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It was a risk to take such a step, a risk that Mickey knew very well could result in his death should his father find out where he had gone. The moment he was known to have absconded his name would lower than mud in his father's eyes. Though Mickey was certain his father didn't see him as much than dirt already. He was a means to get what his father wanted no matter the cost. And yet he had been commanded to return to Argentina once his work in London was completed. Fate it seemed had other ideas.

 

Everything had changed the moment Edward had put the gun to his head, the sound of the gunshot ringing in the air had shifted Mickey's world off its axis. He was not a foolish man, he knew well how cruel his actions were and knew that devastation would surely be left in his wake. The problem there lay in the fact that he wasn't supposed to care. Those people, they should've been nothing more than pawns to him, they should've been an afterthought to his task. He had been raised not to give a damn about anyone and yet he felt an unbearable crushing weight settle firmly in his chest. It wasn't that he loved Edward, nor Florence or Augusta for that matter, they had been playthings to entertain his time. They had been strategic fucks to get the finance needed for his father to attempt a coup in their homeland. It was what he had told himself to get through the night, it was what he had told himself to get through many nights. It was a lie that he could keep up no longer.

 

He shook his head to clear the heavy thoughts from his mind looking up to the imposing steam engine before him. A journey to a new life lay before him, he knew little of what he would do when he made it to Istanbul, he would have nothing more than the clothing on his back and memories of a guilt he was sure he would never shift but he was so tired. Perhaps his earthly soul was long since corrupted, perhaps his heart too shrivelled to find any happiness but he could make the choice to cause no more pain to those undeserving of it.

 

A shrill whistle had his gaze moving up the platform where the conductor was shouting out for a final boarding call listing off several cities in rapidfire English as he moved down the platform to encourage any dallying passengers to board the train ready for departure. Mickey had bent to lift his solitary suitcase when a hand settled over his own taking the bag from his grasp.

 

“Let me get that for you, Sir” A kind voice supplied in the most beautiful accent Mickey was sure he had ever heard. He raised his head slowly finding himself gazing into the warmest brown eyes and perhaps for just a few moments the normally charismatic, cocky man found himself struck silent. He had been ready to snap at whomever had been ready to force their help on him, instead he simply let his hand slip away for the handle as the conductor lifted it with ease.



“We are ready to depart shortly, Sir. Let me show you to your quarters” Pierre offered kindly holding out his hand for the man's ticket finding himself charmed by the strangely silent seemingly reclusive man in front of him. As seconds ticked by without the other man offering out the documentation his smile warmed. “Your ticket please, Sir” he pressed unable to squash the way his lips curled up in a smile as the passenger fumbled on the inside of his jacket to hand the paper over.



“Ah Mr Miranda” Pierre smiled gesturing with a tilt of his head for the man to follow him as he led him alongside the train. He was glad to see at least the silent man followed him without hesitation. “You have a cabin to yourself, Breakfast service will commence at 7am, you can take that in the main carriage with the rest of the diners or I can deliver it to your suite.” he stated unable to help himself from continuing to glance back at the other. It was only as they were nearing the suite that Pierre stopped and turned to face him, his polite smile changing to something of concern. “Are you well, Sir?”



Perhaps in the past Mickey would simply have waved a hand and irritably reminded the conductor his responsibility was to help passengers and not hinder them yet the words died upon his tongue as he looked into those kind eyes once more. Concern was something he was unused to, being cared for even less yet this stranger seemed genuinely worried about him. He forced a weary smile into place and inclined his head. “It was a long journey from London to Paris, I am simply tired” he answered glad that the words seemed to satisfy the conductor for now.

 

“I assure you you'll not sleep better than on the Orient Express sir, she is the smoothest journey you will ever undertake.” Pierre promised as he resumed his movements down the corridor stopping outside one of the first class suites. He pushed the door open for Mickey holding a key and the case out to him as the brunette stepped into the room. “I will bring you a hot chocolate shortly, I often find it is something to ease me right to sleep.”

 

Mickey paused with his case set on the bed. He had paid every last penny he had for a ticket on his train, a last moment of luxury he had reasoned. It was to be expected he would be treated well during his journey and yet this conductor seemed to be going above and beyond. “...what is your name?” he asked in a tone so soft it was surprising to himself.

 

A warmth settled itself on the conductors face, so genuine and sweet that Mickey felt his chest ache in a way he was certain he had never experienced before. “Pierre. Pierre Michel, Sir.” he inclined his head. “I must bid you farewell for now.” he added as a whistle sounded in the distance.

 

“Of course.” Mickey inclined his own head in politeness waiting till the handsome conductor was out of sight before he moved to close the door for a moment resting upon it. “Pierre Michel” he repeated in a whisper.

 


 

The sound of yelling was not something unusual to him given his upbringing, it was a rare morning in the Miranda household where things would be calm. It didn't mean that it didn't fill him with irritation however as the continued incessant yelling had Micky slowly sitting up in bed looking towards the door of his cabinet. Quite surprisingly to him sleep had come rather easy the night before, Pierre had stuck to his word and delivered perhaps the most sumptuous hot chocolate he had ever tasted, it had soothed him enough that sleep had rather swiftly pulled him under peacefully. Quite the opposite to the rude awakening that he now faced.

