Warnings: Lime, sap, AU, written by a hopeless romantic (the most dangerous kind)
Quatre paused in his reading, leafing back several pages to check a reference in the large leather-bound volume spread over the table before him. The giant record's pages felt more like tissue paper than the filling of what he considered 'normal books', but he found he liked these thinner sheets. They slid easily through his fingers, never ceasing to amaze him with their seeming immortality. These nearly-transparent pages had survived for hundreds of years, long past their creators, and even the empire in which those authors had existed. It was breathtaking to think about. The entire history of a civilization recorded in one exceptional book. He could not even begin to imagine what the rest of this library held, but he fully intended to find out.
Turning light aqua eyes back to the characters at hand, the Arab frowned, creating a small crease between those lovely eyes. The careful ink strokes were blurring across the ivory page, and no amount of blinking was helping. With an annoyed sigh he lifted the glasses from his face and rubbed at the bridge of his nose. However lovely the painted lanterns could be, they didn't make the easiest light to read by. A soft chuckle from behind caused him to turn and smile.
A few feet away an Asian boy just his age leaned easily against a tall pine shelf. He was dressed in silks of deep gold with rich embroidery around the cuffs, collar, and seams. Knotted buttons all down the right side held the front of the tunic in place and bright reds, blues, and greens shone from the thick band of dark decoration. The true black of the embroidery, mixed with the subtle rainbow of other shades, accented his ebony hair and the deep chocolate of his eyes. With another chuckle he shook his head, smiling gently at the other boy before approaching.
Quatre's own costume complemented Wufei's rather well. He was dressed in a fiery red, a favorite though scarce color among his desert people, that set off the pale gold of his short hair and light blue eyes. It caught the rosy flush normally hidden beneath his ivory skin and struck his lips a gentle pink. The knotted buttons of his tunic ran down the center of his chest rather than the side, and thick bands of embroidery accented the split.
Both boys were barefoot, neither making a sound across the bare sanded wood floors of the library.
Wufei crossed to his lover and claimed his lips in a gentle lingering kiss before turning the blonde back to his studies. Quatre sighed as strong hands began to massage muscles tight and painful from hours of reading.
For a long moment neither moved, each taking simple pleasure in the other's presence, the soft glow of the lantern-light, the smell of candles, incense, and old parchment, and the slight rustle of wind through the eaves and surrounding forest.
Finally, Wufei spoke softly. "Come to bed?"
A quiet sigh as the now loosened shoulders slumped. "I should really finish a few more pages. I *did* convince Father to let me stay to *study*, after all."
The Chinese boy silently slid to his knees beside his Arabian friend and wrapped one arm around the slim waist. As Quatre re-settled his glasses Wufei pulled the heavy book between them and scanned down the first few lines. It was an history of an extinct clan, one of the ancestors of his own people. The account was first hand, so it was quite biased in its interpretation of fact, but the strength of emotion behind the eloquent style evoked vivid imagery, and brought life to a potentially dry account. He'd read this particular history several times before.
"All right. Read to me."
"Ahhh . . ." Quatre blinked a few more times, trying to force his disobedient vision to focus on the calligraphy, before taking a slow breath. "As the fifth day of mourning came upon the people . . ." He knew his pronunciation was shaky at best, and his native accent didn't help matters. He would never dream of speaking this much in front of anyone else, leaving as much of the talking to his companion as possible, but in private he didn't mind stumbling through the difficult passage. He knew his translation was actually quite good, and he also knew that Wufei wouldn't judge him. If he said something wrong his lover would gently correct him to help in the future, then allow him to continue. His progress over the past few months had actually been exceptional. He knew his lover/tutor was proud and basked in the knowledge.
Tonight, however, he kept confusing one character for another as the delicate lines danced before his weary eyes. As he lifted a hand to rub at his forehead Wufei reached across to cover the line through which he was floundering.
"Can you even see well enough to read this?"
"Ummm . . ."
The Asian boy snorted and pulled the massive book across the table. "I'll read to *you*."
Quatre sighed and leaned against the proffered shoulder in thanks. The tension of the day finally washed away as Wufei's satiny voice flowed across him. As he listened to the other boy he realized that his accent really wasn't that bad. Either that or the Chinese boy was picking up a bit of his own Arabic style, which he highly doubted.
Wufei's voice glistened with emotion and eloquence. The feelings themselves came from the words, but as Wufei spoke they were given new life. Quatre thought he'd never heard anything more beautiful. He sat, absorbing the story that unfolded before him, but also just listening to the beauty of the language. He did not fail to enjoy the beauty of the voice, nor that of the speaker. Wufei's honeyed skin glowed in the lamp- light, his midnight hair reflecting the golden beams. Dark lashes framed darker almond-shaped eyes as they moved methodically up and down the page, every so often glancing down to meet aqua.
As the tale spun on Quatre relaxed even further, molding his body into the niche created against Wufei's. His head sank against the warm shoulder as his eyes closed, shutting out everything but the comforting warmth and sound of his lover's voice. He wasn't sleepy, but simply listened to his lover's gentle heartbeat as the words washed over him.
Wufei finished the rest of the page and two more before carefully marking their place and shutting the volume.
