Sorcerer Hunters Fan Fiction ❯ From Then To Now ❯ Chapter 1
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
~From Then To Now~
"Hey, guys! I just got back from Merusetina, and I brought this back with me!"
The children run happily towards Onion, interested to see what it was he's brought. Apricot stands up from where she's been leant over, talking to the children just moments before. She smiles gently, walking slowly over to where her husband is already effortlessly commanding the attention and respect of the four tiny children gathered in front of him.
She looks to what he's brought with him, recognizing it as, she thinks for a moment as she tries to remember, a camera; more the kind of extravagance a Sorcerer would keep in their home, but Onion had been out for the best part of a month with Milphey off in the far reaches of the Continent... knowing their past, knowing Milphey's occupation remained, who knew just what the two had got up to in their trip to Merusetina. Holiday, a little light Sorcerer Hunting... just as long as they were alright by the end, and it seemed that Onion was so.
And he'd brought a camera with him, which seemed to make him quite happy.
Apricot watches as Onion sets up the camera, fiddling around with sticks that it sat on and other things. Maybe he'd bought it? Perhaps Milphey had? Nobody said they'd had to have hunted Sorcerers to get it.
Of course, Apricot wouldn't have let Onion off on the trip if it'd been a mission rather than a holiday. Both of them knew this.
"... Tested it out a bit ago with Milphey... see, here's what comes out of it!"
Onion produces a square of shiny paper from one pocket, holding it down to show the children. Curious, Apricot joins the group and peers over Onion's arm to see the photo. Indeed the photo is of Milphey, seemingly caught in the moment of blowing a kiss to the camera. Always the flirt... however, pose aside, the children seem quite impressed.
"Oh wow! Did you draw that?!"
"It's all shiny!"
"Ahaha, no, I didn't draw it, that's what this thing does! You stand in front of it, you press this, it flashes, and it copies you onto the card! Pretty nifty, don't you think? 'Course, the stuff you gotta use with it is pretty rare, got some in Merusetina but who knows if there's gonna be any available around here... still, I've got enough for nine more. Let's take some pictures!"
The children immediately start clamouring around him at that moment, enthusiastic to be the one captured to a picture first; however, Onion's first intention was for a picture of his wife, an attempt to capture her beauty, her radiance... and she smiled when he said he wanted a picture of her first, she smiled and accepted, and the children watched in amazement as the picture was taken and eventually developed.
Carrot sat in one of the rooms in Eden, on his own and silently contemplating. The balcony doors were open and a light breeze caused the curtains on either side to ripple and shift into the room... it was a bright, agreeable day. The others were probably out doing other things... Carrot himself had been going to make a journey down to Facade and have some lunch or something, but then as he'd been getting dressed, he'd found a small box which was in his wardrobe. To be honest, the box had always been in his wardrobe, but it'd never really commanded his attention. It was a wardrobe, it was a box, somebody had probably put it there to keep it out of the way. It'd always just been something that had been there, Carrot never usually had much time to ponder the box itself, usually he was too busy hurrying to get dressed in time for the latest mission.
Today, though, he'd stopped to think about it. It was his (and Marron's) room, the wardrobes, dressers and drawers were only going to have things that belonged to him or Marron in them (unless Chocolat had been sneakily hiding things for some reason), so... what was the box? Was it something of Marron's? Was it something of his that he'd forgotten about? He wasn't sure. So the plans to go to Facade were forgotten in favour of the box and it's contents; he'd taken it under his arm, carefully carrying it through to one of the empty rooms nearby. He'd set it out on the table and had a good look, spreading the pictures out in front of him.
Immediately, the memories came flooding back. He remembered Onion with the camera, had remembered a fragment of the emotions he'd felt on that day, the excitement and the wish to be photographed... it wasn't as if it was an event he'd especially forgotten, but he hadn't known for the longest time what'd happened to the photos. It'd been something he'd wondered about occasionally, even... and then, in the end, they were in his own wardrobe? No wonder he hadn't seen them in years.
