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Lantis woke when Eagle did, in a ripple of sweaty sheets and trembling flesh, a silent gritting of Eagle’s jaw and a tension that Lantis could feel simply by his arm draped over Eagle’s stomach. Silently, Lantis cursed, and blinked the sleep completely from his eyes, his one hand already smoothing up and down Eagle’s side, beneath his sleeping shirt.

If Lantis were honest with himself, then he would admit that Eagle, for as long as Lantis had known him, was quite possibly the strongest person he’d ever met. But the fact remained that every man had a weakness, and that sometimes even the shining star of an entire world needed comforting.

“Eagle,” Lantis said, low and slowly, his voice a rumble deep in his chest, thick from sleep.

He grabbed at Eagle’s twitching hands, and laced his fingers there with his, slid his body half on top of Eagle’s, and then hooked one leg under Eagle’s so that when he turned over in a sudden strain of momentum, Eagle came with him, sprawled over Lantis. He was too hot; Eagle was always burning with what seemed like a low-grade fever, like he was a machine that never rested, never ceased a slow, steady thrum.

Eagle did rest, though; or at least, he slept a lot. Lantis saw Eagle sleeping almost more than he saw Eagle awake, and if it weren’t for the fact that Eagle gave so much of himself when his eyes were open – and if he didn’t look so damned endearing when they were closed – then Lantis could have found a bit of a problem with it.

“Eagle,” he said again, pressing his lips against sweat-damp hair, against the delicate shell of an ear. “Eagle, it’s Lantis. Wake up. Come on, you need to wake up.”

This, really, was the only reason Eagle’s overprotective watch dog didn’t kick up more of a fuss when one day Eagle had grabbed a fistful of a confused Lantis’ shirt, and trotted him straight to his room, smiling impishly and charmingly all the while in excuse. Lantis was still bemused by that, how so many people held their tongue simply because they could see that it made Eagle happy; how different, he thought, from Cephiro, where happiness was taken tenderly yet sternly away from the Pillar.

But that wouldn’t have been enough for Geo, if not for this, surely. Because sometimes Eagle had nightmares, and Lantis, through some twist of luck or fate, had the best means to shake them from the young man.

Lantis woke Eagle with a kiss.

It wasn’t a fairytale kiss, nothing soft and romantic about it; it was teeth and tongue and wet and deep, it was Lantis shocking Eagle awake on a rush of heat, a twisting, seductive tongue fuck, and Eagle answered with a groan, and latching onto Lantis half-desperately. Eventually, Lantis drew back, and gave Eagle a dry look through the still dark room.

Shivering, Eagle pressed his face against Lantis’ neck, his fingers flexing against Lantis’. “Sorry,” he muttered. “I…I couldn’t wake up.”

Lantis disentangled one hand from Eagle’s grip, so that he could slide it up under his twisted shirt again, and stroke over the knobs of his spine, like he was settling his spirit horse. It was always like that; Eagle had a lot of dreams, and sometimes a nightmare snuck in, a nightmare where, inexplicably, he never woke up, just kept on sleeping forever. Lantis had no idea why that would affect Eagle so badly, but it did, and Lantis didn’t like it.

Maybe it was a remnant of his training as Cail, but Lantis couldn’t help feeling protective of people like Eagle, like Emeraude, who gave too much and didn’t ask enough.

“You’re awake now,” Lantis murmured, spreading his legs so that Eagle dropped into the cradle of them, flush against Lantis, who then pressed his knees up, tight against Eagle’s hips, trapping him there, awake and with him. Lantis could feel a shaky smile on Eagle’s face, could feel him shifting, moving curiously against Lantis.

Then Eagle sighed almost happily, and murmured against Lantis’ neck, “I love that you don’t wear a shirt,” and Lantis had to catch a gasp between his teeth as he automatically arched into Eagle’s hand, which pressed just in the right spots, and tormented him exquisitely.

“I see you’re – ah! - feeling better.”

“Indeed,” Eagle said quietly, pressing wet, sucking kisses along Lantis’ neck, his hand moving against, this time playing with one of Lantis’ nipples. “Are you going to take advantage of the fact, perchance? Or are you too noble, my friend?”

That had Lantis snorting, and twisting them over again, so that Eagle was on his back beneath him, laughing and wrapping one long leg up, to press his calf against Lantis’ ass, and rock him forward, into him. They both hissed, when the angle wasn’t quite right, but good enough.

“If I tried to act noble with you,” Lantis said once he could speak again, “I’d be done for.”

Eagle choked on a laugh, helping Lantis pull his sweat-soaked shirt off of him, so that they only wore their sleeping shorts, which were difficult in taking off if only because it meant that they had to stop grinding in the interim. Lantis couldn’t hold in his groan when they fell back towards each other, Eagle arching up, Lantis grinding down, their bodies long and slick with sweat, muscles moving easily as they worked against each other.

