Silver and Gold - 11. Chapter 11
CW: references to death, drug abuse/addiction and overdose.
The apartment building was aggressively human, all practicality with its dingy beige exterior and joyless architecture. Feldspar doubted he would ever be able to distinguish it from its neighbors and searched for some distinguishing feature or number. The sound of metal on metal drew Feldspar’s attention back to Silver, who was cursing under his breath as he shoved at the lock on the front gate. Silver grimaced and stepped back. He shook his hand out before returning to the gate. With a practiced move he jiggled the key while rattling the door with his other hand. A few unceremonious shoves later the ugly metal door swung inward, earning a triumphant “ha!” from Silver.
Silver glanced over his shoulder at Feldspar as they walked into the dim stairwell. “Don’t judge, okay? This place is super close to a bunch of metro lines. Plus there’s a farmers market and the best bakery I’ve ever found around the block, and a bunch of my friends’ restaurants in the neighborhood.”
Feldspar flicked his eyes to the five-foot long water stain on the ceiling of the stairwell in response.
“Plus it’s cheap,” Silver said with a chuckle, earning a smile from Feldspar. “Brody and Yago took over the lease from their buddy who worked in the kitchens of the Four Seasons, who took over the lease from a pastry chef. I think it’s been owned by food people since the building was built, so the vibes are good as far as I’m concerned. Besides, I’m only here like half the year and the rent is low enough that Brody and Yago don’t mind — didn’t mind — “ his face fell as he felt Brody’s loss again. Feldspar touched his arm and gave him a nod to continue. “They didn’t mind that I wasn’t always around to contribute to the rent.”
Feldspar gave him a push toward the stairs. “Let’s go up and get some rest. Tomorrow you can show me the merits of the neighborhood.”
They summited the building’s dark and echoey stairs to the fourth floor, where Silver led Feldspar to a well-worn door. He drew in a long breath and slid his key into the lock, revealing the flat beyond.
“Yago,” Silver called out as he let himself in. He turned back to Feldspar and beckoned him in with a tip of his head. “He’s probably in his room. We can dump our stuff in our — “ a grimace crossed his face. Feldspar frowned as Silver’s eyes filled with tears and his face hardened.
“Sorry,” he said shakily. “I was going to say ‘our room.’ Brody and I always shared. I guess it’s just my room now. Or maybe Yago will find someone new to sublease. I don’t even know if he’s going to stay here. He might just move.”
Feldspar put his hand on Silver’s arm and pushed him gently toward the hallway. He was glad Silver was talking, but it was clear he was still in a state of semi-shock. “It’s late. Let’s just get settled, sweetheart.”
Feldspar’s first impression was that the bedroom was comically small. To get from one side of the room to the other you had to climb over the bed or risk brushing up against the wall that was covered in posters, ticket stubs, photos and menus. The bed was unmade and clothes were heaped in one corning. The entire space was messy and casual, and though it had a sort of homeyness, Feldspar couldn’t imagine Silver staying in it. Silver skirted the edge of the bed and Feldspar followed him toward the back of the room, and he realized what he had at first taken for the back wall was in fact a sheet strung up to divide the room in half. As Silver ducked behind the sheet, he turned back and surveyed the front half of the room with a pinched look. Feldspar winced in sympathy. Brody’s half of the room was exactly as he’d left it, as if he might come home any minute.
The space behind the curtain was simple and cozy, reminding Feldspar of a simple woodland cabin. A clean mattress took up most of the floorspace, adorned with an inviting forest green comforter and plush cable knit blanket. A small bookshelf stood empty, awaiting what few belongings Silver brought with him on his seasonal visits. House plants hanging in planters from the ceiling and decorating the top of the bookshelf gave the space a homey feel.
Feldspar shrugged off his backpack and shoes. He wanted nothing more than to rinse the day off his skin and collapse onto the mattress. Silver dropped his bag and started mechanically taking clothes out and arranging them on the bookshelf. His task done, he stripped off his travel clothes and stuffed them into the now-empty backpack, which he placed next to the shelf. He pulled on his lounge pants and then frowned at the neat piles of clothing.
“Shit!” He pawed through the neat piles of clothing again and upturned his backpack, clearly searching for something. “Babe, didn’t we bring —“ Silver started to ask.
