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We'll Be Walking In The Sun

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It all started about a year ago, about 3 months after Icarus II had set out on it's voyage. Everyone was awkward at first. Not meeting prior to starting the mission hadn't been a set back per se, but it definately would've helped out a lot. All of the crew were strangers and at some point they had to prove themselves capable of doing their job.

This problem didn't really occur often, but some of the crew were, for lack of a better word, naive. Sure, they had plenty of skill and knowledge, but the fact that the whole world depended on eight people wore down on their better judgement.

Mace had closely observed all each and every one of them. And this is how he saw them:

*Kaneda*

Intelligent, strong, and a natural born leader. Kaneda was always calm and virile. Mace respected him like he was his father. You could say him and Mace were on the same page (most of the time). They always did the logical thing.

Even though Kaneda always looked level-headed, he showed his utmost interest in other people's feelings and input. Kaneda truly cared about everyone and everything. He was completely selfless.

*Harvey*

Quiet, forgettable, and useless. Harvey and his skill seemed pointless for their mission. Mace wasn't going to sugar coat it. He wasn't very bright, his input was somewhat selfish, and he was too wrapped up in going home ASAP.

It seemed as though he didn't care about the fate of humanity. He cared more about his well-being and Mace hated the way Harvey tried to make himself important, when in reality, he was anything but.

*Trey*

Smart, timid, and content. Trey always took everything with caution and analyzed every variable because, more often than anyone else, he made mistakes. Mace figured it only made him more human. He had some hope for the young prodigy.

Socially, Trey didn't seem very interesting or stand out much, but then again Mace wasn't really looking to make friends. Trey was probably the most awkward out of everyone.

*Corazon*

Passionate, peaceful, and caring. Corazon was the type of person that enjoyed the little things, Mace thought. She loved natural beauty and she appreciated the tranquil calmness in the oxygen garden. She practically lived in there.

She was strong for someone who seemed pacifistic, but Corazon could also be strong willed. Mace felt that she was up to par with Kaneda or at least heading in the same direction.

*Cassie*

Emotional, heavy-hearted, and weak. Cassie wore her emotions too often and it got in the way of logic. Mace saw her as weak and naive. She wasn't ready for what was being asked of her and avoided the truth of reality at all costs.

She was losing hope in humanity and hated herself for it. Cassie always looked for the most peaceful solution, even when it ended in the worst possible scenario for what the main objective was. She couldn't let go or make sacrifices.

*Searle*

Observant, noble, and serious. Searle was probably the best of all of them, even better than Kaneda. Sure, Searle's point of view was critical and contradicted Mace's logic most of the time, but Mace respected him as well.

Searle was an all around good person, but sometimes Mace thought he was a little obsessed with the sun. He was the psych officer, but at times he could be somewhat detached from humanity.

*Capa*

Insecure, stubborn, and beautiful. Capa is the somewhat better version of Cassie. His emotions get in the way, but he tries to keep his reasoning intact. Mace sees Capa struggling to do what's right and what's logical at the same time. He's perhaps a little too optimistic and Mace thinks he should be more sardonic and real.

Capa is weighted down with his payload and he sometimes wishes that he wasn't this important. Mace realizes Capa gets the most attention, which is only natural. He's intelligent and breathtakingly beautiful that it's almost unfair for everyone else. Mace both loves and hates Capa.

*************

They were all in the dining area chatting over dinner, getting to know everyone a little better. Trey and Harvey talked to eachother a lot. Corazon usually talked to Kaneda and Kaneda talked to Searle. And it was obvious who Cassie talked to all the time. And Mace talked to no one, except for when it was work related.

He didn't want to get to know people, he wanted to do his job. He wanted to save the Earth.

Mace looked around the dinner table, silently eating his food, with critical eyes. He was sitting next to Searle so he felt somewhat safe, but he'd rather be in his room or working on Icarus. Every so often Searle would chuckle at something that was said and nudge Mace with an elbow. Mace would smile and nod and pretend to be interested.

Cassie was talking Capa's ear off. He didn't know whether Capa was actually captivated or just being polite. Mace hardly ever seen him smile. He seemed neutral most of the time and always disappeared to his payload. Capa looked over and Mace's eyes quickly darted back to his food.

This happened every night.

After a few a week or two Mace became more and more fixated with Capa. His eyes always wandered to Capa and he didn't always notice either. But with infatuation came jealousy. Mace didn't know it yet, but he was beginning to despise Capa hanging around Cassie.

He was sure that Cassie wanted to be more than friends and Mace didn't like it one bit. It started to show too. Mace would snap whenever they acknowledged him. He sometimes scowled at the other members too. Cassie and Capa were close, too close for Mace's liking.

And one day when him and Capa were in the same room together, alone, he was more on edge. Mace wanted to give Capa a piece of his mind, but what would he say? And why? Hating Capa for an irrational reason didn't blow over too well in his head, so he waited for something. Anything. If Capa made a remark it would give Mace a reason to lash out his pent up anger. But Capa said nothing.

In fact, Capa was keeping his distance from Mace and avoided eye contact. Did he intimidate Capa? Sure, Capa looked scrawny, but that didn't necessarily make a person weak. Maybe he hated Mace just as much Mace hated him. Maybe Capa wanted to say something about his sour behavior, but was playing peacekeeper. Maybe Capa was just oblivious.

Either way, it began to gnaw at the back of Mace's mind. He was itching to just punch something. He felt invisible. Like an outsider. Mace was leaning against a wall watching Capa move around the other side of the room. And when Capa paused, Mace smiled internally. Capa realized he needed something on Mace's side of the room.

Capa straightened up and walked over to where Mace stood with crossed arms. When Capa got near Mace he cleared his throat as if to tell him to move. Mace didn't seem to take the hint and Capa sighed.

"Excuse me, Muse," Capa huffed.

"It's Mace," he bit out

Mace's face heated up. He didn't even know his name. Capa stared blankly at him with ice cold eyes, his lips pursed together in ignorance. Without a word, Mace balled up his fist, arched back, and extended his arm forward. Mace's fist connected against Capa's defined cheekbone and knocked him off his feet. Capa literally didn't know what hit him. It dazed him for a moment, he was in shock.

Capa's hand covered his cheek and he stared at Mace in disbelief. Mace was towering over him and he scrambled to his feet. He lunged at Mace with a uncoordinated fist and landed a hit to his chest. Mace recovered and grappled with Capa's lithe form. They grabbed at eachother and slammed into the walls. They fell to the ground and Mace was on top of Capa between his legs. Capa wouldn't be able to knee him. He was open and vulnerable.

Mace hit Capa a few more times before Harvey and Searle came in to pull them apart. Their breathes were labored and heavy and they groaned when they were held back.

"Bet you'll remember my name now, you son of a bitch!" Mace yelled.

"How the fuck was I suppose to know?! You never talk to anyone and you treat people like shit!"

Searle's grip on Mace fumbled a bit when Mace broke free a little to get at Capa. They were parted farther away from eachother and Searle took Mace by the arm and lead him away. Mace and Capa cursing at eachother as they were separated.

