Grazhir :: Crossover :: 03 :: Unrest

03 • Unrest

One Year Later

Life was good. Between the four of them, and with the help of some Al Bhed, a goodly section of the Zanarkand ruins had been rehabilitated, though they had kept their efforts away from the broken pathway to the stadium where summoners once went to obtain the Final Aeon.

Harry and Severus had their own home, and even though, over time, their wands had become less and less effective, much like the magic they had used for years, they compensated by learning to do things in the style of their current existence, and with the help of the Al Bhed machina. Then again, it was possible that the magic that was an intimate part of them was mutating as time went by, and with every spell they cast in the present manner.

Fawkes was not inclined to explain, but Severus had decided that they should be grateful they had a period of easing in as opposed to having landed in a strange new time and place only to find that their wands were useless from the start. They also learned, as much as they could force, how to cast their original type of magic without a wand, though it tended to be limited to the simplest of spells. Even then neither of them was sure the ability would last much beyond the life of their actual wands.

Harry had spent countless hours with a variety of people, such as Yuna, Tidus, Lulu, and Rikku, being taught the old fashioned way how to cast spells of different types, handle various weapons, and even how to steal. And speaking of Rikku, Harry continued to be inordinately amused that whenever Rikku was scheduled to visit, Severus immediately started tucking a multitude of headache potions into the myriad pockets his clothing sported.

His lover never would express his thoughts on the matter of her personality, at least not to anyone but Harry, but could frequently be seen knocking back the contents of a vial to stave off the impending migraine she inevitably induced.

Still, while Harry could use the dress spheres to gain abilities outside his normal spread, he preferred not to use them except in dire emergencies, despite having mastered a number of them, and always keeping a grid equipped. He did not like being limited to the capabilities of a single sphere, and frankly, it embarrassed the hell out of him each time he had to activate one and suffer through the mental and physical shifts, all while being briefly naked.

As it was he never went anywhere with Godric’s sword, or for that matter, a set of handguns. More than a few people gave him odd looks at that, but he simply ignored them, much as Severus did. And while some wondered (not always discreetly) why it was that they were so tight with the High Summoner and her husband, her erstwhile guardian, their past remained a secret. No one, aside from Yuna and Tidus, were aware Harry was a summoner, either.

Severus was also well pleased with life. Shinra had once again proven his genius and presented, after a while, an entire complement of gadgets and various bits of machinery for his use in analyzing existing potions and consumables, not to mention vegetation, soil samples, and whatever else Severus might decide was worth studying.

As a byproduct result, and with proper training (though, admittedly, he nearly killed Rikku any number of times learning the skill), Severus became an even better thief than Harry, all so that he could collect necessary ingredients from fiends for his experiments.

And yet, there was a nagging sense of uncertainty hanging over Harry and Severus like a harbinger of doom.

*

Zanarkand, Via Phoenix, Southeast Sector: Harry was enjoying an absolutely delightful dream, one which featured a Severus who was intent on making him delirious with pleasure. He only gradually came to realize that he was not entirely asleep, and in fact, the wet warmth enveloping him was more real than fantasy. He moaned and opened his eyes briefly, then shut them again; the amount of light told him it was early morning. He didn’t care a second later when he felt a finger tease, then enter him.

Some time later he collapsed over Severus, having somehow ended up in the superior position. His lover’s chest was slick with sweat, but then, so was his. “Time is it?” Harry murmured, still twitching slightly from the lingering aftereffects of their lovemaking.

There was a pause before he heard, “We have a choice of being barely on time or horrifically late, brat. Pick one.”

Harry sat up quickly and searched out the clock. “What? Oh, no. We can’t be late, Sev.” He carefully rolled off his lover (and absently mourned the loss of being filled) and stood, reaching out to pull Severus up as well. “Come on. We have to hurry!”

In the bathroom he set the shower running and stepped in, dragging Severus with him, and began a sketchy wash. “What happened to the alarm? Didn’t it go off?” he asked, then submitted when his lover poured shampoo on his head and began washing his hair for him.

“It did,” Severus confirmed. “However, it is entirely your fault that I became distracted.”

