Slightly Longer Than a Three Hour Tour (Attn: Alex)
Eiryk was down right giddy. He had been threatening to take Alex out on his boat for ages and they just never seem to get out there. Eiryk made it a point to go sailing on a regular basis on nights Alex couldn't get away, but he was never out too long by himself. They would have as much time as they wanted tonight, tomorrow as Alex's day off. They could even stay out during the day. Pak was watching Thora for them, under some duress but she was taking care of the kit so there was no need to rush back.
He'd had the boat loaded up with lots of food for Alex as well as some of his best coffee, mead, fishing tackle just in case and a few other odds and ends. And now he was just dying to go and half pulling Alex with him.
"There she is. What do you think?"
The HÃ¤xa was a 58 foot single sail yacht. He'd had all the glass replaced with the nautical grade filtered glass, except in his cabin. Eiryk didn't quite trust the filters, he much preferred the old fashioned route of just staying in the dark. There was a great deal of deck space though so Alex could get outside and soak up as much sun as he wanted.
And the weather was forecast to be perfect so the going wouldn't be rough. That was always a risk, if something should go wrong during the day Alex wouldn't be able to manage, Eiryk would have to risk going out. He'd be covered head to toe and then some but still...
With an ease born of years and years of practice Eiryk swung down from the dock and on to the boat. He immediately and unconsciously adjusted to even just the slight rocking of the boat.
"So this is it huh? She's pretty." Alex knew almost nothing about boats, really, but he did know they were almost always referred to in the feminine.
He'd been promising to go sailing with Eiryk for months now and the weather was warm enough, finally, to make it pleasant. They didn't have long but it was an overnight at least. The sun had gone down just a little while ago and they'd set out immediately. Obviously they weren't going far but a little one night retreat would be enjoyable.
"Are you going to show me how to sail?" Alex smiled as he asked. He enjoyed learning new things, and sailing was no exception. He tended to easily pick up anything physical.
He looked around the deck of the ship. It was beautifully maintained, as he would have expected of anything Eiryk owned. It was not huge, but it seemed just right for the two of them to have plenty of room.
He looked expectantly at Eiryk. "So where do we sleep?" He knew there was a cabin below and assumed they would be there but he was hardly going to go running off without Eiryk.
"I like her she's comfy and yar it is a good combination."
Eiryk was fond of the yacht and had no problem bragging.
The idea that Alex wanted to learn how to sail perked Eiryk right up. That was wonderful, he'd like to share this with his boyfriend and it would give him a chance to teach him some more about navigating by the stars too, something Alex had expressed interest in when they were out orienteering. So Eiryk nodded enthusiastically.
"Of course. We can take you through the basics easy enough. If you feel confidant with it you can even move us a bit during the day, or we can just drop anchor."
His grin was anything but innocent as Alex asked about their sleeping arrangements.
"Well there is one cabin with two twin beds."
He waited for Alex's reaction to that suggestion before grabbing the taller man's hand and guiding him to the living quarters.
"Why don't we check out below I think you should be comfortable."
There was a kitchen area, a living area and the cabin with the two twin beds as advertized but also one with a bed big enough for two. Eiryk was looking forward to spending some time there with Alex. The boat had come furnished, but it went without saying that Eiryk had done some decorating himself. The ship's cabin had she same feel and basic color scheme of his bedroom and bath room back in the Towers. It was very much a home away from home.
When Eiryk told him about the twin beds Alex shrugged. "Okay, if that's how you want it, babe." He grinned. Alex never had any problems calling Eiryk's bluffs, and he knew there was no chance in hell Eiryk would let him sleep on the opposite side of a cabin in his own bed. They both liked sleeping together far too much.
He wandered down into the cabin with Eiryk, taking in the luxurious decor. "It's awesome," he said. He could tell Eiryk had done his best to model it after his own apartment at Liefde. "It looks just like home."
He pulled Eiryk toward the moderate-sized bed, which wasn't as big as either of theirs but was still bigger than he'd expected on a boat. Dropping his duffel bag on the floor at the foot of the bed Alex fell backward onto it, pulling Eiryk along with him. Wrapping his arms around Eiryk's narrow waist Alexander kissed his vampire fiercely, hugging him tight.
"When can we get out of here?" he asked, smiling. "And where are we going?"
