A Little Time Alone

New Moon Farm, Front Circle(#152RJ)
You are standing underneath the spreading branches of an oak tree which is probably at least two hundred years old. Around the tree are several half-earthed houses, with stone and glass fronts and roofs of green turf. Beside front doors, roses, morning-glories, wisteria, and grapevines are all planted, and more plants can be seen through the wide front windows of each cottage. Dogs sleep peacefully in the shade or bounce up to inspect any arrivals, and cats stalk gracefully by on their own business. Off in the distance, you can see the edges of planted fields, a duckpond, and fenced grazing land. (there are views here)
Obvious exits:
Guest House Nearest Barn Track to Farm Road

Simon pages: Some summer afternoon around 2 sound good?

You paged Simon with 'Sounds perfect.'.

Simon, looking rather grubby, emerges from the tomato patch. He carries a full basket of tomatoes in each hand.

About 16, if you had to guess and had your guessing shoes on, this young man is wiry, neither tall nor short for his age, and the color of bittersweet chocolate. His hair is tightly curled and rather very short, no more than a centimeter of soft 'wool' covering his scalp. His eyes are even darker than his skin, verging on black.
Simon is dressed in simple denim jeans, a woven shirt (short-sleeved), and a leather vest that looks like it might have been handed down from before the Long Night. He wears sandals on his feet, when he bothers wearing shoes at all.

Dusty and footsore, Miki trudges down the track from Farm Road, apparently from yet another expedition up to town.

He moves with the ungulate grace which is too often compared to deer, but unlike a deer he usually does not make a sound, this slender young man with a waterfall of perfectly white hair-- not blond, but white and fine as Queen Anne's lace-- which has been rather carelessly confined in a burgundy ribbon at the nape of his neck. His eyes at first appear to be dark rather than the blue that is their color, as they are so saturated with color that they absorb rather than reflect, like the evening sky. The planes of his perfectly symmetrical face reflect a beauty so delicate and finely drawn as to be almost inhuman, an impression furthered by the translucent pallor of his skin. Yet the lovely lines of his collarbones and his wrists showing delicately through that transparency paradoxically reinforce his humanity by suggesting his fragility.
His worn, although originally good black shoes are a little citified for the region, as are his well-tailored black pants. The matching, close-fitting black jacket with the mandarin collar and the long sleeves is currently worn open, showing the expensive white collarless shirt underneath. The heat, no doubt, has caused him to open the jacket and unbutton the top three buttons of the shirt.
At rest, he sits quite still, not even fidgeting with his long and capable hands. His face tends to assume a clear, icy expression which is a first cousin to sorrow.

Simon carries his harvest towards one of the half-earthed houses, disappearing inside for a moment. When he reappears, he's carrying two tomatoes, tossing one experimentally up into the air and catching it, as if he were contemplating juggling them.

Miki pauses, rubbing one hand absently along the back of his neck, as he notices Simon. He veers off the track, jumping gracefully down a short slope and heading towards the other boy.

Simon's face splits in a grin as he spots Miki. "Hey, Miki!" As soon as the other boy is close enough, he tosses one of the tomatoes to him. "Catch! Just picked and still Sun-warmed."

Miki, not expecting this, drops his bag awkwardly and catches the tomato-- barely-- with one hand. He looks at it, then back at Simon, with a slightly rueful smile. "Thanks. It looks very tasty."

Simon grins, dropping to the grass. "They are." As if to prove his claim, he bites into his tomato, catching a few spilled seeds in his free hand.

Miki folds himself into a sitting position next to his dropped bag before regarding the fragrant, red, and slightly squashy globe of his tomato with faint apprehension. With the slightest suggestion of a shrug, he bites into it, and his fears are realized as it splits wide open and spills tomato juice all over his chin. "Murrm," he says indistinctly, attempting to keep the juice from staining his shirt with the back of his other hand.

Simon laughs, though good naturedly. He shifts, digging into a pocket with a free hand and producing a crumpled, off-white handkerchief. "Here," he offers.

