by Nyx

The deceptive thing about dark languages is that they are strangely resilient, with a tendency to crop up where least expected. The same is true of Deatoura – he has never ceased to surprise you, and thank God for that, because the day Dea becomes predictable is likely to usher in the Apocalypse. It’s something that you’ve long since come to understand about him; Dea is a force unto himself, totally independent of external influence except in the rare instances when they give him a point from which to rebound.

There was a wildness about him that not even the Suits could beat down. And perhaps that was exactly why you loved him – Deatoura, the white-hot falling star, a comet, blue-gold-red flame, he was a patch of color in your monochrome world. You were all black and white, straight lines and clean patterns, and Deatoura a whorl of bright red, a splash of ginger hair on your pillow.

“It’s been years since romance found me,” you tell him, and this isn’t strictly true – Romance has haunted you with alarming regularity in the years since Dea left, but it always comes in memories, in dreams. You catch a flash of red from the corner of your eye, or smell the unique scent that Dea always carried, and just like that, Romance’s skeleton is waking up and coming knocking. It is difficult to kill a ghost, you discover.

Later, he kisses you and you let him. He is likely expecting resistance, after that conversation (“Juni, when we made love, ’twas a language all our own.” “Dark languages die fast…” And the expression on his face had been something between amusement and hurt), but you are in no mood to cater to Deatoura’s whims. He kisses you hard and firey, and you kiss him soft and dewy and for a second, a thought crosses your mind – what are you each trying to say, in this strange dark languages you both once spoke? It seems that time and distance has forced a change in dialect, but the grammar is the same, a syntax of touches and caresses, gasps and sighs and half-formed syllables. There are no games here. Deatoura drops his garish faux-Irish, and you murmur against his skin in Italian, quiet but present.

“Sono spiacente,” you tell him, unsure of what, exactly, you are asking him to forgive. My pride, my reticence, my stuffiness. You understand that you cannot hold him for long.

“Il mondo alle mie punte delle dita,” you murmur, spreading your fingers over his back and watching the way his body shifts at the touch. This is the last time. You understand this with piercing clarity, even as Dea moves beneath you in synchronous rhythm. Until Dea has abandoned this perpetual defense of his king, until you have chased away your demons and hung up your suit – each a thing that seems impossible – until then, this thing between you is doomed. ‘An army of lovers cannot fall,’ you once heard, but you and Deatoura are not an army, merely soldiers, and you are not lovers, merely waystations.

When he leaves, you pretend to be sleeping. The floor near your door creaks, just as it always has, and Deatoura curses, just like he always does. Against your will, you stifle a smile into your pillow. The dialect may differ, but if the syntax remains – dark languages can always be relearned.



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