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Glorious Bastards

Chapter Text

To: peterwing
From: pierce_b
Subject: Thoughtful ears


How closely are you following the journals these days?

I had a tumultuous few months that's resulted in my needing a thoughtful ear on something. Yours, if it's available.


To: pierce_b
From: peterwing
Subject: Re: Thoughtful ears


I would say nice to hear from you, but the wording of your e-mail implies it's not a nice time. I regret I've not been following the journals much at all. I know I haven't written in mine in ages. There's this slave who seems to be occupying my time.

I am yours, ears at least. You may use them over the phone lines at the moment, but I'll be on your side of the world in a few weeks. Must head to Vancouver for filming.

~ Peter

Chapter Text

Pierce is tempted by the bourbon in his cabinet; it's more for Lin than for himself, but the steadying influence of a drink would be welcome at the moment.

He turns it down.

He gets his phone out of his pocket and climbs the stairs to his studio, settling down on the old, battered, paint-stained couch and propping his feet up on a wooden stool. And then he dials Peter's number, calculating the time difference -- it's midafternoon there. It seems reasonable enough.

Peter is standing in the sunroom, laptop on the end of the chaise, wine glass in hand. He lets the phone ring a couple times, calling back through the kitchen door to Guy that he'll get it. There's no caller ID, but there are only a handful of people who have the number and there's only one whose call he's expecting.

"Hello, old friend," he says in answering the phone, sipping at his wine.

"Good afternoon," Pierce says in response. "It's good to hear from you. How have you been?" All the typical things one says to start a conversation. All things that have Pierce feeling more settled already.

"My life is calm, I am happy and," Peter walks over, peeks into the kitchen, where Guy is standing naked at the sink washing vegetables for dinner, "and I have the most absolutely delicious looking man standing naked in my kitchen." He says it loudly enough to elicit an over-the-shoulder smile and blush from Guy.

With a small laugh, Peter turns back to the phone, voice dropping, more serious. "I would continue the polite discussion and ask 'How have you been?' but I suspect your answer would be less effusive."

"I could give you the simple answer that I've just spent nearly two months in Toronto with someone I'm growing increasingly fond of," Pierce offers, "but that wouldn't cover the why of my trip, nor the reason I wrote to ask for an ear. I had an ill-advised affair, and I'm still feeling the effects of it."

"Ah, the heart of the matter. Always more complicated, and more intriguing." Peter takes a long sip of the wine, nearly draining the glass before setting it down. "You mentioned the journals. I take it this was played out in public. Should I read before we talk?"

"I doubt it would do you much good. I've only made two public posts since the end of the affair. He's gone into somewhat more detail, but neither of us are naming names." Which is something Pierce has to do now, or this conversation won't be worth much. "Viggo," he says quietly. "I had a very ill-advised affair with Viggo Mortensen."

"Mortensen," Peter repeats, working to place the name. He really doesn't deal with the real world outside London, except for the journals and the occasional trade. It takes a minute to make the mental connections. "Oh, yes, isn't he married to Sean? You were playing with your ex's husband? Why, Pierce, I believe that might be a low, even for you." Peter walks to the French doors, opens them. "Want to elaborate a bit?"

Pierce winces; a straightforward look at what he's doing is what he's on the phone for, after all. Still. "He was married to Sean," Pierce says, but can't give himself quite that much leeway; he continues with, "and yes, I was playing with him before they divorced, but not in a dominant capacity. We're--" What are they? Friends? Sexual acquaintances, Viggo described it once. Occasional adversaries? Something... something that's got Pierce on the phone. "We're not speaking at the moment. Things went badly after the two of them parted, for Viggo and myself."

"It does present problems when you start playing with lover's lovers," Peter says wistfully. It'd only been one scene, but it hadn't exactly helped matters between him and Gerry. "So you're not talking with Sean. I assume you're not talking with Viggo. But you're calling me. What do you want, Pierce? Absolution? We're both a bit beyond redemption."

"I suppose I'm after an outside observer's perspective," Pierce sighs. "I'm back in Los Angeles. I've written to Sean. And then I started writing to Viggo, and found myself wondering if the emotions that brought up were healthy."

"All right, tell me about them." Peter settles on the steps leading to the back yard, bare feet pressed against the warm brick. He chuckles internally. Too much medical training, Peter. You sound clinical. "What emotions were brought up?"

All of them. It's a vague, flippant answer. Pierce shakes his head, searching for something more solid. "Uncertainty -- I've been nothing but uncertain since he left my home. Dread. Fear of seeing him again. Of not seeing him again. Interest. I thought two months would be enough time to feel settled. It wasn't."

That answer takes Peter aback, and he pulls away from the phone for a moment. In all the years he's known Pierce, he's never associated those words with him. Uncertainty. Dread. Fear. But they're emotions he knows well. "Those are very heavy emotions to come out of a scene with. It wasn't casual, not by any stretch of the imagination," he says, making statement of fact without asking the question. "How far did you take him, Pierce? How deep did you let yourself go?"

"I expected him to need to go down a fair way," Pierce says. "I've done this before, Peter -- dragged boys down until they could float their way back to the surface. This one couldn't go far enough. Nothing was enough for him. He was in my home for two days, under me." You're avoiding the last of his questions, Pierce.

"Only two days caused all this turmoil." Peter lets the incredulity drip from his words. "At least you haven't lost your touch, Pierce. Either at thoroughly eviscerating minds or evading questions." His tone turns serious, layered with the concern of years of friendship. "I'm much more concerned with your psyche than his. As you say, you've done this before, taken boys down. We both have. But on occasion that one gets to us. What happened?"

"I've asked myself that. More often than I'd prefer." Pierce sighs. "The most obvious answer is that it's a question of ego. I'm not accustomed to being wrong."

"Oh, I can imagine that was rather unnerving," Peter deadpans. "You realize if I were your therapist, I'd be highly overpaid for what you're confiding."

Bastard. Pierce stands up and paces a few steps. "If you were my therapist, you'd probably be asking if my seeing Viggo shortly after his marriage to Sean ended was more about punishing Viggo for hurting Sean or punishing myself for doing the same seven years ago. And I doubt I could give you a fair answer to it."

"No, I'd be sitting back waiting on you to ask yourself the questions aloud. You know good therapists never actually ask you anything," Peter replies, stretching out his leg. "So don't give me the fair answer. Give me an honest one. Who needed punishing more in your mind? You or Viggo?" Because I'm sure you don't think Sean should be punished for getting involved with either of you.

It isn't a fair question, and there's no fair answer. "I'd rather think it wasn't about punishment at all. That it was more about healing from old wounds by helping someone else heal from new ones. But I suppose if that were all I wanted, I would have stuck to tea and organic carob biscotti." He shakes his head. "This time, for this, him more than me."

"Healing doesn't open new wounds, Pierce. It's supposed to close them." Peter's talking bluntly, a luxury allowed by acquaintance. "You wouldn't be calling me if this had been a healing process. You sank him, and in the process you took in more water than your lungs could handle. Now you're trying to find air again." He pushes out a breath. "So, did Viggo get his healing?"

"Not through me," Pierce says dryly. "He's got a new lover. And every so often one or the other rears his head around the journals. They seem to be doing fine. Sean's fine, having settled down with his rebound. I was tempted to stay in Toronto."

"But, no, that would be keeping yourself out of harm's way, and you can't do that," Peter says. "So Viggo has his lover and he can heal. Sean has his. What do you get, Pierce? Uncertainty. Dread. Fear. And you're calling me. I think the wounds need cauterizing."

"And to think I spent nearly two weeks with Jeff and never so much as thought of burnplay," Pierce says. "Do you have a suggestion to offer, or just neatly poetic phrasings?"

"What do you want, Pierce? I can tell you it'll all die over, everyone will go back to loving each other just as much as before and the world will keep turning." Peter stands up, walks out across the patio. "You want the lie? I'll be happy to give it to you. But we both know it's a lie."

He absently plays with the candles sitting on the wrought-iron table, rearranging them as he talks. "You made a mistake. You got hurt a good bit more than you expected, because, and I hate to be the one to have to tell you, you're not Teflon-coated. So you admit to yourself you fucked up, figure out what it is you need to heal, find it and take it." He pauses. "Does that qualify as a suggestion? I know it wasn't very poetic."

"That's not a suggestion, man. It's a bloody plan of action." This, of course, is what happens when your friends fall to the dominant side of the road. He shakes his head. "Do you know --most of the time I'm not concerned about leaving someone damaged. I've never been particularly sorry about what I did to Sean." Another pause, this one longer. "This is different," he says quietly. "I have to write to him. Even if he's not going to read it."

"Because you're sorry about what you did? And writing will be cathartic?" Peter doesn't even want to go into why Pierce doesn't feel sorry about Sean. "Then write him, Pierce, but do it knowing you may cause more harm than the good you seek to do. What will you say? And do you want him to read it or not?"

"It's not about catharsis, Peter. It's not about trying to do harm or do good, really. It's because neither of us ever talked about what we were doing with each other. And whatever else has happened, I think we owe each other that sort of honesty." Pierce sighs. "And it has to start somewhere."

"And where does it end, Pierce? How far do you let it go before the honesty becomes more than either of you can bear?"

"I can't imagine it going further than it already has," Pierce says dryly. "I think the both of us would be skittish of more than the barest definition of contact. Writing. Maybe not even that, if he's not ready to read it. Peter..." Pierce sighs and leans against the couch again. "I'm not after anything from him anymore. I'd offer what I should have offered in the beginning -- commiseration and friendship -- but nothing more than that. I wasn't giving him what he needed, in the end. And as for what I needed -- need -- well. The jury's still out on it. But it isn't Viggo."

The conversation comes 'round to the crux of the call. "What is that, Pierce? Do you have any idea? Or who might have it?" Peter sighs. "You know you have whatever you need from me, which is why I assume you dropped me the email."

It is the crux of the conversation, and Pierce sits down, slowly. And all the things he wants to say -- I'm lonely being the first one that comes to mind -- slowly filter through, being sifted and sorted and arranged. I'm lonely. And being near Sean makes it worse. And in Toronto I barely thought of him at all.

"I have thoughts," Pierce murmurs, "but it's patience I need right now, more than anything else. I've no intention of centering all my intentions for the future on any one set of shoulders, for the time being, whether they're capable ones that look beautiful scored and welted or not."

"In that case, your therapist recommends a few random encounters with nameless creatures who don't give a damn what your intentions are," Peter says dryly. "Patience is best when it's being expended against willing flesh." He can't help but recall a few instances of shared flesh and an extreme patience for torment.

"Do you know I--" Of course he doesn't know. What's it been since you spoke to him -- how many months? Pierce starts over, a bit more quietly. "I've been working my way back up. I've had some scenes that didn't go as I expected them to. If it weren't for Jeff, I don't think I'd even be considering going out there again. As it is..." He brushes his fingertips over his lips, smiling. "I'll take your advice to heart." Or other body parts.

"On that point, I can empathize," Peter says with a smile, saying a silent prayer of thanks for 10-foot brick walls as Guy steps to the French doors and asks if it's all right to take a shower before dinner. He nods and mouths "fine" before continuing with the phone call. "It took me some time after Gerry left to want to try to control anyone again. Years. It'll come back, Pierce. Our breed doesn't stay down forever."

And that sends Pierce nodding, dropping forehead into hand and sighing out a breath of relief that's carefully modulated to be inaudible. He's talked about this -- God, he's talked about every angle and ever wrong decision, every curve, until he's had nothing left to say. And he's tried not thinking about it. But in the end, hearing it'll come back, Pierce from someone who's been in this position is more helpful than he'd realized. "Thank you," he murmurs. "And no, I can't imagine staying uncertain for much longer."

"You're welcome," Peter, not at all sure what he's said that Pierce hasn't had to have already thought of. "Perhaps by the time I see you in the flesh, you'll be your old self."

"Not so old," Pierce protests automatically, reflex given that he's got nearly ten years on the other man. And that brings up thoughts of other conversations from the weeks in Toronto, all of which have him grinning. "And I'm younger than the man who kept me occupied over the past months."

"Be still my heart," Peter playfully replies, "Pierce Brosnan's fallen for an older man. There is hope in the world once again."

"Would you stop that," Pierce snickers, shaking his head and giving his trademark bared-teeth grin. "Honestly, man." He's struggling for a better comeback, but nothing's occurring, and for once he honestly doesn't mind.

"Listen, since I'm going to be in Vancouver, how about I fly down to LA and harass you in person." Peter looks at his watch, checking the date. "I think Guy made the flight for the 28th, but I know filming doesn't start until second week of September, so I've some flex time in there."

"I'd like that," Pierce says. "Very much. You're welcome here; you know that."

"Good, then, I'll contact you from Vancouver." Peter starts walking back toward the house. "You need anything else today, Mr. Brosnan, or can I leave you to your own designs and go torment my boy?"

Your own designs. Pierce glances at canvas and grins. "I think that ought to do for today, Mr. Wingfield. Go on; make the lad beg, and have a pleasant evening while you do."

"You, too, Pierce, pleasant evening," Peter says, clicking off the phone and setting it on the table as he walks into the house, mind already focused on how he can channel his energies onto Guy's flesh.

Chapter Text

To: pierce_b
From: peterwing
Subject: Arrival

Flight's booked. Coming to LA to talk with studio folks before heading to Vancouver. I arrive LAX at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday. Interested in dinner?

~ Peter

To: peterwing
From: pierce_b
Subject: Re: Arrival

Absolutely. Dinner and company would be much-welcomed. You're invited to stay with me, as always when you're in my neighborhood; how convenient that my neighborhood's Los Angeles now. I'll send a driver for you at the airport, unless you're determined to have me meet you there in person; it'll give me time to pretend I know how to cook.


To: pierce_b
From: peterwing
Subject: Re: Arrival

Much as the thought of you standing at international arrivals with a little sign motioning for me has me in stitches, I think I'm safer with the driver you'll send. An evening of good company sounds wonderful, as does your hospitality, although I'm not sure you want me under foot for a whole week. We'll try dinner first.

~ Peter

Chapter Text

Peter's flight was scheduled to get in at 6:40; by the time all the delays were sorted out, he'd gotten through customs, and Pierce's driver had arrived back at Pierce's house with him, it was nearly eight, and so Pierce has a hand towel tossed over one shoulder, making a light dinner as Peter sits at the island and sips at a nice white wine. Pierce isn't a gourmet chef, but he's adequate, and he isn't really in the mood to have a boy from the Establishment sent over to care for them this evening. Not that it's a bad idea overall, but there's no reason to get overly ambitious when Peter's still recovering from the flight.

Pierce slides a plate over to Peter's side of the island and sits down himself, drying his hands off. "Feeling a bit better now?" he asks.

"Feeling much more myself," Peter says, taking another sip of the wine. The flight was long, and he faces another in a few days to Vancouver, a prospect he's anticipating with mixed emotion. It's another flight, and he's really not eager for that. But it means reuniting with Guy, who had work in London that necessitated him staying behind for a week. Yet another mixed blessing, one that afforded Peter the time to visit with an old friend.

"It's not that I dislike flying," he says, setting down the glass and picking up a fork. "It's just from London to LA has to be the most infuriating route. Not a single flight attendant was in a good mood."

"It's long and exhausting," Pierce agrees, "and flight attendants are always one extreme or another, too attentive or too sullen. Still, you won't be heading overseas again for a while. That's encouraging."

The chicken's not bad; Pierce thinks it could have used more rosemary. Neither of them's going to starve tonight, though, which is a plus.

"No, don't go back until," Peter takes a bite of the chicken, considers its flavor and that it's missing something, and swallows, "uh, November. I think. Guy has the schedule. But I know it's something like eight weeks, mostly in Vancouver, some down here."

He takes another bite, decides it needs more thyme. "You going to keep me company while I'm trapped in LA?"

"Of course," Pierce grins, taking up his wineglass and raising it in salute. "If you can tolerate my company, it's all yours." He gives half a smile at the thought; his company's been less unwelcome in L.A. than he's accustomed to, which either says something about mellowing in his old age or about the sanity of the people he's been seeing. I hope it's the latter.

Peter raises his glass. "To the most palatable company I've yet to find," he salutes, then drinks. "There is something about old friendship rekindled. I'm glad you called, Pierce. We don't reach out enough, dominant fools like us. Tolerate our own company far too long."

"And here you just said my company was palatable," Pierce jokes. "But no: we grow used to the idea that we're supposed to handle everything, solve all our problems by ourselves. Rather funny, when you think about it. There's something of a communications renaissance happening among a few of the men I know on this coast. It's been fascinating to watch."

"Got one on my side of the world could use that," Peter shakes his head, thinking of Gerry and how if the damned boy could learn to talk, the universe would revolve a lot easier, "but then again I'm better at giving advice and making sure it's followed than taking my own. It's a conditioning, Pierce. We're products of our upbringing. Your parents didn't teach you to talk, I'm betting. Mine didn't." He sips on the wine a bit longer. "Then we went and became doms, and for Christ's sake we don't talk then, except to issue orders."

"Actually..." Pierce says, glancing down at his wineglass, leaving his eyes there, "I've been talking quite a bit with one of the men I'm topping these days. The one I saw in Toronto. I've been getting feedback on scenes, both the ones that worked and the ones that didn't, and Christ, let me tell you how strange that feels..." He finally looks back up. "But I wonder who it is we need to be perfect for: the men we top, so they won't doubt us, or ourselves, because we already doubt ourselves."

"Philosophical and we're not even to the after-dinner brandy, Pierce." Peter shakes his head, making a tsk-tsk noise. He's impressed with Pierce's admission. "I think it's a combination of both, depending on the man we're topping, but our own desire for self-perfection weighs more heavily on our minds. We can't let down our guard, let them know we have doubts, fears, needs."

"Someone once suggested a dom's club where we actually do have the opportunity to express thoughts like these. For two of us in conversation, it might work..." Pierce stabs at a piece of chicken and gestures at Peter with his fork. "But I think any three of us and the egos get a mite too large for the room's dimensions. You and I run into that problem just on our own, on occasion," he grins.

"Us? Pray thee, Mr. Brosnan," Peter starts in, affecting a much stronger Welsh accent than he naturally has, "I can't remember us having a problem with that." He snickers. "Not that couldn't be taken care of with a boy and a cane and a proper beating." He goes back quickly to stabbing at his own chicken, taking a rather large bite, suddenly quite hungry.

"Nothing aids relations like boys happy to serve two for an evening," Pierce says, sitting back. He's just about finished with dinner, and ends up picking at it, a bite here, a nibble there. He's had more company since returning from Toronto than he can remember in months, and whether that has to do with being more open to company or less interested in staying alone inside his thoughts, he's not certain. Either way, the results are pleasant, and Peter's visit couldn't have come at a better time for him.

Peter pushes his plate aside, leaving a few stray pieces of chicken, and finishes off his wine. "Are there games planned for the evening? Boys to entertain? Or are we finding amusement between ourselves?" He stands up and walks around the island to retrieve the wine bottle. "Did you want more?"

"Please," Pierce says, holding out his glass. "I assumed you'd be too tired to worry about entertaining boys. We're on our own for the evening. I could change that with a phone call, if you don't trust yourself to be alone with me..."

"I trust myself," Peter says, filling the glass and then moving back to fill his own before setting the bottle down, "as much as I trust you." He grins, knowing where the words imply they'll go. "What are you after? Conversation or more?"

"Conversation's a given. I'd certainly take more if it's offered." It's been a while, Pierce realizes; he hasn't shared more than a kiss with anyone since Toronto. "Are you offering?"

"I believe I might just be doing that," Peter grins, sips at his new glass of wine. "Something simple, straightforward, no obligations or expectations."

"Agreed. On all counts. Perhaps you'd like to move somewhere more comfortable than the kitchen?"

"Living room, perhaps, or we could be completely unconventional and actually start in the bedroom, which is where I plan on ending the evening so I can fall asleep."

"Why not?" Pierce grins. It's not a full-on bared-teeth grin; it's a little easier than that. His guard's down further, and it never seems so important to have the bastard image curled around his shoulders when it's just him and Peter. "Let me just get things cleaned up... the bedroom's straight down the hall," pointing in the appropriate direction, "if you want to take your bags there as well."

It never feels awkward around Pierce, and that's something Peter's always been grateful for. They'd shared an occasional boy, and Pierce had been there when Peter'd fallen apart after the Paradiso incidents, and he hadn't pryed for all the details, just taken for granted that Peter needed the comfortable silence of someone who would never condemn. He picks up his duffel and laptop case and heads down the hallway. Simple, casual sex, he muses, will be such a welcomed respite. Depositing his bags on the floor near the dresser, Peter turns and stares in the mirror, not really looking at himself but just staring, and he unbuttons his dress shirt, tugging it from his jeans until the soft indigo cotton is hanging free. "Much more comfortable."

As soon as Pierce has all the dishes tucked into the dishwasher and has run a cloth over the counters, he makes his way back to the bedroom, arriving just in time to hear Peter's murmur of approval. "You do look more comfortable that way," Pierce agrees, "but I think we can do better still..." He comes up behind Peter, rests his hands on Peter's shoulders and kneads gently, getting a fraction of the tension left over from a fifteen-hour flight worked out as he watches Peter's eyes in the mirror.

Peter's eyes darken at the touch, hands on his shoulder heavy even when gentle, the force behind them never fully at rest. "I think I could get a lot more comfortable," he muses, eyes taking on a mischievous glint, "as could you. Mutual disrobing. Separate corners? Or tandem touching?"

Pierce chuckles and leans in to lick at the back of Peter's neck -- then nips, softly, not being able to help himself. "I'd prefer the touching, if it's all the same to you," he purrs, reaching around, sliding fingertips into the fabric of Peter's shirt, running them up his chest. Fabric parts under his hands, and he tugs lightly, drawing the shirt over Peter's shoulders. "You first?"

An easy laugh slips up from Peter's throat, light and in such contrast to when his dominant side takes complete hold, the death whisper as Gerry called it, and he's nearly purring in response. "I like that option," he says, smiling at the mirror's image. "Fascinating, watching yourself beind undressed."

"Isn't it?" Pierce agrees, running a hand down Peter's shoulder. Bare skin, warm under his palm, and as the fabric falls away, Pierce catches it, tosses it over the chest at the foot of the bed. He wraps an arm around Peter's waist again, fingers splaying wide across his stomach, and he's staring into his own eyes when he starts licking his way across Peter's shoulder.

"Especially when the man undressing you is so nice to look at." Peter touches his fingers to Pierce's hand, trailing the tips up over the arms until he's pushing at rolled-up sleeves. He smiles. "Black shirt, Pierce. Always dress the villain?" He breathes out, letting himself relax away a day of travel, ease against the body behind him.

"And why not?" Pierce grins, molding his body to Peter's. It's a good match, warm and comfortable, and Pierce can feel himself relaxing, too, even as his cock's growing harder and pressing against Peter's ass. His fingertips skim skin, slide lower, trace Peter's waistband and flirt with dipping under.

"You really were miscast, Pierce. Should've been the conflicted nemesis instead of the hero. They're much more fun to play." Peter draws in a breath, his stomach sucking in at the downward tease of fingers. His cock aches to be touched, and the thought isn't who's in charge but rather just get me naked.

"I'll keep that in mind for future roles. I do seem to be getting roles with more questionable motives since the outing. There's something to be said for that, at least." Pierce is teasing himself almost as much as he's teasing Peter, but he's also in the unusual situation of knowing that if the tease goes on too long, his lover can turn around, demand more, push him back the few steps toward the bed. And knowing he'd let it happen. The thought of not needing to be so solidly in control of everything is surprisingly arousing, and Pierce tilts his head down, bites at Peter's shoulder as his hand flicks button and zipper open and slides underneath.

It's like a game of chess, foreplay with Pierce, and that move forces Peter's hand. He grabs Pierce's wrist, clutching tightly and pushing the fingers down firmly against his cock. "Morally questionable, yes," he says tersely. "Perfect for you." He takes the moment of control, knowing he'll cede it shortly, and the game will continue, back and forth, never one or the other fully in control of the board. "Biting, Pierce," he muses. "Shall we move straight to whips and chains?"

"Somehow I don't see you letting me cuff you to the bedframe," Pierce says dryly. He teases fingers under silk, stroking, giving Peter's cock the warm squeezes and drag of skin against skin he's demanding. "But the bed seems a good destination. Come on." One half step back, pulling Peter along with him, bribing with a caress of fingertips across oversensitive skin.

"I imagine the only way we're getting cuffs on each other is if both of us have one wrist cuffed the bed and one wrist free." Peter's smirking as he steps back, slowly turning so Pierce's fingers are dragged agonizingly out of his boxers. He puts his hands on Pierce's shoulders and moves them to the placard, works the buttons with a methodically practiced ease. "Your turn for a moment," he says, pushing the fabric apart and touching flesh he hasn't felt in years. It's still hot, still sears from fingerips into brain.

Pierce's turn to hold still and Peter's turn to move, and it takes a bit of effort to keep from bringing his hand to the back of Peter's neck, simply dragging him forward, the hell with clothes, getting lips on lips. Patience. Peter's hands feel good on him, certain, confident in a way that's familiar from the inside out. I know what it's like touching someone this way... His cock jerks hard, jeans feeling much too restricting, and he drops a hand to Peter's waist, backing them up the last few steps to the bed. "This would all be better lying down," he murmurs, just as shirt comes free and slips to the ground.

"Yes it would," Peter agrees, moving his hands to Pierce's jeans, unbuttoning and pushing the denim apart, slipping fingers over navy silk. "Off with them." He hooks his thumbs in the waistband of both and begins edging the fabrics over Pierce's hips. "Not sure I've ever stripped you before. Last time we did this, it was a rush of undressing on opposite sides of the bed."

"Last time we did this we'd been teasing each other across a room all night," Pierce grins back, casually stepping out of jeans and boxers when the time's right. He settles his hands on Peter's shoulders -- less for balance than for the connection -- and this time it's more difficult letting go. A hard push and he could have Peter on his knees in front of him.

And that would never work. Pierce lets go and reaches behind him for the rails at the foot of the bed, curling his fingers around wrought-iron.

Peter can feel the change in pressure, the nearly imperceptible push on his shoulders. "It's very difficult to give up control," he says, ridding himself of jeans and boxers quickly, taking the step forward, pressing himself full body against Pierce, hands gripping the wrought iron just to the edge of Pierce's fingers, cocks grinding against each other. "To play it even-handed."

"Goes against instinct," Pierce agrees, running one arm up Peter's, finally giving in to need and impulse and cupping the back of his neck. "I like it," he murmurs. "Neither leading nor following. Sometimes this feels more illicit than either. Forbidden territory."

"I wonder, Pierce, if our kind understands any other territory." Peter counters the move with a hand to Pierce's arse, sliding between wrought iron and flesh, rubbing just a moment before settling in over the left cheek. "Land mines and barbed wire. We don't understand how to walk among the heather."

"Not true," Pierce disagrees, mouth open now, breath hot against Peter's cheek. "We can walk there. But only as visitors. It's not where we live." And then lips trail across jaw, dragging over stubble on their way to meet Peter's.

"I like where we live," Peter breathes out. "It's a very nice place." He meets the kiss with equal force, pushing back as Pierce moves forward, allowing tongue to slip out and dart over lips at the last moment.

Pierce slides his fingers up through Peter's hair, a rough scratching caress, managing to keep that touch up right until teeth graze over lips and tongue follows their path, demanding entry. And Pierce opens, still balancing instinct with the careful dance it takes to end up in bed with a friend who's on all-too-equal footing with him.

Equal footing or not, Peter wants to be on the damned bed, not groping at its foot, even though the railing's wrought iron and he can't help thinking about his boy would look pushed over it, hands and feet bound. Oh, fuck. Peter slips his other hand to Pierce's arse and steps back, tugging him away from the railing, nudging him around the end of the bed, onto its edge.

The kiss breaks, more from force of bodies in motion than desire. "Not being pushy, Pierce, but I really want you prone," he says with a grin. "Better to kiss and suck and otherwise reacquaint myself with your body."

Pierce couldn't agree more; he moves around the bed and pulls Peter up with him, stretching across the length of it. "Kiss. Suck. Is that what you're after tonight?" he asks. Both of them on their sides if only to sidestep the issue of which one of them's on top, Pierce gets his lips back on Peter's skin, his throat this time, tongue gliding hot down the center of Peter's neck and down onto his chest.

"It's a starting point," Peter gets out before he's dragged down, stretching out beside Pierce on the wide, comfortable bed. The whimper accompanies the movement of Pierce's tongue. "Oh, yes, we can negotiate fucking as we move along," he says, reaching up and sliding his hand into Pierce's hair, fingers edging through the full lushness, threatening to tighten, snarl, but holding back. "Of course, we could flip a coin. Loser's on bottom."

"Coin tricks," Pierce murmurs, "all for it -- I have just the coin in mind," but for all the snark and the grin in his voice, he's moving downward, barely letting teeth drag over skin as he slides down Peter's body, tongue lingering over nipples -- no biting, Pierce reminds himself sharply -- and his hand runs down to Peter's hip.

Peter's allowing it, too, the linger, the graze of teeth, encouraging it with hand carding through hair, body arching up against that tongue -- not just any tongue, not his boy's, but Pierce's -- and he realizes it's been years since he just let a lover, casual and simple and uncomplicated, do anything close to that. It's always been about the control, that he'd direct the moment, take the other man down to depths neither knew they wanted.

It won't matter in the end, when morning comes and they're half-draped over each other, who was on top. There won't be any jockeying for position or boys crawling out to kneel by the bed. It'll just be sex, they'll both be sated and life won't've been altered too dramatically.

"Christ, Pierce," Peter says, fingers finally winning out and hair being tugged gently, "you've one helluva tongue. Be a dear and use the teeth a bit if you don't mind."

Oh, and he doesn't mind at all; a warm chuckle and hot breath's drawn out of him, and his teeth graze Peter's nipple as he obliges friend and lover's request. This is the kind of blissful, it's-just-sex contact that Pierce so rarely indulges in, and part of what has him aching for it is the knowledge that there are no expectations, no obligations, no one needing to be taken down or brought back up. Giving lips and tongue and teeth is just for pleasure, not a reward, and waiting to curl his hand around Peter's cock is just for the anticipatory thrill they'll both have until he does it, not a punishment. Pierce moves forward, draws a leg over Peter's and presses his cock against Peter's thigh, leaving a smear of precome behind while his hand runs up Peter's back, draws back down with fingernails scratching. And the breath he lets out is almost a moan.

It's enough of a moan to shiver Peter's spine, prompt him to curl into Pierce's chest, nudging his leg under Pierce's, pressing his stiffening cock into hard flesh. At the rake of nails on his back, Peter clutches into Pierce's hair, tilting his head back and putting lips to throat, sucking over the hollow there, teeth grazing and nuzzling. Nuzzling. The thought's fascinating, liberating, that he could be just enjoying the moment, not having to worry about whether or not the boy underneath him is responding properly.

Pierce tilts his head back, giving Peter better access, letting himself be touched, kissed, enjoyed. It's bloody marvelous, and now all he's thinking is that he wants more. More of Peter's skin pressed to his, more rubbing of cock against thigh, just more. There's no goal in mind now. It really is just the moment and the body against his.

Kisses meld into sucking blend back into nibbling and evolve into lick-kisses, each contact flesh on flesh, lips brushing sweaty skin. Cock rubs cock, not in duel for dominance but in desperate need for that contact. Peter gives up thinking. It's a worthless endeavor. His hands slip out of Pierce's hair and down his back, fingertips making circles and tracing muscles. "Want all of you," he whispers, daring to break the long minutes' silence. "Every way. Any way."

"And I want you," Pierce murmurs back, almost squirming in an effort to get closer, completely away from the need to make every motion deliberate and calculated. "You can have my mouth, if you like. Or--" He grins, all his teeth bared as his face rests in the hollow of Peter's shoulder, where Peter won't be able to see the look -- feel it, perhaps, but not see it. "I can find a coin."

Decisions. Decisions. "I'll take your mouth, Pierce," Peter says breathlessly, teeth smiling into his shoulder, "and you can have my arse in a few minutes, unless you're particularly wanting my cock for other purposes, then we can go this t'other way 'round." He sucks in a breath. "Or I could fuck you in the morning."

"You tonight and me in the morning," Pierce says, "my God, if the sky doesn't fall, it's going to be a memorable visit." He chuckles more and rolls Peter to his back, flicking his tongue out over Peter's collarbone as he settles hips between Peter's legs and begins moving ever-so-slowly downward.

"It's LA, Pierce. More likely the earth will open," Peter quips, settling his head into the pillows, his back against the bedcovers and spreading his legs wider to accommodate Pierce's movements. "If that occurs, I still expect to come, so don't be deterred."

"Duly noted," Pierce agrees, lips sliding past Peter's breastbone, over his stomach, finally sliding down to his thighs. And he could tease more, make Peter wait for it, but the hell with that; it's been a long time since he's given himself permission to give another man his mouth. His tongue starts at the base of Peter's cock and works its way up, lazy sliding strokes that move up a few inches and then back down, two-steps-forward-one-step-back, getting his cock thoroughly wet before leaving a last lingering swirl over the head.

Peter takes in another breath, holds it until Pierce's tongue has dampened his cock and the precome's nearly an afterthought. Then he lets it out, slow and steady, easy whisper of need and permission to savor the desire. He slips his hands back under his head, lacing fingers and stretching his body down into the bed. Just sex. Much too long not to enjoy.

Moments like this are ones that remind Pierce just how good it is having another man in his bed. He's hard, relaxed, comfortable despite an erection that's going to want attention soon enough, and he's got the taste of Peter's cock in his throat. His mouth's full, lips stretched wide, tongue rubbing hard at the underside as he moves back and forth, enjoying the feel and taste and the complete lack of ulterior motives all at once. This is just for fun. And God, it's certainly that.

His teeth scrape just a little along the shaft as he works his way back up, and then it's back down again, harder now, a little faster -- not because he's in a hurry, just to vary sensation a touch. And talking of touches... he slides a hand up Peter's thigh, runs his fingertips over Peter's balls and gives soft touches in counterpoint to the rougher motions of his mouth.

"You could do this for a living, Pierce," Peter says dryly, his breath a little caught in between the words. "If you decide to stop acting, just open a brothel." He arches up at fingertips on balls, always a mind-numbing touch. "Excellent maneuver," he sucks his lip in under his teeth.

Pierce almost chokes, tempted to laugh, and he hollows out his cheeks and sucks a little harder. He'll be giving commentary of his own later, no doubt, so there's no reason to begrudge Peter a few choice quips. And besides which... Pierce wants to get him closer, wants to feel the tension in his body as he starts feeling the need to come. Patience. Even without a hint of control over Peter's orgasm, Pierce can still keep the pace steady, then slow down and lead him into delayed gratification.

It might take a while to get to where Pierce wants to go. Peter's relaxed and not rushing anything. He slows his breathing, consciously taking his heartbeat down, almost to a meditative state, focusing all his energy on Pierce's attention to detail. He closes his eyes.

The tongue's intrinsic muscle fibers run vertically, transversely and longitudinally. A rather inane fact Peter remembers from his medical training. That allows for a great range of movement. Pierce is masterful at manipulating that range, Peter knows with a less clinical observation, his tongue curling and swirling around Peter's cock, its papillae rough over the equally rough flesh of the rapidly stiffening flesh.

No rush, no hurry, no expectations, no goals. Just pleasure. It's something Pierce has to remind himself of more than once as he keeps licking his way up and down Peter's cock. But the scent and taste keep him grounded, here, in the moment. And it's probably well past time you used your mouth for something other than talking, eh, Brosnan? he wonders at himself. He'd grin if he could do it around the hard cock filling his mouth.

There's a conscious effort not to push for more, but the more relaxed he allows himself to be, the more heat Pierce's tongue slathers over his cock, Peter finds it's easier to tap into that headspace of casual lover than he anticipated.

"One of our boys would be squirming by now, calling you all sorts of names, at least in his head," Peter murmurs, "taking such time and patience. It does infuriate them, those who do not appreciate its value."

Pierce scrapes his teeth up Peter's shaft and pulls his mouth off with a soft, intentional pop. "Boys aren't the only ones who hone their skills at holding back for..." That's too many words in a row with too few licks in between; Pierce rectifies that with several slow passes with the flat of his tongue just under the head of Peter's cock. "...long minutes. Patience is a virtue." And then he's back to the steady strokes of mouth on cock, nearly burying his nose in wiry curls before coming back up for air.

"Oh, perfect," Peter hisses out. "I've infuriated my share of boys with holding back, making them wait for hours for that gratification." He can feel the edges of orgasm seeping over his body, stomach tightening, sending out the ripples. "It's such a delicious two-way street to walk."

"Mmm." Pierce only pulls back far enough to let the vibration carry through lips and tongue, covering Peter's skin with the soft velvet feel of it. It's not a contest, not this time, but if it were, there's no telling who'd give in first.

"Pierce, luv, would you mind terribly if I came soon?" Peter doesn't mind giving in, not after a day in flight as it were, and the need building. "More a matter of jet lag and really wanting to feel your cock inside me before I fall asleep."

One more trail of teeth up as Pierce draws his mouth back far enough to speak. "No one's looking for permission here," Pierce points out softly. "Come whenever you want."

"Oh, I know. And that wasn't exactly asking permission," Peter counters quietly, "more just didn't want to disrupt your plans too much." He shivers, full body, just the mention of coming bringing the need that much closer to the surface. "I'm looking at about another minute forty-five." He pulls his hands out from under his head and curls them into the bedcovers, clutching and letting his body slip him to the edge.

"Shall I time you?" Pierce grins between licks. He wraps his hand around the base of Peter's cock to steady it, and ramps up the pace significantly, disregarding smooth confidence in favor of rougher strokes, almost fucking his mouth on Peter's cock.

"No need. Seventy-two seconds left," Peter pants out, willing himself to make the countdown. Pierce is taking him in perfectly, and he pushes down on his hips, nudging his cock a bit deeper into Pierce's throat. "Under a minute now."

Under a minute. Let's see if you hold to that. Pierce glances up just long enough to see the clock display on the nightstand, and then goes back to the all-too-rare activity of sucking a friend off, one hand on Peter's balls, rolling them with his fingers, the other hand keeping the base of Peter's cock steady.

Peter tilts his head and glances at the clock. A minute. He consciously speeds up his metabolism, jerking his body out of rest and into pre-orgasmic coil. Pierce isn't helping, though. "You bastard," he says, mentally down to 32 seconds and the shudder's ripple meeting an obstacle. Momentary, and Peter concentrates harder, slipping himself into the loose dirt at the edge of the precipice with, he glances over, 12 seconds to go.

And Pierce had nearly forgotten about his own erection. The words you bastard send sparks down his spine, having him grinding his hips down hard even as he sucks, swallows, does everything in his power to obliterate any thoughts of counting down.

The clock ticks past the minute mark. Five seconds. Ten. And Peter's coming in shudder-pulses. "Christ, yes. Fuckinghell." He clutches against the bed rather than wrap his fingers into Pierce's hair again, knowing if he did he'd hold that head hard against his cock, forcing him to take everything. But it's not necessary. Pierce isn't going anywhere. And neither is Peter for the moment.

Perfect. Pierce swallows, keeps swallowing, bitter-salt taste coating the back of his throat while he keeps himself from moaning.

Peter gives in a second time in a matter of minutes, unclenching one hand and slipping it over the back of Pierce's neck, gently squeezing, not controlling but just being in the moment, fingers splaying up into black locks, not quite tangling but hinting at all those moments he'd give were this a boy under his hand and not Pierce.

Pierce does moan at that, holding himself still but shivering at the contact. He slides a hand to Peter's thigh and squeezes hard. Yes. God, yes, touch me.

Good, he didn't hit you. Peter lets his fingers slide more into Pierce's hair, tug and pull softly. "Yes," he moans, "oh, God, yes, so good." His body starts to level out, orgasm echoing through every muscle. "Best of all, it's just the start. Your turn next."

Licking gently as he pulls away from Peter's cock, Pierce grins and climbs back up the length of his body, settling himself on top of him. "Oh, yes," he murmurs, nipping at the side of Peter's neck, "definitely my turn next."

Peter's hands release the blankets, rumpled into ridges, and they slide up over Pierce's back as he tilts his head back, allows his lover all the access he needs, wants. "Take as long as you want. I'm not going anywhere," he purrs, kissing the side of Pierce's head, "and if I fall asleep, just slap me awake."

"Is that an offer?" Pierce asks. "You look good this way, you know. Sated. Pleased. Ready and waiting." He pushes up on his elbows, making just enough room between them to run warm fingers over Peter's skin. "You feel good. And you'll feel even better once I'm in you."

"I am pleased, Pierce. Infinitely. And ready. And waiting." Peter's grinning. "This is companionable, comfortable." He trails his fingers up to Pierce's shoulder. "Why haven't we done it more often, I wonder."

"Timing. Location. Ego." Pierce punctuates each sentiment with a small kiss on Peter's shoulders. "Mostly the latter, I suspect."

"We're far enough in our careers to work around the first. The second's cured with airlines." Peter wraps his arms up over Pierce's upper back, tugging him closer. "And fuck that latter. We don't need it, either of us."

Pierce slants his lips over Peter's, kissing him again, this time damn near looking to devour him. Peter's right. He's exactly right. And God, but this feels good. Pierce's skin is practically vibrating, cock dripping against Peter's thigh. They're both ready, and they've been waiting long enough. Pierce reaches over for lube and condom, snagging both one-handed and kneeling up between Peter's legs to slick on condom and get his fingers slippery with lube. "Want you," Pierce murmurs. He rubs at Peter's entrance in slow, easy circles, wanting this too much to rush.

"It would be pushy to tell you to go easy on the lube, make it a bit painful," Peter murmurs, spreading his legs wide, his body tingling with the need for touch. "So I'll just lie back and be quiet, let you provide your own expertise."

"It probably would be pushy," Pierce agrees, pressing his fingers forward all-at-once, three of them, hard and twisting. And as soon as they're in, he shudders, cock jerking -- God, you're tight. "But you won't get what you want by staying quiet."

Peter winces at the breach. Too damned long. Christ, but it hurts good. He wills himself to relax, easing body back down into the bed. "Want whimpers and moans, Pierce, wails on the banshee riding the wind perhaps. Begging, too?"

"Anything you're after giving me," Pierce says, this time baring all his teeth with his grin. "You'd sound good moaning. Growling. Begging for all of it." He curls his fingers, rubbing none too gently over that spot, keeping his eyes on Peter's and looking for just the right expression. "You'd look good seeing stars."

Peter's eyes half-close and his mouth falls open and there's a hitched breath that floats out on a moan. "Again, Pierce. Nebula's in sight." He curls his tongue against the his teeth and bites slowly as Pierce's fingers rake back over that perfect spot, send him spiraling again. "Moan. Beg. I'll give you all of it. Just give more of that."

More. And more. Pierce's fingers are certain, movements steady, patience winning out all over again. He isn't going to be able to hold out as long this time, though; the way Peter's moving, the sound of his breathing, all of it has need ramping up fast at the base of his spine.

Easy, Peter reminds himself, slow and simple. He moans out, nowhere near banshee level yet but contented, pushing down, his body clenching around Pierce's fingers, driving them deeper. "Please, Pierce, cock now?" he asks quietly, enough plaintive appeal to be borderline begging.

I wonder what I'll sound like in the morning when it's the other way around, Pierce thinks for a moment, and then he's moving forward, nudging Peter's thighs apart just a little more, settling between them and pressing his cock in. Not too gently. Warm and slow and rough, curling both hands around Peter's shoulders as he settles in on top of him.

Warm and slow and rough is exactly how Peter wants it. He spreads even wider, wrapping his legs around Pierce's back as his lover --lover? interesting concept -- settles into a position and a rhythm that rocks him against the bed on each solid stroke in. He bites his tongue against the burn, almost unfamiliar as it's been so long since he allowed himself this level of touch, this degree of intimacy.

It's intimate, intense, without feeling as if the world hangs in the balance. It is, Pierce realizes as he keeps moving, feels Peter's body squeeze around him, a very good fuck, and one he's needed badly. Here -- in this house -- in this room, just like this, good enough to remember for weeks without preying on his memories. He adds a small hitch of his hips on the strokes in; he wants to watch Peter wincing.

Peter honestly can't recall feeling this good about a fuck, this intense about something that wasn't in his control. He grimaces at the change in strokes, the harsh rub it adds, hitting perfectly as Pierce's cock pushes him open, demands more. "Damn, Pierce, that's good," he mutters, kissing and then licking Pierce's shoulder, worrying at the flesh with the edge of his teeth after a particularly deep stroke.

Pierce hisses in a breath but doesn't even consider stopping Peter. He may end up marked from that bite -- if he does, it'll be the first time a lover's marked him in years. And it'll be worth it. He grins. "It's fucking good," he pants, reaching down to tug Peter's legs up higher.

Not stopping me. Peter takes the hiss as encouragement and, legs high and heels nudging Pierce's back, the angle of penetration damned near textbook perfect, Peter gives in to whim and desire and the moment. He bites, sinking teeth into unmarked, near pristine flesh, right in the hollow behind the clavicle, pulling up the skin and sucking into the bite. Yes, you'll be marked. Red will fade to blackblue and yellow and the teeth marks will show for days.

This time it's nothing as demure as a hissed breath; Pierce cries out, loud and sharp, and curls forward, unexpectly sent over the edge with the bite and the certainty that he'll come away from it marked. He digs his fingers into Peter's shoulders, last few thrusts harder than anything he's given him so far, hard enough it seems like he's intending to pound Peter through the mattress literally.

Peter doesn't let up on the bite until the scream stops and Pierce is well over the edge, slamming into his body, definitely pounding him not only into the bed but through it. Or that's how it feels, and Peter knows he'll be aching for hours, well into the morning, long after a hot shower. But, fuck, it's worth it.

Pierce isn't sure whether it's the room spinning or if he's still moving somehow. He thinks it's the room. He comes back to himself slowly, becoming aware of small details one at a time. The weight of Peter's calves over his thighs. The stinging muscle-deep ache in his shoulder. The warmth and scent of Peter's sweat. He manages a soft groan as he pulls back, tugs the condom off and tosses it into the bedside bin. He's barely coherent enough to mumble out "God" before collapsing at Peter's side.

"No, but I don't mind the analogy," Peter murmurs, his body shivering from a sudden rush of air in the room. He lays a hand on Pierce's hip, rolling up on his side. "That was incredible, Pierce," he says, name whispered out in a kiss over lover's lips. "Thank you for something I haven't had in a long time."

"Thank you for the same," Pierce whispers back, giving the kiss back twice over before resting his forehead against Peter's. "Incredible's a good word for it. Amazing. Needed it." Damn. Pierce yawns, burying it in Peter's neck.

"Think we can move enough to get under the covers?" Peter asks, chuckling at Pierce's yawn. "I doubt I'm capable of doing more than that at the moment, no matter how nice a hot shower sounds."

"Demanding bastard," Pierce snorts, nuzzling at Peter's neck and nipping at his collarbone. But he rolls over and tugs up the edge of the covers, and helps Peter wriggle under them as well. "Better?" he asks. The edge has gone out of his voice, though, as he fluffs up his pillows.

"No, not better. I was fine before, well-fucked and sated," Peter quips as he snuggles into the bed, tucks his head against the pillow. "Now I'm just warmer and ready to sleep." He returns the nuzzle when Pierce settles down, licking over the bite marks he's left. "Morning will be here soon enough," he says, his voice carrying a hint of promise.

"If I didn't know better, I'd think that was a threat," Pierce says. He knows he's starting to sound drowsy; he doesn't mind it, and he's not going to blame the rest of his words on how close he is to falling asleep. He just says them. "You'd better carry through on it."

Peter slides his arm around Pierce's waist. "Oh, I plan on it," he whispers against Pierce's throat. "Just have to decide if I'm awakening you with mouth or cock."

Chapter Text

Morning comes too early for Peter. Always does. He can't sleep past the first moments of dawn. Never has been able to. There's a definite reward for it this morning, as he unravels himself from his bed companion. Pierce is sprawled over the bed, obviously used to sleeping alone, and Peter's tucked himself in under one arm at some point during the night.

He pulls himself from bed, Pierce barely stirring, and pads quietly to the bathroom to take care of morning necessities now that he's awake. Water over his face and hands run through his hair, Peter smiles at the mirror. "Not so bad is it, Mr. Wingfield, this being on bottom?" He rinses out his mouth, spits. "No, but we're not making a habit of it."

Peter walks back into the bedroom, stands at the door and stares at his sleeping lover. Long lines of the back exposed by sheets pushed back when two bodies in bed became too hot. The curve of an arse. Peter moves slowly to the bed, tugs the sheet down and exposes those less-than-pale cheeks. "Hmm, Pierce, do you tan in the nude?" he murmurs, too low to be heard, before kneeling on the bed, dipping his head and licking across the curve of arse into leg, tongue moving slowly into the cleft, sweat-and-come-drenched and tasting, Peter thinks, better than Bloody Mary at brunch.

Coming awake's slow for Pierce even on days when he's alone. When it's a lover's tongue licking between his thighs, it's even moreso, and he spreads his legs wider, nestling a little deeper into his pillow before letting out a soft groan. He is awake... blinking, bleary, but awake... but he'd be more than happy to stay just like this for as long as Peter's willing to keep going.

"Morning, luv," Peter breathes out between licks as he feels Pierce stir under him. He slides his tongue down over the puckered muscle, flicking rather than poking, teasing incessantly. He's content to do this for hours. Well, maybe minutes. Definitely long enough to have Pierce wriggling and wanting more.

Pierce groans all over again, thighs parting even more. "Sex before coffee?" he mumbles. "Aren't there laws against that?" And then Peter's tongue flicks over skin in just the right way, and Pierce tilts his head back, moaning hoarsely with eyes shut tight.

Peter laughs, pushing his tongue through the hole, working it slowly as the ripples of his chuckle vibrate the flesh. A moment later, he pulls out, breathes hot over the hole. "I could stop, get us some coffee," he whispers, pushing up on his hands, as if he were really thinking of leaving the bed. "You take cream and sugar?"

"Bastard," Pierce moans. "You've got me so hard I could break and now you're going to get up?" He buries his face in his pillow, muffles his voice while he lets out sleepy complaints. "Man wakes me up at the crack of dawn and wants to make me wait before he fucks me. There's cruelty for you." The fact that coffee was his idea notwithstanding, of course.

"Poor baby," Peter murmurs, no sympathy in the voice at all, and he flicks his tongue back over the needy flesh, tongue darting in and out between words. "Ask very nicely, Pierce, and I'll fuck you before I go put the pot to brew."

"Ask...?" Pierce chuckles, settles back in. "How shall I ask for that, Peter? Shall I say please don't tease anymore, please don't get out of bed, please keep doing what you're doing with --aah -- your very talented tongue? Or shall I just say please fuck me," words all coming out in a growl, "please open me up and fuck me, and for God's sake please don't get out of the bed now."

"I find the second more convincing, much more you, Pierce." Peter moves his hands to Pierce's cheeks, pulling them apart, fingers splaying over flesh, thumbs separating. The tongue's so perfectly designed for torture, and Peter stars back on where he'd been heading, nose pressed against the crease as his tongue pushes into the once, thumbs slipping in now to widen the path. Let's see how insane we can make you, old friend.

My God, he's good. The thought's a bit dizzying as Pierce sinks back into the bed, cock hardening and making him squirm to find a slightly more comfortable position. Sooner or later he'll stop noticing just how good it feels letting go and not worrying about the goal, but for now he reflects on it for just a moment before sighing out a breath and arching his hips, offering Peter a better angle.

It's one of those talents Peter's had for years. Just never used much. He slithers his tongue around the inside edge of the hole, curling it up to the center and fucking in and out. Slowly at first. Then more rapidly. All the while he's listening for Pierce's breathing, heartbeat, signs he's going too fast. After all, Peter wants to drag the morning out, give Pierce as nice as he got the night before.

It feels so good. Pierce groans, presses his face deep into the pillow. Good enough to stop growling and just beg for it with moans and harsh breaths and the slight rocking motion of his body, moving back against Peter's tongue. He could give a litany of curses, all well-intentioned, or he could stutter out wisps of poetry, or... just his soft, muffled sounds, laced with bits of silence. There's that, too, and that seems easiest just now.

Muffled silence is a wonderful thing, delicious in fact, but Peter wants more. He wants to hear the litany. He slips his tongue out, licks up along the cleft, one thumb still pressing into the hole as his other hand slides around Pierce's thigh, starts a slow rhythmic stroking of his cock, fingers brushing sheet and then flesh. "Up a little for me, luv. On your knees, I think."

On your knees. This is different. Novel. Unusual. And Pierce has to struggle up to his knees, caught between too many sensations at once. The hand on his cock, thumb finding its way into his ass, the thought of being up on his knees -- everything together is almost too much. He glances behind him for half a moment before Peter's hand strokes down his shaft, and then the soft, breathless curse he lets out is just enough to get him up, forearms and knees, head dropped low between his shoulders.

"Do you want this?" Peter asks quietly, stretching over Pierce's back, kissing his shoulder, once on the curve then on the bite marks from last night. He knows Pierce well enough to understand that where they're heading is somewhere he most likely hasn't been in a long time. There is a turning back point, but it's quickly slipping by them. "Not asking you to beg. Just making sure, old friend."

"I want it," Pierce whispers. He turns his head to the side, brushes his nose against Peter's cheek. "It hasn't been as long as you think. I want you. Now. Please." The word's not begging; it's there to let Peter know he means what he's saying.

"Yes, sir," Peter murmurs, kissing Pierce's nose before he draws back, kneeling up and leaning over to retrieve condom and lube from the bedside table. No sense of bravado, he uses both hands to slowly rip the packets, unroll the condom and slick himself. "Want it, too," he says, one hand returning to Pierce's body, rubbing down the center of his back as the other hand guides his cock, pressing it forward into the already-worked hole. "You. Me. Like this. Worth waiting for."

"Oh-- God--" Pierce tilts his head back, presses his body against Peter's. It's been seven months since he's let himself be taken this way, and this -- my God. It's got none of the conflicted tension he had in his body seven months ago. Just outright pleasure, with a light burn and an aching feeling of fullness that isn't the least bit unwelcome. And the words slip out before Pierce can stop them: "oh, God, I really needed this..."

"Then just relax, Pierce, and take it," Peter whispers, pushing forward, slowly working his cock all the way in, hands sliding to grip Pierce's waist, hold him steady against the forward momentum. "So tight, luv, so good." He pulls back, the friction-drag almost unbearable, and the second push in is a bit easier, more natural, a rhythm coming to mind.

Pierce is already starting to sweat in the warmth of early morning. He presses all the way up on his hands, aching to have more of this --more of Peter's hands, the scent of his sweat, the almost-too-much sensation of being filled. "So good," he repeats, licking his lips. Another long thrust, and Pierce sees sparks behind closed eyes. "Yes."

Peter's fingers clutch at Pierce's skin, tugging him back into the thrusts, each one a bit swifter and harder than the last, every one of them sinking in deep as possible. "Yes, perfect," he murmurs, licking his lips.

It's always a good sign when Pierce can quip during sex. For some it would mean covering up what he's really feeling; for Pierce, it means he's relaxing, letting some of his shields slip. Right now he meets Peter's perfect with a chuckle and "Of course I am" before the next thrust takes his breath away, and he balances on one arm so he can cover one of Peter's hands with his own.

"Smart bastard," Peter quips right back, slinking one hand off Pierce's waist to his cock, giving it a quick, sharp tug, while the other's held tightly by Pierce's fingers. "Want to come sometime today?" he smirks.

"Sometime today would be good," Pierce agrees breathlessly. "Sometime before -- Christ -- morning coffee." Caught between thrusting forward into Peter's hand and shoving back onto Peter's cock, he simply stays in place, letting Peter move him.

"There you go with the coffee again," Peter mutters, thrusting hard, fisting Pierce's cock and working on a rhythm that has both movements in synch. It takes a moment to get it where he wants, on the edge of rapid, skirting the bounds of giving that final nudge.. "Anytime, then, luv, 'cause this is the pace you're getting." He laces his fingers in Pierce's, clutching against his lover's waist. "I'll even be nice and let you come first."

It's been so long since Pierce came this way that it feels inside out. And oh, God, so damned good, and Christ but he's there, with Peter wrapped around him, going over and feeling his cock jerk in Peter's grip, streaking his fingers as he pants out a few wild and varied curses, bastard, fuck, so good, there, yes.

Peter lets go of that last moment of control, allows himself to be pulled into the vortex, coming with a spasmshudder, body jerking as Pierce clenches around his cock. It's so unlike fucking a boy, someone bought and paid for with a master's time, energy, sanity. There's always the doubt of honesty, sincerity in the orgasm. There's none of it here. Lovers, friends, sparring partners. They come together and it's real. Peter slowly releases his grip on Pierce's body, letting him fall forward to the bed as he settles back, takes a moment to dispose of the condom before collapsing, half-sprawled on Pierce's back, breathing slowly, not even looking for enough air to make voice.

"Oof." Peter's heavy. Pierce doesn't mind; would in fact protest if he moved off him completely. He frees up a hand and slides his fingers back into Peter's. He's sweaty, sticky, desperately in need of a shower, and in no rush to go anywhere. There's no wondering about motives, no concern about where they've been or where they're going. It didn't have to be a fight or a struggle. It was just good. Just solidly, perfectly good. In this room. In this bed.

"Sorry," Peter repositions so all of his weight isn't on Pierce. "That was nice. Strangely grounding, the last 12 hours." He rubs his hand up over Pierce's back. "Give me 10 minutes to figure out which end is up and I'll go start coffee while you get a shower."

Grounding. That's the perfect word for it. But there'll be time to explain why Pierce needed this so much later. Ten minutes' rest sounds good. "Thank you," Pierce murmurs, turning so he can see Peter, stretching out and running a hand over his shoulder. "I'd like that. Very much."

Chapter Text

I'm feeling luckier than I have in a while.


I've talked so little about Jeff with anyone -- but then who's around for me to tell? Still. Between Jeff and Peter, I've felt luckier than I have in ages. Jeff is solid. Supportive. Strong. The sort of man I can let support me, who's not in any danger of losing his own personality no matter where we go together. I find myself wondering what sorts of new tricks a dog my age can learn and thinking that if I do have new ones I'm learning, it's due to his willingness to sort through things with me until we know where we're both standing and what we're headed towards.

He's a good man, and I've started missing him when he's not around. Now that was unexpected. It's not simply the lack of a friend who's been around a few weeks, that sense of emptiness you feel when someone leaves, or when you have to go home. It's more akin to knowing there's someone out there who's got the keys to several different places in you, and wanting them to be where they can get at those hidden spaces.

Jeff's not Sean, and he's certainly not Viggo. He doesn't do any of this out of a need for self-definition. The man's more clear on who he is and what he wants, what he needs, than most of the people I've known. More clear than I've been lately, certainly.

I've spent enough time confused. I want what I've been finding with him: communication, comfort, certainty, friendship, and never having to worry about whether he's going to lose himself under me. That's not where either of us are going, not where either of us want to go.

And it'll be worth making the effort to get out to see him more often. Two months in Toronto was good, but I want the next time I see him to be free of the ghosts of my past. At least as much as is possible. He's a fucking incredible submissive. I want to keep seeing him. Scening with him. Finding out where we match.


I've been thinking back through the years, trying to figure out if I've ever had a lover who wasn't, ultimately, under me. I can't think of anyone -- not anyone who was my lover and not simply a friend I shared the occasional scene and boy with.

How strange, then, having someone in my life who is absolutely both. Friend. Lover. A man I've spent time with quite a bit over the years, who I first connected with in the days when I was going to science fiction conventions for -- ironically -- the same film I met Jeff in. I remember his wit impressed the hell out of me even then, and friendship was easy enough to fall into. Peter's always understood me better than most, and while he hasn't been as quick to call me on various instances of bullshit I've put forth as Jeff is, he is quite good at making me call myself on them, which is equally useful.

What is it about our egos at this point in our lives that has us willing to bend where we weren't even contemplating bending two, three, five years ago? It's not a matter of finally deciding one of us or the other's going to bottom. It's not about figuring out who's topping and who's bottoming. It's just sex, easy and uncomplicated. He has his boy, and I've got all the things I'm starting with Jeff, and still there's room for something in between.

I like it. I like him. I'm enjoying not having to think so hard about how to construct an evening and simply being able to take pleasure in each other's company. I'm reveling in the sensation of not having to think about whether he deserves things; whether it's the right time in the afternoon to move from conversation to fucking.

And, well... I'm enjoying the living hell out of the fucking, too.

Lucky is understating it.

There are, of course, the minor complications ensuing from trying to repair relations between myself and Sean, between myself and Viggo. There's the new friendship with Sinclair. There's a world of boys out there who are worth a second or third look.

But those are all things that can be sorted out when I don't have an impatient friend wondering when I'm going to haul my ass out of the study and take him out flying.

Chapter Text

The dim light of the study's starting to creep into full-out dark now. Pierce has been staring at his computer screen much longer than he'd told Peter, and all he can do is stare at the words he's come up with and shake his head. Viggo still twists him up a bit. More than he'd like. It's uncomfortable, and it's distracting.

A twitch of color at the edge of his vision gets his attention, and he glances up at Peter standing in the doorway. "Sorry," Pierce says softly, "still having trouble with that ex of mine who is also my ex's ex. Just about finished with the email."

"That's all right," Peter says, walking into the room. "I was reading, lost track of time myself." He touches Pierce's shoulder, a simple laying on of hands, and smiles. "You want a second opinion?"

Pierce leans into Peter's touch, sighing out a breath. Being able to take comfort from a friend is something he's had too little of over the years. "A second, third, fourth... I should have asked for a second opinion before getting involved with the man in the first place. Want to see what I'm responding to, what I've got so far?"

"Hindsight is an exceptional gift, Pierce. Clears our vision just enough to keep us from walking into brick walls," Peter says quietly. "Read me what you've written."

Pierce draws up Viggo's email and rubs his thumb down his jawline, collecting thoughts enough to read off his parts of it. A certain amount of commiseration over the last few difficult months, a hesitance to make promises without knowing what those promises stand for. Open offer of friendship, but nothing else. "Hindsight all over," Pierce agrees, fingertips moving back to Peter's hand, playing back and forth over his skin. "I can't tell if I'm offering too much, too little. If I'm making a mistake responding at all."

Peter has been listening for days, on the phone and then in person, to the nuances of Pierce's relationship with Viggo. And he's been honest about it being foolhardy and self-destructive, on both their parts --and he's chastised himself for being pot to kettle -- and at the moment it's keeping Pierce at the computer when they could be reading poetry by the fire, or something. Standing behind Pierce and resting his chin on Pierce's shoulder, Peter stretches his hands to the keyboard. Select all. Delete. Then he types

Glad your journey has been easy, Orpheus. Stop looking back. Eurydice isn't following you anymore.

And I have a lover who's interested in fucking me into the mattress, so sod off.

No love, Pierce

"I think that's much more succinct, Pierce, to the point and getting on with life," Peter says, cheek pressed against Pierce's jaw.

Pierce laughs and shakes his head, nuzzling at Peter's temple, planting a kiss there. They both know the email in question won't stand, but the hell with thinking about Viggo anymore tonight. "He's not here now," Pierce says softly. "Better to keep him that way. Let's get the hell out of the study."

"An even better notion than hindsight, my friend," Peter says, backing up to allow Pierce to maneuver the desk chair. "There's cognac in the living room. Already poured. Should you want to detour on way to the bed."

"That depends. If you'd like to stretch out in front of a fire and get ourselves mildly inebriated before crawling off to the bedroom, I'm game." Pierce stands up, stretches just to shake the last of his discomfort out of his system. "You might even be able to talk me into a massage."

"Mild inebriation," Peter muses. "Massage. Our ideas get better by the minute." Peter takes Pierce's hand and pulls him closer, light kiss on the lips before whispering. "And if you want to talk more about the email, we can. I just think you're being too conciliatory, leaving too much of a crack in the wall for him to crawl back through. Perhaps, with Sean, that was the best course of action. From what you've told me, what I see in reading over your shoulder, Viggo won't be as gracious in staying away."

Pierce pauses at the top of the stairs, arms winding around Peter's neck, holding him there -- holding himself steady. "I'm getting old," he murmurs. "I'm tired of closing off doors. I can see ways a friendship with Sean could be good for me. The question, then, is whether there are ways a friendship with Viggo could be good for either of us. I feel like a candle flame, drawing moths."

"Maintain the friendship with Sean," Peter says quietly, letting Pierce hold on, find security and steadiness in his frame. He braces his hands against the wall on either side of Pierce's waist. "I care not for the moth you're drawing, Pierce, but I fear the flame is in danger of extinguishing itself." He presses forehead to forehead. "Some doors are meant to be closed. It's the only way to keep the fire from spreading, consuming us."

"Do you listen to your own advice?" Pierce asks, going still. "I'm not going anywhere. Not running to Toronto. I'm trying to figure out where the road curves. Leaning with the turns." He tilts his face up, brushes lips over Peter's cheek. "Don't give too much, trying to take care of me. You know I'll only listen for so long."

"Of course not, Pierce. I haven't taken my own advice in years." Peter laughs to himself. "One of the reasons Joe says I make such a good Methos. Always espousing sage words and then walking in where angels have land-mined."

"Maybe given enough time we'll break the habit. For now..." Pierce draws his hands down Peter's sides, runs them up his back, curls them around again and settles them on his shoulders, squeezing. "Cognac, firelight, massage, and no more thinking of the paths we've yet to forge with men we probably ought to leave behind. Sound like a good evening?"

"Sounds utterly divine." Peter's content to let the conversation slide. He'd rather not think about the advice he's not taking, of how he's trying so hard not to let Gerry go. His smile is bemused, thin and needing more sincerity. "No more thoughts tonight. We have a week yet to solve the world's problems."

Chuckling, Pierce unwinds himself from Peter and heads down the stairs. "We ought to write a book," he says, turning, edging through the hallway into the living room and tossing pillows from the couch to in front of the fireplace. "The Complete Bastard's Guide To Life." The fireplace is gas, and Pierce flicks the switch, turning it on and settling to the floor. The ceiling's half glass, skylit, and Pierce glances up. "Turn the lights off?" he suggests. "It's clear enough there might be stars tonight."

Peter's laughing out loud now, highly amused by Pierce's suggestion. "Yes, we should. It would be a best-seller." He flips off the lights and settles onto the floor, half-crawling to sink against the pillows, stretch out his long legs, relax his shoulders. "A glass ceiling, Pierce, and stars. My, how romantic."

Pierce lets out a very unromantic snort. "I wouldn't know," he says dryly. "Don't have much call to be romantic; I cover that in my work. But it's certainly relaxing."

"Relaxing. Romantic. Fine line between the two. I used to be both." Peter's glancing at the stars over his shoulder, then rolls onto his side for a better view and access to the cognac. "But this is relaxing. I have a few like this in Wales, except it's on the castle wall. I don't get there nearly enough these days."

