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Jan. 4th, 2008

WHO: Lindsey and Chris
WHAT: Dojo Log #1 - Giving Lindsey his vision back, making promises
WHERE: Mountain Dojo
WHEN: Two months ago
PROMPT: 107 - Eyes



It should have been assumed that in the last seven hundred years a few things would have changed, but Chris was quite surprised to find the dojo in a much better condition than when he had left it. The half dozen wooden huts had been replaced by several adobe buildings.

A large rectangular building had been constructed in the center, a small attached building allowed this to be used as both the indoor training facility, as well as the kitchen/dining area. The roof was held aloft by sixteen stone pillars, positioned throughout the room. The floor was covered in grass mats, which were rolled up against the walls during meal times.

Surrounding the central building were several smaller two story buildings. Each served as living quarters for eight warriors, with four on each floor, two in each room.

The entire complex received free energy from a nearby town, allowing for installation of a water pump. This made it possible for all of the living quarters as well as the kitchens to have running water. Which meant, yes, working bathrooms.

A short distance away from the living quarters a large stone platform had been laid. This served as an outdoor sparring area, for when the weather allowed.

The first day there had been an interesting one. Chris still owned one of the White Dragons' swords, and so was immediately accepted into their midst. Lindsey's presence was questioned, but with Chris vouching for him, the monks left the blond alone.

The information soon spread to the entire camp that Chris was one of the original White Dragons. Thus the first night was spent in the dining area, Chris telling stories to all of the younger warriors about how the White Dragons came into existence.

When finally there were no more questions, and the monks decided it was time for the warriors-in-training to get their sleep, Chris and Lindsey were shown to their quarters. Apparently the monks considered it their greatest honor to have Chris here, and had cleared out one of the living quarters, leaving the two story building to just the two of them.

Chris protested this, but the monks wouldn't hear of it. “You granted our people the greatest freedom they have ever known. We should be ashamed if we gave you anything less.” The elf then tried to explain that it wasn't his doing alone, but his words fell on deaf ears. Finally Chris accepted their offer, and the pair were finally able to get some rest.

The morning sun rose to find Chris already awake, meditating out on the sparring area. He'd risen only shortly before, since he wanted to see the sun rise. As with the previous time they'd slept together, Chris wasn't entire sure he hadn't awakened the other boy. But he had tried not to.

Woken finally by the absence of company in bed, Lindsey rolled over onto his stomach and stretched out, reaching out from under the sheets to yawn lazily. He blinked against the morning sun coming through the window and groaned, pulling Chris' pillow over his face to roll back over.

Too damned early to be up.

But... Chris was already up. He peeked out from under the pillow and frowned, realizing he would have to get up eventually anyway. After a bit more internal debate, Lindsey dragged himself out of bed and stood on the cool floor in his loose pajama bottoms, taking a moment to scratch his stomach.

He made his way outside, taking in a deep breath of morning air as he looked around for Chris. He found the lone elven man in the sparring area, quietly sitting as he had expected, seemingly lost in whatever it was he was doing.

Meditation?

Lindsey stood behind him silently, folded his arms... and waited.

A good amount of time passed in silence before Chris suddenly spoke. "I know you're there." He said, without opening his eyes. Whatever Lindsey's abilities may have been, they caused him to light up like a thousand sunshards in Chris's minds-eye.

He'd been mentally watching the blond ever since he'd left the living quarters, and had simply waited because he thought it was amusing. "I suppose you being here means I should get up to do something."

There was a rustling of noise in the camp as others began to rise, heading in different directions as they all prepared for another day. "And I guess they'll be wanting their sparring area back sooner or later."

"I suppose it does," Lindsey said with a smirk, stepping forward onto the sparring area. He licked his lips and ran a hand through his hair, the golden sheet mostly parted to one side and hanging in his face. He yawned again sleepily and looked over his shoulder as one of the monks passed by.

The other man glanced up and they met eyes briefly. Lindsey waved a little awkwardly, having felt a little strange in their company since arriving. His skin shone pleasantly in the morning sunlight, taking on a more normal appearance for him as he'd started to get familiar with the quiet mountain dojo.

It'd been nothing but pleasant since they'd arrived, even despite the wary monks and the lack of a normal level of technology... or any at all, really. He turned back to Chris and watched him, his body standing out against the flat sparring area he'd been sitting in the middle of. He seemed to be at peace, which gave Lindsey his own private bit of ease. It was nice to get the chance for a bit of calm, to experience a level or normality he hadn't been given on the island.

