Ornaments of the Heart

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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Menel on Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:35 pm

He could imagine it, especially with Laven so close to him. Imagine everyone in the house together eating and exchanging gifts. It wouldn't really be that different from any other day except from the gifts. Though the thought of some kind of special food filled him with a little extra excitement. Maybe he could ask Revina or Laven to make a pie. It was a guilty truth that apple pies were his absolute favorite food, and if he had ever allowed himself to he might have gained a few extra pounds just from eating them. He didn't though, only indulging in them on special occasions like the day he'd met Laven.

There weren't many memories he had that he could laugh over, though that particular day might be among them. And he liked to think that he was building some. Memories with Laven and Rev that in future years he could sit with them and talk about.

Menel was a little inclined to try and argue with Laven about paying for the whole meal, but the ramen wasn't terribly expensive and the refills were free. So he nodded politely and let the elf pay for the meal.
"Thank you." He snapped the chop sticks apart and dug into the food while Laven explained that there weren't many holidays in between this one and one devoted to... lovers? Menel hid his blush around a bite and marked that thought firmly in his mind.

Laven might not expect much for that day but if there really was such a holiday... Menel meant to celebrate it. He'd just have to find out what people normally did to celebrate it. If nothing else he knew he could always pull Rev aside. She liked to tease him a bit but in the end she was always willing to explain something to him.


"It sounds nice." He smiled a little and picked up a bit of egg. "All these things to celebrate." He wondered if he'd celebrated them with his mother when he was still small. Those memories always seemed so far away. He ate the egg.

"I love you my sweet angel. Always and forever."

He lifted his eyes to look at Laven. "So there's the Winter Solstice, the Summer Solstice, and a day for... couples to celebrate." He ignored the slight stumble as he listed off the holidays. "What else do you celebrate?"


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Laven on Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:23 pm

Laven had been gesturing carefully with his hands, now occupied with his own chopsticks as he tried to explain things to Menel that he honestly took for granted.and hadn’t really realized until he had met someone who had no knowledge of them at all.

“Well there are anniversaries… But I don’t really celebrate those.” Laven suspected Menel would want to know anyhow so he began listing them as he stirred together his own little bowl of noodles. “Weddings, things like graduating in school or getting a promotion in your job. Retiring, I suppose. First moments like your child’s first words or steps.” Here he paused, remembering Martin had had those, for all Laven couldn’t see them in his memories anymore.

He pulled away from the sad thoughts, picking at his food and taking small bites.
“And birthdays of course. But again… I can’t remember the last one of those I celebrated.” Laven blew out a soft sigh and smiled at Menel. “Really anything can be celebrated if you try hard enough.” Laven drummed his free fingers against the tabletop. “But if you’re asking what I actually celebrate… well. Winter Solstice is probably the only one, now.”
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Menel on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:21 pm

Menel knew about weddings at least, and funerals. Neither occasion had really seemed like a 'holiday' to him. Though a wedding might be a bit close. He couldn't help that thinking of a wedding made him think of Aviline. After their engagement she'd talked about it. About how they would invite everyone they knew together to be there. She hadn't talked about gifts, but she had worried over what they would wear and teased him that he couldn't wear armor or casual clothing.

The swordsman poked his ramen and focused his attention more firmly on what Laven was saying. It seemed like a lot of things to celebrate really. Things that people celebrated with family. First steps and accomplishments. It brought up old familiar longings deep in his heart that came so easily on the heels of memories of someone he'd thought to make his life with.


"People celebrate birth-days?" He shook his head and ate another bite. His first bowl was down to the broth so he waved for seconds and drank it down with a little sigh. He smiled a little and it was only slightly morose and it faded a moment later when he actually looked at Laven. "You should celebrate it... Your birth-day I mean."

The way Menel said birthday so distinctly made it obvious that he wasn't used to the term. But he felt like Laven should celebrate everything. He had a family. He had Rev. He had people that cared about him. Menel shifted a little subtly closer to Laven.
"You should tell me about it at least." His blue eyes lifted and met Laven's crimson ones. "I like the idea of celebrating the day you came into the world."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Laven on Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:23 am

Laven smiled at first, though it quickly faded. He paused and touched his fingers to the thin strip of hair below his lip. “Menel… haven’t you ever celebrated a birthday? Not even when your mother was with you?” He knew the woman was gone, lost to time and probably the world. But Menel had been with her for a few years. Long enough to remember a birthday at least.

