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Between following the trail of Eothas, searching for the Leaden Key, and trying to get Tryggvi’s soul back, it's not often that the Watcher and Aloth have time to just enjoy each other's company, and spend time alone.

It's something that frustrates Tryggvi like nothing else. He's only just gotten Aloth back, and it feels like he's only just gotten himself back, only to find himself in the middle of another set of impossible circumstances, this time seemingly more insane, hunting a god.

But this… whatever it is they have between them, is still new, unexplored. And with finally nothing holding them back, Tryggvi wants to take his time savoring learning more about Aloth, rediscovering him as the person he is now. He's already falling in love all over again.

And gods, he's missed him. It hurts to know that they can never get back those five years spent apart. He wishes he had been there with him. He should have been there with him.

It's a lot of lost time to make up for.

But Tryggvi is determined to make up for it. He treasures what little time they have together, makes time whenever he can, and doesn't waste any opportunities for stolen kisses. It's not enough, it's nowhere near enough, but it’s something. At least he's finally with him again, and even that is more than he could’ve hoped for in a million years.

So rare days like these are not only to be treasured, but enshrined and worshipped, holier than any god and more sacred than any of their demands. Because it is nothing less than a religious experience to wake up next to him, and the golden rays of sunlight seeping in through the windows seem to descend from the very heavens themselves.

And it's even rarer an occasion to spend all morning in bed, for once not having to worry about… everything. It won't last, he knows. Soon they'll be back on Eothas’s trail, caught up in in some adventure or other. It feels like it never ends.

But he doesn't want to think about that right now.

No, right now he can only think about the faint sound of waves hitting the hull, the light swaying of the ship, and the way Aloth’s fingertips feel on his back, swirling and circling with soft, light touches.

“What are you doing?” he asks, craning his neck from where he's lying on his side to see behind him, but it's a futile attempt. He only gets a glimpse of the way Aloth’s lips curl in amusement, before his neck hurts.

Llwyn Gŵdion.

“What?” For a second he wonders if it’s Iselmyr, but it doesn’t sound like Hylspeak, and the way he says it is distinctly Aloth. He sounds calm, if a little distracted.

“Your freckles.” His… oh.

“They're not freckles.” They're barely even visible. But of course Aloth would notice them. He notices everything, even the smallest of details. So much so that he often gets lost in them. Tryggvi suspects this is one of those occasions.

Though it's not really a detail, at this point. They’re all over his torso, all over his body. They’re impossible to miss. It’s odd that other people would notice them, odd to be reminded they exist. It's something he never really thinks about.

“Oh, yes they are,” Aloth says, laughing. It's a small sound, all cocky and knowing.

“They’re called drífuryk, and it’s believed–”

“Tryggvi,” Aloth says, interrupting him, and he’s so distracted by the way Aloth says his name that it actually works. “They’re freckles.”

Tryggvi can only sigh. He refuses to admit it’s in defeat.

“That still doesn't explain the gibberish.”

“It's not gibberish,” Aloth says, and he sounds almost offended. “It's Glanfathan.” Tryggvi can tell Aloth enjoys correcting him way more than he should. Smart-ass.

“Speak Glanfathan, do you?” Tryggvi laughs. He knows he doesn't, but Aloth is full of surprises. Though, he supposes it wouldn't be much of a surprise to learn he does. It’s one of the first things he’s learned about Aloth, back when they were still in the Dyrwood: he likes learning languages – with the obvious exception. He’s good at it, too. He spent hours listening to him and Kana debate about the use of some word, once. He doesn’t remember what it was, or even which language it was. He’d been too busy just admiring Aloth. Gods, he remembers how he’d jump at every opportunity to get Aloth talking about stuff like this, stuff he cares about. It’s fascinating seeing him so passionate about things, and Tryggvi could listen to him talk forever.

“No-o.” Tryggvi can hear the smile in his voice. “But I know a few words. Like Llwyn Gŵdion.”

He stops the swirling motions, then, moving his hand to his shoulder. There, he continues, this time in angular straight lines. It's strangely soothing.

“And that's Gwyn Dwr.”

Tryggvi is about to roll over when Aloth stops him, hand firm against his shoulder. Tryggvi settles for leaning up on his elbow, turning his head again to try and see just what Aloth is doing.

“What,” he laughs, “are you on about?”