The box had contained six pictures; Apricot and the children, Onion and the children, Tira hugging Chocolat, Carrot hugging a shocked Marron, and two of Marron on his own. Carrot remembered something about there having been ten pictures... however, he also vaguely remembered pictures of Apricot around Onion's bed, back at Mount St Hordic. Likely those had been the pictures he'd kept, and Carrot could understand that.
So, the pictures he was left with, he was looking at intently. There was a vague sort of tint to the pictures that made Carrot feel as if the pictures were old... and indeed, they had to have been at least eleven or twelve years old, if not more... that seemed strange to think. Carrot could remember the day when the pictures had been taken, had held the pictures in his hand that day just as he held them now... at the time they'd been a novelty, now they were a memory, and Carrot felt strangely stirred to look at them.
The first two, the family shots, were nice to look at. It was strange to look upon the face of his mother, too... how lucky they'd been, Carrot thought to himself, that they'd got the camera before the time of his mother's death. It couldn't have been too long after the pictures were taken that that had happened, after all. A year or two, more than that, less than that? Carrot wasn't too good with remembering things like that exactly. However, the picture of Apricot and the four of them as little children... she was knelt down with Tira, Carrot, Marron and Chocolat in front of her; Carrot could see her hands over Tira and Chocolat's shoulders, and her head was leant between his and Marron's.
She looked happy. Well, they all looked happy, but... Carrot's gaze was taken more by his mother than the others in the picture, even the smaller version of himself... they'd all changed so much since the picture was taken, but his memory of her was exactly as the photo was... well, there were quite a few memories of her getting angry and spanking him for various things, but that wasn't the point, this was nostalgia, the less pleasant things could be momentarily forgotten about.
Onion had often commented on how Marron looked like Apricot, even moreso now that he was growing up. The resemblance was indeed uncanny, though Apricot seemed so much more softer, gentle, kind... there was a happiness in her smile and an infinite kind of love to her eyes, and Carrot supposed that came of her being his mother. That expression of motherly love. This was a precious photo.
The one of Onion and the children... Onion was laying back on his back, smiling a sidewards smile to the camera. Chocolat and Carrot were sat on his chest and stomach with Marron and Tira (looking vaguely apprehensive towards their respective siblings) sat on the grass in front. Carrot couldn't help but smile back at his younger self's triumphant grin; he couldn't quite remember just why he'd been grinning so enthusiastically, but still. Chocolat looked quite smug, too... well, they were sitting on Onion, weren't they? They'd conquered the big guy! Onion looked just as happy. Of course, Tira and Marron were always the nervous ones, always unsure as to whether something should be done or not... it was a nice image to capture the general feeling of how things always used to be. The family dynamic that had unquestionably changed... if Chocolat sat on Onion these days he'd probably try to cop a feel, Carrot thought with a distasteful expression.
Carrot made a mental note to keep the one of Tira hugging Chocolat out to show them, later. It really was a cute picture of the two sisters, both close to the camera and wonderfully happy... it'd captured their expressions well. Chocolat looked almost as if she were about to fall over, and maybe that had been the case, Tira toppling her balance just a little too much...
There seemed to be a strange contrast between that picture and the picture of himself and Marron; he and Marron never quite seemed to have the ease of relations that Chocolat and Tira had, though, as Carrot had later found out, Marron had had his definite reasons. Even so, Tira had hugged Chocolat so easily back then... Carrot remembered having wondered about asking Marron to hug him, but it'd seemed a bit weird, so he'd hugged Marron instead while Onion had taken the photo.
Back at that time, Marron had been a full head or so shorter than his older brother... Marron's amazing growth spurt came later, after all. In this photo, Marron's eyes were opened wide, seemingly caught in the middle of being yanked over against his brother; Carrot's own arm was hooked around Marron's upper shoulders, and his hair eternally captured in the blur of movement. Carrot moved the picture in his hand, holding it in one of the patches of bright sunlight that fell across the table... the slightly-faded tint of the picture didn't capture exact colour too well, though Carrot supposed that was to be expected. Still... Marron's eye colour... sometimes even now it could be hard to determine, he'd just been curious as to what colour it was in this picture, amongst the others.
