Breathe
S2 Drabble for Kend
By Garden's Gnome

Soft moonlight flowed into the room, bathing it with a soft glow. Adding to the silvery light was the low burning night lamp and red embers of the dying fire.

Pahn’s eyes glanced at everything in the room. The shelf of books, the table and chair, the bed where their leader slept.

And Gremio’s axe.

Sighing quietly, he moved into the room, adding another log to the fire to ward of the night chill before moving towards the bed. Snuggled deep into the blankets, Tir slept on, used to noises in the room at night. It was what Gremio used to do before retiring for the night.

Turning, Pahn picked up the axe, stroking his hand across the haft almost lovingly. He missed its owner very much. A small noise from the bed caught his attention and he put it back down.

Ah, Gremio. What has he become? Pahn asked the silence around him with his mind as he looked down at the sleeping youth. To watch his loved ones die… This is so hard for him. For us all.

Pahn reached out and stroked the short brown hair that rested against the pillow and cast his mind back to a conversation he’d had with the longhaired blonde not long before his death.

“Young Master is so strong for us all. But who is there for him? Who is strong for him when he needs to cry, to laugh and to love?”

“Is that why you slept with him?” Pahn had asked, angered that his lover had slept with the youth.

“He needed comfort. I provided it the best way I knew,” Gremio had said, not backing down from what he believed was the right thing to do.

“So you’ll be his servant, brother, father and lover all in one?”

“If that is what Young Master needs, then yes. Whatever it takes, Pahn. I would give my life for him if I had to. But who would be strong for him then? It only hurts when I breathe.”

“What hurts?”

“My heart. So full of love for the both of you and yet I know one day it will end. And so it hurts but I bear the pain,” Gremio had said quietly. Pahn had made slow love to him that afternoon, before sending Gremio to where he was also needed. With Tir.

Pahn sighed, remembering the reason for that exchange. He hated to fight with his green-eyed lover but it was unavoidable. He’d come to check that Tir was sleeping soundly, only to find the youth riding his lover, Gremio’s hair like pale gold across the pillow, bodies bathed by moonlight. Gremio had simply looked at Pahn standing in the doorway. Then their lovemaking had reached its peak and his eyes had closed. When Gremio opened them, Pahn was gone. They had fought the next day.

Two days later, Gremio had died saving their lives.

Yesterday, Tir had fought Teo, killing his own father.

Pahn looked down at the sleeping youth, reaching out as he saw silvery tracks of tears on Tir’s face. Wiping them away, he was unsurprised when sleepy eyes opened.

“What’s wrong, Pahn,” Tir asked.

“Nothing, Tir. Sleep,” Pahn commanded, stroking his hand across the soft skin.

Tir lifted the edge of his blanket. “Stay with me?” he asked in a small voice.

Pahn shrugged off his shirt and climbed in, wrapping his arms around the trembling body, Tir finally releasing tears for the loss of Gremio and his father.

“I’ll be strong for you,” Pahn whispered into the youth’s hair. “Whatever it takes,” he promised.