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The Secrets of Esper
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June 2007
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LOST 02 (part 1)

Who: Kefka and Sigurd
When: The day they set out on the hunt /evening/
Where: jungle
What: trying to get used to the situation
Warning: none
Status: continued in the next part

Now he was glad that the military-issued undershirts were stretchy and longer-than-needed. When they finally made it to a place they could rest at for the night, his shirt was stretched and heavy with soft-skinned, brightly colored fruits, which he held up by lifting the sides as though he was carrying a basket. All their running and hooting had frightened off any prey, so his guns were rendered completely useless, however, they were surrounded on all sides by plentiful vegetation, and with Sigurd's climbing and Kefka's catching, they had become fine hunters indeed.

"We have done a fine job, if I do say so myself," the blonde chimed as he sank down by the clear brook. His face was flushed from running and the humidity of the tropical air, his hair now slicked back from sweat and moisture, muscles aching from the entire trek... but hell if he didn't feel good. "You are marvelously adept at climbing, good sir. I commend you."

The first piece of fruit he washed--a mango or something of the sort--was tossed in Sigurd's direction. For making the suggestion of running around like idiots and exhausting the blonde's mind, Sigurd certainly deserved to get first dibs on their food supply.

"Thank you, of course," Sigurd smiled, catching the fruit and slicing it up neatly with his knife. "The seeds and the skin are quite bitter, but the rest is nice." The high boots were set aside a while age, as the officer thought, all the climbing and whatever would be easier barefooted. He sank his white teeth into the pinkish orange fruit, and handed out the other half to Kefka. "I could eat a whole chocobo. I don't even know when I was last this hungry. Moving a lot on fresh air and do something else than signing papers sure makes an appetite. And I can barely wait to wash off all the sweat and dirt."

"Here, here." Kefka finished washing off a second fruit, then just left their quarry a few feet back from the waterside, all too eager to get his hands on that fragrant prey. Ever the noble, he took careful, dainty bites of it, sure to eat around the core in order to avoid the bitterness of the pith. "This is delicious... We must really be far in the jungle--I have never seen this sort of fruit in the open market before. Humans must not travel out this far."

As he spoke, he decided to make himself more comfortable, sliding pale white feet out of his ruined boots. At least the damned things were worth the money he'd paid for them, even though he'd never be able to wear them with dignity out in public again. Sitting cross-legged across from the officer, he held the other clean fruit in his free hand, dangling it out if the other fancied a second.

"What I would not give for a hot shower... Even if we do find a village, there will not be a single shower stall, now will there?"

Sigurd threw his head back and laughed. "I suppose, such luxuries belong to the civilized cities... though, we could try to copy the effect. We can heat water in a pot, then I'll just pour it over your head. But I think, we'd still have to miss scented bubble bath."

"Given we can fashion a pot out of leaves and twigs," the smaller male giggled, nose wrinkling as he suckled all of the sweet meat left around his core. His fingers were covered in sticky juice, which his pink tongue eagerly lapped up, not wanting to have anymore dirt stick to him than absolutely necessary. "Once we get back, I think I will soak in a bath for no less than three hours... with candles, bubbles, and relaxing music. Perhaps champagne."

Kefka slid the other fruit toward Sigurd, his stomach growling at the prospect of having something else to quell its hunger. "What about you?"

"I prefer showers, but just this time, I might follow your example," the taller man nodded. "Just with something non-alcoholic, but for a chance, I'll spoil myself with the various oils I have... And I'll make sure to have chocolate." He laughed a bit and took a bright yellow paopu from the collection. "After I make sure I'm really in one piece, no injuries, no muscles pulled, I think, I'll go out for a night and party, preferably in the middle of civilization. After all, we'll have a reason to celebrate." His face took a little more serious expression as he munched on the star-shaped delicacy. "Our friends will be worried."

The second fruit he bit into could have very well been made of pure sugar; once the juice hit his tongue, he turned as pink as the skin of the succulent delight, eyes closing in brief ecstasy. He had to enjoy it for a few moments, chewing quietly, head slightly tilted back, lips quirked in a most pleased smile. Upon recovery, those pale blue hues slid open, and he resumed speaking, tongue dancing all the while. "Now that sounds like a fine idea, a party."

