The Last Battle
by Pirate Turner
He stared into his eyes and found them red like burning flame, resembling the fire that he had poured into his previously-mundane life of Knighthood. Jeran had always wanted to be a Knight for he had craved adventure, but he had quickly worked his way to the top and found little to be truly challenging. He had been growing bored with life, and then Kass had come along.
The Eyrie was truly a magnificent sight, regardless of whether he was pouring his all into a battle to the death or standing still in the shadows, watching him with that stone-cold, regal gaze of his . . . a gaze Jeran knew his fire burned just beneath. Never had he fought a worthier opponent nor had his eyes ever been drawn again and again to the man he was supposed to be fighting, the man he was supposed to kill, in an entirely inappropriate manner.
He had known for a long time that he could never kill Kass, and yet how many times had he fought against him? How many times had they battled with each other, matching one another heated stroke for heated stroke? How many times had they gazed into each other's eyes as their clashing swords separated their heaving bodies?
What did Kass see in his eyes? Jeran suddenly wondered. Did he see the brave Knight that every one else saw, or did he see the Lupe within? He could not, he thought, possibly have any clue of what he truly wanted to do to him, with him. Kass was like fire, and Jeran burned with the need to be engulfed in that fire forever. He ached for a day when they would never fight again and could throw their weapons and their pasts to the side and clash in an entirely different matter.
He didn't want to clash with him at all, Jeran corrected himself. He wanted to dance with him. He wanted to melt inside him and burn with him. He wanted to feel that wicked beak cover every inch of his furry body and feel his long, massive sword bury deep within him where none had ever gone before. He wanted Kass not as an enemy or an ally but as something that he could never have him as: his lover. He had burned to be one with the Eyrie since the first day he had lain eyes on him and had fought him even harder for so long that he was simply tired of fighting.
A mighty blow from Kass' sword caught Jeran off guard. He nearly struck his weapon from his hand, but Jeran could have kept his hold . . . if he had only wanted to. His blue fingers splayed apart, allowing his sword to fall out of his grasp and clatter to the ground beneath them. Kass brought the tip of his sword to touch Jeran just beneath his chin and lifted his face to force him to look at him. His beak curved in a smile that was not a smile, but something else danced in his fiery red eyes. "Tag."
"You have me," Jeran returned, shivering as the searing look Kass gave him seemed to strip away all his armor until he was left standing naked and bare foot in front of the only man who had ever moved him, the only enemy he had ever truly feared. With just one breath, Kass could shatter all his most private and sacred dreams, but the Darigan didn't know that, Jeran reassured himself silently as he fought down the urge to gulp.
Kass let his eyes do the talking as he did indeed mentally strip Jeran down. His glowing eyes hovered for a moment on the bulging sword he had felt heave just beneath the Knight's armor many a time. He wanted the Lupe so badly he could taste him, and his tongue ran along the interior of his beak in eager anticipation. He could take him now; he could finally have his way with him.
But Kass was no longer the evil dictator who had tried to take over the whole of Neopia and all its surrounding lands. He was better than that. This battle was merely for show, as had been the thousands of ones they had dueled in for the last couple of years. He was good. He could not simply take him.
Argh, but by all of his Kingdom, he wanted him! He burned with a need that only Jeran could fulfill. Kass watched as the Lupe's eyes widened with fear. He could feel him trembling at the end of his sword, and his heart, that was not nearly as black as it should have been, ached to know that he was the cause of his fear. He threw his sword to the ground with a disgusted snarl, turned his back on the man who was supposed to be his ally at times and enemy at others, and began to walk off on him.
What had that look been about? Jeran wondered through the fear that clouded his mind. He had looked at him with . . . Remorse? Sadness? It was a hollowness he had reflected from his soul. Of that much, Jeran was sure, but the questions remained. What had caused it, and why had Kass allowed him to see that much of his true inner self? Unless . . . Unless? No, it couldn't be! He couldn't allow himself to think that! Kass could never -- And yet, even as his mind argued with his heart in a barrage of denial, Jeran reached out and gently grasped the edge of Kass' purple wing.
Kass froze at the slight touch, and Jeran tensed, unsure of whether he was about to be attacked again or simply rebuffed. Kass trembled underneath the Lupe's paw for he had never been touched with such gentility in all his life. He turned slowly, his red eyes meeting Jeran's questioning gaze. "Yes?" The word was meant to be a hiss, but it came out as a soft breath of a quietly hopeful question.
Jeran stared into his eyes for a long moment before stepping forward and closing the distance between them. His eyes still searched Kass' as he raised up on the tips of his furry toes and pressed his mouth to his beak. Kass froze at first, and Jeran, sensing him tense, also froze. The Lupe's eyes were large and fearful as he gazed into the glowing, red orbs of the NeoPet he had fallen for years ago.
Kass had frozen not out of fear but out of shock. Seeing fear flood Jeran's gaze and feeling him again begin to tremble against him, Kass made his decision. He had never been one to flee from his fears but rather to meet them head on and also to always take whatever it was he wanted, but this was different. This time his whole life would be affected by the next move he made.
But Jeran had made the move first. He had kissed him. There could be no mistaking his intentions. The only question now was what Kass would do with him. He would love him, he decided at last just as he felt Jeran slowly beginning to pull away. He would finally allow himself to love him just as he had done so at a distance for years now. He had fallen for him long ago, and it was Jeran who had finally caused him to make the decision to go good, though he would have never told any one before and might still not yet for he could not possibly know if Jeran wanted just this one time with him or, as he did with him, all eternity. Regardless, he would take it, Kass pledged silently as he tentatively began to return the Lupe's kiss. He would take it and cherish whatever Jeran gave him forever.
The two former enemies closed all distance between them permanently as Kass wrapped his arms around his trembling Knight and Jeran melted into his embrace. The kiss began softly but soon grew firmer and wilder with passion. Their tongues dueled as fiercely as their swords had scant moments before, and Kass cradled Jeran's growing erection in the center of his hips. Their hands ran over each other freely for the first time, stroking and caressing every inch that they could find, and as the whole of Neopia shuddered, whispered, and gasped in shock, the two lovers finally made their dreams come true.