Mace was taken to Searle's office to cool his heels. He sat across from Searle who eyed him curiously. Searle's arms were crossed over his chest and he shook his head. Mace had his head down, away from Searle's gaze.

Mace had been evaluated by Searle before. Hell, he probably knew Mace better than anyone else, even himself. Searle remained silent for a few moments, as if waiting for Mace to calm down. Searle didn't think Mace would lash out against him or get mad at him, they had an understanding of the other and Mace respected Searle.

"Why'd you hit Capa?" Searle asked.

"I already told you," Mace said lowly.

"Just because he didn't remember your name? Next you're going to tell me he punched you first."

"I'm not afraid to admit I hit him first."

"Then what are you afraid of? What aren't you telling me?" Searle's stare was so piercing, Mace had to look away. "I can help you, Mace. You have to give people a chance to know you."

Mace exhaled loudly and licked his lips. Searle was too observant for his own good. He was finding out things Mace didn't realize yet. Searle leant forward and lowered his voice.

"Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind," Searle recited.

"You're really going to use Buddha against me?" Mace smirked.

Searle smiled and nodded. "Two hours in the Earth room should do you some good," Searle said changing the subject.

Mace stood up and wondered what Searle knew, that he didn't. Envious. Of what? Mace entered the Earth room. He hasn't been in here before. Anything could happen. The doorway was sealed off and the simulator powered on. Mace stared with wonder.

**************

The next few days Mace avoided Capa at all costs. He'd already have to see him during meals, so he made sure to ignore him. His eyes, on the other hand, had different plans. He couldn't help the way he was drawn to him.

The times he had to be around Capa were unbearable. Mace practically molested Capa with his eyes. He'd absentmindedly lick his lips and and rake his pale eyes over Capa's hunched over form. He loved it when Capa bent over, but Capa could always feel eyes on him.

"What are you looking at?" Capa said, voice stern. Capa stood up and turned toward Mace. Mace was staring at him intensely, fiddling with the mainframe.

"An asshole." And technically, it was the truth (sort of).

"What's your problem?" Capa had his hands on his hips and his eyes were on fire. Capa was pissed and demanded an explanation for the past few weeks.

"I don't know if you can tell by the bruises covering your body, but you're my problem," Mace snarled. He stood up abruptly and stalked over to Capa.

They were in eachother's faces and Mace could feel Capa's breath against his face. The atmosphere had tension and it almost felt intimate. Capa's cheeks were flushed slightly and Mace's gaze dropped to Capa's lips. He wanted to kiss Capa then, but he didn't.

They stood like that for a few minutes, staring eachother down, and waiting for the other to make a move. Nothing happened. Capa scrunched his eyes and tilted his head to the side.

"Aren't you going to hit me?" Capa whispered

"Is that what you want?"

Capa inched forward a little and Mace's breath caught.

"It's what YOU want," Capa stated. "Because YOU just HAVE to be the alpha male right?"

"Fuck you, Capa!" Mace barked. "Why don't you run off with that whore of your's?"

Capa hit Mace and Mace hit Capa, etc., etc., etc.

**************

"Have you tried talking to him?" Corazon asked.

Capa shrugged. "Of course I have."

"Really talked to him?" Trey inquired.

Capa exhaled. He had a black eye from the last time Mace hit him. Cassie was rubbing circles on his back, trying to be soothing.

"Have you?" Capa countered. "He's impossible! Can't Kaneda or Searle do anything?"

"Not really," said Trey.

"Yeah, Mace is good at what he does. Can't just keep him in the brigg for three years." Harvey had a point.

"I don't believe this! So Mace just gets away with assaulting Capa?" Cassie complained.

"So it seems," Corazon says softly.

And no one said anything else after that.

Capa spent most of his time in the payload after that. Everyone started to drift away from Capa and the only time he was seen was at meals or when he was needed. And it was all Mace's fault. Everyone was worried.

**************

"Sir, you have to do something," Cassie pleaded. "He's going to kill Capa if he gets the chance."

"And Capa's always locked away on the payload," Trey commented.

Kaneda sighed. He knew exactly what's been going on around Icarus. He knew Mace was a hot head and had some problems, but the only way to resolve the problem would be for Mace to apologize to Capa and vice versa.

The rest of the crew knew this too and they confronted Mace the next day. All of them, including Kaneda.

**************

"He hates me," Capa whispered. "And I have no idea why."

Searle reclined back in his chair and nodded knowingly. Over the past few weeks Searle's been noticing the way Mace stared at Capa. Hunger. Like he longed for Capa. And then there was Cassie. Pure hatred. As if he wanted to slit her throat.

"Have you been hanging around Cassie a lot?" Searle asked.

"Before, yes. Not recently though." Capa said slowly. "What does she have to do with this?"

"Possibly everything," Searle said honestly.

"If there's something you know, Searle, please tell me." The "please" was strained and desperate. Capa's bright eyes were begging.

Searle cleared his throat. "In my opinion?" Capa nodded hastily. "In my opinion, I think Mace might be jealous."

Capa's face contorted into confusion. "Jealous? Of what?"

"Think about it, Capa. I've told you too much already."

And Capa left Searle's office right after that. He made his way down the sterile, metal coridoors and hooked a left to his room. He wasn't hungry, so he skipped dinner tonight. And when he laid down in bed that night he thought about all the hateful things Mace was capable of.

He noticed that Mace was more uneasy when Cassie was around, but only lashed out when they were alone. And yet, Mace had stared at him continuously. Everything was backwards with Mace. He hated him, but stared at him as if he was the most delicious thing on the planet.

Searle said Mace was jealous, but Capa didn't know what of.

As Capa drifted off to sleep he promised himself he'd just confront Mace tomorrow. He didn't care if he was hit again. HE JUST NEEDED TO KNOW WHY HE WAS BEING HIT IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Capa curled up in his covers and shut out the cold confines of his metal world. And in the shallowest part of night, he dreamt of Mace.

Chapter Text

Capa woke up that morning with a mission: To track down and confront Mace so he could try to understand why he was hated so much. He stood in front of his mirror, shirtless, inspecting the bruises along his ribcage. The size and color varied, some were old and fading, others were fresh and dark from recent tussles. He prodded one, wincing when it sent a surge up his side and jerked to the left. Mace sure did a number on him.

He grabbed a shirt and pulled it down over him, throwing on some pants and shoes while he was at it. Capa left his room and took determined strides down the metal walkways of Icarus, head turning everytime he he came across another corridor to see if Mace was there. He found himself at Mace's bedroom door and knocked firmly, his eyebrows knitted together in concentration.

There wasn't an answer and Capa knocked again, this time saying his name and ordering him to come out or else. Still, there was no answer and he found that the door was unlocked, he entered cautiously and looked around. Mace wasn't anywhere to be found and Capa knew he wasn't hiding from him. Why would he? Capa couldn't scare an infant if he was screaming at the top of his lungs.

Capa stepped in further, inhaling a scent that was so Mace and walking over to the personal bathroom to peek inside, making sure Mace wasn't in there. He turned around and sat down on Mace's bed, taking a good look and noticing he had no pictures or mementos on his desk or nightstand. But something did catch Capa's eye, something that surprised even the physicist. A notebook. It was face down, a plain black pad with an elastic band keeping it closed, and the tassel trapped within the pages, marking a specific page.

