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Gentlemanly Pursuits

Chapter Text

It’s surreal.

The experience of… existing in this particular way, you suppose.

Of casually participating in something you know to be imprudent and of highly questionable integrity.

You look at him and think, very distantly, that this young man has known your son for half of his short life.

You have rented movies for this young man and your son. You have driven this young man and your son to and from the airport, to and from the theatre, to and from a collection of strip malls and video game stores. You have watched this young man and your son grow up, and you have discreetly given them space to grow, as any sensible old man should.

You had always assumed that your grey presence would be crowded out by the natural advancement of youth, you suppose. When Dave rejoined your household once again, you had assumed that as he and John grew and flourished in adulthood, the space they took up would come to fill all emptiness, leaving you pressed into your small corner- a homemaker’s cubicle, and rightly so- confined to the role of an observer, and you were content with that.

When John left, he opened a void where you had never thought there would be one.

And so there was only Dave. Clumsy, graceful Dave. Rude, well-mannered Dave.

He was different, strange, but you sought to fashion in his presence a balm to soothe your grey soul, nonetheless. It was unkind of you. Unkind to Dave. Unkind to John. You cannot contain the uncontainable in hopes of replacing the irreplaceable. Foolishness. Unkind foolishness.

But you had assumed that he would crowd out both the void and you, because such is the way of youth, and he is more vibrant still than most. You had accepted your fate as a part of the furniture. A future in which you were part encyclopedia, part phonebook- part car key, perhaps- offering guidance and direction and mobility when convenient, tucked into a drawer and forgotten when not. You had sought to shape him, to carve out your corner and more- he is not your son, after all- but not to restrain him.

In the ways that mattered, what you had expected was no different than what you had always assumed would happen. It was, instead, just a simple act of substitution.

And it had seemed natural that it would happen with John. You are not your mother, and your son is not you. It is not your way to be doted on, and it is not his way to dote.

But Dave was not John. Is not.

Incandescently bright, dangerously beautiful Dave, who does not know enough to recognize his own potential, thank god.

And now it seems to you that he wants to consume you. Or be consumed by you. Both, maybe, or neither. You honestly don’t know.

Regardless, such a renegotiation of your relationship seems as though it should be a thing of considerable gravity.

But the way in which he behaves, ambushing you with cheeky kisses, snatching your hat away in flirtatious bids for your attention, easing himself into your lap at odd moments as though such a thing should simply be expected- these are the thoughtless acts of an infatuated youth who thinks nothing of the troubles you brood on.

He says he doesn’t care about your age.

Frankly, you believe him.

It hasn’t been so long that you’ve forgotten the blinding power of a young man’s hormonal cocktail of lust and affection, particularly one coloured by the titillations of secrecy.

It also hasn’t been so long that you’ve forgotten how fast such intoxications fade, leaving, like their alcoholic counterparts, a headache that seems to consist invariably of one part sheepishness, two parts shame.

You don’t want to be the liquor he sips upon today and regrets tomorrow.

You don’t want to be the last loose sock in the bottom of the laundry hamper, unwashed but partnerless. You don’t want to be the pan left too long in the oven, encrusted so deeply that no amount of soap and relentless scrubbing could ever hope to cleanse it. You don’t want to be these things to Dave, because you see in him a person who, despite the smell, will not discard the sock for the superstitious conviction that only then will the other appear, someone who remains determined that the browning of the sink water means that the ruined pan can be saved if it is only given enough time and attention.

You see in Dave a person who hoards the offal of his emotions alongside the best cuts of them, and you suspect that should the good meat of his mind be thrown into the shade of that heap of wasteful thoughts, it would putrefy in its shadow, leaving him soured.

Not grey, like you, but green and brown with putrefaction. You fear he would lose that maraschino red to his own poor judgement.

He says he doesn’t care about your age, but you remember swearing in the fullness of youthful certainty that you would never regret things that you did, inevitably, learn to regret.

You are not like Dave. You are a neat, simple man, and you discard what you cannot use and will never need. You have survived by smoking away any promise of spoilage you could not simply avoid. Your soul has become bloodless and grey, and your flesh likely tastes more of tobacco than meat these days, but you are preserved. You are made sterile.

And you are torn, because while you are a neat man, and even if you know enough to see the dark promise of catastrophe on some distant horizon, you are still not immune to temptation. A storm seen such a long way off may yet clear before it reaches you, after all.

