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This Time

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Bodhi couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt so nervous about a date. He straightened up in the mirror, making a face at himself and sighing. He needed to get a grip before Cassian got there. He’d already switched outfits three times; the dark jeans and sweater would have to do. Grabbing a blazer to pair with them, he left his room before he could change his mind, going to sit on the couch to try and relax. He found himself fiddling with his phone after only a few minutes, shooting off another anxious text to Jyn.

⟪Bodhi: I think I’m dressed up enough? But what if I’m not?? Fuck.⟫

Bodhi wished that he had thought to ask where they were going, or that he’d had more time to work the nerves out of his system. Just as much, he wished Cassian were already there in front of him. He had missed him so ridiculously it was almost like they had never made up.

⟪Jyn: Bodhi, this is your tenth text to me this past hour. Take a breath.⟫

⟪Jyn: It’s not even the outfit, right? You’re panicking for no reason!!⟫

Bodhi furrowed his brow. He knew that Jyn was right, but knowing it didn’t make the anxious feeling in his chest go away. Halfway through typing a glib response, the phone buzzed in his hand, flashing Jyn’s name and ridiculous caller ID photo. He startled, biting off the curse that flew to his mouth before answering, ready for whatever pep talk Jyn had up her sleeve.

“I’m not panicking,” Bodhi said first. If he could just convince himself of that, things would go a lot smoother. Jyn scoffed annoyingly and, somehow, Bodhi knew she was rolling her eyes.

“You are, but it’s okay. I expected it,” Jyn said.

“That’s reassuring.” Bodhi took a deep breath. He knew it was stupid to feel this way, it wasn’t like this was their first date. Still, he hated that he was that obvious.

“I didn’t mean it like that, just try to calm down.”

Bodhi tried, but his insecurities, unfounded or not, left him on edge. The thought of coming this far, only to realize he and Cassian wouldn’t work, or that Cassian didn’t want him after all was too much to fathom.

“What if I fuck it up?”

“Bodhi, don’t you think both of you have fucked up enough for a lifetime? It’s all out of the way now, this is the easy part.”

“I guess, it’s just weird not seeing him for so long after we finally sorted our shit out. Everything else had to go and get in the way. With this big gap and both of us working...what if he changed his mind?” That was the crux of it. What if I’m not enough?

Jyn sighed. “Bodhi, you know he wouldn’t do that to you. He’s head over heels the same as you, you idiot!”

Bodhi knew that, to some degree, and remembering that fact did lessen his anxiety a bit.

The last time he had seen Cassian was two weeks earlier, taking advantage of a few hours gap in time between flights. Cassian had met him at the airport and they’d taken a taxi downtown to grab lunch together at the Chinese place they both liked. It hadn’t been a date exactly, or it didn’t feel like one at least, with Bodhi still in his flight uniform and Cassian dressed casually. Bodhi appreciated it still, being able to just sit with Cassian and talk. Holding hands across the table had sent warmth spreading through Bodhi, making him wish more than anything that he could stay. Unfortunately, Cassian had needed to head back to work also, a big story coming out soon that he needed to prep more with his editor. Bodhi had hailed a cab and they’d said their goodbyes on the sidewalk with a lingering kiss.

He thought of that and felt the well of yearning in his chest again, overtaking everything else.

“Thanks Jyn,” Bodhi said, because, even if she did call him an idiot, she had a point. As usual.

“You're welcome. Someday you'll have to repay the favor. I expect the pep talk to be epic, so start practicing now.”

Bodhi laughed, about to mock her over her own recently-exciting love life when the buzzer to his apartment sounded.

“He’s here, talk later!” Bodhi said. Jyn’s cackle of laughter cut off as he hung up and scrambled to buzz Cassian in.

Bodhi had offered to just wait downstairs, but Cassian had insisted on picking him up at the door like a ‘real gentleman.’ Bodhi paced in front of his door before stopping to smooth out the wrinkles in his pants in the few extra moments. Cassian knocked and Bodhi pulled the door open, throat going dry at the sight of him. Cassian wore a dark suit, the pressed white collar of his dress shirt left unbuttoned to expose the hollow of his throat. He was holding flowers and looked about as flustered as Bodhi felt. Bodhi couldn’t hold back the blush that spread over his face as Cassian’s eyes tracked over him appreciatively, biting his lip in a grin when he met Bodhi’s eyes.

