The Story Continues

The Softness of You

Rain rattled against the window panes as Axel drew the blinds closed. It was incredibly dark outside, the thick rain clouds obscuring the half moon. It wasn’t extraordinarily late and the sounds of rowdy guilds returning to the inn were still being heard from downstairs. But Axel and Lynus were preparing for bed as they needed to get up early the next morning and head into the labyrinth for some much needed supplies while fulfilling a few quests.

Nothing major. Just a relatively easy jaunt into the labyrinth. Still getting some sleep was a priority. No one wanted to deal with a few cranky, weapon wielding explorers after all.

Axel turned from the window and idly made his way over to the door to check the lock and ensured that his axe was resting in its usual spot by the foot of their spare bed. There it was out of the way, but still within reach should Axel need to grab it for any reason. Be it an emergency jaunt into the labyrinth to chasing some creep out of the inn.

As Axel tested the lock on the door, Lynus stepped out of their bathroom. “Remind me to get some more shampoo tomorrow,” he said idly. “We’re almost out.”

“We need more toothpaste, too,” Axel added as he turned away from the door and face Lynus.

“Oh, that’s right,” Lynus said as he ran a hair through his hair, of which seemed to be growing just that little bit longer every day. “I knew there was something else.”

Axel folded his arms across his chest and rested back against the door as Lynus hurried over to the desk and opened his bag. He had a nightly ritual of checking the stock in his bag and making a list of what needed to be restocked or replaced.

And Axel took this time to simply watch the beautiful medic.

They wore a pyjama set between them; Axel wore the bottom half with a simple dark blue tank top while Lynus wore the top with a pair of sleep shorts. The pyjamas were made of cotton with a simple blue and white striped design. The top was, of course, far too big for Lynus and he had to roll the sleeves up several times to his elbows so that he could use his hands. And despite his best efforts, the collar of the top always managed to slip from his shoulder, exposing the creamy white skin. His dark blue sleep shorts were just barely seen under the hem of the top, of which ended mid-thigh to again reveal a pair of slender, creamy white legs.

In moments like these Axel would always openly admire how gorgeous Lynus was. And feel rather smug that he was the only person who can (and ever will) see him like this. With his hair down around his shoulders and revealing more skin than he would in the ‘outside’ world.

Lynus never liked to show more skin than necessary. He openly referred to himself as plain and scrawny. But Axel never thought so. No, to him Lynus was beautiful. Everything about him was. From the top of his head right down to his toes.

He honestly had no idea how beautiful he truly was. Or adorable. The way his hair fell over his shoulders and framed his face, to the way he would constantly tug at his sleeves, idly pulling them up only to utter a small huff when they rolled back down. He was truly beautiful.

And Axel would tell him that whenever he got the chance. Thankfully Lynus had started to accept that Axel did see him as the most gorgeous being on this planet. Before he would flush and adamantly deny he held any kind of beauty. And now, while he still blushed that adorable pink, he wouldn’t say anything in return. Just smile that shy smile of his.

Axel pushed away from the door and walked over to Lynus. He stepped up behind him and slipped his arms easily around his slender waist. Lynus hummed a little as he leaned back against his chest and continued to idly sort through his bag. Axel unfurled an arm from around Lynus’ waist and reached up to curl a strand of his soft orange hair behind his ear. As he did so, he exposed the sensitive skin of his throat. And there he placed a soft kiss, earning himself a very soft giggle from the man in his arms.

“I love the fact that you’re growing your hair out,” Axel said as he twirled a strand of Lynus’ hair around his finger.

“Hmm,” Lynus hummed softly in reply. “I’m going to see how long I can grow it before I get frustrated with it.”

Axel chuckled as he rested his chin upon Lynus’ shoulder as he moved to slip his arm around him once more. But a soft sparkle of red caused him to pause and he immediately glanced down at Lynus’ hand that sat atop of his bag.

The garnet stone set upon silver sat comfortably upon Lynus’ finger. The garnet ring Axel had given him. It fitted and suited him so well. It was the only piece of jewellery that Lynus refused to remove. Only under the strictest circumstances would he pry it from his finger.

Axel was the same. He refused to part with his own garnet ring. He wore it under his gauntlets while in the labyrinth and had it on full display when he was around the town. He had received a few compliments about it, as did Lynus. It honestly didn’t take people long to realise that their rings were identical.

Surprisingly, it was Cass who appeared the happiest at their engagement. Though he also mentioned something about “rolling in the dole” so the opportunistic bastard probably had a bet or two going on in the background.

Axel unfurled his left arm from around Lynus and placed his hand atop of his. Lynus paused what he was doing and glanced down at their joined hands. He then shifted his hand ever so slightly so that he could entwine his fingers together with Axel’s, their rings gently touching.

Axel’s hand was so much bigger than Lynus and held a few welts and callouses from his years wielding an axe. And Lynus’ hand was slender, his fingers long and bony from his years of healing and writing. Though Lynus’ hand felt so fragile under his own, it also felt as though his hand was created for him to hold.

He couldn’t help but chuckle as that thought crossed his mind. Heh, he was such a sap. But he couldn’t help it.

“Hmm?” Lynus hummed in a questioning way as he turned his head slightly to look at him. No doubt he had heard him chuckle.

Axel kissed Lynus’ cheek. “Nothing. You’ve just turned me into a total sap, that’s all.”

Lynus arched an eyebrow at him as a gentle smile slipped across his lips. “Oh, have I?”

“You have.”

“How much of a sap?”

“A total sap.”

Lynus turned slightly in Axel’s arms so that he could face him and he gave him a playful smile. “Prove it.”

Well, there was no way Axel could back down from this challenge, could he?