The physicist's curiosity was slightly aroused, wanting to pick it up and take a gander, but at the same time he didn't want to invade Mace's privacy. Capa had a serious decision to make. He picked up the notebook, cradling it in his hands and biting his lip as he stared at it in silent contemplation. Mace might have written something about him in here, possibly the reason why he held such animosity toward Capa and Capa couldn't stand passing up a chance to found out.

The band around the notebook wanted to be slipped off and forgotten, wanting the secrets of the notebook to be known by eyes other than Mace's. The surface of the cover and back grew warmer as Capa gripped it tighter, his hand absently pinching the elastic and pulling it away. It was now off guard and all Capa needed to do was open it up to the page that was marked, letting his eyes do the rest.

Before Capa could decide whether or not he should open it, the door to Mace's room slide open and in the doorway stood the occupant of said room. Capa snapped his head over to Mace's looming form, heart speeding up significantly and eyes widening as if he was caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar. Their eyes connected and Capa could clearly see and feel the rage building up inside Icarus' engineer.

Capa stood upright in a flash, setting the notebook back down on the nightstand, realizing how suspicious that made him look. Mace stalked over to Capa and Capa tried explaining himself, but it was too late and the words wouldn't form in his mouth. Capa was thrown down on his back along the width of the bed, as Mace climbed on top of him, pinning the scrawny man's hands above his head so he couldn't fight back. The wrists underneath Mace's hands flexed and tested the restraint, finally giving up when he tightened his grip.

Mace's body settled between his legs, spreading his thighs apart so he couldn't kick and in this position Capa felt very vulnerable. The engineer's hips were pressed against his rear end and, if Capa was completely out of his mind, he could feel the telltale bulge in Mace's pants. Capa's face heated up and he flushed, shivering bodily at the scene before him. Mace panted on top of him and licked his too dry lips, establishing a sense of dominance when he pushed his hips down against Capa's.

Capa made a tiny surprised noise and willed himself to remain calm. If Mace hadn't hit him yet then there might be a chance he wasn't in as much trouble as he had previously thought. The grip around his wrists loosened some and he no longer felt as though his blood flow was being cut off, but Mace still hand the upper hand. Mace's face was shockingly calm and collected, but even if Mace was skipping around with a kitten and eating ice cream, he'd still be intimidating.

"What did you read?" Mace demanded.

Capa caught his breath and knitted his eyebrows together, not knowing what Mace wanted to hear and fearing Mace's calm exterior would deteriorate if the wrong thing was said.

"N-nothing. I swear," Capa panted nervously.

"Then why are you stuttering? Honest people don't hesitate."

"I'm telling you the truth!" Capa pleaded. "I was going to open it, I confess, but I didn't."

Mace made a face, as if considering the words and there was something in his eyes that softened and it scared Capa. Not once has he seen Mace make any sort of light-hearted smile since they've been on Icarus. Capa squirmed slightly, which earned him a soft press of hips into his and he shuddered.

"You mean it?" Mace questioned suspiciously.

"Yes," Capa said softly.

Mace grinned and released Capa's wrists, clambering off of the skinny man to let him up. Capa sat up, rubbing at the marks just below his hands and scooting over when Mace sat beside. Capa watched Mace pick up the notebook and flip it open to the page marked by the tassel, seeming to be reading the words to himself. A small smile played about Mace's lips and Capa was anxious to know why, but he couldn't just ask because that was too personal, especially after getting caught.

"So, what are you doing in my room anyway?" Mace asked with a firm tone, closing the notebook and staring at Capa with a stern gaze. As if Mace would snap at any moment and hit him.

"I came to talk to you," Capa stated, standing his ground despite the over whelming helplessness of the situation. Not only had he been caught almost snooping into one of Mace's personal things, but he was also on Mace's "turf" and clearly cornered. "I wanna know why you've been treating me like shit."

"And what? You were hoping to find the reason in here?" Mace inquired, holding up his notebook with one hand.

Capa nodded bashfully.

"You're pretty crazy for coming in here by yourself, ya know that? Brave, but crazy." Mace chuckled, shaking his head in amusement. "I could've killed you in two seconds."

"But you didn't."

"No. I guess not," Mace smiled.

"Not that I'm complaining, but, why?" Capa dared.

Mace looked over at him and thought for a moment, trying to find a way to word it. He had ran into Kaneda earlier and Kaneda had told Mace to apologize to Capa, even if it killed him. Kaneda would also give him bonus points for not hitting him. Capa's bright eyes blinked at him, waiting patiently for the much needed explanation he deserved. Mace exhaled slowly.

"I wanted... to apologize," Mace said slowly, the words seeming to thicken on his tongue. "I know I'm an asshole and I'm working on it."

Capa nodded and acknowledged Mace's apology, feeling he was in the clear enough to move closer to Mace. His knee brushed Mace's and they locked eyes again, the contact alone was sending an electric impulse between them. Mace leaned over Capa to set the notebook down, turning his face toward Capa as he pulled back. Capa stopped breathing for a second and waited to see what Mace would since he was only inches away from his face.

"Why'd you hit me?" Capa whispered. "What did I do to you?"

Mace smiled and turned his head to shake it back and forth, not knowing what to say exactly as he chuckled to himself. Capa's brow furrowed quizzically, trying to piece together what Searle had told him and put it with the pieces Mace was giving up, but he still couldn't understand.

"I don't know," Mace huffed. "I know that's not the answer you want, but that's all I got." Mace looked back to him quickly to say, "But I am sorry, nonetheless."

Capa gave him a small smile, the one he'd only ever seen when he was with Cassie, and Mace's heart leapt a little, whatever animosity he had held in high regard for Capa was vanishing.

"I'm sorry too," Capa blushed, "Sorry for anything I've ever done to upset you." At that moment Capa thought that a hug or handshake or some kind of gesture should symbolize their mutual apology, but Capa only blurted out a question before anything could happen. "Do you wanna come with me to the payload?"

"Um," Mace furrowed, then smiled wistfully, "Sure."

Capa's face lit up and he jumped to his feet, practically dragging Mace out of the room and down the corridors of Icarus. Humming delightfully and making Corazon, Trey, and Harvey turn their heads to do a double-take as they skipped by merrily (well, Capa mostly).

They reached the entrance to the payload, Capa unlocking the door and pulling Mace inside as if to show him the coolest thing on the planet (which it was pretty cool, but not on planet obviously). They headed up to the observation deck and Capa fiddled with a few buttons as if preparing for something.

Mace hadn't been in the payload since before Icarus II had departed for it's voyage and he looked around, craning his head to inspect every aspect of it's intricacy. He loomed over one of Capa's shoulders to see what he was doing and Capa could feel Mace's hot breath brushing against his skin, making the tiny hairs on his neck perk up with a slight shiver.

"Icarus."

"Yes, Capa."

"Play payload sequence."

"Running payload simulation," Icarus informed in her clear robotic drone.

