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You Would Not Believe Your Eyes

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You would not believe your eyes , if ten million fireflies, lit up the world as I fell asleep.  

“I hate sleeping in tents. It is absolutely horrendous, and I will be requesting that tents be discontinued in their entirety.” Elliot complains into Luke’s chest. Luke, ever the pacifist when it comes to Elliot’s rants, just nodded his head. Taking this as the encouragement he wanted Elliot continued. “I don’t understand why we are still utilizing frankly archaic sleeping bags when there are perfectly good nineteenth century cots available to us.” 

“Because cots are harder to travel with?” Luke offered, and Elliot seemed to take this into consideration before snuggling closer. 

They’d dated for several years before any commander trusted them (namely Elliot) enough to give them permission to share a tent. Not that it’d stopped Elliot from sneaking into Luke’s almost always private tent and falling asleep there. Besides Elliot found himself sleeping much better when he was with Luke, which meant he was always refreshed in the morning. Ready and willing to help remedy treaties. 

“I do not need that kind of negativity in my life. I will leave you if you continue down this road.” They’ve been together long enough that Luke knows he’s joking, or at the very least he should. But Elliot can feel Luke go stiff and when he pulls away to look at Luke he’s wearing a terrified expression that Elliot’s only seen a handful of times. “I was kidding Luke, I love you, a vengeful god would have to use magic to pull me away kicking and screaming bloody murder before I’d leave you.” 

Which is when Luke sits up. His movements are almost mechanical as he searches through his pack. Elliot tries to get his attention a few times before Luke finally finds what he’s been looking for. 

“Okay, so,” He’s holding a small wooden box about the size of his palm. The outside of the box shows carvings more intricate than Elliot’s ever seen. Miniscule mermaids swimming up streams and conversing with elves and dwarves. Trolls patrolling with Harpies watching their backs. He’s so interested in the carvings on the box that Elliot almost forgets to listen to Luke. “I’ve had this in my pack for weeks because I was worried that the right time would come up and I wouldn’t have it. But the longer I wait, the more stressful this becomes. So, I just wanted to ask-” 

“Yes! Absolutely, positively, a hundred percent yes you amazingly beautiful loser!” Elliot found himself hoping that Luke was asking Elliot to marry him. Because if Luke wasn’t then his reaction would’ve been completely over-the-top for something ridiculous. 

But then Luke looks at him like he’s just given him the entire world on a platter. He doesn’t understand how he could make someone feel like that. Like agreeing to commit to him for the rest of their lives, however long or short that was, was the most incredible thing he could do. 

Cause they’d fill the open air, and leave teardrops everywhere  

He watches Elliot slip on the ring like it’s the most precious thing he owns. Which, sadly, might be the truth. Luke smiles at Elliot. He can imagine what Elliot will do once their married. 

‘This is my ex-fiancé Luke’ That’s how he’ll introduce them when they meet new people. And it might get annoying, but the thought of getting to correct Elliot and say, ‘Hi, I’m sorry about Elliot. I’m Luke his husband.’ is enough to keep him excited at the thought of getting to make those jokes. 

When he was younger, Luke had always thought he would marry someone just like him. Not another Sunborn, he’d never been able to get over that mental hurdle. But someone raised in one of the older families, the kind of girl (it’d taken a while for Luke to both realize and accept himself) who’d fight and win a war then they’d have several kids together. He’d imagined her to be like Louise, strong, and tough, yet still feminine enough to leave boys speechless at the sight of her. Back then he had no idea why this was the person he’d thought he’d marry, but he also didn’t question it. 

Elliot was not that type of girl. For starters he wasn’t a girl, though Luke preferred it that way. He also wasn’t from one of the older families. Elliot was from a mom and a dad that he hadn’t considered his family, even though they were related. He also wasn’t much of a fighter.  Luke had no doubt that Elliot could win a war with just his mind if he had the right resources. So, maybe his younger self had gotten that part right, and Elliot did have the ability to leave people speechless at the sight of him. Just maybe not in the way Luke had originally imagined. Elliot was also one of the toughest people that Luke knew. In the years they’d been together Elliot had opened up more than he ever had before. And each knew revealed truth made Luke realize how strong Elliot truly was. 

“I love you.” He says, and Elliot turns to him with a smile like a thousand suns. 

“I love you more.” 

You’d think me rude, but I’d just stand and stare.  

They don’t tell anyone for weeks. Keeping it a secret until they can gather everyone they want to tell together. It’s quite a hard task even though they only brought together five people. Almost all of them ended up being tired and partially injured, gathered around a makeshift table in the middle of a tent Elliot had commandeered only half an hour earlier. 

