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i. 

 

Death comes for everyone. Horus remembers this while waiting at a restaurant for Ruby. It is with a slightly older Carter, slightly drunker Carter, tucked against his side where he belongs. 

Carter against his ribs, the sweet smell of wine and spices, and the firm hand on his thigh, says, "Mom and Sadie should be here in twenty minutes." And Horus hums in acknowledgement. He mutters stories and jokes in his hair in his mother tongue. 

Everything is fine. There is Carter with his laughs and the top button of his shirt undone. Fleeting thoughts that, really, Carter's never been a drinker. It has always tired him. And there is Carter's low warm breaths on his clavicle. He knows the prince will fall asleep like this, if he is not careful there will be no dinner with family. 

There is Horus in his coat and sweater. He doesn't care for, never has and never will, the autumn. A corner table where the server doesn't bother them too often (he shouldn't have glared at the poor girl — maybe). He nudges him up to make sure he's not purely asleep. 

Eight years of courting Carter Kane, and it took seven of those to get Carter Kane comfortable with public affection. He murmurs "I love you," as he sits up, and the prince laughs at his blush. His hand wanders from his thigh to grab a piece of bread, asking, "Are you eating tonight?"

He is about to say No, I'm not hungry. Yet there is the prince's smile — one that could easily drop into a frown if he doesn't get the answer he wants. Horus shrugs. "Probably a little." 

But the chance doesn't come. They're ushered out, the whole restaurant, and he has the feeling in his stomach that there's a new pinch in the Duat. His sensitivity to the Duat isn't as high as others but now, right in it, he can feel it no issue. 

(it smells like dog. a twinge of possession.)

"Heru, don't." Carter shoving his wallet back in his pocket, Carter grabbing his wrist, Carter holding his hand. "Guess we'll get dinner elsewhere." He's awfully calm around death. 

Horus squeezes his hand. The kid leads him through the throng, and he's sort of focusing on his pulse. He's outlived so many heartbeats before this, and he's going to have to say goodbye to this one eventually, a thousand times over. His mouth dries. He's going to be there when he dies, chances are. When does he leave the prince? 

Blood pools in his mouth. He dislodges his teeth from his cheek. Carter's on the phone with his mother, Horus fusses over him. Gives him his coat, redoes the button on his shirt, smooths his hair back. He tucks himself deeper where he's always been, latches onto the part of him that never left Carter. And the prince laughs, glancing up at him. 

They don't talk much in the car, Carter's hand on his thigh. He focuses on his warm hand and gods, he won't always be there. He knows it's paranoia, Carter's his for as long as his magician life span allows it. (the god king needs the magician king to die in the most mundane way possible. old age, pneumonia, anything that does not require the king in immediate danger.) 

Horus has thought about the eternal consort concept multiple times. It's inciting. 

The prince leads him by hand into the apartment. He's pleasantly warm. Fall is only a few weeks more till Horus is less likely to share his coat. He'll share his warmth of course, anything to get his hands on Carter frequently. (the fact that the prince handles the cold better than him has no factor in it what so ever.)

Carter grins at him. "Did you actually plan on eating? Or snacking off of me?" 

He watches him rifle in his pockets for the key. The kid's getting taller. "Pick, yes." A barrier was put up around the apartment, pushing against him. He can enter without problems, yet first and foremost he's registered as god god god, pushed feebly against the chest. "You don't have to feed me, child." 

Still, Horus sits on the counter and watches him with a cocked head. He has done this before, but younger, with Mother and Neph, head not bumping anything, the women's gentle laughs and something likely smeared on his nose. (not all times where bad.) He will stay in the sweater, he stays out of his memories, and stays with his hands on the puzzle he's not really paying attention to. 

His wife gifts wine, and his cup sits besides him. He curls his fist around the puzzle. Carter's had enough wine. His prince bites his lip, glancing at him. 

Horus smiles at him weakly. There is something to this; this part of him with Carter. To be so deceptively mortal in a way he would never have thought. Without his armor, without his weapons, held in his prince's apartment. He has a home, something worth remembering that he'll still likely forget. 

