With Tired Souls, We Slept

Auron/Braska. NC-17. ~3100 words. Pastfic. Co-authored with Ponderosa.
He would wish for dreams had they been restful of late.

Everything outside was ice and snow, but Braska was warm between the bodies of his guardians. The howling of the wind seemed so far away. Everything seemed so far away, though Zanarkand was closer than ever.

He listened to the snap and flutter of the tent. Al Bhed made, it formed a dome around their small party, clinging like a bubble against the treacherous face of the mountain. The noise wrought by the elements was interrupted by a low, rumbling growl and the scrape of heavy claws on stone — Ifrit, whose paces melted a perimeter in the snow. The Aeon served as their watch this night, where Gagazet’s air was cold enough to freeze a man where he stood, and where sharp-toothed fiends were starved for flesh.

Braska offered a silent prayer of thanks to the Fayth and opened his sleepless eyes to stare at the shadowed interior of the tent. The curve of the poles that made its shape were barely visible, and they reminded him as always of the ribs of some great beast. Though that may come, Braska thought, not yet. He refused to fear the fate that awaited him, took comfort instead in Jecht’s deep, even breathing that drifted here and there into a snore, and in the pressure of Auron’s sword-arm against his back.

That Auron remained awake as well was evident and no great surprise. No doubt he too had thoughts swarming in his head and was incapable of putting them away to find his path to dreaming. Braska nestled his head deeper into the bundle of his robes that served as a makeshift pillow. He would wish for dreams had they been restful of late.

“You should sleep, my lord,” Auron said with just enough volume to be heard over the wind.

The rustle of thick blankets was hardly audible as Braska reached over to place a light, reassuring touch on his guardian’s leg. “Yes, but it eludes me.

“You should sleep as well, Auron,” he added. He drew his hand away, having already let it linger longer than he had intended. How infinitely more precious a brief moment of contact like that had become. “No fiends will disturb us tonight.”

Auron grunted and shifted, turned onto his side, and Braska was flooded with memories of all the nights that led up to this one; so many of them spent talking in the dark about everything and nothing at all. Auron chuckled and nodded at Jecht, the motion a shift of shadow at the corner of Braska’s eye. “The holy mountain itself trembles at the sound of his snoring.”

“Our Jecht does nothing in a subtle manner, does he?” Braska murmured. He breathed an amused sigh out his nose and smiled to himself in the darkness.

“If he were subtle, he wouldn’t be Jecht,” Auron muttered.

Auron had suffered much embarrassment, and a considerable measure of disgrace by Braska’s decision to take a man like Jecht as a second guardian, but there was no longer enmity between the two. They had fought together, grown together, forged bonds deeper than mere friendship along the pilgrimage. Braska hoped that after the Final Summoning they would remain as brothers.

“Are you warm enough?” Auron asked him. A hand slid beneath the blankets to touch Braska’s sleeve, as if that would answer the question.

It was such a simple touch, yet it sent tingling sparks spidering across his skin. If only he could pretend he was cold, curl up against the offer of warmth, of comfort, but lies had always sounded hollow on his tongue. “I am,” he said.

Either Auron did not hear him or pretended otherwise, for Braska found himself being tucked close to the body of his guardian. Silent wants and secret fears stole away his breath, and he did not — could not — protest when a strong arm curled around him.

“Sleep refuses to find me, and for once, I cannot blame it on the man,” Auron murmured. Warmth from his bare chest slowly made its way through Braska’s sleeping robe.

“Sometimes, I envy him.”

“I would envy his ease, but not his glib tongue.” Auron’s fingers found their way to the bare skin of Braska’s wrist, swept like a caress as he settled the weight of his arm.

Braska’s heart tripped in his chest, and set his pulse to thundering when it started up again. “Auron, I…” he began, brows knitting together as he struggled to find the right question to ask. That Auron’s touch was a question itself was no great leap of faith, but at the heart of things, Braska was simply glad for the contact. He closed his eyes and a fresh smile flirted on his lips. “Thank you.”

