He’d been on the wall, inspecting both the rebuilding and the soldiers with Igaram, when the messenger came. He remembered a glimpse of Igaram’s shocked face before the city was a blur, splashing through puddles and wind making his eyes water was he ran through Alubarna at full speed.
That was hours ago. Now, he sat by the bed in his—their—room, patiently reading a book he’d been meaning to finish for some time now. It was a little difficult to turn the pages at times, between the constant ache in his chest and shoulder where his stitches had pulled and the necessity of using only his left hand.
The pulse beating slow and steady in the hand grasped in his right hand was too important to let go of for even a second. So Chaka sat and read and listened to the rain, only looking up when he felt eyes upon him. He set the book aside and looked into tired copper eyes.
“Sleep well?” Chaka asked, reaching forward to brush a stray lock of hair from Pell’s face. Pell made a small sound of affirmation, turning his head to nuzzle Chaka’s fingers.
“Come t’ bed,” he mumbled, eyes already drooping shut again.
Chaka blew out the reading lamp, performed the stretches needed to reach the other side of the bed without letting go of Pell’s hand, and wrapped his arms around his friend. He buried his face in Pell’s hair, tenseness washing away with the smell of feathers and medicine.
“I’m home,” Pell said through a yawn, shifting closer to the jackal.
“Welcome back,” Chaka answered.(Tumblr post)