He rubs his cheek. He hates it when Carter keeps stuff from him, so he shouldn't do the same thing. (That's only when you know he's hiding something, he reminds himself.) 

"Little Prince?" His breath catches in his throat and he hates Carter for it. He makes him too weak. The kid hums, head cocked at him, and Horus fumbles it out:

"You're going to die." 

"Do you know something I don't?" 

Horus runs his finger on the rim of the cup. "Not soon, no, definitely not." Damn voice crack. "But—but one day. Not, not that I'm worried about that. My Prince, I am going to outlive you by many, and the thought is upsetting." He rubs at his silver eye with his palm. "I'm acting like a child, forgive me." 

He sets aside the puzzle he accidentally broke. His wife knows what he likes, too sweet of wine with the biting after taste. It is awfully light this batch, he only notices in a pitiful attempt to avoid eye contact with Carter. If he were a lesser man, he would worry that Carter would laugh at him for this little spurt of weakness and think him lower. 

"You are." He doesn't have time to snap a response, words dying in his throat with the prince's awkward hug, stretched precariously. It's for the best, lets their relation filter through: god and godling, king and king, protector and protected; friends. "But that's alright, Heru, you are a child." 

He slides closer to the edge. "That's not–That is not a proper way to talk to your king." Regardless, he drops down, nuzzling his hair. He isn't fit to talk about kingship in this current state. 

Carter laughs. He pulls back, one hand fisted in his shirt and the other wiping at his eye. "I'm not leaving you any time soon. Hey, are you cry–"

"Shut up." Men don't cry, children cry. He hasn't cried in centuries, millennium, and he doesn't want to start now. 

He's pressed back into the counter. He tsks and shakes his head. "Birdie, Birdie. I never thought you'd be shaken up by death. Ah, I have a few honey candies somewhere. Want some?" His breath is vaguely fruity. 

He grumbles. "I can't, and don't, get upset about every mortal that dies. Gods, that much empathy would have killed a person by now. I don't think about it often, when I do I don't really care, but you're not some stupid mortal. You're, you are mine, my boyf–godling." 

His hands are guided to Carter's waist. "Yours." The prince pats his cheeks. "Mine." 

Horus copies him. «Prince,» Kemetic always sounds nicer, "I think your dinner is burning." 

Carter pulls away and curses, loudly. He turns it off and in mock anger, "Look what you made me do!" They share a laugh, the god kissing his head. The height difference is nice, the kid stretching to reach and retaliate. 

"I'll go get you something. Hath's been in the mood to spoil something." Him, currently, in preparation for Ihy. Carter will make a good substitute until things become formal. 

He laughs, another kiss, to the lips this time, that lasts longer than it should. 

ii.

"Hey, kid." Carter does the thing he always does, making his breath catch and heart stop. The prince had curled up on the couch. He brushes his hair out of his face. "Long day?" he asks, Carter slowly rousing and wrapped against his side. 

He's a bit rumpled. "Heru," he coos, "I think I'm having an existential crisis. Stay with me." 

Horus cocks his head. "Course." He continues stroking his hair. Really, he's suppose to take him to bed. But now, with the kid quickly drifting back to sleep, he's tempted to leave him there. 

"Ruby, dearest, can't he stay? He's absolutely out." The soupçon of heavy liquor she claims to have given him certainly doesn't help matters. Granted, Carter was on the edge of a panic from the event. Horus has been meaning to for years to teach him what he knows. Being slightly more gifted than him in social codes from years of court, gods, foreigners, and his own hosts means something, and it would be a bastard move to not help Carter out.

She appears from the corner leading into the kitchen. "Horus, dearest, Julius got off on the wrong foot with Carter—tonight. If he comes home and sees him asleep on the couch, still in his nice clothes and alcohol on his breath, Julius will have a snit. Granted, I gave Sadie some too, but it's not like he's ever paid her any mind." Ruby looks old, too old tonight. She collapses into a chair, hair tossed in a mess of a bun, glass in hand.

He glances at the sleeping prince. He's known things are tense. Yet that – it would be foolish for him to find out about what happened tonight. Julius may have his snits, but he'll end up with something broken along the way. Ruby scoffing brings him out of his mind. "Did Mother give you the idea to give the children alcohol?" he asks.