Chris's eyes slowly slid open, a soft sigh escaping his lips. Here, so far away from the place he now called home, he was finally feeling relaxed... content. Coming here to the mountain dojo felt like coming home.

He slowly got to his feet, his eyes coming to rest on Lindsey's. Chris's eyes shimmered blue for a moment, the glimmer a soft one instead of the normal sharpness the involuntary shift had. “You know, it was Sensei Dosan that taught us the ways of chi,” The voice came from one of the monks who had managed to approach undetected while Chris's eyes had been busy. “Though I suppose you would prefer to be called by your current name, Chris.”

Chris blushed slightly, his eyes shifting over to gaze at the monk. “Brother Sodin,” He closed the small distance between them, grasping the other man's arm. “I'm sure you have better things to do today than tell stories about me.”

The monk smiled, giving a slight nod. “No matter how interesting the stories may be, that is not the reason I came.” Chris nodded, releasing the man's arm as he stepped back next to Lindsey. His arm quickly circled around the other boy's waist, more of a sign of protection, than one of affection. Either the monk failed to notice the motion, or didn't care. His demeanor didn't change as he continued, “The other monks and I would like it if you could give our young warriors a demonstration of the fighting technique you taught us.”

Chris glanced over at Lindsey, before he said, “Well I had already made plans for my day... I'm sure there are other trainers...” Chris wasn't able to finish that sentence, as the monk raised his hand, interrupting the thought.

“While there are many trainers, there is only one true master.” The monk folded his arms across his chest, as he said again, “We want you to show them.”

There was silence for a moment, before Chris nodded. “I still have my own plans, but I will return to this sparring area before the sun has journeyed to far for us to make a proper demonstration.” The monk seemed satisfied with this, giving both Chris and Lindsey a slight bow before departing.

Lindsey waited until the monk had gone away completely - as far as he could tell - and turned to look at Chris, staying close to him to keep the loose hold around his waist. He slipped his arms around the other man, resting his elbows on his shoulders to stare him in the face.

"Looks like you're quite a celebrity around here," he said with a smile, cocking his hip off to the side casually.

It occurred to him then that Chris had said he'd had plans for the day. He tilted his face a little and watched his eyes, his breathing even as he considered what plans may have been made. Regardless of what they were, Lindsey figured he'd have to get properly dressed at some point.

"So... what are the big plans, hm?" he asked, stifling a tiny yawn into his left shoulder. Chris was incredibly interesting right now, and he intended on spending as much time figuring him out as was possible without getting too much underfoot.

Lindsey had conveniently forgotten why they'd come to the dojo for the moment, falling easily into old games and old habits. Pretending to be fine was something he did well.

“Yea, fame happens when you do stuff you're not really supposed to.” It had been almost eight hundred years ago when Chris had been involved in helping defeat the crusaders that were trying to capture the dojo. He'd come there for a similar reason, to find peace, to find serenity, to find himself. But even so far away from his former home, war found him.

The monks that he'd been staying with were incredibly talented. They were the ones who taught Chris the art of hand-to-hand combat. The elves had deemed martial arts as an unnecessary combat style. They had their magic, which meant they would always have a weapon of some kind. So they trained with swords, maces, spears, bows, anything that could be created or enhanced by their physical and mental prowess.

It wasn't until Chris had been forced to fight without either his magic or his weapons that he realized how important martial arts would be for him. Thus why he'd searched out the monks in the first place.

But despite their mastery of the fighting style they used, it wasn't enough to stop soldiers who wielded swords, wearing metal shields and armor. So Chris had broken one of the highest elven laws. He'd taught the monks how to manipulate their inner energy.

While it would later be referred to as 'Chi', in the beginning none of the monks cared what it was called, simply that it meant that they finally had a means to combat these metal warriors. Combining their martial arts with the new manipulations Chris taught them allowed them to do amazing things. Energy pulses that could penetrate the armor, stopping a man's heart without ever needing to touch his actual body.

When the battle was won, and the monks stood victorious over the fallen crusaders, Chris made them all swear that they would never use their new found abilities to conquer. He told them their power was only meant to help, to protect, and if they ever used it for any other reason, he would come back, and take back what he had given them.

