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Finding Emet-Selch singing is a rare occasion nowadays. His love of theater never waned but he's not practiced in it himself since Amaurot. None of them really found any comfort in their old habits. Perhaps that was Zodiark's doing. 

Finding Emet-Selch drinking is an even rarer occasion. While he had been known to indulge in wine and expensive spirits, he had never been one to over do it.

So when Elidibus finds him drunk and singing, he knows something is wrong.

He's draped dramatically over a white piano – Elidibus' piano. His words are quiet, barely there, as he whispers the words to a dead song in an even deader language. His cheeks are flushed from alcohol and his outer layers are strewn across the room.

It's a hymn, Elidibus knows, dedicated to the Star. A promise to forever protect it. A song older than Zodiark and it's a blessing the words weren't erased. It's not about Zodiark, but Elidibus knows the primal accepts it as a worship song either way. 

– Zodiark stirs at the song and Elidibus feels it. 

Lahabrea may have been the celebrant, the first priest perhaps, but that had been by title alone. A reward for all the work into figuring out the gritty details of how to summon Zodiark. Elidibus is the Emissary and his mental bond with their God is the strongest. He feels what Zodiark feels.

And what Zodiark feels is a need to be worshiped. Emet-Selch has been distant from his god. The primal basks in the feeling of having Emet-Selch awake, back, and His

"I do not recall inviting you to my abode," Elidibus draws a finger across his piano, gently matching keys to the notes that fall from Emet-Selch's mouth. 

He doesn't stop singing and it's a song both of them had practiced together, so long ago it's a faded memory. But the rhythm comes easily as Elidibus slides into the bench, letting his hands dance across the keys as he remembers. Finally, the song comes to a close and Emet-Selch finally opens his eyes. They are bloodshot. 

Elidibus takes the bottle of wine from him, refills his glass. Emet-Selch snaps his fingers, conjuring another glass and Elidibus fills that as well.

"How long since Lahabrea was taken from us?" 

Elidibus hums. "Is that what this is about?" He takes a drink of his wine and Emet-Selch mimics the action. "A year nearly," he answers. 

Emet-Selch lets out a sigh. "You should have awoken me sooner."

"Perhaps." But it hurts seeing him like this, though, Elidibus will never say so. He runs his fingers over the piano keys, closing his eyes. "Another song, then?"

"For you?"

"For the fallen." 

Emet-Selch's gaze turns downwards, watching Elidibus start the piece, claws tipped with gold ghosting across the keys perfectly. Another song they both know. The words come naturally and Emet-Selch sings louder this time. It's a sadder song, one Emet-Selch had worked to write with Elidibus. They performed it for the first time in honor of those who willingly gave up their lives. Despite being somber, the event itself had been full of life. It was a happy time, one of the few that close to the end. 

The same night, Persphone left the Convocation.

Elidibus notices Emet-Selch sliding closer and he tries not to let his fingers skip a key as the other man meets his gaze. Elidibus draws his brows together, wishing Emet-Selch would go back to wearing a mask so he didn't have to see the pain alight in his golden eyes. His fingers hesitate only briefly when Emet-Selch swings his legs over the edge of the piano, setting his boots on either side of his hips on the bench. 

His voice doesn't waver, eyes hooded as he sings just for Elidibus now. Elidibus' licks his lips, finding them suddenly dry, and lowers his gaze to the keys. 

Elidibus does miss a key or two when Emet-Selch drops himself into his lap. He blinks, blush creeping across his pale cheeks and Emet-Selch leans close, singing softly right against the side of his head. He can feel the words right in his ear and it makes him dizzy. Emet-Selch smells of wine and cologne. It doesn't clash like it would on anyone else and even drunk, the wine doesn't overpower the scent that is naturally his . Emet-Selch knows how to pick good wine and better perfumes.

He's singing a song of praise to Elidibus, for Zodiark. The God growls in satisfaction somewhere in the depths of Elidibus' soul.

A brief pause in the vocals allows Emet-Selch to whisper, "Keep playing," and Elidibus hadn't even noticed his hands were frozen above the keys. He nods stiffly, trying to will his mind and body to work together. When he starts playing again, Emet-Selch whispers the words to the song against Elidibus' cheek, moving down to glide his lips down his neck. Emet-Selch slips a hand under his hood, pulling it off as his warm breath ghosts across his skin. Lyrics pressed gently to skin and Elidibus closes his eyes to try and ignore the sensation. 

Emet-Selch's fingers catch in the long strands of white hair, pulling them loose of Elidibus' ponytail. His aether sighs, brushing against Emet-Selch's soul in turn. The lyrics turn to hums as Emet-Selch adds lips to his actions across Elidibus' neck, tracing the line of his jaw with tongue. 