She laughs. "Perhaps. Please, king, take him to bed. I'd rather our darling boy be a bit upset about being carried then him butt heads with Julius. I'll be back in a minute." And like that, she's gone, the edge of her dress fluttering around her ankles.

Horus sighs. He scratches softly behind Carter's ear. "Up, princeling," he begins quietly.

Carter glares at him with as much malice as a wet kitten. He smoothes his hair down. "What time is it?" His voice is heavy with sleep.

"A little after two. You're adorable when you try to be menacing." He pulls Carter up, the kid slipping on his lap, arms tight around his neck. "Ruby's still up, dearest," he reminds him, brushing his lips over his forehead.

"Not cute," he mutters. He doesn't notice Horus's arm slipping under his knees. "Slayer of the Chaos Lord, restorer of the Throne, holder of the Crook and Flail, Pharaoh of the Nome, whatever I did to the Red Pyramid..."

"Won my heart. All while being the cutest little thing," he says, pinching his cheek.

Carter slaps his hand away. "I was gross and sweaty. Close to dying. And you find that cute?"

Horus chuckles. "I found you cute. Besides, it's not like I would have let you die. Then that means all you were was gross." He kisses him again. He stands, holding Carter tighter and ignoring the kid's shriek (Put me down! Horus, Horus!).

Ruby reappears, a bundle of clothes in her hand. "Don't wake your sister up." She hands the prince the clothes. "Before you get mad at Horus, I asked him to carry you. Be grateful you got yourself such a good man."

"Moooooom," Carter whines, hiding his flushed face against his chest. "Don't stroke his ego."

She laughs. "Goodnight, dears. And Carter, we'll talk in the morning, assuming Julius doesn't come–stays at his office." She slips back into the kitchen, the gentle sound of her computer starting up.

Horus carries him to the base of the stairs. "Carter, does your mother ever sleep?" he asks, dropping the prince down.

Carter grabs his hand, pulling him up the stairs. "Honestly? I don't know."

"Kid," he begins. It's been a few years since he's seen this room. The same bedspread, soft carpet, a blemish in the wall from an accident with a javelin. The prince's dresser still comes up to his neck. "What is an existential crisis?"

He cocks his head. "Where'd you hear that?" He beckons him further into the room. He doesn't sit down, fumbling at his buttons. Any of his superb sober coordination is lost.

"You brought it up." He starts to help him. Carter shies away from his hands, face flushing. He's confused. Hasn't the prince become accustomed to his helping hand? The fruit (peaches?) on Carter's breath reminds him. "No, no, child, you're intoxicated. I wouldn't try anything."

Carter's flummoxed expression grows; Horus ruffles his hair. "I don't remember that. It's means, to like–ponder your position in the universe and if you're doing everything right." (he hears the faintest, 'that's the best way to explain it to him, yeah.')

His lips quirk. "Why would you do that? You've done a beautiful job at balancing college and the House."

The prince slips away, folding his shirt over the back of his old desk chair. "Personal issues," he replies curtly.

"Carter."

"Gods can't get involved with mortal affairs."

"As a whole. On an individual basis, between god and host — former Eye, may I remind — the rules bend."

"Can't we discuss this in the morning?" he asks.

Horus rolls his eyes. "You know once my interest is piqued I don't relent," he answers. The silence grows, a glass one, not terribly tense, just delicate and easy to crack. Carter's disheveled look furthers with an old track shirt (an egregious choice of colors) that hugs his more filled out form since high school.

"I just." He sits after stumbling over his pants. "I'm almost done with my Masters, well on my way to a doctorate, but I...." He frowns. "I'm not going to fit in these," he murmurs, glancing at the shorts in hand. More of his old track wear which had fit scandalously enough some five years ago.

"We should take them home." (his legs were delectable, hidden enough from view to excite horus to no end. it was the first time he wanted to ravish him, smooth as silk thighs parted for him (and only for him)).

