"Oh, and you have been testing all of that on yourself? That's dedication," Death smiled at him. "But not that I am here, I can do the tasting next time you cook for me."
They had the breakfast with Sage, as after it he was supposed to lead Svarik to the Sea Deity to play for it.
Senecio still slept by the time Tide arrived, and it seemed that unless woken, he will not wake on his own anytime soon.
" I wanted to surprise you with something neat. Besides, there's no burn bad enough that some milk can't solve. Now, enough of meaningful talk, it'll sour your mood. " Jake declared, despite, on the contrary, his mood seemed improved a little by the talk, as he added wonderingly. " Eat up, and then, feel free to rest, deal? I'm in the mood for slacking of, so I'll stay here until some of your friends exchanged me - I'm pretty sure lord Nameless, peaceful as he is, would kill us if we left you on your own these days, heh... "
Xia remembered how beautiful it was, and it seemed for a moment she would go with them, but then, she grew quiet. She needed a moment to remember the signs, before she asked, slowly, as her vocabulary still wasn't that big.
" Xia... Has a new uncle. Uncle Death. Uncle needs Xia... "
Hans, since he was healing, was in an even deeper sleep. It seemed that need to regenerate has left him in such deep sleep it would have been hard to wake him up, so he definitely wouldn't wake on his own in quite a while.
There was no need for it right now, though. Janus let Tide enter the bag, and the demon went straight to the room. He entered it and smiled with the sight. Soundlessly he hopped onto the soft bed, besides the actor, decides to wake him up first. He was reluctant to do it, though, so at first, he just watched him quietly, with a grin and hand trembling with unexpected desire. It felt surreal, and no matter how strong the urge was to wake him up, he couldn't bring himself, and so, he watched, and he began gently caressing actor's hair in his sleep, taking in the sight of him and Hans being alright and safe.
Xia hugged him tightly in goodbye before she left them to go their own way, to take care of the wounded creature.
Soon, she found her way there, unmistakeably, and timidly, she knocked on the door where Death and Jake were spending time in, and when allowed, she entered the room shyly, closing the door behind herself.
Tide grinned with that widely, and it seemed for a moment he will try to go for a kiss, longing for it - but he was still too shy to initiate such big thing with Senecio when he was barely awake, not wanting to startle him, knowing he tends to flinch when startled in sleep. So, he held his breath and didn't move, with pleasant anticipation of waiting to be noticed.
"Oh, did you say hello to your friends already?" Death asked her in demon language. "How are they?"
When Senecio's eyes focused, Tide could hear a sharp intake of breath from him as those eyes widened, relieved. Deperately, needily he closed the distance between them, pulling the Demon into a tight embrace and leaning in for a kiss.
" They are okay. But they are going to the sea, so Svarik can play for Sea Deity, and it would take a while.' little demon chipped in more eloquently in their language, as she came closer." So Xia bid them luck, and came back."
That was all Tide needed to let go of doubts and inhibitions, and he leaned into the touch freely, trustfully, and he moaned with suppressed desire as his mouth met the actor's, in a passionate kiss, closing his eyes.
" Xia knows... "the little creature whispered bemusedly as if it was silly to her that he was telling her all that. She was by his bed at that point, and she was free with him and unafraid - and she grinned, and took his hand with her tiny little paw, and licked it, the way kids kiss hands of their loved ones, the way she had seen from people in the cities on her journey. " It is... a little borning. But Xia has everyone... And... uncle Death has only Xia. " she smiled shyly, for the first time calling him that, only when she was sure she meant it. " Xia loves you. "
Demon as well couldn't stop, freer with the sweet temptation. He was breathing hoarsely as he cupped the actor's head with his hands, and with desire, as if he needed to get the taste of him to sate it, he covered his face with kisses, and from the cheek, then proceeded to kiss his neck, burying his face against him, seeming to enjoy that sleepy soothing smell people have when they just wake up, holding him closer.
Xia has noticed that sadness, and she took Death's hand in hers, leaning it against her face while she kept holding it as if hoping to encourage him with a show of affection.
" What is wrong? " she asked quietly, the question straightforward, so he doesn't have a place to dodge, the little bright blue eyes waiting intently for that he will say, with worry.
Tide chuckled a little with the guidance, but brightly so, with delight, as if that was the last thing he had waited for before he could let go of inhibitions, to know that actor wanted it, too. He could feel his lust, and it was sipping into him, and breathing heavily, he kept kissing him, while stroking his private parts, in his excitement, perhaps a little too fast, and a little more roughly than he should, not by choice - rather, it seemed to Senecio he had trouble controlling himself under overwhelming desire, with predatorial lust longing to leave his scent all over him and mark him his own.