Auron’s hold on him tightened in acknowledgement. They both grew quiet again, and Braska counted his guardian’s breaths as they drifted warm across the nape of his neck. Though he tried, he could not slow his to match, nor could he tell his heart to cease its wild pounding and sync to the steady beat that echoed through his back.

The poles of the tent creaked, rubbed together as surly mountain winds shrieked their intent to force through seams and steal hard-won heat, and yards away, Ifrit ripped a fiend to shreds. Braska could hardly hear any of it, not when Auron’s thumb had begun making soft circles against his wrist and the blood roared louder than ever in his ears. He put his hand atop Auron’s, and the gentle touch paused until Braska ran his fingertips over strong knuckles and battle-scarred skin. He fixed firmly to his memory the marks that the journey had visited upon his guardian, and mourned their necessity.

He felt Auron move, his weight shifted up and onto an elbow. Auron drew a lungful of air as if to speak, but whatever words would have been borne on that breath faded as he released it slow and even against Braska’s skin. He bowed his head, touched his mouth to Braska’s neck. It was not a kiss, no, nothing so simple as that, and Braska’s eyes burned as Auron’s hand pressed flat and firm against his chest.

He let that strong, sword-hardened hand rest there for a span of minutes. Slowly, he drew it up to his mouth, and pushed a kiss, a true kiss, into Auron’s palm. His lips moved, formed a silent plea against the lines of his guardian’s hand, then slipped downwards to the thin skin of Auron’s wrist. Fingertips touched soft and light to Braska’s cheek, and the mouth on his neck firmed, kissed him properly before dragging like a brushstroke up the slope of his neck and along his jaw.

Braska’s breath shook as fingers slid into his hair, and he wondered if it felt to Auron as it did to him: familiar and foreign all at once. The mouth on his skin grew more intimate, more insistent, and gentle pressure urged him to turn his head. He twisted, arm curling back to grab at Auron’s shoulder, and welcomed a kiss that seemed far too slow for the desperation behind it.

Months of longing flooded into the kiss, and it was all Braska could do to keep away the regret that threatened to be forged in the heat of their mouths. Auron cupped Braska’s face, tongue pushing past teeth to taste deeper. Braska clutched at him, fingers digging into hard muscle as his mouth yielded to the kiss. He had so many regrets, as both a summoner and a widower; this would not be one of them.

Auron’s features were nothing but shadows in the darkness, yet they were clear in Braska’s mind. He pictured them as their mouths melted together, his mind’s eye tracing the strong curve of Auron’s jaw, over the swell of his cheek to the golden warmth of his eyes, blazing now beneath desire-heavy lids. Trembling pleasure trickled down Braska’s body like water, pooled in his groin at the base of his stiffening cock. He arched his chest into the hand that had slipped beneath the folds of his robe.

“I need you, Auron,” he whispered at long last, and all the things yet unspoken weighted down the simplicity of the words. “Please.”

Lips touched high on his cheek, brushed down to kiss the side of his mouth as the hand beneath his robe drifted. Auron’s fingertips explored the dips and swells of Braska’s ribs, moving lower and lower until they tickled along the thin trail of hair low on his belly and came to rest amongst soft curls. “If it is what you want,” Auron said between breaths as swift and hard as the mountain winds.

“Yes. Yes, I want it.” Braska shut his eyes tight, forced away thoughts of all the things they should have said — should have done — before this moment.

He felt his guardian’s leg shift forward, and he parted his thighs as a knee nudged between his own. “I’ve wanted this,” Auron said, his voice softer in tone, though grating with emotion, “…to touch you.”

Braska bit his lip when Auron’s hand curled loosely around his cock, and again, when the man’s mouth pressed to the crook of his neck. Breaths gone shaky with restraint passed cool as ghosts along Braska’s skin, and when Auron’s fingers remained light, he placed his hand upon his guardian’s and guided it over the length of his cock.

