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"Come here, little man." Nigel's crooked finger waggled a little and Bug rolled his eyes.

"Not even if you were naked and I was taller."

When he looked back up again a few minutes later, Nigel actually was naked, and puttering around making piles out of the junk mail on the dining room table. Bug considered reconsidering. Then he looked back at the laptop and the cursor blinking in the same place it'd been blinking since Saturday, thanks very much to Jordan Cavenaugh and her unwitting (and at times witless) sidekick Nigel Townsend, both of whom had left a larger than average caseload of boring bodies to his disposal so they could run about playing amateur detectives this week.

"If I don't finish this paper..."

"What?" Nigel asked, leaning against the sofa back and hovering over his shoulder. "What happens if you don't finish it?"

"The world of forensic entomology will be a far darker place for its absence." Bug sighed and closed the laptop, blinking in the sudden darkness. He set the laptop on the coffee table, his prick stirring at the suddenly cool brush of air where the computer had been sitting for the last two hours.

Nigel's hand settled heavily on his shoulder and moved to his neck, rubbing the muscles there until Bug gave in and rolled his head to the side, pointing to the spot that was particularly sore.

"The really pitiful thing is that I'm ten pages into this piece and I suspect that it really doesn't matter, one way or another, whether it gets published."

"It matters," Nigel said, though he didn't sound very convinced.

"Blowflies and Black Leather: Establishing Time of Death in Bondage Fatalities: A Case Study."

"That the title?"

"Yeah."

"It's..."

"Long, yes." Bug sighed heavily, tilting his neck the other way.

"The first part's a winner. You've got your obligatory sexual pun, plus a little alliteration..."

Bug grinned, the tension easing out of him. "That's for the conference programme. Sex sells, y'know."

"Does it, now?" Nigel's hands stopped their massage and Bug turned around to look at him, finding himself about eye level with Nigel's erection.

"Hmm. Yeah. You feel like reading what I have so far?"

"Now?" Nigel shoulders slumped slightly and Bug took pity on them both.

"Hmm. You really are a procrastinator's best friend."

Nigel grinned in answer, one hand brushing Bug's fringe like he was rewarding a particularly docile pet.

"Bring that over here, then." He reached up and pulled gently at Nigel's prick, drawing it further away from Nigel's body and then letting go with a sharp squeeze at the tip. Nigel gasped and walked around the sofa to straddle his lap, pushing the coffee table well out of the way. Nigel was tall enough that the position was a little awkward, but there was something very satisfying about the weight of Nigel there, his knees on either side of Bug's hips.

Nigel kept one hand on the back of the sofa and with the other cupped Bug's head. Though he'd almost gotten over the odd, slightly unreal feeling of having a man's body--Nigel's body--where he'd grown used to only having women (not to mention having Nigel's body in places no woman had ever gone before), these kisses still felt exceptionally strange--the brush of a stubbled jaw against his own continuing to shock him into shivering and almost drawing away, and Nigel's hands, so unmistakably male and large, always holding him in place as they kissed. It was very, very exciting, to be this scared of something he wanted this much, and Nigel continued to indulge Bug in the feeling of being forced against his will, apparently sensing that he liked it.

They'd never really talked about bondage, per se, except theoretically, as voyeurs well after the fact, and then, only clinically.

Maybe tonight... but Bug couldn't bring himself to say it. Easier, by far, to say, "I want to be fucked" (and that wasn't easy at all, even now that they'd done it often enough that it should be). Easier to tell Nigel that he loved him (and he'd only ever said that in a whisper, as they lay together afterwards, when it was like being drunk, the confession possible in the closet of darkness).

"I want..." he started to say, when Nigel broke free for air, and Nigel looked at him expectantly. The streetlamp cast odd shadows on Nigel's face and body, emphasizing the size of him and the rough elegance of his pale, thin frame. "Bed," he finished lamely, calling himself all manner of coward while promising himself that next time... but next time he'd probably chicken out as well.

Nigel eased off his lap and offered him a hand, leading him into the bedroom, his hand clamped around Bug's wrist hard enough that Bug had to try to pull his hand away. And sure enough, Nigel's grip tightened to near-bruising force.

At the bed, Nigel stopped, not letting go of his wrist, but using his other hand to pull Bug's pants and undershirt off. Bug waited, and Nigel grabbed hold of his other wrist, holding both of Bug's arms down at his sides and leaning down to kiss him again, short, open-mouthed kisses that ended in quick bites to his lips and jaw. Bug thrust his hips forward and Nigel met him, thrusting back a few times before pushing him back onto the bed and climbing on top of him, somehow never letting go of his wrists, which he finally drew up above Bug's head and held together with one hand. Bug imagined that there were cuffs holding his hands together there, tied to the bedhead. His prick got stiffer, and Nigel stroked him with his free hand, long, slow strokes that ended in a little, almost-painful twist that brought Bug's hips up to follow him.