Sighing, he leaned back on one hand, daring another bite of this delicious fruit. "I imagine you are right.. I never left a set date as to when I would be returning home, so I am unsure how long it will be before someone realizes that I have not come back."

Ah, Sigurd.. he always had plenty of friends to worry about him. Kefka, on the other hand, never made many lasting relationships, and save for times like these, he preferred it that way.

"Two days at most, and they'll be searching for us," the Gear pilot said. "I told Bartholomew that I don't plan to stay long, I won't be surprised if he'd come after us with the Andvari. Which would probably break down halfway, due to the lack of fuel." He shook his head. "That kid is too restless, he needs to mature. But once he does, he'll be my finest comrade." Sigurd's voice was filled with pride, as he talked about his ward. He honestly lover the loudmouth blond youth and wanted to see him making a wonderful carrier in the Squad. Bart had everything it took.

There were certain things that always made one's mouth taste sour, and the mention of that brash, arrogant, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little punk was the one thing that could do so to the General. He would be Sigurd's finest comrade? Oh, no, he wouldn't be. Grimacing, Kefka forced himself to finish chewing up his fruit, but the sweet tasted like ash upon his tongue now. Stomach turning, he tore his eyes away from the officer, feeling that homicidal tic start to tug at his mind. It was definitely time to wear himself out again.

Wordlessly, he climbed to his feet and made his way to the tree they'd designated for sleeping in, brow furrowed as he tried to figure out the best course of action. "Hm. I'm sure he will," he replied, voice never shifting to indicate whether he cared for the boy or not.

Truth be told, he wanted to strangle the little bastard in his sleep. "Gather something thick for me to tie these limbs together with... If we get it thick enough, we should be able to sleep on these boughs."

He didn't wait for a response. He was too damned irritated for that. The short male clambered up the gnarled trunk, hand-over-hand, trying to concentrate on anything but the smug fact that there were two blonde-haired, blue-eyed someones in Sigurd's life, and he only openly professed his love for one of them.

"There was some left, I hung them on a branch to the right," Sigurd instructed, trying to aim a heartberry seed at a chosen target. When they were kids with Bart, they often played this. "When you don't want the rest, I'll snatch the other paopu for myself," he warned. And them, I'm off to bathe. I think, I'm starting to itch."

"You will leave that paopu alone, you greedy fellow!" he chirped, casting a glare-- a real one-- down in Sigurd's direction. Whether he saw it or not mattered little to the bristled General; Sigurd had trodden on dangerous territory, and even if he was unsuspecting of the whole affair, the Palazzo would show little mercy. "Little brat," he mumbled to himself as he perched on one of the branches, using a few of the vines to drag others against it, as though he was making a raft, "Do me a favor and poke your other eye out, so you will not be able to see me when I cut out that bloody tongue of yours.."

Violent? Yes. Necessary? Not at all. But since he couldn't threaten Bart to his face or within earshot of Sigurd, this would just have to do.

The Gear pilot, in blissful ignorance, just smiled and finished the rest of the heartberries. He walked to the little brook then, washed the various fruit juices off and began to shed his clothes. They dried during dinner, but Sigurd wanted to wash them out. Wearing nothing aside his underwear, he finally crouched down and began to rinse his garments thoroughly. There was probably sand in his last remaining piece of clothing, and he really didn't want to continue with that tendency tomorrow.

"...let us see you pilot without any fingers.." he rambled, using his weight to pull a third branch in for their makeshift bed, "...little idiot with your stupid eyepatch and... your... your blonde hair. I had it first, you twerp... Argue with the rules of the space/time continuum, just you try it... oh, I forgot."

Grunting, he tied off the "bed", judging with his eyes that it would be more than enough room for the both of them to stretch out without concern of falling off. "He would probably like it if you argued against the laws of physics... probably call it damned brilliance... insist you become a General, and--" It was not out of will that his ranting came to an end.