Elidibus isn't sure how long his fingers have been inactive against the piano, still and frozen. Emet-Selch's lips meet the corner of Elidibus' lips, pausing. Elidibus turns his head slightly to meet his eyes. His aether pulls Emet-Selch closer, a small tug, and his lips quirk up into a smirk. 

Emet-Selch lets his aether flow over him like water and it's nearly overwhelming. Elidibus closes his eyes and Emet-Selch kisses him. He kisses back, hesitantly, hands finally moving off the piano to press against Emet-Selch's back. He tastes like wine, stronger than Elidibus had expected. How long had Emet-Selch been here, drinking alone? He could get drunk off the amount of wine just on the man's lips. He draws his tongue across his lips, needing to taste more, without even realizing it. Emet-Selch opens his mouth, aether pulsing like a beacon, drawing Elidibus closer, in and in. 

It's only when Emet-Selch not so subtly rolls his hips forward does Elidibus break the kiss to gasp. 

" Hades ," he swallows, voice thick with barely contained pleasure, "This is not a healthy coping mechanism."

"Is anything I do healthy?" 

Rebuilding Amaurot? Chasing shards of his dead lover? Fraternizing with mortals? Playing god? Elidibus supposes this is the healthiest attempt at coping Emet-Selch has.

Elidibus moves his hands to Emet-Selch's hips, holding him still and keeping their hips at least some respectable distance. His eyes scan Emet-Selch's face as his aether searches his soul. For what? He isn't sure. Hesitation? Assurance he's sober enough to understand that he's humping his, for all intents and purposes, business partner ? And Emet-Selch feels the probing aether, shifting his hips again, making sure Elidibus is very aware of Emet-Selch's intentions. 

"Hades," he tries again, voice more firm. 

"Would you like me to stop?" Zodiark take him, the man purrs .

The thick hesitation Elidibus shows is delicious . The Emissary licks his lips, jaw tight. Something deep in his gut stirs. Emet-Selch had chosen Elidibus over a mortal. Just this once. Elidibus is not keen on wasting an opportunity to remind him what Amaurotians were – are –  capable of. And if he can get Emet-Selch begging under him? Well, that's a form of worship he won't turn down. 

His claws dig into Emet-Selch's hips, pulling him closer. A slow grind of Elidibus' own hips show exactly what Emet-Selch is doing to him. 

"You," Elidibus breathes harshly, one hand moving all the up Emet-Selch's back and to the back of his head until he grasps a fistfull of hair and tugs his head back. He leans down, mouth pressed to Emet-Selch's throat, feeling his pulse race under his lips. The beak of his mask digs in painfully. "Truly have no decency." 

He laughs breathlessly, aether coaxing Elidibus' in a way that would be downright scandalous in Amaurot. It strokes his skin without the need to move robes, and deeper still, strokes his very soul. It's not even intimate, not with the lust that taints the aether, it's filthy .

"None." Emet-Selch assures.

And something about Emet-Selch being so loose with soulbonding and aether-touches ignites a hot anger in Elidibus. Like a cheap whore. Elidibus' cock twitches under his robes. If Emet-Selch is intent on acting the part, Elidibus will humor him. 

"Then give me a show," Elidibus challenges, dragging teeth across his neck, "Since you seem keen on leaving half of your clothes on my floor, may as well dispose of the rest," he releases Emet-Selch, pushing the piano bench back. Emet-Selch stumbles, leaning heavily against the piano, eyes dark with lust. He raises a hand, about to snap his fingers and Elidibus shakes his head firmly. 

All at once Emet-Selch feels his Magicks ripped out from under him. He hisses, the feeling unpleasant, near painful. As the Emissary, the protector of balance, Elidibus has a somewhat lacking control over Creation himself. But his talents lie elsewhere. In punishment of those who abuse their Magicks. 

It's a temporary block for Emet-Selch. Not interfering with his aether, which bristles, but it proves the point Elidibus is making. 

"The old fashioned way, if you please." Elidibus smirks. Emet-Selch will get what he wants, on Elidibus' terms only. 

Emet-Selch glares, straightening up. He slowly unbuttons his blouse, kicking off his boots while he's at it. He holds Elidibus' gaze as he sways his hips. Oh, Elidibus can play this game. He shifts, scooting the bench back in and trapping Emet-Selch between his legs. His arms move around the other man's body, resting back onto the keys of his piano. He doesn't touch the other man, just slight brushes and he feels the flare in Emet-Selch's aether. He's never been denied. He's used to being spoiled and getting what he wants. 