“We have some news.” Luke sounds upset, which was partially Elliot’s idea. A mad sounding idea given after a long night of worrying for Luke’s safety. He suggested that they pretend to have broken up, surprising their family by revealing their engagement. At the time they’d laughed at the idea and gone on to talk about how difficult it was going to be to plan a wedding. 

“Now, we know it might be difficult to understand our decision, but we hope you understand our reasoning behind everything we’re about to explain to you.” Elliot added, glancing from Luke to his family, to Serene and Golden. To them it might appear as if he was nervous to tell them something, but in reality, he was observing their responses. Hoping to see frantically nervous expressions, only to find disbelieving looks. 

“You haven’t broken up. You wouldn’t be sitting on the same side of the table if you’d broken up. Besides, Luke is my sword sister, and I know him as well as I know you Elliot. If anything, this is- oh my goodness, are you two-?” Serene, ever the genius, began to point at the pair. Eyes widening as a smile like sunshine spreads across her face. In a flash she’s rounded the makeshift table and throws her arms around their shoulders. “I cannot believe it took me so long to realize what had occurred! I should have picked up your nervous masculine energy from the moment you two walked in!” 

Luke’s parents and sister look genuinely confused whilst Golden has begun to pick up on Serene’s meaning. He sat, for a few moments, merely watching his wife hug her two friends. Until the thought occurred to him, that if this was not an announcement of the tragic end to their love, then it must be the exact opposite. 

Elliot could pinpoint the second Golden realized by the way his eyes lit up. He began to clap and move out of his chair by the time Louise realized, then in quick succession Rachel and Michael lept from their chairs. In seconds the mood of the group has completely changed. Talks of their wedding have begun even before either Luke or Elliot bring it up. 

Luke blushes at being the center of attention whilst Elliot revels in it, answering questions and beginning to plan their wedding. It’s a lot to handle but Elliot knows they can 

I’d like to make myself believe, that planet Earth turns slowly.  

Planning takes more time than Elliot would like to spend on it. It doesn’t help that, more often than not, planning is taking place in the early morning. Long before either of them wishes to rise, but whilst both are awake. 

“How many people are we going to have there?” Elliot asks one morning, curled up into Luke’s chest, feeling wings wrap around his back. Something Elliot had learned long ago meant he was stressing about something or another. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what Luke was so stressed out about. “Okay, so let’s save that for later, what do we want to eat then? I was thinking about chicken, though the kind I was imagining would be harder to prepare without risking a salmonella outbreak or any other kind of food poisoning, but I think we could make it work.” 

“Could we keep it simple?” Luke’s voice was muffled by Elliot’s hair. It didn’t answer either of Elliot’s questions, but it did explain why Luke had been avoiding these talks for the last few days. In the back of his mind he recalls a conversation they’d been having with Luke’s parents a few days prior. 

Rachel had been gushing about her and Michael’s own wedding. Describing sheer enormity of it all, the hundreds upon hundreds of guests, the thousands of roses thrown as Rachel made her way down the aisle. In the moment Elliot had laughed with Luke’s parents, he’d never envisioned something like that for himself, though when he was younger he might’ve envisioned something similar for Luke. 

He wondered if Luke had been thinking about that this entire time. 

“Of course, besides we wouldn’t have many people to invite anyways. Your parents and sister, Serene, Golden, Myra, we could send out an invitation to Dale and Adara, though I’m unsure if we’d want them. Oh, and I’d like to invite Commander Woodsinger.” He replies, knowing Luke would hate if he made this a ‘big deal’. Under his hands he can feel Luke relax, tension he wasn’t completely aware of, just fading away as if it’d never been there in the first place. “Also, it’s not that I don’t love your extended family but-” 

“We’re not inviting them.” Luke assured him, as if Elliot was the nervous one. Instead of pointing this out however, he just began to play with the feathers he could reach. Until Serene knocked on their door and barraged in, ready for the next day. 

It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep .  

Coming home is Elliot’s favorite part of going on diplomatic missions. Mostly due to the fact that most commanders refuse to treat councilors as much more than proofreaders. Though, since his graduating year, he's been slowly working towards the Borderlands adopting a more diplomatic approach to life. 

It hasn’t been easy, but it’s most definitely been worth it. He remembers this when he’s invited to the meeting to help craft the treaty and isn’t thrown out after the first half hour. He’s thrown out after two grueling hours of work, though everyone else is as well. Which he counts as a win. 

“Honey, I’m home!” He calls out to an empty house. If Luke’s last letter is anything to go by, he’s currently walking up and down by the Wall, guarding against the few haphazard attempts to come over and attack the populous. The attacks have only increased over the years, not by much luckily, but enough to worry the leaders smart enough to not immediately kill the poor souls with guns. 

