Title: Behind the Morning
Type: AU, fantasy
Word Count: ~9,590
Characters/Pairings: Adam/Sauli/Tommy, Lisa, Bridget, Isaac
Content/Warnings: Winged fairies
Summary: The last thing Tommy expected when Sauli dragged him over the Scottish countryside, in search of a fairy ring, was to find everything he'd been looking for his whole life.
Links to Art Master Posts: LJ: http://michira-70.livejournal.
Author's Notes: Written for the Glam Reverse Big Bang. A sort of modern fairy tale inspired by the beautiful artwork of michira-70. I will be endlessly thankful to moodwriter for her pre-read, and especially to leela_cat for her invaluable beta work, which polished many rough edges. Any remaining errors are my own. Though the characters are based on gorgeous, fascinating men, they are of course entirely fictional.
“What are we doing here again?” Tommy pulled his jacket tighter around himself and burrowed into his scarf. He and Sauli had been out here in the wind for what felt like fucking forever, and yeah, nature boy was so not what anyone would choose to call him.
“We’re looking for a fairy ring; you heard the story,” Sauli said. “That man at the pub said there’s supposed to be a really large one by the base of that hill – what did he call it? A brae or something. The legend says that on the full moon, the fairies cross over from their land to ours and dance in those rings. Tonight’s the full moon, so maybe we’ll get lucky and see them for ourselves!”
Tommy rolled his eyes. “We’re as likely to have Jason jump us as we are to see a fairy.” At Sauli’s pleading look, he flapped a hand carelessly. “Okay, okay, let’s find this magical fairy ring.”
“Yay!” Sauli’s grin made Tommy’s lips twitch. It was hard to be irritated with someone as relentlessly cheerful as Sauli. He let Sauli’s voice wash over him as they continued walking across the heath, the late day’s sun too weak to warm the air. This trip had been pretty cool so far, he admitted, if only to himself. The Orkneys had a stark beauty, and the locals, though reserved, had a way of putting people at ease. The evening they’d spent in the bar, drinking ale, throwing darts and learning the island’s folktales had been awesome, especially when the bartender learned he played guitar and insisted on having him join the guys who were knocking out some tunes in the corner. It was so far removed from his life in Burbank Tommy was able to forget for a while about the miserable call center job waiting for him back home.
To be honest, even if this was the last place on earth he would have chosen for a vacation, the fact that Sauli was excited about it sealed the deal. Sauli had started at the call center a year ago, and having him there was the only thing that made the job remotely bearable. He didn’t know why Sauli had started hanging out with him, given how quiet Tommy was. It’s not like he was great company, dragging his ass through one crappy day after another on the phone. Sauli didn’t seem to notice, or care. He came in every day with a bright smile on his face, cracking jokes and dragging Tommy off for lunch or out to clubs after work. He even made little bits of the day fun, winking at Tommy as he charmed callers with his adorable accent.
Thinking that Sauli’s accent was adorable (not that he’d ever admit that to anyone) was just part of Tommy's problem. Over time, he'd found himself checking out Sauli’s ass on the dance floor, or missing half of what Sauli was talking about while he got lost in his ice blue eyes. His optimistic enthusiasm for life was like a balm to Tommy’s darker views, and late at night, in unguarded moments, Tommy wondered what it’d be like to trace Sauli’s tattoos with questing fingers, or taste that sunny smile with his own lips. Sauli’s friendship was more important to him than anything though, except maybe his music, so those thoughts were quickly shoved down deep, locked away as pretty but unrealistic dreams, just like his thoughts of making a living as a musician.
Tommy contented himself with the friendship they shared, and let Sauli’s eagerness for new experiences lead him into situations he’d never find himself in otherwise. He was more of an observer of life, but Sauli liked to dive in with both feet. Now those folktales had fired up Sauli, and he had wheedled and cajoled until Tommy finally gave in, just like he had when Sauli had originally suggested the trip. Now here they were tromping through a fucking field, looking for fairies, for fuck’s sake. Shaking his head, he trod on in Sauli’s wake.
They finally reached the base of the hill, and Sauli began searching the ground for any sign of a ring. Tommy blew on his hands and pulled the ends of his sleeves down over them, trying to warm up. Damn, it was cold out here. Trying to speed things along, he headed off in the opposite direction, eyes to the ground. All he could see was the same green stuff they’d been walking through for hours. As the sun reached the horizon, the fog grew until it was hard to see his feet, let alone a ring of mushrooms or flowers or what-the-fuck-ever they were looking for.
Just as Tommy had decided to grab Sauli and head back to town, something other than the ceaseless wind reached his ears. It was very faint, but he thought he heard a melody coming from somewhere.
“Sauli, do you hear that?”
“Hear what? All I can hear is this wind in my ears.”
“Come over here and listen.”
Sauli jogged over from where he had been searching, looking at Tommy quizzically. Listening for a minute, he said, “I don’t hear any-, “ then broke off. “Wait, what was that?”
Again, a quiet melody reached them. Cocking his head, Tommy tried to figure out which direction it was coming from. He turned in place, straining to hear the source of the music. A moment of silence, two, and then it was back. There was something mesmerizing about the sound, as if it was reaching inside him and filling a hole he hadn’t known was empty.
“I think it’s coming from over there. Let’s check it out.”
Sauli grabbed Tommy’s hand and headed off in that direction. Tommy almost pulled away out of surprise, but made his feet move, feeling the heat of Sauli’s hand warm more than his own. They made their way around the base of the hill, letting the music draw them on. The closer they got to it, the heavier the fog became, until it was almost impossible to see more than a step in front of them. The wind finally seemed to die down a bit, and the music swelled. It was someone singing; a high, clear tone that soared and dipped, swelled to a clarion call, then dropped to a whisper. The feeling in Tommy’s chest was expanding, an unfamiliar yet insistent tension.
