The problem with rescuing the real Avalon was that then they'd inherited her plans. As far as Avon had understood, they'd come to this appalling ice planet in the first place to offer her transport and nothing more. They'd been meant to teleport down, teleport up, and fly away.
Instead they'd broken in to the Federation Centre not once but twice, and narrowly escaped Travis's latest mad plan to kill them all. And then, when they'd seemed safe at last, Avalon gathered them round the flight deck and asked them to go back down once more. She sat on the couch and looked up at them with wide, serious eyes, and told them she wished to free every last one of the subterrons she had originally planned to leave fighting the Federation. She said she could hardly risk their triumph over Travis and Servalan backfiring in any way on the prisoners.
And, incomprehensibly, everyone seemed to be in favour of the idea.
Gan at once protested the suffering of innocents, Blake promised Avalon any help she needed, and Cally pointed out there was room to transport any number of people on a ship as big as Liberator. So much, Avon thought, for them—they were idealists, those three, but he could usually count on Jenna's sense and Vila's cowardice to protest any truly dreadful idea. However Vila was too enamoured of the girl's pretty face to object to the danger, and Jenna was a friend of hers, if not a close one. On hearing Avalon's request she nodded, pointing out that the Federation would hardly expect them to hang about and pull such a stunt after so narrow an escape. Avon considered mentioning that this was because the idea was ludicrous to the point of suicidal, but one glance at Blake's face told him he'd be wasting his breath.
Usually Avon didn't let that stop him. But since Travis's last attack on the Liberator, the desire to tell Blake when he was being an idiot and the desire to push him into the wall and kiss him had been growing increasingly entangled. So he confined himself, in this case, to telling them only that it was foolhardy in the extreme.
Avalon frowned at his comment, Jenna rolled her eyes and Vila huffed out a half-laugh and shook his head. Blake levelled a determined stare at Avon, obviously preparing to argue him into a more positive frame of mind. The force of it ran through Avon's blood in a flash of adrenaline, and his desire to move into Blake's space and escalate the dispute intensified.
He quirked an eyebrow instead and remained silent, and contented himself with Blake's look of surprise as his own pulse gradually slowed to a more reasonable beat.
So back they went. Avon didn't protest when Blake told him he'd be accompanying them on the rescue mission. He didn't make any sarcastic comments when a blocked passageway in the ice caverns meant they became lost and took an extra half an hour to find their way to the cave that functioned as the prisoners' quarters. He could tell his continued silence surprised Blake, who kept shooting him bemused glances out of the corner of his eye. Avon gritted his teeth and ignored them.
He didn't say "I told you so" when, on their way back to the surface at last and with more than fifty weak, malnourished subterrons hurrying along behind them, Jenna's voice crackled into Blake's communicator and told them pursuit ships had appeared and would be in firing range in sixteen minutes.
He flashed Blake his sweetest, most ironic smile as Avalon called for the subterrons to move more quickly. Blake shot him the briefest of exasperated looks in response and fell back to hurry the stragglers along. Cold daylight shone up ahead, around a twist in the passageway, but Avon found himself pausing to wait. A man stumbled and Avon helped him absently to his feet and pushed him forward. Blake had paused, trying to raise Jenna on his communicator.
There was no reply, from Jenna or anyone else on the ship, and Avon waved the last of the subterrons ahead impatiently and didn’t point out to Blake that Avalon had no doubt doomed them all and the Liberator into the bargain with this mad stunt.
So when the walls around them began to shiver and the ceiling collapsed above their heads, cutting them off from the rest of their party and burying them under a mound of snow, packed ice and rock, Avon had quite a bit of pent-up frustration and an extensive collection of nasty things to say. He determined, as he grabbed hold of Blake's arm and pulled him desperately back, away from the worst of the debris, that if they both managed not to suffocate or be crushed he'd say every single damn one of them.