Oh, he could have gone on like this the entire night. But when he turned to grasp a few more vines to hold the support steady, he caught sight of beauty in its grandest form, knelt by the water's edge like some sort of Adonis that had been painted from stories of mythology. Of course, most of those painters tended to have their subjects in the complete nude, but this was fine enough. Flitting golden eyelashes, he whistled, doing nothing to hide his smirk. "Well, this is certainly a side of you that I have not seen in a while, m'lord.."

"Oh, yes," Sigurd shot an amused glance toward the tree. "Last time, I was completely naked." He wrung his shirt out and carried it to their tree to hang it up. It’ll be long dry when morning comes. "I suggest you come down and soak your clothes out as well... We'll have to wear them for a few days, I guess."

Kefka giggled softly as he slid down, landing in a crouch on the spongy earth, then coming up in a graceful stretch. Ah... a hot bath would have been nice, for his muscles were already rather achy. Nevertheless, he strutted toward the water's edge with his hands held high over his head, bent slightly at the elbows, slim hips swaying with each step. Bart might have been a handsome boy, but Kefka was firmly rooted in the belief that out of every blonde-haired, blue-eyed man that existed, he would forever hold the title of 'prettiest'. Just let that little jerk try to outdo him in that stance. Muscle and brawn had nothing on soft curves and milky skin. "At this rate, the both of us are going to be running about in furs and leaves soon," he commented as he slid out of his shirt and pants, much of his legs and hips revealed by bikini-cut underwear.

That certainly managed to get Sigurd's attention. He blushed just a bit and tried to stare without being too obvious about it. Kefka looked great, and he definitely was aware of that. The officer still remembered their younger days, and Kefka only got more pretty since then. "I hope it won't get that far, though I think the sight would be rather pleasing."

The blonde settled down by the water's edge, setting his holsters and their weapons to the side while he dunked his normally-crisp uniform into the water, watching in fascination as clouds of red unfurled from the tightly-woven threads. Just how much mud could clothing possibly hold? Head cocking to the side as he lifted the shirt and wrung it out, his lips spread into a coy smile, one bony shoulder shrugging. "It is impossible. I doubt there are enough leaves in this jungle to keep your lower extremities covered, my good sir."

What was more enjoyable than imagining ways to kill Bart? Why, making Sigurd blush, of course.

And it worked so damn well. The Gear pilot laughed, and the lovely reddish tint on his face deepened. "You're just trying to flatter me. I'm not _that_ well endowed." He finished getting the sand out of his trousers as well and set the garment out on the grass next to them. "And, I'd prefer some skin... A neat loincloth. That'd look really good on me."

"Ah, you caught me. It would only take half the jungle to keep you covered. Is that better?" General Palazzo spunkily turned to give his partner a playful wink, lifting to his feet as he did so. He dangled his own garments over a low-hanging branch, sure to keep them stretched out so that they would dry faster. Once that was done, he set to another important task--untangling his hair. A pale hand reached up into muddied locks, carefully plucking out the band that kept everything out of his face, and slid his wrist into the tie as the thickened strands fell well to his waist. "A loin cloth? Honestly, Sigurd, if no one is going to see you out here, why not run about naked?"

"Protection," the silvery-haired man replied. "I wouldn't want my private parts scratched, muddied or even bitten off... That would be a sad waste. I still need them, you know. Preferably unharmed." Sigurd stood up and removed his last garment as well, after all, he really wanted to wash off all the dust and sweat. Stepping into the water, he hissed a bit. "Darn, it's cold...!"

"Oh, well we just can not have that, now can we?" Kefka followed after the officer, but didn't step into the water, much too concerned with combing his fingers through muddied strands of cornsilk. He took a seat at the edge, feet stretched out in the brook, and with a gentle tilt of his head, he quietly watched as the other man cleaned himself. Ah.. did Sigurd have any idea how handsome he was? "Hm, hm, hm... would you like me to warm you up, m'lord?"

It was only to be expected, actually. Kefka must have been... deprived. Sigurd threw a glance over his shoulder. "Are you implying something naughty, Lord Palazzo...?"

"Maybe.." The little blonde peeked back at Sigurd with feigned timidness, ending his short positioning on the ground after only a few seconds. On rare occasions, there were more interesting things than the current state of his hair. Another languid stretch followed his rise to both feet, though this time, a finger hooked in the band of his underwear, tugging on it slightly. "What do you think?"