"Nothing, dear..." Death whispered. "You just... remind me of someone. It's alright..."
Senecio didn't really care for technique, as having Tide close and touching him was more than enought to bring him over the edge after the days of separation. He arched his back and moaned hoarsely as he came under the demon's touch.
Xia watched him quietly, not wanting to press him, but not being able to help herself but feel left out, kept in the dark.
" Xia wants to understand. If it makes uncle sad... it is not alright. " she whistled quietly, caressing his hand with her palm, as she asked." Who?"
After Senecio came, demon breathed out with relief too, as it released some of his own tension - it seemed, like every time when they were intimate, that, with his sensitivity to feelings around him, Tide would relax too. But few days of separation were so painfully long, and he needed more. This point was usually an unspoken moment when they would stop, but demon seemed to test his ground, just an inch at a time.
His moves were now slow, and he looked dazed and wondering. Breathing a little heavily still, he lifted Senecio to his lap, but he didn't raise his pants, instead, he kept caressing his inner thighs as he held him close, enjoying the little more casual turn that was still intimate, and it seemed that, since humans lasted lot shorter than Beings, he wanted to prolong the moment, breathing shallowly while he was calming down from sudden rush.
"Someone that I loved and lost..." Death whispered shakily. "It... makes me afraid to return the love you give me so freely... I'm sorry for that..."
Senecio leaned his head on Tide's chest, with the little tremors still tunning through him as the demon was touching him, but slowly subsiding as he was getting more relaxed. "I missed you so much..." he whispered fervently.
Xia listened, more the sound of his voice than words, but she understood. She purred, and leaned against his hand, caressing it gently with her fluffy paw, but she looked vulnerable, too.
" It... is okay. Xia did not love uncle at first, either. Xia was just sad for him. Xia just choose to help. But Xia has seen uncle now... Xia has met you. Xia can not help herself now. Xia loves you. " she whispered, as she indeed, did not say those big words before she was sure she meant them. " Xia... hopes you will love her, once. Maybe, when you meet her too. Xia... knows she can not earn it. She can not help a lot with hurting. Xia... can only purr and love you. " she whispered, tearing up, just a little, but keeping a brave face. " So... Xia will love you... always... "
Tide was also growing more relaxed and drowsy with time, enjoying the closeness more as the time passed, and as the desire subsided and was exchanged with lazy and cuddly emotional intimacy. He could just indulge in the unusual and pleasant freedom they shared. When the actor spoke up, he just nestled with his head against his shoulder and purred lightly as he leaned on it and closed his eyes.
" So... " he whispered, addressing him for the first time, too. " So... this is love... "
" Do not hurt for that, please. " Xia replied, urgently, seeing the shift in his tone, uncharacteristically melancholy for herself." Xia is sad enough she can't help the other hurts. The moment Xia was made and opened her eyes, she knew... That she was made to soothe. She jumped to Svarik, for she felt his hurt. She licked his wounds, and the pain was soothed. But now... Xia can feel the pain. But she... Can not soothe." She giggled, but with hint of pain, as she held onto his hand just a little closer, afraid he will slip away from her." It is not like Xia can just... Lick into your bones. It is... Hard... "
" I have cared deeply for many people... But not like this. Not so boldly, daringly. This is... So freeing. Like a free fall, with no bottom, just a straight dive through the endless air. " Demon whispered hoarsely, remaining close." I think... This is why people say they fall in love... "
Death smiled a little. "Yes, not so easy, I fear... Would you like a cookie instead? I'm not sure if you will like the taste, though. They are sweet and spicy. I can just give you the sweet part if you want."
"Yes... the expression seems strangely fitting..." Senecio murmured, withdrawing just a little to get a better look of the demon. "Are you alright?" he asked. "I was so worried..."
" Good try, but no. Silly uncle thinks Xia will take a cookie, now that Xia knows he is always hungry. Besides, Xia all big, proper Being. " Creature puffed up, a little distracted from dark thoughts, as she stretched on tips of her toes to appear taller. " Proper Beings only make deals for what they really want... So, instead... Will you pet me, uncle...?" She asked him longingly, as she innocently directed Death's hand to her soft furry head, leaning toward him so he could pat her.
" Oh... " Tide seemed a little taken aback by the question, looking down on himself, as if struggling to figure out the truth " Well... I think you are actually the first to ask it like that. Everyone just keeps telling me they are so glad I am alright. But I am not really sure." He whispered, his terrifying, foaming eyes looking strangely unsure and shy." So much has happened, and... I guess I will need some time to take it all in, too... "
"Oh, alright..." Death said quietly and caressed her lightly, although seeming a little withdrawn into himself.
