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05 November 2011 @ 08:42 am
FIC: The Kebab Killer, Chapter seven – Waiting Room  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: The Kebab Killer
Part: 9/10
Rating: R
Configuration M/M
Warnings: violence, angst, borderline fairytale romance
Word Count: 2.200 / 26.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Sam/Yaden
Summary: The Aroona are giving Yaden back his memories. And Sam in the waiting room wonders if he will lose his boyfriend in return…
Feedback: Yes, please!

“Hi Sam. Would you – would it be okay if I waited here as well?”

Colin's voice sounded so cautiously friendly that Sam didn't have the heart to send him away. And after all, it might actually be nice not to have to wait all on his own while he lost the love of his life.

“Sure, come in. I could use some company.”

Quietly, Colin entered the waiting room at the main Aroona temple of Imperial City, closing the door behind him. Situated on one of the higher floors, the room overlooked the square in front of the temple, and was as welcoming and bright as the weather of Imperial City allowed. Wooden furniture and light, natural fabrics together with as many potted plants as the room could possible hold clearly left no doubt that this was an Aroona-run temple.

“They called me,” Colin started to explain. “The ritual worked as well as one could hope for, and he ought to wake up any time now.”

“Some priest told me, too, yes.” Sam replied, nervously fingering the belt of his uniform. Only then his remembered that he was talking to a Dracon Noble, after all, and he added a sketched bow. “Sir.”

Colin gave him a quizzical look, and apparently decided not to comment.

“Was Yaden very hard to convince to come here?” Colin asked instead. “He can be kind of... rock-headed, once he makes up his mind.”

“Don't remind me,” Sam all but winced.

It had been another long, painful discussion this morning until Yaden had finally, grudgingly accepted to come to the temple. Not because he thought it would do him any good, but because he seen that Sam wouldn't let it be. Basically, Yaden had come to the temple because Sam had asked him to.

Thankfully, the Aroona hadn't left them much time for tearful last goodbyes. Sam and Yaden had barely arrived this morning when a priest had taken Yaden away into the depths of the temple, and another one had led Sam here into this waiting-room.

At least, they had brought Sam some bits to eat while he waited. He had also tried to catch a moment of sleep on the couch in the room, but that had proven pretty much impossible. Sam's thoughts just didn't stop revolving around the horrible feeling of returning back home to his own flat, empty and all on his own again. Or passing the Kebab Shack on the Crooked Steps, once again without owner.

So he had stayed here, and waited until Colin had knocked on the door in the late afternoon.

Several times, he had wondered if it might have been better and less painful if he just left. After all, Yaden was Colin's husband, not Sam’s. And it should be Colin greeting him, and taking care of him. Not some leftover part of Yaden’s latest cover who was still emotionally attached to him to a ridiculously inappropriate degree.

But Sam at least wanted to talk to the ‘real’ Yaden. To see how he dealt with their shared history. And to hear it from himself that it was over. At least, that would put an end to Sam wondering forever what if.

So yes, having Colin around was a good thing. The noble distracted him from his miserable thoughts, and forced Sam to act like a proper grown up.

Right now, Colin was serving himself with some kind of lemonade the Aroona had kindly provided, looking around the room as if wondering if having seen similar places much too often for his liking already. Much like Sam, he looked tired, but relieved it was finally over.
They had a lot in common, after all. The love of their lifes, among other things.

Calmly, Colin walked over to the couch and settled down, smiling at Sam as he noticed the other man staring at him.

“I – I am sorry, Sir,” Sam apologized in reflex, but at the same time knew that Colin wouldn't mind. During the brief time they had shared their emotions, Sam had learned a lot about Colin. And probably, Colin about him as well.

“It's okay.” Colin took a sip of his lemonade and smirked. “You know, when there's movies about your life, and books and plays and collectible mugs, you get used to being stared at. It doesn’t bother me any longer. And to make things worse, the guy playing me in the movies actually looks a little like me.”

Colin was right; the actor playing him in 'The Demon Witches of Leichnam' looked a lot like him. Colin was maybe even a little on the prettier side of his actor, a little taller than Yaden, with artfully tousled brown hair and intense brown eyes. Then again, the unrelieved black Colin was wearing, the inviolable dress-code of House Dracon, complete with the dragon crest above his heart, was instantly reducing this impression to 'rather handsome'.

And even if Colin had started out as a simple baker in a literally god-forsaken hamlet on Leichnam, Sam knew he was no mere mortal any more. Even if only half the rumours concerning him were true, he had become a powerful Youh’Kai shaman during the years since he met his husband.
Now that Sam had a moment to look at Colin properly, he could spot the tiny details that supported those rumours. Most obvious was the black leather bracelet, sporting the mandibles of some giant insect. But also the way Colin’s simple leather jacket wasn’t sewn but sported seams of finely braided leather and several mismatched, bone-white buttons. Nothing out of the ordinary, each one of them. But taking into account that the Youh’Kai loved turning vanquished foes into talismans of exactly that kind, it was quite possible that Colin wasn’t a simple baker any longer. Even though he tried hard not to show it.

