"Goodness knows I saw it coming.
Or at least I'll claim I did.
But in truth, I'm lost for words" Snow Patrol
Sid couldn’t help but to swallow over and over again as he stood at the edge of the hall. He had no reason for it, that he knew. But he still couldn’t help the fidgeting and the constant wondering if his suit was good, or if his tie matched. Or how his hair looked or if the bruised hollows under his eyes didn’t look as horrible as he thought.
It wasn’t as if he was meeting Henrik for the first time. He smiled as he recalled his youthful self. Even back then, he hadn't been this nervous. He hadn't known any better. But now, he did.
He was all too familiar with the longing and misery of being alone and knowing all too well that the only person he ever wanted and needed was across the ocean.
He shook his head as he recalled that agony. But it wasn’t nothing compared to having him just a few cities away and him unable to communicate with him. That pain was worse, since he could see what he was missing, yet neither of them could approach each other. Not when the eyes of the league and the hockey world were upon them.
He had learned that was a worse agony than having Henrik across the ocean. At least he couldn’t see him and not contact him. But seeing him and having him tantalizingly close was even worse.
Now, waiting for him to make the rounds of all the diplomats and the courts during the Winter Solstice feast was an exquisite torment.
They hadn’t seen each other after the Wars had been done. Henrik had stayed with him that night after the-Sid frowned and forced his mind to not dwell on his captivity and the abuse that he had undergone at the hands of his captors.
He knew, eventually that he’d have to deal with all of the repercussions of the abuse. He already could see the cracking and the unwellness in Roy’s pup and Backstrom’s detachment towards anyone else that wasn’t Ovechkin. He didn’t know what was happening to Enstrom, since Zetterberg had taken him away as fast as he possibly could without offending anyone in the courts. Hiller had arranged for Huet to go back to Europe and that was the last that they had seen of the French loup.
Only Theodore seemed to be holding up, but that was in part because of who were his mates. Souray and Miller were scary in their presence and devotion to the timid loup, not letting anything or anyone get close enough to wound him and that, Sid could see, was making him thrive.
He had seen Souray be over-protective and coax Theodore out of his shell with his patient efforts when no one else was able. Sid could see that it made a difference with how Theodore was dealing with the abuse he had suffered. Out of all of them, he hadn’t expected for Theodore to have been so resilient and so strong. Sid would, eventually, apologize for his assumptions of the Western Alpha’s Consort based on a single glimpse years ago.
The Consort had earned his respect and trust, since the more that Sid examined the situation, the more he could see how Theodore had tried to help all of them out. How he had sacrificed and put himself out more to give them all some kind of safety in a fucked up situation that no one was able to fix until the cavalry showed up. Cavalry that his mate hadn’t hesitated to call up and throw at their foes at full force.
Cavalry that had brought his heart’s desire back to him.
A small smile touched Sid’s lips as he recalled that night. Henrik had been there until he had fallen asleep, curled up behind him and holding him as tightly as he could without aggravating his injuries, offering silent comfort until Sid felt safe enough to sleep.
He knew he shouldn’t have been so comfortable being so close. But he knew that his mate wouldn’t ever hurt him that way and right then and there, he needed the assurance that he wasn’t used or dirty or broken enough to not be touched. It was unspoken, but he was glad that Henrik had picked up on it enough to offer him the shelter of his body as they laid in an army cot, covered with the blankets that the uninjured loups had managed to scare up for the wounded and the dead of the war.
Henrik hadn't been there in the morning and that had hurt. The ache layering itself over the pain of recent events and making him wish he hadn't opened his eyes that morning and had, instead, continued dwelling in the oblivion of sleep. He would have fallen into another sleep if it hadn’t been for the note that Backstrom had slipped him in his silent and unobtrusive way before he had been bundled off by Ovechkin, who was treating his mate like spun glass.
“I will be back. Don’t lose hope that I won’t come back. I will and the Courts be damned. I will come back. At the Solstice. Wait for me just a little longer, my love.”
It wasn’t him, but it went a long way in making up for the fact that he had to go yet again. He knew how the Courts worked and was aware that their spending the night together was a bigger boon than usually offered. Sid hated that he had to be alone again, but at least it was only a month until the Solstice.
And now that it was here, Sid didn’t know how he was going to survive.