 

Despite the aggravation it was causing to him he had had no intentions to interfere, after all he wanted to lay low, arouse as little suspicion as possible as he could to his presence on the train. He doubted any would recognise him but the last thing he wanted was his name being repeated in the wrong circles.

 

That had been his intention, until he heard the second voice, this one apologetic and soft even as it dealt with a string of angry words being thrown in his direction. Mickey moved towards the door and wrenched it peering down the corridor to his left. The sight itself had him feeling immediately aggravated.

 

Merely two cabins down he took in the sight of Pierre Michel holding onto a breakfast tray looking into the eyes of a woman nearly a foot shorter than himself. The woman it seemed was a hellbeast in her anger ranting at the poor conductor unflinchingly.

 

Before Mickey could think through his actions he had taken the several steps to stand beside Pierre, the man looking for a moment startled at his presence. “Is there something the matter Ma'am?” he asked putting on his most sultry tone in an attempt to disarm the older woman.

 

Expectedly she quietened her protests for a moment as she ran her gaze over Mickey in a way that the Argentine was more than used to though he barely restrained a shudder.

 

“This fool seemed to think it appropriate to bring me water hot enough to scald myself on” she replied sharply looking at Pierre with cold eyes, looking at him in a belittling way that made Mickey all the more aggravated though he didn't let it show upon his face.

 

He wanted nothing more than to disappear back into his cabin and hide away from the rather ill tempered dragon, he wanted to snap at her how on earth she expected tea without hot water but he bit down on his lip letting the smile hold. One good turn deserved another, that was how those with good in there heart led wasn't it? Pierre had been kind to him, he felt sympathy for the predicament. Perhaps he could spare the other man the humiliation of a rather public and undeserved dressing down.

 

“Perhaps I can interest you in taking breakfast in the main cabin with myself my fine lady?” he suggested charmingly. “If you will just give me a few moments to make myself look appropriate for your wondrous company that is?” Every word felt bitter in his throat but he kept the facade in place as she eagerly accepted.

 

It was only as her cabin door shut that the smile slipped from Mickey's face, a hand finding it's way into his sleep ruffled hair. It seemed the showman still had work to do for the day. With a sigh he turned away only to still as a hand caught upon his bicep. He glanced back finding Pierre staring at him rather emotionally.

 

“Thank you” Pierre whispered in a voice so removed from the polite tone that Mickey had heard form him before, it was more sincere, more vulnerable. Pierre dipped his head a moment, tongue dipping out to wet his lips. “Most people would simply walk by and ignore...”



“I am aware of the type” Mickey replied. I am the type he thought bitterly, jaw clenching tightly at the thought. “I should dress, it appears I have a breakfast date.”



Pierre looked apologetic and dropped his hand from the other man's arm moving instead to smooth down his uniform. “Thank you, Sir.” he said, quick to recover his composure.

 

Mickey should've turned and walked away, he should've taken the last few steps and entered his cabin and ended the conversation yet he found himself rooted to the spot. “Mickey.



The conductor tilted his head curiously allowing himself to meet the beautiful seaglass eyes he found himself increasingly drawn to with every passing moment.

 

“You can call me, Mickey” The Argentine repeated a little more loudly this time. He gave no time to respond this time sweeping away into his cabin leaving a rather startled yet smiling Pierre watching after him.

 


 

Breakfast was an immensely tiring affair, Lady Wrenford had been tiresome, everything he expected from someone of her stature. Mere weeks ago he would've been thrilled at the idea of seducing her in an attempt to utilise her obviously quite considerable finances judging by the state of her jewellery and clothing. Unhappily married, bored, an easy target. Instead he found himself longing to retreat to the peace of his cabin.

 

To his misfortune his new companion was quite reluctant to let him leave, and though he had tried to politely excuse himself on several occasions he found himself pulled back down to the table. With each passing moment the false smile was slipping further and further, his teeth bared in distaste as she rambled on incessantly.

 

Several times he caught the eye of an apologetic Pierre as the man returned several times to top up his glass. He'd long moved on from wine to something stronger. He needed stronger to deal with the seemingly endless hours he was forced to spend playing the role of Mickey Miranda the social climber. Playing the role of the man who had died the moment that gunshot had ripped Edward Pilaster from the world.

 

It was as dinner hour was closing in that he finally a chance to escape. Lady Wrenford had been distracted by the appearance of a famous actress in the cabin. The moment she had excused herself for a few minutes he had leapt from the table and hurried back to the privacy of his cabin full well intending to keep himself locked away for the rest of the night whilst he dealt with the impending migraine he could feel building up behind his eyes.

 

Quite why he had put himself through such mentally draining torture for another he couldn't quite understand, what was it about this conductor that seemed to scratch below the surface of his very skin itself. Two days, two days he had known the man and two days he could not stop thinking of the warmth in the depths of his brown eyes.

