yoshitsune: text: oh dear i really ought to do something but i am already in my pyjamas (nature; beach)
[personal profile] yoshitsune posting in [community profile] cherrymilk
Title: I'll Drink You
Fandom: Magi
Word count: 986
Rating: PG
Characters: Judar/Hakuryuu or Judar->Hakuryuu
Notes: a short thing I wrote when they were first re-introduced to the storyline as Magi and King, before Hakuryuu's new djinn was identified. I had some fun reading through the Lesser Key of Solomon demon compendium and speculating about which ones Hakuryuu might capture. In case anyone's curious, I went with Gaap for this.

This dungeon would kill them as simply as a desert kills those who wander into it.

They had only those provisions that they had carried away during their night escape from the palace. Unlike every previous expedition into the dungeons he had called up, this time Judar could not relax and play as a royal caravan of soldiers, porters and slaves provided all comfort and service to him and their princes and princesses.

At other times, Judar's magic could easily condense water from the air, but in this arid plain he had to exert himself to produce even a palm-full of drinkable water. He held a few sips out to Hakuryuu, who leaned forward to take his hand with gratitude, placing his fingers gently under Judar's. His thirsty tongue traced every line of moisture.

"Thank you."

Judar smirked at how reserved and polite Hakuryuu continued to be with him. Perhaps he believed that without a magi at his side he had no real chance at beating this dungeon. Certainly, Hakuryuu's chances would be lower, but Judar was no strategist--he was used to paying little attention to the predicaments and puzzles of dungeons until someone like Kouen or Hakuei had devised a plan of attack. Then he could relish the opportunity to exercise his magic skills and destroy things.

"No problem!" Judar clapped Hakuryuu on the shoulder, and got another shot of amusement out of Hakuryuu's look of discomfort at the gesture of familiarity. "You're doing your thinking thing, right, King? You'll crack it."

"Aren't you worried?" Sitting under the awning of his light cloak propped up by his sword, Hakuryuu wasn't succeeding at hiding that he was. His taciturn face had been full of nervous signs since they had decided to rest until sundown.

Judar watched him with similar thoughts on his mind. If Hakuryuu couldn't think his way out of this, there was little point in picking him as sovereign. For now, he was still Judar's preferred candidate though. He reached out and pressed his palm to Hakuryuu's forehead; only for a moment, before Hakuryuu shied away. It was enough to let his magic cool the sweat on Hakuryuu's forehead.

Maybe the djinn of this dungeon was too simple-minded, miserly, for Hakuryuu to understand. The prince would always be thinking about the traps and moves ahead, the hidden meanings. A desert could give mirages, and yet it remained quite simple. This dungeon would give them nothing more elaborate, would not test them with riches, feasts, grand monsters, or seemingly kindly inhabitants. It would steal away everything in the most indifferent and mundane way, sap away everything from body and mind.

Judar licked the bitter salty traces from his fingers. He was bored with silent contemplation, but it hurt his dry mouth and throat to speak much. He looked towards the sun at their back steadily following a natural path to the horizon. The air had already grown less heavy as the sky swam with orange and pink light. The sun had seemed to be in the sky for the many hours of a summer's day, so the night would be short.

All day they had seen mountain ranges (or promise thereof) as low purple-grey smudges on the horizon to the South. Through the haze of heat and light they might not have existed at all. As for their distance, three days and nights might not be enough to see them rise much from their current position.

Judar let his broad head-cloth drop down over his shoulders and shifted his folded legs. The golden bracelets chimed as he made sure to keep them covered from the sun so they wouldn't burn more heat into his skin. Soon they would be simple ornaments rather than tools of that witch and her magicians' control over his powers. He would finally learn and cast any magic he pleased.

He looked into Hakuryuu's distracted face, and a crooked smile came to his lips. He would answer his king's wishes, too. He would lessen the burden behind those deepening furrows on his forehead a little. He reached out a hand to Hakuryuu's face again, and this time Hakuryuu held on to his wrist and leaned his face into Judar's cooled hand.

There was a little bit more to him now of the little boy Judar had first seen hiding behind his elder sister's robes, peering around with mistrustful watery eyes, and that burn across his left eye that had amazed Judar to see on the soft face of an imperial prince. Would Hakuryuu still remember how Judar and Kougyoku had thrown fruit at him from the palace courtyard roof, where he couldn't hope to reach them without flying like Judar? Had Hakuryuu known all those times that Judar had sneaked mouthfuls of the meals he cooked for himself and his sister, which Judar found irresistible on evenings when he wanted to avoid the royal dining hall or the tray brought to him in his quarters? He groaned as his stomach demanded a full of bowl of even the simplest hot rice, spiced and oiled, with strips of chicken and greens tossed in sweet dark sauce.

Hakuryuu brushed his hand over the fine sand at his feet. "How far do you think it would take to dig to ground water?"

"Haha, so that's what you're thinking. I dunno. There might be no water, but trying's got to be better than sitting here forever." Or trying to fight against the desert with other magic. The sand had already absorbed a lot of that.

"Isn't a magi supposed to know more about the dungeon he called up?" Hakuryuu asked.

"You think so, huh? Well, this is your test, stupid prince," Judar snapped. After a moment of shared glaring, he shrugged. "Go on, try it, before you over-think so much we never get out of here."

This time Hakuryuu matched the quirk of his lips.


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