Introductory Ripper Files story which tells of how Xander left the dark continent. This is a HAPPY BIRTHDAY MORRIGUSHOUT story. Shame it made me cry but it's a happy fic for all that.
Goodbye to All That
Xander sat on a hotel balcony which had the classical Kenya view. Below his perch high up on the mountains' foothills, the grasslands unrolled in front of him, dotted with zebra, antelope and hidden lion until at last, from the western horizon, far away in Tanzania, rose the incredible sight of snowcapped Kilimanjaro. Which, according to the experts was soon to lose its eternal snows owing to global warning.
The view was one to dream of. As Xander swirled ice and the last of his drink around the glass, he reflected that this sight was at least one pleasant dream of Africa that he would take away with him. He still woke up in a cold sweat night after night, deaming about Nigeria and horrors so bad he doubted he would ever be able to speak of them. This past month or so in Kenya, on the other side of the continent, had been a convalescent holiday from the horrors of his Nigerian Year as he thought of it to himself.
As he collected hat and bag, ready to go back to his room, Jim, the night manager and hotel owner's son came up to him, "Is everything in order for your departure, Mr Harris?"
"Yeah, I'm all packed and paid up. Just a couple of hours now before the drive to the airport and then it's off to rainy England and back to work. There is just one thing, though, if you could just come up to my room with me to check."
Jim followed Xander into the lift and as the doors closed, Xander caught Jim's arms, "God, I'm going to miss you. You're the reason I'm well enough already to go back to work - ironic, really. You should have kept me sick and I could have stayed longer. Are you sure you can't come with me, just for six months or so, travel around England with me, meet the people I work with?"
The lift came to a halt and Jim was shaking his head as they stepped out into the corridor. "I can't do that, Xander, you know I can't; not now. Not yet."
They had reached Xander's room and the two men walked slowly in very much aware that this would be the last time they would enter this room together. Xander put his arms around Jim's neck and pulled him in for a long slow kiss full of love and gratitude and regret. Not regret for what they had shared but regret for what had drawn them together and regret that they now had to part.
Xander had been all but dead when he arrived in Nairobi and had spent his first two weeks in hospital where he had met Jim who had been visiting one of his large extended family. By the time the doctors and surgeons had agreed that Xander was well enough to leave, as long as he would receive good care, it had been decided that Xander would spend some weeks staying at the Ruguru Hotel which belonged to Jim's family.
Jimiyu, it had turned out had major problems of his own. His young wife had been killed in a road accident some fourteen months before and he and his little daughter, Hamisi, had gone back home to the Ruguru. He was an archaeologist and normally spent much time in the field; now, with only his daughter to remind him of his beloved wife he was spending as much time with her as he could for as long as he could. The love and support of his family was an extra bonus and one which, he had explained with a smile, was likely to turn his little girl into a spoiled princess, "Not that they don't spoil me, too. Dad was all for having me just relax around the place like some tourist but I insisted that I at least take on the token duties of night manager.
"It's worked well up to now. I've been able to take Hamisi on all of the safaris we run; we've been across to the mountain several times; and I've been able to catch up on my reading and submit a few articles I'd been meaning to write. But, when it comes down to it..." Here his voice had caught and he had changed the subject, "and now I'm going to be busy looking after you as well."
And now it was over for Xander. He was, if not well, at least much better than he had been although it would be difficult for anyone who had not seen him before to believe that this indrawn, withered shell was, actually, comparitively healthy. Those who had known Xander in his Sunnydale days would not have believed that he was the man who had arrived in Nairobi and he had made sure that none of his friends had visited him.
It was a bitter-sweet parting as they gently and slowly undressed each other: another last. As they lay on the bed together Xander felt the lump in his throat growing and finally as he slid carefully into his lover, for the last time, the tears overflowed and splashed on to the shiny ebony chest beneath him. He followed their course with kisses, and licked their trail across the sweet-tasting skin down to the thatch of tightly curled hair in which nestled Jim's pretty purple cock, the tip just fighting its way from its confining foreskin. Xander kissed this also and licked it, swallowing his tears as he loved the beautiful man below him. He pulled one of Jim's legs over his shoulder and carefully prepared him, murmuring words of endearment and encouragment, all the while trying to hold back the tears. This would be the last time they would be together, the last time they would see each other. They had agreed that any farewell in public had no chance of discretion so, as soon as Xander walked back out of the room that would be it.
They had made open-ended arrangements about Jim's visiting Xander in England and Xander's coming back for a holiday but, deep down inside, they both knew that they would never meet again. Now was all the time they had left, and the previous four weeks all the memories they could build upon. During this last two hours their love-making was gentle and tender, wild and passionate and, above all, it was giving.
It wasn't true love that they had but it was love of a sufficient kind to help heal each other; to keep the worst horrors at bay. This was what they could take comfort in when, eventually, Jim was left alone in Xander's room to watch from the window as his lover climbed into the hotel taxi and left him . Xander dared not look back but could feel Jim's eyes upon him. They shared a love of a kind sufficient to break hearts as they knew they were on their own again. But it was also a love sufficient of a kind to support them even though they would be apart
Most important of all, it was a love sufficient of a kind to let each know that, however long it would take, there was still chance of another love and another lover in the future.
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