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Only In Dreams

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“He’s doing it again,” Nicky whispers into Joe’s back. He’s almost asleep at this point, but Booker’s quiet noises keep him from drifting off completely.

“Mmm, doing what?” Joe murmurs in reply, pulling Nicky’s hands tighter around him. His voice is thick, eyes shut, the slope of his neck to his naked shoulder beautiful, still so beautiful.

There’s more rustling, the creaking of bed springs through the paper thin walls, and then a hitched sob that cuts right through Nicky’s heart. He flops onto his back, running his hands through his hair for a moment and then pushing himself to sitting, feeling Joe’s eyes on him now. He turns to look at him, Joe’s face hidden in the darkness, but he can tell he’s mostly awake now. There’s kindness on his features, but he pulls on Nicky’s hand, trying to urge him back down to the bed.

Nicky shakes his head, and then does it once more, more resolutely. “I’ll go talk to him.”

“It’s not going to help,” Joe murmurs, and they both know Booker can hear them just as well as they can hear him through the walls. “It didn’t help the last hundred times.”

Nicky frowns. “Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.”

Joe looks up again, runs his hand over his beard, and then props himself up more on the pillows. He pulls Nicky close one more time, their lips fitting together briefly and perfectly, just like they have a million times, but it’s still nice, still warm, still lovely.

“I love you,” Joe says into his lips and Nicky smiles and pulls away, giving one more chaste kiss and then moving to stand. He pads across the floor and opens their door, pausing only briefly in front of Booker’s before knocking gently.

“Can I come in?” he says, when Booker doesn’t answer right away. There’s some indiscriminate grumbling at that, and the bed creaks more violently as Booker turns over on it.

“What was that?” Nicky says.

“Fine, yes!” Booker says huffily, and Nicky has to smile. He opens the door quietly and just peeks his head in. It’s dark in the room, the whole place stuffy, the air having broken about a decade ago but no money to fix it and so rare that they were at this particular safehouse often enough to even bother. Booker’s got one leg out of the covers, the rest of them tangled around his hips and chest. The man shuffles upwards, flipping his long hair out of his eyes and then feeling around on his nightstand for his pack of cigarettes.

“Christ, I need a light,” he mutters to himself, and Nicky hangs by the door, not wanting to intrude too much. He watches Booker find the lighter, his face illuminated for only a second as he lights the end of the cigarette, and then they are in darkness with only the moon and the dim flare of orange as he inhales.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Booker says, and Nicky has heard those words a million times, too.

“Okay,” Nicky says this time, instead of his usual placating attempts.

Booker looks up at him sharply and then takes another long drag, the thick smell permeating the room.

“Those things are bad for your health,” Nicky quips, and Booker bites out a dark laugh.

“Look,” Nicky begins, and at that Booker huffs and sits up, turning to the side so he doesn't have to look at Nicky anymore. Nicky watches Booker stub out the cigarette butt, fumbling with the carton for another and lighting it with trembling hands.

“I’m fine,” Booker says, voice perfectly even. “Go away.”

Nicky waits only for a moment and then shuts the door. He walks back to his own room, sliding in next to Joe’s solid form, the covers still warm. He buries his head in Joe’s neck, breathing him in, heart heavy.

“It didn’t help,” he says, and Joe kisses the top of his head and pets his hair until they both fall asleep.

Nicky doesn’t feel any better in the morning and Booker is even more closed off than usual, swearing at the cappuccino machine and not meeting either of their eyes.

—-

Nicky gets smart the next time. They are staying in Venice and this time he is the one in charge of seeking out the fleabag accommodations in the shadiest part of town.

“There was only one room left,” he says as he plops down in the chair between the two of them, letting a brass key clatter in front of Booker and pocketing the other. There are half eaten cannolis and paper napkins strewn across their little bistro table, and Joe hands him an espresso in a chipped cup.

“Of fucking course,” Booker mumbles, his cheeks pinking slightly and his fingers curling around the key.

Joe only raises an eyebrow, and Nicky smiles a little at him, knowing his lover can read him like a book.

“I’ll be back late,” Booker announces, swallowing the last of his coffee and licking the last bit of powdered sugar off of his thumb. His sunglasses hide his eyes and he smiles with pointed teeth. “Please be done fucking by then.” Then he stands, throwing down a few bills on the table and leaving without another word.