Focusing on the music, it took a while for Tommy to notice the fog appeared lighter a little ways off to their left. Sauli laid a hand on his arm, halting his progress, and nodded in the direction of the dim glow. Sharing a quick, slightly nervous glance, they quietly moved in the direction of the light. A tree loomed up through the fog, unusual in this landscape, and as they stepped around it, Sauli gasped.
A man was dancing in a large circle, wordless notes spilling from his lips. The tune was nothing Tommy could categorize, something ancient but timeless. The glow they had seen seemed to be coming <em>from</em> the man, and as he turned they saw gossamer wings on his back in soft hues of purple and green, swirling with shimmering designs. His voice was unlike anything Tommy had ever heard before; light and flexible, it wove itself around Tommy and settled deep into his bones. As the man’s dance steps turned him in their direction, Tommy found himself pinned in place by a set of piercing blue eyes.
“Holy shit, we found your fairy,” Tommy whispered.
A puckish smile breaking over his face, the man, <em>fairy</em> continued his song, holding out his hand as he danced back in their direction. Tommy stood poleaxed, trying to wrap his brain around what he was seeing. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught movement. Sauli, a glazed look on his face, was moving towards the fairy. Tommy grabbed for him, but in his stunned state, missed.
“Sauli, what the hell are you doing?”
“He wants us to dance with him. Come on. Come dance with us!” Sauli turned, reaching for Tommy’s hand, practically humming with excitement.
“Are you fucking insane? He’s not human. How do you know he’s not luring us in to eat us or something?”
Sauli laughed. “Tommy, you watch too many of those horror movies of yours. He’s not going to eat us.” Getting a firmer grip on Tommy’s hand, Sauli pulled him towards the fairy. Reluctantly, Tommy followed – Sauli was right, he was picturing all of the gruesome things that happened to people who walked into unknown situations and didn’t survive to tell about it.
The look in the fairy’s eyes changed, seeming to soften, as did the tenor of his melody. It felt as if the tune was petting Tommy’s raw nerves, soothing his fears and drawing him in. As they reached his side, the fairy took each of their hands and pulled them into his dance. The tune changed again, increasing in speed and intensity, and they danced along with it, faster and still faster. They moved in ever tightening circles, until they were whirling round and round in a blur. The music reached a crescendo, holding on a long, sustained note, and Tommy felt his feet leave the ground.
“Holy shit!” He closed his eyes, his hands tightening convulsively around the others’ in a viselike grip. An eternity later, he felt solid ground press up under his feet again.
Tommy blinked and looked around. They were no longer surrounded by fog; they didn’t even seem to be outside anymore. Instead, a large hall stretched out from where they stood, lit with candles that hung suspended in midair below a seemingly open sky. The walls Tommy could see were draped in folds of purple fabric and lush tapestries of forest scenes. Tables of a rich, honeyed wood were scattered about, with gold dishes heaped with fruits and nuts set on them. A soft carpet of moss flowed across the floor, and assorted large cushions were set in groupings around the room.
They were no longer alone either; around them were many figures, all sporting wings similar to the ones on their companion’s back. As he stared, open-mouthed, a voice made him turn.
“I’m Adam. Welcome to our realm.” Adam swept his arm out, indicating the room, and smiled warmly at them both. “What are your names?”
“I’m Sauli, and this is Tommy. Are you really a fairy?”
Adam laughed gently. “That is one name for who we are. You must have a true love of music to have been able to find me.”
“Tommy does,” said Sauli, grinning. “He’d spend his life playing if he could.”
“Is that why you’ve come here, to join us in the music?” asked Adam, looking at Tommy in a way that made him feel as if Adam was able to see his thoughts, his soul.
“Hey, Sauli’s the one who was looking for you,” Tommy said, feeling exposed, vulnerable. “I didn’t even know you existed until we saw you in that field.”
Adam shifted his gaze to Sauli, reaching out to cup his face. “And did you come seeking to join us in the music?”
Sauli stared back at Adam with a dopey grin. “I really wanted to meet a fairy. I love music, but I’m not a musician like Tommy is.”
“You can join in the music in many ways; not only singing or playing,” Adam said. “You are both welcome. Know that if you stay past your realm’s sunrise, time will begin to pass differently for you, and those you know may not be there when and if you do return. For now, come and enjoy all that our world has to offer you.”
Sauli and Tommy exchanged looks. “How will we know when the time is up?”
Adam pointed to an hourglass on a table in a dark corner. “When the sands run out, a new day will be breaking.”
Tommy curled into the large cushions, sipping on the drink Adam had pressed into his hand. Whatever it was, it tasted fucking amazing and left him feeling awesome. As he snuggled into the soft, welcoming warmth, he watched the crowd swirling around him, dancing, laughing, singing. Sauli and Adam were dancing together, hands caressing hair and hips, chests and lips, and as he watched, Tommy felt the longing he’d thought he’d locked safely away brush against his thoughts.
He was surprised that he wasn’t jealous; he found his eyes drawn back to Adam as often as he admired Sauli. The contrast between tall and short, light and dark was striking, and he thought he could sit there and watch them forever. The light of the candles overhead glinted in Sauli’s golden hair and set Adam’s iridescent wings sparkling. A rare smile touched Tommy’s lips as he sat there, warm and content, music washing over him, the swirling colors of other dancers framing the perfection of the pair in front of him.
He had no idea how long he sat there, as the music moved seamlessly from one tune to the next. Tommy lifted his cup to his lips and was surprised to find it empty. A hand entered his view, taking the cup and setting it on a table nearby. Gazing up, he found Adam in front of him, grinning.
“Sauli tells me you play the guitar. I would love it if you’d play for us this night.”
Tommy threw Sauli a look. “It’s a hobby really. I’ve fooled around with some friends, but it’s not like I play in a real band or anything. Anyway, I can’t play with you, I don’t have my guitar with me.”
