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The Final bit of the last 2 posts....



“Sempre Dolcissimo Cantabile”
(Always Sweetly Singing)
Author: D. Sanders
=============================
---- continued... Go read these posts first

PART ONE

PART TWO
....


The rest of what I have thus far....

----


Breakfast was subdued; Tinks normally the first at the table and the last to leave had taken just a few pieces of toast and disappeared back into his rooms.

“I haven’t seen him like this in years.” Mandy sad sadly mindlessly stirring her coffee the sugar long since dissolved in the liquid her attention was lost elsewhere.

“Me either. One step forward and two steps back with him.” Farin commented pushing the remainder of his meal away his appetite gone.

“I think it’s my fault. I think I might have said something to upset him.” Val commented, as his own meal lay untouched before him.

“It’s not your fault. Even the most innocent of comments can trigger a bad memory for us all. Tinks just has more than his fair share of bad ones.”

“So you fill him with other memories to dull the pain of previous ones. What does he like?” Beau asked and Eran shrugged.

“Music. You’ll usually find him with his ears buried in headphones off duty.”

“Good.” Beau said picking up his guitar from a corner. He kicked off a bright melody, and ancient folk hymn that every Pirotaine Child learned practically before he could walk.

Eran nodded, he’d sung this many times with Beau, he hadn’t sung in years but he wasn’t too terribly out of practice. He took the melody in his strong mid range baritone and Beau took the higher counterpoint above with a bright clear tenor. What surprised them was Val, his voice a booming steady bass beneath them. Three-part harmony filled the room and it didn’t take long for Tinks to wander in to listen, his face awash with shock and soon pleasure as he sat cross legged on the floor, leaning against the couch and just closed his eyes to listen.

Tinks loved music, he’d often get lost in it for hours, picking out various harmony parts to hum along to or adding his own harmony line if a solo voice was on the recording. He hadn’t realized he was humming along, he didn’t know the words, but the music was a simple chording hymn which repeated itself after a few stanzas and a soft fourth voice harmony just under Beau’s tenor could be heard, Eran smiled and quickly scribbled the words down and nudged Tinks knee with his toe and handed him the lyrics.

Beau Paused “That’s a unique harmony line you added. You have a great ear Tinks. Let’s start again, don’t be shy, trust your ear, you have remarkable pitch. Eran write down the words to “Jubilant Harvest.” While you’re at it.”

Farin and Mandy settled on the couch with their coffee as the impromptu quartet sat at the table singing in beautiful four-part harmony. Perfectly in-tune and the rich blend of strong male voices singing of Harvest Blessings and Spring Rejoicing was like stepping back into the time these songs had been written.

“I could live here.” Farin sighed tapping his foot as he listened. “This planet is called simplistic and backwards. I think the people just know how to appreciate the simple things in life. It’s in their music.”

“Eran always was simplistic and not prone to excess. It seems it’s in the Pirotaine Blood.” Mandy quipped sipping her coffee and smiling at Tinks who was laughing again without his mask. Real laughter and joy, as Eran and Val wrote out lyrics to all the hymns they knew.

“Eran we are not teaching him THAT!” Beau gasped as he looked over Eran’s shoulders that were shaking with laughter.

Val grinned. “I’m running out of folk songs too Beau. What’s a male chorus without a few bawdy bar songs?”

“They’re vulgar! Especially that one! ERAN MARIUS CALLUM you nasty man.”

“Oh I gotta see now.” Tinks said leaning over Eran’s shoulder and howling. “Come on Beau, teach me please?”

Beau just rolled his eyes and plucked out the melody. “I refuse to sing it, but go on I’m out voted.”

Eran and Val kicked off the first verse which had Mandy’s jaw in the vicinity of her chest and Farin laughing so hard his eyes were watering, “Marvelous Mandy the Madam of Mistrelle” was the most tawdry thing she’d ever heard and then the penny dropped as Eran grinned evilly at Mandy.

“You BASTARD! I’ll give you Marvelous Mandy.”

Tinks ducked the well-flung pillow that rebounded off Eran’s head even as he continued to sing along without missing a beat.

Tinks had joined Farin laughing and howling in hysterics at poor Mandy’s expense.

“I’ll kill you both later. I cook your food!” Mandy playfully threatened, not really offended, but playing the part well.

The spur of the moment sing-a-long ended on that note and After Tinks picked himself up off the floor managed to pick at the leftovers still on the table. “That was fun. I didn’t know you could sing Eran.”

“I can croak a melody. Beau’s the singer not me.”

“Liar.”

“You’re not half bad yourself.” Beau said to Tink who shrugged.

“It’s mathematical, just pick a note in the chord and sing it.”

“That’s called a good ear, it is mathematical in a way, but doing it well is an art. I take it you tend to make up harmonies a lot to your disks?” Beau asked as the pair set themselves up at the sink to wash dishes.

“Melodies get boring after you learn the song. You can learn the song a dozen more times adding parts to it.” Tinks said scrubbing at a particularly stubborn bit of crust on a plate.