Apparently the threat, or rather promise, had been efficient at keeping the monks in line. They had a strict policy of who they recruited, who they taught. The energy manipulation was in fact one of the last things they taught their warriors. Those who proved themselves... and all that stuff.

Broken from his moment of silence, Chris nodded, “Yea. There are some places around here that I want to show you.” They were fairly pathetic plans in Chris's opinion, but it would give them some time alone, something that wouldn't always be in such an abundance now that everyone in the dojo knew who he was.

A big grin spread over Lindsey's face at the promise of a bit of exploring. He'd had the urge to look around since they'd arrived, and had kept it to himself for fear of crossing some invisible boundary. The idea of Chris taking him around the dojo and the surrounding areas was an exciting one. He bounced a little and pulled the elf close to him, resting his chin on his shoulder.

"I want to see everything there is," he said. "And... I want to eat breakfast, because I'm wasting away." He laughed softly and moved his midsection a little. "See? Wasting away."

In his head, he strained to ignore the sense of doubt climbing into his thoughts, the lingering bit of anxiety he'd carried with him from the island. Everything he wanted to leave behind and couldn't quite shake off entirely... it added a slight bit of darkness to his eyes, which were thankfully closed for the time being.

They'd come here for Chris to get away, to relax and recenter himself. Lindsey didn't want to stand in the way of that.

Chris smiled, shaking his head. “Alright alright, I won't make you waste away anymore.” He paused for a moment as his eyes slid across Lindsey's half naked form. Despite his promise to not get involved with this mortal, he couldn't help noticing the blond's body. The taut muscles, the almost hairless chest, the blond treasure trail leading down into his pajamas.

Chris quickly shook those thoughts away, “Though I suppose it'd probably be better if you got dressed before we went to eat.” It was a strangely possessive thought that crossed Chris's mind, about not wanting the other men here lusting after his Lindsey. But he wasn't going to voice that. Getting dressed didn't need an explanation, so Chris wasn't going to offer one.

"Food, excellent..." Lindsey let go of Chris to dance away from him and hop off of the training area, definitely eager to get something into his growling stomach. He turned around and smiled at him, waving for him to follow as he started back toward their temporary quarters. "I can handle putting my clothes back on, I suppose," he informed the elf. So long as I can take them off later, he finished in his head.

Bad. This was supposed to be about meditation. Finding peace of mind. Making love in a secluded mountain setting...?

Lindsey snickered to himself, entirely unable to completely hide his amusement. He ran his hands through his hair and held it up in a pony tail while turning back around to hurry into the darker room he'd woken up in. His natural glow helped him find his way through the blur of belongings, stumbling a little on his own shed clothes from the previous night and a few of Chris' things. He dropped his hair and sat down in front of an open suitcase to dig through it.

He wanted something fun to wear.

Chris followed after Lindsey, a smile finding its way onto his face. He was definitely glad he'd brought Lindsey with. The blond was turning out to be quite entertaining. What more do you need in a person? They're deep when they need to be, kind all the time, and can prove to be very entertaining.

He stopped in the doorway, watching as Lindsey began to search through the room. Holding out his hand, Chris said, “Light!” Instantly an orb of energy appeared in his hand, flooding the room with light. “Figured you could use a little help there.” He offered, tossing the orb up into the air, where it hovered a short distance above their heads.

He stood there for a moment longer before he blushed a little, “Um... would you like some privacy... while you change?” There was a part of him that wanted to stay and watch Lindsey change, but another part of him that wanted to keep this relationship from sliding out of control too quickly. At least if he offered to leave, nobody could say he was forcing it.

Lindsey startled as the light filled the room, not really having expected it... and finding himself feeling a little silly for the reaction almost immediately after. He blinked up at the orb, admiring it for what it was before returning to sifting through his less-than-properly-folded wardrobe.

Chris used magic. He really had to get used to that, he supposed. Especially considering he wasn't planning on going anywhere anytime soon. Not that... Chris really needed to know that just now.

He looked at him over his shoulder, the gentle blur of familiarity calming him and his scattered thoughts. It was nice having him here... alone together.

"I don't know what privacy is," he joked lightly, taking a hair tie from his suitcase to secure his hair in a bun at the back of his head. He stood up and shrugged off his pajama bottoms as casually as if he were by himself and tossed them aside. To hell with modesty. He'd forgotten about that years ago, and it was no where near the forefront of his mind.

