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“Breathe.”

Jack gasped in a breath, blinking the tears out of his eyes.

“I just want to see you.”

Jack shook bodily, clenched the sheets beneath his fists.

“I just want to see what I’ve missed.”

Jack’s back and his neck felt hot. He felt vulnerable. He felt overly exposed. And Gabriel had no heat. Every touch would most certainly come as a shock to him, not being able to see what Gabriel was doing, or sense that his skin was close to his, until they were actually physically touching. He blinked rapidly, as if blinking fast enough could at least give him slivers of the room around him; of Gabriel above him, of the smoke undoubtedly wafting off of his equally bare (hopefully-- Jack would be borderline mortified if he wasn’t) form, and of the expression on his face. What did he look like? What did he think of seeing him like… like this?

Breathe ,” Gabe urged him again, and Jack nearly sobbed on air. He flinched when cool, rough fingers caressed the left side of his face, and it was only then that he realized his face was wet. Tears? Sweat? He wasn’t sure. He hadn’t been paying attention. His? Gabriel’s?

“Jack,” the man above him whispered, and the concern in his voice was almost sickening . “Jack… we don’t have to do this. If you don’t like it…”

And then that was when what Jack was most terrified of all began to happen-- Gabriel began to pull away. Faster than he had moved in years, his hand snapped up, grasping a cool, scarred wrist.

“No!” he nearly shouted it, and swallowed thickly, trying to keep his emotions under control. “No, Gabe, no, it’s-- it’s alright. I was just-- I just need…”

There was another hand on the other side of his face, and he flinched less harshly this time.

“What do you need, cariño?” Gabriel’s voice cut through the perpetual darkness Jack faced as a daily reality, sickeningly sweet-- the smell of wood and fire and cinnamon. He stared straight forwards, as if looking long enough at where he was certain Gabe was would reveal his face to him-- the face he would never see again with his own eyes, would never understand the true extent of the scarring that the Switzerland explosion had done to him in comparison to himself.

“I need you,” Jack whispered hoarsely. As he had expected, Gabriel sighed, his breath cold and thick against Jack’s face as he pressed his forehead gently against Jack’s.

“I know,” he whispered back. “I know, Jack. But you’re nervous.”

“No, I’m-- I’m okay.”

“You’re not,” Gabriel insisted. “You aren’t ready to take this step again.”

“I am ,” Jack bit back, almost with a snarl of frustration. He tried to take Gabriel’s face in his own hands, but he was stopped by hands around his wrists, pulling them back down to be around his sides. His breath caught in his throat at the cool of Gabriel’s hands, and yes, he was definitely crying. That was definitely a tear streaming down the side of his face.

“Jack…” Gabriel sighed through his nose, and Jack could almost taste the smoke on his breath. “Christ… you’re not gonna let this go unless it happens, are you?”

Jack shook his head. Gabe sighed again, carefully letting a hand reach around the back of Jack’s head to pull him in close, so their foreheads were resting together again.

“You have to tell me if it’s too much,” he demanded of him, wiping the tears streaming from his eyes with calloused thumbs. “You have to tell me to stop if you’re being overwhelmed, Jack. I won’t be able to forgive myself if it’s too much for you. I won’t be able to… I won’t want to…”

Jack knew the words Gabriel wanted to say to him. I won’t be able to touch you again without hating myself for not knowing.

“I’ll speak up,” Jack promised, his pulse quickening in his chest again at the knowledge that they were going to begin again.

He wasn’t used to letting people touch him-- after six years of being blind, unable to see who or what was around him, he wasn’t used to letting people near him, unless it was with the intent to attack. Now, with Gabriel so close to him, whispering against his lips with chaste, light kisses, he could feel his shoulders tensing, confused with the urge of fight or flight. Jack did his best to chase away his own conflicting thoughts by pressing back against Gabriel, against his lips to deepen their kiss.

Gabriel’s hands had not left Jack’s face, and now, they did not leave his skin as light fingertips trailed ever lower down Jack’s body. They tickled his jaw, soothed around the taut muscles of his throat, down his back, and coming to a stop at his waist, holding him against his own body carefully, as if Jack was paper and could crumple at any moment, at any wrong twitch.

“Lay down,” Gabriel asked of him again, one of his hands coming back up to cradle the back of Jack’s head. Jack placed his hands on Gabriel’s shoulders as he let himself lie back onto the sheets, Gabe easing the way.

“I’m not glass, you know,” Jack muttered, turning his head to one side.

“No,” Gabe agreed. “You’re not. You’re right. But I don’t want to fuck you, Jack. I want to love you. I want to be gentle. I want to be slow. I want to be sweet. It’s not that I don’t think you can handle it--”

Jack almost scoffed. Of course you think I can’t handle it.