If he hadn't have known better, Carrot would almost have said that Marron looked frightened in the picture. Probably the way Carrot had grabbed him had scared him, looking as if he were about to topple over at any moment... Marron, back then, had found it easy to become tearful, and falling over (or, more precisely, tripping over that long robe of his onto something hard) was something he'd often cried about. He'd never sustained more than bruises at most, usually his robe protected against anything that might have damaged him, but pain was still pain and he'd cried.
Of course, in this photo, he had his strong, amazing niisan to hold him and protect him, didn't he! Even if Marron thought he was going to fall, Carrot had known then just as much as he knew now, he wouldn't let Marron fall. Waver a little perhaps, but not actually fall. Indeed, Marron wouldn't have looked so scared if Onion had taken the picture a few moments later than he actually had done, but Marron's wide-eyed shock had been caught and committed to photo. Carrot laughed softly... it was just the little things that mattered. Back then, if Carrot grabbed him, Marron would have been worried about falling over... go forward a few years, he would have been worried about much more than just that.
Not that Carrot assumed he could grab Marron and have him fall over, anymore. If he tried that, he was more likely to be the one to fall over... Marron was stronger, now. Stronger, taller, heavier... and he didn't trip up on his robe anymore, which was a plus. He had such poise and grace (and balance) now... could any of that be predicted by looking at the wide-eyed boy in the photo?
Was there anything of this boy left in the person Marron was today?
Musing on that, Carrot put the photo to the side. He kept it with the picture of Tira and Chocolat, he'd show it to Marron later on. Then again, maybe he could show all the photos to everybody later on... he put the group pictures back in the box, then thought again. He wanted to show the pictures to everybody... he also wanted to show Marron some of the pictures when it was just them alone. No doubt the girls of Eden would squeal about how cute everyone looked in the photos, Marron especially most likely, but... before that, Carrot wanted to show the pictures to Marron. A little look between the two of them, remembering things from the past.
Those last two, those of Marron on his own... of course, being a quiet and still sort of person, he was slightly easier to photograph than the others could have been. One photo was of him looking up almost expectantly at the camera; Carrot was sure he could remember Onion wanting to take a photo and so instructing Marron to smile, but... Marron's smile was a rare thing, and it had to be earnt rather than asked for. Rather than smiling he'd looked up with curiosity and innocence, and that expression held just as much power as a mere smile may have done. He may not have been smiling but his eyes were relaxed and contented, and that was about as much as you could really get out of Marron back at that time.
The other one had probably been taken without Marron knowing it. Outside the house back at Hordic, there'd been a little hill. This one was Marron sitting on that hill, looking off at something unseen by the camera, deep in thought about... something.
What might his young mind have been thinking of, back then... even back then he'd go off on his own and just think about things. What kind of things caught his attention to think about so deeply? Carrot had never known.
Looking back on the photos of his brother's younger days... well, all of them, but naturally it was Marron that would catch Carrot's eye... looking back... looking back on Marron then from a now perspective, he seemed such an... almost an ethereal little boy. Always so deep and thoughtful, so quiet and often disjointed from the others... at the time it'd seemed as if he'd identified with Tira more than anybody else, usually Marron and Tira were the ones to end up in floods of tears as Carrot and Chocolat tried to calm them down... they shared that, but it'd always been Carrot, it seemed, that Marron felt closest to.
Carrot had never been able to understand that little brother of his, and back then, he'd never even tried. So Marron was quiet and reserved and didn't want to go and jump in puddles or throw mud around, his loss. Back then, the only curiosity Carrot had had was just why didn't Marron want to do those things... but on the other hand, it seemed normal, too. Marron was Marron, that was just how he was.
The child in these photos was so pure and innocent. The idea of growing up was a world away, and the things that worried adults in such complicated ways... the touch of those things would hopefully never spoil that innocence or furrow that brow. That expression was captured on card and would never change, and that version of Marron could stay innocent and delicate forever.
