another thing that didn't work as planned

5

The things you need to know about Charlene.

House of Wind - fic

This is what I imagine happens every morning in the House of Wind, based on an idea that came from this post. Just a little Moriel fluff, I hope you like it! (There is a tiny bit of angst in there, it just came out of nowhere, I swear.)

(AO3)

*****

It is still early in the morning at the House of Wind, and the sun is just breaking over the horizon, light pouring into the open kitchen windows. Azriel is in his usual spot, on a bench where he can easily take in the crisp air. Something about this time of the morning feels cleaner, more pure, as if the daylight and the noise of regular life mute his senses rather than aid them, and this is the only time that he can see clearly through his shadows. He has already heard Morrigan stirring, and is waiting for her to come to him.

He looks up as she quietly pads into the kitchen, stretching and blinking as she tries to wake up. Her nightgown swings around her thighs, the hem brushing just above her knees, and from his seat Azriel appreciates the way the silk moves on her. A cup of coffee is waiting for her on the counter, still steaming. He has made sure that it has an adequate amount of cream and sugar. He doesn’t understand how she can drink it so sweet, and usually does the opposite for his own. After all this time, though, he has the ratio right. She makes a small satisfied noise and grabs the mug before she takes her usual place at his side.

She slides onto the padded bench and tucks herself into him, legs bent over his lap, and he places a hand on her bare knee. “Thank you,” she manages to whisper. Azriel makes a small grunt in response. She smiles to herself. Every morning, for so long that she’s forgotten when it began, Azriel has been waiting here for her. She isn’t sure how he knows when she wakes, how he always manages to be up before her to make her coffee. As long as he isn’t away, she knows what to expect when she walks into this room.

“Azriel.” Mor’s voice is still quiet, scratchy from having recently woken up. She is warm against his side and he resists the urge to pull her in closer. Between her and the sun coming in from the window next to him, he feels like he wouldn’t know how to describe the dark right now if his life depended on it.

“Yes, love?”

She clears her throat. “I had a dream about you.” He raises an eyebrow at her.

“Not like that,” she grins. “No, in the dream we owned a pet store.”

Azriel starts. “A… pet store?”

She nods her head. “Mm-hm. Someone brought in a kitten they had found out in the woods. We were trying to decide if we should keep it or put it up for adoption. It was tiny and fluffy and black. But we already had so many cats. In the dream, that is. You and me. And so we had to give it away.” She rests her head on his shoulder.

“We gave it away,” he confirms. His voice rumbles through her body.

“Yes. But you were very particular about who he went to. It was very sweet of you.” She nestles further into his side, trying to steal some of his warmth. She knows she should wear something heavier, that covers more of her, but she enjoys the look on his face when she walks in every morning. The way he tries to pretend he doesn’t notice, acts like he isn’t cataloguing every bit of bare skin. Anyway, he has never minded that she comes to him every time, pretending that she can do nothing for the cold except press her body into his.

“That sounds like a nice dream, love.”

“Mm-hmm,” she murmurs.

Sometimes, he knows that she has nightmares. He hears her thrashing, calling out for him to find her. He dreads the nights when she needs him in that way. When it happens, he goes to her and holds her until she realizes that he has found her not in the Autumn Court, but in her room, in Velaris. That the wounds only exist in her memory now. After those nights, he must find her and coax her to get out of bed the next morning. If he even leaves her room, that is. He counts the days when her nightmares leave her in peace, and is grateful for them.

Moments pass in silence while they drink their coffee, neither of them thinking about anything except the comfort of being with the person next to them. Azriel watches while the sun rises slowly, the light in the nook slowly changing, becoming less otherworldly and more solid, more like the reality they will have to face soon when they part and cool air takes the place of her at his side. He wishes he could freeze this time, that every morning would start like this. That there would be no more missions or time apart, just the warmth and familiarity of her form pressed against his, her breathing the only other sound in the room.

“Azriel, could we get a kitten one day?” Sometimes Morrigan asks him questions like this, about the future, and it makes his heart skip a beat.

“If you want one, of course.” He turns his head to kiss the top of hers where it is resting on his shoulder. She presses herself closer into his warmth at that, rubbing her cheek on his shoulder in a particularly cat-like manner, reassuring herself. She might go back to sleep in this position, if they aren’t careful. She takes another sip of the coffee he has prepared for her and makes a small noise that he takes for contentment. Azriel can’t help when a corner of his mouth lifts to smile slightly, and he continues drinking from his own cup. He leans his cheek into the top of her head almost imperceptibly, not caring when a stray wisp of hair tickles his chin.

“For right now, I think I’d like some waffles,” she says.

“I’ve already got the ingredients out.” He knows that he needs to get up, leave this spot, but he doesn’t want to be the one to make the move. An interruption makes the decision easier.

Cassian walks in on the two, curled on each other and seemingly inextricable. By now he is used to the way they envelope themselves in their own world when they are at the House of Wind. The intimacy that Mor and Azriel have developed over the centuries might surprise their friends, but for Cassian, it has become normal.

“Morning,” Mor says in a voice that is suddenly energetic and almost chipper. She moves away from Azriel slightly and he tries to keep his disappointment at bay.

“Good morning,” Cassian replies. He nods to Azriel and then keeps his back to them as he gets his own coffee and breakfast, trying to leave them some semblance of privacy. He isn’t sure what this thing is that they do, but it brings them both comfort. Azriel is able to take care of her instead of retreat into himself. And for Morrigan, she gains the knowledge that Azriel does care for her, though it might not take quite the form she wants. Yet.

“Azriel was just going to make me some waffles. I might share them with you,” she says playfully.

“No thanks,” he declines. “I need to be off.”

Cassian raises his coffee cup to them by way of goodbye and walks out of the room. On his way, he notices a look exchanged between Azriel and Morrigan, a quick return to their own universe. What is hidden beneath that glance is a puzzle to him, though he is sure that each of them are able to read it as clearly as if they had spoken.

Returning to quiet understanding again, Azriel stands from the bench and begins to prepare breakfast while she watches. In these moments, she feels full to bursting – she is as at ease now as she has ever been, and she knows that there is little else they could do for one another that would show more devotion, more care.

When he is done, he brings the food to her. Azriel watches her eat, content in the fact that he will do this again tomorrow, that if she has a nightmare instead of a dream he will go to her, and that for these few moments, there is no one else in the world but them.