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Outside it rained ferociously. Grant could hear it thrashing against the sides of the tent and the snap of the canvas in the wind. He hoped with some fervour that in the unfortunate event that any body passed by, this would be loud enough to drown out any thing else.

It was too late now, anyhow; he would not stop; probably he could not stop if he tried. With absolute focus, Grant pushed his hips forward a final inch, burying himself entirely in Strange's body. The sensation was excruciatingly pleasurable. He felt hot all over from the effort of restraint, from the slow, torturous push of his prick into Strange, the slick tightness of his body opening up for him. There was sweat on his brow and his arms trembled a little where he held himself up on the rickety camp bed. He parted his lips, wanting to say something, but all that came out was a tense, quiet gasp.

It was then he realised that, quite incredibly, Strange was still talking. Halfway through the process of inserting himself, Grant had had to bite at the inside of his own mouth in the hope that the distraction of the small pain would prevent him from coming off before they had even begun. Around this time he had also stopt listening to whatever Strange was saying. He looked down at him now, his arms braced on the bed at either side of Strange's shoulders, with a kind of dizzy surprize.

“—which was more than could be said for her business sense, but that's all one,” Strange was saying.

“What?” Grant said. It came out barely above a breath. The tension in his body was almost unbearable. “What are you talking about?”

Strange looked somewhat put out. “Have you not been listening?” 

“No,” Grant said, through gritted teeth. His prick was like a rod of iron and Strange's body had him in a hot, vice-like grip. It was all he could do to stay where he was, but in a moment he would move, pull out and thrust in hard, oh, Lord

“Well, if necessary, I shall start again. I was explaining that this reminds me very much of an occasion in Bath— ” 

Under different circumstances Grant might have been quite interested to find out what particulars this situation had in common with the occasion in Bath. At this moment he could not think of any thing that seemed less important. Every muscle in his body was taut as a wire. Quite of their own accord, his hips jerked forward, pressing in even though there was nowhere further for him to go.

“—and I naturally accompanied the party to the inn, al– al– although it was not strictly my business— ” 

Some thing about Strange stuttering over his words at Grant's movement, the startled, breathy sound of it, was more than Grant could take. He finally drew himself back and thrust in again, with more force than he had expected, and at that Strange broke off talking with a low, satisfied moan. Grant closed his eyes for a moment. But after only a few seconds Strange took up his story again. Grant had not been following it in the slightest. It seemed now to revolve around an unpaid bill in a tavern. He opened his eyes.

“Why are you telling me this?” he managed to ask, as Strange paused for breath.

“Do you not want to hear it?” Strange said. 

Grant swallowed. He needed quite urgently to begin to move again. “I do not really care. It does not seem to be very relevant. And I would have thought it sensible to keep as quiet as possible.”

But Strange did not seem to hear this last. Even as he was— hair in wild disarray, breathing hard, legs spread and with Grant buried in him to the hilt— he fixed Grant with a rather ironical gaze and crooked one side of his mouth upwards. “I can certainly speak with more relevance,” he said, and Grant did not like the rich, dark drawl of his voice. It made his very bones turn to molten liquid. “Would you like to know how I am finding this? It is excellent, sir. I have been most impatient all day for you to have me.”

This was very much worse. With a stifled cry, Grant pulled out and pushed in again, and again. With each thrust it was easier, smoother, his hips snapping against Strange's in a hard, jerking rhythm.

Christ, yes,” Strange said. His mouth had slackened a little in pleasure, but his eyes were sharp. He wrapped a hand around his own prick and began almost lazily to stroke it. “You look every inch a soldier, you know, even when you do this. It is some thing in your expression. It is as if I am some thing to be— ah!— won. Or defeated. I am not sure. But I like it very much.”

“Please,” said Grant. His chest was tight. It was very difficult to control the speed of his strokes. “Stop talking.”

“What?” said Strange, affronted once again. “Why?”

“Somebody will hear us.”