Mace looked out beyond the observation deck and waited for the sequence to start, the thought of seeing what the payload would be like when it went off sending a tremble down his legs. Mace had known this mission's success hung by a thread and the thread was held in all of their hands, but the possibility of not returning weighed heavy on him. His heart sped up and he looked down at Capa when the simulation began.

"Are you scared?" Mace said as he bit his lip, looking back up.

"When a Stellar Bomb is triggered, very little will happen at first -and then a spark, will pop into existance, and it will hang for an instant, hovering in space and then, it will split into two, and those will split again, and again, and again. Detonation beyond all imaging. The Big Bang on a small scale. A new star born out of a dying one... I think it will be beautiful..." Capa said, the knowledge and admiration in his voice visible.

All the while as Capa spoke, Mace watched the simulation run as everything Capa had said happened. A small flash starting in the corner of the cube-like structure, then splitting into more tiny sparks of light and soon covering every square foot. Capa gazed with wonder and Mace was awestruck at the pure beauty of the payload's quintessence. Their eyes locked in the reflection of the glass and Capa smiled warmly at the engineer.

"No, I'm not scared."

Mace looked away from Capa's reflection and stared out at the rest of the sequence, watching the lights die down and disappear. He took a deep breath when it was over.

"Payload simulation complete," Icarus concluded.

"I am," Mace admitted.

***************

At dinner time everyone was silent and staring dumbfoundedly at the sight of Mace sitting next to Capa, who were laughing and sharing jokes. Each crew member on Icarus were shifting their eyes between eachother, wide eyes asking quietly: Who is this nice guy and what did he do with the hot-headed engineer? Mace was actually making Capa smile and laugh and for some reason it worried the rest of the crew. Was Capa replaced by an android or something?

Since Mace was sitting next to Capa, Cassie was sitting where Mace usually sat with a sour look on her face and her body practically screaming obscenities. She shifted and squirmed in her seat and at one point she could've swore Mace made a triumphant, arrogant look towards her. Cassie made a put-off scowl and Corazon and Kaneda looked in her general direction. She looked down at her food and continued eating.

Searle saw Capa's hand go under the table, probably gripping him on the knee, as if telling him to stop and from laughing to much. The psych officer grinned from ear to ear and admired the (cute) relationship the two had forged from their apologies. They actually seemed to have a lot in common from what Searle could hear.

After it had remained silent, with the exception of Mace and Capa, Kaneda broke it and started up a conversation with Trey. Vaguely talking about their current trajectory and soon after Harvey jumped in, telling them how communications would be a little static-y for awhile, but it was nothing major. Corazon chatted with Cassie, telling her about the Morning Glories she had been growing in a separate patch of soil in the oxygen garden and that when they were done growing she'd give her one.

Mace and Capa were delighted when Searle had shared a joke or two with them and it seemed everyone had forgotten about the strange paradox that was Capa and Mace together. Talking like they were old friends.

And Mace's heart thumped even harder when Capa's eyes twinkled with joyful tears.

Chapter Text

Mace and Capa didn't fight anymore, though they did disagree on many things, but they'd play fight with each other like they were brothers and when Mace was feeling extra playful he'd pin Capa down to tickle him. And it didn't matter where they were. In the the hallways, in the dining area, the kitchen, Mace would get him when he least expected it and the others would shake their heads and roll their eyes fondly.

Capa would also pounce on Mace, sending them both crashing to the ground with a loud thump and he'd try to keep the engineer down but he rarely ever could. He was too thin and he had no muscles whatsoever. Capa was a thinker, not a worker. Mace would roll him over and press all his weight on top of Capa, making him say uncle as he did so.

But Capa couldn't exactly say that he didn't mind losing or being pinned beneath Mace, in fact he hardly ever tried to get free of Mace's grasp. He'd surrender at the drop of a hat and let Mace win everytime all for the sake of feeling that powerful body pressed firmly against his. Capa would smile internally in secret, fond of the fact that HE was winning all along.

And when they weren't wrestling like kids they'd talk about dreams and Earth and Mace would get caught up in Capa's stories about him and his sister growing up. There'd be a faint twinkle of nostalgia in his bright eyes as he recalled Christmases and birthdays. Staying up all night with a flashlight, making shadow puppets and stories about them until the batteries died.

It would make Mace a little envious but the way Capa told his stories would cloud any jealousy with a feel good undertone and a sincere smile. He couldn't help it if he had no siblings and a little less-than-perfect childhood, but he had been happy at least, right? Somehow Capa and his sister made him forget all about his questionable past.

Mace would talk about his father a lot. He'd tell Capa all about his hot-headed rants and how he was the dictator of the house hold. Capa could see where Mace had got it from, but he didn't hold it against Mace for his behavior. He was actually very smart and level-headed, it wasn't his fault his dad was a bastard. Capa would find himself sympathizing with the engineer and he'd throw his arms around his neck, hugging Mace tightly to his chest affectionately.

Capa would do his best to console his friend, letting him seek refuge in his thin arms. But Mace would never cry. Capa didn't know whether he was holding back for the sake of his pride or if he just couldn't cry anymore. If there was anything Capa felt ashamed about it was looking forward to these moments, when he was allowed to touch Mace. Mace would wrap his strong arms around Capa's slim frame and hold tightly, burying his face in the physicist's neck.

And when it was technically night time, Mace would say goodnight to Capa and crack jokes about tucking him in. The door would close and both men would feel a hint of sadness prickle at the back of their minds as they were forced to get some sleep. Mace would walk to his room and he'd fall asleep thinking about Capa and he'd dream about tomorrow.

***************

Capa was in the payload. He had been running some numbers but after he double and triple checked them he felt he deserved some sort of break. He pulled out a worn paperback and flipped to his bookmark. He lost himself in his book he's read at least ten times, but everytime it gets even better than the time before. So he didn't hear the footsteps that slowly approached him from behind.

The physicist nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt someone grip his shoulder, then nearly had a heart attack when a big hand covered his eyes to effectively blind him. But when he heard an all too familiar laugh and a very unmistakeable "guess who?", Capa scoffed and caught his breath. Mace. That bastard.

"You scared the hell out of me," Capa panted as he turned around to look up at Mace, setting his book down without even bothering to mark his page.

The engineer looked cheekily down at him, that looming form making him squirm a little and anxious to be on the same level instead of just sitting here on the ground feeling scrutinized. Mace smiled, a knowing grin that always managed to make Capa blush for no reason in particular and, even more so, excited him in ways he was too embarrassed to even think about.

"Sorry," Mace chuckled. "I just came to see what you were up to."

"Nothing really. Just running some numbers and catching up on some reading."

Mace peeked over Capa's shoulder to see what book he had been reading before he scared him, and to his surprise, or lack thereof, it had been a book he's seen Capa read before. The cover was so tattered and ancient Mace thought it would fall apart at any moment.

"George Orwell? I always took you for a H. G. Wells kinda guy," Mace commented. "Haven't you already read 1984?"

"You noticed me reading this before?" Capa inquired, finding it oddly endearing that Mace knew what he's already read.

