endless flow of water

Pulse - A Moriel Fic

thank you to @spookylucky and @imaginarypigs who both asked for something dancing/Rita’s related for Moriel. Thank you @illyrian-baby for reading this over for me before I posted it! 

Title: Pulse 

Summary: Mor/Azriel. Set in the middle of ACOMAF just before Azriel journeys to the mortal realm in an attempt to infiltrate the queens’ castle. Mor coaxes Azriel to come to Rita’s with her and even manages to get a dance out of him before he leaves. 

Link: AO3 

The rich, heavy music of Rita’s envelopes him, a throbbing, pulsing, warm embrace to contrast the cool, dark caress of his shadows. The tips of his scarred, callused fingers run in endless circles around the lip of his glass, the smooth material flowing like water beneath his touch. He raises it to his lips and takes a sip of the velvet liquor within him, letting it blaze through his system.

But even as he drinks then sets the glass on the table again and allows his fingertip to continue its circuits around the rim his eyes never once leave the dance floor. Laughter bubbles up from her lips, free and clear, sweeter and more emotional than the music that lifts and drops and carries the dancers along on its current because he knows the true depth of it.

He knows what they did to her. He knows how they hurt her, how they tried to break her, to leave her nothing but a broken, empty shell. His blood boils at the thought of it and the cold rage that’s been murmuring within his bones for over five centuries.

But she laughs, so bright and clear and free. The wildness they could never tame, the life they could never kill, the laughter they could never steal from her. She laughs her defiance at the darkness in this world and fills it with her light instead. She wears her heart upon her sleeve, daring them to try and take it from her again. She is a breath of sunlight in a cold dark place while he lurks in the shadows.

The dress she wears clings to her body and flows with her movements like liquid silk, hugging every curve, rippling with every beat of the music which she catches perfectly each time. He gets lost in her rhythm, transfixed by the rise and fall of her hips, held prisoner in the way her body moves with the music that surrounds her. It’s as though they’re one, as though they’re connected, bound together. The threads of music, the flute and fiddle and drums each were forming a string around her that moves her with them, as though the melody is her puppeteer and she its marionette.

She throws her hands up above her head, leaning back as she sways, her body flowing like water, her eyes closed. She is transported, and he with her, though he remains so many agonizing feet from her. She gives herself to the music that surrounds her; to the heat of the dance floor, the beckoning call of the thick atmosphere that floods her lungs like opium smoke and carries her away.

His mouth goes dry as he watches her and when her eyes open and lock with his a shudder goes down him and his shadows seem to flee from him, leaving him feeling oddly bare before her. A broad  grin spreads across her lips as she looks at him. She winks one of her big dark eyes at him and then breaks away from the dancers around her, weaving fluidly between them until she stands before him.

Stretching out a hand, her face wild, breathless, breathing hard she says, “Dance with me.”

“Mor,” he murmurs slowly, not moving though his body tenses.

She just leans down and takes both of his scarred hands in his and gently tugs until he’s one his feet and his body is jolting lightly against hers and it takes every bit of self control he has not to crush her against him and kiss her while her eyes shine with that burning, wild light as she gazes up at him, her eyes drinking him in like oxygen.

Slowly she presses her body against his and he closes his eyes, not for the first time revelling in the way they fit together, how every curve of her nestles in against his rigid muscles until there’s nothing separating them but their skin and clothes and the same taut barriers that have kept them apart for five hundred years. Standing on her toes she coils a hand round behind his neck and murmurs in his ear, “Dance with me, Azriel,” the shiver at those words travels through them both, “Please.”

He never could deny her anything if she said that word. That one murmur from her and he was hers. Completely. A marionette all of his own but tangled in her strings this time.

With a nod he acquiesces to her demand and the smile that lights up her face in return, crinkling those warm, molten eyes of hers, could bring peace to a land ravaged by war, he’s sure. She leads him to the fringes of the floor, cast in the shadows of the lights that pulse and illuminate the main space. She knows him, knows he doesn’t want to be in the thick of things; knows that he’s doing this for her; that he doesn’t crave the heavy, pulsing atmosphere that she does. He only craves this, this moment, this intimacy; her.

Mor deftly takes his hands in hers and places them where she wants them, one around her waist, palm pressed flat against the small of her back, the other she holds in hers, gently letting their fingers lace together. Then she leans in and rests her head against his shoulder, their bodies appearing in the darkness as one. And as one they move together. Her hips start to sway, picking up the beat of this new piece and he follows her, half guided by the music and half by her movements.