"That's a pity," Pierce says, content to stay on his back for now, one knee pointed up at the ceiling and cognac balanced on his stomach. "I've been travelling a great deal this year. It'd be nice to travel for pleasure instead of for business or for panic at some point before the yearly trip back to Ireland for Christmas."

"Truth be told," Peter says, wrapping his hand around the cognac glass, "I've been staying at home a great deal. Only out of London once in the past years. Cocooned myself."

"Mmm. There was a time you wouldn't have stopped in LA to see me if you were filming four hours north. I like this better," Pierce says, finally pushing up on an elbow to take a sip of his cognac.

"I've pushed away friends in the past few years, Pierce," Peter says, swirling the cognac, voice low, "especially those who understood the scene. I couldn't cope with what the lifestyle had wrought, the death at Paradiso and Scott's ambivalence toward it all. Took a while to want to see anyone."

"Isolating yourself doesn't make you safer," Pierce says. He sets his cognac down, curls onto his side facing Peter. "But sometimes it feels necessary. Such is life, Peter. When we're lucky, friends we've known over the years are still here once we come back up. When we're not, we move on, make new connections."

"I'm glad I decided to come to LA first. Much more enjoyable than sitting in a Vancouver hotel," Peter murmurs, taking a sip of the cognac, stretching his hand to rub the glass edge over Pierce's jaw. "Time to reconnect, prioritize. And you mentioned a massage in coercing me up the stairs."

The cool sensation of glass over stubble is surprisingly arousing. Liberties taken by a friend that go beyond Pierce's expectations. There's a drop of cognac clinging to the rim, and Pierce flicks his tongue out and licks it up. "I did," he says. He tugs a blanket out from under the coffee table and tosses it in front of the fireplace. "Feel free to get comfortable while I find some massage oil." Lips brush over lips, sharing a taste of cognac before Pierce stands and heads back to his bedroom.

Comfortable. What's that when your brain's on fire from the simple act of licking the rim of a glass? Peter's startled that so many of Pierce's movements, subtle touches, words, ignite flames he hasn't see burn in years. "Comfortable," he repeats, aloud this time, setting down the glass and shifting up onto his knees. He spreads the blanket out, then stretches, hands catching the hem of his lightweight sweater and pulling it up over his head. "Should I presume full body treatment?" he asks to an empty room, then tugs off the jeans, leaving only the burgundy silk boxers on as he works himself back to the blanket, smoothing out its corners.

Pierce is tempted to bring soy candles, but he thinks that's a liberty best taken with permission. Instead he's got a bottle of vanilla massage oil as he comes back, and the tableau he's presented with makes him grin. "Silk looks good on you," he says, setting the bottle down on the hearthstone and tugging the polo shirt over his head and off. "Warm enough?"

"Could be warmer, but I suspect you'll take care of that." Peter lays his head down over crossed arms.

"I can hope." Pierce slides out of jeans, lets his own boxers down and steps out of them, and straddles Peter's hips. The feel of silk between his thighs actually makes him purr for a moment, sliding forward just to get one teasing glide of cock against silk, but then he's reaching for the oil and pouring a bit on his palms to warm it up.

That teasing glide is enough. "Silk doesn't have to stay on, Pierce," Peter says softly. "Didn't want to presume too much."

"Oh, leave it on for now," Pierce says, squirming down just a little to give his arms more room to work. He starts with hands at Peter's lower back and moves them up, one solid hard glide, stretching his fingers wide to cover more skin, watching the glint of oil on flesh by firelight. "I'll get it off you soon enough."

"Whatever," Peter purrs. Purrs. You don't purr. But he does, as Pierce's hand works over his lower back. "Not in that much of a hurry, not if this is the foreplay. Damn, your hands are perfect." He stretches, rolling his shoulders up and then back. " Dead center, there's a spot."

"I can feel," Pierce agrees, and he can; a little bit of tension, maybe left over from the flight. "Just relax." The word lad hits the tip of tongue, and he bites it back -- literally bites his tongue, almost smirking at himself. Shows who you give your massages to most of the time, doesn't it? "I think I'd like to melt you straight into the blanket."

"Clinically speaking, that would take a good bit of friction," Peter says, unable to resist the quip, "however with the proper placement of your hand a little to the left," his voice catches, "the perfect application of pressure and a few choice words, and I'll do my best to melt." He moans more properly as Pierce presses his palm on that exact spot that's aching. "I'll definitely be an incoherent babbler by the time you finish."

Pierce is glad he decided to strip bare for this; his cock's already hard, and he's enjoying the hell out of this. Getting Peter relaxed and purring is beyond pleasant. Taking his time is just enough of a tease to keep his thoughts from spiralling back to Viggo and his email. Back and shoulders... Pierce glides his hands up one more time and then swings his leg over Peter's hips, crawling forward a few steps so he can reach Peter's arms. Shoulder all the way down to wrist, palm, fingers, taking care with everything.

Peter doesn't even try to hold back the small sounds. Purr here. Whimper there. He's not sure when he last had a back rub this good, one that's completely relaxing him, letting him drift as he stretches his arms under Pierce's touch, allowing fuller access, encouraging the attention to detail. He's not thinking about London or those left behind, nor Vancouver and the work ahead. It's just the moment, the fire starting to tingle his flesh.

The hands carry so much tension; Pierce spends an inordinate amount of time on them, getting Peter's wrists loose, rubbing out aches the man probably didn't even realize were there. Every so often he gets a bit more oil, warms it between his palms, starts over again.

This doesn't have a hint of dominant overtones. There's still been none of that, much to Pierce's surprise; he's been expecting one of them to make a grab for wrists or to growl at some point during this visit. But even with the lack of overtones, Pierce is still moving into a headspace where he's entirely focused on the moment and the man under him, on making sure he's giving Peter everything needed to feel bloody wonderful on his living room floor. Just because I want to. His cock's approving of the just because I want to flavor of their encounters; he's having a damn good time with this visit.

Finishing with Peter's arms, he rubs his fingers through Peter's hair, giving a short, soft, lazy scalp massage. "I think it's time to turn you over and get your boxers off," he murmurs. "Want to do your legs next."

"Like I'm going to complain about that?" Peter muses, nudging into the fingers in his hair, not thinking about how that might be perceived. It's just movement, no thought or pretense behind it. He turns, rolling gently toward the fire and then stretching out on the blanket again, hands slipping into the waistband of the boxers, pushing them down long legs and letting his feet kick them aside. He grins, noticing for the first time Pierce's naked, not having thought on it before. "That's a nice look on you," he murmurs, relaxing back, hands sliding under his neck, a safe place for them. "Naked, firelight hitting the right spots. Like your shoulder. It's nearly perfect in the way it slopes when you lean forward."

"I was just thinking about how good you look this relaxed," Pierce observes, sliding his hands up the outside of Peter's legs. How long it's been since I've gotten to spend a good hour melting someone into my carpet. He slides a hand under Peter's knee, tilts his leg up so he can reach front and back. Ankle, calf, shin, none of them carrying the same kind of tension Peter's back and shoulders did, but still quite pleasant to rub at, massage, caress. Getting his hands on Peter's thighs makes his cock jerk just a bit, and he grins at himself. Damned nice thighs.

"Can't recall the last time anyone had me this relaxed." Peter's letting go of the last of the tension, closing his eyes as it melts away. He doesn't pause in sinking into a more meditative state, not even when his cock twitches as Pierce's hand is on his thigh, so much nearer. "I do believe I've reached the melting point, Pierce."

"I can see that." Pierce grins. "Still have a few more places to go..." Peter's other leg, which Pierce gives the same attention he gave the first, lingering on his thigh again and smiling at the reaction it produces. "And then there's this..." He slides a finger down the length of Peter's cock. "Tension there, it feels like. The sort of thing that could be helped a good deal with a massage, I think."

Peter smiles, eyes still closed, and tilts his head back. "Any attention you feel it warrants, Pierce, I would be grateful for. You're much more attuned to those needs."

"The only problem I can see with that is I'm not quite finished with you." This time Pierce's grin shows off all his teeth, and he climbs up, straddling Peter's hips again, rubbing his hands up Peter's chest, working his fingers and palms into the muscles of Peter's pecs.

"Oh, you're not?" Peter slowly opens his eyes, glares at Pierce with a minimal amount of sincerity. "I'm expected to wait patiently, like one of your lads, I presume." He rocks his hips off the floor, gently nudging Pierce's weight.

Pierce grinds his hips back down, teeth snapping together and breath hissing in as Peter's cock goes sliding along his cleft. "Not at all. I wouldn't be torturing one of my lads this particular way."

"I imagine you wouldn't. He wouldn't have this much latitude in torturing you back." Peter pulls his hands from behind his neck and brings them up to touch Pierce's arms, sliding his fingers down till they teasing around wrists. He looks straight-on, catching Pierce's eyes, and slowly, methodically, wraps one finger at a time down around his lover's flesh. "A lad would never get this far, would he? Not without very specific instructions."

"Not even with instructions," Pierce breathes, "as hell would freeze over before I'd have one of my lads clamp down on my wrists." But having Peter do it feels entirely different. Not a matter of wrestling for control. Another way of exploration. An even match. "This way?" Pierce asks softly, pressing ass against cock again, this time inviting.

"This way," Peter agrees. His grip tightens and he rocks up more deliberately, pressing cock to arse, silent hiss as the slide is easy, inviting, almost breaching.

Focus, Pierce. You've been taking it this way all week, when it isn't the other way around, and it hasn't killed you yet. He keeps his eyes on Peter's, moving forward a fraction of an inch and then drawing his body back down, hands jerking almost imperceptibly in Peter's grip as the stretch starts.

A minute can change the world. Sixty second is all it takes for Peter's hips to come off the blanket, for Pierce's knees to spread a bit wider, for the paradigm to shift. Peter isn't thinking beyond the 61st second, when his cock, remnant-oiled from Pierce's touches, yields into the stretch, working it wider. It's not where he intended to go, but it's where they are and Pierce isn't pulling away and Peter isn't holding him down and the next minute passes in a burning friction as bodies in motion can't be stopped.

Panting as he finishes the aching slide down, Pierce is aware at first only of how full this feels, how it's easier opening up and letting it happen this way than he expected it to be. He clenches hard, letting out all his breath slowly, and then he's aware of his heartbeat, and Peter's, and how incredibly, sinfully hot Peter feels inside him. Hot. And bare. And if Peter isn't stopping him, Pierce isn't going to stop, either, not after an hour of having his hands on bare skin and the amount of outright mindless lust it's taken to get him this far in the first place.

Peter's focusing on the pull of Pierce's body. Exquisite. Perfect. Flesh on flesh. He makes the connection, raw and unfettered and more real than anything he's felt in years. It's on the tip of his tongue to say something, not words to stop them as much as just some words, but all that comes out is a very soft "Pierce" on the tail of a breath he'd been holding, and Peter's cock can barely move against the clenching.

"Yes" is Pierce's response to his name off Peter's lips, and he tugs at his wrists, just reminding Peter of the grip and that he isn't trying to break Peter's hold on him. "God. Yes." It's raw, bare, open, Pierce's pulse racing under Peter's fingers, and forbidden territory is so much more delectable than Pierce imagined.

Peter clamps down, fingers locking on Pierce's wrist, the grin creeping over his lips almost evil, but still not dominating. Even in this, it's give and take, and Peter's yielding as much as he's getting. "So good," he whispers, nudging up to meet Pierce's fall downward. "Unimaginably sweet." Just like forbidden fruit should be.

Pierce bares all his teeth in a grin. "Sweet," he pants. "Is that what this is?" And he rocks down hard, rolling his hips when Peter's deep inside him, the same motions that are irresistible when the roles are reversed and it's Pierce being taken inside a lover.

"Sweet. Yes." Peter's voice slowly creeps back. He's always found this particular position uniquely insidious in its power exchange. Who's in control? The one moving or the one not? He makes his motions more subtle, more a twist of hip than a rock, shifting the angle to nudge Pierce into stroking more exactly. "And a few other words I could come up with, provided my brain were working properly."

"Stop--" Pierce growls, grinding down, lifting up again, thighs flexing, hips carrying his weight and sinking him down on Peter's cock, "--talking, Wingfield." He stretches his fingers out, would reach to put fingers across Peter's lips if he could. He's got no more use for words. He's focusing on the impossibly hot slide of skin against skin, something he hasn't felt for well over a year and something he hasn't felt from this side since -- maybe once on a St. Patrick's Day in Ireland, in fuzzy drunken memories. This isn't going to be obscured in the morning. He's going to remember this.

Pierce is right. There is no need for words. There's the tug of bare flesh on Peter's cock to concentrate on, savor. He can't think back far enough to remember when he's felt it, when he's allowed the most sinful of pleasures. And he's not yet willing to think forward to a time when he won't remember what it feels like, to be inside another human, to connect on such a base level, to trust, mark and claim uniquely. To be possessed by another to this degree. So he lets the other words die in his throat and Peter focuses on making the minute drag out as long as possible.

Moments bleed into each other, movements repeat and have Pierce gasping for breath. Every sensation's almost too much. The stretch and burn fades into an ache he'll feel all night. And then there's his wrists, caught and held, and it simply leaves him able to focus on the moment instead of the ever-increasing need to come. It would take one stroke of his hand. Maybe two. And since he can't get them yet, he's determined to make this as good for both of them as he can, good enough to tear the damned roof off, to make the risk worth it.

It's worth the risk, and it's definitely tearing the roof off, and Peter's on edge, right there. He loosens his fingers on Pierce's wrist and slides them over his stomach, reaching and lightly touching the thick, heavy cock jerking against him. A graze. That's all it is. Easy, relaxed, no rush. Most of all, no demand. Whenever the mood strikes you, lover.

Pierce's head goes back, eyes closing, throat arching as he lets out a strangled groan. His hips jerk forward, cock sliding into Peter's touch, and the air in the room seems to contract all around them, light dimming into nothing while Pierce cries out. His cock pulses in Peter's hand, come falls in jets over his chest, and he slams his body down, taking Peter's cock in as deep as he can get it as he tenses and tries damn hard to remember how to breathe.

That final slam completes the chain reaction. Peter comes, in strong pulses, filling Pierce's body, one hand still wrapped tightly around Pierce's wrist, the other coated in his lover's come. He breathes slowly, barely at all, lungs working on instinct not by his will. Gradually his spasms start to subside, his body relaxes.

"Christ." Pierce slides his tongue over his lips, breathing too fast, heart still racing. Did we just do that? He drops a hand to Peter's chest, slides fingers through the sticky trails of his come. Did we just go there?

Peter's amazed that his heart is beating so slowly. It's clinically impossible, or should be. It should be racing, his breathing faster. But it's not, none of it. He releases Pierce's wrist, draws his fingers up along the arm, over the shoulder. "We should talk, I suppose," Peter breathes out in one of those slow pulses, enough oxygen finally flowing to his brain to make coherent thought possible.

"Yes," Pierce agrees, wincing as he arches up and settles on his back at Peter's side. "Should we dress first?"

"Only if you feel it will help the conversation," Peter says, stretching his leg, working out a small cramp. "I'm not sure I want to make the effort, Pierce, not until I'm heading to the shower and bed."

Pierce reaches over, almost absently kneading until he finds the sore spot in Peter's leg and digs his fingers in to work the cramp out. "I don't do that," he says.

"You don't do what, Pierce? Have serious conversations naked? Or let men fuck you raw?" Peter's words are blunt, but his voice is whispery. "I don't either, for the record, the latter. I've had serious conversations in varied stages of dress."

"Hell." Pierce grimaces. "I don't mind the lack of clothes. It's the latter I was talking about. I have paperwork, if you'd like it, up-to-date." He sighs, staring up at the ceiling. "Either one of us could have called a halt before we went that far. I could claim I was distracted by the grip on my wrists or the unfamiliarity of being fucked at all, but more realistically, I was feeling too good to be bothered. Not very responsible of me."

"No, not responsible of either of us," Peter agrees. "And paperwork. Yes. Have that. Bloody paper trail back to medical school, if you'd like. To be honest, Pierce, I didn't want to stop. I haven't felt that free, that passionate in years, and I didn't want the moment to end." He rolls up onto his side. "I trust you. Bloody fool notion in this day and age, but for some insane reason I think I knew I didn't have to worry."

"Don't be ridiculous," Pierce says, coming up, snaking a hand into Peter's hair and pushing him to his back again. "You'll never be able to trust me. You should never take me on faith." He lets go, though, after the words have gone. "It's been a very, very long time since I let myself get lost quite so deeply. You have a way of making it feel safe."

"Would it disrupt some delicate balance in your bastard's existence to have someone trust you, believe in you?" Peter doesn't mean for the words to be harsh. "I'm not one of your lads, Pierce. I don't need to be reminded not to fall in love, not to rely on you, not to come any closer than you allow." He pauses, puts hand to Pierce's face, smoothing sweat-soaked hair off his forehead. "Same here, though, on the other. I feel safe with you, able to lose myself in ways I've never let me have."

"We have absolutely no control over each other. Never will have." Pierce leans close again, rests his forehead against Peter's. "I can't decide if that makes having you here as dangerous as it gets or safer and saner than it could be with anyone else."

"Let's not decide then," Peter whispers, brushing a quick kiss over Pierce's lips, "and just let it be whatever it is. No controls. Just two friends who've become lovers."

"Two friends who've unexpectedly become rather more intimate lovers than intended," Pierce clarifies. "Do you believe in taking steps backward? Or, I suppose, more to the point... do you want that step back, now we're here?"

"No. I don't believe in taking steps backward. They only confuse." Peter's tone is very serious. "I do not for a moment regret the step, Pierce, or the shift in dynamics."

"I don't, either," Pierce says quietly. "No controls, Peter, and no limits, but we're going to have to trust one another to keep us both safe. Which goes against my instinct not to let anyone trust me," and he grins at that, all bared-teeth, "but you're right. You, of all people, don't need the warnings."

"Agreed. We trust each other to stay safe." Peter's smile slips to smirk. "No guarantees on sane, though."

"Perish the thought." Pierce nips lightly at Peter's lips. "That's a limit I wouldn't want on either of us."

Peter nips back, just as lightly, with a bit of sucking. "Speaking of limits, I've reached mine for stickiness at the moment. Could I entice you to a shower, Mr. Brosnan?"

"By all means, Mr. Wingfield." Pierce comes to his feet, wincing lightly at how it feels to move, stand, walk a step or two after having been fucked so thoroughly. He offers Peter his hand. "Entice away."

Chapter Text

(Deliberately left open where Peter could see it)

What I like most about having Peter visiting is the downtime. Doing things is good -- I haven't had a friend who wanted to go flying or sailing in a long time. And we've gone to a museum or two, made plans to have long, quiet dinners out at a few places no one else has discovered yet. It almost feels crass mentioning the sex, but Christ if that hasn't been startlingly good. It feels new every time, and I suppose that won't last, but in the moment it's an added little thrill of discovery, the way he sounds when a stroke surprises him and sends him over, the way I must look to get those reactions out of him when he's fucking me.

I suspect we're still both happier fucking than being fucked -- old tigers whose stripes have yet to change -- but it's not something either of us tolerates, either. That's worth a lot. And it's unusual. I'm not sure if I'd be so open to it if it weren't him.

But the downtime. When he's on one end of the couch and I'm on the other, and he's reading and I'm knitting (latest project: lace in cashmere/silk). When we're just finished with dinner and we're talking over a glass of wine. When we're not quite ready to leave the bed for the shower yet and end up talking into each other's shoulders for an hour.

It shouldn't come as a shock to think this makes me nostalgic for other lovers at other times in my life. It's been a long time since I was so at ease with someone. But the only eyes I'm seeing when I'm lost in thought of how it would feel having this sensation of ease with someone else are blue. Bluer than sky. With a sharpness on them that can cut through layers of bullshit so fast there's barely any point in my trying to put them up.

And it feels good. Good enough I have thoughts of painting. It's been a while since feeling good sent me into the studio. I might want to go with that.

Chapter Text

Lace is bloody complicated, which is why Pierce bothers with it. He's on the eighth row of a ten-row repeat, which has him going silent as he finishes for the night. He's vaguely aware of Peter next to him, eyes more on Pierce than on his reading, but he's damned if he's going to let the man fuck up his concentration again. He's had to rip back dozens of rows and start over thanks to those damned eyes and those expressions he can't see. "Not this time," he mutters, finishing row eight and starting row nine.

"Not this time, Pierce?" Peter says absently, eyes going back to the novel, to the same page he's read three times in the last half hour, more interested in watching Pierce, unconsciously distracting him. "Trouble concentrating?"

"...pass slipped stitch over, knit one, knit..." Pierce mutters under his breath. "More than a bit of trouble concentrating, yes," he says, a little louder, finishing off row nine. Thank Christ. The needles switch hands, Pierce wraps laceweight silk around his index finger, and for once he hasn't dropped a stitch or lost his place. Almost through.

"It's not me, I hope," Peter's voice drops a hitch. "I'm just reading, being quiet while you finish." He grins, twisted into a smirk, and leans over, resting his head gently on Pierce's shoulder. "You are nearly finished, aren't you?"

Pierce finishes his last stitch and untangles himself from his yarn. "I'm done for the night," he says, and it's a damn good thing he was, because he knows full well that he wasn't going to last much longer --ripping stitches back is a small price to pay for having a smirking lover in bed with him. He drops yarn and needles over the side of the bed, into the tapestry stand waiting nearby, and rolls over, snatching the book out of Peter's hands and sliding on top of him. "Were you needing my attention for something specific?"

It's comfortable, the weight of a lover, this lover, and Peter smiles, something he does a lot when Pierce is around. "No, nothing specific," he murmurs, hands going up and around Pierce's back, under the warm flannel of pajamas. "This is more than enough, just being here like this, you on top of me and it not being anything other than lovers enjoying a moment."

"I have the same thoughts," Pierce admits, giving a light, appreciative little hum when skin touches skin. "That it's exciting not having an agenda with someone for once." He leans down, presses lips to a spot just below Peter's ear. "Comfort can be damned appealing," he breathes. "You feel good."

"Better than lace and cashmere?" Peter purrs, the slide of black satin riding up his stomach as Pierce makes small movements, minor adjustments to the fit of bodies that's becoming so familiar. Not having an agenda is liberating, Peter thinks, not having to worry about every thought the person in bed with you is having, might have, how the nuances of your voice could be taken this way instead of that.

"Better than both," Pierce whispers, "though I'd like to clothe you in cashmere. Have it dusting your wrists while you're stroking me off on the couch..." He grins. "But there's nothing wrong with satin, either, for that." He slides a hand down Peter's arm, over his side, rubs his thumb over the point where satin rides up over skin. "I want to taste you."

"Then swaddle me in cashmere, Pierce. I am in need of a sweater." Peter grins, slips his hand up, rests it on Pierce's throat. "As for the tasting, how fortuitous that your desires mesh so nicely with mine." He's not pushing any boundaries, just thumb rubbing over the right-side pulse point while fingers trace absent patterns in their stretch. "Your mouth does the most remarkable things, Pierce, without having to be told."

"Doesn't it," Pierce smirks. But the touch against his neck has him frozen in place, distracted from thoughts of wrapping lips around Peter's cock and sucking 'til his lover's breath is stuttering out of pattern. He turns his head slightly, closes his eyes as the move brushes Peter's fingertips against the center of his throat.

Peter moves his fingers very methodically, taking care not to press more than necessary. He knows he's treading in mined territory, nudging at the limits he knows exists. It's not intentional, just a lover's touch. "Should I move my hand, Pierce?" he whispers, trying not to drop his voice too much, not to take the tone out of lover and into dom. "I like touching you here," he says, fingers stretching and splaying, "no more than this." Unless you choose.

Swallowing means feeling his throat move under Peter's fingers. "It's good," he murmurs, feeling a shiver run up his spine all the same. "But later." Later, when they have more time to deal with the possible effects of having a hand over his throat, when they're not both settled into bed and thinking sleepy thoughts about sharing sex before curling up together. Pierce leans down, slides his tongue up the length of Peter's index finger. "Right now I want you in my mouth."

"Later, then," Peter whispers, words promising to come back to it when his lover is ready, wants the moment. "I think your mouth on me would be a delightful way to drift off into sleep after an immensely perfect day." He rubs his thumb over Pierce's lips when the tongue has finished its work. "Would you have me active participant in this endeavor? Or should I stretch back and watch the master work?"

"Be as active as you're awake for," Pierce grins, making the slow crawl down Peter's body, pressing satin up, tugging the bottoms down, rubbing his face over the smooth skin of Peter's stomach. "Just don't take too many liberties."

Peter pulls his hips off the bed as Pierce tugs his pajamas. "Liberties?" he oozes, moving his hand to card through Pierce's hair, soft and tangling just enough. "Whatever could you mean, dear sir?"

"It's a good thing coyness suits you," Pierce says, warm breath gliding out against Peter's skin, lips trailing just a hair's breadth away as he ghosts warmth over Peter's cock from base to tip. "Or you'd have me speeding this up just to get back at you."

"Speeding up would be revenge," Peter says. "Let me think on that. It get you finished sooner and on your back so I could reciprocate before I fall asleep." He draws in a breath at the warm rush of air, promise of lips. "Just not seeing it, Pierce, but don't let me deter you from whichever path you choose."

"You are," Pierce murmurs, sliding the flat of his tongue over the spot just below the head of Peter's cock, "almost," a broad lick from tip to base, "as much a bastard," back to the tip, tongue sliding under foreskin, teasing, "as I am," and he sinks his mouth down hard, one smooth motion that takes in as much as he can without choking, lips tightening hard around the shaft.

"Well, of," Peter starts, words stopping as tongue slips under foreskin, "course I am," he continues, gathering his senses and tightening fingers in Pierce's hair for a 30-second count, "but no one could be better at it," releasing the grip and slipping into the oblivion of a hot mouth on a warm cock, "fuck, you do that well."

It is oblivion. Hot and sweet with nothing to focus on but the pleasure of tasting his lover, nothing to worry about but whether they're both enjoying the hell out of it. And he's enjoying everything he never lets himself have. The abandon of giving so completely. The ache between his legs that normally gets ignored until the scene calls for it. For all that he claimed he'd go fast, for all that he is going fast, he's not timing it. Just sucking, letting his lips and tongue and teeth slide up and down the shaft, teasing at foreskin when his lips are sucking at the head, glancing up Peter's body and listening to his breath.

Enjoying would be a euphemistic travesty. Peter's delighting in the moment, spreading his legs wider to give Pierce room and trailing his hand down over his lover's hair to rest at the back of his neck, arm stretching and fingers splaying at gently touch, caress while Pierce so carefully works Peter's cock. Fast, but not hurried. Methodically, with a clinical ease overlaid with the erotic bedside manner available. Peter consciously slows his breathing, an old technique learned before he realized it had such value in sex, and absorbs each nuance of Pierce's tongue as it swirls over the head, slides around the foreskin, closing his eyes to wait the rush of adrenaline-laced orgasm that's slowly starting to build.

Time could stop and it wouldn't matter. Time has slowed, given Pierce room to immerse himself in this. He's been out of practice, but the past weeks have been very good to him in terms of getting caught up. There are some skills one doesn't forget, some techniques that never grow old, and swirling tongue together with tight lips and occasional teasing glints of teeth are among them. He gets a hand at the base of Peter's cock, stroking in time with the gentle -- growing harder by the moment -- motions of his mouth.

"God, Pierce, that's wonderful." Peter's moaning, small and from the back of his throat. He's starting to drift, the swirl of orgasm loosening his mind, his lover's tongue relaxing his body. "If it weren't for needing to come, or rather, wanting to, before I sleep, and sleep being moments away, I could lie here and let you do that for hours." He can feel the first pulses slip him over the edge, almost there. Just another minute.

Hours? Not hardly. But Pierce isn't lifting his head, isn't slowing his strokes, is just going on and letting Peter feel it, the warm pressure of mouth and hand working cock, and God it's going to taste good when Peter comes for him.

That last tug of warm pressure does it, sends Peter blissfully over and he comes, not violently or even hard, but in unyielding pulses, coating Pierce's throat. He whimper-moans, head back into the pillow, eyes still closed, fingers clutching at the first thing they find, his left the blanket and his right Pierce's shoulder. "Yes, perfect," he murmurs, spilling out and exhausting himself. "Christ, yes."

Pierce swallows 'til there's nothing left, leaves warm licks up the length of his lover's cock before pulling away and leaving a soft bite on his hip. "Perfect. Of course it was," he murmurs, unable to resist gloating just a little as he climbs back up the bed. He rubs at his lips with the back of his hand, nestling into the pillow and Peter's side. "It was me, wasn't it?"

"Hmmm, yes, Pierce, you're perfect," Peter slurs, sleep coming quickly as he rolls up onto his side, drapes an arm over Pierce's body. "Perfect bastard."

"And you're falling asleep on me," Pierce whispers, reaching up, slipping fingers through Peter's hair, brushing it back off his forehead. And I don't mind. Good night, Peter.

Chapter Text

Pierce has his jacket slung over one shoulder as he comes up to Lin's door and knocks at it. He's in a surprisingly good mood, grin spread over his face like he's a cat who's been licking at more cream than he could eat, and he rocks back on his heels and puts his hand in his pocket, just waiting for "his lady" to open the door.

Lin's just getting her bracelet fastened when Pierce's knock comes, and she opens the door with a smile. "Hey, you," she says, leaning up to kiss his cheek and then opening the door wide. "Come in and tell me how fabulous I look." She steps back and does a little spin, red dress swirling and her back bare to her hips except for one slim strap across her shoulders.

Pierce catches her hand at the end of the spin and holds tight, just tight enough he can plant his feet, tug her back, and send her spinning back into a hug. "My lady, you look stunning. I'll be the envy of every other man on the dance floor. How are you doing?"

"Mmm, I'm great," Lin purrs, twining her arms around Pierce's waist and smiling up at him. "Loving the new place. I'm even almost unpacked after -- how many weeks has it been? And," she adds, leaning back enough to see Pierce, "you look pretty fantastic yourself. How are you?"

To his surprise, Pierce blushes instead of giving Lin his trademark bared-teeth grin. He shakes his head and nods toward the door. "We'll be late for our reservations. Are you ready to go?"

Lin's smile tilts and she raises an eyebrow, but nods, getting her purse from the table. "Let's do it," she says.

Pierce slips an arm around Lin's waist and pulls her out-of-doors --letting her lock up -- and he even opens the car door for her, making sure her skirt's safely inside before closing the door and going around to the driver's side. There's something very satisfactory about getting to play the role of a gentleman on occasion; it must have something to do with how often he plays the part of a rogue in real life.

He doesn't expect her to stay quiet about the blush for long, though, so -- heading it off at the pass -- he says, "I had an old friend in town the last few weeks."

"Yeah? Tell me more," Lin says as she fastens her seat belt, glad that Pierce isn't going to make her resort to water torture or pleading for details.

"Ah... I suppose I should start with his name. His name's Peter. Wingfield." Pierce scratches at his cheek. "You probably wouldn't know of him unless you were a fan of the Highlander television series. He's early forties, my height or so, slim, dark hair, unmistakable nose."

"Oh, you know, I've seen him," Lin says, brow wrinkling slightly and then she grins. "My nieces are all huge Highlander fans," she adds. "He's a damned good-looking man. How long have you two been," and she coughs faintly, "'old friends'?"

Pierce would cough himself if Lin hadn't just stolen the affectation. "We've known each other more than a decade. But we're both tops, so we never... connected... on a level other than being fellow dominants." Pierce glances over at Lin. "Apparently we're expanding our horizons a bit in our old age."

That earns him a startled look that transforms quickly into astonishment. "Pierce... you?" She grins broadly. "Oh, I like that. Are you going to tell me how far they've expanded or am I going to have to imagine?"

"You know, I had a feeling you were going to react like this," Pierce says under his breath. Of course, that's why he's telling Lin and not broadcasting his new relationship on the journals. "You can imagine if you like. It's very strange. We're not doing anything kinky. It's just sex." Or the sex part is just sex, at any rate. The rest, Pierce isn't going to think about yet.

"Now, don't be annoyed, Pierce," Lin says, settling her keys into her purse. "You'd think I wasn't happy for you if I didn't at least try to pry. And I am. Happy for you, I mean," and she turns to him with a smile, leaning back. "So tell me about him -- what's he like? Apart from being a top, I mean."

"He's a lot like me, actually," Pierce says softly. "Sort of puts the lie to the 'opposites attract' theory. He's got a biting sense of humor and he has moments where I can't decide whether to call him a proper bastard or congratulate him on being one. He's quieter than I am, though, for the most part." Quieter, Pierce wonders, or is it just a matter of not needing the spotlight? Maybe both.

"He sounds great," Lin says, "though, if he's like you then I guess it's no shock I'd think so." She shoots him a little smile and adds, "And I promise to wait a few weeks before I start harassing you to let me meet him. I'm guessing you're still in the 'too wrapped up in each other to want to share' stage."

"I'm not entirely sure what stages there are, let alone what stages we're in. It's funny; if he were a sub I'd know exactly where he belongs and exactly what to do with him. But he's not, and..." Pierce sighs, scratches at his forehead before glancing in the side mirrors to change lanes. "I suppose I'm trying not to think, more than anything. Thinking causes trouble."

"Truer words were never spoken," Lin says. "Except maybe 'it only comes when you're not looking for it.'" She reaches over and runs her hand over his shoulder, soft wool suit beneath her fingers. "Don't think, babe," she says. "Just be."

Chapter Text

To: pierce_b
From: peterwing
Subject: Random

Vancouver is overcast this morning, which matches my mood nicely. It looks as if I'll be stuck here for another month before there's a break. Filming day and night. It seems Joel is insistent on getting as much of this damned project done before November as possible. Have I ever told you how much I despise Christopher? God, the man is the most egotistical bastard. Fortunately all it takes is a look, a few choice words and he remembers just how far down I took him when we were filming Endgame.

Anyhow, that is neither here nor there. What is important is that in a month, I shall be back in LA. And I believe I'll be looking for a house, at least to split my time between there and London. Guy's agreed to the transition. Not that I expected otherwise. He really is the best boy I could have. As perfect in his way as the lover I've taken.

How is he, that lover? Any more words from psychotic exes? Would he be interested in knowing my sweater was ripped during rehearsals? Was my favorite charcoal grey one, too.

Missing you,

Chapter Text

And here I am again, mind turning over two men. I was doing this two weeks ago, thinking about Jeff, thinking about Peter.


Jeff's filming again (is that man ever not working?), and a phone call Thursday was the highlight of my week. Am I giving away too much if I admit I'm missing him?

...Brosnan. It's a private journal entry. Who's going to know?

All right. So I miss him. I miss how easy it is to talk to him, how good he looks when he's going down -- I'm not certain I miss detailed critiques of my topping, but on the other hand, communications renaissance being what it is...

Nothing seems to shock him. It's probably just as well, if we're going to be seeing each other for more than just a scene here, a scene there. Hell, even if that is all we're after, anyone scening with me on a semi-regular basis would do well not to be shocked by anything at all.

I keep expecting to hear No, I'm not dealing with that. You're going to have to give something up in order to keep me. Whether that's more time (and he'd be welcome to more of my time if he wanted it, no sacrifice there), or seeing other people (which up 'til recently would have been easy enough, but not my preferred option -- and now, with Peter... well, now, I'm simply glad it isn't a concern), or agreeing not to look for someone else to dominate on a regular basis (easy enough, I'm just not looking anymore... one-offs at the club notwithstanding given the distance and how infrequently we see each other)...

I keep expecting it. It keeps not happening. But then I haven't asked for more than he's got to give, either... maybe we're simply at a point in our lives, both of us, where it's easy to appreciate what you can share with someone without immediately moving toward thinking about restraints or bonds.

Well. In the emotional sense...




Peter's off in Vancouver. There are no cliches in my mind about the house seeming quieter without him; Peter's not normally a loud man. There's no cliche about the stillness of the air; he doesn't add or subtract from it.


I keep stopping and starting, coming back to this when I think I have my thoughts ordered. He wrote me from Vancouver today.

He's looking at being closer by. At least part of the time.


This isn't working, journaling about Peter. Too many thoughts. I'd be better off putting paint on canvas.

Chapter Text

To: peterwing
From: pierce_b
Subject: Not So Random


It's late September in Vancouver. You were expecting something other than cloudy-with-sun-breaks? But I suppose you're more familiar with Vancouver than I am... my last trip to Canada had me in Toronto for two months. Hope the filming isn't exhausting you too badly. And my sympathies on your having to put up with costars you can't stand. I've had less of that, thank God, this last year.

I wonder what's different this time, this trip, between you and me. We've encountered each other before, times we've had boys of our own, times we haven't, but you've never talked about looking for a house on my side of the ocean before, and if you had, I doubt I'd be reacting the same way -- anticipating, wondering how much of it has to do with work and how much of it has to do with this new lover of yours, feeling more than a bit nervous about the latter possibility. I spent the greater part of yesterday afternoon and last night getting paint on canvas thinking about it. They're good thoughts. Scattered, skittish, but overall good.

No word from exes lately. Not waiting to hear from them, either. I'm far more interested in the present than the past at the moment. I suppose sooner or later I'll see Sean again. Sooner or later I'll hear from Viggo. In the meantime, I have other things to focus on.

The drape of charcoal-grey cotton blends over slim shoulders, for example, and debating ladder stitch versus simple ribbing. Hope you're ready to be outfitted in handknitting for the winter. Did no one ever warn you not to tell someone who knits that you need new sweaters? Especially when the handcrafter in question can't recall seeing anyone who looked better swathed in cables and texture than you.

I miss you, too.


Chapter Text


Thought you could use something to keep warm with in Vancouver. I considered the merits of hot water bottles for a while, or FedExing Guy to you, but in the end elected something a bit more versatile than the former and a great deal easier to ship than the latter.

Hope the filming's going well.


enclosed: one six-foot long forest green scarf... handknit, as if one could expect any less from Pierce

Chapter Text

To: notjeff
From: pierce_b
Subject: Invitation


I've checked my calendar, and I'm free from the 12th through the 17th. Almost a week. And yes, I know exactly what Buffalo looks like around this time of year -- you're not going to scare me off that easily.

Can't wait.


To: pierce_b
From: notjeff
Subject: Re: Invitation


Glad to hear it. And yeah, the weather can be a problem but it can also be a bonus. Once you get here we'll just have that many more reasons to stay in bed.

See you soon.


Chapter Text

[handwritten on linen stationery, black ink, very precise lettering; sent via Est couriers]


Of course, this thank-you will reach you days after your lovely gift reached me. Somehow e-mail seemed so impersonal for this. The scarf is gorgeous, even more because I know it came from your hands. And now it wraps my throat.

Vancouver is dreary, even on sunny days. Guy does an excellent job eliminating my melancholia, though I do miss the companionship Los Angeles afforded me. Perhaps if he tied me up with the scarf ...


Chapter Text

I have small indentations on my forehead from banging my head on the keys. I can write things like this and this when there's no chance Jeff or Peter's going to see them, and I end up staring at the screen for four and a half minutes trying to decide whether to sign my email with something, and then thinking right, then, such as...? and drawing a complete blank.

And God have mercy, I still need to write to Peter to let him know I'm taking Jeff up on his invitation.

Well, I think I still have a few spots on my forehead that don't have keystrokes on them. Once more unto the breach...

edit: Except I finally got a chance to look at the mail, and there's this (the note from Chapter 16). I think I'm broken for the evening. Going to sleep before I think of writing to Peter to let him know where I'm going next week. And before I do something ridiculous such as signing my email yours too... though at least that would save me the four and a half minutes of wondering whether to sign it anything at all

Pierce's first linked note reads:

Funny you should mention that [hobbies other than acting], as I've just sent the latest results of my handiwork to my lover. Luckily for me and my most common craftwork, the man looks damnably good in sweaters.

(Bonus: When asked how he got started knitting, Pierce replied:)

Longer than most people my age like to admit to being alive. It was something my grandmother taught me when I was still a lad in hopes that it would keep me out of trouble. I put it away when my grandparents died, and picked it up again when a very close friend passed away about ten years ago. There's a meditation of sorts to the movements of one's hands that way.

These days it's lace, when lovers aren't distracting me into forgetting rows. And many, many bonnets and booties and sweaters for nieces and nephews.

Pierce's second linked note reads:

Life seems so much more about chance than about fate to me. I find myself wondering if I've had the opportunity to be this happy before, and simply never taken it, never seen what was there or never stretched out to grasp at it. Happiness requires a certain amount of risk. Most of us are more risk-averse than we want to believe.

I've got two lovers these days, both long-distance, both men I've known for years now. Enjoying their company is all about sinking myself into a moment, enjoying what we do have instead of focusing on what we don't or on what we might be to others, what others might be to themselves.

I don't count hours, I don't send roses, I don't write poetry. But I do feel more content now than I've been in a long, long time. And it's worth all the difficulty in having two lovers who are more often than not spread to the four corners of the earth -- quite the trick for there being only two of them, really.

Chapter Text

To: peterwing
From: pierce_b
Subject: Travel plans


It looks as if my quiet months are at an end; I'm going to be traveling again for a while. Jeff's in Buffalo and we both have some free time, and so I'll be heading his direction next Tuesday. I'll be staying through the 17th, then I've got to fly home for two days of the most godawful business arrangements you can imagine. I'm free for a while after that, though. And I'm trying to talk Jeff into meeting me for the Establishment Halloween party.

It's good to know you're being taken care of. Pass my greetings on to Guy for me? Though I must say... if I'm thinking about your hands wrapped in textured rib, it's not Guy's body I'm thinking of on yours.

Rumor has it I'm seeing Sean this weekend, but we'll see; he's been busy with his schedule and I've had no small amount of difficulty in keeping in touch with him. He did seem rather surprised to hear me mention my lovers; how does that man stay so consistently oblivious to the world around him? Some questions are perhaps best left to the ages. And speaking of questions left to the ages, should I ask about the rest of your life? Guy, the work; anything else you'd like to talk about?

It seems so foolish staying guarded when I'm talking to you, especially when I have the medium of electronic mail and a distance of a few thousand miles keeping me safe. But it's habit, and old habits have powerful survival techniques. I think I can let my guard down far enough to say that I miss you, that I look forward to seeing you again. That I hope it's soon.

I suppose I'd never thought about how much I might want a friendship with someone that has no rules and no expectations, no predetermined roles and no attempt at defining ourselves to one another. I've always liked structure, you know; I've found it comforting. Perhaps that's part of why I like domination so much; I like framework, I like goals, I like devising new challenges and working through new obstacles.

And I'm finding there's room for something where the only obstacle to work through is decades of habit and the occasional inconvenient moment of self-image. Or being unable to order the man in your bed to sleep on the wet spot.

Thank you for the novelty, lover.


Chapter Text

journal entry, Pierce
Last-minute details being sorted out as I prepare to make my way cross-country again; this time for pleasure and not for business. Novelty. I'm visiting Jeff for a week in Buffalo. I'll be back on the 17th. Can't imagine anyone's going to need anything between now and then, but let me know if it's otherwise.

I've only just realized that I haven't been using this journal very often lately. But the people I'm most interested in keeping in touch with, I tend to call, and the rest of you, I'm perfectly happy to keep guessing.

Jeff, I hope you're not allergic to wool.

reply from Jeff:
Far as I know, I'm not allergic to anything. Bring on the sheep fluff, I can take it.

Chapter Text

The day hasn't been particularly bad, random if anything. Filming went well. Guy seems happy with their new dynamics. He's taken to the news of Pierce rather nicely, only a modicum of self-doubt creeping up, and Peter had handled that deftly, with reassurances he wasn't going anywhere except with Peter.

He's relaxing after dinner when his mind starts to wander. Pierce. They haven't spoken in weeks, not physically, and journal exchanges and emails aren't quite the same. He picks up the phone and speed-dials the mobile number, hoping he doesn't interrupt his lover -- the word catches in Peter's brain, his thoughts still not sold on the idea -- too badly.

Pierce steps away from the tail end of dinner, making a quick apology to Jeff as he catches the number on his cell phone display. "Salutations," he says to Peter, grinning broadly. "How are you?"

"Moderately bored and still stuck in Vancouver," Peter says, laughing at the way salutations rolls off Pierce's tongue. "And you?"

"Not at all bored and very much enjoying my trip to Buffalo." Pierce leans against the side of the house and smiles. "Jeff and I are both doing well. Did you get my email about that?"

"Buffalo? Did I know you were going to Buffalo?" Peter adjusts the phone against his ear as he walks, motions to Guy to decide on a movie.

Guy promptly sets himself in front of their collection and begins pondering what Peter may be in the mood for. Moderately bored and stuck in Vancouver, he thinks. So nothing with a lot of rain and quiet dialogue about psycho-sociological issues.

"Yes, got the email," Peter continues. "Now I recall. Free time. Travel. Something about sleeping on wet spots. My apologies for bothering you then."

Pierce frowns. "You aren't bothering me. I'm glad to hear from you." Navigating conversation between two men accustomed to giving nothing away is never easy. "Something the matter?"

"Nothing more than usual. Exhausted with Christopher's petulance, ready to be over this." Peter settles in on one end of the couch while Guy holds up DVDs for his perusal. "I do adore Methos, but I do wish Joel would write a real ending to this series. It's frustrating to never have closure." He holds back the laugh at how his own life doesn't have it.

"You invent your own closure," Pierce says softly. "When you're ready to say the end, then that's the end. Hard part is sticking to that conviction, even in the face of an intriguing script or one hell of a lot of money." Or phonecalls. Or emails, months later. "Closure's not something you get from someone else."

"Nice words, Pierce. I assume you've stopped waiting on emails?" Peter puts a bit more bite into the words than perhaps necessary, but he's tired of watching his friend -- lover -- languish over Viggo. He shakes his head at Guy's offerings. Don Juan DeMarco, Alien: Resurrection -- Guy has recently developed a fascination with Ron Perlman which he is steadfastly refusing to call a crush. Peter rejects both. Guy peruses their shelves again, holds up Midsummer Night's Dream, Mediterraneo, and Pitch Black, each of which gets a thoughtful look and then a shake of Peter's head. Then, hopefully, Guy offers Reign of Fire. He likes dragons almost as much as he likes Ron Perlman.

A malevolent, snarky twitch goes off in Peter's brain. Covering the mouthpiece with his hand, he says softly to Guy. "Oh, go ahead." He dies in that one. It'll be cathartic. "Then Thomas Crown."

"You were saying, Pierce," he continues, moving his hand away as Guy turns to get the first DVD started. "Yes, closure comes from within. I know. Working on it. How's Jeff? The vacation?"

"Jeff's good." Pierce doesn't even try to resist the urge to bare his teeth. "Jeff's excellent. I've never had such a good time in Buffalo. Do you want details?"

"Hmm, does it have potential to turn this into phone sex?" Peter pats the cushion beside him as Guy finishes setting up the DVDs. The words phone sex, however, have Guy thinking perhaps there's a better place for him than on the couch beside his Master, and with a little grin he drops to his knees in front of him instead.

"Possibly. What have you got on your end of the line? A warm mouth ready to suck you off while I put images in your head, by any chance?"

"Warm mouth attached to beautiful face," Peter says, cupping Guy's now-blushing cheek as he kneels in front of the couch, "wearing nothing but a delectable erection he's required to keep without any assistance." He shifts, fingers moving to unbutton his jeans. "I think we can manage on this end. Will you just be telling the story? Or getting some pleasure as well?"

Pierce gives a look that's somewhere between wistful and horny to the back door; he can see Jeff inside, taking care of the dishes, and grins, shaking his head. "I don't think so," he says, "think it's just me, but don't let that stop you. So what sort of story are you after? Cheap and tawdry or something with more class?"

"Hmmm, tough choice. As appealing as cheap and tawdry is, I'm curious about classy." Peter spreads his legs, motions Guy into place.

Guy licks his lips, running his hands up Peter's thighs and letting his eyes drift almost closed as he nuzzles close. The smell of his Master is enough to get his chest tight and his mouth watering, that specific musk that always makes him want to go to his knees, makes his breath catch when he stands too close to him in public, certain everyone can see how desperately he wants this man.

"Let's see. I got in late on Tuesday," Pierce begins, "owing to the time change, mostly, and you know I've never been all that fond of flying. I got a glass of wine and excellent conversation once I landed, and Jeff drove me back to the place he's staying right now --little house not too far from where he's working -- and he spent the evening taking care of me. All-over massage in bed. Have I mentioned he's got the most amazing strong hands?" Pierce is almost purring at the memory.

"I believe that subject came up," Peter says, running his hand into Guy's hair as his boy licks over the tip of his cock. "Was in relation to fixing leaks or something."

Pierce chuckles. "He's good with tools." He supposes that line might well push the boundaries of cheap and tawdry, but it can't be helped. "Good with his hands. Good with his mouth, lips, teeth. I rolled him onto his stomach, had him lace his hands behind his back while he sucked me off." A small groan, then, and Pierce goes looking for the cordless headset for his phone, slipping it over his ear and then tucking his phone in his pocket. Better to have both hands free, he thinks.

"Mouth, lips, teeth. All very admirable areas to excel in. My boy would do well to take the lesson. Hands laced behind his back and all." Peter grins as Guy follows his words with suitable actions, locking fingers at his back and opening his mouth wider, sinking onto Peter's cock, causing a ripple effect moan. "Oh, yes, very nice. Continue, Pierce."

Guy's blushing hotly now, both at Peter's response and at the implied, if teasing, rebuke. He keeps his hands clasped tight and redoubles his efforts, throat working around Peter's cock before he sucks hard up the shaft, the smallest scrape of teeth, and flicks his tongue beneath the crown, teasing that clever little band of skin before swallowing him down again.

The back door opens, and Jeff steps out, eyebrows raised in an everything-all-right? expression. Pierce looks over at him, posture straightening as he comes off the wall, and Jeff takes in more than just Pierce's posture; he looks down Pierce's body, concern fading into smirk when he notices the bulge in Pierce's jeans.

"Oh, I get it. But you're gonna get cold on the deck; c'mon in."

"Give me a minute," Pierce says into the headset, and follows Jeff back inside. Jeff shuts the back door while Pierce heads for one of the armchairs in the den, and by the time Pierce is settled in, Jeff's sliding to his knees, nuzzling between his legs.

"Ahh." Pierce's fingers slide into Jeff's hair, and he sinks back into the armchair, tightening his grip in slow pulses, in time with the rhythm of Jeff's breathing. "Where was I...?"

"Moving from mouth and teeth and lips to something else." Peter's fingers are working over to the back of Guy's neck, holding him tight against slow, deep thrusts, and Guy's so achingly hard, those powerful fingers against his neck, holding him there. "Boys on knees and cocks down throats, I believe."

Guy swallows hard around Peter at the words, his hands twisting into fists behind his back just to be sure neither of them breaks free to fist around his cock. God he wants -- just wants.

"Something along those lines. But you've got a head start on me, judging by the hitch in your voice. Jeff doesn't have my jeans unzipped yet. We're working on that." He grins, looks down at Jeff, watches while Jeff gets his jeans unsnapped and works the zipper down, using his hands for all of it; Pierce is as impressed by anyone by a man who can work zippers down with his teeth, but he doubts either one of them has the patience for that, and it's hardly necessary. Getting jeans and boxers down is a quick cooperative effort, and then Jeff's kneeling again, one hand cupped around Pierce's balls as he licks his way up the shaft. "Mm. Yes. Oh, that's good."

"So sorry, Pierce, didn't mean to get ahead of you." Peter regrets momentarily not grabbing his headset, but only for a moment as Guy's distracting him rather efficiently. His cock is pressed to the back of Guy's throat and Guy's holding steady, working his tongue along the underside, sliding it down over Peter's balls.

"Oh, I think we're managing on this end," Pierce breathes, burying both hands in Jeff's hair and waiting until Jeff makes eye contact before thrusting warm and slow into Jeff's mouth. The hand on Pierce's balls keeps moving, fingers warm and gentle on all-too-sensitive skin; Jeff's other hand comes up to Pierce's thigh and squeezes. It makes Pierce give a quiet moan of approval before he can continue. "I could keep talking about the night I flew in, if you like. Or would you rather hear about the way my hands are fisted in Jeff's hair and how he's doing incredibly pleasant things with those hands I was telling you about?"

"An excellent notion, Pierce." Peter nods and Guy begins sucking again, moving his head slowly back and forth against Peter's restraining fingers. "You describe and I'll extrapolate what arouses me the most, like your fingers working through fine strands of hair. Or maybe I'm just visualizing yarn, and you sitting on the sofa trying not to be distracted."

Half-breathless, Pierce laughs, rocking his hips up, holding Jeff's head steady. "Good," he murmurs, "more, yes, deeper... mm. I'm watching Jeff's lips sink down over my cock, feeling the -- ah -- head of my cock brushing against the back of his throat." He untangles one hand, runs fingertips down Jeff's cheek. "You're making it difficult to speak," he grins down at his lover. "Making me think about how much I love fucking your throat. The way your voice sounds after I've had you choking on me."

Jeff gives Pierce a sharp scrape of teeth on his next stroke up, and Pierce hisses in a breath, hard, holding Jeff still when his mouth's just around the head. Jeff's lips tighten, and he glances up at Pierce and winks. Pierce's grin goes all bared-teeth; he winds his fingers harder into Jeff's hair and lets his breath hiss out slowly.

Peter gasps at the description, the words. "I'll go on the assumption the you in question is Jeff, lover," he says, jerking his hips off the couch and thrusting a bit harshly into Guy's mouth. "Not that we can't try that when you get back to LA." He's starting to breathe a little harder, air difficult to work up from his lungs, and he twirls his fingers in the strands of Guy's hair flirting over his neck, tugging sharply. "I'm sure you sound delightful after."

"Wouldn't you love to know." There's a flick of tongue from Jeff, just under the head of Pierce's cock, and Pierce barely resists the urge to slam hard into Jeff's mouth. Another flick-rub; Jeff's too good not to catch on, not to follow up on the motions that are driving Pierce out of his mind. "God, yes, right there--" Pierce's head tilts back, entire body focused on the tiny spot of skin Jeff's caressing with his tongue. It's exquisite, overload, the idea of his other lover three thousand miles away and getting the same treatment from his boy damn near too much to take.

It's by sheer willpower alone that Peter's holding out. He's on the edge, Pierce's voice tugging him closer as surely as Guy's expert mouth. He moans, hisses out a breath. "So fuckin' close." He glances up. "Oh, fuck." It doesn't help matters that Gerry looks incredibly fuckin' sexy in the military surplus sweater.

There are some men for whom the word fuck sounds like liquid sex dripping off teeth and tongue. Peter's one of them. And Pierce looks down at Jeff again, catching his eyes, holding eye contact for as long as possible before he's coming, twisting his hands into Jeff's hair, thrusting up hard and feeling Jeff's lips contract around him, his tongue pressing hard against the underside of Pierce's cock as pulse after pulse fills his mouth.

The sound's unmistakable, even thousands of miles away. A lover coming. Down his boy's throat. It's exactly what Peter needs to shove him soundly over the edge. His neck's going to have a creak in it from holding the phone against his shoulder, but he wants both hands, for just a moment, long enough to grip the sides of Guy's head, tangle fingers in hair and come, watching and smiling as his boy works not to choke on the cock wedged in his throat, the splattering pulses demanding he swallow.

Jeff's not choking, but he is swallowing, mouth working Pierce's cock hard enough to make Pierce's teeth snap together and his fingers tighten in Jeff's hair for a moment. He eases up immediately, letting Pierce catch his breath, motions of his mouth going gentle as he finishes licking Pierce clean. Pierce isn't even trying to hide the rapid sound of his exhalations -- the heavy breathing is always one of the better parts of phone sex, after all. "Mmm..."

Peter lets the orgasm rush him, caress and soothe until he senses it leaving him, and he lets go of Guy's hair, settles back and nods.

Guy carefully pulls off, little kitten licks to Peter's cock as he goes and his own erection so hard it hurts, twitching with every breath Peter takes. He kneels up, fingers still twisting together behind his back, and clears his throat a bit, wishing like hell he could beg for his Master's touch.

Peter takes a minute, retrieves the phone from where it's wedged. "Rather an understatement, Mr. Brosnan," he murmurs. "Mmm, indeed. I should call more often."

"You should," Pierce agrees, getting his jeans back in order. He pushes Jeff back so he can slip out of the armchair, then tugs Jeff's t-shirt out of his jeans and starts working it over his head. Jeff kneels up, helping untangle himself from fabric, and grins when Pierce murmurs "Lie back." Not an order he has to think about, especially when Pierce's hands settle on Jeff's shoulders, pressing him into place on the carpet. Pierce closes his fingers around Jeff's wrists, slides them up and overhead, crossing Jeff's arms at the wrists; Jeff's eyes are going dark and his breathing's settling down, a little more rapid than it's been so far through this phone call.

"Just like this," Pierce says softly, leaving Jeff's hands where they are. He settles down at Jeff's side, one hand moving in lazy scratches over Jeff's skin. Jeff breathes out silently, waiting, skin growing warmer with Pierce's touches -- scratches down his sides that sting too hard to tickle, a thumb circling over a nipple that turns into a hard pinch. Staying silent through that requires a slight arch, one that gets a heavy set of scratches down the center of Jeff's stomach, ending with the heel of Pierce's hand pressing down between Jeff's legs.

Pierce moves his attention back to the phone, then; his mouth tilts up at both corners, smile unguarded. "I'm glad you called."

"I sense you've become preoccupied," Peter says, nudging Guy's legs apart with his foot. "Perhaps I should let you go, continue your vacation. I'll be back in LA on the 20th or so, if you want to do lunch."

"I'd like more than lunch," Pierce says, running his hand up the inside of Jeff's thigh. "I do miss you. Preoccupied or not."

"I miss our time together, Pierce," he says, leaving it at that, not offering more. "Lunch, then, and more, when we are in the same city again. Safe journey home."

Chapter Text

Peter clicks off the phone and places it on the couch beside him. "That was," he says, drawing out the words, "intense. Evocative. Rather satisfying." He smiles, sitting up on the couch, reaching over and stroking his finger along Guy's jaw. "My boy's been so good and quiet, but I suspect he wants to say something."

Guy leans into the touch, his cock jerking even just from that small gesture. "God, Master," he breathes, voice ragged, "your boy's been hard for you all day," fingers still twisting together behind his back as he meets Peter's eyes. "Please Master, please let your boy come for you."

"Master likes his boy hard." Peter continues his trail, finger tracing a line over Guy's throat and onto his shoulder. "He likes see his boy suffer." Fingers are turned against the flesh, nails scraping as the path winds its way over Guy's chest.

Hissing at the little scrape, Guy arches his throat for Peter, swallowing as his Master's nails drag lower. "Your boy loves to suffer for you," he says, soft words and the taste of Peter's release still on his tongue, making his head swim. "Please, Master," he groans softly, almost leaning foward, wanting so much more. "Please, anything Master wants."

"Anything." Peter shakes his head slowly. "My boy should know better than that, to leave himself so vulnerable." He glances up at the movie. There's a way yet to the fiery death. "Go find the largest plug we have here and bring the tawse back with you."

And Guy knows he should know better, but the thing is, he likes this about Peter. However much his body begs for that release, however hard his gut twists or his chest tightens when he knows he's going to suffer, he craves it, craves it all the way down to his marrow. That vulnerability, putting himself wholly in Peter's hands, is what he lives for, and there's no better evidence of Peter's control than his willingness to torment the hell out of his boy, nor of Guy's submission than his eager willingness to take it.

He doesn't get to his feet until he's out of Peter's sight, crawling the short distance to the stairs and then heading quickly for the playroom. And he's back in short order, dropping to the floor again, tawse between his teeth and the big steel plug gripped snugly in his fist as he crawls back to Peter and kneels again.

Peter's attention is momentarily caught by the screen. Damn, Gerry, you are sexy. In that boy-next-door cute way. He knows incineration is moments away, and while he gets a certain sadistic pleasure out of watching his ex get fried, there's a bittersweetness about it. But even that's all but forgotten when Guy crawls back into the room. Peter likes having a boy, especially this boy, one so attuned to his needs, his desires, his whims.

"Very good, boy. Now, put the plug in." He grins, taking the tawse out of Guy's mouth. "I'll assume you remembered to prep because we're not stopping if you didn't."

"Of course, Master," Guy says with a little grin. "Your boy does have some sense of self-preservation."

The steel hasn't warmed much from his hand, and but the shiver and groan when he begins working the tip inside isn't just from the cold. God, he aches, and watching Peter watch him brings the so-familiar heat to his face, though lately it's a flush of pure pleasure more than the embarrassment it once was. He remembers the first time he worked a plug into his body for his Master, and his cock twitches at the remembered shame, breath stuttering as he bites his lip and twists the plug deeper, working to keep his eyes on Peter's.

It takes a half-second, but Peter grins also at Guy's sense of humour. "Oh, my boy has more than some sense. He's perfectly sensible." There's something exhilirating about watching another human debase himself for your pleasure, and Peter's always found himself dancing on the delightful side of humiliation.

"Logical. Reasonable." Guy's face turns a brighter shade of red as Peter continues with the compliments. It's an interesting facet about his boy, that he has more trouble taking a compliment than an insult. "And sexy. Have I mentioned how sexy my boy is? Beautiful face. Perfect shoulders. So few people really appreciate shoulders."

"Thank--thank you, Master," Guy says breathlessly, his blush deepening still further. But no matter how deep it gets, no matter how it makes Guy squirm to hear praise from Peter, however quickly he'd contradict it if it wouldn't mean contradicting his Master, it's still so good. There's no denying that Guy craves humiliation at Peter's hands, but with Peter he's learned it doesn't have to mean being afraid all the time. It doesn't have to mean feeling that his Master's always on the edge of turning him out.

Little whimpers are escaping his throat as he works the plug deep, and it's almost all he can do to keep his free hand away from his cock. Finally, though, with a last little rocking push, he gets the plug seated and he swallows hard, his body clenching around it. "It's--in, Master," he says raggedly as he twists his hands together behind his back.

"Now, hands and knees." Peter's sparse with his commands, much like he is his emotions. Circumspect, not quick to let them out. He thinks back on his words to Pierce. Miss you. It's probably the closest he's come to using the L word in his life. He wonders if that's what falling love is. Learning to accept another person into your life on his terms, not yours. Perhaps. He slides off the couch onto his knees. "Position, boy, now if you want to come."

Guy's already obeying, albeit a little awkwardly -- it's a big plug, and every movement shifts it, make him wince, makes his cock twitch. Then he's on his hands and knees for his Master, harder than ever with the hope of release in sight.

Peter swats Guy's arse. Once. Hard. Dead center. Driving the plug in a bit deeper. "Why does my boy think he deserves to come?" Then a second time, just as hard.

Guy cries out through gritted teeth at each blow, hands clenching into fists. "Your -- your boy doesn't, Master," he gasps. "Master owns his boy's pleasure, and his pain. Your boy only hopes he's been good enough that Master's pleased to let him."

The tawse replaces the hand and Peter continues the strikes, alternating between light and hard. "That. Wasn't. The. Question." He punctuates each word with a solid strike. "Master asked his boy why he thinks he deserves to come. Master expects an answer, not a deflection back onto it being my prerogative." It was one of the earliest lessons Peter had taught Guy. Honest, specific answers to direct questions.

"Your boy doesn't think he deserves to come," Guy says, his voice growing desperate. "Master had to tell his boy to put his hands behind his back, and -- and --" swallowing hard and trying to think of himself as deserving of something. "But your boy stayed hard for you all day, Master," he says after a moment, "and your boy--"

But he didn't make his Master come. Peter came because of Pierce's voice, and because it pleased Peter to let Guy suck him, to fuck Guy's throat and come in his mouth. Guy doesn't think for a moment that Peter didn't have total control over whether or not he came, just as he has control over whether Guy comes now.

Release isn't something he deserves, it's something his Master wants to give him or not.

"God, please Master," Guy gasps, near tears from frustration and from wanting to give Peter the answer he wants. "If your boy deserves to come, it's only because he wants so much to please you, and tries so hard."

"Sometimes I wonder why my boy needs a Master. He punishes himself so well." Peter's only half-serious. He knows he can't really ever break Guy of his self-doubt, isn't even sure he wants to. He rubs the tawse's leather over Guy's arse, strikes, then rubs again. "Yes, my boy did stay hard all day. And he was quite attentive while Master was on the phone." He strikes hard, six times rapidly. "He may come. Without touch. Only the kiss of the leather." And with that, Peter settles into a slow, easy rhythm, letting the tawse caress Guy's flesh.

Guy's been so close for so long that it takes almost nothing, just Peter's voice and the soft strikes of the leather across that wicked plug and Guy's coming with a shout, cock jerking hard as he spills himself.

Peter isn't surprised it's that quickly. He stills his hand, tossing the tawse up onto the couch. "Clean it up, boy. Every drop."

Still shaking from his release, Guy bends to the task, licking up the rapidly cooling liquid until the floor is spotless. When he's sure he's gotten it all, he turns back to Peter with a murmured "Thank you, Master," the earlier words still echoing. Wonder why my boy needs a Master, he punishes himself so well, and Guy isn't worried that Peter thinks Guy doesn't need him -- surely by now he knows better.

But punishing myself? Guy thinks, perplexed. That part, he's not sure he understands, and he wants to ask, yet he doesn't want to. He's afraid of what Peter would answer, and he doesn't understand that any better than he understands how it is Peter thinks he's punishing himself.

"My boy did very well," Peter says, rubbing his hand over Guy's back, encourgaing him to kneel up. "Now we'll curl up on the couch and finish our movies. You get comfortable while I grab a blanket."

If he weren't still so weak-kneed from the force of his climax, Guy would suggest that Peter get comfortable while Guy fetched the blanket. But oh, that hand on his back is soothing, and Peter's voice is lovely, and he's never been able to resist it when Peter wanted to pamper him.

Guy levers himself up onto the couch and collapses in a loose curve, smiling as he watches Peter. "Master is good to his boy," he says softly.

"Master is indulging his whims." Peter grabs the throw off the back of the chair and settles onto the couch, nudging Guy enough to get in under him, pull his boy back down against him, tossing the blanket over their legs. "Is my boy comfortable enough with the plug? Can he keep it there all night?"

"Your boy can do anything if Master wants it," Guy purrs, nestling into Peter. And he knows it's likely he'll regret that statement before the night's over -- it's a big plug -- but lying here in Peter's arms, blanket cozy and his Master's heart beating beneath his cheek, the plug doesn't seem to matter at all.

Chapter Text

I worked nearly four inches on a grey-and-white ragg sweater on my way home from Buffalo. It's a long flight; the cross-country trip is one I've made so often it can sometimes put me to sleep. Literally. I think the people on flights with me think they recognize me and then notice the yarnwork and think no, that can't be right, can it? It's interesting how a hobby can give you a shred of anonymity.

The week was good. The week was better than good, partly because it had its rough patches. I was ready to come after Jeff the way I wish I'd been able to do all along, more than ready to leave him bruised and marked and to get him on his knees, to feel that particular tremor under his skin when he's so near to orgasm he can almost taste it. It felt good. Cleaner than winter air.

