Disclaimer: Maharaja Mode belongs to *pnish*
Warnings: BL, non-explicit sex, dubious dub-con
Author's Note: I wrote Maharaja Mode fic! XD; I'm hopelessly in love with Parvati and this pairing, so hopefully I wrote it all right... Because Parvati is ♥!
Years ago, when Parvati was a child, Durga Puja used to be his favourite time of the year. It was a festival, after all, and there were lights and dancing, and food, and to a child of eight, it was more than enough to make up for waiting all year for the occasion. It was an extravagance that Parvati, in the modest station he had learned to respect even in childhood, did not usually get to enjoy, and, as a result, could appreciate after months of anticipation. And though Parvati was a well-behaved child, versed in moderation and compromise, he couldn't help but be antsy the entire day before, fidgeting as he dressed and readied himself, thoughts only of the performances and treats to come as his mother tried in vain to pin his sash in place.
But as soon as they were ready to go, as soon as his mother took his hand and led him out the door, that was a whole different story. Because now he was to be seen; after all the festival took place at the shrine for which his mother was responsible, for which one day he would be responsible, and so he held his head high, dressed in his best silks and satins, bells at his ankles and his wrists, he held his head high as he and his mother took their place, determined to do his family proud. Let other children run from stall to stall for sweets and crafts, he was a shrine guardian, and he would show that to the world.
Still, despite being dignified, it wasn't as if there was no fun to be had; with his mother, he'd visit all the stalls, and for his good behaviour, he'd always be rewarded with a treat or two, and a new bangle or string of beads at the end of the night, and between that and the music and the performances, it was a good time all around.
But the thing out of everything else that he remembers the most is looking up to the throne set out above everything else, where the king, Brahma-sama oversaw everything... but more importantly, the young man beside him, the crown prince Vishnu-sama, strong and handsome in his early twenties, glittering amongst gold and jewels. More than anything, Parvati remembers that sight, and the way it made his heart race just a little and his breath catch for just a second in his throat.
Even when Parvati was eighteen, Durga Puja was a highlight of the year. He'd graduated to becoming the main shrine guardian recently, and his family stayed home, but he dressed himself in full festival regalia, with beads in his hair and bangles at his wrists and a silk veil for the chill of the evening. As he ventured out into the night, there was an uncharacteristic bit of a spring in his step and he hugged a thin scarf around his shoulders, and it was almost a fight to be dignified as he slipped in among the throngs at the festival. He chatted with the few vendors he knew, admired jewelry that he would never dream of buying for his own modest attire, watched the royal dancers with awe. He didn't stand out (would never dream of standing out), and the more indistinct he felt in the crowd, the more he allowed himself to let go a little.
And though he wasn't consciously aware, though he didn't think of it at the time, he had fun. For once in the year, he didn't think (very much) of his position, he didn't fret (overly) about his station, he simply enjoyed himself. More dazzling than the few bracelets at his wrists or the beads framing his face was the truly real smile on his lips, and even if, of course, he would never, ever think of himself in that way, he was radiant.
Radiant enough, in fact, to attract the eye of one guest in particular, and somewhere in the midst flitting among the vendors, a familiar stranger strode up beside him, looking over his shoulder at the gold beaded bracelet he had been admiring before startling Parvati out of his thoughts with a comment. "It is nice... but it pales in comparison to you, you know."
Parvati was certain his heart had stopped beating as he recognized the commanding voice, and he dropped to his knees immediately, bowing his head before his king. The meaning of the words didn't even begin to sink in until after he was on the ground, and he lifted his head slightly, daring to breathe, "Vishnu-sama?" He had had some limited interaction with his king prior, but... nothing like this.
Vishnu-sama urged him to stand with a deep laugh, and before Parvati had a chance to shrink away, took his hand, holding it gently but firmly in his own. Doing his best to hide his confusion and his blush, Parvati attempted to disappear behind his veil as Vishnu-sama took a step closer, smiling at him. "Still, if you'd like it, it's yours."
With that, without allowing Parvati even a word, he dropped a small purse on the vendor's table before retrieving the bracelet and sliding it onto the wrist he held captive. "It suits you," he complemented with a wink, and Parvati's heart was beating so loudly that he was sure Vishnu-sama could hear.
But if Vishnu-sama seemed too close before, Parvati practically stopped breathing altogether when he leaned in even closer, mouth to Parvati's ear, words hot against Parvati's skin; "Not an order, but I'd like to see you again." And then, lips brushing Parvati's cheek, he pulled away and retreated, with one last glance over his shoulder as he went.
And though Parvati thought, certainly, he must have been dreaming, something about the far too expensive bracelet now adoring his wrist told him this was only the beginning.
The year that everything goes completely off the wall, Parvati hardly thinks about the fact that it's Durga Puja because everything is insane. His day begins with Vishnu-sama's completely unreasonable request to enter the shrine (because isn't it Parvati's job to keep people out of the shrine?) and ends with his king (and maybe a little more) with a hole in him as Parvati desperately tries to stop the bleeding, and he doesn't even have time to wonder when his day started to begin and end with Vishnu-sama on top of the crisis that was the evening.