“C’mere,” Bodhi said, unable to stand waiting any longer to kiss him. He reached out and Cassian stepped forward willingly, meeting Bodhi in the middle for a kiss that moved from chaste to decidedly not in a matter of moments, flowers dropping the floor when Cassian brought his hand up to curl around the back of Bodhi’s neck. It took all of Bodhi’s willpower not to walk backward and pull him into the apartment completely. To head to his bedroom and forget about their plans. When they pulled apart for air, Cassian looked dazed. Giddy that he could do that to Cassian with only a kiss, Bodhi stayed close, leaning forward to brush his lips against Cassian’s jaw. Cassian wrapped his arms around Bodhi’s waist and held him.

“I kind of missed you,” Bodhi admitted, with his face pressed close to Cassian’s ear, delighted at Cassian’s soft laugh in response.

“Me too,” Cassian answered, pulling back slightly from the embrace to see Bodhi’s grin. He looked past Bodhi, for a second, almost wistfully. Like he was having the same thoughts about staying in. He seemed to decide against it though, leaning down to retrieve the flowers he’d dropped and holding them out sheepishly.

“I know it’s a bit silly and traditional, but I got you these.” Bodhi accepted the bouquet, a soft pang of tenderness filling his chest. Bodhi pressed his face in close to smell them, inhaling the soft fragrance and feeling his face heat from how fondly Cassian was watching him.

“I love them,” Bodhi said, “I’ll put them in...a bowl or something. I’m not sure that I have a vase.”

“I’ll remember to bring that too, next time,” Cassian said with a laugh. Bodhi ducked into the kitchen and took care of the flowers as quickly as he could, pausing to admire the simple arrangement until his nerves sent him rushing back toward Cassian. At the door, Cassian offered his hand, tangling their fingers together and leading him out into the hallway.

“We’ll have to be sure not to wake the neighbors when we come back.” Bodhi said, as they passed the door of the nurse he’d finally made amends with.

“We could always go back to mine after instead,” Cassian offered.

Bodhi thought about teasing Cassian for insinuating that he would put out, but the words stuck in his throat. Cassian’s apartment was uncharted territory for them - some correlation between Cassian letting him into his apartment and Cassian letting him into his life that Bodhi didn’t want to examine too closely. Instead, he smiled and pulled Cassian toward the stairs.

***

Standing and clutching at each other against the motion of the subway car, Cassian couldn’t resist the urge to dip down and kiss Bodhi. Riding the subway together brought up bittersweet memories of the last time they did this, similar and yet so different now that they were both on the same page. Bodhi sighed when they pulled apart, keeping his fingers wrapped up in Cassian’s lapel.

“So, what stop are we getting off at?” he asked, voice low and distracting. Cassian barely remembered that he meant to keep it a secret, pausing with his mouth open before sorting out a reply.

“You just want to try and guess where I’m taking you. I told you, it’s a surprise.”

“Come on Cass, we’re practically there,” Bodhi pressed, looking up at him innocently. It was an act, Cassian knew, but it still almost worked against him.

“All the more reason for you to hold out. It’ll be nice, I promise.”

Cassian didn’t want to admit how little he actually knew about the place, aside from it’s exclusivity and supposedly unrivaled romantic atmosphere. It had been chosen with help from a friend at work who insisted it was the best, they’d even helped him pull strings to get the reservation on such short notice when his and Bodhi’s schedules miraculously cleared.

Bodhi looked a little put out at the evasion, like he was trying to puzzle out a way to win still. Cassian leaned in to kiss him again before he could, silencing any further attempt to get the information out of him. One kiss turned into a few, and if Cassian caught a few dirty looks sent their way, he definitely couldn’t bring himself to care.

The automated system called out the station name, scratching through the speakers almost inaudibly as the train screeched to a stop, and Cassian looked up, grinning when he realized it was their station. Bodhi was flushed, mouth bruised pink from kissing, looking unbearably gorgeous as a smile played across his lips. Cassian grabbed his hand and tugged him along out of the subway car before they could get any more distracted.

“It’s not far,” Cassian said, leading Bodhi toward the stairs up to the street. Bodhi looked at the station name, glancing around the platform with a look of concentration on his face.

“This better not just be some joke, an uptown McDonald’s or something.”

“It’s a Burger King actually,” Cassian joked and Bodhi wrinkled his nose, pretending to laugh.

The walk to the restaurant went by quickly, Bodhi casually swinging their joined hands in between them as they walk. The place wasn’t so obviously upscale from the front, an old building set between two larger brick ones. Once they were inside, though, Bodhi stilled, his eyes sweeping over the chandeliers and the fireplace before darting back to Cassian.

“Really Cass? This looks...” Bodhi started and Cassian hushed him, feeling nervous that maybe he’d overdone things. He wanted things to be right, so badly.