And then, God, the talking. The man talks about everything. He wants to talk about every scene, piece-by-piece, wants to tell me what worked, what didn't -- God forbid I should fail to pay as close attention to him when he's giving feedback as I do when I'm in scene. It finally occurred to me that the talking is part of scening for Jeff, sometime around when I asked "Are we going to do this every time?"

It's a different sort of feel for me, of course. When Robert first met me I was the sort of man who did whatever in hell he pleased at whatever time it pleased him to do it, and that only changed a little even after I was out of his house. And so it's strange hearing my sub get so involved in what we're doing, knowing he's got his own thoughts and that while I might be completely in control in the moment, he's got a hand (hell, give the man proper credit: two hands and a damned good mind) in fashioning what we're doing with each other. Every bit as much as I do.

The strange part of this is that as much as it itches, as much as there are growing pains as we settle into each other and figure out what works and what doesn't, I like this. I like what we're doing. I like the way it feels. It's so different from where I've been with anyone else; our relationship doesn't depend on my having my guard up or on my being, behaving, a certain way every time we're together. I'm more unguarded with Jeff than I've been with anyone in a long time. I can depend on him. I can trust him. It creates its own pressures, but it alleviates a number of the ones that have ended relationships for me in the past.

There's that word again -- relationship. Not just relationships in the ether. Our relationship. It's got a strange feel to it, more intentional than simply calling him my lover.

But we've been seeing each other a while now. And it's not really one scene here, one scene there, see you if I can anymore. When I leave, or when he leaves, I know I'm going to miss him. I know I'm going to start making plans for the next time I can see him as soon as it's possible, as soon as one or the other of us has enough of a grasp on our schedule to know when there'll be time.

It's been a long time since I've been so certain that pursuing something that hasn't been easy any step of the way was, without question, worth it. I hope he's got similar thoughts.

Chapter Text

public journal entry, Pierce
It's Friday night and I'm in Romania. I probably would have skipped the Halloween celebration this year if it weren't for getting a last-minute email from Jeff that said he could make it, and there was no way in hell I was going to pass up a chance to see him.

He's asleep now, wearing a grin that's almost-but-not-quite as smug as mine, and a number of bruises on his wrists and shoulders and neck that weren't there when he flew in.


I could get really used to this seeing-him-twice-a-month business. We'll be lucky if we can get ourselves out of the suite before Sunday. I do have tentative plans to meet Peter at the masque, and I've got a costume picked out, but that's a while off. There are people here I wouldn't mind seeing, but I'll worry about that when I don't have fifty thoughts running through my head about things to do with sixty feet of nylon rope and a weekend's supply of lube.

private journal entry, Pierce
Damn. Just damn. It's good to be here.

Chapter Text

Travel has one of two effects on Pierce: it either makes him sleepy or it gives him more energy than he can work off. This trip it's been the latter. Jeff's already asleep, grinning into the pillow and bruised front and back, and Pierce needs to work off a little more adrenaline before he'll be able to go to sleep himself.

Somewhere in this labyrinth there are exercise rooms. Pierce gets into warmups and heads out into the hallway, figuring he knows approximately where the workout space is; he'll just take random turns until he gets there. Maybe he'll run into a secret passage or two. It's happened before.

Harry's on edge. He can't pinpoint why as he makes his way from the main bar downstairs through the castle's foyer and up the main staircase. Like the one at the chateau, he's thinking, except that Paul's stairs came to a landing then split, each side going up to a wrap-around balcony. Maybe that's why he's thinking so hard, head hurting not from the vodka shots as much as the emotions.

So when he gets to the landing, he takes a left and then a small set of stairs of to the right. Just like the chateau. Lots of places to lose myself in.

There was a small torch-shaped flashlight on the wall as Pierce slipped behind the tapestry and headed down a small spiral staircase. But it isn't as though he can deviate from the path, and he likes the adventure of going somewhere in the dark, one hand splayed out over rough stone as he works his way down. There's a certain amount of adventure in secret passages, in hearing footsteps and not knowing whose they are.


Pierce goes stock-still, waiting to see if whoever's coming around the corner has a light.

"Well, now, that's an interesting turn," Harry murmurs as he veers left, the passageway darkening. He doesn't bother with the light available in the wall sconce, just moving very slowly, pausing and pressing his back to the cold, rough stone. "Nice. Could just stay here for a while."

Kiwi accent. Up late. Familiar voice, especially through the murmur. "Could you, now," Pierce says, tracking down a few more steps. "And what if you're not alone?"

Voice equally as familiar, once Harry puts his brain to thinking on it. "Then I'd ask my companion if he wanted to linger in the dark with me," he says, not moving from the wall.

Pierce's hand drags across stone as he keeps walking down the stairs. Fingertips trace rough edges and mortar until they finally land on Harry's shoulder. There you are. "It's dark here," he murmurs. "Not safe at all. Someone should be warning you off."

"Ambiguous. Warning you off me or me off you?" Harry's body tenses, in that oh-it-shouldn't way, and he grins mischievously in the comfort of darkness. "You really should be more precise, sir."

That one word sends a jolt down Pierce's spine, and he steps closer, finding his way by feel, pressing his body against Harry's. "It's been a while, Sinclair," he murmurs. "Last time you thought fucking around with me was a bad idea."

"Is this fucking around?" Harry gropes, finds Pierce's hip, rests his hand on its curve, fingering the soft sweats. There's an ease in the cool passageway that wouldn't be found upstairs, in the vivid light of ballroom and public meeting spaces. "I thought I was just being respectful of my elder." Harry knows better than that, "Feel free to tell me to leave." He couldn't wipe the smirk off his face if he wanted. "Sir."

"If I tell you to leave, then it's definitely not fucking around," Pierce says. He runs his hands up Harry's arms, over his shoulders, lets his hips settle against Harry's. "What else can I tell you to do for me?" he whispers, leaning in and brushing his cheek against Harry's. It's dark, it's late, it's an ocean away from home, and hell -- Harry's here. This could be better than a late-night workout for releasing some adrenaline.

Harry shivers. Inside out. Spine as cold as the stone against his back. "Want me to be honest?" He runs his other hand along Pierce's leg, settling on the thigh. "Just about anything you can think of," he breathes out, voice low and steady despite the heat of Pierce's touch shattering his defenses. "Or want."

Pierce's teeth drag down the side of Harry's neck. "This is what they call playing with fire," he murmurs. "I could fuck you. Here, like this. No questions asked. I won't even look at you oddly when I see you again. That'd be safer than all the things I could ask for. Or want."

"You could do that." Harry forces out the words through the shudder. "Do you want safe, Mr. Brosnan? Or would you rather play with the fire?" He pauses, thinks back on everything he said to Sean, and how the reactions hadn't been as vehemently negative as he'd anticipated. "It's a no-strings weekend. Everything stays here."

Pierce is getting more and more distracted now that lips and teeth are on Harry's skin. He runs his hands back down Harry's sides, digs his fingers into Harry's hips. "No strings," he murmurs, "and then what? We pretend nothing's happened once we're home?"

"We pretend." Harry swallows, breath hitching at the sudden stab of pain, all the more intense for not seeing it coming. Like being blindfolded. "I'm definitely not the stalker type."

"No." Pierce pulls back some, half-wishing he could see the look on Harry's face, half-glad he's fully in the dark. "I'm not interested in being your secret, Harry. I'll fuck you. Top you. Hurt you all you want. But I'm not hiding. Not pretending."

"Pretending isn't keeping it secret, Pierce. It's just admitting that nothing more is going to come of it." There's a nasty edge in his voice as Harry pushes his hands in under Pierce's sweatshirt, rakes lightly over warm flesh. "Don't want a dirty little secret to keep. That's not what this is about."

"Then what?" More calmed than he'd like to admit by Harry's answers, Pierce lets his hands gather fabric at Harry's waist, scratches across the small of his back once he gets skin exposed to air. "What's this about?" What are you asking for? What am I getting into?

"It's about me needing what you can give." Simple admission. Even easier in the dark. Harry returns Pierce's offering of scratches with his own, nails sliding along flesh at waistband's edge. He wants to go down. Is willing to. But it's all about being put there, into one's place.

There are reasons on reasons this could be a bad idea. But a one-shot in the dark has limited risk, and if it's going to be more they can talk about it in the light, in a safe space, determine how it factors into their occasional friendship. "Is it about my needing to give it?" Pierce asks, catching Harry's wrists and pushing them up and above his head.

Hands on wrists. It sends a jolt through Harry's body, almost more quickly than almost anything else Pierce could do. "I can't answer that, sir," Harry murmurs, his lips inches from Pierce's face, body pressed tightly into stone. "What do you want or need to give?"

"Do you care, is what I'm asking," Pierce says, biting softly up the side of Harry's jaw. "Do you give a fuck what I get out of it?"

Harry thinks about the question. It's a double-edged sword. But he'd been taught well in the beginning. "Yes, sir, I do care. It's not a one-sided venture. For it to work, you have to get something," he says when Pierce finishes the gentle bites. "So, yeah, Pierce, I give a fuck."

"All right." Pierce rubs his thumb along the inside of Harry's wrist. "I'm in. Where are your limits, Sinclair?"

I'm in. The words echo in Harry's brain, right along with be careful what you wish for and didn't the fuck-up with Eric teach you anything? and he draws in a breath before answering. "No blood. Period. Even unintentional." Remember when you'd've just said none and gone on? "Other than that, there aren't any."

"Easy," Pierce murmurs, biting gently at the side of Harry's neck. "No blood. Not a problem." He presses his thigh between Harry's legs, exhales softly as his own body starts responding. Warm, willing body under his; someone offering to go under who doesn't go easily or often. "Here in the stairwell?"

"Depends on what you want? How much detail and nuance you're thinking of putting into it?" Harry's not thinking like a sub. Not yet. In spite of hands wrapping his wrists, thigh working against his crotch. He's still in a hallway, pressed against stone, having a conversation.

"You haven't given me enough advance warning to come up with something elaborate. Right now I'm just thinking about fucking you into stone." Pierce's thigh presses in harder. "Do you want elaborate?"

The response is immediate. Harry's cock is hard. Elaborate? "Do you speak French?" he asks with the same speed as his erection growing, then shakes his head. "Forget it. I suppose a good hard fuck now would be nice, then we could negotiate something more." He knows he's smirking again. "Over a scotch. Or with guns in our hands."

"Negotiations later," Pierce agrees, wondering French? Where the hell does that come from? "Right now, hands and knees. On the stairs." He jerks Harry off the wall, shoves him toward the floor. Stone stairs, in pitch darkness, getting along solely by touch. He's glad he keeps condoms and lube in all his pockets when he's away at Est holiday celebrations.

The landing's not graceful, Harry's knees hitting the stone rather hard, nearly slipping off the bottom step. He shifts, regains his balance and moves up. Hands and knees feeling for the best purchase, head going forward to ease against the edge of the next step up.

The impact's louder than Pierce expected, but it lets him place Harry's position by sound. He reaches out anyway, hand moving down Harry's side, over his hip as he takes to his knees. It amazes him just how much of this can be done strictly by feel. Reaching around to Harry's fly and working it open is easy. Jerking his jeans down around his thighs, just as much. Raking nails down the curve of Harry's arse would be better with a little light, enough to see the trails he's leaving behind, but it's good this way, too, the dark lending a little more edge than expected to the uncomplicated approach to a complicated man.

The rush of air's colder than Harry'd like, but it's balanced nicely by the rake of nails heating his backside. The dark doesn't matter. He's closed his eyes, letting the sensations wash him, see where it takes. Pierce is an unknown quantity. Harry understands how he's felt around Pierce, and he suspects he could sink easily, swiftly, but putting the theory to test is different. And a hard fuck on stone steps isn't like a negotiated scene. The variables aren't all in place.

In place or not, some things don't need to be negotiated. Pressing Harry's legs apart as far as they'll go. Reaching into a pocket for a condom, getting it on after a moment to think about which way is right-side-out when there's no lights to tell the way. Pierce's hand planted solidly in the small of Harry's back. "I really ought to ask your safeword," he says, free hand trailing fingertips down into Harry's cleft, pressing hard against the pucker. "But I get the impression you rarely use it. Do you even remember what it is?"

Harry laughs, small and quiet. "Yeah, I remember it." He curls his shoulders, arching his back into Pierce's touch. "Normal. Never said it other than tell someone what it is."

Isn't that interesting. Pierce moves his fingers forward, working them in dry. Just two to start with, but that's enough. "You've got so much to prove, boy. Have you noticed no one gives a damn what you're proving but you?"

"Oh, fuck," Harry manages to murmur before hitting the top of the slippery slope. Boy. When was the last time someone called you that and meant it? Every instinct in the body is not to push back, but the brain overrules, wanting the burn, and Harry nudges backward, as much as Pierce's hold will allow.

Pierce is more than willing to let Harry hurt himself. He shoves his fingers forward, curling them a little as he forces them in further, wanting to see just how open he can get Harry before they've even thought about lube.

Harry wills his body to open, his legs confined too much by denim. He knows how much he can take, and it's a damned lot. All the way. Completely dry if that's what Pierce wants. He rubs his fingers over the stone steps, something to focus on when he pushes back, demanding more.

"Calm down." Pierce lands a hard smack across Harry's ass with his other hand, stabbing in even further with his fingers. "You're not going anywhere until I say."

"Not trying to go anywhere," Harry spits out, words bitten off at the smack, forgotten with the stab. He takes a moment, sucks in a breath. "Just shifting, sir."

"And you think you can get away with moving when you haven't been told to? That's interesting." He shoves his fingers in farther, all the way now, and rocks them back an inch before slamming them in deep all over again. "Incorrect, boy. But interesting."

"You didn't say I couldn't," he says, wincing, jerking forward, words bitten in pulses before his footing gives way and he's sliding into much more obedient headspace. "My apologies, sir. The boy will stay put now."

"Good boy." Pierce works his fingers free and kneels up again, cock nudging into Harry's cleft. It takes a moment to find the right spot by feel, to press the head of his cock just inside, but once he's done that, he's free to lean in and wrap his fingers around Harry's shoulders. "Stay put for me."

"Yes, sir." It's hard not to move, not to respond, but Harry does it, letting the cold stone soak up his desires rather than act on them.

Another inch, then, as a reward. Pierce's nails are practically biting into Harry's skin through his shirt, but he's kept Harry's one hard limit in mind -- Harry's going to be bruised, but he won't bleed.

Bruises are fine. Bruises are welcomed. Bruises are exactly what Harry wants. If not from one lover, then another. Or, better yet, from the dom who's masterfully taking control of him at the moment.

Small, rocking thrusts, getting Pierce's cock worked in just a little at a time, more tease than anything. And Harry's still holding perfectly still, even though the pace is designed to drive him out of his mind. Pierce can't help but be impressed. Not that he's ready to say so yet.

"More?" he breathes. "Does the boy want more than this?"

The pace is driving Harry insane. He's just tapping back into something he'd lost track of. Paul's training. When a boy's told not to move, he doesn't. "The boy ..." It's so damned easy to drop back into it "... yes, sir, he'd like more. If the master," the word rolls off Harry's tongue, "chooses to give it to him."

It's playing with more than fire; it's gasoline and a flint. But the part of Pierce that gives a damn is being overruled by the part of him that's just realized how much he wanted this, Sinclair, just this way. And Harry's being damned good for him.

He pulls back, all the way, holding Harry still and waiting for his breath to steady. "And if I don't?" he asks. "If I'd be satisfied with bringing myself off and coming all over your back?"

"Then the boy would be grateful he'd been used to please the master." Harry smiles against the stone, tongue flicking out to lick its rough edges. Paul would be pleased you remember the rules, Harry. Boy's pleasure doesn't count. All he tastes is the dirt, maybe a tinge of limestone.

"The boy knows all the right answers," Pierce says. "Does he expect me to be impressed?" He moves one hand from Harry's shoulder to the back of his neck, clamping down hard.

"No, sir, he doesn't. The boy was just very well-trained," Harry murmurs, "once upon a time."

"Forget that," Pierce says, squeezing tight one last time before shoving Harry's shirt up to his shoulders and dragging his nails all the way down Harry's back. "You're not there anymore. You're here. The stone's biting into your hands and knees. And I'll fuck you if you beg me for it."

Harry lets out a strangled moan, something short of a full whimper. "Yes, sir. Here. Now." Oh, don't think I don't know that. You're not Paul. Close. Damned close. He arches his back away from and then forcefully into the scratches. "Please, sir, fuck the boy. He doesn't deserve it, but he's loving the tightness of your cock up his arse."

"What you deserve is irrelevant," Pierce says, thumbs parting Harry's buttocks and cock nudging in all over again. "You can beg better than that, boy. Come on. Make me believe you want it."

Yeah, Harry, c'mon. You can beg a lot better than that, boy. It's just a step to the right and the cliff's rather handy, so Harry's off it. He rattles away in French at first. "Maître, s'il vous plait, le garçon voudrait qu'on l'encule. Le sentir pendant des jours." Then switches to English. "Christ, yes, fuck the boy. Use him like the slut he is."

It's been more than ten years since Pierce actually spoke French with any fluency, but he remembers it well enough to grasp what Harry said in both languages. "You beg better in French," he says. "Did you know that?" He doesn't give Harry time to answer; he slams forward hard, cock sinking in deep, hands reaching around to drag Harry's ass back so his hips are pressed against tight muscle. Jesus, that's good.

"Je devrais," Harry spits out a second before he's slammed forward, arm bending awkward against the stone step. It's gonna leave a nasty bruise. Deep. He pushes back with Pierce's pull, wanting more, dropping back into the French. "Putain. Rien de plus. Utiliser, abuser. C'est tout."

"Arrêtez-vous," Pierce snarls out, halting his motions. "If I wanted a whore, I'd have a whore. I want you. Stripped to nothing. But you. Comprendez-vous, Sinclair?"

"Oui, maître. Je suis désolée." Harry's spewing out everything in French now. "Just me. Here for you. Completely open. Not holding back anything."

Better. Much better, though the constant stream of French has more questions in Pierce's mind than he really wants there. Shut them down, then. You don't have to give a damn. He didn't ask for that. It doesn't have to be about more than the moment. It can be nothing more than bodies on bodies, what Pierce has to offer in the middle of the night, what Harry wants to take.

And that's all it is, no matter what Harry's saying, thinking. He needs the intensity of the moment, the pounding of Pierce's cock in his arse, shivering his body's core. He needs to open up, let everything pour in. He'll parse it out later, in the light of day, when there's not so much of the past rattling in his brain. He needs to come. That's the overriding thought, desire, craving. And he knows full well he's at another's mercy for that.

Pierce can feel it when the need becomes overwhelming. Of course it's overwhelming. It's supposed to feel that way, supposed to have Harry focused on nothing but holding back 'til word's given. And Pierce isn't anywhere near that yet. The adrenaline rush is just starting to feel perfect; he's just at the point where he can sink himself into it and feel as though he could stay here forever. Reality and the limitations of the body notwithstanding, he's ready to fuck Harry until his hands and knees are raw from scraping against stone.

Holding on's a lesson Harry learned very early. Hour after hour of stimulation, of not being allowed to beg, or even think about coming. Paul's lesson had been painful, but oh so sweet. So he slides into the place where he can forget about the need, just be fucked, just be for master.

Pierce sinks his fingers into Harry's hair, jerking back, imagining the arch of his throat. "You could almost be perfect at this," he whispers, "but you've forgotten how to let go. Come on. You can go deeper than that, boy. Sink for me."

Pierce is right. Harry has forgotten how to let go. He's been playing at it, pretend games with Mark and almost getting there with Eric. But he hasn't just let go in a long time. And that's what he needs to finish climbing back. To take it to the beginning.

He takes a deep breath, focuses on a cold floor and kneeling and the images are of Paris and Romania and they're blending and swirling and Harry's sinking. His body relaxes. No more fight or pushing. His mind is only on Pierce and the world goes beautifully black.

Yes. Harry deserves everything he's getting, everything Pierce can give him, hard raking scratches across his back and shoulders, sharp deep thrusts that send Pierce sprawling across Harry's back. Pierce sinks his teeth into the side of Harry's neck, stopping just shy of drawing blood, and he wraps his hand around Harry's cock, stroking hard, fast, demanding. "When I tell you," he hisses, "when I give the word, I want you coming until it hurts."

"Oui, maître," Harry slurs out, barely audible, and where his voice fails his body responds, chill rippling from the touch of his cock, searing to his brain, waiting for the word.

French again, but by now Pierce is almost expecting it. It doesn't matter. He's too close to care about anything but waiting for the right moment, gritting his teeth and squeezing Harry's cock hard. "Now."

Command. Response. It's Pavlovian. Harry comes and, Christ, it hurts. He's harder than he imagined, beyond aching when the pulses start, jerking against Pierce's hand and stone under those fingers. Not violent, but harsh. And it's the only thing Harry focuses on, coming until Pierce tells him he can stop.

Pierce isn't inclined to stop the movements of his hand just yet. He knows it must be hurting; he'll be ready to stop when he thinks it's just this side of killing Harry, when one more stroke down the length of his cock will have him breathless to the point of passing out.

Last pulse. Harry's spent. But his cock is in Pierce's hands. The tugs burn him, but he doesn't complain. Master doesn't want to hear complaints. Master wants compliance. His whole body aches, his vision gone black then red and he slams his eyes shut against it all.

There. Pierce stops, hand tight on Harry's cock, and slams in one last time, burying himself to the root, throat arched back and he's coming, Christ, hard and fast and it's so good, doesn't have to be more than this, bodies in motion, pushing past boundaries set earlier on.

That's all it is. Hard and fast. Here and now. Doesn't have to go anywhere else. Harry knows that, will process it later. Right now his attention's focused on taking whatever Pierce is giving, his body slammed into the stone steps.

Pierce gasps, breath evening out as he comes down. He pulls away from Harry, wishing there were a shred more light here; it'd be better if he could see Harry's face after this, confirm for himself that there's nothing more he needs. He strips off the condom, willing to hang on to it until he gets back up the stairs and can drop it off in the bin at the top; he gets his clothes back together and settles down on the step next to Harry.

"Should I ask if you're all right?"

Harry's moving a bit slower, but he kneels up and straightens his clothes. "Fine. This," he shakes his head, trying to jostle the headspace loose. "Uh, I'm okay. A bit sore." A bit left in the past. "Nothing a hot bath won't help."

"Do you want it alone?" Pierce asks.

"Not necessarily." Harry'd figured on going upstairs alone, finding Billy, but if Pierce is offering companionship beyond the stairwell, then he's not one to refuse. "Plans aren't real solid right now."

"Come up with me." Pierce reaches out, fingertips grazing over Harry's thigh in the dark. "A hot bath would be good after that." Taking care of a friend after a long, intense fuck isn't a mark of going soft; it's following instinct. And he'll keep telling himself that all the way up the stairs if he needs to.

"Sure." It's just comfort found after an intense scene. Nothing more. Doesn't have to be more. Just this. Harry reaches down, his fingers finding Pierce's, lifting them and rubbing. "Sounds quite nice. Lead on."

Pierce sits on the edge of the tub, adjusting the water temperature until it's just right. He glances over at Harry, wondering what it is that's brought on a need to give aftercare. Maybe it's hearing half of Harry's words spill out in French, and curiosity about what that means. Or it could be the difference between a rough scene with a complete stranger and a scene with a friend. It's not because he's got something to prove. Definitely not that.

Harry's sitting, feet already in the water, and the temperature's near perfect. The aftercare isn't expected. It's welcomed, but a bit unnerving. He can't help but wonder if there's something else. Not an ulterior motive as much as a need, something neither of them are admitting.

"Think it's good," he says, biting off the sir that's still lingering in his brain, overriding the move back to just Pierce. "Mind if I slip in?"

"Go on," Pierce murmurs. He stands up again and slides out of his warmups, letting them puddle to the floor. His own knees are a bit scraped from the hallway fuck, and his back aches. This was all easier when he was younger, but ah, so worthwhile now.

Harry slips into the tub, letting the water envelop his body, sliding all the way under before coming back up, settling into a spot center of the tub. Pierce can choose his side. He's aching, from the inside out, and the water's warmth is an immediate relief. Harry could almost close his eyes and slip away completely.

Pierce slides in behind Harry, stretching his legs out on either side of Harry's hips. He wraps an arm around Harry's chest and tugs him back, tipping his head forward to bite at Harry's shoulder. It's all easy, gentle; Pierce isn't trying to get things started again. A bite shouldn't really be a mark of tenderness, but Pierce is Pierce, and it's what he has to offer.

Harry shouldn't lean back, shouldn't want the bite, probably shouldn't have stopped in the darkened corridor. It's not as if his life isn't complicated enough. But there's something cathartic and uncomplicated about what he took from Pierce, and so he does lean back, does welcome the bite, does let himself relax in a lover's arms.

"It isn't awkward," he murmurs. "Not much. Thought it might be. Shared lovers and memories and complications. But this is palatable. Almost comfortable."

"Almost," Pierce agrees softly. He wonders if it's worse, taking Harry out of curiosity and the single most selfish of all reasons, because I could, or if it would have been worse if shared lovers had come into his thoughts at all. Denying he had ulterior motives seems an iffy proposition anyway; he stays quiet otherwise, sluices water over Harry's chest and rubs his hand over Harry's skin underwater.

The silence is heavy, weighting the room with an awkwardness that's unexpected. It's not that they don't know what to say. Harry has words rattling through his head, wanting to spill out. It's more that neither of them is saying much at all. Talking's the cornerstone of whatever it is Harry and Pierce have had. Until an hour ago.

"I talked to him about you," Harry says, murmur slipping out over the sluice of water. He doesn't have to specify him.

"You did," Pierce says softly. "And here I'd thought this was spur-of-the-moment." He tightens an arm around Harry's chest, exhaling softly against the back of his neck. "Do you think he'd mind it?"

"This was spur-of-the-moment. No ulterior motives, sir, no plotting. I had been speaking to him of a need, and of those I thought could fill it," Harry says quietly, taking the comfort of the tightening embrace. "I think he understood."

"He might," Pierce admits. He sighs, sits back a little further in the tub. "I've gotten into trouble lately, putting friends on their knees. It hasn't been long I've been willing to trust myself that far. I hated keeping it a secret," he says, voice lowering, "and then I hated knowing he'd found out long past the time when his knowing could have helped any of us."

"No secrets now. I'm not ashamed of what happened, of where you took me. I needed to go there," Harry says, edging down into the water. "Needed to get back to that place, that time, before I could keep moving forward. Overwhelming need to be put on my knees and so few people capable of doing it."

"Too many changes. Needing to start over from nothing." Pierce nods; he understands that, and it's not what he thought it was, not what he was afraid it might be. "You could have asked before."

"At the gun range? Or the car? Couldn't. Wouldn't. Maybe I needed his tacit approval first to even think it was possible," Harry says, trying to put a lot of feelings into very inadequate words. "Not sure I ever would've just asked."

"This is where we're different, you and I," Pierce says, shifting in the water, pulling Harry back against his chest. "You love him enough to need things like his approval, or at least the knowledge he won't disapprove. I know when things I'm going to do are going to hurt him, but I don't make my decisions based on what former lovers might feel. It's that word, former... you stop having the right to decide what someone else does when the connection passes into the ether."

"Only with him," Harry whispers before agreeing more audibly. "Decisions are best made without former lovers. True."

"But he's not your former," Pierce says quietly, "so I understand the weight." He draws a hand out of the water, rubs at his forehead. "I wasn't expecting anything like this tonight. It's remarkable how little I plan sometimes. Definitely wasn't planning to get you on your knees over the weekend, though I was hoping to run into you."

"Former and current. And it gets rather complicated. But I wasn't expecting this, to sink like that."

"Weren't you?" Pierce murmurs. "I could see it when I kissed you at the side of the road." He pauses. "Ask me if I'd have stopped if you'd asked me to."

"Would you have? And it's not that I didn't expect to go under with you. That's been a given since just about the first time we talked." Harry pauses. "Just not deep. And I haven't used that much French in years."

"I wondered about that. I haven't decided whether to ask or not." Pierce sighs. "If you'd safeworded, it would have stopped me. But it would have taken that. You don't know me nearly as well as you think you do, Sinclair."

"Au contraire, I know you exactly as well as I think I do, which is not at all." Harry smiles, lays his head back against Pierce's shoulder. "And whether you choose to ask or not, it's up to you. There's answers for any question you might have, though, and I won't lie, Pierce."

Pierce trails water droplets over the top of Harry's shoulder, a lazy, absent sort of motion. "Give me some more time to think about it. I might ask. I might not. It depends on a number of things, such as whether we're going to do this again."

"Do you want to do this again?"

"Yes. But." Pierce grins, gives a lazy knead to Harry's shoulder. "But if there are complications that need to be taken care of first, we need to work them out. There's Sean. There's my lovers to think about. I don't want to end up running to Toronto again because I've fucked something up."

"You're not going to fuck up with me, Pierce. It's impossible. I'm fucked up already." Harry's relaxing even more with the kneading. "Have been for 20 years, and nothing's going to make it any worse."

"Then it's time to start getting better, isn't it?" Pierce asks. He brings up his other hand, reaches for a bit of soap so he can give a light shoulder massage, fingers gliding over wet skin.

"I think so." Harry's almost purring at the light touches, gentle beyond reason. "Tonight stripped it all down. I remember what it was like, to be under, to want nothing more than what another man wanted to give me, to be willing to take just that and not push anyone's boundaries."

Pierce is silent for a few seconds, taking that in. He nods, eventually, and squeezes Harry's shoulders hard. "It's grounding, isn't it, letting someone else make decisions for you. Freedom's a weight at times, a responsibility that takes getting used to."

"Freedom's hard. For fifteen years, I let someone else make my decisions. Then I started making them myself, and I fucked up so badly it cost me the people I loved most in the world." Harry closes his eyes, tries not to watch the images filtering through his mind. "I'm kinda relearning how to deal with freedom."

"Turn around," Pierce says, hands sliding down Harry's arms.

There's enough of a command in the words for Harry to do it without thinking, turning around in the tub, ending up on his knees.

Pierce gets a hand to the back of Harry's neck and squeezes. "You're not in disaster territory now," he says. He brushes his lips across Harry's, nips the lower lip and tugs gently at it. "Just take things slowly while you work your way up to the surface."

"I'm not?" Harry wants to believe that, and he does in snippets of time, when he's with his lovers. "I just destroyed one relationship." It's tempting to want more, to try and return the kiss. But he doesn't. "I might drown before I get back to the surface."

"You won't." Pierce draws his hand around, rubs his thumb across Harry's lips. "I've seen that. You're not there." He goes quiet again, then adds, "It's why I'd do this again."

Chapter Text

Bron looks the reference photos over again and cups Pierce's cheek in his hand. "You don't really have the same facial structure," he points out. "It's not going to look the same on you, and we don't have Rick to do the hair..."

"I don't want the hair," Pierce says. "Just the face. It'll be fine."

"I kinda wish I'd had time to do a test run," Bron says, rolling his sleeves up and reaching for a cloth to drape around Pierce's neck. "You've got to start giving me a little advance notice."

"And run around the house scaring the cat?" Pierce grins. "No thanks."

"Well, who says I'd have had to do it on you?" Bron gets the palette, full of black, a little white to mix into it for shading if he needs it. "Could've borrowed a boy from the club. I'm sure I could've found someone who wouldn't mind getting turned into Kronos and wouldn't have said a word about it."

"Sorry," Pierce says. "Advance warning next time, I promise."

"Hmph. I don't even have time to make a real prosthesis -- you're going to have to settle for putty and it's going to look like shit close up."

"Your scars never look like shit. Even close up."

"Yeah, yeah, flattery'll get you anywhere."

"And don't I know it." Pierce grins.

Bron glances at the photos and dips his brush into the paint. "You must really like this guy. Hey! Don't frown, I'm working here." He dabs a bit of black onto Pierce's nose.

"It's roleplay," Pierce mutters, relaxing his face.

"Yeah, but it's a very specific role, and it's not one of yours. How often do you do something like that? Have you done up the character study? Any research?"

"Not really."

"Uh-huh." A long line down the center of Pierce's face, and then a curving line along his cheekbone. "And I suppose you just happened to have those reference shots in a shoebox somewhere..."

"A little research," Pierce admits. "They're good episodes."

"Ahhh. So it's that guy's TV show, huh? Highlander?"


"Again with the frowning."


Bron keeps going, adding the main outlines of Kronos's war paint, and steps back every so often to look his work over. "You're a piece of work, Brosnan. You really are."

Pierce doesn't rise to the bait. Bron didn't expect him to; he keeps going with the makeup.

"You think you're going to get hit by lightning if you admit to liking somebody?"

"With this one? It's possible. Have you seen his show?"

"Yeah, but I thought the lightning thing only happened when someone gets his head cut off. OK, tilt your chin up. And turn your head that way... yeah, a little more." Bron squints, watching the light reflect off the black. "If we were going for a Bowie look I could add some glitter..."


"Ahh, you're no fun." Bron shrugs. "I could outline you with silver and you could do your KISS impression..."

"Don't make me hurt you."

"Oh, you wish. Speaking of which, how's Jeff doing?" Bron frowns. "OK, I said no frowning; do I need to add 'no smiling'?"


"Yeah, I bet. Maybe I should be more specific. No grinning like the cat who had a whole goddamned milk truck."

Pierce schools his expression instantly. "Is that better?"

"Much. We're going to need to do the filling-in here, it'll take a while." Bron gets a sponge. "Close your eyes."

This is the one time Pierce still obeys orders from Bron; Bron knows what he's doing, and Pierce relaxes under his hands. Or he relaxes until Bron starts talking again.

"You've been seeing Jeff since what, since Easter?"


"Is it getting serious?"


"Damn, I hate noncommital grunts," Bron chuckles. "You expect to be seeing him in Vegas next Easter?"

"Next Easter's six months off," Pierce points out. "Or thereabouts."

"Hnnhhh," Bron grunts in response. "That's like a noncommital grunt with words. C'mon, dish. You know you want to."

"I dish more to Rick."

"I always knew you liked him better." Bron snorts. "Bet you tell him the same thing, that you dish more to me."

"Maybe." Pierce grins again, but he keeps the expression mostly under control.

"Next Easter." Bron smears a little more black under Pierce's eyebrow. "Where are you going to be?"

"Next Easter's six months off," Pierce repeats. "I'm not planning that far ahead."

"Next week. Next month. Is this a thing, you and Jeff, or it just whenever you can get him?"

No answer is as good as a real answer from Pierce. Bron grins and finishes with the sponge.

"A little more detail work. All those spots. You could've picked someone with a less complicated death mask..."

"Death's Peter. And his is much less complicated, yes."

"Ohh, but I see why you couldn't do that one, yeah." Back to the brush, then, and Bron looks from photos to Pierce, placing every mark as close to perfectly as he can. All things considered, it's a decent facsimile. "You think Peter's going to like it?"

Pierce exhales very slowly as Bron draws the dots above his eyebrow. "I hope so," he says. "I think he'll appreciate the sentiment."

"And what's the sentiment?" Pierce curses, and Bron laughs. "Gotcha."

Pierce stays silent for a while, and then finally sighs and gives in. "The sentiment's several things. It's a let's have some fun with this sort of costume. It's I'm paying attention. There's probably some let me get a knife at your throat and fuck you in there, too."

"You know, I honestly don't remember the last time you had two lovers you were even nominally serious about at the same time."

"I'm not--" Pierce can't figure out where to go with that sentence, so he leaves it by. "Is that so bad?" he asks.

"No, hey, it's not bad at all. Just an observation." Bron finishes drawing in the last of the marks on Pierce's cheek, and he stands back to look the paint over. "Looks good, I think. Go ahead and open your eyes, take a look."

Pierce blinks his eyes open and looks in the mirror. Bron's right; it looks very good. It looks authentic and malevolent, and while there's no guarantee Peter's going to like it as much as Pierce hopes he will, there's a good possibility.

"Cross your fingers for me," Pierce says. "At the very least, I'm hoping to get laid thanks to this."

"Adding meaning to my existence as your makeup artist, I'm sure," Bron deadpans. "Let me get the sealant on it, and then you should be fine for roughhousing. I assume you do want to be fine for roughhousing. Don't want this coming off on sheets or sweaters..."

"Please," Pierce says. The half of his face that doesn't have makeup on it is developing a frown, and he glances up at Bron before closing his eyes so Bron can do his last touch-ups. "You know, it isn't really like that..."

"Like what?" Bron asks.

"Just -- the way you said it implies that I'm going to be the one getting my face shoved into covers. I'm not switching like that."

Bron smacks Pierce in the shoulder. "Christ, Brosnan, lighten up. There've been times I thought you could really use a good reaming."

"I'm aware of that," Pierce mutters.

"And not even just from me, so don't give me that mumble. You realize taking it up the ass isn't going to turn you into a bottom all of a sudden."


"No, I'm serious. You ever thought about just how much you weren't a sub when you were under Robert?" When Pierce doesn't respond, Bron spreads more sealant over the makeup and keeps talking. "You were subbing. You were never really a sub. Even when you went back in '87 you weren't under him because you were feeling particularly submissive--"

"Bron. Enough."

"Hey, I'm just saying." The last of the sealant goes on, and Bron leans against the counter, waiting for it to dry. "Don't let your ego get in the way here, OK?"

"We've had this discussion," Pierce mumbles. "Peter and myself. We're working on it. It doesn't come easily to either of us. All right?"

You do like him. But Bron's pretty sure Pierce will smack him if he says so. "OK, the paint half of the job's done. Let me go wash my hands and I'll get the scar on." He wanders off, muttering to himself. "Swear to God, I'm going back to the canvas someday. Least it doesn't spring shit on you at the last minute."

Canvases. There's something Pierce hasn't thought of in a while. He's going to have to figure out something to do with the two paintings he thinks of as Viggo 1 and Viggo 2 sooner or later, and then there's that damn painting he did of Peter. If I hadn't destroyed all those paintings I did of Sean, I could open a gallery. "Pierce Brosnan's Failed Relationships, 1997-2004." He winces. Well, not all of them are failed...

Bron comes back and reaches for the putty, working it between his hands so it'll be malleable and warm when he applies it. "Now there's a serious look. What's going on?"

"Just thinking about the last things I've done on canvas lately."

"You've been painting again?" Bron looks up at the photos again and starts applying the putty, then gets out blending tools and basic foundation paint. "You didn't tell me."

"Some of it's several months old by now. Months and months." Pierce closes his eyes again as Bron starts gouging the scar into the putty. It's a detailed process, and Pierce has no doubt that by the time Bron's done with him he'll look better than Valentine Pelka did on the show. "A couple of them are ones I did for someone I was topping on a temporary basis, and then there's the last one."

"Which is for..." No answer. Bron stops with his brush in mid-stroke. "You know, I can send you to the party just like this..."

"Peter." Pierce would glare if it wouldn't stretch his new scar.

"Good painting or bad painting?"

"Good. Well, it's essentially a painting of his groin. I'd say that's good."

"Ohhh, it's one of those sorts of paintings, I get it."

"What--" The scar stops him from frowning again, but Pierce can tell almost all the work for the scar itself is done now; it's just a matter of blending it into the rest of his face. "What sort of painting do you mean?"

"The kind where your head's too full to sort shit out on your own." Bron shrugs. "Did it help?"

"It did, actually," Pierce admits. "You were right. I like him."

"Heh. Didn't think you could hold out on me forever."

"I always did like him," Pierce says, really thinking it over, "but it was never like this before. I honestly can't think of why."

"You're mellowing out in your old age," Bron teases.

"Fuck that." Pierce opens his eyes, glances up; Bron's bent over him, so he reaches out from under the cloth and gets his hand between Bron's legs, squeezing hard.

"Shit -- you're goddamned lucky I was done," Bron mutters. "Get your hand off my dick, Pierce; go take a look at yourself."

Pierce lets go, then looks past Bron and into the mirror. The makeup looks fantastic. Not that he'd expect any less from Bron. He looks dangerous and ancient, and the role's already starting to settle in. "Damn," he murmurs. "Well, I'd fuck me."

That's more like it. Bron hides a snicker behind a cough and takes the dropcloth away, squeezing Pierce's shoulder. "You figure out how to do it and I want pictures," Bron says. "You already have a costume picked out to go with this?"

"Yeah." Pierce turns so he can get a good look at the scar. It's perfect, and he can't see anything wrong with it from three feet away; he hopes it holds up to closer scrutiny. Very close scrutiny. "Leather. A lot of it. This looks fucking outstanding, Bron." A small part of him wanted to say brother; he's glad he can clamp down on the urge so far. "Thank you."

"You're welcome. But you promise -- advance notice next time and I get to make you a real scar."

"I promise," Pierce says. He stands up and leans closer to the mirror, scrutinizing his makeup. "God, this is good." Hope he likes it.

"He will."

Pierce jerks and spins around, glaring at Bron. "I didn't say that out loud," he grumbles.

"Yeah, well, you didn't have to. And of course he's going to like it. It's you."

"That's not exactly a guarantee," Pierce mutters, heading for the door. "But thank you anyway."

"Anytime." Bron waits until Pierce is out the door before shaking his head and rolling his eyes. "Idiot," he mutters. And I love you, too, asshole, so don't think nobody can.

Pierce's room is the next one down the hall, which still puts it a good distance away. He slips inside, sighing as he makes his way to the closet for tonight's costume.

"Well, brother," he says softly, trying out Kronos's overexuberant tone if not Valentine Pelka's accent. "It's been a while. Let's see what happens tonight."

It's never been a problem, attending parties alone. Peter's used to it. Revels in it, in fact. Leaves the mingling options so much more open. To do or not. He's sent Guy off in search of old friends. They've been together all day, and the boy's earned a reward. And there's the added caveat of Peter's really wanting not to be joined at the hip to his slave, no matter how much he adores him.

As much as he might enjoy parties, however, Peter Wingfield is not into costumes. When the invitation came, Guy had gone on about the possibilities. Peter had, instead, rifled the Methos wardrobe -- opting out of the Bronze Age costume simply because that damnable blue paint was a bitch to get off -- and coerced the swordmaster into parting with the authentic blade. So, for tonight, his fantasy was to be an Immortal. One dressed in jeans, rolled-neck white sweater and black trench coat. He was amused to find fog rolling into the ballroom. It only added to the ambiance of walking in, sword draped casually over his shoulder.

Pierce has been in the main room for a while, staying mostly to the edges, not exchanging more than a few glances with stray revelers. Bron did a perfect job on the makeup, all his grousing about last-minute requests notwithstanding, and sooner or later he'll spot Peter and figure out a way to make a nice dramatic appearance. The fog machine has possibilities. It's a pity there isn't a bad electric guitar soundtrack in the background, but one does one's best.

He circles around, squinting through the fog, glancing through the crowd from time to time. Still no sign of him; Pierce wonders what Peter's done for a costume.

Peter makes his way through the sparse crowd, scanning for familiar faces. No sign of Pierce, although Peter reminds himself he doesn't have a clue what his lover's wearing, and no sign of his ex, or any of their exes. He shakes his head. Too complicated. There's a quick nod to the "nice sword" comment off to his left and he's making a detour to the bar in search of a decent scotch.

There's a man in a trenchcoat carrying a sword -- well, in this room that's not so unusual; there are a lot of men carrying swords. But the set of his shoulders is right, and the minute he turns and puts his profile in Pierce's line of sight, Pierce is certain.

And God. They couldn't have planned it better if they'd tried. And assuming he doesn't mind that I'm not Valentine Pelka, this might just go over well.

He'd have brought a sword himself if he'd thought he could hide it under the leather jacket. Not enough room, though, television notwithstanding. As it is, he's got knives in pockets, and figures that'll do fine. He heads for the bar, still walking through the last traces of fog as he closes distance.

Scotch in hand, sipping casually, Peter turns around. "You're here somewhere, Mr. Brosnan," he murmurs against the edge of the glass. He looks for well-tailored men. A few of those. A devil or two, also. It's on second scan that the side of a face catches his attention. And it's moving in his direction.

"No." Peter smiles. "Brother, dear. Oh, yes." And while the makeup's wonderful, there's no mistaking the facial structure or the deep, sparkling eyes. Pierce has come as Kronos. It's nearly enough to make Peter wish he'd opted for Death's mask, except that it wouldn't fit with the leather-jacketed lover in front of him.

Pierce is bolder than normal. And that's saying something. He lifts a hand, draws leather-gloved fingers over Peter's cheek. "Well, brother. I suppose you weren't expecting to see me."

Peter tils his head gently down, kisses the gloved hand, sucking lightly on a knuckle as it crosses his lips. "Kronos," he says, easily slipping into Methos's speech pattern, dropping his own natural accent. "No, I didn't expect to see you, but I really shouldn't be surprised." He looks up. "You have a way of turning up where not sought."

"And you have a way of doing your best not to be found." Pierce reaches around, running his fingertips through the hair at the nape of Peter's neck, thumb sliding over the tendon that runs down the side of it. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you were hiding from me."

"Now why would I do such a thing? We're together again, the Horsemen riding." Peter reaches down, sets his glass on the table and then moves his hand to Pierce's back, rubbing over the soft, worn leather. Never tried this with Pelka. Could've been more interesting.

Improvisation has never been one of Pierce's strong suits. He's always liked roleplay that comes out through long sessions of negotiation, plotting out scenes in advance and guessing how they'll go. He'd never have brought out a knife in a roleplay scene with someone without asking beforehand if it was all right to do so.

This is different. All it would take would be one word, one look, and he'd stop, because this isn't his scene. It's not his play. It's equal, even-handed, so Pierce is perfectly confident bringing out the knife and resting the blade against Peter's inner thigh. "What's a reunion without a little death?" he asks.

"Nothing." Peter breathes evenly, remarkable feat that with a blade pressed to your flesh. "Death welcomes the reunion." He's a bit more adept with improv, but still, a knife requires negotiation. He'll count Pierce's move as the first step, so he pulls his right hand, the one holding the sword, around and positioning it at the back of Pierce's neck.

"Checkmate, brother."

Kronos's confidence is even easier to come by than Pierce's own. "It would be if you had any intention of taking my head," Pierce says. He skims the edge of the blade down the inside of Peter's thigh. "You don't want me dead. But we both know I'd like you bleeding."

"Well, yes, that is true," Peter says with Methos's air of easy resignation, "but I can cut your throat without taking your head, brother," accenting the word in a whisper over Pierce's lips as he tilts the sword's edge down, lets it skim over flesh, press along the leather collar. "Blood for blood."

"Blood always calls for blood," Pierce whispers back, flicking his tongue out over Peter's lips. "But imagine the trouble we'd be in if either of us drew blood here." The idea hits him just the right way, and he laughs, a broad, openmouthed laugh that's half Kronos and half himself, guard down, genuinely delighted. "Do you suppose Establishment public spaces count as holy ground?"

Peter tilts the sword on blunt edge and laughs. "Holy ground. When has that stopped you, Kronos?" He makes a light tsking noise. "But perhaps, for now, we'll call a truce, drink," Peter's grin widens, "and find somewhere private to draw blood later."

"Perfect," Pierce says, drawing the knife back and sheathing it. Kronos isn't so present in his voice when he starts talking again. "I hoped I'd surprise you with this. I don't normally go to so much trouble, but..." He shrugs. "Thought it might amuse you."

Peter pulls the sword away from Pierce's neck and brings it around, slipping it between their bodies and into the coat. "I am impressed, Pierce," he says, voice still tinged with Methos. "And very much amused." He reaches up, touches the outer edge of the makeup, taking great care not to smudge it. "It's really remarkable."

"Bron says it won't smudge." Pierce grins. "Ever had a knife pressed against your skin while being fucked? Or is the question too ridiculous to consider?"

"Bron's brilliant," Peter says, rubbing his thumb over Pierce's skin, tracing the pattern. "And the answer would be no. Is that an offer?"

"Absolutely. But our version of 'holy ground' probably wouldn't consider that safe play." Pierce wonders if having a lover's thumb trace over makeup should send a shiver racing down his spine. It's doing just that.

Peter sighs. "Then bleeding will have to wait till we're back in LA, won't it?" He can tell he's having an effect on Pierce, so he continues the motions. Light strokes over his lover's temple, letting his fingers trail down over the eyes. "Like this? Bet it has you hard."

"You'd win," Pierce breathes. "We don't have to wait. We just have to get our asses out of public play space."

"Then, by all means, move your arse, Mr. Brosnan," Peter says, his Welsh accent back fully, "and find us a bed with the proper accessories."

"One thing first." Pierce is enjoying the feel of leather on his hands far too much, and getting to rub his hands over Peter's body is even better. He gets a hand on the back of Peter's neck again and kisses him, biting at his lips.

By default, Peter's hand slides around Pierce's head, fingers twining in hair, holding him steady into the kiss, biting back, just as hard. "Excellent start," he breathes out before deepening it.

The sting and scratch of teeth against lips is unfamiliar but welcome tonight, and then the rubbing glide of tongue against tongue makes Pierce slip his free arm around Peter's waist, dragging him closer. Or as close as he can get, given there's a sword between trenchcoat and sweater, and it's not nearly as flexible as either of the men are. Pierce laughs against Peter's lips, pulling back. "You're hard as steel under there," he teases. "Come on. I want to get you alone."


Pierce unlocks the door and slips his keycard back into his pocket, stepping through and holding the door open for Peter. He's had to resist urges that should have had him shoving his lover into walls all the way back, but it was worth the effort; they'll actually end up in a real bed for this instead of a fast, breathless grope in the hall on the way up.

Peter's allowed for getting to the room, but that's all. Once inside, he's pushing it shut and stepping Pierce back against the wall. Calculated movements. Nothing abrupt or B-movie. His hand is on Pierce's wrist, pulling his arm out along the wall as he leans in, kisses his lover's face, tongue sliding silently over the Kronos pattern.

"God." Pierce runs his free hand up Peter's back, cupping the back of his neck all over again and squeezing lightly. He's got a moment to wonder how the makeup tastes before he's too hard to see straight, let alone think.

"No," Peter deadpans in perfect Methos form, "Death. God's a myth. I'm reality."

Pierce chuckles and presses his thigh forward, rubbing leather against denim. "It's not so bad being a myth, is it, brother?" he asks, slipping back into Kronos. "I wonder -- if we met God, all four of us, would he fear us?"

"Yes." Peter shifts, nudging Pierce's legs apart with his knee, leaning in, full-body press. "Even God fears the Horsemen," He dips his head to the other side, nuzzling against Pierce's throat, nipping. "And we thrive on that fear, on the knowledge that we create such undesired need in others."

"Undesired need," Pierce murmurs, eyes closing, holding Peter's teeth against his throat. "You remember what that's like, brother."

"Do I remember? Of course." Peter slides his hand between them, first pressing the heel into Pierce's crotch, palming the obvious erection. "Something like that."

"I wouldn't call that undesired," Pierce smirks, though perhaps it's debatable. He wonders, for a split-second, who ends up on top in Peter's mental images of Death vs. Kronos, and the answer, of course, is obvious. "The wall's nice, brother, but I've a knife with your name on it, and a bed would be a welcome change of pace."

Laughing, Peter lets go of Pierce and steps back. "A bed. Going soft on me?" He's pulling off his coat, taking out the sword first and then draping the fabric over the table, steel over it. "I suppose if you're offering a blade, I could find more comfort dying in bed this time."

"I think you just confirmed for yourself that I'm not soft tonight," Pierce says, tongue planted firmly in cheek, "and I've missed killing you almost as much as I've missed fucking you."

"Well, then, you're in luck, brother, because I've missed getting fucked a lot more than getting killed." Peter runs his hand through his short hair. "Did you want me compliant and stripping? Or do I get help?"

"You get help," Pierce says, coming off the wall and sliding his hands under the collar of Peter's coat, shoving it off his shoulders. Heavy material drops to the ground, and Pierce can't help the quick glance at all the details of Peter's sweater. Cotton. Rolled neck. Small gauge, maybe three and a half millimeter needles. Dropped shoulders. "I love this century," Pierce says, drawing the sweater over Peter's shoulders. "So many fewer layers to get through."

Even without the words, Peter can feel Pierce's out-of-character assessment, his lover's fingers caressing the cotton sweater a moment too long. It amuses him. "Yes, fewer layers," Peter murmurs, his arms crossing over his head as the sweater's slipped off. "An advantage in a sea of complications." The pile of clothes on the floor grows. "Too many concessions to natural urges this century demands. A millennia ago, brother, you'd've taken me against the nearest alley wall, public be damned, left me bleeding from as many wounds as you could make. And I'd've returned the favour when I awakened."

The idea's delicious on both levels, character and self, hitting every exhibitionist button Pierce has on top of every sadistic tendency Kronos has brought with him from the Bronze Age to today. Pierce jerks out of his leather jacket, his gloves, strips the t-shirt over his head with no care at all about leaving the tattoo unsmeared. Bron's work holds, though; the paint doesn't go anywhere. "We can always do that later tonight," Pierce offers. "It's early yet."

"Early. Yes." Peter touches the tattoo again, mesmerized by it, the intricacy, the realism it adds to the roleplay, and mostly by knowing Pierce did it for him. He's not letting that go to his head. No. Just tucking the thought away for later. His free hand finds itself on Pierce's belt, undoing the buckle, unbuttoning pants and seeking out flesh under the fabric. "More than enough time to hurt each other."

"Ahhh, yes," Pierce breathes, "harder, brother. You don't think you're going to break me, do you?" He covers the hand curving over his cock with his own, squeezing hard -- harder than he's used to asking for, demanding. This role seems to call for it, though. It calls for cuts and bruises and winding up sore. The pain fits, this time. And he couldn't have asked for a better partner to give it.

Without another word, Peter works his hand firmly around Pierce's cock, gripping and tightening, fingers working underneath to scratch over the balls' ripples. He never takes his eyes from his lover's or his other hand from his face, rubbing his thumb over the tattoo's outer edge, splaying his fingers down over Pierce's throat. Harder. Yes. Pushing edges, limits, testing. He presses into the vessels running blood in and out of the brain, gentle bruising caress.

This isn't what Pierce expected. It's not what Pierce visualized, when thinking about having this particular limit pushed. But it works. It makes sense, somehow, and the jagged headspace of roleplay makes it easier, so much easier, giving in.

It's not what Peter planned either. He didn't have any plans, not for tonight or pushing limits. That limit in particular. Maybe it's time. Maybe not. He's not in any rush.

Peter strokes Pierce's cock, well-defined and harsh pulls, counterpoint to his fingers dancing over pulse points, thumb sliding over Pierce's lips. "Do you remember," he whispers, head deep into role, "how it feels to die with my hand on your cock? For the breath to be pushed from your lungs while I'm kissing you?"

"It's been too long," Pierce whispers, surprised by how clearly the words come out. The touch on his throat is sparking fear over his skin; the hard strokes of his cock are turning fear into aching arousal. It could be too much so easily; he has to trust Peter to know when it is and when it's not.

"Bed," he says, catching Peter's wrist, stilling the hand on his cock. "Now."

"Bed," Peter echoes, his fingers stilling on Pierce's throat. "Tell me what you want, lover." He doesn't specify which he's speaking to, the man or the persona. It's has to be Pierce's call which one wants to continue.

Pierce presses his throat forward, into Peter's hand. "I trust you," he murmurs. "I want all of it. Blood, breath, body." The seriousness of his words is broken up slightly by the glint of bared teeth as he grins. "Do you have a safeword, Mr. Wingfield?"

Peter resumes his motion, sliding his hand so the vee caresses the hollow of Pierce's throat. "No, Mr. Brosnan, I don't." Peter smiles, left corner of his mouth turning to push his cheek higher. "You're the first person to ask for one."

"Get me somewhere horizontal," Pierce says, half-demand, half-plea. "And I haven't had a safeword I could use comfortably in months."

He takes his hand away at that, not wanting to risk hurting before he means to, and turns Pierce around, nudging him back to the bed, onto it. "Then we'll get you one you'll find comfortable," Peter says, working down his jeans, toeing out of the loafers. "How likely am I to hear it?"

Pierce half-sits, just long enough to remove boots and socks. "Fair chance of it," he admits. "Are you sure you want to go in that direction tonight?" He curves a fingertip around the black paint on his cheek. "We could stay in safer waters." He leaves out the irony that roleplaying a psychotic could be safer territory.

"I think we're safe." Peter stretches out over Pierce's body, pushing him back to the bed. He dips his head and licks over the tattoo, then down over Pierce's throat. Seconds pass and his fingers are back on that flesh, nudging gently as his thigh makes a space between Pierce's thighs, pushing them apart, pressing against the hardening cock. "Tell me a word that'll make me stop."

Pierce slides his hands to the small of Peter's back, runs them down over the curve of his arse. He grinds up as Peter presses down, focusing on the way everything's making his cock feel, the way Peter's tongue felt trailing over the edges of his tattoo, letting the fear of being held breathless build and then ebb. And it must say something that he's already got a word in mind, that he's had one in mind for weeks now, but he's trying not to think of what. "Frost," he whispers. "I'll tell you Frost if I need you to stop."

There's something strangely sensuous about the rub of leather against skin, and it doesn't escape Peter's attention that he's naked and Pierce isn't as his cock slides over the crease of leather at his lover's groin.

"Frost," he murmurs, repeating to acknowledge. Sensually chilling word for an equally chilling lover. Peter tightens his fingers imperceptibly, taking the breaths away in minute increments. "Does hearing my voice soothe or disturb?" He wouldn't ask the question of a boy, one under him, but for Pierce he allows the respect of an equal lover.

"It's better hearing you," Pierce murmurs. "Your voice is good for this... God." He swallows, parts his lips and settles back. He's so hard now that he's aching, leaving smears of precome against the open fly of his pants and the front of Peter's thigh, and he thinks he'll be spending the night alternating between feeling dizzy and feeling safe.

"Then you shall hear my voice, my lover, whispers against your lips as the darkness overtakes you." Peter's stretched over Pierce's body, thigh caressing Pierce's open fly. He works his fingers into position, stretching the expanse of his lover's throat. "Short, normal breaths. Don't try to take in too much air. Let it dwindle naturally."

He presses down, listening for the reaction, the hitch in breath, the sign Pierce can't take more.

Trust you, Pierce thinks. I trust you. And when the breath comes out of him and he feels his chest tighten, there's no panic. It's the trust and the warmth and Peter's hand on his skin, everything feeling together and connected. His cock jerks under Peter's thigh. Yes.

"A little more now. The edges will darken, but I'm here." Peter constricts his fingers a bit more. There's no rush, no need to take it any faster than a slow, deliberate crawl. He wants it to be good for Pierce, something not to fear. "I have missed this level of connection, the touching," his voice and words part him, part the role he's been slipping in and out of, "taking you down and bringing you back out of the void."

The breaths are coming shallower, enough that -- illusion or no -- Pierce can feel himself going lightheaded. He can feel the void encroaching, and as much as he should feel the warning signs for danger creeping in, what he feels more than anything is safe.

Peter's always wondered if it's his medical training that nurtured the love for this kind of play, for being able to listen to the breaths, know exactly that moment when the lungs want to stop their fight, when the breaths don't want to be pushed up past the fingers constricting the throat. He comes to the edge of it, the breaths in Pierce's lungs almost too shallow, and he releases his fingers for a quick count to 30, long enough to let the air find its way back to Pierce's brain before pressing down again.

"You're beautiful, teetering on the edge, Death kissing you, taking your breath," Peter edges his lips against Pierce's, brush of a kiss, as he shifts his weight against Pierce's body, pressing into the half-hidden cock beneath him.

Beautiful seems like such an irrelevant concept. This feels good -- hot, forbidden, frightening, dizzying, and Pierce wonders if the urge to sink into his lover's hands was what had Sean signalling him to keep going all those years back. How strong would the urge to sink be if the man drawing you down was more than just your lover -- your master, too?

Pierce slides his hand up Peter's back, curls his fingers into Peter's shoulder. It's not a signal to stop, but he wants to get a word in edgewise if he can.

The signal's not so subtle Peter can't take it, and Peter stops the press forward. "Yes, lover," he whispers over lips.

"Want more than this," Pierce whispers. "I want you fucking me while you're taking my breath." One more seductive layer of trust; it sounds perfect.

Peter smiles. It's perfect, that new layer. But there's more of a danger in combining sensations. "Want more. Of course." Peter trusts Pierce to know what he can take. He pushes up. "We'll need to get you out of this leather."

Pierce is more than willing to slide out of his trousers, get the leather kicked off the edge of the bed. He glances around to the nightstand; there's probably lube available, and a quick rummage through the drawer turns up a tube of it. Maybe it's a riskier level of play, distracting his lover while he's supposed to be concentrating on his hands and what he's doing to Pierce's breath. It doesn't concern Pierce nearly as much as the need to have Peter inside him, now, please, not wanting to wait any longer than he has to.

He takes the lube from Pierce's hand and squeezes a bit of it out onto his fingers, working a bit over his cock before he pushes Pierce's legs open and works his fingers into the puckered opening. Peter doesn't plan on doing this without a decent amount of prep. There's no reason to be worrying about the pain factor when he needs to be concentrating on his lover's throat. A few minutes, stretching and twisting his fingers in curls and rakes.

"Want that, too. To be inside you, fucking you raw while your breath ebbs." He leans down, kisses the center of Pierce's chest. "Thank you for the trust."

"Thank you for deserving me," Pierce grins, all bared-teeth. "Oh -- I meant for deserving it, of course. Deserving trust." He lets his thighs fall even further apart, squirming down against Peter's hand. "God. You're going to convince me there's something to this getting-fucked business after all."

Peter laughs, soft, almost melodic. "Do I deserve you?" He's grinning as he looks up Pierce's chest, scissors his fingers as wide as they'll part. "I must've been a very bad boy in my last life."

"Ah, God." Pierce shudders; his hands fall to his sides, clench the sheets. "Terrible," he pants, "dreadful, the worst of lads, I'm sure. Christ, Peter. Come up here and fuck me before I lose my dignity and start begging for it."

"Wouldn't want that, now, would we?" Peter's smirking, just a bit, as he pulls his fingers out of Pierce's body and kneels up. Swift, efficient, and in another moment he's inside his lover, cock pushing past the tight ring of muscle, breaching and nudging forward. "While I think the sound of whimpers from your throat will be of the concerto level, I don't want them from fucking."

"Ah-- God--" Pierce draws his legs up, calves tight around Peter's thighs, and draws his hands down from shoulders to ass, groaning softly at the feel of warm muscle under his hands. "Go on, then," he whispers. "Make me breathless, lover."

Peter just smiles, and even in that there shouldn't be comfort. It's a twisted grin, warped up on itself. He takes his time, settles into an easy rhythm, and only when he's comfortable does Peter move his hand back to Pierce's throat.

"Short breaths," he reminds, fingers constricting, getting them back to where they were when they stopped. "Let the darkness envelop you. I won't let go."

"I wouldn't let you," Pierce whispers, entire body arching up into Peter's touch. It's so good. Better than he thought it would be. It's nothing like the touch that sent him scrambling for a safeword before. He had theory then, no more than that, no sense of trust that came from the pit of his stomach. He's got it now, and his cock's jerking in time with his shallowing breaths. So good. "Yes."

"Trust me. Let yourself go. Stop thinking and just feel." Peter's fingertips are finding their niches, settling into the folds of Pierce's flesh, pressing deeper, pulse points trapped. And then the hand works its magic, wedged tightly against the windpipe, cutting off the pathway to the lungs. "I'm only going to hold you here a moment, then you'll have breath again." He thrusts forward, driving his cock deeper inside Pierce at the precise moment he cuts off all the air, then pulls back and pushes in again, measuring the thrusts against the seconds he can hold his lover without oxygen.

Just feel. He can feel his heart beating against Peter's fingers, his cock jerking between their bodies as Peter drives into him. Just feel, and how long has it been since he's let himself go and felt something as primal as fear and trust, left himself this open? Oh, God, it's so good.

That's it. So good. Peter counts the seconds. Clinically, he knows the numbers, the seconds the brain can be deprived. More importantly, he can read his lover, and the slight decrease in pressure of hands on his back indicate Pierce is sinking into the black void. "There. At that spot, Pierce." He counts slowly to 10 before releasing, allowing his lover a breath.

Pierce probably shouldn't waste his breath in cursing, but he can't help it. "God." He tightens his grip on Peter's back, presses his hips up. "God, so good. More." And it all makes sense: in this place, at this time, thoughts all left aside, there's no such thing as too much.

Peter would laugh, if the moment were right. Will laugh, most likely, when it's all said and done, laugh with delight at his old friend, his new lover, discovering something he'd thought untouchable.

"A bit deeper this time. I'll hold your breath longer, and I'll let you come."

"Yes." Oh, yes. Orgasm isn't secondary, not at all. It sounds so good, outstanding, the idea of coming when his lover's cutting off his breath almost too seductive. "Yes." Fingernails rake down Peter's back, and Pierce growls softly. "Yes."

Orgasm's not incidental. No. It's rather incredible when you're not breathing, when the world's black. It's technically a sexual deviation, medically speaking called asphyxiophilia. Peter remembers learning the term in medical school, thinking it rolled off the tongue so eloquently. He presses his fingers back to Pierce's throat, choking him much more thoroughly this time, and holds steady inside his lover, cock filling the tight passage.

A minute. A long, drawn-out 60-second count. Then he slips his free hand between their bodies, wraps his fingers around Pierce's cock, breathes out in a hush. "Come, brother."

Everything about it's different. Pierce can't draw in that last deep breath before he comes, can't release everything at once as his cock pulses and his heart pounds and the shudders shake him. It's more intense, somehow, feels as if he's drawing everything into himself, and his cock jerks in Peter's hand and streaks white jets over both their stomachs as the world goes utterly, blindly white.

Peter holds his hand still, not pressing more but not releasing, and he starts to move, rapid pulsing thrusts, Pierce's orgasm, the come hot on his fingers, the smell and silence of everything tugging him. A dozen thrusts, firm and harsh, and he's coming, spilling without the barrier of latex, filling his lover and marking him, loosening his fingers only in that last second, giving breath back completely to Pierce.

The first breath after orgasm is impossibly good. It feels as if it's filling Pierce from fingertips to toes, and he's careful not to gasp it in, just to take it in slowly and taste it. It's only after that first breath that he realizes his eyes have been closed; he opens them and grins, humming out a long, soft, contented sound.

"How do you feel?" Peter asks, stretching out along Pierce's body, kissing his throat where fingers had been moments before.

Pierce swallows against Peter's kiss, curls into his lover's side and exhales softly. "Exactly how I'm supposed to," he murmurs, "or so I'd guess."

"I didn't feel the slightest chill of frost," Peter murmurs, "so I'll take that it wasn't a bad experience."

"It was exactly what I needed," Pierce says. "It was good, Peter. Thank you."

"You're welcome, Pierce. You can return the favour one night," Peter says, pauses to kiss his lover's throat again, "when we're back in LA. For now, a brief rest and we probably should return to our boys before the evening grows too late."

Pierce nods against Peter's shoulder. "I suppose they'll be wondering where we've gone," he murmurs. "Wonder if I ought to find my way out of Kronos before I see Jeff."

"Might not be a bad idea. Want I should wash you off? Symbolic shedding and such." Peter's half-smirking, but there's a loving undertone.