“Looking for this?” Feldspar cut in. Silver turned and his breath rushed out of him in relief. Feldspar was holding his Pizza My Heart hoodie out to him in one hand and his favorite cozy socks in the other. Feldspar stepped close to him and pulled the sweatshirt down over his head, pressing a soft kiss to Silver’s lips once he was settled into his favorite cozy clothes.
“Yeah. No. I don’t know,” Silver sighed. “I miss him and he’s all over this apartment. Everywhere I look is something he touched, some memory.” Silver’s voice trembled. Feldspar pulled him close and held him.
From across the apartment a door slammed, followed by a slightly raised voice. Silver’s head jerked up. “That’ll be Yago,” he said with a small smile. “Come on, let’s introduce you. And, uh, try not to look at his horns too much. He’s extra about them.”
Feldspar’s brow furrowed as he tried to wrap his head his head around what Silver had just said. Silver’s roommate had horns — not a faery and not a human. Mal had made references occasionally to the other species that lived elsewhere in the world, species that had gone extinct in the Americas long before Feldspar had been made. He remembered snatches of those stories, about a time when the country had been filled with all manner of fae. The first to get hunted to extinction had been those least like humans, though inexorably over the centuries the humans had erased species after species until only a tiny remnant of the faeries remained, safe only because they had holed themselves up deep in their territories and the humans had believed themselves victorious. None of those stories told Feldspar what to expect upon meeting a non-faery fae creature for the first time. He supposed if Silver didn’t think it was important to forewarn him about it, whatever Yago was couldn’t be too bad.
Yago was pacing the living room, his phone pressed to his ear. Despite Silver’s warning, Feldspar felt his eyes drawn magnetically to the curling, jet black horns that sprang from the creature’s silken locks. His frame was shorter and stockier than either of the faeries, and his legs bent oddly back at the calf, ending in elegant little hooves. Feldspar blinked. Those were goat legs, he thought stupidly. Too late, he realized he was probably staring and tried to unfocus his eyes to avoid gawking as he tried to remember the difference between a satyr and a faun, and whether Mal had ever shared any warnings about them.
“Yes, ma’am, I can understand your loss, but we were quite close with him as I’m sure you can imagine,” Yago rasped as he paced stiffly. He caught Silver’s eye and rolled his eyes while jerking his head dismissively at the phone in his hand.
“What do you mean people ‘like us,’” he hissed into the phone. He appeared to be listening, his shoulders taut. “I see. Fascinating, as I happen to be straight-edge — no, I don’t know how ‘most of my kind’ are — ah, I see. Quite enlightening — so interesting you know so much about ‘my kind’ seeing as I’m not a faery, I’m a faun. Furthermore, even if I was a faery, I sincerely doubt you know the first thing about them since your people wiped them from the face of your country centuries ago.“ He winced at Silver, and Feldspar took it to mean something along the lines of sorry-I-brought-up-the-genocide-of-your-people-in-front-of-you. Silver continued to listen to the voice on the other end of the phone. “Mmm-hmm. No, fauns are actually quite different. Fauns. No, fauns. Yes.” He sighed deeply and rolled his eyes to the ceiling. “Like in Narnia.”
Silver was listening with intense interest, his frown deepening as the one-sided conversation continued.
“No, madam, I don’t believe we will reach an agreement. Brody’s personal effects here are of little monetary value and our kind require them for funeral rites — you’re welcome to try — Good day.”
The faun ended the call and tossed his phone idly onto the couch. He turned from the two faeries watching him, gave himself shake, and then whirled around.
“Silver, you made it,” he said, his raspy voice sending shivers down Feldspar’s spine. “And you must be the boyfriend. So sorry you had to hear that.” Feldspar shook his hand, consciously reminding himself to maintain eye contact rather than stare at the polished black horns and hooves. Maintaining eye contact only did so much, though. Yago’s pupils were rectangular like a goat’s. Yago raised an eyebrow and Feldspar realized belatedly he’d likely missed a social cue while staring at the faun. He winced and felt his eyes start to drift upward to the horns in spite of himself again.
“I see you’ve never met a faun before.” The compact creature stroked one of his horns suggestively and tossed his head to clear his silky hair from his eyes. “You Woods faeries are all so sweet and sheltered, too young to remember when my kind walked your land. Don’t be shy, darling. You can touch them if you like.”