“That doesn’t matter,” said Adam, as Sauli broke in with, “Stop being so modest, you’re a fantastic musician. You know I love the way you play.” Tommy flipped a finger at him, but flushed at hearing Sauli’s praise.
Adam reached out, pulling Tommy to his feet. “Come with me, and let’s share the music.” He guided them both down the length of the hall.
Tommy spotted a raised platform ahead that seemed to grow from twining roots that both supported it and acted as stairs. There were a group of musicians playing instruments on it both strange and familiar. There were drums, but handheld, also a set of pipes and a few stringed instruments he’d never seen before. As they reached the stage, the song ended, and a drummer came over to greet them.
“Adam, you’ve brought some friends with you tonight,” he said, smiling broadly at Sauli and Tommy.
“Yes, they found me in their world and were brave enough to join us. Isaac, this is Sauli and this is Tommy.” Adam gestured to each of them in turn, and Isaac nodded. “I want them to share in the music, and Tommy here plays guitar. Do we have one around that he can use?”
“Yes, I think we do. I’ll go get it.” Isaac disappeared through a door behind the stage, returning with a gleaming acoustic guitar that was as beautiful as any Tommy had ever seen. He held it out to Tommy, who took it reverently, admiring the simple, yet elegant carved lines of the neck and body. Settling the strap over his neck, Tommy quietly plucked at the strings, finding them in perfect tune. He looked between Adam and Isaac.
“I don’t know your music, so I’m not sure how I can play with you.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Adam said, as Isaac moved back to his drum. “The guitar will help, but your soul knows our music. Here, close your eyes a moment and listen. When you’re ready, join in.”
Tommy turned to Sauli doubtfully, but Sauli grasped his arm, saying, “Trust Adam, Tommy. I know you can do this. I want to hear you play, please?” That plea was his undoing; Tommy couldn’t deny Sauli something he wanted. He nodded and closed his eyes as Sauli backed away a bit into the crowd. The band started playing, and after a few bars, Adam joined in, singing in a language Tommy didn’t recognize. Tommy listened to the tune, felt it wash over him, and his fingers moved into position on the strings. A few bars more, and he found himself strumming along quietly, simple chord progressions at first. It didn’t make sense, but it felt as if he’d played this song before; he began adding in licks and arpeggios. By the end of the song, Tommy felt as if he’d been playing with the group for years. Glancing over at the other musicians, he was stoked to see smiles and nods of approval directed his way. When Tommy looked out into the crowd, he saw Sauli beaming at him, pumping his fist in the air.
As the band started in on the next song, Tommy hesitated only for a moment before once again joining in. Adam’s voice was like a force of nature; it drew Tommy towards him like a moth to a flame. He leaned his back against Adam’s. The solid presence pressed against him was at once comforting and electric, sparking along Tommy’s skin. They leaned like that for a few bars, supporting each other’s weight, before breaking apart to dance around the stage.
Tommy lost all track of time as the music continued. Every so often, he caught sight of Sauli dancing wildly in front of the stage, and always, always, he was aware of where Adam was, as if he was caught up in Adam’s orbit. Adam flitted in, singing a stanza right to Tommy, and then took off again, singing to the crowd. Finally, they started a slow ballad, and Adam moved right in behind Tommy, sliding a hand over his chest to hold him snugly against his front. Resting his head against Adam’s shoulder, Tommy closed his eyes and played the ethereal notes, feeling like he was home. As the final notes faded, Tommy felt Adam’s lips against his temple.
“Thank you for joining me in the music, Tommy. I hope that we will share in this again, many times.” Adam brushed a strand of hair off Tommy’s face, looking at him with an expression Tommy couldn’t identify. As he had earlier in the evening, Tommy felt caught in Adam’s gaze, as if Adam were seeing so much more than the expression on his face, seeing the way playing tonight was like food for his starving soul. With one more gentle sweep of his fingers through Tommy’s hair, Adam turned to include Sauli in their conversation.
“There is a ceremony now that I’m a part of. Why don’t you rest over here? I think you’ll enjoy what comes next.” With a wink and a grin, Adam led them over to some cushions and passed them each another drink from a nearby table. Sauli turned to Tommy and wrapped him in a tight hug. After a moment of startled hesitation, Tommy returned the hug, basking in the feeling.
“Not that I’m complaining, but what was that for?” he asked as they finally drew apart.
“You sounded so good, playing with Adam, and the look on your face while you were doing it… I haven’t seen you look that happy in…hell, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look that happy!”
A shy smile lit up Tommy’s face. “I can’t believe I was able to do that, that I figured out the music and kept up with them.”
“You were incredible, I could listen to you and Adam forever,” Sauli said. They continued comparing notes about the music, breaking off when pipes trilled a flourish, followed by horns and drums. Turning to see what was happening, Tommy was surprised to see that many of the fairies seemed to have disappeared. He looked around for Adam, but couldn’t spot him anywhere.
As a fanfare rang out, two streams of fairies emerged from the darkness on either side of the hall, launching themselves into the air, one after another. They flew towards each other at great speed, and just as the front two looked as if they were going to collide, the lines began to weave together, each fairy threading in and out of the oncoming line. As the final pair passed each other, the lines split in half. Wheeling around, they once again flew at each other, this time two lines on each side, weaving together and then apart. Again, the lines split and eight lines approached each other. This time, as they came together, the lines shifted.
They crossed each other’s paths and began to separate, forming a starburst in the air. From there, the patterns shifted from one complex shape to another; spirals and stars forming and dissolving as the fairies flew in a dizzying display, the glow of their bodies adding to the effect. Tommy felt Sauli’s hand grasp his tightly, and glanced over to see Sauli looking at him, wide-eyed. It was like Sauli was trying to make sure Tommy was real, since what they were watching sure as shit didn’t seem like it was. They turned back to watch.
