Things Unsaid

BY : WonderMint
Category: Final Fantasy XIV > General
Dragon prints: 1547
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy FFXIV: ARR is owned by Square Enix and based on the creation of Hironobu Sakaguchi. May they ever walk in the light of the crystal. I own no right to the characters and settings herein and seek no profit therefrom.

A/N: Warning! 3.0 Spoilers!

It wasn't my intention to ever write anything that acknowledged certain undeniable facts, but here we are. This story has layers, like an ogre. Much of it has to do with my grief and frustration with the game, some is external, but either way, it had to come out. Like the Warrior of Light, I find myself turning increasingly to Aymeric for comfort. I'm not certain it's good for either of us.

I had originally written it with a specific gender in mind, but I realized as I developed the premise that it would be a good opportunity for an ambiguous Warrior of Light, and that the mere challenge of it would make the endeavor worth it. Unfortunately, it won't work for Lalafel unless you mentally add "and then they stood on a stool" in a few key places. Everybody else, male, female, or otherwise, should work pretty well.

Sorry for the angst and moping. Let me know if it works for you.

Thanks for Sorin, for feedback and encouragement on this and many other projects.

Ser Aymeric was long accustomed to working late into the night.


These days, especially, there was much to do. Many voices to hear, many mouths to feed. A city to rebuild, a religion to reform. A war to end, as well as a hatred bred so thoroughly into his people that they scarcely knew what it was like to live and work in peace. A government in tatters and a citizenship that seemed to hold its breath, waiting for a path to be chosen and a leader given the full force of law.


Upon the shifting ground of uncertain times walked Ser Aymeric, at once the symbol of all that was wrong and all that was right in the holy land of Ishgard.


It seemed at times that he accomplished little. Sorely did he miss the days of his youth, when he could lift bow or sword and see concrete results. Now, he lived in a world removed from immediate action, where a flourish of a pen or a whisper in the correct ear could move an entire nation. He did not wish to be the one who steered such a narrow course, ever mindful that a misplaced stroke or careless word might topple the mighty tower of state, sending his people to crash on the rocks below. But he was the one in whom trust had been invested, by his knights and his people both. Thus stacks of parchment sticky with wax piled high upon his desk, and he doted upon them as though they were instead his prize azaleas, reaching ever higher toward the sun.


Of late, he had also become accustomed to interruption.


It had begun late one night. A night much like this one, in fact. He had sat before a helping of work that nearly obscured the roaring fire beyond, the only rest he took the occasional sweep of a gloved hand through his soft black hair. He might pinch the bridge of his fine nose on occasion, and take solace in the silence of his mind and the crackle of the fire. And then he would blink his pale, hawkish eyes once again, focusing on his work as if the whole of Ishgard depended on it. Because, he truly believed, it did, and it was not a responsibility he took lightly.


Then, at an hour far too late for decent business, the door had swung open. And through it had strolled the Warrior of Light.


The adventurer had not oft been in his office, though it was not an unfamiliar place. That time had been different, though. Alphinaud was not there to speak the words the stoic hero would not, and there had been no Estinien to grin ruefully at the crimes they had planned together. Then, the adventurer was alone, and when those watchful eyes met his, he had felt a chill dance all throughout his spine. The eyes of a hero, he had said once.


Now, they were the eyes of one who had no more left to give. He himself had seen their light go out. The heroism, the strength, the knowing appraisal, they were all still there. But the spark of joy was gone, quenched like lightning to a rod, and Aymeric still ached to remember it.


He had stood to greet the hero, to rush forward and ask what he could do to help. He had been surprised when his guest had merely thrown a heavy cloak upon the floor and quietly approached. The silence was not strange, nor the slight gestures that stood in place of conversation. But the diminished space between them that ebbed slowly to nothingness, that was new. As was the heat he felt in the air that still spun around them, sealing them together in a cocoon of warmth.


The canny look in those soulful, heroic eyes... they had formed a question he had not seen there before. And it had made his mind whirl like a sudden gust of wind-tossed snow, wild and refreshing and so surprising that he had nearly gasped aloud.


