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song without reprise

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Sidurgu pants heavily and pushes himself onto his elbows to look up at Fray standing over him, the tip of their blunted longsword held precisely under his chin. It is usual for them to wear a shite-eating grin any time they manage to knock him down, but today they simply glare down glassily at him, golden eyes blown black despite the early morning Coerthan sun. Their chest heaves. "Do you yield?"

 

"Aye, though you needn't really ask." Sidurgu closes his eyes and breathes deeply through his nose. The light swords they use for training require far less effort to swing than the cleaving greatswords they favour in true battle, but sparring with Fray always leaves him winded regardless of the result. The hyur is half his size and they use that to their advantage, parrying his strikes with a speed he struggles to match, and dancing dizzying circles around him until he leaves himself open.

 

When he opens his eyes the sword is no longer at his neck, but Fray remains above him, legs rooted on either side of his torso, simply watching. Usually they would offer their hand to help him stand once they'd both caught their breath, but… they are unreadable at the best of times, and if something weighs on their mind Sidurgu does not press the issue. He lays back down when his arms grow tired, sighing as the snow cools the sweat soaking through his thin tunic. He watches Fray watching him, watches the abyss pulse within their roiling aether, almost in time with his own blood beating through his veins.

 

A crow distantly patters along the stone of a wall long crumbled, and with its call Fray wordlessly stabs their sword into the ground and sinks to their knees, straddling Sidurgu's abdomen. Sidurgu offers a hand palm-up, and they take it, hold it against their chest. They close their eyes and place their other hand atop Sidurgu’s heart for him to hold, breathing deep and slow, slower, sinking, deeper. Sidurgu sinks, sighing, slow and deep.

 

The abyss pulls them in like slowly descending into a lake. They drop into the darkness, not like falling, anchored by the song that hums through them both. Darkness pulling at the space betwixt their worldly bodies, darkness pushing underneath their ghostly ribs. Echoes of love and joy, grief and despair, bounce from soul to soul, each breath they share a delicate new note in their abyssal symphony. A song without reprise, a song from the depths within each other that they call home.