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Feb 23, 2020 6:48 PM
sky is a bad dm
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"...do you want to know the words?" he asks, after a little.

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"–you know this one?"

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"I know most."

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"...maybe you can teach me a new one, too. I – only really get them secondhand."

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"My sister's a librarian. An anchorite. She'd lend me collections. What kind would you like?"

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"...d'you have any of the adorations for strange creatures?"

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"...oh, yes. She used to recite them at me sometimes."

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"...what's your favorite?"

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He has to think about it for a minute.

 

"What is like Ota?" he begins, in a thin clear tenor, hitting the notes very precisely. "This is like Ota -- the toad which weeps blood, praised be its name -- what is like Ota? this is like Ota -- the guts with the sting of the honeybee..."

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He listens raptly, grinning, completely fascinated, through the entire song.

By the end of it he's joining him on the repeating lines.

 

Songs carry them through all the way to the next town.

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There is a figure, visible from far away, seated on the dusty ground and leaned up against one of the posts of the open gate.

 

As they approach, it’s clearer that his shirt has been torn open, exposing the pearled chains of his yoke and the fluids splattered over his chest. His hair is loose and wild around his shoulders.

He’s humming quietly to himself.

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Yvan swings down from his horse, when they're close enough, runs the last few yards to kneel and kiss Kyo's annulus.

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He smiles vaguely at him.

The pendant sparks against his lips.

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He straightens up, offers Kyo a hand up as well.

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He takes it, barely pulls as he rises from the ground.

He looks so much more like you would expect, right now – the piercings exposed to air, the wild hair and the black around his eyes, the way his shirt threatens to fall off his shoulders entirely where it's torn – but he's kept the same grace in his movements.

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"You look beautiful," Yvan remarks, very sincere and with no apparent sense of oddness in the comment.

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"In His way."

It's not a dismissal – nor is it, entirely, accepting the compliment.

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"In His way," Jean agrees, as if it's the greatest possible intensifier.

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"...are you ready to leave?"

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He looks contemplatively at Yvan.

 

"...yes. It can wait."

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What is "it".

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“...what can?”

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"You haven't served since he first spoke to you. But cities are better."

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