"Perverted old man." The shorts end up with his pants, discarded on the desk. The kid spins around on the chair. "The whole night I was 'Dr. Kane's son', 'Julius's boy', 'the rehashed continuation of Julius'. Not 'Carter' or even just 'Kane'. Julius this, Julius that." Now is probably the wrong time to ask what rehashed means.

Carter starts up, "I followed the path Dad wanted me to take, mimicking him, made him happy. I've been content with it but after tonight...it's really too late to change my major. I don't want to be 'Dr. Kane's son' for the rest of my life. Carter Kane. Changing my major course is extreme, but if it's the only way...." He sighs, running a hand through his hair. "At least there's the Nomes. Dad still over talks me though. Supposedly pharaoh and he still—"

«There is nothing supposed about your title

Horus bites his cheek. Be polite, he reminds himself. Carter was born in a time when no pharaoh was meant to take the Throne, now or ever. Nomes would be self sufficient and the Kane-Faust bloodlines would continue on their own. He wasn't born to become their king. He was born, and Apophis was reborn. The children of the Demon Days were never intended to be released. Carter would never have been king, Sadie wouldn't have been his advisor, and they could live the lives they attempt to juggle with the House.

Carter did not grow up waiting for a throne and crown. He did not grow up hidden in marshes and wistfully, bitterly waiting with his Mother whispering about their vendetta. He did not (does not) develop callouses before he has to wear clothes. He grew up comfortably situated in his Father's shadow, content to watch everything pass by. Horus cannot picture being in his own shadow, let alone his parents. He's always been a separate entity; Carter hasn't.

Carter was born with the blood of kings during a time when kings do not exist. No tutelage during his young years to prepare him, no time spent as a real prince. If Horus hadn't grown up under his Mothers' guidance — queens and priestesses — preordained for the throne, perhaps he would have reacted similarly.

(the god king needs the magician king to understand his true position in the world.)

Horus kneels in front of his chair. Stop submitting, he says. It isn't submitting if you're equals. He chucks him to get his attention. He doesn't linger. "I call you 'kid' for part affectionate appellation and the other part because its true. You aren't your Father, the very idea confuses me. Different bas, different kas, different shuets," bring up the forbidden magic again, sure, "different gods.

"I'm not particularly knowledgable about modern affairs or colleges as you can imagine. I can help you in these regards at least – I am the protector of the monarch. And certainly I will ask your father to step back, as Sadie is your vizier. Why are you giggling?" He's here, being a good friend, exposing himself more and more, for the kid to laugh at him.

From his perch, Carter's breathtaking. "Mom was right. I got myself a great guy." Any of his clarity from minutes passed is replaced with the alcohol influenced Carter. "You look hot on your knees."

"It's quite cold here, actually. I'm glad I'm amusing you," he says drily. "This carpet does wonders on–" The kid tackles him down and he instinctively wraps his arms around him. Sighing, he stretches his legs out. Did his knee pop? It sounded like it did. Perverted old man may be right.

He nestles into his shoulder. "Can handle myself," he mutters. "Get me sweet bread tomorrow?"

Horus chuckles. "I'll think about it." A sharp elbow meets his stomach. "You're a brat," he says in his hair, attempting to put malice in his voice. It's all in good nature, Carter whining on his chest.

"Since when do you stay no?"

"I should start. I've ruined you with gifts and attention." (in the morning, he easily slips away from carter, giving his good mornings and how are you to ruby. hathor snorts affectionately, sending him on his way with a plate and kiss to the cheek. ruby rolls her eyes when she invites him in.)

iii.

"I think I'm sick."

"Gods can get sick?"

Horus settles contently in his sweatshirt, glaring at him over the island. "'Parently. Uh, thanks," he says hoarsely. He wraps his stiff fingers around the mug. Carter's cool hand lays on his forehead, head cocked, an adorable mannerism he's picked up.

He clicks his tongue. "You're burning up. Drink your tea, dear." He hesitates, watching the surface of the light brown liquid. It looks normal enough; his stuffed nose detects that it's not pure tea with thyme and poppy. Medicated. Not the natural ways with women's magic. It's smart of the kid, seeing he won't take modern medicine otherwise.