“Huh?” Harry ducked back under the water and rinsed out his hair, then traded positions.

“Why, you were moaning my name so needily, brat. You don’t really think I would leave you to some foolish dream, do you?”

Harry snickered and poured a dollop of shampoo in his hand so he could return the favor. “Only you, Sev, would be offended by the potential competition your dream self would present.” He leaned in to capture his lover’s lips in a kiss, then lathered him up.

They rushed through the remainder of the shower and dried off, using a bit of wandless magic to hurry along the drying process, then slipped into the bedroom to get their clothes.

Leather trousers slid smoothly over his legs, followed by a set of boots, and then a green shirt with Spiran designs embroidered on it. His belt was next, there not to secure his pants, but rather to hold his sword and guns, plus a number of potions and other consumables. Several pieces of what looked like jewelry were added, but were in fact enchanted accessories, and finally his jacket, the length of which brushed his calves and shins.

Severus was dressed in a not dissimilar fashion, though his normal choice of clothing was geared far more toward being able to hold a staggering amount of vials and such. He wore Slytherin green to Harry’s emerald, though, and both of them retained, still, holsters for their wands.

Harry looked around the room a final time and nodded, then stepped up to his lover to secure another kiss. “Let’s go?”

And they did, skidding through the streets in an almost undignified rush. There were a handful of minutes left before the meeting was set to begin when they crossed over into Central Sector, where all governmental and political buildings had been built. New Yevon might be based out of Bevelle, the Youth League in Kilika, and the Machine Faction at Djose, but the Spiran Alliance met in Zanarkand, and he and Severus were considered representatives of the area along with Yuna and Tidus.

The meeting hall was packed by the time they arrived and they were forced to weave in and out of clumps of people in order to get to their seats. Yuna and Tidus smiled a welcome as they slid into their seats, and Tidus leaned sideways and whispered, “What happened? You almost didn’t make it on time.”

Harry rolled his eyes. “Apparently, I’m very distracting,” he whispered back, then laughed when Tidus grinned.

Tidus reached around behind him to clap a hand softly on Severus’s shoulder in greeting, then pulled back to rummage in a bag set at his feet. A few moments later he removed several items and pushed them in front of Harry. “I bet you missed breakfast, then.”

Harry drooled and nodded, snatching up the offered food and giving half of it to Severus. “You’re a lifesaver,” he whispered, then bit hungrily into a cheese-filled bread roll.

Yuna leaned forward so she could see him around Tidus, giggled, then got to her feet and approached the center of the room. People started quickly finding their seats at that, and shortly all eyes were on the High Summoner.

“Welcome, everyone! This gathering marks the first meeting of the Spiran Alliance, where I hope, as I’m sure all of you do, that we can work together to keep our world peaceful for generations to come. I truly believe that together we can overcome any obstacle, and it has been proven more than once that people of different races or beliefs can work as a team to effect the safety of Spira.”

She paused and swept her gaze over the crowd, then smiled. “So, why don’t we get started? Tidus, if you would. . . .” Yuna moved back a step, then returned to her seat.

Harry tuned out as his friend launched into a report of the restoration of Zanarkand, the progress made on housing and offices for delegates and delegations, and various other factors regarding the non-political aspects of the city’s reawakening.

He snapped out of his musings when Tidus finished up and things moved along to the next representative, Baralai, who gave a lengthy report on what all had been uncovered in Bevelle over the past year, and what spheres had been found and what significance they held to Spira’s past, present, and future.

From there it went to Nooj, then Gippal, Tromell, and Tobli. Cid was still the acknowledged leader of the Al Bhed race, and he reported about the rebuilding of Home on Bikanel Island, plus the results of the many salvage operations they had instigated. With so many ruins around, both above and below ground, and underwater, there was plenty to occupy them.

Harry took all of it in feeling rather relaxed and peaceful. It had not hurt that Severus had quite nearly worn him out that morning, either. However. . . .

“Something funny’s been going on,” Cid said, “but we can’t pinpoint it yet. Lots of weird lights and noises, but nothin’ general to a specific area.”

