The feast had worn Landon thin. The preparation had been extensive and pulled at everyone's strings to get right. It was the normality of the event that drove most people; made them strive to make it seem like all was well outside of the walls of the colony by throwing a celebration. While this was technically a feast for himself, the newcomers and up-jumped commanders he had never met, he had no love for the work he put into it; it only reminded him of the waste, the cost. For what? For one night of spoils and singing? Would the morrow bring famine and the diseased to the joy-fattened people?
He wished everyone death by cardiac arrest - it would be a kinder fate than what most of them were destined for.
Each day and night tore at him like the slowest kind of torture, when all he wished was for someone to rip the Band-Aid off and get it over with. He helped set up the table arrangements one night; had to contend with the bickering over the space designated for dancing and for what musicians they could scrounge up. They worried over what foods would be best suited to everyone's tastes rather than bulk and shortages. It was all over looked with the same excuses; It was just one night, one feast and it was a time to be happy. What was the worth of these comfort foods if you could not consume them without the comfort?
The chef did not indulge in these debates, nor did he encourage this kind of purging. Instead, he was the dark cloud in the sky, the reminder of death in every metaphysical form. He seemed to look more and more the part of Death's messenger as the days went on; his eyes sunken and hollowed with blackened rims so deep and daunting it gave him a ghastly appearance. The brightness of his orange suit just seemed to dull when pulled onto his pale skin and his hat, ever pulled down upon his brown locks, could not hide the foul mood he seemed to be in. When giddy words crossed his ears, his tongue replied as sharp as swords; "Just because a feast is grand doesn't mean it isn't stupid; a King would throw a seventy-seven course meal with seven different singers and seven separate tables - that doesn't mean His Majesty couldn't choke on a chicken bone in the first course."
His doom spread until none wanted to partake in his company and the one man that might was well avoided on Landon's part. Thais might have cheered him up to some degree or set him straight in more ways than one, but the chef made sure to shirk the soldier off with a frosty shoulder and a hard frown. Now though, now the feast would start soon and he would have no choice but to go and partake - talk with others and enjoy their company. He had his companion in his hands already, his date and his best friend; a bottle of strong moonshine. He had forgone his baseball hat, showing more of his face and hair, though it remained an unkempt mess regardless. Sitting just outside the entrance doors, wearing something outside of his usual regulation - a fitted black suit with the typical orange stripes that outlined his lean body - and cradling the bottle of booze.
He had already given the 'lips' a kiss - and he didn't even bother to buy 'her' dinner first.
Now, on Thais' part, the only thing he found himself doing--as every other job and task was taken by the other members of the colony; and, as usual, he made everyone feel awkward due to his habitual manner of being unnaturally stoic and serious--was taking patrol around the perimeter of the colony, making sure the trainees and soldiers that were assigned certain vantage points were alright.
He sighed when he had made the sixth round, utterly bored out of his mind and trying to find a way to not make his night as dull as it was. However, he chose this assignment so he'd carry it out even if all he wanted to do was have a drink--a rare urge, indeed--and go back to his private quarters to avoid people that would avoid him anyway. Unfortunately, the only person that might have made his mood slightly better was doing an annoyingly fantastic job at avoiding him--though he was unsure why, he couldn't say that he was displeased. He, too, hadn't wanted to be near Landon for some time, especially during the week of preparation. Emotions ran too high, the want, the need too powerful to hold back.
Speaking of that week, Thais and the other commanders, when they weren't busy with their other responsibilities of course, made sure that the weapons' barracks was restocked and the perimeter was secure as it could be with added protection. All in all? Very boring and tedious.
And tonight was no different. Thais glanced towards a trainee , making sure that the other was still awake. He made another round, telling everyone that they should go enjoy the festivities. Some protested, others gratefully and silently left, but soon everyone was gone. Thais alone, walking the perimeter, wondering what was the point in celebrating if everyone held the risk of dying an incredibly unfortunate death.
Needless to say, he wanted to be alone. Needed to be alone.
And yet? The urge to find Landon still struck him when he wasn't expecting it.