Reaching for the jar of honey in the middle of the island, he notes with displeasure how his joints ache. Honey is precious even today, unnatural bright yellow. "Is there milk? I'm freezing," he corrects.

Carter frowns. "Yes, yes, of course." He sits on the edge of his knee. Horus keeps mum about the slight strain. "It doesn't change when you leave?" His voice is soft and sweet, devoid of any teasing, yet still painful to his sensitive ears.

Shaking his head, "Perhaps you shouldn't sit so close, princeling, I would hate to get you sick." Horus has only seen him struck sick twice, both times him miserable and held up in bed.

"Don't worry. Why don't you bring this up to Isis?"

"She doesn't need to worry about me on top of Hathor. I'm a god, I'll be fine."

Carter pinches his cheek. "I know you're a god. But you're also my boyfriend. Imagine how your mothers would react if they somehow find out your sick."

"You wouldn't." The prince grins cheekily. "Of course you would," Horus mutters. "I'll go tomorrow."

The kid's head drops on his shoulder. "Good boy. I'm only insisting since your symptoms don't go away when you change forms. How are you feeling today?" Horus lists them — sore joints, coarse throat, sensitivity, startling headache, lost ability of spectacular senses — all the while pulling Carter further on his lap. He wouldn't push him off no matter how uncomfortable it is. He secures an arm around his waist. "Or, Horus, you could be getting old."

Horus will admit the tea isn't bad. It leaves an awkward aftertaste. Green tea is not a favorite. "Sure, dear."

Come morning, he wishes he hadn't wrapped himself around Carter. The blankets are a mess, tangled up around the both of them. The kid's short laugh comes to him, and his care in the form of his hand brushing over his forehead. "I've never seen you sleep in this late." The fashion is light and jovial, "Still cold?"

He grumbles, turning the best he can away. A sun god being sensitive to light. Hilarious. "Time?"

"Almost two."

He huffs, sitting up gingerly. Inadvertently he pulls Carter up from being tangled. "I didn't keep you all day, did I?" He takes the chance to prop his chin on the crown of his head. No kissing while he's sick.

Carter laughs. His laugh is unconditionally warm. Compared to the god, he's a compact heater, a burrow of mortal heat and energy. A sturdy temptation, glaring to the unnaturally cold king. "No. Went out with Sadie to some Nomes, did some grocery shopping, and worked on my paper. I tried waking you when I got home, but you snagged me and threw me down."

Horus chuckles. "Sounds right. How is the little Kane?" He doesn't listen. He preens himself, wrist rubbing behind his ear. He needs a bath, but he wants to enjoy his time with Carter. (he always does.)

"And we're meeting your mother around six, before or after dinner." Horus stops.

"I swear, Carter Kane, I'm going to–"

"Fall deeper in love with me, I know." He simpers, snaking his arm around his waist. "It's probably just the flu, but I wouldn't want you too sick."

He tries to be mad. He tries to let his infamous temper spike. Yet as Carter nuzzles his throat and sighs quietly, he can't. "I...Fine. I'm going to shower." He doesn't mean to clip his words so much and regrets the prince flinching from him. "I'm not upset with you, Carter," he says softly, rubbing the back of his head and stopping himself from adoringly kissing his forehead.

He shrinks down. "I only did it because I care."

The god rolls his eyes. "I know. It's cute. Hm." His lips quirk into a smile when Carter stirs with a curious hum. "Hathor does the same. It is a good thing you two get along, else she might grow jealous at how well you do it."

He's painfully quiet. Least he sighs contently when Horus combs through his hair. "I'll be back."

Horus steps out of the shower some half an hour later thoroughly ruffled. He dries behind his ear, racking his mind for where exactly Carter keeps clothes for him and sorting through the various things he's heard the past few days. Hathor remains fine, Hapi acting up in response to Ihy being reborn before his brothers, something about a bottom drawer, the dog complaining about his dear aunt and bastard uncle. A rescheduled dinner, a comment about dry cleaning.

"Oh," and it clicks, everything runs in one, and he can smell something from the kitchen. It's the blasted tea. The itch in his throat becomes noticeable as he remembers.

