The time at home was short, but Farin still felt he had more energy when he returned back up the mountain. Lori and Alec's talking helped lessen the boredom of the walk, so for once it didn't feel as long as it usually did.
Alec had been rather proud at seeing the completed robe, feeling like it was part of his work, as well.
Putting it on had been weirdly joyful for Farin. Right now, wearing this robe meant he was about to see the person he loved. There was no way for him to not be in a good mood.
The children waited obediently at the gate, watching Farin and the temple master walk on their own.
"I won't press you on time, but try not to be away for too long. The most is a few minutes extra", the old master warned gently before dragging the door open. The blindfold hung unused over his arm, where it would stay while Farin went inside.
The basket had an additional layer of pastries that Farin had sneaked out and only now put on top, the sweet scent wafting into his nose.
"I know. Thank you, Master." With a few short words, Farin lifted up his train to hang over his arm. He just hoped that it would obstruct him less that way, slipped through the gap and hurried on. The moment he could see the light at the end of the tunnel he called for Alvarr, who promptly answered and peered into the path.
Farin set down the basket at his feet, then bridged the last two steps and pulled Alvarr into a tight hug, kissing his cheek. With a purr, the God brushed his rough tongue over Farin's cheekbone, then turned his face farther to reach the human's lips.
The gentle greeting turned into a passionate kiss, neither side quite willing to part from each other but knowing that time was limited. Letting his tongue slide over his lower lip like chasing after a remnant taste, Farin leaned back, reminding Alvarr of something he had said before.
"You mentioned having something to talk with me about?" "Yes."
The God blinked, then whistled out. A short moment later, one -... no, two little furry figures approached the two of them. Farin squatted down to greet Alvarr's pet, then made a sound in surprise at the second animal.
It was of the same species as Alvarr's pet but completely white and smaller. It had one tail instead of three and only one pair of eyes was visibly blinking, the others were so small he wouldn't notice them unless he looked closely. The white one appeared docile, curling into a ball and looking up at Farin with its huge, black eyes.
"So cute", he whispered, delighted. "Is this what you wanted to show me?"
Alvarr squatted next to him, petting the brownish-black one that usually accompanied him. "Hm. It's his spouse. They always know where the other is. If you have the white one, then mine can tell me when you're coming over."
Carefully, Farin reached out for the docile female. She sniffed his fingers, then leaned on top of his hand. He had thought the black one was small, but the female fit into the palm of his hand. Alvarr continued to explain.
"There is a hole up there", he said, pointing to the wall farther north. "You can't see it. But I can climb up and go through. I could carry you through."
Farin stared at him, trying to calm his excitement and asking for confirmation. "...You're saying, like this, I can come and sneak in and out whenever I want to? Since, as long as I have the female, you always know when I'm waiting?"
Alvarr nodded and smiled softly. "And if I wait, she can tell you, too. She already agreed."
Farin's gaze wandered between the animals and Alvarr, astonished. "She won't mind being away from her partner? Would she really accept that?"
"Are you not going to come over often?", Alvarr asked, clearly disappointed. His ears tilted downward. "The male spends most time hunting, anyway. They wouldn't mind as long as it's only for a few days."
"It works!", Farin hurriedly shouted, the joy he felt audible. "I come by for the sacrifice twice a week anyway, even if it's short, and other than that, of course I'll try to come over often! But is it safe? Won't we be seen if you fetch me on the other side?"
Alvarr made a noise, then used his finger to draw something into the ground. First the wall of the mountain, then how the path was placed.
From inside to outside, the path first tilted upwards to the middle, then down again. Right before it reached outside, the path ended close to ground-level and then did another sharp curve upwards. The pattern was a zigzag. The God pointed at the last part, tracing it with his fingernail.
"It's not far from the ground, but you can't see it outside unless you climb up. I will close it with a stone when we don't need it, so it can't be seen. Since it's close to the ground, it only takes a moment for me to take you up."
There was still a risk, but it wasn't too large. People generally didn't approach the mountain anymore, no matter which side, and the foliage was tight.
Farin found himself frozen with a strong feeling of pleasant expectation that he almost couldn't keep down.
"How can there be such a convenient thing?", he wondered out loud. Alvarr's tail waved around weirdly, and when the carrier looked over, Alvarr was staring at the ground. "...How can there be such a convenient thing?"
The God hesitated, then lowered his head a bit, pursing his lips. "I asked Father for help."
"Aaand?", Farin prodded, already feeling a pleasant warmth in his stomach.
"Everyone helped make a path", Alvarr admitted, ears twitching with insecurity. It was clear that he wasn't sure whether Farin would be angry at that and while the God saw no reason why he would be, he didn't fully understand humans, after all.
"You dug a path through the whole mountain in a week just so that I could come in and out? Even in such a roundabout way, just to ensure it can't be seen?" Farin's voice was sweet and warm, calming the God a bit. He made a whistling sound, then cocked his head to glance up at the human.