Expectations had long been washed away with Landon; hope having had its run with the man for a while until it fled with his heart and left him his mind. He hid such things behind a cheery demeanor and a plethora of winning smiles, a humor that was not easily overlooked. Childish in nature, but a better distraction than what the bottle he held was giving him. He ran his hands through his hair, smoothing it over and giving some half-assed sense of order. He gathered himself and brought a long, sly smile about his features as he gathered his feet under him and faced the feast's entrance door.
Swishing the half-empty bottle, he regarded the amount and lifted it to the sky, reading the constellations as he looked out; the milky way more visible, a white streak across the sky. The big dipper and the little dipper, one pouring into the other; asterisms. He could see Polaris, a star, at the end of the little dipper. He could see the queen, Cassiopeia. Hercules he traced with a finger, though the hero had no head; just broad shoulders, his legs and his mighty club. The little bear, Ursa Minor, part of the little dipper. He regarded what his unaided eye could see and then lifted the bottle.
"Cheers," he would say to the sky and stars before he began shot gunning the remainder of his healthy portion of moonshine.
Finally, he attached the emptied bottle to his hip and moved on inside to the cafeteria where all the cheer seemed to reside, bringing out a flushed smile and plenty of waves. Compliments were more common than not on this dish or that, to which Landon began to sample them. He could taste his efforts, but the sweetness and satisfaction never reached his stomach. He was waiting for the alcohol to consume him as quickly as he had consumed it, but in the end, all he found were doubts.
Doubts and the desire to find the second stash in his bedroom.
It was only perhaps half an hour later when Thais gave up on walking around the silent perimeter, quite content in his assessment that nothing would go awry tonight in those respects. Now, for some members of the colony, however, one never knew what antics they'd get up to.
With that thought in mind, and the justification he told himself that he'd be needed if something were to happen, he made his way just as calmly and silently to the entrance of the festivities as he did anywhere else.
Thais glanced at the sky for only a quick second, his eyes landing on the few brighter ones but no meaning sinking in. He didn't care about the names of them, or the names of the constellations. He didn't hold any special place in his heart for such trivial things. He was a soldier and there was no time for that. But, he vaguely wondered if Landon might have looked at the eerily clear sky tonight, if he had lain in the grass with his arms thrown behind his head for support, his ankles crossed, and did what he always did when he would look at the sky. He wondered if Landon sighed in awe or in sadness.
He took a deep breath, removing Landon from his thoughts--it probably wasn't the best thing for him to think about at the moment given their situation--as he made his way into the cafeteria, immediately smelling all the foul sweets and delightful alcohol in the air. Hopefully, Landon would have found this troublesome or annoying and would not--but it didn't matter if he were here or not. Thais would avoid Landon, Landon would avoid Thais. Why should one person's presence be enough to damper this soldier's mood? Especially considering that he wasn't too fond of most of the people in this colony to begin with.
Nonetheless, he made his way over to where the drinks were being served, and took a cup of cold water.
The Alcohol he'd save for later in the night when he really needed a distraction and some peace.
Landon made his rounds from table to table. He flashed every courtesy smile and gave every complimentary laughter. Automated responses from the man who helped put together a main enjoyment for the feast; the food. Many did not even recognize him without his hat, but he did not even know most of their names. By the time he rounded back to some of the drinks, he could feel the alcohol hitting him. He swayed gently and could feel a kind of loose, carefree feeling overwhelm him, a happy kind of flush that simply did not touch his heart.
Wearing a sloppy grin, he got up from his seat and just about fell over. Instead, he used whoever was nearest him for balance, throwing his arms around him with a slow; "Whooooa," whispered from his lips and a dazed look in his eyes. And then he took a better look at the man himself; Thais. He faltered for a moment, yet one hand remained on the soldier's shoulder, though if this was simply for balance or out of endearment was difficult to decipher.
His cheerfulness seemed to die down, but his flushed cheeks and his glazed eyes were a big indication to his current state of mind; which was unfortunate considering that the man was trouble even whilst sober. His breath stank of alcohol, but he wasn't quite as close to slurring his words or being incomprehensible. "Thais..." He whispered the name so softly that it was almost a sad mutter. He looked the soldier in the eye, hand still upon one forearm, though his grip lightened to a near affectionate touch.
"Would you... Walk with me?"
He asked in a breathless manner, but in such a serious note that it almost seemed like he was troubled over something that could be considered urgent or inherently bad. He looked away some and to ease the tension and his own embarrassment, he smiled and added; "I have a bottle in my room, if you'd care for a shot? If you aren't on duty, of course. Or you could just make sure my ass doesn't get lost, hmm?" He would question.