As far as he knows, they haven’t attempted to band together against the residents of the Borderlands, which is a blessing if he’s ever heard of one. He’s worked closely with the camps closest to the Wall to keep everyone safe from a stray bullet or god forbid a car crashing into the Wall. The thought stops him in the middle of their kitchen, imagining what would happen if the people on the other side ever got smart enough to try and knock down the Wall. 

He only allows himself to think about the subject for a few seconds before shaking his head and changing the topic. Instead, he begins to think of his bed, something he’s missed for weeks on end, and decided he needed a nap. 

The trip to his room is a long one, though luckily not as arduous as his mind made it out to be. Allowing his thoughts to travel back to Luke, and what he might be doing, and Serene, who would do anything to help out her swordsister. To the wall and who must’ve built it, and why, and what prevented most people from seeing and climbing it whilst others could. 

Cause everything is never as it seems.  

When he wakes up from his nap his bed is no longer empty. Wings spread out haphazardly, a few feathers floating down, coated in what Elliot thinks is blood but is hopefully just mud, or ink. Instead of focusing on his wings, Elliot decides to focus on the owner of the wings. 

Surprising no one, Luke slept adorably. Nose crinkled up in response to his dreams, limbs curled around Elliot’s own, keeping him somewhere where Luke could watch him, protect him. He reminded Elliot of a puppy, adorable in almost every way, almost forcing Elliot to feel regretful when he eventually needed to get up to pee. 

Methodically, he pulled himself out of Luke’s grip, placing his limbs around pillows that would (hopefully) allow Elliot to position himself again once he got back. It took several minutes but eventually Elliot was standing on two legs, needing to pee even more than before. 

He went to the bathroom as fast as he could, worried that Luke’s soldier training would alert him the minute he squeezed the pillow. 

These thoughts meant that when he returned to their bed, he was pleasantly surprised to find Luke still blissfully asleep. Elliot breathed a sigh of relief before slipping back into bed. It wasn’t often that he found out something new about Luke, though dating for four years tended to do that to people. But times like this, when he surprised himself by thinking one way and finding another was spectacular in his own opinion. 

As his thoughts meandered he slipped back into his spot in Luke’s arms. He sucked in a deep breath as he pulled away the pillow and heard Luke whimper. Part of him wanted to just put the pillow back, leaving Luke as he was, sleeping and peaceful. But another, much bigger part, wished to be back in Luke’s embrace after the few weeks they’d spent apart. 

In the end he found the bigger part of himself winning out, reasoning that sleep was something he definitely needed more of, and Luke would easily fall back asleep if he woke to Elliot’s rummaging through the sheets. 

He smiled at his fiancé, something he’d always imagined but never went as far as to hope for. Luke was practically perfect. The most loyal person he’d ever met, who loved Elliot even through every bump in the road, fight, or war. He forced Elliot to be better, in everything he did, and he was never disappointed when Elliot didn’t get better immediately. Instead, he helped, he did everything he could, and was there if Elliot eventually decided to call it quits. 

A foxtrot above my head, a sock hop beneath my bed.  

He woke to singing. It was a song he recognized from the other side of the Wall. Luke’s voice wasn’t something he broadcasted when there was another option available. The musical they’d both been in whilst at the border camp had been a fluke for many reasons. 

“You would not believe your eyes, if ten thousand- no wait, is it million?” The kitchen goes silent as Elliot makes his way to Luke. He’s facing their kitchen counter, chopping something just out of Elliot’s view. It was morning now, much to his annoyance. Meaning Luke’s hair looked more like a halo than just hair. It was infuriating and gorgeous all at the same time. 

“It’s million.” He corrected, barely keeping in a laugh as Luke jumped at Elliot’s appearance. One arm raised with a knife and the other with half of an orange. Luke’s face shifts from surprise to relief in the span of a few seconds as he registers Elliot’s presence. 

“I thought we agreed you couldn’t sneak up on me anymore! I could seriously hurt you if you keep doing that.” Luke pouted at Elliot, though years ago his adorable pout would’ve been negated by the knife in his hand. Elliot found he’d been desensitized to that. He couldn’t tell if that was a good or a bad thing. 

“Yeah, but I trust you. You’d never hurt me like that, or at all.” Luke opens his mouth, before closing it once again. A look of what Elliot has taken to calling ‘pure, unadulterated, Luke’ flashes over Luke’s face before he adds on a smile. It’s adorable, much too adorable for a warrior, though Elliot knows that Luke is not just a warrior and therefore cannot be held up to normal warrior standards. “Besides, there’s not much you can do to me with half an orange.” 