“Spoken like a closet musician. I think you and I will get along swimmingly my friend. I’ll share my disks if you show me what wonders you have picked up in your travels.”

“DEAL!” Tinks grinned as Val carried over the last of the dishes from the table.

“How long you staying?” He asked and Beau turned to look at Eran.

Eran shrugged. “A month, a year? I don’t know it depends on the work and how long we all decide as a group to stay. Why?”

“I was hoping you’d be here long enough for winter fest. I’m dreadfully short on males for the choir.”

Beau stopped drying a mug. “Festival Choir? You’ve got a choir?” Beau looked possessed.

“Trying to get one together. Been working with Shaman Frieg to try and get one together for it. We’ve tons of women signed up to participate, just a handful of men.”

“What’s Winter Fest?” Tinks asked and Beau turned to Eran who smiled.

“It’s only the best time of year in Pirotaine. Food, Singing, more food, candlelight in every window, pine on every hearth, and twelve days of giving to friends and family, it can break a man to a pauper and he’ll sing as he gives away his last credit. It’s a celebration of life and peace. The first Pilgrims landed on Pirotaine during these twelve days and it’s giving thanks to the Gods for guiding them to this planet of bountiful land.” Beaus asked and Eran thought a moment.

“It’s more of a spiritual holiday really a time of Thanksgiving and time to just be absolutely crazy with those you love. We give presents to everyone, we eat like pigs, and we are charitable to others less fortunate. It makes you feel good and makes other feel better. I think we should stay at least until Festival. I haven’t celebrated it in far too long with you.”

“WONDERFUL! Will you join the choir?” Val asked hopeful.

“You couldn’t keep me away Val. Eran?”

“I guess so. Beau would kick me if I said no. Tinks?”

“That sounds like a lot of fun actually. I’ve never done it though, feel free to kick me out if I suck asteroids.”

“Farin? Mandy?” Val turned to ask and both looked about ready to bolt.

“I cannot sing. But I can cheer from the congregation.” Farin said staking away the now clean plates.

Mandy finished wiping off the table and shook her head. “Like my dear husband, I sing like a dying Fengorian lizard. However, I can cook, that sounds like something I can get into for the season.”

Val looked over the moon. “Fantastic! You saved me from having to go door to door begging. We rehearse at the town hall Fellsenday Evenings every other week until we get closer to the actual festival, then we’ll decide how many more practices we’ll need.”

“It’s still four months away, I think we have time.” Beau grinned and hung his towel on a cupboard doorknob.

“Beau will you direct us? Like you did when I was a kid? That was the best Choir we ever had.”

“How many from that old choir are left?”

“Just me.”

“Then alright, it would be strange if too many people recognized me after all.”

“Not even the Shaman is the same. You know Rael; it’s different every time you turn around. No one stays too long before moving on to bigger or smaller.” Val replied sitting back at the table.

“True, Rael itself never changes, but the people do. Speaking of town, we should go get supplies and take you home before people begin to think we kidnapped you.” Beau chuckled and Val laughed.

“Yeah, Farin did want to raid my yards and no rest for the working man they say, thankfully I own my shop and I call the working hours. I’m all yours for the time being. I promised Farin I’d help him overhaul the “Infinity” and I must admit, this is a working holiday for me. I always wanted to get my hands on a baby like that.”

“Then let’s get ready to head out. One hour we leave, I need a shower first.” Eran ordered as he disappeared into the back into his own dwelling to shower. Beau behind him needing to clean up himself, he abhorred being dirty.

Tinks was sitting on the arm of the sofa, undoing the braid in his hair, knotted from sleeping against a rock. “Damn it, one of these days I’ll get up the nerve to chop this off. Fucking knots.”

“Need a hand?” Val asked and Tinks offered him his hair.

“Be my guest if you can get out that knot you’re more than welcome to try.”

“I helped my mother when she couldn’t do it herself anymore. Her hair was fine like yours, breathe on it wrong and it’s knotted. There, you’re free again.” Val said as he let the long, golden brown strands slip through his fingers like silk threads. “You have beautiful hair. I will never sell you a pair of scissors.” Val added and Tinks laughed.

“I know. Mandy and Eran would kill me too. I like it long, I just don’t like knots, no worries I won’t cut it anytime soon.” Tinks said brushing it out with his fingers.

“Pardon me while I go wash it, it needs it. Oh and just so you don’t worry or anything. Last night, it wasn’t you okay? I don’t mind you calling me Cris if you want to, it was other things bugging me none of it was your fault. Thanks for this morning, I’m looking forward to it.” And with that Tinks disappeared to shower.

Val just stood there smiling at the closed door. He was happy something so simple could make Cris smile, he was positively radiant when he smiled. He also much preferred Cris to Tinks too, Tinks was something you called a scamp of a boy. Cris was more befitting to the handsome young man who had just walked through the door beyond.

A young man Val desperately wanted to reach out to, to help, to comfort, and more eventually if the gods were kind. He would take it slow and show Cris the time of his life without pressure.