The smile never left his lips, but there was an unspoken sadness in his hazy eyes.
When someone bumped into Thais, holding onto him, it took much more effort than it should have not to flip the person over his shoulder. He really didn't like to be touched, even if it was by accident.
But then he heard the all too familiar voice, felt the all too familiar heat of the other's body pressed so close to his. Landon.
So when Landon uttered his name and Thais made eye contact, noticing the other's pupils blown wide with the alcohol he could smell on him and perhaps a little of something else thrown in there that he wasn't going to think too hard about, he couldn't help but calm instantly. Landon just had that effect on him.
But, something was wrong here. It wasn't just the alcohol the other had so obviously consumed earlier in the evening that made Thais on edge. It was the look Landon was giving him, the one that spoke more than words ever could. What the look of sadness--was it sadness or more of an upsetting surprise?--was for, Thais couldn't be sure. But he could assume that he was the reason for it, either directly or indirectly responsible for placing that look in Landon's eyes.
With a nod of his head, he inclined to the offer proposed to him before speaking. "We should walk around the perimeter first, for my sake, and because it'll help sober you up a bit even if you are coherent." He didn't add the part about how he didn't want to be anywhere near Landon's quarters, taking a shot of alcohol with the man, or even alone with him. But there were too many people here and he was starting to acquire a headache.
Thais' reaction to him, not wanting to drink with him, was expected, but not well received in the end. He didn't want to sober up. Why would he drink only to gain his feet when the feast wasn't even though? He would prefer to be the guy wrapped around the toilet or passed out in someone else's bathtub. He wanted to be that guy - the major shit show of the feast. But Thais wanted to sober him up with a walk around. He was shaking his head well before he even gathered his thoughts, as muddled as they were.
"No, no," he would say, heading for the door regardless, though he never did let go of Thais' shoulder. Now his hand remained a more prominent presence as he pulled the soldier with him, showing he actually had quite a bit of strength. "We'll grab the booze and then walk," he would argue. "Or I'll go without you, I don't need you," he would mutter some, though that alone was such a bold faced lie that it showed on his face, he was well aware of it.
Regardless of what he said, he never did manage to let go.
His hazy mind was trying to discern what he felt and what he needed; emotions from desires and they were growing equally hard to distinguish from one to the other. He closed his eyes for a moment and swayed all the more for it as he placed both his hands on each of Thais' shoulders, more to steady himself than not.
"Please, Thais. Just... Just a bottle," he would beg softly, leaning more heavily against the man than what he originally thought.
When Landon didn't let go, Thais let out a soft huff of annoyance, possibly anger, the feeling of foreboding worming its way into his system. Tonight might not end well for either of them.
Perhaps it was to keep Landon balanced but Thais' hands found the other's hips and stayed there, his fingers curling around the leaner frame to hold the other steady--at least that's what he told himself. It might have been because he's been itching to touch the other since he first started thinking about him earlier in the evening.
He shook his head sharply. "You can barely walk. There will be no more drinking tonight. Let's get you into your quarters." He said, almost emotionless as everything else he says to everybody else. And that alone hurt him--maybe it hurt Landon?--because he could never hide his emotions with this blonde-haired trouble maker. Of anything, Landon was the reason Thais had actually begun to soften around the edges a little bit, not that most people could tell, that is.
The hazy way in which he felt, the thickness that seemed to clog his everyday facade of cheerfulness, left him a muddled mix of acting and the hard reality he fought so hard to hide. The hard way in which the man replied actually churned out laughter from his lips.
The hands that were placed upon his hips brought back illustrious memories; a chafe of skin against skin, an overwhelming flush of body heat and soft whispers in the shell of his ears like dirty little secrets. Thais' attempt at his usual cold demeanor laughed upon, he fought hard with his words while a crooked smile crossed his features that was more bitter than amused.
"No, no... You're busy, go ahead and perform your duties - I think I can handle a short walk."
He said this with a cruel smile and a lasting pat that was more hard than affectionate. Then he turned away from the soldier with every intention of walking out on his own, albeit wobbly - he did seem steady... To a degree.