“Look, there’s Adam!” Sauli pointed to a floral shape off to the one side, and Tommy spotted Adam’s black hair and purple wings darting in and around his partners. Now that they’d found him, neither one could look away from his radiance.
The fairies had once again split into two lines, this time forming concentric rings, traveling in opposite directions, one inside the other. Faster and faster they flew, until they seemed more a blur of color than distinct shapes. As the music reached a crescendo, a cloud of sparkling dust rained down from the circles, glittering in the candlelight floating below the fairies, and landing on Tommy, Sauli and the scattered fairies below.
Tommy cracked up when he saw the way the fairy dust had coated Sauli. “Look at you, glitterbaby,” he smirked. “You’re all sparkly.”
“You might want to take a look at yourself, Tommy Joe. I’m not the only one sparkling like a disco ball.” Sauli laughed and pulled Tommy closer. “It’s a good look for you,” he said, touching the iridescence on Tommy’s face. The moment slowed down and heated up as they stared into each other’s eyes.
As one, they moved, lips crashing together in a fierce kiss. Sauli licked into Tommy's mouth, pressing his tongue against Tommy’s, coaxing it into a dance of their own. Tommy felt as if his skin was too tight for his body, like every nerve was on fire. He broke the kiss, gasping for air as he leaned his forehead against Sauli’s.
A warmth settled in behind Tommy, and lips brushed the sensitive skin behind his ear. Lifting his head, he saw Adam reach out to grip the back of Sauli’s neck. Adam pulled Sauli in for a kiss, and Tommy felt his cock swell as he watched. The feeling of being on fire intensified, and he stripped off his shirt. The movement drew Adam and Sauli’s attention, and they turned to him, leaning in to share a kiss among all three. It was wet and messy and wonderful, as lips and tongues explored.
Tommy reached for Sauli’s shirt, struggling to pull it off without ending the kiss. Laughing, Sauli leaned away and yanked it over his head, tossing it on the ground. From there, it was a mad scramble of hands and arms and legs, as the three of them moved, working to rid each other of their remaining clothes.
A canvas of pale skin gleamed in front of Tommy, begging to be touched. He lay back on the cushions, pulling Sauli on top of himself, as he ran his hands in sweeping curves down Sauli’s back and over his ass. He met Adam’s hand there, and they each cupped a cheek, pressing them together and spreading them apart. Sauli moaned into Tommy’s neck as they continued to knead and caress his ass.
Adam leaned in to claim Tommy’s mouth as Sauli began sucking at the hollow created by Tommy’s collarbone. He slid off to the side as he worked his way down Tommy’s chest to a nipple, biting it lightly. Tommy arched his head back, not able to hold in a whimper at the sharp pain/pleasure, as Adam mirrored the action on his other side.
As Sauli and Adam continued to suck and nibble at Tommy’s chest, Tommy stared hazily up and saw fairies still above them. Rather than darting this way and that, they were hovering in midair, entwined in pairs and triads, glowing skin writhing in rhythms as old as time. His balls tightened at the sight, and it was all he could do not to come in that moment.
Desperately thinking of his dreary cubicle at the call center, Tommy managed to push back the lust that was threatening to overwhelm him. He almost lost the battle again when he felt Adam suck at the crease where his thigh and hip meet at the same time that Sauli enveloped the head of Tommy’s cock in the moist heat of his mouth.
“Oh, fuck!” he groaned, hips jerking up off the cushions.
For several long, glorious moments, Tommy enjoyed the sensation of Adam licking his balls and Sauli sucking at the head of his cock. It wasn’t enough; he wanted to increase the connection between them. Reaching over, he tugged at Sauli’s hips until he had positioned them by his head. He rested his head on Sauli’s lower leg, spreading the other one up and out of the way to give himself clear access to Sauli’s junk.
Tommy pulled his dick out of Sauli’s mouth and shifted his hips closer to Adam. Getting the idea, Adam turned around so that Sauli could reach his cock, before leaning back in to lick a long hot stripe up Tommy’s dick. Now they each had a cock to play with. Tommy hummed in satisfaction around his mouthful, making Sauli moan. Loving the sounds he was pulling from Sauli, he hummed again, almost swallowing Sauli’s cock, then sliding off to move lower. Tommy rubbed his cheek against the soft sac there before nudging it out of the way with his nose so he could reach the sensitive skin behind.
Inhaling deeply, Tommy reveled in the sharp scent of Sauli’s skin, running his tongue behind Sauli’s balls in firm strokes.. The twin sounds of slurping, and the suction of Adam’s mouth as he bobbed up and down Tommy’s length, drove his arousal higher. Moving back up to Sauli’s cock, Tommy pointed his tongue and dipped it into the slit, tasting the musky flavor of arousal there. He swirled his tongue around the head a few times before taking it in and sucking down to the base.
Touching Sauli like this, making him squirm and whine, was something Tommy had hoped for, but never believed could happen; it was so much better than he'd ever imagined
“Oh, fuck,” Sauli cried, thrusting his hips forward, pushing his cock deeper into Tommy’s mouth. As Sauli took Adam’s dick into his mouth again, his curses became muffled whimpers and groans.
Just as Tommy felt his balls tighten up again, ready to release their seed, Adam pulled off his cock. Tommy’s hips followed desperately, chasing Adam’s mouth, but instead he found that mouth had moved back next to his own. There was a sound of protest from Sauli as Adam moved away.
“I think we should finish this inside one another,” Adam murmured, planting little kisses from Tommy’s temple back to his ear. “I think Sauli wishes to have you, and I would take Sauli.”
The idea of Sauli taking him burst through Tommy like a storm, and he turned to see if it was true. Sauli had sprung up at Adam’s words and was looking back at Tommy with such an open, hopeful expression that Tommy’s heart stuttered.
