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Far Better Than My Imaginings

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Davos had been a sailor all his life, but this voyage had had the quality of one three times its length. Their way had been delayed—some of the crew said sea monster, but Davos had sailed from Smoking Sea to Sunset Sea and had seen little to convince him of their existence.

However, the sweat and the muck covering him head to toe was all too real. He slogged his way, exhausted, to his customary quarters, ignoring the looks he garnered as he passed. The knights and lords of the Narrow Sea sought Stannis' favor and could not understand how it had been won by none other than a lowborn smuggler who was presently tracking a trail of slime through the castle, his mind only on bed. Or perhaps a bath. That was one benefit, he allowed, to living above his station. He could have a hot bath whenever he desired it. There was an almost ostentatiously too-large tub steaming in his bedchamber when he reached it and his hands were on his doublet laces before he realized he wasn't alone.

"My lord!"

Stannis turned from the window, hands behind his back. His mien might have suggested he was annoyed—perhaps at Davos' lateness, or his choosing to bathe before informing Stannis of his arrival—but Davos knew otherwise.

What was unusual was Stannis' appearance in Davos' quarters. It was their routine for Stannis to summon Davos after a fashion whenever he was on Dragonstone. Usually, it was for supper and talk, which would more often than not lead straight to Stannis' bed. It was a peculiar arrangement they had fumbled into over the few years of their acquaintanceship, but it was not one that had ever seen them take to Davos' bed. He did not even think he'd seen Stannis in his rooms before, and he was not sure what to make of it now.

"I was just about to have a bath, my lord," Davos said apologetically, dropping his hands. No matter their customs at other times, it did not seem right to strip for him now.

The inscrutable blue eyes flicked to the tub. "Go on," he said, waving a hand dismissively. "It will get cold."

Suddenly feeling like he was under tremendous scrutiny, Davos hastened to undress as quickly as he could.

"You were gone a long time," Stannis observed. It sounded neutral, but Davos could read something else in the tone. Could he have missed me this much?

"Poor winds, my lord." He forced himself to pull his shirt off. "We became mired in a heavy patch of seaweed before reaching the castle. It was much work getting us free."

Stannis nodded curtly. It was not as though he had never seen Davos undressed, but Davos somehow felt even more exposed than if they were in bed together. At last he was submerged in the tub, the warm water a sweet relief for his aching muscles. For a moment, he nearly forgot about Stannis until he was kneeling beside the tub, rolling up his sleeves.

"Oh," he said suddenly, but not before Stannis had wrung out the washcloth.

Stannis ignored his objections and began to wash Davos' back. "I did miss you," he said, after a moment's silence. "I sent you away myself, on my business, and yet I missed you."

The uncomfortable prickle climbed Davos' spine and he tried to slide deeper into the tub. "I missed you as well, my lord." It was true. He felt an affection for him that went beyond their odd arrangement, went beyond all Stannis had done for Davos. If he had never acknowledged it before, he did now, after having been away for so long.

Stannis continued to wash him, moving slowly. The warmth was pleasant but as soon as the cloth was gone, the cold air made him shiver. They said nothing, the only sound the trickle of water and Davos' own breathing as he tried not to do anything to make this stop.

"It was more than just that," Stannis added, his lips very near Davos' ear. "I thought of you often." Davos shivered, despite himself. He was no blushing virgin, but his heart was racing to imagine how he might have occupied Stannis' thoughts when he wasn't around.

"In what fashion, my lord?"

Stannis had moved closer, the water glistening on his bare arms as he moved to washing Davos' chest. "In many foolish ones to be sure. But it did not seem so foolish in my own mind, late at night, when I could not sleep."

It had probably been meant to sound enticing, but Davos could not help feeling a pang of sadness at Stannis' lonesomeness. "I am here now, my lord," he said, turning his head so they faced each other. "And quite pleased to be so."

The corner of Stannis' lips curved into an approximation of a smile. "No more pleased than I, surely." He cupped Davos' cheek, pressing his thumb to the corner of his mouth. He had given up all pretext of helping Davos bathe. Davos could no longer restrain himself. Heedless of the fact that Stannis was still mostly dry, he grasped the back of his neck with his wet hand and pulled him in for a kiss. Stannis met him, open-mouthed. Each teasing little nip was a reminder Stannis had longed for him, and Davos was almost embarrassed to notice it fueled his own passion considerably. By the time Stannis' hand dipped into the water, his cock was hard and he gasped when Stannis' hand curled around it.

"Perhaps I should get out, my lord," he managed.

"That won't be necessary." Stannis stroked slowly, not pausing in kissing Davos. "Unless you do not want me to join you?"

Davos swallowed hard. The tub was certainly big enough, and his thoughts on the matter must have become immediately obvious to Stannis, who gave his cock one last long stroke before letting go.

I have longed for this, too, he thought, as he watched Stannis disrobe, perfunctorily, as though he did it only because he could not get into the tub clothed. He had only the barest moment to study Stannis' naked form—the broadness of his shoulders when they were not straining against fabric, the lean chest Davos could not wait to get his hands on—before he got into the tub.

