Sine Alis Volare

No Such Thing As Purity

Credo pushed his bangs out from his tired eyes with a soft breath. Despite the sunshine and clear skies, his morning had gone off to a rocky start.

He awoke to what seemed to be the brightest ray of sunlight hitting him right in the eyes from between the blinds. Awaking in the early morning at the sound of birds was always something Credo detested. It took a while to adjust his blurred vision as he sat up on the divan in his study. The familiar, dull throb of his brain at the light filtering through the blinds ushered a deep groan out of the commander.

He had yet to feel anything else other than regret every time he woke up like this.

Credo finally acknowledged the extra weight in his lap with a start. It didn't take long for him to figure out what was going on. Credo's heart stopped as he caught sight of a particularly messy white head cradled dangerously deep into Credo's more… sensitive areas.

Nero shifted with a soft moan that sent a trill of unease through Credo. The boy squinted his eyes, lethargic as a new-born babe as he blinked up at the older man from his lap. Then Nero decided instead to bury his face into the dark, dusty trail of hair that went along Credo's exposed navel and stomach.

Gob-smacked, the commander stared on in what may have been a mixture of horror and—

'No, just horror!'

"Get up." Credo let out in the most militant voice he could muster, grabbing the boy by the back of his neck with one strong pull. Nero gave a grunt of confusion at first, lifting his head to find Credo glaring at him.

He shifted sleepily, mumbling something beneath his breath as he fumbled into a sitting position. Credo caught a glimpse of Nero's rather impressive morning wood, quickly adjusting himself. Credo took great care to stare someplace else while the teen slowly found his bearing.

Credo ground his teeth, scratching at fragmented memories, all things he couldn't make heads or tails of. His head began to pound fiercely.

The sound of shuffling downstairs had Credo's tail standing on end in panic. He'd forgotten all about Kyrie. He wouldn't allow this morning to turn into a cluster-fuck just yet. Not if he could help it.

"You have to go, now." Credo let out in a low, menacing tone. Nero yawned loudly, wiping sleep from his eyes.

"The fuck for…" He mumbled, but Credo didn't answer, busy on finding a way to detach himself from the situation for both their sakes.

In fact, he was too busy looking at his uniform draped neatly over the divan arm, eyeing the rows of embroidered buttons as though they were complex equations rather than shiny buttons. Nero bit his lip and watched him from the divan from beneath those long lashes. He was watching him with that curious glance of his.

Credo felt exposed at the way those eyes ran over his chest, and knew the boy was more than just looking out of curiosity. The older man pretended not to see it as he reached for his button-down vest, donning it over his broad shoulders.

He was young, and most boys his age were horny little devils. Credo would put it past him just this one time.

He was sure he'd heard a sigh of what may have sounded like disappointment nearly erupt from behind him. Credo turned to stare daggers.

Credo hoped he wouldn't be under attack by another bout of teenage defiance from the boy at a crucial moment like this one. The boy complied finally after a long moment of who-gets-to-blink-first.

Nero stretched loud and long on the divan, his shirt riding up to expose his stomach. Credo caught sight of the almost silver-white treasure trail that teased the band of Nero's pajama pants; the beginnings of what made boys into men, he thought. Credo looked away in time as Nero finished adjusting his shirt down over his midriff.

There was something awfully deliberate about his actions, but now was not the time for him to speculate on Nero's motives.

Christ, Credo thought to himself. He was already becoming paranoid.

There was something they both wanted to say, but the moment never came. Credo didn't know another man alive who could. For that, Credo was relieved. It was better for them both not to say something unnecessary about last night.

"I'm gay, I think..."

"What time is it…" Nero muttered. His voice was scratchy and hoarse from lack of use. Credo ran another hand through his tawny brown hair, a stray strand falling over his eye. Credo hated how easily susceptible he was to cow-licks in the morning. Pomade was the only thing that kept his hair slicked back.