“Come on, we don’t want to miss our reservation.” Bodhi bit his lip, only letting go of Cassian’s hand so Cassian could slip forward and give the hostess his name. They were led through to a larger room with a high ceiling, light glowing warm from the even more ornate chandeliers. The hostess settled them at an intimate corner table, giving them the menus along with an extensive wine list to look over before their waiter arrived. Cassian thanked her and she went, leaving him alone with Bodhi, who still looked a bit overwhelmed.

Bodhi looked at the price for the three course meal and laughed.

“You really didn’t have to take me someplace this nice. I’ll probably put out anyways.”

Cassian knew he meant it, that they could have eaten Chinese back in his apartment and Bodhi would have been just as glad. Cassian didn’t know what it would take for Bodhi to realize he deserved to be romanced like this.

“I wanted to,” Cassian answered sincerely. Being able to take Bodhi out wasn’t about showing off. More like a reminder, to them both, that they were choosing to do things the right way this time. The way Bodhi looked in the glow of the candlelight was worth more than anything he could imagine, his heart achingly full at the sight.

Bodhi blushed under Cassian’s gaze, looking nervous but smiling back.

“I would have worn something nicer,” Bodhi said, “might have had to borrow it from you though.”

“You look perfect,” Cassian insisted. Bodhi tugged on his sleeves, looking pleased and almost shy.

“I tried to, for you.”

“Honestly Bo, you always look perfect to me.”

“You’re such a sap,” Bodhi said, but the corners of his eyes crinkled, and he swayed forward toward Cassian like he had no control over the action.

“This atmosphere just brings out the romantic in me.”

Bodhi huffed another soft laugh, eyeing the menu again, but with a little less shock. A bit of the anxiety in Cassian’s chest lifted, knowing he hadn’t blown this. They managed to order food when the waiter came over, only stumbling a little over wine choices that neither of them knew anything about.

Once they were alone again, Bodhi reached out his hand across the table and Cassian took the hint, offering out his palm to tangle their fingers together.

“I feel like we’re in Beauty and the Beast or something,” Bodhi said, amused. “Thankfully with less singing furniture.”

“Should feel more like Hamilton. This used to be Aaron Burr’s house.”

“Really?” Bodhi asked, perking up in his seat. Cassian nodded, launching in to the fun facts he’d managed to remember from the restaurant website.

***

Having more than one glass of wine was maybe a mistake, the alcohol loosening Bodhi’s tongue far more than he wanted to admit. Not that he’d ever been one to hold back when it came to Cassian. Not since they’d sorted themselves out, at least.

“You look lovely too, you know,” Bodhi said, licking at the corner of his mouth. “Took a lot of willpower not to just drag you back to my bedroom at the apartment.”

Even in the low light of the restaurant, Bodhi could see the flush that settled across Cassian’s cheekbones, the fork in his hand clattering against his plate when he set it down. It probably wasn’t fair to tease, not when he wasn’t far off in feeling flustered.

“You can’t just say things like that, Bodhi!” Cassian leaned forward, hissing the words under his breath as he looked around. Bodhi brushed his foot against Cassian’s calf as punctuation, huffing out a laugh. He wanted to kiss the scowl off Cassian’s face, but doubted he could keep it chaste. This wasn’t the sort of place for impromptu makeouts, not that any restaurant really was.

“I’ll have even more to say about it later,” Bodhi promised, smirking slightly and enjoying the way Cassian’s eyes narrowed in response. He was definitely thinking about the possibilities, what they could up to when they were alone for real. Bodhi startled when the waiter re-appeared to take their dessert order, ignoring the wink teasingly offered when he looked up in confusion. For half a second, Bodhi considered skipping out on the course, a different thought making him grin instead.

“I’ll have the chocolate souffle,” Bodhi said smoothly, the low buzz of arousal and almost-intoxication settling under his skin. Cassian ordered simple ice cream, eying him suspiciously. When the dessert arrived, Bodhi scooped the first bite into his mouth with a low pleased sound that made Cassian choke.

Bodhi held Cassian’s gaze, pulling the spoon from his mouth slowly. Cassian whimpered softly, dragging his eyes away to look down at his melting ice cream instead. Bodhi’s darted his tongue out to chase a drip of chocolate sauce, sure that he must look obscene, but too far into it to care.

“Bodhi,” Cassian said warningly.

Bodhi smiled, keeping his lips shut in case there was chocolate all over his teeth. “Your ice cream’s going to melt if you don’t eat it, you know.”