-----

An hour to the minute Tinks came running out to the rest who were already loaded into the shuttle his hair still wet and loose.

“Why do we always have to wait on you?” Eran asked as Tinks climbed into the shuttle.

“You try washing this hair, it’s a PROCESS.” Tinks replied flopping into the last available seat and tried brushing his hair as Eran lifted off. “HEY rocket man, can you try a steady lift off so we don’t go rolling about back here?” Tinks grumbled almost falling off his seat and trying in vain to braid his still unruly wet hair. Val took his brush.

“Turn around.” He said and Tinks obliged.

“Now remember I’m a BOY here. Don’t style it like I’m yer mom now.” Tinks warned with a grin Val bopped him in the head with the brush.

“Don’t worry and sit still. I can manage a simple braid fool.”

Just a few minutes later Tinks examined the nice tight braid that hung over his shoulder. “Nice job, I can never get it this neat by myself. Thanks.”

“No problem.”

Beau who had been watching the seen from where he sat up front next to Eran smiled enjoying the interplay between Tinks and Val.

“Hey is a good thing Enjoe’s not here, you’re in his seat Beau. He gets pissy when someone takes his seat.” Tinks teased and Eran rolled his eyes.

“When isn’t he pissy? Let’s not talk of Mr. Anti-social. Let’s decide on a game plan here.”

“Eran, Farin and Val can go be dirty men in a mechanical candy store. I claim Mandy and Tinks.”

“And do share pray-tell what you plan on doing?” Eran eyed Beau suspiciously.

“Stocking up. So please my dearest I may need to raid your credit purse.”

“Oh HELL NO Beau. Not a hope in hell, I know you when you don’t have a budget.”

“No budget? Oh tell me did my husband go off and get rich on me?”

“Beau, I mean it. We need more than sugar to live off of.”

“You evaded my question.”

“Beau… Yes all right damn it don’t look at me like that. We’re fine for money does that satisfy you oh glutton of gluttons?”

“Of course. Hand over the credits and no one gets whined at.” Beau said holding out his hand and Eran irritably slapped a credit disk in his hand.

“You are absolutely rotten to the core Beau. Mandy I’m begging you, buy me real food!”

“Don’t worry Eran, I’ll baby-sit.” Mandy chuckled from the back as Eran landed the shuttle out front of Val’s salvage yards.

Tinks grinned evilly and hooked his arm through Beau’s “My new best friend. Did you steal my cookies?”

“Absolutely, I’ll buy you more.”

“Rock-on. At last someone I can pig out with who won’t yell at me.”

“Come on Boys. Val point us in the direction of the Food markets?” Mandy asked shouldering a bag and a list of items they needed. Tinks grabbed a collapsible hover pallet-jack to help cart the bounty back to the shuttle on foot.

“Beau should remember, it’s not moved. Four blocks north, three blocks east.”

“Is the Bakery on Fontesque still there?” Beau asked Val who nodded.

“That’s our first stop, I’m already drooling.” Beau said leading the way with a light step and they Left Farin, Eran, and Val to take care of the non-edible supplies.

“You’d better buy me real Peridia coffee beans Beau!”

“Yes! And your Sandril lager and your cigarettes don’t worry!”  Beau called back already halfway down the block.

Eran shook his head amused as Val opened up the storefront and the trio stepped inside to go over the list Farin had of upgrades and servicing he wanted to do to the “Infinity.”

Mandy, Tinks and Beau sat around a small table over rich foamy coffee and steamed milk laced with chocolate and peppermint. And licked the remains of puff pastry off sticky fingers.

“That was fabulous what was that called again?” Tinks asked wiping his fingers on a napkin.

“Pirotaine specialty. Mocha with Peppermint and Crème horn pastry, we had a lot of original settlers from Earth ions ago. These creations came with them among other things like our holidays and such. Where are you from Mandy?”

“Aergus. Industrial cesspool. There’s no agriculture left there, the entire planet is one huge city. All food comes from here actually.” Mandy said and Beau nodded.

“I know Pirotaine still supplies 25% of the food to the galaxy. We’re the largest agriculture planets still to this day, Four times bigger than Earth. There are strict laws on building here; most of our land is allocated to farming only. Where are you from Tinks?”

“Mirastor. Like Aergus, it’s a shithole. Gambling centers and Diamond mines and fuck all else.”

“Then let me show you both a little life at a much slower pace. Ever been to an open air market where the produce was picked yesterday?” Both shook their heads. “Then follow me.” Beau said tossing a tip on the table as Mandy and Tinks followed him down the street.

Mandy was in heaven, everything from fruits and vegetables to the meat was fresh and bountiful. The fresh cream and milk from a local dairy was divine and the thought of cooking with real butter for a change had her buying a good gallon of if it in a tub. Beau and Tinks trailed behind her in her buying frenzy. Both men sharing smirks, here Eran had been afraid Beau would go nuts. Between him and Tinks just a few bags of cookies, various bits of candied confections and a cake or two were in the rapidly filling crate on the hover jack.