And dead to the world, but they both knew that was the other part of the equation and so he didn't mention it.
The 'babe' was something Alex rarely called him (Eiryk kind of liked it though), but the call on his idea of twin beds wasn't totally unexpected. Alex had a knack for it. Eiryk had long ago decided not to play poker with his boyfriend. Even strip poker might leave him naked and Alex fully clothed, and where was the fun in that?
Eiryk was pleased Alex recognized that the cabin was similar to the apartment he was even more pleased to hear Alex call the apartment in the Towers home. They might spend more time at the apartment in Alex's building than the Towers but to Eiryk they were both home. He loved hearing Alex say the same thing.
He was distracted by that thought and easily tumbled onto the bed with Alex. Quickly his arms wrapped around Alex just as tightly, but still careful not to over do it and hurt Alex. He loved the feel of Alex's body lithe and lean. The kiss was nearly their undoing though they were never going to get out of the harbor at this rate. At least Alex was staying somewhat focused. Eiryk would fix that later. With one more quick kiss Eiryk forced himself to get up off the bed... for now.
"We get out of here as soon as possible and I thought we'd go down the coast a ways. We'll spend the night a few miles off the coast and then before sun rise I can get us in close enough that you can do some hiking if you want."
The spot Eiryk had in mind was quite out of the way but it was a national park with a dock they could tie too if Alex wanted or they could anchor off shore which would lend itself to fishing and swimming or ... indoor activities. What ever Alex wanted.
He knew there would be times when he had to sacrifice some outdoor time to be with Eiryk, and the choice was always his. On this occasion Eiryk had planned for him to have some shore time, which was sweet of him, so Alex wouldn't turn it down. But he'd limit himself to an hour or two and then he'd return to the boat and nestle close to his boyfriend.
Their brief snuggle on the bed was a pleasant foreshadow of things to come, but they had other fish to fry first. Alex's stomach groused at the thought of frying fish; he hadn't eaten yet. He knew the kitchen was stocked but he was looking forward to watching Eiryk at work on deck.
"Okay let's go," he said, beaming at Eiryk and hopping down off the bed. As they passed back through the galley he spied a bowl of fruit on the counter and grabbed an apple; that would definitely tide him over, no pun intended, until the exciting part was over with and they were out on the ocean.
Going up top once more he looked at Eiryk expectantly, hoping to be given something to do right away. He was serious when he said he hadn't planned to be idle and wanted to learn. "What do we do first?"
He turned out toward the harbor and looked at the Nachton lights. They really were pretty. He loved Nachton. It had been a rocky start but he had a business, a home - no, two homes, and a boyfriend who might be a little unusual but that was the story of Alex's life. He felt himself smiling, already enjoying himself.
They had not watched most of his collection and Eiryk had yet to turn Alex down. He was, however, aware that his boyfriend was an outdoorsy sort and a daylight sort. He loved that Alex had been willing to make so many compromises for him but Eiryk did try and accommodate Alex when and where he could, even if he couldn't be with Alex in the process.
As they left the cabin, Eiryk managed to trip up the stairs and then slid back down them. Fortunately, there weren't that many stairs. He righted himself and bounded up on deck as cheerful as ever, maybe more so, the ocean really was home to him and he adored sailing.
"First we cast off, then we'll use the motor to get out of the harbor and then the fun starts."
Eiryk showed Alex how to untie the boat from the dock and stow the ropes. He also gave a run down on the controls and how to maneuver the boat under motor but it was when they started unfurling the sails and catching the wind that Eiryk truly settled into his element. For better or worse he had no fear of subjecting Alex to information over load and just kept teaching.
Soon enough Nachton was just a glowing dot on the horizon. It was just after the full moon though so they weren't totally in the dark. Eiryk checked the position and checked his charts and knew this was as good a place as anything to let Alex take over.
"Ready to take a stab at it? Or did you want to hang out here for a while?"
They could eat something and do a little swimming here and then go down the coast or they could reverse that order. It was all good either way.
He attended to Eiryk's directions, doing as his boyfriend instructed, sometimes able to follow directions given by mouth, sometimes copying something Eiryk showed him. There was a lot to do but he did his best to keep up with it all. It was exciting, learning something new and having taken part in the event when the boat began to move away from the dock and out onto the open sea.