The adventurer was not mute. But words were rare, as it seemed sometimes that much more could be conveyed with a tilt of the head or a gesture from a calloused, deft hand. At that moment Aymeric had reacted on instinct. He had known, somehow, both the question and its answer, and he had given it freely. When the warrior had darted out a tongue to moisten lips he could not have helped but watch, leaning close enough that he had to tip his head to keep them in his sight... he had surrendered to the urge to taste them himself.


Since then, he had found himself interrupted with increasing frequency, at any time of day or night. Ordinarily, Lucia guarded his privacy with utmost care. But it seemed as if she had determined that the Warrior of Light was good for him in some way. At first, Aymeric had been inclined to welcome the diversion, and the short reprieve for his grieving heart.


But he was no longer certain that he entirely agreed with her assessment.


It did not happen every night, nor even every week. But when it did, Aymeric knew by now just what to expect. Any resistance he put on was merely for his own peace of mind, because he knew already how it would all turn out.


Tonight, as it happened, was one such night. The moment he heard the door's latch creak, he knew it as surely as the final notes of the Shieldmaiden's Lament.


He saw every move before it happened, played an hundred times in his mind's eye. First, the door would open, and in would sweep the adventurer, shielded beneath a heavy cloak. The cloak would not be long in finding the floor, discarded in a messy heap before the fire. If it had been snowing, as it was now, the flakes would glint suddenly in the light of the fire as they turned in an instant to beads of pure water. For a few trembling seconds, they held like tiny gems, each catching the light in its own self-contained prism before they dissipated into the dusty fabric to become merely wet and dirty.


Aymeric was not watching the cloak. Sometimes, as he did now, he would put on a show of finishing with a document. But he would only pretend to slowly scan the last few lines, and his signature was required on everything that reached his desk. He could only delay setting aside his quill for a few brief moments, at best. His mind had fled his work entirely, every fiber of his attention now focused on the intruder upon whom he refused to bend his gaze.


When he finally did look up, he was met with eyes that blazed as fiercely as the fire. Both seemed far too hot, in that moment. Both were fascinating and dangerous, with the power to undo him if he failed to pay them their due respect. And once he looked into those eyes, any resistance he had thought to carry was burned to ash. He could no longer help but surrender to their will.


There were many things that Aymeric wanted. But he knew already what he would get, and so he made himself be satisfied with a kiss.


The adventurer was not shy. Their first kiss had been slow, but searing in its intensity, in the depth of the need that they had both silently carried. He remembered the way something had seemed to burst forth in his chest, something painful but optimistic, a little like a crocus shoving aside the snow as it bloomed before the spring. Some wounds will never heal, Aymeric had said, once. They both carried those wounds, deep and jagged. They would be lucky to bear scars, in time. They would be lucky if their spirits could even stitch themselves closed and cease to weep. But when they had kissed, they had taken solace in each-other, in the sorrow and loss that followed ever on their heels. In that moment the pain was no longer quite so important, because it was pain shared.


Now, Aymeric took his time in opening to his lover's advance. The ache was still there in his chest, transformed into something loud and bleating, needing more. He ignored it in favor of the experience before him, of the soft lips against his and the strength behind them. He reveled in the exotic taste of the warrior's mouth, in the teasing warmth and demanding tongue. The adventurer tasted of foreign spices and the scent of the forbidden, and it was entirely possible that he would never get enough. Aymeric closed his eyes and clutched the warm body close as he focused on prolonging that moment as long as he could.


He was not often prone to dalliances, being of the opinion that courtship was a weighty matter deserving of much care and consideration. But neither was he innocent, and so he brought all his skill to bear. The key, he had found, was in only slowly revealing his need. It was immediate and strong, surging through him the moment the adventurer was close enough to catch the scent of foreign winds and the magic that always coursed through legendary armor collected like rare coins. But he knew from experience not to give too much away too soon, and so he restrained his desire and his breath.


