determination. Though not entirely telepathic, Alphinaud’s advanced aetherpact with his summon allowed him a modicum of mental connection, in order to direct his carbuncle without the need to speak aloud. It was a marvelous foundation devised by Eorzea’s mages, in order to free arcanists and other mages to cast incantations meant to turn the tide in battle.
His mind thus occupied, scanning the horizon for stray sin eaters with his trusty carbuncle at his side, it was some time before Alphinaud finally heard the soft sounds echoing from his companion’s bedroll across the camp. Blinking, wondering if his mind was playing tricks on him, he turned to glance in Tetri’s direction, watching as the Warrior of Light’s bedroll rocked slightly back and forth. Alphinaud swallowed, his mouth dry as sandpaper. Was she really--no, she wasn’t actually--
“ Ahhh --come on, godsdamnit-- hahhh! ”
Alphinaud immediately turned back towards the horizon, feeling his cheeks burning with embarrassment at his accidental eavesdropping of what was meant to be a private moment. He closed his eyes, feeling his face flush further in shame as a spark of pure lust settled low in his abdomen, and the Elezen could feel himself already half-hard underneath his smallclothes. Unfortunately, Alphinaud found that closing his eyes just enhanced his already keen sense of hearing, and soon he couldn’t drown out the Warrior of Light’s soft moans and gasps drifting across the camp. His carbuncle squeaked at him in a questioning manner, picking up on its master’s consternation, and Alphinaud opened his eyes, scowling at the horizon before him. Why now?! Why did he have to overhear her?!
A wave of fresh shame overtook him, then, and with it, guilt at the lust that was now burning him up from within. Alphinaud tightened his fingers on his grimoire. Of course, such an activity was a completely natural instinct, and he reasoned that Tetri likely was just doing so to relax. Alphinaud had lost count of the number of times he had made himself climax before sleep; he was a young man, after all. Having travelled together for years, he was certain Tetri had overheard him at least several times, as well, especially while camping closely throughout Dravania. There was nothing wrong with it. So why was Alphinaud still listening to her, and why couldn’t he stop?! The Elezen’s yearning for the Miqo’te grew, threatening to overwhelm him completely, his cock now fully hard and straining against the front of his trousers. He could hear the Warrior of Light’s gasps grow higher in pitch, though it was obvious she was trying to stay quiet. Alphinaud gritted his teeth as he heard Tetri whisper a colorful oath, her tone one of frustration; she was evidently having difficulty achieving release on her own.
At the overhearing of her whispered expletive, Alphinaud’s clever mind helpfully provided him with an insane idea. He’d had a lot of insane ideas over the years, in the course of saving Eorzea, but this one was perhaps one of the most outlandish. He bit back a groan as he heard more rustling behind him, running a hand over the front of his pants, willing his hardness to recede, to no avail. At this rate, Alphinaud would have to take his own pleasure in order to even think clearly once more. That insane idea rose up again in his mind, and the young Arcanist warred between his desire for the Warrior of Light on the one hand, and common sense on the other. As he heard the Miqo’te moan quietly once more, Alphinaud grimaced in resignation, his resolve crumbling as his years-long desire for Tetri pulled him under its steady tide.
He turned to his moonstone carbuncle, stroking its long ears gently.
“Keep watch for me, Moonstone,” he said quietly, and the carbuncle warbled an affirmative before turning back to scan the horizon before them. Barring any great use of his mana, his carbuncle would effectively stay summoned for several hours, or until he recalled it, and it would alert him of any wandering sin eaters, or anything else, for that matter. He hadn’t survived in the wilds of Kholusia this long merely on his wits, and his carbuncle had grown in strength along with him. He had every confidence in his summon, meaning he could turn his attention to other things--or, rather, other people. Namely one Warrior of Light. Alphinaud bit his lip, suddenly overwhelmed with nerves, but he knew something had to give. If they weren’t going to sleep, they may as well have an uncomfortable conversation, by which the Elezen thought he could practice his diplomacy to particular ends.
Gathering his courage, Alphinaud stowed his grimoire on his belt and turned about, creeping forward towards the campfire until he was sitting on the ground, half way to Tetri’s bedroll, which was still rocking back and forth. Alphinaud felt his cock twitch at the sight, imagining what she looked like underneath. He bit back his own groan of frustration, resisting the urge to take himself in hand. He ran a hand through his hair, tugging a bit at his plaited queue, before crossing his arms.
“Tetri,” he said quietly, his voice sounding unnaturally loud in the otherwise still air of the camp. Immediately, the bedroll stopped moving, and he thought he heard the Miqo’te swear under her breath. When she didn’t stir or reply, Alphinaud cleared his throat before speaking again.
“Tetri, I know you’re awake,” he said. “I can hear you. I know what you were doing, just now.”
