"Well, I don't plan on dying a virgin," Marcus says, which renders him utterly speechless in the dim reddish light. He looks out through the small window to hyperspace for a bare minute, just to not be looking at Marcus (why does he have to be the only other person in the room?), but only a minute is enough to admit that even the glimpse of Marcus' shoulder he can get in this position is infinitely preferable to the whirling insanity outside.
"Marcus," he says. But really, how is he supposed to answer that? His voice sounds oddly unconnected when he does. "Marcus, are you propositioning me?"
"I thought that was what I was doing," Marcus says. He, on the other hand, sounds a little put out. More than a little, actually. "Why, have you been talking about something else for the past hour and a half?"
All right, point one to him. "Well. No. But..."
"If you tell me now that you think I'm still gone on Susan, I swear I will come over there and beat you to death with a box."
"That wasn't what I was going to say." He's not sure it wasn't, but he thinks maybe it wasn't. "This isn't exactly the usual way my first dates go," he says weakly.
He can't see Marcus' face, but that can only be a good thing considering the tone he gets instead. "First of all, Stephen, I'm fairly sure, even by normal standards, that the first date is usually considered to come before the exhibitionist tendencies show themselves. Second, we've been on this ship - this particular ship - for about six days now, and I may not be quite experienced enough to judge, but I've never heard of any date that lasted six full days."
"The Drazi-" he starts to say in an attempt at what might be humor, but then a box abruptly moves and Marcus is sitting up and looking at him.
God, his eyes are...
No, he's not going to think about that. About this. What happened in the Gardens, that was one thing, the madness of the moment, but this is a different thing altogether.
"I know more than you about how the Drazi do things," Marcus says softly, as if it's a challenge.
"You've never-" Oh, but of course, Humans and Drazi. Not quite compatible in any way, shape or position. Not even really close, in fact.
"No," Marcus says, and he's laughing now. "There was someone, but given the biology, that didn't count."
For a man who's examined more alien species than most Humans will see in a lifetime, Stephen is surprised that an admission made that easily can shock him. But then, it's just come from Marcus Cole, who seems to have an endless capacity to do that.
"And this someone," he says slowly. "Male or female?"
"Animal, vegetable or mineral?" Marcus gives him a smirk. "With the Drazi, it really doesn't make much difference."
Damn him. That wasn't what he was asking, and Marcus knows it.
He sits up, leaning on a box that's about shoulder-height and quite incidentally takes him closer to Marcus' gaze. It never leaves his face, not for a second. It's unnerving, and enticing. Also, downright terrifying.
"You're a virgin," he says slowly.
"That's what I said."
"Well." He's going to regret this in the morning. Unless it's already morning. Either way. "I'm a little out of practice, myself..."
"That I don't believe."
"With men," he says, feeling himself smile despite the craziness of the situation.
"I hear it's quite easy to remember," Marcus says firmly, and pushes the last box out of the way and kisses him.
"You don't have any choice in the matter."
"I do. I could've said-"
"No, come on. What?"
Marcus grins wickedly. "I could just decide for myself, you know."
"It takes two, in case you hadn't got that part figured out yet," Stephen says, and flips the coin up. It lands between them on the bed - the very large king size bed, the very large king size four-poster in the most luxurious honeymoon suite he's ever imagined. The first time they walked in he started plotting to kill anyone and everyone involved in arranging this.
The bed is damned comfortable, though, and Marcus is sprawled out naked next to him and has been for most of the last three days, so he's downgraded the need for revenge somewhat.
He manages to cover the coin with his hand just before Marcus does, and ends up with Marcus' fingers sliding between his instead. Marcus flops back onto the pillow and grins at the ceiling.
There's a mirror up there. It's optional, but watching the first time was enough to make him want to hide the controls. When he tried, though, Marcus had gotten there first, which required a little punishment and a lot more reward, neither of which was hard to convince him into. They haven't quite found a position that's comfortable enough to both be able to watch at the same time, not yet, but Marcus is insistent that they're not out of options. This is a very Marcus sentiment, and one that - in his more honest moments - Stephen wholeheartedly adores.
