torch, August 1996

Disclaimer: The man, the starship and the holodeck belong to Paramount. The story and the perverted imagination belong to me. Candles and slippery substances are courtesy of Theresa's props company. This story is rated NC-17 for language and explicit m/m sex. It was originally written for and has already been posted to Taffy's list. Comments are welcome. If you're thinking about flaming me, think again and save your energy for something more worth while. Do not archive this story without permission.

Me myself indeed

"...Paris delta delta delta. Double-damned delta. Triple-damned."

Darkness fell around him, broken by warm flickering candlelight. Under his feet was no longer a hard floor but some more yielding substance, firm enough to walk on, soft enough to wrestle on, and other things. There was no music but a faint sound somewhere as of a distant, huge heart beating. The heart of the ship, perhaps. The slow beats formed a suggestive, half-heard rhythm, hard to resist. He'd planned it that way.

It wasn't a program intended for solitude.

He stood still for a moment, looking down, then kicked off his boots to feel the softness of this floor against his feet. Taking a deep breath, he started to walk around aimlessly in the warm nowhere. The heat was above normal room temperature, set with great care to prevent naked bodies from shivering. Thinking about that, he shivered anyway, and cursed the program, wondering why he'd chosen to run it like this, on his own.

To torment himself, to drive home the failure, perhaps. The fact that he was alone despite the most assiduous efforts to prevent it. No one here, no one with him, to hold, to touch. And he wanted it so much, just to be close to someone for a short time.

It wouldn't really have mattered who it was.

And that was partly why he was alone now. He knew that; wanting anyone and everyone meant that often enough you ended up with no one. But it changed nothing, particularly not his instincts, his real desires. He wanted to lose himself briefly, and he would have rendered pleasure for pleasure, honestly, guiltily, giving and giving in gratitude that he would have done his best to hide.

Gratitude that someone was there with him, for the most fleeting of moments, to keep the pain and the loneliness at bay the only way that worked. Someone who would just hold him, and not ask for love from his barren heart.

"All I want is a good fuck," he said, lying to himself with the ease that came from years of practise.

All he wanted was the touch, the closeness. Oh, the brief seconds of ecstasy, too, he wouldn't say no, but that wasn't the important part. More than that he wanted to see another's face blinded by that pleasure, know himself the cause of it. Know that in that one moment he was wanted, that someone depended on him.

Just as long as he didn't have to talk to them.

It was strange, how much easier it was to let bodies be close than minds. And strange how badly people thought of you for wanting one closeness and not the other. But he couldn't do anything about that.

He rolled his shoulders as he walked, trying to work them loose, hearing faint pops and cracks as muscle moved bone. His back ached, and in some parts the pain had gone and been replaced by numbness. It was partly this tension that he had hoped to dissipate. Everything that built up inside him. He should end this program, call up another, more strenuous, athletic. Couldn't walk around here sulking all night.

One day I'm going to program a good backrub, he promised himself. In the meantime, he couldn't raise any real enthusiasm for exercise, but he could at least help his sore muscles slightly. "Computer, raise temperature by five degrees Celsius."

Nothing too hot, he didn't want to make a sauna out of this, his precious retreat. That was for other programs, other scenarios. But despite the sudden onset of deep comforting warmth, he felt restless. His feet were moving to the sound of that hushed rhythm, his body was remembering other times here.

Turning, he saw an unexpected sight. Something shimmered in the darkness, beckoning, cool and smooth, water, silver. He went closer and found himself standing in front of a full length mirror in an old-fashioned wooden frame. Hell, the thing was as big as a doorway. More interestingly, it wasn't included in any version of this program. He looked at it in amazement, and then into it.

Just you and me here tonight, he thought wearily, running a hand over his hair and giving himself a tired once-over. Is this someone I'd try to pick up at a party? Nah, I'd know that loser anywhere.

Then he thought, perhaps not. The surprise of it made it all look different.

He let his eyes unfocus and looked at the body in the mirror without preconceptions. Seen purely from an aesthetic viewpoint, there was some merit to it. The proportions were good, the planes and curves looked right. Everything fit together quite nicely.

Slowly he put a hand on his face and let it trail down, feeling his own jawline, then his throat. The shape of it was strangely unfamiliar. He rarely touched himself for other than practical reasons, scrubbing, brushing away dirt. Intrigued, he used both hands to wrap around the throat, measuring it, then smoothed his palms across his skull, brushed fingertips across ears, tugged at his hair gently to make his scalp relax.