Beau added a nice large bag of Eran’s favorite coffee beans, he still preferred to grind them himself before brewing, his favorite brand of lager, and his mint laced tobacco cigarettes.

“Mandy I think we have enough for an army for a month. Thankfully it’s just five minutes away by the shuttle if we run out of something, the market never closes.” Beau teased as the crate was filled to bursting.

“True, just one more stop, I want some local cookbooks, I might as well try something new while I’m here.” Mandy said stopping and dashing into the first bookstore she passed, coming out with a few books with pictures on the covers that made Tinks hungry.

“It’s almost lunchtime and we have perishables, I wonder how the others are doing. I hope they saved us room for Mandy’s splurging.” Tinks said as they turned the last corner and the shuttle was in view. Full. “It looks like two trips.”

“Food first, I need to get the dairy products in cooling units. Did you see the cheese I bought? Oh I’m gonna gain a hundred pounds on this R&R. Hallelujah.” Mandy cheered as they reached the shuttle and the others came out from within the shop.

“Good lord woman! What did you buy?” Farin gasped and Mandy grinned.

“Everything. Come on, this stuff is FRESH and won’t last out here in this heat. I love this planet, I love that Market, I am in a cook’s paradise.”

“Then let’s load up and head out. We’re only taking the generator back now. There’s room. Val’s gonna stay with us at camp since it’s just more convenient than him commuting back and forth everyday.” Eran said and Val laughed as he hung up a sign on the door.

TEMORARILY CLOSED VIP CLIENTELE JOB –
CONTACT VALERIAN IN EMERGENCIES ONLY
598.765.9993.90076

“I figured if someone needed something desperately, which is unlikely, they can contact me on my communicator frequency number. Hope you don’t mind a bunkmate Cris.”

“Not at all.” Tinks replied cheerfully as he loaded the groceries into the shuttle with Mandy.

Beau looked to Eran, they’d both noticed the name “Cris” and Beau nudged Eran in the ribs.

“Yeah I noticed, I’m not that dense. Come on let’s get back I’m starving.” Eran chuckled climbing into the pilot’s seat.

“I’ll meet you back at camp, I need to swing by my dwelling and grab some necessities myself, I’ll meet you back at the caves.”

“Need a hand?” Tinks asked as he shut the hatch.

“Not really, but the company would be nice.”

“Sweet-talker. We’ll meet you back at camp!” Tink said cheerfully as the shuttle took off and Tinks followed Val down the street.

“I don’t live far, just at the end of the Pier there at the Inn. Just want to grab some clothes and my toothbrush.” Val said as they reached the cheap Inn and climbed the stairs.

“Hey no worries, I’ve a spare two hands man. Oh SWEET! A Hoveby! Does it work?” Tinks asked as he saw the old hover-motorcycle propped in the corner.”

“Absolutely. I take it out in the field occasionally. Want me to bring it? We can ride it back if you wear the back-pack it’ll ride two.”

“Does a Fengorian Lizard eat it’s young? I always wanted to ride on one of these babies.”

Val grinned as he shoved some clothes and his toiletries into a backpack and handed it to Tinks. “Strap that on and I’ll lug this brute downstairs. It may hover but it’s awkward on stairs.”

“Yeah but leave it outside and it’s stolen.”

“Precisely.”

The pair laughed and Tinks helped lock up Val’s small one room apartment as he trailed Val down the stairs and once outside Val climbed on and Tinks settle himself behind Val and wrapped his arms around Val’s waist. “Hold on tight, this thing’s got a kick on take off. You’ll fall of the end if you’re not careful.”

Tinks squeezed. “I’m ready. HIT IT!”

Tinks was whooping and hollering all down the block and out of town, his braid whipping out behind him as he clung to Val who was laughing himself as they drove out and managed to get to the camp to help unload the generator.

With the second generator installed, there was enough power to cover the load of the additional three units so the auxiliary power they had been taking from the “Infinity” was disconnected and taken off-line. Mandy was in her element, the three kitchen units that had come with the pre-fabrication dwelling had been combined in the main room making a large kitchen area and Mandy had all the cupboards and cooling units full. The rest of the main unit had been turned into living and dining space. The other two units were sleeping quarters. The unit Tinks and Val would share was set up as two private sleeping rooms that shared the bath facility. Farin’s and Mandy’s was just like the original unit of Beau’s a suite for the pair minus the kitchen that the original unit still had in tact. Beau’s unit had not been touched and was in its original fully functional state. Eran and Beau needed the privacy; they still had a lot of catching up to do after all.

Tinks helped Val settle in just as Mandy called them all in for a mid-afternoon lunch feast.

Everyone gathered at the long table with six mismatched chairs, and everyone was elbow to elbow but enjoying the family like atmosphere of good friends, good company, good conversation, and great food.

“Mandy my love, you just get better and better.” Farin groaned feeling positively bloated.

“Good ingredients make ALL the difference.” Mandy added thrilled at having the means to cook like she’d always wanted.

“I am too full and too lethargic right now to do anything other than let my food digest and piss around the rest of the day. WE ARE on R&R leave aren’t we?” Eran asked lighting up a cigarette and flopping onto the couch shoved against the wall in the main living space.