“-- it’s that I want to take my time. I want to see you, and I want to map out what I’ve missed during our time apart.”

Apologetic lips brushed against Jack’s mouth.

“Please…”

It was the only way he had gotten Gabriel to agree to do this in the first place, upon recollection. Gabriel had refused to come into physical contact with Jack, save for a lingering brush of a hand or an arm lent in battle to aid him. Since Gabriel’s return to Overwatch, things had been… strained, between them. They didn’t just pick up right where they had left off. There were problems to work though. Trust issues. This was one of them.

Jack had been the first to begin asking Gabe for this again, but Gabe had outright refused from the beginning. “We can’t have sex right now,” he had said. “We’re not of sound mind. Our emotions are all over the place with each other. It wouldn’t be a good idea. It could ruin things. Jesus, we barely even tell each other we love one another right now, and you want to jump back in bed? It could break everything between us.”

“Or it could fix it,” Jack’s counter-argument had been. “One quick, rough fuck, just to get it out of our systems. Just to get that last bit of aggression out. I know you, Gabe, and I know how you work in the sheets, and I can feel the looks you’ve been giving me--”

“No,” Gabe had seethed, and in that moment, he had seemed more like Reaper than he had Gabriel. “We need more time, Jack. We need more time to get everything sorted out. To… to fall in love again.”

“Gabriel, please --”

No, Jack .”

And Jack had jumped him, tried to convince him with actions rather than words. And he had frightened himself with the contact. When Gabriel pinned him against the wall, in anger rather than arousal, he could feel himself straining, trying to fight back, not with kisses or bites, but with kicks and fists. And he couldn’t see. And he couldn’t breathe. And he couldn’t speak. If he had had his visor, his panic would have been at least controllable, but as it was, he had no control, and no idea what to do.

When Gabriel had let him go, he had collapsed to the floor. Air was too much.

He had expected to be left there for being stupid.

But there were arms around him again, just enough to sling one of his arms over a shoulder and to drag him into his bedroom. And there he’d been left, alone, with only a message on his phone that they would talk later.

He hated Gabriel that night.

No, that wasn’t true. He hadn’t hated Gabriel.

He hated that Gabriel had been right .

They had been working up to this moment for months. To Jack, it felt like an eternity. He wasn’t ready to let it go now. Not after all the waiting, the rebuilding of love and trust. The (reluctant) suggestion to take things slow.

Jack didn’t like slow. Slow made him nervous.

Gabriel loved slow.

It wasn’t a method of torture. It was a method of appreciation. A method of exploration. Memorization. It was never meant to be torture.

“Breathe.”

Jack sucked in a breath. It wasn’t a gasping, sobbing breath. It was just a breath of someone who had held one in for just too long. When Jack began to breathe, Gabriel began to move.

Gabriel’s hands never left his skin. Never lifted. Not even once. It was as if his fingers were magnetized to Jack’s skin, trailing over burns and scars and moles. Every last discoloration that marked Jack’s skin. Those that Gabriel knew well, he merely passed over, sometimes making a sound of recollection. A passing comment-- “That was from our tour in Singapore--” or a simple “Oh yeah. That one.” And then he would move on. Those that he had been well acquainted with-- those that he had seen inflicted on him-- he would leave a lingering kiss on.

Jack’s nerves were alight, and he was trembling.

“Give me something, Jack,” Gabriel murmured.

“Keep going,” he urged, bringing a hand up to his mouth to stifle his shaking breath.

There was a moment’s hesitation. Jack nearly sobbed, before Gabriel continued.

The scars that Gabriel was not so well accustomed to, he lingered over. He let curious fingers trace them, with a clear intent to memorize, to stow away in his memory. He didn’t ask Jack about them-- never once told Jack to open his mouth, unless it was to ask if he was okay-- just touched them, trying to pull the stories out of them with just the power of his imagination.

Then there were those that he hadn’t seen, but he knew were his. Scars that he had inflicted on Jack’s skin with his own hands, covered in taloned gloves. He spent an especially long time on those. Taking to heart every divot, every curve, every pore. And, with each one, once he was satisfied with his observation, he would leave a long, slow, lingering, apologetic kiss. As if he could reverse the damage he had down with his own lips. With his love.

By the time Gabriel was done with Jack’s torso, his own breath was shaking. Jack was shaking less. He grabbed Gabriel by his chin, and cringed when his voice cracked as he commanded, “Just kiss me, damn it.” He slammed their lips together without further ceremony, without waiting to hear if Gabriel was okay with doing it-- he just did it.

Seems like that’s how a lot of their problems started, was doing shit without getting Gabriel’s opinion.