Miki takes the handkerchief gratefully and carefully wipes off his chin and throat. "Thank you," he says, holding the dripping tomato off to one side so as not to further the damage. "My own is in my trouser pocket, which is not easy to get when I am sitting down."

Simon grins, taking another bite of his own tomato. "You've got to be careful with tomatoes. If you squish them while you're biting, they do that. Explode, I mean."

With a rueful look at the exploded tomato, Miki replies, "Ah, I see that. I will have to be more careful." He bites at it again, still holding it carefully away from his clothes.

Simon makes short work of his tomato, licking his fingers clean. He shifts a little closer to Miki. "They're awful tasty, aren't they. Even if they do explode. I spent the whole morning picking, but I've some time free now, before I have to help with supper." The brown youth looks hopeful.

Miki nibbles on his tomato very carefully until it's gone, then carefully shakes the juice from his fingers before wiping them clean with the handkerchief. "I'm sorry I got your handkerchief all sticky," he says to Simon, "just because I was unprepared." He smiles.

Simon takes the handkerchief with a grin. "It's alright." He hesitates, then points to a spot under the other lad's chin. "You've got a seed, there..."

Miki smiles, tilts his chin up, and scratches the area lightly with his curled fingers. "Is it gone now?"

"Yeah, mostly." Simon scootches a little closer and ventures to dab the spot with the handkerchief. "There, gone." He smiles hesitantly. "Wouldn't want it to get stuck on your shirt..."

Miki inclines his head a little towards Simon. "Especially since I only have the two shirts," he says.

Simon's eyes skitter down Miki's front to the other boy's shoes. He tucks the handkerchief back into his pocket. "Do you have a place to wash your things? Because if you don't, I could maybe help you," he offers.

With a slightly embarassed look, Miki says, "Well, I... have been washing them out in the bathroom. And hanging them up there. Miss Sunshine did not say anything, so I thought it was okay."

Simon shrugs vaguely. "If Miz Sunshine didn't say anything, I guess that's okay, but if you like, I could wash some things for you. I've got laundry tomorrow." Simon risks a quick glance at the other boy's face.

"That would be nice of you," says Miki tentatively. "I did not know I would be staying so long, or I would have brought more clothes." He looks down at the dust on his jacket, then leans back on his hands and studies the sky thoughtfully. A flight of grackles passes overhead and this seems to prompt him to ask, "Have you made more paper birds?"

Simon lies down, propping himself up on his elbows to look up at the birds as well. "Yeah, some. And some other stuff."

"What other stuff?" asks Miki, unconsciously echoing Simon. He looks down at the other boy lying in the grass, curiously.

Simon shrugs, his eyes lingering near the spot that held a tomato seed not long ago, rather than meeting Miki's. "Oh, just stuff. Other birds, some dogs and cats."

Miki leans further back, bending his elbows a little and arching his throat towards the sky. From his nearly upside-down position, he still watches Simon out of the corner of one eye. "I saw a fox today," he says, apropos of nothing.

Simon's eyes follow Miki's throat, as if tied. "Yeah? I tried to make a fox, but I couldn't get it quite right. It looked too much like the dog. Where did you see it?"

Miki drops to one elbow, facing Simon. "Out in the woods, this morning. While I was practicing."

Simon glances up at Miklos. "Practicing? You mean, calling things? Or?" The dark young man suddenly seems nervous, or perhaps simply unsettled.

Miki smiles and shakes his head. "No, not that. Practicing with the bow. If I do not practice nearly every day, I cannot even hit a haycart."

Simon ohs... "I see." He hesitates, then says, "I didn't know you could shoot. Is that... Is that how you get food when you're travelling?"

The other boy nods. "Yes. I would have brought some here, but..." he smiles, pushing his hair out of his eyes with his free hand, "no one here seems to eat meat very much. And it is wasteful to kill something when I cannot share it. So I have just been practicing, you know, shooting at fallen trees and things. That's how I happened to see the›fox this morning."

Simon ahs, sounding obscurely relieved. "Yeah, we don't eat meat, really. So, you didn't call the fox or anything?"

Miki shakes his head, smiling. "No, I didn't. I saw it by accident, down by the little... spring? in the woods. It left such small tracks," he adds. "They are so little and quick."