"What matters is you have thirty minutes to get ready. I suggest you get started." Credo said in a stern tone as he finished buttoning his uniform. He couldn't recall much of last night. Only that Nero seemed to reduce to a blubbering mess after two full cups of his finest scotch.

Was it smart of him to intoxicate a teenager? It bloody well wasn't. However, Credo just wasn't the comforting type, and the kid needed, well, something. He'd seen how unsure and fragile Nero was, how afraid he'd been while keeping this secret from him.

Last night he was a big brother again. He hadn't been that for Nero in a long time, he had to admit. However odd it may have been, Credo secretly hoped he'd never hear another one of those outbursts again. Teenage brains were an excellent specimen of crazy, the Commander concluded.

"Thirty minutes? Christ on a stick, my head hurts…" He heard the teen hiss lazily.

"That's what you get for thinking you can drink beyond your limit. I should've never let you." Credo snorted.

"For once you didn't have a stick up your ass, though." Nero gave a lop-sided smile as he rubbed one eye. Credo's shoulders rode high at the snarky remark, but he didn't respond. Tongue-tied, he settled for silently frowning instead. When the teen finally found his legs, he stood to make his wobbly descent down the stairs and out of Credo's line of sight.

When Nero was gone, Credo stood there alone with his thoughts.

He spent the next hour and a half convincing himself this was none of his business. What happened last night may have just been forgotten on the winds by the morrow. Credo chose to believe that. As sunlight invaded the room through the blinds, somewhere deep within the Commander a seed of frustration began to grow.


When it came to the Order and their rituals, Nero wanted any part of it. He'd done well to let everyone know that he worked alone. Even though this was his first year out in the field, Nero had done well to complete every assignment to date.

When it came to swordsmanship, he'd learned from the best. Watching Credo growing up had always spurred something deep inside of him. Like he was meant to hold a sword. Like destiny had his name in the book of fate. This was what he was born to do.

When Nero reached the age to join the order, naturally he did it to become closer to Credo. There were no "opportunities" for him outside of that. No schools would want him, his attendance and grades were pretty shit.

No, Nero wanted a simple life, to be of service for a higher goal and he felt that in Fortune City needed him.

When Red Queen and Blue Rose were handed to him by Credo, nothing felt more perfect. It meant trust; it meant he could get the job done. Slashing down those demons was a better thrill than anything else. Maybe even porn.

But Nero liked his porn stash, like a lot.

Things were always better when he worked solo. People just often than not got in his way, or worse hurt. He was a natural in the field, and on most days the prey wasn't too much of a challenge.

He pretended to appear bored out of his mind, blaring his mp3 player to the max to better enhance the appearance of youthful rebellion, pleased with the disapproving glares his direction. Who the hell cared what they thought?

Today Nero found himself amongst the crowd of Spardan followers, though it was not his idea. Credo had practically tugged his ear off to make sure he came, and what big bro said went. The man could be so downright catty sometimes, Nero thought.

Nero curled his lip. He hated being forced to do anything, much less congregate with those judgmental pricks. He wasn't much one for religious mind-freaks. And then there was the motherlode of all things bullshit, Sanctus.

Sanctus was a creepy old zealot, with creepy old rituals. He just couldn't put his finger on why that was just yet, but the man reeked. He didn't know what, but he had a feeling someday he would seriously find out. He was usually right about these things.

Well, usually. Most times he was made to look like an asshole.

They'd be right to think so, Nero thought as he plucked up one of his insulated muff-like earphones to dig in his ear nonchalantly. Credo had insisted that Sanctus was doing things for the "greater good".

"Greater good, my ass." He had promptly responded back then. He could clearly see the grift, but this place and organization was important to Credo.

Nero never bought it, but the determined look in Credo's eyes had always stilled his suspicions to an extent. If it weren't half-true, a man like Credo would never have believed it and joined the Order. His big brother Credo was a very smart man.

In a lot of ways Nero admired Credo.