Alexander was staring at the receding city lights when Eiryk offered to let him steer. He looked up in surprise. "Already? Sure. What do I do?"
He was still hungry but his apple had been plenty for now and they could eat in a little while. He moved over to where Eiryk sat and slid in next to him; the seat appeared wide enough for the two of them. "How do you read these maps?"
This entire thing was a mystery to Alex. Even the nautical maps looked different from the maps he was used to, which were topographic and showed variances in land height and such. He would have to learn an entirely new skill set but he wasn't opposed to it.
He gave Alex the helm, there was GPS quite handy as well as the charts. Swinging himself next to his boyfriend Eiryk quickly kissed Alex's neck and scooped up the taller man's hand using it to point to the charts and show him what to look at.
"This is an ocean cruise so you don't have to worry about looking for bridges and power lines but you can see buoys here, and here. These," He drug Alex's finger along the map, "Are features on the sea bed you can see where it is going to get shallow and you might run into trouble, reefs, trenches. And this is information on currents and tides you want to pay special attention to those when we pass a river or something. And this is where we are going and where we are."
It could take years to learn to read charts fluently but with a little practice Eiryk had every confidence that Alex would pick up the basics. At least enough to keep them out of trouble and roughly follow a course or if all else failed when to panic and wake him up.
"We shouldn't have too much other traffic to worry about this time of night, which is one less thing to worry about."
Especially now that they were well out into open water.
"Questions or are you ready to take the helm?"
There wouldn't be much to do right now and Eiryk would be happy enough to adjust the rigging a bit and see if he could get some more speed out of his little boat. After all the sooner they got there the more time they had for other things.
"Plenty of questions," he said, "but as long as you don't go too far I think I can manage it."
He looked down at the various gauges on the display, quickly determining where they were in relation to the chart in front of him. It was so difficult with a little explanation. He wasn't ready to go far yet obviously, but he thought he could handle it for a little while.
He checked his watch; it was barely after nine. That pleased him; he was trying not to watch the time but he was afraid it would go by too quickly and they would find themselves turning around and heading home before they knew it. It had only been a few months since Christmas, obviously, but he found himself daydreaming about another vacation like that one.
Alex sighed, smiled, and turned his attention back to his task while Eiryk moved away to adjust something on the deck of the ship.
Eiryk quipped. Even if they hadn't been in the middle of the ocean he didn't like leaving Alex for long periods of time. They had established a comfortable domestic routine, which Eiryk loved. Was it perfect, no. Did they have enough time together, 'enough' was a relative term. They were no longer only seeing each other two or three times a week, so he couldn't really complain. Although, he would still be happy to let Alex be a kept man.
They sailed on for a few hours yet, exchanging casual banter some polite, some mundane, some teasing and some down right suggestive. As promised Eiryk answered questions and did what he could to teach Alex about charts and sailing in general. He checked their position and the time and had Alex alter their course so they would be a bit closer to shore and could drop anchor. They weren't there yet but this was supposed to be a leisurely weekend outing not the America's Cup.
"I think food, drink and a little sun bathing are in order. I can't work you all night you'll start calling me Captain Bligh."
Although Captain Blood would be more appropriate. And unlike Bligh, Eiryk had no desire to beat Alex into total obedience, it was just not an appealing thought, not even in play.
"Let's drop anchor and see what they packed for us."
Eiryk had -no- idea what food was on board. He'd had his assistant do the stocking only telling her that it was a romantic get away. So it could be anything, but she had good taste and was a bit of a foodie so it would be edible if nothing else. The mead he had brought with him, unwilling to trust his bottles to anyone else, but they were chilling in the fridge. He'd brought mostly light sweet and semi sweet meads this time as a nod to the warmer weather.
He watched Eiryk as he anchored them, trying memorize exactly what he did to stop them and stabilize them so they wouldn't float off into nowhere. It would definitely take a few more repetitions though, before he got the knack.
"Sun bathing, huh? I'll take care of that bit. I seem to recall you burning somewhat easily."
He went with Eiryk down to the galley, which his boyfriend said had already been stocked with meals. He always did the cooking for the two of them so he opened the small refrigerator and peered in. He smiled as he saw several containers labeled as dinner, breakfast, lunch, and dinner again in case they took their time heading home. There was also an assortment of items, Alex assumed just in case they wanted a snack or he wanted to cook himself. Thoughtful.