Instead he pulled just slightly back with the press of his lips, subtly shifting to lean against his desk and leaving his eager companion to follow. His hands delighted in the touch of heated skin, but he set them only loosely around the sculpted waist that pressed against his hips. He wanted to ravage the mouth that claimed his own, but it was only hesitantly that he explored its depths, ghosting his fingertips almost shyly along the soft throat to rest behind his partner's head. Subtly he guided and suggested with only the lightest touch until, somehow, they joined at just the right angle that he could no longer restrain his impulses.


It was usually that moment that undid him, exposing his ruse and ruining his game. When the warrior finally moved against him with lips that yielded every secret, he was never able to keep his desire leashed. His grip would become frantic and his movements prone to quick bouts of frenzy, and the clash of tongues would do something truly unholy to him. He would spread his legs wider as he leaned half upon the desk, pulling the adventurer as close as he could. And he would rumble, long and low, deep within his throat, or whimper plaintively for more.


This time, he broke from the kiss altogether, the intensity suddenly too much, too good. Through bruised lips he merely gasped warmly, leaning backwards as though overcome by the heat between them. Wet kisses were already on his neck, which turned to bites, and he knew he had lost the battle when his throaty sighs veered too close to a moan. His lover answered the sound immediately, jerking against him and making every part of him twitch for more contact.


It was what his body wanted. But he had never managed to teach it that, with the Warrior of Light, giving in to his desire was precisely the wrong way to go about achieving it.


Nevertheless, it was not over. The game had merely entered a new stage. It was frenzied, if short, but he could prolong it if he tried. It was a careful balance he aimed for, trying to impress on his lover the importance of enjoy this moment, now. Even as he did everything in his power to twist the strings of fate, looking ahead to the future that was as inevitable as the rising of the sun.


He would seize his bare fingers in the warm nest of cloth, trying to hold steady the body that rubbed itself subtly between his legs and made his breaths hitch and stutter. His own teeth would be set to wander, to bite and occasionally caress an ear or collarbone, careful to make marks only where no-one but a healer might see. He would make expeditions into the unknown territory of armor designed for war instead of love, prodding and eventually abandoning clasps and buckles of such complexity that he could not disarm them without drawing attention.


Let me in. He pushed his hand, almost pleadingly, beneath the folds of fabric and leather to the hot spaces and moist skin beneath. But that was a war that he would never win, because it inevitably invited retaliation. And with a sure hand caressing him through his trousers, he found he was never able to remain completely silent.


The adventurer could not resist the sound of his voice, but seemed uniquely capable of drawing it out of him, no matter how doggedly he tried to keep it in check.


Once, just once, he had managed to make headway against his goal. He had not understood the importance of it at the time, believing, naively, that there would always be another chance. He knew, now, what a rare thing he had achieved when he had cautiously snaked his hand beneath the adventurer's belt, finding his grasp with aching precision and delighting in the sheen of sweat and something more that soaked into his gloved palm. At that moment he had felt not only his own pleasure, but that of his lover, and heard it in the ragged groan at his ear.


It was sinful, and it was heaven, and Aymeric dreamed of it nearly every night. Often before he even fell asleep.


But that had been the extent of his foray, because his touch had been refused, removed, redirected with a touch so soft he had not even understood its import at the time. He had been too distracted by the fingers that clawed at his own clothing, pinning his hips to the desk once the obstruction had been removed. He had thrown his head back at the assault and steadied his palms against papers that threatened to slide against his desk, too overwhelmed by the heady rush of feeling as the adventurer sought to claim him instead. Love is not a competition, he had thought at the time. It would be ungenerous to insist.


But if he had known what he knew now, he might have insisted, precisely because he was the generous sort. Because merely to accept pleasure, the hot rush of heat on his cock and slick suction of a tongue with far too many talents, left him feeling achingly unfulfilled. Even after he had gasped and trembled and yes, moaned and whimpered, desperate for whatever his lover was willing to give.


Now, he wanted more than ever to refuse. But as always, he let the inevitable happen, if only because he could not find it in him to defy the adventurer's will. Those steely eyes always held his attention like a dragonfly in amber, and he was helpless even to voice his own simmering discontent.