A decade or so too late, Carrot still felt such an overwhelming urge to protect this little person. Make sure he was okay. Make sure nobody's hurting him. Make sure he's washed behind his ears, brushed his hair, eaten his bread, all that sort of thing.
This boy had little knowledge of powerful feelings that would very nearly break his heart, that would almost break him entirely. The feeling of 'to love my niisan' was so much newer back then, there was so much more to be settled and discovered... and back then, it was so simple. Marron would say 'I love you' and mean it easily, truthfully. Because he did love Carrot. Carrot loved him too, of course... but the years would pass and Marron would become loathe to say something like that. The sentiment would never lessen, but the words themselves would become difficult to speak for quite some time. He might lose the knowledge of what that meant. Might think that it was wrong, might think that it was disgusting. Might even think that if you never spoke of it then the problem that it became might sort itself out. Might discover the opposite was true.
This little boy was entirely pure and entirely innocent. Very little from life had left it's mark on him; was this even before the bullying had picked up? Carrot thought back. It might very well have been. No cruelty had occurred just yet, no death, no loss... all he knew was contained to that mountain village and his family within it, and that had been wonderful.
No thoughts of perversion would even begin to enter in on his mind for years, yet. He was pure in mind and he was pure in body, back then not even he would have touched himself, he would not yet have felt the tumultuous feelings that resulted of growing up, of hormones, of obsession as of yet then unrequited.
He'd have no idea of what it'd be to be so desperate and so trapped by the silence that he felt there was nothing he could do, to cry with bitter frustration at nights for what he wanted but knew he couldn't have... he knew of the love of a sibling, but not yet had he wondered just what he might want to do with that love. The discontent of that being not enough had not yet settled within him.
He had not yet known the touch of another. Not trembled in another's arms nor shuddered at their touch, flushed and begging for more of something that he didn't know quite how to beg for... but he would submit himself and he would plead, perhaps unaware of quite what it was he even needed so badly... then he would be touched and suddenly he'd be unable to even speak.
The things that they did, the names and the words and those vulgar expressions that sent a moan from Marron's lips to hear them and a chill down Carrot's spine to speak them... oh, and if Marron would say things that were similar... no. This child's lips were not yet stained in such a way.
This Marron was so different to the Marron that he grew up to be, who was then different to what he became, to who he was now... Carrot knew he couldn't call his brother innocent anymore, knew that it was he that had taken that innocence, without even realizing at first... they couldn't go back to those times. Knowing of all the things that happened between the time of the photo and the time of him holding the photo, Carrot didn't know if he'd want to go back to such a time... but if he could do so, if he could take Marron back without subjecting him to the pain he would later feel, then... perhaps that would be more desirable...
The prospect of this innocent child growing up was not one entirely terrible, though. Not now. Yes, there would be pain and sorrow and hopelessness in his life. Yes, he would have his nights of being so lonely and alone that it'd eat him up inside... but also there would be a day when, eventually, his pain would be lifted and his yearning requited at last.
So perhaps Carrot had taken his brother's innocence, and looking at the photos, he felt a degree of guilt for that. However, in the eyes of that child, there was a youthful kind of happiness... and Carrot knew, whenever he looked into Marron's eyes in the present day, that Marron was happy. He'd taken Marron and many times, but as well as taking, Carrot gave, also... he gave Marron happiness, and that seemed to satisfy him, more than anything else ever had or could.
Carrot tucked the pictures back into the box. Maybe he wouldn't show the others after all. Maybe he'd keep them for his own private perusal... maybe he'd show Marron later on, when it was dark and they were alone.
Then the door opened, and Carrot looked up quickly; somebody wanted to use the room?
"Ah, niisan. I was just wondering where you were..."
Relaxing on realising who it was, Carrot smiled in relief and greeting. It was only Marron.
Only the person he'd just spent so long quietly thinking about...
Marron seemed to notice the box on the table and walked over, his feet padding softly against the carpet on the floor.
"What are you doing?"
Carrot smirked, flicking one of the photos at Marron between two fingers, holding it face-down as to conceal the identity of the person in the photo, just briefly.
