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the way to a man's heart

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Erik was beautiful like this. Stood in the doorway between their bedroom and the kitchen, Eleven watched with a sleepy grin as his husband worked. He had on his favourite apron—a hefty black thing Amber had gifted him when they’d first moved in together—and El was pretty sure that was his shirt underneath, considering the way it hung loose and heavy on Erik’s arms, practically eclipsing his slight form.

Eleven was also pretty sure Erik hadn’t noticed him yet; there was something too candid and shameless about his movements to suggest he had. It meant that, for a perfect moment, Eleven could watch the lazy sway of his hips and the gentle lilt of his humming as he cooked and know that this was him when no one was watching. It made his heart swell, to know he was so comfortable here, in his home, in their home.

Erik didn’t look up when Eleven stepped into the room, but his shoulder tilted in recognition, his hum shifting into a near inaudible rumble. When El wrapped his arms around him, he melted into it with warm familiarity, and El could feel the vibrations of it under his hands, like the pleased purr of a spoiled cat.

His hair tickled El’s face as he leaned in to kiss the back of his neck, longer now than he normally kept it. Almost long enough to pull into a tight ponytail, he thought, shifting to nuzzle into it instead, burying himself in thick blue.

“Mornin’ sleepyhead,” Erik said, a smile in his voice. “Makin’ that sausage hash you like so much.”

El smiled right back, kissing his neck again. He breathed him in, hugging tighter as he did. Erik always smelled so nice in the mornings—rich with the scent of fresh spices and the smoky warmth of a low burning fire. It made El want to stand there and sniff him for hours like some sort of pervert, to let himself get lost and forget everything but the beautiful boy in his arms.

“You were gone when I woke up,” El murmured, his hands sliding up under Erik’s shirt, along his bare sides. “I missed you.”

“Maybe if you got up earlier,” Erik replied, head ducking forwards. He sounded a little breathless, the airy tone of his words going straight to El’s heart. That was him.

It almost made him forget Erik’s comment, almost. But his hip nudging El reminded him, and he whined, burying his nose into Erik’s hair and shaking his head, “I saved the world, I don’t want to get up earlier.”

Erik hummed, walking towards the stove. El followed, still wrapped around him and clinging on tight.

“I’d stay with you later if I didn’t know you’d keep me there all day,” he said, tipping his head back enough to smile at El, “who’s gonna cook you breakfast if you’ve got me all tangled up in bed?”

“I don’t want breakfast,” Eleven tried to argue. His stomach rumbled in protest, perfectly on cue, and Erik laughed just enough for El to feel it rumbling where his hands laid on his skin.

“Something tells me otherwise,” Erik teased, the hand he wasn’t cooking with reaching back to pat El’s head.

El licked his lips, his hands shifting lower. “I need a lot of things…” His thumb pressed into the divots of Erik’s hips, massaging him through the thin fabric of his sleep shorts, and El felt him tense beneath his touch.

“I’m cooking,” Erik protested, voice coming out as a low, scandalized hiss.

Eleven went still, hands pausing in their slow ministrations. “Do you want me to stop?”

Impudent, Erik pressed back against El’s groin, grinding against him. “I didn’t say that. But if I burn it, I don’t want to hear any complaining.”

“I ate all your food on the road without complaining—”

“—you did not, I saw you gagging on that fish I made.”

“Gagging isn’t complaining!”

Erik opened his mouth to retort, but before he could get an argument out, El reached into his shorts and gripped his flaccid cock, squeezing firm around the base. It had the desired effect, Erik’s breath leaving in a shuddering gasp, his hand shooting out to brace itself on the edge of their counter.

“If its from you, I’ll eat anything,” El said, voice pitched low. He traced his lips along the shell of Erik’s ear, nibbling lightly on it.

“Smug bastard—” Erik tried, hips jerking forward into El’s deft hands. “That’s not as sexy as you think it is,” his voice pitched up at the end, an airy moan following as El scraped his nail over the head of his cock.