Simon nods, grinning again before looking away from Miki again. "Do you think you could show me where you saw it?"

Miki looks thoughtful, then nods. "Yes, I know where I saw it. But I›don't think I could track it down for you, I am not that good a hunter." There's a note of something that might be amsusement in his voice, and his eyes are definitely mischievous.

Simon scrambles to his feet. "I've still got a little time, before afternoon chores." He brushes some dirt from his trousers, and then offers his hands to Miki.

Miki accepts Simon's help standing up, then gestures towards the track which leads to the road. "I went that way, then cut into the woods," he explains.

Simon reluctantly lets go of Miki's hand, looking up the track. He grins at the other boy, then looks shyly back towards the road. "Keen. There're some nice paths up there."

Miki nods, absently looking towards the woods, then around at the Farm before returning his gaze to Simon. "This way," he says, and picks his way up the bank, crossing the track and choosing one of the paths leading into the woods.

Simon follows the pale young man towards the woods. Hopeflly he can be forgiven if he spends more time admiring Miki's beauty than the beauty of the late summer woods.

The spring Miki was talking about isn't very far, only about a quarter mile's walk. It's just a tiny puddle really, not more than a few feet across, green with duckweed and ringed with mud and cattails. Miki pauses for a moment, his hands resting on the trunk of an enormous fallen tree which half-blocks your way, then he shakes his head and lifts himself up onto the trunk, sitting on it, then sliding off onto the other side. "The tracks are over here."

Simon reaches out towards Miki's hair when the blond stops, hastily withdrawing it again when Miki moves again. He scrambles over the log, careful of the growths of mushrooms eating the bark. He crouches near the tracks, moving a leaf to get a better look. "Keen, Miki..."

Miki nods, crouching on his heels. "It was very red and about this tall..." he measures with his hand about nine inches from the ground. "The tracks don't look any bigger than barn cats'... I wonder if it lairs near here."

Simon glances around, steadying himself with one hand on the ground. "Probably not too close. The ground's kind of damp."

Miki flashes a smile at Simon. "True. I do not think foxes are that fond of water." He stands up and retreats to the fallen tree, careful not to step on the fox tracks, and leans against the sturdy trunk, tilting his head back to look at the sky.

Simon spends a moment longer crouched, his eyes lingering almost hungrily on Miki. He follows the other boy slowly. Resting one hand on the log next to his friend's arm, he looks up as well. "What do you see, Miki?"

"Oh... Just the sky. I was wondering what time it was." Miki turns to look at Simon and smiles a little, a strangely sad expression.

Simon glances down at the ground for a moment. "Not that late, yet," he says, trying to be reassuring. He blinks at the other boy, then shakes his head slightly, as if to clear it. "Is something wrong, Mik?"

Miki shakes his head. "No," he says, but does not elaborate. He places his hands against the tree trunk and hitches himself up onto it, sitting on the tree. "Do you like living here?" he asks, suddenly.

Simon shifts his weight, leaning a little closer to the log, but doesn't join Miklos atop it. "Yeah," he says quietly. "It's not real exciting most times, but there's always someone who's got time to talk or listen. And there's also lots of space to be alone."

A sigh. "You seem a part of this place," says Miki finally. "As if... even if you went away, you would still belong here."

Simon nods, grinning shyly. "Kind of, yeah. Miz Sunshine says that's why she keeps coming back. Because this is home, even if other places are awful nice."

Miki looks down, his hair falling forward to shield his expression from view. He says nothing, but his hands shift restlessly on the rough surface of the wood, one of them brushing Simon's shoulder.

Simon peers up at Miki's face, trying to read it through the snowy fall of hair. "Where's your home, Miki?" he asks, trying to be gentle.

Shaking his head, Miki slips down from the log, landing almost too close to Simon. "I grew up in the Duchies, in Hungaria," he says, a little too quickly. He places a hand on Simon's shoulder and looks at him with a gaze that might-- for a moment-- be called pleading.

