Khamuel paused in the doorway, and Hanael peered around the doorframe. Kashael was perched on the sofa, watching the TV screen intently, a Wii remote in his hands. Hanael tensed; for all Khamuel's good intentions, he knew how short a temper the vampire had, and how good Kash was at provoking him.
Kash glanced up at them hovering there.
"Hello," he said, amicably, and returned his attention to the TV screen. Hanael let go of the breath he'd been holding. That was the best response Kash had offered Khamuel yet. Hopefully it would be reciprocated?
"...what are you playing?" Khamuel's tone was a little gruff, but the question was, for him, downright friendly. Hanael felt his shoulders untense a little more.
"Rayman two," Kash replied blithely.
"Is that the one with the dancing bunnies?" Khamuel pulled Hanael forward, and he followed obediently, keeping silent still, hoping against hope that for once these two could interact without fighting.
"This one has singing bunnies. And guitar-playing bunnies. They're even better." Kash threw them both a quick grin, and Hanael bit his lip.
Khamuel plonked himself down on the sofa next to Kash -- not too close, but not too far away, either.
"Can we play?"
Hanael sank down next to Khamuel, feeling all the tension rushing out of him like a dam had burst somewhere inside him.
He'd spent day after day constantly on edge; always waiting for the eventual fight between these two that he would have no choice but to intervene in; always waiting for the time when he would have to stop them from coming to blows again; always aware of the fact that the two people that were closest to him couldn't stand each other, and that he was the cause of it.
He'd been at breaking point. Some nights he'd lain awake contemplating just running away all over again, going back to being alone, and screw the rest of them that relied on him. He knew, logically, that he'd never really be able to do that... but that hadn't stopped him from seriously considering it, when he was so fed up that he wanted to cry and scream and break things all at once.
And now, here they were, being amicable. Agreeing to play games together. He wanted to cry with relief.
Khamuel handed him a Wiimote and he took it automatically, not really thinking about the game. He just wanted to sit there and watch them interact for awhile. So he let them make all the decisions. When Khamuel chose a rabbit avatar, blithely ignoring the fact that Kash had up until now constantly teased him with the nickname 'little rabbit', Hanael wanted to hug him. But he kept that thought to himself.
He played badly, not really paying any attention to the game itself; what he wanted was to see them playing together. He watched them jostling for the number one position in the game, watched them teasing each other about it in a non-threatening fashion, and he let them gang up on him and tease him about his inability to play properly. They could say anything to him at that moment, and he didn't care what it was -- so long as they were doing it together.
It hadn't been easy to accept that Kash was back in his life; it had been even harder to accept that Kash hadn't purposely hidden from him all these years for some nefarious purpose of his own. But somehow the hardest thing of all to deal with had been the constant hostility between Kash and Khamuel. If this newfound capability of theirs to accept and be friendly to each other was permanent.. then eternity wasn't looking quite so dismal and grey to him anymore. In fact, he thought maybe he could start to look forward to it again.