"I like the idea of celebrating the day you came into the world."

“I don’t like to celebrate my birthday. It reminds me of how far away somethings are now, after so many years.”As always Laven’s small appetite had him pushing idly at his food more than actually eating it, though he saw the way Menel frowned at him for ignoring his meal and dutifully managed another mouthful before reaching over and running his hand over the swordsman’s shoulder as if to apologize for making him worry even the smallest amount.

“I think that last birthday I actually celebrated was…” He paused, remembering in bits and faded pieces who exactly  had been the last person he’s celebrated the birth of. “Well… A child’s birthday isn’t quite like an adults. The adults rarely want the sheer amount of toys and candy the little ones receive.”

Red eyes took in all of Menel’s face, his posture and the way he looked back at Laven with trust and interest. “When is your birthday, Love? Maybe we can throw you a little celebration when it comes around.” Laven smiled, the image of Menel in a child’s paper hat suddenly very charming to him. And maybe he could find Menel some small gift, something to show the other man that he was well and truly loved.
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Menel on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:50 pm

The elf's question made him really consider if he had ever celebrated anything. He had been very young back then. Young enough to not know where his mother had gone or why. He'd simply come back into the house after playing and collecting fire wood and... she hadn't been there. That he remembered distinctly enough. He remembered coming back to the house with an arm full of sticks, and that she hadn't been in the house. For the longest time he'd assumed she went out to get food. He'd stirred up a fire and waited. And waited.

He could remember the way that the house still smelled like her, a scent he'd never been able to define but was uniquely hers. He remembered sleeping curled up next to the fire rather than in bed because he'd fallen asleep waiting for her. Before that... He had memories of being in her arms. Memories of her fingers in his hair and the soft sound of her voice in his ears. Memories of feeling loved. A song sung in the depths of the night to soothe him to sleep. Laughter like the twinkling of the stars and the memory that had called him back to that house when he'd been old enough to return. Memories of silver swords and dancing in moonlight of the exact same shade.

It was simply so faint that he had only one or two images that were distinctly clear. He couldn't remember if she'd danced with him but it felt like she had. Like she'd held his hands and led him through steps that he could remember if he tried. He couldn't remember birthdays but he could remember the scent of apple pie baking in the winter so... perhaps they had celebrated.

"I don't remember." The admission obviously pained him. He wanted to remember. The memories he had he clung to in fear that they would fade away and he'd have nothing left at all. He'd already lost her face from his memory and that truth hurt enough. "I don't remember celebrating anything with her but... it was a long time ago. For some reason I've never been able to remember that time very clearly. Maybe because I was young, or..."

Menel rolled a shoulder. "I don't know." He stubbornly pushed aside his darker thoughts. Everything that came after she was gone he remembered much more clearly. Perhaps because of how drastically his life changed in her absence. But his memory was filled with those things rather than his mother.

So he focused now on Laven's birthday. Now that he knew about people celebrating something like that it felt right in his mind. It made sense, and he grasped that sensation tightly as if it might bring back whatever memory that the feeling was attached to even though it didn't. He didn't really want to force Laven to celebrate something that he didn't want to celebrate, but if it reminded Laven of how far away some things were... Maybe Menel could keep him in the here.

It didn't take a genius to figure out who's birthday had been the last that Laven had celebrated. Menel only knew of one child in Laven's life after all. Or at least only one that would bring that expression to Laven's crimson eyes. It was that expression and Laven's next words that decided Menel utterly.

They both needed something to bring them out of memory and back into the present. There were to many ghosts in the past. To many pains. He wanted Laven here, with him. So he smiled and slid his hand over Laven's. It took him a moment to do a quick calculation to remember exactly when his birthday was, shoving down another unpleasant memory that came with it and grinning even though it wasn't as easy as it usually was.
"Pretty soon actually. I was born a few weeks before the winter solstice." A week before Aviline had died. "On the sixth so... five days from now."

He tilted his head a little and this time his smile was truer, warmer and he laughed a little gently. "This will be my twenty-sixth winter." His smile became a little more thoughtful and he looked at Laven his tone growing wistful. "If I can remember the day I was born... we must have celebrated something. I just wish I could remember it. I know she made pies in the winter..."