When Avon opened his eyes he was chilled to the bone, despite the heat generated by his thermal suit. A wall of bright light loomed inches from his face, and he pressed himself instinctively back, into the floor, and then winced as something sharp dug into the back of his head. He put a hand out cautiously to touch whatever was hovering over him—it was a sheet of ice, flat and smooth and glowing somehow, and he snatched his hand back and tried to scramble out from under it in a sudden claustrophobic panic.
"Ow—Avon, dammit, stop."
Avon stilled. "Blake?"
There was a brief pause. "I think the ceiling fell on us," Blake said mildly. Avon felt warmth and irritation and exasperation swell up in his chest and bared his teeth in a snarl against them.
"Obviously," he snapped back. "And you have some objection to me extracting myself from under it?"
"Since you're supporting part of it and I'm supporting the rest, yes."
There was a pile of rubble between his face and the direction of Blake's voice, but he reached out carefully until his hand settled on an arm. The arm shifted slightly under his fingers and then a gloved hand was grasping his, firmly.
"It's not actually resting on me," Avon answered. The sheet of ice did seem to have moved an inch closer, though, since he'd first opened his eyes. He stared up at it, trying to control the claustrophobia, and realised he was squeezing Blake's hand. He released it instantly. "I may have kicked something loose," he admitted. "If I try to shift it…?"
He pressed his palms against the ice and pushed experimentally, and Blake bit off a yell. Avon removed his hands hastily, but the ice didn't settle back into its original position. Instead, with an ominous groan, it came right down on them and Avon only managed to catch it again an inch from his nose.
Blake was cursing again, voice strained. "What the hell are you doing, Avon?"
Avon didn't bother to answer. The cold was beginning to seep through his gloves and burn his hands. "Can you get out from under this?" he asked.
"I don't think so. My shoulder's pinned down, and I can't feel my leg. I think my ankle may be broken."
"Terrific," Avon muttered. "Try anyway. I can't hold this up forever."
"Then get yourself out," Blake told him. "Don’t worry about me."
Damned martyr, Avon thought, and shoved at the ceiling. It lifted enough for Avon to raise his head over the rocks and then roll madly in Blake's direction. He ended up sprawled on top of Blake, so that he could take the weight on his back when it fell again with a crash.
In the bright, blue-white light from the ice, Avon could see Blake's features quite well. His face was pale as parchment as he looked up at Avon and quirked an eyebrow.
Avon grit his teeth. "Perhaps you could try to move sometime this century, Blake. If you are somehow labouring under the delusion that this position is comfortable for me, I'd be happy to disillusion you."
It wasn't as uncomfortable as it could have been, actually. The weight on his back was cold and heavy but not unbearable, and Blake's body heat under him was almost frighteningly comforting. That, in its own way, was unbearable enough.
Blake managed to ease his trapped arm free and slide carefully out from under Avon and the ceiling, and then grasp the edge of it, taking some of the weight so Avon could follow him.
The tunnel before them was entirely blocked by snow and ice. The tunnel behind them stretched, dark and empty, back toward the Federation Centre. There was little chance of them getting very far in either direction. Still, it was surprisingly easy to see each other: the odd blue-white light glimmered from every direction.
"Ice crystals," Avon murmured, looking about.
Blake settled heavily on the ground, resting carefully back against the tunnel wall and shivering a bit.
"Well, at least we don't have to sit in the dark," he said glibly, and Avon shifted his gaze from the glowing ice to glare at him. Blake met his eyes a moment, and sighed. "Go on, then," he murmured, letting his head fall back and shutting his eyes.
Avon grinned. "I told you," he snarled with relish. "I told you it was idiotic. Are you incapable of thinking rationally, or is this your idea of a good time?"
"A good time?" Blake echoed, stretching his foot out carefully in front of him, and then shrugging further into his coat and hugging himself. "Hardly." His eyes were still closed, and his voice held a dignified calm that somehow made every single one of Avon's complaints seem pointless. He hesitated a moment, and then moved to Blake's side, resting his hand very carefully on Blake's boot.
Blake winced. "Don't. It's bad enough, that's all we need to know. Until we're back on Liberator, we can't do anything for it."