Why did he let Carter buy him clothes again? Because Ruby and Carter had insisted? Well, yes, as the kid pouted and complained about needing to do something for him, since 'paying for my college and apartment in full is too much'. Right, because Carter's anger at the landlord telling him that he couldn't accept his payment was adorable to the nth degree. As much malice a wet kitten. He's plenty scary to mortals, but to Horus – who is almost certain his presence is what gave him his sparks of temper – he's more akin to a child missing nap time.

One day he will stop thinking of Carter as a child.

"Prince," and he pokes around the corner, "perhaps I should wait this out in the Duat. I would hate to disturb her." The prince pouts. "Don't." He should devote more time to his wife. Multiple places doesn't matter when all of his attention is on Carter.

Said prince steps into the bedroom, crosses over to him. Despite Horus's shirtless state, and the blush that creeps over his neck, Carter hugs him, something soft and vulnerable. Bare cheek on damp chest, nothing innately sexual about, no fleeting kisses of Carter trying to get what he wants. "Stay tonight, at least?"

His heart cracks open. "Yes."

(the god king needs the magician king to know that anything he asks happens.)

The mush he tries to not think about, how much he loves the prince and how the next few centuries are easier to picture with him, starts to surface. "I'll go cancel on Isis," Carter says. "Why are you staring at me?" he asks, glancing away.

Horus chuckles. "You are just very...beautiful."

"And you're shirtless," he mutters.

"Yes, I am."

Carter runs a hand through his hair, leaning off of his chest. "You've gotten skinny," he notes. "I never really noticed before."

He smiles. "Sorry, kid."

"I mean, you're still hot. I just think you look better without all the extra muscle."

"Oh, really dear?" The sweet prince continues to be an outlier. Another pop in his wrist, and as the steam from the shower dissipates, his head fogs back up. How is Carter such an outlier? Beautiful beautiful prince who bends and folds into him, into the old crevices of his still beating heart. Those centuries seem easier with him by his side, situated calmly in his heart.

(morning light, carter cupping his face before they go their ways, kissing him over and over again, 'goodbye goodbye goodbye'. his laughs, 'you act as if i won't be returning.'


and carter nipping his nose, 'we can never be too safe.')

 

iv.

Horus is impressed with Carter, and the fact it takes him eight days to crack and see him. It has to be immediately after he's done with class, his right hand clenching the strap of his bag, left gripping the back of his neck. "Birdbrain."

"Little prince."

He's in a mood, dragging Horus down to his level instead of elevating himself. "Do you want kids?"

"Gods, Carter, I don't care about paying for your college but if you need the talk at your age–" Carter huffs, kissing his mouth. "I'm not a parent, dear. My boys are my blood and that's about it."

He nips his lip. "I'm not a parent either. We discussed  it in class, about how educators either adore kids or want nothing to do with them and it got me thinking." They're breathing the same air, and Horus realizes how much he actually missed this brat. He's even tolerating the kink in his neck and knot in his lower back just so Carter can kiss him easier. Shouldn't the kid have another growth period? He doesn't know. "I'm not completely opposed to having them with you, not that I'm rushing to have them, and I've pretty much settled to spending the rest of my life with you, and there's ways we could," and he listens half heartily to Carter's talking, rubbing his cheek with his thumb. He can say confidently Carter is his smartest host by far, and it has minimally to do with how rapt his attention is to the kid.

"...and you're not paying attention, are you?" Horus grins. "Whatever. How're you feeling? Are you well enough to come home? You've eight days of your cooking show to watch." He loosens the grip he has on his neck, kissing his smile.

Horus huffs. "I have no idea what you're talking about. Yes, I'll come back."

Carter kisses him again. "Good. The bed was getting lonely."

Back home, Horus idly flips through back logged magazines. Carter orders dinner, phone cradled between head and shoulder. Both are poor at cooking. He had called it a night on what he wrote. Horus doesn't quite understand modern schools. "Hey," he says very quietly.

"Yes?" he answers. Carter takes the liberty of wrapping his arm around his neck, Horus easily accepts him, setting aside the magazine in favor of Carter. The kid finishes up on the phone ('Yes, that's all').