"It wasn't hard. Everyone helped."
Finally, the carrier couldn't help but break out in loud laughter, startling the two small animals and even Alvarr twitched a bit, although he immediately leaned closer with a pleased face, enjoying the sound of Farin's unhidden laughing.
"Through stone isn't hard? And you even got the whole village to help?", he continued to chuckle, letting himself fall from his squatting position to sitting and then opening his arms wide. "Come here", he coaxed sweetly, pulling Alvarr into his arms the moment the God was in reach next to him.
"Thank you", he whispered once the God was comfortably in his embrace. Alvarr began to purr, now certain that Farin was happy with his plan, and rubbed his nose against the carrier's cheek.
Much more than words, the actions of a person speak much louder about their feelings. For the God to do such a troublesome thing, even asking his whole village for help, it was more than enough to prove Farin's position in his heart.
There was a sense of surprise mingled into the warm feelings that were wrapping Farin like a blanket. How exactly was he worth all this trouble? They had known each other for such a short time, hadn't even seen each other every day, how exactly did Alvarr come to the conclusion that he was worth it? How was he even supposed to repay such a thing, to show that he was willing to go to the same length?
"Geez... How can I pay you back for this?", he whispered quietly, but Alvarr heard him.
"I mean, is there anything you want me to do? Because I want to thank you for all of this. For working so hard, just because I don't want to leave the world outside behind right now..."
Alvarr leaned out of his embrace, far enough back that he could twist his head to look Farin in the eye. The golden eyes blinked slowly, watching Farin's blue ones.
"...Come by often..?", he asked slowly, voice heavy with confusion as if he didn't understand what Farin wanted from him.
The carrier couldn't help but fall back into quiet, resigned laughter. "Of course I will, even if you don't ask me to do it."
"Then I'm happy", Alvarr purred, licking Farin's cheek again.
For a moment, Farin felt like crying.
Really, how do I deserve such a sweet boyfriend? This kind of person, I'd search for a long time to find one under humans, he lamented, not moving while enjoying the treatment. For him as a human, it was a bit weird to get kisses like that, but since his boyfriend was from a race that showed their love this way and it didn't feel too bad - since his tongue was quite dry -, he didn't resist.
"That easily? Isn't there anything I can do?"
He would still feel bad for not doing anything, though. Alvarr hummed while thinking.
"Tell me more about humans", he decided after a while. "Because, I don't know how to make you comfortable when you're here. I don't know what food you'd enjoy-"
The way his voice didn't sink at the end of the sentence suggested that these weren't the only topics he was wondering about.
Indeed, the God didn't know how to proceed. Farin's words had made it obvious that rather than Alvarr coming out, it would always be Farin entering the world inside the cave. He had now seen the outside - it was quite different, and he didn't know how well humans would take the change.
If Farin could hear his thoughts he would have laughed. Humans, probably one of the most adaptive species on the planet, unable to adjust to a change in diet and living...?
Even the climate was the same as outside and while the plants and animals were different, they were only different species. The way they grew and behaved, most of it was somewhat similar. The few really different things, a young human would adjust to fast enough.
"Well, okay", Farin grudgingly agreed, feeling that the exchange wasn't equal enough.
In a moment of stray thought, he considered asking Alvarr how married couples lived in here - but then discarded the thought. That really was a topic too awkward to broach, although it was actually kinda important. He just hoped he could pick up some information in the village without actually asking someone about it.
Otherwise, there might be rather funny misunderstandings later on. For example, what if couples didn't share one room-... or rather, cocoon unless they wanted to do 'it'?
Now that would end up uncomfortable.
Well, there have been humans together with Gods before, right? So... most things should work out somehow.
Alvarr had stilled when he realized Farin was thinking about something, then gave him a kiss once the daze in his eyes cleared.
"Do you have to go back?"
He had completely forgotten there was a time limit. With an unhappy face, he picked up the white animal. The little one climbed to his shoulders and hid on his back, clinging to the clothes between his shoulder blades and well hidden by Farin's hair.
"I do. Uhm, I'll try to come to that place as soon as possible. How can I find it?"
Alvarr stood up at the same time as Farin, tilting his head. "She can lead you. Maybe, if there is a word you say?"
"Can you tell her to lead me whenever I say... hmm, it can't be something I use normally."
He pondered for a bit, chewing his lip. Alvarr already walked towards the path and Farin followed without thinking.
"How about if I say 'Lead me' right to her? Could she understand that?"
They communicated in the God's foreign language, then Alvarr nodded.
"Alright, Ragna, let's get along", Farin happily said, stretching out his fingers to his back. Ragna, the white animal, licked his fingers.
"Come by soon", Alvarr said for their parting, and Farin felt he couldn't agree more.