Sam felt insignificant compared to Colin, and plain. Thinking of Yaden’s other spouses almost made Sam wince. How could he ever even compare to them? They were celebrities, famous and powerful and everything Sam was not.

Sam was no stunning beauty like the red-haired Sir Kendrik, who was Ambassador of his native, foreign human Empire when he was not clinging to Sir Yaden’s arm or gracing magazine covers.
Neither was he a ferocious warrior like Lord Teagan, a demon who had lost his heart to Yaden and gained a soul in return. Nor was he as brilliant as Lady Jennifer, a princess from Earth, who was a renowned scientist and mother of Yaden’s children.

He was nothing like them.

He was just some boy from downtown Imperial City.

What a silly notion to entertain even a faint hope that things might work out between them.
Right then, the door opened, and Yaden entered the room.

Now wearing his iconographic outfit, he was instantly recognizable as the Phoenix Knight he was. The changes were so superficial and yet the difference so profound that it stunned any words out of Sam.

Colin, who had settled on reading some food magazine on his couch, seemed utterly unfazed. He merely stood up, smiling.

“Hey love,” Colin said, smiling. “Good to have you back.”

“Oh my god, Colin,” Yaden replied under his breath, crossing the room in a few, long strides and bearhugging his husband. “I am so sorry, love, so sorry. Are you alright?”

It was beyond Sam why Yaden would worry about Colin’s health, but then again, it wasn’t exactly anything he was supposed to know. Standing right next to the two of them, Sam almost felt like intruding on some very private moment.

“I’m alright,” Colin replied softly, nudging Yaden’s face with the tip of his nose. “And before you have to ask, no, I didn’t hurt anyone.”

“Oh. Good.” Yaden seemed genuinely relieved. “Are the kids alright?”

“They have missed you, as usual.” Colin smiled and separated gently from his husband. “They were a little worried, but convinced you’d sort this one out as well. As usual.”

Holding Yaden at arm’s length, Colin shook his head in mock exasperation.

“How do you always manage to end up like this?”

Instead of a reply, Yaden just shrugged with a minute, guilty smile. Apparently, this was a discussion the two of them had on a regular basis.

With a tiny gesture, Colin motioned over to Sam who was still standing silently in his corner of the room. Yaden followed the gesture and smiled widely.

“Sam!” he exclaimed, leaving Colin standing where he was and walking over to the DC officer. “You are here!”

Still too stunned at Yaden’s suddenly obvious knighthood, Sam was utterly unable to manage a single coherent thought. So the first thing he managed to do was a deep bow as it befitted a direct representative of the Emperor.

“My Lord,” Sam said, keeping his head down and the eyes to the ground.

Yaden stopped dead in his tracks, his insecurity and worry almost palpable to all but Sam.

“Sam, what’s wrong?” he asked, gently laying his hand on Sam’s arm. “It’s me, Yaden. I… I have changed, right, but it’s still me.”

Unsure of what to make of Yaden’s remark, Sam remained standing as he was, eyes cast down. He had never expected this moment to be easy, but he really had not expected Yaden to be so… indecisive.

“Sam, please. At least look at me.”

Obediently, Sam looked up, meeting Yaden’s eyes. Much to his own surprise, he saw genuine worry there, and a Phoenix Knight who looked terrifyingly similar to the man he had planned to marry.

“Sir.” Still not sure of what to make of this, Sam tried a smile that came out more sad than anything else. “I just wanted to be here when you woke up. To say hello one last time before we say farewell.”

“But…” Yaden seemed genuinely troubled. “Won’t you at least give us a chance?”

“Beg your pardon?” Sam really was not sure if he had heard that last sentence right.

“I mean, I know I am not the man you fell in love with,” Yaden explained cautiously. “But even though I have not been exactly honest with you, I never lied about the important things.” With a shy smile, he added: “I love you.”

“But…” Sam started; his mind a riot of reasons why they could never possibly be happy together. “I am just some Downtown cop, how can you say you love me?!”

Casting a glance over Yaden’s shoulder, Sam tried to get some help from Colin, but the other noble apparently had decided that this was absolutely not his business. Instead, Colin was sitting on the couch again, very intently reading his magazine.

“How can anyone not love you?” Yaden asked, so genuinely not understanding that it only added to Sam’s abundant confusion. “You’re gorgeous.”

“Me? I am nobody. I am neither pretty nor brave nor brilliant nor anything that those people around you are. I am scared when I deal with psychics or aliens and when there’s a noble I try to get to the other side of the street. I’ve never been off-planet or anywhere that’s of any importance and – “

Gently, Yaden put a finger on Sam’s lips, stopping his barrage of perceived reasons at least for a moment.

“Shh. Yes, you are all that. And still, I love you. And I would really, really try and see if there is a chance we two can work things out. I want you in my life, Sam. But the real question is – do you still want me?”

“Huh?” Sam’s mind, that had been so full of words just a few heartbeats ago, suddenly was as silent as the beach at night. Was this really happening? Was Yaden seriously suggesting they tried to keep their relationship alive despite everything? “I… I don’t think it can work.”


Yaden’s face slowly slipped into a heart-broken expression until Sam realized how his last words must have sounded for the Phoenix Knight.