Tense neck muscles, he discovered as his fingers dug into them. No real surprise there; it was that tension that brought him here again and again. But he didn't know he had such smooth skin. Or did he? Memories of showers slid through his mind and for a moment he thought he could smell soap. A purely tactile pleasure, to be thoroughly washed, cleansed.

Perhaps the rest of him felt the same way, as startlingly smooth. Tugging at the collar of his shirt to get his fingers underneath, he felt the pulse at his throat, steady but speeding up. After a moment of hesitation he started to unbutton the shirt instead, slowly. I can't believe I'm doing this. But in the mirror he could see it clearly, and he was being gentle, as though undressing a shy lover.

The shirt slid off and more skin was exposed. That was his chest, those were his shoulders, stronger than he remembered, pale, with the candlelight flickering gold highlights to catch the fine hairs. He tossed the shirt aside and experimentally ran a finger down from the hollow of his throat to his navel. Surprisingly, it tickled, and he laughed softly to himself. You can't tickle yourself, stupid.

Instead he went on taking his clothes off, setting them aside, an identity to be resumed later. Here and now was just a body to be looked at, touched like a stranger's. He looked in the mirror again, and in this dim light, in this special setting, it was like seeing someone else. Someone who turned him on. Running his hands down his sides then up again, cupping his own shoulders briefly, quite tenderly. He savored the sensation of skin on skin, the double perception.

Fingers trailed slow spirals on his chest, finding the nipples, flicking them lightly. The man in the mirror was clearly excited, his cock hardening visibly. He walked closer; the act of being in motion was sensual in itself, letting this body express itself, proclaim its needs in simple language.

Reaching out for the cool glass surface, he met with warmth, and jerked back in complete confusion.

"What the hell—"

"I don't know." The hand reached out again, caught his own. Human warmth, the frank tenderness of the touch... He looked into blue eyes in more than just amazement. "Oh, that feels so much better."

"Yeah." A leisurely caress up his arm, tender at first, then the teasing light scrape of nails on the sensitive inside. He sucked his breath in. That felt great. And to stroke the back like this, long and smooth. "All the scars are on the inside."

Standing close enough to barely touch, skin grazing skin at the occasional shift in weight as hands explored slowly. And he wanted more. "This is weird."

"Yeah. But I've done weirder things."


"Can't think of any, but..."

"Me either." A light kiss in the hollow above the collarbone; he shivered. Lips trailed up his throat, paused to bite, drawing a moan. It was all right. It was perfect, kissing the spot right underneath the ear, nibbling gently at the ear lobe. Flick a tongue here and now the erection is almost painful.

And then a kiss, starting out as just lips brushing each other and then parting, one tongue teasing and testing and the other responding. Closer now, he sucked at a lower lip, then a hand cupped around his neck and pulled him in. There wasn't the jolt of first kisses, it was smoothly familiar, experienced, enticing. One of them sighed and then they ground together, on fire at the same time, more turned on than ever before. The kiss grew rougher and more luscious at the same time, eating him alive.

He turned his head out of it finally, ran his hands down throat, chest, sides. Amazed, almost awed by what he saw and felt, and strangely unafraid to speak of it. Who else would he ever tell? "I never imagined that I could be so—"

"—beautiful, yes. And my lips taste like—"

"—a thousand similes. Sweeter than wine and honey. What a disgusting combination."

"Kiss me again."

They clung together now. His arms came up to clutch at his shoulders, kneading them. Don't stop. Rubbing together, the friction made them shiver and slowly, without breaking the kiss, they sank down on the soft, welcoming floor, careful not to bump an elbow or a knee into a sensitive place. It was sweet loving care and it was simple self-knowledge. He ran a hand down the spine, his nails scratching at the vertebrae just so, and then cupped one firm ass cheek, enjoying the way the light, downy hair grazed his palm. "I know what you want," he whispered.

"Yes, oh, yes." Hot, wet kisses trailed down his throat, his chest; then a knowing tongue licked at his nipple, oh so gently, making him squirm, and arch upwards for a firmer touch. "You're such a tease."