Lindsey eyed the clothes he'd been thinking about, and held up two different shirts. "The blue one?" he asked, shaking the thin fabric dangling from his fingers, "or the red one?" He shook the other shirt in his other hand, raising an eyebrow.

Chris's blush deepened as Lindsey removed his pants. He tried to act casual about it, but it was taking every ounce of control he had not to let his eyes wander from the blond's face.

What could it hurt, just a little peek? Curiosity for curiosities sake? But that wasn't going to happen. Chris might have been a little unexperienced in relationships, but he definitely knew he wasn't going to let a four day old relationship turn to just the physical side.

Of course the urge was even worse as his eyes moved down to the boy's chest, glancing between the two shirts. “Um... the blue one.” He gave a little shrug, as he added, “Blue's my favorite color.” Probably because it was the color of his inborn magic, the color that flashed in his eyes when his magic use was at its peek.

Finally after a few more moments of inner turmoil, Chris decided he'd be better off just waiting outside. “Hey, you finish getting dressed, I'll wait for you at the door. Just tap the orb when you're finished, it'll turn off.” He nodded, before quickly departing from the doorway.

Lindsey smirked when Chris left the room. He watched until he'd gone completely and then pulled on the blue shirt. He smoothed it out and admired it; it was one of his favorites, anyway. Taking a moment to look at the red one, he threw it across the room, making a face at it. Well, that wasn't getting anywhere near him for the rest of the trip. Not now that he'd been given such precious information.

Without much more thought, Lindsey pulled on a pair of tight jeans and zipped them up, chewing on his lip as he searched for socks and shoes.

Eventually, after finishing the effort of clothing himself, Lindsey brushed out his hair and joined Chris in the hall, walking out with a confident expression in his eyes. He couldn't wait to see what had been promised to be shown to him.

"You ready to get breakfast, then?" he asked, moving up to Chris to get close to him again. He sidled up beside him, bringing up an arm to hold him around his back, his other hand resting on Chris' stomach. He realized then that he'd forgotten to touch the orb as he'd been instructed, and shrugged internally. Oh well. This was better.

Lindsey noted that Chris smelled... warm. Like he was brimming with the same magic he'd used minutes ago, the tease of power he'd seen intriguing on a very basic level of curiosity. He held onto him and blinked lazily, knowing there was more to it than that. A soft shiver of affection ran through his body. The elf had done more for him in the last four days than anyone had ever done in his entire life.

Chris nodded. He wasn't really hungry, but that really didn't mean much. Hunger was one sensation he'd only experienced twice in his entire life. Both times were when he'd been captured and held for several weeks. His body sustained itself for the entire time simply on the magic held within him. It had been the reason he couldn't escape. The energy required to keep him alive prevented any casting from happening.

So though hunger never really plagued him, he enjoyed eating with other people. It was more of a social thing to him, than one of necessity. Besides, the monks here never served anything that Chris didn't like. Though that probably came because he'd taught them to respect life, and they'd taken it to mean that killing, even for food, was wrong.

“Hope you enjoy rice,” Chris said, smirking at Lindsey. A thought occurred to him that he should have told the blond a little more about where they were going, what was going to be happening. Especially since the food here was going to be much different from what they ate at the agency.

His arm slid around the blond's waist as he lead him across the compound towards the main building. There were a few other young warriors heading towards the construct, though Chris knew that these were only the first few coming now. Breakfast would have been finished only a few minutes before, at least, if Chris was right in how he was judging time.

One of the nice, and not so nice, things about being away from technology, was the complete disregard for time. They all knew what had to be done, they all knew that it had to be done while the sun was up, but besides there, there was no planning based on times of the day. The only exception was meals. Breakfast was served at sun-up, lunch at high-noon, and supper just as the sun began to set, and dusk set in.

"Rice is fine," Lindsey responded, walking with Chris as he was taken across the grounds to where he remembered they'd eaten the night before. It had been a pretty eye-opening experience so far, and he was grateful for having been invited along. Keeping Chris company was something he took quiet pride in, his feelings over the entire trip mingled with everything else. Everything they'd left behind for the time being.

Still, Lindsey wondered at Chris' sudden need to elope...

"So long as it's not only rice, I can handle it." He had no real strong food preferences; mainly he'd eat whatever he found in the cupboards, or whatever he'd been offered. Back in California, he'd survived off of the generosity of others, being fed after the deeds he'd done, given enough to sustain him when he couldn't afford it for himself.

Which had been most of the time.

