Sunlight spilled over the sands of Khemet, stretching over it’s dunes and leaving barely a crevasse hidden. The light hits the walls of rock, peeking into the opening of a cavern but not reaching in farther.
Inside, just out of the light’s reach, Iah stood waiting. His hands gripped the rock as he stared out to the blinding sands.
As free as he was now since deciding to follow the thief, he was still bound to the shadows and cover of night, lest his skin burn. It was a risk leaving his home, but one he did not regret making.
Being alone in the harsh desert, however, was something Iah never wanted to experience again.
After a successful raid in the night, his thief made them split ways as they were chased. If one of us loses our wares, then at least we will not lose everything; he had said. Iah had been able to lose his pursuers and make it back to where they now slept, but Bakhura was nowhere to be seen.
It wasn’t anything new, Iah often waited until daybreak for him. He would scold him for making him worry, Bakhura would smirk and chide him for thinking he wouldn’t come back all with such fondness in his eyes.
Iah gripped the wall tighter, as he watched the light of Ra rise higher in the sky.
He turned away, the sight of endless sand only making worry gnaw deeper. Iah laid on the mat they normally shared, and decided to finally allow himself to sleep. In his dreams he saw blood and gold, heard the sound of hooves and shouts of angry men over screaming mothers and children. His homeland burned all in search for him, and he fled deep into the desert with jackals at his heels and agony at every step.
He awoke from his dreams with a start, fiercely rubbing at his eyes and taking in his surroundings. It was evening, Ra’s light withdrawing from where he slept but enough to still see the last moments of its life wither away. And still, Bakhura was nowhere to be seen.
Iah ignored the growl of his unfed stomach, letting his tears fall freely now.
Not only because he could, but for the first time in his many nights of freedom he had no one to turn to for comfort. Even amongst all the thief’s treasure and comforts, even with enough food to certainly make a decent meal, he faced the loss of what he wanted most.
After his tears were spent, Iah pulled together a small meal. Despite how scared he felt Iah knew Bakhura would only be angry if he went hungry worrying over him.
Iah left the cavern carved into the walls of rock, making his way to where they had stored their wood for fires and stopped.
Not far from the entrance was Bakhura, collapsed against a wall surrounded by his goods. A torn bit of fabric wrapped around his arm where he suspected was a wound he tried to tend to himself or hide.
A small laugh.
A choked sob.
“Idiot.” Iah whispered, carefully kneeling beside Bakhura. He reached out despite knowing better, and smiled despite how tightly Bakhura gripped his wrist when he made to wake him.
Bakhura let go quickly, remedying his mistake by pulling Iah’s arm closer and pressing his dry lips to his wrist. “You know better than this, Iah.” he murmured, lips brushing his skin as he spoke.
“Why didn’t you come inside?”
Bakhura looked up at Iah, hearing how watery his lover’s voice sounded. “Didn’t wanna wake you.” he grunted, shifting so he could move the bag resting in his lap to stretch out his legs.
Iah took the bags inside the cave, knowing Bakhura would be slow to move after being abruptly woken. He grabbed wood as he went, trying to play off how worried he had been previously.
Bakhura, ever watchful, was not fooled. When Iah returned with more rations to cook, he felt eyes on him the whole time. He wanted to look, but he dared not. He feared an illusion.
His gaze met with Bakhura’s, saw a hint of regret in his eyes masked behind the sternness of his face. “You took so long…”
Iah opened his mouth to speak of his dreams, but closed it and focused on starting the fire. Instead, he asked; “Was it because you got hurt?”
Bakhura scoffed, shaking his head. Iah knew if Bakhura wasn’t giving an answer, he wasn’t getting one.
The fire was started, and neither spoke as their meal cooked over it. Without warning, Iah felt arms wrap around his middle, pulling him against his thief’s body and warm breaths at his ear. He felt warm puffs of air, heard the soft wheezing breaths.
“I hurt you.”
It wasn’t a question. He wasn’t sure he even felt hurt, just...scared. Scared for the first time in a long time that he had something to lose.
He leaned back, and Bakhura squeezed, both minding the fire in front of them.
“I wouldn’t leave you, my moon, my treasure, beholder of my heart.” Bakhura whispered, daring to show further affection by brushing his nose over Iah’s shoulder blade.
Iah crumpled, broken out of his protective barrier, and buried his face against the other’s uninjured arm as fresh tears threatened to spill. How dare Bakhura know exactly what he needed to hear, even when he hadn’t spoken at all? Spoken with the sweetness of honeyed figs from a voice as rough as the sands surrounding them.
He could even hear Bakhura’s stomach growl, but Bakhura paid it no mind as he pulled himself into Iah’s lap. He pulled his robe off his body and draped over Iah’s shoulders, and he leaned in to brush his nose softly– so, so softly– against Iah’s.
Iah whimpered, still so scared of such affection after fearing being alone for so long. Bakhura only continued; brushing his nose across each cheekbone, retracing his path with equally gentle kisses, a hand cupping that cheek as he began to place the same affection to the other side.