"To bed," he admonished gently with a loving kiss placed against the temple resting on his shoulder. Before he could move, however, a delicate hand had slipped behind his neck and Quatre had turned, claming his lips in a much less chaste kiss. Wufei felt a warm tongue trace across his lower lip and smiled with no small touch of surprise. He'd thought the little Arab was nearly asleep. He certainly wasn't anticipating this kind of response, but if Quatre were still awake enough to ask, he certainly wouldn't refuse the opportunity.
Finally he pulled away from the kiss, leaving another on the darling nose before rising on his knees and turning to gaze down into playful aqua eyes.
"Bed." It was only one word, but this time with much different meaning. Quatre grinned and rose stiffly, stretching and shaking out aching joints. Then, with what could only be described as a giggle, he took Wufei's outstretched hand and followed him down the porches and open galleries to their shared room.
Technically, the room across the courtyard belonged to the Arabian student, but it hadn't been used as more than storage space since a few weeks after he'd moved in. Wufei's bed was plenty large enough for two, and trips across the courtyard in the middle of the night could get quite cold. This way suited them much better, and no one who knew of the slightly altered arrangements had voiced complaint.
They passed silently into the room, both grinning conspiratorially. As Wufei turned to slide the screen shut behind them Quatre pulled him back against it, initiating another searing kiss. The moonlight through thin walls was enough to see by, and they didn't dare light a candle. Shadows gossiped more than the grandmothers in a house such as this.
Alone, and nominally assured of their privacy, Wufei pulled Quatre against him, lifting the slender boy to his toes. Quatre heartily returned the gesture, keeping one hand on Wufei's back while sliding the other up to pull out the tight hair band. A silky curtain swung freely to brush by Wufei's cheeks as he deepened the kiss, tasting all of Quatre's sweet mouth and savoring the flavors he found there. Cinnamon, leather, and an arid quality hung around the boy like an aura, filling Wufei's senses and making him dizzy with joy. This taste, these smells, the very feel of this boy in his arms filled him in a way he'd never known, and hardly suspected possible. He wasn't sure how to control these new emotions, didn't even know if it were possible, but for the first time in his life, he didn't care. Quatre was wild, and free in a way that Wufei both envied and admired. His people were nomads. Living in tents they roamed the desert, following the hallowed paths of their ancestors, but unafraid to forge new trails. Their very nature mirrored this freedom in both a flexibility of thought and force of emotion. Passion was not checked among these desert folk, it was put to good use, whether that meant defeating a warring tribe or parenting a new generation. His own people were so controlled, scholarly, stoic, wise. Emotions were valuable, but always to fell second to reason. Even his own clan, the Dragon, known for their sharp claws and fiery spirit, were cold when compared to this heated desert culture.
He'd been intrigued by the young blonde from the start, but when inviting the boy first into his home and then into his heart he'd had no idea of the need he'd been acknowledging or the change he was heralding in his very nature. Always alone with a mild sense of discontent, Wufei hadn't known what he was missing until it walked up to him with gleaming aqua eyes, but now the one thing he was sure of was that he would never be alone again.
Quatre growled as he regained his footing and nudged Wufei backwards toward their futon. Wufei complied, but stopped before stumbling onto it, pushing Quatre back just enough to reach for the knotted buttons of his shirt. The blonde took a moment longer to unclasp all of Wufei's buttons, his fingers still not as used to the motions, but as the silk slid from his shoulders those thoughts vanished into the sensation of warm lips against his shoulder and neck. He gasped and tilted his head backwards as Wufei's shoulder-length hair brushed across his cheeks, and buried his hands in the now blue-tinged strands.
As Wufei's lips moved across heated ivory skin he could feel the knots of tension, still there despite all his efforts to the contrary. With a wicked gleam he moved his hands a bit lower.
Quatre knew his love was up to something the moment he felt the smooth teeth bared against his shoulder in a grin. Yet, even with this warning he barely managed to bite back a yelp as Wufei's hands attacked his ribs, tickling mercilessly. Twisting away he crouched and tackled the other boy, taking them both onto the bed with a dull thud. Wufei had been prepared for this, however, and Quatre soon found himself face down in the cushions, the slightly heavier boy straddling his back.
Though they were about the same size, Quatre was the skinnier of the two, a slight advantage the Asian boy used to his fullest delight. He now attacked the smooth flesh before him, giving the full massage he hadn't been able to accomplish earlier. Despite the lack of tension compared to the first time, there were still knotted muscles all through Quatre's back. Each time his hands would find such a spot, the boy below would give a little whimper of pain, but after a few moments a relieved sigh would indicate that the muscle was back to its original position.
By the time Wufei had worked his lover back to his usual relaxed state, a fine sheen of sweat covered his body. He shifted himself a little lower and gently caressed the pale lower back. Quatre squirmed beneath him, and he suddenly found himself face to face again, pulled down onto the firm chest.
"Thank you," Quatre breathed huskily, his eyes half-lidded, dark lashes standing out against light eyes and pale cheeks.
Wufei grinned. "Oh, I'm not done yet, my desert dragon."
"Nor am I."
Shivering in response to that soft purr, Wufei remembered again why he was in love with his wild little dragon.
* * * Owari * * * The End.