"I have this feeling we've been up in this tree before, and I'm not sure why," Salazar said. There were twigs nestled in his hair, almost blending into the brown; he brushed at them irritably.
Godric looked up at him from a lower branch, leaning against the vast trunk. "I have no idea what you're talking about, milord. We haven't climbed any trees since I got stuck in that giant oak when I was twelve," he said.
"I remember that. It took me hours to get you down. Sorry," Salazar added, as a falling twig hit Godric squarely on his nose.
"Worse things have happened to me," Godric said lazily. His eyes were already half shut again, and his hands twirled a half-finished piece of whittling. "Like that beating you gave me afterwards."
"You deserved it," Salazar said, equally lazy. If he turned his head just so, he could see Hogwarts manor still between the dense layers of green. It seemed much more peaceful from the outside. From this angle and distance, there were no squabbling bratty children to be seen, though they were surely playing outside in the warm summer weather, and Salazar liked it that way.
Godric leaned or possibly flopped his head towards Salazar, seeming not to realize that this put his head almost on top of his lord's slightly muddy leather shoes. "I never said I didn't. I said it hurt."
"Which it was supposed to. That's the point of a beating. Are you trying to kiss my boots, Godric?"
"Mmm. If you want me to, milord." Godric murmured. His hands now rested comfortably on one raised knee, the whittling trapped between.
"Well, don't. I have other plans for that mouth, and I don't want mud on them."
Godric opened one eye and met the possessive gaze with a smile. "Why don't you come down to this branch, then?"
"Why don't you come up to this one?" Salazar patted the smooth bark next to him. Godric shook his head.
"Wasted effort, milord. We'd have to go back down again anyway."
"Well, your branch is too thin," Salazar said easily. "It would break if we both sat on it at once."
"And I suppose you think yours is nice and thick, don't you?"
Salazar stared down at him. There was a glint of mischief in his follower's eyes, and Salazar mistrusted it. "It's certainly broad enough for two, yes..." The glint became more pronounced, and Salazar understood. "Sir Godric!" he protested, laughing. "When did your mind become so corrupt?"
"It was not I who spoke of such a thing, milord," Godric said innocently. He twirled his whittling in one hand for a moment, then tossed it at Salazar, who almost unseated himself ducking.
"Why, you -" Salazar mock-snarled, and slid from his branch to Godric's, miraculously avoiding a fall for the second time. Godric laughed, yelped, and tried to slide away; he ended up pinned between the tree and Salazar, their noses almost touching.
"I suppose you decided to try my branch after all, milord," Godric said a little breathlessly.
"Brat," Salazar said, and kissed him.
The branch didn't break.
In restropect [Jan 7, 2003] this is very painful, apart from a very few good parts, but I'm leaving it here 'cause I need to grow a thicker skin.