“Are you sure about that?” Luke raises an eyebrow, a horrible, terrible trick that Elliot had accidentally taught Luke long ago. It’s a bit sarcastic yet completely sincere in a way that Elliot can’t help but love. Everything about Luke, from his perfect hair to his hero tendencies to his naivety despite being an adult, causes Elliot to love him despite some of his better teenaged efforts.  

Elliot just rolled his eyes in response as he pushed himself off the doorframe, making his way across the kitchen to Luke’s side. His face lands in Luke’s neck as he winds his arms around Luke’s waist. It’s unbelievably domesticated, a small part of him reminds him they’re only a theme song away from being some kind of family directed sitcom. Minus the war. And the blood. And a lot of the things Serene unintentionally implies about human men. So, maybe they’re a little further from a sitcom than Elliot originally thought. 

Though when Luke chuckles at Elliot’s actions and kisses the top of his head, like he’s done hundreds of times before, Elliot finds that he doesn’t really care. 

A disco ball is just hanging by a thread.  

He loves the Sunborns. Most of them anyways. He could stand to do without some of the cousins who make snide comments about his and Luke’s relationship behind their backs. Or the constant talk of war, and blood, and battles, and the comparing of battle scars. Or the fact they all seem to look for reasons to get into fights whenever they visit. Or the way they treat Elliot like a child who doesn’t yet understand the world, when he refuses to participate in their frankly sexist discussions about some of their warriors. So maybe Elliot only loves a handful of the Sunborns, which is why planning a wedding with the ones he does enjoy the company of, is incredibly difficult. 

“I hear you two are finally tying the knot!” Adam slammed down across from them. It shakes the entire wooden table, spilling Luke’s mead, onto Elliot’s notes about Harpy marriages. In an instant Elliot’s whipping the papers away. Attempting to salvage a day and a half’s worth of research from Adam’s idiotic habits. “Oh, sorry about that. Didn’t mean to ruin your- uh- whatever it is you have there.” 

“And I hear you’re still a bumbling imbecile dead set on clumsily living your-” Elliot was a terrifying person to face whilst grumpy. Catching him like this was as dangerous as catching a vampire trying to find a place to hide from the sun and only finding an outhouse. 

“Elliot!” Luke interrupted, resisting the urge to fly away from this entire situation. It was a difficult decision to keep himself at the table, with his arm around Elliot. Ignoring the looks of his well meaning but intrusive as hell family as they continue on with their ‘family reunion’. Or, as Elliot likes to call it ‘a chance for even more destruction and violence than wars will legally allow’. The table falls to silence as Elliot exclaims the rest of his insult through a glare at Adam.  

“Excuse me while I go try and salvage my research.” He shoots Luke a look that says, ‘You will definitely hear me complain about this later since you didn’t let me complain about it now.’. A look that Luke associates with bottling up one of Elliot’s tirades until he can rant through his feelings later. It’s an effective tactic he’d invented a year or so into their relationship. 

Luke feels like he’s earned the few blissful seconds of watching Elliot wave around his papers like a mad scientist as he enters his parents’ house. It’ll be a while before he even attempts to come back outside to socialize again. Luke knows that’s probably for the best. 

“So, you finally grew a pair and popped the question. Congrats man!” Adam interrupts the silence, reaching over the table to pat him on the shoulder. It’s an awkward movement that results in Adam’s own mead spilling onto Adam’s shirt. He doesn’t seem too bothered by it though. 

“Thank you, Adam.” Offering up a small smile that Luke prays tells Adam to leave him alone, so he can go after Elliot. Or so he can just be alone again. Hopefully the first option. 

“Any time man, I hope you aren’t still mad about that whole thing with Elliot a few years-” 

“You should just go back to the tournament, right now isn’t the best time to talk about this.” Luke responds standing, only to have Adam shoot forward. Clutching Luke’s wrist in his hand like a life line. If Luke were more like Elliot, he would shake Adam’s hand and leave with a scathing remark. But he’s not quick enough to intercept Adam’s attempt to continue their conversation. 

“But I’m apologizing to you! Like right now! It’s been years, I thought you’d be over it by now.” His blood runs cold and hot at the same time. A stone settles in his stomach and if Luke believed that he could hurt Adam without any repercussions then he’d be on the ground right now. 

“Have you apologized to Elliot? For any of it?” Confusion floods across Adam’s face, as if he’d never considered apologizing to the person he’d hurt. Luke found it so much easier to shake off Adam’s pathetic attempt at an apology. “You’ve had years to apologize, and you never did. Instead, you apologized to me, years later. So, can you just- just- fuck off?” 

He walks away to find Elliot. Hopefully to hear all of his scathing insults directed at Adam. 