Breakfast was already ready when they arrived, the food lain out on the same tables that had been used the night before. Chris found them a spot at an unoccupied table, for them to eat. The meal was fairly quiet, since the other monks took Chris and Lindsey's solitary position as a sign that they weren't to be disturbed.

The food wasn't bad, at least by Chris's standards. The cooks had prepared a berry mix to go with the rice, giving it a sweet flavor. It was, by far, better than what Chris had eaten the last time he'd spent time at this dojo. Before it had been rice and beans, all the time. After he'd left he was fairly sure that it'd be a long time before he would ever desire rice and beans again. Something that had come true. The previous night had been the first time he'd eaten them again.

Once they were done Chris lead Lindsey back out onto the compound, back behind their quarters. He positioned Lindsey across from him, as he told him to hold still. Closing his eyes, he prepared several spells in his mind, linking them all together. When he was sure it was ready, he spoke the words, a long flow of syllables from a language that hadn't been a native tongue in hundreds of thousands of years.

As he reached the completion, the world around them blurred out of existence, only to be replaced by a flat rocky surface. This in and of itself wouldn't have been impressive. What was incredible about this place, was the view.

The location was at the very top of one of the mountains in the area, and from how it appeared, not one of the short ones either. There was an almost invisible shimmer around them, caused by a protective shield that kept the pressure at a normal level. Chris didn't intend to bring Lindsey up here, and the let him suffocate from lack of air.

From this position, you could see for miles and miles around. Off to their west, the ocean could be seen, its blue glassy surface reflecting the sunlight that shone down around them. A short distance to the south, the dojo was visible. Though from here it was nothing more than a bunch of rectangles in the distance. To their east the edge of the mountain range could be seen, with a great flat prairie extending off towards the horizon. And to the north was the mountain range. A multitude of purple peeks reaching up towards the heavens.

“This is what I wanted to show you.” Chris said, after giving Lindsey a moment to take it all in.

After having his fill of what had been laid out for breakfast, Lindsey followed Chris to where he'd stopped and fallen silent. He watched the elf curiously, trying to figure out what was going on. He half expected some sort of talk from him, the seclusion a little unusual. It was as though they were hiding, it seemed.

He cleared his throat as Chris started to speak, listening to what was very obviously a different language. Unprepared for the sudden changes, Lindsey moved closer to Chris as they were shifted to a different location, startled when their feet touched a new kind of earth. This was something he was going to have to get used to, he realized.

As the magic cleared, Lindsey turned to look around them, frowning deeply as he settled, trying to still his heartbeat. It was a lot to take in all at once, and without much warning. He stared out over the mountains, his head tilting a little as he came around to the idea of this place... of where they'd arrived. His frown faded as his gaze drifted along the fuzzy purple forms in the distance, figuring they had to be more mountains. He took his time, the colors of the surrounding landscape beautiful even in his fading vision.

Lindsey stepped away from Chris, almost to the edge of the bubble of magic surrounding them, squinting off into the distance, at the span of blue he picked up. He knew it had to be the ocean. He thought he could smell it on the wind.

With a sense of relaxation settling in, Lindsey closed his eyes and felt the breeze through the protective energy Chris held around them, his fingers stretched out comfortably. It was a unique experience, being here on top of a mountain like this... He knew he'd never forget it. It was incredible.

"Thank you," he said softly, turning his face a little toward Chris.

The sunlight was warm against his body, and Lindsey felt his own glow increase. It was a blessing being so close to the star that had graced him with it's power, the heat a reminder of what he was capable of. It stirred something in him... a bit of strength he'd forgotten he possessed.

Chris stepped closer to Lindsey, his hands coming up to press against the blond's cheeks, his thumbs beneath the other man's eyes. "Believe me when I say, you haven't truly seen it yet.” Energy slipped from his palms, sliding into Lindsey's eyes. There was a slight shock as the magic took hold, stretching across his eyes, clearing his vision.

Before the blond had a chance to ask the obvious question, Chris said, “I may never have to worry about having poor vision, but I've been around mortals long enough to notice it when they do.” He hadn't been totally sure about it until now, but he'd caught the other boy's faint squint as he'd been looking around.

Chris stepped back, letting his hands drop to his sides as he took a look around them. He'd discovered this place during his first visit here. In a fit of anger and frustration, mostly focused at himself, he'd encased himself in energy, and launched himself into the sky. He wanted as much distance between himself and other people while he blew off some steam.

