The Trouble With Trips – Asra and Katan

Note: This is set a few months after Breaking and Entering‘s sequel-in-progress, but the only real spoiler for what I’m writing is “blink and you’ll miss it” tiny. Unless you didn’t guess that Asra and Katan would be in a relationship the next time you saw them… This story was originally on my now-deleted Patreon page.


The Trouble With Trips - Asra and Katan

Asra and Katan share their fears. The trouble with trips is that sometimes, it’s hard to get the person you want with you the most to travel.

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“You don’t have to come with me to the train station,” Asra says as he watches Katan tie back his silvery white hair in the mirror. “I can walk there as easy as anything and it won’t take me too long to find my train.”

Katan’s mouth twists with a frown before he arches one sleek eyebrow.

“The last time you said that, you wound up sending me a letter from the Sellsail Islands saying that you took the wrong ship and weren’t anywhere near Marran,” Katan points out with a dry note to his voice that makes a blush burn in Asra’s dark cheeks. “Forgive me for worrying that history might repeat itself again.”

Asra feels his mouth flop open.

“It was an honest mistake, Katan,” Asra says, a little sharper than intended. He sighs, shaking his head more at the memory of the trip than at Katan’s mild retorts. “I told the captain where I wanted to go. It’s not my fault he spoke a different form of Xanthian. And besides, thanks to you and that nereid, I made it back in one piece, didn’t I?”

Katan flashes a smile at Asra that shouldn’t be half as disarming as it is. He reaches out, long fingers curving in against Asra’s wrist where his pulse seems to speed up at the touch.

“It was interesting,” Katan says, still smiling up at Asra as if he doesn’t know what that softly fond smile does to Asra. “I mean, I only rarely leave the God Quarter, but the idea of traveling with you – I enjoyed the experience.”

Asra blinks and then, without thinking, he says, “You should do it more often, then.”

Katan’s fingers flex against Asra’s skin, the only outward sign of his shock at Asra’s words.

“And leave the temple without my presence?”

“Isn’t that why you spent all of those early mornings speaking with potential acolytes when you could’ve been in bed with me,” Asra points out, a bitter note leaching into his voice. “Wanderers from around the world come here for you to bless them. I think it’s time you saw what the world has to offer. Seriously, Katan. You’re so old and yet I think I’ve seen more of Anatea than you have.”

“And this is supposed to make me feel like traveling?” Katan asks, his eyebrows drawing together as a faint frown settles on his lips.

Asra sighs at that look and moves forward so that he can step in between Katan’s legs. He cups Katan’s face in the palms of his hands, peering down into the bright green of Katan’s eyes as his thumbs stroke circles over soft skin.

“You’re worried about something happening to me when I leave,” Asra says, his voice soft as he voices something that Katan never would. “You’re worried that I might not come back.”

If they weren’t pressed so close together, Asra might’ve missed the way that Katan flinches as a result of his words.

“Asra, I –”

Before Katan can speak, Asra shushes him with a gentle press of his thumb to Katan’s parted lips. He’ll apologize for all of his rudeness later, but he knows that if he doesn’t get this all out now, he might force himself to stay silent.

“Well I’m worried that I might come back and this place will be locked up tight like it was before,” Asra confesses quietly, his mind trying to linger on the dreams that had begun to wake him in the middle of the night while he was off exploring Cretian ruins or spending days rattling about the Eastern Anatean countryside with pottery sellers. “Sometimes — Sometimes, I worry that you’ll forget me if I go away for too long. That’s why I want you to come with me on some of these trips.”

“I don’t –”

“I know. I know,” Asra says, still holding Katan’s face in his hands. “The temple isn’t ready for you to take off and Lelain — mmph!”

Suddenly, it’s Asra’s turn to be silent as Katan hauls him into a hug so tight that it makes his ribs creak.

“It’s not that,” Katan says, his voice muffled against Asra’s chest at first before he leans back and glances up at Asra’s face. “Not at all. I was simply going to say that I don’t think I can leave the acolytes with Lelain just yet, but I’d be happy to go with you on your next trip.” He pauses, pulling back just far enough that he can look at Asra’s face. “As long as you truly don’t mind me tagging along.”

Asra catches himself grinning, down at Katan’s handsome face. If not for the way that Katan has him held tight within the circle of his arms, Asra is sure that he’d be working his way towards something embarrassingly soppy like pressing a kiss to the Katan’s forehead.

“Really, Katan?” Asra blurts out.

“Yes,” Katan says, smiling back at Asra with fondness clear on his handsome face. “Really.”

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About Zina

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.
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