"Well... I haven't seen an actual paperback in a long time. Pretty memorable," Mace replied. It was the truth, but a very convenient one on Mace's part.

"Yeah, I guess," Capa brushed off smoothly, sparing Mace the embarrassment he might feel if he pressed into it more.

There was a moment of silence that followed after and for the longest time Mace held Capa's gaze, his pale eyes piercing through Capa's bright ones. Mace moved a little closer, Capa's face flushing and turning a soft pink as his line of vision came level with Mace's crotch. He looked down for a brief second but that's all it took for Mace to catch onto his uneasiness and the engineer smiled slyly. Capa knew the tables had turned abruptly and Mace wouldn't hesitate to exploit it.

Mace leaned his weight against the railing and made sure he had Capa's attention, his hips moving forward only slightly. Capa was blushing profusely but he couldn't tear his eyes away from the inviting view, it was practically all he could see. His mouth was dry and his palms were sweating and Mace, in all his smug dominance, was towering over him so sure of himself.

Capa tried to swallow but his mouth wouldn't let any saliva flow, making him feel as though he was going to choke. Or dry heave. He couldn't begin to imagine how beautifully debauched he was looking right now and in this position no less. Capa looked so weak right now and Mace was enjoying it.

"How can you stand it?" Mace said, breaking the silence with a question Capa didn't quite understand. "Being in the payload, I mean. How can you stay in here all day? By yourself. With no human contact."

Each word was whispered intimately with Mace's presence getting more and more unbearable in Capa's current position. Capa could think of a few things that would make this look all wrong and if anyone decided to walk in on them, they'd have to do a double take.

"People complicate things," Capa said frankly.

"You're beginning to sound bitter and jaded," Mace chuckled.

"Kinda like you," Capa quipped playfully.

Mace tackled Capa and wrestled him to the ground, knocking the wind out of the physicist momentarily. Capa started to laugh hysterically as Mace's fingers went to work on his bony ribs and trailed up his sides to tickle him silly. The skinny man hooted and kicked and Mace grappled with bony arms, eventually pinning them above Capa's head.

The engineer smirked triumphantly on top of Capa, surprisingly panting from the exertion it took to do so. But Capa struggled and refused to let Mace win this time, pushing as hard as he could against Mace's death grip on his wrists. He pushed his hips up, pressing into Mace's enough to make him blush, and kicked a leg out to get better leverage.

Capa flipped them over, surprising Mace thoroughly with hidden strength he didn't even know he had, and climbed on top of the stronger man. Now Capa was in control. Now Capa was dominant. And Mace was flat on his back being straddled by a man who looked as though he needed to eat a sandwich or two. Completely dumbfounded by this, Mace tensed up and stared up at Capa, his laughs silencing and eyes blown wide as if he couldn't believe what was happening.

But if Capa wasn't too caught up in his victory, he would've noticed why Mace was really shocked.

"Now who's the big guy? Huh?" Capa grinned with maniacal laughter, more than pleased with himself.

And when Capa sat back, he felt it. The moment his rear end settled in Mace's lap, his laughs were also acquiesced to poker faces and cold shivers running up his spine and just like Mace, Capa stilled. Capa's clear eyes were alert and peeled, connecting with Mace's as if there was nowhere else he could look at the moment.

Mace was hard against Capa's butt and neither man could breath nor think about anything intelligent to say or think at this particular juncture. Capa was vaguely aware of Mace's big hands gripping his sides as if to keep him from toppling over and he guessed it was for the best. He felt wobbly and shaky and too damn hot for his own good, but Capa couldn't move. He could only think of a nervous snarky pun that he wished he would've kept to himself.

"I guess, uh, you're still the big guy."

Capa flushed and Mace unconsciously pushed his hips up to nudge his hard on against Capa's butt to get much needed friction. He made Capa gasp and his lithe form tremble from the action, causing them to both catch their breath. Mace moved his hands up Capa's sides and pulled him down so their foreheads were touching, very close but not close enough to kiss.

One of Mace's hands went to cup Capa through his pants and squeeze gently despite all the damage they could do, soft movements eliciting tiny intakes of breath from the man above. Capa sat back, rubbing himself against Mace's bulge shamelessly like he existed solely for this. God, he felt dirty for acting so recklessly. Out in the open where anyone could walk in at anytime, grinding and dry humping like a couple of horny teenagers.

It was too much and it had to stop.

Capa swatted Mace's hand away and clambered off of him reluctantly, his body cursing him for stopping such a perfect moment. Mace sat up and caught Capa's wrist in his warm hand, his eyes silently pleading what his mouth failed to say. But Capa broke free, blushing as he sped off without so much as a back glance.

***************

"Hey, Capa. You okay? You've been a little quiet today," Trey asked, taking a spoonful of soup.

"He's always quiet, Trey. Nothing new," Harvey commented without looking up from his book.

It was dinner time and luckily there were a few of the crew members missing, so Mace not showing up wasn't all that strange and no one would suspect anything out of the ordinary. But somewhere in the back of Capa's mind he felt as if everyone already knew and it had diminished his appetite significantly. Harvey was took wrapped up in his crappy novel and Trey wasn't the most observant so Capa could assume he was safe, for now.

The physicist couldn't help but feel a little smitten with Mace and he knew it would only get worse from here on in, or did it get better? Did his feelings for Mace open up a new door for him? Was it a dead end? Or was there more than meets the eye? Was it a labyrinth he had to solve before he could be happy and his head could be clear? Why did he stop Mace in the first place?

He wished he could answer all these questions, but he'd have to wait.

"He's right, Trey," Capa lied, hating the fact he had to side with Harvey just so he could keep what happened between him and Mace a secret. "I'm alright."

He was not.

Chapter Text

"Hey, Trey! You seen Capa anywhere?" Mace called down the hallway.

"No, sorry!" Trey hollered back.

Mace's shoulders slumped at another dead end. He'd already asked Corazon, Harvey, and Kaneda, leaving only Cassie and Searle left for questioning and Mace wasn't too thrilled to ask Cassie. It's not that he hated her that much anymore but Mace was certain she hated him, after all he was kind of a dick to her. Not saying he wasn't an asshole to the others as well, but he opposed her the most and he didn't expect her to forgive and forget so easily.

So he turned on his heel and sought out Searle first, hoping he had a lead on Capa's whereabouts. Mace thought maybe Searle would be in his office but it was around lunchtime, so he headed to the dining area instead. Every so often Mace would turn his head and steal a glance down corridors to see if he'd catch Capa waltzing by, but he didn't have such luck.

Mace swung into the doorway with a hand gripping the side of the wall and slammed into Searle head on without any warning, making the psych officer dump his lunch all over the front of his shirt. To make matters ten times worse Searle was wearing a red shirt that was supposed to be white. It just so happens Searle was going to indulge in some tomato soup and grilled cheese, but thanks to Mace that was now off the menu and onto Searle's shirt.

Searle was shocked more than anything, he literally didn't know what hit him and his mind was blank. He didn't know what to take care of first: himself or the mess on the floor. He looked up from the spilt soup and scattered grilled cheese to see Mace, with not a drop on him I might add, and with an apologetic nervous smile. Searle sighed.

