torch, October 2000 (January 2001)
flambeau@strangeplaces.net

Disclaimer: Characters are the property of a Japanese company or two. I am not a Japanese company (or two). Thanks to elynross and !Super Cat. All errors and deliberate weirdnesses are the sole property of the author. Do not archive this story without permission.

And at first

They wandered through the house, glasses in hand. It was a clean place, sparsely furnished, a few things here and there, plain furniture. Trowa looked more closely at it. No, not plain. Simple. Everything gave off an air of being cared for, of being owned. Of having been chosen to be just where it was. Even the bare spaces on the walls between decorations were deliberate. When he brushed a drapery aside, the material was rich under his fingers, caressing his skin with opulence.

Through the windows he saw sky and sand and distant mountains, the simplest of views, but there were growing things near the house, glimpses of green, of water-soaked softness in this harsh land. He could smell it here and there, when a sudden gust of flower-scented air would blow in through an elaborately carved window frame. He remembered what the house had looked like from the outside, a white jewel in a green setting, placed with beautiful precision on a stony perch... and the stone went down and down and was hollow and full of secret hiding places for weapons and mobile suits and sweaty, angry men.

The blond boy didn't look as though he had ever been either sweaty or angry. Just when Trowa had begun to wonder if they had a goal, or were just moving for the sake of movement, they came to a halt outside the first door he had seen in this house, and the boy pushed it open, giving Trowa a look over his shoulder that was difficult to decipher.

"Your mobile suit will be ready tomorrow," he said. "I hope you'll be comfortable here overnight." Taking a step inside, he pointed to the right. "There's a bathroom through there. The water pressure fluctuates a little, I'm afraid. But there should be clean towels and soap."

The boy turned toward Trowa, and there was that look again, not quite so fleeting. He took a step to walk past, and at the same time Trowa took a step forward, and they stood chest to chest, very close. Trowa could feel the boy's breath on his face. He knew about this, this feeling that came after battle when soldiers would grab hold of someone, anyone, to cool the heat in their blood. He'd played that game often enough. Their hands met, fingers twisting together. Trowa felt a jolt run through him. He wanted something to be different. He leaned closer still and pressed his mouth against the boy's lips, and the boy brought his free hand up to cup around the back of Trowa's neck and hold him there, deepening the kiss.

It was dizzying. Trowa clutched at the boy's shoulders to steady himself, then crushed their bodies together. It was as though he had been waiting for just a single touch to set him on fire. A determined hand was working his sweater free of his jeans, slipping in to stroke his back, short nails scraping up his spine, and he shuddered. "Come," he said huskily, and tugged the boy into the room. There was a low, broad bed by the wall, with a striped cover, and they tumbled onto it, tearing at each other's clothes. Trowa heard a seam rip, but he couldn't make himself care. He just wanted skin, soft pale skin to touch and kiss and lick and bite.

The blond boy twisted and rocked against Trowa's hands, slipping out of his clothes to sprawl naked on the red and white cotton stripes. His mouth was hot and sweet, and his skin tasted spicy. Trowa sucked at a narrow collarbone, traced his way down the breastbone, and caught a pale pink nipple between his teeth. The boy made a sound halfway between a whimper and a growl and wound his fingers into Trowa's hair, almost painfully hard, holding him there and arching up into the touch. "I like that," he gasped. Trowa switched to the other nipple, teasing it with the tip of his tongue. He ran his fingertips down the boy's side, catching the shivers that rolled through his body. A warm breeze came in through the open window, caressing them both.

Moments later the boy caught Trowa's shoulders and pushed him over on his back, and began to tug at his unbuttoned jeans. Trowa cooperated, lifting his hips, and felt soft teasing strokes down the insides of his thighs. As soon as he was naked, the boy fell on him, skin to skin and frantic kisses that sucked the air from his lungs.

This was wild, but it wasn't rough. Trowa stroked down the boy's back, pushing up against the warm weight of muscle and bone. The boy nibbled on his neck, sending icy thrills along his nerves. Trowa wanted more. He thrust up, sliding hardness against hardness, and felt the boy's fingers dig into his shoulders. He wanted more, and he wanted it now, while the blood still coursed through him with all the quiet intensity that battle brought. "Turn around," he said, pushing and pulling, letting his hands explain what he meant.

