roesslyng: (SSSS - Incantation)
[personal profile] roesslyng
Title: Try again, and again, and again
Fandom: Stand Still Stay Silent
Characters/Pairing: Lalli/Niko
Rating: 0+
Length: 1.1k
Summary: An awkward start to an awkward something. It's weird, but then again, so is Niko.
Other: Just some first kiss fluffy nonsense. Some day I'll write these two properly.



Try again, and again, and again

Tap.

There it was again.

Tap, tap, tap. Rest. Tap. Rest. Tap, tap. tap.

That was how he knew Niko was there. That tapping at the edges of his mind, soft, barely-there.

Lalli roused himself and let Niko in.

How long had it been since the first time that weird mage tumbled into his life? Lalli tried to remember. Couldn't. A few months. No, longer than that. A year? It was too hard to keep track, too hard to count. It was easier to count the number of times that they saw each other. Because they couldn't see each other every night. Not often at all. There was too little time. Too many things they had to do. And the distance was too far.

Even in dreams, it was a long way from Kajaani to Keuruu.

"I'll come by whenever I can," Niko had promised one time, one of the earlier times. "But you've got to understand, I can't always -"

"Okay," Lalli had said. That was all. And that was enough. Time and difference were things he understood. It was weird enough that they could see each other at all. So he didn't expect him to come.

They didn't talk about how dangerous it was out there. There was that, too.

Lalli went to the edge of his mind.

There he was on the other side. Lalli opened himself and let him in. And there Niko was, dressed in his weird clothes, blue and red-trimmed, and greeting him in his weird way, grasping his hands and squeezing them. And he smiled his usual smile, which was the weirdest part of all, because Lalli had never met someone who smiled so much, not in his entire life.

"I'm glad to see you," Niko said.

To that, Lalli only nodded, and closed his mind again, and didn't let go of his hands. He just held them for one second. Two seconds. Then he let go, and turned to lead the way, waving him along. "Come sit with me."

Lalli took him to a dry place, a grassy roll of ground that he had shaped in his mind as soon as he'd realized that he would need something more comfortable than the boards and the mossy stones of his swamp.

This was better. They could sit side by side, or back to back, just relaxing in the warmth of one another and the scent of trees and earth and grass and water.

Their moments together were rare. They were... good. Lalli liked to hold on to them, savouring them one by one like a handful of raspberries. Enjoy it slowly. Make it last.

When they finally sat together, Niko unlaced his gloves and pulled them off, talking the entire time in his usual light tone, his relaxed words. And Lalli unlaced his own gloves, and listened, and let the voice wash over him, let the words slide in one ear and out the other.

"It was rough out there, so I was stuck in Kajaani for a while. And then they had me running the Pielinen route again, so I was held up there. But now they've got me carrying to Keuruu again, so I think - if I'm fast - well, you know."

Lalli sought his hand. Let his fingertips brush against it. Didn't look down, didn't look at their hands, and didn't look at him, either. He just touched, brushing his fingers over Niko's knuckles, surprised at how exposed that small amount of contact made him feel. "Fine," he said, and that meant he knew what Niko was telling him. There wasn't anything either of them could do about it. So two words were enough, and if this weird mage had any brains at all, he'd get it. "Don't go too fast." Don't put yourself in danger for something that isn't even work.

Those fingers twined in his own. Linked. Squeezed a little, but not too much. "I won't," Niko said. "I just - um."

"What?"

"I really, really missed you."

There was a note in his voice that Lalli couldn't place. He sounded... what? Nervous? Why? It didn't make sense. Was it because of this whole thing? The hand-holding thing. It was weird – Lalli didn't know much about friends, but he did know that friends didn't normally link hands like this, or sit so closely together like this, or rest their head on each other's shoulders. It was weird.

But Niko was weird, too.

An okay kind of weird, though. Not a bad kind of weird. Even if Lalli didn't understand him. "I'm not going to forget about you just because you're gone," he said.