"Jesus christ, Mace."

"I'm so sorry, Searle. I didn't see you coming," Mace apologized, genuinely feeling bad for making Searle spill and wear his lunch in a single bound.

"Why were you in such a hurry anyway?" Searle asked, swiping a napkin from the table to wipe off his shirt even though it was futile.

"I was actually coming to find you."

"Me?"

"Yeah. I was going to ask you if you've seen Capa?"

"Hmm," Searle puzzled, "Last time I saw him was in the Earth room. I gave him two hours, but that was three hours ago."

Damn..." Mace said under his breath, then looked back at Searle. "I gotta go, Searle! Seeya!" Mace turned around and rushed out the door without another word.

"What? No thanks?" Searle called after him. "Are you going to at least help me clean this up?"

But it was no use. Mace was long gone down the corridors of Icarus II.

Mace was nearly to Searle's office where the Earth room was located when he spotted Cassie staring out a window, peering at the millions of stars as they drifted by them in Icarus. She looked sad and this is exactly what Mace wanted to avoid, but his conscience wouldn't let him walk away as if she wasn't there. So Mace sighed to himself and stopped by Cassie.

"What's wrong?" Mace asked disinterested. "Are you alright?"

She didn't want to look at him nor did she even want to even fully acknowledge him, but she knew that would only stoop her down to Mace's level. Cassie continued to gaze out the window as Mace contemplated walking away since it seemed she wasn't going to talk, but she turned around and called to Mace before he could make it even five steps.

"No," Cassie said when Mace made eye contact with her. "I'm not alright. Can you talk to me?"

Mace walked up to her slowly and leaned against the wall, giving Cassie his undivided attention. This was the most they've spoken to eachother in the past four months and Mace wondered why Cassie would ask him for help, but if she had problems Mace would help to the best of his abilities.

"Have you talked to Searle?"

"I hate talking to him," Cassie admitted. "As a doctor I mean. I feel crazy when I'm analyzed. I want to talk to someone like a normal person."

"Okay," Mace said, not knowing how to handle the situation exactly. "What's, um, on your mind?"

She sighed. "These dreams I keep having about the sun. I'm just falling and falling into pitch black space that goes on forever. And when I reach the sun it starts over again, and I have no control over it. Do you have dreams like that?"

"Sometimes," Mace said truthfully. "Not about the sun. But I do have dreams where I have no control."

"What do you dream about?" Cassie inquired, her face relaxed into that sorrowful look she seemed to wear more than frequently.

"Space. Just infinite space," Mace whispered with a haunted look and he didn't even care or realize he was telling Cassie this. "And I'm lost in it. Just floating away slowly into darkness. I know exactly how you feel, Cassie. I'm sure the others have those dreams too."

"I never realized how human you were, Mace," Cassie grinned, earning her a small laugh from Mace.

"I bleed just like anyone else," Mace defended playfully with a huff.

"I know, I know. I just didn't know you... Felt."

"I'm nice to Capa, aren't I?"

"Yeah..." Cassie trailed off, smiling subtly to herself. "He really likes you."

She sounded slightly bitter but oddly proud at the same time, like she was happy for Capa or just glad Mace wasn't beating him up anymore. Either way it seemed as though Cassie was accepting that they had become very close friends, even if that meant she'd see less of Capa. In a way, she found it cute they were friends.

"I like him too. I'm actually on my way to see him right now."

"Oh! Then don't let me keep you!" Cassie exclaimed, face lighting with surprised joy.

"I'm sorry," Mace apologized.

"It's alright. Thanks for talking to me. Maybe we can chat more later? Just you and me?"

"Yeah, of course," Mace said, turning around to leave.

"So we're cool right?" Cassie asked.

"We're cool."

Cassie smiled and gazed out the window once more, feeling a little better than she had before Mace came along. She was beginning to think that Mace wasn't such a bad guy after all and that maybe they'd become friends in the long run. Cassie liked the thought of that.

Mace walked further down the hall until he reached Searle's office and entered through the automated door's threshold. The air in here was somewhat sterile, like a dentist office, and it was a little colder than the rest of Icarus as well. He looked around to see any sign that Capa was still here, noticing nothing out of the ordinary. Mace sighed in frustration.

Another dead end. Mace really needed to talk to Capa about the other day and he knew Capa was avoiding him. He should've never had touched Capa like that and now Capa didn't even want to be around him. Capa was just confused, Mace told himself. That was the only reason why Capa didn't retreat the moment Mace touched him. It had to be.

There was a flicker out of the corner of Mace's eye and his head instinctively turned toward the motion. It was the Earth Room and it was powered on. Someone was in there. Mace approached it slowly and entered, taking in the sight before him.

It was was a beach with white sand and swelling waves washing up on the shoreline, the sun beaming so bright and warm that it almost felt real. And there he was. Capa. Lying on the beach with nothing but his underwear on to cover that thin pale body. Capa was reclined back on his elbows, eyes closed and head thrown back to soak up the imaginary sun.

Mace stepped in further, alerting Capa that he was there by the sound of crunching sand and stopped where Capa just stared at him with his mouth agape. Capa didn't get up or tell Mace to beat it, so the engineer took that as an invitation to come over and sit with him.

He trudged over, stripping himself of his shirt and boots first then unbuckling his pants to slide them down his legs, not uttering a sound as he did so. Capa watched captivated as Mace bared himself to Capa's bright eyes, following each movement with anticipation until Mace was down to just his underwear as well. Mace sat down next to Capa, who fidgeted in his spot nervously.

My god, Capa thought, my god.

Mace was everything Capa had imagined. He knew the engineer was built but to actually see it sitting right before him, bare. Capa thought he'd faint just from the sight of it. Everything about Mace's body fit him perfectly, from the mass of his muscles all the way to his chest hair. He wasn't hairy, per se, but he had just enough to make Capa swoon. Mace was perfect in his eyes.

"Searle told me he gave you two hours... It's almost been four," Mace commented, trying to sound as casual as possible. His cold blue eyes blinked and Capa smirked at him.

"You're not gonna tell on me are you?" Capa said coyly.

"Depends on the reason, I guess. Why was staying in here so important?"

"I was waiting for someone to find me."

"Any one in particular?"

Capa blushed and turned away as if he was feigning shyness, but Mace knew it was an act, he knew right then and there that Capa had been waiting for him and Mace had finally found him. He could just jump on top of Capa right now and ravage him, but something or someone didn't let him. Mace needed permission and he needed to be sure Capa wanted him just as much as he wanted Capa.

"You..." Capa purred secretly. "What took you so long?"

"It was a bitch just to find out if anyone saw you," complained Mace with a snort. "I deserve some sort of reward for my troubles."

Capa sat up and pushed Mace down into the warm fake sand and crawled up his body, straddling Mace's waist like he had did the other day. He took Mace's wrists to pin them above the engineer's head and bent down to kiss him for the first time, pressing his lips softly against Mace's.

"What kinda reward did you have in mind?" Capa whispered as he nipped Mace's bottom lip gently as lovers do.