And if the devil offered you water in an endless desert, you would drink it. You would settle first on some agreed-upon and non-renegotiable course of reimbursement by which to extricate yourself from untoward obligations in the future, but you would drink.

You would drink because even if the storm is distant, you are a careful man, and while you could simply remove yourself from the plains of temptation and risk nothing, you are not always a good man.

As much as it pains you to admit it, while you are a man who is not easily tempted, you are a man who can be tempted, and given temptations sweet enough, would still risk the thunder just as long as he is guaranteed an umbrella for the rain.

You are not a saint.

You have been alone for a very long time, and you are not unaffected by Dave’s nearly palpable desire for you.

A trifle puzzled by it, perhaps, but affected, nonetheless.

He is very thoroughly averse to being dissuaded, and you are very reluctant to dissuade him.

And so your life has become very surreal, because you find yourself walking calmly on the other side of a line of appropriateness that you have always strived to remain faithful to, and yet you are doing nothing to cross it once again.

You had meant to make a gentleman of him, and yet it seems he’s unmaking a gentleman of you.

Your name is Mister James Richard Egbert, and for the first time in your very long life, you don’t think you care.


When you determine that you must continue to make an effort to behave, it strikes just how ironic that determination is.

You are not behaving, and yet you are determined to behave within the context of your misbehaviour.

You’d almost like to tell him that, but you’re not certain your appreciation of irony runs parallel to his. You’re not certain what he considers irony to be at all, quite frankly.

The Strider household’s definition of what is and is not ironic is something of an enigmatic beast all of its own.

And so you appreciate it quietly, and appreciate him in a way you’re sure he can understand.

He’s gotten quite bold with you.

It’s been, as you have reflected, a very surreal day. A strange breakfast. A nervous lunch.

An unfinished dinner. That should bother you more than it does.

But you understand why, and you suppose that serves to dampen your irritation.

Or perhaps it’s just him who serves to dampen your irritation. He’s very good at it. Irritatingly good at it, you think, and wince internally.

 A Strider is a seven-letter word that appears to come packaged part-and-parcel with a five-letter word that works its way as insidiously into one’s mind as the Strider does into one’s-

You are behaving, within your particular context of misbehaviour. It’s harder than you thought.

And your difficulty re-establishing some line of appropriateness by which to measure your conduct has fast relieved him of his shyness and anxiety.

After breakfast, he stood too near you, followed behind you so closely that he was nearly stepping on your heels, but his nonchalance was coloured by renewed shyness.

By lunch, he was flirting again, sneaking you kisses between bites and climbing into your lap when your plate lay empty, emboldened but still unsure.

You did not discourage him. Now it is dinner, and he did not even wait for you to finish eating before he coaxed you out of your chair, fingers hooked behind the knot of your tie- he laughed at you this morning for wearing one, and you politely refrained from inquiring just how many thin cotton shirts with record symbols on them he owned- and now your plate is growing cold.

It is, perhaps, the only thing in the kitchen growing cold.

He has his lower back settled against the counter, his hands fisted in your collar, and his spine arched in such a way that has him doubled almost backwards onto the countertop. You can’t imagine it’s comfortable, but he seems undisturbed, if the fervency of his kisses is any measure of such a thing.

When you feel the pulse of his abdominal muscles tightening against your own, you suspect, and when his thighs press into your sides, you know.

The tension eases out of him as his shoulders meet the laminate, and you pull back from the kiss to send him a stern look. “David.”

“What?” You can tell that he’s trying to sound teasing, but the word just comes out sounding breathless.

You look at him disapprovingly. “We’re in front of a window.”

He grins at you and tightens his legs around your waist.

You hoist him off of the counter with a grunt and he complains that nobody’s looking. He doesn’t release his grip. You’re left carrying him again. You suspect he has an unspoken fondness for it.

You tell him that he can’t be certain of that, and that you are entirely too old and boring to be making a mess of your counters.

His smile is filthy in ways that you couldn’t hope to describe. “What, are you planning on making a mess of me?”

You quirk an eyebrow at him. He bites his lip.

You’re trying to behave, you really are.

You’re simply not sure what behaving is in this context.

And he’s certainly not helping you determine it.


He seems to be in a nigh-perpetual state of attempting to disrobe you.

You’re a methodical soul, even under pressure. In the interests of doing something right the first time, you like to do it slowly, carefully. You like to pause and periodically reflect back on your progress, just to be certain you haven’t erred.