Nicky sips his espresso, rolling the taste across his tongue and thinking of the last time he’d been in this plaza. When had it been? Two hundred years ago? It had hardly changed, minus the Venetians wearing airPods. There is a fluttering of pigeons as a child runs by shrieking, an older couple holding hands and walking leisurely by the stone fountain, a vendor selling gelato with a colorful umbrella overhead, the sun setting behind the ancient buildings and painting the sky a gorgeous shade of blood red.

“You heard the man,” Joe says into his ear, pulling him from his memories, Joe’s hand creeping forward to lace their fingers together. It’s still a bit of a thrill to do this part in public. They finish their coffee and stroll the streets, in no actual hurry today, the laze of time off making them fat and content.

Amore mio,” Nicky chants later, his skin sweaty as Joe works him over. His come spills over his stomach, their skin slippery as they grind together, panting in tandem until their breathing slows. Nicky doesn’t mean to fall asleep but he does, just like that, almost forgetting that Booker would be returning soon. Almost.

—-

“Jesus fuck," Booker mutters as he fumbles with the door. He pushes it shut loudly, making the two of them grumble and turn over. Nicky pulls on the sheets to cover himself further but they are trapped under Joe’s bulk. He frowns and tries again, this time managing to get a bit free to wrap around himself.

Booker stumbles over to the threadbare upholstered chair in the corner, kicking off his boots and then resting his head in his hands for just a moment before slowly crawling down to the floor. When he doesn’t get up after a moment, Nicky rolls over and hangs his head over the bed to peer at him.

"What are you doing?”

“Sleeping,” Booker replies, his voice muffled by his arm over his face.

“Get in the bed,” Nicky says, elbowing Joe until he moves over.

“It’s a double.” Booker’s voice is laced with disdain, a talent he retains even when he’s piss drunk.

“But it’s not the floor, Book.”

“Enough arguing,” Joe says, voice rough with sleep. “Come up here before I have to drag you up myself.”

Booker is silent for a long moment but then he’s using the bed to pull himself up, swaying slightly on his feet.

“I have to take a piss,” he announces. He sways off to the tiny bathroom, leaving Nicky and Joe to have a silent conversation with their eyebrows as they feel around for their underwear, but when Booker gets back they have them on and have moved over to make room for him.

Booker looms over the bed and then looks to the floor, like he is considering the chipped laminate versus spending any time in close proximity with the two of them. Nicky doesn’t say anything this time, though, and Booker finally flops down, fully clothed. He is snoring within two minutes, and Nicky has to smile.

—-

The morning is like most mornings, when they weren’t being hunted or tortured or on a job in the middle of the desert or in a catacomb or an abandoned cave. Joe is warm next to him, the air conditioning isn’t working and the sheets are scratchy, and he really doesn’t care about any of that at all (except for the Joe part). It’s all the same, except this time Booker is there, still there amazingly, snoring softly and turned on his side, away from Nicky, even in his sleep. The bed’s really not that big, but Booker's curled up on the very edge, his back only inches from Nicky’s fingers. Nicky feels the urge to reach out, to tuck his soft brown hair behind his ear, to run his hand over the whiskered cheek, to reach out and hold him to himself. But he doesn’t think Booker would say yes, so he does nothing.

—-

It becomes a thing. One room, one bed. Booker stops complaining about it, mostly. It’s all fine, just what they do now, until one day, it’s suddenly more.

They come in from the rain, soaking wet, and Nicky’s laughing because Joe had stopped to kiss him right in the middle of the street and Booker had ran straight into them, cursing them out. But Nicky had smiled, just taken Booker by the hand and pulled him up the stairs, and now they’re hopping around trying to get their boots and wet socks and sopping shirts off.

Joe’s hands can’t stay away and he comes up behind Nicky, running them up his sides, almost tickling his ribs, making him shiver. His lips find Nicky’s neck and Nicky tilts his head sideways, letting him lick and suck bites that will be gone in minutes. He can feel Booker’s eyes on them and he looks up to see him frozen with his shirt dripping in his hands, his hair wet and in his eyes, something like longing haunting his gaze.

“I should…” he begins, swallowing thickly and watching as Joe’s hands trail down Nicky’s stomach and tuck into the waistband of his pants with just the tips of his fingers.

“No, you shouldn’t,” says Nicky. He watches a series of emotions pass over Booker’s face— surprise, self-loathing, wonder. He frowns, though, moves to turn, and Nicky catches him by the wrist.