"No," Avon agreed. "What about your arm then?"
"Seems fine," Blake answered, opening his eyes and raising his left arm. Then he swore. "Damn, the bracelet."
It was missing. It must have fallen off during the cave-in, and was no doubt lost under the ice.
"Better and better," Avon snapped.
"It was hardly done on purpose," Blake snapped back, shivering again. "At any rate, we still have yours."
Avon raised his own and examined it. He still had it, yes, but it was quite obviously smashed, and badly. "A somewhat useless asset, I'm afraid," he said.
"Can you fix it?"
"For some reason it didn't occur to me to bring my toolkit with me on this 'very simple rescue mission.' Considering the way that most of such missions go, I can't think why not."
"No, nor can I," Blake agreed, and he sounded, for all the world, amused. Avon was reminded once again of the utter uselessness of arguing with him when he wasn't interested in arguing back. Rabid wargs couldn't make Blake do something he didn't want to do.
He removed his gloves and searched the pockets of the fur-lined jacket he'd insisted on wearing over his thermal suit. Eventually he came up with a basic probe. "I'll see what I can do," he said.
Blake shivered again and, seeing Avon watching him, explained, "I think my suit must have shorted out when the ceiling fell on us."
His own suit would provide him with adequate warmth, Avon decided. He slid out of his jacket and tossed it at Blake. "You might as well wear this," he said. "I'll need more freedom of movement than it allows."
He didn't wait to see how Blake would react. He headed back to the sheet of ice, which was the brightest of the light sources in the tunnel, and crouched down by it, prodding gently at the broken communicator. Behind him, he heard the sound of fabric rustling against fabric, and was unable to keep from glancing over his shoulder. Blake had settled the jacket over him and wrapped it round his shoulders like a blanket, and shut his eyes again.
It didn't take long at all before Avon could tell the communicator was beyond repair, but the thought of being buried down here under the snow kept him at it until he was ready to scream. Blake napped in the gloom against the cave wall, and Avon tried painstakingly to create some kind of connection around two wires that were hopelessly fried. And furiously, and silently, cursed Avalon for getting them into this, Blake for agreeing to it, and himself for going along with it when he'd known better.
When his hand slipped and the probe fried one of the few remaining live wires, Avon gave up in frustration and disgust.
“I can’t do it,” he snarled, throwing the bracelet down. “The circuits are too badly decayed to fix this without the proper tools.”
Blake opened his eyes, seeming quite alert for someone Avon had thought deeply asleep, and settled back further into his jacket.
“We’ll just have to wait for them to dig us out,” he said, looking entirely too comfortable. It made Avon furious, and he got to his feet to storm away in the direction of the darkness that led back underground, toward the subterrons' caves in the Federation Centre.
“I am not going to sit around waiting to be rescued or die, Blake!” he shouted. “I’m getting out of here. Well?”
Blake just looked up at him. “I can’t go with you,” he said. “My ankle’s too badly hurt. I'd only slow you down, and neither of us would make it.”
Avon stared at him, breathing heavily. He was speechless again, and it surprised him somehow, though he couldn't say why. Blake always managed to surprise him. Avon argued with him, saved him, threatened him, yelled at him and laughed with him and yet Blake stood stalwart in the face of it all. Nothing he did seemed able to disconcert the man. It was very disarming.
“Avon.” Blake was watching him patiently.
Avon walked carefully back and settled onto the cavern floor next to him.
“Thank you,” Blake murmured. He sounded surprised, as if he had more than half expected to be left. “Why?”
"Does it matter?"
"I think so."
Avon struggled to come up with a decent excuse and, when that failed, struggled to come up with a half-way decent one, or even a lousy one. Anything but the truth.
He could feel Blake's stare.
"Well," he said eventually. “Imagine if, by some wild chance, they did manage to ‘dig you out,’ as you put it.”
“And they found I’d left you here on your own." With an effort, Avon forced his tone into flippancy. "I’d never hear the end of it.”