"I think I've got a bottle of the makeup remover Bron uses around somewhere." Pierce slips his hand into Peter's, squeezes his fingers hard. "You're welcome to clean me up if you like."

"I'd like that." Peter pulls Pierce's fingers to his lips, kisses each tip. "I want to keep Kronos all for myself."

"He's yours," Pierce says, intentionally keeping his tone light. "I liked the headspace. Haven't roleplayed anything in ages."

"Do you swordfight?" Peter asks. "And it's a nice headspace. You do it as well as Val."

"Mm. Flattery will get you everywhere with me, but then you've noticed that, haven't you?" Pierce grins. Bared teeth probably look incongruous against Kronos's makeup; Pierce doesn't mind it at this point. "As for swordfighting, I've done it for roles, of course, but I'm not current on it. I understand there are places to go in Los Angeles if one wants to keep one's skills sharp. A certain sharpe ex-lover of mine does a good amount of swordplay." He bites the tip of his tongue, the puns almost painfully bad now. "Swordfighting, I should have said."

"I'm going to ignore that obviously atrocious pun, Mr. Brosnan, and still mention that I'd love to take this roleplay to the next level. Swords." Peter's grin is pure Bronze Age Methos, dark and wanting. "Blood. Would you play on the edge with me?"

"Yes." Pierce matches Peter's grin, feral and primitive. "Absolutely. Have you ever had marks cut into your skin?"

"Never by someone I was wanting to do it."

That's an interesting answer, and it garners a raised eyebrow and a bit more attention. "Is there someone I need to kill out there?"

"No," Peter says after a moment, his mind too far away. "No one who needs your time or energy."

"Leaving that aside, then..." Pierce draws a line down the center of Peter's chest with the tip of one finger. "I'd like to cut you. Watch red come up against your skin and smear the taste of it over your lips. If you'd let me."

"Quid pro quo. I took your breath. You take my blood. It's equitable, lover." Peter's happy to put the other away. He'll deal with it later, when it's necessary. Maybe never will come.

Pierce stretches out, arms above his head, legs straightening as he rolls to his back. "Beautiful offer. Can't wait to take advantage of it. For now, though... a shower and a ritual unmasking."

Chapter Text

private journal entry, Peter

It's frightening
I'm not supposed to feel these emotions. I'm the one who thought love an illusion. I definitely don't fall in love. I never have. Not once, in 42 years of existence, have I felt it. Until now. At least I think that's what it is. I have no frame of reference. It's not like I'm wanting to pick out curtains or matching towels. It's a Gordian knot in my chest when I think about him.

It would be so simple to just get on the plane, fly back to London and forget the past few months, console myself in Guy's attention and go back to being old friends.

But I can't. I don't want to. I want to give him my blood and breath. I want to smudge the lines I've being drawing all my life. I'm scared. And that's a new emotion. I'm the one who's always in control of his feelings. Not now. They were on edge before. This weekend has them spiraling in a vortex.

Pierce has a flight to catch at three o'clock this afternoon, and he's already seen Jeff to the airport. These weekends go by so fast; he wouldn't trade them for the world, but damn, he'd have liked more time with his lover.

Well. Mostly. When Pierce got back to the suite, Jeff had been curious how Pierce's costume went over with Peter, and he wasn't fooled for a second when Pierce went quiet. Dear God, the man's observant. Pierce could have tried to say nothing was wrong, but then he'd have had Jeff staring at him all night until he talked. As it was, he let out the minimum details -- breathplay and how fast they had to split once the scene was over -- and Jeff knew he wasn't telling him everything, but he was willing to let it go and spend a restless, sleepless night alternating between talking over imported beer sent up from room service, a modified version of strip poker given that both of them were already naked, and warm, biting kisses on the sitting room floor.

All of that was good, but God, Jeff's starting to be able to talk to Pierce without even needing to open his mouth. Pierce isn't surprised his exasperation doesn't intimidate Jeff in the least, but there are times he wishes it were otherwise.

"Stop trying to keep me from fucking up my life," Pierce had groused at the airport.

"Make me," Jeff shot back, and wrapped an arm around Pierce's neck to pull him into a friendly-looking hug. "Gonna miss you. But December? You'll call me as soon as you find out?"

"I'll call you," Pierce promised, and that was all either of them could say in an airport full of people; Jeff took off for security and Pierce headed back to the hotel.

Which is where he is now, waiting for Peter; he's in the coffee lounge downstairs, double espresso in hand, pretending to read a magazine and trying not to think about all the damned talking with Jeff. How he'd only been half-joking with Stop trying to keep me from fucking up my life, and how strange it feels having a lover who's so protective.

Peter's spent the morning packing. Or rather watching Guy pack. They're flying out this afternoon. Separate flights. Guy to Heathrow, Peter to LAX. He wonders if it's the right thing to do, but it's what he wants. Guy will pack up part of the London house to be moved to LA, and Peter will finish the real estate deal. Nice, modest house. Not too far from Pierce's, but not too close. He needs to tell Pierce, he thinks, and there's a perfect opportunity presenting itself when his lover calls, asks him to join him in the coffee lounge.

To be nervous would be a step up the ladder. Peter finds his way to the lounge in a haze, leaving Guy to finish packing while he has breakfast with his lover. Lover. It's a word insinuating itself into his world. He's managed to look half-decent for this lover of his, oversized sweater hanging on worn jeans, sleeves pushed up his arms, and hair left to dry on its own after the morning shower.

"Morning," he says, smile small and voice soft, as he finds Pierce sipping espresso.

"Morning," Pierce responds. "Do you want some tea?" Peter looks good, and Pierce can remember how Peter's hand felt on his throat. Oh, this is not going to be easy.

"Tea would be nice." Peter nods to the waiter coming up. "Chai, if you will." He leans in and brushes a kiss over Pierce's cheek as he settles into the chair beside him. "Jeff get away alright?"

"Mm-hm, yes, this morning," Pierce says. "He'll have a week free in December before the holidays, so if I can arrange time off I'll be able to see him then. And you? Packed up, the both of you ready to head home?"

"I enjoyed meeting him. Perfect fit for you, it seems. I do regret we couldn't spend more time together. Perhaps at the holidays." Peter settles in, trying to mask the nervousness, tugging at the overlong sleeves that insist on working their way to his wrists. You're assuming a good deal. His chai arrives before he continues and he wraps his hands around the mug, taking more comfort from the too-hot ceramic. "Our flights leave within a half hour of each other this afternoon. Guy's finishing up the suitcases now."

"I am usually in the U.K. for the holidays," Pierce points out. Peter's nervousness has Pierce thinking this might not be so difficult after all; maybe he's thinking the same thing Pierce has been. Too far. Too fast. Mistake. Pierce shrugs, trying not to give away too much of his discomfort, and goes back to sipping at his espresso.

"In the past, I've rarely left London, but life changes, and I hadn't given thought to where I'd be spending the holidays." Peter smiles. "However, if my incentive for spending Christmas in the sun instead of fog is going to be closer at hand in London, then I doubt I'll be in LA." There. He'd said something, admitted to a desire of wanting to be closer. Peter takes a long sip from his mug, talks across its steamy top. "I'm headed to LA from here, though. Guy's going to London."

Shit. Pierce can't cover the expression, either; the look of shock and displeasure gets through before he can stop it. Fuck. He looks at his cup and gets the words out, figuring better now than later: "I think you should go with him."

The smile doesn't disappear. It just slides sideways. "If that's the politically correct way of telling me it's over, try again, Pierce," he says. "You don't get off that easy." A friendship that predates being lovers allows him the brutal honesty. And there's the added factor that Peter's not ready to call it quits.

"Try again," Pierce says quietly. "If you insist, Peter. I think what we've been doing is a mistake. I think..." He stares off into the center of the room, runs his fingertips over the rim of his cup. "I think it was very easy to get carried away with each other, past the edges of reason. You have a life, and a slave, in London. I've got more travel than I know what to do with, not the least of which is going wherever Jeff happens to be at any given moment, usually with little to no notice, whenever he has time free. This is an easy place to have paths diverge. I'm ready to..." Christ, fuck, and he doesn't want to be having this conversation. "It's been incredible," he says, talking to his espresso again, "but yes, this is my way of saying I want it to be over."

"You should learn to lie better," Peter says, voice flat. "Or at least talk to me and not the espresso." He sets the mug down on the small table in front of them. "What has happened between us is not a mistake. It's a lot of things. Whirlwind. Passionate. Frightening. But the last thing it is, old friend, is a mistake." Pierce may leave, but it's not going to be without a fight on Peter's part. He's not willing to give up something he's never had before, something he didn't realize he even wanted until a few weeks ago.

"I know you travel. I know you need to be where Jeff is. I'm not asking you to set up housekeeping, Pierce. Yes, I have a slave. And, yes, I have a home in London. It doesn't mean my life revolves solely around those two facets."

Pierce takes off his glasses and rubs at his eyes. "I don't know how to do this," he mutters. He has an insane moment of nostalgia for Sean, of all people; Sean who didn't say a word when this conversation happened, and who didn't try to stop Pierce from walking out. He shakes it off and is grateful this isn't like the end of things with Aidan, that neither of them's started shouting yet and the cups are all still in one piece. He gets his glasses back on and looks up at Peter; eye contact has never been something he's avoided, damn it. Just say it again, and get up, and go.

"I am scared. More than I expected to be." What the hell, Brosnan; that is not what you spent the last half-hour rehearsing. "It's too much. Too fast. I don't want to be in your way. I don't want to prevent you from doing what you want to do, what you need to do, from living up to commitments you've already made."

You self-righteous, arrogant son of a bitch. Peter manages to temper the words a bit before they get out of his mouth. He's slipping his voice lower, the pitch just this side of irritation. "How dare you think you're in the way. How presumptuous to think you're preventing me from doing what I want." He would slide off his chair, onto his knees, but he thinks the gesture a bit much, even given the circumstances and location.

Just be honest. "I'm scared to death, Pierce. I've never felt like this about anyone. Never wanted to give another man what I want to give you." He does dare a touch, a brush of hand on Pierce's knee. "You're not hindering my life. You're enriching it. I'd hoped it was the same for you."

Wincing, Pierce sets his teeth together, forces himself not to look away, even drops his hand to Peter's and squeezes. "You overwhelm me," he says. "I didn't expect this. It's coming out of nowhere and I have no idea where to put you."

Peter laughs, small wry chuckle. "In your bed. Against the wall. Tied to the chair with yards of yarn." He twines his fingers with Pierce's. "You overwhelm me, too, you bastard. I don't know what love is, but if it's a Gordian knot when I think about you, then I must be in love."

Pierce squeezes Peter's fingers hard. "You bastard. You fucking, fucking bastard." He's almost laughing while he says it, but it's a weary-sounding laugh. "My God, that's completely unfair."

"All's fair in love and war." Peter smirks. "And I'm not giving you up that easily."

"Well, God knows the last time I thought I'd told someone it was over it didn't go so well." On his doorstep in the rain; no, that's an understatement of near-epic proportions. "I suppose I'm going to have to give in." Which makes his shoulders tense and his chest twist, but it's the right answer. And he knows it. Knows it enough that his grin grows teeth and he gives the other half of the truth, the part that had him so convinced it was time to bolt in the first place. "I hope you're not expecting a declaration -- flowers and skywriting are not my forte -- but I do know what falling in love looks like, Peter, and I'm there."

"I'll settle for a sweater and negotiation rights on bloodplay." Peter's smirk has morphed back into a solid grin. He breathes out, sigh of relief. "And you can teach me about this phenomenon called love."

"I'm working on the first. The second's yours. I'll even let you help pick out my cat when I go home. Guy's not allergic, is he?" Pierce is grateful they're in the coffee lounge here at the castle; anywhere else and he wouldn't be able to turn in his chair, curve a hand around the line of his lover's jaw and lean in close. "It makes sense, you know, for a marathon runner to be disinclined to let his lover sprint. Waste of energy. Too early in the race for that. I'm willing to be scared for you."

Peter leans into the touch, lets Pierce caress his cheek. "You're getting a cat? And, no, Guy's not allergic." He smiles. "Neither am I, thank you for asking."

"All good supervillains have a cat," Pierce teases. "I'm tired of being lonely." And the thought's sinking in: I've fallen in love again. And the world hasn't stopped turning. Imagine that. "You feel good," he murmurs. "What are the chances I could get the airline to put you on my flight home?"

"You're a supervillain now?" Peter licks his lips. "On that flight home, I'll tell you my spy fantasy, Mr. Brosnan."

"Planning to kill me with roleplay, Mr. Wingfield?" Pierce asks. And that flash of tongue over lips is just a little too tempting. He leans in, has his own tongue trace the same path over chai-flavored lips.

"Of course, sir. Can you think of a better way to die?" Peter leans forward, pressing into the swipe of tongue, turning it into a full kiss, blending espresso into the taste of Pierce and chai and needs finally expressed.

Pierce can't think at all now, and that means he can't overthink, either. He kisses Peter back, sliding his fingers into still-damp hair and letting the last shreds of tension and nervousness and fear slip away.

He's not rushing it, not slipping away. The rest of his life can wait, Peter thinks, until his lover's finished with him.

private journal entry, Pierce

I don't know what it was. No one thing, surely. There was no single moment, nothing I can point to and say before that, I wasn't in love, and after that, I was. I can remember how it felt becoming more and more certain that the twist in my chest was this and not heartburn or anxiety, but if there was a turning point, I don't know when we reached it.

I'm scared. Terrified, in fact, and I'm not even certain what of. Am I afraid he'll leave me? No, I think I could brace myself for that; it may, in fact, be a while before I'm not braced for that. Afraid we're going to hurt each other, more like; I can't remember the last time I fell in love that it didn't end with hurting, and a great deal of it.

Sometimes Peter reminds me of Robert. For that matter, so does Jeff. Neither one of them are thrown by much of anything, and neither one of them lets me get away with a damned thing. At the risk of giving away more emotion than I ought to at this stage, that's part of what I love about being with both of them. I need that. It's so easy to fool one's self when one doesn't want to believe certain things are true; having lovers who will tell you don't be a fucking idiot can be vital. Having lovers who curse you for being a bastard with a grin on their face that says they honestly don't mind it...

I can't make promises. I don't think there's a single promise I could make that I wouldn't be afraid of breaking. But I can tell Jeff how much I'll miss him, how glad I'll be to see him the next time we manage it. I can force my way through fear and tell Peter that as strange and unexpected as it is to look at an old friend and see a man I love, I want to stay here, and I don't want to lose the opportunity in front of me.

Chapter Text

Peter's gone home for the afternoon, and Pierce digs his phone out of his pocket almost as soon as his car's out of the driveway. He dials up Lin's number, and barely waits for her greeting before he's talking. "You're going to kill me. Someone should kill me, and I think it had better be you. I'm back from Romania, by the way. How are you?"

"What?" Lin blinks, shifting the phone to her other ear and giving Leon a nudge off the dining table. "Pierce? Hey, welcome home. Why am I killing you?"

Pierce groans. Yes, he's being overly dramatic, but he's gay and he's angsting on his best friend's shoulder, so surely special dispensations can be made. "I came very damned close to walking out on Peter over Halloween because I thought he might leave me first. I'm an idiot. Might I suggest poison? Or perhaps beheading. Defenestration?"

"What?" Lin says again, and then she scowls at herself and tries, "You're kidding, right?" then shakes her head, turning to get a coffee cup. "No, of course you're not kidding, you wouldn't kid about that, and what's defenestration anyway? Don't answer that. But you said you came close, which means you didn't actually do it, which means the execution is off. For now at least. Does he know you almost did?"

"Ah. Yes." Pierce drops himself onto his couch and flings his arm over his eyes. "I got as far as the Maybe you should stay in London part before he told me I was being an idiot."

"Well, good for him," Lin says as she pours coffee. This is definitely a need-more-coffee conversation. "I like this guy already. So what's the problem -- are you afraid you haven't learned your lesson and you'll try it again, and maybe he'll let you?"

"I think the real problem is that I'm starting to realize just how deep this thing with him is going," Pierce mumbles. "I never expected that. I probably should have, lately at least. It's not as though it's been sneaking up on me. We've been at this more than a month. Christ, I knitted the man a scarf." Pierce groans.

Lin can't help laughing at that. "Oh, honey," she says, shaking her head. "You're doomed. Y'know booties are next."

Still grinning, she takes her coffee back to the table, which Leon has reclaimed. She nudges him off it again, knowing it's a losing battle but feeling obligated to try. "So why is it a problem?" she asks. "I mean I know you've not had the best luck with relationships, but this one is different in a lot of ways, right?"

"It's different, yes," Pierce says quietly. "It's nowhere near as straightforward as -- well, as things are with Jeff, for instance. There's no roles, nothing to fall back on -- it's just us."

"And maybe that's a good thing," Lin says quietly. "And maybe in its own way it's more straightforward when there aren't any roles?"

"Is it? Maybe. I hadn't thought of that." Pierce rubs his fingers over his cheek. "What I want is so confused, so tangled, it's hard to make sense of it sometimes. Jeff's different. What I want with him tends to fit into easier definitions. I wonder if what's happening with Peter is more like traditional dating." The thought's almost horrifying. "Do you suppose normal people are this confused all the time?"

Lin chuckles. "'Normal people,'" she says. "What's normal? But are you sure it's so complicated, Pierce?" she asks, curling one foot up under herself. "I mean, a lot of the time it's simpler than people want to make out. You like him. Maybe more than like. You want to spend time with him. A lot of time. So you're both tops -- people do it all the time, get together with someone whose kinks match instead of complementing. What's the complex part? That's not a rhetorical question, by the way."

"The unfamiliarity?" Pierce tries. "It's not a very good excuse, is it?"

"Not for leaving, no," Lin says. "It's a pretty good reason to feel like things are complex, though, I think." She picks up a pen and without uncapping it she begins to doodle imaginary drawings on the tablecloth. "I mean, if you don't recognize something, how do you know whether it's simple or not?"

"I've no earthly idea," Pierce admits. "It's ridiculous, isn't it, getting to be past fifty and still feeling as if I've got no idea what to do in what ought to be a normal relationship?"

Laughing, Lin shakes her head. "Not at all," she says. "Have you ever had a 'normal' relationship?"

"What's normal?" Pierce deadpans. "No submission, no domination, monogamy? Aidan might count, maybe, but most of that was long-distance, so maybe not."

"You and Peter are monogamous?" Lin blurts, startled. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," she adds quickly, "but listen to yourself -- it's not ridiculous that you don't know how to do this if you've never done it before."

"Er, no, we're not," Pierce says quickly. "I'm still seeing Jeff, and he still has a slave. I was with Aidan, though... it's not that unusual for me. More unusual than monogamy is relationships without D/s tones." Pierce ends up coughing, more than a little embarrassed. "I'm not even explaining myself very well. No wonder I'm confused."

"Have you talked with Peter about any of this?" Lin asks.

"We do try." Pierce sighs. "It's not all a stab in the dark. He's moving to Los Angeles, and I want him there. We've agreed not to get too far ahead of ourselves."

"There. Here?" Lin asks. "I mean, he's moving here and you want him here, right? Wait." She frowns. "Where are you? Back from Romania but -- I'm sorry babe," she says with a chuckle. "Bear with me, I've not been up very long." She glances at the clock and winces a little. Long past when she should've been up.

"He's moving here and I want him here, yes," Pierce says, chuckling just a little. "I'm sorry. I should have given you a little more warning before unloading on you this way. Your fallen knight's not surprised he's overwhelming his lady a bit."

"My fallen knight sounds a little overwhelmed himself," Lin says with a smile, pushing a lock of hair back from her face. "But you also sound like you're committed to going forward instead of pulling some disappearing act on him, and if he's moving here then I'd say the same's true of him, so that's all good."

She shifts a little in her chair and sips her coffee, wishing she hadn't had those half dozen cigarettes the night before. Or the scotch.

"So when's he moving?"

"He's already here, more or less. He's got his slave packing up some of the essentials." Pierce rubs at his cheek again. "I keep thinking things are going so quickly, but a month and a half -- what's the right timing on this?"

Maybe I should get a slave, Lin thinks, glancing around at the clutter. "I don't know, babe," she says. "Does it feel right?"

"It feels perfect." Pierce frowns. "Which is very unsettling; nothing's perfect. But I don't have any alarms going off, either."

"Imperfect doesn't always mean there should be alarms going off," Lin says. "You'll find the imperfections and they'll probably be things you can work through or deal with. You're just still in the best-behavior part, both of you, I'm guessing," she goes on. "Give it a few months and you'll start figuring out what bugs you about him --and him you."

"Oh, nothing's going to bug him about me. I should take it back. Nothing's perfect except me." Pierce is grinning like mad, but he also knows he's not going to get away with that.

Lin laughs, perhaps a little louder and longer than is absolutely necessary, and finally, still chuckling says, "Ah, delusions... where would any relationship be without them?"

Pierce wishes his pout were visible over the phone. "That, my lady, is why we cling so hard to our delusions."

The pout is plenty apparent in his voice, however, and Lin laughs again. "Yeah, that, plus the sheer entertainment value," she says. "Especially for our friends."

"True enough." Pierce's smile is softer, more genuine this time, and he sighs. "Thank you for indulging my panic. I don't know what's so alarming about finding one's self in relationships, really. Everyone does it. It shouldn't be so terrifying."

"Should, shouldn't," Lin says, waving her hand as if at a gnat. "Useless. They are, it is. You're putting a whole lot of happiness into something that someone else has control over too. 'Course so are they," she says with a tilt of her head.

Breakthrough. Pierce blinks. "I hadn't thought of it like that," he says slowly, and I wonder if that's really been any easier for Peter than it has been for me. "That might explain a lot."

"You're kidding," Lin says, blinking. "A control freak like you and you've never thought about it? God, that's all I can think about when I'm with someone new, that it's not all up to me anymore. They can take away something that I want and there'd be nothing I could do about it."

She winces at herself then. "Shit. Uh -- that didn't really come out right," she says. "It was s'posed to be something reassuring about how everything's going to be roses for you and Peter because you're both -- you know. Um. Big...cushy...control freaks in love. Or something."

"Actually, I like the first try better," Pierce says softly. "More honest. Cuts more to the heart of what's so bloody terrifying." He pauses, rubbing his fingertips across his jawline. "And I'm sorry things haven't gone well for you lately," he says quietly. "If I could do anything for you, fix anything for you, you know I'd move the heavens for it."

"I know," Lin says softly. "I know, honey. But there's nothing to be done, and anyway, I'm not unhappy. I've got Craig and Tom," and half a dozen boys at Nero's, "and you, and Leon, and my girlfriends. It's all good." She chuckles. "No one to scare the control freak in me."

"Hmm. A few months down the way I might be able to argue that it's not so bad having one's inner -- or in my case, not so inner -- control freak scared. But not yet." Pierce chuckles. "Not just yet."

Chapter Text

"We have to stop meeting like this," Pierce says, grinning up at Sean as Sean slips into the seat across from him. "How are you, Sean?"

"I'm good," Sean says. He gestures for a waiter, who scurries over with a menu and takes Sean's drink order. It seems strange having waiters scurry in a place that's a just-above-fast-food pizza joint, but apparently the waiter's caught on to the celebrity factor. Hopefully he's not neglecting the rest of his section; Pierce isn't that good a tipper. "How are you?"

"Shall I be more effusive or simply see your 'good' and raise you a 'great'?" Pierce asks. If he were a cartoon character, there'd be a visible twinkle in his eye.

"'Great' is encouraging," Sean says. "What's great in your life right now?"

"The premiere, for one. Very excited about the new movie. I saw Jeff twice last month." Pierce clears his throat and looks at the menu, pretending to get lost in the calzones section. "Peter's moved to LA."

The flicker that runs over Sean's features probably wouldn't be noticeable to anyone but Pierce. He covers it fast, too, grinning. "That all sounds excellent, Pierce. I'm happy for you."


Sean gives him a blank look. "And what?"

"That was my question."

"Then I don't think I understand."

"You're happy for me and you're something else." Pierce arches an eyebrow. "What?"

Sean blinks a few times, then shakes it off. "Damn. I always forget how bloody observant you are."

"Why, thank you," Pierce says, flashing a grin that shows all his teeth.

Sean rolls his eyes. "That wasn't precisely meant as a compliment..."

"Oh. Well, carry on, then."

"About the something else," Sean says. "Oh, where to start," he murmurs. "I had a talk with Harry Sinclair earlier this week--" Now it's Sean's turn to frown; the look on Pierce's face could easily be captioned oh, fuck. "What the hell's that look for?"

"Sean, about Harry. I've meant to talk to you about that..."

"What about it?" Sean asks.

The even tone of Sean's voice makes Pierce wince; it's so hard to read Sean when he's doing that, playing neutral. "I saw him over Halloween weekend."

"Did you?"

Still nothing for Pierce to get a read on; he's mentally strangling Sean as he continues. "Harry and I have been corresponding on and off for nearly a year now," Pierce says quietly. "He had a need to go to his knees, and I had no reason not to put him there. It's something I might do for him again if he wanted it. If you didn't have any objections."

"He told me."

Pierce exhales; Sean might be a little terse now, but he doesn't appear livid. "He told you?"

"The first time we talked after Halloween. Pierce..." Sean sighs. "Why him? Why Harry?" and the unspoken why Viggo? couldn't be more obvious it if were glued onto Sean's forehead.

"I wish the honest answer sounded better," Pierce says. "Because I could, Sean. Because he offered, and because I wanted to." He winces. "It just sounds so bad put that way."

"It could be worse."


"It could be because I knew it would hurt you."

The wince intensifies, then slides off, replaced with a careful blank look. "Is that what you thought?"

"Not this time," Sean murmurs.

"I haven't done something for those reasons since the last month we were together," Pierce says quietly. "I'll grant you that hurting you or not hurting you isn't a primary concern for me. It is for Harry, though."

"I know," Sean says, "that's why he told me about it. And why it was early on." He gives Pierce a curious look. "Were you going to tell me?"

"I was, yes, but it wasn't going to be my opening salvo in this conversation. God, I don't even remember where we were when this came up."

"I do." Sean shifts in his seat, clears his throat. "I brought up Harry because you mentioned Peter moving to LA and I was happy for you."

"And something else," Pierce fills in, relaxing somewhat. "What's the something else?"

"I'm not used to you having lovers," Sean says. "That's all it is, Pierce. It's taking some getting used to."

"Not used to--" Pierce frowns. "Sean, I've had lovers since we split." He makes a face. "Well, I've had one lover and a good number of one night stands." He thinks about it a little more and amends, "One and a half lovers, maybe," very quietly.

Sean slides his hand across the table, runs his fingers over the back of Pierce's wrist. "Pierce..."

"No, it's all right. I'm sorry." Pierce sits back, draws his wrist out of Sean's reach. "I'm not sure I want to talk about it any more than you do, and that's one topic that has been on ice for the last several months." He shrugs. "As for the rest... I had my moments when it came to you, you know. But that was so long ago -- it seems like one hell of a double standard having you wince when I mention the other men in my life."

"Ouch. Two points," Sean says, rubbing at the center of his chest with a theatrical wince all over his features. "You're right; it's a double standard. I'm not certain what to do about it other than just hear more from you. Get used to the idea over time. I don't want you pining over me any more than I'd want to pine over you--"

"--God forbid," Pierce mutters.

"--so tell me about them. How was it seeing Jeff this month?"

"Good," Pierce answers, smiling, "very, very good indeed. I flew to Buffalo to see him. We spent about a week together." He shifts his shoulders, pauses as the waiter comes by and asks if they're ready to order. Sean's barely looked at the menu, but that doesn't matter; Pierce knows his tastes and is confident enough that they haven't changed in the last few years that he simply orders for both of them, and while Sean opens his mouth to protest, he ends up going silent and shaking his head instead. Pierce grins across the table at him. "Did I miss anything? I ordered nearly every meat they have on the menu."

"No, it's only that it's interesting, this -- us." Sean makes a vague gesture and sits back. "That in some respects it feels as if no time's passed at all and we're still friends, and in others it feels as if you and I were a lifetime ago, and other selves besides."

"I feel that way, too," Pierce admits, taking a sip of his iced tea and rubbing a hand over his cheek. "When I see you these days... I never know whether I want to fuck you into a wall or be glad that part of our relationship's over, to be honest."

"Christ," Sean sputters, having just finished a mouthful of beer. "I go back and forth on that myself, but right at the moment I'm thinking that's territory you and I need to stay well away from. Too much up in the air, you've got a new lover just moved to LA, the complications are entirely too much to deal with."

"Agreed," Pierce says. "By the end of things, you know, I wasn't sure I'd miss anything, even this. The part where we can go out for a pizza and talk. I'm enjoying it, though."

"So am I," Sean agrees. "It is awkward, or it gets that way sometimes, but it's worthwhile, I think."

"Good." Pierce nods. "I think so, too." He pauses. "Where were we?"

"You were going to tell me about Jeff and I was going to suck it up and suffer through the double-standard wincing."

Pierce laughs, a real laugh, one of the first he's had with Sean in quite some time. "Is that where we were?"

"Something along those lines."

"All right..."

And for a while it's easy, Pierce telling Sean about his week with Jeff in Buffalo, the plane trip home and the realization that he was going to miss Jeff, that he'd been walking along that line for a while and it was only when he had some time alone to reflect on it that he realized how far it was going. How pleased he'd been when Jeff emailed to say he could make the Romania trip and how he'd seen little of anyone but Jeff or anything but the inside of their suite for the first two days. Talking about Jeff is amazingly easy, Pierce realizes, and if the look on his face gives away more than he really should be giving away, it almost doesn't matter.

"Bron thinks I'm head over heels, or maybe arse over teakettle is a better way of putting it given how my relationships usually go," Pierce says. "He's been smug lately. I had him do makeup for my costume on Sunday night."

"We never actually got to the party," Sean says, grinning down at the table before looking up at Pierce. "We did mean to. Had costumes and swords and everything. What did you go as?"


Sean frowns. "Time...?"

"No, it's... he's a character from Peter's show," Pierce says, feeling more than a bit foolish. Which is ridiculous, really; if there's anyone who'd know about Pierce's penchant for roleplay...

"Really." The look on Sean's face is dangerously close to the one Bron had when he was doing Pierce's makeup, and Pierce files that detail away in case he needs Sean to shut up fast; getting compared to Bron will not go over well, so it's a last-resort thought. "How did Peter take it?"

"He liked it," Pierce says. Oh, and he's getting that grin over his face again, the one that speaks of taking out whole flocks of canaries. "We had some talk of knifeplay and swordplay and ended up pushing other limits entirely. I, ah. Um." He coughs. "Is that too much information...?"

"Probably, but now you have me curious." Sean grins. "What limits?"

"Breathplay," Pierce mumbles, immediately going back to his beer.

"You? Really?" Sean's eyes go wide, and he seems to be hunting for more words, but in the end he has to settle for an exhale and a shake of his head. "Never thought I'd hear something like that from you."

"I didn't, either."

"Were you topping or bottoming for it?"


"It's a fair question!"

"Christ," Pierce mutters, wishing he could bang his head on the table; nothing worse than a nosy ex-lover. "Bottoming."

"Wow." Sean slips his tongue over his lips, shaking his head all over again. "No, I think that's all I've got for you. Wow."

"Wow, yes," Pierce mumbles, and then, completing the humiliation of actually dropping his guard, "Sean, I really like him."

"If you're letting him choke you, I've no doubt."

"No, I mean..." Pierce puts both hands up, makes a gesture that could mean I'm looking for the right expression or here's my impression of a flock of birds flying away. "I mean, he moved here. To Los Angeles. He's still got a home in London and he's still got a full-time slave, but he's here. He's getting the last details of his real estate worked out while Guy takes care of packing things overseas. He's..." I'm falling so hard for him. I've already fallen. And he can't say it, can barely even think the words I love you one after another. "He'll be here. In reach. It's taking all I've got not to take the next shitty film that comes across my desk that happens to film in Siberia."

"If Siberia's anything like the Ukraine, trust me, turn it down unless you think you're going to win an Oscar for it," Sean says dryly. "Is it so bad having a lover this close?" he asks, a little more gently.

"It's different," Pierce murmurs. "It's not what I'm accustomed to anymore. I barely had a few months with Aidan before he was in Chicago and I was in New York and wherever I happened to be on location, and we never talked about him moving closer." Screamed, maybe, but never talked. "And then there's been Jeff this last half a year, and I'd take more with him in a heartbeat if I could have it--" there's something you didn't mean to say out loud, Christ, Brosnan, whatever happened to your poker face? "--but he's still not here."

"You're scared."

"I'm fucking scared to death," Pierce agrees as their pizza arrives. He glances up at the waiter, who's already trying to offer them more, wondering if they need refills or forks or if Sean wants another beer. Pierce waves him off, politely but firmly, and sits back as Sean slides slices onto plates for both of them. "It's all happening rather fast."

"You were dating him two months ago, and it wasn't new then," Sean points out. "What's fast, Pierce? You're talking to the wrong man about it."

Pierce raises an eyebrow. "That's probably true," he agrees, waiting for Sean to shake the appropriate amount of pepper onto his pizza before finally pulling it close and blowing on the cheese, cooling it off some. "It feels right," he admits. "It just isn't what I expected."

"Welcome to life, Mr. Brosnan. Unpredictable, untamable, the least of what you expect."

Pierce takes a bite of pizza, regretting it immediately -- fuck, too hot -- and then glances at it, blinking for a moment as he realizes what's just happened. I'm not the only one who remembers old habits. But if Sean hasn't noticed, and he doesn't seem to have, then there's no way Pierce is going to draw attention to it. He puts his pizza down and takes another drink of tea. "I'm not objecting to it," he says. "Just making an observation."

"Would you like a bit of advice?" Sean asks.


"Stop observing and just fucking feel. What's the worst that can happen?"

"I could end up with Peter sitting across from me at a pizza joint in seven years with one or the other of us wincing at hearing about the other's lovers," Pierce says, and immediately wishes he could take it back.

But Sean just shrugs and cuts into his pizza with a knife and fork, avoiding the trauma of having too-hot mozzarella stuck to the roof of his mouth. "It doesn't seem to be killing either of us," he says.

"Well, it's early in the afternoon yet," Pierce says. "You never know."

Chapter Text

Peter walks into the study. Familiar now, the hum of the computer, the angle of the desk, Pierce's back to him. He leans over his lover's shoulder, kisses his temple. "Close on the house tomorrow morning," he says quietly. "Guy's having some things shipped over from London, mostly personal things, but I need the basics."

He pauses. "Would it cross too many lines to ask you to go furniture shopping with me this afternoon?"

Pierce leans back into Peter's touch, closes his eyes and indulges in a few seconds of warmth, letting himself have the pleasure without second-guessing it.

"I think we can weather a bit of line-crossing," Pierce says. "Besides, you don't have a truck yet. If you're buying furniture, we ought to take mine."

"There's something incongruous about you owning a truck." There are a lot of things about his lover Peter's still wrapping his brain around. With unbridled enthusiasm. He slides his hands down Pierce's arms, teasing fingers where fabric meets flesh.

"But who am I to complain when a sexy lad offers up himself and said vehicle for my indulgence? I was thinking Pier One, a couple of the retro shops, and I'll throw in a cantina dinner."

"I think we can survive a day like that," Pierce agrees. He catches one of Peter's hands, lifts the palm to his mouth and bites at the swell of flesh just under his thumb, fingertips running over the back of Peter's hand in the meantime.

"Ahh. Oooh. Nice." Peter hisses the words in short breaths. "Did I mention needing you to test mattresses?"

Pierce laughs, licking his way up Peter's palm. "Is that what you're really needing me for," he teases, looking up. "How about kitchen tables? The backs of couches?"

"Practicing to make the cat feel at home, Pierce." Peter nibbles at the side of Pierce's throat. "Table. Couches. Beds. Anywhere I can get you. Here even."

"But then I'd get keyprints on my ass," Pierce grins. He stands up and turns around, sliding his hands into his pockets. "Or you would. Shopping now, sex as a reward? Or sex as incentive, shopping later?"

"I'm not even going to ask what you think I was going to do that would put your arse on the keyboard," Peter says, enunciating each word deliberately. He returns the grin with a tongue-swiping one. "I've always been partial to withholding sex as incentive so I think shopping first might be more appropriate."

"It'll keep us motivated to test things like mattresses and tabletops," Pierce agrees. He can't resist, doesn't have to resist an urge to press in close, nip and lick his way up the side of Peter's throat. He's my lover. I'm allowed.

Peter's hands go around his lover's waist. Lover. Mine. The concepts are easier by the minute. He doesn't have to hold back, be afraid of not being wanted. He cranes his head, exposing his throat to Pierce's talented mouth. His. Ours. "Yes, tables. Need long one. Sturdy. Not glass."

"Cherrywood?" Pierce suggests, lips still moving over Peter's throat. He brings his hand up, strokes the backs of his fingers across the expanse of skin. "Something strong enough to hold up through punishment."

"Hmmm, yes, punishment. Needs to hold up for that." Peter sucks in a breath at the touch of fingers. Unexpected. On the edge of pleasant.

"You sound distracted, Mr. Wingfield," Pierce whispers. "Are you quite certain you don't want to take a detour before our outing?" Another light brush of fingers against throat, another light nibble at the side of Peter's neck.

"Distracted." Neither question nor statement. Peter's thoroughly distracted. By the fingers on his throat. The voice in his head. The man whispering. "No one's ever touched me like you do, Mr. Brosnan." He'd come down to get his lover for an outing, an afternoon lark, not this. "It's exhilarating and disconcerting, all in the same breath."

"I like disconcerting you," Pierce murmurs. Now it's a light nuzzle of Peter's ear, his fingertips sliding down from jawline to collar. "And when you've got your new furniture picked out, we can either break some of it in or..." His palm slides over Peter's throat, hand covering lover's skin. "Or any number of things."

"Break it in. Number of things. I like those notions." Peter shakes his head, slow shift of senses, back to reality, trying not to take any more notice of the hand on his throat than necessary. "Pierce, please." The attempt's failing. "Not going to get out of the house if you continue."

"Is my lover hinting that I could seduce him?" Pierce asks. His thumb runs down the side of Peter's neck, and he takes one step that puts him behind Peter, his other arm wrapping around Peter's waist. "Do you think I'd like to seduce you?"

"I think" with great difficulty at the moment "you like to torment me with the intricacies of seduction." Peter relaxes, letting Pierce's arm wrap and almost support him. Trust.

Love. It's startling how the feel of his lover relaxing in his arms does so much to remind Pierce of why he's been falling in love with this man. Pierce closes his eyes and kisses the back of Peter's neck, fingers flexing deliberately. Could I do this to you? he wonders. It's one thing to trust you enough to let you do it; it's something else to give it back. "We both enjoy a bit of torment now and then," Pierce says.

"Want things I can't put words to," Peter whispers, tilting his head so his throat's pushed into Pierce's touch instead of away. "This. More." Could I let you do it? Do I trust myself enough to give that to you? To put you in control. Peter thinks he should stop it, step away from the flame. After all, there's shopping to be done. But he's already yielded control of the moment. To a touch. A kiss. A lover wrapping him tight in emotions he doesn't understand.

Pierce tightens his arm around Peter's waist. "Yes," he murmurs, "want to give more." Not just in terms of the hand on Peter's neck, either. He kisses the soft spot just under Peter's ear. "We'll both be insane by the end of the shopping trip if we go out this way."

Peter whimpers at that last kiss, the words. "Then be a good lad and fuck me, Pierce," he says, slight desperation in his voice, "and then we'll go test tables."

The desperation makes up for the good lad remark; Pierce sinks his teeth into Peter's neck all the same, though it's a lighter bite than he'd give a man with a fetish for pain. "Shall I show you what would've left key marks on your bum?" he grins. "Maybe bed would be better..."

"Bed would be ideal, lover." Peter manages the words through terse smile, the bite edging his pain barrier nicely. Another thing to let you work on, Mr. Brosnan. "Mark my bum some other way."

"Don't tease." Pierce grins and lets Peter go, slipping his hand into Peter's and leading him off to the bedroom. "Not that you wouldn't look gorgeous in bruises, of course. It's only that I wouldn't ask for it."

"Was I teasing?" The delivery's deadpan, not betraying anything one side of the argument or the other. The walk to the bedroom's casual, with Peter only once stopping them in the hall for a quick kiss, exposition on what's unsaid. "I don't mind bruises, Pierce, in the passion of the play."

"You make me want to go after things without a game plan," Pierce says, at the side of the bed now, bending over to get out of socks and shoes before climbing up and stretching out across the mattress. "It's unfamiliar. I keep thinking it'll get us both in trouble."

"Life is supposed to have a plan, isn't it?" Peter toes out of his loafers and starts unbuttoning his jeans. "Would it be so terribly wrong to go with the moment, Pierce? I think we'd survive it."

"We have so far." Pierce unbuttons his shirt, slips out of it and tosses it over the edge of the bed. "If we get to a point where it's my hand on your throat instead of yours on mine, though, I want to talk about it first."

Jeans skimmed down his legs and in a heap on the floor, Peter's standing in boxers and sweater. He grins, wry and wistful. "Yeah, we probably should talk at that point." He pushes the boxers down. "Never been on the receiving end. Never yielded control like that."

"Oh, stop, stop right there," Pierce says, launching himself off the bed and grabbing at Peter's sweater before he can get it off. "Come to bed like this," he grins.

Peter laughs, kneeling down on the bed, pulled into Pierce's clutches. "Did I just tap into a major kink, Mr. Brosnan?" He knows the tone's shifting, but they'll come back to the other, eventually.

"Sort of," Pierce says, angling Peter onto his back while trying not to look too mortified about having a kink for his lover in cotton cables. "Color me shallow," he says, crawling down the bed and pushing the lower edge of Peter's sweater up, past his hips and over his stomach, "or obsessive," and he rubs his face and the afternoon stubble across Peter's stomach, "but I love the look of you this way." And if thoughts of more serious topics have fallen away somewhat, it doesn't matter; there's time. They don't have to rush things.

"Swaddle me in yarn and shag me senseless, then, luv," Peter says, laughing as Pierce's stubble tickles. "And I'll remember to walk 'round the house in just sweaters from now on. Some of them are stretched to a decent length."

"This is decent," Pierce protests, tongue dipping into Peter's navel. "More than decent." He bites his way down the bit of flesh between navel and groin, and his tongue sweeps down the length of Peter's cock.

"Of course it is," Peter agrees, hands sliding up into Pierce's hair, tugging gently and then settling. "Perfectly decent. And a little lower would be even better."

"Would it?" Pierce moves sideways instead, licking down the crease of Peter's thigh and pressing his legs apart wider. "How much lower?" His tongue slides over the spot just behind Peter's balls, a teasing, tickling little flick.

Peter's fingers tangle in Pierce's hair, instinctive reaction rather than actual control. "Right there is an excellent place to start." His voice is terse, laced with need and desire, and he opens himself wider to his lover.

"Mm." Pierce slides his tongue over Peter's sac, teasing more as he nips at the base of Peter's cock. His strokes are long, steady, thoroughly wetting the flesh until his tongue glides over it easily, warm and soft and easy. He's not even paying attention to Peter's cock at this point; he'll get there when he gets there. Or when Peter gets tired of the tease and demands something more specific. No rush.

Peter's not complaining. Or, more to the point, his cock isn't. Not yet. Give it another couple minutes.

Given the extra leeway, Pierce presses Peter's knees up slightly and moves lower instead of higher, that patch of skin behind Peter's balls again and then lower still, and how long has it been since he's given this to someone? The almost shocking intimacy of his tongue pressing into a lover's body, wriggling against the pucker and forcing its way in?

His body stills. It's been forever since someone, oh, yes, that particular intimacy. And never a lover. "Yes," Peter whispers, almost afraid to break the silence.

Pierce feels as if his entire body's flushing red. He pulls away, leaving a kiss on Peter's thigh as he goes. "Roll over," he murmurs, "I'm not done yet, but roll over," and he slips off the bed to get out of his jeans and find the lube.

"I would hope not." Peter smirks, but rolls over obediently. He stretches out on the covers, spreading his legs and working his arms under the pillow.

Naked now, lube in hand, Pierce climbs back on the bed and stretches out between Peter's legs, sliding a hand from knee to thigh and just enjoying the feel of his lover's skin under his palm. It's exploration, something he hasn't indulged in for longer than he cares to think about, and he lowers his head, breath cresting out warm against the crease between ass and thigh, tongue following breath's trail after.

If it were dignified to squirm, Peter would be wriggling. As it isn't, he allows for a writhe, a full-body shiver as Pierce's tongue explores. Rediscovering the sensation of wet flesh delving into his body.

The first few gliding licks are just to refamiliarize himself with the path his tongue is taking, to get him used to his lover's taste as his tongue moves from the base of his balls to the top of his cleft. And then he's opening Peter up, using his thumbs to spread him open, and his tongue moves in hard, presses in past the muscle and licks, hot and obscene and wicked.

It's awkward, giving this part of himself to another. To relax and take what's given, enjoy the moment and not be calculating how it'll move from this to the next level, or even what the next level is. Peter's not used to just letting things go, but he's getting there. Pierce's tongue is pushing him along new paths.

He whimpers at the wet pressure, the twist of tongue. "Want all of it, Pierce," he murmurs, "every nuance we have to give."

It is just like you to say things like that when my tongue's up your arse and I can't speak, Pierce thinks, and he'd smirk if his face could bend that way just now. He hums instead, wriggling his tongue in and out, carrying the vibrations deep into his lover's body.

The humming counters any other sounds Peter might be thinking of making into words. He buries his face in the pillow, moaning deeply, that full-body shudder cascading from shoulders down again.

And oh, God, the sounds and the motions are beautiful. Reactions drawn out of a lover not due to careful planning and preparation, not a submissive's reaction to a dominant, just one man moaning because his lover's licking him 'til he's going mad from it. It's so different, and it's so good. Pierce pulls back, gets the lube and slicks up two fingers; he's able to sink them in easily, lick around them while he moves them steadily in and out.

More pressure. More sensation. Peter doesn't know whether to envy or pity all those submissives he's driven insane just like this. It's unique, being on the receiving side of such talent. But, then again, everything about this relationship is unique, skewed left of center at every turn. He's still for a heartbeat or two, then he's pulling his hips up, pushing back, meeting Pierce's forward motion with equal resistance.

Incredible. Pierce could keep this up quite some time before his tongue and hands grew tired, just watching and listening and feeling. He's curious whether he could drive Peter over this way, just with curling, twisting fingers and flicking motions of his tongue. But he also doesn't have anything to prove; he can enjoy this as long as he wants to, as long as Peter wants him to keep going, without a goal in mind.

It would be easy enough to drive Peter over the edge, just like this, and Peter has the patience for such deliberate torment. Most days. "Pierce, this is all," he says over his shoulder, drawing in a breath as Pierce's fingers twist and rake in a perfect arc over all the right places, "well and good and utterly sinful, but really would like to be fucked." He lets out a small whimper. "If it's not too much bother for you."

Pierce pulls back, grins as he draws the back of his wrist over his lips. "Be happy to," and you know it. He gets a bit more lube, slicks it over his cock and then laughs as he glances up the bed at his lover. "I think we can get you out of that sweater now. Wouldn't want it getting messy."

"It's cotton, Pierce, washable," Peter says, looking over his shoulder. "Just fuck me."

"Impatient bastard," Pierce says. He tugs Peter's hips back just a little further, nudges the head of his cock against his opening. "You always feel so good..."

Yes. Impatient. Sometimes. Peter pushes back, wriggling his arse against Pierce's cock, forcing it to move forward, edge into him. "And you," he breathes out, "feel exceptional. Just. Like. That."

Perfect. Just what Pierce was hoping for, and he moves forward to meet Peter's motion, finally sinking in all the way. The heat's incredible, a shock every time feeling skin against skin. Pierce digs his fingers into Peter's hips and holds still, breath coming hard now.

Peter waits, counts slowly to 45, and then pushes up on his forearms, rocking back as he shifts his weight for better kneeling position. The touch of pain, fingers bruising at his hips, jolts. He still hasn't worked through that new process, of welcoming pain not resisting it. It's a subtle shift in psyche, one he's content to make willingly for the lover.

"Oh." Pierce leans forward, shoves the sweater up to Peter's shoulders despite his lover's protests, runs one hand up the center of Peter's chest as he curls around his lover. He presses front to back trying to get as much skin-on-skin contact as possible, drags his hand back down and wraps it around Peter's cock. "Yes. Mm." Peter's reduced him to words of one syllable or fewer, thoughts that are more color than image.

One syllable's even more than Peter can manage at the moment. Cock buried in his arse, hand wrapped around his cock, and their bodies are nearly merged. Idyllic. Oh, yes. He braces, arms crossed on the bed, ensuring every move Pierce makes forward is met with an immovable force, thus making each thrust that much more brutal.

The unexpected pleasure of having force demanded from him makes Pierce's eyes squeeze shut hard, and he gasps out a breath against Peter's shoulder. "You are," he whispers, "oh, fuck, so good," and his hand moves that much harder, faster, trying to drive Peter toward orgasm as fast as he's nearing it himself.

"Good," Peter echoes. "You are, too." He's sliding toward orgasm, right on the edge of the slippery slope and taking the next step when Pierce's hand twists right under the head of his cock. "Not long. Just a minute. Fuck, so good."

Love you, Pierce thinks, but the words haven't come out in that order yet and he's not sure when, if, he'll be ready to put them there. He nods against Peter's shoulder instead, steady, cock sinking hard into Peter's arse over and over, giving Peter the strokes and counterstrokes he'll need to go over.

Going over's easy. That's intense, shooting whitewater. Peter clutches at Pierce's body, not wanting to let go too soon. It's the coming down that's hard, the last pulses of his cock that water his eyes, blind his vision.

"Oh, God--" And Pierce follows him, mouth open and breath gasping out of him, shaking hard as his cock jerks in his lover's body. It's so intense his vision whites out for a few seconds, so good that everything seems to blur.

Peter rides out the waves of Pierce's orgasm, still marveling at being so marked from within. Want to admit to yourself you're in love. Head over friggin' heels. He doesn't say anything, just holds on. Tight, fingers gouging in their need to hold steady.

He's back to words of less than one syllable, sounds more than actual words or phrases, and it's a soft, groaned "ohhhhh" as he hugs Peter hard, nearly wrapping his whole body around his lover's, then moves gently away and collapses at his side. "Mmm."

"Second that emotion," Peter murmurs after a long minute, the thought of language seeping back into his brain. "I feel positively energized."

Pierce chuckles, resting his forehead against Peter's shoulder. "Does that mean we have a chance at going out shopping without being too distracted now?"

"Shopping. Oh, yes, shopping." Peter's thoroughly distracted by the man resting against him. He breathes out. "Give me 10 and I think I can muster to shopping adventure."

"You can have all the time you want," Pierce whispers, wrapping an arm around Peter's chest and holding tight. You can have anything you need. "You won't catch me complaining about lingering with you."

Pierce puts both his palms down flat against the table and gives it a nice hard shove. It barely moves, doesn't rattle at all. The edges are rounded and the surface is thick, not the sort of table that'd bite into hips. The wood's nice and dark, and the grain is even and smooth. He glances over his shoulder at Peter and raises an eyebrow.

Peter smiles and moves over to stand behind Pierce. He glances around. No obvious eyes on them. So he places his hands on either side of Pierce's and leans against his lover's back. "Perfect height, I think. Won't hurt your hips too much." It's a brief moment, could be construed as casual, and then he's stepping back, swinging around to the table's side, leaning against its edge and crossing his arms. "Perfect, I think. We'll take it."

"My hips?" Pierce grins, looking around for the nearest salesman. "And what about yours?" He reaches out, works hand between body and table and squeezes Peter's ass, drawing his hand away just in time for the salesman to arrive with a clipboard and a pair of raised eyebrows. "I think we've decided," he says, glancing up at Peter. "Or he has." Does furniture shopping automatically connote a 'we'? It's for your house, lover.

"Yes, this one," Peter says, "with the matching chairs. Six, there are?" He reaches down and lifts up the tapestry cushion on the chair's bottom. "Are there more of these? I like them." The salesman nods and says he'll check, and he turns, walking away. Peter sticks out his tongue, just a quick dart, a brief show of pink. "I saw a gorgeous Mission-style headboard across the way. Think it'll take eyebolts?"

"I know a guy who does custom bedroom furniture if you're after something ambitious," Pierce says. "But if you'd be satisfied with doing a bit of drilling on your own..." He can't even complete the thought out loud; he's too amused with himself, having too much fun baiting a lover. "Show me."

"Show you the bed?" Peter grins. "Or what I want to do with the eyebolts?"

"Start with the bed," Pierce says, rolling his eyes. "I think showing me what you want to do with the eyebolts could get us arrested."

"Not sure. Might get us arrested. Would definitely get us in the tabloids." Peter walks off, heading to the far right corner of the store. He's never been the subject of tab gossip, he thinks, and he's not sure how well his agent would take that. He smirks to himself. Or all those respectable doctors in the family.

Following behind, probably enjoying the way Peter's ass looks in those jeans just a little too much, Pierce shakes his head. Tabloids are par for the course for him, and he's been ignoring them and ignoring the way his agents send his lawyers after them for more than a year now. At least with Isaacs having thoroughly settled into the Bond role, they're leaving him alone more these days. Still, it probably wouldn't hurt to be more cautious.

Then again, how cautious do you have to be in a damned wood furniture store? he thinks, and slips an arm around Peter's waist as he catches up at the bedframe in question. One quick squeeze and he'll let go. "Well, I can already see the possibilities where eyebolts are concerned," Pierce murmurs. "Plenty of room to do it artistically, too."

The touch, the squeeze, the intimacy, it all startles Peter and his breath hitches before he balances out. No one's looking. No one's watching. All the years of being so careful, of not taking risks, of not admitting to one thing or another -- it doesn't seem to matter when the arm goes around his waist, his lover's arm.

"Artistically," he repeats, distracted from anything other than Pierce's voice, his touch. "Yes. I want it." He doesn't mean just the bed. No, he wants it, everything this lover of us is offering, is willing to give. "Green sheets," he says, turning to face Pierce, smiling, the grin somewhat abstract. "Deep, foresty. Or maybe a rich red. No black."

The look on Peter's face makes it damned difficult for Pierce to keep his hands off, stay the necessary distance away. He hasn't had a lover who wasn't long-distance in over six years, and it's strange having to think about balancing the urge to share touches and grins with the need to be subtle, especially if they're going to be in public together on a regular basis.

"Green," Pierce says. "Something with an absurd thread count, I hope. And what's wrong with black? Apart from a tendency to stain all too easily."

"Too gay," Peter says, face wrapped around that wry grin. "Just screams of plans for kinky sex." His hands are on Pierce's waist and they're slipping away from subtle. "And, yes, definitely, an absurd thread count, the kind you could hock and pay for the kids' education with."

"Housewarming gift," Pierce murmurs, leaning into Peter's hands instead of away. "If you'll let me. And I don't mind it if my bed screams of gay, kinky sex. At least my--" He stops, a bit surprised by his own sentiment. "At least my bed can be honest about it," he says quietly.

And mine can't. It's left unsaid, and Peter knows Pierce would never say it, that he didn't really even mean the sentence to imply that. "I like your bed just the way it is," he says, casting a quick glance sideways and then leaning in, daring a brief kiss, nothing more than brush of lips. "Like falling asleep in and waking up and all the things that come between."

You, Mr. Wingfield, are undoing me rather more than I expected. Pierce leans against the model bed and nods. "So as soon as someone actually is looking our way, we'll arrange delivery. Is there anything else you need?"

"Other than you? Just a few tables, chairs, the basics for a kitchen." Peter rubs his hand over Pierce's back. This is natural. It's normal. You'll be fine. "The house is empty, Pierce. It has to be filled if I intend to live in it."

"True enough." Pierce rubs his shoulder against Peter's and settles in that way, side-by-side with his lover, shoulders touching as they wait for the salesman and his clipboard to reappear. "I don't know if I've mentioned it," he murmurs, eyes fixed on the floor, "but I am glad you're doing this."

"Thank you." It's enough. Peter doesn't need to tell Pierce how endearing it is that a man Peter had thought of as unemotional can be shy and loving. He nudges Pierce's shoulder as the salesman walks back into sight.

"We have the cushions, sir," the eager young man says, making more marks on his clipboard.

"Good." Peter smiles. "We're taking the bed, too. Will all this fit on the truck? Or should I just have it delivered?"

"Have it delivered," Pierce says, nudging Peter with an elbow. "You don't really expect us to manhandle furniture into the house on our own, do you? And we're not quite done shopping yet..."

Peter can't help but smirk. "Yes, sir," he snaps. "Not finished shopping." He turns to the clerk. "Just start a tab and I'll give you the AMEX later."

"Bastard," Pierce mutters under his breath, equally unable to control his own grin. And as soon as the salesman's gone again, all eyes off them, Pierce gives Peter a hard bite on the shoulder. "Where to next, then?" he asks. "I don't suppose the next step is testing mattresses."

"Hmm, mattresses." Peter really does try not to wince at the bite. It's just hard enough to be momentarily painful. And he's not into pain. Or wasn't, until Pierce. He's finding all his limits and values and everything being questioned. "Well, I will need one. Feeling particularly Goldilocks, m'dear?"

"Too hard, too soft, just right?" Pierce laughs. "I should spare you the jokes about no such thing as too hard and simply acquiesce to your needs at the moment. On to the mattresses." He takes a step away from the cozy spot of privacy they've had with the display model and then stops, looking over his shoulder. "How much testing do you suppose we get away with before they make us buy the bloody things, you think?"

Peter steps foward, right up against Pierce's back, sliding his hand over his lover's arse. "I imagine if we stain it, we buy it," he whispers against his lover's neck, daring to lick across the curve of exposed flesh. "So we best be good lads and keep the testing to bounces and checking firmness."

"You're making me feel about thirty-five years younger than I am," Pierce murmurs, shivering against the lick. "Mattresses. The sooner you pick one out, the sooner we can get home and make use of the one I've already got."

"Then move it to the register, luv, let me pay for all this and we'll swing by Mattress World." Peter enjoys the shiver against his hands. Nice. "Do I still get my cantina date? Or will be doing drive-through tacos and eating in bed?"

"Oh, by all means, let's fuel anticipation and go to the cantina. For that matter, find me one with a dance floor and -- you probably don't dance, do you." He sighs.

The thought catches Peter off-guard, like so many things with this lover. "My tango's a bit rusty," he allows as they get to the counter and start settling up with the salesclerk. He fills out the paperwork, putting down name and address, then looks over his shoulder as he passes off the American Express. "But I dance, sir. Not that badly, either."

The delighted look in Pierce's eyes is tempered slightly by the immediate mental run through the list of places he goes to dance, places he could take his lover without getting too many odd looks. And then that thought gives over to a third, and he's smiling again. "We might have to switch off leading."

Peter finishes up the transaction, arranging for delivery of the furniture the next day, and tucks his wallet back into his pocket as he turns to Pierce.

"Promise you won't step on my toes, and I'll let you lead al night." He motions to the door. "Shall we continue our adventure?"

"When are you ever going to catch me saying no to a question like that?" Pierce asks, stepping through the door and holding it open for his lover. And isn't it fascinating that going shopping for furniture and having dinner with someone one cares about is an adventure. I wonder if I'm getting easier to please.

"I shall have to devise the proper scenario, Mr. Brosnan," Peter says after they're out on the sidewalk. He pulls his sunglasses out of his shirt pocket and slides them on. "There must surely be something you'd say no to me about."

"A few things," Pierce allows, tugging car keys out of his pocket and hitting the remote, getting the truck unlocked. As soon as they're both safely inside, Pierce leans over, slips his hand behind Peter's neck and brushes his lips across Peter's cheek. "Fewer than you'd think."

Peter slides his hand up around Pierce's neck, fingers slipping into the long-enough strands, and he tilts his lover's head to make the kiss full-on, lips brushing lips, for a brief moment. "Let's see. If I asked you to hurt me," he whispers. "Does that get a no?"

"That's a yes," Pierce whispers back. "God, man. That's every 'yes' I can invent, along with an 'are you certain' or two."

"The answer would be a 'not sure' and a 'haven't ever thought' and there'd be a grin," Peter murmurs, kissing Pierce one last time before letting go, turning back in the seat. He breathes out. Why'd you say that? Bring it up now? Stupid.

Pierce slides the key into the ignition and gets the truck started up, slings his arm over the back of Peter's seat while he angles the car out of the parallel spot. "While we're talking about things that haven't been at the forefront of our sexual fantasies 'til now... I could mention that I'm liking getting fucked a lot more than I expected, and I could stand for more of that. Or sit. Or kneel."

"I think I could manage more of that." Peter rolls his head against Pierce's arm, then onto the seat back, scrunching down and angling his legs to fit well enough under the dash. "When we get home, how 'bout I fuck you standing, kneeling and on your back?" He grins. "Just for tonight."

"All at once? I'm not sure I bend that way." Pierce smirks, but he ends up needing to adjust all the same. Luckily for him, it's an automatic transmission, and he doesn't need both hands to drive. Which leads him to sliding his right hand up Peter's thigh, squeezing gently.

"I was thinking of once in the kitchen, just inside the door from the garage," Peter says, moving his hand over Pierce's, "then kneeling, maybe in the living room, yeah, by the fire," he continues, rubbing his lover's long fingers, pushing the hand down along the inseam of his jeans, "and then in the bed. Of course, I'll give you a few minutes between times."

"A few minutes? Generous bastard," Pierce murmurs. His fingers tighten, rub along the folds of denim over Peter's cock. "One who's loved."

"Always generous for you, Pierce." Peter moans, soft and halted, the touches undoing him again. "Love you. For this. Today. What's to come." His hand doesn't leave Pierce's, his fingers working down between his lover's until he's pressing, demanding more contact.

It should feel dangerous, letting himself get this distracted. It's thrilling, and he squeezes Peter's cock, drags his nails up the fabric. And if he really needed to focus on the road, he'd do it. But the traffic's slow, and it's just far enough to the mattress store that they've got time for this tease.

The distraction's delicious and Peter trusts Pierce enough to close his eyes, let the momentary pressure build into overwhelming sensation. Then he reciprocates, a light hand on Pierce's thigh. "Will insurance cover rear-ending due to fondling?" he muses aloud.

"Probably not," Pierce says, but that doesn't keep him from parting his legs as much as the seat allows. "A little lower, love, and to the left there, if you would."

Peter obliges, eyes still closed as he shifts his fingers lower, to the left, rubbing the back of his hand over Pierce's cock. "Oh, yes, there is the better spot." He draws in a long breath, lets it out slowly. "Much farther?"

"Only about two blocks," Pierce murmurs. He shifts his hand, rubs the heel of it hard against Peter's cock. "Just enough time to have us worked into a light cappucino-style froth. I pity whoever has to show us the mattresses." He grins as he moves his hand off Peter's cock so he can turn into the parking lot.

With a final brush of knuckles to Pierce's cock, a quick hard press, Peter pulls his hand away and opens his eyes. "Ah, yes, poor clerk. Even more the pity if he's adorable. Haven't tormented any cute boys in forever."

"I was just thinking that," Pierce says ruefully, slipping the key back out of the ignition and resting his head against the seat. "Someone who'd like to take us back in the stockroom and wouldn't scream too much while we're hurting him..."

"But would he keep quiet tomorrow?" Peter hates acknowledging the truth that he's not quiet ready for that level of public play. "Not sure I want to be on the front page of every tabloid in the morning."

"Only half of them?" Pierce grins. "Relax, lover. Not every fantasy's designed to be lived out. Let's find you something to sleep on."

How they manage to get into the store will never cease to amaze Peter, not if he lives forever. Then they luck up on the most effusive salesclerk they could get. Peter's laughing at he flits -- yes, complete with sashay, he notes -- over to the queen-size mattresses, commenting over his shoulder that he's just sure they want something extra firm, that'll hold up under pressure.

"Oh, yes." Peter bites his lip to hold in the laugh. "Can't stand mattresses that give up after one good use."

"Something that doesn't squeak," Pierce offers. "Something quiet. Oh, and if you've got the mattresses where -- you've seen the commercials, right? -- where you can drop a bowling ball on one side and the other side's undisturbed. It'd be good having a mattress where you could toss and turn all night and not worry about disturbing your pet, say, if he were draped across the foot of it." He arches an eyebrow, represses a smirk.

Peter turns on heel. "You let your pet sleep on the bed?" He's grinning, the patented one he's learned can melt Pierce at 40 paces. "My, you've gone soft. Tsk, tsk." He glances over his shoulder at the salesclerk, then up at his face. A lovely shade of scarlet that seems to glow a fiery ring around the small hoop in his ear. "Oh, dear, luv, I think we've embarrassed dear," he stares at the nametag, "uh, Caleb. We are such bad boys and all the nice, young man wants to do is earn his commission."

"Then let's try a few out, shall we?" Pierce says, nodding over at the line of mattresses with their plastic coverings down at the foot and their -- Pierce blinks -- some of them have small stuffed animals near the pillows. He shakes his head and climbs onto the first one, an "extra firm" variety with a pillow top. "Nnhh. There's something not right about this one." He shifts his shoulders, tries to get comfortable; it's a losing battle. "This is definitely not it."

Plopping himself down on the bed next to it, the one with the large cardboard sign exclaiming "Luxury" and "Upgraded Innersprings," whatever those are. He stretches across the foot, draping himself with head off one side and arm off the edge. "Not bad." He raises his head slightly. "Do I drape well? And do you do that bouncy thing on this one?"

Oh, Christ. Pierce sits up and moves to Peter's mattress, stretching out and bouncing a bit; as if he weren't uncomfortable enough from the car, his erection's back in force and actually getting painful now, and he hopes no one's looking. "Don't you look comfortable sprawled that way," he says.

Peter rolls toward the center of the bed. It's rather comfortable, actually, even though he's not. He's eyeing Pierce like a cat who's spied tonight's salmon dinner left on the counter. "I'm not of pet quality, but I try to sprawl pleasingly," he teases. "Think this might be the one. Just the right bounce and firmness. You think?"

"I think," Pierce murmurs, "that if we were alone, I'd be having you--" or more likely, begging you to have me "--here and now, so for God's sake, please, let's buy the damned mattress and go somewhere we can stop teasing each other."

"Yes, sir." Peter grins and sits up, turning to Caleb. "We'll take this one." He scoots off the bed's end, pulls out his wallet and hands over the credit card. "You do deliver?"

"Oh, yes, of course." Caleb stammers, still beet-red. He glances at the card. "Mr. Wingfield, definitely, deliver, at your convenience."

"As it should be," Peter says, the edge of smirk on his lips. Hell, he just bought a nearly $4,000 mattress. He's thinking it should come with two of the sexiest deliverymen Mattress World can muster. "Tomorrow would be fine. Afternoon."

Pierce stretches out on the mattress while Caleb takes care of the transaction and Peter signs for it. He stares up at the ceiling and counts tiles, hoping the numbers will make his erection go down far enough that he'll be able to move. It's a slow process and a faint hope, though, and he ends up giving up and accepting the discomfort in order to stand up and wait with hands dug into pockets at Peter's side.

