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The Birth of Venus

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"The Birth of Venus?" Sebastian caressed the pink camellias with the elegant tip of his finger. "So beautiful. The memories... But this is what you choose to give your own father?"

Gordon could feel the heat suffuse his cheeks and his neck, climbing over him like the touch had been on his own skin. "It's not for my father. I won't waste your flowers on the old man, I told you."

"Then who is it for?" No judgment in the old blue eyes. There had been none ever since he had sent the flowers to Patrick, and spoiled the attempt at matchmaking. Gordon spent that night lying awake, trying to understand his mentor's disappointment. Had Sebastian been hoping to send him away, find a new keeper for him?

I am proud of you. Gordon could not remember ever being told that. A pansy and a killer, useless with his lost arm. But Sebastian was proud of him for sending the weight of the world in a frame of ferns to an evil old woman. It made no sense.

Unless it made all the sense in the world.

"They're for my new pet," he said, remembering Patrick's bitterness as he stood there, the Judecca bouquet in his hand.

"I don't understand."

Gordon made a despairing movement with his remaining hand. He felt like he could feel the air pulsing around the flowers, soft and pink and hunger-hot. "Love, you said. Passion. A courtship gift. In all your life of making bouquets, has no one ever sent you one?"

Sebastian broke off a precious petal, lifted it to his lips. "My days of being courted are long over. I'm eighty-nine years old, my friend."

"I don't fucking care. You're not the first older man I've been with." Which was true enough, but he'd never ventured past the fifty-year-olds on meeting apps, meeting handsome older men looking to be a dirty uncle for a night or weekend. He'd enjoyed their experience and certainty as to what they liked. None had been as old as Sebastian, and none who mattered the way Sebastian did. None to whom Gordon mattered, if it came to that. All good times and no real risk.

"The flowers are going to die soon, didn't you say? Don't we have to grasp the moment while we can? I wouldn't mind getting a grasp on something else." He moved around the tea table, dropped to his knees in front of the frail figure. Funny, how he wanted to reach his right arm out to steady himself, even though he didn't remember ever using it that way in all the times he had gone on his knees in front of other men. He enjoyed dropping yo his knees in front of a lover, relished the faint surprise on their faces the first time someone as huge and intimidating as Gordon went willingly down, was happy to service them, invited them to fuck his mouth and throat. Everyone else fucks me over, might as well enjoy this. Some had been annoyed and disappointed at first, expecting him to be a bit more dominating, but they never complained much once he got to work.

Gordon couldn't imagine Sebastian, for all the strength under that gentle exterior, making him feel used the way he sometimes told himself he wanted.

"Listen, Sebastian. I'm a fuck-up and a murderer and I don't deserve someone like you. But I won't let you be lonely again." The camellia perfume was heavy around them, bringing fire to his belly, half-hard already. He laid his cheek against the pinstriped thigh as he reached to stroke up, feeling burgeoning hardness there, too. "I'll stay with you to the end," he said, because of course that was romantic and sexy. Remind the man he was dying when he was about to suck him off, perfect boxer dropper. He tried again. "I'll love you," he mumbled against worn cotton. "I mean, I do love you." Great. Smooth.

"Is that why you sent Patrick the Judecca? Because you decided you love me? That seems cruel." Sebastian's voice was no more tremulous than usual, but he was hard, yes, no need for pills, which Gordon should have thought about in advance if there was a chance he needed to use them. Fuck, he hadn't even thought ahead enough to have protection if Sebastian liked being fucked. Didn't even know how he would put it on one-handed. He was clean, though, and it's not like it would matter long to Sebastian, terrible thought that it was, and he trusted Sebastian to either be clean or tell him otherwise.

Sebastian would never allow harm to come to him. The only person in this whole fucking mess who wouldn't send him to torture or death when it was convenient.

"I don't fucking care about Patrick. He dumped me soon enough. I want you." Gordon tipped his head back, forced himself to grin. "I know you've been quite a heart-breaker in your time, but I think I'll trust you not to break my heart. It's yours, you know."

Sebastian looked at him, as if from a long way away. "So here at the end of things, I've been given one more heart. I'll look after this one the way it deserves. Please come up here."

He did, pressing between Sebastian's thighs, and the old man's kiss was still strong, gently controlling, his lips moving possessively to open Gordon's so that their tongues could touch, warm and wet and possessive. And fuck, Gordon was so hard too, achingly so, as much as he had planned that this would be about service and pleasing and returning some of Sebastian's selfless love. The pink smell around them made his lust fierce and hot, with a burning core of love, and he moaned like a porn star when Sebastian nipped his tongue.

He tried to hide feeling overcome by burying his head in Sebastian's neck, pressing kisses there. His skin was paper-thin there, and the wrinkles were delicate as firefly wings, sensitive enough that Sebastian arched blindly up against him. It sent a sense of power into him, not empty despairing power like when he emptied his gun, something fine and strong all at once.

He lifted his head, leaned their foreheads together. Tried to find the words as they rutted uselessly against each other, too many clothes in the way. Tried to say "You are kindness, you are light and understanding, you have suffered and fought and come through, you are everything I didn't know I needed, and we don't have much time and I could die from it. You're beautiful."

What came out was: "Fucking hell."

Sebastian chuckled. "I know, dear boy. Me too."

It made him laugh through the haze of desire and adoration, and he managed to hold still long enough so that those hands, clever hands that raised the last true flowers, could reach in between them, unbuckle buttons and slide down zips. Sebastian's hands were soft and strong and as one closed around Gordon's cock he yelped. It seemed today was his day for embarrassing noises.

"Well. I'm impressed. All this for me?"