I’d like to make myself believe, that planet Earth turns slowly.  

The thought of inviting his mother and father to their wedding is a quick, fairly short lived fantasy. Louise brings up the idea one night when it’s just the two of them, waiting for Luke to return from a battle. It was a last-minute engagement. A newbie too overwhelmed with the thought of leading a troop into battle fled the camp, and the troop (mostly comprised of recent graduates from the border camp) had sent a message to the nearest leader in the area. Which, of course, was Luke. 

“I could, though I doubt either would show up. My dad can’t see the wall, and who knows where she is. Besides, I got here without them. I did this, I did all of this without their help. Kind of, I mean my dad did what he was ‘supposed’ to do. But he didn’t ever care.” He trails off into his mug before taking a sip of what he thought was probably tea, or maybe it was coffee. He wasn’t entirely sure. It wasn’t often he wasn’t sure of something, most of the time he was diving head first into something that he believed in completely and utterly. Granted, that didn’t necessarily need to extend to his drink choices. Though know that he thought about it- 

“Wait, he just didn’t care?” Louise’s concern snapped him out of his drink choice haze. When he looked over to her, he saw her eyebrows knitted in confusion. As if the idea that Elliot, loud, obnoxious, know-it-all Elliot had someone who didn’t care about him was unfathomable. “But- but- you’re you! How could he not care about you?” 

He’d been friends with Louise for almost as long as he’d officially been friends with Luke. Through those years they’d had barely enough conversations to dip into the deep recesses of either of their minds and learn to understand each other in the ways that Elliot had with Luke and Serene. He hadn’t even shared the truth about his family until it was almost their time to graduate. Pretending now just seemed ineffective, the truth would come out eventually. He might as well break the news himself. 

“I have several theories, some formed when I was too young to understand everything, and some when realization hit me like a truck. But, it doesn’t matter now, I escaped, I got away, and now I’m here, with my real family.” He knows that she’s confused about the truck comment, but she doesn’t allow him to redirect the conversation towards cars. Something he knows inevitably less about than say the emotional abuse of a distant father. Instead she hits back with this gem of a question: 

“But your mother wouldn’t let him treat you like that, would she?” He takes a long sip of his maybe-tea-maybe-coffee before turning to her. 

“My mom left my dad when I was a kid. I met her when I came over to the Borderlands a couple years ago. She didn’t regret her decision, nor did she want to know me. She didn’t regret her decision, nor did she want to get to know me. And it took me a while to come to terms with that. But I did. And if she doesn’t want to know me, then she doesn’t deserve to be at what’s supposed to be the happiest moment of my life.” This keeps Louise’s questions at bay, at least that night. Until Luke’s safe, and home. 

It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep.  

“Have I mentioned that I hate sleeping bags, because I very much hate sleeping bags. I sent a letter to the commander to replace them with cots and everything. I might have to start a revolution to get us to use cots instead of-” He’s cut off by Luke’s groaning. It’s different from his ‘wow I’m a little sore from fighting’ groan, or the one that means Elliot will be receiving a lecture from Serene about her sword sister’s virtue the next morning. 

When he looks over at Luke he immediately finds the problem. Something tiny is sticking out in Luke’s wings. It gleams like metal stained black with what Elliot wishes wasn’t blood but knows that it is. 

“Luke, is- is that a knife in your wing?” Luke opens his mouth as if to refute Elliot’s observation. Then closes it. 

“Probably.” His voice is resigned. Elliot would find it slightly funny if it wasn’t his Luke that was resigned to just having a small knife stuck in his back. But this Luke was his Luke, so it was far less funny than he thought it was. 

“Are you serious? You had a knife in your wing, for several hours at this point might I add, and it obviously is hurting you. At the very least you’re feeling uncomfortable, but you didn’t ask anyone to- to- look at it? How-” Luke turned to him with a frown. It was the frown that he gave Elliot when he was about to cross a line, or when he was being serious and wanted Elliot to stop joking around. 

“Elliot, I need you to pull it out.” Elliot shook his head and made a move towards the tent’s door. 

“No, you don’t. You need someone else who is much more qualified to handle wounds to pull the knife out of your wings. Here, I’ll go get a medic right now.” Before Elliot got all the way to the tent’s opening, he felt Luke’s hand encircle his wrist. It wasn’t until then that Elliot realized that he wasn’t going to get out of this easily. 

“Elliot, please just pull it out. I thought it was just a bug or something but if I don’t get it out right now, then I’m going to start pulling out feathers. Please.” It’s the puppy dog eyes that finally get him. Or maybe it’s the fact that Luke trusts Elliot, not only with his wings, but with a sharp weapon that Elliot has historically not dealt well with. Maybe it’s both. Maybe it’s neither. Elliot decides to think about all of these things later. 