The effect was a shade too rehearsed for Feldspar’s tastes, but Yago’s demeanor was just cool enough to make Feldspar question whether he was flirting or sarcastic. He glanced at Silver, who was shaking his head with a bemused smile. When Feldspar caught his eye Silver mouthed “told you,” and winked. Feldspar considered playing along with Yago’s theatrical flirting for a nanosecond before disregarding it. He didn’t want to do anything that had even the slightest possibility of making Silver feel insecure. “You’ve met others from the Wood before aside from Silver?” he asked, firmly putting them back on safer ground.
“Indeed, and a few others from other parts of the U.S. It’s rare, being as the fae are so few and far between there. There aren’t so many left alive and even fewer who are brave enough to risk exposure by leaving their territories. But most fae visitors to Paris, regardless of what they are, come through my place at some point. So yes, I’ve met a few faeries from the Wood before, besides our darling Silver. It’s a shame your first time leaving that wretched country is under these circumstances.”
Silver gestured at the discarded phone. “Speaking of which, that wasn’t who I think it was, was it?”
“Ugh.” Silver rolled his eyes. “If I never hear from her again it won’t be long enough.” He turned to Feldspar. “Brody’s mother. His whole family are kind of assholes, but his mom really takes the cake. She’s never even met a faery since Americans believe we’re extinct there, but she considers every bad rumor she ever heard about the fae to be fact.” He turned back to Yago. “What’s she want now?”
“Since she couldn’t get us to help pay for funeral expenses, and apparently Brody isn’t leaving enough behind, she wants us to pay her for Brody’s personal effects.”
“I took her on the grand tour of the apartment over video call, fool that I am. She said cookbooks are ‘super expensive’ so we owe her at least a few hundred dollars for whichever ones belonged to Brody. When I told her that we wouldn’t be amenable to that, and reminded her that you and I had already arranged for his remains to be returned to his homeland at her request, she said we owe her for corrupting her baby. Particularly since there would have been much more left over if he hadn’t squandered all his money on vices if it weren’t for the influence of our kind.”
“Our kind?” Silver ground out.
“She’s been a real delight all week. Consider yourself lucky that your phone barely works where you live. I can’t even tell which ‘kind’ she’s referring to: queer, magical, city-dwellers, or foodies. Every time I talk to her she’s got a different way of saying Brody’s death is our fault.” Yago sighed and looked at the ceiling for a long moment. “Sorry you had to catch the end of that. Probably not what you want to hear right after getting off a long flight.” He gave himself another goat-like shake. “Let’s forget about her and have some tea.”
Feldspar and Silver settled on stools at the kitchen bar. The kitchen, unsurprisingly, was the nicest spot in the apartment. The gas range looked top of the line, the tile counters were spotless down to the grout, and the copper pots and pans hanging from the ceiling gleamed.
Silver snorted as he watched Yago measuring tea and herbs from several jars on his kitchen scale. “You’ve gotten awfully precious about your tea.”
“Yeah well, you try being a sommelier who quit drinking. My impeccable tastes require an outlet. This is going to be the best tea you’ve ever had, so prepare yourself.”
“You kept it up then?”
“Yep,” Yago gave him a quick smile. “It was an adjustment, but I feel so much better now. Brody did too, you know. He cut alcohol and had scaled way back on everything else, too.” His voice trailed off into a somber whisper. Silver stared down at the countertop, eyes shining and lips set firm.
“Yeah?” he said after a long moment. “That’s what he told me but I never knew if he was bullshitting about quitting. And then when he died, I thought maybe he had been lying the whole time.”
“No, he did quit. He admired you. When you started cutting back and he did too. He never bragged about it or anything. I think he was embarrassed, or maybe he was afraid we would judge him if he relapsed. Nonetheless, he truly did quit. At least until the time that finally got him. They said that he probably took a lower hit than he used to, but since he’d been clean for a while his body had no tolerance. It’s that, or whatever he took was laced with something, and since neither of us were checking it and he didn’t have fae senses, he never would have known. It’s fucked, but it makes you wonder. I mean, of course it was the right thing to tell him to quit, but if we never had…”
Yago’s voice trailed off and Silver’s shoulders slumped. Silver let out a shuddering sigh and nodded tightly at Yago. He entire body was tensed with the effort of holding himself together.
Feldspar shook his head and put an arm around him. “It’s not your fault, love. I know what you’re wondering, and it’s not.”
“You don’t know,” he whispered. “I haven’t told you half the shit we used to do with Brody.”