"Betcha don't recognize who this is!"
Curious, Marron carefully took the photo from Carrot's hand. It was the one of him sitting on the hill, and his eyes widened slightly in surprise as he saw. Those photos that they'd taken so many years ago... Carrot had found them? Obviously so. Marron wasn't even sure he remembered when this one was taken... he looked from it to the box on the table. The lid was off, and the topmost one was the group picture of Apricot and the children. Marron gasped slightly, placing the one of him down on the table and quickly picking that one up instead. Beneath it was the one of Onion and the children, Marron's eyes briefly flickered over that one before going back to the one he'd picked up, which he held in both hands.
"Oh, niisan... you found them...!"
Carrot nodded, "Mmm! Was getting clothes and stuff outta the wardrobe when I saw that box there, and I wondered what was in it... got caught up checking it all out, that's all I've been doing for like, an hour or so... it's too easy to just sit here and look at 'em. Oh, here, take a look at this one... don't they look so innocent?"
As he spoke, Carrot handed the picture of Tira and Chocolat for Marron to look at. Marron's eyes remained on the family group shots for a few moments longer before he accepted the other photo, his face easing into a contented expression as he saw.
"Indeed they do..."
"Just to think of what those two'd grow up into, jeez! I mean... they're so cute, all smiles and pink and curls and fluffy jumpers... give 'em another coupla years, suddenly they swap all that for leather and pain... well, even back then Chocolat was practisin' her wire, but that was kinda different, back then it was anyway."
Marron placed the picture back down onto the table, pulling the chair opposite Carrot out and seating himself upon it. He leant his head forward on his hands, smiling softly.
"You could argue that only now do they have a proper reason to beat you, even if they remain unaware..."
"I still wish they wouldn't hurt me so much!"
"And you'd rather they knew otherwise?"
"... No. I know what you mean."
"Exactly. Also, I'm always willing to heal you afterward, niisan... you know that."
There didn't need to be spoken agreement to know that that was true. A brief pause; Carrot watched as Marron's gaze drifted back to the pictures. He carefully slid over the one of Onion and the rest of the group, looking at it where it lay on the table... Carrot liked watching him like that. Looking at that photo, looking back at that time, looking back at that memory... Marron had the sweetest look of nostalgia to add to his expression. That small smile, that wistfulness in his eyes... his finger seemed to trace a path across the picture, looking carefully over all of the figures contained within it.
"Everybody seems so much younger..."
Carrot's voice was mildly sarcastic, "Well, yeah! These things were taken when we were much younger, so it kinda makes sense when you think about it, really."
"Hush, niisan. It just amazes me, though... we can hold these pictures in our hands that came from back then, back from when our lives were so different... so much has changed since these photos were taken...!"
A laugh, "That's just what I've been thinkin' about! I mean... yeah, it really has been a lot... the stuff that happened with mom... us becomin' Sorcerer Hunters..."
"The things that have changed... the ways in which we've changed..."
"Yeah, all of that. Pretty weird when you really think about it. Oh, but hey... you think we should show these to Tira and Chocolat? I was thinking of showing them, but... well, I dunno... there's something I like about just looking at them myself..."
Marron had been looking over the picture of Tira and Chocolat again. He put it down with a knowing smile, leaning his head on his hands once more.
"There's some things that they can't know have changed?"
"M-mm. Though I guess that's not a reason, is it? So you and me are definitely different from these photos. So what? There are lots of things that are different, it's not like I'm gonna go 'HEY DO YOU KNOW WHAT?!' or anything... I dunno. Just, you look so small and cute in these pictures! What happened to the little brother I had, huh?"
"I'm still here, niisan. Just different."
"Hell, yes! Little brother in name and name only... I mean, you're taller, you're stronger, you're all of that stuff I've mentioned a million times. How did the little thing in these turn into that?"
Carrot illustrated his point by waving two of the photos up then pointing at Marron; it was a valid question, but of course one that neither could answer. Nature had taken it's own path, and nature had just happened to give Marron growth spurts and amazing magical skills and killer looks and... and all of those sorts of things. Carrot looked back down at the picture of Onion and the group, picked it up and looked at himself. Really looked.