They know each other so well that their bodies take almost non-existent cues from one another. Be they in the midst of battle, carnage erupting constantly all around them or huddled together on the edge of a crowded dance floor they move in perfect sync together. Every action of hers causes a reaction from him, predictable as a tide, inevitable as night following day. It’s not difficult to lose himself in it; to let himself become one being with her.

Az rests his chin on the top of her head, tucking her in even more tightly against him as the music begins to swell. He can feel her enthusiasm, her love of this escape, this joy and he lets his guard down so as to share it in her.

And he understands when she looks up at him, her rich, velvet soft eyes filled with emotion why she’d wanted this, wanted him to come, wanted him to hold her. This is her eye of the deafening storm that rages around them and threatens to tear away everything she holds dear. It’s safe and quiet and a place where she can forget Hybern and the book and the queens and the chaos that looms ever closer. It’s somewhere she can just dance, and smile, and laugh and hold him.

The music guiding them along shifts, becoming darker and more intense and his grip on her tightens on some deep buried instinct. A small gasp huffs from Mor but she doesn’t pull away, instead she slowly turns in his arms until her back is pressed to him and then she starts to grind against him. Az closes his eyes, pulling her close, both hands now on her body, roving over the surface of her. The silk dress she has on is so sheer they might as well be skimming over her naked skin.

The whole world shrinks to the space contained within his arms. There was nothing and no-one but this, but them. They were eternity in a moment. They were everything being swept away into nothing. They were the final note of the last song ever played that continued to echo on long after the death of the world. They were complete.

Desire flares in him as the heat swells and rises between them and it takes every bit of self control he has to reign himself in. He wants to kiss her. He wants to take her in his arms and kiss her until she’s breathless. He wants to bury his hands in her thick, golden hair and press her to him. He wants to caress her skin, wants to press his lips gently to every scar, wants to find some lost light within himself and gild her in it until she’s glowing and eternal. He wants to release the aching, unbearable tension he feels in them. He wants her. He wants her.

But then the song ends and a new one begins, light and playful and the spell that had been wrapping around them, intoxicating them, draining them of air and all the sense that’s kept them from each other this long breaks and they slowly and mutually part from one another, both breathing hard.

Catching each other’s eyes they agree silently and slowly weave their way out of the packed place, Mor making easy, light excuses to what feels like half the people there as she leaves. Azriel just trails quietly along in her wake, the shadows that had faded and swept back as he’d danced with Mor returning to wreathe his body in their darkness once more.

Breaking  out into the cool wash of Velaris, steeped in night and calm and quiet, they begin to move away from Rita’s. Mor decides she wants to walk rather than have him fly her home and he falls patiently into step beside her as they amble up the high street, their bodies jostling occasionally against each other. But the tension they found together in those few pulsing, lost moments in Rita’s, when they were so intimately together they might have been in a new world that was created for only them.

They arrive at her place, on a surprisingly quiet corner removed from the general hum and rhythm of Velaris, set overlooking the river. Mor turns on the spot and looks up at him. With a quiet, genuine smile, unlike the broad, dazzling grin she so usually flashes, she stands on her toes and presses a soft kiss to his cheek. “Thank you for coming with me tonight,” she murmurs, taking his scarred, battered hand in her own perfect, soft smooth one and squeezing. “Be careful tomorrow, in the mortal realm, okay?”

From anyone else he would have darkened at the fussing or the coddling but from her…He understands her worry, the worry she so rarely lets show through that bright, careless facade. But she feels it; she feels everything so deeply for those she loves. So for her he only leans down and presses a soft kiss to the top of her head and growls gently, “I will.”

A soft smile blooms on her lips again at that and his heart lightens even as his shadows do at the sight of it.

“Goodnight, Az,” she murmurs softly as she turns and heads inside, giving him that smile once more.

“Goodnight, Morrigan,” he whispers, his words stolen away by the breeze and impossible to hear behind her closed door, where his eyes linger for just a moment longer than necessary before he spreads his wings and launches himself into the waiting sky.

My heart, an iceberg
breaking slowly
but in the end
it’s all just
ancient, but flowing
into the endless sea
returning to where
it once
started its journey
To be swept away
by the current
only to evaporate
It all seems so alien to me
—  The iceberg, by M.A. Tempels © 2016