He was already fidgeting and just barely able to sit through the pleasantries, announcements and formalities that the feast always brought with it. He didn't think he was going to make it until he was able to see Henrik and actually talk to him and be with him and-
“Here you are.”
Sid’s thoughts were interrupted by Henrik’s arms wrapping themselves around his waist and him murmuring those words in his ear right before nibbling on his earlobe.
“Why were you hiding?” Henrik asked, turning Sid around to look at him.
He was glad that Henrik was more or less holding him up, because his knees wobbled at the sight of his mate. Henrik looked like every inch the regal varg that he was in his finely tailored suit and impeccably groomed hair. His eyes, always stunning, were made even more so by the understated colour of his suit and perfectly matched tie. All in all, it was a stunning picture he presented, and Sid again asked himself how his dorky and awkward teenage self had managed to catch the eye of such a gorgeous and amazing man.
“I was waiting for you and I didn’t want to seem so obvious you were the one I’m here for, duty be fucked.” Sid replied, his voice shaking a bit at the words he had chosen to answer Henrik’s query with. Having realized what he had just said, he clamped his mouth shut and looked down, his cheeks and the bridge of his nose heating up as he realized what he had just said.
Sid was mortified, since he was usually so careful with what he said both in the human world and in the Courts. Ever since his youthful indiscretion and his mating, he had worked hard to keep himself out of the spotlight. The pain of being apart from Henrik had been a useful reinforcer to learning reticence.
Sid knew that he was seen as painfully boring and unimaginative. A robot that performed to his handler’s whims, but that was the only recourse he had to keeping himself protected from further pain. But the war had changed his views on that. He had been ripped apart even after being so careful. He was done with that bullshit.
But it was hard to unlearn old habits. Even with Henrik, whom he knew without a shadow of a doubt, was the safest person he could have slipped up with.
Henrik laughed softly and tilted Sid’s head up so that he could meet his young mate’s eyes.
“Don’t feel bad for saying what you really feel. Would it make you feel better to know that seeing you, being with you, claiming you is the only reason why I’m here also?”
Sid felt his pulse speed up at the words.
“Really?” He had hoped that was the case. After all, he knew that Henke was diplomat and he had seen Joel making the rounds like everyone else.
“Yes. I meant what I wrote in the note I left you. That was the last time I’m ever leaving you. I promise.”
Henrik murmured before he closed his eyes and kissed Sid’s deeply, his hands cradling Sid’s face as he did so. Sid’s eyes widened and then closed as he parted his lips and let Henrik in. He moaned against his mate’s mouth, the taste and feel of him sweeter and headier than any taste he had ever had the pleasure of having. He thought he remembered what Henrik tasted like, but he now knew that the memory was nothing compared to the real thing.
Sid could have wept when Henrik pulled away from him, but was disabused of his disappointment when Henrik smiled and and grabbed his arm.
“I want to show you how serious I am. But in a proper place. Come, love.”
Henrik paused and grimaced slightly, pulling Sid closer and resting his forehead against Sid’s.
“It’s something that happens to all Alphas. Some kind of extra power. We all have something. The Western Alphas have telepathy amongst each other. Empathy. Precognition. That kind of stuff.”
Sid’s eyes widened at the information.
“But…you didn’t seem to have it before, when we first mated.”
Henrik smiled and laughed a bit at the statement.
“I didn’t develop it until after we mated. I had the beginnings of it and when we mated, it was unlocked to its full level. But…after I left you, it wasn’t the same. Just a shadow of what it is now. I need you beside me not just to love, but to keep me sane and to some extent, make me a better varg and man than I otherwise would have been alone. Now you know everything. Secrecy is finished between us. Do you still want this? Still want to continue all of this?”
Sid was too surprised to do anything more than nod as they slipped away to Henrik’s suite. It was quite a bit of an information overload. He was going to need time to digest and dissect it all, but for now, he was glad to see his mate under clear circumstances and that analysis could wait.
Right now, he just focused on following Henke (Better name for his mate) to his suite and finally getting to finish what had been left in the air after the wars. As he watched Henke open the door, Sid couldn't help but to notice the parallels to the first time that they had mated.
“It won’t end that way. I won’t let it.” Henrik whispered in his voice the minute that the door was closed and they had fallen on the bed and entangled into each other over again and Henrik’s lips mouthing down a wet path from his neck down to his collarbone.
Henrik pulled away from him then and smiled at his mate.