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          “Stop pacing,” Cain ordered. He leaned against the wall, arms crossed, watching Abel wear a nervous path in the hallway outside the commander's office. Abel transferred the official missive to his other hand, rubbing his sweaty palm against the legs of his uniform. He didn't like this.

          “What do you think he wants to talk to us about?” Abel asked, gesturing to the note. It bore a simple message: 0600 APPEAR FOR REVIEW AND ASSIGNMENT PROTOCOL RM 1501. So here they were, painfully early, after a long, rough night. Their mission had been easy, Abel thought, gnawing on the corner of his lip, compared to what came after. His mouth turned up in a wry smile; they usually were, these days. He didn't mind losing a little sleep in exchange.

           “Who knows what the old buzzard wants?” Cain answered, stretching out the kinks in his neck. “And what are you smiling about, anyway?”

          Abel blushed, looking down at the floor. “Nothing,” he hedged.

           The panel slid open with a whoosh, eight minutes late. They filed in, Cain pushing ahead of Abel to stand before the desk. Two other men stood at the back of the room, scrupulously avoiding looking at one another. Another team, Abel thought, glancing at their uniforms. He looked away hastily as the navigator glanced up; of all the people Abel had never wanted to run into again, Judah was high on the list. Small station, small world.

           “So what's this about?” Cain asked, snatching the missive from Abel's hand and waving it in the air. The fighter at the back gave a surprised cough at Cain's disrespectful address, eyeing him warily. The commander glanced up from a lengthy list of names, checking them off one by one on a flexible viewscreen.

           “You're being reassigned,” he said flatly. “Simon and his navigator aren't a good match, so you'll be trading partners.” Abel's breath caught in his throat, his heart hammering against his ribcage. The commander couldn't do that, couldn't just trade him out on a whim – could he? Simon looked at him hopefully, a beaten dog searching for scraps, and Abel looked away.

           Cain blinked, the arm holding the official order dropping slowly to his side. “Commander,” he began, leaning over the desk. “My navigator and I have consistently outperformed your other ships on every mission since we were assigned to the Reliant. Go ahead, look it up.” He flicked the viewscreen from behind, causing the data displayed in neat, orderly rows to scramble and blink. “I wouldn't want you to be misinformed,” he added, his voice taking on a dangerous tone that Abel had become intimately familiar with over the past few months. He didn't know whether to feel jealous or relieved that it wasn't reserved solely for him.

           The commander pushed his wire-rim glasses up the bridge of his nose with a frown, glancing up at Cain with obvious annoyance. He scrolled through the lists, dragging out the Reliant's performance profile for a closer look. He made an irritated sound deep in his throat.

            “I'm sure you wouldn't want to ruin a spotless record like that just because one of your teams had a little - domestic dispute.” Cain threw a glance over his shoulder at Simon, who suddenly found the tile beneath his feet deeply fascinating. His navigator glared balefully at Cain through a shock of unruly red hair, arms crossed in anger. Abel took a step back, trying to make himself invisible.

           The commander coughed, rolling up the viewscreen with a snap. “You make an excellent point, Fighter. I'll reallocate resources from another team.” Cain smiled in satisfaction, straightening up as he took a step back from the desk.

           “We're finished here,” he said, glancing at Abel as he turned on his heel and stalked towards the door. Abel glanced back at the commander, who seemed to have already forgotten they were ever there. His aid leaned forward to ask a question and he swatted the man away, clearly vexed. Cain paused by the door, pressing a finger sharply against Simon's chest.

           “Solve your own damn problems,” Cain growled. “If you can't even handle your navigator, you're not fit to fly.”

           “Maybe you're right,” Simon muttered, looking up through a curtain of light brown hair. The beginnings of a truly spectacular bruise were just beginning to emerge along his swollen jawline. Cain scoffed, shoving him to the side as he made for the exit.

           “Fucking useless...” Abel heard him mutter as he rounded the corner. He risked another glance at the sullen navigator before leaving the room, watched him crack his knuckles as his fighter cringed. Abel shook his head.

           “I remember that guy,” he said, hurrying to catch up with Cain's long, purposeful strides. It was hard to forget a sadistic bastard like Judah. “I thought he got kicked out of the program a couple years back.”

           “He should have been,” Cain muttered. “Already got one fighter killed; looks like he's aiming to add another notch to his belt.”

           "I kind of feel sorry for Simon,” Abel confessed. “Having to fly with a guy like that. But...” he added quietly, counting the numbered doors as they passed. “I'm glad it won't be you.”