 

Was it simply that the man had showed him kindness? That would certainly be something that would be retracted if Pierre Michel had a single inkling of what he was capable of. Mickey cursed to himself as he began to strip down from his jacket and waistcoat ensuring to straighten both carefully before he hung them up. His father had always been a stickler for appearance, to present yourself as unsightly to the world was to fail to present your family correctly. Mickey had lost count of the amount of bruises he had received until he'd learned that lesson.

 

The sound of a soft knock at the door broke through his momentary daze and for a few moments Mickey stayed perfectly still thinking it to be that wretched harlot coming back to drag him back to the dining carriage to listen to more of her mindless chatter. He would sooner open the window behind him and plummet into the snow covered mountains below at this rate. He was saved from the rather overdramatic exit by the sound of a soft voice joining the second knock.

 

Pierre swallowed as he raised his free hand to knock once again, the other keeping the dinner tray balanced perfectly in place. “Si—Mickey” he corrected finding himself blushing. It was such a simple thing to call someone by their name, a common courtesy one might think. And yet in his role it was rare he was extended courtesy. To many he was a face there to deal with whatever whims they might find themselves demanding at any and all hours of the day. It was exhausting, constantly so but the job was well paid and he found himself lucky to remain in the position given the events that had occurred merely a year previously.

 

The memories of Cassetti dissolved in an instant as the door creaked slowly open to reveal a rather dishevelled looking Mickey. His shirt lay untucked, waistcoat and jacket long removed. The sight made something stir in Pierre's gut. How he wanted to slide a hand into those curls and see if they were as soft as he suspected. How he longed to run his hand to rest at the back of his neck and pull him closer.

 

“Is there something I can do for you?” Mickey pressed as Pierre seemed to stare right at him for several long moments. “...are you well?” he added, echoing the words spoken to him merely a day prior by the very same man who stood before him.

 

That shook Pierre from his train of thought, a small embarrassed smile rising into place. “I notice that you were going to be absent from dinner. I thought perhaps you might feel more comfortable taking dinner in your cabin this evening.”



“...I....” Mickey was somewhat taken aback. It was a kind gesture, one might say it was owed given the strife his day had been, and yet Pierre could simply have gotten on with his day. He had made a deliberate choice to request for dinner to be made for him and had then brought it to him. Perhaps it was an apology, perhaps it was simply the sign of someone with a good heart. Nonetheless he found himself feeling gratitude. “Thank you” he said after a moment stepping back so that Pierre could step into the cabin. “You did not need to go to the trouble.”


“It is no trouble at all I assure you Si-..” Pierre raised his gaze smiling so warmly at him that Mickey found himself struck by the heat of it. “It is a pleasure Mickey, that I assure you.”. He knew that he should bid the passenger farewell and leave him in peace for the evening but something held him in place.

 

“Ahhhh you have something on your jacket” Mickey commented noticing a small piece of fluf upon the lapel of Pierre's jacket. Instinctively he reached out to brush his hand over it, or he had intended to. Instead his hand settled in place. This close he could feel the steady beat of Pierre's heart under his palm.

 

Seagreen eyes met deep brown for an unflinching second as both men stood silent. The pull felt undeniable, the charge between them crackling. It would be nothing to close the distance, nothing to grasp the lapel just a little tighter and crush their lips together. Perhaps he would have had it not been for the bitter voice in the back of his head urging him to let go. This man before him was a kind hearted soul, a good man trying to look after a demon that deserved little more than to be kicked to the curb.

 

Audibly he cleared his throat and let the fabric slip through his grasp. “I thank you for your service Pierre. That will be all for the evening thank you.” Mickey turned slowly to face the small table knowing he would not be able to keep his resolve should he see sadness tinge those beautiful eyes.

 

The conductor recoiled somewhat as the seemingly intimate moment was shattered in an instant. “Of course. If you need anything I will be around this evening” he promised softly stealing one final glance at Mickey's profile before he slipped silently from the room trying desperately to abate the rapid flutter of his hopeless heart.

 


 

Susanne had always teased him for being a hopeless romantic. From the moment he was old enough to he found himself always with a hand on the latest romance novel. It was no secret after all that Pierre Michel was a man in love with love. To belong to another with the entirety of ones heart, to feel as though your soul was bound to another, it was all so intoxicating to him. A greatly ironic thing he had always thought considering that he had never found himself truly in love...but oh how he longed.

 

Perhaps pining was the correct word in this instance he thought idly as he shifted in his chair looking down the silent corridor. In this late an hour it was rare that he would be called for little more than the occasional glass of water yet he could not risk letting his attention slip. Rich passengers tended to have the egos large enough to make a complaint and waiting more than a couple of moments for attention after all. Most of them at least.