Aloth smiles again at that, and Tryggvi cherishes it. He looks so relaxed and at peace like this, features softer, younger somehow. It makes something swell Tryggvi's chest, a warm feeling that spreads all over his body, and he’s never felt that way about anyone before. Maybe it’s because he’s never let himself. Maybe it’s just that he’s never met anyone like Aloth before.

Aloth’s hand finds its way to his chest, gently pushing him down. Tryggvi complies, falling on his back. Aloth’s smile is gone, now, replaced by an expression of pure concentration. The late morning light hits his face in the most beautiful way.

“Constellations,” Aloth says simply, by way of explanation. He's already started tracing another one just below his collarbone.

It takes Tryggvi a while to make the connection. When he finally understands, he can't help but smile. It's such an Aloth thing to do. It's extremely endearing.

“Where did you learn that stuff?” he asks, out of genuine curiosity. He’ll have to ask Aloth to teach him sometime, when this is all over. If they live to see the day.

“At Bragganhyl.” He pauses, then, seemingly lost in thought for a moment. He sounds absent, like he's not fully there. Lost in memories again, most likely. Tryggvi wonders if they’re good ones. He hopes they are. Aloth doesn’t talk much about his time at the academy.

“See, that’s Yr Feillionen,” he continues. Then another pause. “It's not just magic they teach us at the academy, you know.”

"Yeah?” Tryggvi asks, amused. “What else do they teach?”

“Oh,” Aloth starts, staring intently at his fingers. “You know,” he says vaguely, and finally looks at Tryggvi, meeting  his gaze. And his expression is not the one Tryggvi expects. He’d thought it’d be some shade of nostalgia, or even sorrow. But it’s an expression that is still new to Tryggvi. New to Aloth too, perhaps.

It's clear he's not going finish the sentence.

“Mm,” Tryggvi hums in understanding. “Do they teach you...” He pauses to sit up, leaning on his elbow again, facing Aloth this time. Then he leans in, and presses a kiss against Aloth’s shoulder. “...how to do this?” Aloth chuckles at that, shoulders shaking slightly. “No, I don't think they do.”

Tryggvi trails the way up to his neck with small kisses. His skin is soft and warm, and he smells distinctly like Aloth ; a mix of ginger and old books and tenderness. “And this?”

“Definitely not,” Aloth replies, still smiling in amusement.

He presses his lips against his neck, at that, followed by a series of open-mouthed kisses. He places a hand on the other side of Aloth’s neck, just where it connects to his shoulder. A small sound escapes Aloth’s lips, low and breathy. Tryggvi takes it as encouragement, moving up to his jaw. He's careful not to leave bruises, but something he's learned is that Aloth bruises very easily, and it's ridiculously visible on his pale skin.

So he stops before long, leaning back to look at Aloth,  only to find him already staring back at him through low-lidded eyes. His face is flushed, mouth slightly open. It's an exquisite sight, and it stirs something in Tryggvi.

“And this?” he asks, quieter this time, a little less mischief in his tone.

Aloth just shakes his head in return, silently lowering his gaze, lingering on Tryggvi's mouth.

And then they're kissing, and Aloth tastes like oranges and salt, and his lips are soft and perfect, and Tryggvi will never get tired of kissing Aloth. It still seems too good to be true, that he doesn't have hold back anymore. That Aloth feels the same way about him. That he can just do this now. That they can be together.

So he takes his time kissing Aloth, letting him set the pace, and still getting familiar with how responsive he is in the most subtle ways. Despite everything, Aloth still holds himself back, stifling sounds and suppressing reactions. So when he actually lets out a quiet moan, Tryggvi delights in it, and gods, what he wouldn't give to hear that sound again.

When he finally breaks apart, it's just the sound of their breathing filling the room. They stay like that for some time. Maybe not even a minute. Maybe hours. Tryggvi can't tell.

“So,” he starts, moving his hand down to Aloth’s chest. “You don't know the Glanfathan word for that , then?” he asks, finally. He knows he's grinning.

Aloth seems to be caught off-guard, an unmistakably Aloth look of confusion and surprise written on his face. Tryggvi can pinpoint the exact moment he snaps out of it, expression immediately turning into one of semi-serious annoyance, smirking in amusement.

“Oh, fuck off.” He's laughing as he lightly shoves Tryggvi back.