“you’ve been here a while,” astram remarks, astride jeorge’s back. jeorge is everything he knows him to be — wry muscle, various scars that he’s memorized like a map, a bend to his ribs and a splattering of pox marks that dot his hip. astram has never wanted much, his duty to the crown and his devotion to midia, but jeorge stirs such a deep longing inside of him that he would be stupid to deny it.
“i have been,” he answers. how astram has missed him. he could never verbalize it, much to his loves disappointment, but they know how to read him with varying levels of success.
astram hums. his fingers trace the planes of jeorge’s back, shifting slightly on his knees. the order of heroes is soft, and he is not quite sure if he can handle the feeling of a bed, not a pallet. jeorge stops him from sleeping outside. “you have not been lonely, i hope.”
jeorge’s head cranes out to the side as his roaming fingers slide along the sculpt of his neck. “somewhat. but i am busy. it distracts.” he hears his smile. “i am capable of making friends, astram.”
there is no similarity between his fiancé and his fiancée, an idea that lives only in dreams. nyna would grant him it, he is sure. he has been devoted to his service, and surely, she would grant it.
there is no similarity, but his heart soars with them either way. jeorge’s long fingers pat his calf in an awkward way, but he knows it’s meaning. astram relents from his spot if only for the moment jeorge needs to roll on his back.
his archer has a tongue; where astram fails jeorge shines in a way no one can meet. he sees the words starting on his lips, the faint way his brow creases before he begins to speak, but astram already knows whatever jeorge is going to say, and he has always been a man of action.
jeorge welcomes the kiss. he would have no reason not to. fingers tangle in his hair, and a hand settles on his hip to halfway drag him on jeorge’s lap. this is something he can handle, and doesn’t shy away from the small sound that slips past his lips as jeorge expertly flips them. they have been here, cold nights in archanea’s palace, and astram, idly, imagines his duties gone, donated to a world where only his loves exist.
none of them would be happy like that.
but, for the moment, he can disappear into jeorge’s lips, legs around his hips; they are here, in this strange world with no nyna, no midia - it is them, and just them.
he hopes the women are alright. according to jeorge, with the way this world operates, how they are brought here, he would not have been much use to nyna in the moment. he failed in his task. he tries to not dwell on it. he can prove himself again, but he hopes, almost, that she never arrives.
jeorge bites his lower lip, and, yes, for the moment, he can live like this. his hands skim down his archer’s shoulders, skin as warm as he remembers, and he’d be willing, if only for the moment, to pretend there is not an archanea, not that he is much without it.
“i truly have missed you,” jeorge says as their lips break; he can never take jeorge’s words, it seems, blond hair tangling in one another as he rests his forehead against astram’s. he wonders, as always, how he ended up here, having both his midia and his jeorge.
astram has always been about action, so he presses his mouth to jeorge’s jaw. he laughs softly beneath his breath, squeezing astram’s thigh. jeorge, despite his rearing, has always been the more willing party to indulge his habits, to ignore the fact that half the words out of his mouth are about duty and rarely about himself.
his long fingers work on his pants, and things never take long; jeorge, always planning, must have expected this, pulling oil out of thin air (he’s a different kind of magic in astram’s eyes). out of need, astram is a quiet lover; archanea is not as accepting as his soldiers, and he does not know about this strange new place; he will not shame himself, his station, or jeorge like that.
but he has missed this. he’s missed the way jeorge tucks himself against his shoulder and grips his thighs like he owns him and how he almost always pries a sound from his lips. fiancé. fiancée.
tonight, something does change, and jeorge slows then and doesn’t leave him but cups his face, foreheads back together as if they ever left. “can you—just this once, astram, can you say it?” he asks breathlessly; no matter the context, he likes the sight.
astram licks his lips. say it. he does not wonder what it is. he knows.
and it has been forever.
“i feel it, too. what you do,” he scraps together, and it must be enough for jeorge — a brilliant white smile speaking of money, another kiss that leaves nail tracks down jeorge’s back. he won’t mention the tears that hit his shoulder as jeorge settles himself as in the aftermath.
jeorge has always been the softer of them, but it makes him no less of a soldier.