Thais looked on without amusement as Landon walked off on unsteady legs.
It only took two seconds for Thais to advance where he needed to be, wrapping an arm around Landon, his grip tight enough to keep him upright but loose enough not to be misleading. And if Landon had a problem with that then too bad because Thais had already made up his mind about not letting go of the other until they had made their way to their destination.
"It's fine. The perimeter is just as secure as it was before. Come on, Landon. Let's take that short walk to your quarters." He replied, a softer tilt to his voice, showing that he cared even after everything that had happened, hoping that the other could tell.
He could tell; however slight the change was, it was a big difference. From going to such a usual monotone way of speaking and acting to letting some small form of emotions it - it made a difference, a wave in an otherwise stagnant pond. Landon's features seemed to grow ever sadder since the man spoke, his arm supporting Landon easily. He walked with the aid outside to the fresh air and night sky.
He didn't bother looking around for any prying eyes, nor did he say anything in particular to Thais. He simply put his hand upon the other's elbow that was secured around him. A feather light touch that grew in pressure as he slid his palm down the length of his arm and to his hand. If they continued walking, he was no longer paying attention to where he was going, but focused more on the arm around him and the hand he seemed fully intent on affectionately placing his own over - or as much as he could on account of his smaller structure.
He hesitated a step, his lips quivering slightly before he looked to the ground and slid his hand away - and his body if he could manage. He'd rub at his forehead with a heavy sigh and a short bark of laughter. If he managed to slip away, he would notably be heading in the wrong direction.
"Ahh, I need a drink!" He would declare loudly.
The hand on his was a mix between being naturally warm and the fingertips being freezing not only due to the poor circulation caused by the alcohol but by the dropping temperature outside as well. Nonetheless, though, it felt wonderful, something that he had missed for so long.
"You need water." Thais emphasized, reaching out and holding tighter onto Landon than he had the first time. "And to lay down and sleep this off. How much have you had to drink, exactly?" He asked, his voice demanding the answer.
A few stragglers, arriving late to the festivities most likely, passed by them and Thais sympathetic looks--'oh, look, that freak got himself in trouble again, god he can't even control himself'--which only made Thais grind his teeth together to keep himself from lashing out at them to mind their own fucking business.
Landon did not get far with Thais, the other grabbing ahold of him more securely this time around. His first reaction was to try to pry himself free, but that soon ended with a huff and a roll of his eyes. "I am fine," he would argue. He snickered at the prospect of sleeping this off. He did not want to! "Not enough," he would snarl in response to the demand.
The stragglers that passed by with their comments did not earn a rebuke of their own from the chef; no, he just studied their faces and tried to commit them to memory for another time. Another day of retribution to be had. He would never get it, simply because he would likely forget the comments and the faces before the morning came. He did tense up slightly, but did not act upon it. He was called names so often that fighting over it would have him well acquainted with medics and even more familiar with the colony's policing.
"I need a drink," he would repeat, more quiet now than before as they came closer to his quarters, which were not far from the cafeteria and kitchens for obvious reasons. He pointed to his door. Found it!
"You really don't need another drink..." Thais replied, shaking his head slightly. "I know you like causing trouble but what did you expect would happen by you getting exceedingly intoxicated?" He asked, glancing away from Landon.
Honestly, he knew a lot of people would be getting 'plastered' tonight, but he didn't expect this behaviour from Landon. Spiking the punch, or making inappropriate decorations on the treats, yes. Becoming drunk so early into the festivities, not so much.
The question was obviously why. And he intended to get it.
"Right, and it is your job to tell me I can't have one?" He would ask with more of a snap to his voice. "There are plenty of other people in that hall drunker than me," he would protest. "This is not me being exceedingly intoxicated, Thais," he would groan and would give the soldier's chest a backhanded slap that sent a hollow sound after it.
"Tell you what, we get through this door," he would say as he fumbled to find his key in this new suit - forgetting where his pockets were. "And I'll show the difference," he would say before he groaned and looked himself over.
Seriously, where was that key? He hoped he didn't lose it. It was on him, certainly, but there were so many hidden pockets that his slowed down brain could not even remember where all of them were.
But luckily Thais, who had seen Landon place things on his person after he was done getting dressed so many times before, placed a hand on Landon's shoulder, an indication that the other stop his movements, and he reached into the pocket he knew housed the other's key.