           “You're damn right it won't be me,” Cain asserted. “No way I'm getting in a ship with a whack job like that at the gears. That little bitch needs discipline, but I'm sure as hell not going to be the one to make him sit up and bark.”

           Abel stifled a chuckle, knowing Cain wouldn't appreciate the laugh at his bravado. “Besides,” Cain continued, punching the button for the elevator. “I've already got a navigator.”

           The elevator doors opened with a soft whirring sound. Abel watched Cain's profile as he stepped past him into the compartment, looking for words to fill the silence. “You don't follow orders either,” Cain amended, solving the problem for him. “But at least I know you can keep up without getting us killed.”

           “It wouldn't be any fun if I followed orders,” Abel replied, a smug half-smile transforming his face. The elevator slid to a stop, the door opening onto their hall with an high-pitched whine. Cain said nothing, stepping out into the empty corridor. Abel followed, relieved to be returning to the familiar room instead of relocating to join another fighter. Simon had seemed all right, but Abel knew he was no match for Cain at the ship's artillery. No one was.

           The door to their quarters had already slid shut behind Cain by the time he reached it, tired of trying to keep up with his fighter. Cain would arrive wherever he wanted, whenever he damn well pleased, and most days, Abel did well just to show up. He punched the button on the entry pad and stepped inside with a yawn, thinking he might have time for a nap before PT at 0730.

           Cain grabbed him by the arm before the door had even slid shut behind him, pushing him back against the wall. Abel bit his lip, his eyes flicking down the length of Cain's body. His uniform lay in a dark, discarded pile, forgotten by the bed. So much for that nap.

           “I don't know,” Cain mused, continuing the conversation with one hand pressed against the wall near Abel's right ear. His other hand left Abel's arm and traveled slowly down his side, lingering at the hip. “You seem to like following my orders well enough when we're in here.” Abel blushed, remembering the sort of “orders” Cain was talking about. “It's only in the ship you give me so much trouble.”

           “You've never fucked me in the ship,” Abel retorted, giving a startled gasp as Cain's thumb stroked down in a promising arc below his waist.

           “Is that a challenge?” Cain asked, tilting his head with an amused smirk.

           “Maybe,” Abel whispered, leaning in to press his lips against Cain's wicked grin. Cain's hand left the wall to tangle in Abel's hair, tugging him backwards just enough to lightly tongue the edges of his open mouth. He sucked on Abel's upper lip, running his teeth against the raised line of scar tissue that would always mark the navigator as his own.

           Abel moaned against his mouth, wrapping his arms around Cain's waist to pull him in closer, tighter. He rocked his hips forward, his cock hardening at the answering thrust from Cain. Abel's mouth drifted lower, licking his way along Cain's jawline to the sensitive place he'd found beneath his earlobe. Cain growled a little, pushing him hard against the wall. Abel slid down his chest, fingers leaving gooseflesh as they lightly traced a path across Cain's skin.

           They traded places without a word, Cain leaning back against the cold, metal wall as Abel's tongue lingered in the hollows of his hips. Cain's body was a map beneath his hands, an entire country he had only begun to explore. Accepting a new assignment, learning a new partner's ways and habits - the hidden places that made him shiver and shudder – was more work than Abel wanted to take on.

           He ran his tongue along the underside of Cain's erection, teasing the foreskin where it covered the sensitive head. Cain grunted, his hips jerking forward as Abel sucked gently at the tip. He stroked his fingers through Abel's hair, pulling just hard enough to make the navigator whimper around the shaft. Abel cupped his hand around the fighter's balls, pulling gently forward as his fingers traveled up to wrap around his cock. He stroked the length, gently at first, then harder as it stiffened in his hand.

           Abel leaned forward, pulling the loose skin down and back before sliding Cain's cock deeper into his mouth. He grazed the shaft with his teeth, earning a sharp gasp from the fighter. Cain's eyes slid shut as he rocked his hips in time with Abel's movements, licking his lips at the undulating pressure. Abel's fingers traveled back to stroke the skin behind his balls, circling Cain's entrance with slow, deliberate intent.

           Cain pulled him up by his shirt, wincing a little at the separation of Abel's mouth from his cock. “Oh no you don't, you little bastard,” he hissed, pulling the shirt roughly over Abel's head. Abel ran a hand across his lips, flushed and smug.

           “You got a better idea?” he asked between breaths, a clear invitation in his sleepy, half-lidded gaze. Cain grinned and pushed him back, chuckling unkindly as Abel stumbled into the bed.

