#1291

High above, the eternal night, slivered moon caught in a river of stars; far below, the world spread out beneath his feet, muted city lights and asphalt webs. Faintly, the screech of metal as the roof door eases open, swings shut. Snap, snap of a lighter and the chill breeze carries to him the warm, acrid cigarette scent.

“Déjà vu, huh?”

“Repetition is comforting,” Daren muses in reply as he draws one leg up to his chest and hugs it close with both arms. “It’s strange, isn’t it?” Head tilted, he glances back to the man approaching from the stairwell, a shadow touched only by starlight and cherry embers. “Which one is your favorite? Which life of ours hurts a little less than the others?”

An inhale, exhale on the cigarette and Tanim sighs, a weighty sound, as he comes to stand behind Daren at the ledge. “I love and hate them all equally,” he admits. “Every life with you hurts. Every life with you is precious.” One hand lifts the glowing stick to his lips while the other glides through Daren’s silken hair and down the graceful curve of his neck. “I could never choose just one.”

“You would say something like that,” Daren leans his head back against Tanim’s chest, reaching up to pluck the cigarette from the man’s mouth. “Fool.”

“Always,” Chuckling, Tanim bends to kiss the crown of his lover’s head and murmurs into his fine hair, “Now… will you come inside, lovely?” A sigh, silvery smoke spooling out between Daren’s lips, and he slowly unfolds, rises like a crane. Tanim trails in his wake.

High above, the eternal night, slivered moon rising over a river of stars; far below, the world spread out beneath their feet, muted city lights and asphalt webs. Softly, the shriek of metal as the roof door pulls open, swings shut behind two descending forms. On the rooftop the cigarette smolders, abandoned.

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