"Yeah. And you love it." He caught a roving hand and sucked one finger into his mouth, sliding it in and out provocatively, then sucking hard. Finally he had to let go to moan out loud; his nipples were being alternately licked and bitten, and nails feathered up and down the inside of his thighs, not quite tickling, driving him crazy. He threw his head back in complete sensual surrender. There would be no holding back. There was nothing to struggle against, everything to be gained.

"I do. Again. You'd think I would have nothing to—"

"—say to you. But I do, you're beautiful, I want you, want your hands on me, your—"

"—lips on me, want to feel you in me, around me. Everywhere. Everything." They rolled over slowly, shifting into another position. He trailed kisses down the chest, across the taut stomach. Then he rubbed his cheek affectionately against the hard cock, grateful that he'd remembered to shave. It was wonderfully silky and he ran his lips along it, then licked the head and heard a delighted gasp. He grinned to himself and took it all in in one long smooth glide.

"Careful," a ragged whisper, "not yet..."

It was tempting, but he agreed.

"No, not yet." More kisses, and a tickling tongue dipping into the navel. After a few moments he went back to tormenting the cock with his lips, his tongue, careful not to get too intense. Not yet, indeed.

Finally hands tugged him up and they kissed ferociously, a hungry, passionate kiss as they rolled over yet again. Probing fingers slipped between his ass cheeks, and he sighed. "Oh, yeah."

The hand moved away but returned before he'd had time to voice any protests, slick with oil now. He moaned as he was penetrated by first one finger, then two. "This is so good." The fingers thrust into him, rubbing across his prostate, and he bit off a scream.

"There's no one to hear." And that was good, because he couldn't stop it now, all the little sounds he was making, and the involuntary bucking of his hips in time with that tantalizing rhythm. He closed his eyes, and reached down one hand to cup around the hard cock and caress it invitingly.

"Fuck me."

"Oh, I will." Hot breath in his ear, a tongue flicking briefly. "I will." He whimpered as the fingers were withdrawn, unable to restrain himself, wanting more, and more and more and more. "I'll fuck you senseless." The sweet promise nearly made him cry as he spread his legs, raised his hips.

"Don't make me wait," he whispered, and then their bodies shifted into the right position and he felt the pressure and arched against it. "Just do it!" Strong hands held his hips steady as the other pushed into him with agonizing slowness. It seemed to take years until they were fully joined, and he was breathing in short gasps, utterly helpless.

They rocked together, a slow motion, then another. "Please," he said desperately. The long, lazy glide in and out was sheer torture. And he knew it.

"I like it when you beg." A sudden hard thrust made him give another muffled scream. And then back to the slow even strokes as he whimpered, writhed, tried to raise himself up and increase the pace but was held down firmly. That gentleness could be so cruel!

"I'll beg again," he gasped. "Please, harder, fuck me harder..." Instead the cock slid out of him entirely, the head resting against his sensitive opening. He had time for one brief moan of frustration, then the hands that held him tightened and the other thrust into him again, deep, hard, and he sobbed and cried out and arched up to meet every stroke.

It was hot and fast now, every thrust making him moan, one delirious 'ohhh' after another. Yes, like this, it was perfect and he wanted it to go on forever, wanted to be taken more completely than ever before until he forgot his own name, wanted to exist forever in this darkness and delight, this rough ecstasy. He felt tears on his face and couldn't tell which one of them was crying.

Pounding into him, crazy with the heat of it. Harder, faster, and this was its own kind of tenderness, hands gripping so hard they'd leave bruises. "Yes, oh god yes!" Then a hand closed around his erect cock, giving him the friction he craved, and the thrusts were so deep and fierce they were reaching his soul, and he shook uncontrollably as someone screamed and the darkness tore wide open and all the stars fell into his head. Staring up, he looked into his face, his eyes, the way he looked when he came.

"Beautiful," the last whisper before everything blanked out.

He was dimly aware of holding, being held. The warmth of another body snuggled close to his. His lips shaped a grateful kiss against the shoulder he was resting on. Perfect, it had been just perfect.

When he sat up much later, the candles had burned down. That was the only way to tell time in here. Slowly he got to his feet, feeling relaxed and whole and somehow clean, despite the fact that he was sticky in some places and slippery in others. He ought to wash. But he didn't want to. Not quite yet.

Instead he slipped his clothes back on, and to hell with the stains. He took a deep breath, smelled the air. Sex. With a soft smile, he looked around again at the warm darkness, the tiny flickering lights. "Thank you," he breathed.

"Computer, end program."

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