Funny how the plot bunnies always seem to strike in the wee hours of the morning. This is a quick little Lateef/Archimedes (Karruna and I’s OCs) fic that I did out of boredom and insomnia.
For context, (which only Karruna will probably get anyway xD)this takes place about 10 years after the KKN establishes itself as a successful business in the Netherworld, making it 10 years since Archi joined and a few years before he married Celeste. TL;DR, it's set before recent times in the current RP.
Warning for some cursing, use of alcohol, and mild slash…Ooh, how shocking.
Lateef had never been one for parties.
As a Dream Weaver, he was accustomed to the life of solitude that his work brought. Spending time in the ethereal world made the impact of human contact all the more surprising, and as an already reserved man, he preferred to keep to himself. But in certain situations, it couldn't be avoided...Tonight in particular.
The Kokoronauts were celebrating their first successful decade together as an organization, and as a leader of the group, Lateef had no choice but to attend. The founder's son Kyriel had arranged for the party to be thrown at his house, a sprawling estate located on the outskirts of the Netherworld that his father had recently purchased for him.
When he arrived early that evening, the atmosphere was already one of cheerful chaos; the main room of the manor was packed with KKN members, as well as their friends and family. Demons stood elbow-to-elbow with angels and dragons, many of them fellow Dream Weavers. Even Founder Aeon himself was there, drifting serenely from guest to guest and making brief conversation. Lateef waved to him as he nervously made his way through the crowd, occasionally apologizing. Desperate to escape the deafening sound of the crowd, he fled up the staircase and out to the first quiet place he could find: the balcony.
He gripped the iron railing and leaned forward, breathing a small sigh of contentment. Kyriel's mansion was spectacular, granted, but nothing could compete with the view; the balcony overlooked a vast expanse of canyon, jagged red rocks that jutted into the darkening sky in angry spires. The newly-rising moon cast a pale glow over them, somehow dulling their edges, giving them an eerie sort of beauty that reminded him of the mountains back home.
"Enjoying the view?"
Lateef was jerked from his reverie by the sound of a familiar voice. Looking up, he saw his friend and (now former) subordinate Archimedes perched on the roof, a glass in his hand.
"Surprised I'd see you here. You didn't strike me as the party type," Archimedes said. His tone was sullen and a bit slurred, and his eyes had developed a hazy look. He was obviously in a bad mood - not a good sign.
"Neither did you," Lateef replied, leaning back against the balcony. "You don't look too well...You haven't been drinking, have you?" Archimedes gave a derisive snort, holding up his empty glass.
"What does it look like? This is how I get through parties," he said.
"Can't handle them otherwise...I'm not sure how Celeste does it. She's gotta be crazy to enjoy this bullshit. They call it celebrating, but it's just a big popularity contest." He laughed bitterly, swaying a little.
Lateef felt unnerved. He had never seen him like this: the complete opposite of the controlled, composed man that he was used to. He stepped towards the roof, holding out his hand.
"Come on, you shouldn't be up there," Lateef said. "You're going to fall like that. I don't even know how you got up there in the first place, but it isn't safe." After a moment of consideration, the archer scooted forward, reaching out to him. His legs buckled beneath him and he went sprawling forward, only to have Lateef catch him seconds before he hit the ground.
"Thanks," Archimedes mumbled, allowing himself to be set down. He followed Lateef to his spot at the balcony, resting his elbows on the railing. "Appreciate it. You're a good friend...'S hard to find someone you can actually count on, especially in a place like this. We've got a good group, but that doesn't stop it from being full of liars and idiots and thieves. You're..." He trailed off, looking at the blue-haired man.
"Hm?" Lateef said, glancing back. "You said something?" The archer turned towards him, his expression suddenly contemplative.
"You're different from the others," Archimedes said. "Since I met you, I've always felt like I could trust you. You've never given up on me or let me get hurt...Without reason, at least. You're one of the only ones I feel like I can trust myself with." Lateef raised an eyebrow in mock disbelief.
"Did I really just hear that? From you, the biggest cynic the KKN has ever known?" Lateef asked, smiling wryly. "I think you're becoming soft, Sir." Archimedes looked surprised.
"You think so?" he asked.
"Only a little," Lateef said, chuckling. "And it isn't necessarily a bad thing. But as for what you said...I'm here to help you, Sir. You know that perfectly well. No matter how moody or erratic you act, I'll always be there for you...I suppose you've endeared yourself to me."
Archimedes fell silent, gaze focused on the ground. He opened his mouth to speak, only to close it again as he looked back up. "Now or never, then..." he muttered to himself.
In one fluid motion, he grabbed Lateef by the collar of his shirt and pulled him in closer, lips crushing against his. The kiss was sloppy and impassioned, so unlike how Archimedes usually conducted himself. His breath was rendolent of bourbon and cigarette smoke as his tongue slid into the taller man's mouth, sliding over his lips. In the far corner of his mind, Lateef was vaguely aware of a hand reaching up under his clothing to grip the bare skin of his lower back.
The embrace lasted for only a few seconds, but it could have been hours for all Lateef could tell. When Archimedes finally drew away, he was flushed and breathless, gazing up at his supervisor with glittering eyes.
"I wanted to- no, I needed to do that," he said. "I couldn't take it anymore. After everything that happened at the heart bank, something came over me...I thought I was losing my mind for a while. I just needed to do something to get you out of my head, and hopefully this is it." He sighed, catching his breath. "I don't know how you feel about this, and to be honest, I don't think I want to know...As far as we're concerned, this never happened."
Lateef nodded, still numb with shock. He watched Archimedes brush by and walk back into the house, putting a hand to his mouth.
This never happened, he repeated to himself.
First It Giveth...
Then It Taketh Away
- (no subject)