His heart began to race twice as fast as soon as he uttered the words aloud, but now he couldn’t take them back, and his fear was quickly morphing into excitement. He prayed to the Twelve that she wouldn’t slay him with her spear for taking such liberties with her personal boundaries; at the worst, their friendship would be over, but perhaps they’d still remain comrades in arms. He resisted the urge to leap backwards as he saw the Miqo’te move underneath her bedroll.
“I--I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she replied, sounding flustered. Alphinaud felt guilt rush through him, once more, but he had already made his choice. He clenched his fists at his sides.
“Yes, you do,” he said, but quietly, trying to make it a statement of fact rather than an accusation. “We traveled side by side for two years, Tetri. We slept next to each other every night. I know what you sound like when you’re pleasuring yourself.”
“W-what?!” she cried out. “I--I wasn’t--I wasn’t doing that!”
“We both know that’s not true,” he replied, his calm belying the anxiety and arousal warring in his body. He bit his tongue to keep from speaking more; he had to give her a chance to respond. Sure enough, he saw the Warrior of Light finally sit up in her bedroll, peeking over the top of the blanket at him. Her cheeks were flushed red, long ears back against her head in consternation, her purple and white hair in complete disarray, and she was breathing hard. Alphinaud didn’t think he had ever seen someone so beautiful, but he kept that particular revelation to himself. She glared at him, her ruby eyes burning into his as if to set him aflame with dragonfire, and Alphinaud thought he might just let her, to free himself from the lust coursing through his veins.
“Look, Alphinaud, I’m wired from traveling and I just thought it would help me sleep!” she hissed at him from across the campfire.
“It’s not a big deal,” she continued. “I’m sorry, alright?! I’ll stop, hopefully I’ll fall asleep eventually. Somehow.”
She huffed at him, crossing her arms underneath the blanket and turning away from him in a defensive posture. Alphinaud frowned; that would not do.
“You don’t have to apologize, Tetri,” he said, and shrank backwards a bit as she whirled about to glare at him once more.
“Then why bring it up at all, Alphinaud?!” she said, her body simmering with rage, and Alphinaud thought he could see tendrils of blue dragonfire starting to erupt from the surface of her skin. He swallowed.
Here I go, he thought.
“I could--I could help, if you want,” he said, proud that he didn’t stutter in nervousness. “If you’re interested, that is.”
Tetri reeled back from him, as if struck, her eyes comically wide, her ears standing straight up above her head in shock.
“You what?!” she cried, sounding utterly flummoxed. Alphinaud took a breath; he was expecting some surprise from her at his offer, but not this much.
“Only if you’re interested, of course,” he said, laughing nervously, feeling a blush rise on his cheeks, allowing her to see his true feelings, not that he could hide them from her in the slightest. Above all, Tetri was his best friend, and he didn’t want to lose her, his secret carnal desires be damned.
For her part, Tetri was now staring at him warily, her eyes calculating as she examined him. He fought the urge to shake as he felt her gaze drift down his body, and he caught her staring for a few seconds at his hardness clearly visible through his thin leather trousers, before drifting back up to his face. He swallowed again, his mouth dry; he had considered trying to cover himself, but there was no point. For years Alphinaud had yearned for her, was now burning with desire at having heard her cries, and he wanted her to see just how much she affected him, just how much he wanted her.
“Alphinaud, I--” Tetri huffed out a laugh of disbelief, shaking her head before looking up at him again, her ears twitching. She stared at him, and he stared back.
“Have you ever even--” she began.
“No, I’ve never had sex, not yet,” he interrupted, having anticipated the question, proud of himself for not stuttering over the word. “We’ve been too busy saving the world for me to entertain notions of courtship, or even a visit to a brothel, for that matter. Not that I’m interested in such...seedy establishments.”
“I was going to say ‘taken a lover,’ but I suppose that works, as well,” replied Tetri wryly, smirking at him, and it was Alphinaud’s turn to look away, feeling his cheeks flush anew with a combination of embarrassment and desire.
“How did you expect to help me, then? If you don’t really know what you’re doing?” she asked.
He shrugged, attempting to appear nonchalant and certain he looked anything but. He ran a hand through his hair as he looked back at his friend.
“I figure it would at least be more exciting for you than a solo activity,” he said, “and I certainly could use the practice. Once the time arrives, I’d rather not be caught lacking in my ability to please a partner.”
“Ah, I see,” Tetri said, her ears twitching, lips pursed in thought. Alphinaud shifted about nervously, crossing his arms, suddenly filled with guilt and doubt.
“If you don’t want to, that’s perfectly fine,” he said in a rush. “I would never want you to feel obligated to do something you truly don’t want to do! I know it’s a bit much--I mean, that it’s presumptuous of me to even ask, but--Tetri, you’re my friend, and I thought--”
“When did I say I wasn’t interested, Alphinaud?” asked Tetri. Alphinaud’s words died on his lips, as he was stunned into silence.