“It’s nice to have no schedule for a change.” Mandy spoke up from where she was wrapping up leftovers with Tinks at the counter.

“A little bit a day, it gets done right and properly and we get a recharge. Just what we need. We’re on the go so much; it’s nice to shift to a lower gear. I’m not getting any younger.” Farin sighed undoing a notch in his belt.

“Last I checked you were forty, that’s hardly old Farin.” Eran replied with a smirk. “I got you beat thrice over and then some.”

“Aye but you have an advantage oh walking fountain of youth.” Mandy retorted as she flopped down beside Eran on the couch.

“I could live here. I envy you and Beau being born here. What a wonderful planet.”

“So live here. You both don’t have to stay on the “Infinity”. Just because I picked you up, you’re not obligated to stay forever you know.” Eran said and Mandy looked shocked, she’d never even considered leaving Eran.

“Don’t look like I said something alien. I know you and Farin always wanted kids, retire while you’re young enough to still have them. You can’t raise kids on a ship.” Eran said and Mandy looked about ready to cry.

“Eran’s right. If you want a family, this is the place to have one.” Beau said pouring another cup of coffee for himself as he sat on a stool by the counter.

“God it would be like severing a limb to leave you and Tinks behind with sour old Enjoe for company. What would Tinks and Enjoe do if they got sick?”

“I’m well versed in medical. I had a lot of time to learn new things over the years. I’m going, they’ll be fine.” Beau said and Mandy looked to Farin.

“You’d need to hire another Engineer, Tinks is good, but he don’t know everything, about engines, he’s electronics.”

“Mind if I pipe in here? If you two plan to stay behind, can I be first in-line for a job application?” Val asked and Eran chuckled.

“Planet bound boy want adventure?”

“Seriously. I always wanted a job as a flight engineer. But I had the shop and Mom I couldn’t leave her to run it alone. I’d gladly turn the shop over to Farin for this once in a lifetime chance.”

“Farin?”

“I’ll give him the appraisal. We’ll see how the “Infinity” like him.”

“Fair enough. If Farin thinks you can replace him, the job is yours Val.”

“WOOT!” Tinks hollered hugging Mandy’s shoulders. “I so want a gazillion-million pictures of any rugrats Mandy. You hear me?!”

“Aye Tinks, everyone hears you when you talk loudmouth. I promise. Oh god I’m gonna cry now. Promise you guys will VISIT occasionally.”

“That’s a promise Mandy. But we’re not saying good-bye for months yet. No getting sappy.” Eran demanded standing and heading toward the door. “I do believe There’s A Hoveby out here I’m dying to get my hands on. Val?”

Val just tossed Eran the key-lock control. “Go wild.”

“YES!”

“Don’t break your neck Eran!”

“Like it won’t fix?”

“But it hurts!”

“I’ll be careful Beau. Christ you’re like a mother hen. Go lay an egg worry wart.”

Beau just stuck his tongue out at Eran as everyone filtered outside to take turns riding the sports bike through the field. Even Mandy tore around the field like a madwomen hollering like a banshee.

It was late and all the leftovers from lunch were picked at for dinner as people began to retire in groups for the evening. Farin and Mandy to their room to watch a few classic vid-files they’d been meaning to catch up on. Beau and Eran had long since taken their leave of the others and Eran had only came out wrapped in a sheet to grab his cigarettes and beer before going back into their room again.

Tinks and Val were sitting outside at a small portable card table playing cards and laughing at whatever the other was talking about.

Life was tranquil and both moons shone full and bright over the camp on a muggy summer’s night.



..TBC....

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
mortegami
Nov. 29th, 2004 01:43 am (UTC)
;;dies;;

;;begs you for more;; Oh, WOW is that a good read..you've got me hooked, luv. (and if you need an editor, can I be first in line for the application?)
fablespinner
Nov. 29th, 2004 03:52 am (UTC)
Thanks. ^_^

Got a bit more added today this is a LOT longer than I intended it to be. Characters tend to run away with me, and I adore Tinks. He who should have been a minor character has taken over direction of this tale.

I should have blown him out an airlock when I had the chance.

^_^
mortegami
Nov. 29th, 2004 03:58 am (UTC)
I'm actually glad you didn't, cuz I like him, too! I actually thought he was closer to being main character from the start of it, though, since he was the first to do/say stuff.

You, my dear, are a very versatile artist. Would that I could spin tales and draw as well as you do. ^_^
fablespinner
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:12 am (UTC)
Why thank you for stroking ego. ^_^

Here, have a bit more in thanks.


----

Val was already in his bed as Tinks wandered around the room getting ready to turn in for the night himself. His toothbrush was hanging out of his mouth as he padded around the room in just his stocking feet and colorless gray military boxer shorts. He tossed his dirty clothes into a basket in the corner of the room, and then vanished into the bathroom.