 

His eyes found themselves fixing upon the door halfway down the corridor behind which Mickey would be sleeping by now. He had felt so sure earlier, had been prepared to feel those lips upon his own. Had truly hoped he would, but in a moment the world flipped and he was being dismissed. Was it his imagination? Was it a foolish infatuation that had taken root in his brain and had begun to manipulate the way he had been reading the situation? No, surely not. Mickey had grasped onto his lapel, he had held him in place had he not. He had instigated the contact, he had held him in place. And oh how Pierre wished he had closed the distance.

 

His head thumped back against the wooden wall behind him, the force enough to dislodge his conductors hat and send it crashing to the floor. He let out a frustrated breath as he shifted to slip from the chair to bend and recover it.

 

A sudden soft whimpering had him freezing in position as he ran his gaze up and down the corridor finding it just as deserted as it had been a moment ago. And yet the whimpers continued to sound. The conductor rose softly to his feet creeping as quietly as he could down the corridor in search of the source surprised in truth to find himself outside the door to Mickey's suite.

 

The smart move he knew would be to return to his seat and leave the man in peace, that would be what any other conductor working the night shift would do in this situation. It was what Pierre would do for any other passenger, it wasn't odd to hear the odd bump in the night given their clientele. Former soldiers who travelled on board often enough frequently had night terrors, given all they had seen it was more than understandable, he had found on early enough in his years on the Orient Express that it was better to leave well alone.

 

Mickey however felt different, the sounds he was making sounded so vulnerable and fragile. They struck down to the core of his heart making it ache with pity. Pierre glanced up and down the corridor once more ensuring it to be clear before he pulled his master key from his jacket and allowed himself entry into the room.

 

The sight that awaited him took away any form of doubt over his decision to let himself inside. Mickey lay tangled up in a rather uncomfortable manner across the small bed, twitches and flinches accompanying the almost pained sounds parting his lips. Certainly should Mr Miranda choose to inform his superiors then Pierre would certainly lose his job but in his heart he could not leave the other in such distress.

 

“Mickey” Pierre called out softly hoping that would be enough to stir him from his nightmares though he found himself unsurprised to see the other unaffected by his call. He took a step towards him calling his name a few more times without response before finally reaching out to settle his hand gently upon his shoulder shaking ever so gently.


Mickey's eyes opened with a gasp, tears filling them almost instantly as he hovered on the borderline of waking. For a moment fear had grasped him as to just whom might be waking him, the demons of his dreams had been cruel that evening, the images of his dark deeds still holding heavy weight over him.



“It is alright. You are alright” Pierre soothed tenderly as he took in the paleness of the handsome man's complexion. “I apologise for disturbing you but you seemed so...so...” How did he put into words the way that the cries sounded so soul crushing. “Are you well?” he asked changing tact now.



It was with slowness that recognition came to Mickey, his eyes blinking several times slowly to clear the sleepy haze before they came to settle more fully on Pierre. Even still it took a few moments more for his mind to catch up to the realisation that Pierre had not only overheard him but had made the conscious choice to enter and attempt to comfort him.

 

Rather unthinkingly he pulled the Frenchman to him throwing his arms around his surprisingly strong frame crushing him close. If the firmness of the grip was uncomfortable Pierre was certainly not showing so, instead he simply felt strong arms loop around him in return, felt how one hand settled to cradle the back of his head.

 

For the first time in what felt like endless years Mickey began to cry in earnest, great ugly heaving sobs that started deep in his core and ripped their way up his throat. Strong enough that each shook his frame with the force of it. He cried for Florence, for Edward, for the lives he had ripped apart and ruined beyond repair. He cried for the pain and strife he had endured at his father's hand, cried for every agony he'd endured to be the cold, soulless man his father had demanded of him.

 

Unflinchingly Pierre held the broken man throughout every sob speaking in soft words that were surely too quiet for Mickey to even begin to hear. The soothing cadence though seemed to have an effect as slowly the sobs dwindled to become whimpers once more and then to nothing but sniffles.

 

The Frenchman pulled back just enough to look over Mickey's tear stained face intending to ask how he was feeling when lips found his own rather suddenly. Desperate and needy in a way that Pierre longed to soothe. His hand shifted to cup the back of his neck a little more securely as his own lips responded in kind, wanting and yearning as they moved as one.

 

Mickey's hands found purchase in the fabric of his uniform jacket shoving Pierre back down onto the mattress as the argentine slipped his tongue over the seam of the conductors lips taking no pause to lick into his mouth as the soft lips parted. The resulting moan only seemed to spur him further. He had moved his hands to grasp at the golden buttons of his blazer when he heard the sound of a bell sounding. He broke the kiss mouthing instead at Pierre's earlobe “Leave it.”



Pierre could've cursed all of the stars in the sky when he heard the incessant ringing grow louder. Ten minutes, ten mere minutes of peace, could have not have had that? And yet if he ignored it he wouldn't just have one disgruntled passenger, no the rest of the corridor would certainly be woken by the continued sound. “I must go....it is my job” he said in an apologetic tone looking up into Mickey's lust blown eyes with regret yet he made no attempt to push the other from his lap.



For a moment Mickey considered taking what he wanted, Pierre was certainly more than willing and he had no doubts that he could be rather convincing at getting him to stay just a little while longer. But it was unfair to do so he thought to himself, unfair to risk this kind man's livelihood for a quick fumble.