You are pure stock of that particular brand of people who stare long at a piece of fine artwork before reading the title. You are he who steps back to appraise a canvas once more with this new frame of reference in mind, a man who abides by the weight of a few words by which to see a few paint strokes.

Dave is not.

Dave is someone who comes to see a single painting and does not linger in the hallways that precede it unless something particularly interesting catches his eye along the way.

Dave is also one of those curious individuals who runs and leaps across a chasm before considering that there are the makings of a bridge nearby. His mode of action is his first thought, and his first thought is not always the best course of action.

Dave is, in a word, impatient.

He’s also very fast.

It seems that every time you succeed in coercing his fingers away from the closures of your shirt, you find that he’s undone your belt and the button on your pants, and when you pry his eager hands away from that rather sensitive area, he’s loosened the buttons on your cuffs.

And he can undo them faster than you could hope to do them up again. He is making progress on your dishevelment that you cannot combat with stubbornness alone.

But he is reckless and sees only one avenue, and therefore expects only one avenue of recourse from you. You can feel the overconfidence in the smile that plays across his lips, even as they’re pressed against your own.

You call him a brat again, a measured little breath coiling over your tongue onto his, and his fidgeting slows for just a moment as he laughs into your mouth.

You take this opportunity to remove them from the equation altogether.

After all, he may be much faster than you, but you are quite a bit stronger than him.

You feel the pulse in his wrists quicken under your palms as you press him back against the bed. You look down at him for the second time in as many hours and wonder, fleetingly, if this is a position he actively attempts to engage you in.

You tell him to slow down.

He makes a rude noise out of the corner of his mouth and pulls, hard, against your grip.

You sigh as his smug look fades into one of vague frustration.

“Please don’t hurt yourself trying to do the impossible,” you advise him patiently.

He looks confused.

You cock an eyebrow in amusement.

You’re heavier than him.

He doesn’t see why that matters. He’s fought heavier opponents than you.

You raise the other eyebrow, quashing an ache of hot distraction in your lower midsection that only seems to grow worse as his helpless petulance deepens. You don’t really want to think about the worrying implications of that at the moment. “I had assumed you would be better acquainted with the physics of grappling, all things considered.”

He doesn’t know what you mean.

You explain to him that in the situations such as these, the heavier opponent utilizes his weight to pin the lighter opponent, and expends far less energy keeping him restrained than he who resists expends attempting to free himself.

“You’ll tire yourself out if you keep this up,” you inform him, nodding your head conclusively.

He lies still and just looks up at you through one half-lidded eye, head turned slightly away. “Sounds an awful lot like you think you’ve won, but I don’t do surrendering so good, you know?”

The force of his sudden resurgence of resistance catches you off-guard, and he manages to lift his forearms, heavy as they are with the weight of you, about an inch or so above the bedspread before crashing back down in defeat. You’re pleasantly surprised by his strength. Judging by his panting, however, he’s succeeded in fulfilling your prediction that he would only tire himself out with the effort.

You plant a light kiss on the sliver of collarbone visible under the twisted neck of his shirt. He whines in protest.

You can’t help but laugh, unkind as it is. You press a kiss to his lips, and he responds eagerly, straining up after you when you pull away.

You linger a moment, looking at him. Taking in the paint strokes, as it were.

The paint strokes respond by lifting one of their thighs and rubbing it provocatively against your groin.

You grimace at him. “There’s no need to be so rushed, Dave.” You risk running a thumb down the inside of his left wrist. He doesn’t pull away. A good sign, you think. “Unless you haven’t told me something, you don’t have anywhere to be tonight, and yet you’re acting like you’re afraid you’ll be late to the dentist if you don’t hurry things along.” He laughs. Better still. “You need to slow down, Dave.”

He wrinkles his nose and looks away. “I’m not so good at slow.”

You contemplate the freckles on that nose affectionately and kiss it, too. “I’ve noticed.”

He sighs discontentedly. “Sorry.”

You chuckle and press your mouth to his neck, acutely aware of the inconvenience of not having the use of your hands but unwilling to trust Dave’s lamentably poor self-control just yet. You suppose you could find some other way to restrain him, should the need arise.

You murmur something to that effect in his ear, mostly in jest.

He exhales shakily under you. You feel his stifled moan vibrating where it catches in his throat.

He pushes up against your palms again, but without any real strength. “You’re killing me here, come on, you can’t just say shit like that.”

