If you missed it, I’m doing Kinktober with Vehan shorts on Tumblr. This one came to me last night, and it doesn’t fit any of the Kinktober prompts, so you get it here. We’ll be seeing more of Baahang and meeting Diama later.
Content notes: references to bullying
For one moment, relief swept through Baahang, strong enough to shake eir knees. Then the secret fear was swept away, and joy filled eir.
Baahang was glowing. Ey knew it. Sen! Ey had hoped but never dared expect. Eir mother was sen, but eir father was wahin and… well, you never knew, did you? It was in the hands of the gods.
Ey held eirself together long enough to thank the testing priest and then ran, giggling to hug eir mother and father.
Eir father hid his disappointment well. Baahang knew that he thought wahin was best and wanted to share his life with eir. But he only hugged eir tightly and whispered congratulations. He knew Baahang had hoped, even if ey had never said anything.
Another priest approached, holding out eir hands palm-up — It was a greeting only given to sen by priests and uncontracted wahin. Giddy, Baahang held out eir hands over the priest’s to clasp them.
“Welcome, Sen Baahang,” the priest said. “I am Priest Henim. It seems you anticipated the gods’ choice. Congratulations on your insight.
“As you know, the temple offers several weeks of training to new sen, but as you have a sen parent, you can train with her.” Priest Henim released Baahang’s hands and guided eir into the temple halls and away from the testing chamber as ey spoke.
“Thank you,” Baahang said, “Can I think about it?”
“Of course. In the meantime, if you have any questions, I am available.”
“I…” Baahang hesitated. Ey needed to know. “Someone I know is also testing today. Could you… could you tell me how he tested? He’d…” Ey swallowed and tried to think of how to say it. “He’d spoken of pairing with me.”
“I can probably do that,” Priest Henim smiled. “Why don’t you wait over there,” ey gestured to one of the small benches lining the hallway, “And I’ll find out if your friend has tested. What is his name?”
Baahang sat on the bench and clenched eir hands on the end. “Diama.” Ey said, swallowing. “His name is Diama.”
Priest Henim’s face shuttered. “Ah.” Ey took a deep breath. “Yes. I have spoken with haoza Diama already.”
“Haoza!” Baahang clapped a hand over eir mouth before eir giggles could escape. “Diama is haoza?”
“Yes.” Priest Henim studied eir a moment. “I think it will not surprise you to learn he was not pleased.”
“He wouldn’t be…” Ey was sen, and Diama was haoza. For a moment, ey was filled with petty delight and a sense of vindication, but… Baahang was sen. That meant something: the gods were trusting eir.
“Priest Henim, I…” The priest watched her calmly with too-knowing eyes. “Priest Henim, I was less than specific when I said Diama spoke of our pairing. He… he taunted me, saying that he would be sen and I was only good for haoza. That he would claim me because… because no one else would have me.”
The priest listened without saying anything.
“He… he is haoza, though. And I am sen.”
“That is true,” the priest said carefully.
“I can claim him.”
Priest Henim shook his head. “I will not let you take a haoza for vengeance. You are responsible to the gods, Sen Baahang.”
“Yes. I mean no– I mean,” Baahang laughed. “I am not such a hero not to think of vengeance, but… we were friends once, priest. We were friends once.
“And I know that he must be scared.”
The priest smiled and offered eir hands again. Baahang, confused, accepted eir clasp and Priest Henim bowed over their joined hands.
“You will be a fine Sen.” Ey smiled. “But you are still human. Allow yourself a few days to enjoy your victory, and we will talk again.”