But Gabriel kissed him back with just as much force, if not more-- Jack couldn’t tell. He was dizzy with the need to run, or headbutt Gabe away. He did his best to combine the two desires in his head into one need to just be here .

The sheets creaked to his right side. Gabriel was clutching the sheets just enough to stretch them.

Self control , Jack thought idly as Gabe asked permission to enter his lips with a lick against clacking teeth. He’s wanted this more than he’s let on .

“T-too much,” Jack gasped in warning, then added, “Don’t stop though. Just… move on.”

Gabriel caught his meaning. Jack had never been a huge fan of tongue; thought it was slightly strange and uncomfortable, too much in his mouth with too much self-control. Same with fingers. Instead, he parted lips with Jack, instead seeking to mark his neck, nipping lightly here, a peck there, before latching on over his pulse point and sucking.

Now that . That sent Jack’s head spinning without a moment’s reprieve. He grunted, shaking, feeling it jolt down straight to the tip of his cock, finally starting to stir in interest. Gabriel didn’t stay there long, though, moving away after a light kiss to the quickly forming bruise, then repeating the process on his collar bone. That gained him a breathless moan, a clear sign of encouragement.

There were hands on his thighs, having still taken the long route, never once having left Jack’s skin. He could almost fool himself into believing Gabriel was alive with the heat of his hands now, and then tentative fingers were curling in the waistband of his underwear. Gabriel didn’t pull down; he waited, breath caught in his throat in suspense.

Jack squirmed.

“Just…” he swallowed. “Yeah. Yeah, go ahead.”

“No,” Gabriel said, voice quietly stern. “Just what, Jack?”

Jack felt heat creep into his face yet again, having to let his head rest back against the pillow beneath his head to get his thoughts straight.

“I… don’t think I want to… go all the way tonight. I mean-- I don’t want to fuck. I want… I just want-- want to touch you. Want you to touch me. Want to--”

“Ssshhh.” Gabriel hushed him with gentle lips, a hand trailing up his skin to rest against his cheek again. “I know what you want.”

Jack closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. Sweat. Smoke. Cinnamon.

Gradually, Jack’s underwear finally came off, the room undeniably cool around him, and he shivered at the temperature. It didn’t last long-- before he knew it, Gabriel’s body was next to him, on his right, and the covers of the bed were being pulled up over them, to his confusion.

“Just trust me,” Gabriel urged him, breath close to his ear, and Jack turned his head slightly to be that much closer to the voice of his lover. A chaste kiss was pressed to the side of his lips, and he couldn’t help but simply nod, a familiar feeling washing over him that gradually began to overpower his nervousness and his trained trepidation. His body began to relax, even against Gabriel’s cool body.

One of Gabriel’s hands left Jack’s body, while the other one walked down the expanse of his skin until it was coasting next to his cock, only half hard and yet aching to be touched, all at once. It was all he could do not to arch into Gabriel’s touch when his fingers finally wrapped around him; despite the cold, the touch was familiar, like a long lost comfort, and his gasp was near silent in its realization. His arms curled in to his chest, as if protecting his heart from some unseen force.

There was a head against his, and a request. “I know you can’t see me,” it said, “but please… I want you to look at me. I want to see your eyes. I want to see you.”

Jack bit back a warbling, quiet cry, lower lip quivering.

“Please, Jack.” Gabriel’s voice was just as bad in its failure to hide his emotion.

It took a lot of his willpower, but eventually, Jack complied to Gabriel’s request. The scene around him didn’t change-- everything remained pitch black. The lights in the room were off, so there was nothing for him to see. Perhaps, if he had still had his sight, he could have seen the outline of Gabriel’s form, or perhaps even the wetness of his eyes, as he was surely just as emotional about this as Jack was. But his sight was permanently damaged beyond repair-- there was nothing to be seen.

But Gabriel could see him. Could see his vulnerability. Could see his weakness. Him .

There were lips in front of him. He surged forwards to capture them yet again, his left arm wrapping around Gabriel’s waist. Gabe quietly gasped in shock, before accepting Jack in full, letting the two of them combine in the dark.

There was the press of something thick and cool against Jack’s length when Gabe let his fingers fall open for a split second, and then his hand was closed again, the pressure tight and good. The mere knowledge of what it was caused Jack to buck his hips slightly, searching for a reaction, and the smoky breath down his neck was more than enough confirmation to his suspicions.

“Closer,” Jack begged.

Gabe didn’t seem to hear him at first. Jack tried again.

Closer .”

“I can’t,” Gabe choked out. Before Jack could ask what he meant, he heard him respond to his unasked question. “I don’t want to push you away.”

“I can take it,” Jack encouraged him, bucking again, and Gabriel choked back a groan. “ Give it to me, Gabe .”