“I love you?” He tried, even as hid his pleased grin in Erik’s shoulder, other hand pushing up his shirt as it roamed over the fine hairs on his stomach and higher still. Just brushing his nipple was enough to make Erik’s breath catch, and he pressed his chest forward tellingly into El’s hands, even as his hips ground back.

“Love you too,” Erik replied, breathless and automatic. El watched him grip at his wooden spoon tightly, still prodding at the meat and potatoes sizzling away in the pan. El’s grin only grew, catlike and shamelessly pleased.

It didn’t take much to get Erik hard. At least, not like this, when they were safe and alone and in their own little world. They could be as insatiable as they wanted, like this, and Eleven knew that as much as Erik was indulging him, he enjoyed himself too. The knowledge was enough to make his chest swell with fondness for the man in his arms, nuzzling affectionately at the side of his face.

“You’re really beautiful Erik.”

Erik snorted, but the effect was lost a little in the tone of it, too obviously affected to really convey anything but a mirror image of El’s clear adoration, tinted hot with want.

El hummed, brushing his fingers just barely over his nipples. “I mean it,” he said, nose pressed to Erik’s cheek, “do you know how hard it is to resist you like this? My own personal house husband. How did I get so lucky?”

Erik didn’t answer. But a telltale pink was dusted across his cheeks, and Eleven was sure it wasn’t just from standing over a hot stove.

“I love you so much,” he repeated, and this time Erik moaned and bucked into his hand. His grip on the counter—already firm—grew white-knuckled. “I got to marry you. I get to keep you forever. How is that fair? I get someone so good all to myself.”

Hah—goes both ways. Said I’d give up thieving, then went n’ stole the heart from the best man in all of Erdrea.”

“It’s yours,” Eleven told him, kissing his neck, “don’t want it back. Not anymore, not now that I met you.”

Erik laughed, a pretty, high-pitched thing. It sounded almost panicked, like he still hadn’t quite processed how much Eleven meant it. But they had all the time in the world now, didn’t they? He could take his time reminding him, could spend all day whispering reverence into his skin, if that was what he wanted.

“And you have nice tits,” El added, squeezing one pec. Erik snorted, and El felt some of the tension in his shoulders dissipate with the serious tone of the conversation, leaving only the lingering tension of his arousal.

“Is that your way of asking for a puff-puff or something? It isn’t going to work as well as you think—” Erik’s words cut off with another firm squeeze of El’s hand on his chest, before much more pointedly pinching his nipple. He gasped, pressing back against El’s hips, and El smiled against his skin. Always so sensitive, he thought, and hoped quietly that little quirk of his husband would never change.

“We’ll make it work,” he promised, voice low with implication.

Erik laughed. “You make it sound so threatening. Do you think I’m nervous? I’m not scared of your dick, El.”

“No?” Eleven asked, dragging his finger through the pre that beaded on Erik’s cock. “That’s good. It really likes you, you know.”

That’s not sexy either,” Erik protested, even as his hips jumped tellingly into El’s hands.

Eleven ignored him, kissing his cheek. “Does your dick like me, Erik?”

“It fucking better—” Erik said, huffing. “Pretty sure it does, considering.” He tipped his head, gesturing at his groin. El hummed in agreement.

Breakfast smelled good. Erik wasn’t wrong to question whether El had eaten his food before, even though in the end he always had. There had been times when it’d worked out—that almost glowing green seaweed soup they’d made was still something Erik brought up regularly, especially around company—but most of the time the only thing green Erik managed in his disastrous attempts at campfire cookery was El’s face.

Rab joining them, he knew, may well have saved El’s taste buds from permanent damage.

But Erik was nothing if not determined when he set his mind to it. He tried to hide it, El knew he had, but his mum hadn’t hesitated at all to gush eagerly about Erik’s enthusiasm about cooking, and El had known just how seriously he was taking it—how seriously he was taking them and the promise of this life they’d built together.

It’d paid off immensely, he thought. It paid off even more when, on quiet, private mornings like this, he could hold Erik close and give back just a little for all the good he did.