“Hmm,” said the Warrior of Light, a small smile forming on her face, her ruby eyes gleaming. Alphinaud gulped, wondering what he had just gotten himself into.
“So, no one has ever touched you?” she asked calmly, as if discussing the weather. “No man or woman has ever laid hands on you?”
“I--that is--no, not at all,” Alphinaud stammered out a reply, feeling a flush creep down his neck. Her no-nonsense tone of voice sent a rush of want straight to his groin, and he was now painfully hard underneath his smalls.
“What about kissing? Have you ever been kissed before, then?” she asked, and Alphinaud thought he could hear her voice drop an octave or two. He fought back a shudder.
“No,” he whispered, his mouth dry. “Nothing…”
“You said you knew what I sounded like, when I’m pleasuring myself,” said Tetri. “How long have you listened to me? Was it during our trek across Dravania?”
“Yes,” he said. “Dravania, and then whenever I had the chance.”
“Did you touch yourself while listening to me?”
“Ah, Tetri--yes, I did…” Alphinaud bit back a moan, clenching his fists to keep himself from palming his aching hardness.
“Did you make yourself climax while you listened?”
“Gods --Tetri, yes!” Alphinaud replied, and couldn’t hold back a moan of pure frustration.
“Go ahead, Alphinaud,” she said, her voice low. “You can touch yourself now.”
“Ah, but--” he started, but Tetri shook her head, her ruby eyes staring into his, and Alphinaud could see her eyes had darkened with desire, her pupils nearly fully dilated.
“I want to see this passion you’ve kept hidden from me all this time,” she said. “I’ll make it even, though. I’ll watch you, and you can watch me. How does that sound?”
Alphinaud trembled at the thought of her eyes on him while he stroked himself to completion, and he felt his cock twitch in interest, but the sting of doubt still ached in his heart.
“Tetri, before we--I mean, before we do anything, I need to know if--if you actually want something like that, with me,” he said, his voice shaking only a little.
“Well, I did offer,” she replied, “but I understand what you’re saying.”
She looked down, sighing.
“I do want to--explore this, with you, whatever this is,” she said. “But I don’t think we should necessarily rush into anything further, just yet. That’s why I suggested just watching each other, to start. See how we feel doing that. And then…”
She shrugged, looking up at him, and gave him a small smile.
“We can take this as we go, I suppose,” she said. “No pressure, on either of us, and if you want to stop at any time, we will. What do you think, Alphinaud?”
He nodded immediately, so quickly his bangs shook against his forehead.
“Yes! I--I mean, I’d like that a lot,” he said, blushing as the Miqo’te let out a small laugh at his obvious enthusiasm.
“Well then,” she said, smiling, then stood up from the bedroll, shuffling the blankets off of her, and Alphinaud’s mouth went dry as he saw that Tetri’s lower body was completely naked. He stared at the thatch of purple curls between her legs, the expanse of tanned skin across her toned stomach and thighs, and before his lust-addled brain could fully process the sight before him, she was swiftly pulling her dark blouse over her head, unclasping her brassiere and tossing both items of clothing onto the ground. Then the Warrior of Light stood before him, naked as her nameday, smiling at him, her cheeks flushed, one hand at her side, the other running through her hair. Her tan skin was adorned with various scars, a result of her numerous battles fought and won, but Alphinaud found that they only added to her allure, a sign of her strength and bravery as a hero. Tetri’s breasts were high and firm, with rosy nipples, and Alphinaud wanted to run his tongue across them until she moaned his name. He continued to gaze at her in awe, too stunned to even touch himself.
The Miqo’te laughed softly at him, her long purple tail twitching behind her in mirth.
“I’m guessing you like what you see,” she said, her voice thick with lust, and Alphinaud nodded.
“You’re so beautiful, Tetri,” he whispered, his longing increasing tenfold at the mere sight of her body before him.
“I’m glad you think so,” she said, sitting down to kneel on the bedroll before him, her legs tucked under her, her tail curled about her waist.
“But now, out of the two of us, I’m feeling a bit underdressed,” she said, gesturing at him pointedly with a hand, as he was still fully clothed.
“Oh, right!” said Alphinaud, and yanked his too-large shirt over his head with shaking hands. He stood up, yanking his pants and smallclothes down his legs and shuffling out of them before his nervousness could catch up with him. Then he was the one standing in front of her, his arms twitching at his sides as he finally stood bare to her gaze.
Tetri gazed at Alphinaud’s lithe form. Shorter than most Elezen men, he was thin but muscular, with the wiry strength of a runner’s build, and his chest was dusted with a line of white hair running down the center of his pectorals down to his waist. His nipples were small and pointed in excitement, and Tetri gazed lower, where his cock stood proud from a nest of white curls between his legs. Though not very long, he appeared quite thick, especially around the base, and Tetri felt another rush of moisture between her legs as she imagined taking his length inside of her, or against her tongue. She shifted her thighs together restlessly at the sight, missing how her friend’s nostrils flared as the scent of her arousal finally reached him. Alphinaud uttered a small moan, sitting down on the other side of the bedroll and finally reaching down to stroke himself lightly. He closed his eyes and shuddered with relief as pleasure rocked through him.