Auron’s touch grew bolder, as if finally realising that the moment was real, not about to waver and vanish like a sphere, and the last of his restraint crumbled away when his thumb rubbed over the head of Braska’s cock and grew slick with precome. His breath left him in a low, strangled moan. “My lord,” he said, and pressed forward, hard and hot against the silken fabric draped across the back of Braska’s leg.

“Wait, please, just a moment,” Braska requested, withdrawing his hand and gently moving Auron’s aside. He undid the belt of his robe, shifted to slide it fully off his shoulder. He could feel the heat of Auron’s palm hovering close to his skin, and he cast a guilty look at Jecht’s back. He wondered if he should wake the man and ask him to leave, or perhaps even if he cared to join them, as Jecht must have been far more lonely than Braska could even imagine; but no, it was too chill in the shadow of the mountain to set foot outside at this hour, and as to the other… tonight was for Auron, and Auron alone.

As soon as the robe fell away, Auron was touching him again. Braska silently wished his other guardian a sound sleep, mouthed an apology as he pushed the soft fabric of his robe down behind him, his knuckles skimming against the taut muscles of Auron’s stomach. He paused when he felt the stiff heat of Auron’s cock, and a surge of fresh adrenaline sent his head spinning.

“Please, my lord,” Auron said roughly, his hand moving down Braska’s side, fingers almost greedy in their sweep across soft skin. They curled around Braska’s cock again, stroking slowly with newly born confidence. “Let me feel your hands on me.”

Braska’s teeth closed over his lower lip as a quiet groan rose in his throat. It had been so long since words had evoked such a response in him, had set his skin on fire and his limbs to tingling. He drew his arm up, traced his fingers against the soft curve of Auron’s lips. “Lick them wet,” he said, and twisted his body again, shoulder pressing warm against Auron’s chest.

He felt a shiver run over his guardian, and heard him swear a quiet oath. Auron’s head dipped down and he took Braska’s fingers into his mouth. His tongue traced the delicate skin between digits slowly, wound wet and warm over the bend of a knuckle as if he were savouring the moment. Another curl of pleasure tightened in Braska’s chest as Auron drew back to kiss the tip of one finger, and as his guardian moved to lick lightly along another, Braska found the shiver had transferred to him.

Hand wet and trembling, Braska reached behind him to slide his slender fingers over the curving length of Auron’s cock. It leapt in his hand, swelling harder at his touch, and Braska struggled to keep quiet, hold back the long, deep moan that he yearned to give his guardian. He spread the wetness around, squeezing, exploring, his breath faltering as Auron’s muscles tensed.

“So perfect…” Auron whispered. His fingers curled between Braska’s legs, grazed delicate skin. Braska was melting, overwhelmed by emotion and desire; Auron’s callused hand moved over his skin so carefully, so reverently.

“Let me, please,” Auron said. His lips moved along the shell of Braska’s ear, his tongue tracing the same spiralling path as his palm stroked Braska’s thigh and lifted it. “Only-” Auron lost his voice in a quiet gasp, and his hips jerked forward.

As slick flesh bumped against Braska’s leg, he heard his guardian swear again. The hand on his thigh quivered, and with equally shaky fingers, Braska pushed Auron’s cock between his legs. “Don’t stop,” he said, closing his legs and rocking himself against the blunt pressure. “I don’t want you to stop.”

Auron’s arm wrapped tight around his chest again, and Auron thrust, harder and faster than Braska had expected. He felt Auron draw in a long, unsteady breath and force himself to slow. “As you wish, my…” Auron’s voice dropped lower, and Braska was startled to find not ‘lord’ whispered hot in his ear, but his name. He felt something in his chest tighten at the possessive, to know that Auron cared for him to that extent.

He leaned back, moulded his spine to the curve of Auron’s chest, and felt safe and warm and wonderful in his guardian’s arms.