He pulled out the first dinner box, a disposable aluminum container, and peered inside. "Looks like pasta," he said. It smelled delicious. It appeared to be linguine, in a red sauce with something that smelled seafood-like. Mussels, he realized as he opened the lid. This was clearly meant to be eaten tonight; he pulled the container out and turned the oven on, noting that there was a small sheaf of directions on the countertop next to the refrigerator. he adjusted the temperature on the oven and slid the aluminum container in. Then he opened the freezer to look for additional sides, which were also there.
"Not bad with the stocking," he said. He wondered if Eiryk would let him do that part himself next time. He enjoyed cooking. He wouldn't lie; it was nice to have meals prepared already for them but maybe the next time they did this he could cook for them both.
It didn't take long to warm up a dinner that consisted of seafood linguine, garlic bread, and sauteed spinach. Alex left Eiryk to pour drinks; that was definitely his forte when it came to mutual mealtime preparation. In the meantime he dished up their food onto two plates. The portions were just right; enough that they would both have a decent sized meal without a whole lot left over, if any. The pasta smelled even better now that it was warmed through. Whoever had prepared it sure knew what they were doing.
It actually took a lot of trust for Eiryk to kid about that. Poor Alex, that was -not- how he had intended to tell his boyfriend about the vampire thing. Eiryk still considered himself lucky Alex had decided to forgive him. Not to mention it had scared the crap out of him. Eiryk didn't wake easy and to wake up burning, literately, was not something he cared to ever repeat.
"How about we just lounge about on the deck in the moon light."
He popped open a bottle of mead and let it breath a little while getting some glasses and then found himself a place to sit down and lounge while he watched Alex take care of dinner. He had long since lost that privilege and was OK with it.
"It smells good. Yeah Esi is good at these things and I swear she knows every restaurant in the city and who the chef is. Have you two met?"
Eiryk loved his assistant she was a wonderful lady and was a tooth pick of a woman for all she did eat. But with out her he wouldn't have half an idea where to take Alex out to eat. The only decent restaurant he knew was that hole in the wall of Pak's and whatever he read about in the paper. As Alex finished Eiryk poured.
"Up on deck or down here? Personally I think it is too nice out to waste hanging below."
Eiryk watched him as he prepared dinner. Alex loved when they both shared this time. Eiryk almost always kept him company when he cooked even if he didn't always eat with him. Now that Alexander knew what Eiryk was, he didn't insist on feeding his boyfriend at every opportunity, but asked him if he would be joining him instead.
He shook his head at Eiryk. "We haven't met." He hadn't met anyone from Eiryk's office. He didn't think that was for any reason, though, other than the fact that when he and Eiryk had time together they spent it together. He hadn't been to Eiryk's studio but he was sure he'd get there at some point.
Once dinner was dished up Alexander took the plates while eying Eiryk skeptically as he held the open bottle and the two full glasses. "Outside sounds good," he said, "but be careful."
The last thing they needed was to spend an hour plucking shards of broken glass out of Eiryk's hands. As luck would have it, though, they made it up onto the deck without mishap. They sat down next to each other rather than across from, and Alex leaned over to kiss Eiryk softly on his neck just beneath his ear. "I'm glad we did this. This is a great weekend."
He dug into his pasta, which was every bit as good as it smelled. The bits of mussel, chopped and mixed in with the linguine and sauce, were delicate and not overwhelming, tender and just a tiny bit salty with a seafood taste. The garlic bread was flaky and crispy, and the spinach was seasoned with a little garlic and olive oil. It was heavenly.
Some how she never got around to it and of course Eiryk only knew one yoga instructor he would ever introduce her to. Eiryk would also like to show his studio to Alex. He wasn't as anxious about it as to take his boyfriend sailing, but it was a casual standing offer. He didn't like to clutter up his Alex time with work though and it was never a choice between work and Alex. Alex always won.
"I'm always careful."
He protested. It was very true too, it just didn't seem to matter and you never knew when a crash attack was going to strike. It could be while caring an extremely expensive piece of sculpture or it could be while walking on a perfectly level surface with nothing in his heads.