           “Usually,” he replied, unsnapping the closure on the navigator's pants and tugging them off. He climbed onto the bed, bending to lick the skin just above Abel's underwear. Cain usually didn't see the point in an extra item of clothing, but he had to admit he liked the way Abel looked sprawled out beneath him, erection outlined against the thin, white material. This was how Cain liked him best - hard and wanting, entirely given over to his will.

           Abel cried out as Cain nipped the soft, pale skin, leaving a bright crimson mark. “You know you like it,” he muttered against the navigator's hip, exploring the skin just beneath the elastic band with his tongue. He worked his way up Abel's cock through the soft, slippery fabric, drawing a brilliant variety of sounds from the navigator's wide open mouth.

           “Cain,” he begged. “Cain, please, just – ah!“

           Abel's words dissolved as Cain tugged off his underwear with a single swift movement. Straddling Abel on his hands and knees, Cain reached for the drawer in the nightstand and withdrew the only item it contained. He unscrewed the cap on the tube with one hand, inhaling sharply as he coated his cock with the other. Abel bent his knees, his face a study in submission and desire. Cain tossed the lube to the floor, lifting Abel's hips for a better angle as he guided his cock inside. Abel groaned aloud as Cain filled him, the first sharp thrust catching exactly the right spot. Cain braced himself against Abel's knees, watching sensations flicker across his partner's face as he slid slowly out and back in again.

           Cain moved forward as Abel raised his legs above the fighter's shoulders, easing his hips into the slow, steady thrusts. He pulled back out as far as he could stand before driving in hard and fast, hands stroking Abel's thighs where they rested against his chest. Leaning in close enough to pin Abel's wrists above his head, Cain bent the navigator nearly double and buried his cock up to his balls.

           He covered Abel's mouth with his own, stopping the stream of inarticulate sounds with his tongue. Cain tugged on his lower lip, grunting with each deliberate thrust of his hips. “Who gave you that scar?” he panted, breaths harsh and ragged.

           “Ah – y- you did,” Abel stammered as Cain's tongue flickered out against his neck.

           “What does it mean?” The fighter demanded, stretching to tug on Abel's earlobe with his teeth.

           “I – nngh – you - “ Abel moaned, losing his words as Cain moved deeper, harder inside him.

           “What does it mean?” Cain reiterated, pulling his cock back to the edge and holding tortuously still. He stared down at the navigator through a shock of dark hair, waiting.

           “I belong to you,” Abel whispered, breathless. Cain watched him, strangely intent as his hips found a new pace, faster, harder than before. He freed a hand from Abel's wrists to reach down, wrapping his fingers around the navigator's swollen head. Abel gasped in approval, arching his back into the caress. He came in a sudden rush against Cain's palm, not meaning to give in so soon. Cain squeezed the navigator's wrists, hips jerking faster as Abel's shuddering climax fueled his own.

           ...belong to you...

           “You're damn right you do,” Cain hissed through clenched teeth when the power of speech returned, forehead pressed against Abel's flushed chest. The navigator's heart pounded against his ribcage as if at any moment it might escape. His grip on Abel's wrists slackened and the blond reached out to gently stroke his sweat-damp hair.

           Cain sat up, shaking his head like a dog as he perched on the edge of the mattress. Abel's hand slid down his arm, lingered at his elbow until the fighter shrugged it off. “Get dressed,” he advised. “We've got training exercises in fifteen.” Abel rolled over with a sigh, the muscles in his legs shaking and unsteady.

           “I'm glad you trust me,” he said softly, not entirely certain he wanted to be heard. Cain scoffed, rising from the bed to tug on his uniform. Abel retrieved the pieces of his clothing scattered across the floor, managing to make himself as presentable as possible. If there had been a mirror in their quarters, Abel knew what he would have seen reflected back: the flushed face of a man who had just been fucked, and liked it. Really, really, liked it. Cain paused at the door, one hand on the control panel.

           “You're good at what you do,” he tossed over his shoulder. “You'd only be wasted flying missions for that spineless little coward.” Abel smiled wryly to himself, bending down to zip up his boots. “Can't even keep his own navigator in line,” the fighter grumbled, shaking his head.

           “He'd only slow me down,” Abel retorted smugly, heading for the door.

           Cain rolled his eyes, muttering something inaudible under his breath as he closed the door in Abel's face. You know you like it, Abel thought, sliding the panel aside. He grinned and followed the fighter down the hall, still trying to keep up.