"As long as you're on top of me, I don't give a shit," Mace panted.

Capa bit his bottom lip as he smiled giddily down at Mace, waiting so long for this moment to come and now that he had Mace to himself he was so damn excited and nervous. He stood up and made sure he had Mace's undivided attention as he slowly slipped off his underwear right in front of him to exposed all of him to Mace.

Mace licked his dry lips and quickly arched up off the ground to yank off his underwear too, joining Capa in his birthday suit as well. When Capa lowered back down to straddle him he pushed Mace into the sand again, this time more roughly than before, but Mace loved it. He loved the way Capa was taking control and pushing him around for once, even if it was just for fun.

"You can touch me," Capa informed. "You can touch me anywhere you want."

There were so many places Mace wanted to touch Capa, but the place his hand stopped on was a little unexpected on Capa's part. Capa figured Mace would touch his ass or cock, but instead Mace's hand skimmed up his stomach and chest to stop directly over his beating heart. It made Capa's stomach flutter.

Mace pulled him down slowly and kissed him again, moving his lips against Capa's but not using tongue. Their breaths were labored into pants and gasps as they fervently kissed eachother to the point where Capa couldn't stand it anymore. He loved that Mace was being heart-felt and gentle, but Capa needed Mace inside him now.

"Please Mace. Fuck me," Capa gasped into his mouth.

Capa grasped Mace's cock with one hand and lined it up at his entrance and before Mace could protest Capa sank down, impaling himself of Mace's cock. Mace wanted to go slow and make it gentle, but Capa had other plans evidently. At first he thought Capa was moaning in pain but Mace soon realized that Capa was wet and already prepared. That sneaky bastard.

Capa had this planned from the get go. He planned to drive Mace crazy and prepare himself for this moment so there'd be no chance for Mace to control the situation. In a sense, Mace was at the mercy of Capa now. But he couldn't bring himself to complain because he'd be winning either way, wouldn't he?

The thin man rocked his hips to test his boundaries, making sure his preparation before hand paid off and it did. Sort of. Capa was sufficiently lubed up but an actual cock in his ass, namely Mace's, was pretty hard to replicate with his thin bony fingers, especially when if was as thick as his wrist and longer than average.

Capa had his work cut out for him.

But Capa was destined to fuck Mace until his brain exploded and he wasn't going to let a slight sharp pain dampen his spirts or panic him. Fuck no. He was going to take it like a man and work Mace to the brink of madness regardless of being comfortable or not. Something was inside him, besides Mace of course, and it was hungry. It craved this.

Mace pushed his hips up and Capa squeaked a little when his prostate was jabbed by Mace's cock. Capa brought himself up and rode back down harder than he meant to, but it felt amazing. It felt more real when there was pain to remind him that this was actually happening. Mace groaned beneath Capa and Capa did it again with a smile.

He held Mace down with his hands on his lightly haired chest and rode Mace like his life depended on it. And at this particular moment, it did. Every so often Capa's body would clench around Mace's length unconsciously and it'd send electric ripples of pleasure down both of their spines in unison.

Capa's moans were more hoarse and his movements were jerky like he'd come at any moment, his hands splaying across the expanse of Mace's chest for something to grip on as he rode out the beginnings of his orgasm. He shook and dropped forward, kissing Mace frantically to occupy and center his mind as he prepared to slam himself down once more.

The cock inside Capa struck his prostate sharply and he howled out a broken moan, coming harder than he ever had before. It splattered all over Mace's abdomen without so much as a feather like touch to it, Mace's cock hitting his prostate the only stimulate to get him off.

And when Mace moaned beneath Capa's trembling body, he felt it. A wave. Washing up to shore as he came inside Capa and relished in one of the most beautiful things, post-orgasmic haze or not, he's ever had the pleasure of witnessing in his life.

The sun, shinning behind Capa as if he were an angel.

Chapter Text

««Eleven Months Later»»

Capa was on his back in Mace's bed, twisting in the sheets as he was roused awake by the engineer nipping at his sharp hipbones. He made a little humming chuckle and peered down at where Mace was poised between his legs, smiling lazily as he stretched his long limbs. Mace crawled up his body to loom over Capa with a smirk on his face.

Mace bent down and kissed Capa on the tip of his nose, making the thinner man giggle and silencing those giggles with a kiss to his lips. Capa arched up to press himself against Mace's strong chest that radiated with heat and dominance. Not that Capa got off on that stuff, there was just something sexy about being the weaker one. Knowing Mace could easily over power him.

He seriously couldn't think of a better way to wake up.

Ever since that day in the Earth Room Capa and Mace stuck together like glue, Capa going so far as to practically live in Mace's room with him. Little by little Capa slowly moved into the engineer's room and if any of the crew noticed, they didn't seem to care one bit. As long as it didn't interfere with the mission or their jobs, no one minded.

If there was anyone who did mind, it was Harvey. But Harvey was against everything no matter who or what it was. That's just the way he was brought up, obviously. Cassie and Corazon thought it was adorable, of course, Kaneda approved, Searle already accepted it before it even began, and Trey seemed embarrassed whenever he was in a room with both of them. He didn't know why.

"Good morning to you too," Capa hummed, licking his lips.

"Turn over," Mace whispered into Capa's ear.

It sent a shiver down Capa's spine as hot breath tickled the shell of his ear, those two words coaxing out anticipation and something altogether filthy. Capa's cheeks heated up and turned pink as he was given room to maneuver himself onto his stomach.

At Mace's request, Capa raised his hips up and let Mace slip his underwear down his pale thighs so that he was completely bare to the engineer's icy gaze. For a moment there was no skin on skin contact, just Mace's eyes moving over every inch of his body with the faint whisper of a breath creeping along the expanse of his back.

Capa was left waiting patiently for a touch, a caress, a prod, anything that would end the suspense that was killing him inside, but Mace was a tease and he'd drive Capa up the wall before satisfying him. Mace was like a cat with a ball of yarn or even a mouse, tentatively experimenting with it before he found a use for it.

Mace's hands came down to drag light finger tips down Capa's spine, causing the physicist to flinch slightly at the welcomed contact. They left trails of warmth and shivers, goosebumps prickling at his arms at the barely there tickle of Mace's finger nails. Nails scratching little red lines at the small of Capa's back and lips pressing tiny kisses just above the equator of his waist.

Capa pushed back, getting impatient with Mace's twisted sense of teasing that anyone else in the world would see as simple signs of romance and affection, but Capa knew better. He knew how Mace worked. Mace disguised teases as romantic foreplay but Capa wasn't a dummy. Mace knew exactly what he was doing and it pissed Capa off.

But while Capa was busy throwing a fit, Mace had already sucked on two of his fingers and right when Capa was about to complain he stuck them both deep inside without any warning. Capa bucked forward and made a surprised little moan at the intrusion, heart racing just a bit more than usual as his body relayed the message to the brain that Mace had penetrated him.

Mace smirked as Capa made keening noises as if he were speechless and you couldn't really blame him, after all he was being prepared for sex with Mace. What was there to say? Words were unimportant at this particular juncture when Mace was behind the wheel of your pleasure. Nothing else around Capa existed except for just that. Plain and simple.