 

With regret and frustration he moved to sit at the head of the bed watching as Pierre rose with reluctance and began to fix his clothing. He watched the conductor intently, watched as he glanced back at him with heat burning in his gaze. Not for the first time in his life did Mickey curse the demands of the rich.

 


 

The heat of passion that had built between them seemed to have evaporated in the night as morning brought to Mickey a cold realisation of what he had nearly done. Of how close he had been to letting himself grow attached to the kind soul he had mentally sworn he would keep safe from his own poisonous wiles.

 

And yet he couldn’t help but think how right it had felt, right in a way had never seemed to be. Kissing Pierre had felt like something in the wretched world was finally grounding him. For just a moment or two he had felt a fleeting moment of happiness, or something that warmed his heart at the very least. It had felt so good.

 

It took a great deal of composure to push all thoughts of kind eyes and firm arms from his mind long enough to ready himself for the day. He felt unsettled by the nervousness that seemed to fill his heart, the idea of seeing Pierre after everything that had happened made his stomach churn in knots. It should’ve been an unpleasant sensation, how then was it that it felt almost tender.

 

“Foolish" Mickey chastised himself snatching up his jacket rather forcefully to pull it on. As much as he wanted to stay locked away in his cabin he found himself rather hungry and suspected if he made to avoid breakfast then Pierre would simply bring it to him. Right now he wasn’t sure how he would handle being in a small space with the other man, the dining cart would be difficult enough.

 

Perhaps for the first time on this journey fate seemed to be smiling kindly on him as he found another conductor seemingly in charge for the morning service. That at least gave him peace enough to settle himself to a quiet breakfast, a nasty glare shot to any passengers whom tried to sit with him. Charming he could certainly be but he was more than capable of showing his more callous side when the mood took.

 

The argentine had just finished his surprisingly satisfying croissant and coffee when Pierre finally came into the compartment calling for the attention of the passengers. For a moment their eyes met, briefly and yet long enough that Mickey saw with satisfaction that an adorable blush settled upon his handsome face. At the sight of it any resolve he had to stay away immediately crumbled.

 

Pierre coughed to clear his throat once more quickly moving his eyes away from Mickey's intoxicating gaze. He had barely stopped thinking about their snatched moment together. Had it not been for that blasted bell he wondered just how far things might have gone between them. “Good Morning Ladies and Gentleman. In approximately thirty minutes we will be pulling into Vienna. You’ll have a few hours to explore the beautiful city before we continue on. I would highly suggest a visit to Schonbrunn Palace if it is your first time to the area. For those departing here The Orient Express would like to extend their thanks for spending your time with us and we hope to see you travel with us again" he bowed his head respectfully as he smiled warmly though he spared a moment to fix his gaze on Mickey before he hurried from the carriage to ready for arrival.

 

 

It was without a doubt Pierre's favourite part of each and every trip, the few blessed hours of peace that he had to himself when the passengers were off exploring the city leaving him to gain some moments of blissful peace. From the moment the last of the passengers had made their way onto the platform Pierre was quick to make his way through to the luggage compartment desperate for a cigarette somewhere where he wouldn’t be disturbed. Or so he had hoped.

 

The conductor had been halfway through the first cigarette when he heard the movement at the entrance to the compartment. He cursed outwardly, one hand reaching to recover his hat from.whrre he had set it down, the other trying to hide the cigarette behind his back a moment. Pointless he knew given that the smell and smoke would give him away immediately anyway. “I’m afraid that I must advise you should not be back here. This space is for authorised personnel only...”

 

“Would it be presumptuous to assume that you might not include me in that warning?” A sultry voice responded as Mickey slid in through the carriage door making a point to slip the lock shut behind him. “As that would simply make what I intend to do next very awkward for us both"

 

“I...” Pierre began shifting his gaze several times between Mickey and the door. Realistically no-one should come looking for him for a few hours. “...I had thought all passengers disembarked. Vienna is quite the beautiful place, did you not wish to see the sights?”

 

“I imagine they do not compare to the sights I can see in here” he replied as he moved towards Pierre finding a thrill of delight in the way the conductor remained rooted in place. He reached out trailing his hand over his shoulder letting his fingertips brush down over the woollen fabric covering the man's arm. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you so quiet” he purred letting his gaze meet Pierre's as his fingers reached the bare skin of the conductor's palm.

 

At that Pierre's breath hitched. Mickey was so close, merely inches away, close enough that he could feel the warmth of his breath against his skin. He found his gaze slipping down to those supple lips just in time for the argentine to bring a cigarette to his lips. It took Pierre several long moments to realise that it was in fact his own and yet he couldn’t find it in himself to be frustrated as he watched the soft pink lips blow out a huff of smoke. “Is....is there something you are looking for my assistance with Mr Miranda?” he challenged as he found his voice, deliberate in his voice to slip his tongue out to wet his lips.