Val had to stop himself from drooling down his own bare chest as Tinks returned from the bathroom, his hair unbound and falling in wave after wave down his back as he brushed out the day’s braided confinement. “Damn it, it’s humid, my hair is still wet from this morning in places.”

“I’m not surprised your hair is thick and you did braid it wet.”

“You braided it, and Thanks again, it stayed in place all day even on the Hoveby. Mine always manages to fall out two hours after I do it.”

“My mother always said, and I quote, ‘It’s a pain in the ass to do it by yourself.’ And hers wasn’t as long as yours either.” Val said as he watched Tinks brush almost hypnotized at the way the lights played off the myriad of shades and highlights.

“Your mom was accurate. Ow.” Tinks hissed as he caught a particularly stubborn snarl. Val was itching to get up and brush it for him, but that was a little too intimate too quickly so he’d just oblige his growing fetish for long hair but watching Tinks groom himself. Soon Tinks had it brushed and rather than braiding it again, he contained his hair in a myriad of small cloth bands, half a dozen or more placed at intervals beginning at the nape of his neck right down to the end. It kept his hair from becoming tangled overnight, even if Val would have loved to have seen him keep it loose for more than the time it took to contain it. It really was extraordinary hair, he knew at least a dozen women who’d kill to have his locks.

“Ready for lights out?” Val asked as Tinks took off his socks and crawled under his sheet.

“Yup. Night Val, Thanks again for today, I had a blast.”

“Me too. Night Cris.” Val flipped off the light and could no longer see the wistful contented smile on Tinks’ lips as they both relaxed to the sound of a distant owl hooting and nature singing a symphony in the moonlight.

Val woke up in the middle of the night with a protesting bladder and quietly made his way in the dark to the bathroom to relieve himself and was shocked to find on his way out that Tinks was not in his bed. He'd never heard Tinks get up and he was usually quite a light sleeper. Val sighed and slipped on his toe-peg sandals and walked out into the night.

With the moons full, it was quite easy to see outside and it didn’t take long to find Tinks. He was still just dressed in his boxers and barefoot. He had his arms wrapped around himself where he sat on a fallen log, watching fireflies sparkle in the field. His shoulders where shaking and the night was warm so it was not cold that made Tinks shake this evening.

“Cris...” Val breathed and Tinks whipped around startled, hurriedly wiping his eyes.

“You scared me man. I tried not to wake you up.”

“You didn’t. My bladder did. Cris, I… is there anything I can do?” Val asked wanting desperately to help.

Tinks just shook his head turning back to look at the fireflies dancing in the night. “So pretty. Like stars.”

“The fireflies?”

Tinks nodded.

“I haven’t watched them in years. I used to catch them in glass jars as a kid and then let them loose in my bedroom to watch.” Val said sitting next to Tinks on the log.

“The only insects in Mirastor are nasty things you would not want to set loose in your home. They never leave.”

Val nodded as he reached out and gently caught a firefly that lit up his palm as he brought it back and then let is go to crawl into Cris’ hair, lighting up the ends of his hair at the end of his banded ponytail. Cris smiled as the illuminating creature took wing and joined his fellows again.

“You don’t have to keep me company Val. I don’t sleep much. I hate sleeping.”

fablespinner
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:14 am (UTC)
“I know I don’t have to, I want to.”

“Why?”

“Because I like you. Do I need a reason to want to help a friend?”

“I suppose not.” Tinks sighed, it was obvious Val wasn’t planning to go anywhere any time soon.

“If you think these are pretty to look at, I’ve got a something for you to see.” Val said taking Tink’s hand. “Come on.”

Tinks allowed Val to take his hand and lead him back toward the dwelling. Val just held up a finger and ducked back inside for a moment, coming out with his spare set of sandals for Tinks to put on. “It’s a but rocky for bare feet.” Was all he said before taking Tinks’ hand again and leading him along the cave face, picking an entrance and leading Tinks inside.

“Were are you taking me?”

“You’ll see, trust me.” Val said as he led them a good way inside into a pitch-black passageway. Where he stopped and moved behind Tinks to place his hands over Tinks’ eyes.

“What are you doing?”

“Trying not to spoil the surprise, I want you to get the full impact. Shush.” Val said urging Tinks forward blindly around a turn. “Ready? 1-2-3…” At the count of a breathless three Val took his hands from Tinks’ eyes to reveal a cavern that seemed to positively glow with a bright luminous blue. From the pool of water on the ground to the stalactites to the stalagmites, everything was covered in what looked like liquid neon.

Tinks gasped and just drank in the sheer magnificent beauty of this hidden cave. “Oh Val!”

Val walked up behind Tinks and placed his hands on prominent hip bones and pressed his chest against Tinks’ back, leaning close to breath into Tinks’ ear. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”

Tinks practically melted into him with a shiver. “Phenomenal. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Mm. I know. It’s a natural wonder of these caves.” Val said trailing his finger through the soft cool slime and bringing a little back on his finger ran it up Cris’ arm. Leaving a glowing trail on skin.

“It’s cold.”

“I know.” Val purred again in Cris’ ear eliciting another shiver, once more drawing a trail of glowing gel like slime up Cris’ other arm like finger paint.