Auron kept his touches light and brief. It was as maddening as it was erotic. Braska’s world narrowed down to the cock nestled snug and firm between his legs. The slide of hard flesh was a dim, heavy pleasure as it rubbed against sensitive skin, and Braska longed to take his own cock in hand and bring himself to completion. He felt so hard he ached, his cock twitching each time Auron’s fingers drew near it, skipped across it. Braska curled his fingers in the blankets and tilted his head back, his hair whispering across his skin as he focused on what Auron made him feel, what he knew he was making Auron feel.

Words hummed low and thick near his ear. He caught only bits and pieces of what Auron was saying, asking, promising him between soft breaths and softer kisses. Braska wanted to twist around, kiss him properly again, to taste his mouth and feel the heat of his tongue, but, if Auron himself was even aware of it, not at the cost of the hushed litany that poured from his lips.

Braska’s legs twitched when Auron’s wrist pinned his cock to his belly, and fingers stroked through coarse curls to curve over his balls and feel through thin skin the peak of each thrust. He bit back a series of moans, skin tingling and pleasure building. Braska felt Auron’s fingertips grow slick, spread precome over his sac, and the words in his ear faded beneath harshness of breath.

“I want to watch your face,” Auron told him.

Braska opened his eyes slowly, rubbed his face against Auron’s, and was unable to hide all the hungry, needful sounds drawn from him when Auron finally wrapped a hand around his cock again. Slow, firm strokes matched the pace of the thrusts between his thighs, and Braska was dizzy with sensation, feeling as if his cock was an extension of Auron’s, as if they were joined more intimately than their bodies were.

“So good,” he moaned, and clenched his thighs tighter yet, legs stretching long and curving against Auron’s.

Auron groaned roughly, and his mouth pressed hard to Braska’s to muffle the sound. Twin shocks of pleasure rushed through Braska from the sound humming through his teeth coupled with the swift, demanding crush of the kiss.

“Again, Braska,” Auron said, lips rubbing wet against Braska’s as he spoke. His grip firmed, tugged more insistently on Braska’s cock. “Anything at all. Let me hear you.”

Even before Auron’s lips stopped moving, Braska had let a moan spill onto his guardian’s tongue. Long and drawn out, it came from the heart of him, and he shook his hand free of the blankets to clutch at Auron’s arm, not stopping him, but needing to touch, to feel muscle ripple as Auron brought him closer and closer to that blinding, rapturous edge.

His body shuddered, flesh pressing tight around Auron’s cock as he came, his tongue and lips shaping Auron’s name.

Auron stilled for less than a breath, slicked hand moving down to smear Braska’s come over his own cock. Braska’s body rocked with the force of Auron’s thrusts as they turned urgent. Auron grasped the angle of Braska’s hip hard, and though they certainly pressed more firmly than Auron would consciously allow himself, Braska held his guardian’s fingers there until he felt come spill hot against his skin.

The shadowed image of his face as he came was burned into Braska’s mind, and the sound of his voice, and of his ragged gasps for breath echoed in Braska’s ears as his body was pulled flush against Auron’s, held tight as the wind wailed around them.

It was a long time before Braska shifted, reluctant to let Auron’s cock slip free, to twist from his embrace.

Everything seemed so loud, each breath, each rustle of the blanket. He turned to face Auron, and put a hand to his chest. The pads of Braska’s fingers pressed light against Auron’s skin and measured his heartbeat before moving up to cradle Auron’s jaw.

“Thank you, Auron,” Braska said, and he sent another wordless thank you to his other guardian, laying silent and still with too-even breaths.

Auron’s mouth opened, and though he closed it again without speaking, Braska knew what he had wanted to say: There’s no need for gratitude. We should turn back. I’ve wanted you like that for so long. And now I want more. I want you.

Braska threaded a leg between Auron’s, and nestled his head under Auron’s chin. Auron pressed a kiss against the top of his head, and he closed his tired eyes, warded off temptation, and left all the same wants and fears unsaid.


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