 

In an instant Mickey was upon him crushing their lips together, the sweet taste of the man's breakfast countering the bitterness of smoke in the most intoxicating way. Fingetips found the golden buttons of his jacket swiftly opening with such skill and swiftness that already had Pierre longing for more.

 

“You enchant my mind, I have not been able to stop thinking about you since the moment I stepped on board. “ Mickey said as his lips moved to kiss at the other man’s jaw nipping at the skin that lay there somewhat possessively. “I thought to stay away, thought to give you peace and yet we are drawn together” He punctuated the sentence by dropping rather pointedly to his knees, dexterous hands already fumbling with the fly of Pierre's slacks.

 

It had taken a full few moments for Pierre's brain to catch up with everything, Mickey seemed to have a way to make the normally put together man fall to pieces instantly. And yet the blood that had returned to his brain seemed to rush immediately southwards as the beautiful brunette dropped to his knees. “You do not have to” he stammered out, his desire immediately making him curse himself.

 

Mickey only laughed in response. “I think you do not understand, this is no obligation Pierre" he purred letting the syllables extend teasingly whilst his hands freed the conductor's cock from his underwear. “This is very much something that I want to do.”. He gave little chance of response to his lover as he immediately wrapped his lips around the head of his cock swirling his tongue in a teasing manner.

 

Above him he heard a desperate moan the sound of which sent shivers through him. He was no stranger to pleasure, had lost endless hours in pleasure houses around the world but Pierre sounded so wrecked and needy. It was a heady sensation. Emboldened he grasped onto his hips and began to work his lips over the thick length. Lips and tongue working in combination to drive more desperate moans from the overwhelmed Frenchman.

 

He had intended to tease, intended to draw it out and make the other breathless in his desperation. That was until the moment he felt a hand settle upon his head. It was not rough in the manner Mickey was used to, not for a moment was it hard or hurting. Instead the soft palm settled itself upon the side of his face in a touch which felt reverent.

 

The softness of it had Mickey raising his gaze upwards finding Pierre's eyes fixed upon him, heated and lust blown and yet so full of tenderness that Mickey felt his eyes grow wet with tears. He braced his hands tighter upon the conductor's hips and began to work his lips more swiftly taking his cock deeper still. Clever fingers wrapped around the base of his cock twisting skilfully in counterpoint to the movements of his lips till suddenly Pierre tensed above him, hips arching forwards as climax ripped through him.

 

Mickey heard his own name chanted almost in prayer from above as he swallowed back the release, the worship in his tone leaving him struck breathless. He found himself surprisingly tender as he moved to adjust Pierre's softened cock back into his slacks, careful to ensure they were zipped up once more before he rose to his feet. The sight that awaited him was one he was sure he would remember for the rest of his days. Pierre looked utterly wrecked, his tan skin was lit with the most beautiful blush, a sheen of sweat covering his face. Those soft lips he'd spent all night thinking about were bitten red in such a way that Mickey could not help himself from leaning in to kiss them once more. It was only as he felt a hand at his belt that he broke away capturing Pierre's hand in his own.

 

“This was for you.” He said tenderly and in a moment of affection he instead brought Pierre's hand to his lips kissing the back of it. “I suppose I should ask now, are you well?” he asked teasingly delighting in the laugh it brought from Pierre.

 

“I think perhaps you know the answer to that question.” Pierre said in a fond tone taking a moment to link their fingers together. Given mere moments before Mickey had been on his knees for him it was surprising to Pierre that the simple touch felt so intimate. He felt his heart flood with a warmth so strong he found himself rendered speechless and for the first time in his life he was sure that he understood what it meant to be truly in love. He risked a glance up to meet Mickey's eyes feeling a sudden swell of confusion as he took in the conflicted look on his lover's face. “Mickey are you...”

 

“I am fine.” Mickey cut in, his tone suddenly guarded as he took a few steps back. “I must return to my cabin.” He turned on his heel without a further word leaving Pierre staring after him in utter confusion.

 

Pierre had not hesitated to try and get to the bottom of the situation, he had tried to find Mickey on the train, had tried his cabin a couple of times but found no sign of him. It was with great frustration that he had had to give up on his search as the passengers returned making a mental note to seek him out in the evening.

 

That in itself had proved even more troublesome. Having seen Mickey make his exit from the dinner carriage Pierre had known for sure that the other had returned to his cabin for the evening and yet as he tried to visit during his overnight watch he found the knocks he made left ignored.

 

Maddeningly the conductor found that the cycle seemed to repeat for the next day and a half, brief glimpses all of Mickey that he had managed to obtain. Part of him wanted to cry in frustration, the other half of him wanted to grasp a hold of the Argentine's fancy waistcoat and pin him to the wall until he got an answer as to the sudden shift in his behaviour. Everything had seemed so perfect for that moment until suddenly something had seemed to take hold of the other man.

 

The thoughts cycled darker and darker the more he mulled them over, he was quite sure he hadn't done anything wrong after all Mickey had been encouraging him, had Pierre seen more in the moment than was truly there? Had his heart taken to loving a man who wanted nothing more than a quick thrill? That thought hurt deeply, and yet to not know would fester all the more. He needed answers.