Gordon managed to grin, well, cockily, through his haze of pleasure as a thumb almost reverently circled the head of his cock, thoughtfully drew back his foreskin, caressed the exposed head. "Good, huh?". He wondered what there was in the small dark place to use for lube.

"Wonderful." Sebastian hesitated. "My dear, I don't bend the way I used to, and you haven't had time to adjust to your injury, you might find balance a bit difficult, so if you don't mind..."

"Anything," Gordon said, hearing his own fervency. "Anything you want. Fuck you in any position, suck you, use my hands. Whatever you want."

"I think this is quite lovely." Sebastian raised his other hand to Gordon's mouth and Gordon understood, ran his tongue over the hollow of the palm and swirled around the fingers. Then Sebastian's hand was circled, God, circled around both of them, clever strong gardener's hands moving in practiced slides, their cocks pressed together in almost unbearable heat and friction.

Gordon steadied himself with his left arm on Sebastian's shoulder, groaned and tried to control the thrusting of his cock against Sebastian's, tried not to put too much weight on him or fall on him when it felt so good, so incredibly good, so hot and perfect. He knew he was looming above the older man, but he felt helpless. Why had he imagined himself kneeling at Sebastian's feet, generously pleasuring him? He should have known Sebastian would take control. Sebastian always taught him and looked after him.

As if he could hear Gordon's thoughts, Sebastian whispered, "I will take care of you," squeezing harder and twisting a leathery hand around them both. It was too much, hot and fragile and unbearably sharp. Gordon loved him and felt loved and it was so ridiculously fucking brittle, these moments in this room with dying soil and the last flowers, this tight hot sense of feverish protectiveness and safeness and despair. he bent forwards, kissed lips like crepe but with a warm strong tongue behind them, thought an inarticulate confusion of *love I love and you love and dying and hurt and good and love and flowers the fucking flowers and pain  and love* and the only real thing in the wold was the cock sliding against his own, the way his balls drew up tight, the rasping gasps in that beloved, too tremulous voice. *Loves me wants me mine mine don't let him die mine love of fuck*.

When Gordon came it was in desperate pulses, stupid useless tears on his cheeks. Sebastian stroked through it, pressed kisses on the side of his jaw that were soothing and burning all at once. Breath rasping in his chest, he said reproachfully, "I meant to take care of you for once. My job." he rubbed the tears off his eyes with his fists. God, when had he last cried? Not even when they told him his arm was lost.

"You must forgive an old man's sentimentality," Sebastian said. God, his eyes actually twinkled. It was so fucking cute. It should be illegal. If Gorgon hadn't just spent he would be hard again. Then they were grave. "You are precious to me."

Gordon kissed him, long and deep and with everything he felt behind it, the ridiculousness that he could be precious to anyone. "You didn't come.".

That twinkle again. "Another privilege of age. I don't reach the finishing point quite so precipitately, even under the influence of the Birth of Venus."

"Bastard," Gordon said, amused and annoyed and, oh, adoring. He kissed Sebastian again and then, well, maybe his brain wasn't lightning-fast, but he got there in the end. He pulled away. "Look, it's not just the flowers, is it? I mean, it isn't for me, but..."

"Hush. You chose the pink camellias to speak your true feelings, right?"

"Fuck, yeah."

"Then I must confess I have had some difficulty keeping my love for you paternal for some time. You are so very handsome."

"Ugly as fuck brute with one arm, what're you talking about?" Gordon grinned at him. "Guess you really must love me, if you find me handsome."

"Guess I must," Sebastian said, so all Gordon could do was kiss him. And then fall on his knees, take Sebastian in his mouth as he had wanted to. Feel his velvet heat against his tongue and the roof of his mouth, swallow him down untl he could feel the blunt head of the cock nudging the back of his throat. Show the old man he had some skills that were not about killing people. Skills useful for love. Until Sebastian cried out, breathless and sweet, and Gordon sucked him through it, felt a loving hand cup the back of his head, sucked until Sebastian was soft and oversensitive and brokenly begging him to stop.

Then he surged up again and wrapped his arm around Sebastian, cradled him close to his chest, felt arms drift around his waist. Mine, he thought. Mine.

They slept together that night. It felt right to have a head on his chest, to hold a thin body, listen to breathing. Fuck, he loved him. He could feel the future hovering over him, pain and loss and danger, but he would make Sebastian happy and make sure he was never lonely until the end, and that was all right. That was enough.

And also, Sebastian was fricking amazing at hand jobs. Experience counted for something.

He had some romantic notion of getting up to fix them both breakfast while Sabastian slept. But when he woke, the shower was on. Gordon pounded hopefully on the bathroom door, but a voice called out, "You may be an optimist, but I'm nearly ninety. Let me shower in peace, darling."

Gordon grinned at the darling all the way to the flower plot, and then the joy drained out of him.

The last flower was gone, and one of the camellias was gone from the vase. Gordon cast about, panicking. It seemed stupidly symbolic--well, the flowers were symbolic, weren't they? Magical in the way someone like him couldn't hope to understand. The camellias were love and desire and the blue iris was hope and if they were gone...

"My dear, no need to panic." Sebastian's voice, from behind him, was stronger than it ever had been. Rich with warmth and affection. He stood there, wet and pink from his shower, wrapped in a bathrobe. He held out to Gordon some kind of wooden contraption, with screws. Gordon looked blankly at it, then back to Sebastian's face, which was tender beyond all measure.

"It's a flower press. I thought you might like to preserve them as long as possible."

Gordon flung his good arm around him and crushed him close, flower press and all, the wood sticking uncomfortably into his chest. As if he fucking cared.

They kissed, and the smell of love and hope wafted around them.