Emet-Selch's eyes flash as he presses a key. Elidibus tilts his head to the side, a challenge that Emet-Selch happily takes. 

Elidibus starts to play. The notes slow and even. Emet-Selch matches the pace, fingers peeling off each layer of silk and cotton. He touches himself, making a show of biting his lip like he's a coy maiden. Elidibus knows better, but he can't look away. His eyes follow Emet-Selch's hands as he traces muscles and bones, strokes each rib and pets the line of hair down his stomach. 

This form is free of scars, Elidibus notices, tongue darting out to wet his lips. It's a welcome show of being untouched, even when his soul obviously isn't. Emet-Selch moves his hand back up his navel, sweeping across his pectorals and pausing to brush his nipples. 

Emet-Selch's aether dances with him, dense enough to shimmer. It mimics his own touches against Elidibus, like sharp claws dragging down his chest and sides. Elidibus keeps his aether tightly wound, no emotion leaking out as Emet-Selch practically drips with arousal.

When he sits himself back into Elidibus' lap, he is dripping. A slow roll of his hips to match the music and Elidibus can feel it. He lets out a small growl at that, the only noise he's made since this show. 

"Straining my robes?" He growls, letting the song die off as he moves his hands back to Emet-Selch's hips. He traces the jut of his hip bones, claws digging into the swell of his ass. "You are filthy," Elidibus' tone drops to a snarl and Emet-Selch smirks as he works the white robes up around his waist. 

"What if I said only you can get me this way?" He tugs down Elidibus' pants, taking his cock into his hand and squeezing firmly.

"I thought you were above lying," he hisses. He's very controlled, despite his tone, which makes Emet-Selch's aether glow with irritation. "You are a sloppy whore. Even in Amaurot. Don't think I didn't see you rubbing your aether all over Persphone in public . And it's worse now. Mortals, Emet-Selch? Really?"

The flare of his aether is wonderful and Elidibus is very aware in how Emet-Selch shivers. 

"Are you truly getting aroused by my scolding?" 

Emet-Selch's thumb brushes over the head of the cock in his hands, pushing back his foreskin to tease the sensitive flesh. That, at least, draws the slightest rock of Elidibus' hips. He drags his claws up Emet-Selch's back, leaving red lines in his wake and grabs his hair again. It's not as hard as before and he tilts Emet-Selch's head forward. He leans in for the kiss, breathing labored. 

And then Elidibus flips Emet-Selch around, shoving his chest against the piano hard enough to knock the wind out of him. He snarls in surprise and all at once, Elidibus loses control of his aether. It surges, all claws and teeth as it digs into Emet-Selch's soul. It makes him gasp. There is no hesitation as it forces itself to be known. Akin to tempering rather than a soulbond and it makes his already tempered aether burn wonderfully. Elidibus holds the other man down with a clawed hand between his shoulders and his cock slips between Emet-Selch's slick thighs.

" Disgusting ," Elidibus sneers, mouth right next to Emet-Selch's ear. He grinds his hips back, Elidibus' cock catching on his wet folds and gliding against his clit. "Look at you. So desperate," his voice is lower, pulling his hair and forcing Emet-Selch to arch his back. 

"Shut up and fuck me ," Emet-Selch hisses, aether sparking with need. He had been playing along all night. 

"I intend to remind you what it's like to be taken by someone worth your time," Elidibus snaps back. "You've sunk so low, Hades. It's pathetic. You're practically a god compared to these mortals. Act like it."

"Is that a compliment?" Emet-Selch chuckles, still helplessly bucking his hips back, "I deserve better, do I?"

"You deserve the world," Elidibus whispers, "You deserve me ." The possessive flare of Elidibus' aether startles Emet-Selch and his mind reels. Oh, he's used to being wanted , but this… 

He opens his mouth but Elidibus cuts him off by shoving his claws into his mouth and his cock into his cunt all at once. Emet-Selch groans sharply, surprised, and nearly gags himself on the sharp claws in his mouth. 

"Be good and you might just get closer to our Lord for this," Elidibus purrs and it makes Emet-Selch shudder without even knowing why. Elidibus' aether is colder than he's used to, so thoroughly tainted he can taste it. It pulls at the darkness in his own aether, plays his nerves as easily as he plays the piano. 

And how did the tables get turned so completely? Emet-Selch rocks his hips back, growling as Elidibus runs a metal claw over his tongue. He stays still, hilted in the other Ascian as his aether works Emet-Selch into a needy frenzy. 