 

His plan was risky he knew, the chances of losing his job were not inconsiderable should things go wrong but it didn't shake him from his plan. The first stage of it required convincing Jaques his fellow Conductor to switch shifts, something he found surprisingly easy to negotiate. The second stage would be the hard part, he would have only a small window of opportunity which for once had him grateful of the demanding need of passengers. From the first few days of the journey he knew well that Professor Aliet would always demand a glass of water at 3am, he would have a few moments from the moment Jaques headed to the kitchen to retrieve it to get into the corridor and let himself into Mickey's room. He could only hope that from there Mickey would give him the chance to at least speak.

 

 

He had expected things to go wrong given the luck he had had so far and yet at 3.01am Pierre found himself standing in front of Mickey's door with his conductor key held in hand. He hesitated for a moment considering his actions, there would be no going back when he made the choice to enter. Whatever lay there between them would either grow or break apart but he would at the very least have his answers.

 

 

Taking a deep breath he pushed the key into the lock and stepped inside finding himself surprised to see Mickey still awake writing by the window under the softness of lamplight. The sound of the door opening seemed to have shaken him from his focus as Pierre found himself momentarily stilled by the force of that gaze.


Avoiding Pierre had not been easy, as much as he wanted to simply block the man from his memory and attempt to move on he found his mind fixing upon memories of their entanglement. Remembering how his breath hitched as he drew closer, remembering the way those lips felt against his own, and most overwhelming, the way his hand felt in his own. How it felt so secure. It seemed all his careful avoiding was to come immediately undone.

 

For a moment he let his gaze run over Pierre surprised to see him for the first time out of the conductor's uniform, he seemed to appear all the softer in the simple black trousers and white shirt. That traitorous little voice in the back of his mind urged him to take a step forwards and reach out, it took all of his focus to stiffen his posture and fix a glare in place. “You should not be here. I suspect it is quite against policy for you to be letting yourself into passengers private quarters.” he snapped in a tone far too familiar.

 

To his credit the coldness in the tone made Pierre flinch just a little but he did not turn to exit instead he took a rather bold step forwards. “Not until we speak. I want to know why you left”

Mickey forced a cold laugh from his lips. “I don't think you're in a position to be making demands of me are you, you should leave whilst you still have a job to return to.”

“And what if that job matters to me less than you do?” Pierre shot back surprising himself with the truth he felt in that statement. “What if wanting to make sure that you are alright matters more to me than my job, what if you matter more than my job...”

The brunette fell deathly silent as Pierre's words filled the room. All bluster and indignation he had built up seemed to sap at the sincerity of the frenchman's statement. Feeling his throat growing tight with emotion he turned his back to Pierre shaking his head. “You should not. That is the problem. You should simply turn around and forget everything.”


“I don't want to forget. I don't want to turn around and leave you he--”

 

 

“I am not a good man, Pierre!” Mickey whirled around looking manic as he closed the distance between them grasping his hand roughly into the fabric of the other man's shirt wrenching him close enough that their noses brushed in a bitter mockery of a kiss. “Will you not simply take my word and run? No? Perhaps you need to hear quite what I am capable of?” he hissed.

 

 

“Would you like me to start with the money I robbed before leaving London? Would you like the details of how my father had me run that con to get him money to start a war in my home country? How he would beat me at every failing?” Mickey's lips turned upwards in the mockery of a smile. “No, your heart is soft, perhaps you'd like to hear of the crimes of the heart then, no?”

 

Sneering he pushed Pierre back against the door as he spoke not for a moment looking away. “Shall we start with the man I seduced knowing well of his feelings for me, or perhaps how I spent years fucking his mother simply to gain the sway I needed to make my con work....” His voice wobbled as he spoke, emotions beginning to spill over. “Perhaps you'd like to hear about sweet little Florence, about how I gained her trust long enough to take her to my bed....perhaps you'd like to...” His voice wavered and with it his grasp. Stumbling back a step he turned away moving his hand to wipe at his eyes. “You are like her, too trusting, too kind of heart....and I am a monster Pierre. Take this as a warning to leave whilst you can.”


Pierre was silent for the longest time as the revelations set in his mind, everything Mickey had confessed seemed so great. A mind in clarity would surely see the callousness of the deeds for what they were, cruel and horrific. And yet there was something so broken in the way Mickey spoke, something that evoked the need to comfort. The need to bare his own soul. “...I killed a man” he began quietly watching as the brunette's shoulders tensed for a moment though it did not stop him from continuing. “Cassetti, you might have heard his name in the papers, he died right here on the Orient Express a year ago.”

 

The conductor watched as Mickey raised a gaze towards him looking for a moment confused. “It is not the story you will read in the newspapers of course, things were....fated to be reported in a different way but the truth of it all is that the blade that pierced his skin was held by my hand. It was my anger that drove the force of it.” He made no comment of the others, it was not his place to risk their freedoms as part of his own private confession. Waving his hand between them he took a small step forwards. “He caused the death of two innocent lives, he ruined countless lives and I have no regret in his passing. Would you say that makes me a monster? Or would you suggest that perhaps we act out of a will that is conflicted?”