He tries to lift his hand. Marcus won't let him, until he pries their fingers apart with his other hand and kisses Marcus' palm as a substitute. Marcus puts fingertips against his lips: he sucks lightly, and Marcus groans.
"Go on, then, you evil man, which is it?"
He grins, and rolls across to push Marcus down onto the bed. "You lose."
Marcus starts to smile, an absolutely lecherous little grin, and opens his legs for Stephen to settle between his thighs. "Oh, I'm not sure that's how it goes."
He's not sure it is, either, but as long as they're tangled up somehow on this bed, he doesn't see that it matters too much either way.
He stopped as soon as he heard them, before he actually got close, and he's frozen here now mostly because it was dark, damn it, he was tired and he really didn't suspect he'd stumble almost literally across any two people at this time of night, let alone these two people.
And he's afraid now that if he moves, he might have a noise problem. Or a visibility problem. Or a tripping-over-his-own-feet-in-the-half-dark problem. In this second, as long as he takes it one second after another, he's managing 'amazed' - but that doesn't mean he can stop watching.
He should be glad when he hears Marcus make that little noise that says he's totally engrossed in what he's doing, except he's still struck dumb by the idea that Marcus is actually doing what he's doing.
"Marcus," Stephen mutters, sounding a bit helpless. "Marcus, we've got a ship to catch in-"
"An hour and thirty-eight minutes," Marcus enunciates that very clearly, with a grin that flashes white in the Garden lighting when he looks up. "I'm keeping track so you don't have to. Now shut up, Stephen, and pay attention."
Stephen grins back, shaking his head, and says something in that tone that always says 'why bother?' in anyone's voice. Then grabs Marcus by the back of the neck and yanks him back into another kiss.
Sheridan takes a deep breath and steps carefully backwards into the shadows, just hoping he's quiet enough that they're not going to hear him.
When they're just about out of sight, he hears Stephen growl, Marcus laugh, and then a moan that - well, could be either of them, but leaves no doubt as to its meaning.
On the other hand, he's probably safe even if he walks out past them and recites some Narn poetry on the way.
Well, well. Marcus and Stephen. Susan's going to love this... and as long as they don't miss their flight, by the time they get back and presuming they all still get through this alive, she's probably going to have stopped saying she told him so.
"We won't be there for another six hours. What else do you suggest we do?"
"Anything." He looks down at their joined hands, at the ring on his finger and wonders for the hundredth time just what, on Earth or any other planet, he was thinking when he suggested they should finally just accept the inevitable and do this.
Then he looks up at Marcus smiling at him, teasing him, knowing exactly not just which buttons to press but how, and shakes his head. Now he remembers.
Stephen orders the hot chocolate soufflé, and he can't resist stealing some even though his Minbari nessi-fruit cheesecake is just as delicious. Not quite as delicious as it might be, spread on Stephen's naked skin, but then, nothing really is.
They have expensive, real coffee, with which there are free curls of minted chocolate, and this time Marcus steals a kiss as well.
After dinner, after the restaurant empties, they walk along the sea front. An ocean is the one thing Babylon 5 can't approximate, but it's a busy time of year here; they get stopped twice, sign five autographs and have to pose for a photograph they can't escape from before Stephen tugs him to the rail, nibbles his neck and suggests that perhaps the first night of their honeymoon should be spent doing something with a few less public relations and lot more private ones.
They compromise. Less public becomes a secluded corner of the beach, and more private is catered to by leaving most of their clothes in place. Most, anyway.
Leaning up against a wall, Stephen's hands push under his shirt; rough skin feeling good against his own, and he groans helpfully.
"Stephen-" But then there's a kiss swallowing his voice, and he jerks as Stephen's thigh moves between his and pushes up. He grinds against Stephen's hip in retaliation.
"Public relations my arse, you just wanted to get into my pants," he mutters into the kiss, and Stephen laughs, low in his throat.
"Only just work that out?"
"I recall you needing a bit of convincing to begin with," he teases, working Stephen's belt through his fingers.
Stephen - not to be out-manoeuvred - rotates a wrist in that practised, doctor's-reflexes kind of way, and shoves a hand down his pants. Marcus bites his lip and groans: Stephen grins wickedly at him.
"What can I say - I'm convinced."
He grins back. "Finally."