“But what about lube and condoms?” Tommy said, the unwelcome thought popping into his head.
“We are not wanting for lubrication,” Adam said, reaching into his clothes and drawing out a vial. “And condoms are not necessary here in our realm. You are protected.” The three again shared a lingering kiss, before moving into position.
Sauli knelt between Tommy’s legs, lifting them up onto his shoulders. He held out his hand to receive a palmful from Adam’s vial. Dipping his fingers into the slippery substance, he coated them well before reaching down to Tommy’s crease. Slowly, gently, he rubbed the tightly crinkled skin around Tommy’s hole, slipping the first finger inside after a few moments. Tommy welcomed the slight burn of penetration, the stretching that followed, drinking in the look on Sauli’s face as he watched his fingers disappear into Tommy.
As Sauli brought his other hand to his own cock, coating it with the lube left in his palm, Tommy watched him close his eyes and push his hips back as he hissed, “Yessss, ahhh, more!” He realized that Adam was behind Sauli, preparing him as Sauli was preparing Tommy.
Sauli settled his left hand next to Tommy’s chest and held his own cock with his right, lining it up with Tommy. Nudging it against Tommy’s hole, he eased past the first ring and stopped. Waiting until Tommy met his gaze, he drew back before pushing in partway. Each stroke pushed him a little further into Tommy, a little further into his heart as well as his body.
Once again, Sauli closed his eyes, shifting his hips, and Tommy knew that Adam had entered him. They all paused in that moment, adjusting to the stretch, and then Adam shifted forward, pressing deeply into Sauli, sending Sauli sliding into Tommy. All of them groaned, and Adam, then Sauli, pulled back. Again, Adam pushed forward, driving Sauli down into Tommy.
“That’s it, fuck, so good, harder Adam, ohhh shit, feel that Tommy? Take it, yes, you’re so tight – “ Sauli kept up a string of curses and encouragement for both Tommy and Adam, an endless litany of words mixed with groans and cries.
They established a rhythm more easily than Tommy would have thought, pulling back and apart, and forwards and together. Smoothly, gradually, they increased the speed until Sauli was moving in and out in short, sharp motions. Together, apart, together, apart, the tension built until Adam pushed forward and held there, buried as deep as he could go in Sauli and forcing Sauli deeper into Tommy. Leaning over Sauli’s shoulder, Adam captured Tommy’s mouth with his own, grinding them together as desperately as he was grinding into Sauli. Tommy’s breath was stolen by both the kiss and the weight of both men on top of him, making everything he was feeling more intense. Who the fuck needed air when they could have this?
Pulling back, Adam kissed the back of Sauli’s neck before leaning his forehead in the same spot and pistoning his hips in a motion that had Sauli and Tommy both gasping. Impossibly, he sped up even more until he stopped, hips stuttering into Sauli. Tommy watched in awe as Adam threw his head back and cried out, naked joy on his face, his aura brightening to a glow almost too bright for Tommy’s eyes. Peppering kisses all over Sauli’s back and neck, Adam gently pulled out and collapsed off to the side.
Sauli shifted back onto his haunches, carefully lowering Tommy’s legs from his shoulders, allowing them to stretch out. Tommy sighed in appreciation. He pulled Tommy’s pelvis up onto his thighs, entering him again. Holding onto one of Tommy’s shoulders for leverage, Sauli used his other hand to fist Tommy’s straining cock.
Once again, they moved together, Sauli squeezing Tommy’s cock as he stroked it, adding a twist each time he reached the head. Tommy met Sauli stroke for stroke, urging him deeper. It didn’t take long; Tommy had been on the edge for hours and having Sauli inside him was more than he ever could have dreamed. With a shout of “Sauli!” Tommy came, each pulse surging through him like an electrical jolt, the tightened muscles sending Sauli over the edge moments later.
As they came down from their high, Adam was there with a cloth to clean them both, and a blanket to cover them all. Sauli gathered Tommy in close, tucking Tommy’s head into his neck, and Adam spooned up behind him, resting his arm over Tommy’s hip with his hand resting on Sauli. Cocooned in the warmth of the two bodies surrounding him, feeling safe, Tommy dozed.
Tommy’s head felt much clearer when he woke a short time later. He noticed he was still under the warmth of the blanket, but the two bodies that had been on either side of him were gone. Opening his eyes, he saw Adam and Sauli sitting curled up together on cushions a few feet away. As he watched, Adam traced a finger down Sauli’s nose and along his cheek, as he listened to Sauli talk.
“… never knew it could be like that, that it would feel this special. You made me feel so loved. I never want to give this up, now that I have it.”
“You don’t have to give it up, Sauli. The feelings are real, ours to hold and cherish,” Adam said, folding Sauli into a warm hug.
Tommy closed his eyes, pain crashing over him in waves. It was clear that Sauli had fallen for Adam, and that Adam returned those feelings. The time he had spent in Sauli’s arms must have been due to the fairy dust, not any real feelings he had for Tommy. He knew he should have stuck with friendship, because this? This was going to fucking kill him.
He rolled away from them and noticed the hourglass sitting on the table, sands almost run out. Tossing the blanket aside, he reached for his clothes, throwing them on as quickly as he could. He strode over to the table with the hourglass and picked up his jacket.
“Wait, where are you going?” Sauli said, rushing over to his side.
Tommy looked down at the table, unable to meet Sauli’s gaze. “Adam told us we needed to leave before the sands ran out, or we wouldn’t end up back in our time. Time’s about up; time to get back to reality.”
“You don’t have to leave. You’re welcome to remain in our realm for as long as you wish,” Adam said quietly, laying a hand on Tommy’s arm.
“I want to stay,” said Sauli. “It’s wonderful here; there’s nothing at home that can compare. Don’t you want to stay and make more music?”
