Burn The Stars
The multitude of stars pulse across the midnight sky gracefully, but the light pollution birthed by one of the most populous cities on Eden-6 makes them hard to detect by mere eyes. Not unlike the stars, elegant tall buildings pulsate with the night life full of bright lights and loud cars; the city is up and alight with energy and excitement.
Two figures fidget in their chairs where they lounge lazily on top of one of the hundred-floor apartments to the east of the city, sharing the general mood. Rhys and Vaughn have less than a day ahead of themselves to get shipped to Elpis, the only moon of the planet Pandora that’s pretty much across the galaxy; they are amongst the select few who got accepted to one of Hyperion’s top universities, a great (and rare) honor and opportunity to attain.
The first spark occurs at this particular moment where midnight melts into the early hours of the morning. Rhys looks at Vaughn, his brown eyes sparkling with anxiety and hope simultaneously; the shorter boy returns the gaze just as fervently, hiding his emotions behind a brave grin.
They sure are nervous and afraid. This will be the first time they’ll leave their planet, let alone travel across the galaxy, leaving their families and friends behind for at least four solid years. But then again, they both worked hard to achieve this; they’ll learn and improve, getting closer and closer to their dream of working for Hyperion one day.
And they will do that together.
With a blush dusting his pale cheeks, Rhys reaches a hand out to Vaughn, fixing the strands of hair falling onto his face with his other hand so that he can buy enough time and be brave enough to look into Vaughn’s eyes.
Vaughn always thought Rhys has the dorkiest smile around, but he’s not the one to judge, as he smiles back just as silly. He huffs as he tries to catch his friend’s eyes, his fingers brush Rhys’s gently before the digits intertwine.
The city provides white noise in the background, the chilly, humid night air ruffles their hair; the stars shine just as bright, Eden-6’s two moons move across the sky without a care in the world, a burst of orange and a splash of peony blooming in the dark.
They have each other, and a bright future ahead. Their hearts swell with love and hope.
It’s almost ten years later that the same cocktail of emotions catches them off guard, blanketed by yet another starry night. Naturally, they have changed throughout the decade- they’re Hyperion now, like they’ve always dreamed to become, with fancy clothes and classy haircuts. Unlike what they planned all those years ago, however, they’re not in one of the grand plazas sipping whatever fancy drink they want. No. They’re pretty much running away from Hyperion after that failed vault key deal that cost them ten million dollars (and eventually, their heads).
Immaculate clothes ripped, fancy shoes covered with dirt and hair disheveled, Vaughn and Rhys pace through the desert, keeping the caravan and their weird ‘teammates’ within their sight while gossiping amongst themselves.
“Look at all those stars!” Rhys points at the sky, his mismatched eyes filled with awe. Vaughn finds himself marveling at Rhys’s dorky smile like he did when they were teenagers instead of the sky. “I guess the only pro of being in the middle of nowhere is the lack of light pollution, I mean, look at how bright they are!” Listening to the cyborg’s excited chatter, the accountant barely stops himself from making a cheesy comment like “None of them are as bright as your smile, bro.” He knows Rhys would love that and let out that silly giggle-snort of his, reserved just for Vaughn’s ears; but he simply doesn’t want to interrupt the taller man, he loves his voice and he loves listening to Rhys after all.
The cold, dry night winds chill them to their bones, so they end up huddling close to seek warmth and intimacy in each other. They end up walking hand in hand, watching the blinking stars, admiring the purple hue of Elpis and the ever-watchful eye of Helios. Winds take handfuls of sand and hurl them at the two man occasionally, and Vaughn ends up with a mouthful of sand because he happened to laugh at one of Rhys’s jokes at the wrong time. Rhys rubs his back and murmurs soothing words into his ear as he coughs up the unwelcome material, and finally takes a breath to calm himself. He lets out an unhappy whine as Rhys gently cleans his face from any lingering particles of sand with gentle hands, “You think we’ll get out of… whatever this is alive?” he asks, looking up at his friend’s eyes. Rhys’s eyebrows furrow as he considers the question, and Vaughn thinks there is nothing more adorable than that little pout gracing the company man’s full lips. Rhys smiles a moment later, and Vaughn is so lost in those pretty eyes that he doesn’t notice the arms sneaking around his waist for a moment. He gasps, but it’s too late and he’s rendered unable to move thanks to Rhys’s noodle arms pulling him close.
Not that he complains.
As Rhys buries his nose in Vaughn’s neck, they’re already blushing hard. The shorter man wraps his arms around the other’s neck and they stand there, as quiet as the night itself.
“We have each other, bro, of course we’ll pull this off.” Rhys mutters into Vaughn’s neck, his warm breath making the accountant shudder involuntarily. He hugs the cyborg close and sighs.
Even on a foreign planet, practically stranded on a huge desert, they still have hope; because they have each other. There’s that spark again, both Rhys and Vaughn can feel it deep in their palpitating hearts. It must be love.
“We should stop meeting like this.” Vaughn says with a downturn his lips, but his amused voice betrays his face. Rhys doesn’t respond, as he’s currently busy ogling Vaughn. Vaughn appreciates it, he really does; the whole Bandit King attire took a lot effort to come up with, after all. He’d just rather… Rhys did something other than just stand so far away from him, frozen as if shot by a powerful cryo gun.
But that’s fine. He strokes his beard and Rhys’s eyes follow the movement, Vaughn thinks liquid gold fits him more than electric blue. He smiles and takes a step towards the other man and that seems to snap Rhys out of his weird reverie.
The fallen remains of Helios remain a crooked mess in the distance, glowing in a shade of pale lilac in the night’s darkness. With all the lighting up Children of Helios done around the area, the makeshift town shines brighter than the stars glittering across the sky. Rhys ignores the scenery as he runs towards Vaughn, he knows he should be agitated by the mere sight of the satellite’s metallic corpse, but he has much more pressing matters at hand, like holding the Bandit King close.
Feet dangling in the air as he’s given a chest-crushing hug by Rhys, Vaughn simply chuckles and hugs him back. The cyborg finally lets Vaughn go so he can breathe and stand on his own, but that only seems to last a moment as they’re pulled within each other’s orbit yet again. Rhys grabs Vaughn’s face with both hands, silver fingers stroking his beard curiously; the shorter man fondles Rhys’s ass innocently and gets a surprised chuckle from the man.
“I’m gonna kiss you now.” Vaughn declares, nodding to himself. Rhys nods along, his dorky smile making the other tipsy; it never gets old, that smile.
The kiss is a decade late, they never felt any different when they were teens than they do now; but the experience crowning their minds, the sins on their backs and the friends they’ve made along the way make it much more wonderful than it could have ever been. They ended up in a place so much different from where they started off, they should be afraid and worried. But as their hands worship each other’s bodies and their tongues delve deeper into each other’s mouths, they’re anything but those.
When they finally break the kiss with silly smiles on their now-numb lips, they can hear the way people around them holler and cheer. It’s fascinating, how one can feel at home and ease in the middle of a wild planet. It’s weird to think how they hoped to become high-level Hyperion goons once and ended up a CEO of a once-dead company and a bandit leader who leads people with an iron fist and the heart of gold.
It is exciting. It gives the two man hope.
As they hold each other close, giving each other chaste kisses every so often, they’re happier than ever. And there’s the third spark, lighting their hearts on fire.
“I love you.” Rhys whispers into Vaughn’s ear.
“I love you, too.” Vaughn replies, just as calm and quick.
They always have.
For the lovely @nokikissa!
You’re awesome and I hope you like this, my friend!