Harry crossed his eyes briefly, and decided that Cid meant the phenomena was widespread, whatever it was.

“Bunch o’ funny storms and stuff. Green lights. Can’t tell if it’s coming from the desert, or maybe one of those ring islands off to the west. Maybe the southwest.” Cid shrugged. “Then again, it is that time of year.”

Harry shivered involuntarily, as though someone had stepped on his grave. A second later he felt a hand on his thigh, and he looked over to smile at Severus gratefully.

“Been thinking ‘bout sending a bunch of teams out to investigate,” Cid continued. “I just gotta get them set up first.”

“Do you need any additional ships?” Gippal asked.

“A few, whatever can be spared,” Cid responded. “We have the salvage ships, but I don’t want to use the Highwind, so if you have any smaller airships to add to what we do have. . . .”

Gippal nodded and sat back. “Sure, Cid. There’s a couple we’re almost done building. They can hold about twenty men each if people don’t mind close quarters.”

Cid nodded. “Could use those for the islands farther away and let the salvagers hit the ones closer by.”

“Consider it done,” Gippal said lazily.

“What about manpower?” Baralai asked. “Do you have enough to do this without taking away from the rebuilding process? I can lend you a number of troops if you want them.”

Cid appeared to ponder that, then nodded. “Won’t hurt.”

“Fine. Gippal, I can send them on to you for transport?” Baralai asked his friend.

“Sure thing.”

“Right! I’m done, then,” Cid said, then stomped off to his seat to sit down heavily.

The meeting ended not long after, and on a fairly positive note, though Harry still felt a bit unsettled over Cid’s news. Perhaps he was just paranoid? He allowed himself to be led away by Severus, who steered him to the first band of Southeast Sector to check in at their shop briefly.

The rebuilt Zanarkand had been laid out in a somewhat circular design, with the infrastructural buildings at the center. Around that, in the innermost rings of each of the four main quadrants, were the shops, bars, and similar businesses. Those gave way, the further away from the center one went, to residential dwellings.

As a result most streets curved, excepting those which led out in a radial pattern to the city limits. Still, there was nothing on the outskirts in any direction aside from ruins and rubble, whatever had been pushed out of the way when the new roads were cut in.

Tidus had been instrumental in the restoration process thanks to the pyreflies. They had found that should the young man concentrate hard enough, the pyreflies would react and produce a memory representation of typical Zanarkand architecture for the workers and technicians to observe and study.

And, for so long as their wand skills held out, Harry and Severus had a habit of lurking around while everyone else was sleeping, quietly effecting repairs, moving debris, and whatever else was useful at the moment.

He was shaken from his reverie when Severus said, “We’ll need to go on another trip soon. Some of the supplies are running dangerously low.”

“Oh, okay. Where?”

Severus sighed and steered Harry back toward their home. As they turned onto their walkway he said, “Unfortunately, it will mean one of two things. We either pay someone to do the collecting, or we end up on Bikanel.” He paused to open the door and usher Harry inside, then added, “I absolutely detest that place.”

Harry grinned and tugged on his lover’s arm. “C’mon, Sev. I’ll make us lunch, okay? You’re hungry, aren’t you?” In the kitchen he began pulling out foodstuffs and arranging them on a counter. “It’s up to you, really. I mean, I know it’s not the nicest of places, but it’s cheaper if we go ourselves.”

“Blasted sand gets everywhere!” Severus complained.

“Hey, maybe we could hitch a ride this time and save half the cost of passage? Gippal will be sending people across for Baralai, so. . . .”

Severus shot him a halfhearted glare and reached out to grip the back of Harry’s jacket and pull sharply. He was hauled the short distance over and whipped around to face his lover directly, and after grinning insolently, he stuffed a piece of cheese in his mouth.

“Brat,” Severus said, then stole the bread from Harry’s other hand. “Hurry up,” he ordered. “And if we’re going to Bikanel personally, expect to suffer the majority of my temper, got it?”

“Mmmm.” Harry licked his lips and nodded. “I wonder what I did with that collar. . . .” And before Severus could grab him again Harry skipped backward with a laugh, then turned to deal with the food.

“Brat!”