The way he gets antsy when being teased by him…

Nero shifted in the pew at the thought, the crests of his cheeks coloring. He had to stop thinking things like that. He didn't think he would have spilled out his deepest secret so readily to Credo like that. He'd been so surprised with himself for even blurting out the things he did and getting a glass of brandy to ease the situation had helped significantly.

The man looked ready to flee from him had it not been for the copious amounts of booze Nero got Credo to drink, too.

Although they'd drunk quite a bit yesterday, Nero remembered everything.

Worst of it was that he enjoyed taking advantage of the older man. He asked himself over and over if this was ok to do. 'A man like Credo needs encouragement to do things,' Nero debated with his inner self.

No one really knew that Credo was a little clumsy, big dork, and didn't handle embarrassment well. He was full of pride, and it was never to be hurt. Nero always made quick work of Credo by pressing his buttons to emit all three characteristics at once.

He was the master of Credo-button mashing. He always enjoyed the borderline look of disgust on his face whenever he did the wrong things. It was one of Nero's passions in life. Almost smiling at the memories of his mischief, he heard the organ play its introduction, an angelic voice cutting through the loud blast of his music from his headphones.

Kyrie's voice rang out in the distance, her strong and melodic voice carrying through the entire cathedral as she sang the usual opening hymn.

Listen to my voice calling you,

Calling you out of darkness,

Hear the devil's cry of sin,

Always turn your back on him.

Nero, no matter where in Fortuna, could hear Kyrie's song. It was haunting, sweet and graceful, but words of warning. He didn't know why. Some part of him just knew.

Credo stood at Sanctus' side, his appearance never less than perfect as he ushered in his holiness. His hair was slicked back in its usual style, that haughty look of duty gracing his angled, prominent features down to the goatee he'd always keep trimmed. On anyone else, it would have looked over-the-top, cheesy even. But Credo looked perfect, just as he'd always been.

Nero's eyes were on him as Kyrie sang, unaware that he was staring openly.

Credo's kid-skinned glove tightened as he stood beneath the bright lights, looking focused and ready to serve.

Nero noticed the small signs of exhaustion on Credo's facial expression, his stomach tightened as guilt bore in him.

"Sons… and daughters of Sparda," Sanctus' wizened voice carried throughout the cathedral as he spread out his arms slowly, his white and golden robe billowing in one fluid movement. "Let us remember what Sparda has done for us. Shall we have a word of prayer," He bowed his head as his hands drew one over the other. Everyone in the congregation bowed except for the ever-defiant Nero.

Nero's eyes were on Credo alone, noting the almost minute slouch in Credo's posture, the bags under his eyes. The way he pursed his lips when he was deep in thought always caught Nero's attention the most.

He wanted to kiss those lips until they parted. Until they whispered unnamed, imaginary things that made his young sex ache at the thought of it.

Nero had spent the better part of his teenage years convincing himself that he was strange and wrong for feeling this way about a man who'd been nothing but family to him, who had raised, fed and clothed him. Nero convinced himself there was everything to fear in this need to test the boundaries.

But last night had changed things. He had needed that brotherly figure to remind him that there was nothing to be afraid of. He had wanted to see Credo as the big brother he'd always known and loved. He wanted to believe that someday he'd stop looking at him that way. Nero had thought about all those things of Credo for the longest.

It seemed impossible, so very impossible that Nero did what he could to distance himself. Things seemed ok for a while. But it did nothing but give him time to think about the very things he'd been running from.

No more road to run on, Nero had thought.

Credo had been so tender, so quiet and resolute, knowing moments like those were best left in silence. He remembered how Credo had held him, even though the commander hadn't been prepared for the impulsive hug Nero gave first.

Arousal pooled in his belly at the memory, drawing his jacket discreetly closed as he stood mid-prayer. He had to get out of here. Slaying demons sounded way better than suffering another moment in this dump.

Red Queen and Blue Rose had his name all over it.

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