“Val?”

“Ssssh, live in the moment Cris. Just breathe and look around you.” Val said drawing more of the cool glow across Cris’ chest. Spiral patterns, stars, circles and more, and doing it all from his position from behind Cris. Never obstructing his view of the cavern. Cris’ knees were growing weaker by the moment.

“Val.” The name was spoken no more than a desperate whisper.

“So beautiful.” Val said, kissing the ridge of Cris’ ear. Cris shivered and his knees did give out, but Val supported him and help him up. Cris’ hands were gripping Val’s thighs for support. “So very beautiful.”

“Val.” Cris’ breath was short, needy and desperate. Val just turned him around slowly in his arms, Cris’ arms wrapping around Val’s neck, chest to chest making a mirror of patterns on Val’s chest where the meshed and the glowing gel smeared between their bodies.

“May I kiss you?” Val asked and Cris’ eyes went wide, no one had ever asked before. They always took what they wanted, no one ever asked.

“I may cry if you don’t.” Cris replied totally under Val’s romantic spell.

Their lips met with a tentative touch and Val pulled back tasting his lips before pressing back in gently again. Another small caress of lips, another pause to savor the touch and then a lingering taste that had Cris clinging to Valerian’s shoulders, his knees long since unable to support him under the tender onslaught.

Val pulled back for a final time and pressed his forehead against Cris’ and just smiled fondly. Cris was breathless with wonder and both of them just wearing thin boxer shorts it was painfully obvious they had both enjoyed their first kiss. “As much as I would love to throw decorum out the window. I haven’t wooed you near enough yet to warrant earning anything other than that beautiful kiss.”

“God Val. That was… I have never been kissed like that. Ever.”

Val just smiled Cris still in his arms. “You should never be kissed any other way.”

Tinks eyes grew wide in almost panic and tried backing away. “No, God Val don’t. I’m, I’m…”


fablespinner
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:15 am (UTC)
Val held tighter and pulled Cris back in his arms, he’d half expected the sudden recoiling. “Cris, don’t pull away from me and don’t you dare tell me you’re not worth the effort. I think you are.”

“No, you don’t know anything about me. I’m trash you deserve better.”

“Damn it I know more than you think I do and it does not change my mind. I care about you; I want to get to know you better, I want there to be more between us in time. Don’t shut me out Cris please.”

“You don’t understand. I was a WHORE, you don’t want the leftovers.”

“First I think I can decide what I want, which is you. Second, stop Cris. I heard you tell Eran. I know.”

Here Cris almost fought to be free of Val’s arms, but Val was bigger and stronger and just held on until Cris broke down and began to cry in frustration. Melting against Val in defeat. Val kissed his forehead. “Cris, you’re worth every effort to me. I don’t see your past when I look at you. I see a future I’d like to have alongside you. You had no control over your past; none of us do as children. Look at who you’ve become, please try and see what I see when I look at you.”

“Val… I need, I’m so… lost.”

“Let me help you find the peace your soul needs. I’m begging you to let me try. You’re not alone; you’re surrounded by so many who care for you just as you are. Let go of the past and embrace your future. If you can’t turn to me, go to Eran, Beau, Mandy, Farin they all love you so much.”

Cris nodded and Val smoothed his bangs back from his face. “You are a wonderful man Crispin Tinks. I refuse to leave you alone until you see it yourself.”

“I promise not to run away if you promise not to press if I can’t talk about it.”

“Okay. I don’t expect you to tell me all your secrets at once. I just want you to lean on me when you need comfort. That’s all.”

Cris nodded leaning into Val for a gentle embrace. “Let’s go home, it’s late and we both need sleep.” Val said and Cris nodded and he slipped under Val’s arm holding Val’s waist as they walked back to their dwelling in silence. Once inside Val went to the bathroom and brought back a warm damp washcloth and smiled as he wiped his artwork off Cris’ chest and arms. Rinsing the cloth off in the sink and hanging it to dry while Cris sat looking pensive on his bunk.

“Val?”

“Hm?” Val asked flipping off the bathroom light and crossing the room to kneel at Cris’ feet.

“Thank you.”

“Anytime beautiful.”

Cris smiled and laid an elegant hand to Val’s cheek. “You make me feel like it. Honestly.”

“Good. Because you are.”

“You don’t have to ask you know.”

“Ask what?”

“To kiss me.”

“Yes I do. I will never take anything from you, not even a kiss, that you are not ready to give and that I have not earned.”

“A gentleman. You’re a rare breed Val.”

“So are you Cris. So are you.” Val said going to stand and a soft touch on his shoulder kept him rooted to the floor.




fablespinner
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:15 am (UTC)
“May I kiss you?” Cris asked and Val smiled and nodded.

Cris first kissed each of Val’s eyelids that fluttered shut as his gentle brush of lips. With lips quivering Cris slid to his knees in front of Val, his arms folding around Val’s shoulders as their lips met. Val’s strong arms came around his back and held him close. It was a drinking in of the senses. Darkness behind closed eyes, warm hands and smooth skin under fingertips, pollen and soap and natural musk from skin filling nostrils as they flared for air as lips and mouths tasted the newness of awakening affections.