El squeezed hard at the base of his cock, watching with amusement as Erik’s hips bucked into his touch. He stroked along the length of him, flicking his wrist at the end, and bit down a smile at Erik’s responding moan, head tipping back to rest solidly on El’s shoulder.

Beautiful, he thought, perfect, dragging Erik back flush against him, grinding hard against his ass. He didn’t have to move much anyway; Erik had all but tucked himself against Eleven already, always claiming more touch, more warmth. As if he wasn’t already near feverish, his skin flushed from his face to his chest, hot under Eleven’s touch.

Erik’s eyes had fallen shut. When Eleven touched the head of his cock, fingers dancing over the swell of it, his eyelids fluttered, lashes dancing on the curve of his cheeks. His lips parted, another low moan escaping, and Eleven moaned right back, rocking forward against the curve of his ass.

“You feel so good,” El told him, turning to trace the shape of his ear with his lips, “if you weren’t cooking I’d bend you over properly.”

Erik’s breath caught suddenly, and the hand that had been grabbing at the counter with a death-grip shot back, tangling into El’s hair with desperation. Eleven could feel his fingers almost trembling, twitchy with need. He almost laughed, would have if not for the way Erik’s eyes blinked open, meeting his own with enough unrestrained desire that it silenced him outright.

He’d always been capable of feeling so much, and El couldn’t always handle the onslaught of it without clamming up. It was a beautiful thing, but of a humbling, near-paralyzing kind—not unlike seeing a massive, shipwrecking wave out on the open ocean.

Then Erik huffed, rich with frustration, and El noticed the sway of his hips, frantic choppy little motions that just barely moved his cock in the ring of his hands. He hadn’t realised he’d even grown still.

Erik huffed again, needier. “C’mon,” he said, voice bordering on outright annoyed, “fuck, El—can’t just stop you ass, I was close.”

Oh. Oh. Eleven couldn’t keep the grin off his face at that confession, shifting to press the shape of it against Erik’s cheek. “Already?” He asked, shamelessly smug, and heard more than felt Erik’s responding growl reverberating deep in his chest.

El—

“You want to come?”

“What?”

Eleven sped his hand up, stroking hard and fast over Erik’s length. Then, just as quick, he stopped outright. He ignored Erik’s whine, his other hand holding him easily in place. His lips traced a slow, hot line down the length of his neck.

“I asked,” he whispered against Erik’s pounding pulse, “if you wanted to come. I could stop, if you want. You are cooking.”

“I do,” Erik replied, his hips jerking senselessly out of rhythm, “you know I do, El—”

“It’s rude to make assumptions,” Eleven replied, light and teasing. Erik groaned, and El couldn’t stop the breath of laughter it pulled from him, his arms tightening around him and his hands tightening where they stroked him, unwaveringly slow. “It’s rude to forget your manners too.”

He felt Erik roll his eyes—or at least try to. El stroked him hard and fast just three times, three quick pumps of his hand that had his knees shaking and his heart pounding under his hands. He was probably too tired for this torment, El thought, and that just made it all the better to see him worn down and desperate.

Erik inhaled deeply, and El paused everything, even breathing.

“…Please,” he sighed, a confession as much as a plea. I love you, it said, I’ll be weak for you, and I need you. It struck true to El’s heart, earnest and raw, and it was him who let out a desperate whine, dipping his head to press it against Erik’s shoulder.

“Always,” he replied. “Erik, darling, sweetheart—"

“Mm—” He tilted his head back, eyes glazed over. El smiled at him, contorting his own head to kiss wherever he could reach on his face; his cheek, his jaw, his brow, the corner of his lips.

His hand moved faster, picking up a frantic, punishing pace. That brow he’d kissed furrowed, his chest heaved, the food sputtered away in its low heat on the pan, and El felt the way Erik tensed under him, teetering on the brink of orgasm.

This time, he did not stop, and with a final inhalation he felt Erik tip over, and caught him in his arms.