“Yes, that’s it,” she murmured, and Alphinaud heard Tetri shuffling about in front of him. He opened his eyes, and groaned as he saw the Miqo’te kneeling in front of him with her legs spread, her hand lightly stroking the glistening pink folds between her legs. The Warrior of Light began to pant, her long ears twitching, reaching up with her other hand to stroke lightly over her breasts.
“Do you like watching me like this, Alphinaud?” she asked, her voice unsteady, and Alphinaud nodded, gasping as he stroked himself harder, running his thumb over the head of his cock.
“Twelve above, yes, ” he hissed, fisting his cock even faster. “You’re the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen in my life!”
Tetri groaned, and he watched as she moved her hand faster between her legs, inserting two fingers into herself, stroking the nub right above her entrance with her thumb.
“Oh, Alphinaud!” she cried, rocking her hips upwards so her fingers reached even deeper inside her, enjoying how her best friend watched her movements with hooded eyes, his face and neck flushed red. He continued to stroke his length quickly, trying to match her own movements.
“Slow down, please,” she said. “I want to keep watching you.”
Alphinaud gritted his teeth, slowing his strokes reluctantly, fisting his other hand through his hair and arching his back as he tried to obey her request. His plaited queue was becoming slowly undone, his hair messy and drifting over his neck and forehead.
“Ahhh--I’m sorry, Tetri, it’s just--you’re driving me mad!” he said in a sigh, unable to keep from stroking his length. The two Scions groaned, working themselves up steadily towards mutual climax. Tetri shuddered as she ran her thumb hard over her clit. She stared into the azure depths of Alphinaud’s eyes, which seemed to glimmer under the false radiance in the sky above them. He was painfully handsome to her, beautiful, even, and she fought the urge to mount him then and there.
“Sweet Halone,” she gasped. “You’re so fucking sexy, Alphinaud, did you know that? I can’t believe you’ve been keeping yourself from me, for so long!”
She uttered a low growl as her control over her dragon soul was steadily worn thin, her climax further in reach. Alphinaud watched, enraptured, as small tendrils of blue dragonfire began crawling over her skin. In the back of his mind, against the haze of pleasure suffusing him, he dimly remembered reading about the history of dragoons back in Ishgard, about how the blood of the dragon could change one’s soul, suffusing it with a dragon’s partial nature as they availed themselves of draconian power over time. The abject display of her magic, that dangerous strength simmering just beneath her skin, just made him want her all the more.
“Oh, Tetri, I’ve always been yours,” he murmured, his voice full of longing, running the hand in his hair down over his chest, imagining it was her hands on him, instead. “I would have given myself to you completely, if you had only asked me!”
Tetri growled louder in response to his words, and abruptly yanked her hand from between her legs, sitting up on her knees.
“Stop stroking yourself,” she ordered firmly, and he muttered a groan of disappointment, but took his hand away. The Miqo’te and Elezen stared at each other, flushed and panting, sitting ilms away from each other on the bedroll. Tetri grinned at him, leaning forward and offering him her hand, her fingers still wet with her arousal.
“You can taste me, if you want,” she said, her voice tinged with mischief. Then it was Alphinaud’s turn to groan at his good fortune, leaning forward and taking her fingers in his mouth, swirling his tongue around them.
Tetri let out a low groan as she was treated to the delicious sight of Alphinaud licking the juices from her fingers like a man half-starved. He moaned as her heavenly taste filled his senses, unaccustomed to such richness on his tongue. Tetri grinned as the Elezen's cheeks flushed, finally drawing his lips away from her hand, panting.
"What a good boy you are," she said, praising him and stroking his cheek, and he nuzzled into her palm.
"Yours," he said, looking at her with adoration in his gaze, and she swore, an ache of possession swirling through her at his words.
"Yes, you're mine," she agreed, letting out a draconic growl. "All mine." The dragoon Miqo'te then sighed and took his hand, stroking his palm gently.
"I must admit," she said, "the mere idea of someone else touching you, having you for the first time, instead of me--I don't like that idea at all, Alphinaud."
Alphinaud smiled back at her, his azure eyes glittering like sapphires beneath his ivory locks of hair. He was so beautiful that Tetri's heart ached to look at him, yet she lacked the ability to look away from him even for a moment. He had spellbound her, casting some hitherto unknown incantation of longing that she was powerless to resist, even as the Warrior of Light. Hydaelyn's blessing didn't work on infatuation, or against falling in love. To the affections of a Scion, Tetri was powerless, and she was alright with that.