Blake grinned at him, obviously not buying it for a minute. “I didn’t think you cared, Avon.”
Avon scowled at the wall opposite. “I don’t.”
Blake unwrapped the jacket and shrugged it over both their shoulders. Avon struggled with himself a moment, and then scooted closer so that the cold gap between them vanished and his edge of the coat fell further over his shoulder. Blake’s arm fell over his shoulder as well, and Avon considered shrugging it off. He sat there, considering it, for a very long time.
He woke up in Blake’s arms, stretched out half next to, half on top of the man. One of Avon’s legs had twined together with Blake’s, and the furry coat lay over his back. Blake’s chest rose and fell slowly under Avon’s cheek, and each breath stirred his hair. Avon lay there and weighed the merits of pulling away against those of shutting his eyes and going back to sleep. Lying here with Blake felt good, horribly good, and he hated it. He hated the feeling almost more than he could remember hating anything else.
But they were snowed in, trapped in a rocky cavern with a broken teleport bracelet and no food. They were utterly alone and the chances of being rescued were slim, and a large enough part of him wanted to let himself take what was here in front of him, as a kind of last request of himself. Avon knew what he wanted. He'd known since Blake had turned to him on the London and told him he needed him. That he had never wanted to want Blake had never changed anything.
He shifted carefully until he could see Blake’s face. He was an unremarkable-looking man, really. His features were soft and pleasant enough, but not handsome. But when he was awake, the entirety of his personality shone through his eyes, focussed and incendiary. At times Blake was fiery mad and at times he was cold—and nasty enough to give even Avon and his hard-earned reputation a run for his money. Avon had worked to cultivate his own mercurial mood shifts, and he hid behind them like shields. But Blake could keep pace with him, could cut straight through them to the messy anger and want and hope that Avon spent most of his time suppressing.
Avon despaired of him, despaired of them all. Blake was determined to fight the Federation straight down into hell, and following him was like real-time disaster tourism: walking in the wake of a hurricane and admiring the destruction. Blake was a natural high; he made Avon’s blood thrum through his veins and threaten though Avon did, he knew he wouldn't leave. He'd already tried, more than once, but here he was. Here they were together.
Hopeless, he thought, with disgust.
Avon had always had a desire to take rare and valuable things and keep them for himself. Blake was both rare and valuable, but Avon knew that should he give in the slightest bit, Blake would overwhelm him. Avon calculated the risks he took and knew when to pull out, and he knew that his chances against Blake were slim to non-existent. And he refused to give himself up to someone in that way; he refused be another of Blake’s casualties. He was going to cling to his sense of self and his sense of independence if it killed him. If it killed them all.
Or at any rate, he was going to try. It had been getting harder and harder of late, particularly when Blake caught his eye and Avon knew he knew—knew that the tension was shared: an open secret between them.
Knew that all he had to do was say, "Yes." A dangerously simple word.
Eventually his own inactivity and Blake’s continued sleep spurred him into action. He slipped carefully away, tucked the coat more securely around Blake, and searched out the broken teleport bracelet.
He was very deep into his work when Blake’s voice cut through and brought him back up. His fingers were stiff and almost entirely numb, and his eyes were burning from the strain. He’d made only a very little progress.
“Avon,” he heard again, and turned on his heels to face his companion. Blake had propped himself up on an elbow, the coat falling to puddle in his lap. “What are you doing? You’ll freeze to death.”
“Sooner or later,” Avon agreed, though he put the bracelet back down anyway.
“Later then,” Blake said, “I didn’t think you were the type to resign yourself to martyrdom.”
Avon made a sweeping gesture toward his rudimentary probe. “I’m not,” he pointed out. “That's why I'm having another go at the bracelet.”
“And I'll say again, you’ll only kill yourself faster. Come here.” The fool held up the edge of the coat to underline his command. What little body heat he’d had trapped under it was no doubt flowing out, so Avon sighed and gave in, crawling back to lie down beside him.