The boy shifted easily, until Trowa could hook an arm around slim hips and run his tongue along the boy's erection, tasting salt and lust and getting a gasping, uneven breath in response. And then, oh, then there was a soft soft tongue tasting him in return, a hot mouth drawing him in slowly and carefully, making him gasp. He liked that; he rocked his hips a little, answering the motions of that teasing tongue. He liked it, but he couldn't be quite so slow. Instead he sucked the boy in deeper, slide of hard flesh nudging at his throat. The boy moaned, a husky shock of sound and vibration.

They were locked into each other now, curled around each other on the wide soft bed, bound by the swift rush of pure sensation. Trowa ran his hand down the back of the boy's smooth thigh and then up again, teasing his fingers deeper in between the boy's legs to stroke and press against sensitive flesh. A choked cry ran along the length of his own hardness, the boy's hips jerked, and Trowa's mouth was flooded with alkaline bitterness. He closed his eyes and swallowed. After a while the soft warmth sucking at him grew more intense and insistent, and he surrendered to it, letting himself be swept away by the feeling, the perfect breathlessness of it, until he burned like the white sun in the white sky and all he could hear was the sound of his own heart, beating life, life, life.

The weave of the cover was a little scratchy against his sweaty skin. He turned around slowly, dragging the other boy close, blanketing himself with warm flesh and dancing his fingertips lightly over shoulder and nape. Sweaty. But not angry. Trowa still wanted more. But first, he wanted to just lie here for a while, with his eyes closed, drifting, and feel the wind come in through the window and stir soft blond hair so that it tickled his chin.

* * *

Quatre blinked. He thought he must have slept a little. His body felt wonderfully heavy, and at the same time as if it were floating. The air was so warm, not even the cooling sweat on his skin made him shiver. When he blinked again, he saw smooth skin, too close for his eyes to properly focus on; his head fit perfectly where it was, tucked in under the other boy's chin, cradled by a strong shoulder. And the taste in his mouth... he felt the beginnings of a smile tug at his mouth.

He felt good, but sticky. As he started to shift, to lever himself up, the arm around his shoulders tightened and drew him back down again until he was held even closer. "I need a shower," he said into the hollow of the boy's throat.

"Not yet." The boy rolled them over to lie side by side, and Quatre felt soft light kisses on his temple and eyebrow and the bridge of his nose and the corner of his mouth, and he tilted his head to catch those lips with his own, a light brush that somehow turned into a deeper, much more involved kiss. He knew he was tasting himself on the boy's tongue, and there was a thrill in that, but it soon got lost in the deeper thrill of kissing.

He thought he could do this forever, just lie here and kiss this gorgeous stranger, over and over. But it was starting again, the pulse-paced rocking and tensing, moving together with a slow slide of body against body. Quatre ran his hand down the long curved slide of the other's spine, over the hip, thumb rubbing at the hipbone. He pushed his leg forward, nudging in between long slim thighs, and was held more closely, kissed more fiercely.

The other boy felt so good. Quatre wanted to put his hands everywhere, touch all that warm skin and then taste it. He slid his hand up again over the flat stomach, skipped his fingers along the ladder of ribs and caught a nipple between thumb and forefinger, tugging gently, and then flicking it with his nails. The boy jerked, pushing against him, hard and wanting against his hip. He tried it again and felt teeth graze his lower lip, nipping in sharp appreciation.

It was nice to go slow, after the frantic pace of that first encounter. Quatre let his hands wander. Touching like this, being touched right back, was so easy and so wonderful. He squirmed at a slow caress to the small of his back, turned his head into the hand stroking his cheek and sucked at a fingertip.

All the skin he tasted was salty, a rich heady flavor that made him want more and more. Quatre explored with his tongue, following the silent suggestions of the hand twined in his hair. He liked the shape and feel of the other boy's body, all lean muscle and a kind of lanky grace. The boy was quiet, but his body spoke for him, moving under Quatre's touch. Every move whispered encouragement, until Quatre bent his head to taste what he had sucked before and was stopped by a gentle tug. He looked up. "You don't want...?"

The boy moved him aside and sat up, then got off the bed. "Wait," he said, and walked toward the open bathroom door. Quatre watched appreciatively as the boy walked through the bright splash of sunshine falling in through the window, then propped himself up on his elbows and waited, as instructed, hoping he wouldn't have to wait very long. He was full of cravings, of an intense wanting, and though he rather enjoyed the sensation, he didn't want to be apart from the one who had inspired it.

Tilting his head back, he looked at the white ceiling and breathed deeply, and then the other boy was back again, moving so quietly Quatre hadn't noticed him until he pounced to sit astride Quatre's thighs, pressing him down into the mattress. Quatre smiled and reached up to trail his fingertips over the boy's chest. He closed his eyes, concentrating on what he was feeling, tracing circles around hardened nipples and feeling muscles move under the skin.