"You are a wild, little thing. Like it a bit rough, don't you sweetheart?"

"Take your hands off me," Bug answered, and Nigel did just as he asked, letting go of his wrists at the same moment he let his weight fall on Bug, pinning him down easily with his body. Nigel was thin enough, but tall as he was, the hold was quite effective, and Bug would have to do him injury to get free. Still, he bucked against the press of Nigel's body, feigning struggle as Nigel resumed kissing him, laying small bites to his neck and collarbone, then easing down to attack his chest, teeth latching onto his nipples and pulling at the hair there.

Bug wanted to touch Nigel, to dig his hands into the sharp edge of Nigel's shoulderblades, to trace the line of his spine, one vertebrae at a time, counting down to the small swell of his arse. But he kept his hands above him, still tied down with the imaginary cuffs, and the tension of not moving made the pull of the cuffs seem all the more real, his biceps straining to hold the position, his upper back and neck aching with it.

He was breathing heavily by the time Nigel moved down to take him into his mouth, no longer holding him down with anything but the faintest pressure of suction and the occasional threat of teeth teasing the underside of his cock.

Then, with a loud popping sound, Nigel let him go and stared up at him, a little wide-eyed, his lips shiny and red. "I-- You make quite a picture, love. This what you want Lily to do?"

Bug glared down at him, irritation warring with the desire for the pressure of Nigel's mouth. "Don't be an idiot. We're just friends."

"Yeah, that's what I am, isn't it?" Nigel looked like he was considering what he said next--choosing each word carefully, each exhalation falling heavily on Bug's erection, taunting him. "'Course, Lily would have to climb down off a pretty high pedestal to wet her lips on your cock. 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci.' Hard to imagine that happening. Or... no, it's really Galatea and his fair Pygmalion, isn't it?"

Bug didn't blink, arousal taking a sudden turn to wondering just how far Nigel would take it this time--how far he'd push before he backed down. Nigel sometimes did this, now, casually accusing him of really wanting a woman, then dismissing it like it didn't matter, as if he was just joking. Sometimes, it was drink that did it, and sometimes there was no obvious trigger. But suddenly, this was feeling a helluva lot more real than it usually did--like something might actually break this time.

"Course, she does have those sharp little heels. Bet you'd enjoy having her walk all over you as she climbed down. Give you quite the massage, hmm? Not ever hard enough to draw blood, of course, but then, that's where you draw the line, isn't it?"

"And just where do you draw yours?" Bug countered, his upraised hands clenching into tight fists on the pillow, his fingernails digging into his palms.

"Me?" Nigel licked at his lips and glanced down at Bug's erection, and Bug imagined he could still taste traces of Bug's precum, more of it continuing to leak out of him despite his distraction.

"You--" Bug began, but Nigel interrupted.

"Me, I'm just... inter-missionary, you might say." Nigel smirked, looking too pleased with himself with the obligatory sexual pun.

Bug forced himself to inhale some air, realizing he'd been taking very shallow breaths since Nigel stopped sucking and started talking. The sudden rush of oxygen made him a little dizzy. "That's--is that really what you think?"

"Don't say bisexual love to me," Nigel answered, mimicking Bug's voice and accent with startling accuracy. His grin had faded a little, tightening into a forced smile.

Bug sighed as the binds that were holding his wrists in place suddenly dissolved, leaving his arms feeling heavy and numb as he brought them down to touch Nigel's head, ignoring it when Nigel flinched at his touch. Bug sat up a little, drawing Nigel up and into his arms. Nigel's body was rigid at first, resisting him, before he finally collapsed into Bug's embrace, and Bug's arms trembled with the sudden weight of Nigel leaning into him. He eased them both down onto the mattress again, both their heads on the pillow side by side. He didn't let go of Nigel, holding him close, his arms wrapped around Nigel's upper body, his hands settling to hold Nigel's sides, where he was sometimes ticklish. The sound of Nigel breathing a little too hard and unevenly made Bug tighten his hold. He knew he needed to say something.

"I love you," he managed at last, but Nigel shook his head, pulling away from Bug easily to roll onto his back, staring up at the ceiling.

"You want her. I don't mind, Bug, but there's no reason to keep up the pretense that--"

"I love you," he said again, though it was still unaccountably hard to say it.