Stannis lowered himself into the water gingerly, as though he were afraid he would not fit. He had to admit Stannis did look out of place, as if he was too large for it. But that did not matter, since the point was for them to be close. He pushed himself up to meet Stannis and they came together in a bruising kiss. Davos gripped Stannis' shoulders tight, surprised at the depth of his longing. I missed him, he thought, as Stannis' fingers threaded through Davos' hair, the grip almost possessive. And he missed me.

They traded kisses for a long time, neither caring that the water was getting cold. "Is this what you envisioned?" Davos murmured against Stannis' ear, pleased to have elicited a shudder. "While you were waiting for me?" He let his hand trail down Stannis' chest, following the line of dark hair to what lay below the water.

"It is close to it," Stannis admitted. His tongue flicked over his lips and his eyes, dark with arousal, never left Davos'. "Now turn around, and let me show you what I thought on while you were gone." His voice lacked its customary sharp edge and Davos could not suppress a shiver of anticipation as he turned and settled himself against Stannis' thighs. The thought that Stannis had spent time thinking about him, had made plans was almost as enticing as the act itself. He tried to picture Stannis, alone, cock in hand, imagining what they might do upon their reunion.

"I did not plan this when they brought your bath," Stannis said, reaching over the side of the tub for the bottle of oil. "But it is a fortuitous opportunity indeed."

Davos' heartbeat quickened as he watched Stannis pour oil onto his palm until a narrowing of his eyes told him to turn around again. It was somehow more arousing that he could not see Stannis, that he would have to wait for the touch. When it came at last, between his shoulder blades, Davos suppressed a groan and arched into it. Stannis' palm rubbed slowly over his shoulders and down his back, long, deep strokes over the places he had just washed. It felt almost as good as the hot water had and Davos shifted with the touch, hoping Stannis' hand would linger where his muscles were tightest. As he felt the tension evaporate, he let himself relax further against Stannis' chest.

"Did you perhaps have the same thoughts?" he asked, chin resting on Davos' shoulder. His hands were cupping Davos' arse.

Davos could only nod as an oil-slick fingertip pressed against his arsehole. His mind was a whirl, all centered on just one thing, so much that he groaned, unable even to say yes, as first one finger, then a second worked their way inside him.

Davos thought his heart might burst from his chest. Stannis was gently stroking the spot that made him shudder, and every sensation from Stannis' breath on his cheek to the lap of the water against his torso threatened to send him over the edge.

"I had thought of this," he finally admitted, stopping short of begging for a hand on his cock, or Stannis' own inside him. "My lord."

Out of the corner of his eye, he thought Stannis looked rather satisfied before leaning forward to press a hungry kiss to his neck. "Good." He withdrew the fingers and Davos bit his lip, breath ragged, shifting in anticipation of what was coming next.

First, it was Stannis' hand on his back, urging him to lean forward. Then, there was more oil, some gentle stretching, and Davos tried to relax so that Stannis would be satisfied Davos was ready to take him. Only the smallest corner of his mind was paid to the water sloshing from the tub, the mess that might betray what had occurred here.

And then, he forgot all thoughts of wet rushes, of propriety, of concealing what they were up to, as Stannis' cock eased slowly inside him. Davos gripped the sides of the tub, restraining himself from lowering himself fully onto it; if he had learned anything from their time together, it was that they would go at Stannis' speed.

"Are you all right, Davos?" The voice in his ear was breathless, shuddery.

Davos could only nod, concentrating as he was on his own breathing. At that, Stannis tugged gently on his hips, and Davos eased back to take Stannis all the way inside him. Stannis hissed, and Davos allowed himself a satisfied smile. They moved in tandem, slow at first, then faster and faster until Stannis' breathing was coming in sharp gasps against Davos' damp hair. He fumbled for Davos' cock, and Davos closed his eyes, trying to match the rhythm of his hips to Stannis' hand, to make the pleasure rippling through him last as long as possible.

"Gods, I—" he gasped, but whatever else he might have said would not come out. Stannis' hands and thrusts were too much. The pulsing heat uncoiled inside him and Stannis' movements continued until Davos felt truly spent, his arms almost too weak to keep himself braced on the tub. He was still caught in the aftershocks when Stannis grunted, and he turned so he could see his lord utterly undone. He did not think he could ever tire of the sight, the dark eyes, the parted lips, the mussed hair. He forced his limp muscles to keep going, to continue moving on Stannis' cock until he, too, had relaxed, breathing hard, against Davos' shoulders.

"Was that the way you imagined it, my lord?" Davos asked at last, when they had extricated themselves from their positions, and he had settled back against Stannis' chest. He had not cared for the coldness of the water before, but now he wondered if they might dry off and move on to the next thing he had been looking forward to—bed.

Stannis sat thoughtfully for a moment, looking as though he had neither the strength nor the motivation to haul himself out of the tub. "No," he said at last, leaning over to kiss Davos one more time. "I found this was far better than my imaginings."