To his shock and consternation, Blake didn't bother trying to share the jacket. He rolled himself right on top of Avon instead, almost knocking the breath out of him.
“Good god, you’re heavy,” Avon protested. “What do you think you’re doing, you lummox?”
“Keeping you warm,” Blake snapped back, “so stop arguing and submit to it.”
Avon stiffened, and glared up at him. “Not a word I particularly appreciate, Blake.”
“I don’t particularly care.”
“Get off me.”
“Avon, you are almost frozen solid. I am not getting off you.”
Avon was no willowy boy, but Blake was heavier and surprisingly strong, and try though he might Avon found himself unable to shift him. It didn't help that he was indeed so cold that his joints had gone stiff and his fingers didn't quite have the strength yet to get a good hold on the man. The effort did get his heart beating faster and his blood pumping. And it was warmer with Blake in his arms, and it was all he could do not to give in and cling to him, bury his cold nose in the heat of Blake’s neck and....
He stared up into Blake's eyes as he felt the first stirrings of arousal, low in his belly.
Avon broke eye contact and struggled harder, and Blake’s forehead dropped forward to rest on his shoulder, his curls sitting wispy on Avon’s cheek and tickling his nose.
“Avon, lie still,” he ordered.
"Not a chance," Avon answered grimly, working an arm between them and shoving at Blake's chest.
Avon realised what the problem was when he managed to get one knee free and his foot planted on the ground, and had the leverage to press his hips up and try to toss Blake off him. Blake gave a short, muted groan as Avon’s thigh rubbed against a very serious erection.
Avon stilled, and then swore.
“Blake,” he snapped, fighting down panic at the way his own cock hardened in his trousers, “this is entirely your fault.”
“Not my fault, damn you Avon,” Blake murmured into Avon’s shoulder. He was trembling a bit. "If you'd just stayed still…"
“Well, get off me.”
Avon took the element of surprise, threw caution to the winds and shot his hips up, flipping them and starting to scramble away. He hesitated almost immediately when Blake made a half-stifled noise of pain, remembering his injured ankle.
He didn't manage to finish as Blake raised his head and kissed him, and then his tongue was in Avon's mouth and Avon’s pulse skyrocketed. Blake wrapped his arms around him and the breath left Avon's body and his heart was racing and he was panting into Blake’s mouth and Blake was swallowing all his air.
“Stop!” he gasped when he finally could, feeling like the word was being ripped up out of his lungs. It took a moment, but Blake stopped and let his head drop back to the ground. One arm was still wrapped tightly around Avon's back, and his other hand cradled Avon’s hair. Avon kept his eyes tightly shut.
"All right," Blake said at last, voice low and thick with desire. "I'm sorry Avon."
Regret swept through him, so fast and strong it left him shaking. “Let go of me,” he ordered for a third time.
“I have,” Blake answered, and his voice was unsteady but not nearly as unsteady as it ought to be. “It's your turn, I think.”
Avon opened his eyes. Blake's arms had indeed dropped back to his sides, but Avon was still sprawled across him, hands clenched tightly in Blake’s useless thermal suit as though they had a life of their own. He looked at them but they didn't let go. Ah, he thought distantly. Yes, that's right. It’s hopeless—I knew that.
It settled in him like an interesting and irrefutable fact. Yes, he knew he was in love with Blake. He'd been in love with Blake since the beginning, and nothing he'd done had made the slightest bit of difference. So he did the only thing left, and leaned down and kissed Blake back. And to his astonishment, Blake moaned, heartfelt, into it. It was the headiest rush Avon had ever had. He broke the kiss to stare down at him, wide-eyed.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake stop teasing—Avon, please,” Blake begged, and Avon realised he'd been wrong: this was the headiest rush he’d ever had. He tried to laugh and it came out as a breathless chuckle and he pressed Blake's shoulders down into the rock and kissed him again, exhilarated with the discovery that even if Blake did take him over, it seemed he held the power to take Blake right back.