Tommy looked over Sauli’s shoulder wistfully, at the stage in the distance. It had been an awesome experience, playing last night. Could he stay and do that long term? It was so tempting…
He turned to say – he wasn’t sure what – to Sauli when he caught a look that passed between the two of them. They were sharing something, something he wasn’t a part of. No. He couldn’t fucking stay here, a third wheel surviving on a memory of one special night.
Shrugging his bag over his shoulder, he turned to Adam. “How do I get back to my world?”
“I will take you, if you’re sure.”
Sauli grabbed his arm, frowning, a look of confused hurt on his face. “You won’t stay here, with me?”
Tommy laid his hand over Sauli’s for a moment, closing his eyes and savoring this last contact, then lifted Sauli’s hand off of his arm.
“You’ve got Adam and this really cool world. You’ll be fine.”
Turning away, he took Adam’s hand and let him lead the way back to the real world, away from dreams. Tommy knew that dreams never came true.
Tommy tried going back to the call center. He lasted there for all of two weeks, before reaching his limit and walking out. It had been a shitty job anyway, and without Sauli, there was no way he could keep showing up every day without ending up in his bedroom with a gun in his mouth sometime soon.
Session work here and there kept him off the streets, barely. It was better than the call center – at least he was playing. He set up his equipment and waited for the signal to start. The song being recorded today was a TV signature tune; something that paid better, but this particular tune seemed really lame to Tommy. They ran through it once, to check for balance and sound, then recorded a first take.
The producer wasn’t happy with the sound, and made a couple of adjustments to the bass line. They ran through it again, but it was obvious from his expression he still wasn’t satisfied. Tommy spoke up.
“What if, instead of this – “ He played a segment from the middle of the verse. “ – I play this.” He played the segment again, this time giving it a bluesy edge.
The producer huffed, glaring at Tommy. “Listen, Timmy..it is Timmy, right?”
“Right. Tommy. I’ve got a specific sound in mind and I just need you to produce that sound, all right? Do you think you can do that?”
Hunching his shoulders, Tommy said, “Absolutely. Whatever you need.”
Turning away from Tommy, the producer moved over to the keyboards to make an adjustment there, and the session continued. They eventually ended up with a completed tune and were released. Tommy thought it was total crap, but shut up and played what was asked for. Getting known as a troublemaker was no way to keep the work coming.
The nature of session work left him with a lot of time on his hands. He spent some of it with friends, watching movies or hanging out in bars drinking. Mostly, he spent long hours messing around on his guitar. He played blues and rock and metal, anything that matched his mood of the moment. It didn’t matter what he started with, though; eventually he’d find his fingers recreating one of the songs he’d played with Adam. Playing those songs had a weird effect on him. The fact of them and what they represented set up a deep ache of loss, and yet there was something about them that also acted like a soothing balm to his soul. No matter the pain, he kept returning to them without conscious thought.
And it didn’t stop when he went to bed. Every time he slept his mind took him back to the fairy realm. In his dreams, the world was softer, brighter, sweeter. He was playing music with Adam, watching the fairies fly over his head, making love to Sauli and Adam. The feel of their bodies against his, the expression on Sauli’s face as he entered him, on Adam’s face as he leaned over to kiss Tommy, their expressions as Tommy left. The music ran through every dream, an echo of the best night of his life.
Tommy woke from these dreams feeling desolate and completely alone. He knew it was his own fucking fault; he could have stayed but instead he'd run from all that world offered him. He’d never slept very well; now, he barely slept at all. He couldn’t bear returning to that world, only to wake up and find himself back in this one. He kept himself up, drinking coffee and playing video games. The circles under his eyes got darker, and putting one foot in front of the other became harder and harder to do.
“I’m worried about you,” Lisa said, handing Tommy some coffee. “You look terrible – when was the last time you slept?”
Tommy grimaced. “Thanks, I love you too.”
“I’m serious, Tommy Joe. What’s going on with you?”
“Nothing that a little coffee won’t fix,” Tommy said, taking a sip and smacking his lips. “There, all better.” He shot a thin smile her way.
“Fine, you don’t want to talk about it, we don’t have to. You wouldn’t believe what happened at work…”
Tommy let his sister’s words wash over him and tried to engage, but his mind kept wandering. To be honest, he hadn’t felt present anywhere for the last couple of weeks.
“And then, as if that wasn’t enough, Stacy decided she was going to – “ Lisa broke off as baby babbling filled the kitchen. Looking at the baby monitor, she said, “Bridget’s awake. Hang on, I’ll go get her.”
Tommy sat, drifting, until Lisa returned, Bridget in her arms.
“Look, Bridget, it’s your Uncle Tommy!” Bridget gave him an assessing gaze and held her arms out. Tommy took her, rubbing their noses together. She giggled and clapped her hands. Lisa sat down, launching back into her story, as Tommy helped Bridget figure out which hole in her shape sorter she needed to drop the blocks into. Every time one fit, she squealed and tried to pull the lid off, to get at the blocks and start over.
Eventually, Tommy noticed Lisa’s story seemed to have ended. He glanced up to see her looking fondly at Bridget.
“You know, one of the really cool things about having a kid is experiencing life through their eyes. Everything’s a new discovery. Everything’s exciting and filled with wonder. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could hang onto that feeling?”
Tommy thought of the wonder he’d felt when he’d entered the fairy realm, and nodded. Bridget decided she’d had enough of the shapes and tried to clamber off of Tommy’s lap. He carefully set her on the floor, where she toddled over to the space in front of the speakers. As a new song came on, she started to bounce in place, swinging her hips and waving her arms. Lisa and Tommy both laughed, charmed by her dancing.
“That’s the other thing I love about her. She’s so completely in the moment. Too young to worry about what she needs to get done, no expectations of how she should be acting, she just is.” Lisa got up and set her mug in the sink. “She loves music as much as her uncle does. How’s that going? Are you enjoying the session work you’re doing?”