He'd spotted this place, and decided it made the prefect spot to 'let it rip'. There was enough space that he didn't have to worry about falling off, and the height made it so that any spells he released were less than obvious to anyone looking in this general direction. After that he'd used the place for a very private meditation spot.

Lindsey stared for a long time at Chris when he stepped away, his words ringing in his head as the whole world became clear. He felt his body go cold, shuddering quietly as the shock of it settled in. He could see every change on the other man's face, the way their eyes met as they watched each other, the slight part in his lips. His heart raced, pounding in his chest as he felt his legs weaken.

Everything... was breathtaking. He couldn't see enough, couldn't stop himself as he turned suddenly, staring out over the distance with tear-filled eyes, all of the colors sharp, the lines crisp. Everything had it's own body, it's own boundaries. The mountains were fantastic, huge and ancient, stretching up into the clouds that were drifting overhead. He gasped at it, at everything... unable to help himself as he choked on it.

For the first time in so many years, Lindsey could see the world around him. He didn't know what to do with it, how to say how thankful he was.

After what seemed like forever, he turned back to Chris, his eyes narrowed on him as he moved, crossing the short distance to get to him. He'd come into his life and done nothing but greatness for him, showing him what it was like to be cared for, to have somebody there to hold you, to make you feel okay again. He took Chris' face in his hands, the tears coming as he blinked them away, his breath caught in his throat.

Chris' eyes were soft, the deep brown telling of everything that had passed in his years. It told Lindsey of his suffering, and of the strong will he possessed to carry on, to trudge through so many long years. He seemed so old then, there between Lindsey's shaking hands, his gaze unbreakable.

And then there it was. The moment broke open for Lindsey. Everything he'd struggled to contain fell away as though it didn't matter anymore. He had Chris. They had each other. It was all that mattered.

In that moment, Lindsey pressed against Chris, running his hands through his hair, pulling him close. He let out a tiny breath and slipped into the heat he felt, the shine he knew he was giving off, the river of emotions as they spent this very private moment together.

There was nothing he could say, and so instead of struggling to voice his thoughts, he very gently brought their lips together, the lightest of touches as he willed himself to be still, to just be here with Chris.

For a brief moment Chris worried that he had done something wrong, but as Lindsey stepped closed and embraced him, he knew it had been a good thing. It was obvious that the blond was thankful for what Chris had done.

As their eyes met, he wondered for a moment how telling his eyes were. For how long Lindsey gazed into them, he wondered if his entire history could be seen deep beneath his brown eyes. They flashed the same soft blue as before, the shimmer quickly passing as they returned to 'normal'.

There was so much pain and sadness surrounding the golden irises. Hurt, betrayal, sadness... Chris could feel his heart aching as they held the gaze. Why was the world so cruel to someone who so obviously didn't deserve it?

Some part of Chris had been expecting the kiss to come, but it still surprised him. His hands instinctively came up to entangle themselves in the blond hair, returning the kiss. He'd only wanted to show Lindsey the mountains, the view around them. But it was more than that now.

The silence that passed around them, disrupted only by the wind, remained unnoticed for the longest time. The world didn't matter, here, encased in Chris's shield, they had their own world; a place where only the other person mattered. Who would want to end that to simply listen to the whistling wind.

In the moments that passed after the kiss had ended, a question surfaced in Chris's mind, one which he hadn't bothered to ask before, but felt compelled to now. “Why did you come with me Lindsey?” Chris didn't want to make Lindsey question his decision, but he wondered why the blond had been so willing to pack everything up, and go on a trip with someone he'd only known for two days.

When the kiss ended, and they pulled apart, Lindsey could barely find the will to breathe, so lost in everything. Chris' hands in his hair, holding him, his gentle touches... He wanted to sit down, to collapse and cry, to give in to everything that'd been bottled up inside of him.

Instead he held on, his fingers shaking as he watched the other man, almost unable to comprehend it all. The feel of the wind against his face was soothing, blowing away some of the heat he'd created within their small space together. He shook his head, a tear journeying down his cheek and over his chin.

Pulling as close to Chris as was physically possible, Lindsey buried his face in the other man's neck, watching the distance that spanned beyond them both. His eyes gazed from the safety of Chris' arms, trying to memorize it... to keep it in his mind for when it was lost again.

The question was hard, and for a long time, Lindsey didn't know how to respond to it. Why had he come...?