Out of deference to Blake's ankle, and to his broken thermal suit and the bitter cold of the rocky floor, Avon eventually slid off and urged Blake on top. Neither of them could bear to shed much clothing, if any, which meant they did nothing for a while but kiss and kiss and kiss, until Avon was so heady with it he only realised he'd managed to get his hand down Blake's trousers when Blake gasped into his mouth and broke away. He pressed his forehead to Avon's shoulder and rocked into his hand until he was moaning and panting his way through orgasm, and Avon kissed his hair gently and then clenched his teeth against the way his lungs seemed to constrict. Blake's shivers subsided gradually, and then he turned his head and pressed his lips to Avon's ear, pulled off a glove and slid his own hand beneath Avon's clothing to return the favour. Avon's skin was cold and his nerves were hot and the cave floor was dreadfully uncomfortable and it was painful and gloriously good and nothing that Avon ever wanted to end. In the afterglow he held Blake close and let himself drift into sleep, not bothering to retrieve the jacket a few feet away. It was unlikely to make much of a difference in the long run.
The sounds of scuffling and faint voices eventually woke them. Blake raised his head and blinked down at Avon.
"I don't believe it," Avon said flatly.
"Oi!" came Vila's muffled voice. "Anyone there? Can anyone hear me?"
"The entire planet is likely to hear you, Vila!" said Cally's voice.
Blake pushed himself off Avon, elbowing him accidentally in the gut in the process.
"Ow, dammit, Blake," he snapped.
"Avon? Is that you?"
"Vila!" Cally's voice scolded faintly.
"I tell you I heard something!"
There was a pause, and then much more clearly Cally's voice sounded in their minds. Blake? Avon? Are you there?
"We're here!" Blake called out.
"They are here!"
"Told you, didn't I?"
There was a thump from the other side of the snowed-in passageway, and a large chunk of glowing ice fell from the ceiling with a crash. Ice shards flew like shrapnel, and Avon put a hand to Blake's chest and shoved him back to the ground, out of the line of fire.
"Vila!" he shouted into the silence that followed. "If you could manage to avoid bringing the entire place down on us, we'd appreciate it."
"Sorry," Vila said, quite clearly. Avon rolled over and saw him looking at them through a small hole in the rubble. "Worked though, didn't it?"
Avon got quietly cleaned up in his cabin and then, when Cally stopped by and insisted, made his way to medical. Blake was already there and Gan was rolling the tissue regenerator gently back and forth across his bare ankle, which was mottled purple and green. The colours faded as Avon watched.
Blake climbed off the chair at last and Gan turned to Avon.
"I'm perfectly all right," Avon told him levelly.
Blake, on his way out of the door, put a hand gently on his shoulder, and Avon swallowed. In the next second Blake was out the door, and Avon met Gan's eyes and put up his chin in preparation to insist. Gan just gave him his best no-nonsense look. Avon stared at him for a moment, and then sat on the chair, feeling suddenly too tired to argue.
Gan healed up the bruise on the back of his head from the cave-in, and the mild burns on his palms from the ice, and pronounced him fit. Avon squared his shoulders and left, heading back to his cabin and bed.
He dimmed the lights all the way down to blackness, but when he shut his eyes he could still see the blue-white glow of the ice crystals, as though it had been burned onto his eyelids. He lay on his back in bed, not bothering to undress, and stared into the dark.
The realisation he'd had when they'd been snowed in together, the sense of inevitability, felt very different now that he was on Liberator, with the rest of the crew around him. It also felt uncomfortably unchanged. That Blake seemed to be as crazy about Avon as Avon was about him was both reassuring and terrifying. Avon had no idea whether an on-going affair between them would reduce or increase the intensity of their disagreements. Whether it would encourage Blake to listen to him when Avon argued, or tempt Blake to use it against him. Whether Avon would be able to fight it if he did, or if he'd stop wanting to. He had no idea what the others might think of the relationship. Whether he could even manage to be in a relationship with someone.
Whether he could stand not to be.
After two hours he gave up and went to Blake's cabin, knocking curtly.