Then his eyes flew wide open again as he was stroked by a cool smooth touch that somehow made him harder than he'd ever been before. He recognized the smell of cocoa butter, but before he could think about it, the boy moved over him again, shifting forward and back, and Quatre was suddenly pressing into tight clenching heat and he couldn't think at all any more. Slowly, the boy moved so slowly, working his way down with rocking hips until Quatre could feel his weight again and arched into it, pushing a little, seeing the boy's one visible eyelid flutter and his mouth fall slightly open.

"Yes," Quatre breathed, "yes." And the boy lifted himself up again easily, and sank back down, a slick dizzying slide that set off fireworks all along Quatre's spine. He gasped, his whole body tensing; he craved more, but he was held captive to the other boy's pace, only able to respond to it. And it was slow, and sweet, and it drove him crazy with its slowness and sweetness until all he could do was growl with delirious frustration, meeting every one of those languid movements with a thrust of his own.

He slid his hands up along taut thighs, and they were captured and held, and then the boy whispered, "Touch me." So he did.

Quatre watched every tiny shift of expression, watched the way the fall of brown hair hid the boy's face, and how behind those smooth shining strands his eyes grew glazed and thoughtless, full of nothing but pleasure. He gasped for air as the boy finally moved faster, thrusting forward into Quatre's hands and then pushing back down again, making a low sound deep in his throat. It was blinding, this intense feeling of taking and being taken. He wanted... he wanted.... The boy's steady movements grew stuttery and quick, his head fell back, open-mouthed, his whole body clenched and Quatre was the one who cried out, caught by the other's release, tumbling into his own, a tremor of breath and blood and so good so good so good...

He thought he might have died, except that someone was slumped heavily on top of him, breathing into his neck, and there was wetness between them, trickling into his navel. Quatre slowly dragged a heavy arm up to put around the other boy's back. He couldn't breathe very well, but that didn't matter. He wasn't even sure if his eyes were open or closed. "That was wonderful," he said softly, slanting a half-mouthed kiss against the boy's temple.

Outside of their ragged breathing, the room was quiet. Quatre watched dust motes dance in the small patch of sun by the window, and reflected that his eyes must be open, then, and that time had passed and the sun stood low. The floor looked meltingly soft, and the corner of carpet he could see was worn and frayed. He could feel himself drifting, on the verge of sleep once more, but not quite willing to surrender to it. Instead he stroked his fingertips through the short hair at the boy's nape, liking the way it felt.

The boy stirred under his touch, shifting off him, and Quatre missed the warmth and the closeness. Then he choked on a giggle as the boy poked a finger into his navel. "Now you need a shower." Quatre nodded. The boy rolled off the bed and got to his feet in one smooth movement, and Quatre followed, not quite so gracefully. He took two steps towards the bathroom, then turned, when he realized he wasn't being followed, to grab the other boy's hand and tug him along.

This was one of the larger bathrooms in the house, and also one of the most modern, although that wasn't saying much. The tiled shower area was at least immaculately clean, and there were plenty of towels. Quatre turned the water on and got a tired little trickle; he banged on the pipes, which helped sometimes, until the water ran more steadily, and pushed the brown-haired boy in under the lukewarm flow and handed him a block of the soap Reza's wife made.

They washed, starting out by washing themselves, but ending up washing each other, replacing the smells of sweat and semen and cocoa butter with that of hard, flower-scented soap. The pipes clanged, and the water pressure first died to almost nothing, and then came back in a rush, drenching them. Quatre laughed and stepped away blindly, wet hair in his eyes, to find a towel. He had liked this bathroom since the first time he saw it, with its pretty blue tiles and curve-edged mirror, and he liked it even more now that he had shared it with someone.

Going back into the bedroom, he saw that they hadn't even closed the door. He felt his cheeks heat a little, but there was no point in closing it now, after the fact; the men had heard whatever they had heard, and no doubt he would hear about it, too, later.

Quatre went to stand by the window, rubbing the towel distractedly over his chest, lost in thought. So that was sex. He'd never imagined it would be like that, with someone whose name he didn't even know. Lifting his eyes, he looked out over the desert, where the setting sun raised a golden haze that blurred the line of the horizon. Tomorrow would be another bright day. It was only appropriate, he thought. This was the earth, the place where everything had started. Of course it was the right place for first times. The right place for beginnings.

* * *

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