It was cold outside. White snowflakes were softly falling down onto ildreccan streets and rooftops. The only light was coming from the moon partially hiding behind clouds. Untouched snowdrifts were stretching on the backstreets in front of the two men. What they left behind were their footsteps - one smaller than the other - close and inseparable.
There was no sound beside their soft breaths or sparse sniffs. The two didn't mind it yet. The silence between them was comfortable and pleasant.
At some point Drothe took the other's hand into his own. He hid his blushed face in his scarf. Degan tightened the grip without a sound.
"It's just chilly." Drothe grumbled. After a moment he murmured. "And you are always so warm…"
The other softly chuckled. He smiled gently glancing down at his friend.
Drothe's dark hair swirled on wind along with his blue scarf. His deep brown eyes were fixed at his feet thinking about anything or nothing at all.
What Degan could think of at that moment was only how handsome Drothe looked like that. With his facial features enlightened by soft moonlight and plain snowflakes contrasting in his hair.
"We should head back soon. It's getting colder and colder." Degan broke the silence. Drothe looked up suddenly as if awoken from a deep dream.
"Eh… I guess you're right."
Drothe turned to another ally leading both of them toward his home on Blackpot street. They fell silent once again.
Along the way Degan started to feel cold. He was wearing a thick doublet and a long green coat with fur around the collar. His long boots were starting to soak.
He encouraged Drothe to hurry up. Or else they would end up falling ill for the rest of the month.
They left behind the dark empty streets and run into Drothe's house. The place hasn't changed very much ever since Drothe bought the building. One and half a year passed and everything calmed down. The Order long forgotten along with the Grey Prince's case. It didn't matter anymore and their lifes went on casually. That was what Bronze had personally desired and waited for a long, long time.
As they got inside Degan sighed with relief and hung his coat and hat on a hatstand. He moved to the living room. He heard Drothe closing the door behind him.
Degan started to throw some wood into the fireplace. He started a fire and waited for air in the room to get warm.
In the meantime Drothe went to the kitchen to get them something to eat.
After a while Drothe came into living room with two plates of leftovers and glassfulls of mead. Degan who was sitting on a couch took a portion gratefully and eyed Drothe as he sat beside him. They started to eat in silence.
"Well that was nice." Degan said as he put his empty plate down onto a coffee table.
"Hm." Drothe just hummed in response. He stopped for a moment only to sneeze into his hand.
Degan chuckled softly. He stood up to get a wool blanket from a closet. He braced it tightly around Drothe and sat close to him.
Drothe got back to eating. After ending the meal he put the plate down and took in a deep breath.
He quickly turned toward Bronze Degan and pressed his lips against the two-hundred-forty-three years old ones.
Degan stayed still just as he saw what Drothe was going to do. It felt like they both could do nothing but quietly close their eyes. They stayed like that - unmoving, still and silent - for a minute or so. The fireplace was burning, snow outside was silently falling, moonlight enlightening the room from behind the curtains making the scene look almost mystical.
Drothe suddenly moved away and doubled over with a loud sneeze.
"I'm definitely not falling sick." He assured weakly after a moment.
"Right." Degan said ironically with a smirk.
He reached and gave the Prince his mead to drink. As Drothe was drinking Degan couldn't take his eyes off of him. The movement of his Adam's apple as he swallowed, his lips, his half lidded eyelids. He imagined himself kissing that delicate skin.
Bronze swallowed hard trying to suppress the feeling of warmth spreading in his abdomen.
Once Drothe was done with drinking he let Degan's arms circle around him underneath the soft blanket. With a content sigh the Prince slid down onto his lap.
"It's been a while since we stayed like this…" Drothe closed his eyes. "I forgot how nice it can be."
Degan leaned down to plant a kiss on Drothe's head. His arms were moving slowly on the small of his back.
"It'll be nicer if we get closer to the fire." Degan suggested. With no complaints Drothe let Bronze scoop him into his arms. He stood up and walked onto a furry rug laying between the fireplace and coffee table.
He put Drothe down and lodged behind him. Slowly, he leaned his head on his hand and slid other arm around the Prince.
"You're right. As always." Drothe nodded.
"Of course I am."
Drothe huffed in response and put his hand on Degan's. They fell silent. Both facing the fire watched as the flames were dancing gracefully. As time was passing, Degan's hand slid underneath Drothe's doublet and shirt and started lazily wandering around his torso. Feeling his chest's slow rise and fall, caressing delicate skin on his full-yet-still-flat stomach.
Drothe turned over to lay on his back and stared into the other's eyes.
"I want you to kiss me."
"Darling" Degan answered sweetly with a warm smile and pink tinge on his face. "Come here."
He closed the distance between their lips. Hard, open mouthed and filled with intense passion. Their tongues dancing hastily, teeth nipping at soft lips.
After an overwhelming moment they had to part ways to catch a breath.
"You don't even know how hard I fell for you." Bronze gasped. His hand caressing Drothe's cheek down to the jaw. "I'm glad that I can be by your side."
"Sure you are," Drothe smirked. "but I'm grateful too. You saved my ass more times than I could remember."
"That's what an Arm is supposed to do." He kissed the Prince's forehead. "But I don't just do that because of my job."
Working as an Arm was the point of a regular degan's life. They are very skilled and serious about their work - the Oath. Serving the employer was the essence of their lifes ever since two hundred years ago when the Order was created.
It was hard to come up with a any other reason why a degan would protect anyone. Especially one of the Kin.
"I'm not sure." He frowned. "Perhaps it's because I've never had such a feeling toward anyone else but you." Degan's sky blue eyes softened. His slender fingers trailing over Drothe's jaw."A need to protect you. Only you."
At these words Drothe's cheeks bursted with warmth. He reached for Degan's hand and entangled their fingers.
Degan started trailing kisses all over Drothe's face while the Prince was stroking his free hand over his back and arms.
"Hm." Degan stopped his kisses and laid down on top of Drothe. Side of his face scratching against the Prince's goatee.
"Fuck, stop squeezing me." He stuttered with hefty weight pressing against his body.
Bronze laughed artressly and turned around so he was on the carpet and Drothe on top of him. Drothe breathed with relief. The latter embraced him tightly and started caressing the small of his back.
Once again they were lying together in front of the fireplace. Amber flames slowly burning out.
Degan took the creased blanked and tucked it over Drothe.
It was so cozy and warm. Degan's muscular chest was sluggishly moving up and down with each deep breath. His strong arms circling around Drothe's torso. His pure voice humming some old melody Drothe has never heard before.
A gentle winter lullaby was slowly pulling the Gray Prince into drowsiness. His eyelids heavy and breath deep and steady.
"Let's stay like this forever…"
"Of course. We have all the time in the world."
Ever since that moment Drothe never sneezed again. He didn't take any herbs that night.
Now every time one of them starts feeling unwell, they cuddle in front of the fireplace. Both of them agree that it's the best remedy for a cold.