Eiryk sighed contentedly. Alex knew that playing with his neck drove him crazy. But it would just have to wait. He wasn't going to let dinner get cold. Alex needed to eat, it was late.
"We need to get you away more often. Maybe we can go up and watch the leaves change this fall?"
They could sail or fly. Eiryk would have suggested something for the summer but he figured this was Alex's busy season what with everyone hiking and camping for vacation. So logically Alex would need some time off after that. And he would -love- to do a repeat of Christmas.
His mind had drifted off considering what he could knit for Alex this year or if he should try something different that while Eiryk recognized the pasta tasted great he didn't quite process the flavors, not individually. It wasn't until he started having trouble breathing and felt his face and lips start to swell did he recognize something was wrong.
Crap. Eiryk set the pasta aside and picked up his mead, but he couldn't swallow it. He was debating how to keep Alex from noticing this. And hoping very much that the reaction didn't get to severe, his allergy had yet to kill him at least nothing that he couldn't bounce back from but this was not part of his plan for a lazy weekend.
"Maybe. We'll see," he said with a warm smile. "Vermont was gorgeous. I'd love to go there again."
Alex took another bite of pasta and some garlic bread. "Would you rather save that for a winter trip though, and go skiing again? I wonder if that little house will be open for rent again."
There was no immediate answer from Eiryk, which was unusual to say the least. Alexander turned and raised an eyebrow at his boyfriend. Just as he was about to make a teasing comment about age and hearing loss he realized Eiryk looked uncomfortable... and his face was somewhat misshapen. Alex peered at him.
"Eiryk? Are you all right?"
Eiryk did not respond yet again, but instead affected a long-suffering look and held up, on his fork, a mussel, while shaking his head.
Alexander didn't know whether to laugh or panic. Normally he'd have opted for emergency mode but Eiryk didn't seem to be worrying too much. He'd have to breathe at some point, though. Alexander took Eiryk's hand and pulled him up.
"How can you be allergic? You're dead," he pointed out in a tone caught between worry and amusement.
With Eiryk's hand in his, Alexander went downstairs, into the cabin they were going to share, and crossed over to his duffel bag, which sat on the floor at the foot of the bed where he'd dropped it earlier. Unzipping it, he pulled out a first aid kit, opened it, and retrieved the EpiPen he kept inside. He had not expected to use it on this trip. Least of all on his undead boyfriend. He steered Eiryk to the bed and sat him down.
Uncapping the pen Alexander pushed up the sleeve of the tee Eiryk was wearing (ironically, the one Alex had bought him for Christmas), and poked the needle into Eiryk's arm. He held it in place for a ten count and then pulled it out and recapped it. Replacing the EpiPen back into his kit, he closed the kit and put it back in his bag and then sat beside Eiryk on the bed. The effects of the pen should be pretty immediate, if they would work on a vampire at all.
((Actions and responses from Eiryk))
Although it was kind of frustrating not to be able to respond. He was going to have to tell Esi that he was allergic to shell fish. It just had never come up before; it didn't come up often Eiryk tended to forget about the allergy or be distracted by something (Alex) and forget. He couldn't even explain how he was allergic, actually Eiryk didn't understand it himself it had just carried over from life to death. He shrugged and tried to smile charmingly. That didn't work terribly well, but he did try.
He had -no- idea what Alexander was up and jumped a bit when something sharp was jabbed in his arm. It was more surprise than anything and it seemed uncalled for, especially as Alex apparently had no intention of removing it.
Whatever it was though it seemed to help. Eiryk flexed his lips experimentally and they not longer felt as swollen and while his breathing was still a bit ragged he was breathing again. He grinned at Alex.
"That was more fun than usual. What was it?"
It was more of a croak than Eiryk's usual voice but it was getting better by the second.
"And does this mean you saved my life and I'm forever in your debt?"
Eiryk's voice was raspy and unpleasant, but it somehow still managed to be cheerful. Alex stared at his boyfriend for a few moments. "Do you honestly mean to tell me that in twelve hundred some odd years, you've never used an EpiPen?"
Then he did a double take. "How did you survive on a Viking longboat? Isn't shellfish kind of a regular menu item? Or did you survive off of pickled herring and virgins?"