Peter dashes off his signature on the receipt, nowhere near the doctor's scrawl it might've become, and he nudges Pierce when he steps back. "Dinner. I'm starving." He leans in, whispers. "Want to get somewhere dark and smoky and get my hands on you."

Peter dashes off his signature on the receipt, nowhere near the doctor's scrawl it might've become, and he nudges Pierce when he steps back. "Dinner. I'm starving." He leans in, whispers. "Want to get somewhere dark and smoky and get my hands on you."

It is absolute hell resisting the urge to lean in, nuzzle, bite at that incredibly gorgeous throat. And Pierce manages to resist all the way back to the truck, but as soon as he's in he's shoving the armrests up and out of the way, waiting for Peter to close the door and then fisting both hands in Peter's shirt and tugging him close, mouth capturing his lover's, tongue thrusting in deep. The desperation's so new it's unbelievable. It should be easier to handle than this.

Desperation. That's a nice word for it. Peter's pulled, no, tugged, hard, relentless, into his lover's hands. All so new. Too new. Affection, public and unabashed, and it's suffocating him, cutting off oxygen to brain, shutting down reason. His hands are on Pierce, pushing back as much as tugging forward, confused in desperate desires.

The mixed signals get through past lust-fogged impulses, and Pierce pulls back, panting, sliding his tongue over his lips. "Too much?" he asks softly.

Sucking in a breath, Peter tries to smile, but it's just not there. "Yeah," he says, tilting his head, running his hand up Pierce's arm, letting his fingers find their their way to his lover's cheek, rub it slowly. "Want you. Just not here."

Fuck. Stupid. Pierce shakes his head, pulls back and thrusts his fingers through his hair. "Sorry," he murmurs. "Didn't mean to get carried away."

"It's okay." Peter sits back, takes deep breaths. "So many new emotions, desires. Overwhelmed." He reaches up, fingertips grazing Pierce's wrist. "Don't want 'em to stop. Just need to breathe every so often."

"Don't--" Pierce draws his wrist away, gets both hands on the steering wheel after putting the car in gear and starting off. "Just leave off touching me for a minute or two. And I'm sorry for pushing."

Fuck. Peter draws back, settles against the seat, goes silent till they've gone through two stoplights. "You aren't pushing, Pierce. There's a lot I probably need to explain that I haven't."

Pierce nods, runs his palm over his cheek. "There's a lot neither of us has explained, given we've found ourselves here rather more by accident than intent. Do you want to talk about it?"

"Yes. Preferably over a tequila, right before you pull me out to the dance floor, though." Peter just doesn't think it's the kind of conversation for a pickup truck ride.

One eyebrow goes up, and Pierce half-nods at the road. "Fair enough. Is this the sort of conversation that's going to need a lot of alcohol?" He's trying to joke about it, but it falls a bit flat.

"Not specifically. It's a dark, seedy bar sort of conversation." Peter's grinning a bit more. "However, if you want to get drunk to listen to me, I won't stop you."

The humor comes back into Pierce's grin at that, and he takes a hand off the steering wheel, finds Peter's and squeezes for a brief moment. "I'm all for dark, seedy bar sorts of conversations. And I won't get too drunk to drive us home; how's that?"

"Sounds perfect." Peter returns the squeeze, wrapping his fingers up around Pierce's. "Must be Mexican, though. I'm in the mood for mounds of tacos."

"And chips. Heavily salted and loaded with salsa hot enough to burn your taste buds off." Pierce grins. "Which is why you drink a half-dozen margaritas and make an idiot of yourself on the dance floor -- not that I speak from personal experience, mind."

"Oh, no, I'm sure you have absolutely no personal experience in that realm." Peter rolls his eyes, coughs. "Neither do I, but, for the record, I prefer my tequila straight. One of the very few things I like that way, actually."

"And margaritas are about the only mixed drink I will imbibe. Preferably with the salt and on the rocks. But I've gotten used to drinking vodka martinis without grimacing too much." Pierce points ahead. "Is that where we're headed? The one on the beach there?"

Peter glances out the front window. "Looks right. And it's a nice enough night, we can sit out on the patio, take our shoes off and, if it's not just too gay, dance in the sand."

Pierce pulls into the parking lot, gives a glance to the empty bed of his truck as he swings out of the driver's seat. "Here's irony for you. We take the truck because we're buying furniture, and we come back empty-handed because everything's being delivered." And we just used the word "we" three times in a breath. What was that I was saying to Sean about Siberia?

The use of "we" doesn't escape Peter's brain, but he doesn't make note of it either. "Well, if we'd loaded up the truck, then we wouldn't be able to stop off at the cantina, would we?" He's using it just as much, so can't be hypocritical. And it doesn't really sound bad. "C'mon," he says, out of the truck and walking toward the entrance, hands tucked into jeans pockets. "I'm getting more desperate by the minute."

"For food this time, I hope," Pierce says, heading inside. The place is louder than Pierce expected, but that's welcome right now; the energy and the distraction's good, the noise adds to the ambience, and although Pierce can't help a moment's wistfulness in wishing the hostess were more a Diego Luna host type than a Salma Hayek hostess type, once they've got their menus and are taken to a table on the edge of the patio, just in time for a beautiful sunset, Pierce isn't going to complain about anything.

"Desperate for food," Peter says as they take their seats, "but still hungry for you." The bar's nice enough, just on the edge of seedy with that overlay of respectability. "Bottle of Cuervo, plate of limes and a shot glass," he tells the waitress, waif of a thing, and smiles across the table at Pierce. "Margarita over there, chips are a given, and bring a couple orders of tacos out."

It hits Pierce all at once what he's looking at, that he's about to see one of his oldest friends doing tequila shots, and the image is so at odds with everything he's seen from Peter in the last ten years that he ends up sitting back and staring for several seconds. And thinking about Peter's tongue, how it'll look rubbing over the inside of his wrist to give the salt somewhere to settle, how he'll look licking the salt up and doing tequila shots and, Christ, a bottle? Pierce wonders how much liquor Peter can hold.

It's not lost on Peter, the sudden silence. Comfortable, friendly, but there. "I've made you speechless, always an intriguing prospect," he says, cocking his head. "What are you thinking, lover?"

"That I've never seen you do tequila shots before," Pierce says. "I know the look you get on your face when someone's just about broken for you, I know the way you sound when you're this close to orgasm, but I have no idea how many shots you can do before you pass out, and I don't know what you look like the morning after." Pierce indulges in the bad habit Bron will kill him for later; he nips at his thumbnail before going on. "Is it going to overwhelm you if I say I want to know everything?" And then the amusement factor of the statement kicks in, and Pierce is able to drop his hand back to the table. "I suppose it's surprising enough to realize I don't already know everything; no wonder I'm off-balance."

"Off-balance. Yeah, I understand that. And, no, it's not going to overwhelm me to know you want everything." Peter bites at his lip. "Want to know everything. Starting with the tequila. On a good night, I can get through most of the bottle before I pass out. One of those insane abilities developed in med school."

"That is impressive." Pierce smirks. "In my youth, I probably could have kept up with you. Nowadays the only thing that doesn't leave me hung over and sorrier for it is Guinness." Not going to overwhelm you. Good to know, lover, because it comes close to overwhelming me.

"Don't be, impressed. Or overwhelmed, in case that's too much information. I don't plan on getting that drunk tonight." The drinks and chips arrive, and Peter slowly uncaps the tequila and fills the shot. "In my youth, I was rather reckless. Pierced my own ear."

"Hmm." Pierce's fingers go to his own, tug at his ring. "Mine was a gift from my dom."

The pendulum swings back and it's Peter's turn to be suprised, impressed, overwhelmed. "I never knew you had a dom, Pierce."

"I don't talk about him very much," Pierce says, glancing down at the table, looking back at Peter almost immediately; there's nothing in this conversation he needs to hide from. "I was under him for six months learning how to top, and then spent six months under him again in '87. He was a good man. A damned good man. He passed away in '94."

"I'm sorry. For the loss, that he's not here to share new moments." Peter doesn't know the man, but he's regretting his death. He'd like to thank him for having a hand in creating the man he's fallen in love with.

"I've never done anything other than top," Peter says after a long silence. "Fell into it and got stuck."

"Stuck?" Pierce asks. "Interesting way of putting it. And I miss him, too. You and Jeff both remind me of him some. Mostly in your inability to let me fool myself around you."

It's a good thing Peter doesn't blush or his cheeks would be red, being compared, even in the smallest way, to someone Pierce cares so much about. He ignores the comparison for the moment, laughing to himself that both he and Jeff would agree on not letting their lover fool himself. "Stuck," he says, rubbing the lime wedge briefly over the inside of his wrist and sprinkling it with salt, "in that I became entranced with the one equation and never allowed myself to try the other side." He licks the salt off his skin, slams back the tequila and sucks hard on the lime. Then he grins. "Damn good."

"Is that something you're looking to remedy?" Pierce asks quietly, well and truly distracted from the sight of Peter doing tequila shots by the topic of conversation. You. On your knees. God, wouldn't that be something to see.

"Can't honestly answer that. Three months ago, it would be an emphatic 'no' and I'd've looked at you with concern for your sanity that you even asked." Peter tosses the lime down and grabs a chip, scooping up a mound of salsa, the tomato juice dripping as it reaches his mouth.

"Oh, believe me, it's still a surprise that you've even thought about it," Pierce says. He takes a chip, salts it, gets a bite of salsa, salts that, eats the chip. "It's damned strange being with another top, not for co-topping a particularly lucky sub, but just being with you. There are things you make me remember. Places I'm going with you that I wouldn't consider going with anywhere else." And Pierce has to wonder how much of that has to do with Peter being a top and how much of it is the amount of trust and intensity of feelings he has for Peter; he suspects it's mostly the latter.

Peter watches. Salt, salsa, salt. "Medically, that's way more salt than your body needs." He takes a chip, dips and eats, pouring another shot with his left hand. "It's strange here, too. I find myself fascinated by twists and turns that once wouldn't've even caught my attention." He absently plays with the plate of limes, stacking the wedges. Peter knows the only reason he can say the words aloud is that he trusts Pierce, to understand, to not dismiss the notions. "Wonder what it would be like, to let go, that much."

There's a balance somewhere between showing too little interest and showing too much. For a while, Pierce says nothing, the look in his eyes saying he heard, that he understands. "I can imagine the curiosity," he says, finally, "and if that's something you want to feel instead of wonder about, we could talk about it. At your pace."

"At my pace." Peter ponders while he does a second shot, licks the last hint of salt from his wrist. "I suppose it's somewhat short of wanting to be on my knees before dawn but perfectly willing to let you lead every dance this evening."

"I like the sound of that," Pierce murmurs. "You do know I'd take you without any of this -- pain, domination, submission, kink as a whole? It's not something I'd turn away from -- Christ, I'd love to do more roleplay with you -- but it's not something I ever expected, either. Then again, most of us fits into the didn't expect category. And sometimes vanilla with you feels kinkier than all the things I've done with boys and slaves in the last 25 years."

Peter works through half a dozen chips listening to Pierce talk. Hell, he could just sit and listen for hours, feeling like he's 22 again and discovering what it means all over. "No, the roleplay's not something I expected, but I do like it. Definitely want more. And you're right on the vanilla. I don't think I've ever enjoyed just simple sex quite as much."

Pierce grins at that, taking a chip in an attempt to buy time, gather his thoughts. "In idle moments I find myself wondering where this came from. Not the attraction; that was there when we were first introduced. But the willingness to act on it. That's something we wouldn't have done ten years ago, five years ago." Though now that he's mentioned it, Pierce has an odd moment wondering and if we had? Ten years is long before Viggo. Ten years predates Sean.

Ten years ago predates Gerry. And would that've happened if we'd acted on something? Peter's never been one for 'what if' suppositions. Life is what it is. It ebbs and flows and opportunity presents itself when you need it. Maybe that's it. There's a need now that wasn't there before. "No, it's not, but then I'm not the person I was five, ten years ago. That person wasn't interested in anything more than hurting boys, putting people under him." Peter pours a third shot, lets it sit a minute, then starts the prep work. "He didn't have an motivation to find out what love was about. Had never gone there."

"The man I was in those days didn't bend. Hell, the man I am now doesn't bend very much, but it's enough." Just enough for this. And Pierce is damned grateful for it. "If I were to want a shot of my own, would you be willing to let me lick salt off your wrist for it, or am I stuck with mine?"

Peter grins at the words and holds out his wrist, properly soaked in lime and sprinkled with salt. He slides the shot glass over in front of Pierce. "We can do full body shots when we're home, lover."

"Is that a promise?" Pierce asks, catching Peter's wrist in deceptively gentle fingers. He lowers his head, licks up the salt with a curl of tongue that might be illegal in public, and then slams the shot back. It burns, just a little, but he likes the taste. Or maybe he just likes having the feel of his lover left on his tongue.

There's no stopping the shiver that tingles from Peter's wrist along his arm and spirals down his spine. It slams his cock, of course, and he's wriggling as Pierce finishes licking. "Promise."

Pierce sits back once he's done with the shot, fingertips lingering for a moment on Peter's skin before he lets go. "What happened in the truck?" he asks softly. "I know I pushed for too much. How? What was too much?"

"It was too public," Peter says quickly. "For the moment, more than I could handle." He pulls the shot glass back, refills it, lets it sit. "I'm not openly gay, Pierce. Close friends know, family, but I've never officially come out." He feels a need to continue, explain. "For a long time, it was choice, a conscious desire to stay closeted. More recently, it's just been neither denying nor confirming anything, but I'm B-actor enough that it's not brought up a lot. I'm not sure why, but all the sudden, the touching in the truck, it was too much." He grins, a quirky smile. "Strange thing, though, you could kiss me here, now, and I wouldn't mind at all."

"You don't think I'm one to resist that kind of offer, do you?" Pierce asks. And he isn't. He doesn't. He leans across the table, tilts his head just enough to brush his nose past Peter's and lick his lover's lips, taste salt and lime and tequila and Peter all at once.

Peter's true to his word. He doesn't flinch. He leans into the kiss. It's just enough of that kind of bar to not worry about it. "I'm glad you don't resist offers," he whispers.

"Or challenges," Pierce murmurs. He takes his seat again and leans his elbows on the table, steeples his fingers and rests his chin against them. "Being out of the closet wasn't my decision," he says. "And I was bitter about it for a while. I liked not having my relationships in the public eye. I did not enjoy fielding questions about why I wasn't willing to be out and proud, a pillar of the gay community, God knows what. A role model. I've been quiet about relationships in the year and a half since then, not that I've had much to speak of. I'm not accustomed to having a lover near enough by that I have the opportunity to kiss him in parking lots, over the table at dinner, especially not since the question of being out or not was out of my hands. This is all new territory for me."

He doesn't know where to begin, which thought to parse out first. "Don't want to be a role model," Peter says, long minute and licking lips. "No one should emulate me. New territory. At every turn. Exhilarating. Frightening. Won't mind when it comes out. I'm in good company."

"But it doesn't mean we have to take out advertising," Pierce says. "And if you want me to decorate your closet for you and try to keep you safe there, just ask. I can keep my hands off you in public. I can tell anyone who might ask that we're nothing more than old friends."

Peter shakes his head. "No, I like being your lover. Not going to deny that to anyone. Not even the exes." He thinks for a minute, processing. "What's the date? Twelfth, isn't it. I'll combine birthday and wedding gifts." He smiles at Pierce. "Is that tacky?"

"Wedding? Who's getting married?" Pierce asks, the combination of ex and wedding coming up so fast that for a moment he's got an insane notion of Sean getting married all over again. Christ, don't be stupid. He's not ready for that yet. "Wedding and birthday gifts. Mm, it's usually better if they're separate, but if it's someone you've not seen in a while, exceptions can be made."

"Gerry and Jonny Lee. Got married last week." Peter's smirking. "I should know better than to read his journal, but I'm a touch masochistic where he's concerned. And, heaven forbid, he know I follow his slave's more closely." He picks up a chip, gets a particularly large dollop of salsa, and shoves it into his mouth. "His birthday's tomorrow. Gerry's, that is. I always send him something. He hates it."

Pierce is the last man alive who'd be able to give a lecture, or worse, advice on dealing with ex-lovers. He shrugs. "Definitely combine presents," he decides. "Give him one fewer thing to hate." He pauses, sketches out a pattern on the table with uncertain fingers. "Did you part so badly?"

"He walked out, didn't finish what we started. And we've been at each other's throats ever since." Peter understands there's more to it, a clash of wills at its heart. "Perhaps marriage will calm him. Or Jonny, at least."

"Seeing things through to their end isn't always the right answer either," Pierce murmurs. "We do what we must, though. And marriage does wonders for some, though it's hardly something I'd look to do myself."

"No fear there, lover. I don't plan on proposing to anyone. Ever." Peter fingers the bottle of tequila. "Where were we on this?"

"You're either two or three shots ahead of me, and I'm content to let you retain the lead," Pierce says, grinning ear-to-ear. "I'm more interested in the dance floor at the moment, given my inability to lick salt off the parts of your body I'd prefer."

"Dancing, your body pressed tight to mine. Hmmm." Peter picks up the bottle. "Or more tequila." He makes a tsking noise. "Oh, the dilemma." He lingers, as if truly weighing the options, when there's no question at all, then sets the bottle down and slides it aside. "I do believe your body wins out."

I love you. His mind goes jagged, breaks apart as the words form one after the next in his mind for the first time. He slides out of his chair and holds out a hand to Peter, mind and body quickly searching for the tune and rhythm of the music behind him. It's a salsa, faster than he'd normally jump into, but there's no time like the present and no reason not to join the small number of people in the center of the patio, all of whom are grinning and grinding and looking as if they'd like to find a quiet corner.

Peter takes Pierce's hand, pulls himself up out of the chair and presses close, wrapping his free arm around his lover's waist. He doesn't bother to look around, doesn't care who's there watching or what the other dancers are doing. This is about him. And Pierce. Two men. Two lovers. And the world can go to hell at that precise moment. "You're leading," he says, grinning, whispering the words against Pierce's lips, "this dance."

As soon as the truck's in the garage and the garage door's coming down, Pierce gets his seatbelt unfastened and grabs for Peter. Same move as in the parking lot, only this time it's not in public. But it's just as warm and just as desperate, and God, he's been dying to taste Peter this way all afternoon. All night. Nothing's even close to enough.

This is fine. Not public. But there's enough tequila in Peter's veins and dance in his brain he wouldn't care if they were in the middle of Sunset Strip. He wants his hands on Pierce, so he's grappling, clutching, dragging his lover forward into a kiss that's somewhere between Neanderthal claiming and Harlequin Romance conquering.

"Want--" It's breathless, a syllable dragged out between claiming kisses that go both ways, first Peter's tongue plunging into Pierce's mouth and staking out territory, then Pierce fighting back and giving away passion of his own. But the heavy, aching feel of want isn't letting up, and Pierce drags his mouth away from Peter's long enough to pant out "fuck me", even if where they are is hardly conducive to such an act.

"Here?" Peter shakes his head. He's just as desperate, but he's not the agile gymnast he was once, and the front seat of a pickup's a bit much. "No. At least out of the truck." He's thinking, mind racing, calculating the distance to the door, glancing around. Truck. Yes. "Bed. Truck bed. It's handy." He's backing, hand fumbling for the door handle.

"You're insane," Pierce says, but he's jerking his own door open and heading for the truck bed at the same time. There are blankets in the truck bed's boxes; Pierce jerks one of the boxes open, digs a blanket out and tosses it haphazardly across the grooved rubber mat. Don't think I have lube in there.

"Maybe. But you aren't stopping me, so you must be just as insane." Peter's grinning as he rounds the end of the truck, already jerking shirt out of jeans and fumbling with that top button, the one that always seems to catch in the denim. "What are the chances we have lube handy? Other than motor oil or the Chapstick in my pocket?"

"Slim," Pierce says, "though I've got a condom in my pocket." He kicks his shoes off, gets his shirt unbuttoned while he glances into the boxes again. "There's nothing here I'd want you to shove up my ass," he says, shaking his head and unbuttoning his jeans. "You sure you wouldn't rather go inside?"

"Where's your sense of adventure, Mr. Brosnan?" Peter turns, opens the door to the cab again and scavenges through the space behind the seats. "Aha!" He walks to the back of the truck, smug smile on his face, shirt half buttoned and jeans riding down on his hips. "Your choices today, sir, are sunscreen," he says, holding up the SPF15 bottle in his left hand, "lip balm," the tube of Chapstick in his right, "or good, old-fashioned spit and a prayer."

"The sunscreen is full of titanium dioxide," Pierce says, "right out. You know I'm going to kill you in your sleep for this later, don't you?" He grabs the Chapstick and glances over the ingredients list. "For God's sake." Rummaging around in the truck bed, he grabs his jeans again and digs for the condom. "It's lubricated. We can try that. Or there's spit." He looks over his shoulder at the boxes in the back of the truck bed. Please, God, let him leave the boxes alone. "Fuck it. Just want you in me. Come on."

"Oh, you're absolutely no fun whatsoever. And impatient." Peter tosses aside the sunscreen and grabs the condom, ripping it open. "It's not as if I was going to suggest we scrounge for engine lubricant," he says, shrugging his head toward the boxes. He shucks his jeans off and rolls on the condom, then spits in his hand and slicks it along the length of his cock, tugging with a decided moan. "Bend over, luv. I'll drive."

"You're a dead man," Pierce says, kneeling up and bending over the boxes, spreading his legs wide. Oh, this is going to hurt. "I really am going to kill you in your sleep." He looks over his shoulder. "'Bend over, I'll drive'?"

"Always wanted to say that. Never had the right person." Peter positions himself behind Pierce, cock in hand, guided to the tight hole. Oh, yes, it's going to hurt. Burn like hell. He grins, nudges forward, pushing into the tightness with a long expelled breath. "Oh, death'll be so fuckin' sweet. Just to know I had this."

Fuck, this isn't going to work. Pierce's hands tighten --hell, his whole body's clenching, and he forces out a breath, trying to relax. Let him in. Come on, lad. Let him in.

"That's it, Pierce, open up for me." Peter puts his hand on Pierce's back, rubs up, soothing, coaxing. Fuckin' bloody hell, this hurts. "C'mon, it'll be good." He wonders for a moment if they had too much or too little tequila to make this feasible. "If it's not, I'll loan you my sword to run me through."

Pierce laughs, a little harder than he has to, but the laugh feels good and it takes a great deal of the clench out of his shoulders. He groans softly and pushes himself back. Hurts. It hurts, but he's making progress, taking in another inch. "Oh, God," he breathes, "all right, I'm all right. Come on. More."

"More. One of my five favorite words." Peter gives Pierce just what he's asking for, rocking forward in short, solid thrusts, working his cock an inch at a time, the friction burn worse than any he ever remembers from skidding knees-first across gym floors. "Christ, it's gonna great when we get there."

"Yes. Fucking great. Always is." Pierce gets both hands flat in front of him and shoves, crying out as he takes in more. Almost. He's already aching, will be sore for days, and "ohfuck I love you fucking me," he pants, words sliding out all at once at the tail end of too many jagged thoughts.

Peter braces hard, knees biting into the grooved mat under the blanket, and pushes back, sinking that extra inch, stills and the thrusts again, that final bit. "Love fucking you. Don't think I've ever," he pants out, mind rippling with the sensation, "loved fucking anyone this much."

"That's because," Pierce groans, "you weren't fucking me," and now that Peter's in, the thrusts are easier and Pierce's body is starting to accommodate him a little better. Just enough Pierce thinks he'll get through this without screaming.

"Modesty just doesn't become you," Peter slurs, his brain momentarily fried by the intense tightness, the tug on his cock for more. He's slow in picking up speed, building to the crescendo of pounding thrusts, wanting to see if he can get Pierce to scream. Just a little.

"You don't love me because I'm humble," Pierce pants, looking over his shoulder again, reaching behind him to get a hand on Peter's hip. "God, that's good, so good, just like that..."

"No, love you," Peter says, glancing down at Pierce's hand, shaking his head, "for the subtle you top from the bottom." His motions are short bursts of forward momentum, nudging them both against the blanket's grain. "Next thing you'll be demanding to come." The grin's there, the sarcasm dripping in his voice.

"No, next thing -- God -- I'll just be -- doing it," Pierce pants, waiting 'til Peter's as deep as he can get and then clenching around him deliberately this time. "Preferably just before you do."

"Go right ahead." Peter's positive the only way his voice is maintaining any calmness is years of theatrical training. His brain's coiled and disintegrated, and he's damned near coming. "Don't let me stop you." He slides his hand around Pierce's thigh and grips his cock, creating a nice vise-like fist.

Any words Pierce meant to give away are driven away completely by the feel of that hand on his cock. It's too tight, too rough, just right and Pierce's head snaps back, body shoves back against Peter's and he comes, screaming loud enough he'll blame it on the tequila when the sound stops ringing in his ears.

The laugh in Peter's throat is Death's laugh, something from thousands of years ago, when torture was an art and he was its master. He pulls back, Pierce's orgasmic distraction enough to unclench him for a second, and then thrusts hard back into his lover's body. He comes on the edge of Pierce's screams, echoing them with moans.

Pierce collapses on the boxes, head down on his forearms. "God," he moans, "my knees aren't as young as they used to be. Let me lie down?"

"Sure, luv." Peter gentles Pierce down, sliding out of his body. "Let me just take care of this," he says, stripping off the condom and tossing it over the truck's side to the trash, "and I'll join you." He slides down onto the blanket, waiting on Pierce to get comfortable before settling too much in.

Pierce digs another blanket out of the boxes and settles down, groaning as he stretches out both legs. "I have to start keeping lube in the garage," he mutters.

"Yes, you do. We can go shopping for that tomorrow." Peter runs his hand over Pierce's thigh. "You have an uncanny ability to make me think I'm 22 again and don't have muscles that will ache in the morning and a head that will most surely be throbbing."

Pierce turns on his side and kisses Peter's shoulder. "I was thinking the same thing. Next time we must get to the bed. Or at least a softer floor. At least I had blankets." He laughs.

"Bed later. You can fuck me middle of the night for payback." Peter moves his hand up till his arm is wrapping Pierce's waist. "And this was nice, albeit painful, but all told I've had a wonderful day with my lover."

"So have I," Pierce whispers. He pauses for a moment and then shoves himself up on an elbow, mock-glaring at Peter. "You thought it was painful..."

"Oh, hush." Peter nudges Pierce back to the blankets. "You survived." He leans over, kisses Pierce's lips. "Fuckin' beautiful, you were, too."

"You're far too free with your compliments," Pierce says. He bites Peter's lower lip and grins as he pulls back. "Not that I want you to stop."

"It's the tequila. Tomorrow I'll forget all about them." Peter lies with as straight a face as he can find. He means every word. Pierce is beautiful when he's being fucked. Or when he's fucking Peter, for that matter. "Do we plan on sleeping here? I could be convinced to actually find the bed now."

"Thank God. Come on. Help an old man out of his truck bed?" Pierce rolls to his back again and tilts his head, looking around for his clothes. Fuck it. I'll get them later. Not as if anyone's going to be scandalized by my walking naked through the house. Or limping.

Peter scoots to the truck's tail, dangles his legs off and wills his feet to touch the floor. He turns back, offering his hand to Pierce. "C'mon, old man," he purrs, shaking his head. Old man indeed. If that's old, then, god, let me get there. "I might be willing to draw you a bath if you like."

"That sounds wonderful," Pierce admits, taking Peter's hand and sliding out of the truck bed. The concrete's cold enough under his feet to make him hiss in protest. "And bed. Love how we celebrated getting you a bed by completely ignoring the existence of mine."

Chapter Text

It's been a long time since Pierce has been in a mood this good at a premiere. But the film is wonderful, the schmoozing's been fun, and he's grinning around at everyone like a cat who's been feasting on canary.

Hugh's been trying to get a moment to himself since the red carpet. The press of people around him has been overwhelming, but he still had about half the room to chat up. He doesn't see the point; he already has all the connections he could ever want in Hollywood. But it's polite and he's nothing but polite these days. No matter how boring it could be.

At last, he manages to untangle himself from a group of people and find his way to one of those circling waiters. He grabs a glass of whatever the local favourite is and makes his way to a wall for a quiet moment.

It seems as if no matter where Pierce turns there's someone new to say hello to, someone to greet, someone his agent would love to see him talking to, and by the time he's made his third circuit around the room he actually is getting tired. He stakes out a quiet spot on the wall -- only one man there, and he's not looking too talkative -- and when he's three quarters of the way through, he recognizes the man in question.

Hugh Grant, and he starts recalling all the details he knows both on and off the journaling system. Robert Frost is the main one that pops to mind, and by the time he's landed on the wall with Hugh, he's smiling again -- not quite so predatory, he hopes --and he extends a hand in greeting. "I've seen you around, but I don't think we've been introduced," he says. "Pierce Brosnan."

Oh, fuck, someone spotted me, is Hugh's first thought. Then he notices who it is and grins widely. Pierce Brosnan. And Pierce certainly wouldn't look at him strangely if he suddenly blurts out a desire to be flogged rather than work the room any more. Hugh shakes Pierce's hand. "Hugh Grant."

Pierce settles back against the wall, head turned so he can still keep an eye -- both eyes, really -- on Hugh. "How are you doing tonight, Hugh? Enjoying the atmosphere?"

Hugh nods. "Yeah. It can be fun." Going unsaid is that this is the first premiere and that it's going to get old very quickly. "This is my first film opening in a year, so there's still that feeling of novelty. It'll wear off. How's sir doing?" The word is out before Hugh can bite his tongue and he looks over his shoulder quickly to make sure no one's standing behind him.

Every nerve in Pierce's body comes to attention. It's involuntary, the reaction too fast to tamp down, but he takes a moment before responding. "Better now. I'm enjoying the wall more than I was enjoying the party." He looks Hugh over, deliberate this time, figuring he can get away with a once-over in the middle of a crowded room. No one's going to notice; that's the whole bloody point of being on the wall.

"Are you?" Hugh licks his top lip slowly. "Is there anything slave," he coughs, "Is there anything I can do to help you enjoy the party more." He smirks. "After all, one does need to sell one's movie in any way possible."

"What I'd really like," Pierce says, tilting his head back, sighing a little theatrically, "is to be away from all these cameras." He can't keep the grin off his face for very long, though. "Away from cameras and away from watching eyes, and company in a dark corner or a janitor's closet somewhere wouldn't be amiss at all."

Ooh. What an offer. "Slave would like that as well." He hadn't expected to get any sex at a premiere party, but he has no problem with it. And this is Pierce fucking Brosnan. It's not like Hugh wouldn't be able to get it up. "He supposes the loo is too public?"

"The loo's fine," Pierce says. "Let me go first; give me a few minutes and then follow." He pushes himself off the wall and does another quick circuit around the room, then cuts out of the party and heads for the toilets.

Hugh mutters a "yes, sir" at Pierce's back and then sips his champagne. He chats with a man for a few minutes and then makes his apologies. He can't remember how well he prepped after his shower this afternoon, but he hopes it was just enough. He wants this to hurt, but he doesn't want it to hurt enough that it'll show.

In the bathroom, Pierce does a quick glance around, makes sure the crowd here is thin even if the toilets aren't completely empty. He wishes Bron were here -- quick public trysts are easier with backup -- but then, the noises coming from at least one of the stalls imply that he's not the first to have had this idea. So it's just a matter of heading back to a stall at the end of the row and waiting.

Hugh enters the bathroom about five minutes after Pierce does. He looks at shoes as he walks down the row until he finally spots one that looks like it could belong to Pierce. He knocks discreetly on the door.

Pierce opens the door and pulls Hugh inside. There's not enough room -- there never is -- but it'll do.

He pushes Hugh into the wall, presses Hugh's shoulders flat against tile. One of Pierce's thighs moves up, slides between Hugh's legs. His voice is barely a murmur when he speaks, not enough to be heard outside their stall.

"How much pain does slave like with his public-loo fucks?"

Hugh gets his hands between his hips and the wall and undoes his trousers. He tugs them down just enough and his boxers follow. "How much pain does sir want to give him?"

"As much as slave can handle without it showing." Pierce leans forward, bites at the back of Hugh's neck. Hard and then harder, just shy of leaving a mark.

"Then-then that's what slave wants." Christ, a bite. If Hugh wasn't already so fucking hard... "Please, sir," he whimpers. "Slave wants more."

Pierce slides two fingers into Hugh's collar and draws his shirt aside, far enough he'll be able to sink his teeth in and mark Hugh, turn his shoulder black and blue with bitemarks without it showing. And then he slides a hand around, slips it into the front of Hugh's trousers while he bites, fiercely, bruising Hugh's skin and squeezing his cock hard.

Teeth. God, teeth. Hugh moans too loud and then bites his lip hard so he doesn't do it again. Teethmarks on his lip is better than being caught. "Slave should mention," he whispers, "that he's been known to come from biting alone. And sir's hand isn't helping his self control any."

"Biting alone?" Pierce whispers. "Oh, now that's interesting." He draws his hand up the length of Hugh's cock and licks over his bite, lingering over toothmarks. "Hold out 'til I'm in you, fucking you, and you can have all the bites you want."

"Yessir," Hugh says and leans his head against the stall wall, arching his back. "Is he allowed to beg?"

"Absolutely," Pierce says, and pulls away long enough to get the condom out of his pocket, open his fly and get his cock free. "Does slave prep?"

"Always." Hugh spreads his legs as much as possible with his trousers around his knees and tries to rub himself against Pierce. "Please, sir. Slave needs so badly."

"Good slave," Pierce whispers, rolling the condom on, making sure the tails from Hugh's shirt are out of the way. He angles his cock in, head rubbing along the cleft until he finds the right spot, and then he starts moving in, steady, one arm snaking around Hugh's waist and tugging him back as he moves forward.

Hugh exhales as he feels Pierce's cock begin to fill him. This is so much better than he could have imagined and it's made all that much better by the surroundings. Spontaneous sex is always the best. He shoves back against Pierce, enjoying that arm holding him up, and mewls. Slave wants more.

Oh, and that sound; it leaves Pierce breathless. He tugs Hugh closer with a rougher motion, presses his cock in 'til Hugh's got him all, 'til his hips are pressed up hard and tight against Hugh's ass. He drops his lips to Hugh's shoulder, and bites roughly, teeth digging in and leaving more marks.

"Unngh." Hugh pushes himself back in Pierce's cock and teeth. He wants more and he wants it now. This is a quickie. It should be quick.

The push for more doesn't go unnoticed, and Pierce has a vested interest in not being gone too long himself. But the shove is not what Pierce has in mind, and he shoves back, trapping Hugh between his body and the wall, planting both hands on Hugh's hips and holding him there, fucking him with sharp, vicious strokes that come one on top of another with no time given for recovery. The bites on Hugh's shoulders are ignoring cloth now, teeth stinging in sharp even through fabric.

Hugh groans, more from being pinned than from being bitten. How does he know slave's second favourite kink? "-come now?" he manages. "Can slave...oh, please, please, sir."

"No," Pierce says, between bites and slamming thrusts with his hips. "Not yet."

Hugh pouts as well as he can while trying to control himself enough so that he doesn't come against the wall. He wants to push back, he wants to come, but Pierce won't let. And slave doesn't do anything that sir won't let.

Obedience is bliss. Or rather, having an obedient slave under him is bliss, and it's a mind-numbing, body-shattering kind of bliss that sends Pierce's hand squirming between wall and Hugh so he can wrap it around Hugh's cock, jerk him off in time with the pounding thrusts of his cock into Hugh's body. "That's good," he pants, bites again, pants more in an attempt to get enough air into his lungs to speak. "So good. Good slave. All right. Now, slave. Come for me."

"Th-thank you." Christ, thank you. Hugh comes as soon as he's allowed, not able to keep himself quiet. So good. Against a wall, in public, with a stranger's cock up his arse. Never better than it.

Pierce growls, bites down particularly hard against an already-marked shoulder. His eyes slam shut, and he gives Hugh one last thrust before he comes, cock pulsing and body shaking with the intensity of it. No deep psychological factors involved. No need to break the boy under him to pieces and rebuild him. No sticky questions of what am I feeling?. Just this. Just the needs of the body, the fulfillment of a dom's need to top and a sub's need to bottom. So good.

Oh. Oh. That's good. Fucking beautiful. It's been so long since he's been used that well. One minute speaking civilly, the next being shoved against a wall and fucked. Christ. He really needs to go to premieres more often. "Thank you, sir. That was...gorgeous."

Chuckling, Pierce pulls away, hand at the base of his cock to keep the condom in place until he can strip it off and dispose of it. "It was rather gorgeous, wasn't it?" he asks. He digs a handkerchief out of his pocket, cleans up, finds a second handkerchief and offers it to Hugh. "Thank you yourself, lad."

Hugh takes it gratefully and cleans himself up and then wipes down the wall. "You do that often, sir?"

"No, actually," Pierce admits, resting against the opposite partition. "I have a lover and a long-distance sub, and I don't have much opportunity for things in between. I'm certainly glad for this one, though."

"Me too." Hugh tugs his trousers up and fastens them. He turns around. "Do I look like I haven't just been fucked?"

Pierce almost laughs. "You look like you just had to chase down two city blocks to find a sweet old lady and give her back her handbag," he says, and it's almost true. "Do I look like I haven't just fucked the most adorable slave I've seen in years into a wall?"

Hugh laughs. "You look like you were running with me." He doesn't say anything about the compliment. Sir is entitled to say whatever he wants. "But I think a good wash-up should make it seem like it was only one block."

"I think I've spent the night looking as if I'm entirely too pleased with myself. And now I've earned the smugness." Pierce leans in, brushes a kiss over Hugh's forehead. "I hope to see you on the journals again, Hugh." And with that, he's stepping out of the stall, humming softly under his breath as he makes his way out of the restroom.

Hugh's feeling a bit smug himself. He loiters around the bathroom for a few minutes, washing his face and hands and enjoying the soreness. He hopes he'll see Pierce around. He could use another spontaneous quickie. "Or maybe I could find someone at the next premiere." Yes. He thinks he'll do that.

Chapter Text

The email was last-minute, but now that Pierce is settling into the armchair at the coffee shop, he's grateful for that. Didn't have time to get nervous, he thinks, then stares down at the americano in his hands. He's not thirsty, and his caffeine needs have been sated for the day. Right. Not nervous at all.

Viggo tried to be on time, but he's a few minutes late anyway; as soon as he walks in the door, he spots Pierce, almost as if he couldn't have looked anywhere else. He pulls in a deep breath, fingers the bracelet Tom laced onto him before he left the house, and heads toward the table.

Viggo's nearly at his side before Pierce notices him, and when Pierce does look up, he forces himself to take a deep breath. "Viggo. How are you?"

Such a normal phrase in such an abnormal situation. "I'm good," Viggo says. "How are you, Pierce?" He seats himself quickly, not quite ready to attempt a hug. Not nearly ready for that.

"Fine." He's still not thirsty, but he takes a drink of his americano anyway. "I, ah. Wasn't expecting to hear from you."

"I'm sorry for that," Viggo nods. "I needed to take a lot more time than I expected." He holds Pierce's gaze; it's surprisingly easy.

Pierce bites back the first thing that comes to mind and shakes his head. There's no good response to give to that. "It's been more than two months since the last time I heard from you. Almost six since I last saw you. The whole world feels different."

"It does," Viggo agrees. He watches Pierce, thoughtful; he hadn't considered what he would say at this point, and there are so many things to be said. "I'm sorry," he says quietly. It seems like a good place to start.

Six months ago Pierce would have fought for the right to be the one to apologize; two months ago he would have snapped don't say that. Now he does neither; he lets the words sink in and nods. "So am I," he says.

"I want to be honest with you," Viggo decides, fingering his bracelet absently. "I want to tell you all the things I couldn't when I was under you."

Pierce winces, propping an elbow on the table and pinching the bridge of his nose. "It's odd how much I've grown accustomed to not thinking about those few days," he says. "Or do you mean more of it than that?"

"More of it than that. I want you to know that as much as I struggled between wanting you and fearing you, I wanted and feared myself. It was all parallel."

Lacing his fingers under his chin, Pierce lifts one eyebrow. He's not sure whether to agree -- or point out that Viggo's confusion was more than obvious -- or simply stay quiet, and staying quiet seems to carry the fewest risks, so he does that.

"I can see now, in hindsight, that any fear I had of you was fear of myself. I think I've been wrong all this time, Pierce. I don't think you've ever been the snake I took you for." Viggo watches Pierce intently for reaction, unsure how his words will be taken.

They're not taken badly, at least; Pierce sits back in his seat, chuckles softly. "Damn," he says. "And I take such pride in being a heartless bastard."

Viggo leans back, too, not quite laughing but close to it. "This doesn't feel like I thought it would," he decides.

"How were you expecting it to feel?" Pierce asks.

"Less comfortable."

"Time heals all wounds?" Pierce offers. "You weren't always going to be in a place where you needed what I was offering. It's not surprising we don't have the same effect on each other we did this last summer."

Viggo nods; that's fair enough. "I think I'd expected, or considered the possibility, that part of me might have been in that same place, or that seeing you again would put me back there." It's refreshing -- no, it feels fucking fantastic -- to be completely honest with Pierce. It's not frightening. Viggo's too secure in himself now for it to scare him.

"I worried about that myself. I never wanted you down that way in the first place, let alone to come back to it months on. I thought about telling you I wasn't going to come today."

"Why did you decide to come, then?" Viggo asks, genuinely interested.

"The same reason I do many things. Part curiosity. Part because I could." Pierce sighs. "Partly to see if I could exchange words with you in person without wanting to run off to Toronto. Or at the moment it's Chicago, actually... where Jeff is."

"Jeff?" Viggo asks carefully, hopeful that his interest isn't frowned upon.

"Jeff is one of my lovers. He's the one I took solace in last summer." Pierce isn't sure how much detail to give, how much Viggo actually wants to know.

Took solace in. That's an interesting choice of words, coming from Pierce, and Viggo has to consider that for a little while.

Pierce supposes there's not much to do but assume the silence means to go on. "We first met over a decade ago through work, but reconnected early this year through the journals. He's busy enough I don't get to see him as often as I'd like. I'll be visiting him mid-December, though."

"That's good," Viggo nods, and decides that Pierce likely hasn't said anything he wasn't willing for Viggo to question. "You said you took solace in him this summer."

"I suppose I did," Pierce says, cupping both hands around his americano, wishing it were still steaming.

"Solace from what, can I ask?"

"Viggo." Pierce stares at him, brows drawn together. "Do you really need to ask?"

Viggo frowns. "I guess I do."

"The days you were at my house weren't easy for me, either," Pierce says quietly. "I needed to go somewhere there was no confusion, somewhere I had a friend willing to listen, and talk, and not talk when the words failed."

Viggo nods slowly, letting himself come to terms with that idea. "We hurt ourselves, and each other," he realizes. "We both needed to recover."

"Yes." Easy enough to agree to that. "I expected it to be hard for you. I didn't expect to need two months before I could even contemplate coming back to Los Angeles."

"Two months." Viggo shakes his head, finding it difficult to wrap his brain around the concept.

"On the bright side, it was the longest stretch of time I've had with Jeff since we started seeing each other." Pierce shrugs. "It's very much water under the bridge for me. Between Jeff and Peter I've all but talked--" you "--it out of my system."

Viggo idly strokes his bracelet, watching Pierce. "Can I ask you something? You don't have to answer."

"You can ask anything you need to."

"I don't need to. I want to." The distinction is important to Viggo; he suspects it will be to Pierce, too.

That's almost harder to agree to; Pierce nods after a moment, though. "You can ask me anything," he says quietly, "and I'll answer if I can."

"Thank you." Viggo is quiet a moment, appreciating the freedom. "How much of all of this did you understand at the time? How aware did you feel of my need and where it came from?"

"I thought I knew everything you were going through. I recognized a lot of it as less attraction to me in particular and more to the benefit of getting dragged down and not having to think. I understood what it feels like losing someone the way you did. It was unsettling finding out where I was wrong." Pierce exhales harshly; it's still unsettling, even after all this time.

"Where do you feel you were wrong?" Viggo asks, surprised; he considers what Pierce has said to be fairly accurate, really.

And this is much harder to answer, both because Pierce remembers how it felt realizing it at the time and because he doesn't want it to come out sounding like an accusation. "I thought you wanted to come back up."

"Oh." Viggo nods, surprised by the intensity with which he remembers his emotions, his desperation. "At the time, I thought I wanted to come back up, too, but only after I'd gone down completely. Except I don't think there is such a thing."

"Not for you. Not at the time. I didn't expect that." He shakes his head. "It's so far from my experiences, I don't think I could have expected it." That's a new thought. Does that mean I don't get to blame myself for it anymore?

Viggo nods slowly. "We were both in over our heads."

"You were supposed to be in over your head. That was the point."

"Over my head in context. I was over my head all the time."

"I didn't realize that until it was far too late." Pierce sighs. "I hate having so many regrets centered around you."

"I do too," Viggo agrees. "I'd like to find a way for us to set the regrets aside, as much as we can."

Pierce's eyebrows go up again. "Do you have any suggestions for that?" he asks.

Viggo shrugs. "Admit that we were both wrong, and we were both right, that we were both selfish and selfless, that we both erred more than we succeeded?"

"We should have more than one warm coffee between us to seal something like that," Pierce says, but he lifts his cup anyway. "I'm not where I was five, ten years back. I can admit to being wrong with you."

Viggo nods, only then realizing he hadn't even bothered to order when he came in. He makes a "cheers" gesture nonetheless, tipping his head. "I was wrong, too. And right. We both were. Good came out of that for me, and for you, I hope."

"I think so. I think part of my ability to let my guard down with both my lovers has to do with needing to make that sort of connection after the way we mismanaged ours. Much as it's never fun to be someone's learning experience, I think both of us have been for each other."

Viggo nods again. "It surprises me to hear you talk about it like that. I hadn't expected you to be so candid."

"There's little to be gained in remaining circumspect. Not where we've been. And there's not much to lose in being candid. We're not exactly protecting a relationship anymore."

Viggo blinks. "I didn't think about it in those terms."

"Really?" Pierce's grin is more amused than anything. "You've been the ex in conversation for months."

Viggo goes very still, staring at Pierce for long moments. He remembers the bracelet suddenly, and slips the fingers of his other hand underneath it, squeezing it. "That's not how it was for me," he explains, though his voice is now much quieter, his expression subdued.

And there you are again, pushing to see reaction and not coming anywhere near what you expected. Pierce's grin disappears, even his body language turning guarded as he pulls himself back from the table. "I wouldn't expect it to be," he says.

It's a struggle to remain cogent, but Viggo fears what will happen if he simply gives it up after coming so far. "Is that what I was to you? At the time, is that how you saw me?"

"At the time I thought of you as my submissive. And I took it as seriously as I've taken any of my relationships. Until recently, all my relationships have been with the men who were under me, so the lines have always been drawn that way for me. It never occurred to me to wonder what you made of it." It's occurring now, though. "What did you make of it?"

Viggo rubs a hand over his mouth, wondering just how it became so difficult to speak. "I'm going to get a cup of coffee before I answer that," he decides, getting to his feet before Pierce can stop him, if Pierce decides to try.

Pierce isn't thinking about stopping him. He's having enough trouble staying put himself; he's not sure what's keeping him in his seat instead of getting up and leaving. On one hand, it doesn't seem that this could get much worse; on the other, he doesn't hold out much hope that it'll get better, either.

Viggo orders a plain cup of coffee, black, and takes the few moments between paying and receiving his cup to breathe. He stares at the lacings of his bracelet, finding a place from which to order his thoughts and center himself. By the time he comes back to the table, he's marginally better, but it's still a struggle to find words.

"I'm sorry," Pierce says quietly. "That was something you didn't need to hear from me, wasn't it?"

"In the interest of being truthful with each other, I needed to hear it," Viggo murmurs. "It's just...very unexpected."

"I can see that." Pierce goes quiet again after that, not at all sure that continuing in this conversation is going to be good for either of them.

"Your question," Viggo murmurs. "I saw you several different ways. I didn't have any one way I perceived you."

"I'm not that flexible," Pierce says. "Given the choice between fitting you into my preconceptions about how things worked and devising a new category for you, I fit you into preconceptions."

Viggo nods; that feels marginally better, at least. "I started thinking of you as my dom at some point. Sometimes I decided you weren't my dom." He shrugs. "Thursdays and Fridays, mostly." He has more to say, but the familiar fear of letting Pierce in too close makes him pause, if only to see how his words are taken.

Given an entire world of possible responses, the only one Pierce can offer is "Ah." He doesn't know where the pitfalls are, and he doesn't want to make another mistake that sends him to Toronto. Chicago, this time. And either way, you're not going.

More, then. "When I was in your house, I wasn't able to think of you as something specific. I was just yours."

"Are you at a point you can move past that?" Pierce asks. "Is there something you need from me before you can let everything from those days go?"

That makes Viggo smile, though it feels odd coming on the heels of so much uneasiness. "I thought about that on my way here."

The smile's more troubling than the disquiet, somehow. "Any answers?"

"I'd like it if we could end this with a hug," Viggo says. It covers so many things for him; he needs to feel Pierce's touch, to scent him, to feel his breath again and associate it with something normal. He needs to feel equal to Pierce, and even something as symbolic as standing toe-to-toe will help.

"Well, that's certainly not something I expected to hear," Pierce says. "But I'll give you that if it's something you want." Both eyebrows go up. "Now?"

There's something amusing in that, as if Pierce is treating the hug as a scene to be acted or an action that must be done just so. "Now's fine," Viggo agrees; he's still not quite settled from the notion of Pierce considering him an ex-boyfriend, but maybe that's the point; he has to be able to meet Pierce halfway, with the knowledge that everything will never be resolved between them.

Pierce slips out from behind the table, and he winces as he feels just how much tension's built up in his shoulders from the latter half of the conversation; he's not so sure a hug wouldn't snap him in half. He rolls his neck; it's the fastest, least overt way of getting some of the tension to come loose before he has to face actually touching Viggo again.

Viggo expected this to be awkward; he's the one into the whole hugging thing, and so he has to be forward about it, no matter how counter that runs to the way he normally interacts with Pierce. But that, too, is the point, and he takes care to embrace Pierce slowly; he's not going to rush this.

What surprises Pierce the most is how unfamiliar it feels; it's not at all like going back to a former mode of interaction, and he realizes belatedly that their interactions with each other have never been simple, never something that a simple hug could fit into. It feels as if he's got too many limbs, and he doesn't know where to fit his chin, and... Christ, this is much, much harder than he thought it would be.

Pierce feels stiff as a board, and it's hard to meld properly against someone that tense. By now, though, Viggo's well and truly into the theory that all of this is as it should be; it would be rather frightening if it were easy to hug Pierce, after all. He sighs a little, relaxing into the embrace, and waits just one more moment to see if Pierce does the same.

It's not going to happen. Physical contact is not something Pierce expected to happen here at coffee; hell, it's not something he expected to happen again in his lifetime. It's off-balancing and uncertain and he doesn't want it to be easy, doesn't want to risk forgetting just how much a mistake getting tangled up with this man was.

You are, however, ruining his attempt at reconciliation with your need to punish yourself, Pierce thinks, and much though he'd like to throttle the inner voice, it's right. He relaxes some -- not much, but some -- and wraps his arms around Viggo's waist, exhaling softly.

It's enough. It's what Viggo needed, and as he pulls back he rests his hands on Pierce's arms, just lingering close. "Thank you," he murmurs sincerely.

How do I answer that? "You're welcome," Pierce says, pulling away further, needing to lean against the table's edge just for a few moment's support.

Viggo takes a step back, too, recognizing the need to be done with this now. "Is there anything you need from me?"

Pierce shakes his head. "Nothing I can think of. I'd like it if I didn't have to go out of my way to avoid you. That's all, really."

Viggo gives a little smile at that. "I don't want to avoid you anymore. I hope you feel the same."

"Right at the moment asking me how I feel wouldn't get you much in the way of answers," Pierce admits. "And I've got a lover to get home to." Thank God, or you'd probably be looking for a bar to go to and drink all afternoon.

Viggo nods; that's fair enough. "So do I," he agrees, fingering the bracelet again.

"Then I wish you all the best," Pierce says, stopping short of saying it was good to see you or we should do this again sometime. He's not sure he'd mean either. "Have a good afternoon, Viggo."

"You too," Viggo agrees, deciding to let Pierce leave first; he hasn't had a single sip of his coffee, and he could use some time to regroup before heading home.

Pierce is willing to leave without regrouping; he nods again, one last acknowledgement, and heads for the door, digging into his pocket for his keys and glad home isn't far away.

God, God, God, what the hell was I thinking, going to meet that man?

Pierce's hands are too tight on the steering wheel, and only the fact that he's been driving for more than three decades keeps him steady on the road. He's more shaken by everything than he wants to admit.

You pushed. You're a fucking idiot for pushing and you couldn't help pushing anyway. God, what in hell's name did you think was going to happen? Did you really think he ever thought of you as anything but a scapegoat, as the big bad wolf come to eat him?

He shoves a hand through his hair, impatient with himself, and comes to a stop at a red light.

He did think of you as more; he just didn't think of any of it the same way you did, and you knew that going in. What was it you were trying to do? Prove to yourself, again, that you can't read this one? That you're going to fail in anything you attempt to put together with him?

Stop. Just stop.

But the thoughts are spinning out of alignment too fast for him to handle, and as soon as he gets one thought settled he's back to another. The memories are coming back hot and fast, thoughts of Viggo in the rain, Viggo in his kitchen, cufflinks, the mirror, his hand sliding into Viggo's body and--


There's a parking lot, and Pierce pulls off immediately, earning a frantic beep from the car behind him and probably a number of curses. He pulls into a parking space and shoves the car into park, shutting off the engine and slamming the heel of his hand into the steering wheel.

"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck."

He's breathing too hard and too fast, and the world's gone black and white around him. Can't breathe. Fuck, can't breathe. His stomach's clenched into knots and his whole body's shaking, as if he can't get warm enough.

Stupid. Fucking. Idiot. Get a handle on yourself, man.

The mental rebuke doesn't help; he can't do anything but wait for this to pass.

And eventually it does. He feels winded, and his hands are still trembling. He's freezing. And he still can't get his thoughts to steady.

Just breathe. You're all right. Just breathe.

After a while, Pierce fumbles his cell phone out of his pocket and manages to dial Peter's number. If his thoughts were coming clearly, he'd be mentally kicking himself for having to make the call; as it is, he's just glad there's going to be someone on the other end of the line. He knows Peter expected it to go badly; he just hopes Peter can handle how badly it actually went.

Pick up. Please.

The trill of his cell doesn't startle him as much as Peter expected. He'd been anticipating the call. Not wanting it. Hoping against odds that Pierce's meeting with Viggo wouldn't go badly.

The incessant chirping means otherwise.

"I'm here," he says, toggling the talk button, already on his feet and looking for his sweater to tug over the t-shirt he's wearing. "Where are you?"

"I'm at a 7-11 about halfway between the coffeeshop and home," Pierce says. "I had to stop. Couldn't stay on the road." Go on. Tell him you had a panic attack while you were driving. "Can you come get me?" he asks quietly.

"Give me 15," Peter says, tugging on his sweater and grabbing his keys and wallet. "I'm out the door. Wanna keep talking?"

"I didn't think it was going to be easy," Pierce says, leaning forward against the steering wheel, glasses off as he pinches the bridge of his nose. "I pushed. There was a wrong turn in the conversation and it was because I pushed for it. God, it was like last summer all over again."

Peter switches the phone to hands-free and has the car on the road when he draws in a breath. Not again. Why? "How did you push? Why? Do you know?"

"I told him we had nothing to lose by being honest with each other, that we didn't have a relationship to protect anymore. He looked as if he'd never even thought of that before, and I was..." Pierce winces; his stomach twists again. "I wanted to see what was under the reaction, the look on his face, I wanted to know what he'd do if he got the kind of honesty from me he'd been hitting me with since the conversation started. I pushed. I told him he's been the ex in my thoughts since this summer. He looked like I'd hit him with a brick. Had to take a few minutes away from me to breathe. I wanted to leave. Should have left then. Christ, I don't know why I did that."

"I'm confused, Pierce," Peter says, concentrating on a turn for a moment. "Did he not think of the relationship in terms of exes? Or was he just shocked to hear you were over him?"

"The first," Pierce says. "He wanted a hug before he left." It's not going to help, telling the story in bits and pieces, but Pierce's thoughts aren't nearly settled enough to tell everything in order.

"You gave him one?" Peter's thinking more and more this is an in-person conversation. He's having enough trouble following Pierce's logic. "What are you feeling, Pierce? What happened?"

Deep breath. Exhale. This isn't helping. Pierce swallows, tries to breathe and get his thoughts in order. "It started out all right," he says quietly. "We talked a bit about last summer, about the days he spent in my house and agreed we'd made mistakes. Both been right and wrong, selfless and selfish... agreed it wasn't his fault or mine. That felt all right. And then he said he wasn't expecting me to be so candid, and I told him there wasn't anything to lose. That was when it started falling apart. Christ, Peter. What did he want me to say? That I'd never cared about him at all? That I only did what I did last year because I could, because I wanted to see what would happen? That was about half of my reason for getting involved with him, and the other half is because there really was a time I cared about him." He cringes, wraps one arm around his chest while holding the phone to his ear with the other. "I let him in that far knowing he was going to redefine me as an abusive, heartless bastard. Maybe it bothers me knowing that he doesn't. I don't know what comes next."

"What comes next is I get you, take you home and hold you." Peter knows the convenience store is close, starts looking for the sign. "Then we talk more." He sees it, makes the turn into the parking lot. "Hanging up, getting out of the car now."

Pierce hangs up his own phone and shoves it back into his pocket; he gets out of his car and turns around, spotting Peter immediately and heading over. "Thank you," he says.

"It's not a problem," Peter says, wrapping his arm around Pierce's shoulder, guiding him to the passenger door. "We'll call and get the car brought home."

"Shit. I didn't expect not to be able to make it home," Pierce says, getting in the car and closing the door, leaning against the window. "Didn't expect seeing him to hit so hard."

"Just relax. Close your eyes even." Peter settles into the seat, buckles up, starts the car. "It's what lovers do, Pierce," he says, pulling out of the lot. "Be there for each other."

Pierce slides a hand over, covers Peter's with it. "I know," he murmurs. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Peter squeezes Pierce's hand. "Car locked, I presume."

"Yeah." Pierce sighs. "You know, it's been two months since he last emailed. I honestly thought I wasn't going to hear from him again."

"Would've been better." Peter's on the road, taking the longer way home. "Not going to say 'I told you so' but he's not going to bring anything good to your life. My opinion."

"I'm sure his lover's saying the same thing about me right now. Can't imagine why he'd want anything to do with me." Pierce pauses, squeezes Peter's hand hard. "I still feel like I owe him something. Or I did. Like I still have something to make up for."

Driving one-handed not's the easiest, and Peter's saying a silent prayer of thanks for automatic transmissions. He doesn't stop Pierce, understands the need for contact. "What would you have to make up for? What mistake did you make? Other than seemingly doing exactly what you both set out to do."

"I hurt him. Badly. I didn't see things through to the end. I ran instead of seeing if there was an end." There it is. That's why he turned up today.

"And he hurt you by exacting more than he had a right to," Peter says, taking the turn on the last stretch a little more sharply than he should've. "You'll find no sympathy for him from me. From what I've heard, he didn't allow for proper closure, and you were left with no recourse other than to seek it elsewhere, with Jeff."

Pierce works his hand free from Peter's, giving Peter room to drive. "Peter, for God's sake, he was on the bottom in this equation. It wasn't his job to--" He stops short, grits his teeth together. "I'm defending him. Again. God, I hate doing that."

Both hands on the wheel now, Peter finds himself gripping them harder. "Yes, he was the bottom," he says, terse words, "but he chose to be there, Pierce. He chose to let you put him down. His decision to seek you out, so, yes, stop defending him."

"I'm sorry." Pierce lets his head drop back against the headrest. "Viggo and I just established that there were no heroes and no villains, so I can't even take comfort in having been the bad guy. And I was taking comfort in that." His voice drops. "Villains do things for envy or for spite, but never out of compassion. And their pride might be damaged, but they don't hurt. Don't panic. Don't ache."

"That's a load of shite, Pierce, and you know it. Villains are human, just like the heroes. They panic. They ache. They wake up crying in the night because they couldn't stop the evil from happening." Peter fixes his eyes on the road. Just a few more minutes and they'll be home. "They hurt, because they know what the damned knife feels like going in and coming out. Makes you feel better to think you're the villain? Go ahead, no matter what Viggo says. You're still the same person. Not a villain. Not a hero. Just one of us fucked-up humans."

"It's very strange having someone this protective at my side," Pierce murmurs. "Are you always like this when someone you lo-- when someone you care about is confused? Hurting?"

"Honestly?" Peter glances at Pierce, a strange grin on his face. "I've never been this protective. Another one of those new emotions."

"Peter..." Pierce slides his hand up Peter's arm, back down, rests it against the back of his wrist. "Before all this -- before the affair after Viggo and Sean broke up -- Viggo was a fascinating man. One I was constantly fighting half-attraction, half-animosity with, and I think he felt the same way about me. It's damn easy to look at him now and think I should stay the hell away from him, but part of me did go after him because I wanted him. Not just out of curiosity as to how he'd look on his knees, but because I was interested. I have absolutely no idea what his goal is for us, in the end, whether he just wants to be able to stand in the same room with me without shaking or if he's going to want to be friends again, if we were ever on that path to begin with. I have no idea what I want out of it. I know it isn't this, though. Not the way things were today."

"I should hope not." Okay, it's not the smartest thing to say, but it's on the tip of Peter's tongue and it comes out. "You experimented. It didn't quite work. So the mad scientist isn't sure what to make of his creature. How about just letting it be? Not force reconciliation or renunciation. Just let life happen."

"I've never been much good at that. Someone keeps inspiring me to try, though." Pierce stretches his arms out in front of him, presses his hands against the dashboard. "God. I think I've finally stopped shaking."

"That's good. We're home." Peter pulls into the garage. "Get you inside, maybe a warm bath, a scotch and I'll make dinner." He cuts the engine, puts his hand on Pierce's. "You can keep venting about Viggo. All the way through dessert, if you like, but not during the movie after that."

"I don't want to keep venting about him. I want to put it out of my mind." Pierce squeezes Peter's hand one last time and gets out of the car. "And I don't want this having me running away from home. Not this time. Once to a customer."

Peter's laughing as he gets out of the car. He leans on the top. "You know that's not an option, even if you wanted. I'll chain you to the bed first."

Pierce raises an eyebrow. "I'd fight," he says casually, making his way inside.

"That's why I'd use the heavy-duty padlocks." Peter tosses his keys on the table, followed by wallet. "Dinner's marinating. Should be ready for the grill in another 15 or so. You want that bath?"

"Not yet." Pierce fishes keys, wallet, cellphone out of pockets and sends them to join Peter's. He backs up against the wall, reaching out to pull Peter in close. "Just like this," he murmurs, "just for now."

Peter lets Pierce take the lead, just like in dancing, allowing himself to be pulled in as close as his lover wants. He snakes his hands behind Pierce's back, just holding. "As long as you need, lover."

Pierce nuzzles against the side of Peter's throat, breathing him in. Yes. Home. Here. Safe.

Chapter Text

"It's fine, Sean," Pierce says, fingernails cutting into his palm. "It's fine." Right. Keep the voice even. Don't snap. "Have a good day."

Pierce is very deliberate when he puts the phone down, and he takes care to unclench his hand, examining his palm for any actual scratches. Nothing. Good. This is not worth getting self-destructive over. He's still drinking his coffee instead of launching the mug across the room, he's put the phone down instead of shattering it into pieces, he--

"Goddamnit, Sean."

Peter hadn't gone back to sleep. He'd roused himself slowly, making way through morning rituals, wondering at why they'd sleep so late. He finds himself standing at the kitchen doorway as the phone conversation ends, and the level of Pierce's voice is sharding his hazy brain.

"Should I ask?" he says, walking into the kitchen, casually touching Pierce's arm as he settles against the counter edge. "Do I need coffee for this?"

"It's already going," Pierce says, nodding at the coffeemaker. He leans back in the chair, looks up at the ceiling before shaking his head hard. "Sean got married again."

"Oh," Peter says, yawning and grabbing a cup from the cabinet, pouring his coffee and settling again, pushing himself up on the kitchen's ceramic tile. Best to give Pierce a bit of space, in case the volcano erupts. "Is this a surprise? He's one of those serial grooms, isn't he?"

"Yeah." The bitterness in his voice surprises even Pierce; he leans both elbows on the counter and drops his face into his hands. "It's his second fucking marriage this year. He married Viggo last February."

"What's bothering you about it?" Peter sips at his coffee, warming his hands around the mug's bowl, then he moves one hand to the back of Pierce's neck, pressing his palm down and kneading the tightening muscles.

"Ahhh. God." Pierce groans and comes upright again, leaning into Peter's hands. "You feel good," he mumbles. But that's not an answer, so he sighs and continues, "He's been married two months. Just now telling people. He got married in September."

"There's a reason for that, I'm sure." Peter's keeping his voice even, casual. It's obvious Pierce isn't happy, and Peter doesn't need to add fuel to the fire. He continues rubbing over the corded muscles. "Surely Sean's not that disorganized, he forgets to mention a marriage."

"Didn't want to get questioned about the latest husband being his rebound relationship. About the reason he got married in the first place. More likely, didn't want anyone to tell him he was out of his mind before the fact, either. My God, the man can't seem to so much as fuck someone without picking out wedding invitations. This is his fourth."

Peter doesn't hold back the laugh at the notion of picking out invitations before the first fuck's over. He lets it mute itself in his coffee, though, turning into a whimsical chuckle. "I could say 'it's his life, Pierce, and you have no control over it' but you know that. I suspect it's less the marriage than the delay. Are they really that naive, to think waiting would make anyone's reactions better?"

"I doubt it," Pierce says. He tilts his head to the side, glances over at Peter. "I don't think it is the delay. I'm probably not the only one to yell at him, and for some I'm sure the delay matters, but no. I don't think it would have made a difference, hearing about it earlier."

"No. Probably not. You'd still be sulky and sullen." Peter takes another long sip of coffee, grins. "So what are you feeling? Want to talk? Or hit something?"

"Yes. To both. And you're calming me down just by being here, which is very irritating." Pierce frowns.

Peter shrugs, sets his mug on the counter and slides off. "Maybe I should leave." He has no intention of doing it, but it's worth it to make the gesture. "Would hate for you to miss out on a hellstorm because I'm a calming effect."

"I'm not thirty anymore. Or forty. I already have one scar from that man. I don't really need more." Pierce gets out of his chair, pushes Peter back into the counter and wraps his arms around his waist. "I'm glad you're here."

"Then I take it I should stay," Peter says, wrapping his arms around Pierce. I'm glad I'm here, too. Really don't want you going ballistic without someone to hold you. "What now? I continue calming? Or let you tear into me?"

Pierce sighs, turns his head to nuzzle against Peter's neck. "This is good," he murmurs. "It'd be better flat. Horizontal."