“I do not think so,” said Strange, although as if to challenge his own point, he then gave a long, loud groan as Grant pushed into him with especial force.

This would not do. The wind and rain battered at the canvas above them, but the tent was not so very far from the next officer’s along, and men were patrolling the camp. Grant was rather irritated that Strange could not manage— or could not bother himself— to keep quiet, when Grant had shewn such control, such care, swallowing back every noise, and sinking so agonizingly slowly into Strange to start with.

Strange made another equally indecent and equally unrestrained sound. It was a long, wanton moan that could not be mistaken for pain or surprize or any thing else if some one were to hear it.

Merlin,” Grant bit out, under his breath, although the noise had gone straight through him; he seemed to spark all over. At his next thrust, he lowered himself so that he was only just above Strange's body, feeling the head of his prick brush his belly. To make him quiet, he pressed his open mouth to Strange's. It was a messy, filthy kiss, their tongues sliding together, entirely carnal. Strange took hold of his hair at the back of his head with his free hand to keep him where he was, and Grant felt rather than heard him groan again, although at least this time it was muffled. He felt the hot point of Strange's erection, trapped between them, and the hard press of one of Strange's legs coming up to wrap around him, urging him deeper.

Grant turned his head to one side, Strange biting at his lower lip as he pulled it away, and drew in harsh, wet breaths.

“Come on,” Strange said, from under him. When Grant looked down again, his lips were dark and swollen, his eyes alight. “Come on, Major Grant. Have me as thoroughly as I would have you.” 

Grant gave a helpless, wordless grunt, and began to move again, faster.

“Yes,” said Strange, “yes,” and he was beginning to slur a little, to run his words together, but this did not seem to put him off. “This is very much more like it. You are quite— I cannot bring to mind the exact word. Perhaps it does not matter. But it makes it very difficult to look at you without considering all the things I should like to enact upon you. In fact I would say it is so difficult that I have not yet managed it. Oh— ” another groan, seeming to slide up from deep in his chest. Then for a moment Strange closed his eyes, and was blessedly silent, the tip of his tongue only pointing out to moisten his lips. But it was brief, and when he opened his eyes again, he said, “Relentless. You are quite relentless.”

“Shh,” said Grant, in time with each thrust. “Shh. Shh. Shh.”

But Strange had begun to moan again, quite happily. It was the sound of somebody who has no use for or interest in privacy, or perhaps somebody who has taken it for granted for so long that they are unable to recognize its importance. Grant, who by necessity could perform and receive every sexual act he knew in almost total silence, found he could take the frustration of it no longer. Without slowing the thrust of his hips, Grant shifted his weight to one side and brought his hand up to cover Strange's mouth. There was a small clap of skin on skin, and Strange grunted in surprize— although of course he did it rather quietly. 

Grant continued to have Strange exactly like this— relentlessly, a good word— for as long as he could. Strange still made noises, though they were far below the level of the storm outside, and Grant was aware of them mostly as vibrations in the palm of his hand. But some thing about the way that Strange looked now had brought Grant rather close to his end. His eyes were as bright as ever, looking up at Grant from just above the hand pressed hard across his mouth. Even now there was a part of him that could not be subdued. It was quite the same gaze that he had fixed upon Grant since they had first known each other: it had a great deal of interest and focus in it, as if Grant were a spell to be learnt. 

Grant's hand was brown from the sun and a little dirty from the day's march, and his fingertips curled against Strange's cheek as he looked at it. He bowed his head and gasped quietly, the muscles in his arms and thighs burning, and felt his movements become erratic. He made a few final, short thrusts, and then spent himself inside Strange.

Grant was still for a moment. His forehead rested on Strange's shoulder and he inhaled the bitter smell of sex and sweat. His heart began to slow and his prick to soften. When he took his hand away from Strange's mouth, Strange parted his lips and breathed in, but— for the moment, at least— he did not say any thing. Grant pushed himself up and got himself out, and then looked down again at Strange lying beneath him. He still had a hand wrapped loosely around his prick, which by now was leaking, and his face was red with Grant's finger-marks. “Please,” he said, and he tugged his prick once, a jerky, involuntary-looking movement.

