Radial: Unravel — Grey Hairs

A short Alex and Milos story from a couple of years, and also weirdly on topic for today’s #aNovelRomance prompt.


Grey Hairs​

“If I start getting grey hairs, it’s going to be your fault,” Milos grumbled.  One shove had the file moving as gracefully across the dashboard as Milos did over the training floor: not at all.

“If that falls off you’re putting all the files back in order from memory,” Alex said, his gaze never once moving from the road ahead—not even when he lifted his left hand in front of Milos’s face to raise his middle finger at a driver gesturing angrily at Alex’s godawful inconsiderate driving.  “Anyway, what’s wrong with you going grey?”

Milos snorted, ignoring the hand.  “What’s right with it?”

“It’d suit you.  Suit your skin.”

He blinked and glanced across at Alex’s face, half-expecting to see the usual sarcastic smirk.  There was none.  Alex’s expression was completely serious.  “So after it goes grey, then white, I can look just like one of those evil drow things people like so much in bad stories?”

“You read too many of those bad stories.”  Alex very deliberately cut up the driver who’d gestured at him and his smirk briefly returned at the furious honk in retaliation.  “You could just try ignoring them.”

“Try telling my old classmates that,” Milos grumbled, sinking lower into his seat and folding his arms.  “They didn’t mean it badly, I’m pretty sure of it.  But it was like…”  He unfolded his arms long enough to gesture vaguely, and from the corner of his eye watched Alex’s eyebrow lift.  “Like ‘hey Milos, look, there are elves like you in this story!’ and it was something like how all dokkalfa were evil except for the poor misunderstood hero.  Load of crap.”

When he glanced back, the smirk had returned.  No need to ask “what?” —particularly given Alex would enjoy not telling him until he simply gave up and Alex could feel superior—so he just glared out the passenger window at the cars passing by far too fast thanks to Alex’s speed-demon tendencies.

In the end his patience paid off, because the top item on the long list of things he knew Alex hated was being ignored.  “You don’t think you’re the evil one to all the people we bring in?  Like I was to you and still am to that idiot Simon?”

Simon at least had a point, Milos reflected: Alex had tried to run him off the road the first time Milos met the ljusalfa and, even before Milos had been experimented on, had invested significant effort into terrifying the shit out of him.  Still, he supposed it was a valid point  “They keep trying to kill me though, and I don’t try to kill them.”

“Someone else might.  Research might, if they get the paperwork.”

Another memory he’d rather not let surface; he stared studiously out the passenger window and wished he couldn’t feel Alex’s gaze flick across his cheek.  “So what you’re saying is, we’re all evil to someone?”

“If you like.”  He could hear the verbal shrug.  “Though my main point was, actually…”

God, he could hear him grinning.

“…I still think you’d look alright with white hair.”

Milos scowled.  No matter how much he knew it was coming, it never made it any better.  “And when you go grey?”

The growl in the back of Alex’s throat told him exactly where that grin had gone.  “I won’t.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because fucking hair dye exists.”

This time it was Milos’s turn to grin and, beside him, he felt Alex relax slightly even as the car accelerated to cut off another driver in the far right lane.  The image of Alex, in his nineties but still with excellent teeth and raven black hair, was far more amusing—and, of all things, strangely appealing—than he’d ever expected.

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