Word count: 404
"Lockon can tell Tieria is exhausted, almost beyond breaking point, as he lays himself carefully back down next to sleeping Meister. "
Lockon can tell Tieria is exhausted, almost beyond breaking point, as he lays himself carefully back down next to the sleeping Meister. It has only been a few hours since Tieria got back from a long, arduous mission and even though he does his best to hide it, it's obvious to Lockon how burned out the other pilot is, and not just by the dark circles around his eyes or the way his posture isn't quite as straight as usual. The sniper doesn't think he has ever seen Tieria curl up so desperately close against him, visibly shivering from the excessive lack of sleep before falling asleep in a blink of an eye.
Running his hand reverently over Tieria's naked back and side, Lockon notices bruises and scrapes that he doesn't remember seeing before. The usually milky white, smooth skin is dotted with blotches of black and blue, and the sniper finds himself feeling upset at how hard Tieria's mission must have been. Smiling sympathetically, he leans down to press a comforting kiss to the other pilot's forehead.
But as he carefully sweeps aside the soft purple locks from Tieria's forehead, a long, fresh cut meets his fingers on the smaller pilot's hairline, looking as if it has only hastily been taken care of.
Lockon frowns, a small surge of protective anger welling up in his chest. Carefully, trying to be as gentle as possible, Lockon moves his fingers to brush over the edges of the wound, examining it. This is the first time he has seen the other pilot with an injury beyond bruising, and he can't help wondering just what Tieria had to go through to accomplish the mission.
Suddenly Tieria cringes sharply away, obviously pained by the touch, muttering something in his sleep before stirring enough to stare blearily at the sniper.
"Lockon? What is it...?"
"Shh. It's okay", Lockon assures, leaning down to kiss the corner of Tieria's mouth. "Go back to sleep."
For a moment Tieria looks unconvinced, blinking confusedly up at Lockon. Then he gives the sniper a faint, sleepy smile and curls back against his body, sliding back into sleep in a matter of seconds.
A fond smile playing at the corner of his lips, Lockon lays himself down next to Tieria, wrapping his arms tightly around the other pilot's smaller frame. "Sleep well, dear", he whispers, pressing a kiss to a delicate shoulder before closing his eyes.