Stay With Me Till Morning

Title: Stay With Me Till Morning
Fandom: Milliways (Celtic mythology/Native American mythology)
Characters: Jack-in-the-Green/Raven
Rating: Adult
Summary: “I thought you couldn’t lie.” “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”
Notes: For varadia, who said it should exist. I also blame it on “Memphis Skyline” by Rufus Wainwright

It is only fitting that this ancient virgin gives himself to this being of sex and life and joy. There is a carelessness to the way Jack makes love—not like other gods, who often expect themselves to be worshipped even when their lovers are equally divine. He makes love, Raven suspects, like mortals do.

Still, they are two gods together and in the way of gods their joining is not only physical—they share on a mental/spiritual/emotional level, memories spilling out as carelessly as moans. Raven sees in Jack’s mind other lovers, other loves, mortals to whom he tied himself, glowing children who called him father, followers who knew he guarded them with fierce and tender care.

He does not wish to go over what Jack sees, but knows, from the way Jack is stroking his hair, that Jack does. He sighs. “Out with it.”

“Hm?” Gentle fingertips combing through his hair slowly.

“Whatever you want to ask. Ask it.”

Jack’s body is long and lean. He’s vain, Raven knows this, proud of the mortal shape he formed for himself because it’s such a temptation, such a treat. He turns onto his belly and takes his hand from Raven’s hair and looks at him with thoughtful green eyes.

“The centuries seem so long for you,” he says at last. “It hurts to think of you lonely for so long.”

Raven shrugs. He was lonely. He has been lonely. He will be lonely again. This is also the way of gods. Human or divine, all love ends eventually.

Still, he takes Jack’s hand, which is fair and freckled in the manner of his people; compares it with his own, the richer, darker tone to his skin; squeezes the long fingers lightly. “Do you tell yourself, every time you fall in love, that this one will be the one that lasts?”

Jack’s voice is amused. “Yes. Even I am capable of self-delusion.”

“I thought you couldn’t lie.” Raven slants a look at Jack but can’t see his expression.

“It’s not a lie if you believe it.” More shifting—Jack, Raven knew already, is rarely capable of being still for long, which is odd behavior for a tree—and Jack pulls Raven to him, warm as a furnace and smelling of summer. “Every change is a new beginning, don’t you think? You have ended something and begun something else. In that I was very privileged—” he kisses Raven’s hair—”to help you.”

Mortals, Raven knows, promise to love each other forever, but they have no concept how long forever can be, and they don’t have forever to promise, anyway. Raven also knows that if he says ‘love me forever’ Jack will say ‘I will.’ Jack probably expects him to say it, in fact; Raven is certain Jack has heard it before, answered it before, and fulfilled it as well as a god of his nature can.

They are words he chooses not to say.


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