Cassian’s answering smile was full of mischief. “Can think of something else I’d rather have for dessert, actually.”

Leaning forward and suddenly not caring one bit about what a mess he might be, Bodhi pulled Cassian into a kiss. He shivered when Cassian’s tongue darted out, licking the taste of chocolate from the seam of his lips. Cassian pulled back with a cough, ducking his head for a moment before looking up to search for their waiter. Bodhi took a deep breath, trying to get his composure back. If this were a movie they would toss money on the table and get out of there, but life was not a movie, so they had to suffer through waiting for the check and signing the credit card slip, Bodhi curling his hands into fists in his lap to keep from reaching out for Cassian again. They might never go to this restaurant again, but he didn’t want to make a scene either.

Outside the restaurant, he had no such restraint, pushing Cassian up against the brick of the neighboring building, hands pushing underneath his suit jacket to tug the shirt loose from his pants.

Cassian laughed against his mouth, reaching down to stop Bodhi’s wandering hands. “Hey, calm down a little.”

Bodhi tucked his face up against Cassian’s neck, breathing in the familiar scent of him and fighting back the urge to leave a mark there where anyone could see.

“We need… Uber, or something. Whose apartment is closer?” Bodhi choked the words out, gratified by the way Cassian’s pulse sped up under his mouth.

“A-already on the way. Think I’m closer, actually.”

“Next time we’re going somewhere within walking distance,” Bodhi murmured.

Cassian laughed, the sound vibrating through Bodhi. “Definitely.”

A car pulled up behind them, window rolling down to reveal a guy in his mid-twenties, tattoos covering most of both arms and peeking out of the collar of his shirt.

“You Cassian?” he asked, squinting at the way Bodhi swayed against Cassian. He climbed out when Cassian nodded, coming around to open the door for them.

“He better not puke in my backseat.”

Bodhi flushed, pulling away from Cassian to climb into the car. “M’not drunk, don't worry.”

“Yeah, alright. No sex in there either.”

Cassian grinned as he slipped into the backseat. “Don't worry, I'll keep him in line.”

Bodhi couldn't see the driver anymore, but he caught his own reflection in the window, streetlights washing out his features. He pressed his hand against the coolness of the glass for a second, then against his neck, trying to pull himself together.

Cassian's hand landed on his thigh, squeezing lightly to get his attention. “Alright?” he asked.

Bodhi tipped his head back against the seat and smiled, half a laugh escaping his mouth. “Yeah, will be.”

He covered Cassian's hand with his own, threading their fingers together. Cassian bumped his knee against Bodhi's, worry falling away from his face as he slid his hand an inch higher.

“Oi, I mean it. Keep it in your pants, that upholstery is a bitch to clean.” The driver sounded gruff, but he winked at Bodhi in the rear view when their eyes met, reaching over to turn up the radio and pull out into traffic.

***

No sooner were they inside Cassian’s apartment, than Bodhi had him backed up against the door. Cassian dropped his head back against the wood, twisting his arm back to turn the lock. Bodhi held him in place with his weight leaned against Cassian’s hips, mouthing at his collarbone distractingly.

“Couldn’t wait to get you back here,” he murmured between kisses, the sharp edge of his teeth glancing across Cassian’s skin.

“I noticed a little.” Cassian let out a laugh, breath hitching as Bodhi’s hand grazed across his stomach, unbuttoning his shirt insistently.

Bodhi pulled his mouth back, leaning his forehead against Cassian’s chest. “We never - before. We never came here. Was always you coming to mine, you know?”

Cassian ran his hands up Bodhi’s back, pulling him in close. “I know. Wanted you here then, but… I couldn’t have you in my bed and then let you go again. That sounds ridiculous, I know.”

Bodhi made a noise of disagreement, his eyebrows drawing together. “No, it’s not - It’s not ridiculous.”

Cassian pulled his mouth up into a smile. He hadn’t meant to derail them like that. “It’s different now though. Like real actual boyfriends.”

Bodhi looked up, through his lashes - something that Cassian thought should honestly be illegal - the sadness falling away to reveal a playful look. “Well, boyfriend, are you going to take me to bed, or what?”

“Don’t know, you seemed pretty intent on having me right here a second ago,” Cassian teased, grateful for the chance to ease the fragility of the moment.

Bodhi’s face broke into a grin, and Cassian’s heart only beat faster. “Think I had too much wine to coordinate anything up against the wall at this point.” He stepped backward, curling his fingers through Cassian’s belt and tugging him forward. “Come on, lets make it to the couch at least.”