The swordsman laughed again a bit abashedly and glanced away. "I guess some things don't change. I loved that smell, and I still know that it's something special." He looked back up to Laven and squeezed Laven's hand. "...I know it's been a while since you celebrated a birthday, but I'd like to celebrate mine with you."

A little light color rose up on his cheeks. He wanted to celebrate everything with Laven. Every holiday. Every day. His thumb rubbed along the side of Laven's hand. Laven didn't have to give him a present, just his presence was a gift. One that Menel didn't take for granted. "That's what these holidays are for right? Celebrating with the people you love?"

He could accept that thought. That there hadn't been a reason to celebrate. Not until now. Not until Laven had come into his life and given him someone to love.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Laven on Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:18 pm

The first thing that Laven thought wasn’t Oh, his birthday is soon! it was He’s so much younger than I am. Laven was almost twice Menel’s age. And yet the younger man was human, while Laven was not. Barring accident or illness Laven would outlive Menel three times over with some change. And how sad was that, that Laven was a little glad Menel wouldn’t be left without him if their lives stayed twined together.

And how sad was it that they would keep parting and losing what little time they had? Laven couldn’t cross the borders into Vida and Menel must need to, to make money and give his life purpose. But clearly  the swordsman was trying to pull Laven out of his fugue, clasping their hands together comfortably as they ate and spoke. Laven rubbed his thumb over the bones of Menel’s hand, putting his sad memories away to focus on the much brighter now.
“Twenty-six winters? And you haven’t celebrated one in your memory. That wont do, Love.” The elf smiled putting his chopsticks down and turning a little so that he was facing Menel fully.

“You have it right. Your birthday and Winter Solstice are perfect times to celebrate together.” He couldn’t celebrate with Martin anymore, nor could Menel celebrate with Aviline. But they could remember them, and show their love for each other while still honoring their memories. And Laven could do something he was growing quite fond of:

Showering Menel with gifts and attention.

Laven returned the squeeze to his hand and smiled with warmth in his eyes.
“Yes, I think that’s a good idea. It’s a little short notice but what do you think of celebrating the two together? At least this time around.” Next year Laven would make time for both events.

He had a family, he would show them the love they deserved.
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Menel on Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:44 pm

Menel's smile turned slightly abashed and he finished off his ramen to cover the fact that he was more than a little embarrassed that he hadn't known about all this. If he thought about it, he could remember little things. Other guards ribbing one another and going to bars together to celebrate. And there were fireworks in the cities every year he was near one around the summer solstice. All these years he'd thought it was just a summer fair or something. He'd avoided going to the bars with other guards because of how inevitably violent it became even when they weren't celebrating. Most of the others seemed to think he was just a private guy even if he was friendly.

He might not know what he was supposed to do to celebrate these occasions, but if it meant giving gifts to Laven... well that as he kept thinking, was something he could get behind. The thought had already warmed him against the chill around him.

Smoothly Menel leaned closer to Laven. His eyes fell on their hands and not for the first time in his life he thought about how odd it was that hands so much more delicate than his own fit there so perfectly. He wondered if Laven felt this way. Like he'd found something that completed parts of his life he hadn't even known were there.

Menel never thought about how old he was, or how old Laven must be. He knew that the man he loved had small wrinkles around his eyes. That those crimson orbs were heavy sometimes with the weight of the years he'd lived. He knew the scar on Laven's face was one he could trace without seeing, like every other that touched his skin. From the one on his side, to all the tiny imperfections he had found and that Laven might not even know of himself.

He'd only gotten slightly less than a year with Aviline, and he wouldn't have given up a day of it. Time didn't matter. All that mattered was that right now, in this moment he had Laven's hand to hold into his own and that was a good thing. Like Laven he thought sometimes about the time he lost when Laven was not at his side, it made him ache for the elf's company but he could not attach the other man to his hip and drag him from his home.

But it did make him think that maybe it was time to stop traveling.

His blue eyes met Laven's crimson.
"I'd love to. I think it's a great idea." He paused for a moment, phantom pain flickering in his eyes gone as quickly as the way it made him almost cling to Laven's fingers. "We can just celebrate my birthday on the Solstice."