Once things finally calm down, though, and God has come and gone, and Nataraja-sama and Pasupata-sama are, at least, for the time being, not on the verge of murdering one another, and Parvati finally has a moment to breathe, he happens to catch Vishnu-sama's eyes, and Vishnu-sama smiles weakly at him, and despite the blood and the fight and everything that just happened, it's still so Vishnu-sama, and at that moment, Parvati almost, almost breaks down into tears. Below, Shiva-sama and the acting troupe celebrate, but Parvati thinks, there was such a chance that Vishnu-sama-- that anyone could have died, it's such an incredible pressure that it's hard to keep himself in control.
Apparently, he doesn't do a very good job, because Vishnu-sama raises an eyebrow and brings a hand to his cheek in a gentle caress. "Come now, Parvati," he chides softly, coughing and obviously trying not to double over in pain. "You look as if I died! Is it really so depressing that I'm going to pull through?"
It's Vishnu-sama, through and through, and Parvati can't help but laugh despite himself. It's not until he's helping Vishnu-sama inside that he realizes that all this touching has been entirely inappropriate, and that, really, he ought to have handed his king off to his palace staff, and this wasn't his place at all--
But when he tries to draw away, Vishnu-sama clutches his hand and meets his eyes and orders simply, "Stay," and Parvati is secretly glad that it's an order and not a request, so that it's not on his conscience when he leans in and presses a kiss to Vishnu-sama's cheek and responds, "Of course."
The next year, blood and fighting will be the last thing on Parvati's mind as he will watch the festivities from the sidelines, hugging a brand new silk shawl around his shoulders and and rocking back and forth gently in time with the music. He will spend less time at the stalls this year; after the dancing, he's to meet up with Pasupata-sama and Nataraja-sama so that the three of them might get dinner and look around together, and besides, he won't really be wanting for anything. After all, this year, he'll have received far more gifts than really befitting of his station, but he'll wear them for Durga Puja all the same, gold bracelets and ruby-studded bangles and jade beaded necklaces and an outrageously large diamond ring that he will be practically ashamed to show in public. But it would be terrible of him not to wear them when so much money will have been spent on them, and so, when Shiva-sama will notice the sparkle of light at his finger first thing, Parvati will shyly show it off, blushing all the while.
Once the fuss passes, Parvati will have a nice time with the three, now that most of the issues of last year will have been resolved, and they'll get nan and curry and watch the acting and Parvati will watch their antics and laugh, really laugh, which will be nice, in and of itself. And they'll laugh with him, they'll laugh together, something that will be new and unexpected and wonderful.
But after a while, Parvati will steal away from the group, off to the side, away from everyone, away from the notice of the masses. He'll hang awkwardly around the outskirts of the festival until strong arms close around him from behind, and he'll only tense a moment before forcing himself to relax (something he'll be used to by then), and he'll smile a little as he turns to face Vishnu-sama, who will smile back at him. He'll let Vishnu-sama kiss him without shying away, and when Vishnu-sama leads him back towards the palace, he'll do his best to smile and be gracious, even though sometime inside of him will still be screaming that this is so, so inappropriate. Vishnu-sama will kiss him again once they're behind the closed doors of the royal bedchamber, will push him back onto the bed (ever so gently, ever so tenderly) and Parvati will be tense, no matter what sweet assurances Vishnu-sama whispers into his ear. It will hurt, a little, (but it will feel a little good, too) and afterwards, Parvati will insist on drawing away and dressing in a borrowed nightshirt that's maybe almost decent before Vishnu-sama will draw him back into bed. And though he'll strain and stiffen uncomfortably at first, after a few minutes in Vishnu-sama's arms, warm and comforting, finally, he'll relax and fall into a dreamless sleep.
A few years down the line, Parvati will view the Durga Puja festivities from another angle entirely; he'll be standing beside the throne, all pretenses dropped, as the current favoured consort of Vishnu-sama himself. It will be incredibly uncomfortable, not physically, of course, but just a few years ago, he will have been dressed in (a bit overly-adorned) everyday shrine guardian garb, had been standing before the object of his profession, just the same as ever. But certainly not this year; upon Vishnu-sama's insistence, he will be completely decked in every jewel he has the embarrassment of owning, and draped only in the finest silk. He'll be grateful for the veil upon which he insisted, because hopefully no one will recognize him, and at least he'll be saved a little of the shame of being thrust so far from his station.
He would fidget if he won't know better, but he will, of course, because if Parvati knows anything, it's discipline, and so he'll stand perfectly, still, with his hands crossed politely in front of him and a serene expression on his face despite what he'll be feeling on the inside. And Shiva-sama will come up and heckle him for a little while, which will be a nice distraction, and Nataraja-sama and Pasupata-sama will wave hello from a distance, which will make Parvati smile, and perhaps it won't be quite as bad as it will originally seem.
Besides, as the night drags on, Vishnu-sama will smile warmly at him and take Parvati's slender hand in his own large, strong one, and despite everything Parvati will smile back at him. And later in the evening, when, once inside, Vishnu-sama will wrap Parvati in his arms and tell him that he's beautiful and perfect, Parvati will still feel a trace of discomfort, but he also won't be able to help thinking that perhaps spending Durga Puja this way in the future won't be so bad, either.