Axel tightened his hand around Lynus’ and brought it toward his lips. He gently kissed his fingertips before he trailed to his palm and then to his inner wrist. Lynus’ violet eyes watched him carefully, half-lidded and relaxed. He sighed softly as he leaned back against Axel, snuggling into him.

Although somewhat reluctantly, Axel released his grip on Lynus’ hand to instead cup the side of his face. His fingers slipped under his hair to gently cradle the back of his neck, slowly tilting his head back. Lynus lifted his chin up willingly and his eyes closed as Axel tightened his arm around his waist and leaned forward.

Lynus always uttered a soft sigh whenever Axel kissed him. Especially like this; slow, soft, but warm and passionately. Lynus’ lips were soft and supple against his. They were intoxicating in a way. The way Lynus would kiss back, so willing and trusting just made Axel want to kiss him more.

A sharp and sudden knock at the door, however, caused Axel to pull back in surprise while Lynus jumped slightly in his arms. Axel felt an expression of agitation slip across his face as Lynus habitually clung to him as he glanced at the door.

While Axel was annoyed at the interruption, Lynus appeared confused. “I can’t sense anyone,” he said.

That was a little disconcerting. If it had been any of their guildmates, Lynus would sense them. And they would have announced themselves after the knock anyway.

“I’ll check it out,” Axel said as he kept his eyes on the door and unwound his arms from around Lynus. “Stay near the bed, ok?”

He could all but hear Lynus roll his eyes at his protectiveness, but he complied. He slipped from Axel’s arms and walked over to the bed and sat down on the edge, out of the sight of the door. Axel walked over to the door, idly pulling the handle of his axe into his hand as he did so.

Slowly, he unlocked the door and opened it enough to stick his head out. Instinctively he looked up and down the hall, but he couldn’t see anyone or anything. He opened the door a tad wider and made the motion to step out but immediately paused and looked down. He felt his eyebrow arch toward his hairline when he noticed that there appeared to be something at the foot of their door.

Two things, actually.

On the floor, sitting side by side and leaning against one another were two dolls. No, plushies. Made of soft materials. One had red hair while the other had orange. And they appeared to be dressed in the attire of landsknecht and medic. Or more specifically, in the attire that Axel and Lynus usually wore.

And on the floor in front of them was a simple white cardboard with the words “Enjoy~” across it in black ink.

Axel dropped his axe back into its usual spot before he crouched down and picked up the two plushes. He was understandably cautious at first, but he soon realised that they plushies were just that; they were two stuffed dolls.

“What is it?” Lynus asked behind him.

Axel stood up and turned to face him, idly kicked the door shut behind him. He then lifted the two plushies toward Lynus, holding one in each hand. Lynus’ eyes widened slightly as he stared at the two dolls.

However not a moment later a laugh escaped his lips and he jumped to his feet. He plucked the redheaded one that Axel assumed was based on him and held it in two hands.

“It looks like you!” Lynus said as he laughed again and held the doll high so that he could get a good look at him. “It has your armour. And look! It even has a small axe on its back!”

Axel turned his attention to the tangerine haired doll in his hands and quickly realised that it was wearing a small white medical jacket and had a bag that looked just like Lynus’ strapped to its side. However it was the small pair of pearly white wings on the back of the white coat that made Axel chuckle.

Angel wings would suit Lynus so well. They were probably already there, just hidden from view or something.

“And this one looks like you,” Axel commented as he showed Lynus the plushie based off of him. As Lynus looked at it in bemusement, Axel couldn’t help a playful smile from slipping across his lips. “It’s almost life sized.”

Lynus automatically pouted at him as he cradled his plushie in his arms. “You’re mean.”

Axel chuckled again as he carefully cradled his Lynus plushie in his hands. “And you’re adorable,” he said as he crossed the distance between them and tugged Lynus back into his arms. “I do wonder where these guys came from, though.”

Obviously someone they knew made them, but there were several possible culprits. The dolls were cute though, especially the Lynus one. Not at adorable as the real thing, of course, but still very precious.

“Oh, it was probably Abigail,” Lynus replied as he hugged the plushie against his chest and leaned against Axel’s. “I overheard Thompson joking about making Guardian merchandise to sell at his store and Abigail looked enamoured about the possibility.”

If that was the case than the pinkettes were likely to be involved in some way, too.

Ah, it didn’t matter. As long as they didn’t make any more Lynus’ plushies. They were too cute, after all. And he didn’t want some creep to get their hands on one.

Lynus pulled the Axel plushie from his chest and made a grab for the one that Axel held. “Well, we’ll just have to wait and see who comes sniggering to us tomorrow,” he said as he slipped from Axel’s arms and walked over to the desk.

He sat the two plushies down before he began to clear a spot on the desk for them. He positioned the two together in back centre of the desk, facing anyone who would sit there at the table. The two plushies sat side by side and leaning against one another, much like how Axel found them.

“It’s a sweet gift,” Lynus said as he idly straightened armour on the plushies. “I’m sure the others will be jealous of them.”

Axel had to laugh as he made sure the door was locked once more. Some of them wouldn’t admit it, but they would love to have a plushie of their own significant other. Though Magnus carrying around a plushie doll based on Shen would give the ronin an aneurysm. Not to mention Tobyn being furious at how cute a Jhon plushie would be and then seeing Jhon carrying a Tobyn plushie.

Ah, should be fun to see actually.

Never mind that for now. That could wait for later.

“Now,” Axel said as he pulled Lynus into his arms once more. “Where were we?”

Lynus smiled and wrapped his arms around Axel’s neck as Axel flopped onto the their bed, dragging Lynus with him. Letting Lynus lay a top of him before he pulled him down for another kiss.

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