The sky burned red.
Clouds swirled in thundering fury as Durin and Dvalin battled, their dragonic bodies twirling in the sky. From an onlookers perspective, they were locked in a deadly dance. Blows upon blows being dealt to one another. The smaller wind-blessed dragon roared in pain, tumbling down to the dry and cracked earth. The wind stilled, as if it was holding its breath, but it dared not interfere, for this was not its battle.
Durin landed gracefully, the large, red dragon was bleeding from various places, scales hung from his body; covered in blood. Durin didn’t know if it was only his.
He growled in pain as he switched forms, now presenting as an attractive young man, however he was still bruised and bloody. Durin tossed his long black hair over his shoulder, the glowing red tips almost blended with the blood that seeped from his chest. He slowly walked to the heap of a man in front of him; his lover.
“Dvalin.” He said, his voice rumbling like the thunder that boombed around them. Dvalin uncurled himself, clutching his stomach as he struggled to sit up, head tilted to look at Durin in the face.
Durin wondered what his lover was seeing.
The turquoise flares of his lover's power bounced around his body, as if it was trying to protect him. Durin’s expression hardened.
There were tears in Dvalins glowing eyes.
Dvalin’s snow white hair was matted with blood, most definitely from the head wounds that he had sustained from their battle in the sky.
Before, they used to sit in their shared cave, Dvalin curled in Durins arms. He would remember the content rumbling that Dvalin let out as Durin twirled his hair in his hands, admiring the teal blue colour that illuminated the ends of his silk-like strands. A sense of longing filled Durin’s chest.
He shoved it down before it could get to his head.
He looked down at the man before him, who was desperately trying to get away, not wanting to know what Durin would do to him.
The truth was, Durin didn’t know himself.
“Hush, my love,” Durin said, easily catching up with Dvalin. He kneeled down, cradled the other man's head in his hands. The thin snow that barely carpeted the ground melted around them, their draconic body temperature was higher than a humans. Even in this form, they were better than humans. They were both aware of that by now.
If they had both been humans, one of them would have already been dead.
Now it was just a waiting game.
Durin crouched down next to Dvalin, who trembled in his grip.
“Love?” Dvalin said, his voice shaking. Tears flowed freely down his face now. There was something different about Durin's eyes. The normal crimson glow had a ruby sheen to it. The flares of the once comforting crimson that bounced off of his body were moving faster than they usually did.
Before, if Dvalin had cried, Durin would have slaughtered the creature that had dared to cause his mate pain. Now, he just watches in silence.
He was the one who caused this.
He brought his hand up to Dvalin’s head, who watched him in a frozen stillness. Durin started to comb his fingers through his hair, untangling it. Dvalin winced as dried blood was yanked out, but otherwise, he relaxed. On the parched ground, only watered by their blood and the now melting snow, he relaxed in the arms of a man he had been fighting merely moments ago.
An empty silence surrounded them, save for the sound of their own breathing. This was Durin, right? His best friend, his lover… his mate. Right? He wouldn’t actually hurt Dvalin. He rested his head on top of Durin’s thighs as the larger dragon continued to untangle his hair, face pressed against his warm stomach. The red dragon's hair tickled his nose, he huffed as Durin chuckled. If Dvalin moved higher, he would be able to hear the red dragon's heartbeat. Everything was content in the dry plains, until Durin started talking.
“Mond… It needs to be razed.” Durin drawled out, his voice sounded like he had been screaming. Screaming without a purpose. It was raspy and rolling. This caught Dvalins attention, the smaller dragon's eyes widened. He was almost thankful that Durin couldn’t see his face; his lover had always been able to read his expressions well.
“They’re too powerful, such a tiny town, with their incompetent Archon.” The wind picked up, swirling the growing snowflakes into flurries. Their hair whipped around them, mixing the black and white. Like Ying and Yang. After the Archon war had ended, it was found that Barbados had the most kills, it was the very reason that Dvalin had chosen to accept his offer of becoming one the Four Winds of Mond.
A hand gripped Dvalin’s face, leading his body up so that they sat face to face, legs tangled together in the thickening white snow that covered them.
“You agree, don't you darling?”
Dvalin looked into Durins eyes, they were completely void of emotion. This was not his Durin.
“Of course, my love.”
Durin pulled him into a violent kiss, it was full of tongue and teeth and blood. They clawed at each other, Durin struggling to get Dvalin’s clothes off. Dvalin broke the kiss, cupping his lover's face with his left hand, his right rested on his shoulder, dangling parallel to Durins back. He brought Durins face in one more time, eyes fluttering shut as they kissed again, this time soft and gentle, just as they kissed before, before all of this. They broke apart, panting as their foreheads touched, breathing in eachothers air.
“I love you, Durin”
Dvalin heard the sharp sound of talons piercing through flesh, followed by a wet gasp and blood splattering on his face. Tears freely poured down Dvalins face once more as he looked anywhere but Durins eyes, crying as the red dragon groaned as Dvalin retracted his talons. Durin slumped forward, resting on Dvalins shoulder.
Durin slowly looked up into his lover's eyes. Dvalin started to sob, grasping at his lover.
“No! No, no, no, no, no...Durin...”
The ruby haze was lifted, showing him Durin’s soft crimson eyes.
The eyes of his lover.
Eyes that were losing their glow.
‘No! Durin, I’m sorry, please!” Dvalin shouted, his voice cracked in pain as he clung onto his lover's body. He heard a rattle come from Durin’s chest.
“I love you too, Dvalin.”
Durin’s body went limp in his arms.
The earth shattered as Dvalin roared, his draconic form taking over, as it did on his lover. The snow pelted down heavily on the land. Mountains rose as his wind - aided mourning enveloped the surrounding area, burying his lover under layers of ground. Dvalin sobbed, the blood from Durin still stained his talons. He flew towards the ruins of old Mondstat, vision clouded by tears. Lightning clashed as thunder rumbled, winds wracked through trees and swayed structures.
Far away, a god watched in sympathy; as he had once lost someone dear to him too, he pulled out his lyre as snow fell on the newly formed mountains, a dim red glow emitted from under it, casting an eerie haze upon the land.
And Barbatos sang a song; a song for an old friend.
“Swift, as the wind blessed flower,
Steady, as rain in the snow,
oh, old friend,
dear, old friend,
You will be taken home,
You will be taken home.”