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Pale Like Sugar

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    When you see him like this, you sometimes wonder if you have him in the wrong quadrant.

    His unpainted face is delicate, his eyes huge and bright with the first indigo threading through the gray, his mouth dark and soft and prone to crooked almost-smiles instead of the brainless grins he used to wear. He's gone strange down here alone. Will go on getting stranger. He's embarked on some kind of journey in the dark of his own mind, and you don't understand anything he says about it, only the effects it has on him: this serene-sad-elation he lives in now instead of laughter or rage. You don't know if he's overcome his extremes or is just balanced on a wire between them and ready to fall. You don't push. You only know you love him horribly, and you're not always sure it's pale.

    This, now. This thing where you're naked and twined under a blanket. This might be a step too far.

    Nakedness between moirails is acceptable. Sensual touches, even bringing each other to orgasm, these things are acceptable if the purpose is understood: balancing each other, calming each other. But he's so lovely, his ascetic face, his gangly body, and you want him for it. Not just to get off so you have a hope of sleeping without dreaming. You want him. The need's not even all that physical; your bulge is only half unsheathed. Maybe the two of you shouldn't do this if it's going to make you feel these things. Maybe this is over the line.

    He cups your face and gives you one of those melancholy smiles, even while his other hand is spread on the small of your back and pressing you against the slow roll of his hips. "That must be some worry, brother," he murmurs, "if it can be up and rattling your pan at a time like this."

    "It's confusing when you're beautiful."

    He understands right away what you're trying to say. "Best friend, this love is pale like sugar. Sweetest pale. You know it is."

    You try to push him back a little, just to get a pause to think in, but your hand betrays you and goes sliding down his chest until you can feel the tense-and-relax of his stomach muscles. Your bulge comes a little farther out of its sheath. "Where's the line, Gamzee?"

    "Who motherfuckin' knows," he chuckles. He nuzzles in to kiss your neck, then bites it gently. Kisses your jaw, your cheek, your horn. "Seems to me if all there was to this was blowing a load, be quicker to pull one off all by yourself," he murmurs with his cheek against your temple. "Seems to me it don't work for you if it ain't me doing it."

    "I know," you mutter, "but --"

    "Shoosh," he breathes. He cradles your face in both hands and ghosts his lips over your eyelids. He exhales it against your lips: "Shoosh. Abide, brother, I got you."

    His hands roam over your body as if your skin delights him, as if he plans to smooth every twitch from your neck to your knees with the dry coolness of his palms. Kisses you slowly, softly, nipping with careful teeth, tongue-tipping your upper lip to make you catch your breath. When he barely brushes his fingers along the half-emerged length of your bulge, it catches at them and swells eagerly. You feel that hungry ache in your groin as ligaments stretch, as tissue shifts and fills and uncoils, and you groan.

    You reach for him to return the favor, but he pushes your hand gently aside. "Naw, brother, you don't do nothing but feel."

    You try to comply. His teasing touches wake your body little by little, set you twitching and gasping, until your legs are opening wider by their own accord and your hips keep lifting with the need for more. But that wheel of worry is still whirring away in the back of your mind. All ten thousand of your troubles, all your rages and sorrows, roaring like the crowd at a public execution. And forward of that, the nagging voice that says: you're being an inconsiderate lover, you can't just lie there, you have to give back as good as you're getting, he can't possibly just want to touch you, it's not as if you're anything much to look at, maybe you should be trying to look sexier or make better noises and for crying out loud you're not doing anything for him at all --

    He chuckles wryly as he pushes your hand away again. "Do I gotta tie a motherfucker up to make him get his relax on?" Then he pauses, and his eyebrows lift. "Seems I had me a moment of genius there."

    You cover your face, as if that might retroactively keep him from seeing the way your eyes widened and your cheeks heated, the way your mouth opened in soundless assent.

    He moves away, and you hear him rummaging amongst his junkyard of possessions. Part of your mind is screaming at you to take it back, tell him no, because this is kinky and you are way too young for kinky, barely seven sweeps and no one's even seen you naked but your moirail, and what if it's amazing and you really do flip red and throw all your careful quadrant-juggling into chaos -- but another part is choking you with your own need, and you know you won't say anything.

    He returns with a safety-orange power cord. "Come over here," he beckons. "Kneel up." He puts you where he wants you with light touches, not even quite nudging, then gestures for you to lift your hands over your head. When he begins wrapping the cord around your wrists, you understand why he moved you over here. One of the purposeless metal pipes that fill this distant corner of lab descends low enough that he can loop the ends of the cord over it and plug it into itself.

    "Don't be pulling too hard, now," he cautions with a smile that's as fond and proud as if he invented you. "Just put a little weight on and see."

    You do, sagging as if to sit on your heels, and can't quite make it there; you're suspended in this kneeling position, legs apart and back swayed, and you could get out of it if you really wanted to, but it would probably hurt your wrists. The bruises would show. If you want to keep this secret, you have to behave.