“That is different...” Mickey had begun to shake his head when he felt soft hands cup his jaw and for the first time since Pierre had arrived he found himself meeting those beautiful brown eyes with vulnerability.

 

“...and yet I am still here, you pushed me to run and yet I still stand here. Call me foolish, my sister certainly would....” The words were tinged with pain at the memory of Susanne though he did not let himself stumble. “...I have seen the world Mickey, I have seen all kinds of people travel upon this very train and not once have I felt the way I do around you. Perhaps it is ill-advised to admit it outloud so freely and yet I find myself in love with you.”


The word had Mickey frozen, it was a word he had never understood. Love had been trained to be a weakness, something for those of a weak disposition, a token of happiness for the poor whom could have only love given that they had no money to enjoy. Pierre was quickly undoing everything he had ever been taught. If that sensation he felt in his chest whenever the conductor was nearby was love, or even a beginning of it how could it be something so negative?

 

“I am going to kiss you now if that is alright?” Pierre said after a minute of utter silence had passed. He waited for the moment Mickey inclined his head in acquiescence before he finally kissed the other. The movement was light and gentle, he had no intentions to startle Mickey now they seemed to be making some form of progress. It brought him such joy when a few seconds later he felt Mickey's lips move against his own in a startlingly tender way.

 

Pierre smiled into the kiss, his thumbs shifting to wipe away the tears falling freely from the eyes of his lover. What he wouldn't give to take the weight of the world off those aching shoulders. He vowed to himself to do all he could to bring light to the man who it seemed had been for so long lost in the darkness. Breaking the kiss softly he moved his hands down to grasp the hem of Mickey's shirt smiling softly at him as the other pulled back in confusion. “Is this alright?” he asked tenderly finding his smile growing all the more as Mickey began to raise his arms to help remove the clothing.

 

Time seemed to slow down as hands moved over fabric, each item of clothing finding itself discarded to the floor as the men moved as one towards the bed. By the time Pierre found his back pressed against the soft fabric of the mattress nothing remained between them. He felt Mickey's talented tongue work between his lips possessively, felt those strong slim hips press firmly against his own drawing from him a desperate moan, his own hips bucking up in return.

 

Mickey broke the kiss moving his lips to press marks along the collarbone of his lover, nipping and teasing across the tan flesh. Desperate to hear more of those delicious moans he snaked his hand between them firmly grasping a hold of Pierre's cock stroking teasingly over his length. He felt exhilarated to know the other was hard because of him, and not because of how he looked, not because of how much money he had, not because of what he could do for his reputation. No...because of him. He pulled back to look into Pierre's eyes adjusting his grasp to take a hold of his own cock, grasping both lengths within his long fingers as he began to stroke them both in time now. As much as he was desperate for release he kept the movements steady, kept them both on the brink.


It felt like his heart might combust right there in his chest, Pierre was sure he saw heaven in all its glory as he looked up into the depths of those seaglass eyes to see love reflected back at him. His right hand moved to brace itself at the nape of Mickey's neck bringing their foreheads to rest against each other as their hips moved in a sensual rhythm.

 

“I am not going to--” Pierre began only to feel a soft hush brush against his flushed skin.

 

“Don't hold back...” Mickey whispered, twisting his hand cleverly on the upstroke to break whatever tenuous control Pierre had on himself. He couldn't help but lay a single soft kiss on his lipsas he felt the man arch up suddenly, the heat of his climax coating over his fingers. He kept his hand moving slowly through Pierre's climax stopping only when the man began to shiver in sensitivity. “Beautiful” Mickey whispered as he began to stroke himself in earnest now desperate for his own release.

 

“Let me....please” Pierre stammered as his lust blown pupils gazed upon Mickey affectionately, gentle as he pushed the Argentine's hands away from his own cock taking it in his own palm. He watched Mickey's face enraptured as the pleasure began to take hold, breaths shortening into tiny little staccato bursts as he grew closer and closer till finally his own orgasm took hold. “I'm here” Pierre cooed drawing him by the nape to tuck his face into his throat as he stroked him through his release. “I'm here...” he promised.

 

He should bite his tongue and let the moment of peace settle between them, questions could wait for days to come and yet the words slipped out unbidden from between his kiss bruised lips. “And what when we reach our destination...what when our paths diverge....”

Pierre thought for only a few moments on his answer. It was a choice that would change the security his life had slipped into, a wild leap into the unknown but perhaps it was time for Pierre Michel to experience life beyond the walls of the Orient Express once more. “I hear Istanbul is nice this time of year...” he replied knowing in his heart of hearts that it was the right answer when he found himself in receipt of a surprised but warm smile from his new lover.

 

“I hear it is quite the sight...” Mickey echoed warmly leaning to kiss Pierre deeply letting himself for the first time look to a future with hope in his heart.