The word came a little more easily to him now. Saying it all together like Laven did. He didn't want to end up celebrating his birthday or the Solstice in between the two dates. And that would give him plenty of time to prepare. Plenty of time to put the day that he usually spent thinking of Aviline behind him. To make gifts and ask around a bit more about how this usually worked.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Laven on Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:58 pm

Laven caught the little slip of Menel’s smile, how it made his bright eyes hollow and sad for just a breath before he tried to project warmth and joy back into his every once of being. It was enough for the elf to tighten his grip and reach out with his other hand to tug Menel’s head down so that their foreheads touched. “Good. We’ll make a big deal of it, get Revvie involved so that she doesn’t feel like a third wheel.”

There was nothing more he wanted to do then bring Menel more and more joy. Six months of their strange and wonderful relationship and he was in deep and he knew it. Knew he wanted nothing more than to tangle his hands over Menel’s heart and hold it safe. To be the dagger in the dark that Menel was too good to embrace. Laven’s hands were so much smaller and deeply stained with blood. And they were tools not just for himself, but for the man before him.

But as much as they could and had harmed, they could do this. They could bring happiness and excitement to someone who hadn’t had nearly enough in his short life. Twenty-six years of birthdays needed to be celebrated. Needed to show Menel that he was worth everything to Laven. Worth throwing away his career to make happy.

Laven blew out a breath and shifted up to press a kiss to Menel’s forehead before pulling away and brushing his thumb over Menel’s cheek.
“But before that you still need more clothing, yes? As soon as you’re done we should get moving once again.” It would give him time to find more gifts for Menel. And time to simply savor the moments they were hand in hand.
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Menel on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:19 pm

That made Menel's smile a real one that he didn't have to try and make better than he felt it. The swordsman was terrible at hiding what he was feeling or thinking. Everything played out across his expressive features, and he wasn't entirely unaware of that fact. Generally speaking he didn't mind if it did. He didn't really have much to hide, and he didn't often lie so it wasn't like the effort of doing so was going to give him away.

"I hope she doesn't mind." His voice was mildly thoughtful. And he gave Laven a small kiss on the cheek. "I guess I'll just have to make it up to her that I'm butting into whatever holiday celebrations you guys normally have." He picked up his bowl and slid it to the cook and rolled his shoulders.

It hadn't been truly noticeable, but Menel had actually gone through something like five bowls of ramen during the course of their short conversation.
"I've had enough, let's finish shopping." He shoved a little money into the cook's tip jar and rose to his feet, pulling on Laven's hand just enough to bring the elf to his feet and into Menel's waiting arms. The swordsman didn't hesitate to embrace the other man and kiss him gently. "I know I already said thank you, but... I should thank you in advance you know. For helping me with all of this."

There was a little tiny bit of blush on his cheeks, but he held Laven comfortably, his body fitting to the elf's naturally. He hummed just as gently and kissed Laven again. "And for lunch."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Ornaments of the Heart

Post by Laven on Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:21 pm

Menel’s gentle pull had Laven moving easily, and the elf chuckled as he was maneuvered into a hug and kiss before he had time to try and slap Menel’s hand away from the tip jar. He had planned to cover that as well but he supposed Menel deserved to give at least that much extra since Laven had paid and Menel had devoured enough for three humans easily. “You’re welcome, my love. Anytime.” Laven leaned into Menel and smiled up at the easily flustered swordsman, his hands clasped together and locking Menel in a firm embrace for a little while longer.

“We’ll think of something. But don’t you dare try and spend extra on either Revina or myself.” Laven’s smile was warm but he was being very honest. Menel needed to save money, and Revina and Laven could spare the extra coin needed to transform the house into something worth celebrating in.

After untangling himself from Menel once again, Laven twined their fingers together and pulled the younger man forwards with a tug.
“Come, you have shirts and socks but I suspect we could find you some underthings and maybe a new pair of pants? We’ll look for too long and I’ll hem them to fit.” The day was slowly waning to night around them, shops turning their lights on so that the city streets began to glow in clashing shades or neon colors.

There were many more stores around that sold clothing, from comfortable city fashions to rugged clothing meant to take a beating. Mixed between were accessory shops and jewelers, their wares displayed in glass windows. As they walked Laven discreetly watched the different shops in passing, building a list of gifts he could get Menel for his birthday.

Laughing at some small joke had Laven catching a small sign set in a jeweler’s window. “Enchantments placed on request.” He tucked himself closer to his swordsman and smiled secretly.

There was an idea. A gift that was as functional as it was beautiful. Just as Menel would like.


~End~
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