He thrashes weakly against you, for all appearances a little enraged by your bemusement.

You look at him. His face is growing quite red, and quite quickly, at that.

He chews the inside of his cheek and stares somewhere above your shoulder. “Some people are into that okay you can’t just be throwing around statements like that it’s rude I’m just trying to impart a bedroom etiquette lesson here I mean I don’t really mean anything by it,” he rambles.

You can feel the heat radiating from his skin when you kiss away his mumbling. He tucks his chin into his chest defensively. You rub soothing circles against his wrists.

You’re… not certain how to phrase this.

“Are you,” you start carefully, “expressing an interest in being restrained?”

He doesn’t need to answer. You’re not so unwashed in the waters of debauchery as to not understand the meaning of that particular look of mixed hope and self-consciousness.

Some other time, perhaps.

That would be a strange foot indeed to start an already strange affair off on, you must say.

Some other time.

He nods distractedly and murmurs something nonsensical at you, working his wrists free of your hold surreptitiously. You hum warningly, testing your teeth against the shell of his ear on impulse.

There’s no mistaking the shiver that runs through him at that, and no subduing the trembling groan he releases when you begin work your way up the curve of his ear investigatively.

He pressed his leg against your groin again, and you shift away once more. His next attempt is more impatient. You’re a mite concerned that his growing fervency will end badly for you, given your position and his target, so you push his knee carefully outwards with your own, settling yourself between his thighs.

He responds by immediately wrapping them around your waist and pulling you insistently down towards him. You’re not sure why you didn’t anticipate that. You resist.

He starts to squirm again and you sigh in exasperation.

His eyes are burning, and when you catch his gaze, they threaten you with a thousand kinds of hellfire, from the glowing coals of desperate, lustful need to the smoking wick of feeble rage. “Don’t tease me,” he begs, and the throaty huskiness of his tone lights a flame of its own in you, “don’t fucking tease me, not when I can’t do anything about it, I’m gonna die and then I’m gonna kill you, don’t tease me like this.”

You swallow down several uncharacteristically wanton responses to that and ask him what exactly he’d have you do, then.

“Let me blow you.”

For a split second, you are about to inform him that his proposal has nothing to do with what he’d have you do and that he failed to answer the question, and then you actually realize what he said.

The heat of shock surges in your face. “I beg your pardon?”

He bites his lip. You register, very distantly, that he looks quite pleased by your reaction, if his look of self-satisfaction is anything to go by. “I want to suck your cock,” he repeats, enunciating every single-syllable word as though he is talking to a child.

It is the clearest you have ever heard him speak, and the least comprehensible sentence he has ever spoken to you. Your brain stutters like a poorly wound clock.

You try to say something and just make a very strange noise.

He’s grinning now and the very small part of you that’s still making sense resents him for it.

“You gonna get off me or do you plan on riding my face?” he asks you, and the crudeness of his wording is enough to snap you out of your shock.

“David,” you scold, scandalized.

He laughs outright, arching up against you as best he can. “You haven’t said you don’t want me to.”

You don’t not want him to.

That is, you aren’t not-

It’s been a long time since grammar school, and you’re not sure you remember how these sorts of sentences are supposed to work.

You only realize that he’s slipped his hands loose when he runs his hands over your shoulders. You flex your hands against the bedspread, bizarrely startled by their sudden emptiness.

“Roll over,” he coaxes, pressing a palm against your chest and pushing lightly.

You do, albeit a little numbly. He snickers at you. You suppose you must look a trifle flummoxed.

“Lie down,” he guides, pushing you back. He settles himself between your calves, resting on his knees. Your hands twitch at your sides, unsure of what to do.

It’s been a very long time, and he is not particularly similar to any of the small variety of lovers you once entertained.

He finishes his earlier quest of unbuttoning your shirt and parts it almost reverently, smoothing his hands up your stomach to rest on your chest. “Relax.”

He works his way down with kisses, lingering below your collar and at your navel, deft fingers exploring the subtle crevices of your body. You remember this, and you find that comforting.

You suppose you had the strange fear that he would simply dive into the act like he does all others. You wonder if it’s strange of you to feel as though you need the preparation provided by this small, apparently universal ritual.

You stop wondering much of anything when his lips tickle the skin below your beltline with light kisses. His fingers start working at your pants, edging them down.

He pulls and looks at you impatiently and you raise your hips for his convenience, feeling simultaneously very young for the act and very old for the ache it incurs.