Booker looks down at where Nicky’s fingers are holding him loosely, not meeting his gaze for a long time.

“Please stay,” Joe says, his chin hooked over Nicky’s shoulder, his beard brushing against Nicky’s cheek.

Booker looks up, startled, and maybe it’s because Joe was the one to say it this time. But he shakes his head.

“You don’t want me.”

“Do not tell us our desires,” Nicky says. “Do you think in a millennia that I have not learned to speak for myself? That I don’t truly know what I want?”

Booker shakes his head and bites his lip, his fingers twitching towards his pocket like he’d like a cigarette.

“Would it help if you watched first?” Joe says, and his voice is deep, kind, and Nicky can feel his words skate across his skin, making him shiver.

Booker stares, looking between them, and swallows. “Alright,” he finally manages, and he sits down on the bed, looking uncomfortable. He’s shirtless still, his pants soaking wet and tight, just as Nicky’s and Joe’s are, and Nicky can feel the wet denim slide against him roughly as he’s turned around in Joe’s arms.

They kiss easily, their lips a perfect fit, the touch still thrilling. Joe’s light with his tongue, just teasing against Nicky’s, and he’s suddenly desperate to get them both out of their wet pants. Nicky pushes his hands between their bodies, fiddling with Joe’s button and zipper, and then sliding them down over his hips. It’s difficult because the jeans are soaked through, and Joe’s holding his face tenderly, not pausing to help.

“We’re supposed to be giving a show, Nico,” he teases between kisses. “Not finishing within two minutes.”

“You can go again,” Nicky promises, returning the fervent kisses and circling Joe’s now-naked cock with his fingers. Joe’s jeans have made it around his hips and he bucks into Nicky’s hand, the slide of his cock through Nicky’s fingers making him moan softly. There’s an answering little helpless noise from where Booker’s sitting on the bed, and Nicky smiles into Joe’s lips, pulling away to press their foreheads together.

Then he sinks down to his knees, dragging Joe’s pants down to his thighs as he goes, and leans forward to get the tip of his tongue along the length of Joe’s beautiful cock. He licks at the underside, inching downwards, mostly for Booker’s benefit, so he can see. When he finally swallows Joe down Joe arches his hips and swears, his hands coming up to tighten in Nicky’s hair just the way he likes. Nicky slides down further, taking him in as deep as he can, centuries of doing this sitting pleasantly at the fringes of his memory as he tastes the here and now, Joe’s cock nudging the back of his throat.

Nicky pulls away finally, letting Joe slip all the way out, pausing to pant and glancing over to see Booker with his pupils blown wide and his hand tight on his upper thigh. His hair is drying, curling a bit at the edges, and Nicky laughs softly against Joe’s hip.

Then he turns and shuffles on his knees the scant few inches that are between him and Booker, resting his hands on Booker’s thighs and looking up at him. Booker’s eyes are dark and he’s biting his lip, and Nicky can practically hear his heart rabbiting.

“May I?” he says as his hands inch upward gently.

Booker looks between them and Nicky can see the war between his heart and his mind. Nicky changes his mind and moves to standing, putting his hand against Booker’s cheek and watching him melt into the touch. He’s like a puppy, his eyes closing, his cheek nuzzled into Nicky’s palm, and then his eyes open and they’re wet and warm.

“Don’t make me say it,” Booker whispers, but Nicky moves closer, hovers near his lips, so close but not touching.

“Is that a yes, then?” Nicky says, and he can feel the warmth rising off of Booker’s lips, his chest, the wetness of the rain still lingering.

He waits Booker out, only moving his thumb over his whiskered cheek, unwilling to do this if Booker won’t agree outright, but then he’s whispering “Yes,” and Nicky closes the last little bit and their lips are pressed together.

Booker starts out tentative but then is soon kissing like a man who’s been without water for days, and Nicky meets him with equal vigor. Nicky reaches blindly to his side and is gratified to feel Joe next to him, their hands lacing together, his lover coming up to kiss reverently at his neck. And then Nicky pulls away, kissing Joe quickly and then letting the other two lean into each other, and it’s his turn to watch.