"Man, I was such a scrawny little kid. Guess that didn't change."
"Oh, I think you look quite sweet, niisan..."
"Yes, I would."
There wasn't any arguing with Marron when it came to any discussion like that. No matter how many times Carrot tried to disparage his looks or figure or face or anything, Marron always had a direct answer to dissuade those sorts of thoughts. Marron wouldn't stand to hear that Carrot was scrawny or ugly or an idiot... he wasn't scrawny, just slender. He had a beauty other people didn't appreciate. He had enough thought to carry his own ideas and behave in a generally sensible fashion, he couldn't be called an idiot, by any means. Perhaps his behaviour was rash, but just because everybody called him an idiot didn't mean that he had to believe it himself and let it claim him. Marron believed in Carrot much more, he said, than those people who'd insult him did. Somehow, when the words were ones that Marron spoke, they were easy to believe.
Carrot went from looking down at the picture to looking at Marron; Marron didn't notice, preoccupied in his own thoughts of whichever photo it was he was now looking at, Carrot couldn't see from where he was sat.
Things really had changed, hadn't they? Before, it would have been the opposite... Marron going off and crying on his own, and Carrot encouraging him that his looks weren't a justifiable reason for anybody to beat him up, that he should be brave and strong and fight back when people hit him... he was a wonderful person in himself, and nothing could justify those little pricks taking that in a negative fashion. Carrot had had to tell Marron that he was wonderful many times over and he still wasn't entirely sure if Marron quite believed that (though why not was beyond Carrot's comprehension, he was certainly in awe of Marron himself, terribly so even now), but he had at least stopped doubting himself, and he seemed to be as happy as anything just to have Carrot nearby. Carrot smiled to himself, he'd tell Marron anything if it'd make him smile... that didn't mean, however, that he had to lie.
Still, where was that little child from before? That sweet, insecure, dumpy little thing that Carrot had always had to pull out of danger and sadness? Maybe Marron had grown up entirely and left all of that behind. Maybe the only place that child existed was in those photos. Carrot stood up from the table, pushed his chair under, and walked over towards Marron. Marron didn't look up, but spoke as he carried on looking at the picture in his hand.
"Anyway, niisan... I wanted to find you because I wanted to know if you wanted to come out to Faca-"
Marron's speech was disturbed by Carrot's movement; he'd walked over to Marron and not stopped when he'd reached him, pressing his hand out onto the table and easing himself onto Marron's lap. He wrapped his other hand around Marron's shoulders, and smirked just a few centimetres away from Marron's own momentarily bemused expression. He couldn't remain confused for too long, his expression moving to a kind of happily resigned knowledge.
"... I was going to ask if you wanted to come out to Facade with me and perhaps have something for lunch, but... I would imagine that you have other plans, don't you..."
An emphasized nod, "And none of them involve going out. Hell, they don't have to involve leaving this room... nice enough room, nice day outside, nice breeze coming inside... nice shiny lock on the door..."
Carrot let his sentence trail off as he leant forward and pressed his lips to Marron's own; he hadn't really been going anywhere with that train of thought, but he knew what he meant and he knew that Marron did also. No point in wasting breath and wasting time, after all... still, Marron didn't feel as eager as Carrot knew he could be. He pulled away, making a curious sound.
Marron had his hands on Carrot's hips now, looking at him with such a wanting expression... Carrot gulped, even just Marron's expressions had such an effect on him. Just the look in his eyes... no matter Marron's words, Marron's eyes spoke of lust and desire and more, and at the moment they were wider, and then Marron spoke, his voice quiet.
"... If there's a nice shiny lock on the door as you said, then perhaps it would be best if we put it to use..."
Despite his implication, neither Marron himself nor Carrot made any move from the chair to get up to the door in order to lock it. Instead they stared at each other for short time, before Carrot smiled, running a hand through his hair.
"Do you want to lock it, or should I?"