"I just want you, Tetri," he replied quietly, leaning into her palm on his cheek. "You're the only one I want. I'm not interested in anyone else. I'm open to whatever you want to do--or if you don't want to, that's fine too. It would be enough for me just to be near you, just to be at your side again. I'd be alright with this as my only memory of--of this kind of closeness, with you, if that's all you can give."
He gripped her hand, as if to reassure her, and Tetri felt that ache again in her heart at the emotional maturity of his words. Alphinaud was so wise beyond his years, sometimes, that it was difficult for her to believe he and his twin sister were only twenty.
"Alphinaud..." she trailed off, her throat suddenly tight with a combination of emotions she wasn't ready to deal with. Still, she owed her best friend a response. She cleared her throat, then continued.
"Tell me what you want, right now, Alphinaud--exactly what you want--and I'll tell you if I'm willing to give it," she said finally, and stroked his palm gently. He took a deep breath, shuddering, and she saw tears gathering in his eyes.
"I--I want you to--m-make love to me," said Alphinaud, unable to keep his voice from shaking. Tetri gripped his hand tighter in hers, as she saw her Elezen friend weep with emotion before her.
"You're the only person I've ever wanted, Tetri," he gasped out, "the only one I've ever yearned for! I've dreamed of being this close to you, for years. I want my first time to be with my best friend, someone I truly care about. So, would--would you please be my first?"
The overprotective part of Tetri's mind panicked at hearing Alphinaud's heartfelt plea. She felt her ears twitch with anxiety. On the one hand, she wanted him back, nearly as badly as he wanted her, though she had buried and compartmentalized her feelings for him (and Alisaie, and the rest of the Scions) so completely, for so long, that unpacking that same yearning was causing her to feel just a bit insane.
We shouldn't, she thought. I shouldn't. I shouldn't love him, any of them! I could get them killed--just like the others. Just like Haurchefaunt...
They are Scions, whispered her dragon soul, the part of her merged in her dragon soulstone, in counter to her hesitation. They are warriors and heroes of their own. Not Warriors of Light, but heroes all the same, who've accepted the burden that is the cost of battle. To give their lives is their choice, not ours. And to give and receive love in turn, is our choice to make, as well.
Tetri resisted the urge to snarl in frustration, unable to find a sensible argument against the logic of her draconian nature. She was also unable to find a reason not to give in to her feelings, both of lust and love, for her fellow Scion before her. Alphinaud was still holding her hand, his cheeks wet with his tears, looking at her with awe in his azure gaze like she was the answer to his prayers. Looking back at him, the Miqo'te felt herself teetering on the edge of that joyous madness, that only arises with being in love. It terrified her more than the sin eaters, more than any vile creature of the world or void, for she could not fight love, nor defend against its possible loss. Not an onze of her fear was enough to vanquish her love, however; she felt it swell in her heart, instead, a tide of longing that demanded she answer Alphinaud's question.
“Yes,” she whispered, compelled to honesty. “I will be your first, Alphinaud, if that’s what you truly want. I want you, too.”
Alphinaud trembled all over at her words, choking back another sob, and raised her hand to his lips to press a kiss against her fingers.
“I’ve never wanted anything else so badly,” he whispered back, feeling both excited and terrified at the prospect of making love with the Warrior of Light. Tetri smiled at him, taking her hand from his.
“Can I kiss you, Alphinaud?” she asked, and at his nod she leaned forward, closing the distance between them and finally taking his lips with her own. Her lips were soft and plush, and he eagerly kissed her back, making up for his lack of experience with obvious enthusiasm. She brushed her tongue against his lips, and he opened his mouth to her, moaning as their tongues twined together. They kissed for what seemed like hours, savoring each other, before finally breaking away to gasp for air. Tetri stared at him, panting, her face twisted in want, before laying backwards against the bedroll, parting her legs. She reached out to him.
“Come here, dear heart,” she whispered, and Alphinaud felt his heart skip a beat at her tender endearment. He shuffled forward until he was kneeling between her legs, his cock still rock hard against his stomach. He hovered over her, feeling awkward and incredibly nervous.
“I--I don’t know what to do,” he said, feeling his face flush with embarrassment. Tetri shushed him, stroking his cheek gently.
“I know you don’t, and I don’t expect you to,” she said, trying to reassure him. “Are you nervous, Alphinaud?”
“Extremely,” he replied, hating how his voice shook. He leaned into her palm, finding her presence comforting. The Elezen felt himself be pulled deeper under the tide of love he felt for his best friend, wanting to kiss her body, to run his hands and lips over her skin.
“That’s normal,” she said. “I’ll take care of you, Alphinaud. You can’t fail at this, you can’t do this wrong. It’s just being together, sharing pleasure. I want to be with you, just like this, and I’ll show you everything you want. We can stop anytime you say so. Will you let me take care of you?”