"I was running away," he whispered finally, afraid to admit it but finding some small bit of courage. "I... wanted the chance to feel safe... and I thought, maybe... you..." He swallowed hard, trying to stay calm.

“Could protect you.” Chris finished for him, letting the words hang in the air. He wanted so badly for Lindsey to feel safe, wanted to keep him from harm. He separated himself from Lindsey enough so that he could look the blond in the eyes. “As long as you are with me, I will protect you, I'll keep you safe. I promise.” This was the second time he'd promised something to the blond. Another pact between them.

It seemed so strange when he thought about it, how they had both come to each others rescue at just the right time. Lindsey had stopped to help a complete stranger, someone he didn't know who seemed to be in pain. Chris had arrived just as Lindsey had returned home, been there for him when he had truly needed someone. And they had helped each other in the same way, simply by holding the other one close.

It almost seemed destined... if Chris had believed in such nonsense.

If all of time was already predestined, then why couldn't the elves, the most powerful beings to grace this planet, have foreseen their own destruction and prevented it. No, destiny didn't exist. It had simply been incredible luck that the two of them crossed each other's path.

But now that they were together, Chris wasn't going to leave anything up to chance anymore. He wasn't going to let something happen to his savior. He reached between them, pressing a hand against the bare skin just below Lindsey's neck. “And if I'm ever not there, and you need me...” There was a soft flash of light as a chain slithered up and clasped around the blond's neck. “I promise I'll be there.”

Chris removed his hand, revealing a gold chain with a blue crystal attached at the center of it. It glowed faintly in the sunlight, the energy moving within the crystal, before stilling.

Lindsey looked down at the necklace as it appeared, biting his lip as Chris pulled his hand away. He wanted to reach for it, pull it back. Instead he fingered the small crystal, holding it out to see it better with his momentarily cleared vision. It was the most perfect thing he'd ever seen. It had been created just for him, just in that moment... to give him an extra sense of comfort for when he was feeling afraid, or in need. The sentiment made him tear up a little. This was all just too much.

"I don't ever want to leave you," he said after the silence, after he'd had a chance to observe the gift. Looking up into Chris' eyes, he shook his head slowly. "I'm scared to be alone... I don't want to fall again."

He was referring to the way he'd lost himself over the last few weeks, his own desperate need to be wanted having done nothing but cause him pain.

"I don't want to hurt again. Please," he whispered, moving to hide in Chris' arms again, "don't leave me."

Chris let Lindsey slide back into his arms, his hands coming to rest on the other boy's back. “I won't, I won't.” He still felt he needed Lindsey just as Lindsey felt he still needed Chris. The blond was his anchor, his safety. He knew he'd never do something reckless while he had his savior close to him. He'd never make a mistake like that again...

More silence passed between them, the wind blowing around them, before Chris spoke again. “That day, in the field, when you found me...” He hesitated for a moment, reconsidering what he was about to say. It had to be said eventually... but was right here, right now, with the blond so close to him, was it the right moment?

Chris slowly disentangled himself from the blond, taking a step back. At least this way, he didn't have to bear Lindsey being the one to let go. “when you found me... when I was crying. That day, I did something I'd promised myself I'd never do.” He paused again, it wasn't too late to stop, to not tell the other boy what had happened.

“I killed an innocent man, using the strongest and most evil magic that is in existence.” He turned away from Lindsey, his gaze falling to rest on the ground below him. “I hadn't meant to kill him... it had been an accident... But if I hadn't been using dark magic in the first place...” He shook his head.

The point of coming here had been to remove the guilt, heal the pain he was feeling. Not to relive it. But he couldn't help it now. “I ended that boy's life, but he managed to save mine with his last breath.”

He brought his arms up around himself, as the tears began to come. “That's what happened, that's why I was in the field alone. I was worried I was going to kill again. That's why I asked you to leave when you first came.” Silence. Then a soft whisper, “That's why I was so glad when you didn't listen.”

Lindsey felt a great pain settle in his chest when Chris pulled away from him, watching almost as though it weren't happening. He wanted to reach out, to pull him back, keep him close. He needed the comfort, the closeness.

But then he started to listen to Chris' words, the nervous explanation of their meeting in the field. It seemed like forever ago already... that moment of blackness so far away. They'd spent it together, involved in each other and the trust they'd formed from nothing. They'd built a wall of protection around themselves that afternoon that had nothing to do with magic.

