the weary shepherd

It’s late, he knew. The way Sorey’s head was nodding off, half-lidded eyes struggling to stay awake, and a slump on the chair were all indicators of weariness engulfing the Shepherd into a gentle sleep. Mikleo sighed and glanced towards Sorey; he COULD wake him up; he COULD start carrying him to the room, half murmurs singing softly in his ear listening to his partner babble nonsense as he drifted into sleep; he COULD tuck him into bed, gently remove his earrings, and softly whisper, “Good night”, blowing out the lantern as he left the room to let him finally rest.

So why Mikleo found himself leaning comfortably into his chair and staring at Sorey longer than he usually did was beyond himself.

But he shrugged. Giving in to small indulgences here and there for himself were quite rare.

Strong hands gently resting on the pages of the worn Celestial Record; broad shoulders now relaxed from their duty of protecting others; obnoxious yet characteristic feathered earrings that always reminded them of Home; tousled, brown hair, colored with warmth and honesty; and green eyes full of radiance and hope, now closed inwards towards himself, a moment of relief, self-care and maintenance, moments that Sorey hardly did for himself anymore.

The characteristics of Sorey were colored in each aspect of his physical appearance. To everyone, Sorey is their Shepherd, fearless leader, a symbol of hope.

To Mikleo, Sorey is his best friend, his light in the dark, his beating heart.

Sorey suddenly stirred, mumbling a word or so about prickleboars and Kyme, and Mikleo chuckled. The lips that so often shouted firm commands and decisions in front of everyone was now reduced to a slew of incoherent dreams in his own personal world.

Of course, to Mikleo, those lips were only quiet in their most private of moments.

A loud thud shook Mikleo out of his train of thought as he observed Sorey rubbing his forehead and moaning softly. Mikleo bit back a laugh, not noticing the moment Sorey’s hand had slipped, causing his head to crash on the table before him.

Sorey began to nod off as soon as he began to rub his forehead and Mikleo shook his head. It was indeed time for bed.

Standing up, Mikleo walked around the table to Sorey’s side and sat. Gently moving Sorey’s bangs, Mikleo gently placed his hand over Sorey’s forehead, a warm blue glow emitting from his hand and healing the small bump that began to form.

Without withdrawing his hand, Mikleo moved his hand to to cup Sorey’s cheek and slowly brought Sorey’s head closer to his. Leaning in, Mikleo placed a light kiss on top of Sorey’s head, nuzzling his way through the ruffled mess of brown hair. Mikleo inhaled, the aroma of autumn leaves and windbeaten green grass and other nature entered him, all laced with trace memories of Elysia. Mikleo smiled.

“It’s time to wake up, Sorey.”