Tommy shrugged. “It’s better than the call center.”
“Well that’s a rousing endorsement. What? Don’t you like it?”
“I’m getting to play music, so that’s cool,” Tommy said. “It’s just that, playing something you’re told to play isn’t the same as making music, you know? Sometimes I wonder why they don’t just throw it all together on the boards and be done with it.”
Lisa reached out and patted his arm. “I’m sorry it’s not more what you hoped it would be. You deserve to do what you love. I hope you find that soon.” She stood up to retrieve Bridget. “Come on, Bridget-bear, it’s time to feed this belly.” Swinging her up, she blew a big raspberry on Bridget’s stomach, making her shriek with laughter.
Tommy picked at the food Lisa put in front of him, lost in thought. Once the meal was over, and Bridget was settled down with a picture book, Lisa and Tommy set to cleaning up. As he handed a dripping plate to Lisa, Tommy blurted out a question that was sitting heavy on his mind.
“What if I had the chance to do something I love, but it would mean moving somewhere I probably couldn’t stay in touch from?” He stole a glance in her direction, then busied himself with scrubbing the pot in front of him.
Lisa finished drying the plate in her hand and slid it into the cupboard. Flinging the dishtowel over her shoulder, she leaned one hip against the counter, and giving Tommy a stern look, said, “Spill it, TJ. What haven’t you told me?”
One more moment of hesitation, and then the floodgates opened. Tommy found himself telling Lisa all about finding Adam and ending up in the fairy realm. He told her all about the people there, and the dancing, but especially about the music, and about what he had shared with Adam and Sauli. He wasn’t sure he wanted to see her reaction to all of this, so while he talked, he kept scrubbing the pot, over and over. When it had all spilled out, including his decision to come back home, he fell silent, and finally set down the sponge and rinsed the pot off.
Lisa lifted it out of his hands and after setting it on the drainer, reached out and dried Tommy’s hands with her dishtowel. Pulling him over to the table, she searched his eyes.
“This really happened? I believe you,” she hastened to add, when Tommy started to turn away. “It’s just a lot to take in, okay? I mean…fairies…wow.”
“I know. Sometimes I think it must be some crazy ass dream, or that I’ve gone insane, but Sauli’s really gone, and I can’t get the music out of my fucking head, and – “ He scrubbed his hand through his hair and sighed. “It’s real, and I walked away from a chance to make music that was better than…anything, better than everything.”
Lisa studied him for a long moment, her expression unreadable.
“You’ve got to go back,” she said flatly.
“But you heard me. If I stay, time starts to pass differently. I don’t know when I’d see you again, how much time would go by while I was in that world.” Tommy flung himself out of his chair and stalked around the kitchen.
“Tommy.” Lisa waited until he had turned to look at her, and said, “You haven’t been happy since you got back. Sure, Bridget and I will miss you – so much – but you need to find your own happiness, wherever that’s gonna be. Maybe…maybe this Adam can help you figure out how to communicate with us from there. Even if he can’t, knowing that you’re happy is the most important thing to me, and right now? You’re not, Tommy, and it’s breaking my heart.”
He sank back into the chair and dropped his head into his hands. Against his will, his biggest fear slipped out. “But what about Sauli and Adam? I don’t know if I can be happy there either, seeing them together and knowing I’m not a part of it.”
“Why are you so sure you couldn’t be?” Lisa asked. “The way you describe your time together, it sounds like it was special for all of you. What makes you so sure that they don’t want you as much as you want them?”
“I told you what I saw. They clearly wanted each other.”
“Well, yeah, but didn’t you tell me you wanted both of them? You don’t think it’s possible they could want each other and also you?”
Tommy shook his head doubtfully, but he felt a tiny bit lighter, as if someone had loosened one notch on a belt strapped tightly around his chest.
“Think about it, baby. Taking this chance may be exactly what you need.” Lisa got up and wrapped her arms around him, holding him tight.
That night, the dreams came back in force. Music swirled around him, intoxicating and wild. Stars shone brightly above, then began to fall, one after another. They were fairies diving close, then soaring away. As he turned to watch them, Tommy caught sight of his niece, dancing to the fairies’ music. He approached her, but before he could reach her, a fairy swooped down and scooped her up, climbing swiftly back into the sky.
“Bridget!” Tommy shouted, his heart in his throat. Above him, he heard the peals of childish laughter. He spun in place, searching the skies for her, but couldn’t see anything but the glow of many fairies in flight.
Another glow lit the ground nearby. Looking over, Tommy saw Adam and Sauli standing in front of him. Each of them wore an expression recalled from their magical night together, warm and open, and as he watched, mesmerized, they approached.
They circled him, running a hand down his arm, touching his face, whispering “Tommy” in his ear. As they moved around him, the music sped up and so did they, becoming a blur from the glow of Adam’s skin, wrapping Tommy up tighter and tighter in a blanket of light and music, which finally lifted off the ground, bearing Tommy into the air.
He awoke with a gasp, heart pounding in his chest. “Fuck!”
Rolling onto his side, Tommy curled up in a ball, trying to calm his breathing. Images from the dream buffeted him, the music so present it felt as if he could still hear it in his room. He lay there long into the night, thinking about the dream, about Lisa and Bridget, about Sauli and Adam. He listened to the music still singing through his veins.
When the first rays of sun were just breaking across the sky, Tommy swung his legs out of bed and started flinging clothes into his bag.
Snatching up his guitar and his keys, he dashed out to his car. The flight he and Sauli had taken all those months ago had been obscenely early, but he might just be able to catch it if he hurried. Fate seemed to be on his side, since he managed not to get stuck in any traffic. Pulling up to the curb for Departures, he jumped out of the car and ran through the door. A twinge of regret flashed through him – that car had served him well, and he was sacrificing it to this crazy choice.