"Take what you want then. Let me see you rut against me like an animal in heat." He pulls his fingers out, smearing spit across Emet-Selch's cheeks as he wipes his claws off. Emet-Selch snarls, letting his head fall forward against the smooth surface of the piano. His cunt clenches and, swallowing his pride, he pulls his hips forward before shoving himself back. He moans, a shudder running down his spine. He does it against, tilting his hips so this time Elidibus' cock hits his gspot. It doesn't take him long to find his own pace, fucking himself until his thighs start to shake. 

It's awkward, humiliating even, when Elidibus barely reacts. Emet-Selch chances a glance back and is at least rewarded with Elidibus' jaw clenched and cheeks red. He notices Emet-Selch watching immediately and presses himself against the other man. The gold metal of his robes digging into Emet-Selch bare back makes him hiss. Elidibus grabs his hips hard enough to draw blood with his claws, stilling his thrusts. 

"I'm going to claim you and you will be mine and mine alone. Understand?" His voice is low but his breathing is uneven and labored. "You've whored yourself out quite enough. You're full attention belongs to Zodiark." 

"You are all I have left," he laughs, and it’s bitter, turning his gaze away, "I'll always come back to you. To Zodiark. You know that." 

"Let me be your only distraction, then," Elidibus lowers his voice but it doesn't hide the way his aether, still so deeply embedded in Emet-Selch's soul, pulses with an emotion near fanatical. Primals need worship and their numbers are so low. Emet-Selch's aether pushes back, curling around the tendrils digging into his soul. The lust is burning but he lets the usually so perfectly contained darkness of his tempering flares. His sigil ignites with it and he feels the torrent of aether as Elidibus lets his own come to life. He can barely feel Elidibus’ own energy in the flood, it’s all Zodiark, dark and overpowering. 

And Emet-Selch finds that perfect. 

“Zodiark,” he breathes harshly, “Don’t make me regret this.”

Elidibus isn’t sure if he’s taking the God’s name in vain or speaking to Him. He finds he doesn’t care because either way it lights a fire in his guts. He growls, pulling almost completely out before thrusting back in and the cry of pleasure that leaves Emet-Selch’s throat is one of sinful reverence. 

"Touch yourself," he commands, voice taunt. Their souls are so deeply intertwined that Elidibus quickly gives up any thought of teasing the man under him more. He's already so close but has enough sense to know Emet-Selch need a push to get there too. His hand slips between his legs, rubbing his own clit with vigor. 

They can feel each other’s emotions; each other’s pleasure creating a feedback loop that Elidibus had not been prepared for. It doesn’t help that Emet-Selch’s aether grows heavier and more attuned to Elidibus – to Zodiark – as they fuck. He had been asleep long enough that the darkness in his vast aether had been nearly buried and Zodiark is clawing it out with His fangs, like a beast going for the throat. It beads to the surface of Emet-Selch’s soul, darkness manifesting like dark sweat over his skin. 

Elidibus can’t help but lean down and lick it from between his shoulders. Emet-Selch’s cunt tightens and he lets out a groan, pushing back to meet the other man’s thrusts. Perhaps the key to getting Emet-Selch to wake up is fucking him. He acts alive in these moments in a way that Elidibus hasn’t seen since Amaurot.

His tongue trails up the back of his neck until Elidibus nips at his ear. “Listen to you. Not even your cries can cover up the lewd noise of your cunt.”

Emet-Selch whines , low and harsh. His cunt is tight as he very quickly approaches his climax. He swallows, trying to form words as Elidibus pounds into him. He trips through several different languages before finally settling on something simple. Something his soul knows. A name.

" Zeus ." A prayer, a devotion, a benediction.

Elidibus let's out a startled noise of pleasure, his aether swelling into a cascade. Hearing his name for the first time in however many thousands of years makes him shudder. Emet-Selch still somehow manages to cum first, letting out a sharp moan as his body trembles. The spasming from his cunt is enough to pull Elidibus over the edge with him in a few more thrusts.

Elidibus doesn't remember closing his eyes, but the cooling calm of Emet-Selch's aether laps against him like the tide. He blinks his eyes open, trying to clear the haze from his eyes, only to realize it's the aether around them. It's dense enough to leave a humid purple and red fog. It's charged with their lingering emotions and smells like sex. 

What a mess. Elidibus groans, pulling himself out of Emet-Selch. His face burns at the wet sound and Emet-Selch lets out a small hiss. 

"Zodiark has my thanks for pushing you like that," Emet-Selch chuckles, voice hoarse.

"Tell Him yourself," Elidibus nearly snaps in response. 

Emet-Selch looks at him over his shoulder, gaze hooded and dangerous. He licks his lips. "Can I worship you in His stead?"

Elidibus tries very hard to ignore how Zodiark purrs at that statement. He has a bad feeling Zodiark will be granting him strength in more ways than he bargained for.