Even as Iah began to weep, Bakhura would not let up. His voice as gruff as it was soft as he whispered his love for Iah into his skin; blessing every inch of Iah’s face with promises that he would not leave and murmuring apologies for making Iah believe he wouldn’t return for him.
It was the most Iah had ever been given aside from his youth. He trembled, wrapping his arms around Bakhura’s waist and letting tears fall. Bakhura kissed them away, rubbing the kiss into his cheeks with calloused thumbs.
“I will not leave you Iah, the Gods cannot take me away from you.”
Bakhura pressed his head to Iah’s, hands still gently cupping his cheeks. Iah sniffed, pulling a hand away to place on Bakhura’s cheek.
Bakhura’s gaze softened, a hand moving from Iah’s face to rest over Iah’s hand.
They only pulled away once their stomachs reminded them of their meal, and even then Bakhura stayed in Iah’s lap; offering to feed him as Iah returned the favour.
Once they finished their meal, they quickly put out their fire and hid it’s remains as best as they could. They retreated into the cave after, Bakhura went about taking stock of what they managed to steal while Iah properly tended to and bandaged Bakhura’s wounded arm.
Neither spoke of what occured, but before Iah went to keep watch, Bakhura pulled him into his lap and kissed him passionately. Iah was left flustered and confused by the gesture.
“I meant what I said, Iah,” he panted, his smirk dangerously close to touching a genuine smile, “No soldier’s blade or force of the Gods could keep me away from you for good. You’re mine.”
If he wasn’t already from the kiss, Bakhura’s cheeks would flush as he stared at the straw mat beneath him.
“And I am yours, Iah. If you will have me.”
Iah gently turned Bakhura’s face back, fingers gently tracing the scar marring his cheek before kissing him sweetly. Bakhura broke it with giddy laughter, he did not need to hear Iah speak to know his offer had been taken.
Chapter 2: Memorize
So...I wrote this a while ago after some random inspiration, got the OK to add it here aaand then promptly forgot xD;;
I don't really have a solid setting, so this could be before or after the initial drabble~
Iah sat on the straw mat as Bakhura rummaged through his treasures and trinkets, setting aside what he would use to trade for food that day. It was quiet, Ra’s light barely illuminating the skies with an array of colour.
Iah watched quietly, his thoughts unreadable through his expression alone.
Bakhura lifted his head from his work, curiously watching as Iah held out a hand towards him.
Iah’s smile was small, but it sent a thrill through Bakhura’s body. “Come to me.”
He would obey no Gods, but Bakhura would comply for Iah. Bakhura sat beside Iah, curiosity growing into confusion as his lover cupped his cheeks in his hands. “What–”
Iah’s voice was so gentle and quiet that Bakhura didn’t protest further, only watching his lover gaze back at him.
Iah’s gaze danced over Bakhura’s face, and when their eyes met the intensity of Iah’s stare made the back of his neck prickle in a pleasing way. He examined Bakhura’s face with adoration and appreciation, something he’d seen before in Iah’s eyes.
Not this close, though.
Bakhura felt one of Iah’s hands shift, then move to touch the outline of his face. He touched so gently under Bakhura’s eyes, over his cheekbones, the opposite thumb caressing the scar marring his eye as if memorizing the texture.
He felt so exposed, so vulnerable under Iah’s gaze yet melted into it. Bakhura smiled as Iah traced over his nose; his other hand gently felt over where his eyes crinkled with mirth and the smile tugged his scar.
“What are you doing, my moon?” Bakhura whispered, letting Iah feel the movement of his lips under his fingertips.
He felt Iah shudder from the gentle breath against his fingertips, felt the fingers linger at his mouth to feel the breath.
“Memorizing your face.” Iah breathed.
Only to gently continue their path following his reply.
“So I know you even if I can no longer hear or see.”
The simple answer made Bakhura’s breath stutter; his eyes slowly closed and Iah’s hands continued their journey. To be known so intimately was something he had never thought of, something he unconsciously did as he coveted Iah during their first meeting.
To have that intimacy turned to him…
Iah’s hands gently felt through Bakhura’s hair, pulling back only when his fingers tangled too deeply into the knotted mess. His hands felt over his ears, then rested just behind them.
The next thing Bakhura felt was lips pressing against his, pulling away before he could return the kiss. Iah gently kissed Bakhura’s face, brushing his nose or a cheek over his skin. Goosebumps prickled Bakhura’s skin, and he couldn’t help a shiver when Iah spoke again.
“Open your eyes, my thief.”
Bakhura did so, slowly. The light of day slowly filtered as best as it could into the cave and what little there was reflected over Iah’s face. Eyes as intense and amorous as ever, Bakhura swore he was falling head over heels all over again.
“Iah…” Bakhura breathed his name in reverie.
Iah smiled, a hand gently tracing over the scar once more. “May my memory never fail me, I want to remember how you’re looking at me now for the rest of my life.”