The handle is leather and small, he can’t help but wonder how the hell someone managed to get so close to Luke’s wings to get the knife in there. Part of him is repulsed at the thought and he quickly adds it to his ‘thoughts I will attempt to forget about’ file in his mind. Taking the handle in one hand and placing the other on Luke’s shoulder. 

“Okay, I’m just going to count to three. Ready? One. Two. Three.” Elliot’s hand didn’t move. “One. Two. Three.” His hand still didn’t move. 

“Elliot, you need to actually pull on it.” Luke prompted through gritted teeth. 

“Okay, on three. One. Two.” Luke hissed when Elliot pulled it out. Elliot was discouraged to find that the dark stain on the blade was in fact blood. “How the hell did you get a knife in your wing! And you didn’t even notice it until now!” 

“I have no idea Elliot, but I’ll tell you if I ever figure it out.” He responds extending the wing out as far as it would go in their tent. Luckily the wing itself wasn’t bleeding, in fact, it didn’t seem to be hurt at all. Elliot reached out and touched the place where the knife had been. 

“I don’t think your wings will ever fail to surprise me.” Elliot says as Luke brings his wing back and lays down. 

“Me too.” Luke replies, pulling Elliot down. A signal that it’s time to go to sleep. 

Cause everything is never as it seems.  

The nightmares, Luke realizes, only get worse the closer they get to their wedding day. He doesn’t know why. But every time he closes his eyes, when his senses shut out the outside world, he sees visions of Elliot. They’re not always the same, though they will repeat on occasion. 

‘Luke! Help! Please!’ He’s always screaming. Pleading for help that Luke can never provide. When Elliot’s tied up in a cage, hundreds of feet in the air, Luke is bound to the ground. Elliot just out of reach no matter how hard he fights against the chains. 

He’s bloodied and bruised, humanoid figures surrounding him with swords raised. Elliot won’t stop the verbal rocks he continues to lob at his attackers. It keeps them at bay for a few moments but never long enough. Never long enough that Luke can save him, to sweep him up in his arms and fly Elliot far, far away. 

Luke is always too far away. Too weak. Too soft. He can’t protect Elliot the way he wants to, needs to. 

It doesn’t take long before Elliot notices Luke’s new paranoid behavior. Luke suspects that Elliot finally made the connection when he’d refused to go to bed until he’d gone on a quick run. And then got so caught up in the idea of leaving Elliot alone that he changed his mind. 

“What’s wrong? And don’t try to act like a hypermasculine ‘I don’t have emotions that would influence the way I act’ kind of guy because I know you. And I can tell when you’re lying and will institute a punishment for each lie you tell me.” It’s the Elliot way of telling him ‘Hey, what’s wrong? Please tell me what’s wrong, I’m worried about you’. Luke knows he’s not getting out of this conversation until he answers Elliot’s question. That doesn’t stop him from trying to buy himself time by distracting Elliot. 

Kissing Elliot is something he’s not sure he’s ever going to get used to. Years of imagining what it would be like don’t compare to the real thing. Not in this instant though, because Elliot is drawing back and giving Luke the look. 

“Nope, no kisses until you tell me what’s going on. I know you haven’t been sleeping, I know something’s wrong. And I know you wouldn’t want to talk about it so I let it go for a little while, but I need you to be honest with me. Okay?” Luke nods. 

“I’ve been having nightmares.” 

Leave my door open just a crack, cause I feel like such an insomniac.  

Elliot knows that the nightmares haven’t gotten better. As much as Luke insists that he’s had a full night’s rest Elliot knows he hasn’t, which means he has to do his fiancé-ly-almost-husband-y duties and keep Luke resting for as long as he can. 

“Luke, sweetheart, darling, sugarplum, please just go back to laying down. I know you have much too much to do today, and you didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night.” Elliot’s lying on top of Luke as an incentive to stay in bed. To call in sick and spend the day at home, with Elliot skipping a day of convincing people in power to let him rewrite treaties. 

“I need to go in, they’re running a new training course today and I can’t-” They’re legs are tangled together which makes Luke falter as he attempts to sit up with Elliot still on top of him. 

“Luke if you’re falling asleep giving orders then you’re going to be of no help to anyone. And I know you’re going to fall asleep if you go and try to give orders to teenagers. They’re absolutely exhausting, you shouldn’t have to deal with them. Besides we only have a month until our wedding and neither of us has addressed the issues of our vows.” Elliot pointed out, changing his position so that he was straddling Luke’s waist. Instinctively Luke’s hands went to Elliot’s waist to hold him in place. Elliot’s plan was working perfectly. 

