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in the distance.

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The blistering sun beat down hard on Seth's shoulders. 

The white cloth he thought would protect him from the heat did little, clinging to his skin as he sweat through it, turning it close to sheer.

“Uncle-” 

“Shut up.” 

The manacles on his wrists and ankles clattered obnoxiously as his insufferable nephew pulled him through the street and into the high reeds of the river. He dug his heels in, refusing to let Horus pull him into the Nile. If Isis heard second hand the rumors that would no doubt circulate about Seth's capture and enslavement, that would be one thing. Her knowing with out a doubt that it happened, and further more that her only son appeared immediately, and bought him off the block for simply too much money- 

The irony would make her laugh so hard she'd probably rupture something. 

Not that she wouldn't deserve it, but- 

“I was simply saying-” 

“I don't want to hear it. I don't care. Human trafficking is wrong, I learned my lesson, actions have consequences, blah blah, whatever.”

Horus tugged the chain that attached to the collar on Seth's throat, hard enough that he choked and lurched forward- body smashing against his nephew's. It's nothing short of a miracle that they don't both end up in the mud. But now Horus is smiling down at him, hand winding around Seth's waist to hold him close. 

“Uncle.” He says, and his voice is light and jovial, the dick. 

“Don't you have a kingdom to babysit.” 

“Mother can watch it for a moment.” 

The hand holding his collar chain lets it go and instead rests on his face, thumb brushing along his lips. Seth yanks his head back. Horus looks annoyed- or stung- it's hard to tell when his face is covered with the falcon. 

“Are you going to undo these or not.” He snaps, too impatient all of a sudden. Too hot. 

Horus takes the manacles around his wrists and snaps them down the middle. And then with more care, he hooks fingers into the space between Seth's wrist and the metal and tugs. His hands are free and he rubs his tender wrists while the Demigod frees his legs. 

Horus rises slowly, Seth can feel his eyes on him, on his legs, and the pale skin of his forearms. He takes Seth's hands and lifts them slowly to his mouth. He's giving him time- time to pull back or shove him away- 

He doesn't. 

Horus blows on the raw skin there, and a cool breeze rushes against his body. It feels good, refreshing. It's strong enough to tug his hair out of his own head dress and before the thin cloth was whisked away, Horus caught it, and wrapped it around his uncle's shoulders carefully. 

Seth watches him, and Horus does nothing but return the favor. 

“Can you-” Seth clears his throat. “The collar.” 

His nephew hums, reaching out, slowly again, and breaking the metal like it was nothing at all. 

“I brought you food, too.”  It comes out of nowhere. Seth blinks when he thinks he hears a bird calling in the distance. “We can share it- if you like.” 

There's a small basket, there by Horus' feet. How long it's been there, Seth isn't certain, but at least it makes some sense now, why he dragged him this far from town and this close to the river. 

“And where did you get any of it.” It doesn't sound like a question. Fuck it and whatever. He doesn't have to be nice to this brat. How did he even know Seth was starving- He leans down to grab an apple, biting into it and trying to hide his enjoyment. He roots through the rest of it, more fruits, bread, something cured and mouth watering. A bottle of wine that he picks up and hurls past his nephew's head, straight into the river. 

Horus stares, and then apologizes. 

“It was just wine. I didn't mean to offend you.” 

“I don't-” Seth shakes his head, and bites his apple. It's sweet. It's so sweet. “It's swill. I hate it.” 

He'll never drink it again. There's a familiar bitterness in the pit of his stomach and the only thing he can do to calm himself down is finish his apple. 

Horus just nods. 

“You can fuck off, now.” He says, and hoists the basket up to his hip. “You showed up out of nowhere like you love to do. You doted on me like a creep. Broke me out of chains.” 

“Mmhm.” 

“Do you want something- a thank you? Thanks.” He says and is fully content to leave it at that. He doesn't get his nephew- doesn't even like him all that much, but Horus doesn't seem to be someone who's going to be a dick to him when he's already down. At least not anymore of one than he was during the competition. Which means he can be a dick instead. “Do you want congratulations, praise? What?” 

“If uncle would praise me I would be overjoyed.” 

“Moron.” He says, and chucks his apple core behind him before placing a hand on Horus' head dress. “Good bird.” He pets him and Horus seems to preen under his attention. “Good boy.” 

He looks very pleased with himself. 

Seth sighs and digs another apple out to start enjoying. 

“I'm leaving.” 

“Ah- Goodbye then, Uncle. Until next time-” 

“Absolutely not.” Because this is never going to happen again. He turns on his heel and starts walking away. When he glances over his shoulder Horus is already gone. 

He thinks he hears birds calling in the distance.