"I think we can manage that." Peter pushes Pierce back a step, then turns him around, facing out of the kitchen. "Bed's that way. You remember, I'm sure."

"I'm not quite that addled from the conversation," Pierce says, but he lets Peter push him toward the bedroom anyway. It's comforting not having to make every decision right now, not to be responsible for every last step. He heads down the hallway and climbs back into bed, leaving the flannel pyjama bottoms and the t-shirt on and squirming a little in Peter's sheets to get himself comfortable.

Peter's right behind Pierce, every step of the way, and he crawls back into the bed, leaving no space between them. He puts his hand on Pierce's stomach, just under the edge of the t-shirt. "Tell me what you need, Pierce. Whatever it is, all you have to do is ask."

Pierce shakes his head. "No one thing. Just to talk for now." He can't help arching, squirming just a little into Peter's hand. You feel so good. Love you. Declarations of love in the midst of emotional upheaval never seems like a good idea, though, so Pierce stays quiet about that. It's more about a sense of comfort, he decides, wanting to express that comfort in some of the few words that have the right impact. "You feel good," he murmurs instead.

"Okay. Talk." Peter continues moving his fingers, slow and steady, soothing circles, calming. "I get the feeling, just from knowing you like I do, you don't tend to talk things like this out. If I weren't here, you'd be out of the house, looking for someone to hurt."

"Yes." Pierce closes his eyes, focuses on the feel of Peter's hand on his body. "There's always someone. Someone who needs a rough, ugly fuck and a beating that leaves marks that last for days, and who doesn't give a damn if you're not there to hold him afterwards."

"I suppose we could go find someone, if you like." Peter scoots down under the blankets, nuzzles PIerce's throat. He's reluctant to offer too much, scared almost Pierce will take it. Or won't. "Or you could hurt me, Pierce, and I'll hold you after."

"God." Pierce shivers, wraps his arms around Peter's waist and squeezes. "I want--" He wants too many things; it's all a confused mess, and the way he's feeling about Sean isn't helping any of it. "I want that," he whispers, "but not because of someone else. We've done a damned good job of keeping the past out of our bed. I don't want to change that now."

"I don't want the past here either, Pierce, but it's an offer." Peter takes a breath, not of relief or sadness, just calming. He kisses Pierce, soft brush of lips. "It's an offer made out of love, not haste, and it stands, if you need it."

"Thank you." Pierce rolls Peter over, braces himself on his forearms to look into Peter's eyes. "I'd give you that much, if you ever needed it. For the same reasons."

"Thank you." Peter grins. "But my ex won't marry more than once, so we're safe on that front." He slides his hands up Pierce's arms. "Want to take it to just below the level of hurt? Vent your frustration in my body?"

That's not what I meant, Pierce thinks, but he knows Peter knows that. He leans down, kisses Peter's neck, bites gently, lets his teeth dig in just a little harder. "We can do this," he whispers, "or you could make me talk more. Or we can do this first, and I can talk later."

"Or I could make you talk while we do this." Peter doesn't see any reason to keep the conversation uber-serious. It's not life or death, after all, and he has his lover hovering over him. "Shall I be therapist to your subconscious, lover? Draw out our psyche while you're doing that." He tilts his head, opening himself up more to Pierce's bites. "And I must say, you've turned me into a great fan of that particular type of pain."

"Have I?" Pierce squirms down between Peter's legs, flannel catching against silk, and he bites at Peter's neck again. His preoccupation with Sean's not going to last very long if his teeth are leaving marks on his lover's skin.

"Yes. Don't like pain," Peter says, arching his body up to meet Pierce's squirms. "No, that's not right. Just never got off on feeling it. Giving it's different." He clutches at Pierce's upper arms, fingers wrapping and nails nearly digging. "You make me want it."

"And you make me want everything," Pierce whispers. "Fuck my ex. He's not important. His need to marry everyone he lays eyes on's not important." Somewhere there's a nagging itch, a sense of everyone but me, and that's important enough to be talked of later, but right now teeth and nails are far more pressing, much more immediate, and the rest can wait.

"Not really interested in fucking your ex, but, yes, let's forget about him for the moment." Peter squirms a bit, settling in under Pierce's body. "You're welcome to fuck me, though. Hard as you want."

"Love it when you make offers like that," Pierce says. He moves his hands to Peter's waist, starts working his t-shirt up his chest, leaving tiny sharp bites as he goes.

"Don't make 'em to just anyone," Peter says, the last word trailing into a whimper when the bites come closer to his nipple. "But, then, no one does that to me so well."

"Mm-hm." Pierce catches the hitch in voice, licks a path to Peter's nipple and then bites, tugging gently and letting his teeth dig in harder moment-by-moment.

It's moving, slow and reasonable, to more pain. That bite's decidedly on a threshold. Peter plays it over in his brain. Can take it. Not bad. Stop kidding yourself, Wingfield, it's bloody brilliant and it's igniting your brain. He moves his hands to the back of Pierce's neck, laces them, holds steady.

Pierce eases off on the bite, licks over Peter's nipple again. "Go ahead," Pierce murmurs, nudging up against Peter's hands to acknowledge them. "Tell me when it's too much. Or if it's not enough." And he moves an inch above Peter's nipple, biting at the upper plane of his chest.

"Okay." It feels odd for a moment, exploring new territory almost. "That's," he licks his lips, "good. A little more. Please?"

"Mmm." That warm feeling Pierce gets when he's hurting someone and they're asking for more is starting to come up in his skin. He licks a particularly nice spot of Peter's chest and starts biting again, imagining what that spot would look like red and purple.

Peter's never been on the receiving end of this. Has done it plenty of times, hurt someone till they were begging, listened to the way their voice changed, breath hitched. He hears it in himself and, amazing enough, it doesn't frighten him. He can reason it out. It's about giving in, not going down, more letting his lover guide him to new places than just put him there. It could work.

It took Pierce years to figure out that sadism and domination weren't always tied together. Nothing he's doing now is intended to be forced on Peter. This isn't pushing someone to accept a new sensation. They're going together, like they have been for the last few months, and every tiny sound Peter makes is a revelation. It's good this way.

It is good. Very good. Better than good. Peter stretches, head pushing back toward the headboard slats, legs sliding under Pierce's. He's opening his body much as he can, exposing maximum flesh to lover's touch. "A little to the left," he murmurs, one particular spot at the crest of his ribs feeling rather ignored.

Pierce chuckles at the correction and moves exactly where Peter's indicated, laving tongue and lips over a spot, marking out his intended target before laying down teeth and drawing up bruises.

The spot's happier the moment the bruising starts, and so is Peter, but he's impatient and wanting more. "Pierce, please," he says, voice soft, too elegant for the words, "fuck me. Now."

Pierce is feeling a warm buzz through most of his body by the time he pulls his head up, looks down at Peter's bruises. "Yes," he breathes, and then a little more firmly, "yes," and he reaches over to the nightstand, groping through it for lube.

"It's on the floor, luv," Peter murmurs. "Fell there last night." He thinks about telling Pierce not to bother, that he wants to hurt, but now's not the time to be cavalier, test all the limits. And he knows the tube's mostly used up anyway, so it'd be a moot point.

"Is that what happened?" Pierce asks, and he laughs as he rolls off Peter entirely and swings an arm over the side of the bed. "I do seem to remember you... oof -- throwing this at the nightstand and -- unf," crawling back up and putting the lube down long enough to slip his t-shirt and pyjama bottoms off, "neither of us caring that you missed."

"There's something," Peter says, lifting up his hips and tugging his boxers off, "bizarrely sexy about you nearly rolling off onto the floor like that." He rolls over, slips off his t-shirt and tosses the balled up clothes to the floor.

"I'm glad you think so," Pierce grins, settling himself between Peter's legs again and squeezing the last of the lube onto his fingers. "It's far less work than climbing out of bed and back in." His fingers circle Peter's opening for a fast second and then start the warm, tight push in. "God, but you're always so tight..."

"Oh, fuck, Pierce, warn a boy," Peter says, body jerking back into the pillows. "Well, you know, I haven't been fucked that much, truth be told."

"I know." Pierce grins. He leans down to lick over Peter's bruises. "I'd always thought you looked so good in fisherman white," he murmurs, curling his fingers up, rub-stroke-twisting until he gets them working over that spot just right. "Black and blue might be even better. Red and purple."

Working over that spot just right has Peter squirming. "You'll start a trend. Perhaps I should, ohh, yes, uh, coordinate my sweaters to compliment your marks."

Pierce outright refuses to start thinking of tweeds that would suit the look perfectly. Instead, he slips his fingers back out and rubs the last traces of lube over his cock. "How hard do you want it?" he asks, lining up, nudging the head of his cock forward just a fraction.

"Just shy of being the boy you'd slam into the wall." Peter grins, pushes up to kiss Pierce's lips. "That work?"

"Works." Pierce grins back, grips the base of his cock with one hand, braces himself on the mattress with the other, and slams in nice and hard, all at once, friction burning at first but easing as he settles in, hips rubbing against Peter's ass.

Be careful what you say aloud, Peter thinks, because he gets exactly what he asked for. Hard. No mercy. Shoving him back into the pillows, hands going up and curling around wooden slats, pushing back against Pierce's thrusts.

Pierce doubts Peter realizes just how amazing that looks. Peter's arms stretched out overhead, his hands tight on the bars, every muscle down to his chest hard and defined. And Pierce has enough freedom to go in hard, fast, rough, deep -- take his lover the way he'd take someone willing to field the brunt of Pierce's morning frustration. More than that, taking Peter this way because Peter is someone who's willing to let Pierce lose himself, someone strong enough to hold on through the shattering, body-shaking thrusts. "Fuck --fuck, Peter, need you, need--" damn it, "need this, just like this, please..."

Peter's just holding on, yielding with every thought, every muscle in his body, opening himself up as much as possible, taking in the pain Pierce needs to unleash. This is what it means to be in love, he realizes, somewhere around the time his mind's stopped counting thrusts, stopped calculating how much force Pierce is putting behind each slam. Giving another man the freedom to use his body to heal himself. That's love.

Peter screams, a raw, guttural cry in the wilderness, the moaning of a wolf discovering the moon's light for the first time. "Take, Pierce," he cries, not holding back the tears welling in his eyes, "what you need."

"Need you," Pierce growls in response, body sweat-slick and hands damp enough with the perspiration to make it nearly impossible to keep his grip on Peter's body. He lowers himself to his forearms, nuzzling and licking Peter's throat, choking out harsh grunts every time he thrusts and feels Peter's body tightening around him. This feels right, every inch of it, every fraction of a second, and the sheer certainty behind that thought has Pierce biting down hard, bruising the side of Peter's neck as his hips hitch against the last few painful, desperate strokes.

It's all Peter can do not to fall apart, melt into the pillows and sheets under the weight and force of Pierce's possession. It feels perfect, logical, just as sane and sensible as if their places were reversed. Then there's the bite. Oh, what a perfect bite, hard and bruising and, oh, bloody hell, Peter's forgetting everything he ever thought about being under someone. This is heaven, just like this.

It is heaven. Everything Pierce needed and then some, well past the point of fucking out frustration and into the realm of loving it for its own sake. Pierce slides a hand between them, runs it down over Peter's chest, down his stomach, wraps his fingers around Peter's cock and strokes in time with his thrusting. He's so close. Oh, God, so close, and he lets out a broken groan against Peter's throat as one last thrust sends him over, eyes shut tight and body shaking.

Pierce didn't even need to touch him, but the warm hand around his cock jerks Peter back into awareness, his body shivering with the immediacy of release. He comes, a split second after Pierce, biting back the scream, fingers clutching at the bed's wood hard enough to leave indentations.

"Oh." Pierce gasps, collapses on Peter's shoulder. "Oh, God, Peter. Amazing." He chuckles. "So good."

"Uh, yeah." Peter sucks in a much-needed breath. He's not sure he's been doing that for the last five minutes. "Get back to me in a minute. Maybe ten."

"Yes, sir." Pierce shifts a little, curls both arms around Peter's shoulders. "Don't need to go anywhere. Have all the time you want."

He closes his eyes, breathes in and out a few more times. "I think a lifetime might be just about long enough to grow bored with this."

"Only one lifetime?" Pierce whispers. "I think we'd need at least two."

"Alright, I give, Pierce," Peter murmurs, obviously sated and spent. "You can have two lifetimes to wear me out."

"Good," Pierce says, leaning up to kiss Peter's forehead. "Yours. Mine. And I get worn out on occasion, too."

journal entry, Pierce
Thoughts On Marriage
Over the last year or so I've started to believe that falling in love is not an event to be commemorated -- it happens gradually over time as you get to know someone and discern where pieces fit, where you belong together and where you're better together than you were apart. I feel the same way about marriage. Choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone isn't really a matter of a single moment, before which you're "two" and after which you're "one". There are no guarantees in life, no certainty that the one you love will be the same man you fell in love with when it's ten years down the road and career and life have altered drastically.

Lifetime commitments, such as they are, aren't made in one day. They're made every day, choosing tomorrow after tomorrow after tomorrow with someone, making that choice every morning when you wake up in someone's arms and think this is right and my God, I'm blessed. The lack of a ring doesn't make it easier when things change and you're not the men who fell in love at the start. The lack of vows before an officiant doesn't mean vows weren't made before. So no. I don't understand marriage as an event. An excuse to get someone presents and to throw a few parties, maybe. But I don't need a ceremony or a certificate or a host of legal promises to do that.

private journal entry, Pierce
Sometimes I hate how finding out one small thing can throw everything that came before that into a different light. Sean got married. Sean always gets married; Sean is the epitome of the marrying type. Sean marries everyone he loves.

Sean never did bring up marriage with me.

I wonder if it's because I'm so much not the marrying type, so disenchanted with the concept of marriage. Of course I've seen marriages that work; my mother's to my (step)father, for one. I can't imagine a better man than my stepfather, and it's still strange writing out or saying the step in front of father when I'm talking about him, simply because he was there from such an early age and has been father to me for so long. There's nothing once-removed there, and of course I've seen what marriage did for him and my mother.

Maybe it's because I'm gay -- the possibility of having that didn't occur to me. Marriage wasn't an option for men like me, and I grew up not thinking anything of it. We make commitments in so many different ways. One doesn't have to have a ring or a ceremony to believe the relationship is 'til death do us part.

But there is a small, selfish part of me that wonders if he marries everyone he's loved, what does that say about me? It's a part I'm trying to exorcise; certain demons do no one any good. Sean is married again and he's happy. I'm happy for him. I wish there were a good way to ask why not me, Sean? why everyone but me? but I suppose that's a mystery I'll have to live with.

I'm checking the calendar more than usual these days. This morning my calendar program told me I'm two weeks away from taking off to see Jeff. Two weeks! I can't decide whether it feels like I just left him at the airport or whether it feels like it's been forever. Two weeks! It's undignified how much I'm grinning.

Speaking of other things that are undignified, I seem to be cursed with lovers who snore. As much as I enjoy having Peter in my bed, or me in his, as often as we've done lately... my God. I've been tempted to get a flashlight and find out just what's in that man's nose from time to time. But given what's in most men's noses, I think I'm better off without the view.

Chapter Text

Pierce zips the last of his suitcases and carries it out into the foyer with the rest of them. You'd think I wouldn't need this much for a week's vacation, he thinks, shaking his head. But that really is the last of it; he's got a leather backpack into which he's already shoved his latest travelling knitting project, a book, his iPod.

He heads back to the bedroom. "Well, that's done," he says. "Going to survive the lack of me for eleven days?"

"Eleven days?" Peter's sitting on the bed, crosslegged against the headboard. He swoons with mock horror. "How will I make it?" Then there's the grin. "Oh, yes, there's this boy living at my house who'll occupy me. Plus, I'm expecting a good-bye kiss that'll hold me for two weeks."

Pierce snorts and climbs onto the bed, crawling all the way up and straddling Peter's lap. "Go ahead. Crush my fragile ego with your insensitive taunts. I'll miss you, too, you bastard."

"Crush, crush," Peter says, placing his hands on Pierce's hips and squeezing. He laughs. "Your ego want stroking instead?"

"I'm all for stroking." Pierce smirks and slides his hands up Peter's chest, settling them at either side of his neck and drawing his thumbs up and down the center of Peter's throat.

"Oh, you are? Hmmm. Now, what could need stroking?" Peter draws his hand up Pierce's back, trying not to notice where his lover's hands are going. Failing. Wondering. "How could I make you not forget me while you're with you other lover?"

"I won't forget about you." Pierce shifts, nails scratching down the back of Peter's neck, thumbs still stroking. He wonders if it's an idle question or if there's anything serious about it, whether Peter actually thinks there's any chance he'd be forgotten. Pierce has left to see Jeff before, even after things started getting more serious between Pierce and Peter.

But not since you started falling for him. Does that change things? "I couldn't possibly forget you," Pierce says, "but if you've got any nefarious plans to make the evening memorable, I won't argue."

Peter's not worried about Pierce leaving. Not really. His heart knows he won't be forgotten, even if his brain frets. Maybe that's normal. He's never had a lover. All this is still so new. He shrugs it off, doesn't want to bother Pierce with the meandering of his own mind.

"Nefarious." Peter whimpers at the scratch of nails, presses into the stroke of thumbs. "What? Something like cuffing your hands behind your back and pressing your face into the floor as I fuck you raw, don't let you come till you're screaming." The grin's subtle. "No, nothing like that from me."

Pierce blinks. And the image shifts one step to the left, Jeff with those black-and-steel cuffs on, Jeff's forehead on the carpet, the sound of Jeff's voice when he can't take anything more.

He blinks again, and the image is exactly where Peter drew it, Pierce's arms behind him, Peter driving into him. Screaming. "God," Pierce blurts, squirming down on Peter's lap. "I think I'd call that nefarious." He tilts Peter's head back, lets his lips trail the same path his thumbs have been taking, tongue licking up each side of the windpipe. "What sort of cuffs?"

"Really tight ones," Peter says, his thoughts short-circuited by Pierce's lips, his head against the bed's frame. "Uh, metal, steel, police issue. You realize that squirming totally disrupts my nefarious plotting? Not to mention the licking."

Steel cuffs. Pierce lets out an undignified whimper and is too aroused to care how he sounds. "Then maybe I should stop," he whispers, lips against Peter's skin. "I, ah." He presses his face against Peter's neck, gathering a bit of nerve before actually getting the admission out in the open. "I have a thing for that. Cuffs. Steel cuffs with my hands behind my back."

"You do." It's not a question. Peter had suspected, having noticed the glint in Pierce's eyes one night during a random conversation about bondage techniques. He slides his hands down Pierce's arms, wraps fingers around the wrists and moves Pierce's hands to behind his back. "Cuffs would look good on you. Then put you on your knees. Tease you with kisses till you're begging for everything else." He dips his head, kisses the edge of Pierce's shoulder. "Would you like that? Tonight?"

Pierce stops short of answering the question with a question, brain short-circuited by the feel of Peter's hands on his wrists. Forget justifying it; forget thinking this doesn't mean I'm switching. Peter's offering something that sounds incredible to Pierce, and Pierce isn't letting his ego get in the way. "Yes. Please." He turns his head down a fraction, nuzzles the back of Peter's head. It's the only spot he can reach.

Peter knows what Pierce is thinking, without asking. He'd be having the same thoughts. Am I committing to something? I don't switch. "It's just for tonight, Pierce," he whispers, kissing his lover's collarbone. "No preconceptions. No intentions of shifting your headspace."

"You're my lover," Pierce murmurs, "and it'll make us both happy. I'm not going to overthink it."

"Good. Off the bed then. Strip down, then kneel."

Wow. Pierce isn't sure whether he's more blown away by Peter's words or his own desire to do what he's been told. He nods, climbing off Peter's lap, and slides his sweater over his head, leaving it on the foot of the bed, undershirt joining it. Then it's his socks and his jeans, and his boxers are last. When he's naked, he goes to the floor. It's not very graceful, but then he never really was. Not even under Robert, not even with practice. He slips his hands behind his back and looks up, hoping he's got it right.

Peter slides to the edge of the bed, still dressed in jeans, shirt half-buttoned, bare feet. "If you were my boy, I'd correct that posture," he says, slight grin, "but then lovers tolerate more imperfection than masters." He runs his fingertip over Pierce's skin, from throat out to shoulder. "And I'm rather fond of you exactly the way you are."

"I'm glad," Pierce whispers. The light touch is impossibly good, drawing all of Pierce's focus to the way Peter's fingertips feel against his skin. "How do you want me?" he asks. "I can take a bit of correction if you need me to move a certain way."

"It's more an aesthetic," Peter murmurs, placing his hands on Pierce's shoulders, nudging them back just a bit. "I'm too methodical for my own good sometimes. I like precision, fine lines. Move your knees apart just a bit --" Peter stops, laughs to himself at nearly calling Pierce boy. "Shoulder width."

Pierce grins, making the necessary adjustments and noting that it's not difficult, not unnerving, just... it's oddly fun, and he's enjoying being in Peter's hands. Trusts Peter enough to give him this much, without having to second-guess what he's doing. "Better?" he asks.

"Better. Not perfect." Peter leans down, whisper-kisses the words over Pierce's lips. "Not bruising that fragile ego, am I? Letting you know you're not perfect."

"No," Pierce says. "But it does make me want to be perfect." He sighs a little, slides his tongue out over Peter's lips. "What is it that makes us think perfection's the only acceptable goal?"

"Self-conditioning. Parents who demanded too much." Peter returns the kiss, soft and gentle. "Lovers who insisted on pushing our limits till perfection was all we had left."

"Something like that," Pierce agrees, leaning up to steal another kiss. God, Peter's lips feel good. "I want this," he whispers. "Take control, if it's how you want to play it. I'm yours."

"Take control." Peter's murmuring to himself as he moves, retrieves the handcuffs from where he'd been toying with them earlier. "Lover, not boy. There's a difference." This, he thinks, can be more subtle, revealing.

He drops to his knees behind Pierce, running his hand down the right arm, opening the cuff in his free hand and swinging it down over Pierce's right wrist, locking it into place, snugging it.

"Tell me, Pierce," Peter says, repeating the action on the left arm, stopping short of locking, "the first time someone did this to you? What was it like?"

It's already so arousing Pierce is finding it hard to think. He focuses on the sound of Peter's voice, concentrating on every word in turn. "Robert did this to me the first week I was in his home," Pierce murmurs. "He'd, ah. He'd pierced my ear a few days earlier. He put me in cuffs and licked and bit at my earlobe while he fucked me. I was--" God, it's like everything happened last year instead of decades back. "I was on my stomach on his bed. I was so hard I thought I'd break."

Peter listens, catalogues the comments. He clicks the cuff into place and tugs on the. Nice and tight. He kisses the back of Pierce's neck, right over the knot of flesh. "You liked it," he murmurs, pressing in against Pierce's back, sliding his arms around and down his lover's chest, rubbing fingers through the matting of hair. "What about it? Being bound?" His shirt's open enough that his stomach nudges Pierce's hands, warm flesh on cool steel. "I could tie you with fine twine and achieve that."

"Not just being bound," Pierce whispers, twisting his hands in the cuffs. "Leather never did this for me. Rope. Silk." He moves his hands a little more, fingers searching for Peter's skin. "Even other kinds of metal cuffs. He tried putting me in manacles. I never figured it out. I never really tried."

"Well, then, think about it." Peter pushes against Pierce's back, trapping his hands, while his fingers rub their way over nipples, twisting them sharply. "Analyze it, Pierce. What about this is making you so hard?"

"God, fuck, Christ," Pierce says, crying out against the twist. His eyes snap shut, and he pants for breath, the pain not exactly feeling good but travelling straight to his cock all the same. "Because I'm trapped here. Because I can't get away. Oh, God." He drops his head back, trying to lean it back against Peter's shoulder.

"No, you can't get away. And with your hands behind your back, you're rather helpless. At my mercy." Peter twists Pierce's nipples again, quick and sharp, and then rubs over them. "Definite appeal." Then he's moving his hand down, pressing palm into flesh as he slides it over Pierce's stomach, fingers teasing at the edge of cock. The response is immediate, Pierce's cock twitching, reaching for Peter's hand.

"Please," Pierce whispers, "please, Peter, touch me," and he simply doesn't have the needed leverage to move his hips up and let his body demand the touch he needs. At my mercy. It's more than that. Pierce doesn't have any choice -- he has to trust Peter, and he can't get away from him. He doesn't have the option to run.

"Touch you. Like this?" Peter presses his palm into Pierce's skin at the base of his cock and strokes down. It's methodical torture, a single touch when he knows his lover was asking for more.

"More," Pierce whispers, "please, more, God. I can't take it."

"You contradict yourself, Pierce," Peter says, voice monotone, and he finds himself sliding sideways into the master's mind. "You want more, but you can't take it. Which is it?"

"Ahh." God, the tone. The accent's wrong, but the sense of trust is there. "More. Need more." He shudders. "I can't take the tease."

"Most boys can't." Peter's not patronizing, but the tone's decidedly edged. "But I think you can, Pierce," he continues, wrapping his hand around Pierce's cock and tugging, hard, deliberate stroke. "I think you could take his as long as I want to give it to you."

Pierce squirms hard, trying to push his hips forward, his cock into Peter's hand. "Yes," he says, voice coming out on a whimper, eyes stinging hard.

"My beautiful lover," Peter murmurs, stroking with a twist of his wrist, his voice dropping to a bare whisper before he finishes speaking. "You pull things from me, emotions, desires, no other man comes near touching." He moves his other hand across Pierce's chest, sliding first and then raking back, pushing nails in to scratch, cut, mark.

Pierce's breath hitches. The sensations are nearly overwhelming, none of them familiar, all of them good because it's Peter giving them to him, because of the sheer amount of trust he has for this man. And then there's Peter's words, sentiments Pierce knows and understands but never expected to hear from one of his oldest friends. Those words bury themselves deep, contribute to the sting in Pierce's eyes, pulling Pierce's own emotions closer to the surface.

With a final twisting tug, Peter jerks his hand away from Pierce's cock, leans back, takes a deep breath. "Down now," he says, bringing his hands to Pierce's back, one in the center, the other on the cuffs. He pushes his lover forward, bending him over toward the floor. "Going to fuck you. Hard. Raw. Till you're begging."

"Please." Pierce is practically begging already. He goes down willingly, putting his chest and his cheek on the floor, and the position should leave him feeling naked, open and vulnerable, even trapped, but instead he feels safe. Cherished. Loved.

Peter's instantly pleased at the response, and it tugs deep at raw emotions. "Good boy." Muttered, below breath, barely out of breath at how beautiful Pierce is like this, open, waiting. He nudges Pierce's legs apart, another inch or so, just enough to leave his lover's body tense.

"Yes. Please. Fuck me." Pierce isn't in headspace -- not even where he used to go under Robert -- but the phrase doesn't unsettle him. He thinks he understands where it comes from, all the nuances Peter means with it, and for now the obedience and the compliance feel good, almost as good as the shivering, nervous sense that he's about to be hurt, hurt badly, fucked hard enough he'll feel it through every instant of his plane trip tomorrow.

The only problem with fucking Pierce is it means Peter has to move his hands, and he does hate that. He does so love touching Pierce, caressing and stroking, so he makes it quick, moving his hands -- first to unbutton his jeans, free himself and then to Pierce's cheeks, spreading them, and lining his cock up, shoving in, a scant depth without lubrication.

Dear fucking Christ. Pierce still isn't so used to being fucked that he can take Peter's bare cock without screaming, and scream he does, into the deep-pile carpet, letting out every shred of the pain through his voice.

Peter's persistent, nudging forward, pressing his cock in an inch at a time. When he feels secure, he moves his hands back to Pierce's back, wrapping his fingers around the cuffs' short chain and yanking up. He's only going to hurt Pierce as much as he thinks his lover can tolerate. There' no intention to break, or even bend, but just indulge a few whims.

It still hurts. God, still hurts like hell. But then there's that tug on his cuffs, and Pierce lets out a huffing rush of air, his arousal coming back full-force. "Yes," he groans, "yes, fuck me, do it," and he can't move to press back, but he opens his body wider, forcing his muscles to relax as much as possible.

"Yes," Peter hisses, pushing till he's full inside, comfortable in the tightness. He pulls back and then slams forward, demanding Pierce open, give everything. "That's it. Open for me. Scream, Pierce. Don't hold back."

"Yes!" Pierce jerks under Peter's body, screams as Peter slams into him. It hurts and it's nothing like anything he's had for decades, and it feels good and right and perfect. He's caught. Held. Not going anywhere. Being claimed as thoroughly as one man can claim another. And the thought breaks something loose in his chest, has him gasping and panting and feeling his eyes fill.

The clutching of body on cock is too tight, too intense, and Pierce's screams cutting through the room's stillness with a precision that shatters Peter's resolve, his mind. He's not going to last long. Doesn't care about holding out or making it last. "So close," he murmurs, jerking on the cuffs again, knotting his arms.

Tears are spilling over hot and fast, and Pierce can barely breathe. He nods against the carpet, feels the pressure building up at the base of his cock. It's not for the pain or the physical sensations; it's because he's here, this way, under this much trust. "Yes. Come. Please."

A few more thrusts and Peter does just that. Comes. Hard, cock held tight in its pulses. He wraps his arm around Pierce's waist and stretches over his back, trapping hands and pressing steel into both their bodies. "Yes." It's a hissing breath. "Good. Oh, yes."

The pain's just a bit too much for Pierce to come through, though it's close. But it's enough having Peter wrapped around him this way. So much more than enough. "God," Pierce whispers, "Peter... just... Christ."

Peter's body twitches through the last of his climax, shudders at the final release. "Perfect, Pierce," he says, leaning back, pulling Pierce upright as he moves. He slides his hand down over Pierce's cock, swollen and dripping. "Want to come for me?"

"Badly," Pierce says, laughing softly and turning his head so he can rub his cheek against Peter's shoulder. "Just a little more. Won't take much."

He strokes, slowly, and tucks his other hand between their bodies, tugging on the cuffs. "That's all you get, boy. Come or not."

"Nnhh -- are you topping me or are we making love?" Pierce asks, leaning his head back against Peter's shoulder, letting his throat arch. "Ahhh--" But he's coming either way, cock streaking Peter's hand with white jets and body shivering in his grasp.

Peter considers apologizing, but his thought is interrupted by Pierce's coming, so he concentrates on holding his lover through the jerks, working his cock till that point where it's nearly too painful. It's only when Pierce relaxes into Peter's touch that Peter's kissing his throat. "Sorry," he whispers, "slid over there for a moment."

"It's all right," Pierce murmurs, pleased hum working its way out from his throat at Peter's kisses. "Only natural."

"Yes, natural, but I should've kept it separate. Don't want to blur the lines too much." Peter's still kissing, still has his arm wrapped around Pierce. "Now, I wonder if I remember where I put the key to these cuffs."

"Bastard," Pierce laughs, quite comfortable in Peter's arms despite the unfamiliar stretch of his shoulders. "I love you."

"You wouldn't love me if I weren't." Peter snuggles, which is an odd thing, considering the man he's holding is cuffed and kneeling. "Hold on a moment." He reluctantly lets go, crawls to the nightstand to find the key. "Could just leave you like that," he murmurs, "long enough to miss your flight."

"You wouldn't." Pierce flexes his fingers, stretching them out a bit. I love you. Just like that. And the world hasn't stopped turning.

"No, I wouldn't." Peter returns to Pierce's side, sliding the key into the cuff's lock. "I love you," he says, both cuffs undone and falling from Pierce's wrists, "and much as I will miss you, I wouldn't dream of keeping you from Jeff."

Pierce laces his fingers, leans forward and stretches his arms; he shakes out the tension in his muscles before turning around, wincing at the ache in his arse. "I know," he says softly, reaching out to settle his hands on Peter's shoulders. "I'm grateful."

"Thank you." Peter grins, cocks his head. "For this. For the trust, the gratitude, the love."

"You're welcome. For all of it." Pierce squeezes Peter's shoulders. "As pleased as I am that tomorrow's going to see me getting on a plane to see Jeff, I'll be equally pleased when I'm getting on a plane that takes me back home to you."

"It's odd, knowing I have a lover I'll be putting on a plane, one I'll be waiting on at Heathrow in time for Christmas. Never imagined being in such a place." Peter puts his hand over Pierce's and squeezes. "It's a nice life we're carving out. Don't plan on letting it get lost in the shuffle."

Pierce slips his fingers into Peter's. "It's a life more than worth hanging on to. For as long as we can."

Chapter Text

To: pierce_b
From: peterwing
Subject: Checking in

Trust your visit with Jeff is going well. Give him my best.

I'm in London now, without Guy. He went home to Australia. Your flight schedule's the same, I trust. No changes?

I did something last night I haven't done in awhile. Went to the bar. Ran into an old friend, the original Kronos; a serendipity, that, and we're going to have drinks later this week.

Ran into the ex, too. The one who's married his boy. Lovely couple. Jonny clings so perfectly to Gerry and that feeds Gerry's obsessive nature rather well. I really shouldn't be surprised he refused my offer to let him take me down. Odd feeling, that, being told no. I don't recall ever experiencing it.

Missing you. Not enough to count the minutes, but I do have British Airways' arrival number memorized.

~ Peter

To: peterwing
From: pierce_b
Subject: Re: Checking in


Things with Jeff are good. There's been one bump in the road, but nothing we can't deal with. I'll tell you about it when I'm with you in person.

Guy's in Australia? To stay?

Sounds like you had an interesting night. Hope the original Kronos doesn't mind my borrowing his makeup; give him my greetings when you see him, if you feel like it. As for Gerry... your offer to what? When did you decide you wanted to That's something I'd like to hear more about. When I'm back face-to-face with you.

Christ, I can't wait for that.

Anyway. Yes, my flight's still the same, late-late night on Thursday. No plans to change it. I'm loving the time with Jeff, but he's got plans with his family for Christmas Eve and Christmas proper, and we're just this side of introducing each other to the families, I think. And I'm glad I'll be with you for the holidays. Very, very glad.

I miss you. As much as I expected to, really. The holidays are good, I've no complaints about the travel, but... I'll be glad to see you, and I'll be glad when we can go home.

Love you.


private journal entry, Pierce

I've never been in a position where I had two lovers with equal pull on me before. It's an odd balancing act at times, and right now I'm more grateful than I can say for Jeff having plans with family over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There's a choice that would have had to be made there, what time to spend with whom, assuming they'd both want my company. Strong assumption, Brosnan, but then where would I be without my ego...

A bit cowardly, isn't it, wanting some decisions taken out of one's hands. Being grateful that you don't have to make a choice because the situation offers you only one option. I suspect I will have to make more choices, particularly if I can see more of Jeff than I've been able to this year. It's going to be worth it. Christ, I'm happy when I'm with him. But if he can be in Los Angeles for three weeks straight in the spring, I'll have to decide where I'm going to sleep, whether I'm spending nights with Jeff or Peter or both -- I'll need to know if he'll want to stay in my house or if he'll want a place of his own for when he's in town. All sorts of details to work out, and we don't even know precisely when he'll be around -- for all I know Peter's going to end up at a convention when Jeff is visiting and it'll be out of my hands again, only then there's the thought that damn, I'd like to see one of those things, see him at one of those things.

But then maybe that's too open. Maybe he wouldn't want me there. Christ. I wish I'd taken that part when it was offered; I'd have an excuse to be there, I'd be able to sit in on the villains panel. And I wouldn't have to worry about whether I was outing my lover by showing up at a convention. God knows I wouldn't be able to get away unnoticed, and they'd wonder who I was after and... Christ, this whole bloody business hurts sometimes.


Getting back to thinking about the last week... There's something comforting in knowing I'm not the only one who can fuck something up when it comes to Jeff and me. He's the first person I've ever been with who's made me feel as if fucking up isn't catastrophic. The first person I've been with who makes me feel as if it's all right to be fallible. I love that he doesn't expect perfection every time. That we don't have to have the Best Scene Ever or the Best Sex Ever every time we go to bed or to the club in whatever city we're in or to the basement. Sometimes it's a lazy morning full of sex that has us laughing more than complimenting each other, and sometimes a position doesn't work and we have to stop to get ourselves out of it, but God, it feels -- safe and human and real, and every time I'm with him I want more of it. So yeah, it's good knowing we can both fuck up and survive it without killing each other or having either of us try to walk away.


Peter's letter again. Strange mental images: Peter and submission. Peter offering to go down for his ex. I can't picture it any more than I can picture wanting to do submission again myself. But I'd be lying if I said the idea didn't interest me.

More strange mental images: I keep finding myself thinking about Peter and Jeff (to no shock), but what is odd is wondering how they'd look together. How Jeff would take to Peter's particular style of domination and what it might be like topping him together.

And then the sense of panic sets in and I remember why I haven't shared a submissive with anyone since Sean. Christ, that's idiotic of me; Jeff is in no way like Sean, and Peter's not a relative stranger who's more interested in my sub than he is in me, so what exactly am I bothering to be afraid of?

Still, that's a matter of more reflection -- until I can figure out what I'm wanting and what I'd like out of a scene with both of them, there's not much point in bringing it up. To say nothing of the question of whether either of them would be interested; if Jeff is nothing like Sean, he's even less like Guy, and I don't know if Peter's ever been with anyone like Jeff.

Not something that bears much thinking on until I can sort out why the idea's occurring now. In the meantime, I have a feeling I'll be set for stroking-off material for a while.

Chapter Text

It's not so far from New York to London, only seven hours. Pierce wonders if he's the only one who misses the Concorde; it might have been cramped, but it was damned fast. But there's not much that can speed up customs, and he tries to be patient as he goes through, hoping Peter hasn't been waiting long.

It's been a good vacation so far, time with Jeff always well-spent, and the odd thing about being in London is that it feels like he's coming home. London's never been home. But then, he's never had a lover meeting him at the airport here, either. He comes out of the terminal, finally, and glances around for Peter.

Peter's waiting, just outside the customs exit. He notices Pierce coming through the final stalls. He's never greeted a lover at the airport, and he's wondering if there's a protocol. Well, other than no public display of affection, not unless he wants to be in the tabs on Christmas Eve. So he waves, much less garish a wave than the other lovers waiting, and definitely without the screams.

The wave's enough. Pierce breaks into a smile, one that's broad enough to show all his teeth, and he walks up to Peter, stopping just outside hug range. Any further and he'll have trouble keeping his hands off his lover; it's been too long since they've seen each other.

"Hi," he says. "Hope you haven't been waiting long."

"Long enough to finish a cup of coffee," Peter says, smiling. He moves a step closer, brushing arm against arm, the most they can brave here. "C'mon, let me help you with the bags." He pulls a suitcase out of Pierce's hand. "Car's probably not even cold, and I'm ready to be home."

Home. Pierce slides his tongue over his teeth and smiles again. "Perfect. So am I. Let's go."

It's an easy down and out to the car park, and Peter's proud of himself for not touching Pierce more than the random jostle caused by heavy holiday foot traffic through the terminal. It's only when the bags are in the car and he's behind the wheel that he allows a more serious touch.

"Missed you," Peter says, reaching over and taking Pierce's hand, stroking the palm with his thumb. "Glad you're home."

"It's strange how much like home this feels," Pierce says, eyes closing against the feel of Peter's fingers against his hand. "I think that's your fault. London being home. It hasn't been since 1979, you realize." He exhales. "I can't wait to have you somewhere I can kiss you."

"Give me 45 minutes or so, barring traffic, and you'll have your wish," Peter says, squeezing Pierce's hand before drawing back, starting the car and pulling out of the lot. "Unless you're brave enough to test my driving skills in town."

"No." Pierce chuckles. "No, I think I can contain myself for that long. How have you been?"

"Good. Met an old friend for brandy tonight." Peter pauses. "Then there's what I mentioned in the email. Guy. Gerry. You?"

"I've been good. Jeff and I had a failed scene over our week together." Guy, Gerry -- one word each in summary. Pierce is going to poke at both of them sooner rather than later.

"Failed scene? Want to talk about it?" Peter keeps most of the concern out of his voice. "I'll trade you explanations."

"I'm holding you to that." Pierce sighs and glances out the window; this shouldn't be difficult to talk about, not after talking to Jeff about it and sorting things out there, but still... "I had the brilliant idea that, as I've been enjoying being fucked a great deal lately, it might work well with Jeff, too."

"And the dynamic wasn't quite the same," Peter says, affirmation not question.

"No. Very much no. I suppose I should have known better from the start, really, but in any event, we tried bringing that into a scene and it simply didn't work. And Jeff..." Pierce shrugs. "Jeff's been with a number of tops who need to be led when scenes go wrong."

"Tops who need to be led," Peter echoes, making a turn. "How did you react? Work through it alright?"

"We did fine once we were out of role and could talk about it. It's the first time I've really appreciated his need to talk about everything. I'm not used to being topped from the bottom, and I doubt he realized what he was doing at first." Pierce sighs. "There's the only glitch I had while I was in New York. Other than that, it was a wonderful week. I think it's your turn." Pierce turns to Peter. "Guy? Gerry?"

"Guy's an easier answer. He went home to Australia for the holidays, then there's a film." Peter's voice carries little emotion. It's a fact of his lifestyle; he never assumed he'd be with Guy forever. "We've agreed he most likely won't be returning."

"I'm sorry," Pierce says, frowning. "I didn't realize you two were on the path to parting."

"We weren't, on the path to parting or staying together." Peter's smile is half-formed. "It was an unusual arrangement. Started as weekends only, intense explorations of facets of pain and bondage, and then it was a logical progression for him to move in." He makes a final turn, putting him on the road toward the house he's called home more years than not. "It seems as natural for him to be leaving now."

There's a number of worries this brings up for Pierce, different kinds of concerns, but he's not sure how many of them are foundless and how many of them actually need discussion. Either way, though, he'd rather have some time to think before he gets into it. He nods, and runs the pad of his thumb down the line of his jaw. "It wasn't a bad parting?" he asks.

"No, not at all." Peter's staring at the road, but his mind's running through all the questions he supposes Pierce has. "It doesn't change that many aspects of my life, Pierce," he says, "and it doesn't mean I'll be wanting to move in or anything alarming like that."

"You're not alarming me," Pierce says. "It just means having more options, and that can be as hard on the equilibrium as having options closed off." He shakes his head. "Do you want to talk about it now or can we leave it for later?"

"Leave it for later." Peter pulls the car into the drive. "We're home. And talking's not a high priority." He cuts the engine. "Get the bags later, too."

"You're eschewing my conversational skills?" Pierce tsks, but he's grinning as he gets his seatbelt off and leans over. "You wouldn't be planning to take advantage of the travel-weary, would you?"

"Only if you're too weary to take advantage of me." Peter unbuckles, turns and reaches over, running his fingers along Pierce's cheek. "And you're welcome to talk all the way through the sex. Won't bother me."

Pierce's hand comes up and catches Peter's. He turns his face into Peter's palm, exhales softly and lets his eyes close. "Damn, I've missed you," he whispers.

"Missed you so much it burned to fall asleep," Peter murmurs, lightly stroking Pierce's face, "because sleep meant dreams and they were of you and they were all I had the last week." He leans over the console and brushes his lips over Pierce's, the kiss breathless in its subtlety. "Touching you in my dreams is not near enough to satisfy."

"Nowhere near," Pierce agrees, reaching up to touch Peter's face, skim fingertips over his cheek. Just feeling him again is amazing. "I'm so used to my time with my lovers being hit and miss, taken as we can, that I didn't realize how much I'd miss being with you at night. In the morning. Just being near you."

"Then get out of the car and into the house, Pierce, and you can touch all you want, for as long as you want." Peter pulls back, opens his door and slides out of the car. "However you want," he adds over the car's top.

"The offers keep getting better," Pierce jokes, sliding out of Peter's car, leaving all his bags behind. Peter's house here in London. He's never been here before, certainly never thought he'd walk in the front door with intent to stay for the holidays, to stay a week or more with Peter as his lover. "I'd like it easy. Nothing too fast. Nothing that hurts."

Peter has the keys in the front door and is pushing it open when Pierce's words catch up with him. "Hmm, easy, slow, comfortable." He steps inside. "Welcome home, Pierce," he says, comfortable with the implication. His house. Their house for the week, or longer, lovers.

"It's good to be here," Pierce says. Nothing too fast, but reaching out for Peter isn't quick. It's deliberate, hands moving to Peter's waist, stepping in to close the distance as he draws Peter into him. "Thank you for having me."

Nudging the door shut, Peter turns his attention to returning the touches, mimicking Pierce's moves, hands around his lover's waist, and then he's kissing. Soft, gentle, reclaiming with none of the brutality of unnecessary haste. Light sucking, tongue gliding over lips. "Bedroom's one flight up," he whispers between nibble and nuzzle.

"You first." Pierce tugs at Peter's trenchcoat, grinning as he pulls back. "But do get rid of this. I'll have a better view of your arse on the way up the stairs without it."

"Well, that rules out the Methos roleplay," Peter jokes, stepping back and tugging the black trench off. He hangs it on the cherry hall stand and then turns, making his walk to the foot of the stairs into an exaggerated swish of hips, denim stretched tight over his arse. "Linger if you like," he says over his shoulder. "Enjoy the view."

Pierce can't help laughing. "I'm enjoying it," he assures Peter, "and we can always get to the roleplay later. For the time being, Pierce wants to be in a bed with Peter, with Peter's clothes flying across the room. We can let alter egos have their reunion later." He reaches out as Peter hits the landing and gets in a nice grope.

Peter jumps, startled by the grope. "Pierce will have to catch Peter first," he says, smiling over his shoulder before dashing up the remaining stairs to the second floor. He stops, leans over the railing. "First room on your left, lover."

Teenagers. Pierce laughs again and runs up the rest of the stairs, getting to the top just as Peter disappears through the door. It's a nice place, he realizes belatedly; it'll be very easy feeling comfortable here while they're staying in London.

He ducks his head into the bedroom, giving a theatrical look around. "I seem to have misplaced my lover," he says. "Seen a six-foot Welshman around? You wouldn't be able to miss him. He's got an unmistakable nose."

The pillow hits Pierce squarely on the head. "Shinach," he mutters from across the room, sweater already off and shirt being unbuttoned. "Would he be the one who's fallen for this insufferable Irishman?"

"Hope so," Pierce says, stepping inside and climbing up on the bed, kicking his shoes off, tugging his socks off, and groaning as he collapses onto the mattress. "God. One of us needs to start keeping a boy around for cross-Atlantic travel recovery. I could use a massage and a blowjob and a cup of coffee, maybe not in that order."

Peter laughs and stops stripping, leaving his shirt hanging open over his jeans. "I make a decent espresso," he says, climbing onto the bed, straddling Pierce's legs. "And I give a damned fine massage." He grins. "Blowjob skills are a bit rusty, but I'm willing to work on it."

"Ohhh. No, this is fine," Pierce says, reaching up and running his hands up Peter's sides, teasing under fabric. "This is all I really need."

Peter slips his hands under Pierce's sweater, tugs up the soft cotton of the shirt and nudges it all up, bunching the fabrics in his fingers as he slides his hands up Pierce's chest. He dips his head and kisses the tight band of muscles exposed. "Whatever you want or need, Pierce," he breathes out over Pierce's stomach, "yours for the asking."

"Do you have any idea how good you feel?" Pierce whispers, reaching down with one hand to leave lazy scratches over Peter's scalp. "I'd like your mouth on my cock. You can have me any way you want after."

It's almost instinctive, the nuzzling into Pierce's scratches. And then Peter catches himself. Was that lover or submissive? He shakes his head. "Mouth. Cock. Yes," he says, adding with a smirk, "Does sir wish to stay on his back for this? Or will he be fucking my mouth?"

"Yes." Pierce grins and sits up, tugs his sweater completely off and slips the buttons free from his shirt. He shoves shirt and sweater off the side of the bed and crawls up so he's reclining on the pillows, spreading his legs a bit. "I can do both if you'll let me hold your head steady."

"I'd like that." Peter starts to say something else, but doesn't. Is this part of what you were wanting to give Gerry? It's confusing, those emotions, these. "I trust you. Tell me what to do." It's not submission. Not exactly. More an unsure lover. The only blowjobs Peter's given over the years have been in torturing boys, not pleasuring lovers.

"Get undressed," Pierce says, unbuttoning his jeans and sliding them, along with his boxers, down his hips. He sits up a little more this time, parting his legs and taking his cock in his hand. "And stretch out flat on your stomach." He hopes the words aren't too close to orders; he's not sure how to temper them. Add a 'please'?

"Yes, luv," Peter says, moving off the bed. He shrugs off the shirt, letting it fall to the floor, then makes quick work of the jeans, pushing them down his legs and leaving them behind as he settles back on the bed as Pierce has instructed. No, he corrects himself, ordered. Peter knows the difference, and he's not caring at the moment.

Everything seems all right so far. Pierce is determined not to be anxious, even after a failed scene brought on largely by miscommunication. He lets his cock go and stretches out further, running his fingertips through Peter's hair, giving him another series of lazy scratches. "Just like this," he says, and there's a warm rush that goes through him at the thought of watching Peter's lips around his cock in this position. "Is this all right?"

"It's fine." Peter pushes into Pierce's touch, smiles at the thought of wanting it so much. "It's good." He tentatively slips his tongue over his teeth and licks the tip of Pierce's cock. So familiar. So missed. He opens his mouth wider, lips sliding into place over the head. It's easy. He wants this.

Pierce's breathing speeds up, and he leaves his touch light, easy as Peter starts sucking him. It looks nearly as good as it feels. Warm. Exciting. With a hint of power dynamics that Pierce doesn't want to lean on too hard.

Hands. What does he do with his hands? Peter knows what he'd have Guy doing, fingers laced behind the boy's back, but it's a fleeting thought. He runs his hands over Pierce's hips and settles them on the bed, fingers scrunching into the covers. It feels good, the tip of Pierce's cock rubbing the roof of his mouth, and he opens a touch wider to accommodate.

Instinct says to hold Peter's head steady while he moves his hips up, but Pierce ignores that, instead running his fingers over the backs of Peter's hands and groaning. "Feels good," he whispers. "More? Please?" Better. Not an order this time. Asking instead of demanding.

Please. Lover's word. Peter concentrates on the mechanics, nudging forward and pushing himself deeper onto Pierce's cock, till his nose is buried in short hairs and the scents sedated musk, cologne remnant heavily overlaid with too much travel, too little sleep.

"I missed you," Pierce whispers, throat suddenly feeling dry. He licks his lips, swallows, and lets his hips rock up a little further, feeling just a fraction of movement against all the rough and soft, smooth and sharp sensations of Peter's mouth.

Missed you. The thought's interrupted by the reflex, the urge to cough, tamped down with a detour of Peter's mind to less what he's doing and more why. Lover wants it. He wants it. Peter digs his fingers into the blanket, wills himself to suck harder, not pull back.

The sudden contraction jerks a gasp out of Pierce, but he's well aware of the reason behind it, and in the interests of not choking his lover, draws back an inch. "It's good," he breathes, "just want to make sure you keep breathing."

Peter makes a mental note to thank Pierce later, when he's breathing normal and not focused on how his tongue's curling along the underside of Pierce's cock. He nudges back a half-inch of what Pierce gave him. It's alright. Everything's good. And he sucks harder.

"God." Another scratch through Peter's hair, this time harder, compensating for the inability to dig both hands into Peter's hair and tug. "Yes, please, Christ I've missed you..."

His throat constricts, fights to stay open, but it's worth the effort, being rewarded by the salt-sweat taste of a lover on the edge. Peter doesn't pull back from the harsher touch, to his surprise. He's never liked pain, or at least found little interest in it from the receiving side. But this is different. Somehow.

It's taking a fine amount of control to keep from fucking Peter's mouth ruthlessly, to guide the pace with Peter instead of taking over and shoving in deep and hard. It'd be three fast strokes at most if he could hold Peter still, but he's trying to leave Peter the option to do this the way he wants. And it's not easy. Especially not after the last week and a half, where Pierce was firmly in control nearly all the way through. But a lover's mouth on him is so different from a lad's, and Pierce's whole body aches as he feels himself get close. "Fuck, yes, Peter."

Peter's forcing himself to remember he's a lover, not a dom, and not a sub. The dom in him would be pulling back, making his boy come on a word. The lover is happy to wait, let Pierce do as he wants. Needs. Peter has no idea what a sub would do, except take it and beg for more. Maybe that's what he's doing, opening his mouth wider, suppressing the natural instinct to gag. Please, Pierce.

Pierce bites down hard on his lower lip and tilts his head back, whole body arching in a slow press up -- half-begging for more, half-demanding it. His hands finally lose the battle against instinct and hold Peter's head still as he thrusts up one more time, slowly, breath coming out on a broken moan, and then he's coming, cock pulsing in Peter's mouth, every nerve ending in his body humming with pleasure.

The instinct to fight surges as Pierce's fingers tighten in Peter's hair. No. Can't do it. But it's fought down by reality, the fact Peter can't move, can't do anything but swallow, suck until Pierce is finished. His fingers are white from clutching the blanket so hard, and he's screaming in ripples that can't be heard. Yes. Fuck, yes, Pierce.

The minute Pierce realizes just how hard he's holding on, he lets go, gasping and sinking back into the pillows. "Oh, God. God, that was good."

Peter collapses, resting his head on Pierce's thigh, struggling to find breath again. His fingers are still wrapped in soft cotton. Good? Yes. He thinks. Or will, when he finds his voice.

Pierce pushes up on his elbows, looking down at Peter. "Want to come up from there?" he asks softly.

Peter nods, nudges himself up the bed until his head's against Pierce's shoulder. "That was intense," he murmurs. "Good, but strange feeling."

"I understand." Pierce nuzzles against Peter's temple. "Give me a few minutes to recover and you're welcome to something more familiar."

"Familiar. Not sure I know the word any more." Peter wraps his arm around Pierce's waist. "The world's spinning much faster these days."

"Few things are constant in life," Pierce says softly. "But it's gotten far easier letting myself depend on other people this past year."

"That's part of it, leaning on someone else," Peter says, still working on centering himself, getting his breath back. "Wanting to be with that someone."

"Walls down," Pierce says, running a hand over Peter's shoulder. "Wanting them down that way."

"Not just walls. Other barriers. Wanting to experiment." Peter rolls his neck, stretching out a kinked muscle. "Like this, just now. I've never let anyone even hint at restraining me."

"Did you like it?" Pierce asks.

Peter's slow to answer, because there's not a yes-and-no answer. "Yes, because it was your hands on me. I'm not sure I would feel this way for anyone else."

Pierce can more than understand that, having figured that one out the hard way with Jeff. "There are places I can go with you that I can't find with others. Sometimes I can't decide whether that's electrifying or troublesome."

"How about electriterrifying?" Peter shifts, rolling over onto his side. "I love you. I've never once in my life said that to anyone other than family. It's frightening, the places I think about going with you," he says, pausing, thinking on what he offered Gerry so stupidly, "because of you. and what you make me feel. But I don't want it to stop, not for a long time."

"I'm not going anywhere," Pierce says, reaching out to trace his fingertips down Peter's shoulder, over his arm. "As much adjustment as we've had to make to one another, as strange as it can be, it feels right."

"Maybe that's most frightening. It does feel right." Peter shivers at the touch of fingertips, ghost on his skin. "A lover home for the holidays. Should I have you meet the family?"

"Do you want me to?" Pierce asks. "I'd thought about introducing you to my sister, at least. My parents -- they haven't taken well to meeting lovers of mine in the past." He winces. "You'd think they'd have gotten used to it by now."

"I suppose I could introduce you to Andrew. My half-brother. Only one of the family who doesn't think my not being a doctor is a genetic dysfunction." Peter smiles. "As to lovers, I imagine my family thinks I'm asexual. I've never brought anyone home."

"Seems as though it's a year for new beginnings. Working our way through new territory." Pierce slips partway down the bed and leaves a kiss over the center of Peter's chest. "You show me yours and I'll show you mine."

"Already seen yours," Peter says, letting out a breath at the kiss. "Got the multimedia experience. Taste. Touch. Rather nice." He's relaxing enough to realize he's hard. Damned hard. He laughs at having been too caught up in emotions, sensations to notice it before now.

"Was, wasn't it?" Pierce asks, sliding in between Peter's legs and kissing down his chest. "Want the same?"

"Quid pro quo. I do love the way your mind works, Pierce." Peter slips his hand through Pierce's hair, stroking gently. "But only if you're not too tired. I can just as easily fall asleep and be awakened with kisses."

"I think I can stay awake for this," Pierce says, smiling, licking down across the planes of Peter's stomach, nuzzling as he reaches rough short curls. "My turn. Choke me with it."

"Your command is my desire, lover." Peter smirks, then stretches and shifts, getting more comfortable.

Pierce would answer, but he's busy licking, moving down over Peter's cock and sucking the head into his mouth. He lets out a low sound simply because he can't stop himself -- one that says Mine --and puts his hands on Peter's hips, centering himself.

Peter wants it more than he admits, and Pierce's licking has his whole body responding, cock twitching and spine shivering with the echo. "Take what's yours, lover," he murmurs, rubbing his hands down over Pierce's neck.

It's never been hard to admit Pierce likes sucking cock, up to and including having his mouth fucked hard. What's been hard is finding men who make him want to go that far, make him want to give that much. It's a short list, and Peter's at the top of it. Pierce opens wider, sinks down on Peter's cock and draws his teeth up the shaft when he comes back up.

"Oh, fuck, yes," Peter hisses through clenched teeth. His control's usually remarkable, precise. Except where Pierce is concerned. He clutches at Pierce's shoulders, jerking his hips off the bed, pushing his cock deeper into his lover's throat.

Yes. Pierce slides his hands down from Peter's hips to his thighs, then glances up at Peter and arches an eyebrow. Fair's fair, he decides, and he gets his hands out of the way completely, lacing them behind his back just to have somewhere for them to go. He might not keep them there all the way through, but he figures he'll give Peter something to look at for the time being.

Peter's watching. It is something to look at. Too much, kicking in his dominating instincts. Lover, he reminds himself, even though Pierce's movements are triggering everything but love. Or maybe wanting to choke the man going down on him is love. "No," he murmurs, almost silent, to himself, and he moves his hands, slipping them over Pierce's throat, fingers stretching into the thick hair, holding steady. "Touch me, Pierce. Please."

Pierce blinks and slips his hands apart immediately. Mixed messages. Bad idea. He runs his hands up to Peter's hips again, opening his throat wider, taking Peter's cock in. God, but he tastes so good.

That's better. Peter needs the lover, not the boy. His mind's too jumbled with Guy's departure, Gerry's rejection, Pierce's being here. "Better," he mumbles, the contact settling, reassuring. "So close." He pushes up, subtle demand for Pierce to take more.

Deeper, warmer, God it's easy being hungry for this man. Pierce licks up the length of Peter's shaft, sucks hard at the head before working his way back down.

The sensation, gentle and overwhelming, tugs at Peter's body until he's coming, cock jerking in the confines of Pierce's throat, release urgent and rippling through his body.

Mmmm. Pierce licks his way back, warm and gentle, then crawls up the bed and curls into Peter's side. "It's good to be with you again."

"Good," Peter echoes. "Better now." He turns, wraps his arm around his lover. "Thank you for everything."

"Thank you for--" Pierce stops, shakes his head, laughing. "Everything seems like a good place to start. Thank you for that."

Chapter Text

Pierce reaches out from under the blanket for the coffee. It's still hot, which is nice; it's been a cold vacation. One with warm company, though, which makes all the difference.

He shifts a little, getting his legs more comfortably tangled with Peter's, and snuggles back into his half of the couch. They're past the point where Pierce could say I could get used to this. In point of fact, he's already gotten used to it, and he's liking it very much.

"Need anything, or can I melt into the pillows?" Pierce asks.

Peter's half out of the blanket, contentedly wrapped in the warmth of his new sweater. There's nowhere they have to be, no obligations other than sharing each other's company. It's more than comfortable, but he shifts to allow Pierce a bit more leg room.

"No, I'm fine. Melt away," Peter says, smiling and looking beyond Pierce to the window. Rain's falling. Again. A cold London rain that's sprinkling against the chimes just at the patio's edge. In the quiet, he can pick out the melody.

"You look almost as comfortable as I feel," Pierce observes. "I keep wondering if we ought to think about dividing our time a bit more evenly between continents."

"I am comfortable." Peter thinks for a moment, trying not to put too much weight on Pierce's words. "Our time a bit more evenly. That implies a few things, Pierce. Being together. Same place. Am I misinterpreting?"

"Not really," Pierce admits quietly. He sets his coffee down and slips his hand back under the blanket, reaching out for a little more contact. He slides his fingers up Peter's calf. That's good. "We do spend our time together far more often than not. Whether it's both of us at your home here or both of us at one or the other of our houses in Los Angeles, I can't remember the last time we spent more than three nights apart in a row. We could keep doing this indefinitely, I suppose, but do you want to?"

"Mmm, that feels nice. And I'm supposed to think while you're doing that?" Peter closes his eyes for a moment, then opens them, lets out the breath he'd been holding. "You propose sharing houses?"

"Let's just say I'm throwing the idea out on the table. Want to go through pros and cons?"

He's not kidding. "Pros. Being together. One house. Waking up next to the same person night after night."

Christ. Have you thought about this? "None of the awkwardness of wondering where to put the next night's clothes. No having to go home to shave. The kitchen just the way you like it instead of having you growl at me every time we're having dinner at my place."

"No sitting at home wondering if it's okay to call, and not wanting to interrupt or interfere with each other's lives so we don't." Okay, there has to be some negatives. "Bed fitted properly."

"Both our toy collections if we have an urge." Pierce squeezes Peter's calf. "Middle-of-the-night sex."

Peter nudges his foot into Pierce's thigh. "Before-coffee sex. And no worries about who else may or may not be home." He pauses. "I didn't get rid of Guy so I could have you." He shakes off any response. "I know you're not thinking that, but just wanted to say it. Since we're talking so openly."

"I didn't think you did." Pierce glances away, but not for long. "There's one of our cons. I don't know where that puts me with Jeff. He's said he'll be able to see me more this year, and I didn't know whether he'd want to get a place nearby or if he'd be staying with me when he visits. This limits a few options, I think."

"It's not that complicated. I keep the LA house and stay there when Jeff's around."

Pierce shakes his head. "I don't like that. You don't need to leave your own home to make room for my other lover. I could look into having something here that he'd be comfortable in. Go there when he's around."

"Well, we could always keep the extra house as a communal scening spot. Jeff could stay there. It's not as if I've done much with it beyond the bedroom and kitchen."

"Let me run the idea by him. Jeff strikes me as the type who'd go for a fixer-upper type house that's a few hours out of the way of anywhere." Pierce has thought about that.

"Of course." Peter wasn't thinking just of Jeff. "It'd be logical, if," he grins, "we were going to do boys together, to have somewhere to take them that wasn't our home."

"That does have its merits. Or if we're not doing them together. If you wanted someone for a weekend, and you wanted more space."

"Lots of pros. Any cons?"

"You'd be stuck with me." Pierce shakes his head. "Joking aside. It's a commitment. More than we've got now. And a visible one. You might not be able to stay in the closet if you're living with me."

That's it. The biggest con. Peter's been so private for so many years, in the closet simply because no one cared to know that he wasn't. "Being stuck with you's not bad," he says, sidestepping the other issue. "I could think of a lot of other people I wouldn't want to be seen with."

"So can I," Pierce says dryly, "but that doesn't mean you do want to be seen with me." He sighs. "I wish things were different on that front. It wasn't my decision."

"No, it's all right." Peter nods. "Really. I've lived long enough in a shadow. If I'm going to be out, I want it to be for a good reason. And right now I can't think of a better reason than being with you."

Pierce pushes forward, off his end of the couch, crawling up Peter's body and settling down on top of him. "It's a risk and it isn't always easy," he says, "And I won't blame you if it isn't worth it."

Peter shifts, the sudden extra weight pushing his back into the couch's arm at an awkward angle. "Risk is worth it." He nudges Pierce a little to the left and scoots toward the couch back. "Okay, better. Now you can snuggle."

"Mmm. Nice." Pierce nuzzles against Peter's throat, licks up the side of it. "Have you been thinking about this? Moving in. You were so quick to say that wasn't what you were after, when you first told me about Guy..."

"Not really thinking. It's crossed paths with my consciousness, somewhere between 'mind the gap' and police sirens." Peter tilts his head back, murmurs a contented whimper. "I started re-evaluating when Gerry told him to bugger off. Had a plan till then, but it doesn't seem to be working, so I'm regrouping."

Pierce's teeth scrape lightly down the side of Peter's neck. "Christ, I love biting you," he murmurs. "What do you mean by 'regrouping'?"

"Nghhh," Peter moans. "Love you doing it, too. Very nice. Uh, regrouping, stepping back and thinking on what I thought I wanted versus what I know I want. You're in the latter category."

"Sometimes I still look at us and wonder what the hell happened," Pierce says, biting again, still easy. "Where this came from. But it's good being able to change. Being able to redefine what we need." He pushes up far enough to look at Peter. "What needs redefined for you?"

"All my life I've been in charge, the one giving orders. I don't want to suddenly shift and be the sub." Peter laughs. "Couldn't if I tried, but I'm at a place where I want to share more of the responsibility for the pleasure. Would that work?"

"Yeah." Pierce exhales slowly, settles down a bit more comfortably on Peter's chest. "I understand the feeling." For Pierce it's about trust, the feeling that his lovers are strong enough men to depend on. It's still strange, but it's oddly satisfying.

"So this would make us full-time lovers." Peter wraps his arms around Pierce once he's settled, pulls him in closer. "Think we'll drive each other insane?"

"Maybe." Pierce squeezes Peter in return. "It's been almost a decade since I had a lover who wasn't long-distance. I've never lived with a lover who wasn't my sub. I worry that I don't know how to do this, sometimes, but we seem to be making a good go of it, you and me."

"Well, we could approach it like a contract. Verbal, not written. We try it, give it six months," Peter says, "and if we haven't killed each other, we keep going."

"Six months." Pierce nods. "Reevaluate where we are in the summer?"

"Yes. Look at things, see what needs adjusting." Peter's not concerned about it not working out. He's never been this sure of a relationship before. Maybe that's why he's frightened.

"I like the sound of it." Pierce takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly. "Six months ago I never would have expected to find myself here." He counts back the months, laughs quietly. "Six months ago I was in an alley in Toronto, safewording because I was fucking Jeff and seeing Viggo."

"I think we should start the next six months off better." Peter shifts again. "No safewording. Nice comfortable couch. Raining. Fuck me, Pierce."

"Can't help but be better with an offer like that," Pierce says, shoving the blanket out from between them and settling down between Peter's legs. "Love you, you know."

"Three words mean a lot." Peter smiles, pushes down onto the couch, sprawls a bit. "I love you, Pierce. First time I've loved anyone."

"I'll try to be worth it," Pierce murmurs, squirming and running his hand up Peter's thigh. "Feels good."

"You're worth it. Even at your worst, I think." Peter squirms just as much. "Good doesn't begin to describe that feeling. Exquisite might."

"And all this with layers of winter clothing between us." Pierce reaches between them, unbuttons Peter's fly. "I love that you can take me at my worst. Which you haven't seen, not in its entirety, but I'm not afraid of letting you see it."