He digs around in his pocket. "We've never spent that much time apart, have we?" he asks.

"No, not since we moved in here," he replies. Carter goes to school, Horus dicks around, his host comes home every day by four. If he's out later he gets Horus, and Horus once in a while drags Carter to some god thing.

The kid grins. "We need new sheets." Horus tolerates the metal backing of the chair digging into his back with Carter trying to fit both of them on the island stool. "Let's not do it again. I missed you."

Horus rolls his eyes, dropping his hand to his hip. "I know you missed me. I did too. May I meet you after you're done?" he asks. He hates these mundane things, but it's Carter, and he hasn't seen him. They're both clingy in their own ways, and for a day or two he can be clingy Carter's way. He would rather drag him to bed or training halls, pin him with either startling gentleness or a playfulness that makes Carter always, always press his face against his neck with a laugh.

 

His wonderful smile. "Yeah. Want to have some fun?"

The god chuckles. "The thirty minutes it takes the food to get here is not enough time." The prince rolls his eyes, pushing himself up on his knees, teetering back. It happens before he realizes, Carter throwing them back and onto the floor. He keeps his swear under his tongue. "By gods, Carter. If you wanted to roll around you could've just said that. You're going to get another concussion one of these days."

He kisses his head. They don't wrestle often, his fear of hurting injury-prone Carter, and the last time they did, a night in Brooklyn, he pulled a shoulder muscle. Much to Carter's embarrassment, hiding out against his shoulder until the healer girl came.

"No I won't." Carter leans into his affections. "Just use these thirty minutes to do as you please." That's definitely a wink, pressing their hips together. "I missed you, silly bird."

"I missed you, too," he mutters. "Jut stop almost hurting yourself."

Carter smiles. "Okay. I will."

(the god king needs the magician king to understand how much his heart breaks when they're apart, that they're made for one another.)

A rapt knock at their door. Carter disengages, pressing a final kiss to Horus's lips, fixing his clothes and hair. Not that his blush goes away, flushed face and the imprint of carpet on his cheek. He watches as Carter goes to the door, on his bare back on the floor. Carter makes polite small talk, laughing awkwardly with the delivery boy.

 

v.

Horus is a sentimental, old fool. Carter and him are returning a week later than everyone else from vacation, as night creeps into dawn and Ra rises, suitcase in hand as Carter jiggles the key in the lock of his parent's house. Europe was nice. Different than America, certainly.

("Is going to Europe in your best interests?" Julius asks after the women see them off. Two days after the Kane family returned from Egypt, Carter's off again with Horus in tow, in hand. They heard this yesterday.


Carter, shoulders hunched, replies a bit snappily, "Maybe not. But he wants to go. Like it or not, Dad, he's part of my life. He's...practically my husband.")


My husband rattled around his skull most of the trip. Carter claimed him. He's pleased by the simplest of things involving his prince. Half of the trip was spent curled in a bed with Carter, lips pressed to the crook of his neck, sighing softly with Carter attempting to work. The time not spent in bed is spent sight seeing.

Back in America ('the states'), jet lagged Carter decides to spend the night at his parents, too tired to drive and too stubborn to let Horus take him home. The midsummer air is humid and cool, crickets singing. They'll be here all morning at this rate. He reaches around the kid, laying a hand on his jittery one.

Carter smiles at him over his shoulder. The door cracks open to a dark living room, and Horus asks, "You told your parents we were stopping?" The kid tries to take his suitcases back.

"I told Sadie." Carter didn't talk much on the flight. Gingerly tucked his feet on the seat, quite roughly tucked himself under his shoulder ('You're a god, that couldn't have hurt'), and slept until the layover. Even Horus was a bit unsettled by the time changes, morning when they left and morning when they arrived. "Mom won't mind, and we'll be leaving after Dad does, so–" It's nice to hear his voice again.

Carter detours at the foot of the stairs, towards the kitchen. Horus cocks his head, and he's shooed up the stairs, "I'll be up. I'm getting a snack." He does, a bit unwillingly, sheer memory to get to his room. The room is tidy, sheets warm to the touch. (those shorts are somewhere.)