“It doesn’t matter. You’re asking yourself if that horrid woman is right, that because you and Brody indulged together it’s your fault he died as he did.”
Silver gave a halfhearted shrug with one shoulder, but leaned against Feldspar anyway, silently asking him to continue.
“It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t even really his. He slipped one time and was deeply, horribly unlucky. It’s a tragedy, but there’s noone to blame here. You loved him and you encouraged him to be the best man he could be, and he was making those changes in his life because of that. It’s sad that he relapsed, but it isn’t either of your faults.”
“To Brody,” Yago said, lifting his mug of tea while sliding theirs to them. “He was full of life and never let himself or anyone in his life get bored, however unwilling we might have been at times to get sucked into his shenanigans. He was a genius in the kitchen, a devil in the bar, and a true friend always. And I will miss that crazy man all my days.”
Silver raised his cup, tears streaming down his face. “I hope you’ve found everything you were looking for, Brody.”
The three friends drank their tea quietly down to the dregs, Silver leaning into Feldspar’s shoulder while Yago stood on the opposite side of the bar. At last when the tea was finished, and Silver’s tears had dried, Yago collected their cups and they turned in for the night.
Feldspar awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of Silver’s strained voice. The sound drifted into Feldspar’s semi-conscious mind and he blinked, trying to grab hold of the words long enough to understand them. He became aware that the bed was shaking slightly and he blinked again, trying to clear his head in the pitch black room.
“Fel? Are you there?” Silver’s harsh whisper sounded terrified.
Feldspar shifted onto his side, snapping fully awake. He had fallen asleep curled around Silver, holding him as he’d dropped immediately into sleep after the long day of travel and fraught conversation with Yago. He reached for Silver’s voice and found him on the far side of the bed, shaking with quiet sobs. Feldspar ran his hand over the shaking lump under the covers, finding by touch that Silver had curled into a tight ball facing him.
Feldspar found Silver’s arm and tugged him gently, coaxing him into his arms. By degrees his body uncurled, slowly allowing Feldspar to draw him close. Silver pressed his face into Feldspar’s neck, breathing in uneven, staccato bursts, and Feldspar stroked his back in slow circles.
When Silver’s breathing had deepened, Feldspar closed his eyes, expecting them both to drift back to sleep. Instead Silver mumbled against him, his voice hesitant and tiny.
“Come again, sweet?” Feldspar whispered.
“Make me forget. Just for a bit, make me forget.” Silver rolled his hips against Feldspar for emphasis. Feldspar bit his lip, forcing himself to take a moment. He knew that urge to forget; he’d submerged himself in his fair share of meaningless trysts for the exact same reason. It hadn’t worked. It had been Silver’s interest in and respect for him, Silver’s easy going nature and patience, Silver’s love that had given him new life. He tightened his arms around Silver, who arched into the contact, rubbing against him with his whole body like a cat.
I love this faery, he thought. He hoped that was enough. He thought it just might be; Silver’s love had been enough to pull him out of his own depression.
Feldspar drew in a deep breath, willing himself to find his self-control. He would not be telling Silver he loved him for the first time when he was half-mad with grief and begging for distraction. He could show him, though. He could pour all his love into Silver in the way he knew Silver needed.
Feldspar wanted to kiss Silver and hold him softly, to whisper to him that everything was going to be all right. This wasn’t about what he wanted, though. It was about what Silver needed, and what he needed was to have his mind reduced to a quivering mess.
“Shall I take control for a bit? Is that what you need, sweetheart?”
“God, yes. Turn my brain off.”
Feldspar grabbed a handful of Silver’s neatly styled hair and he moaned. “Like this?”
“Yes,” he hissed. “Please.”
Feldspar tightened his grip on Silver’s hair and his shorts got tight as he decided what he would do to him.
He abruptly pushed Silver down his body, snarling a harsh command to him before shoving his cock down his throat. He held Silver there even as he bucked, making him take him deep enough to choke. Silver sputtered and bucked, but when Feldspar loosened his grip, the other faery stayed obediently where he’d been placed. His body was loose and pliable, and all signs of the heaving, uncontrolled sobs from earlier were gone.
“Suck me,” he commanded quietly, loosening his grip minutely on Silver’s hair. Silver dove down on him, choking himself. Feldspar tutted and pulled Silver’s hair again. “Not like that, sweetheart. Put in some effort and make it last.”