Nigel frowned. "But if she came up to you tomorrow and asked you to marry her and give her babies, you'd--"

"Tell her I appreciate the offer, but I'm taken."

Nigel shut his eyes, and Bug suddenly wondered if Nigel was listening at all, and how it was that Nigel hadn't noticed that the only time they talked about Lily was when Nigel brought her up, and each time, when it happened, Bug had dismissed her as irrelevant, counting on that as obvious, given that many of those times he was on his knees with this man's prick filling his throat or his arse.

But maybe that was the problem.

"Lily's never rearranged my wardrobe by color."

Nigel didn't respond, so Bug tried again. "She's never edited my articles."

Nigel's eyelids fluttered, though his eyes stayed shut. "You need an editor. You write like a scientist."

"I am a scientist," Bug countered.

Nigel's lips twitched slightly. "Dammit, I'm a doctor, not an English major."

"And they say I'm the social outcast with the unhealthy fixation on a television show."

Nigel smiled and opened his eyes at last, rolling over again to face him. His eyes were red. "Must be contagious, then. And while you're so willingly taking criticism... you really have the lousiest sense of rhythm--"

"Except in bed."

"Except in bed," Nigel agreed, if a bit reluctantly.

Bug decided not to be insulted at that.

"Which is bloody surprising considering how awful you are on the dance floor."

"Nigel--"

"Also, all your sentences are too bloody long. Generations of insect-lovers asphyxiate, waiting for your next period."

Bug shook his head, noting to himself that it seemed as if Nigel had serious difficulty hearing short, declarative sentences. He briefly considered pointing out that perhaps Nigel's attention span was the real problem with their relationship, if not with his own writing. "All of which goes to why I need you."

"What--to rearrange your wardrobe?"

"Yeah," Bug agreed. "Do over my closet and then parse my sentences."

"Now?" Nigel made a half-hearted attempt to sit up and comply.

"Always." Bug said firmly, easing his grip on Nigel as he pushed him back down onto the bed, tracing an abstract pattern on Nigel's belly with his fingertips, arrowing down to stroke Nigel's lax prick. It took only a few strokes to bring Nigel's interest back up. "You can even try to teach me to dance. But right now, if you don't mind, I need you to tie me up and fuck me. I'm not done procrastinating yet."

Nigel's eyes widened, and Bug himself was a little shocked to have actually managed to say it aloud.

Nigel at last nodded and cleared his throat, and when he spoke, his voice was tight and a little rough. "Be happy to. Honored, in point of fact. I trust you have the proper supplies for this venture?"

Bug nodded, gesturing toward the closet. Nigel slid off the bed and found the box on the floor--making little amused noises as he sorted through what was there. On the top, Bug knew Nigel would first see the small collection of nude photos that Bug had taken once, months ago now. At the time, Nigel had been amused and not at all self-conscious, posing this way and that for him, showing off. He'd asked to take a photo of Bug, but Bug had refused, unable to see himself that way, despite Nigel's encouraging--even embarrassing--compliments to the contrary.

Bug knew he was blushing by the time Nigel at last closed the box, returning with a pair of padded handcuffs and a blindfold, still in its box, and something Bug couldn't see--something that Nigel kept hidden behind his back.

"What's that?"

"Trust me, love?"

"Yeah," Bug agreed, laying back down on the bed and closing his eyes so he wouldn't see what else Nigel had found. Nigel sat beside him, cupping the back of Bug's head, so that Nigel could put on the blindfold. He held still as Nigel cuffed his hands together, drawing the short chain through to the bedhead.

Then he felt Nigel stand up, and he turned his head, trying to follow the sound of Nigel's movements, jumping in shock when Nigel laid a sweaty, large hand flat over his abdomen, his other hand taking a strong hold of Bug's prick.

Even with his eyes shut, he could see the lingering silver light of the camera flash going off, once, then again.

"Mine," Nigel leaned in and whispered in his ear. Bug smiled, turning his head toward the sound of Nigel's voice, catching a warm, deep kiss that ended in a sharp bite to his lower lip.

He pulled at the chain with a sharp tug, testing it, and shivered at the sudden, very real tension there. Nigel's hand rested lightly on his prick, and began to stroke him with long, sure strokes that spoke of familiarity, then moved to faster strokes that drew his body up and away from the bed, so that he was thrusting into the air, chasing after Nigel's hand. It was easy, finding the rhythm Nigel set, even with his eyes closed. And this time, Bug was sure that, no matter how hard he pulled away, the bonds would be strong enough to hold.



——FIN——