Horus flitters around, playing with various things left on the bookshelf Carter didn't take with him, settling for bed, anything to look productive. Not that he is. His time with Carter often amounts to falling asleep on him or distracting him. (this century is such a drag.)

Carter, all five foot eight of him, is back, and he asks, "Goldfish? Really?"

"Shut up," he mutters. The bed here is much smaller than theirs, sitting hip to hip. "I like them. Remind me to buy some. Are you going to take your shoes off?"

"Eventually." He had forgotten, wrapped up with him and Carter and how boring these years could have been without his wonderful host. It is, of course, thanks to the prince he has returned; the Kanes are to thank, to hate. Three thousand years of nothing but family eventually, finally, took its toll on him. The glare of an actual sun, true warmth not produced by a Duat incubator.

Carter kicks his foot. "Mhm," he says, handing him the fish and starting to take his shirt off.

Horus rolls his eyes. "Or I take us home."

"Nope." Frustrating prince, and he has half a mind to just take him home.

But they're here, in the room of Carter's youth and his aging, and everything is quiet and fine. Carter has his youth as well. The planes of his chest are wrapped in lithe muscle, light scars from whatever, hips slim and easy to love. Perhaps he is shallow, mind always wandering to the prince's body, how he's rebuilt himself for combat, how despite the fact they are the same size he fits perfectly along him. The sculpt of his hip in the cup of his hand, how steady his out stretched arm has become with his khopesh.

He continues to wander back to his talk with Hathor and the present. If he could convince the dog, be civil for a day, to make the little Kane his immortal consort, he could have Carter. How hard could it be? Surely the dog's wife wouldn't mind.

"Carter," he doesn't use his name often, and he stalls what he's doing. "Come here." His head cocks, but he doesn't protest, letting the god pull him onto his lap. He's yet to put his shirt back on, and it's quite nice.

"Hi, Horus." And it's quiet, soft, not as foreign as it use to be. His hand flat on his cheek. "Did you need something?"

He leans into the touch. "Only you."

A laugh. "Sap."

"Only for you. Little prince, may I make an offer?" He kisses him, and by him he means them and by them he means what they are.

Carter hums, kissing back, the hand on his cheek tapping the arch of the bone. "Yes?" he breathes. He slides his hand up his back.

Horus smiles. "Why, Carter Kane, will you give me the honor of being my immortal consort, for however long I live?" Carter's heart beats beneath his back. Mortal heart beats, beats that end, and he wants more than anything to tie the beats to his, strong and unending for a few thousand years.

The god drags Carter closer. "You," kissing the top of his forehead, "do not have to answer tonight, obviously. You may take all the time you have."

"...how would it work?" he asks. "I'll give you an answer by morning, how about that?"

Horus frowns. "Do think it over. But, well." Picks his words carefully, lines them up. "You would still be your own person, but your soul would be...fused to mine? Since I've the immortal soul and all. Basically, long as I live, you do? Something to that degree. You're stuck with me forever, but you can do your own thing." He runs over the checklist. That's all? "Oh, and you don't need a host. Your 'title' would be my permanent host."

The kid grins. "With you? Forever?" He laughs.

"...yes? That's why I wish for you to think it over."

"Can I admit something?"

"Of course."

Carter leans back, staring Horus in the eyes. "I've already thought about it. I'm fairly open to the idea."

(the god king needs his magician king to understand that he's thought about it too, so many times, wonderful host to fill the vacated spot in his heart from imprisonment.)

He tucks his head against Carter's shoulder. The blush climbs up his neck, sweet prince in love with him. That's what that means, doesn't it? He's in love with Carter, so it must be true, if Carter thinks the same. The prince's hand on the back of his neck, rubbing the skin.

His prince also pries at his shirt, asking quietly, "You gonna get ready for bed...? Or am I sleeping alone?"

"Don't be stupid," he jokes. "Just let me snuggle up."

(morning comes, carter's long nuzzle into his neck. 'birdbrain, hey,' lights flicking on, 'i'm your immortal consort. can we call it that?'


he hums, squeezing carter. 'we can call it whatever you fucking please.')