Tommy shifted from foot to foot as the ticket agent checked for flights.
“You’re cutting it really close. You better hope the security line’s moving. You sure you don’t want to wait for the next flight?”
“I’ll take this one,” Tommy said, pulling out his credit card and holding his breath while the ticket agent ran it through her machine. After a long pause, the machine spit out a receipt that Tommy scribbled his signature on, before grabbing the tickets and running for security.
Just as Tommy got to the waiting area, he heard the agent announce, “Flight 73, preparing for departure.”
“Wait! I’m on that flight,” he yelled, sprinting over. The agent rolled her eyes, but took his ticket and passport, and let him through the door. After giving his guitar to the flight attendant to stow, Tommy collapsed in his seat, lungs heaving.
The flight was long, but uneventful, giving Tommy plenty of time to swing back and forth between excitement and dread over this bat shit crazy thing he was doing. Fortunately, his seatmate spent the flight asleep, since Tommy didn’t think he was capable of holding a conversation.
In Aberdeen, Tommy collected his guitar and found the shuttle bus for the ferry terminal. He had a few hours to wait until the ferry left, so he followed the signs that said City Centre and wandered the shops. Finding a card with a floppy-eared puppy on the front, Tommy bought it and wrote a short note to Bridget.
By the time the ferry docked on the Mainland, night had fallen. Tommy was exhausted and thought about trying to grab a room in town for the night. While he wavered, a cloud shifted, revealing the full moon. He saw the hill they’d found Adam beside, off in the distance. Hiking his bag higher on his shoulder and adjusting the grip on his guitar, he set off in that direction.
It didn’t seem to matter how far he walked, the hill stayed stubbornly remote. Looking down, Tommy concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. He began to hum one of the songs he had played with Adam, and let the rhythm carry him forward.
An eternity later, he finally reached the base of the hill. He couldn’t remember exactly where they had found Adam last time, so he began a slow search of the ground, looking for the telltale ring. The relative lack of fog and full moon made it possible to see the ground, barely, and when Tommy saw a tree shortly ahead of him, his heart sped up.
Hurrying around the far side of the tree, he checked the ground. There, in a large, perfect circle, was a ring of green, different from the vegetation surrounding it. There was no sign of Adam or any other fairy though. Tommy looked around, hoping to spot someone nearby. There was nothing but the tree, the moon, and the wind.
“Okay, maybe if I stand in the circle, someone will come,” Tommy muttered. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and stepped across the edge. He stood, quiet and still for a long moment, keeping his eyes closed. Still, he heard nothing but the wind. He opened his eyes to an empty circle.
“Shit, now what do I do?” He tried calling Adam’s name, and even Sauli’s, but no one came. Feeling like a fool, he even tried dancing around the edge of the circle to see if that would attract a fairy. Nothing.
Discouraged, he sank into the middle of the circle. Was this whole trip a waste of time? Had he come so far, only to be turned away? He wrapped his arms around his bent legs and rested his head on his knees, giving in to a moment of despair. Tommy didn’t know if he could face heading back to L.A. now, but he was clueless as to what else he could do.
With a heavy heart, he unfolded, preparing to head back to town. His eyes fell on his guitar, and he hesitated. Pulling it to him, he took it out of its case, and sat cross-legged, settling the guitar in his lap. He tuned it for a few minutes, and then, closing his eyes, he heard the songs he had played with Adam the last time he was here.
Slowly and softly, he began to play. The melody loosened something in his chest, and he settled into the notes, letting them flow from his fingers out into the night sky. As he finished one song, he moved on to the next. The songs poured from him as if he’d known them his entire life, and he got lost in the moment, not focused on why he was there or what he would do tomorrow, just on the music he was creating.
Tommy shifted into a new melody. As he finished the verse, and moved into the chorus, a voice joined in, singing the chorus in a high clear tone. His eyes flew open – there was Adam, standing in front of him just as he remembered, singing along. He managed to finish the last few notes of the chorus before stumbling to a halt.
“Adam, I – “ Now that he was here, Tommy didn’t know what to say. Adam crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of Tommy’s neck.
“I’m so glad you figured it out,” Adam said, staring at Tommy with what looked like pride.
“Figured what out? You mean how to call you? I tried a bunch of different things, but I guess the music was the thing that worked.”
“That did call to me, but that’s not what I meant. You needed to be ready to join in the music, to find your place in the fabric of it. Sauli has been frantic to go find you all day, but I told him you weren’t yet ready, that we couldn’t find your place for you. It was something you had to reach on your own.”
Tommy stared at him, dazed. “Sauli wanted to find me. I thought you and he…” He flushed and looked away.
Adam cupped his cheek, turning his face back. “Yes, him and I, and you and him, and you and I – all of these are truths, each as important as the other. Come on, let’s not keep him waiting any longer.” Adam stood, pulling Tommy up with him.
Tommy put his guitar in its case, Adam’s words ringing through his head while Adam shouldered his bag. As Adam gathered Tommy into his arms for the trip to the fairy realm, a thought struck Tommy.
“Wait, you said Sauli’s been frantic all day. I’ve been gone for months; why would he be frantic today?”
“I told you; time passes differently in our realm than here in your world. One day has passed for us, and it was more than enough time for us to be apart.” He bent to kiss Tommy, and when he pulled away, Tommy saw Sauli standing almost right where he had left him, by the table with the hourglass in the candle-lit hall.
Sauli pulled him out of Adam’s arms and crushed him in a tight hug. “You are an idiot! Why did you leave us like that?” His words were softened by the kisses pressed to Tommy’s lips between each word.
Laughing, Tommy pulled him back into a hug. Over Sauli’s shoulder, he could see the sands of the hourglass trickling down into the lower bulb. “I’m home now,” he said, watching the last grains fall.