His words were surprised, but his arm was around Eiryk's waist and he held his boyfriend tightly to him. Alexander wasn't the type to really panic in an emergency. He had too much experience with various life-saving jobs, first aid and emergency response training, and dangerous hobbies for that to happen. But he hadn't liked seeing Eiryk unable to breathe.
He was struck by the differences in himself and in Eiryk though. How different it must be, not to worry about a little thing like being unable to breathe for ten or fifteen minutes. It also occurred to him that if it had been him suffering the allergic reaction, Eiryk would never have thought, or known, to find the EpiPen and Alex likely would have died, out here alone on the ocean.
With a short sigh he bent down and got the EpiPen back out. "Okay. Here's how it works. Mind you, I don't think I'm allergic to anything. If I am, I haven't discovered it. But if that ever happens to me, I always have a first aid kit in my bag and this is always in it."
He briefly showed Eiryk how to use the little injector, all the while watching him to make sure the swelling was going down and his boyfriend was returning to normal.
He laughed at Alex's quip, although it sounded more like a braying donkey.
"Just lutefisk and the blood of my enemies."
The shell fish thing had been a bit awkward once or twice and he had been more aware of it when he was alive, but he'd managed. Although there had been some ribbing about his delicate system at the time.
Realizing that Alex was holding him pretty tight, Eiryk pulled the taller man into his lap. Knowing that he was pretty sturdy and hard to kill Eiryk suspected Alex was only half worried about him and more worried about his total lack of common sense medical stuff. Well he was OK with first aid, if things were broken or bleeding Eiryk generally could manage at least long enough to get help. He'd read about CPR before. Hmmmm... maybe he should learn how to take care of Alex better.
He started right then by paying very careful attention to what Alex was saying, what the pen was how to use it where to find it when to use it all that good stuff. Satisfied he had it down he kissed Alex soundly while beaming, quite pleased with himself.
"Next I'll learn how to work those defibrillator things they hang on the walls every where."
Feeling much better though, and sounding normal again, he set Alex on his feet and started back out to the deck.
"Come on your dinner will be cold. I'll stick to the mead and bread."
Didn't Eiryk recognize that he was mortal? One little 'oops' and Alex was gone. Good bye, no restarts, no continues, no more Alex. He sighed, leaned down, and pressed a kiss to Eiryk's lips as his boyfriend stood and set him back down on the floor.
"Mead bread and spinach," he grumbled. "You need your greens."
He held up his hand to forestall any argument. "I don't care if you're a vampire, or a fluffy pink unicorn," he said. "Spinach is good for you, garlic won't kill you, and olive oil is a food group."
He climbed back up to the deck and sat down, pulling Eiryk's plate toward him and shoveling the mussel-infused pasta onto his own plate. Arranging the remaining garlic bread and spinach so that none of it was touching any of the leftover pasta sauce he turned the dish so the spinach was facing his boyfriend and dug into his lukewarm dinner with a minor glare.
Alex wasn't really upset with Eiryk at all, but sometimes it took a little exaggeration to break his boyfriend out of "cheerful happy-go-lucky" mode and into something a little more serious. There was a time a few months back when Alex would have hesitated to be argumentative but that time had long passed and now, while it happened only rarely, he generally didn't fail to speak his mind especially when they were in private.
It was said quite seriously and sincerely. Eiryk really disliked being reminded that Alex was mortal. He knew it and he did his best to be careful with him and do what he could to take care of him but eventually, time would take Alex from him. It made him sick to think about it, but Alex had never asked about being turned. Never shown any interest at all.
He kissed Alex back and followed him back up on deck grinning about the 'greens'. Serious Eiryk could only last so long.
"Yes sir. Spinach garlic, olive oil, bread and mead. If I eat it all do I get desert?"
No doubt Esi would have put some deserts in there.
He frowned a little at Alex's glare. He didn't know how to explain to Alex he wasn't being flip, he did understand and he did care. But at the same time he was sort of pleased Alex was being a little cross with him. To Eiryk that meant Alex was secure in the relationship.
Ignoring the food for a bit he leaned up against the boat and toyed with his mead thoughtfully. Just because Alex wasn't going to say anything didn't mean he couldn't.
"You know, if something ever got really bad and I couldn't take care of you myself or get you to help... there is an option."