Fuck ,” Gabriel panted, because despite the tremor in Jack’s breath, the way he commanded him was so familiar, and he thrusted against Jack and into the tight clutch of his own hand. They collided again in an open-mouthed kiss, panting against each other as they moved and writhed almost as one. The tightness in Jack’s chest was of a combination of arousal and overwhelming trust and emotion, and he chased his pleasure against Gabriel’s hand as if chasing after Gabe himself. He dipped his head down into Gabriel’s neck, leaving wet, open kisses against his skin, against smoke and scars and cinnamon, lips on fire, throat scorching.

When Gabriel started to clutch Jack like he was dying, Jack knew that he was close. He looked straight ahead of him, knowing that he was looking into Gabriel’s eyes, since their lips were touching, brushing together, and Gabe was whimpering against him. A strange sense of calm overtook Jack at the knowledge that he was part of the cause of Gabriel’s ecstasy.

“Gabe,” he urged, and Gabe stilled his movements with a choked groan, brushing his lips against the side of Jack’s face and shuddering as if pulled out of a trance.

“N-no,” he rasped. “Not-- not yet.”

“It’s okay,” Jack replied, and Gabriel shook his head against his skin.

“No, Jack. I want you to cum with me.”

Jack’s face paled some at that, and he pulled Gabriel tighter against himself. “Gabe,” he warned, “that might not be--”

“I can wait,” he interjected without waiting for Jack to finish. He knew what Jack was trying to tell him. “I can wait as long as you need.”

“Gabriel, I--” Jack was cut off with a breathless shudder as Gabriel began again, only this time, he was twisting his wrist at the head of both their cocks and squeezing just harder at the base. Jack’s release began to coil in his gut, the break in stimulation having caused his need to build without him being aware. He began to rut against Gabriel’s hand, surprised that the precipice was so close, even as his body continued to tremble in Gabe’s grasp, from nervousness, from excitement, from overwhelming touch.

There was a familiar twitch Jack gave that revealed just how close he was to Gabriel, and he kissed Jack’s lips and breathlessly asked, “Are you close?”

Jack nodded wordlessly. His lower lip was quivering.

“Please,” Gabe begged him, and when Jack looked up, Jack’s breath caught in his throat. He thought he could see Gabriel’s eyes. Glowing, piercing, moon white, staring directly into his own, begging, pleading . There was such intense need in them, and surely, he was imagining it, because Gabriel’s eyes didn’t glow, and they weren’t white. Not like this. And they never held so much need before. Not just on a physical level-- Jack could see past his eyes and his heart, and directly into his soul, and Gabe felt so hurt and broken and alone .

Breathe.

Jack’s throat was tight. The lump there was unmistakable. “ Y-your eyes, ” he gasped out.

Breathe, Jack.

A hand shook its way up Jack’s face, cupping his head, and suddenly, there was breath in his lungs, and the rush of oxygen thrust Jack over the edge that he had forgotten he was hurdling towards. He cried out, eyes squeezing shut as he came hot and thick between the two of them, pulsing against Gabriel’s hand and cock. It didn’t completely overwhelm his senses like most of his orgasms had in the past, and yet was no less an experience. Now, he could stare into those eyes before him (real or imagined, he no longer cared), and gasp out through his climax as they squinted with pleasure, and Gabriel cried out Jack’s name into the darkness and the silence of the room. The cool feeling of Gabriel’s release against his skin shocked him, and he had to do his best not to flinch away as it hit his stomach and his thighs.

Gabriel didn’t stop stroking, and before long, Jack was writhing in over-stimulation, tears running freely down his cheeks, and despite the discomfort, he didn’t tell Gabriel to stop. He didn’t want Gabriel to stop. He was afraid that if he stopped, he would leave. So he cried openly and clutched on to Gabriel until his fingernails pierced skin, and dark blood seeped beneath his nails, and the only word left in his mind was his lover’s name.

Eventually, Gabriel’s hand slowed to a stop, and simply held the both of their lengths in his one hand. The break in stimulation unlocked every tense muscle in Jack’s body, and he sagged against him, shuddering and burrowing himself under his neck.

“Don’t go,” he muttered like a mantra, slinging an arm over Gabriel’s side and pulling him close. His body was shaking again. “Don’t go. Please. Please, don’t go. Don’t leave me.”

The covers that had been around their waists were now being pulled above their shoulders; neither of them seemed to care about the mess between them. They simply couldn’t bear the thought of separating for one moment.

“Don’t go.”

“Breathe.”

“Gabriel--”

“I’m not leaving.”

Jack sighed with relief, the rest of the tension flooding out of his body, and he felt as if half of him melded into the bed, and the other, into Gabriel’s arms.

“I’m not leaving you again. Breathe. Breathe .”