“Yes,” he said, his voice thick with reverence. “Show me how to love you, Tetri. Guide me, please!”
Tetri nodded, her long ears twitching, then she moved forward underneath him, until they were mere ilms apart. She reached down, taking him in hand, and he hissed at the feeling of her warm fingers around him. She pulled him forward gently, until he had to lean down over her, his hands holding him upwards, and he jolted as she brushed the head of his length against her entrance. She rocked her hips up against him, so that he slid inside of her just an ilm, and was rewarded as Alphinaud uttered a loud gasp at the movement, his body tensing over hers. The Warrior of Light stilled beneath him.
“Are you alright?” she asked quietly, and watched as Alphinaud nodded, breathing harshly.
“Y-yes,” said the Elezen, “it’s just--overwhelming…” He felt his face blush at his current lack of eloquence, but Tetri just smiled at him, reaching up to run a hand over his cheek.
“That’s alright, take it slow,” she said, and Alphinaud nodded, feeling his instincts taking over. He made another cautious thrust forward with his hips, sinking deeper into her wet, tight heat, groaning as pleasure threatened to completely overwhelm his senses. Tetri sighed at his movements, enjoying the sensation of being filled. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d had a lover, after losing Haurchefaunt. That is, if she wasn’t counting the adorable Miqo’te barmaid in Hingashi whom she had helped through her heat while traveling in the East seven months ago, in the course of liberating Doma.
It had been during a rare respite from travel, and she could still count on one hand the number of times a female Miqo’te had asked her to share a heat. Despite the ubiquity of biology, it had just been rare for her to be propositioned by another female of her kind (and she tended to avoid Miqo’te men on matter of principle, another casualty of growing up under the narcissism of a selfish Nuhn). Frankly, Tetri had been flattered, being essentially an unknown in the East, unlike the fame of her title in Eorzea. The barmaid had been eager, easy to please considering her physical state, and Tetri had enjoyed the experience, but she had known then, as she did now, that it wasn’t love, not like what she felt for the young man above her and moving slowly inside her.
Alphinaud and Alisaie had been with her from the beginning, growing with her as she grew into her own power as the Warrior of Light. Inadvertently, they had helped her shoulder the great burden of being Hydaelyn’s chosen, and Tetri had felt herself grow closer to the Leveilleur twins, feeling confused and then guilt-ridden as her feelings of appreciation and pride had morphed into love for them. Tetri sighed as Alphinaud moved into her again, and she wrapped her arms and legs about him, running her tail over his lower back, feeling him shiver in her arms. Impatient, she pulled him down with her dragoon’s strength, pressing his shorter body completely into her as he buried himself to the hilt inside her.
“Ah! Tetri…” Alphinaud sighed at the heavenly feeling of her body tightening around his, jolting as the Miqo’te reached up to kiss him softly on the mouth.
“There we are,” she said against his lips. “How does that feel, Alphinaud?”
“Oh, Twelve, it’s--you’re incredible,” he managed to stutter out.
“Good, I’m glad,” she replied. “You feel amazing like this!”
The Warrior of Light started to pant as she rocked her hips up against his, and the two Scions groaned together in abandon.
Alphinaud’s clever mind whirled as his body was rocked by pleasure. There were no mage’s formulae, no magical theory, that could possibly encapsulate how perfect it felt to be united with her in this manner. He felt unmoored by the intensity of the moment, feeling like he could break apart with each movement of his hips into hers, with every ilm of his length buried inside of her, sending sparks of ecstasy up his spine. He struggled to regain control, gasping into the air, feeling himself on the edge of orgasm already.
“Ahhh -Tetri, I’m sorry, I can’t--” he managed to say, then leaned down and buried his face into her neck, groaning, sounding desperate and wrecked. Tetri stroked his sweaty hair back from his forehead, her other hand running down his back in a calming manner.
“Shhh, it’s alright, Alphinaud,” she crooned into his ear. “I’ve got you. It’s okay. You can let go, and I’ll catch you.”
The Miqo’te felt him shudder against her, moaning against her neck, and the warmth of his breath made her arch into him, tightening her hips around his. She gasped as he made a particularly hard thrust into her, moaning at the satisfaction of being filled by him. To think, they could have been doing this for years, instead of whatever tapdance of denial they had been doing. Well, that, and saving the world, but that hadn’t stopped them from doing insane things before.
“No, I--uhnnn --I wanted to please you…!” Alphinaud choked out as he continued to thrust erratically into her tight heat, gasping as he was brought closer to his peak, clinging to control.
“What--ahhh! --makes you--hahhh! --think you’re not pleasing me?!” she replied back in between grunts and sighs of pleasure, unable to keep herself from rocking her hips back to his and meeting him, thrust for thrust. Their skin was slicked with sweat, and the smell of sex was heavy in the air, the campsite filled with the lewd sounds of their joining. The two Scions continued rutting against each other in wild abandon, the Miqo’te and Elezen each competing to bring the other to their peak first.
