breakfastofchampions: (alena)
[personal profile] breakfastofchampions
Title: Coming Home
Universe: Goldenhour
Characters: Alex, Damien, Alena
Rating: G
Word count: 1,098
Summary: Home isn't always a place.
Notes: Written for [community profile] origfic_bingo, for the prompt "reunion". Though this information will only make sense to those familiar with the storyline, this is set during the time of "Chester's adventure", when Bertrand is still King's Sentinel.



"You're in a mood today."

"I'm what?" asked Alex, and the scowl on his lean face was as fixed as always, so no one else would have known that there was any great difference in his mood today as compared to all the other days.

"In a mood."

"What is that supposed to mean? People are generally in a mood of some description."

"True, but that particular phrase is generally accepted to mean that the mood in question is remarkable in some respect." Damien did so enjoy their little arguments.

Alex, who was not of the same mind regarding their arguments, grunted in response. He clearly had no interest whatsoever in Damien's opinion of his mood. If left to his own devices, the man would remain quite silent, unless he was spoken to in such a way that he felt compelled to reply. Many hours might pass before he spoke again. Damien couldn't allow that to happen. "In your case, that means a good mood," he explained.

"Why are you here?" Alex asked.

The two of them were standing in the yard by the main palace gates, not an ideal location to situate oneself, though they were as out of the way as it was possible to be while still remaining in the yard itself. "You've been difficult to find lately, and if you remember, we do have duties to carry out."

"If you want me, James always knows where to find me."

"But what if I can't find James?" Damien asked. "What then?"

Alex didn't seem to find this a very chilling possibility. He shrugged.

"I finally figured out that you've been spending most of your time here for the past several days."

Alex shrugged again.

"It's not very knightly of you to wait here like a groom or a stable boy."

Damien had already known it wasn't worth bringing that point up. The man hadn't cared about being knightly a day in his life. This day was no different, for he shrugged again.

Even if Alex was technically a bit in the way, Damien understood why no one had asked him to move. Few people asked Alex to do anything. Though slightly built (for a knight, an important distinction), grim Alex in his dark house colors was the gloomiest person Damien had ever beheld, with a face that was all angles and an expression that was surely capable of souring cream and beer and juice and most other imaginable liquids. The sword at his side, even though he was not obligated to be armed on the palace grounds, did little to encourage conversation.

"I'll wait with you," Damien offered.

"I don't want company." But he didn't draw his sword, his tone was mild, and he was undeniably in a good mood (for him). So Damien stayed beside him.

In the best of years, travel was a dangerous affair, and this was not the best of years. Bandits were the least of the road's dangers. It was not so unusual, in these days, for someone to leave their town or village and disappear. There would never be any trace of them found. Towns and villages were fortified, protected; the roads could only be made so safe.

That was why Alexander Sable was standing by the palace gates, like a grim statue someone had put in to frighten away the crows. Damien couldn't let him wait alone.

The reason Alexander Sable was in a good mood was related, but not the same. He was in a good mood because he was expecting an arrival, yet the arrival was not yet late enough to be a cause for concern, so worry did not weigh him down. He was expectant, and a little anxious. Damien knew his former squire well enough to tell.

It could be difficult to pinpoint how long a journey might take. Time was different outside the warded space of human settlements. Communication from the road was no easy matter either, so even knights had to sit and wait and wonder, which was what they were doing, in spite of the fact that they resembled nothing so much as truants, talking and bothering the grooms.

Damien did not mention who they were waiting for, and he certainly did not so much as dream of hinting at the danger on the roads, because Alex understood it as well as he did, if not better. So they waited together, and Damien spoke of trivialities, and Alex grunted or shrugged or said something cutting. Every time the gates were opened, Alex tensed, then snorted when the sight was not the one he hoped to see.

The day passed, and their patience was not rewarded. Nighttime arrivals were rare, since only those in great need traveled by night, so they parted and left the yard to the servants whose place it was.

The next morning, Damien heard the welcome call sound and the gates open--there were lesser gates through which you could walk unannounced, but it was tradition to make a fuss over the main gates. Curious, he hurried through the halls until he found a window that overlooked the yard.

The house colors displayed by the party riding through were unmistakably Sable's black and silver. Alex was already there. He must have risen before dawn. He strode toward the carriage at the center of the caravan, and before anyone else could act or react, he reached for the carriage door, but someone on the inside must have had the same idea, for the door was flung open before his fingers touched it, and a woman leapt out with a fierce cry.

No one else moved, for in that moment, no one else mattered. The woman, as dark as Alex was and almost as tall, all but tackled him. She pulled him close and held him there. It was a beautiful little family reunion. Brother and sister looked as if they might never part again. That was only right. In an ideal world, good siblings and good friends would never be parted. The world might not be ideal, but it could act like it for a little while, every now and then.

So the waiting was over. Damien grinned. The grooms would be relieved. He couldn't see Alex's face from where he stood, but he was sure it had softened, for once. Probably he was even smiling. It was a shame that Damien had missed the rare phenomenon. Oh well. Maybe in twenty more years he'd have another chance to see one, give or take a few years.
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

breakfastofchampions: (Default)
Foxy, a.k.a. Squid

June 2011

S M T W T F S
   1234
567 891011
12 131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags