Observance reminded Llyr of his own initiation. He stepped aside to give the mortalborn room while the pain made its way through the potential mage’s vessel. Llyr watched closely, he listened closely, and he knelt at the edge of the blanket to keep witness. He barely even blinked, so enraptured by Doran’s attempts to hide the pain, to endure it without complaint, but he knew it was there. He knew as only he could.
A scream broke past, though, as the aggressive spark carved its way to the soul. Llyr glanced at the door once, then back to Doran. Parts of the other man’s body faded, ghostly in quality. The biqaj moved a little closer, on his knees, and he quietly hummed.
Llyr hummed a melody to comfort and remind, if it could be heard while the mortalborn’s soul wrestled with the invasion of the spark. A quiet sound to help guide, so Doran might not feel alone in his pain. The biqaj felt prepared to chase after the man into Emea, if needed. If Doran were to disappear completely… forget to return and stay within Idalos, then he would. He would enter the dreaming world, seek out his branded initiate, and force him back to physical existence.
That did not have to happen though. Still, as Llyr hummed, his ether traveled into the fur of the blanket. A natural inclination to attune with Doran, his initiate beyond any other initiate before, won out as he allowed the instinct. He felt bittersweet sorrow while the human twisted and turned with the pain, but he also knew this was necessary for the change to come.
Eventually, Doran stopped. He only stared forward, laid on his side. Llyr placed his hands lightly on the other man’s shoulder, to comfort in a gentle reminder he was still there, and Doran wasn’t alone in this moment. He hummed as he had to soothe his adopted daughter when she’d been in the worst pitches of fever and aches from the plague. Hummed to distract from the thrum of pain endured, the echoes that lingered and worried the mind about the proven frailty of the mortal condition.
Finally, Doran moved again. He had survived.
Llyr smiled, even if it showed the slight inward crooked angles of his canine teeth. He thought to find something for the other to drink but didn’t want to leave Doran’s side yet.
“I can feel it.”
The blond nodded. His eyes shone with iridescent light of his ether. He brought his hands to his thighs, kneeling on the blanket beside Doran.
“I can feel you, in a way that is more than just physical… or is it your ether?”
“Our ether,” he answered. He set a hand on his initiate’s cheek. “It’s our’s. You may make use of me, as I might also with you, when we are close to one another. You will learn this. Careful though, careful. You must be careful, Doran, for you do not want to strain your soul too quickly and warp your body by doing so.”
“Did you see?” he asked, eyes sparkled, and tone hushed with restrained wonder. “The lure of Emea?”
He moved closer and straddled Doran’s lap. His clothed inner thighs pressed against the other man’s bare hips. Llyr traced his fingers affectionately over the other man’s chest where ether had been set through, gathered Doran’s hands in his own, and said, “My initiate. I’m so proud of you… returning to Idalos despite the pain, despite the temptations. Coming back to explore this path of unknown future. So courageous, so brilliant, I see why you are considered a hero.”
Llyr kissed Doran. Not the sort of kiss for branding, nor the gentle touch to the forehead, his kiss was of passion arisen from the connection of sparks. He wrapped his arms around the older man’s neck, but he didn’t prolong the kiss. The etherist parted his lips with quiet breath and gazed into the alchemist’s eyes. He promised, “We will create wonders in this world.”