There was a soft sound he didn't understand. It was like a stifled laugh, and was followed by, "I guess you're right." Then a pause. And then - "Hey, Lalli?"

Lalli tilted his head to show that he was listening. Instead of words, he felt fingertips touch his cheek.

He turned his head.

The touch had made him expect something. But what he didn't expect was the kiss. Lalli froze for a moment, unsure what to do. But it was soft, and Niko's hand was warm on his cheek, and after a second he found himself awkwardly kissing back, hesitant and light and unsure.

When they parted, he could feel his cheeks heating. But he wasn't the only one.

"Sorry," Niko murmured, red in the face, red all the way to his ears. "I just - um. Sorry."

"It's okay," Lalli said, because it was. He shifted to look at him properly.

"Really?"

"Yeah." A pause. "Is it always like that?"

"Like what?"

"...It wasn't very good." Lalli saw Niko's eyes widen. He tried to think of a way to explain. "You were rushing. I guess."

"Oh, well..." A relieved smile washed over Niko's lips. "I can do better than that."

"Show me." That was what he always said to him. When Niko talked about magic that Lalli had never heard of. When he talked about how he travelled through the dream world on his courier route. When he talked about any weird thing that Lalli didn't understand. Show me, Lalli demanded. Tell me.

Those warm hands cupped his face. Their lips met again. It was good. Better than the first one.

It was as satisfying as the other times Niko had showed him things. Explained things to him. It was just like that.

Lalli sighed against his mouth, content.

Date: 2017-05-01 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
*huggles fic* This is so lovely! I do relish the way you write Lalli, like I like your concept of Lalli's (or any mage's haven). The imagery of it effectively being Lalli is so very delicious and quite seldomly neglected. So, I do adore phrases like "Lalli opening himself to let Niko in" very very much.
And once again I have the urge to draw Niko... If you#re okay with it *and* I can come up with something good. You have created a very compelling character there.
May I ask a question? Why did you make Niko half-Sami? Is it because you wanted to include some other ethnicity into your fanon? Or is there something about Sami culture that particularely interests you?


On a further note: There are two mistakes which seem to have slipped your eye.

"and let the voice wash over him, let the words slide in one ear and other the other."

"But what he didn't expect the kiss."

~ Talimee

Date: 2017-05-01 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Alright, since I cannot find an edit-button:

"The imagery of it effectively being Lalli is so very delicious and quite seldomly neglected." I meant, ofc, that the concept is quite often neglected by writers (myself included) who see a haven only as a place to stay, like a flat or something.

Date: 2017-05-01 04:07 pm (UTC)
yuuago: (SSSS - Niko)
From: [personal profile] yuuago
Haaa, thanks for pointing out those errors, I'll fix them tonight when I'm on my main computer. (When I stare at something too long, the mistakes become invisible. >< )

Anyway, it makes me so happy that you would be interested in drawing Niko again! Of course it's okay. <3

As for why he's half-Saami... Oh, well, it's a mix of things. It was actually someone else's suggestion at first, and initially I wasn't too sure about it, because the folklore/culture research would be challenging (there is so much vague/incorrect information out there). But I do find Saami culture interesting, it's something I like reading about, even though I am not very knowledgeable at all on the subject.

And also, I really wish that Saami people had been included in actual SSSS canon in some way. Not necessarily in the main cast (though imagine if that were the case, it would be cool, especially if one of the characters were a Noaidi. The magic...!) but even just some kind of mention somewhere, an offhand note on the info pages, it would have opened up cool worldbuilding possibilities.... And considering some of the populated parts of the known world overlap with present-day Sapmi, it wouldn't have been a stretch at all.

So, since we don't get that in canon, welllll I might as well make up that kind of story when I'm playing with my dolls, so to speak. xD And that's how I ended up with a whole bunch of Saami characters to play with.

I'd love to hear from you

Feel free to talk to me! It's very appreciated. You can comment logged-in or anonymous.

September 2017

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