"One night, when we're bored, we'll match our worsts." Peter cocks his head. "That's not a word. You want I should get up, strip, make this easier?"

"That might be good, yeah," Pierce says, pushing himself up and off. "Gives me a chance to do the same." He starts unbuttoning his shirt, cuffs first so he's got fabric dangling loose around his wrists before he gets the shirt open.

"Oh, that's sexy, Pierce," Peter says, sitting up, working his legs over the couch's edge. "Dangling sleeves, chest barely exposed. Hmm, do me a favour. Don't take the shirt all the way off."

"No?" Pierce pauses in undressing, turns and rests against the back of the couch, one eyebrow raised as he watches Peter.

"No. I like the look. Debauched elegance. Utterly Pierce." Peter skims the sweater off over his head, tosses it over the couch arm, then pushes his jeans down over his hips.

"Perhaps you'd like to participate in the debauchery," Pierce grins, reaching out and running a hand down Peter's back. "Want to blow me?"

"Let's see. That would necessitate me being on my knees." Peter finishes stripping off the denim, letting it stay where it falls and steps forward, going to his knees in front of Pierce, hands on his lover's hips. "Not a bad place to be. For the right man."

"Agreed. Entirely." Pierce smiles back and settles in, keeping his hands off Peter's head, letting his lover have full control over what he's doing. This has been complicated lately, a bit of hit-and-miss with domination undertones, and Pierce doesn't want anything uncomfortable. He just wants Peter's mouth on him.

Peter's not at all comfortable doing this, more from the lack of experience than desire. He's a perfectionist, always has been, and the notion of doing something he's half-arsed at is unnerving. Still he sticks out his tongue and laps over tip of Pierce's cock before wrapping his lips around it, sucking gently.

This is a place where years of experience leading can be helpful. It takes a subtler touch that Pierce's usual, but that's well worth the effort. He gives soft moans when Peter's licking over somewhere particularly sensitive, makes it audible when he has to suck in a breath and clutch at the sofa cushions. The occasional "yes, oh God, there" comes out, too, and then before long he's losing track of the need to communicate his pleasure and just enjoying every moment of Peter's mouth on his cock.

Peter's encouraged by Pierce's subtle touches, knows there's not a right way or wrong way to please his lover. But there is that, pleasing his lover, and he wants to do that, so he takes note of when the moans occur and where his mouth is at the moment, and he concentrates on taking Pierce in as deep as he can, letting his teeth hint at raking over the swollen cock as he pulls his head back.

Teeth. Lips. Yes. Pierce's head drops back, and he reaches out, sliding fingertips through Peter's hair. There's no attempt to guide, no grab for control, just an urge for connection as he loses himself to the warm, soft feel of Peter's mouth on his cock.

There's much less push-pull this time, and Peter's not feeling the tug to be dominate the situation. He nudges his head up against Pierce's fingers. Want to feel that, the touch, the caress. And he sucks harder, taking Pierce in another inch, forcing himself not to gag, not to act on instinct.

"God. That's so good," Pierce whispers. And it's good for so many reasons. The slight hesitance, knowing Peter's doing this even though it's unfamiliar because he wants to please a lover. The ability to take pleasure without overthinking it. How new it feels, every time, because it's Peter and it's a sensation he never expected to share with him. And Christ, Pierce can't imagine ever having enough of a hot mouth sucking him down, another man's tongue sliding its way around his cock. Yes.

He struggles for enough air to get out more words, but can only manage one: "Close..."

Warning. Promise. Doesn't matter. Close is just right. Close is perfect. Peter doesn't want to imagine any better place to be. He stops thinking. Just sucks Pierce down, braces himself.

Pierce puts his teeth together and groans, coming hot and thick in the back of Peter's throat. Christ, that's fucking brilliant.

It is brilliant. Bloody brilliant. Peter coughs less this time than the last. Maybe next time, he won't think about gagging at all. He swallows, keeps forcing himself to take what Pierce is offering, until his lover's finished. Then he pulls back, slow movement, licking along Pierce's cock as he does.

Pierce simply melts into the couch, feeling decadent and -- yes -- debauched. He grins at Peter -- or in Peter's general direction, since his eyes aren't open. "Nice," he breathes.

Peter kneels back, seeing that's as far as he can move at the moment. "Nice. Yes." He grins. "No. Not nice. Positively brilliant. And debauched."

"All right," Pierce laughs softly. "Positively brilliant. Come up here. Want to get my hands on you."

"Yes, sir." Peter smirks, pulls himself up and plops onto the couch next to Pierce. "Ready and willing for hands."

Pierce turns to face Peter, runs a hand down Peter's arm. "What can I do for you?" he asks.

"I believe you mentioned hands, Pierce." Peter stretches, leans back against the couch. "That'll do just fine."

"Mmm." Pierce squirms closer and slides his hand down Peter's chest, tangling his fingers in wiry curls and barely resisting the urge to tug. He licks his way up the side of Peter's neck -- and has a flash of what it might look like covered in bruises. Bite marks.


He puts the thought out of his mind as he wraps his hand around Peter's cock. "Slow or fast?" he murmurs.

"Fast," Peter says on a whim. And then words he never thought he'd hear himself say. "Make it hurt a little."

"I'd love to." Pierce tightens his grip, picks up the pace. He'd like to feel Peter squirming.


Peter does squirm. And his mind races through why he'd ask for anything to hurt. He hates pain. But it's Pierce, and somehow that makes it all right. No, better than all right. He closes his eyes, pushes up into Pierce's hand.

Pierce sinks his teeth into Peter's neck, licking and sucking at his skin while he's jerking Peter off. This is the sort of handjob that goes well in damp alleys, teeth on a warm throat while you're waiting for the boy -- for the other man, Pierce corrects himself -- to paint your hand with it. But on the couch is nice, too. Even and warm and nice.

The breath catches, lodges itself in Peter's throat, and he's coming, not even trying to stop himself, the bite slamming him over the edge, shoving him down into a spiral that doesn't stop until he's coated Pierce's hand, body exhausted and breath gasping its way through his lips.

Christ. Beautiful. Pierce doesn't ease his grip until the last shudders are over, and he nuzzles Peter's neck, licking over the bruise. "You're marked," he murmurs. "Do you mind?"

"No, curiously enough, I don't mind at all." It's all he can say, all other thought siphoned from his brain for the moment.

"Glad." Pierce glances around, locates a nearby tissue box and grimaces as he cleans up. This part is never convenient. Maybe if it's boys who like to lick up come, but that doesn't really describe either himself or Peter.

Another adjustment to make. Lover cleaning him instead of boy licking. "Maybe a shower," Peter says, sighing contentedly, "or a long, hot bath."

"Bath," Pierce says, moaning a bit at the thought. "I'll wash your back."

"I knew there was a reason I love you." Peter turns his head, grins. "That personal service kink."

Pierce leans over and bites Peter's shoulder. "Careful, you. You'll be on the other end of the spanking kink if you don't watch it."

Peter starts to object. To what, he's not sure. Bite. Spanking. Instead he just relaxes. "Whatever, Pierce," he says. "The possibilities are endless."

private journal entry, Peter

You're serious?
What the fuck do I think I'm doing? I agree to live with him, be his lover and I've never even tried that before, living with someone I didn't own.

Think back, fool. I'm the one who said love was a useless emotion, a trap, something that didn't exist. When did I change my mind? Easy enough. When I kissed him after salsa and tequila and dancing. And then I sent Guy away -- no, that's not right, because I didn't ask him to leave -- dismissed the boy who would've stayed with me forever. I didn't want that. I've never wanted anyone forever. Except maybe, for a brief, insane moment. But he walked out.

And what was that with Gerry? Offering to submit to him. Fuck it, I've never submitted to anyone. I don't understand the concept. Do I want to? No. No. There's no desire to submit, to be lesser. It's more about closure, something I think Gerry needs before he can completely let himself be husband, lover, master. Rather conceited of me, isn't it? Never mind. Burned that bridge. He didn't take it seriously, and I doubt I'll ever from him, even though I was serious. Insane, but serious.

I love Pierce.

*breathes out*

Okay, that wasn't hard to write. Looks good in black and white.

Still don't know what the fuck love is, though.

Chapter Text

The song touts "afternoon delight" but Peter's always found middle-of-the-night sex better. But it's always been about boys and torturing them by moonlight. He wonders how a lover will react.

He grins at how deep Pierce is sleeping, unfazed by the kisses laid down over his shoulder, and loops the silk tie -- one of Pierce's, of course, deep blue, around the wrist and then ties it to the bed rail, knotting it so when it's tugged it'll just get tighter. There's a hint of cognizance as he quickly does the other wrist -- green tartan tie there -- and stretches out beside Pierce.

Peter kisses the inner curve of Pierce's forearm, then his elbow, then the muscles of the upper arm. How long can you stay asleep, lover?

Bindings at night are both familiar and unfamiliar, pushing Pierce back twenty years to a quiet house in Malibu. He shifts against the covers, hands reaching out and curling around silk. And then there are kisses running up his arms. He groans softly. "...Robert?"

Most lovers would chafe at being called a different name, especially the name of an older, much respected lover. It doesn't bother Peter. To be mistaken for Robert in Pierce's dream-waking is a compliment. "No," he says softly, moving the kisses across Pierce's shoulder. "Love you, though."

Pierce moans and tries to roll over. He's not awake enough yet to figure out exactly why. "Peter," he murmurs. "What's going on?"

Pierce moans and tries to roll over. He's not awake enough yet to figure out why that doesn't work. "Peter," he murmurs. "What's going on?"

"Well, if you don't complain," Peter says, licking the edge of Pierce's collarbone, "I've tied your hands to the bed," he continues with a swipe of tongue up Pierce's throat, "and I'm going to lick and suck and nibble on whatever body parts I happen upon." He shifts up, leans over Pierce's body, dips his head and kisses soft lips. "I'll stop when you've come, of course."

"Hmm..." Pierce tugs at his bindings. "I haven't been tied down since the last time I saw Robert," he says softly. "I don't know if I can do this."

"Relax." Peter places his palm against Pierce's chest, rubs in small circles down to his lover's stomach. "If it gets to be too much, I'll untie you. Simple as that." He kisses Pierce again, slightly deeper, tongue sliding over dry lips. "Trust me."

"I always trust you," Pierce murmurs. "It's just strange being held down this way." He kisses back, leaning up to slide his tongue over Peter's mouth. "Don't know if it'll work."

Peter continues the soothing rub, stretching his fingers down to tease through short hair at the base of Pierce's cock. "What's strange about it? Remind you too much of Robert? Or am I being too much the dom?" He moves his kisses back to Pierce's throat, alternating them with licks. "Not meaning it to be that way. Just a man playing with his lover."

That actually relaxes Pierce somewhat, and he nods, squirming underneath Peter's body. "When the default's bringing domination into it whenever bondage or pain's involved at all, yeah, it's difficult to separate the threads." He twists his hands up in the ties and tries to relax them. "I've had lovers who loved bondage but didn't want to bring D/s into it at all. It's not one all-inclusive package. Just have to remember that."

"Forget the old patterns, Pierce. We're using new threads." Peter kneels up and places his hands around Pierce's wrists, thumbs rubbing under the silk. Slow movements. He brings his fingers down, letting his nails scratch along the insides. "Bondage. Sensation. You're as in control of the moment as I am. It's not about D/s. It may be, at times, when one of us chooses to let the other, but this is something different."

"Trust you." Pierce squirms and finally lets his eyes close. It is affecting him; it's got his cock jerking, the forbidden elements mixing with the familiar feel of Peter all over him. It's so good. "All right. I'll tell you if I need out."

"Good." Peter lets his hands continue their path, down across underarms and along Pierce's side as he shifts again, straddling Pierce's waist now, the soft silk of his pajama bottoms sliding easily against skin. "After all," he says, fingers slipping over nipples, twirling in random patterns over the hardening nubs, "it's not like I'm dragging out the candles and plan on dripping you with hot wax."

"Nnn. No. I'd safeword." Pierce grins. "You know, I bought a bit of soft-core porn the other day. Had the most delectable man in it, cuffed to a bed, being beaten. There was a hot wax scene in it, later on, but it didn't go so well." He's smirking ear-to-ear now.

Peter pinches Pierce's nipples, kneading them between finger and thumb. "Soft-core porn. Bored, Pierce? Lover not keeping you occupied?" His smirk matches Pierce's. "I'm sure I could improve on the film version of that story."

"Mm -- nn, aahh--" Pierce squirms under Peter's hands, trying to decide whether the touch is painful or pleasant or just unfamiliar. He's going to give it a little more time before he tells Peter to stop. "I have some ideas for improvements myself," he breathes. "Why do I get the impression yours are rather different?"

"By all means, let me hear yours." Peter teases a bit more, sensing the pain's awkward. It would be to him. He eases his hands down over Pierce's sides as he scoots backward, maneuvering and resettling in a kneel between Pierce's legs. He leans over, kisses the nipples he'd been playing with, licking and then drawing his tongue down Pierce's chest.

"Oh. Oh, God, that's better," Pierce breathes, reaching down -- only he can't reach. He's stuck using just words to let Peter know how much he's enjoying the rough feel of his tongue.

He grins. This could be interesting after all. "Keep going?" he asks softly. "Keep licking and I'll tell you all about it."

"I think," Peter says, pausing to lick, swirl his tongue around Pierce's navel, "that can be arranged." He lets his tongue follow the ridge of muscle out to the right, toward Pierce's hip, pressing down and then lifting up, returning his mouth to flesh with a soft kiss, then a light nibble. "Keep talking." He continues the lick, kiss, nibble in a pattern down over the curve of hip.

"Mmm, God. Your mouth feels so good. Love the way your tongue moves over my skin." Pierce shifts his hips, twists a little in a not-so-subtle effort to get Peter's tongue moving inward. "Rough and warm. Makes me think about hauling you out to the deck, getting into a hammock with you and kissing you for hours." He takes in a fast breath as Peter's tongue glides over a particular patch of skin. "And God, that's good."

Peter tastes that patch again. "Yes, it is good." He's not in any hurry to move inward, but he obliges Pierce's demanding moves with a wet swipe down the groin crease. "Hammock sounds good. Kissing." He lets his cheek brush against Pierce's cock, which twitches and jerks at the attention. "What happened to beating and wax?"

"They make for damned good stroke-off fantasies. Clash a bit with reality." Pierce grins. "Still want them?"

"Consider them incentive for me to work my way down your cock." Peter's smirking, a comfortable position for his mouth, poised at the base of Pierce's shaft. He flicks his tongue out, lizard seeking the good stuff, and barely swipes skin. "Who knows. Fantasy might venture over into reality one night."

"Bastard. Tease." Pierce moves his hips up, but he gets nowhere with the motion. But that's part of the game, and he's content to keep playing. "I have cuffs like those, you know. Black leather with d-rings, double clips I could use to fix chains to the bedframe. I could find a crop that looks a bit like a rose. And, mm, your expressions... arousing enough when I know there's nothing behind them. Earning them myself with a crop and time to use it properly? There's a thought that's gotten my hand on my cock more than once in the last few months."

Peter gets in a lick. Long swirling swipe of tongue from base to tip. Followed by a slight flick around the foreskin. That's right before the I have cuffs like those segues into Earning them myself and Peter realizes exactly what words Pierce is putting together and what they mean. He looks up, tongue randomly flicking out over the weeping cock's tip. "You'd want that? To put me in that position, pull those emotions from me?" The film had been acting. Pure, simple, jerking reactions from what he'd put boys through himself. There'd been no attraction to the woman, what she was doing. But with Pierce? Would it be different? He takes the cock in his mouth, sucks gently.

"Yessss..." It's not just reaction to Peter's mouth. It's answer to his question. "Want it," he breathes, pressing his hips up and trying to work himself a little deeper. "To watch you like that. Hear you like that. Hurt you that way, and find out if I could -- mm, mm, fuck, that's good -- find out if I could make you like it..."

How badly does that frighten you? Or does it arouse? Peter ignores the voice in his head. And the twitching in his cock. He focuses on Pierce, sinks down on his lover's cock, pushing himself cross the line of choking to take in every inch, draw back slowly and do it again. It does. Ignites a fire you didn't think could burn. Over and over until he forgets about breathing, forgets about anything but the taste of Pierce, that lime-kissed sophistication assaulting his tongue.

And that focus draws away any hint of Pierce's ability to speak. He's nearly forgotten about the restraints, just let Peter have him, let his lover please him without needing to take charge of it. It's blindingly good, warm and easy with that illicit, forbidden taste to it. Lying back and taking pleasure isn't what he's done for twenty years, but it's where he wants to be now. And it's all right to want that.

Think about it. He could do it. Take you where you've never been. Peter sucks harder, working his tongue under Pierce's cock, pressing up and dragging it heavy along the flesh as he raises his head. Let yourself want it. It wouldn't kill you. He closes his eyes, sucks just on the head for a few minutes, lips wrapped tight.

Oh, God. Pierce squirms, squirms hard, hands wrapping up in the ties and holding on tight. He's not sure what's holding him back from coming. Just the desire to hold out as long as possible, maybe. Wanting to give Peter some warning. But his breath's coming hard and sharp and fast now, and he's right there at the edge. Are you waiting for permission? You don't need it.

Peter shifts enough to get his hand between Pierce's legs. He curls his fingers around Pierce's balls and squeezes. Once. Hard. That's as much permission as he's giving Pierce, not that his lover needs it. Maybe it's just a subtle way of saying he's ready.

"Bastard," Pierce breathes, and his throat arches and back arches as he comes, hips jerking, body aching in all the best ways. Bastard has been on his lips all too often when he's in bed with Peter. Sometimes he thinks it can stand in for I love you.

Love you, too. Peter greedily swallows, pleased at how much better he's getting at this sucking cock thing. Hasn't choked once this time. He sucks and swirls his tongue until Pierce stops jerking, then he slides off slowly, licking his lover clean. Peter's running his tongue over his lips when he gets back to kneeling between Pierce's legs. "Your bastard, Mr. Brosnan," he says, grinning. "I assume you want untied now."

"Yes, please," Pierce murmurs, grinning up at Peter with a smile across his face that's probably too broad. He feels good all over, tingling from head to foot. "And what is it you'd like? Ask fast; I'm liable to fall asleep."

"For you to go back to sleep." I need to think. Peter moves off Pierce's body, crawls up the bed and works on unknotting the ties, first the left wrist and then the right. "You can fix me breakfast and bring it to bed."

"Fair play," Pierce agrees, yawning already. He stretches when Peter lets his arms go and sinks into the bed. "Stay with me until I'm asleep again?" he asks.

Peter stretches out beside Pierce, casually wrapping his leg over his lover's. "Sure." He slides an arm over Pierce's stomach. "Till you fall asleep, but I don't sing lullabies."

"I can live with that," Pierce murmurs. He curls up tight, and it doesn't take long for him to fall asleep.

"I love you, Pierce," Peter whispers when he can hear Pierce's breathing slow, sense him slipping deeper into sleep. "I want more from you, with you, than I understand," he says, kissing Pierce's shoulder lightly before pulling away, rolling out of bed, "and it's frightening me."

If Pierce could, he'd call Peter a bastard, again, for saying things like that when he's asleep and can't respond. But that's rather the point, of course. Pierce comes up from sleep just enough to curl into the warm spot left by Peter's body and smile.

To: sean_bean
From: pierce_b
Subject: How goes the filming?

So how's Vegas, Sean? I haven't been there since last April, and I miss it. It's such a good place to spend a weekend, or a week, or a month. How long are you there while your other half's filming?

We keep talking about catching up, and not doing it. Here's my way of trying to rectify that.

Last time I heard from you was mid-November, with the news of your marriage. In the time since then, I've gotten to spend a week with Jeff -- early December -- then flew to London and spent the holidays with Peter. I introduced him to my sister, who liked him quite a lot -- he can be very charming, and he has one hell of a sense of humor. It's so similar to mine that my sister kept having to double-take, and then dissolving into laughter, which was a gorgeous thing to see, to hear.

At any rate, the holidays were good and we were in no hurry to get back stateside. We're talking about streamlining things, moving into one house here in Los Angeles, one house there in the UK. I still don't know if we're moving into his or mine or getting something new. In any event, if he's moving into mine, I suspect he'll want to rip out the kitchen, and there's a temptation to actually build something new, with an architect and a contractor and to have it come from the ground up. Or at least that's a temptation on my end.

That might be Jeff's influence. I keep thinking about what it would be like getting an older house with him, something historic even, maybe not even in Los Angeles. Something we can actually restore, in the time he's got between projects. He says he'll be able to see more of me this year, and it's some of the best news I've had in a long time. I'm very lucky.

The Matador is opening at Sundance. I'm still not sure what the release is going to look like; I took a few more risks with this one than the last. But I'm hoping it goes over well. I think everyone I know is glad to hear the mustache came off the day filming ended. Tell me you liked it, at least. (It's all right to lie here. I just need my ego soothed a bit.)

That's all I really have. Peter's letting me indulge myself by knitting for him. I'm working on something in grey now, cotton with cables, but the gauge is small enough I'm only getting an inch or so at a time before I get bored and want to do something else. So it's slow going, but there's no rush. I'm not in any hurry.

Now then -- your turn. What have you been up to? What are you doing now? How have things been for you? Shall I keep writing, or would you prefer I leave you alone?

Catastrophically (isn't that a much more interesting finish than "Sincerely"?),

Chapter Text

note to Pierce, from Peter

Realized something this morning ... I don't like waking up in an empty house. I called the agent and told her I wouldn't be exercising the option to buy when the lease is up on this place. Have a few things to handle this morning, but I'll be over this afternoon, in time to cook dinner. Oh, yes, you do realize I'll be rearranging the kitchen when I move in. *g*

"You'd really let me rip out everything?" Peter asks, walking into the living room. "Tear apart the kitchen and redo it?" He'd left off discussing anything Saturday, the night falling into a comfortable movies-and-popcorn evening. But then Sunday morning had come and the conversation was easy.

Pierce glances up from his book and puts it aside, stretching and lacing his fingers behind his neck. "I don't see why not," he says. "It might take a week or two, but there's nothing in the kitchen I'm particularly attached to. What have you got in mind?"

"Gut it, even the floor." Peter's already calculating, has been since he made coffee this morning and stared out the too-small window over the sink. "Put in hardwood instead of tile, all new cabinets, complete pantry system, cooking island big enough for two people to work at." He slides himself into the chair, stretching out his legs. "You aren't partial to the refrigerator, are you? I was thinking of all new appliances, too, and a bay garden window over the sink for herbs."

"That's going to take more than a week," Pierce points out. "Are you willing to eat takeout food that long? And I haven't had a plant last a week in my home since Sean moved out." He winces. Well, maybe it's a good sign, being able to bring Sean up in casual conversation. It's a step.

"Takeout's manageable for a few weeks. Plus, we can keep a coffee pot and toaster in the bedroom." Peter smiles. He knows so little of the man who occupies such a large part of Pierce's brain. "Sean's good with plants? I can manage indoor herbs, the random philodendron. Always wanted a garden, but never took the time."

"Sean's a brilliant gardener. I have a landscaping company for outdoors, but you'll notice there aren't any plants in the house. Sometimes people send topiary centerpieces around the holidays. I had a rosemary bush that took an entire six hours to start dying." Pierce shrugs. "I'm emailing him these days. In fact, it's my turn -- I owe him one -- so I could ask if he has advice when it comes to indoor plants."

"That'd be nice, especially if he knows the house's good spots." That thought should cause Peter more concern than it does. "You're talking with him? Not painful, I hope."

"No, not so far." Pierce grins, all bared teeth and amusement. "Have I mentioned I like your protectivenes?"

"Does that come before your love of my ability to wear sweaters?" Peter's grin is just as broad, but a bit lopsided. "I think it's a lover's instinct, to protect what he cares about."

"It fights with the friend's instinct of knowing men usually have the ability to protect themselves," Pierce agrees. "As for knowing where the house's good spots are, I don't know that Sean's ever been to this house -- I haven't had it long -- but he could probably find them if he gave the house a walkthrough. Oh, but damn -- he's in Vegas, will be for another few weeks." It occurs to Pierce how strange it is that he's seriously contemplating inviting Sean over, but how many years of awkwardness are required in getting over an ex? Not this many, surely.

"My bad. I assumed he'd lived here. Don't really know the timeline of your life. Hmm, would it be beyond the realm of sanity to say invite him over? When he gets back from Vegas, of course."

"I wonder if he'd show." Pierce leans forward, unlocks his hands. "He's so tied to Eric now, and I have you and Jeff -- I don't know what would happen if I invited him over. I won't try to lock him in the dungeon or anything, at least."

Peter arches an eyebrow, an unconscious gesture that accompanies the semi-perplexed expression on his face. "We have a dungeon? Pierce, you haven't been sharing."

"We don't have a slave, either," Pierce says. "I didn't think it was relevant. But yes, we've got a dungeon. It hasn't seen much use, since the only one I've been interested in dominating for the last year or so has been Jeff, and he hasn't gotten here yet."

"No, we don't. And I really don't want one, not a full-time, permanent one. That reminds me, though," Peter says, his thoughts flitting around, "we've been invited to a collaring. In London, next weekend. Feel like flying again?"

"Can't see why not. Who's getting collared?" Pierce asks.

"Hugh Grant. Contracted to an old friend of mine, Valentine Pelka." Peter grins. "The original Kronos, although I never wanted to do with him what I want to do with the new one."

"Hugh Grant? Charming lad. I had an encounter with him last fall at a premiere. Well, now." And Pierce can't help grinning at the last. "Want to lick war paint off me?" he asks. "We haven't done that in a while."

"He is charming, in a neurotic way. Had a near encounter with him, because of Guy," Peter says, brain slow to wrap around Pierce's other words. "Would love to lick paint off you. Among other things. A bit of roleplay's good for a relationship. Work through those tensions."

"Mmmm. Well, you've probably figured out how much I like roleplay." Pierce finally pushes himself off the couch. "What sort of tension are you feeling? What is it needing to be worked out?"

Peter reminds himself to breathe. "I'm old enough to not be nervous, but I am. I want to experiment, Pierce," he says, "with letting someone else take the lead, exert a bit of control. Not permanent. Not even formal."

It's not easy keeping the surprise off his face. Pierce doesn't want this to feel any stranger to Peter than it does, though, so he tries. He reaches out and rubs his fingers against the inside of Peter's wrist. "We can do that," he says. "Nothing serious. Enough to get a taste of it, nothing that can't be backed down from if it doesn't feel right." He raises his eyebrows. "Today?"

"Just a little, today." Peter closes his eyes, concentrates on Pierce's fingers on his wrist. It doesn't hurt, isn't too unusual. "Curious, Pierce, what it feels like, to be on the other side."

Pierce could tell him what it was like for him, but he doubts the memories -- especially as old as they are -- would be very comforting. The first word that comes to mind is scary. He wonders what's bringing the urge to the surface now, but he's not going to question Peter's resolve.

He slides his fingers under the cuff of Peter's sleeve, up a few inches toward the inside of his elbow. "All right," he says softly. "We're not going to play with anything as complicated as safewords. If you need me to stop, I want you to tell me. And I'll watch for it. Back down if you need me to."

"I trust you." Words harder to say than I love you. Words that mean a great deal more. He focuses on his breathing, slow and steady. "What do you want me to do?"

"Give me as much eye contact as you can, and trust me not to lead you somewhere you can't follow." Pierce trails his fingertips down the inside of Peter's forearm, then slips his hand into Peter's and squeezes. "I don't want to play with orgasm control or tying you down. I just want your eyes on mine, and I want you to try to follow orders. It's not simple, but it's uncomplicated."

Peter opens his eyes, looks directly into Pierce's. "All right. I'm listening, watching." He doesn't know what to expect. It's frightening. He should understand. He's done this before. With boys who were going to yield to him. From this side, though, it's numbing. "Love you," he whispers.

"I know. I love you, too." Pierce squeezes Peter's hand again. "Let's go to bed." He gives Peter's hand a gentle tug and starts leading them down the hall to the bedroom.

Simple enough command. Peter follows, trying not to think any farther ahead than the next second. It's not about subbing. He believes that. It's about love and sharing.

The bedroom's not far off. When they get there, Pierce turns around and leans against the footrail of his bed, wrists resting against oak and fingers brushing iron. He's still watching Peter, and it's strange how different the atmosphere in the room is now; there's a quiet to it that he's not accustomed to. But it's still us. That's not changing.

The silence is discomforting, has Peter second-guessing before it's started. Are you pushing? Asking for something you shouldn't? But honesty has to count for more than uncertainty, and desire to understand a facet of your lover you've never touched overrides anxiety. Peter doesn't break visual contact, eyes smiling with quiet acquiescence.

Pierce exhales slowly. You're nervous, he realizes, and the words are meant not for Peter but for himself. This isn't anything like topping Jeff, a lover who came into his life because he remembered Pierce's unforgiving, occasionally abrasive attitude and wanted to see more of it. This is Peter, a man who's got his own technique and his own style and happens to be a man Pierce loves. There's a small voice telling him don't fuck this up, and he pushes the uncertainty aside. It doesn't come from Peter. At this point, it's more than six months old. I'm not going to. I haven't. I won't.

"Take your clothes off for me," Pierce says.

Not strip. Or undress. Just take your clothes off. Peter curls long fingers around the hem of lightweight cotton and gently rolls the sweater up his chest. He's doing it for Pierce, for his lover, and it's all right to be nervous, for his hands to falter as the sweater comes over his head. He'd make a boy fold it and place it precisely in the exact predetermined spot. He chooses to step back, drape it over the chair's arm before moving fingers to the buttons of his jeans. They soon join the shirt and Peter's naked, standing silently, hands at his sides.

"You're beautiful," Pierce says, coming forward, closing the distance between them and settling one hand on Peter's hip. "I don't tell you that enough." He rubs his thumb over Peter's hipbone, small circles as he leans in and kisses Peter's mouth. "Stay still," he whispers. "Don't reach out for me until I tell you."

Peter shivers, the only movement his body makes in response to Pierce's touch, his kiss. Stay still. How many times has he said the same words? He never realized how much power they really had.

Pierce brings both hands up, settling them on Peter's shoulders and squeezing. Easy. Gentle. Like any time in a hundred he's put his hands on his lover and gave him the barest hint of a massage before tumbling into bed with him. This time he slides his hands down over Peter's chest and scratches gently, from the tops of his shoulders down the front of his chest, until it's easier to turn his hands and rub his thumbs over Peter's nipples. He'd be twisting them if Peter were one of his boys; he's given Jeff things that would have sent other men to the ground. Here it's not about pushing pain limits. Just about sensation.

The sensation's not easy, not familiar, not until Pierce's thumbs are rubbing nipples. The scratches, gentle even, are a new pain, one Peter's never really delved into. He's never liked pain, not receiving it at least. Giving's a different matter. But, then, all of this is a different matter. He breathes, stares at Pierce, immersing himself in blue, waiting for the next moment.

"Get in bed," Pierce murmurs. "Just stretch out on your back for me, and leave your arms at your sides." Familiar positions can become awkward so easily with this kind of play, and Pierce understands that; he's not planning on leaving Peter alone in bed for long.

"Yes," Peter whispers, the sir dying on dry lips. He walks the few steps to the bed's edge, sits down and stretches out, head at the pillow and arms at his side, just as his lover's ordered. Not master. Not dom. Just lover. It can happen, the kink without the dynamic.

Pierce follows Peter over to the bed and starts undressing, neither drawing it out nor rushing it. He's not particularly careful with his clothes, far more intent on the man in his bed than anything else, and so everything ends up in a pile on the floor, jeans and boxers and dark blue shirt. He snags lube from the nightstand before climbing up on the bed, kneeling between Peter's legs and sliding his hands up from his ankles to the backs of his knees, drawing Peter's legs up and then running his hands from thighs to hips.

There's no tension, either in Pierce's movements or Peter's reactions. His knees come up, his legs part, his body relaxes, letting the man kneeling control him.

The touch moves back up, over Peter's hips, fingertips brushing the insides of his thighs, and Pierce slides the flat of one hand up and over Peter's balls and cock, wrapping his hand around Peter's shaft --just under the head -- and squeezing.

Peter clenches his fists, bunching up the bed's comforter in his fingers. Sharp, sudden sensation has him wanting to reach up, wrap his arms around Pierce, hold him. He forces himself to breathe, not move any more than the natural reaction, cock twitching.

Good. Pierce squeezes again and crawls up, settling down between Peter's legs and lowering himself against Peter's chest. "It's all right," he murmurs. "I'm right here. Rub up while I'm kissing you. Try not to reach for me." While I'm kissing you, a promise before he's even making the move. And then he does, leaning forward and pressing his lips to Peter's, kissing him slowly, deep and warm, almost purring with satisfaction as he claims Peter's mouth.

Kissing. That's very familiar, very calming. Rubbing up is simple, too. "It's all right," Peter repeats. He means it, even as he's clutching fabric and fighting desire. It's another epiphany. He wants to touch more when he's not allowed.

Peter's body feels amazing against his own, but then it always does. Pierce hasn't gotten to a point where he can take a lover's body for granted. He pulls away slowly, one last thrust of cock against cock before he goes, and braces himself on his hands so he can look down at Peter. "You feel so good," he whispers. "Shall I tell you what I'm going to do next, walk you through it instead of surprising you?"

"Wouldn't that be cheating, Pierce?" Peter murmurs, wry grin on his lips. "I trust you not to do anything too surprising."

"Is it cheating or teasing?" Pierce asks, sliding his thigh forward and rubbing it against Peter's cock. "And what's the matter with either?"

"It's teasing when you're dominating a boy and you want him to anticipate what's coming," Peter says, words trailing off in a whimper at Pierce's rubbing. His cock's hard, slowly moving into ache. "Cheating when you're trying to wean a lover into something he's not used to. Neither's wrong. Just making the observation, lover."

"I do want you anticipating what's coming," Pierce says, letting his thigh find a proper rhythm, "but not because you're the boy I'm dominating. I want you knowing what's coming, and joining me for it. Having a few extra seconds to get used to the idea before it's my hands, or my mouth, or my cock in you." It's probably cheating just rubbing up against Peter this way, but Pierce can't resist. "There aren't any wrong answers, Peter, apart from what doesn't feel right."

"And when I come in another minute from that rubbing, you'll have wasted those extra seconds, Pierce." Peter's loving the attention, much more comfortable than he expects he should be. "Everything feels right, because it's you doing it. Tell me, then, what's waiting for me."

"All right." Pierce leans up, kisses Peter's forehead, his nose, his chin. He stops rubbing, but misses the contact almost immediately. "It's straightforward. I'm going to prep you thoroughly, and try to keep you from squirming off the mattress. And then I'm going to fuck you, just as thoroughly, and see how long I can make it last for both of us. All you have to do -- all you get to do, this time out -- is lie there and enjoy yourself." Not simple, but uncomplicated. Pierce is still a little nervous, hoping this is going to work.

"That sounds," Peter says, taking in a deep breath, "uh, wonderful." He misses the contact, too, and wriggles just a bit to keep from raising up, reconnecting. It also sounds unnerving, but Peter's not saying that. He's very familiar with this particular torture. Prolonged anticipation, bordering on orgasm control. He loves it, from the dom side. Waits to see how it works from the other side. "I'm ready."

"Me too," Pierce says, grinning -- his teeth flash for just a moment before he gets the expression under control, and then he crawls down Peter's body, taking little incidental licks and nips as he goes.

Just breathe Concentrate on where it's going, not getting there. Peter puts it into practice, pulling breaths in and letting them out slow and easy. He winces at the nip on his hip. Found a sensitive spot. That's interesting.

There's a point where lingering goes from tease to torment, and Pierce skirts the line but doesn't cross it. He kneels up, reaching for the lube, and looks up the bed at Peter. "Still comfortable?" he asks. "Need to ask for anything?"

"Fine." Peter nods. "Don't need anything, except maybe more touch."

Pierce slides his hand down Peter's thigh, rubbing and moving closer, so Peter's leg rests against his hip. "I'm right here," he murmurs. He gets the lube open one-handed and coats his fingers, not at all concerned about the lube that runs over and drips on the bedsheets. "Right here with you." His eyes are fixed on Peter's as he moves his hand forward, fingertips circling Peter's opening, caressing, taking all the time in the world for it.

Keeping eye contact's the easiest part of all this. It's obvious Pierce is taking it slow, taking great care with letting Peter know what he's doing, that he's there. Peter imagines Pierce isn't at all like this with boys. He wonders how many lovers have gotten this level of attention. There's the involuntary shudder when Pierce's fingers circle, the anticipation of contact, invasion. Then it passes, eased out in a smile.

"Good," Pierce murmurs, clamping down on the lad that wants to follow. It's not about that. He has to keep that in mind. He eases his fingers in, slow, not stopping until they're as deep as he can get them. Not many men have gotten this from Pierce, this amount of patience. It's worth it on Pierce's side, too; he simply doesn't think to offer it.

Peter's fighting more with each breath. Not to push back against Pierce's fingers. Not to moan and whimper. Not to touch. Most of all, not touching. Pierce is in as far as he can go and Peter winces, grits his teeth and breathes out hard, settling against the invasive sensation. More. Can take it.

It's been nearly five months of having every relationship expectation challenged and every urge twisted into something new, sharp, sometimes confusing. And every twist still feels good. It's damned important to Pierce to make this work, and he keeps his hand slow, steady, runs his free hand up and down Peter's thigh, up to his hip, scratching lightly before running his thumb along the crease of his inner thigh. - Show quoted text -"You feel so good," he whispers.

"You do, too," Peter murmurs, words almost involuntary. And it does feel good. No pain. Nothing going wrong. Pierce is making it work, making it seem natural. "More. A little more. Please."

Pierce twists a third finger in, rubbing and stroking and getting both of them accustomed to the feel -- the stretch that much wider, the stroke that much deeper. He squeezes Peter's thigh with his other hand and grins -- years of practice at holding his own arousal back is the only thing keeping him from pouncing. Peter feels amazing, warm and clearly wanting this, and if it's this good now, he can only imagine how it's going to feel when he's finally got his cock buried in Peter's arse and is taking him as slow as both of them can stand it.

"Still good?" he whispers, twisting his fingers from side to side.

The look on Peter's face is bliss, albeit overlaid with a tinge of anxiety. For a man who can count on one hand -- well, plus a finger or two of the other hand -- the number of times he's been fucked in his life, three fingers twisted inside him, wrapping and stroking, leaves a damned full sensation. He bites and hisses in a breath. "Yeah," he says, the sensation slipping into pain ever so briefly, "good." He needs to push himself, just a bit. And he promises to remind himself of that later, when he's sore and drifting to sleep.

"I want you," Pierce murmurs. "Don't close your eyes. Keep your eyes on mine." He draws his hand back, slides his hand over his cock, leftover traces of lube coating his skin. "Ready for it?"

"Not moving, Pierce," Peter says, calmer, willing himself to relax, eyes making perfect contact. "Won't close 'em for anything."

"All right. Easy." Pierce angles down and gets the head of his cock pressed snug against Peter's entrance, and then settles his body down. They've done it like this; they've done it rough and sweating and slamming into each other. But there's so much more awareness this time around, a sense that he's giving and taking in equal parts and he knows it's never felt quite like this before.

He presses forward, slow and steady, and his eyes narrow with the pleasure from it, but they don't close.

The pleasure's intense, rich, and it's tempting to close his eyes, but Peter doesn't. He clutches at the bedcovers, swearing under his breath and forcing himself to hold still, not reach out as he watches Pierce's movements. He's keenly aware of every motion his lover's making, holds steady against each inch forward. No, it's never been like this. Not in the last five months. Not in the lifetime before that.

"Good," Pierce whispers, reaching up and trailing his fingertips over Peter's cheek. There's the faintest hint of stubble, and Pierce leans up to kiss Peter before starting to move. He goes slow. Partly it's because this is about taking it easy, and partly the rhythm's meant to tease. How much can you handle? he wonders. How much can you take?

The rhythm does tease. Taunt. Tantalize. Make Peter smile and want to strangle his lover. He doesn't have any idea how much he can take. They're in uncharted waters. Never been fucked so slow. So well.

Pierce tries not to smirk. He really does. But that smile of Peter's -- God, he just wants to lick it off the man's face, and this feels so good. Unhurried. And he's fighting back every harsher dominant urge in his body, which isn't easy. He bends his head down again and licks Peter's throat, his shoulders, kisses from the tip of one shoulder along his collarbone and back up to the center of his throat.

"It's supposed to drive me insane," Peter mutters, almost under his breath. "Sure. I've done this. To other men. Never." He whimpers, a decidedly unfamiliar noise, low and deep and unabashed. "Fuck, Pierce."

"Yes." Pierce comes up -- don't pin him, too early for that -- and kisses Peter hard, speeding up and going deeper. Insane. Pierce never tries to top tops. It doesn't work and frustrates both of them. But this is different. It feels so good, amazingly good, a little frightening underneath, but good. His mouth opens against Peter's, breath coming hot and fast now. "Want you. So much."

"Want. You. Please." Never. The damned word's engrained in his thoughts, etched on his tongue. So many lines being erased, all because of a man who's willing to take him down. No. All for a lover. He fights, fingers turning white at clutching sheets so tight, but ends up pushing his hips up slightly, begging with body for deeper contact.

"Touch me," Pierce whispers. "Put your hands on my hips and pull me deeper." It's not enough. He needs more -- they both need more, more touch, more contact, anything they can share without tipping the balance too hard.

Peter doesn't need a second request. His hands are on Pierce's hips in a heartbeat, clutching and pulling his lover down. It's exactly what he needs, more than air at the moment. Touch. Connection. "Yes. Perfect." Okay, so he didn't hold out forever. This is close enough.

"Ohhh." There's something Pierce didn't expect. He missed that. Missed having Peter's hands on him, like a lover. He licks Peter's lips, kisses him again -- oh, that's perfect. Feels amazing, and it makes everything seem that much warmer. More intense.

Peter's hands are everywhere, fingers kneading into flesh, rubbing up over Pierce's back. This is much better. Infinitely better. He's still clutching, body clenching tight. He wants to say thank you, scream it, but instead he goes quiet, pushes back as Pierce sinks deeper.

Pierce has to remind himself that this scene's got nothing to do with orgasm control, that it's not his place to demand. But it's getting harder holding back. He wants that last surge of feeling, wants to come with Peter squeezing tight around him, and he pushes himself up just enough to get a hand between them and start stroking Peter off. His lips stay pressed to Peter's; he's not about to give up kissing him.

He barely needs the touch, and Peter consciously pulls himself back from coming, until it's right, until Pierce is right there with him. "Now?" he murmurs. "Want it. Please, lover."

"Now," Pierce agrees, groaning and unable to hold back any longer. He drowns his moan in Peter's mouth, blunts it against his tongue as he comes, entire body aching from it.

The urge to scream is so intense, so Peter gives into it, shouting, Pierce's name, a few endearments, and a slew of expletives. Then he comes, spurts against Pierce's hand, their stomachs.

Pierce drags his mouth away from Peter's and rests his head on Peter's shoulder, panting softly and finally letting his eyes close. Amazing. He kisses Peter's shoulder. Brilliant. Wonderful. Amazing.

There's no more words, no more noise even. Peter's dead, or somewhere near it or maybe it's just that every nerve ending in his body is seared, burning. He lets go, body sinking into the bed under Pierce's weight, hands moving to wrap Pierce's body. Perfect.

Pierce would roll over, give Peter room to breathe, but now that Peter's arms are around him he doesn't have any incentive to go anywhere. He tugs his hands out from between them and squirms, nuzzling closer.

"Thank you," Peter murmurs, pulling Pierce as close as they can get to one another without being the same person. "Couldn't wish for a better lover."

That strikes Pierce as funny, and as hard as he's trying not to laugh, he does end up grinning. Smirking, even. "You're insane," he murmurs. "Flatly, blindly insane. And I love you for it."

Chapter Text

Tonight Pierce is last to bed, and he shuts off the light before climbing in behind Peter, curling up around him and pressing his face to the back of Peter's neck. "You feel so warm," he murmurs.

"Hmm, you're not. Cold feet." Peter snuggles back in spite of the sudden chill, pulling Pierce's arm around his waist and lacing their fingers. "S'alright, though. Think we can warm you up quick enough."

"You do, do you?" Pierce grins more and snuggles closer. "I like this," he murmurs. "Having you here all the time. It's good."

"Takes a bit of adjusting, sharing a house." Peter pulls the blanket up and around his shoulder, closing in on the warmth Pierce's body is adding to the bed. He doesn't comment on having never shared a house with a lover, only with boys he could order to not invade his space, not leave the clothes on the floor -- not that Pierce does anything wrong, no, it's just different with a lover. "I like it. Glad I didn't let you walk away."

"Would have been damned stupid of me," Pierce agrees, and that has him turning over and reaching for the alarm clock. "Just remembered. I'm ambushing a friend with breakfast tomorrow morning; don't be startled when the alarm goes off."

"Friend?" Peter doesn't catch himself before the surprise leaks out. He's sure Pierce has more than the one he's met. It's just that Pierce never talks about them. "That sounds nice of you."

"She might not think so when I wake her up," Pierce murmurs. "This is Lin we're talking about, by the way, Lin Fiorentino, and I've been worried about her lately. So I thought I'd bring her breakfast and see about dragging her out of bed on time for a change."

"She? Lin?" Peter tenses. He doesn't mean to, not really. He loves Pierce, trusts him. But it's only natural to be a bit nervous when his lover's talking about taking breakfast to a woman, of dragging her out of bed. Isn't it? Peter takes a deep breath, relaxes his body, goes for the positive approach. "I'm sure your friend won't mind, long as you come, uh, show up with breakfast."

"Well, hopefully she won't bite my legs off." Pierce slides a hand up and down Peter's thigh, squeezes his hip. "Are you all right?" he murmurs. "I didn't think you'd mind."

"I'm fine. Just --" Peter turns, rolling onto his back, not out of Pierce's hold but causing it to be adjusted. "I've never heard you mention this friend and you're getting up early to fix breakfast. Caught me by surprise. That's all."

"I'm sorry." Pierce props himself up on his elbow and rubs the center of Peter's chest. "Lin's been a close friend for a good long while now, probably the closest one I have apart from Bron. I'm a bit worried about her."

Closest one I have apart from Bron. The words don't ease Peter's anxiety. What does that make her? Confidante? More? Peter wishes his chest weren't so tight, that the nausea wasn't creeping up from his stomach. He can understand the worry. It's just the female part he's having trouble grasping. Not that it makes any sense he shouldn't understand. Pierce is gay, undeniably as far as Peter understands, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't know women. Or even have them as, uh, friends. It's just a concept Peter's not familiar with, trusting a women enough to confide in her. Under all that, though, is a nagging thought. Why hasn't he introduced us? "If you're worried about her, you definitely need to be there," he says, not quite getting the other questions out of his mouth.

"Thank you," Pierce murmurs. He's started rubbing Peter's chest, as if he can ease the tension there just with his hand. "Should I tell you more about Lin?" he asks softly. "Would it help?" He can't place what's wrong, but he'd like to solve it, whatever it is.

"Wouldn't hurt." Or Peter doesn't think it will. He could be wrong. He reaches up, twines his fingers into Pierce's. "I'm in love with you, Pierce. That means taking everything your life offers. Good. Bad. Friends."

"Does it?" Pierce asks. "I'm not trying to be flippant... I simply haven't done much of this." He leans down, nuzzles Peter's chest. "I met Lin through the journals. She liked my sense of humor, and I liked hers, and all in all we got along very well. Helped nurse each other through some rough spots in the last year and some."

"Hell, Pierce, I've never done it. Just feels right, that I'd take what comes with." Peter makes a noise akin to a purr, Pierce's nuzzles hitting the right spot. "Never known a woman I'd trust that much, either. That doesn't sound right, does it?"

"It's not what I'd call surprising, either," Pierce murmurs. "How many women have you wanted to spend time with?" He grins. "I like women sometimes. They can be very good friends. Lin's one. Rene comes to mind."

"Wanted to spend time with? None. There's one I tolerate. Millicent. But I wouldn't consider her a friend." Peter shifts again, turning onto his side, facing Pierce, wrapping his arm around Pierce's waist. He's sleepy, content to talk but definitely wanting the snuggle. "Why have I not met her?" He whispers the questions against Pierce's shoulder. "Does she know about me?"

"Why not -- I suppose because it didn't occur to me you'd want to meet her," Pierce says softly. "Or maybe I haven't wanted to share. She does know about you, yes, though. She still laughs at me for falling in love with a top," Pierce says, grinning.

"You talk about us with her." Peter's unease returns. He wishes it would go away. Still laughs. That implies she's known about Peter a long time, definitely longer than Peter's known about Lin. There's a twinge of feeling like suddenly there's someone else he has to please to be able to keep Pierce. He likes that least of all. "It's not a bad thing," he murmurs, reassuring himself.

"I hope it's not." Pierce nuzzles Peter's chest again. "I haven't had many people to confide in about you," he murmurs. "Jeff knows about us, of course, and Bron knows you're here, but in terms of people I'm willing to share insecurities with... Lin's been the one I've turned to about that on the rare occasions my ego falters and I have worries."

"You have worries about us? Thought we'd gotten rid of those, that you trust this is going to work." Peter consciously slows his breathing, trying to relax even more.

"I do trust in us. I trust both of us. I've had worries in the last few months. You remember what I was like after Halloween." Pierce rolls Peter over, onto his back, and stretches out on top of him. "I love you. I want you here. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make this work."

"I want it to work. Don't think I've wanted anything as much as this." Peter settles onto his back, sliding his hands down over Pierce's hips as his lover stretches out. "Insecurity's a new emotion, too, you know. Jeff and Bron I'm comfortable with. The notion of my boyfriend having a girl friend is, uh," he pauses, Pierce's weight distracting his mind from where he was headed, "um, I'm sure I'll like her."

"I'd like to think." Pierce leans down, nibbles at Peter's shoulder. "You don't ever have to worry about it being more than friendship. That much is certain."

"Good. I'd hate to wake up one morning and find you're suddenly straight." Peter's grinning, almost chuckling at nibbles that tickle. "Listen, don't let me sleep when the alarm goes off and I'll whip up some muffins for you to take with you."

"Would you?" Pierce finds himself unexpectedly charmed by the idea. "I'd like that. And I'm sure she'd love them."

"They're not free, you know." Peter gets that grin on his face and pushes himself up into the pillow. "I expect incredible sex as payment."

"I think I can manage that." Pierce squirms down a few inches and licks Peter's collarbone. "Any way it pleases you."

"That please me. Every lick of your tongue pleases me. The lower you go, the more pleased I get, Pierce." Peter's hands are working over Pierce's back, kneading and rubbing. "Hardly a thing about your doesn't please me."

"Flattery will get you everywhere," Pierce murmurs, crawling lower. "Anywhere you want to go."

"Your mouth on my cock, my cock shoved to the back of your throat." Peter stretches, almost sprawling. "That's what I want, Pierce. Want to come, then be fucked to sleep."

"Mmmm." Pierce doesn't stop crawling; he just keeps backing down the bed until his mouth's at waist level and he can lick and nibble at Peter's hips. "Sounds perfect."

"That feels good. Really like that." Peter slides his fingertips through Pierce's hair, combing out the strands. "Think I'm getting hooked on your nips."

"Good. I want you hooked on as many things as possible." Pierce grins, nuzzles his way across to Peter's cock before licking. He means it, of course, but there's a little more insecurity than there should be in the back of his mind. He's here and he's staying and you don't have to worry. True enough, but so foreign a concept that it's hard for Pierce's mind to hold on to, even while he's licking lazy swipes up the length of Peter's cock and rubbing his own cock against the sheets as he immerses himself in his lover's taste.

"You make a great addiction. Don't want the cure." Fingers continue twirling in hair and Peter's sliding his head down into the pillow, getting more comfortable. He doesn't want to be the one to break the news, but he might not make it through the blowjob, Pierce's mouth as relaxing as it is arousing.

Blissfully unaware of how close his lover is to sleep, Pierce decides there's no reason to rush. He licks, sucks, swirls his tongue around the head as he makes slow strokes up and down the length of Peter's cock. It's been years since he felt so free to lose himself in this; a master's occasional blowjob is no substitute for getting to suck off a lover.

It's not like having a boy suck him off. Peter doesn't have to worry about Pierce needing the constant reassurance he's doing it right or that he's pleasing a master. In fact, at that precise moment, Peter doesn't care how Pierce does it, so long as he doesn't stop. He nudges his hips off the bed, slight motion, pushing into Pierce's mouth, then settles back down. "Hmmm, s'good," he mutters, yawning, first hint of sleep sliding into his brain.

Was that a yawn? Pierce hopes it wasn't a yawn. He scrapes his teeth up the shaft, sucks hard at the head. Are you yawning at me?

Okay, so maybe going to sleep isn't an option. Peter opens his eyes, not really realizing he'd closed them, and stretches his fingers down over Pierce's shoulder. "Love you, but I'm drifting," he murmurs. "Not angry if I fall asleep."

"Mm--" Pierce pulls back. "Want me to stop? Come back to it later?"

"If you want me awake when I come, it might be best." Peter rubs his fingers in a spiral down Pierce's arm. "Love you. Love what you're doing. Just more tired than I realized."

"It's all right," Pierce says, crawling up, curling into Peter's side. And it is. It's not a blown scene. It's not something he'll have to work through with a sub, figure out all the reasons it didn't work. It's just his lover being exhausted, understandably so, and it means going to sleep hard and probably waking Peter up with sex before the alarm even has a chance to go off. "Don't worry about it."

Lin wakes up slowly, her usual Saturday morning fog interrupted by the soft clatter of cooking and the smell of coffee wafting into the bedroom. The coffee smells wonderful. The idea of food is less appealing.

It's several moments before she realizes she should probably be alarmed -- there shouldn't be anyone in her kitchen at this hour, should there? She glances at the other pillow and finds it undented, and breathes a little sigh of relief.

Of course, the fact that she hadn't brought anyone home last night brings her back to the fact that there shouldn't be anyone in her kitchen, and she sits up a little, rubbing her face.

After a moment she murmurs, "Pierce," frowning a little, and then she leans over to peer through the open doorway. "Pierce?" she says conversationally.

"My lady calls; I'm charged to answer," Pierce says -- a little more softly than he might do ordinarily, but with no less panache. He's got a breakfast tray in his hands and he's balancing it neatly as he walks in the door, coming over to the bed and setting it down before taking a seat. "I've brought breakfast."

"So I see," Lin says, tugging the sheets closer around herself. For a mad moment she thinks of letting them go to grab her robe, just to watch Pierce try not to drop the tray, and she grins to herself and does no such thing. "Makes me glad I never got my key back," she says instead."Why the royal treatment this morning?"

"Because it's actually a good deal later than I know you like being up," Pierce says, picking his own coffee mug off the tray, "and it seems as if you've had some trouble getting out of bed lately." He raises both eyebrows.

"A girl's allowed to sleep in sometimes," Lin says, and reaches for her robe, struggling into it and managing to only flash Pierce minimally, and only if he's looking. She picks up her coffee and holds it beneath her chin, breathing in the fragrant steam for a moment before she takes a sip. "So what's on your agenda for today besides treating me to breakfast in bed?" she asks, not ready just yet to get into a conversation about why she's sleeping in this morning, nor the fact that she hadn't really meant to stay in bed quite so late.

"I thought I'd take you to my local yarn shop." Pierce flashes her a grin. The brief sight of Lin naked is hardly enough to send him for the smelling salts. "See what you make of a few different types of fibers, have you pet some cashmere and some mohair, some angora, a bit of merino. How was your evening?"

"Mmm, petting cashmere." Lin smiles, and takes another sip of coffee, last night at Nero's a weird amalgam of vivid images and smokey apprehension. "That sounds lovely." She picks up the toast and nibbles at it. "Sounds much cozier than my evening," she says, "but it was good, in its own way. Went a little late," she adds, "but it was good." She nibbles a bit more toast and takes another sip of coffee, smiling at Pierce.

Pierce nods. "A late night's good sometimes." But his eyebrows twitch on the last word, because sometimes isn't how he'd describe Lin's late nights right now.

"Mm-hmm," Lin says, nodding, but she knows the look on Pierce's face, and she also knows that worry is probably lurking beneath the skepticism. She doesn't like the idea of Pierce worrying about her.

After a moment she sighs and shrugs. "Okay, so it's been more than a couple of late nights," she says, "but nothing too bad." And then, because she knows he can probably smell it, she adds, "And I'm only smoking a few a night." She quirks a little smile. "For my voice," she says. "Keeps it husky if I decide I wanna work again."

"It's a shame you missed the women-smoking-cigars phase, then," Pierce teases gently, "I could have taken you to the bar I go to on occasion." But he ends up pushing the breakfast tray away slightly so he can stretch out on his side across the foot of her bed. "I wouldn't press, ordinarily, but I do worry about you, and if it's more than a few late nights..." He makes a face. "I hate to say things like but I worry about you or but I don't want to see you get hurt, but they're both true."

Lin smiles, and nudges him gently with a blanketed foot. "I know, honey," she says softly. "I'm a big girl, though. Would it help if you knew that the place I'm going has the biggest bouncers in the known world and they make sure everyone in the scene space follows the rules? No scening when drunk," she says, prodding a bite of egg up onto her toast, "no body fluids, safewords always respected, and if you're going to gag someone the bouncer has to know your partner's non-verbal safeword and they'll hang around 'til the gag's off to make sure it's respected." She chuckles, shaking her head. "In a way I feel like it's safer than the Establishment, because there are no private rooms. Everything that happens happens in public scene space."

It does soothe fears, a little, and Pierce nods. "That's good to hear when it comes to basic safety. You know I'd put a hit out on anyone who hurt you in a way you didn't care for?"

Laughing, Lin nods. "I do," she says, "though you'll forgive me if I don't tell my partners that. It could put a damper on things if they knew 007 might come after them. I might not even get hurt in the ways I do care for."

She takes another bite of toast and goes on, "One of these days I suppose I could come back to the LA club. You know I've been to the New York Establishment a few times, and it's been good. I thought for a while about letting my membership lapse, but I like having the option if I decide I want to take it. What is it," she says with a smile, "I heard someone say once, 'the answer to "A or B?" is "yes, please."'"

Pierce flashes one of those bared-teeth grins, one that says he understands completely. "You know, I have similar thoughts sometimes, both about letting my membership lapse because I seem to have so little need for it these days and about wanting to keep options open. But it's different for me; I don't feel like I'm looking for much right now." He props his head up on his hand, looking intently at her. "What are you looking for?"

Lin laughs, but she blushes a little under that intense scrutiny. "That's a hell of a question for before I've even had my second cup of coffee," she says with a smile. "What am I looking for, I'm looking for the icing, baby. I've got the cake," she says, gesturing vaguely. "I've got the house and the friends and the retirement plan, and I've learned my lesson about getting too wrapped up in another person --learned that lesson a few times, now, actually." Her smile broadens to a little grin. "Now all I need is a pretty boy to come in twice a week for the housework and to massage my feet, and I'm set," she says, her eyes crinkling at Pierce over the rim of her coffee cup. "I don't suppose you have a spare?"

"I do know a few like that," Pierce says, mentally thumbing through his little black book, "and I'm not going to push you. But if you want something and there's a chance I can help, I do want to know." He looks down at the remains of breakfast, one corner of his mouth turning up. "It's what we do -- try to take care of the people we care about. As much as we can. As much as they'll let us."

Lin's stomach drops a bit at that and she shoots him a wry smile. "Christ, you know where the buttons are, babe," she says, but her voice doesn't hold any reproach. "I'm sorry, I'm not very good at owning up to it when things aren't going so great, am I? Not unless I can point to something and say 'there, that's the problem, now come get drunk with me.'"

She shakes her head, poking at her breakfast. "I don't need a boy to massage my feet," she says quietly, then chuckles. "One for the housework, maybe. Honestly, I don't know what I need."

"Come here." Pierce sits up and scoots across the bed so he can wrap both arms around Lin and hug her. "We never really know what we need," he murmurs. "We just guess. Sometimes we guess well."

"I don't know if I'm guessing well or not," Lin says, settling into Pierce's arms. "I know I'm not drinking anywhere close to as much as I was when I moved into your guest house. I'm not in that place at all anymore." She cuddles a little closer and picks up her coffee again. "It's more like where I was before I met Craig and Karl and Stuart. Just sort of restless, and not knowing quite what I wanted or how to get it."

Pierce nods, cheek brushing against the top of Lin's head. "I understand," he murmurs. "No hurry. No rush. I just don't want you getting in over your head while you're figuring it out."

"I can't get in over my head, Pierce," she says, turning dark eyes to him and smiling faintly. "Didn't you know? Up to my pretty neck, yes," and she nods, and strokes her finger down his cheek. "But never over my head."

"Not if I can help it," Pierce says, kissing her forehead. "I'm a strong swimmer. I'd get you before you could drown."

"Mmm, makes me want to swim out too deep just to inspire a rescue," Lin says with a teasing smile. "I'd invite you to come with me to Nero's some night, just so you can see the pool I'm paddling around in, but it's not quite as discreet as the Establishment and I'd hate for you to be recognized and wind up in the tabloids, or worse."

Pierce grunts. "No, not an option, then. There are times I miss the early '80s. I was young and foolish and no one had ever heard of me. I loved clubs like that back then."

"What were you like back then?" Lin asks.

Before Robert, Pierce thinks, and he grins, can't help it, thinking back. "Heartless," he murmurs. "Vicious. Brash. And an amateur to the bone."

"And you look so happy about it," Lin says, not sure whether she's more amused or taken aback. "What changed?"

"I met someone who was sure I was going to end up hurting either myself or someone else if I kept going the way I was. And he convinced me to spend a few months learning what the hell I was doing before I could do any damage." Pierce hugs Lin again, a little harder this time. Miss him.

Lin squirms her free arm behind Pierce and kisses his cheek. "He must've been a really amazing man," she says quietly. "He's had kind of a profound effect on you, hasn't he."

"Yeah." Pierce sighs. "To put it mildly."

"I'm sorry I never got to meet him," Lin says, hugging Pierce a little. "I'm sorry he's not still here for you."

Pierce doesn't say anything; it's always hard to know what to say to sentiments like that. He misses Robert, but his life would be so different if Robert were still here, if things had been different while Robert was still alive. It's hard to regret things turning out the way they have without regretting the last ten years of his life, and he doesn't regret those years.

Lin eats a bit more of her breakfast, comfortable in the circle of Pierce's arm, and after a while says, "Did you bring whiskey for the coffee? If not, I've got some in the liquor cabinet," keeping her face as deadpan as she can.

"You know, you'd think I'd remember that, being Irish, but no, I left out the whiskey," Pierce grins. "Peter sent muffins, though. Made from scratch."

"Oh...! is that what's in this little basket?" Lin says, lifting a white linen napkin to reveal a little cache of muffins nestled inside. "Homemade muffins are much better than whiskey," she says, taking two out and offering one to Pierce.

Pierce takes a muffin and pulls away the paper wrapper, nibbling at it. Chocolate chip with a hint of orange. "I'd be envious of the muffins if I weren't living with the cook," he says, grinning.

"I'm envious of you for living with the muffin cook," Lin says around a bite. "My god, these are wonderful. Did you tell him I've got a weakness for chocolate and orange?"

"I didn't, but he's practically psychic when it comes to food. I've never eaten this well, although he did once threaten to smack me with a spatula if I touched anything in the kitchen. Small price to pay, I think."

Lin nods and swallows. "Agreed," she says. "I've become so much more competent in my own kitchen, but I wouldn't dream of setting myself loose in one that belonged to a real cook. I'd probably break everything and then somehow manage to set the host on fire."

Pierce laughs. "Depending on the host, that can be a real improvement to a dinner party."

Lin's glad she'd swallowed or she'd be choking now. "Well that's sure as hell true," she says through her laughter. "I try not to go to those parties though."

"Good to hear," Pierce says, grinning and wrapping his arm around Lin's shoulders again, giving her a squeeze. "I'd hate to have to bail you out of jail for arson. We should make a pact: traffic violations are all right, but arson requires a lecture or two."

"No arson," Lin agrees, and crosses her heart. "Promise. If I'm getting a lecture, I want it to be on something a lot more entertaining than arson."

"Deal," Pierce says, kissing Lin's shoulder. "Me, too."

Chapter Text

"It wouldn't do to accost you right here, would it," Peter whispers over Pierce's shoulder as the collaring progresses. He's standing behind his lover, arms wrapped loosely around Pierce's waist. "Rather like a wedding. Don't want to upstage the bride."

"You're probably right. We really should behave." Pierce grins. "They're beyond cute and into nauseating together. Thank you for bringing me."

"You're welcome. Wouldn't think of sharing such a personal moment with anyone else." Peter kisses Pierce's neck. "They are rather nauseating. Please tell me we're not like that."

"Since neither one of us is in a collar, it's safe to say we're not like that at all," Pierce whispers back. Valentine's looking over at them, though, so Pierce straightens, not wanting to embarrass Peter in front of his friend.

Valentine steps over and nods to Peter. "I'm so glad you could be here," he says. He nods to Pierce, too. "Good to meet you, finally. Thank you for sharing the evening with us."

"My pleasure," Pierce drawls. Thank you for sharing the evening with us? My God. Are you a man or a tree? He extends a hand. "Hugh's a wonderful lad. I'm glad he has someone to take care of him. In all the perverted ways that implies." He grins.

Peter laughs, soft chuckle, still leaning against Pierce, holding him. "Yes, Valentine, thank you for the invitation. I'm very happy you've found someone this good."

Valentine shakes Pierce's hand and glances up at Peter. It's still odd thinking of Peter with a lover and not a slave, and the fact that it's Pierce Brosnan is only just beginning to sink in, but the two of them look very comfortable together, entirely natural. It's a good look on his old friend. "He really is that good," he grins, glancing over at Hugh. "I'm torn between wondering what's wrong with every other dominant in the Establishment and being grateful no one collared him before I could." Pierce raises an eyebrow. "No offense intended to either of you."

"None taken," Pierce says. "Hugh's wonderful, but a 24/7 service slave isn't something I'd be after right now." He rubs up against Peter. "Though the temptation to get an occasional someone for the weekend..."

"Hugh's wonderful, Valentine. Perfect in many ways, but not my type, and like Pierce, I'm no longer in the mood for 24/7," Peter says. He'd enjoyed his time with Guy, but being constantly in control of someone was starting to wear on him. Maybe it's age. Or just a desire for change. "I think we could have a weekend boy once in awhile, Pierce, someone to torture and tantalize and then send on his way."

"Mmm. We should talk about that when we're home." Where talk means tease each other mercilessly before fucking each other's brains out, Pierce decides. "It really was a nice ceremony. Ownership seems like it'll suit you both."

Valentine nods to both of them. "Thank you. I hope you'll manage to visit sometime in the next few months -- oh, and I've meant to ask, Peter, there's a convention in Sydney in April. Any thoughts of going?"