Senecio cupped Tide's cheek with his palm and caressed it. "You were right..." he said sadly. "I thought it's just going to be a few days... but you were afraid that we might not meet again if we part. And then you were running for your life and I kept thinking about that..." he sobbed. "I don't want to part anymore. Not ever..."
It was a rather self-conscious gesture, and despite enjoying it at first, it was rather easy to notice the restrain of it, and the little critter stopped his hand, taking it into his own, looking a little bewildered.
" Xia does not understand," she whispered. " Does uncle really... only treat her freely... when she is a kitten? Or is uncle keeping the truth from Xia again? Is uncle sad... because Xia chose to come back, instead of go play with friends? "
Tide embraced him tighter, shushing him quietly, while trying to find his own voice, too.
" If we put restrictions like that on us, we'd never breathe. That's no way to live... " he whispered. " It was hard... but it was worthwhile, okay? " he smiled a little bit heavily, at the pun he only knew for now. " If I did not stay, if I returned with you, he would almost certainly be killed, or, if not, gravely hurt, or worse, both him and Xia defending him may have died. No. It is good that I went there and stayed. I do not regret that... " his voice wavered a little, as he admitted. " It was just... a lot... I had nearly died... more than once. And I had to kill someone. It wasn't clean or pretty. I... am not really good at consciously doing that. It was always Hans... "
Xia nodded slowly. It seemed she struggled to deal with those complex matters, and think in those terms, as those things seemed very simple to her. But she tried, doing her best to put her thoughts to meanings Death could understand.
" Xia... understands uncle," she whispered. " But... Worth While does not understand Xia," she replied quietly, and embraced his hand anew, for comfort, before she explained. " Xia... knows it is little, but Xia was happy she could fly uncle to safety. If there is a danger, Xia and uncle can fly away together. He does not make Xia happy by coldness. If he sends her away, Xia only cries. But... Even worse... If he sends her away, and bad people come, and uncle dies... " she did not look away, maintaining eye contact firmly, but her little paw trembled. " Then Xia cries forever, and then longer than forever, uncle... "
" No... " Tide whispered, not letting go for dear life either, hiding his face in lad's shoulder for comfort, as he spoke hoarsely. " No, it's better this way. I was scared enough, being responsible for the lives of him and Xia. It was hard to know that if something were to happen, it would be my fault, for not being able to defend them. But do you know what one thing kept me going? " he smiled a little, as he kissed his cheek. " Knowing you evaded the danger, by but one hair. Knowing you and Hans are here, and that you are safe... "
Xia seemed conflicted, deeply so, as she just gave up the idea of going with her friends, in order to spent time with him. But he did seem to insist on this and she did not feel welcome staying like this.
" Is... uncle sure? " she whispered in the end. " Xia, Xia can be a very good, very soft pillow. Very quiet, obedient pillow, that purrs well... " she gulped. " Does uncle... really want Xia to go so much? "
" Yes, I heard you put a lot of effort into the play with Hans... " the thought helped distract the easily distracted demon, as it drew his attention to something else, and he couldn't help but ask with interest. " Oh, hey... Sage told me that you spent an insane amount of time together even outside work hours and that Hans actually adopted you? Normally, I'd ascribe such religious hanging out with a way to cope with waiting for me, but Hans is a strong cookie, he'd never have adopted someone just as a way to cope, so... " his frail eyes sparkled a little with curiosity, as he encouraged him. " Don't leave me on the edge of my seat here. What was all that about? "
" But... Brother Svarik is going to play for Sea Deity. " Xia repeated what she said last time, with some confusion. " It is not... meant to be fun. It is meant to be goodness. Xia can not help him there. Xia does not want to go, where she can stay. If uncle does not want her here... " she lowered her head, as he slowly withdraws her paws. " Then Xia goes... to fly a little. But Xia does not want to be with Svarik right now. " she shook her head petulantly. " Svarik asks Xia why she changed her mind... but Xia did not change her mind. Xia can not lie to Svarik. That is not love. "
" Are you secretive for a reason? Or just to make me even more curious? " Tide raised his eyebrow, bemused. " To be honest, rather than getting attached to each other right away, what I really thought would come along is that you and Hans would blow off some steam together. " he probed suggestively, not without an innocent undertone of affection, with flushed cheeks. " But judging from how excited you were to see me, it seems to me you didn't even blow off steam on your own. I mean, seriously, I have to say it... " he grinned a little, as he caressed his cheek. " This was the very best substitute for *hello, excited to see you*, that I could possibly imagine... "