"Come in," Blake called. Avon stepped into the room to find him standing by a small desk, frowning down at a datapad he held in one had while he chewed absently at the thumb of his other.
Avon paused in the doorway, and Blake looked up.
"Avon," he said, looking surprised. Avon couldn’t quite blame him, considering he too was surprised he'd decided to come here. But he'd had the last two hours to go over and over it in his mind. He felt fairly resigned to the truth.
“I couldn’t sleep,” Avon told him.
Avon shut the door behind him. Blake’s eyes ran up and down him, but settled on his face. Avon stepped forward until he stood only a few feet away, and Blake tossed the datapad he’d been holding onto his desk and reached out to cup Avon’s face.
Avon looked at him steadily, and Blake’s fingers laced through his hair and pressed gently into his scalp to pull him forward, and in the next moment they were kissing. It was fairly chaste, until Avon bit at Blake’s lip and then Blake’s tongue pushed its way into Avon’s mouth, and he took hold of Avon's hips and turned him bodily toward the bed. Avon’s back hit the mattress and Blake landed on top of him, and Avon got lost in the feeling of being pinned between an inordinately sexy man and a supremely comfortable bed until Blake started to tug at the buttons of his trousers, and then Avon flipped them.
He kissed his way across Blake’s mouth and down his jaw to his neck and left teeth marks there while Blake writhed, hands grasping at Avon's thighs and then tugging at Avon's trousers. He managed to get the trousers off at last, and then turned the tables and flipped them back. His hips were planted firmly between Avon’s thighs and Avon bucked into him and slid his tongue deep against Blake’s, as unambiguously as he could. Blake groaned and sat back, running a hand up to the back of one of Avon’s knees and pressing it forward.
Avon barked out a laugh. “If you think I’m that flexible, you’ve lost what little remains of your mind.”
Blake’s eyes were black in the dim room. He leaned forward, hand running from Avon’s knee up to his hip bone.
“Turn over,” he whispered, and kissed Avon. The order called up conflicting impulses, the first of which was lust and the second of which was challenge.
“For you?” Avon murmured when Blake’s mouth lifted away. Blake kissed him again.
“Turn over.” He sat back on his knees and Avon rolled slowly over, before pausing.
“How do you want me?” he asked. “Knees or stomach?”
"God, Avon," Blake breathed, and in the next moment his hands had settled round Avon's wrists and his weight was pressing Avon down into the bed. Avon could feel Blake's erection against him and he tried instinctively to rock back into it, and Blake rocked forward to meet him and then his lips were on the back of Avon's neck and he was kissing and biting his way down to Avon's shoulder. Avon tried to tug one of his hands free to take hold of himself, but Blake’s fingers tightened around his wrists. Avon choked and snapped his hips forward into the mattress, but it was nowhere near enough.
“Blake—” he gasped. “Blake, if you don’t take your clothes off and do this properly—”
“Sorry,” Blake whispered, pressing a kiss into the marks he’d left in Avon’s skin and releasing his wrists at last. He sounded one part amused, one part reverent and otherwise totally lost. Avon dragged his shirt over his head and then squirmed onto his back again to help Blake with his own clothing, tossing it all unceremoniously off the bed as Blake rummaged about in a drawer. He came back with a bottle of lubricant, and at the sight Avon simply reached forward and tugged Blake back on top of him. He slid his hands into Blake’s curls and tossed his head back soundlessly when Blake slid a finger into him.
“You’re stunning,” Blake told him quietly.
“Didn’t think you’d be one for—sentimental pillow talk,” Avon managed from between clenched teeth.
“It’s true, though. I thought I should mention it.” Blake added a finger, scissored them and smoothly pushed further in to curl them and Avon’s entire body snapped up off the bed.
“Blake—good god!” he gasped. His fingertips ached with it. Blake obligingly repeated the motion, and again, and again, and Avon rode the waves of agonising pleasure until they threatened to put him over the edge. It had been far too long since he’d had sex like this. If he had ever had sex like this before in his life.