Dear gods, I want to please you, but it was only ever said within the halls of his own mind. Usually, his lips were occupied anyway, but now they were given one final nip with gentle teeth before the adventurer once again set to work. Now, he knew, it mattered not how hard he clutched at firm, unyielding shoulders, nor whether he bit his tongue hard enough to taste brassy blood.


His lover would inevitably taste him. He could only give in to the demand, to the sure but frenzied hands that worked at his armor and clothing, loosing just enough of it to free his erection and make him whimper in embarrassment and relief and aching carnal need.


Ser Aymeric was the de facto leader of Ishgard, an interim governor of a nation at war with its very history and ideals. But truthfully, he was weak. Before the Warrior of Light, his will was as nothing, a tree snapping in gale winds. He could pretend to resist, gamely assuring himself that this time he would not bend. But the moment those lips locked tight around him and he groaned into the wicked night, all his noble pretension to generosity was like a snowflake whirling into a raging bonfire. He could only shift his arms behind him and disturb the fragile order of his desk, and try to keep from shattering too quickly. As he had that first late-night visit and every incidence afterwards, Aymeric merely surrendered, and thanked the Fury with blasphemous thoughts for every sinful moment of it.


That did not mean that he did not endeavor to give his lover pleasure. Far from it. Because he had learned, by now, what the adventurer wanted from him, and he knew just how to give it.


Ordinarily, he was a quiet lover. Aymeric preferred to keep his gasps silent and restrain his urges to beg for more. It was not about pride—though he certainly had enough of it—but rather purpose. He preferred to keep unflinching focus not on his pleasure, but on his lover's, muting sensations and desires and then urgent demands within his mind until even his thoughts could hardly be heard above his steady, panting breath.


But it was precisely when he failed to do so that the warrior would rumble in pleasure around him, or fix him with eyes so intense it became impossible to look away or even breathe. And so, gradually, over many repetitions of their tryst, he had learned how to employ his voice as a weapon. Like a knight who had lost his sword and began knocking out teeth with his buckler, he used the limited tools at his disposal and found them most effective. Even in receiving, he found, he could give, and so without hesitation he did. His pride, and his wants, be damned.


This, too, was a dance. At first he quieted himself, reigning in his pleasure as much as he could after that first shocking rush of heat. It was merely a matter of giving priority to his ordinary impulse. An easy thing, in theory. When the hand that stroked him picked up the saliva left behind from the initial greedy assault, squeezing him all the way to the base, his response was silent. He merely let his head hang from his shoulders and opened his mouth to gasps whose only sound was the whistle of air over his own slick teeth. His thighs twitched as a venomous tongue swirled around him, drawing him further into the depths of sin. But he withheld the fruit of reward, at first, merely to make the first taste all the sweeter. His lover was the sort who relished only prizes hard-earned, and so he did not give too easily what could be taken instead by merit.


Nor would he ever give falsely. The very thought was repugnant, but neither was it necessary. Rather, as the stoic warrior slowly eased down until he was engulfed to the hilt, then pulled back again and built a torturous rhythm with lips and hands, he let himself feel it by slow degrees. Soon he was biting his lip and breathing carefully around his tongue. Usually it happened around the time he wondered is it truly so terrible, to carry on like this? Hot desire coursed through him and the iron bands of his will lost their temper and loosened by sore ilms. And finally he let free one soft sound of pleasure. A rich gasp, this time, followed by a warm, soft groan.


It was obvious that his lover appreciated it. Because the movement at his hip stilled, the pressure and the suction and the blissful heat momentarily not so dire. Aymeric sighed in disappointment and relief both, but such reprieves never lasted long. It was merely the passing of the eye before the storm once again began to howl, threatening to tear away the shutters of his restraint and toss them high into the wind. And from then on, he could not be silent, and so he focused instead on cultivating his response. On schooling his embarrassment and pride, and letting his unsteady breaths bloom into small moans and quiet pleas, flowers placed before his lover as offerings of his devotion.