Val was once again the one to pull apart gently. “I am so very much infatuated with you.”

“The feeling is very mutual.” Cris said laying his cheek against a broad shoulder.

Val smiled and kissed Cris’ forehead before patting the bed. “Get in, I’ll tuck you in.” Cris chuckled but crawled into bed. Val did indeed tuck him in kissing the end of Cris’ nose.

“Do I get a bedtime story too?” Cris asked grinning up at Val.

“Once upon a time there was this handsome prince who liked to stall when it was well past the time for sleeping. His faithful servant after dutifully tucking in his Prince told him a story of brilliant glowing caves of blue. The Prince dreamed of fireflies and slime and had sweet dreams.” Val said with a smile and Cris laughed.

“You tell rotten stories.”

“I’m not a storyteller.” Val winked and stood. “Sweet Dreams Cris.”

“Sweet Dreams my faithful servant.”

Val bowed and crossed the room to his own bed for that night. He lay watching Cris for a while, who lay watching him in return. Soft smiles shared in the moonlight until eyes grew heavy and slumber could no longer be denied.

Neither awoke until Beau came to get them for breakfast.

For the first time since they’d met, Cris awoke looking rested and content.

They shared a chaste kiss good-morning before walking hand in hand into the main room for Breakfast.

----
mortegami
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:40 am (UTC)
;;dies quite happily;; Excellent, of course. I love the way Val's not pushy, but he's firm enough to make sure that Tinks knows he doesn't care about his past...

You, my dear, definitely are deserving of your name, for you are a wonderful spinner of fables. You also are, always have been, and more than likely always will be, a source of inspiration for me. Would that I could do something so wonderful for you in return for all that you have (albeit unintentionally) given me...
fablespinner
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:54 am (UTC)
Tinks has a bad inferiority complex (understanibly) He associated pain with love and Val's no idiot. He knows it's gonna be a SLOW undoing of pre-conceived notions.

He sees a lot of his mother in Tinks' behavior. He saw how his father over the years destroyed her self-esteem (And his own)

SO he does understand, but he also knows a self-destructive behavior that can't be allowed to continue.

Val will have a balancing act on his hands.

But it's easy to love Tinks and hard not to fight for him.

He's like a puppy that's been kicked a lot but still wants to try to hop up on your lap for a tickle behind the ears.

^_^

And GUSH -- flatter. I just have an over active imagination I write down, there's so many better writer's. I wish I had half the talent to put in words a story as I want it. I just tell the story to the best of my limited abilities.

I'm run-of the mill, romantic dribble writer.

I deal in sap and waff and suck at anything substaintial in fodder.

But thank you just the same, I appreciate the support in confidence.

mortegami
Nov. 29th, 2004 06:12 am (UTC)
I don't agree that there are better writers out there. Different writers, yes. And as all writers have a style that is unique to them, I can't really find myself saying that anyone is better than anyone else. It's more of a 'who do you WANT to read and who do you NOT want to read' kind of deal. And you..you I would read any given day of the week/month/year/decade/century/millenium. I love the way you write and the way you portray your characters, be they original or fan-based.

And you are more than welcome for the support. You will forever have it, I assure you. I mean, c'mon ;;grins;; if I've not tired of your writing since I first discovered it...;;pauses to think;; 3 1/2 years ago, I rather don't think I'm going to. EVER. I'm odd like that. You are far more than you give yourself credit. Take it from someone who actually tries to be more than she is (and seems to fail quite miserably), you are far more than you think you are. ;;hugs;;
fablespinner
Nov. 29th, 2004 06:43 am (UTC)
I'm totally at a loss at what to say to that.

Thanks sounds trite, but thank you.
fieryopal
Nov. 30th, 2004 06:30 am (UTC)
*sighs*
i never knew that slime could be so romantic. *grins*

excellent as always. in the four years that i've been reading your work, you have yet to right a single story i haven't loved. here's to four more years;)
fieryopal
Nov. 30th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC)
Re: *sighs*
write, that should be write! *smacks forehead*
fablespinner
Nov. 30th, 2004 07:59 am (UTC)
Re: *sighs*
LOL! I knew what you meant!

THANKS!

^___________^

and I know, SLIME? I grossed myself out, but at least it was pretty neon blue right and not green! :PPPP
fieryopal
Dec. 1st, 2004 06:13 am (UTC)
Re: *sighs*
i'm secretly hoping that one day there will be a drawing of that scene. too bad i never figured out how to make colors work with my sketchings otherwise i'd take a shot at creating some fanart of it.
fablespinner
Dec. 1st, 2004 08:27 am (UTC)
Re: *sighs*
Sketches WORK!
*HINTHINTHINTCOUGH*
I love fanart It's my happy place

^_^
fieryopal
Dec. 2nd, 2004 12:44 am (UTC)
Re: *sighs*
*laughs*
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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