The engineer went on wordlessly, thrusting his fingers into an intimate place only he was allowed and Capa buried his face into a pillow to muffle his moans and wails of pleasure. Capa was pushing back into them, wiggling his hips to get the position and angle just right to send him over the moon with the stars in his bright eyes.

"You want it bad don't you?" Mace asked huskily, covering Capa's back with the front of his body. It changed his finger's positioning but it was still getting the other man off nonetheless. "Tell me."

"Ungh... Please," Capa squeaked out pathetically, not able to suppress the feminine quality that his voice got whenever he was engaged in sexual acts. It embarrassed the shit out of him but it made Mace even more crazy for him.

"Please, what? Please stop? Or please fuck me?" Mace asked condescendingly, knowing that making Capa say it out loud would turn the pale man pink and weak with humility. It'd make him surrender his pride just long enough for them to both get off on how submissive Capa could get in the name of ecstasy.

"You KNOW what I want, Mace," Capa whined indignantly.

"Maybe I do. Maybe I'd rather have you beg for it," Mace whispered hotly, thrusting three fingers into Capa particularly hard to make him wail in a mixture of displeasure and comfort in a single bound.

"Fuck!"

"Say it."

"Fuck you," Capa spat.

It wasn't real. Capa always put on a show for Mace, always pretending to struggle to make it even hotter for the both of them. Capa liked defying Mace for as long as he could (which wasn't long at all, sadly). Mace had cruel ways of making him cave before he wanted to and tonight was no different than any others from before.

"Close. But not close enough, sweetheart."

The condescension in Mace's voice and the jab of his fingers made Capa shamelessly hard and aching for more, craving more, needing the contact only Mace could provide for him. Capa was a wreck and hanging onto a razor thin edge of sanity, fists twisting covers to the point of ripping.

"I'm not begging for something I don't want," Capa lied.

"You want it," said Mace. "You NEED it."

Mace pulled his fingers out abruptly, leaving Capa to groan and mewl pathetically against the mattress. He threw a tantrum and Mace just sat back grinning from ear to ear as Capa broke just slightly, enough for him to give up on his little charade. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

"Okay, okay," Capa tapped out helplessly, cursing himself for caving so easily. "Please fuck me Mace."

"Attaboy."

Mace stripped himself of his boxers and leaned in close to Capa, letting the thin man feel his heat and breath as he lined up at Capa's entrance. He pressed the tip against the tight muscle, meeting little resistance as he pushed into Capa's shaking body. Capa raised himself up on wobbly arms, whipping his hair out of his face to let out a slow agonizing moan of pure pleasure.

Capa rocked back so that Mace was fully inside him, too impatient to romanticize the joining of their bodies. Mace pulled all the way out and pushed back in hard, repeating the rhythm until Capa was moaning and screaming his name into the pillows, clawing for any hint of leverage he could find.

****************

Today the crew were informed that the solar wind was picking up and that it was their last chance to send a package home. They all got their turn with a fair amount of time to compose their last message to family members. Mace would say some took longer than others, but he didn't really care since he didn't exactly have anyone back home. Well, no one worth saying goodbye to.

Mace knew what the messages were for. He knew they were finally going to be alone and that their mission would be far more important than it was before. Mace knew there was a good chance that they weren't coming back and the thought of the Icarus I failing only weighed heavier on his conscience.

Anything could happen, but Mace was ready for any and all possibilities.

He went on with his day, making his rounds and doing what he normally did to patch up and make sure Icarus was in tip top shape. Occasionally Mace would bump into Kaneda to tell him how Icarus was holding up and sometimes Cassie would catch up with him to just chat. They were thick as thieves.

It had been awhile since Mace had to see Searle. They actually saw less of eachother since Mace was no longer a hot head with a short temper, in fact they only met for dinner and Searle would always playfully tease him about Capa being his boyfriend. It was all in good fun, really. Mace sort of missed the psych officer. It made him want to get in a fight just like the good ol' days.

But Mace knew better.

Capa was in his payload, like always, and Corazon was in the O2 garden. Harvey was probably listening to his space music, doing nothing like he always did. Who knows where Trey was meandering. But by the end of the day, when everyone was hungry and exhausted, they'd all meet for dinner and discuss nothing in particular. Together as co-workers, friends, and family.

****************

"Hey, Robert?" Mace asked, encircling an arm around Capa's shoulders. It felt weird to actually call Capa by his first name and Capa almost didn't respond to it since he was so used to being called by his last name.

"Yeah?"

"When we get back home..." Mace started to say, stopping because he felt it odd to assume they would make it back, "would it be okay if I took you out? Like... To a movie. To dinner?"

Capa took a moment to consider the proposition and it didn't matter what he said because he knew they weren't coming back. He just KNEW. And by the looks of it, Mace knew too. Capa wasn't sure if Mace was saying it just because of the current situation or if he meant it, but he decided to answer the way he would regardless of the task at hand.

"I'd love to, Mace," Capa said full-heartedly, inching up to kiss Mace on the chin and smiling when Mace kissed his forehead.

"I'm holding you to that," Mace chuckled despite the nervousness locked away behind it.

Capa snuggled in closer to Mace's side, hands clinging to the man's strong chest as if he was afraid that he'd fall if he let go. But Mace wasn't going anywhere. Capa was sure of this. A hand tangled through his hair and played with it as if it was trying to be preoccupied. Capa sat up halfway and looked at Mace questioningly.

There were so many things Capa wanted to ask but he couldn't say a word, besides Mace's eyes told him all the answers he needed to know. He knew that look. That look that people in the military sometimes got. Like they had seen something that was better being left unsaid. The same look Capa had when volunteering for this mission, knowing what the risks were and accepting that.

Mace had it now too and Capa wondered how long he had accepted his fate and when he stopped being scared. But it didn't matter because they'd have eachother and that, as far as Capa was concerned, was all they needed. It sounded cheesy like some crappy romantic comedy, but it was the truth.

Mace pulled Capa back down to cuddle him against his body once again, not wanting Capa to speak a word of their obvious fate. He was afraid to hear it, especially in Capa's clear and beautiful voice. If he did it'd break him. Mace couldn't let Capa see him like that, he needed to stay strong.

"I don't think mankind ever intended to walk in the sun," Mace said thoughtfully, a tinge sarcasm in his tone because walking in the sun was impossible.

"Mankind never intended many things," replied Capa.

"People will never change and our success will be pointless. But it doesn't matter."

"How can it not matter?"

"Because we're only human."

In a way, Capa understood what he had meant. The success of the mission would only postpone the Earth's inevitable fate and even though this was clear to Mace, it was still worth fighting for. Mace was ready to help the Earth whether it would matter in the end or not, even if that meant his life.

Capa held onto Mace as if his life depended on it and as they laid there in silence, the whirring of Icarus' intercom could be heard throughout the ship. And in that very moment both Capa and Mace knew their fates had been set in stone, but that was okay. Cassie's voice rang out as clear as day over the intercom...

"Guys. You wanna see something?"