He pulls down your underwear with them, which both surprises you and doesn’t surprise you in the slightest.

The sudden air is cold. His hand is very warm.

He mumbles something appreciative and squeezes and you take in a sharp breath. He chuckles a little. “Fuck, man, you have a really nice dick.”

You neither know nor care to know what qualifies you for such a compliment, only that he is doing something that feels very good and that you are having a great deal of difficulty maintaining your composure.

A swath of wetness.

You swallow convulsively.

You feel his breath on you when he speaks. “Hey, look at me.”

You do.

It’s a terrible mistake.

He’s looking back at you when his mouth slides over the head over your penis, and it’s nearly fatal. His eyes transfix yours even as you feel the pressure of his tongue closing the path between the rest of you and a place of tight, hot suction.

You groan low in your throat, closing your eyes, and he squeezes you again. The warmth of his hand all but disappears, but he doesn’t move.

You look down again despite yourself.

Only his index finger and his thumb, squeezing periodically, teasingly, at the base. You can feel your abdominal muscles twitching with the urge to move, but the sight sends barely restrained spasms into your thighs and glutes, as well.

For a moment you’re afraid you’ve jerked up involuntarily, and then you realize that no, he’s moving down.

And down.

You clench your jaw in shock as you feel yourself meet and pass the resistance at the back of his throat.

His look is less smouldering, now, strained under eyebrows knit with concentration, but his eyes are still locked on you. You run a hand through his hair, either for encouragement or to reassure him that you haven’t died from the shock or perhaps to assure yourself that you’re not hallucinating particularly vividly, and he closes his eyes and hums.

Your fingers tighten sharply in his hair and you snatch your hand back, strangling a moan that seems to reverberate all the way from his vocal chords to your mouth.

He pulls your hand back to his hair and holds it there, lips moving slowly up your erection, and you pull encouragingly before stopping yourself. He hums again. He really shouldn’t do that.

The pop of his mouth coming free is one of the most profane sounds you have ever heard. It’s appropriate. The smile he gives you- head tilted back, hair still tangled in your fist- is absolutely unholy.

 “You don’t have to let go,” he pants. His voice is hoarse with exertion. Knowing why makes the sound of it almost as unholy as the mouth it trickles from.

When his lips slide over you again, you don’t let go.

You’re trying to be good.

You’re trying to be gentle.

You guide. You don’t direct. You don’t force.

But when the suction of his mouth pulls you just so or his tongue flicks and catches against this or that ridge of nerves just so, it becomes very hard to be good.

And when you push a little and he moans as his nose bumps against your pubic bone, it becomes very hard to be gentle.

When you have your hand fisted in his hair- and so tightly, it must hurt, you hope you aren’t hurting him, you don’t want to hurt him- and you’re sliding his mouth along yourself in sharp strokes, when he’s moaning between the short gasps of air he’s sucking through his nose, it’s hard to remember why you were trying to be gentle, though you’re sure you had- have- a very good reason.

One of his hands splays against your hip to steady him. You don’t know where his other hand is.

You can see his elbow moving rhythmically. You realize that he’s touching himself. You feel yourself groan, but your ears are hearing the sounds of a place very far away from here.

You push a little too hard. He chokes.                                                                                  

You pull, a little panicked, pull him all the way off and up because you’re frantic with the need for stimulation but you don’t want to hurt him, so you kiss away his mewls of complaint and smooth down his hair and he bites your lip rather viciously.

It hurts quite a bit. You think you might be bleeding.

Fuck,” he swears, and even if you weren’t too muddled to chastise him, there’s little you can do but hiss with surprise as he scrapes his fingernails down your chest and rocks desperately against your leg. “Fuck I was so close fuck shit it hurts oh god please,” he babbles and you murmurs apologies helplessly and reach for him, but he slaps your hand away before fisting his own in your open collar.

Fuck me,” he begs, but he keeps speaking before you’ve even had a chance to process that request, “please please please you can’t fucking do this to me please I’m not at all above begging right now I will put on a crown and a fucking tutu and call you daddy if you fucking want me to I just need this so fucking bad I feel like I’m gonna die just fuck me, please god fuck me-”

When your brain catches up with what you’re hearing, you yelp with alarm and he kisses you desperately, erection grinding against your thigh with stuttering thrusts. “Please,” he moans against your lips, “fuck me until I can’t fucking walk I don’t give a shit just fuck me, please, rail me-”

In your flustered and foggy-minded state, all you can manage is a baffled-sounding, “But I don’t know how,” and he wheezes breathlessly with laughter.