"We get through this door, and you're going to tell me why you're intoxicated in the first place because I can't read your mind no matter how much I wish I could." He replied, the hint of an underlying reason for that wish hidden in slight concern--perhaps reflecting on past days. Missed moments. Communication errors.
He really didn't want to see Landon 'exceedingly intoxicated' if this wasn't enough to warrant that title. God only knows what a mess the blonde would be if he were to drink more.
Landon would have been one lovely mess, that was how that would likely go. He paused long enough for the other to grab his key, making an 'o' with his mouth when it was produced. "I knew that was there, I was seeing if you knew," he would say with a snicker as he placed his hands on his hips and swayed lightly while trying to stand still.
"Why do you think?" He would ask, incredulous. "There is a feast going on, in case you didn't know Thais," he would say. "I can't celebrate with everyone else? That makes my drinking any fucking different?" He would ask and pushed the door to his room open once the soldier used the key.
He made his way to one of his many hiding spots for booze and pulled out a small tin flask while untying the empty one on his hip. Yeah, he was quite determined to down a bit more before the night was over - with or without Thais. He was a damn good liar, but he feared the man might actually know him too well; so much that keeping his secrets was becoming very difficult around him.
Thais rolled his eyes and closed the door if only to give Landon a bit of privacy as the other moved about to get more alcohol from somewhere Thais didn't see.
"Given that you've seen to be more trouble than you're worth these days, it wouldn't surprise me that you're using drinking as an excuse to forget any number of things." And, for once, Thais was perfectly confident in that statement.
It wasn't just the avoidance--that was on both parties, after all--but it was the reports he was getting daily. Things like escalated pranks performed on the soldiers and commanders. Neglecting his kitchen duties in favor of just spacing out or falling asleep while doing the dishes. Small things here and there, as well, hinted at a change in the other.
And Thais--not to sound pompous--could only really add it up to when things had changed between them. Along with--and he wasn't sure on this one--the colony life finally catching up to Landon and making him more ornery these days, seeing people walk in and walk out of here, many never returning from runs, sickness taking a few because of low supplies, children scared and alone....it could be too much sometimes.
Had indeed had enough of such sights and such things. He did not tell people he was a host because he did not want a time to come where he was needed because of that fact; because of his hidden military experience. Both of which, Thais was aware of. He scowled softly, but put the fresh bottle to his lips and drank heavily. A good quarter of the once full bottle was downed and he did not seem to have any intention of putting it down until it was empty.
Flopping down onto his bed, spilling on his way, he would sit and regard the other with hooded eyelids and a slow smile. "Ohh, because I'm more of a pain in the ass, I drink?" He would chide the man with a short bark of a laugh. In truth the colony was reminding him of his naval years, sending friends home in body bags, except this was home. On occasion he wondered if there was a star in the sky for every dead person on Earth - and every time he wondered if Thais would be one of them.
He frowned and looked down as he worried over this, not for the first time. The strain of it was clear on his typically happy-go-lucky exterior; a vein was visible in his neck and the bottle inched closer to his lips. His jaw was clenched before the bottle was set aside in order to free a hand, immediately covering his face and pinching the bridge of his nose. He shook his head slowly and spoke in a voice that cracked;
"I'll be fine."
Thais watched as a play of emotions swept through Landon's features and posture. He wondered, vaguely, if Landon was aware he didn't have as much control over them as he thought he did when inebriated.
"I believe that this would be one of those times where people call 'bullshit'." He explained, stepping up to Landon and lowering himself down to balance on the balls of his feet in front of the other's knees.
"Talk to me." He urged softly, his voice pleading in a whisper, his eyes roaming Landon's features as he laid a comforting hand on Landon's knee.
Landon was not aware of it, otherwise he would have pulled himself together or resulted in an impromptu act of violence to alleviate the stress and situation that might have called for his explanation; a time such as this was. Stress and tension evident in a dulled down way in thanks to the booze, he lifted his head some and removed the fingers that hid his sad gaze from the other.
The way Thais spoke, his concern and gentle behavior in reaction to Landon's stubborn attempts to dissuade from such attention, only seemed to pull at his despair all the more. He inhaled sharply and whispered out his reasoning; "I'm scared."