When Chris started to talk about the boy, Lindsey sank down to the ground, his legs weak after so much anxiety, so much emotional strain. He watched Chris as he stood, turned away from him, the figure so alone against the the backdrop of the mountain skyline.

So that was it. Chris had been responsible for the death of an innocent, and he'd been crippled by his guilt. Lindsey buried his face in his hands, trying to sort through it. He didn't know what to say... what he could do to help him, to guide him. It had been so easy in their unassuming silence, their... friendship... had been enough.

And now suddenly Lindsey felt the overwhelming fear gripping him, startling him to the core. What if this was it, and he could never provide Chris the same sort of comfort ever again? What if now that they'd started to talk, Chris realized there was nothing for him here, and he would leave... he would leave, and Lindsey would be cast aside again, tossed back into the pit of his own slow self destruction.

He began to sob, the thought of abandonment terrifying.

Through his tears, Lindsey tried to come up with something to say, anything to give Chris the comfort he deserved. "I know... you would never... do something like that... on purpose." He pushed back his hair, looking up at Chris with need in his eyes. "You promised me that day... you'd never hurt me. You'd never let... anyone hurt me. I believe in those words... and not just because I'm an idiot..." He paused, having to take a deep breath. "You're a good person... better than me or anyone..."

"Come here, Chris."

Chris hesitated, if only for a split second, the thoughts and memories still fresh, still at the forefront of his mind. He didn't want to be close to anyone, the fear that he'd lose control of his abilities once again prevalent to him. He didn't want to harm Lindsey, but what if he couldn't help it. He never wanted to see anyone suffer the same fate he'd made Andrew suffer.

Maybe it was better to be alone. He'd done it before, left all of civilization to live as a hermit. He could use his powers to summon anything he needed. Food, water, shelter. He'd never have to worry about hurting anyone; especially if there was no one around him that could be hurt.

And it would be peaceful, a place all to his own, away from the annoying distractions that came with living around other people. Quiet... alone...

But leaving this time wouldn't be so easy. Before he'd already been alone. All of his friends had been killed, his only choice was to flee away from all people, to protect them from the people hunting him. It had been a simple choice.

If he left now, he'd be leaving all the agents at the island, Kaden... Page... the people he'd promised he'd never abandon. But most importantly, he'd be leaving Lindsey. The one, the only one, who had been there for him in his greatest time of need.

Chris crossed the small distance between them, sitting down on the ground next to Lindsey. He wrapped his arms around the slightly smaller boy, pulling him close. “Why do you care so much? I was just another random stranger, but you cared enough to come and help me. Why?”

"Why do I have to have a reason?" Lindsey asked him, falling apart in the other man's arms. He didn't want to lie anymore. He didn't want to avoid feeling pain, avoid feeling honest. He wanted for Chris to be able to trust him, and it had to come from being truthful, from laying it out for him. He had to lay himself down, lay it all out.

And if Chris chose to walk away, he would at least know he'd been honest with himself.

"I cared because that was all I could do," he told Chris, moving closer to him, sitting carefully in his lap to get as close as possible. "I'd been through so much that week, and I was so alone... so afraid... I felt your pain, and I couldn't stop myself from needing to help you. I had to help somebody, because I couldn't help myself. I just wanted to die, Chris... I wanted to fade away..."

He remembered everything that had happened. His spat with Winston, his awkward encounter with William, the mental torture of seeing his past, of feeling his pain. He remembered his visit with the half vampire, the way he'd almost sought it out, as though looking for a way to escape himself. Everything that had been building, everything that had been picking him to pieces.

And then Chris had accepted him without question, and everything changed.

Chris loosened his hold enough to let Lindsey crawl into his lap. It felt good to have him this close... close enough that he could feel the other boy's heartbeat, to be able to feel his breathing... it was his lifeline, telling him they were both still alive.

He listened as Lindsey spoke, the words ones of obvious pain. He'd felt the same way the day that the golden-eyed boy had found him. He'd wanted to just fade away. He thought it was the only way to make the pain stop... the only way to feel good again...

Chris gently nuzzled the back of Lindsey's neck, his nose brushing against the warm skin. Their own weakness had made them a strength to the other person. Lindsey had needed to help someone, and stumbled upon the lone figure in the field. Chris had needed someone close to him, and had found the blond hiding in his bathroom.

“You helped me, saved me from that same darkness,” Chris whispered softly, “I'll be here to save you too.”