Characters: Raeith and Patrick
Summary: The Revolution has passed, but there's always something that annoys Patrick.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to amezri's Fic in a Barrel. The challenge was clock, apathy, take-out/take-away, and jungle. I started with the last two, and the clock made an appearance at some point, but I couldn't quite get Patrick to be apathetic since he ended up getting rather bitchy and snarky instead and morphing into some sort of McKay-like creature (which really isn't that OOC because Patrick has always leaned towards the snark side). But it gave me something to write that I wasn't blocked on, so the purpose of the challenge was served.
"What I wouldn't give for some take-out right now," Patrick panted, stepping over another passing herd of creeping ivy. "Something Gaulish." The rubber sole on his left boot landed carelessly on one of the twisting vines and the entire collective shuddered in fear.
"I didn't know you liked Gaulish food," Raeith said over his shoulder. He was a good five paces ahead of Patrick, five Raeith-sized paces which were about a third longer than Patrick's. It almost seemed as if the foliage parted for him then compensated by making Patrick's progress harder. Like fucking Moses and the Red Sea. Fuckin' figures I'm the Pharaoh.
"It's the cheese," Patrick replied, reaching out for an overhanging limb and pushing it out of his way. It only retaliated by slapping him on the back of the head. "And the wine." He stopped to catch his breath as Raeith easily hopped over another small verdant colony. He glared at the god's progress. It was fucking unnatural. "We've been together twenty years and you're just now realising I like Gaulish food?"
"It's not your favourite," Raeith said, leaning against the trunk of a tree with arms folded. Waiting for Patrick. Because Patrick always lagged behind. "You always order Sicilian when we dine out. And you absolutely hate anything cooked by the Britons and Gaels. Your own people, at that."
"So you know my favourite and my least favourite. That still doesn't excuse your ignorance about the cheese. And the wine." Patrick was no longer walking either, watching his lover across an eight-foot divide.
"I know you like cheese and wine, I just didn't know you liked Gaulish food that much."
Patrick threw up his hands and resumed his stunted trek. "What-thefuck-ever. It's bad enough we're here. I don't need to get fixated on cheese." Raeith had moved on as well, and Patrick wondered if he was aware that he wasn't helping matters by 'clearing the way' because the way went back to being very much not cleared by the time Patrick got to it. "Freak Show," Patrick said, reverting to the old nickname because he was feeling very much in the sort of mood conducent to it, "why the fuck are we here? Refresh my memory, will ya? We've been walking in this godforsaken--" He paused, sucked in a breath of pure annoyance. "Formerly godforsaken jungle for how long?"
Raeith stopped and turned to face Patrick. He took out his golden pocket watch (a present from Diana--it contrasted with Raeith's travel-worn denim and linen clothing but was so very typically him) and opened it, stared into its flawless face. "It's only been seven hours." The watch returned to its pocket and Raeith turned to keep walking.
"Wait!" Patrick was teetering on the border between Annoyedburg and Angrytown now, and it was enough to fuel his steps and close the distance between him and Raeith. "You know it's not exactly fair to flaunt it like this. A seven hour trudge through the jungle might be child's play for you but I'm not exactly immortal here!" He finally got close enough to grab Raeith's arm and turn him around, and for a moment he was giddy with relief that he'd been able to nudge him at all but he hid it with a well-placed and practiced glare. "Why. Are we. Here?"
Raeith's blue eyes were wide, but his eyebrows came together into a confused half-frown. Patrick had been looking at that face for twenty years, and part of him kept hoping he would get bored of it, the way it never changed. He'd memorized every expression ten times over, and had figured out what they all meant by now, like one of the long Classical Latin vocabulary lists he'd never bothered with in school. This expression meant Raeith had gotten so caught up in what he'd Seen and what he'd planned that he'd completely forgotten to inform Patrick of the key elements, and how could that have happened? And Patrick wanted to be bored by that easy knowledge, because then he'd have an excuse to hate him.
"There is another," Raeith said, tilting his head. And the sunlight that filtered through the tall forest canopy chose that moment to catch the golden threads on his head and Patrick wanted to rip it all out by the roots and set it on fire because his first instinct had been to hold it close and stroke it gently. Instead, he forced his fingers to tighten around Raeith's bicep.
"Another what?" Patrick asked, because it always took forever to get coherent information out of Raeith.
"Another immortal." Raeith didn't use the word 'god', hadn't even in jest for a long time. He was unlike Rikki and Diana in that respect. It was the reason the Alliance had been strained as of late. It was probably the reason Raeith had dragged him all the way into the unexplored South in search of another. But bringing another immortal into the equation? The thought gave Patrick an unpleasant shiver, which he chose to ignore in favour of more pressing concerns.
"And we couldn't have brought the Chariot? It's not like we have to walk everywhere anymore," he complained. The helicopter, a new invention Patrick only trusted when Raeith was at the controls and he could explain flight away as more magic, had been another gift from Diana. Patrick really kind of hated that little red-eyed bitch most of the time.
"There's nowhere to land."
Patrick sighed, because this was going to be a long argument and he was fresh out of energy, and he'd been too stupid to begin the argument back before they left the Jeep behind. But Raeith's expression went from 'I can't understand why you don't understand' to 'even though you're a pathetic human, I love you and will be patient with you', which was different from 'I love you, you gorgeous hunk of man' and slightly to the left of just plain 'I love you, you sad pathetic mortal creature'. And he stroked the side of Patrick's face with a hand that was altogether too soft for the kind of physical labour Raeith was capable of doing and often did, but it was so warm, the kind of warmth that is welcome even in the sweltering jungle. Patrick began to feel stronger, no doubt with Raeith's help, and he licked his lips in anticipation of a kiss that never came.
Because Raeith gave Patrick's cheek a soft pat and with a smile said, "Walking will do you good." And then he turned and resumed the journey.
Patrick blinked fast a few times, until Raeith's retreating ass looked like something under the strobes in Diana's formerly-underground nightclub. "You just called me fat, didn't you?" And he followed Raeith with renewed vigor, stomping on the carpet of wildlife.
"I did not," Raeith replied.
Somehow Patrick caught up to him, which satisfied him to no end because it meant he was very much not fat, and even if he were there were very important reasons for it. "Running an entire governing body isn't exactly like running a marathon, no, but it is just as difficult and just as important if not more. And it's not my fault you couldn't uninvent deskwork."
"I've been thinking of reinventing the Olympic Games. You have to compete naked in those."
Patrick rolled his eyes. "Like you've ever objected to my nakedness before." And that sounded like a good line of thought so he continued along it. "You're actually quite fond of my nakedness. In fact, my nakedness is a rather powerful thing that makes a hot sun god even hotter, and harder, than he already was."
Patrick's haughty smirk didn't last long because apparently the thought of nakedness was as powerful as the nakedness itself, and in a split second he found himself with his back against a tree and his front against a god that was indeed very hot and very hard and every bit as lecherous as the myths made him out to be and Patrick wondered how he could ever have hoped to get bored of this because there was no way in any version of Hell that this could ever get old. And he no longer gave a fuck about the Jeep or the helicopter or this mysterious jungle immortal and the damned Alliance could go piss off.