His hand fell away completely and was placed over Thais', his free hand moving to one of the other's cheeks as he tried to form a smile. It came out a sorry attempt that ended in a trembling lower lip before he bit down on it.
"I keep thinking you won't come back," he would say softly, breathlessly.
Thais couldn't help but lean into the hand that was placed on his cheek, turning his other hand over to grasp Landon's once he dropped it.
Seeing how pitifully sad and scared Landon was pulled at Thais' heartstrings. There was no denying he felt so much for the other than he let on.
Brows furrowing together slightly, his insides twisting uncomfortably, and the urge to bring Landon into a tight, loving hug almost too much, he whispered into the silent room, "That's just life...But you can't let that change anything...."
And it was his turn to place a warm hand on the other's cheek, his thumb slowly going back and forth along Landon's cheekbone.
"Someday I'll die. Whether by an attack, an illness, or just old age....It's unavoidable, Landon." He honestly tried to comfort, but he knew he failed--Thais just was not good at this type of thing, not when memories of his own military career came flashing back, all the times he had to go to the wives' or husbands' houses and deliver the wrenching news...
The attempts were indeed failures as he let his hand fall from the other's cheek and to his shoulder as the other tried to console him. He gave a weak smile as before but it faded far quicker as he placed his hand over his. "Everyone does, Thais," he would say softly, in a way of understanding. "But I care about you so much," he would whisper. His half-hooded, bloodshot eyes and rank breath a reminder of his current state as much as his loosened tongue.
"Don't go, Thais," he would plead. "Just stay with me and don't go." He gave a soft shake of his head as he leaned forward, wrapping his arms around the soldier's neck and pulling him in close. He rested his head on the broad shoulders provided while whispering out in a combination of slurred words and a wavering tone;
"I'm scared because I love you."
And if Thais' breath stopped, if his heart lurched, if his stomach fell into his gut, he hid it well at the utterance of those words. It wasn't the first time he's heard them in his life. But it was the first time Landon had ever spoken them to him.
And that was reason enough to bring the other closer, going to his knees to hug the blonde to him.
Thais placed a hand on the back of Landon's head, running his fingers through the man's hair as he wrapped the other as much as he could around the other.
"I can't promise that I won't go someday..." He finally said into the silence, his voice shaky with emotion. "But I can try..." He swallowed, his next statement so much harder to let slip than he thought it was going to be.
"I'll try because I want to stay here with you....because I love you, too...."
He closed his eyes, and breathed in the scent of Landon's hair, slightly tainted with the scent of alcohol radiating from the blonde in his arms.
"And you better fucking remember this tomorrow..." he added softly, a tilt of playfulness in his voice, yet all seriousness in truth.
Tomorrow, this all might be a fuzzy haze of 'What did I say?' But neither could know that at this point. The outcome would, regardless, come up as a hard topic for a sober Landon in any case, seeing as his reluctance had to be broken down by booze and company. When Thais got down to his level and held him, he did much the same, nuzzling into the side of the other's neck affectionately.
"You better," he mumbled, but as to whether Thais had best come back or love him in return was hard to distinguish, given his timing and vagueness. He was notably growing heavier against Thais as he was drawn into the sleepy drunk stage, leaning against the other completely with his eyes closing.
"Jus' shtay wih me," he slurred as he began nodding off.
After a moment, Thais pulled away from Landon a little. "Let's get you undressed and into bed..." He said, holding Landon upright by firm hands on his shoulders.
The process of undressing Landon was a bit more difficult than Thais originally thought. Too much of limbs getting the way, and an uncooperative blonde making it no easy task--not because he was purposefully being annoying, it was just that he was already half asleep as it was--and add in the fact that the suit was ridiculously form-fitting and it was just a blast. Really.
Perhaps after about ten minutes of hardship, Thais was able to get Landon underneath the sheet on his bed, his dirty clothes folded onto a chair neatly.
Now, here he was at a loss. Does he stay with Landon for the night? Does he leave after the other falls asleep? He knows that Landon doesn't want him to leave, that he wants Thais to stay with him. But, does that mean that Landon wants to start anew with him? Or just want the physical presence of Thais to keep him grounded for the night?
Too many questions, not enough time to think them all through just now.
Because now, he needed to make sure Landon was comfortable.