Simon couldn't possibly resist that plea, however brief. Misinterpretting it is an entirely different story, however. He leans hesitantly forward to kiss Miklos, his own hands sliping around the pale youth's waist.

Miki slides his hands around Simon's neck, swaying trustfully forward into the kiss. Simon doesn't quite know what to do with Miklos, so it's a careful, chaste kiss. Siimon's wide brown eyes watch the other boy's reactions. He breaks for breath, his arms gingerly encircling Miki's slender waist. "Do you miss your home?"

Miklos rests his face in Simon's shoulder, dropping one arm down but leaving the other hand absently tracing small circles on the back of Simon's neck. He shrugs a little, and says quietly, "I left my home when I was four. I do not... I don't remember it very well."

Simon shivers slightly at the touch on his neck. "Oh." He hesitates, uncertain, before hugging the other youth closer. "I'm sorry, Miki."

With a small, mirthless laugh, Miki turns his face towards Simon's throat. "You do not need to apologize," he whispers. "It was a long time ago." He stands there, pressed against Simon, breathing softly on his skin.

Simon tries to look at the other youth's face. "I am sorry, though. Sorry that you don't have a home you remember."

Miki leans back just enough to look at Simon. "You are... very kind," he says, reaching up to touch the other boy's face.

Simon's face is warm. He closes his eyes for a moment, shivering. "I think you're awful nice, too, Miki," he breathes.

Closing his own eyes, Miki leans forward and brushes Simon's cheek with his own, like an affectionate cat. He laughs a little, his breath tickling Simon's ear.

Simon hugs the pale youth convulsively, turning his head to kiss Miki's soft cheek. "You're also real beautiful, Miki," he says plaintively.

Miklos opens his eyes, looking at Simon with a slightly puzzled expression. "You keep saying that," he says, leaning into the hug and twining his free arm around Simon's waist.

Now it's Simon's turn to rest his head on Miki's shoulder. "You keep being beautiful," he murmurs. Uncertainty hovers in his tone. He has this gorgeous creature in his arms, and he hasn't the faintest idea what to do with the suggestions his body makes.

Miki's hand slides up from the back of Simon's neck to stroke his hair gently. "You are too, you know," he says, with complete honesty in his tone. After a moment or two slides by, he leans down and kisses Simon's neck softly.

Simon's eyes flutter closed. "Not like you," he says breathlessly. "Not like you and Rex." His arms tighten again around the other youth's waist. There's no doubt of his body's willingness to cooperate with anything Miki suggests.

Another soft laugh. Miki trails kisses along Simon's jawline and down the other side of his throat before whispering, "Rex, hmmmm?"

Simon's face warms again, though the blush isn't visible against his dark skin. His eyes snap open. "I, um..."

Miki smiles into Simon's eyes and says, "Oh, Rex is very attractive. He kisses well, too." Then he leans forward and kisses Simon on the mouth, lightly, almost teasingly at first, and then more deeply.

Simon's words die into a gasp, then a faint moan. The attempt to talk leaves his mouth slightly open.

Miki goes on kissing him, slipping one arm around Simon's waist, leaving the other hand softly pressed against the back of Simon's head.

Simon begins kissing back, his arms still tight around Miki's waist. Passivity isn't really his style, but inexperience leaves him motionless more often than not.

Leaning against Simon, Miki closes his eyes and gives a slight gasp. The hand that was behind the other boy's head slides downward, his fingers trailing lightly over Simon's throat.

Simon shivers. He frees one hand to imitate Miklos. Warm, slightly roughened fingers awkwardly touch the pale throat, tracing the muscles there.

Miki gasps again and presses a more urgent kiss to Simon's mouth.

Simon returns the kiss eagerly. His fingers touch the soft fabric of Miki's white shirt and hesitate for a moment before travelling up, back to the fragile-seeming collarbones.

With a noise that sounds suspiciously like a moan, Miki breaks the kiss and throws his head back, exposing his throat invitingly. His hands roam restlessly up and down Simon's back.

Simon accepts the offering tentatively. First his fingers, then his lips touch the white column of Miki's throat, feather-light. His fingers snag slightly on the other youth's shirt as they trail downwards.