Joe is absolutely breathtaking as always, but it’s a whole new experience to watch him kissing, rather than be the one to be participating. He uses his hands expertly, stroking Booker’s hair just as he always does Nicky’s, tucking it behind his ear though it falls back instantly. Nicky watches the flex of Joe’s biceps, the way his neck arches gracefully, the rise and fall of his chest, and his heart constricts with love. Booker’s practically wriggled his way onto Joe’s lap and the two of them help him kneel up and slowly divest him of his tight, wet jeans, quickly shucking their own as well. Booker’s wearing dark boxer briefs, the things absolutely soaked through, and Nicky slides his fingers delicately over Booker’s abdomen and down over the front of them to loosely palm at his erection.

Booker makes a noise like a wounded animal, biting his lip and letting his forehead fall to Joe’s shoulder as Nicky works down the boxers more, leaving them so they’re tucked just beneath his ass, his cock exposed. It’s lovely and flushed red, the tip leaking, and Nicky gathers the precome in his palm, using it to slick him on the downstroke.

“Fuck,” Booker says, and Nicky smiles because he knows he’s good at this, has had so much time to practice, all the time in the world, really, and what finer a pursuit than to bring a lover pleasure?

“You look so good like this, Book,” Joe whispers, and Booker buries his head in the crook of Joe’s neck tighter, making tiny thrusts into Nicky’s palm, each one moving him close enough to rub the head of his cock on Joe’s stomach.

“How should we…?” Nicky says, unsure about this part for once. With two there are only so many combinations possible, and they’ve done them all endlessly, but with three…

“We can do it more than once,” Joe says, smiling at the echo of Nicky’s words earlier, and they kiss briefly over Booker’s shoulder. It brings Nicky close enough to press his cock into Booker’s back, and Booker grinds back into him shamelessly.

“What do you want, Sebastien?” Nicky says, letting his cock drag down the dip of Booker’s back and along the swell of his ass. When he dips a bit lower, nudging between his legs and up against the cleft of his ass, Booker lets out a full on moan.

“Anything,” he says, breathlessly. “I don’t care.” Anything you'll give me is the subtext.

And that’s true, Booker probably doesn’t care; he’s already desperate and whimpering between them. How long has it been since he’s been touched like this? They’re too kind to ask, though, and they shift on the bed, pulling him down between them.

“Ah, should we go back to you watching, then?” Joe says lightly, petting Booker’s hair and giving him a light kiss on the lips.

Booker shakes his head no and is rewarded with a deeper kiss, and Nicky cuddling up from behind and kisses between his shoulder blades. He lets his hands drift down, lets Booker get lost in kissing Joe which he knows is so easy to do. Booker’s ribs expand with fluttering breaths, his skin jumping with each press of lips and slide of fingertips, and when Nicky slides inward to finger against Booker’s tightened hole, the man grunts and hitches a leg up over Joe’s.

Nicky just plays with him a bit, sliding over him, learning his body. He’s the same but different, a bit smaller than Joe but only by a little, his body responding beautifully with each little kiss and stroke. Nicky reaches back into the drawer of the nightstand to grab a bottle of lube, gratitude for this century’s inventions bringing a curve to his lips, and then he’s slipping a slicked up finger right inside, up to the first knuckle.

Booker whines into Joe’s lips, pressing back shamelessly, and Nicky lets the rest of his finger slide in easily. The second and third take more patience, Booker mewling as he’s slowly opened up on Nicky’s gently twisting fingers.

“Joe or me?” Nicky says softly, and Booker huffs out a laugh.

“How can I choose?” he says, and his voice is rough and wrecked in the best way. Nicky doesn’t think he’s heard him this happy in a long time, and he doesn’t know if he can choose, either. He looks to Joe whose face is flushed and lips are bitten red.

Nicky’s suddenly burning with desire to watch the two of them and he withdraws his fingers, wiping them off on the sheets. “I want to see it on your face when he enters you,” Nicky decides, and he feels Booker shudder at the words.

They roll him over between them so he's on his side in the other direction, and Booker looks at him intently, his hands instantly coming up and pulling Nicky into a harsh kiss. Joe comes closer and Nicky stops to watch him slick himself up and then pull Booker apart, lining himself up.

“Are you ready, tesoro?” Joe asks, waiting, the three of them warm and shuddering with bated breath.

“Fuck yes,” Booker grunts out quickly. Then belatedly adds, “Please.”

Joe must push in right away because Booker tenses immediately, drawing in a sharp breath before visibly attempting to relax.

