first time

May. 6th, 2017 09:40 pm
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Title: first time
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIV
Prompt: 096. writer's choice – first time
Pairing: Aymeric/Durae (WoL)/Estinien
Words: 651 words

first time

Returning to Coerthas isn’t something Durae’s particularly keen about. It’s cold and if there is one thing that he hates it’s the cold – and being cold most of all.

However, the draw of his strings keeps pulling him back. Not to mention his duties with the Scions.

It’s because of the Scions that he’s returning. Only this time, they have an invitation. Of a sort.

Alphinaud is more keen about the politics of the situation than Durae is. He’s full of a wide-eyed zeal that Durae had long grown out of, though he has to admire the depths of his idealism. It’s a refreshing change from the pragmatic realism and pessimism that seem so common in Eorzea as of late. So, while Alphinaud chatters on about what this meeting could mean for Ishgardian relations, Durae spends the trip watching his strings.

The colours grow more and more rich the further into Coerthas they travel. And, when they reach Camp Dragonhead, the colours are so vivid that he can see both threads as they stretch across the expanse of the courtyard.

“Something the matter?” Alphinaud asks.

“It’s nothing.”

He should tell Alphinaud, but the matter of his threads is so personal that it feels… strange to even think about sharing them with another. As close as he is to Alphinaud, as much as he trusts him, he doesn’t want to share this detail with him. Not yet, anyway.

He doesn’t want to see the look of sympathy when he admits that he hasn’t found them.

It’s a look that he’s long become familiar with and one that makes the ache in his chest worse. To have it come from someone he knows, is friends with, would be too much to bear. He doesn’t want their sympathy over being his age and not having found his matches yet; it would always be there, and he doesn’t want it.

His heart leaps up into his chest as he follows Alphinaud into the great hall. His threads lead off to the side, turning around the building and vanishing.

Could it be…?

Shaking his head, Durae focuses on the matter at hand. They have business to attend to, and that must come first.

The Intercessory is a windowless room, dominated by a large table at its centre. There’s only one door in and out, through which he and Alphinaud enter – followed closely by Haurchefant.

His breath catches in his throat when he realizes the other ends of his threads are here.

The bright, bright red one trails across the room, across the table, to where it’s tied about the finger of a handsome man dressed in fine armour and blue cloth. Even though he’s sitting down, he commands the attention of all in the room and rises when they enter.

His eyes linger on Durae, whose breath has caught in his throat.

“You must be the Scions’ representatives,” he greets. His voice is pleasantly deep and he speaks softly but with a trace of command. “I am Aymeric de Borel, Lord Commander of the Temple Knights.”

“A pleasure to meet you, Ser Aymeric,” Alphinaud responds. “I am Alphinaud Leveilleur and my companion is–”

“Durae Arulaq,” he says, inclining his head. He finds himself rather unable to tear his eyes away from him.

Here, at last, is the end of one of his strings. And…

There’s no mistaking that the other trailing end of his string is attached to the heavily armed and armoured man who leans unobtrusively against the wall to the left of Aymeric’s chair.

His mouth is set in a thin line, face obscured by the visor of his helmet. But the string around his finger is tied to one of the ones about Durae’s. Whether or not he’s watching him, Durae cannot tell, but butterflies flutter in his stomach just the same.

He hopes he makes for a good first impression.
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