The silvery-haired man smiled. "I think you do, you indeed do... I'm just not sure if I should accept the challenge, or retreat. Would it stain my honor if I fled?"

"Since when have you fled from anything, Sigurd..?" he purred, deciding that now was not the time to tease from afar. With one graceful movement, he stepped out of his skimpy underwear, then pranced right into the water, paying the temperature no mind. He had his mind set on more pressing matters at the moment. Blue eyes twinkling playfully, he reached out to grasp one bronzed arm, using it to steer himself to a more appropriate position--namely, right at the officer's side. "Especially me. You know that I am harmless much of the time.."

"Like a newborn lamb," Sigurd agreed wholeheartedly, and sneaked his arm around the other's waist. It still felt good and strangely right. "I don't want to flee anyway. Whatever you want to do, I'll deal with it bravely."

There was something magical in the situation - just the both of them, out in the untouched wilderness circling each other like predators about to mate... What an appropriate metaphor. Sigurd lifted his hand and slowly, gently ran his wet fingers down on the general's face. Those pink lips were so tempting...

"But of course... the noble Sigurd Harcourt runs from nothing." He turned in the direction of that arm, moving so their front sides were pressed flush together. Even though his hair was filthy and there was a fine amount of dirt still clinging to his skin, he never felt more amorous. Sigurd's body was firm and steadfast against his own--what had he told Daatu once? Nothing compared to this feeling. And hadn't he been thinking of this very man when he told her that?

Of all the people to be lost alongside, he could think of no one else he'd rather be with. He leaned briefly into the hand, then did what the both of them obviously wanted, craning his head up to lightly crush their mouths together in a surprisingly tender kiss.

Sigurd couldn't resist, but he didn't even want to. He opened his mouth, letting their tongues slide against each other, and pulled the smaller man closer. The water felt less cold now, and the faint stirring in his loins was welcomed. What would it be a better celebration of their survival than some shared passion? The pilot withdrew for a breath and cupped his companion's face. "I was sort of missing this. I love to be with you."

His wicked little tongue curled around Sigurd's for the brief moment their mouths were laced together, fingers trailing down his strong sides to curl around the small of his back. His hips seemed to move with a mind of their own, rubbing his lower half rhythmically against that of his lover's. Tilting his head, his teeth and lips went after the officer's fingers, touching each with a nibble. "You know you are always welcome to come see me," he murmured, "Just like old times, remember?"

"Yes," Sigurd breathed with a smile, shivering from all the touches - each of them felt like an electric spark against his heated skin.

However, nothing lasts - not even peace and serene moments. The Gear pilot sensed something... Something was off. He glanced up and his gem-blue eye widened- What the FUCK was that?? A huge bird was soaring through the air with quite a speed and it headed directly toward them. Talons ready to strike, large, sharp beaks open, it might have thought the two humans were prey.

"Hold your breath!" Sigurd cried and grabbed Kefka's slim shoulders, to drag him under the water, carefully pushing the petite form under his taller one, so even if the talons scraped something, it won't be the general.

He didn't realize anything was any different until he suddenly couldn't breathe anymore. For the second time that day, he was helpless, his limbs flailing desperately at the weight of the water that flooded his nostrils and gaping mouth, tasting mud, salt, and something he couldn't identify, causing him to choke violently beneath the other male. I'm dying again... I'm dying again, I'm dying again... His mind remained in its panicked state for only a moment before all the medication, all the exhaustion, all of Sigurd's presence, everything, was replaced by a single blaring thought: live.

Kefka's right elbow wedged itself against Sigurd's sternum in a smooth, practiced motion; on a normal man, the force of it could have easily shattered bone. Trusting that the collision would be enough to knock the other off-balance, he threw the rest of his body upward, the general's right hand slammed against the underside of Sigurd's jaw. And the moment he broke the surface, gagging and coughing, one could easily tell the damage had been done. A small hand fisted in silvery locks, unyielding in their grip as he dragged the officer back toward the bank. "Think that was cute, do you?" he cooed sweetly, despite the animalistic rage in his eyes, "Fool. My pretty little idiot."