They stumbled toward the living room while Cassian pushed off his shirt and suit jacket, not caring where they fell with his attention focused solely on Bodhi’s face. Bodhi led him to the couch and pushed him down onto it, stepping between Cassian’s legs before dropping down onto his own knees.

Cassian smiled, and brushed his knuckles down Bodhi’s flushed cheek. “Thought you’d come up here - what are you doing?”

Hand still tucked into Cassian’s belt, Bodhi started working the leather free from the buckle, leaving it threaded through Cassian’s pants as he undid the closure. He rolled his eyes a little at Cassian’s question, but he still bit his lip before answering. “Wanna get my mouth on you.”

Cassian leaned forward, reaching for Bodhi and pulling him into a kiss. Bodhi whined softly, hands still tucked into Cassian’s lap, and they both broke apart gasping for breath when Bodhi’s fingers snuck into Cassian’s underwear and wrapped around his cock. “Fuck.”

“We’ll get there,” Bodhi said, then pushed Cassian back, shifting his knees apart as he leaned down to take Cassian into his mouth, tongue slicking the way.

Bodhi bobbed down a couple times, wrapping his hand around the base to hold Cassian in place. He drew back to lick across the head, looking up at Cassian with dark eyes. Cassian groaned, fisting his hands at his sides.

“Fuck, you look good like that, Bodhi.”

Bodhi smiled, choked a little, and pulled back. “Like when you talk to me, you know,” he said, voice strained. “And touching’s allowed, too. Encouraged even.”

Then Bodhi’s mouth was back again, and Cassian could hear words spilling from his lips, but he couldn’t be certain if any were coherent. All he could focus on was the shift of muscle underneath his hand where he had it curved around the back of Bodhi’s neck, the slick noises Bodhi’s mouth made moving over him, and the curl of pleasure slowly winding through his body.

Cassian tightened his fingers, thumb pressed against the base of Bodhi’s skull. “Getting close, if you wanna…”

Instead of pulling off like he expected, Bodhi seemed to redouble his effort, every bob of his head pushing Cassian’s cock a little deeper into his mouth. When Cassian’s cock hit the back of Bodhi’s throat, he swallowed, and Cassian keened, his hips stuttering forward before he could rein himself in.

“Fuck, sorry - sorry,” he said, but Bodhi was whimpering, hand clutching at Cassian’s hip. Bodhi looked up, swallowing again, and Cassian was done for. His orgasm flooded through him, head tipping back against the coach as he bit his lip to keep from shouting. Bodhi swallowed as much as he could, the last few spurts catching him across the chin and clinging to his short beard.

Cassian sat for a moment, trying to catch his breath, focusing again when he heard the sound of a zipper, and saw the motion of Bodhi’s arm down between his legs.

“Hey, hey no - come up, come up here. Fuck, wanna touch you.” He slipped his hands under Bodhi’s arms and tugged him upward, until Bodhi climbed to his feet, cock jutting out from the confines of his pants, his underwear pushed down and out of the way. Cassian shoved them both down further, holding Bodhi steady so he could step out, then rucking up his sweater until he reached back and pulled it over his head.

“Got me naked,” Bodhi rasped, voice strained. “Now what?”

Cassian lifted up enough to push his own pants down to his knees, then pulled Bodhi into his lap, the head of Bodhi’s cock grazing against Cassian’s stomach in the process. Bodhi drew in a sharp breath, then reached for his own cock, fisting his hand around it roughly. Cassian dragged his hands up Bodhi’s thighs, then reached up to pull Bodhi down into a kiss, licking the taste of his own come out of Bodhi’s mouth.

Bodhi whined, his hand moving faster, knuckles brushing against Cassian’s stomach. Cassian pulled back and nuzzled at Bodhi’s throat. “Gonna stay here with me tonight? Want to see what you look like in my bed in the morning. Want you to stay long enough to have me up against the door, or in the shower, or anywhere else you can think of. Want to be able to look around here, remember you in all these places, to keep me company whenever you’re gone.”

Bodhi gasped, a soft litany of curses falling from his mouth as he came, warm and wet against Cassian’s stomach. He collapsed forward, one hand still curled around his cock, and the other around the back of Cassian’s neck. He looked exhausted, and a little overwhelmed, dropping his head down to press against Cassian’s shoulder.

“You mean all that, don’t you.” It wasn’t a question, but Cassian answered with a kiss to Bodhi’s temple, and soft words in his ear.

“Every word. I’m all in this time.”

He could feel Bodhi’s smile, his mouth brushing against Cassian’s skin as he spoke.

“Me too.”