“But-” Luke, upon realizing that this was most definitely one of Elliot’s plots moved his hands back to his sides to push himself up. Elliot retaliated by pulling his arm’s back and placing them around his waist again. 

“No buts, only vows. Now, I’ve been researching Harpy marriages and they usually say a set of specific vows like we do, but those are optional and are a bit old fashioned. Plus, they involve us trading feathers and while you have feathers, I don’t which would be a hard trade off. Unless we braided my hair, cut it off, and found a way to attach it to your hair. That might work. But that’s not the point-” During his rant Elliot’s eyes had wandered up towards Luke’s hair, and upon seeing how long it’d gotten, began to run his fingers through it. This had soothed Luke enough apparently, because when Elliot glanced back down to Luke’s eyes, he was back to sleep. 

Why do I tire of counting sheep? When I’m far too tired to fall asleep.  

Luke doesn’t wake up until halfway through the afternoon. Elliot considers it a win and takes to doing what work he has right next to Luke’s sleeping form. He has a few treaties that he’s been asked to look at, though what’s currently peaking his interest is a letter. 

It doesn’t have a return address, that in itself isn’t too strange. Most homes in the Borderlands don’t have addresses. Usually all you need to do is write the name of the person you want your letter to go to, and the messenger can find them. Somehow, it’s a flawless system that has never lost a letter for or from Elliot. Though he could also attest that to the fact he had made friends with a shy messenger a few years back. 

His first name is written in the corner in a script he’s never seen before. Slowly, he opens the letter, wary of the things a person could hide in an envelope. When no dust shot out at him, Elliot hastily pulled out the letter. 

The paper itself was a smudged mess. Finger prints located on the edge of the paper, as if who’d ever been writing had picked up the edge several times. There were less recognizable stains that Elliot decided not to question for his own sanity. Whoever had written the letter was in a hurry, not to mention lazy. They hadn’t even bothered to sign with their name. 

Elliot,’ The letter began. ‘I’ve heard that you are getting married to the Sunborn boy. Congratulations. You deserve happiness, you deserve someone who chooses you before anything else. I wish you the best of luck.’ 

As he finished reading, Elliot amended that it was less of a letter, and more of a note. Though the amount of scribbled out text suggested that whoever had sent the letter meant to say more. Or simply couldn’t spell well. Elliot found himself thoroughly let down by the lackluster note. He’d hoped for a secret conspiracy to overthrow the government at the very least. He wouldn’t have listened to the author had they suggested he help them overthrow the already shaky government the Borderlands had established. But it was the thought that counted. 

If my dreams get real bizarre, cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar.  

“Can you believe how close we are?” Luke asks leaning his head against Elliot’s. It’s a beautiful night and Elliot had agreed to take a walk, to get away Luke’s family. They were wonderful, fantastic really, except when they kept trying to insist that an open marriage was the way to go. Even though both Luke and himself had insisted they didn’t want that. 

“No." They have a whole two weeks left before they're wedding. It feels like just yesterday that Elliot had stumbled into a proposal. That just yesterday Luke had brought up the idea of them living together in one of the Sunborn's estates. That just yesterday he and Luke were talking about the fact that neither of them had any experience in relationships. 

The last few years had been hard. Elliot's fight to have diplomacy take a more central role in the Borderlands wasn't moving as fast as he'd wanted it to. Luke's fight to prove to complete strangers that he was more than just a Sunborn, or more than just a half-harpy. It was an easier one battle than Elliot's though, Elliot did tend to annoy most people before he even got to his point. In his defense, he was getting far better at not annoying people. 

"Me neither, it feels like I could wake up and be sixteen again. Pining away after the most stubborn and annoying person I'd ever met." Elliot could hear the smile in Luke's voice as he raised his arm and slapped at him. A wing retaliated by hitting the back of his head, no doubt leaving several feathers entangled in Elliot's hair. 

"You dreamed about me when you were sixteen?" He asked, stopping in front of Luke. True to form, he blushed and rolled his eyes at Elliot. It was still adorable how easily embarrassed Luke got about his crush on Elliot. "And you dreamed about all this domestic crap, and not about more?" 

Luke's face somehow went redder as Elliot backed him up against a tree. He smiled up at his fiancé, trailing a finger up his chest and poking him on the nose. Luke stuck out his tongue and licked Elliot's finger. 

"You're disgusting." Elliot complained wiping his finger off on Luke's shirt. 

"Yeah, but you love me. So, who are you really insulting here?" 

"Stop trying to sound smart and kiss me idiot." Luke happily obliged. 

I’d like to make myself believe, that planet Earth turns slowly.  