"I'll see my way out. Goodnight..." Though, he really didn't want to leave. What he really wanted to do was slide in behind Landon and wrap the smaller man in his arms, sniff at the back of his neck, press kisses to his bare skin, let him know that Thais cared. Loved.
Landon was hardly cooperative between mumbling incoherent things that may or may not have been further proclamations of love or simply drunk speech. The clothing he wore was quite ridiculous and so hard to get off it made one want to rip it from your skin as a trapped feeling washed over you. They would manage, if only for Thais' perseverance. Once he was tucked in and quite comfortable, it was extremely hard to keep his eyes even part way open.
He reached out a bare hand from the covers, not wanting him to go at all. "Nooo," he pleaded softly. "Shtay wi me," he asked. "Pleash," his arm flopped to one side but he couldn't bring himself to actually get up to fully persuade the soldier into staying the night.
In any case, if the man left or stayed, he was soon to fall asleep - either in the comfort of the other's arms and presence or in a pile of sheets and pillows with a drunken kiss from the sand man. His morning was sure to bring a hangover of some varying degree, but he had to say, he slept well that night.
The simple movements, slow and cautious went on unaware... Until he woke up the next morning. His hand was tangled up with Thais', that very arm being used as a cushion. He had one of the other's legs between his own, his knee bent to rest more closely against him. But most of all it was being completely engulfed by Thais' body and the serious pounding of his temples and the way his body refused to move - though he wasn't as certain if the hangover was the cause of this.
He was undoubtedly comfortable where he was and could easily stay here for the rest of the day, but his sober mind was asking how it got to this. What happened, exactly? He had his fears, but didn't know how to confirm them. It was a part of him that hoped for it and yet hoped that he didn't. Because they were both decent and their clothes were neatly folded from what he could tell, he knew damn sure that they did not do anything extra last night.
But what did he say after avoiding him for so long to get him to stay with him, like this? He knew, deep down, what he said, but some part of him denied the possibility and created others that worked more to his liking. He found himself shifting slightly and able to feel all of Thais against him. It made for an amazing morning, despite the headache and the fear that brewed in his heart.
His thumb was running over the back of Thais' hand softly, his fingers intertwined with the soldier's as he tried to think of what he might say - what he should say. Because something needed to be said...
The inner turmoil that plagued Landon went unnoticed as Thais slept on more soundly now than he's been doing recently.
His soft breath ghosted over Landon's skin where it could reach, his body lax with sleep and comfort, warmth blanketing them both. Thais shifted slightly only to bring himself closer to Landon, his hand moving a little under Landon's.
Soon, however, his breathing increased just enough to signal that he was waking, the subconscious feeling that he needed to ebbing its way into his mind. Blinking open his eyes, he glanced around before landing his eyes on Landon's hand on his, the pale thumb still stroking the skin found there, their fingers intertwined.
How long had Landon been up and why wasn't he moving away from Thais? By all accounts, Landon should be freaking out right now...
There was no doubt he was in a panic, but he had to decide what he truly wanted - and he wanted Thais. He had and would. After avoiding him for so long he simply felt worse and nothing seemed to take the sting away. But laying here? Tangled with the man he loved? He found peace, even if there was an underlying layer of fear so thick it threatened to choke him if he examined it too closely. They lived in fear, all of them. Hiding his was just growing to a maddening point that wanted to spill over into an unpleasant break from humanity.
He could not close the colony put from him, he could not shut the doors of his heart and mind.
His thumb stilled some as he felt Thais waking up. He hesitated a moment before he turned around to face him, detangling himself only to slip right back into the comfort of the other's limbs. He looked over Thais' features, their noses nearly touching. Unable to find something appropriate to say, he pushed forward to place a soft, simple kiss upon his lips before pulling away.
"Good morning," he whispered instead and would hope it could suffice.
Thais allowed the movement, even went as far as to pull the other just that little bit closer and smile in content.
Thais threw his glance to look Landon in the eye after they parted, finding nothing but genuine love and peace, a hint of fear for the unknown--but that would always be there--and perhaps, if Thais knew Landon like he believed he did, a promise.
"Indeed, it is..." Thais replied, a hand coming to cup Landon's jaw, a thumb running over the other's lips.
The whispered greeting sufficed plenty because even though it wasn't much, it was enough.