Harry laughed again and glanced over his shoulder long enough to say, “You know you love me, Sev.”

“Perhaps,” came the indifferent reply.

He felt a familiar wave of pleasure sweep over him at that. Severus almost never actually said the words, and their relationship was not one to feature flowery declarations, but Harry knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was loved wholeheartedly by the older man, even cherished.

“What I do love, Harry, are those all too rare times when you are in the mood for something wild.”

His grip tightened, crushing an innocent bread roll, and he pressed forward against the smooth surface of a lower cupboard as heat suffused him for a moment. Harry bit his lip as he realized his lover’s words had awakened his libido quite handily, despite their activities that morning.

“You know,” he said casually, setting the squashed roll aside and getting a new one, “I really hate to waste money.” Severus grunted in response, and Harry sliced open the roll so he could layer in cheese and meat. “I’ll tell you what, Sev. You agree that we go to Bikanel personally, and I’ll . . . let you have your wicked way with me, all right?”

A body was pressed against his back a second later; he hadn’t even heard the man move. “Is that so?” Severus whispered harshly in his ear.

Harry set the roll down on the counter and nodded. “Yeah. Maybe we could start out simple, hm? You can eat what I’ve made, and while you do that, I can get down on my knees, Sev, and suck you off like an obedient slave boy servicing his master, okay? I could do that all day, Sev, and obey your every whim.”

Arms reached around to pull him tight, almost painfully so. “Are you serious?” Severus sounded as though he thought it was an offer too good to be true.

Harry tilted his head back to rest on his lover’s shoulder, then deliberately shifted his hips. “Of course, master. How many times shall I make you cum before you’ll deign to fuck me, though, hm?” He paused a second, then said, “I hope I haven’t been bad lately, master. I should so hate to be spanked.”

Severus growled and hauled Harry away from the counter. “To hell with the food. Bedroom, now!”

*

Harry was exhausted the next morning, despite having slept the night through. Severus had literally wrung every last possible measure of pleasure out of his body over the course of the afternoon and evening, leaving him limp and barely conscious. In point of fact, he was still wearing the jeweled collar that only came out of hiding when they were being kinky, whether minor or major in degree.

He didn’t, actually, like to play that particular game too often. He trusted Severus without question, and games were fine, but he never wanted their sex life to consist entirely of role playing. As a result, he was only rarely in the mood to surrender control in that fashion. Severus sure as hell enjoyed it when he did, though, and was always careful to make sure that Harry was likewise satisfied.

He started to stretch and immediately let out a pained groan. Maybe it would be better to simply lie there for a day or so instead? The choice was taken from him when Severus pushed up to a seated position and gave him an assessing look, then reached over him to pull open the bedside drawer and retrieve a bottle.

“Roll over, Harry, onto your stomach,” Severus said gently.

He did so, carefully, knowing that a different kind of bliss awaited him. On the few occasions that Severus had unwittingly pushed his body too far, he always, always made up for it with an extended massage and quietly deferential treatment of him until he recovered fully.

It was a good hour or so later when Harry drifted off fully, though not before Severus finished his ‘treatment’ by gently coaxing Harry to orgasm with his mouth, both to cap off the experience, and to assure that Harry would sleep. And the next time he came awake it was to the scent of soup. Severus entered the bedroom not long after with a tray, and set that over Harry’s lap.

“I spoke with Gippal.”

Harry blinked and rubbed his eyes, then picked up the spoon, thankful that his muscles were no longer aching. “What did he say?”

“Two weeks. Time to finish those ships, and time for the warrior monks to arrive from Bevelle. He’ll give us passage over, but we’ll have to work out something different for the trip back.”

“Mmm, this is good,” Harry said happily after he swallowed, and went to refill his spoon. “Well, okay. That’s good, then. When are they leaving here?”

“Tomorrow, which means we need to be ready. It’s either that or we find our own way to Djose closer to the time. And . . . I am not fond of the idea of imposing on Brother.”

Harry grinned and had another sip. “Well, if we go tomorrow, you can dig in with Shinra, right?”

Severus brightened almost imperceptibly. “I suppose so.”