“Are you nervous?” Serene asked, having draped herself across Elliot and Luke’s bed. She’d been declared the official wedding messenger that morning. With Luke insisting that it was bad luck for the two of them to see one another before the wedding. 

Elliot thought that was a load of bullshit made up for some reason other than bad luck. But he hadn’t had the heart that morning to deny Luke that. He was already putting himself out there with the literal crowd of guests waiting for the wedding party. 

“Not really. I mean nothing practical is changing between us. It’ll just be easier to attach myself to both of your missions, and I’ll be able to keep Golden company without him lamenting about how I’ve yet to marry Luke.” He replied, messing with his tunic that was only a bit nicer than his usual tunics. For some reason tuxedos had yet to make their way into the Borderlands. 

“Are you sure?” She slipped off the bed and moved forward to slap away Elliot’s nervous hands. Not that his hands were the only nervous part of him. 

Every part of him was buzzing with nervous energy. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this ready to jump out of his own skin. Or, well he technically could, but that didn’t mean that he wanted to remember asking Rachel Sunborn if she would give him away. Since Harpy traditions explicitly stated the proposer was to be the first one present at the ceremony, she wouldn’t be the one to give Luke away. 

“Absolutely not, is it too late to jump out the window? I probably wouldn’t break more than my arm-” He glanced hopefully at a window just to their right. He’d be able to fit through it without much effort. It would be the perfect escape. 

As long as there wasn’t anyone under the window. And as long as Elliot was especially careful to make sure he landed in a bush. And- 

“You’re thinking about this too much. As men tend to do on their wedding day, but fleeing would help no one.” She out her hands on his shoulders and spun him away from his mirror. “You love Luke, don’t you?” 

“Of course I love him.” He replied indignantly. Furrowing his nose at the thought of being without Luke. 

“Then imagine how upset he would be if you were to leave.” Elliot did imagine it. The hurt puppy dog eyes as he stood at the altar, the minutes ticking by painfully slow. Trying to remind himself that Elliot probably was attempting to make a dramatic entrance as he usually did. The horror when he realized that Elliot wasn’t there. 

“I hate it when you make sense.” Elliot stated, as Serene gave him her brightest smile. 

“Come now, it’s almost time for the ceremony.” 

It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep.  

Borderland weddings are strange in the sense that they’re a hodgepodge of human, and non-human traditions. At first glance they look normal enough, an altar surrounded by seats filled with family and friends. Two people standing at the altar, dressed up and very much in love. 

But with that first glance you miss the ‘stranger’ bits. 

A rope tying the two together at the altar, the tunics in place of tuxedos.  The assortment of weapons left at the ceremonial entrance, guarded by no one, as no one would be stupid enough to attack a Sunborn on his wedding day. 

The third look at such an occasion would reveal that these things all worked together. Not entirely seamlessly, as the weapons tend to fall over at random points. Interrupting Captain Woodsinger as she read through a few texts that were customary in the Borderlands. 

But they worked together regardless. 

If you asked Elliot, he would’ve said it was his fiancé’s fault. That this day turned out perfect merely because Luke Sunborn existed and wanted today to turn out perfect. It wasn’t something he would sound upset about, in fact, he would smile and tease Luke about forcing nature into becoming manageable all for him. 

If you asked Luke, he would’ve insisted that Elliot had convinced the world around him to change. To accommodate him, like he did with everything. Not that that was a bad thing, Luke would insist, but he had always looked at the world and forced it to fit into a better mold. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that he’d done the same that day. 

Because my dreams, are bursting at the se a ms.  

Their first dance as husbands is strange and wonderful and fantastic in a way they hadn’t expected. The song is mystical in a way that somehow tops everything Elliot had and probably will ever learn about the Borderlands. Through Luke’s tunic and medals that he’s rightfully earned over the years, Elliot can hear the steady beating of his heart. 

He’s not sure what starts it, but soon Elliot is laughing and Luke is staring down at him like he’d ascended into the stars and hung the moon. There are several thoughts running through his mind, though none of them are particularly funny. Definitely not enough to prompt the laughter that is currently got him unattractively snorting into his husband’s chest. 

After that night, things don’t change, not really. Elliot continues on his unending quest to bring some sort of peace and order to the Borderlands, and Luke is still practically perfect in the best and worst ways. There’s still difficulty with Elliot’s attempts to attach himself to each and every one of Luke’s missions. They still fight, oh how they fight, the walls will shake and the ground will tremble, but there is a promise hidden within their shouts. An undercurrent of trust and love and the promise that no matter how long they fight, how upset they get, that they will always stay together. Steadfast and unbreaking. 

And if he gets a bit of joy every time Luke rolls his eyes when Elliot introduces him as ‘my ex-fiance', well then no one really has to know.