They allow each other the space - the freedom - to indulge in each other once a year.
Most days are a carefully choreographed dance between waiting and watching, protecting and guarding, promising and cherishing. Never too far away, but never so close that the line they’ve drawn together in the sand is crossed beyond what they know they can handle.
Just this one simple night when Cassian steps away, as he inevitably does at some point or other during the night. They’ve never asked him if its intentional or not.
Just this one simple night when the music takes over, slows them down, sets their bodies in motion weaving in and out of one another, until the moment is so soft and gentle, there is no going backwards. There is no disconnect. There is only dancing and there is only each other.
Just this one simple night and there is only them.
Silently, they’ve promised this night to one another for centuries.
When Azriel gave himself his first night off and it was Starfall, and Mor was there to drag him to dance. They’d never been so intimate before, so close. Not in this way that was open and devoid of danger or death. No one carried anyone to safety that night as Azriel had when he’d flown Mor from the Autumn Court to bring her home. He didn’t need any other excuse to touch her, hold her, protect her then as she had danced in and out of his arms with such ease, her smile holding the promise of many dances to come over the years.
So long as he would stay.
And stay he did.
When Mor first came back from the Court of Nightmares and had to choose a dress to wear on the court’s most celebrated night to help her pretend there were no demons lingering about her mind, and Az was waiting to help her into the music. When the music had grown less lively and a little more haunting, and Azriel had felt more than seen the first tear fall, he’d tucked her safely between his waiting arms, brought his wings around them, and let their bodies sway slowly in time to the beat. He watched Mor stare at those wings until she was no longer thinking through them to the world outside, but seeing them - seeing him - and knowing he would always be there.
And so would she.
For him, when Starfall comes and Azriel has to leave in the morning because the war is over, but their enemies aren’t. And he’s nervous even though he says nothing. There are more shadows on him than song and dance, but Mor threads careful smiles together. Offers a reassuring pat when Cassian has to step away to chat with someone mingling about in the crowd. Meets his gaze thoughtfully and doesn’t press too hard when Azriel sees Rhys brooding about the same mission and his shadows constrict. Gently, she flits about the perimeter of his world letting him be, letting him breathe. And when he’s ready, she knows he’ll come to her and offer his hand. No words needed. And they’ll dance.
Just one dance.
Over and over again through the centuries.
Sometimes it is sweet.
Sometimes it is mournful.
Sometimes it is the only way they know how to say I love you without actually saying it.
Just his chin resting against her hair. And her thumb stroking the smooth skin at the base of his neck. Or his hand holding her firmly in place on the small of her back. And maybe their free hands entwined together, pressed firmly against his chest.
Maybe he dips her. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe they spin and spin and spin endlessly through the night. Maybe they move in a slow heat.
But always they are close for just that one song. Where the world slips away and it is only them, and the words they cannot say yet feel every second of every day. And the stars reign down to tell them it is okay to live - even if only for tonight. To hold each other close and feel everything they want to feel, to know that it is there.
It is enough to get them through a year’s worth of visits to the Hewn City or missions to far away lands and courts full of secrets. When Mor is fighting back the ghost of a pain driven into her stomach as she paces her chambers deep beneath the mountain, or when Azriel sits atop a lonely mountain cleaning Truth-Teller to forget whose blood has stained it. On the coldest, hardest nights, they will think back to the last time they had their one dance, and feel the pain in their chests ease with the recollection.
It is almost better than the moment Azriel lands on the balcony at the House of Wind and sees Mor waiting for him, just like it is almost better than when Mor feels Azriel pull her against him when her father’s words go too far. Almost. But not quite.
No, nothing ever quite compares to that first moment of return when they carry Starfall in their hearts to bring them hurtling back toward one another and their eyes meet across the room, the city - wherever they may be - the love and relief springing to life inside their hearts with promise. Because even through all the doubts and fears and uncertainties that keep them from daring too much for the remainder of the year, Morrigan and Azriel know one thing with absolute certainty:
Starfall is waiting.
And so, too, is their dance.