Miki slips his hands up underneath Simon's vest, resting his palms on the warmth of his back. He gasps yet again at the touches on his throat, then whimpers.

Simon backs off, his inexperience showing again. "I'm not hurting you any, am I?" he ventures. His finger hovers over the first closed button.

Miklos pulls Simon closer, looking back at him. "No. Not at all." He smiles a little, looks down at what Simon is doing, and nods.

Simon grins shyly, pulling his other hand up to undo the buttons with utmost care. He bends his head to concentrate on the buttons.

Miki's breathing is a little fast, as if he's just been running. His hands are restless on Simon's back, light and quick and soft.

Simon begins working his way down the row of buttons. The other youth's jacket crowds his hands. He hesitates, then carefully takes the open edges of the coat and peels them backwards.

Obligingly, Miki shrugs his shoulders and lets the coat drop to the ground.

Simon gently, almost reverently, tugs the white shirt free of the black pants. Careful fingers undo the last of the buttons. Simon's hands, warm and slightly work roughened, slip under the shirt, resting lightly against pale skin. He watches Miki's face with worshipful eyes.

Miki gives Simon a tentative smile and drops his arms to his sides. With a fluid gesture, the shirt follows the jacket. Then he shyly looks back at Simon and puts his hands on the other boy's shoulders, slipping them under the vest.

Simon allows the other youth to take his vest off, his hands resting lightly on Miki's chest whenever possible. His smile is so shy as to be almost undetectable.

Miki tugs Simon's shirt free, looking carefully at the younger boy's face to make sure this is all right.

Simon's breath is shallow, but eager. His warm hands begin moving, slowly, lightly, over the other youth's chest.

Miki steps silently forward, his eyes appearing almost black in the shade. He slides his hands softly over Simon's chest and shoulders, then slips his hands around to his back and steps close to him.

Simon's dark hands slide around Miki's pale chest, leaning in as the other youth steps close.

Miki's head tilts back just the necessary fraction, invitingly. His breathing is quick and soft and he leans forward, pressing his skin to Simon's.

Simon hesitates. His eyelids flutter at the warm contact of skin on skin. After a moment of savoring the sensation, he leans down reverently to run gentle lips along the ivory column of Miki's neck.

Seemingly mesmerized by the touch, Miki stills, barely even breathing, then presses the palms of his hands against Simon's back.

Simon's kisses remain light. His hands trace feathery lines on Miki's back, almost tickling. It's as if he's afraid to be more insistent, though, not as if he doesn't want to touch the other boy.

Miki's hands press Simon closer, and he tilts his head to trace a line of kisses along the other boy's throat.

Simon gasps faintly, letting his forehead rest against Miki's shoulder. His hands trickle slowly downwards along the other boy's back.

The kisses work their way back up the throat and pause. Miki looks shyly at Simon, biting his own lower lip, and then kisses him again.

Simon moans softly, leaning into the the kiss. His eyes flutter open at a faint sound from the direction of the farmhouses.

Miki senses Simon's attention shift and breaks the kiss, leaning back. "What is it?" he asks.

Simon glances past the other youth, blinking at the shadows on the surface of the tiny spring. "Gaia! I'm late for chores." He lets go of Miki reluctantly, looking for his shirt and vest.

Miklos smiles a trifle lopsidedly and bends down to retrieve his shirt and jacket.

Simon shrugs his shirt on carelessly, grabbing the vest as soon as he's fastened a few buttons. He hesitates, one arm in the vest, to watch Miklos. "I..."

Miki finishes buttoning the shirt and tosses the jacket over one shoulder. He looks up at Simon's voice, his eyes wide. "What?"

Simon stuffs his other arm into the vest. He steps closer to Miklos again. His arms go around the slender young man, and he kisses him, fervently, if not expertly. "I... I've got to go," he blurts out as he disentangles himself again.

Miki doesn't look displeased. In fact, he looks a little flushed and disheveled and delighted. "I know," he says. "We should both go back."

Simon grins slowly, delightedly, then dashes back the way they came, managing to button his vest while running.

Miki follows.