Grant was rather tempted to tell Strange to finish himself off, not least because he would have liked to see it, to have Strange allow him that most private of acts. But then Strange said, “Please,” again, with a hoarseness that sounded so genuine that Grant took pity on him. He reached forward to wrap his hand around Strange's, tightening the grip and sliding their hands together along the length of him, through the wetness at the tip. Strange tried to sit up, reaching forward with his other hand, and again he grasped at the back of Grant's head by the hair. Grant let himself be pulled forward, a gentle, firm pressure, and he thought at first that Strange wished to kiss him again. But then Strange angled his head down towards his prick, thrusting his hips up at the same time: Please. Please.

“Only if you can be quiet,” Grant said. 

“Yes,” Strange said, rather fervently.

So Grant dipped his head and took the tip of Strange's prick into his mouth, both of their hands still wrapped around its length. His hand on Strange's was firm, keeping the grip tight, making him move it in a strong, steady rhythm: even if Strange was now willing to try his best, he did not think he could remain silent for very long, and Grant not plan to draw this out unduly. Indeed when he fluttered his tongue against the slit Strange began to make a soft sound somewhere in his throat. And as Grant sucked him harder he became louder. Grant could no longer reach his mouth to stifle his choked-off cries, but thunder rumbled outside— maybe that was Strange anyway— and if he could just finish him now, now, now—

Grant squeezed their hands tight, his fingers between Strange's, slippery with spit and Strange's slickness. With the other hand he reached down and shoved two fingers inside him, where Strange was quite open still and wet where Grant had spilled into him. Strange yelped and shuddered, hips stuttering, and then Grant felt him pulsing hot into his mouth as he clenched around his fingers.

Once he was done, Strange's taut body went slack, collapsing absolutely onto the bed. Grant did the same. He lay for a moment exactly where he was, his head by Strange's hip, flooded with pleasure and exhaustion, until he became aware of Strange's fingers rubbing through his hair and against his scalp. He hauled himself up the narrow length of the bed and propt himself up on one elbow next to Strange.

“There must be some thing you can do,” he said. “You are the second magician of the age. I do not accept that there is not a spell to keep yourself quiet. Or to put a wall around the tent that sound cannot penetrate, or— I do not know. That is your job, is it not?”

Strange turned to look at him with his own particular ironical gaze, which was only enhanced by his generally debauched appearance: he was flushed all over and somewhat sticky. But he did seem to give the matter some consideration. “I am not sure it is a good idea,” he said. “I am often hard pressed to keep a piece of magic under control even in the best of conditions. I think it might be rather a stretch to manage it while actually being buggered. I will probably set some thing on fire or transport the camp to Barcelona.”

“Hmm,” said Grant. Reluctantly, he was forced to agree with this. “Well, anyhow.”

Strange sighed rather regretfully and sat up. “It is such a shame to get oneself into such a state and not be able to luxuriate in it,” he said. “I would like to fall asleep, just once, in our despoiled bed.” 

For a man who had so much to say, Strange did have a surprizing knack for articulating what one was already thinking. Grant usually found that talkative people said very little of consequence.

“Get dressed,” said Grant.

“Yes, yes,” mumbled Strange, but before he got out of Grant's bed he leant in to kiss him. It was brief and sloppy but Grant found himself winding the fingers of one hand into Strange's hair, holding him tight where he was. Strange had a grip on his shoulder, as hard maybe as Grant's hand had been across his mouth, and for a few seconds they clung to one another as if they were shipwrecked. Grant found these sporadic instances quite unsettling: he did not understand why there should be moments in which his need to physically anchor himself to another person eclipsed everything else. But as ever it passed, and they both let go. 

“I must leave,” Strange said, quietly now, although it was a little late for that. Grant nodded, and let him.