Alphinaud leaned down, burying his face in her neck, licking the sensitive skin there, groaning as she whined and clutched him tighter, enjoying the feel of her slick heat tightening around him further. Encouraged by her reaction, the Elezen stroked a hand up her body as he thrust into her, cupping her breasts, stroking a thumb over her nipple, watching as Tetri gasped and arched into his touch, her face flushing a deeper red, her slit pupils blown wide with lust. He laved her nipples with his tongue, nipping her gently with his teeth as he caressed her, and grinned against her skin as she swore.
“Ah --damn--yes, Alphinaud, yes!” cried the Warrior of Light. “That’s it, give it to me!”
Alphinaud groaned in reply, his lips still closed about her nipple, and suckled her harder while increasing his thrusts, still trying to stave off his orgasm. Tetri hissed at the feel of his hot mouth on her, her tail flailing against his back like a whip. Two could play at this game! With a wicked grin, she leaned down to take the entire tip of his pointed ear into her mouth, grasping him harder against her as his entire body jolted from the stimulation. Alphinaud released her from his mouth, gasping harshly, arching his back.
“Oh--oh, Tetri, fuck! ” He moaned, shuddering and sighing as she ran her tongue along the delicate shell of his sensitive ear. Tetri held back a smirk, glad to have finally broken her best friend’s normally polite composure as she continued her sweet torture; as she had learned from Ser Estinien and Lord Aymeric, Elezen ears were incredibly sensitive. She had never even heard Alphinaud swear, though she had always known he had the capability to do so, much like she had known on some level he had the ability to keep up with her in bed, even despite his lack of experience. Tetri was pleased his ability to learn quickly on the battlefield adapted well to lovemaking, though she wasn’t surprised. Alphinaud’s clever mind and talented fingers had always appealed to her, and now she also knew the aspiring diplomat’s mouth was good for more than just targeted conversation with enemies and allies, if the pleasure of his lips on her body was any indication.
Tetri wanted to explore that further, feeling her slick folds tighten around his length as she pondered teaching the young Elezen how to orally pleasure a woman, but that would have to wait until later. She could feel the tension in Alphinaud’s muscles, his entire body arched against hers as he attempted to hold back from his climax. She was surprised he had held out this long during his first time, though she knew Alphinaud had always been tenacious, never one to give up easily on anything. Tetri stroked her hands down his back, clutching his ass, and he gasped another oath above her as his rhythm began to falter. She leaned upwards, coaxing his mouth open and kissing him hard, swallowing his moans, running her hands up his back and into his hair, scratching his scalp lightly. She took her mouth from his, gasping against his lips.
“Alphinaud, you can come now,” she whispered against his lips. “Just let go, and I’ll be here to catch you. I want to watch you come inside me. Do you want to come?”
Alphinaud shuddered, choking back a sob.
“Y-yes, Tetri--gods, yes, I want to…!” he managed to gasp out, his eyes closed and face twisted in pleasure. He opened his eyes, feeling his cheeks flush as he stared down at his Miqo’te lover beneath him. She smiled up at him, her long ears twitching.
“I want to watch you come, Alphinaud,” said Tetri, stroking his face before running her hands down his chest, stroking her thumbs across his nipples in a copy of his earlier actions on her body. He jolted at her touch, and she uttered a pleased growl low in her throat, sounding more like a dragon than a Miqo’te. She pinched his nipples, hissing as he gasped at the intense stimulation. His entire body tensed as he felt her inner walls flutter around him.
“Oh, oh fuck, Tetri, I’m--I can’t--!” he said, feeling his orgasm approaching.
“Yes, Alphinaud!” she said, clutching him tightly, rocking her hips up into him, kissing his neck. “That’s it, come on! Let me see you!”
Alphinaud arched his back, closing his eyes tightly and groaning loudly as he gave one final thrust of his hips and tumbled into the ecstasy of his climax, feeling himself release inside of her, pleasure suffusing his entire being as he shook above the Warrior of Light. Lost as he was, he missed Tetri’s look of rapt wonder as she watched her best friend reach the height of his pleasure above her. For a few moments he felt weightless, as if he was soaring above the clouds, then he was abruptly pulled back down to earth, gasping as he collapsed into Tetri’s arms. The Miqo’te held him gently while he shuddered from the aftershocks of his climax, stroking the hair back from his face where he rested his cheek against her bosom, pressing a tender kiss to his forehead.
Finally, Alphinaud raised his head, still breathing hard, and regarded her with a look of bewildered gratitude, his blue eyes shimmering.
“Hello there,” she said, smiling, and blinked as her friend leaned up to press a kiss against her lips. She hummed into the kiss, her lips parting as Alphinaud licked her mouth open, sighing.
