Title: Visiting Memories

Author: Lofn (lofn@spray.se)

Website: http://members.fortunecity.com/8mh/index.htm

Rating: NC-17

Pairing / Main characters: Ahmad/Herger

Series/Sequel: Ahmad/Herger

Summary: Slash.

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.



Visiting Memories

By Lofn


Late afternoon, and the heat lay heavy over the city and its inhabitants. The refreshing effects of his visit to the bathhouse earlier had already evaporated.

Is it not curious how easy it is to grow accustomed to something, however strange and unwanted it might be? From the first day of his exile, he'd longed for the comforts of city life, and still, now, nearly five years later, that memory was more alive than ever. He had his old life back, well, as much of it as could be expected, anyway. And never had he enjoyed it more than now, because of his memories.

Although, lately, he'd found himself thinking maybe it was despite those memories. Without a though of giving up his world again, he felt he missed the rough friendship of the Norsemen he'd come to know through the greatest adventure of his life, thus far.

Ah, well, the past often works its best left among the memories. And he had no time for that now. Entering the cool haven of stone walls, he picked up a peach from a fruit bowl on his way through the halls. He still had a few hours for himself before attending the evening's banquet. The hot weather was draining his mind, he could do with a short nap. Reaching his rooms, and his bed, it didn't take long to doze off, lulled to sleep by the soft sound of trickling water from the fountain outside the window.


He was early, but the banquet hall was already filling up. It wasn't a particularly important gathering, just a means to acquiring new allies and partners, and keeping old ones. Thus, most of the guest list was made up by city councillors, visiting ambassadors and traders.

The evening seemed to go along fine, and he was actually enjoying himself. Normally, occasions like this would be all about business, and although that was still the case, tonight felt less formal. High spirits were abundant.


"...yes, it is, and it will be my honour to arrange something for you, and your delegation."

"That is most gracious, I thank you."

The man moved away, and as he did, another came into view. He paused, frowning. Could it...? The hair was shorter, just above his shoulders now, and the clothes had changed radically to the better, but...The man burst out in a broad smile. Yes.

He moved through the crowd, stopping briefly to greet various guests, before coming to stand beside the other man. A turn of the head. A moment before recognition. "Little Brother!"

A peal of laughter as he was taken in a crushing embrace, and he was not long to follow. "Actually, I do have a real name, you know."

A mockingly serious face. "Ah, yes, I seem to remember something about that. ...what was it again? Eben? Arab?"
"Something like that." What could he do but smile? This man was such a life force, and at times he had actually felt like a younger brother, admiring his older. Well, almost. "What are you doing here? Are you with the Norman group? I noticed the name of the lead tradesman, but..."

"Yes, Harald." He pointed to a dark-haired man standing at the other side of the room. "A joint venture, we are trading silk at the moment, sharing the profits. Edgtho's here too, somewhere." Herger turned back to look at him, just smiling. He smiled back. "What?" Herger shook his head slowly in disbelief. "I was wondering if you would be here, or somewhere around these parts, but..."

He laughed silently. "Come."' He took the man by the elbow, guiding him to some seats, ordering food and drink to be brought to them. "You must tell me everything."

They talked and ate and laughed 'til morning, beyond tiredness. The sun had already graced the skies for several hours before they retired to his quarters, finally ready to rest. He would've been happy to offer his own bed, but the northerner had sprawled himself onto a couch and fallen asleep before letting him. Too tired to fuss about it, he soon was asleep as well.


A loud thud woke him. Letting his sore eyes wander, looking for the cause, they fell on the muddled figure lying on the floor next to the couch, snoring. A strange thought tickled his mind for a brief second, but it left him and he went back to sleep.


Next time around Herger was already awake, nibbling on some sweets. The sight caught him. The sun brightening that blond head, and those rosy cheeks, 'Sweet' , was the word that came to him.

Herger looked up. "Morning. I went to look for Harald earlier, but there are no plans for today. Any ideas?"

"Yes. Well, I usually go to the bathhouse to freshen up. It's a pleasant way to start the day."

"Bathhouse? You want to waste what's left of the day by bathing?"

"Hygiene is important, and civilised."

"Uh-huh. Very well, take the custom, and so on..." He slowly stood up and walked away, turning at the door. "Coming?"

"Coming." He grabbed the rest of his clothing and followed.


The hot steam dulled the mind and weighed the flesh. But it was heaven. The room was relatively empty, an older man by the entrance and a group of young boys making ready to leave.

Watching the man lazily, listening to his tales, his mind drifted. He suddenly found himself wondering what it would be like to run his fingers through those blond curls, now darkened by heavy humidity. The thought startled him. And apparently it showed, as the storytelling stopped and he received a questioning look. He smiled quickly, urging the man to continue his story.

But once started, there seemed to be no end to the thread. Images of touches, breaths, lips, plagued his mind, breaking his concentration again and again. What was supposed to be a relaxing experience turned exhausting. And by the end of the visit, he was ready to go back to sleep again.

"I thought you said this was supposed to be invigorating? And, actually, I thought it was, but you seem absolutely drained!"

"Lot on my mind, I guess."

"Something about me?"


Herger watched him in silence for a moment before answering. "It's just that you've been acting a little... reserved, since this morning. Do you know something about our business agreement that I don't?"

"Oh. No, not at all, as far as I know things are working out just fine."


"So? ...Oh. I'm tired, that's all."

He watched him again, and nodded, apparently not satisfied with the answer but not forcing a better one. Which he was grateful for, and suddenly his concerns left, as he realised his fears had been misguided. What could possibly be so wrong about falling for a friend? Even if that friend happened to be a man. It certainly wasn't an idea unknown to him, even though he'd never acted upon it himself. And, besides, it wasn't as if he'd ever get the chance to try it. Or even really wanted to.

They would go seperated ways in a few days, and who knew when or even if they'd see each other again. But he could live with that. Yes, knowing this man was enough. And there was always hope, wasn't there?