Unable to resist, Eagle reached down, wriggled a hand between them, and wrapped his all-too capable fingers around both of their throbbing lengths; at the feel of it, he threw his head back, and moaned, long and lewd in his throat.

“Come on then,” Eagle said only bare moments before Lantis’ brain succeeded in melting from overload. “Be dishonorable. Fuck me ‘til I scream.”

At that, Lantis was pulling away, body stiff in an attempt at control; with a wicked light in his honey brown eyes, Eagle let him go in a languid roll of his body, his fingers sliding teasingly off of Lantis’ cock and instead strumming up and down his own slowly. He tucked his other hand behind his head, and smiled when the sight made lust sear straight through Lantis, so that he had to reach down and tug at his balls, so he wouldn’t come, right then and there.

“Not fair,” Lantis mumbled, fumbling to find their lube in the side table that Eagle had placed there specifically for convenient reach. Eagle did a very distracting shimmy, and then chuckled, pleased at the expression it produced on Eagle’s face. His hand slowly slid down, traced the base of his cock, through the curling blonde hair there, and then traced over his balls, delicately.

On a long, shiver-inducing moan, Eagle said, “I didn’t think we were playing fair, Lantis.” Lantis, having succeeded in coating his fingers and half the bed with the slippery substance, looked up and caught Eagle’s eye, dark and strange, as the other man said, “I’m afraid I’m very selfish.”

Lantis, in that moment, felt his heart ache and shudder and break a little.

Because he didn’t know everything, but he knew enough to know that love was like that, a horribly selfish thing; and just like his brother, he couldn’t help himself.

He didn’t say anything back, just smiled slightly at Eagle, and leaned over him, pressed a searing, jealous kiss to his mouth, twining tongues and trading breathes, as he traced his cold, slick fingers down the crease of Eagle’s ass, making a mess as he circled the rim of Eagle’s hole, and then finally sunk a finger in, quickly followed by a second.

Eagle made a strangled noise into their kiss, and braced his feet against the bed so that he could arch up and spread, give Lantis better room to work in. Lantis finger fucked Eagle slow and decisively, until Eagle had his head thrown back, his throat working, his body writhing mindlessly, grinding down on Lantis’ hand, which pumped slowly, and spread and scissored until he knew that Eagle would be feeling this when they were done.

Eagle had daringly thrown out their condoms weeks ago, shrugging and saying that he hated them, the thin barrier between them. Eagle was, without doubt, a bad influence on Lantis, because even though he knew he should have, Lantis never even tried to get more; just slid straight in, so that Eagle could feel every vein and rigid inch of Lantis’ cock, and Lantis could better feel the wet, warm heat, the satiny muscles that grasped and coaxed him further in.

Now Eagle’s hand wasn’t behind his head insolently, but grasping at the headboard as he wrapped his legs around Lantis’ hips for better leverage and angle.

Maybe, later, there’d be time for something more, but right then all that was needed was a straight fuck, something hard and long and deep to reaffirm their link in this world, to reaffirm that they were breathing and living and feeling, real and tethered and there. Lantis fucked him until Eagle’s breath was sharp and hitched and he couldn’t say anything other than “yes” and “please” and “almost.”

He had just enough mind left to wrap his hand around Eagle’s dick and start jerking him off. Eagle made a sound in the back of his throat that was almost a whine, and came, white and thick over Lantis’ hand, his body tensing and contracting and shaking; it pulled Lantis right along after him, with just a few more quick, helpless thrusts into Eagle’s ass, and then he emptied his load, and they both moaned at the feel of it.

It took them several minutes before their hearts were close to beating normally. Lantis pulled out, and used the already messy sheets to help clean Eagle up as best he could. And then he leaned back with a dangerous glint in his eye, and flipped Eagle over, his fingers tight on Eagle’s hips as he brought Eagle’s ass up, thumbed the cheeks open so that he could press his mouth to Eagle’s hole and suck. Eagle made a noise like he was breaking, scrabbling at the sheets, and Lantis closed his eyes, concentrating on slurping and tonguing as much of his come out of Eagle’s ass as he could.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!” was Eagle’s steady litany as he smacked his forehead against a folded arm, trembling beneath Lantis and Lantis’ mouth and Lantis’ tongue. With a sigh, Lantis curled his tongue once more, deep, and then pulled back and let Eagle go, so that Eagle almost fell, before scrambling back around, and wrapping his arms tight around Lantis, and feasting on Lantis’ mouth and Lantis’ come and the musky taste of Eagle’s hole.

“You’re insane,” Eagle muttered blissfully between messy kisses, drawing Lantis back down to bed. “And I am so proud. There was nothing at all honorable about that attack upon my person.” Eagle gave a happy sigh, and snuggled back into the pillows, warm against Lantis, languidly touching and caressing. “Now I’m going to be overcome with the need to blow you practically every time I see you for an entire week.”

Very faintly, Lantis smirked, and said, “I think I can live with that.”