"I love you," he whispered into her mouth like a prayer, and she sighed back, a high-pitched, needy sound, as if granting him the absolution he wanted.
Alphinaud pulled away from her, looking into her eyes, reaching up a hand and running his fingers gently down her cheek. Tetri felt tears burning at the corner of her eyes, cursing her own cowardice; she wanted to tell him those same words, she longed to return his feelings, for she felt the same! Yet how could she, when loving her was practically a curse? Shame welled up in her heart as she looked away from him. Though their bodies were still physically intertwined, the Miqo’te felt herself reeling from the intimacy of the moment, the love she felt for Alphinaud threatening to crumble all the emotional walls around herself that she had carefully constructed for years.
Am I truly this weak, she thought, to take my friend as my lover, and be unable to call him by the same? To love him with my body, but have my words fail me?! It was pathetic; she was pathetic! Tetri choked back the urge to cry, as she was overcome by a wave of self-loathing.
“Tetri,” he whispered, turning her face towards his once again. She took a breath, breathing harshly through her nose, and Alphinaud wiped her tears away with gentle fingers as they coursed down her cheeks. Tetri looked into his blue eyes, not sure what she was expecting to find, but felt the balm of relief fill her heart as she saw the Elezen regarding her with nothing but compassion and understanding.
“I know how you feel about me,” said Alphinaud quietly. “I know that you care for me, that you love me, Tetri. You wouldn’t have shared this experience with me if you didn’t. You wouldn’t have reached for me, you wouldn’t have said yes to my request. You wouldn’t have kissed me, you wouldn’t have held me in your arms and shown me how to love you with my body, like I love you with my heart. Like I’ve loved you with everything that I am, for years. You didn’t have to, but you did. So--you don’t have to tell me anything, alright?”
Tetri trembled at the perceptiveness of her lover’s words. He knew her too well; of course, he would see through her completely, and know just what to say to put her heart at ease. He always did. She found herself glad of it.
“Alphinaud…” she whispered, and pulled him against her, burying her face in the side of his neck, crying softly against his skin, only now she was smiling, grateful for the opportunity to finally be able to love him as she had longed to for so long, regardless of her ability to say so aloud. He wrapped his arms around her, nuzzling against the nape of her neck, and he laughed softly as he heard--and felt--a growl of contentment rumble through her. The Elezen knew she was feeling more comfortable with him, if she was this relaxed about releasing the instincts of her dragon soul out in the open.
“I’m all yours, Warrior Dragon of Light,” he murmured, and Tetri growled louder at his endearment, pulling him even tighter against her, her tail writhing down his back, causing him to twitch as it tickled.
“Yes, Alphinaud, you’re all mine,” she said, and Alphinaud looked up at her. She smiled at him, her ruby eyes gleaming, and he startled against her body as blue flames arose from the surface of her skin, surrounding them both in a cerulean blaze. Alphinaud looked around them in wonder as the heat of her dragonfire tingled on his skin, but did not burn. Far from terrifying, the blue flames were comforting, protective, a wall of magical elemental power, and through the fire he could see the scales of spirit dragons dancing and writhing in midair. It was power, the power of her dragon’s blood that was always simmering at the ready beneath her skin, waiting for the dragoon to call it forth.
“It won’t burn you,” the Miqo’te whispered, “you or anyone else under my protection. You have nothing to fear.”
Alphinaud chuckled, smiling down at her fondly.
“I know,” he replied. “Of that I had no doubt, my Warrior of Light.”
With that, he leaned back down to claim her lips once more with his, and at his kiss, Tetri let her flames dissipate, her claim on his heart now assured. The Elezen and Miqo’te lost themselves in each other for a time, and Alphinaud soon grew to wanting her again, having recovered from their previous session. This time, they slowed their pace, savoring each other, and Tetri showed Alphinaud how to bring her to her peak, which he did with his typical absolute focus. The campsite was soon filled once more with their shared cries of pleasure. Eventually, after one more bout of lovemaking (aided by Alphinaud’s generous use of Physick, to replenish their bodies of vital aether), they fell into a deep slumber on top of the bedroll, wrapped in each other’s arms, with Alphinaud’s trusty moonstone carbuncle keeping watch all the while.
Later that day, when they'd entered the lower levels of Eulmore and were bidden by the court jester women to shower, Tetri considered pulling Alphinaud in with her. She decided against it because it would be too conspicuous, and because of Alphinaud's shyness with public bathing, despite their no-less-public activities in camp. Still, she gave the young Elezen mage one last look of smouldering lust before closing the shower curtain behind her, smirking at Alphinaud's grimace of pure frustration. She'd just have to make it up to him later.
When Alphinaud introduced her to Mrs. Chai-Nuzz as his assistant, describing her as his inspiration, Tetri allowed herself a break in her tense demeanor, to smile at him in genuine fondness. For just as she was his inspiration, he was hers, as well.