“We’ve got you,” Nicky says, hands in Booker’s hair and holding him still as his eyes flutter shut. Joe moves slowly, slower than he would with Nicky, and he’s so considerate, so thoughtful, such a wonderful lover, and oh does Nicky love him. He watches the sensations play across Booker’s face, his nose scrunching up in a lovely way that makes Nicky smile in wonder. How long have they been with Booker and not really seen him? How long did Booker languish without ever being seen in turn?

Nicky kisses him with renewed fervor as Joe works his way into him, the three of them groaning when he’s fully seated. He waits until Booker’s bucking his hips back at him, and then they’re moving together on the bed, each easy thrust pushing him closer to Nicky, deepens their kiss, each pull making his hips draw back as Joe’s cock slides almost completely out. Joe drags it out, makes it good for Booker, and the two of them put their hands everywhere they can, Nicky rolling one of his nipples lightly while Joe palms at his cock.

Booker’s like putty in their hands, his body growing tighter the longer he’s pushed and pulled between them, and Joe’s breathing soon gets sharper, harsher.

“He’s getting close,” Nicky tells Booker, and Booker groans, his cock twitching. Nicky joins Joe’s hand there, Booker’s precome leaking profusely and making his stomach and their hands a mess.

“Would you like to come for us?” Nicky says, and Booker replies, “Yes, yes,” dragging Nicky back in for a bruising kiss. Joe abandons Booker’s cock to grab his hips so he can really get in hard and deep, and Nicky starts to stroke him harder, twisting his hands like how Joe likes, and it seems that Booker likes it too because he groans into his mouth.

“Fuck,” he says eloquently before his body stiffens and he’s coming, the sticky mess of it spilling over Nicky’s hand. Booker shudders between them, bliss crossing his features beautifully, and Joe cries out, his face creased with pleasure as he finds his own release. It’s fascinating to watch the two of them even though he’s seen Joe’s climax a thousand times, but normally the circumstances aren’t quite the same.

“That was gorgeous,” Nicky says in awe, watching the two of them flutter their eyes. Booker’s lashes are long, his face sweet and slack with pleasure, unguarded for once. Booker heaves in deep breaths and then reaches for Nicky, drawing him close so their hips are flush. Nicky is still hard between them, having ignored his own pleasure for the pleasure of watching the two of them, and he rubs through the mess of come on Booker’s hip and stomach.

He surprises himself by tipping over the edge by only that contact, a long time since he’s come just like that, and he laughs a little as the waves of sweetness wash over him. Booker kisses him through it, Joe’s hand grasping his hip and keeping the three of them tight, and Nicky briefly wonders if this is what Heaven is like.

He trembles a bit, his skin buzzing, Booker’s stubble rubbing his lips raw as it brushes against him.

“Perhaps I was wrong about that second time,” Nicky says with a laugh as he feels his limbs growing heavier. They lie in the stillness together, each of their breaths returning to normal, though Nicky can still hear Booker’s heart beating faster and the cogs turning in his brain. He smoothes Booker's hair down and kisses him on the cheek as Joe pulls away to get a cloth to clean themselves up. He can feel Booker stiffen at the loss, and Nicky pulls him close, kisses each eyelid, and smiles at him tenderly.

“So beautiful,” he whispers, and Booker closes his eyes, his cheeks growing a dusky pink once more. Perhaps one day he will believe him, but Nicky knows not to push now. Joe returns and Nicky rises to kiss him languidly, any sense of urgency faded away, just the familiarity of love and trust and perfection. They smile at each other and then fall down to the bed, Nicky wiping off Booker with the cloth, though he makes a face because it’s grown cold during their kisses.

Joe pulls up the covers and Nicky stretches to turn out the lights, and it’s strange to have Booker between them this time, rather than curled on the edge of the bed, doing his best not to touch. Different. But nice. It’s so rare to have something different that it’s almost thrilling in it’s uniqueness. Nicky settles down, the heat of their bodies and the warmth of the summer evening enough to make him comfortable even though he’s still naked.

“Do not doubt that you are loved, piccolino,” Joe whispers into the darkness as he curls around Booker’s back. He throws an arm over his waist to reach Nicky and laces their fingers together, nothing needed to be said between the two of them because they’ve said it all and it just is.

Booker’s eyes shine wet and he closes them tightly, buries his face into Nicky’s neck, the sound of his hitching breath familiar, but he says nothing in reply. He brings his hands up to wipe away the tears, and it's a long while later that his breathing becomes slower and calmer.

This time when they sleep, Booker is tucked between them, face soft and smooth, unworried. And the only dreams are pleasant ones.