Once, he had gone too far. It was a delicate line he walked, between embracing his pleasure and falling prey to it. Once, he had listened too closely to the electric sensations in his cock and the coiling tension of his body, and his moans had followed too deep and loud. He had surrendered far too soon, and lost the battle and the war as well as his pride.


It had not been so terrible, of course. The wild expression on his lover's face had been worth it, wide-eyed, thoroughly astonished and so vividly aroused that for a moment he had been sure his own clothing was destined for the floor beside the sodden cape.


Now, though, he knew his body's reactions intimately, almost as well as the adventurer who unfailingly brought them forth. More importantly, he knew how to elicit reactions in turn. He payed careful attention to the texture of his voice, crooning softly as he was taken deep, so deep, or growling rough and ragged when that firm tongue dragged tortuously over his tip. He became an instrument in the adventurer's hands, by his own will a mere object of desire. He gave over to the need in his body and allowed himself to be manipulated for his lover's pleasure. Because he knew, now, that it was his only means of achieving it.


But it is not how I would give it to you, were I to have my heart's desire.


Not at all. No, he would rather have returned the sentiment in kind, as he had requested mere moments after the first time he had come undone in the adventurer's cruel mouth. He wanted to sweep the papers from his desk and press his lover to it, running his hands beneath the precise curve of back that arched over smooth oiled wood. He would take his time in divesting his visitor of clothing, giving the armor the respect it was due and then paying even more to the skin protected beneath. He would have sampled and tasted every ilm of that lithe, hard body, hunting with manic focus for the places that elicited their own tiny sounds of pleasure from that smirking, sinful mouth.


He wanted to reach out his tongue and taste everything his lover had to give. He wanted to suck, to stroke, to lose himself to servitude until it no longer mattered that he had forgotten how to breathe and his tongue and jaw were sore with effort. He wanted to slick his fingers and carefully press inside, exploring the contours of a world so secret he hardly dared contemplate it. He wanted to stroke deep, with gentle care and then firm pressure, curling his fingers to find the spot that would elicit just the right gasp for more. Nor would he deny the request. He wanted to be the one to wrest ringing sounds from his lover's throat, to lick and suck and and touch and stroke until he had heard every note there was to sing.


When he thought of it—for thought was all it ever was—his resolve rarely lasted long enough to contemplate going further. Imagining the heady rush of heat and flavor as his lover squeezed him with crushing thighs and pulled at his feather-soft hair was already far too much, without wondering what sound would tumble from those sinful lips. That alone was enough to break him, and the illusion along with it, leaving him with naught but sticky hands and discontent.


There was never any reason to consider what it would be like to make a greater claim, though he was certain it was something he dearly wanted. His own fulfillment felt, by now, completely inconsequential.


In the moment, though, the reality was always exquisite. As much as he might like to think he could hold out, beg instead to satisfy his lover body and soul, he was a captive to pleasure. He did not merely whine and whimper for the chance to serve his heavens-blessed hero. He was so completely enslaved that he could not think but to wish for one more touch, one more caress, one more squeeze or flick of the tongue. It was no longer a performance. He had nothing left to give. He could only take.


And grasp vainly at the air when mercy was denied him. In a clear sunbeam of a moment, the adventurer paused, and their eyes met once more. A sight he had grown accustomed to, that no longer made him blush scarlet at the lewdness of the act. His lover held his will with a gaze of steady steel, tongue extended to trace him with a light touch, and in the bleating silence of his mind all he could think was, more, please, more! All that emerged from his throat was an unsteady gasp, clawing at the tension between them in an effort to seize some measure of sanity, of control.


It was pointless. It always was.


The moment passed. Time ticked forward, the hands of the clock proceeding round in their circle, hitting the same numbers in order every time. The adventurer hardly even smirked this time, merely closing lids heavy with the promise of pleasure and diving forward to engulf Aymeric in blinding ecstasy. There were too many sensations to sort out, lips, hands, tongue, throat, it didn't matter. It was a culmination, a change in key after a dramatic rest, and Aymeric played his part. He snapped like a violin string pulled too taut, not even registering the rough shout that followed a series of breaths drunk deep like Abalathian wine.