“Enough,” he panted. “Enough, or it’s over, and I want—Blake, enough, I want more.”
The disjointed sentence seemed to make sense to Blake—which was all Avon needed it to do. He scissored his fingers once more and then removed them. Avon whined and twitched, caught somewhere between the memory of too much and the suddenness of not enough. Then Blake pressed in agonisingly slowly, and Avon wrapped his arms around him, clung to him, released him and ran a shaking hand down Blake’s chest, twisted his fingers into the sheets and laced them carefully into Blake’s hair. He couldn't see and he couldn't breathe and none of it mattered. His thigh muscles were trembling with the strain.
He managed Blake's name again, voice thin and reedy, and Blake cursed above him and pushed the rest of the way in, in one move. It seemed Avon was flexible enough to manage this on his back, if only just. He'd no doubt regret it in the morning, but nothing in the universe could have made him stop now.
He only realised he’d lost time when Blake stilled. Avon's throat was dry and almost raw—he must have been crying out.
“Avon? Are you—how are you, do I need to—?”
“If you stop I will kill you, I will kill everyone, I’ll—” He wasn't sure what he was saying, so it didn’t much matter when Blake pulled carefully out and pushed in again, and Avon’s threats trailed off into a sob. “I need it—you—need you to fuck me, Blake, now," he snarled, "I need—want—want too much—I—need it to be too much, come on, damn you!”
Blake laughed, breathless, and pulled back.
“Kerr Avon babbles during sex,” he said wonderingly.
“Shut up and get—” He groaned long and broken as Blake pushed in again. “Get on with it.”
“I thought I was.”
Avon bit his lip to stop himself.
“Oh no, please, go on,” Blake panted, and Avon could hear the smile in his voice. “Nice to know when I’m doing the right thing.”
“You never do the right thing,” Avon pointed out, keeping his tone as caustic as he could. He could tell it wasn't one of his better performances.
“Oh? Dear me, I thought this was what you wanted.” In an act of truly remarkable will, Blake stilled. Avon wanted to sob. His fingernails dug into Blake’s shoulders, but Blake did not take the hint.
"Damn you, you know this is what I want,” he managed at last.
“Yes, though I’m still not sure what gave it away,” Blake agreed, the teasing tone rough around the edges. He started forward again and Avon clenched his teeth against the pleasure.
Blake laughed and kissed him.
The next morning Avon woke to find Blake's head pillowed on his chest and one arm thrown out across his waist. He stared down at the dark curls for a moment, then settled one arm carefully over Blake's shoulders. Blake stirred and lifted his head, blinking sleepily, and then smiled at Avon.
"Good morning," he said.
"Good morning," Avon answered, shifting slightly and registering a rather pleasant ache in his backside and a much less pleasant stiffness in his thigh muscles. “You realise I might not be able to walk out of here on my own?” he teased lightly. It was an absurd exaggeration, and Blake's expression said he knew it.
"You aren't going to complain this much every time, are you?" he asked casually, dropping a quick kiss to Avon's chest.
Avon grinned at him. “That remains to be seen.”
"I'm very happy to take a look, if you're worried…" Blake offered, tugging the sheets up and peering quizzically beneath them. Avon dragged the pillow out from under his head and thwacked him with it, and Blake laughed and sat up.
“Point taken." He tossed the sheets back and made his way toward the shower. "You'd better go find Gan and his tissue regenerator, then, and explain what you need and where.”
This time he managed to duck, and the pillow sailed over his head.
"Oh, have your fun, Blake," Avon called after him. "But tonight, I believe you'll find it is my turn to fuck you into the mattress."
Blake turned back, various parts of his anatomy betraying immediate interest, and Avon smirked at him. Blake smiled back, and his eyes were so soft that Avon's breath caught.
"I certainly won't complain," Blake said, and then the smile turned to a grin. "Any time you like, in fact. My shower is big enough for two, if you..."
Avon climbed out of bed and went after him.