Erik’s orgasm was a quiet thing. His lips parted, swollen and red from how his teeth had worried at them, the indent of them still visible in the plump flesh, but no sound but an airy sigh came out. His body, on the other hand, was more than loud enough to make up for it. Eleven had to hold him firm around the waist, if only so he wouldn’t writhe hard enough to send the still hot pan flying, and his cock twitched hard in El’s hand as he spilled across it, hot and wet.

As quickly as the tension of orgasm had gripped him, it was gone. In its place he went lax in Eleven’s arms, a sated smile spreading across his face.

“Good,” he murmured, voice tired and happy. “Love you, El. Too good to me.”

A hand, lazy and slow, reached back to grab at the bulge in El’s own sleep clothes. Or, it would have, if Eleven hadn’t dodged it easily, pressing a lingering kiss to the side of Erik’s face. “Don’t worry about me,” he said, and watched Erik’s eyes grow wide. He blinked it away a second later, smiling warmly instead, but El committed the sight to memory, warmed on his own by the honest way Erik’s face showed his feelings, even if his words didn’t quite.


Breakfast was quiet between them. Not an uncomfortable quiet, never uncomfortable. It was the quiet of communal contentment, an acceptance that between them there didn’t need to be words; not this early, and certainly not after what had transpired.

And, Eleven thought, catching the shy curve of Erik’s smile from across the table, he couldn’t exactly make light conversation when he was this damned hungry. Erik wasn’t wrong to suggest he liked this meal, and he ate with enough gusto to ensure he knew full well just how good it was without a word between them. It must have worked, if his hesitant grin was any consideration.

Or, at least, El would have thought that, if he didn’t feel the slow drag of a foot against the inside of his calf. Fork halfway to his mouth, he froze in place, glaring at Erik. But his smile—and his whole face—had turned away, eyes locked innocently on something out the window. El might full well have believed he’d seen something interesting out there, if he couldn’t feel outright the slow climb of a touch up his leg, sure and steady in its path as it was.

“What are you doing,” he asked, fork hanging from his mouth, muffling him.

Erik turned back to him, eyes wide. “There’s a bird outside,” he said. His touch drifted to El’s knee, lingering.

“There’s always birds outside,” El responded. “We have chickens.”

“Oh,” Erik said. “Yeah.” His lips pursed, “it was a different bird.”

“A cock is still a kind of chicken,” El stated dryly.

The silence returned, for a moment. Then Erik burst into laughter, the stunned kind that shook his whole form and turned his face a pretty shade of red. The table jostled with it, and El found himself swept up, giggling along with Erik.

Erik smiled at him, the traces of his laughter still lingering on his face, lighting up his cheeks and his eyes with joy. El leaned closer to him, magnetised, and Erik’s gaze softened with knowing. He moved closer, chair scraping against the floor as he dragged himself around the table and set his head onto El’s shoulder.

Eleven reached over and got his plate for him, pulling it close once more. When he dropped his hand, Erik grabbed it with his own, squeezing.

“I’ll eat your chicken,” he stated, deceptively sweet.

El frowned, and caught the corner of Erik’s lip quirking up as he continued, “you sure like eating my sausage, huh.”

“Erik—”

“It’s okay, you can say you like my meat."

His frown morphed into a pout, and Erik laughed, dropping his hand to poke his cheek. “Let me have a little fun.” His hand moved, tracing a slow path down El’s bicep, “you wouldn’t let me help you before. Maybe you’d like my jokes better if you weren’t so pent up, hmm?”

Eleven narrowed his eyes, and Erik leaned more heavily into him, his hand continuing its torturous path lower. He palmed El through his pants, nosing affectionately at his jaw. “Don’t worry about me,” he parroted, voice just on the edge of mocking. “You’re already hard. Can I help?”

El looked at his half-eaten breakfast, still warm. He looked at Erik, his smile warm and expectant.

He pulled Erik into his lap, closing the distance between them. Erik’s laugh rang out through the kitchen, muffled only by the press of lips against his own.

Breakfast went cold.