His body was no longer his, a puppet on frayed strings. He merely obeyed.


After moments such as these, there was always a short reprieve. A sweet vignette of contentment, of bleary affection and tenderness and hope for more. But then it, too, would end, carried forward on his panting breath and the urge to look upon his lover and read the hot desire displayed openly for him to see.


He lifted his hand to stroke his thumb across a cheek heated by intense lust, perhaps something more. Down over lips smeared with all manner of sin, open and panting and so inviting.


A hollow promise. A sunflower that had lost its teeth and hung its heavy head. Sweetness distilled like white wine into bubbles and heartache.


And it all came crashing back to him, a wave smashed against the cliffs, carrying pieces of his heart away with every rough tide. A look of pain crossed his lover's face, one he recognized all too well. And all the words he had wanted to say fell from his mind, to scatter upon the floor and seep into the threadbare carpet below. None of it mattered, not one letter, not one stroke nor trembling breath.


He pulled the adventurer close, an embrace this time of love, not lust. Tenderness given not out of desire, but the grief they shared. The wounds that would never heal. The knowledge that nothing was forever. There were no promises he could give, no matter how much he wished to. None that he could extract, when they were not willingly given.


The Warrior of Light sank into his embrace like a bird in a down-lined nest, burrowing against him with no regard for the indecency of his dress. And that was good, too. Soft and warm, but with arms that he knew were far too strong to let him fall. He could grieve, here, could crack open the rusted coffer of his heart and share the pain that twined between them, their fragile connection forged through loss.


He had thought he would have the courage of his convictions, to speak his mind and his heart. To lay open his longing, as well as his grief. To confess the hurt that was beginning to settle in his breast, that was adding to his sorrow, now, rather than abating it.


But that was the tricky thing about love. Not only did it hurt, it often invited more suffering. Aymeric drew back far enough to nuzzle the adventurer's forehead with his own, prying his eyes open just far enough to see the sheepish look on his lover's face, and the deep shadows reflected between them.


The Warrior of Light did not often look weak. Only here, in his arms. Only after he had given his body and his will over to another master. Only then could he see what the hero had suffered, why it was he was so desperately needed. Why he allowed himself to be so thoroughly used.


There were many things he wanted to say, then. But all he said, crooning softly like a lullaby, was, “I know. I know.”


The warrior closed haunted eyes and leaned against him, noble and suffering and perhaps a little sorry. The simple embrace lasted only a little longer, then was cut off with a friendly squeeze. As had happened so many times before, the adventurer pulled away from his trailing grasp. With a kiss on his forehead, this time, to file away with the rest of his memories.


The cloak was retrieved, slung carelessly over one shoulder in counterpoint to the look of guilt and pain that was tossed over the other. For a quivering moment it seemed that perhaps the adventurer might speak.


Aymeric preferred not to hear false assurances. He straightened his own clothing, standing pointedly and returning a small, wan smile.


I will be here for you, when you need me.


He felt used, yes. And, given time, it might well break him. But he could afford to be used a little longer. Better to offer his shoulder, standing straight and tall. To be the tree that sheltered against the raging storm. Better that than to demand what his lover was not ready to give. Better that than to see those soulful eyes grow cold and hard and shuttered against even him.


And so the adventurer smiled in return, also a little small and thin, the seed of joy not yet stirred by the thaw. And then, like every time before, and a good many to come, the door clicked closed and Aymeric was left utterly alone.


Perhaps his wounds would never heal. But he would gladly carve a hole in his soul, if it would help to heal his lover. It was worth the pain. Or if it wasn't, it was at least worth the pleasure of the dance. Even if every time, the dance would eventually come to an end.


He could take solace in the fact that it would all happen again. No matter how much it hurt him, no matter how much he wanted to resist. He was helpless either to prevent it or to initiate more. But he would bear it gladly, look forward to its repetition. Dream about it beneath the sheets and think of it when his work weighed so heavily he could scarcely lift his head.


Until you let me love you, he thought. Or until my heart breaks.

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