Silver’s eyes flashed and he immediately switched to slow, feather-light nibbles and flicks of his tongue. The faery knew every sensitive spot and managed to hit them with brutal accuracy. Feldspar panted and resisted the urge to plunge into Silver’s mouth. “So good,” he breathed as Silver teased him mercilessly. “If you keep that up I might lose control.”
Silver smirked and met Feldspar’s eyes as he licked his dick obscenely. Feldspar grinned down at him. The blatantly defiant look in Silver’s eyes was unmistakeable. He blew air across the sensitive underside of Feldspar’s cock, making his eyes flutter shut at the sensation. Feldspar tightened his grip on Silver’s hair and jerked him back. “Are you trying to make me lose control, baby?” he asked, knowing full well Silver was.
“No, sir.” Silver grinned, obviously enjoying the game.
Feldspar smirked at the obvious lie. “Cheeky tonight aren’t you? If you think this is a game, maybe we should have a little wager.” He pushed Silver down his dick until the other faery started to choke, and held him there.
“Are you listening?” Silver blinked slowly, which Feldspar took for a yes. “Good boy.” Silver moaned and Feldspar smiled down at him. “I’m going to suck you off, sweetheart. You know I know every single one of your buttons, and I’m going to press them all tonight. If you can make me come first, like the good boy I know you are, I’ll let you come too. But I swear if I feel you start to come before I do, you won’t come the rest of the time we’re in Paris.”
Silver’s eyes widened and Feldspar could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he tried to decide how serious he was. He withdrew his cock from Silver’s mouth and flipped around to sixty-nine his boyfriend. The sound that came out of Silver would have been a scream if it hadn’t been muffled by Feldspar’s dick. Feldspar gave himself only a moment of satisfaction before swallowing Silver down.
He worked Silver hard and fast with his mouth, using both hands to to play with his balls and hole. He could feel Silver struggling to maintain his rhythm and suction, and redoubled his efforts. Silver groaned and started to pull away, desperate to slow down his own impending release. Feldspar growled and squeezed his balls.
“Mind on your work, babe,” he grunted.
Silver worked him steadily and Feldspar felt his focus starting to slip. There was nothing better than Silver’s hot mouth and desperate noises. He sucked Silver mercilessly and worked a finger into him, enjoying the high-pitched gasp that drew. Not to be outdone, Silver took him down his throat and swallowed around him.
Feldspar squeezed his eyes shut. Silver was so good. It wasn’t even technique. It was him. His trust and love, his strength and experience. Everything about him. Feldspar wiggled his finger against the spot inside Silver that never failed to drive him to distraction. Silver screamed but somehow managed not to come.
Silver responded by sucking him even harder, and Feldspar was lost. He spurted down Silver’s throat, panting desperately as he genuinely lost all semblance of control. Silver came seconds later, crying out wordlessly.
The two faeries lay still, panting and holding each other for long minutes. Feldspar was the first to recover, gently pulling his dick out of Silver’s slack mouth. He turned around to lie facing Silver, who looked like he’d been sent to another dimension.
“I — “ Feldspar started and clamped his mouth shut around the words of love that threatened to leap from his mouth. Silver’s eyes focused and he met Feldspar’s raw gaze.
He gave Feldspar an unnervingly knowing look and smiled gently. Feldspar blinked, suddenly feeling his throat close up. He pulled Silver to him, rolling onto his back so the other faery was cradled against his chest. Silver melted into him and closed his eyes.
“Sleep sweetheart.” Feldspar kissed the top of Silver’s head, closing his own eyes. He wanted to savor the rare moment of peace, but sleep crept up quickly. Just before Feldspar lost consciousness Silver let out an adorable little snore. Feldspar smiled and pressed his lips into Silver's hair, grateful he'd fallen asleep so peacefully for once. The morning would bring more sadness and pain. So would the day after. The days were going to be hard, likely for months.
There would also be moments like this one. Feldspar just needed to get them from one moment of bliss to the next. He sealed the perfection of having Silver in his arms in his memory, trying to memorize the softness of his skin, the weight of his bulk, the rhythm of his breath, the smell of his hair. He knew with a surety he couldn't explain that no matter how long the hard times would be, peace and love would be waiting for them if they could endure.
Thanks for reading! I've got a few more chapters in my brain but I love all your comments and questions. Thank you for that and I promise to keep writing as much as I can over the holidays. XOXO, Im
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