“No, that’s not what I meant! I mean, I can’t see this working out, but yes, I would like to try.” Smiling at the smile that instantly lit up Yaden’s face, Sam added: “Very much so.”

Instead of a reply, Yaden only hugged Sam tightly, snuggling his face against the other man’s chest as he had done all the time in the last weeks. And despite himself, Sam found himself relieved and giddy with joy. Maybe Yaden was a Phoenix Knight, but his was still short enough that Sam could easily rest his chin on the top of Yaden’s head when they embraced.

“Finally.” Colin’s voice interrupted their sweet moment. “Now that we have sorted this out, what about we go home, have dinner and see the rest of the family?”

“Dinner sounds lovely,” Yaden stated with emphasis, but without leaving Sam’s embrace. Looking up to Sam, he added with sparkling eyes: “You will love the kids.”

“I… Would it be all right if I came along, Colin?”

Colin smiled and nodded as if that had been his plan all along.

“Of course. I’d be happy to have you around, and it’s a perfect opportunity to meet the kids and your other spouses.”

“Yaden’s spouses, you mean?”

Colin merely cast him one of his trademark quizzical looks, smirking.

“Yeah. Right.”

BerthaBlueberthablue on November 5th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)
SO sweet! Sam is so fucking insecure - perhaps he doesn't know Yaden as well as he though, if he thought all those things (looks, prestige, status) were going to matter that much - I love how Yaden is so cool and calm about it - of COURSE he still loves him!

Very interested to meet the other spouses... I have a feeling there is more complexity than is immediately apparent!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 5th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Well, Sam thinks of him as the most average guy there is, and he feels accordingly intimidated by Yaden's legendary spouses and the status and the money etc.

And yes, we'll be meeting all the other spouses over the course of our stories, and I'm quite sure you'll like them all. ^^
idolme922idolme922 on November 5th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
Lovely!! So, so happy that Yaden remembers Sam and loves him! He's such a great sincere person that I'm sure he will fit in with the family.

I love this update. Seeing Colin develope in the story has been great since he is such a big part of Yaden's life. He almost sounds like the long suffering wife whose husband goes off to war, or off on quests... still patiently waiting, and loving.

Looking forward to the wrap. I hate when fics end usually, but this is a perfect slice of time and I hope we will see these characters again. ☺

Beryllrynthjan on November 5th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
I have one more story with Yaden finished already and will post it once this one is complete. Also working on another one featuring Yaden's squire (still to be introduced) and his husband Sir Kendrik (the gorgeous redhead).

And Colin is the sun Yaden's life and family revolve around <3
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 5th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yep, calling Colin the gravitational center of that whole, many-splendoured marriage is a very apt image.

And just to give you a name of what you are waiting for -
Next story with Yaden will (most probably) be 'The Lonely Boy'. Yaden's squire will be introduced in 'The Wind Mines of Bora Bora', Sir Kendrik in 'The Secret Garden' and both will reappear with Yaden in 'Job Requirements'.

I think my lovely wife is going to add some entries to our timeline one of these days, marked 'Coming Soon'. ^^

Edited at 2011-11-05 06:51 pm (UTC)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 5th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
Well, Coling sure is the patiently waiting, loving spouse... only some times, he runs out of patience, and then things turn ugly.
There is a reason why Commander Li-Ma (the officer who organizes the Phoenix Knights, if not actually commanding them) outright refuses to deal with Colin if he's in that mood again and instead refers him directly to the emperor... ^^

Thank you for all the compliments, it's making writing these stories even more fun than it already is. *HUGS*
jouet89: pic#112979394jouet89 on November 5th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
A demon husband!? This demon is one of those who attacked Aylian?
A woman from Earth?! I never thought Earth will appear :) Cool :)

Sam was very cute, but he should be less tense in the future! *gives him vodka*
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 5th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, a demon husband. But not one of those who attacked Aylian, but one of those who hollowed out Cadan. :P
And yes, a woman from good old Earth. But I can't tell you more about her, else both the Emperor and my wife are going to smack me. Hard.

Sam is perfectly cute. And I think once he's a little more accustomed to Yaden's other spouses, he'll relax a lot. You'll already see the first signs in the following chapter. But until then - more vodka for Sammy!
triptyxtriptyx on November 5th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
"Yaden's spouses, you mean?"

I love this! Sam what have you gotten yourself into? >:D >:D >:D The days of being "just a regular guy" are well behind you~ :)
I look forward to Sam ~meeting the family~!!! :) Thank you! :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 5th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
You're so welcome! Thanks to you for taking the time to read and comment!

And yes, Sam's days as Mister Perfectly Average are definitely over. But you'll be right there with us, noticing all important steps into his new life.

And as we have said above, there will be several stories detailing Yaden's spouses, and of course one day I'll write you the real story of 'The Demon Witches of Leichnam'. Not the one you've seen at the movies. ^^
hab318princess on December 4th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
so hoping Sam is wrong and it will work out... and the spouses line is very intriguing
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on December 5th, 2011 07:20 am (UTC)
I can only agree wholeheartedly. Sam's got no clue what he's getting himself into...^^

Thanks for commenting!