    You stare at him, shivering, lips parted, and you nod.

    "When'd you up and get so pretty, Kar?" he says softly, running his thumb over your cheekbone. "Wish I could keep looking at your eyes." He turns away.

    "Why can't you?" It comes out a little panicky.

    "If you can see me," he answers absently as he rummages, "you're gonna be all trying to take charge, even hung up like that, ain't you?" He returns with a purple and white flowered bandanna you've never seen him wear, and begins rolling it diagonally. "Gonna be looking at me thinking, 'what's he gonna do next? what's it mean? what do I gotta do about it?' And that's just the very thing you gotta quit."

    He ties the bandanna over your eyes. It presses against your lids, a little uncomfortable, a little distracting. As you try and fail to visualize what he's doing from the sounds he makes, you realize he's right. That's what you've been doing -- what you always do, with everyone. Always trying so hard to read them, and judging what you read. Always reacting.

    He shifts, and something -- your reflected warmth, or the angle of his thigh as it presses yours -- tells you he's reaching for your face. You expect him to touch the blindfold, or maybe go for the horns. Instead, light claw tips run through your hair. Your skin prickles with shivers.

    It takes a long time for you to stop trying to predict his touches. He works you over so patiently, teaching more than teasing, until you're sweating, gasping, bulge coiling back on itself, nook dripping. Actually literally dripping, you can feel the beads of slick wetness rolling down your inner thighs. Gamzee follows one with his finger almost all the way back to the source, and then you hear a faint wet 'pop', and realize he sucked it off his finger. You whine.

    "Do something, for fuck's sake, fuck me or I'm going to die," you demand.

    He silences you with his fingertips. One is still wet. "Hush, now. Ain't my plan to get salty with you, but if you can't stop trying to get your boss on I'm gonna have to gag you."

    Breathing shakily, you lick his fingers into your mouth. He lets you suck them for a moment, then pulls them away -- reluctantly, you think, but you can't be sure because you can't see his face. "Okay," you whisper.

    "Okay," he echoes, and kisses you. Then he goes back to driving you mad with not-enough.

    Until at last you realize you've stopped trying to anticipate his next move, stopped even forming opinions about what he's doing. Your body reacts or it doesn't. You sigh or you breathe or you hold your breath, and it's almost as much a surprise as what Gamzee does. He's having a conversation with your nervous system. You're only listening in.

    Only then does he nudge his thighs between yours and press himself against your back, his shaggy hair tickling your shoulders as he kisses the nape of your bent neck, his big hands steadying your hips, his cool bulge seeking into the slick heat of you.

    The sounds you make as he fills you are animal, mindless, and you don't even try to hold them in. Grunts, whines, growls. He coils within you; your thighs tremble. Your bulge is twitching and flicking now, almost rigid. He rocks against you, and it sends you off balance; the pipe creaks overhead, but the cord holds.

    You forget not to give orders again, but this time he just ignores you. All you're ordering is more anyway. He moans your name against your spine, mumbles about love and precious and good, while both of his hands slide around to the front and dip between your legs. He slicks his fingers where your bodies meet. Slides them up your bulge, pressing it against your stomach, so that it strokes itself with its own desperate quivering.

    It's not enough, it's not enough, and you need more and you can't get more, you can't do anything about it, you can't do anything, only take what he gives you -- and if you don't come from this, he'll keep going, won't he. He'll keep working you and worshipping you and fucking you and gentling you until you do.

    You don't have to make it happen.

    The last constriction in you eases, and then you're coming, deep and sweet and perfect, and it goes on and on and on. Even the aftershocks are good, the oversensitive twitches as he finishes, like bright sparks in the dark. When it's over, you find you're trembling convulsively, barely able to keep yourself from hanging limp from the cord and bruising your wrists. Gamzee slips out of you, and wetness pours down your thighs. He leaves a damp streak on your back when he stands up to undo the cord, and you don't even care.

    You lie back, cradled in his arms, filthy and debauched and shivering. After a minute you remember the blindfold, and laugh softly as you pull it off. For a little while, not seeing had come to feel natural. The dim room seems bright. Gamzee's face is shining.

    "Look at you all serene," he murmurs fondly. "Muted all that trouble noise right down."

    "Quit gloating, you... gloater," you half-grin, and nuzzle into his neck. "We are a filthy horrible mess."

    He flaps a hand vaguely in dismissal, then drapes it across your back. You find you agree. If the wet spot gets too annoying you can just shove over; this blanket nest is plenty big enough for that. You snuggle in silence for a while. Eventually he says, "It's good to see you all soft and smiling. Maybe getting off like that myself was a little way over that line you were up and talking about, I don't know."

    "Maybe it's a pinkish sort of pale," you murmur, and now you're amused by the idea instead of panicking.

    "Pink sugar," Gamzee agrees, and kisses you right between the eyes. "Ain't that the sweetest thing."