“I got this,” he assures you, “I got this, just let me do my thing okay- can we do that tell me we can, oh shit- will you let me ride you, fuck, please let me ride you-”

You fumble your agreement into his mouth and he moans pornographically, looking around frantically and then swearing.  “Lube?” he demands and then “don’t laugh okay it’s a stupid hash map fetch modus sometimes I have to get creative-”

You discover that Dave stores anal lubricant in his sylladex under the title sphincter slicker and do not succeed in not laughing at him for it, if only out of surprise when he nearly ejects it across the room.

Belatedly, you remind him about condoms, and he mumbles something entirely too long to be a two-syllable word, sending the box careening towards the headboard and back into your waiting hand.

He kicks off his pants and shirt so quickly that it’s almost as though he willed them away.

You take a moment to remove yours- and your now very wrinkled shirt, as well- but before you can reconsider what you’re about to do, he takes your hand and closes it around not one erection, but two.

You’re utterly baffled until his slides against yours. You warm to the sensation rather quickly.

At first, he’s kissing you, balancing with one hand against your chest, the other stretched behind him, and then he’s panting into your shoulder as you tug and stroke the both of you clumsily.

When his head drops, you can see his hand, and almost his fingers, where they disappear into him.

Where you’re going to disappear into him.

Your breath hitches in your chest. A pulse of interest against your palm. You’re not even sure if it was you or him.

He murmurs “you wanna fuck me?”  in your ear and you do, you really, truly do. You have to force him to pause so you can roll down the condom properly. He’s very eager.

His fingers slide out more easily than you slide in, but he still lets out a shuddering moan of pleasure as he stretches around you.

And he does stretch.

As he slides further and further down you in halting spurts, you pant through your nose, and when his bottom comes to rest flush against your skin, you bite out a pained curse.

He’s almost too tight.

He laughs breathlessly and rolls his pelvis in a way that’s gloriously excruciating. “So you do know bad words.”

When he starts to move in earnest, you understand his phrasing.

You also understand that there is absolutely nothing more frustrating that being unable to control the pace of his riding. He’s rushing. Always rushing.

You told him you’d let him “do his thing.”

You should. He has, presumably, more experience with this particular brand of fornication than you do.

But he’s always in such a goddamn hurry.

It doesn’t take much to shift him in such a way that means you can get your knees under you- they might be a little sore tomorrow, though- and if he seems startled by the sudden change in position, it’s not enough to stop him from wrapping his legs around you eagerly.

You expect him to cling to you, but he unwinds in a slow arc towards the bed, and you run a hand up his taut stomach wonderingly as he does so.

When his shoulders settle and he finds purchase, however, he starts to ride again, winding and unwinding in fast rolling motions, and you grab his hips tightly, pushing down his frantic bucking with your own, more temperate rhythm.

You push one of his thighs backwards experimentally, and he babbles something breathless and incomprehensible and pulls them both back until they’re almost touching his shoulders.

It’s a very good view, and judging by his expression, an equally good sensation.

You find your pace quickening despite your best intentions.

The sharp impact of your hips against his glutes is stimulating in a way that’s hard to resist, and his increasingly vocal response to your ministrations is dangerously tempting.

Gentle, you remind yourself desperately, aching.

When you take his erection in your hand, he releases his legs with a hissing moan and scrabbles weakly at you. “Not yet,” he babbles incoherently, “I don’t want to blow yet it’s so fucking good feels so fucking good keep fucking me don’t stop yet no not yet please please please-”

He orgasms like a man under a defibrillator, arching hard with a loud and wordless moan, and you feel him spasm around you and you feel your fingers digging too tightly into his skin- and you must be hurting him- and you pull out with a gasp, stroking yourself to completion in the shock of cold air.

When the fog of orgasm clears, you’re grateful for the condom.

He blinks at you lazily as you collapse beside him with a grunt. “Could’a blown in me, y’know,” he mumbles, “that’s allowed, that’s what the condom was for that would’ve been pretty okay, I mean, just so you know.”

You want to tell him that’s not the point, but you’re old, and you’re very tired.

You fall asleep on top of your comforter naked and unkempt, and you fall asleep knowing that you were right.

He’s made a mess of you.

You don’t care.