Marron's arms wrapped around Carrot's lower back, hugging him closer. Marron closed his eyes, his head over Carrot's shoulder, movements so small but so telling... his embrace was as desperate as it was firm, and there was something almost distant in Marron's voice as he continued.
"Not... quite yet..."
"... Don't want to let go of you just yet... we'll reach the door when we reach it... it doesn't mean we have to go there now..."
Carrot pulled back slightly, "I see... so, should we start gettin' over to the door, then? No time like the present, and all of that..."
A darker tone to Marron's voice, "Oh... indeed..."
So Carrot was bowled over onto the floor, and by the time the two of them reached the door, their clothes had been left behind somewhere further into the room. They did, however, eventually remember to lock the door.
Carrot couldn't help but think, still. It was just the little things, but it was those little things that mattered... it was easy enough to look from the photos to Marron and be surprised and amazed and think about how everything was so different from how it used to be, but... it was the things that couldn't be told from physical appearance that felt the same, and there were things that were the same, Carrot knew that.
If nothing else, Marron had never stopped loving Carrot. As Carrot felt Marron's arms around him, tight yet comfortably so, fingers gripping at his clothes and then his skin... it didn't have to be said, but Carrot knew the feelings of Marron's hug. It was just the kind of thing that Marron had said in the past, that every embrace was an eternity to be lost in to be treasured, or something poetic like that... Carrot knew that Marron liked to hug him, to hold him, to be able to wrap his arms around him and keep him close and his... it was a hug to keep Carrot close by at all times, and was always given up almost regretfully. That was no different as to how it had been in the past... perhaps there was more meaning now than there had been, but that didn't change the action itself.
They'd slept together in the past too, of course. Only in a childlike innocent way, only when they were a lot younger (and now they always had to be careful, since if they were found all naked and limbs tangled come the morning by somebody else, surely they'd be berated somehow), but again, the action was the same. The sexual side of things aside, it was the same.
Marron's eyes spoke of need, but not only of desire. There was no doubt that he wanted Carrot, Carrot wanted him just as fiercely, but need... just a need. Need to be with Carrot, need to be loved by him, to be wanted by him, to be held by him, just... just to be with him, more than anything else. That expression had matured but still this was the person who had looked at Carrot with admiration when they were children, still this was the child that had clung to him so steadfastly, still those were the eyes that looked at him with deep love and near-painful wanting, just as he had done so in the past still did he do so today. The things that he wanted had matured and changed, but never the fact that he wanted.
As his deep thoughts became less important than the physical things happening to him, Carrot supposed it didn't matter, not really. So what if he and Marron had changed? Everything changed, but there was a little bit of the origin in everything. If it hadn't been for the smaller version of Marron being around, then there wouldn't be a different, bigger version of him around for anything... if anything of the past had been different at all, then it might change the present day now, and... and Carrot didn't want to think about that.
If nothing else, the past had given them building blocks for the present and future to work with... and from Marron's mannerisms and actions, and the way he looked into Carrot's eyes... Carrot could be confident that the child he'd known was still there, somewhere within the brother he knew to this day.
And, as he now had Marron on his back pleading him for things a lot less innocent, that was where Carrot's train of thought derailed completely; he decided it would be best to concentrate on the more immediate things. It would only make Marron more desperate if he didn't... that said, it wasn't as if that was an entirely unattractive thought in itself. They couldn't go back in time and Carrot didn't want to, not if it meant giving up such things as that, as this.
No matter what it was that Marron had been in the past, what Marron would be in the future... for the present, Marron was his and his alone... and for now, that was all that mattered. Carrot knew, as he held Marron down and ran his teeth along his neck, that Marron wouldn't argue with that. He himself would never dream of such a thing either, of course.
It was nostalgic to look back at the past, to look at those pictures and be amazed at the changes, but... looking at Marron now, looking at him at that very instant, Carrot couldn't deny it... there was definitely something to be said for growing up, too.
Whatever it was, neither he or Marron were able to say it. They had other things on their minds, after all.
7th November 2004