Talk. Peter shakes his head. He knows what that means. Who's on top depends on who gets the final burst of momentum in the tumbling. It takes a second to catch Valentine's thought. "Convention? Oh, yes, I remember getting some email about it. Hadn't thought it out." He smiles, kisses the edge of Pierce's jaw. "Want to take a trip, lover?"

Pierce reaches blindly behind him for Peter's thigh and squeezes. "Yes," he says softly. I didn't think you'd want me to join you.

Valentine grins. "Good. I'd love to see you both, especially since I'm not sure Hugh's going to be joining me." He grimaces. "There are some very uncomfortable concessions we're both making to staying in the closet. I don't look forward to being without him for a week, I can tell you that much."

"Staying in the closet. Lovely thought," Peter murmurs, his mind preoccupied with Pierce's groping to think about what he's saying. "Think that door's been propped open. But maybe we could find something in Sydney to occupy you for a week, if nothing more than tormenting fangirls with hopes of being what they think we are, secretive Methos and sadistic Kronos."

Valentine's features slide into a Kronos-reminiscent smirk. "All too easy, brother. Mortals have always been even more gullible than we expect."

Pierce squirms back against Peter. Oh, that's nice. "And to think I spent Halloween trying to capture that voice. My compliments to its original owner."

"You did well enough," Peter says, sliding into a deeper, sultry voice. "Mortals are so easy to manipulate." He eases his hand down Pierce's thigh. "A menacing scowl. A few choice words. And they're ours."

Pierce whimpers, trying to make it sound more like a groan. All right, I'm rolling over tonight. He turns his head, nuzzles Peter's throat. "Not to be a rude guest, but I'm thinking we should get our coats."

"Not at all," Valentine assures him, voice not quite out of Kronos's tones yet. "Have a good evening, both of you." He's going to have to put Kronos back in the back of his mind before he gets to Hugh. Kronos is a roleplay that needs negotiation.

"Yes, we will." Peter knows the precise effect he's having on Pierce, and he's loving every second of it. "We don't leave until Monday night, and I have a meeting with my solicitor Monday morning, but if you're available for brunch, Valentine, ring me at the house." He steps back, his hands sliding from around Pierce's waist. "Coats. Car. Coming, Pierce?"

"Well, now that you've got your hands off me, I'm in less danger of doing so in my pants," Pierce grumbles. He nods to Valentine as well. "Have a good evening, and congratulations again."

Valentine nods to both of them. "I'll ring you," he promises Peter, and heads back to Hugh.

"Christ," Pierce mutters, getting a hand on the small of Peter's back. "Out of here. Now. Immediately."

Peter shiver, full-body shudder, at Pierce's grip. "Eager much?" He smiles at the valet handing him their coats. "What are my chances of getting home unmolested?"

"Since you drove, they're reasonable. I don't want us running off the road. Car crashes are not my kink." Pierce pulls his coat on and ties the belt around his waist, still not sure that's going to cover his erection. "But do drive fast."

He really should not be enjoying his lover's discomfort quite this much. Peter tugs on his coat, leaving the trench open, and quickly makes his way to their car. "It's 20 minutes, Pierce, unless there's a traffic snarl," he says, taking the keys from the car attendant and unlocking the doors. "Surely you can restrain yourself for that long."

"Twenty minutes is nothing when you're tormenting a boy and you want to draw it out. It's an eternity when you're going home with your lover and want to be fucked into the carpet." Pierce watches Peter walking, and the sight of Peter in a tuxedo and a trench coat isn't helping his erection one bit.

"Oh, you want to be fucked," Peter says, settling into the car, taking his time in buckling his seat belt, putting the keys into the ignition, turning over the engine. Each move exaggerated, drawn out. "Carpet, no less. Did you want that in the foyer, Thomas?" He looks over, gives Pierce a cocked grin as he maneuvers the car out of the parking space. "I don't have marble stairs, alas."

"You might actually get me on the marble stairs rather than having me demand a double," Pierce grins. "Much as I adore Rene, I'm not athletic enough for that sort of stunt. I'd settle for a bed." He pokes Peter in the arm. "Stop teasing or I'll jerk off and stain your upholstery."

"That's not a threat. Upholstery can be cleaned." Peter turns his attention to the road, taking the turn out of the lot slow and easy. "As much as I love that scene, and the thought of you kneeling on marble and hands scrambling for a hold while I press a hand into your back and slowly slide my cock inside you is damned appealing, I agree. A bed's better."

Pierce groans. "You're trying to kill me. You're deliberately trying to kill me. I'll have you know this is cruel and unusual punishment for a man you love." But Pierce's teeth are bared and he's grinning as he says it.

"No. I wouldn't kill a lover. Be glad it's just teasing, Pierce." Peter comes to stop at the light even though he could've made it. "Were you my boy, I'd be telling to unzip your trousers, pull out your cock and wrap your fingers around it. I'd have you describe in detail how it feels, throbbing in your palm, moister by the minute. In sentences of exactly 15 words, each sentence one stroke along the shaft."

The light changes and Peter pulls off again, switching the car deftly into the other lane. He really is trying not to enjoy the torture.

"Well, I'm not going to count words for you," Pierce says, chuckling softly. God, this aches. "But I might do the rest, if you wanted to hear it that badly."

"Fifteen minutes, Pierce. Amuse me." Peter tightens his fingers around the wheel, fighting his own erection swelling. "Hand on cock, detailed description."

The exhibitionist in Pierce is thrilling at the idea of doing this in the car, passing other cars in traffic knowing they won't be able to see. The more practical side is frustrated by the layers he has to navigate -- trench coat, jacket, belt, trousers, boxers. But in the end he gets his cock out and wraps his hand around the shaft, sighing. "Oh, that's good. I've been aching all evening. Hugh looked gorgeous on his knees, didn't he?"

"Yes, Hugh looked very nice on his knees. It's obvious he likes to please Valentine," Peter says, voice absent and distant. "I'd rather see you on your knees, Pierce, not like Hugh, but my lover enticing me, stroking off while I'm trying to read."

"Mmm." Pierce gives his cock a long stroke and lets his head fall back against the headrest. "I might. How long do you think it would take you to notice me?" His fingers brush the spot just below the head, and he moans. Needed that.

"Notice you? The moment you kneeled." Peter glances over, suppresses the moan at watching Pierce's hand move. Slow, easy. Fuck he's hard. "Pay attention? Oh, I'd let you go on for minutes before I acknowledged you."

"You would, you bastard." Pierce twists his hand on the way up. "Mm. Just gave myself the perfect little twist, the skin of my palm dragging against my cock. You know, this would be better if I had gloves on. I have leather driving gloves in my pocket..."

"Yes, it would. You have permission to retrieve them." Peter concentrates on the road, which keeps him from smirking.

"Do I? I suppose I'd hate to do it without permission." Pierce smirks just as much as he gets his gloves out, pulling the right one on and flexing his fingers. "How would you like being stroked off with leather?" he murmurs.

"Not while I'm driving. You now, and when we get home, my lover can indulge me with leather."

"Sounds fair enough." Pierce wraps his hand around his cock again and hisses. "It's not warm enough yet. Still cold, hasn't picked up my body heat. Have you ever oiled your leathers and used the oil to stroke off a waiting lad? The scent's different from anything else. Primitive. It shouldn't be a turn on, really, but damn, the scent of oiled leather brings up good thoughts."

Peter makes another turn before answering. "Yes, that scent's familiar. Elicits wonderful memories. Wouldn't be adverse to making new ones, though. Having that scent associated with a lover instead of a lad."

Pierce reaches out and rubs his fingers over Peter's cheek. "When we get home I'm going to--" No. Ask. "I'd like to have you sucking on my fingers while I'm stroking you off. I'd like the taste of leather in your mouth."

It's fortunate Peter knows the streets near his London neighborhood so well. That makes it easier to turn his head enough to kiss Pierce's fingers. "I think," he says softly, taking in a breath. "I think I'd like to try that."

"Yes. God." Pierce drops his hand to his cock again and squeezes just under the head. "Tell me we're close." He smirks. "Close to home, that is."

Peter chuckles. "Five minutes to the last turn, then two blocks. Is that close enough?"

"No, but I'll live." Pierce starts stroking his cock again, faster this time. "Especially now that the leather's starting to warm up. That's nice. Better than nice. The next best thing to being touched by someone else."

"When we get home, Pierce, I'll touch you. All over. For hours, if you like." Peter slows down, giving Pierce an extra minute or two.

Slows down? Christ. Pierce is already dealing with being on the edge, wanting so many different things he's ready to come apart at the seams. This is what happens when you fall in love with someone who likes torture as much as you do, from the same end you do. Pierce strokes faster. "Touch," he breathes, "sounds good, yes, God."

Torture's a nasty double-edged sword. Peter's on edge, steel edge cutting into his groin, cock aching. It's agonizing, those last minutes until the turn, and when he makes it, he wonders if it'd upset the neighbors to race the two blocks to the house. Yes, most likely would. "Almost to the drive, Pierce. Do you know how much I want you right now? How I'm counting the seconds till we're in the house?"

"Fuck. Hell. Damn. Yes, I know. And I never bloody expected it for us but Christ I'm glad I'm with you." Pierce has to stop or he'll be coming all over his hand, and he wants to wait. He wants to save it for when Peter can watch, when neither one of them's going to be distracted by clothes, the drive, the car.

Peter pulls the car to a stop, stalls the engine, turns in his seat. "Do we wait till we're inside? Or grope in the car like teenagers?" He knows the answer he prefers, the latter, but his brain's telling him the former would be better, less prone to neighbors and tabloids. "I can smell how close you are, how much you want it. Out of the car. Inside. Now."

Inside's better. Much better. Pierce zips his trousers and follows Peter out of the car, grimacing at the way it feels to walk when he's this hard. Peter still looks amazing. The trench coat fits his shoulders so well, and he's wearing a tux under it -- formal wear isn't a fetish for Pierce the way it's been for some of his lovers, but that doesn't stop it from being gorgeous on Peter.

Door's unlocked and Peter's shrugging off the trench coat as he drops his keys on the table, turns. "You mentioned leather. Sucking. And you've still to get off, Pierce." The coat's dropped, somewhere near a chair, Peter not really caring.

"I mentioned a lot of things. Let's pretend we're all grown up and can make it as far as the couch," Pierce says, grinning. "Think we can get that far?"

"Oooh, does that count as roleplay?" Peter fakes the amusement. "Do you one better, though. I can make it all the way to the bed. Wanna race?"

"You first." Pierce reaches out and gropes Peter's ass, hands still gloved though he's ditched his jacket the same way Peter has. "I think I can make it without having to pin you against the wall."

Peter laughs, darts away and nearly jumps halfway up the stairs -- too many years of gymnastics training -- before turning around and crooking his finger, beckoning Pierce. "C'mon, lover. Last one there has to wait to come."

"You are such a tease," Pierce says, taking the stairs two at a time. "It's a good thing masters aren't as competitive as boys, isn't it? Competitions on who can wait the longest are bad enough among slaves. Imagine us trying for it."

"Neither master nor slave, Pierce. Lovers." Peter starts off again when Pierce is nearly caught up, and he's at the landing in another two bolts. "Do they compete? Doesn't the negate the whole concept?"

"I have no idea. Sometimes I'm not sure I know what all the concepts are," Pierce admits. He gets up to the landing and reaches out for Peter's waist. "We make it up as we go. And we're not doing a half-bad job so far."

Peter backs up, pulling Pierce with him to the wall. "Yeah, we're doing okay." He leans forward, kisses his lover, not even attempting for soft, biting as he suck on Pierce's lip. "Will be better when you're naked, except for the gloves."

"Mmm, leather fetishes." Pierce chuckles. He bites back into the kiss, taking everything Peter's offering and giving back the same. "Feels good," he breathes. "Why do your teeth feel good on me? I've never been one to get bitten."

"New kink you're developing." Somehow the rush isn't quite as hurried as it was a moment ago. They're just steps away from the bedroom, and it's close enough to tarry. "I've always disliked pain, wouldn't tolerate it," Peter murmurs, "but from you I take it without thinking. Much."

This feels newer than so many of the things they've done. There's something about the way Peter's teeth feel on him that makes Pierce want to push for more. "It's good with you," Pierce murmurs, hoping that makes sense. He's not sure how to explain it otherwise. "Want you."

Pierce's words make perfect sense "How? Inside you? Under you?" Peter grins. "What's your fantasy tonight, Pierce?"

"Inside me," Pierce says, and the fantasy develops fast as he starts thinking about it. "Inside me. Face-to-face. Hands still in gloves, fingers sliding into your ass while you're fucking me."

If a brain can truly short-circuit, Peter's does in that instant. "Bedroom. Now." He nudges Pierce back a step, then spins him around, pushing him forward. "I'm not sure when I last heard a better suggestion. Maybe Halloween. Move it, lover."

Pierce laughs, letting Peter propel him forward. "I think you'll have to undress me if you don't want me taking the gloves off. Don't think I can unfasten all the buttons and cufflinks with driving gloves on."

"I don't mind at all undressing you. That could be quite arousing in itself." Peter puts his hands on Pierce's shoulders, grips lightly and turns his lover's body, steering him into the bedroom. "I draw the line at shoes, though. Just too kinky."

"I think I can get the shoes off on my own." Pierce chuckles at Peter's steering job. At the foot of the bed, he slips out of his shoes and wiggles his toes. "Ta da. Easy enough."

Peter's laughing as he strips off his tux jacket, drapes it over the straight-backed chair just inside the door. "Are toes meant to entice me?" He undoes the cuffs of his neatly pressed shirt, letting them hang open as he loosens his ties and unbuttons the top of the collar. "I will admit a certain fascination, but I'll defer exploring it for the moment." He grins and walks over to the foot of the bed, moving around behind Pierce, putting his hands on Pierce's shoulders and slowly working his lover's jacket off. "I believe I need to concentrate on stripping you."

Pierce is starting to think grocery shopping with Peter could be erotic. Just having Peter pulling his jacket off has his cock jerking against his zipper. "Concentration's a good thing," he murmurs. "So is nudity." And so is teasing, even if it makes him ache.

Jacket disposed of, Peter turns his attention to the shirt, working the tie undone before he moves in front of Pierce. One button at a time, all the while keeping eye contact. "You know, I say 'I've never' around you a lot. Like undressing someone. Always had boys strip for me. Never took this kind of time myself." Shirt's unbuttoned and Peter pulls it from the trousers with gentle tugs, leaving it hanging when he slides his hands down Pierce's arms to the cuffs. Each cufflink taken care of, put away, and then he's slipping one arm out, fingers tracing over the leather gloves as he works.

"We do say that a lot with each other. And the odd thing is I've never felt I was missing out. Still don't. There are worlds of things I want to do with you, but I can't imagine carrying them into bed with other people." Not that there are really 'other people' besides Jeff. "You feel good," he whispers.

Peter shifts again, following the draping trail of polished silk around Pierce's back, pulling the shirt down. "You do, too." He kisses the curve of Pierce's shoulder, the center of the nape of his neck. "Don't want these things with anyone else." Peter's always been monogamous, never with more than one boy at a time. And now with one lover.

The quiet of the room has the odd side effect of making the air seem that much cooler. Or maybe it's only that it's still winter. Pierce shivers at Peter's kisses, grinning. "I like all the 'I've never's I have to offer you," he murmurs.

Words seem useless, or rather not enough, so Peter lets the quiet pervade the room, creep into the corners as he wraps his arms around Pierce's waist, unbuttons the trousers and rakes long fingers down over the zipper. And then he drags them back up, nails scraping over the delicate metal before grasping the pull between thumb and forefinger and sliding the zipper open, elegant as a gentleman's valet.

It's all Pierce can do not to thrust his hips forward, try to get more contact with Peter's hand. Lingering, teasing touches are going to drive him insane tonight. It's not so bad, going insane. It's especially good knowing he's taking Peter with him.

It's easy for Peter to push the fabric over Pierce's hips, down thighs and he follows, sinking to his knees against the hardwood floor, pushing the trousers down and off, gently lifting Pierce's feet, one at a time. Peter's shivering, not from the room's chill but from what he's doing. Serving. Attending to his lover. It's a new emotion, and he likes it.

Pierce looks back over his shoulder and then tilts his head back, trying to relax under Peter's touch. It's not the kind of service he'd expect from a boy, and the attention feels different --noticeable, something to appreciate and take seriously. Definitely nothing to take for granted.

Peter moves around the floor on his knees, sliding his hands around Pierce's body. He licks the front of Pierce's thigh, slowly pushing himself up his lover's body. Light licks over flesh, nibbles, a graze of teeth across the flat of stomach.

Pierce reaches down and runs his fingers through Peter's hair. "Feels good," he murmurs. "Love you." Even if you're a teasing bastard. No, who are we fooling? It's half because you're a teasing bastard. Pierce grins.

"Feels even better from this side." Better because you're teasing the hell out of him, loving it and knowing he loves it, too. Peter crawls all the way up Pierce's body until he's able to suck on Pierce's throat. "You're naked now. I believe there was mention of fucking and leather."

"Hell, yes. There'd better be more than just mention of it." Pierce climbs back on the bed, sliding up until he can lay back against the pillows and slide a hand up his inner thigh. Leather. Christ, that feels good. "Want you."

"Then perhaps I should be naked."

Peter makes quick work of his own clothes, efficient and fast, shedding shirt and trousers and crawling up onto the bed between Pierce's legs. He licks along the path leather had followed. "Tastes more decadent knowing leather's been there."

"Does it?" Pierce murmurs. He slides his hands down Peter's back, stroking and caressing until his hands are down at Peter's hips and he's pressing his fingers in. "We should try this the other way sometime."

"Next week. Put it on the list." Peter can't take his mouth from Pierce's flesh quite yet, working kisses over nipple before licking, sucking, teasing at the bite.

The sting of teeth might make Pierce jump most times. Tonight he thinks it would be welcome. He can't scratch at Peter's back to encourage him, so he holds Peter's hips still and grinds up against him, groaning. "Please..."

It's always intrigued Peter how a tiny word can mean so much, carry so much weight. Please. He slides the edge of his teeth over Pierce's nipple, bringing them together in a gentle bite, a sensual tug. He moves one hand down to push Pierce's legs apart, nudge knees up. "Want you now," Peter slurs out, reaching the other hand for the nightstand, knowing there's lube there somewhere.

Pierce's hand joins Peter's in groping up to the nightstand, pulling the drawer out and getting the tube. "Want you, too," he says. And grins. "Want to watch me slick myself up?" With the gloves on. He's going to need new gloves by the time he's through here.

The offer takes Peter by surprise. He's not sure why. He finds himself kneeling up, pulling his hand back, letting Pierce have the tube. "That, for some reason, is the most erotic offer I've heard in perhaps my entire life. Please. Show me how much you want me."

Pierce doesn't need to tell Peter how seldom he does this. How the angle's going to be awkward and he's not going to be able to give Peter the kind of show one of their boys could. But he's willing, and he's enthusiastic, and the glide of leather into his ass makes his neck arch and his eyes close. It's good.

It's better than good because it's not a boy doing it because he's told. It's a lover giving of himself. "You look good." Peter touches Pierce's thigh, rubs a single finger over the flesh. "Want to be buried inside you, pounding into you, coming while you work that leather into me."

"Yes," Pierce whispers. He gets a little more lube on his glove and works two fingers in. The fit's tight, tighter than it should be --he's taken more than this, and these days there's no way he can pretend he's not used to getting fucked. It's psychological, the added sensation of leather making everything feel different. And knowing Peter's watching is hitting every exhibitionist kink in Pierce's body. "It'll be even better when it's you in me."

"Yes, it will be, but this is rather nice." Watching Pierce is hitting on buttons Peter didn't realize he had. Patience. And lack of control. "Opening yourself for me, consciously working your fingers in and out, knowing what's coming."

Peter's voice is both soothing and electrifying, putting Pierce in focus and making him get his eyes open again. "Knowing exactly what's coming," he says, bringing his other hand up and rubbing Peter's shoulder. "How good it's going to feel when you're in me. When I can feel you tightening around my fingers." He has to take a conscious step back from the competitive instinct, reminding himself that it's not a contest, that he doesn't have to hold out longer than the other man in his bed. "Want you. Now."

"I think we've waited long enough. Need you." Peter moves a bit faster, shifting Pierce's legs around, pushing knees up and getting hips at the right angle. Then it's a quick tug of cock against Pierce's hole and Peter's pushing in, easy going, just enough friction to make it worth the effort of taking it slow.

"Mmmm." Pierce draws his knees up, tilting his hips to get Peter in even deeper. He slides his palm down Peter's hip, over the curve of his ass, slick fingertips sliding down his cleft and pressing against his opening. "Feels perfect," he murmurs. His other glove --the one that's not covered in lube -- comes up and brushes against Peter's cheek. "How's the leather feeling?"

Peter sinks deeper, but he does it as his pace, inching his cock in. His brain's distracted, along with his body, when Pierce's gloved hands make their dual assault. "Leather is perfect, feels smooth, sensual."

"Warm," Pierce agrees, working his fingertips inside. His voice goes low, pitch slips higher as Peter slides into him. "We really ought to have mirrors on the ceiling. I'd love to be able to see this..." He can't keep talking, though, not with his hands all over his lover and Peter's cock filling him.

"In LA, Pierce, if you want mirrors on the ceiling. Not marring the plaster here. Damned house is 150 years old." Peter's amazed he has the brain capacity to get out that many words in that coherent a combination. He pulls back a bit and shoves forward. It's a thrust. Solid. Forceful. To the point.

Pierce could argue, but he'd much rather be fucked through the mattress right now. And he can imagine what Peter's body looks like. The contrast of black gloves against pale skin, the motions of Peter's body, the way his shoulders roll forward and his spine curves --Christ, the man looks as good as he feels. Pierce leans up and bites Peter's shoulder. "More."

More. It's said with such sincerity Peter has to oblige his lover. He quickens the pace, fucking with short, harsh thrusts, pushing his own body against leather in counterpoint. "Going to come, Pierce." He rocks back, licking his lips as gloved fingers work an uncommon magic. "Fill you. Mark you. Be yours as you're mine."

"Yes." Pierce groans, pushing up with every thrust, nearly close enough himself to go over. Almost. He drives his fingers hard into Peter's ass, wanting to watch Peter's expression when he comes almost as much as he wants to come himself.

That final shove of fingers is what it takes. Peter's eyes are wide open, fixed on Pierce's, smiling even as Peter's face contorts into a pre-orgasmic grimace. He manages another couple thrusts before he comes, eyes glazed and vision white.

Pierce tugs Peter down onto him, biting at the side of his neck. "Christ, you're good," he breathes. "My turn next. When you can breathe again."

"Don't think we have that long," Peter says, breathing shallow. "Just go on. I'll get back to breathing soon enough." He's barely supporting his weight over Pierce's body, grimacing in pained delight --pained? -- at the sensation of still having Pierce's hand inside him.

Pierce squirms. "I can come if you can get a hand on me. Or I can come if you let me hurt you. Bite you." Either way, it won't take much.

Peter's pain for Pierce's orgasm. It's a dilemma. It'd be easier to just reach up, wrap his fingers around Pierce's cock and get him to come that way. Except reaching up would involve Peter taking his hand from the bed and he's not sure his balance would recover. He doesn't like pain, though, and has never given into it voluntarily. It seems like forever in deciding, but it's only seconds.

"Bite me."

There's no hesitation from Pierce, not once permission's granted. He licks up the side of Peter's throat and then sinks his teeth in, and the involuntary jerk of pain from Peter does everything he needs it to do. It sends his thoughts fracturing and his body sliding up against his lover, and Christ it's good, more than good enough to come from.

It shouldn't be good. It isn't good. Peter winces, closes his eyes, his body shivering with the sudden, sharp pain. Somewhere in that pain, though, he finds a spark, something that passes through, mutates the pain, shifts it over to -- no, it's not pleasure, something else -- love, acceptance, an emotion Peter is willing to let flood his brain while Pierce's body shudders under him.

Pierce presses his face against Peter's shoulder, trying to get his breath back. He works his fingers out of Peter's ass and struggles with both gloves until they're off and tossed aside, and he wraps both arms around Peter's waist and squeezes. God.

Leather was nice -- no, better than nice -- but flesh on flesh is best. It's grounding. Peter lets his weight down, gentles onto forearms, stretching himself more as he pulls out of Pierce. "That was," he says, pausing, thinking, "not sure I have the right word for it."

The move gets a wince and a hissed breath out of Pierce, but he stretches his legs out and stretches his arms above his head. That helps. "You realize I won't be able to think of leather driving gloves in quite the same way now?"

"You realize I'll be buying leather gloves by the gross now?" Peter grins, easing down more, slightly to one side of Peter's body. "For both of us."

"There are worse addictions than leather," Pierce says, grinning. "I can live with it if you can."

Chapter Text

journal entry, Peter
A different perspective
It's only when you fall in love that you understand why people go insane once a year. I didn't send chocolate or roses, though I did make sure the countertops in the new kitchen are scratch-resistant and at the proper height. And, Pierce, the power tools are for the vegetables.

"The last appliances went into day, and the guys are coming in the morning to put the finishing touches on the floor and get the stained glass panels in." Peter's talking as he walks into the den. "It's nearly ready for company. Definitely will be by a week Friday when we have our guests." He settles onto the arm of the chair Pierce is sitting in, nudging Pierce's elbow. "You are all right with that, me inviting Gerry and Jonny to dinner?"

Pierce looks up and runs his hand down Peter's thigh. "Of course I'm all right with that. I'd be happy to see more of them, and it looks as though neither offering the invitation nor accepting it has either one of you frothing at the mouth."

"I think we can be in the same room without wanting to see the other dead." Peter grins, looks down at Pierce's hand. "Couldn't say that a couple months ago, so it's a nice place to be. Plus, it's a chance to show off my new kitchen."

"Mmm. Is everything done at this point, or do you need more appliances? New set of knives?" Pierce's fingers slide toward the inside of Peter's thigh. "And why do you need power tools in the kitchen again?"

"The drill's for coconuts, Pierce. Have you ever tried to break one with just a hammer? I think we have all the appliances we can use." Peter's following the trail of Pierce's fingers. "Was there something you needed?"

"A quick grope?" Pierce grins. "And are coconuts all you're planning to drill in the kitchen?"

"With the power drill, yes. I might be encouraged to drill other things personally." Peter shifts, opening his legs a little. "A quick grope would be fine. Is it fair play of me to talk to you about other renovations while you're feeling me up?"

"If I'm feeling you up, that's fair. If you were feeling me up, that might put me at a disadvantage." Pierce scratches his nails down Peter's thigh. "Come stretch out with me?"

"Stretching out sounds even better. Couch or bed?"

"Couch is right here. And it's damned comfortable." Pierce tosses his book aside and stretches out on his back. "Go on, make yourself at home."

Peter moves around, stretches out alongside Pierce, leg draped slightly over his lover's, hand on his chest. "It is comfortable. We'll keep it." He grins, kisses the edge of Pierce's jaw.

Pierce looks chagrined. "I wasn't thinking about that..." Well, not much. He wraps an arm around Peter and nuzzles his neck. "Can we do one room at a time?" he asks.

"One room. Start upstairs." Peter leans his head back against the couch. The nuzzling's too good to not allow Pierce all the space he wants. "Bathroom and study. Well, it's more than one room, but the plans kind of mesh."

"That'll work." Pierce starts licking, scrapes his teeth across pale skin. "We've got spare bathrooms. We can stand it for a while."

Peter's mind shouts yes but his face just acknowledges the agreement with a smile. "Want to put in large garden tub, knock out the walls of that guest room between the bath and your study/studio area, expand both into something bigger." He's not focusing and the scrape of teeth catches him sudden. "Oh, wow. You know, that's not as bad a feeling as it used to be."

"All I have to do in order to get you to like biting is let you renovate the house?" Pierce grins. "I want to leave the studio alone. I like the way the light gets to it. The rest we can do."

"Yeah, saw that in the post. I'll not touch the studio. And, no, I didn't look at any canvases. Wouldn't until you show me." Peter's not chagrined, maybe a touch hurt that Pierce would've thought he was snooping, but it passes in a shrug. "Also, that's not biting. That's teeth grazing over skin, and it's not that bad. Biting I'm still not sure about, but we can negotiate. If I get the study and larger bathroom, you can nibble a bit more, work up to full biting."

"And the kitchen you got for free," Pierce says. He licks Peter's neck, no teeth this time. "Remind me to show you last summer and fall's canvases sometime. They're all that's under sheets upstairs."

"For free? I thought surely I'd be needing to pay you back for that, Mr. Brosnan." Peter misses the anticipated nibble. Almost. There's still so much new to get used to. "Don't want some sort of proper thank-you?"

"Well, I certainly won't turn down a proper thank-you. But I expected that to happen over all those new counters." Pierce grins, runs his hands over Peter's back. "Besides which, it's our house now. You don't have to bribe me into doing what it takes to make it feel like it's yours as much as mine. Mind you, I'm not foolish enough to turn down free sexual indulgences. But I wouldn't say they're required."

"I know they're not required. This is me wanting to give you something, but I'll be happy to wait and christen the counters." If Peter was one to squirm, he would, Pierce's hand on his back warm and tantalizing. "However, for the bathroom and what I want to do there, I'll gladly indulge your sexual fantasies for the evening."

Pierce chuckles. "Careful. Carte blanche in this household is dangerous territory." He can't seem to get close enough. Peter just feels so good, and Pierce starts working his hand between sweater and skin, wanting the warmth of bare skin against his palm.

"Did I say carte blanche?" Peter grins, pushes himself down into Pierce's body, closer still. "No, no, no, Mr. Brosnan. Merely an indulgence for the evening. One fantasy. Limits open to negotiation."

"I'd better think about this one. Don't want to blow a chance on a momentary impulse." Pierce scratches the small of Peter's back in slow circles. "How wide is my window of opportunity? Until the renovation's finished?"

Peter expects Pierce to ask now. He's not sure why. "Yes, till renovation's finished." He's purring, if Peter purred, and he's sure he doesn't purr. He might make strange catlike sounds when his lover's scratching him. Like now.

Pierce just wants to be sure they won't roll off the couch. And if Peter suspects Pierce is ready to ask, it's only because Pierce has something in mind already. It'd be unlike him not to have a plan on an instant's notice. Working up the nerve to ask is something else entirely.

"Until you make a decision on the fantasy, do you have something you want tonight?" Peter scoots toward the back of the couch. "Or is groping on the couch sufficient?"

"It'll do for now." Pierce slips his hand down the back of Peter's jeans. "Mmm. So what do you want to do to christen the new kitchen? Break champagne? Fuck on all the flat surfaces?"

Peter laughs. "Both sound good. Can we douse ourselves in champagne and then fuck on all the flat surfaces?"

"I could see licking champagne off you while pinning you against your new counters." Pierce nuzzles the hollow at the base of Peter's throat. "You won't kill me for getting champagne all over the new floor?"

"So we save the champagne for over the sink. That way we don't soak the floors." There's that noise again. The purr. Peter can't deny it's coming from his throat this time, the throat Pierce's lips are working magic over. "Or, better yet, save the champagne for when the upstairs work is finished and we'll fill the tub with it."

"Wouldn't that be cold? And fizzy." Pierce laughs and pushes Peter into the couch cushions, squirming until he gets a thigh between Peter's legs and can start groping under his sweater again. "This feels good, you know. You, here. This. I like it."

"Nothing wrong with cold and fizzy, in the right proportions, especially with a fire going in the background." Peter squirms enough to help his sweater ride up, give Pierce a little bit more access. "Yeah. That's nice."

"Fire? In the bathroom?" Pierce blinks. But he doesn't blink long. He's too busy taking advantage of that exposed few inches of skin, rubbing and scratching gently.

"Yes, fire. Gas logs in a corner over the tub." Peter moans. Definitely not a purr. Decidedly liking it. "I've got photos I can show you. After you finish debauching me."

"If that's a request for more debauchery, Mr. Wingfield, I'm your man." Pierce nuzzles Peter's throat, breathes out warm against it. Peter's neck, God -- it's a work of art, designed to be licked, stroked, nuzzled, bitten... bruised. Pierce shivers.

He never used to like this, or never gave himself the chance to like it. "You know, I recall hearing that somewhere, Mr. Brosnan," Peter says, barely getting the words out before he's moaning, Pierce's tongue working such taunts. He's been like this, from the other side, licking and kissing and ... biting and bruising and it was always a boy under him. Now a lover. So different. "If I promise to show you color swatches, could I get fucked in the next hour?"

"Color swatches as bribery for fucking. Are we that gay?" Pierce grins. "Yes to both. I'll look at your color swatches and I'll fuck you through the couch, if you like."

"I'm that gay. Just hide it well." Peter grins, shifts. "Need to be more naked to be shagged, though. Move a bit?"

"With an offer like that on the table..." Pierce pulls back and starts unbuttoning his shirt. He tosses the shirt aside and opens the drawer on the end table looking for the lube. "Let's see, I thought we had some downstairs..."

"We do. Bottom of the table, small lacquered box." Peter cocks his head at Pierce's puzzled look. "Something I picked up at Pier One that looked like the perfect lube box." He shifts enough to start working his own clothes off, first shirt and then jeans.

The perfect lube box. For some reason, Pierce is charmed by that idea. He gets the lube within reach of the couch, then stands up to finish stripping out of his clothes, leaving his jeans puddled on the floor and his boxers on top of them, and he glances at the couch, pondering and discarding different positions. The one he settles on is going to require jockeying for couch space, so he slides back to one end, tangling his legs up with Peter's.

Fortunately Peter's naked by this point, clothes tossed to the end of the couch, mental note made to pick them up later, along with a back-of-the-brain note about needing to send laundry to the cleaners. The thought's barely out of his head when Pierce's legs are tangling, and Peter can't help but laugh. "My gymnastic skills are a bit rusty, Pierce. Were you thinking of something complicated?"

"Not at all. Come here." Pierce leans forward and pulls Peter on top of him. "Like this," he murmurs. "You feel good all over me."

"Oh, goody, I get to be on top." Peter smirks, slides himself into position, stretching out over Pierce's body. "You feel good, too." He dips his head, licks over Pierce's throat. "Soft in all the right places."

"I beg your pardon," Pierce sniffs, but he's smirking and his hands are gliding up the backs of Peter's thighs. "I think we're both hard in all the right places, too." He closes his eyes, tilts his head back and rocks his hips up. "Nice. Very nice."

"Soft. Hard. Perfect." Peter pushes down against Pierce's rocking. "Slow. Easy. No rush to finish. I like times like this, just enjoying each other."

"So do I." Pierce reaches up, slides his hand over Peter's hair, thumb tracing the curve of his ear. "Casual along with anything but." The phrase made sense in Pierce's head, at least, though he frowns once it's out in the air. "Maybe I should stop talking..."

"Only if you're going to kiss me, sir," Peter says, raising his head, meeting Pierce's eyes. "I like hearing you talk. Don't ever hold back from telling me what you're thinking."

"I won't." Pierce grins. "But I might wait for more opportune times every once in a while." Like right now. Does he want to know that I've already figured out what I'm going to ask for? That asking is going to scare me as much as the possibility he might say yes.

"Fair enough." Peter doesn't mind waiting to hear, as long as Pierce doesn't back off the promise. He doesn't fear that. Doesn't fear anything with Pierce. He's just coming to realize that, and it's an odd comfort. He goes back to nuzzling Pierce's throat, pressing his body down against Pierce's. Fucking now will be good. Talking later.

"Ohhh..." Pierce runs his hands up the length of Peter's back. "Damn, you feel good. Want you. So much." He gropes for the lube. "Such a good position. Reminds me of the first time we went barebacking. In reverse." He grins. "After touching you for an hour, I wasn't thinking about anything but needing to be fucked."

"Hmmm, about to that point now." Peter remembers it, too. Caught him so unawares. But it seemed so right. "Your turn now, then, I guess, to touch until we're so far gone."

"Only you get more prep than I did." Pierce grins and opens up the lube, coating his fingers with it. He has to reach around to Peter's ass and find his opening by feel, which results in a slippery slide of fingers down cleft until he gets there.

The slide tickles, and Peter chuckles, even though he doesn't mean to, but he's not worried about breaking the mood. "Don't bother, Pierce." He squirms. "I think that's enough."

"You sure?" Pierce pushes his fingers in as deep as he can get them. "Mmm. Maybe I shouldn't ask. Just want to be inside you."

Peter wriggles, shifting enough to push against Pierce's fingers, drive them deeper. "There's your answer. Just fuck me, luv."

Fuck me. It's still not something Pierce takes for granted, still a pleasant surprise every time he hears it. The position's just the slightest bit awkward, but he manages to get his cock snugged up tight against Peter's hole, and then he presses down on Peter's hips, moaning as Peter starts taking his cock in. Impossibly hot. Just enough friction to keep things interesting. So good.

Just enough prep to make it bearable. Peter makes a mental note about not needing to be so cavalier about the lube. You're not some bloody boy trying to show off. But it's not so bad as he can't take it, and he spreads his legs as much as he can, trying to open himself a bit more. After all, it's Pierce and he'd do anything for his lover. Even bury his head in Pierce's shoulder and nibble at the tender flesh in the collarbone's dip.

Pierce moans, squirms underneath Peter and pulls his hips down a little harder. Everything feels so good; his skin feels like it's just this side of catching fire. He knows how much this is going to have Peter aching when they're through, and the thought makes him wrap his arms around Peter's waist and thrust up hard. He can't help himself. It's all too good.

He's aching already, but Peter doesn't care. It's a burn worth enduring, asking for time and again. Or that's what Peter's thinking right now. Later, he might change his mind. He lets himself be pulled down, tighter into Pierce's grasp.

It's times like this that Pierce thinks this was the best idea ever, and whether he means sex itself or the position or just having Peter in his life, he's not sure. All of the above. He leans up, hugs Peter hard for the few seconds he's able to stay balanced, and then falls back to the couch, hips pumping up and fingers digging into Peter's thighs. Close, entirely too close, almost ready to scream with it.

"Please, Pierce," Peter murmurs against his lover's throat. "So hard. Perfect." Just on the edge of pain and he's finding it tolerable. He braces his hands on the couch's edge, whatever he can find, holding himself steady into Pierce's upward thrusts.

It's not a scream, nothing so undignified, but Pierce groans and tightens his hands on Peter's hips as he comes, rocking up again and again into incredible heat and almost painful friction. "Yes..."

There's nothing as sweet as that feeling, nothing between them, come soaking into Peter's body, marking him from the inside out, Pierce filling him, his own cock trapped between their bodies. Peter thinks he could stay just like that forever. Or at least a good 20 minutes. He's less intent on coming himself, too wrapped up in Pierce's fingers digging into his flesh, Pierce's scent and, well, just Pierce.

When Pierce can get his eyes open again, he blinks a few times and hums out a satisfied noise. "You feel so good," he murmurs. "What can I do for you?"

"Hold me. Touch me. Make me come." Peter grins, licks Pierce's shoulder again. "Not that you need to do the first two to get the last. I'm about two words away from it."

Pierce laughs and runs his hands up and down Peter's back. Two words, he thinks, wondering which two are the most appropriate. He presses his hips up again as he works a hand between them, just barely able to get his fingers around Peter's cock. "Come, lover," he murmurs, encouragement, not demand.

That's pretty close to being exactly the words he needs. "Oh, yes, that's right." Peter oozes out the words, pushes his hands into the couch, barely resists biting into Pierce's shoulder as he comes, quick, hard, just the right shiver through his body.

Probably unsurprisingly, Pierce would have taken the bite under circumstances like these. He nuzzles against Peter's neck, grinning broadly. Peter feels so good, smells good, and Pierce doesn't care if they get stuck together like this. He's just glad to be here.

Chapter Text

private journal entry, Pierce
There's something odd about preparing to play host with one's lover. Maybe it's that I've never done this before -- all the men I've lived with until now have been my submissives, and watching Peter figure out what he wants to do about dinner when Gerard and Jonny come by is very different from having a submissive plan a menu.

I have so many questions about Gerard, and I think I'll get answers to some of them just from having him visiting. I know Peter came into things with as much of a past as I did, but it's still surprising somehow. I couldn't help a few pokes at him in the journal -- he left himself wide open for them -- but I'll try to behave myself tomorrow.

No, really. I will try.

I can't believe he's going to the Oscars with me as my date. I suppose that'll settle the question of whether he's my lover or just a friend fairly fast, and it'll probably make People somewhere in the Oscar issue. No more hiding. It's nervewracking, but good luck to us.

Peter's usually so composed, so sure of himself, so at ease, especially here, in Pierce's house -- no, he corrects himself, stopping in front of the hallway mirror, playing with a stray lock of hair -- their house. And now he's having guests for dinner. Gerry and Jonny.

He straightens his collar and grins approvingly at his choice of simple indigo shirt and black jeans. Classic, elegant, not intimidating. It's the last thing he wants, to make Gerry feel less at ease.

On the other hand, Gerry had dressed to impress. Jonny had had to talk him down from his best suit. He's wearing his linen suit with a black shirt, the first two buttons undone. Jonny's less dressed up and he looks infinitely more comfortable, but Gerry isn't about to press the point.

"You look fine, Master. Better than fine." Jonny's jeans are clean, his white shirt crisp and he's not worried about making an impression, except in doing exactly what Master says. "Actually, you look scrumptious. Now knock on the door."

"Yes, dear." Gerry knocks on the door.

Peter hears the knock, turns away from the mirror. "Moment of truth," he mutters, then calls louder up the stairs. "Pierce, our guests are here." He takes a deep breath, centers himself, then opens the door, stepping back in a welcoming gesture. "Evening, Gerry." Fuck, he looks good. As always. "Come in."

"Good evening." Gerry smiles at Peter and walks in. He looks around. "Nice place."

"Hello, Jonny." Peter shuts the door behind them.

"Hi," Jonny says, leaving off the sir and the Mr. Wingfield and not feeling at all comfortable with Peter to his face. He's almost glued to Gerry's side.

"We're in the midst of remodeling a little, but it's quite nice. Just finished the kitchen." Peter walks around, motions them toward the living room. "You look good, Gerry. Marriage must be agreeing. Or it could be the suit. I've never been able to wear linen. It looks perfect on you."

"Thank you." It always throws him to talk to Peter without having to be on the defensive. "Jonny suggested I wear it."

"Pierce should be down soon. Can I get you something to drink?" It's not so hard being nice, not wanting to put him down. "I've got some Pellegrino chilling." Peter smiles, noticing Jonny's quick blush at Gerry's mention of him. Some things never change. "Unless I could entice you to a small glass of wine."

"Not for me." Gerry turns to Jonny. "Jonny, would you like?"

"Just the Pellegrino, Master," Jonny says, "but your boy appreciates the offer."

"Good, then. I'll pop into the kitchen and get everything. You can make yourself comfortable in the living room," Peter says, stepping away. "Dinner's about a half hour away, give or take the oven's prerogative."

"Thanks." This really is weird, but Gerry finds that it's kind of nice. Despite the clear sign of the coming apocalypse, Peter seems to have settled down, and it suits him.

"Master, you can relax," Jonny says after Peter's out of the room. "And sit down. Is it okay if your boy kneels? Or should he be more husband than slave tonight?" He laces his hands behind his back, crossing his fingers for the answer.

"Husband." Gerry strokes his fingers through Jonny's hair. "You can kneel, but I don't want you overly formal." Jonny might go into headspace. Three dominants. Gerry doesn't want to take a risk.

"Yes, Sir," Jonny says, switching from Master. "Your husband can be doting without sliding into headspace." He thinks he can, and he leans in, kisses Gerry's cheek. "He promises to be a good boy."

Peter's standing in the doorway from dining room to sitting area. "If you're not going to sit, I should've just asked you into the kitchen." He walks on in, sets the tall, thin glasses of Pellegrino and ice on the table in front of the couch, glancing up as he takes a seat in the chair at one end. "I promise not to bite," he says, wry grin intact, "not unless I'm asked."

And you won't be asked. Gerry sits down, and pulls Jonny down to kneel at his feet. Tangible sign of ownership. He can be excused for that.

It's noted and Peter picks up a glass, settles back into the chair. He has no claim to make on Jonny, doesn't want one. And such an overt claim is natural for a good master. Gerry seems to have just the level of control he wants, Jonny sinking at his feet, kneeling with hands behind his back, leaning into Gerry's leg.

"I'm curious, Gerry, how marriage works with being a master. Is it more complicated controlling someone you love?" Peter sips at his water. The question's not meant to antagonize, merely engage in conversation.

Gerry thinks before answering. First for him, Jonny'd probably say, but this is Peter. He's stuck his foot into his mouth. "I think it's easier. I know him, and I want what's best for him, so I'm very careful not to do anything that would fuck everything up."

Jonny's smiling, listening to Gerry. He can hear him putting his thoughts together before he answers. It's probably the smartest move when dealing with Peter, given their history.

"That makes a lot of sense. You both seem quite happy," Peter says. "I don't think I've ever seen you this at ease, Gerry, comfortable with yourself."

"You, too, Peter. You seem settled." Which leads to the obvious question, but Gerry's not going to go there. Not with Peter.

"Not sure I'm settled. Not all the way. But I'm very happy." Peter imagines Gerry has a dozen questions he's not asking. "I'm sure the dinner invitation confused you, took you by surprise."

"Fuckin' outta the blue," Jonny murmurs, then blushes.

Peter laughs. "Surprised me that I made it, but I wanted to try and start over with you, Gerry" He takes a deep breath. This is the hardest part, saying the words, knowing he could be slammed back down as easily as being accepted. "As equals, something akin to friends."

That takes Gerry aback. A moment goes by before he nods. "I'd like that." It surprises him that he does. He wants to start over. He wants to be able to think of Peter as something normal, not as an ex.

The hesitancy doesn't go unnoticed by Jonny, and it makes him fidgety, a bit more nervous. He knows how rough it can get if Gerry and Peter start arguing. Can they really be friends? Or something.

"Do I make you uncomfortable, Jonny?" Peter says, leaning forward.

"Yes," Jonny says. "A little." Maybe he shouldn't admit it, but it's supposed to be a new start of sorts tonight and honesty's a good place. "He's fine, though." He leans a little closer to Gerry.

Gerry rubs his thumb along the back of Jonny's neck. He isn't sure what to say. At least his boy's okay. He can feel how tense he is, but he's dealing. That's all he can ask of his boy.

"You look good together. Fascinating dynamic," Peter murmurs. "I've never had a boy who didn't end every sentence with 'sir' and keep his eyes on the floor."

"That's for Master only," Jonny says, almost under his breath.

Gerry's fingers squeeze Jonny's neck lightly. "He can do that," he says, keeping his voice level. "But I find that to be boring. I want a lover, not a robot."

"That would be the difference. I've never had--" Peter stops. A boy you loved? Not quite right. "Never had a lover." He smiles. "Till now."

"The slave is quite happy," Jonny says, glancing up. "He likes that the respect is reserved for Master." He hadn't liked the notion at first, but Peter doesn't need to know that, and it was more a concern of having to adjust the formal brain than not showing proper respect to everyone. He grins. "This way, Master's set above all others."

"Right where masters should be." Gerry doesn't look at Peter. There's a question on the tip of his tongue, one that's been there since he found out that Peter was living with another dominant. And, really, he doesn't want to know who's on top. He's already not allowed to talk to Peter unless Jonny's in the room.

Peter wonders what's not being said between Gerry and Jonny. Can only imagine. He's long ago lost touch with his one-time sub's mind. "I suspect you put a unique twist on being a master, Gerry." He picks up his water, takes a few more sips. "I need to check on dinner. If you'll excuse me."

Dinner. Cooking. Kitchen. Jonny sighs. He wants to ask if he can help, but that would be just crossing way too many lines.

"Go right ahead." Gerry sits back, and loosens his grip on Jonny's neck. See, this isn't so bad. Awkward, but friendly. It can only get worse.


Dinner's ready and almost on the table. Peter's thinking they should put in an intercom system, just so he could call his lover to dinner on time. He walks back into the living room. Gerry and Jonny don't seem to have moved. Perfect together. Best thing I ever did, not trying in earnest to get him back.

"Dinner's ready, gentlemen." He finishes wiping his hands on the dish rag he's carrying. "Now we just need Pierce and we can start."

"Need Pierce for what?" Pierce asks, wandering into the living room and ambling toward Peter. He wraps an arm around Peter's waist and hugs him briefly before nodding to Gerry and Jonny. "It's good to see you both."

"I can think of several things we could use Pierce for, but eating dinner's top of the list." Peter grins, puts his hand over Pierce's at his waist. "You've met Gerry before, haven't you? Somewhere."

"One of the Bond movies, I think. And the journals, of course." Pierce threads his fingers through Peter's. "Dinner, then. Shall we?"

"I can think of several things we could use Pierce for, but eating dinner's top of the list." Peter grins, puts his hand over Pierce's at his waist. "You've met Gerry before, haven't you? Somewhere."

Gerry stands up, and tugs Jonny up. "Dinner would be lovely." It's what they're there for, after all.

Peter pulls out of Pierce's grasp, but keeps their fingers twined as he moves into the dining area. It's at the end of the remodeled kitchen, Mission-style table with four of the six places set. "Sit down, and I'll finish putting everything out," he says. "Pierce, there's wine open if you want it. Gerry and Jonny are having water."

He leaves Pierce to settling their guests at the table and walks across to the range, taking the braciole out of the oven and transferring it to the platter. It's been resting a good hour so it's nice and settled. He carves the medallions, leaving part of the flank steak-and-herbs roll whole for presentation, and drizzles some of the pepper cream sauce over it. Next comes the asparagus, crisp and green in scallion-tied bundles and placed around the meat. Peter's rather pleased with himself. It's a nice meal, not overly complicated, but it looks elegant. The bread's already on the table, along with the risotto, so all that's left is to turn back to his guests and walk the platter to the table.

Pierce has already figured out that it's better not to interfere with Peter's cooking or presentation. A hard whack or two with a flat wide spatula was enough to drill that lesson in. And as odd as it feels being served by his lover, it's damned nice that he's living with someone who likes to cook as much as Peter does. "Looks fantastic. Thank you," Pierce says.

Jonny's sitting, but would rather be kneeling. He's squirming, trying not to think about the way his brain is wrapping around there being three doms in the same room with him. Three mean who could mutilate him. Or the fact that he'd love every second of it. Instead he concentrates on the dish Peter's set on the table. "It's gorgeous. Braciole. What's your stuffing?"

"Filling," Peter says, taking a seat. "Never call it stuffing. Alton would slap us."

That gets a laugh from Jonny. "Oooh, this boy has his DVD set. So, what'd you use, Peter? Basic herb and breadcrumbs?"

Gerry has no idea what's so amusing, but it's heartening that Jonny and Peter are getting along. That'd been his main worry, after how he was going to deal with Peter himself.

It's fascinating to Pierce, watching Peter with Jonny, watching the way he's reacting to Gerard's eyes on him and knowing that Gerard is the man who's meant the most to Peter in the last dozen years. Ex-lovers are always tricky situations; God knows Pierce has enough experience in that realm to know that much. And part of him's envious, wishing it were this easy to invite Sean over for dinner, that he could see Sean on his own terms, as his own man. He wonders how Peter's feeling about that, whether this is what he wanted it to be. It's probably too soon to tell.

Peter looks from Jonny to Gerry. He isn't frowning. That's good. He starts passing the dishes around. "Herbs, yes. Thyme and oregano and a bit of cilantro. All fresh, crushed with black peppercorns and dried breadcrumbs." He nudges the risotto across the table toward Gerry. "I assume Jonny does most of the cooking."

Gerry isn't sure why he's blushing. It's an innocent question. "Yeah. And I get a spanking if I dare intrude." A little too late he realizes that he should have said 'reprimand' or something like that. Fuck, Peter's never going to let him live that down.

Peter laughs, looks at Pierce. "I think Pierce would commiserate with you, Gerry." He picks up an asparagus bundle and a medallion of the braciole and passes the plate to his lover. "I'll be happy to send you the recipe, Jonny, if you like it."

Jonny's managing not to blush, which is a feat in itself. "Sure. Thanks." He spoons out the risotto onto his plate and then Gerry's, an unconscious act. "And this boy didn't say Master couldn't cook. He just doesn't need to. That's his husband's responsibility."

"Then you're better off than I am," Pierce says. "I'm a disaster in the kitchen. Peter could do a version of 'How To Boil Water' with me... and I think I just gave away the fact that I've been watching Food Network over Peter's shoulder, didn't I." He laughs. "I've just always had boys to do that for me."

Gerry grins. "I can boil water. I showed Jonny that just the other day. But, yeah, he's better than me and always will be."

Jonny's blushing now, looking down, counting the rice grains in the risotto, anything to avoid eye contact with any of them. All of them. Breathe, Jonny. It's not that complicated.

"You're not hopeless, Pierce," Peter says, eyes on Jonny, mentally tracking his descent. "You make an excellent assistant. You've managed to not cut anything but the vegetables when I'm cooking."

"That's only because we're still negotiating bloodplay." Pierce flashes a grin.

"Bloodplay does not belong in the kitchen." Peter's half-smirking. "Even after negotiations. Now temperature play. That's different. Very effective where the refrigerator's handy."

Jonny laughs, sudden memory of orange juice and coffee, but doesn't look up.

"Someone likes that notion, I think." Peter cuts into the braciole on his plate. "Personal favorite, Gerry?"

"Of what?" Gerry takes a sip of his water. "Bloodplay belongs on the bed. And temperature play is always much more fun with the bottom is tied up."

"You don't think it's more fun to make him stay still on his own?" Later, when he thinks back on it, Peter might try to figure out when it started feeling so natural, taking Gerry as an equal. Not an ex. Not a sub. Just a friend who's a dom with the most adorable boy. "Ropes or cuffs?"

Jonny squirms. Oh, fuck. Shoot me now. Tie me up. Shoot me. He shoves a forkful of risotto into his mouth, just to keep it occupied with something other than begging.

"Make him stay still when I have a knife to his skin?" Gerry shakes his head. "I prefer to be totally in control. And cuffs."

"Understandable. Knives are tricky, take a level of control a lot of men don't want to master." Peter nods. "I would imagine you're quite adept at it." He takes a bite, chews, swallows, then glances at Pierce with a cocked smile. "And I'm with you on cuffs. Love the sound of steel locking down around the wrist."

Pierce spears a bite of asparagus and casually steps on Peter's toe under the table. "You're forgetting the leather option," he points out.

Peter grimaces, biting down too hard on his food as Pierce steps on his toe. "Yes, dear, of course. Leather's always good. Looks particularly nice in collars like the one Jonny's wearing."

Pierce's eyes zero in on the collar in question, and he does some mental cross-referencing. Jonny Lee Miller... Sean had an interest in this one back when he was still with Viggo. "It's a nice collar," he murmurs, flicking his gaze over Jonny. Now behave. He lets the urge to comment further go and has another bite of his dinner.

Gerry clears his throat. "Yes. It is." And it's his. He shouldn't say it. Too serious, ruin the atmosphere.

There's no disguising the look on Gerry's face. Peter's worn it himself, when another dom was getting too close to one of his boys. "Perfect sign of ownership, Gerry." He also can't help but notice how Jonny's barely speaking. "I'm under the impression Jonny doesn't eat many meals sitting at the table. He seems rather uncomfortable."

"No, not many." Gerry squeezes Jonny's knee beneath the table. "Some. But not a lot."

Behave. Pierce has to remind himself of that sharply, and he looks down at his dinner plate, clearing his throat. Innocuous conversation. Make one damned comment that isn't full of innuendo. "Are you liking your trip out so far?"

"It's been nice." Gerry says. "Quiet."

Jonny smiles, looks sideways at Gerry. "Master likes his boy on his knees," he says, glancing across the table. "Of course, you know that."

"Yes. I do." Peter doesn't mean it to be innuendo or anything else. Just conversation. "You look quite good that way," he says, "with Master over you, of course."

"Thank you," Gerry says quickly, before Jonny can say anything else. He really doesn't want to go down that path. "My boy looks lovely on his knees."

"He's welcome to spend the evening there, Gerry." Peter takes a couple bites of risotto. "If you prefer. It's not going to bother me, and I don't imagine Pierce would mind." He looks at his lover. "Would you? A boy on his knees beside his master while we have dessert."

"I certainly wouldn't mind," Pierce says, "but I don't want to cross over any boundaries."

"Of course not," Peter says. "It's up to Gerry where he chooses to put his boy."

Gerry turns to Jonny, the offer clear on his face. If Jonny doesn't want to go, Gerry isn't going to push him. But if Jonny does want it, Gerry isn't going to stop him.

Jonny's been following the conversation, quiet. He wants more than anything to be on his knees. He nods. "Your boy would like that, Master," he murmurs. "If Master approves. When he chooses."

Pierce squirms, trying not to show it. It's going to be all right. It's going to be fine. When they've gone he'll see if Peter wants to take turns fucking each other into walls. Or -- hell. Maybe he's alone in this, and Peter's not finding it so damnably arousing, watching a boy who so clearly wants to be pushed under, the way his master's keeping such a careful eye on him. He'd have to be made of iron. God.

"Master approved." Gerry runs his finger up Jonny's thigh, and pushes his chair away from the table. "At my feet, love."

Peter's definitely aroused. He watches as Jonny slides from the chair, settles onto his knees at Gerry's feet. Just as ordered. He wasn't meant to be yours. Either of them. Gerry's the perfect master. Peter reminds himself to tell Gerry that, later. Right now it's a matter of staying composed, not thinking about fucking Pierce over the table, which would be an option but rather rude while they're finishing the entree.

"Thank you, Master," Jonny says, lacing fingers behind his back. He can feel Peter and Pierce watching him, even if he's not looking up, and there's a certain incredible pride in being able to show off just how well Gerry controls him. "Your boy serves at your pleasure."

"Yes, he does." Gerry puts his hand to the back of Jonny's neck and just touches him. Ah. That's much better. Much better, right there. His boy is right where he should be.

Chapter Text

Pierce walks into the bedroom in time to watch Peter pulling his tuxedo jacket on. His lover's fidgeting in front of the full-length mirror, which is a sign that something needs to be done, and quickly. Before the limo driver gets here to pick them up.

"Take a step back," Pierce says, gesturing. "Get a little more space between you and the mirror." He takes his own jacket off and drops it over the footrails as he passes the bed.

"What? Pierce, I'm trying to get dressed, and the tux isn't falling right. It's just--" Peter stops, watching Pierce's reflection in the mirror, picking up on the not taking no for an answer stance. He steps back, shrugs. "What do you want?"

"I want to help calm you down. Trust me. We've got time." And Pierce drops to his knees, hands going up to tug Peter's zipper down, cock already getting hard at the thought of doing this for him. So altruistic, Brosnan. How kind of you.

"Pierce, we don't have time." Peter's nervous. They're headed to the Oscars. Limo's going to be here in a minute. Take them to the Kodak Theatre, where they'll walk down the red carpet, obviously a couple. You're getting ready to come out to the world, Peter. You have time for a blowjob. "Luv, you don't have to."

"I want to. And tell me you won't feel one hell of a lot better on the carpet if you've just fucked your lover's mouth." Pierce pulls Peter's cock out, gives it several nice long twisting strokes. "We've got time for this. Can you see us in the mirror?" Pierce glances over his shoulder. "Turn a bit. Let's get it into profile."

There's no denying Pierce's logic. Peter's harder than he needs to be to have to sit through three hours of caring who wins what. "See us?" Peter wonders for a second what Pierce is up to, but fingers on cock distract his mind. He just lets Pierce turn him. "Profile. Okay."

"Good lad," Pierce teases, leaning in to slide his tongue up the underside of Peter's cock. "Now. Do what comes naturally." He grins. "And yes, I know exactly what that means, what I'm offering. I'm giving. Take." He opens his mouth wide, starts sliding it down over Peter's cock. God, he tastes good.

Good lad? Peter hears Pierce, takes a second to register the words. Take His fingers reach for hair, twisting into black strands. "Such a good boy." He pushes his cock into Pierce's mouth. Slow. Deliberate. "You want this?" Deeper.

"Mmmm." Pierce opens his own trousers and pulls his cock out, stroking slowly. He does want it; he doesn't do this often enough, rarely allows himself the pleasure. And it's so good. Peter tastes amazing and feels even better. Pierce couldn't care less about his hair, about the way it'll end up mussed from Peter's hands. He wants this.

"Don't talk, lad." Peter's smile is crooked as he tugs Pierce's hair, jerks his head up. "Suck. To the back of your throat." It's easy to slip into that headspace, to demand with words and actions. "You're so good for me. Perfect lover." He slides just as easily into a rhythm, fucking in and in deeper into Pierce's mouth.

All the way back. Yes. Pierce keeps stroking his cock but slides his other hand behind his back. They're turned just right in profile that the arm behind his back is the one that's showing. He could almost look like he's just taking it. Just opening his mouth and letting Peter fuck him. He moans and glances left. Christ but they look good together.

Peter stares at the mirror, watching as he fucks Pierce's mouth. Cock sliding into the throat, back. This is familiar space. And, damn, it looks good. Harder, a bit more speed, not thinking about anything but how it feels, the power rippling through his brain, body. Deeper. Brutal. Like he'd take a boy he didn't care about. Almost.

Pierce isn't just willing, he's an active participant in this, wanting to be used, wanting to choke on Peter's cock, take him deep and then deeper, have his mouth fucked hard. He's so hard himself that he hardly needs his hand on his cock; a few more minutes of this and he could come without it. The strokes are getting harder to coordinate, too, and Pierce is having trouble concentrating on keeping his throat open, so he slides his hand behind his back and laces his fingers there, whole body focused on being there for Peter to use.

The shift in Pierce's position might go unnoticed, except for firing every dominant synapse in his brain. He forgets, or nudges to the side, that it's his lover on his knees, and twists his fingers into the thick hair, slipping his other hand behind Pierce's neck, cupping the back of his head, holding tight. "Mine," he whispers, intent on his reflection, watching how his eyes go dark, his grin sluices mischief. He thrusts, a decisive forward movement, intentionally harsh and going as deep as he can push his cock down Pierce's throat. It's going to open, either willingly or by force, and Pierce is going to take what Peter gives him.

Another thrust. A half dozen more. Then there's the moan, the low, rolling whimper in Peter's throat, the one that builds as the orgasm slams him back, shudders his body, spills into the waiting supplicant.

Pierce doesn't have the years of practice at this that any good lad would. But he manages to keep from choking, just barely, holding back the gag reflex and keeping still for Peter. His throat's going to ache all night; his--

--his throat. He's presenting an Oscar tonight and his throat's been fucked raw. It's a thought that would make him laugh if his mouth weren't full of cock and come needing to be swallowed.

Peter thinks about pulling back, just a second before Pierce is choking, and does it slowly. Don't want to get the tuxes messed up. Oh, fuck, we've got the show. Limo's coming. He's still watching Pierce in the mirror. "Definitely relaxed," he mutters. "You okay?"

"Yes," Pierce says. Or tries to say; it comes out as a hoarse croak. He buries his face in his palm, shaking his head slightly. He's also hard enough to cut glass, and the humor of the situation isn't blunting the arousal at all. He tugs at Peter's hand. "Get down here," he croaks.

"Uh-oh." Peter sinks to the floor, on his knees. "That didn't sound good." He slides his hand over Pierce's cock, fingers rubbing the hard flesh. "Need a bit of help?"

Pierce nods and spreads his legs apart, thrusting into Peter's hand. He glances down. "Cuffs," he manages, shorthand for careful I don't come on your cuffs, but talking's too painful and Peter's hand feels too good, and Pierce really doesn't want to talk anymore.

"Cuffs? We really don't have time for that, Pierce." Peter can't help making the joke. It doesn't distract from his stroking Pierce's cock, and he understood what Pierce was getting at anyway. He uses his free hand to push back his cuff.

Pierce wheezes out a laugh and leans forward, wrapping an arm around Peter's shoulders, and he only barely resists the urge to bite down on the nearest available spot when he comes, gasping and thrusting hard, leaving Peter's hand sticky and narrowly missing staining Peter's tuxedo.

Peter sits back on the floor, slowly releasing his grip on Pierce's cock, pulling his hand up to his mouth and licking his fingers clean, his tongue catching a white drop threatening his cuff. "Think we'll survive the evening now?"

"Hope so--" Pierce winces again. He's still croaking. "Fuck. I'm presenting a bloody award tonight."

"I've some spray in the bathroom that'll help, numb it a bit." Peter leans over, kisses Pierce's cheek. "You should've mentioned that. Now you're going to sound like you have laryngitis."

"Laryngitis. Good excuse," Pierce whispers. "Perhaps I'll just apologize for my lack of voice and hope no one gives it a second thought." Damn, it hurts to talk. Pierce stands up and glances at himself in the mirror, getting his hair fingercombed back into shape.

Peter pulls himself up, straightens his clothes. "Hold on." He moves from bedroom to bathroom, retrieves the antiseptic spray and returns. "Open wide, Pierce," he says, holding the bottle up. "It tastes like shite but it will make it feel a little less raw."

Pierce opens his mouth obediently, hoping the spray actually does some good. We really did get carried away, didn't we? Not that he gives a damn.

A few quick squirts and Peter's setting the bottle down on the dresser. "Should've thought about it, not gotten carried away," he says, rubbing his thumb over Pierce's lips, wiping away a stray glint of the green spray. "Sorry 'bout that. I am less nervous, though."

The spray really does taste terrible, but it's already numbing the pain. Pierce grabs his tuxedo jacket and shrugs it on. "That's more important to me than anything else," Pierce whispers. He wraps his arms around Peter and hugs him. "It's a big night for both of us. You ready for it?"

"As ready as I'm going to get. Can't believe I'm your date." Peter hugs Pierce back. He doesn't doubt Pierce's sincerity in asking; he just wonders if he should keep offering the out. "Promise not to embarrass you. No hand-holding on the red carpet."

"You won't embarrass me." Pierce croaks the words out in a rasp and then sighs at himself. "And you should bloody well do what's comfortable. Just because I don't want to be the poster boy for gay activism doesn't mean I'm not ready to kiss my lover in public. But this is for you, too, and if you want to stay a step back, I don't blame you." I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to be public at all, Pierce thinks, but that is one too many outs to offer.

"Stop talking. Save your voice." Peter doesn't need an out, doesn't want one. "Not going to be a poster boy either, but I don't mind kissing my lover in public." He's taken aback by his own words. "Never imagined having a lover I wanted to kiss, so I'm not stepping back now." He reaches up, straightens Pierce's tie. "Limo will be here any minute. We should be ready."

"I'm ready," Pierce whispers. He smooths down Peter's jacket, hands rubbing over his shoulders. "You look gorgeous."

"As do you, lover," Peter murmurs. "Elegant and mine. A perfect combination."

"You," Pierce grins, "got very toppy on me." And it blows Pierce's mind how much he liked it. He's always liked having his mouth fucked that way, but even when he was with Robert there was never an attraction to anyone else's dominant tendencies. Even stranger, it's not that they brought out an answering desire for submission in Pierce -- he just enjoyed the hell out of Peter being that way with him, unfettered, true to himself. There's a new discovery. One man's dominance is not another man's submission. Yin doesn't always follow yang.

Chapter Text

private journal entry, Peter
I long ago thought my father had gotten over my not becoming a doctor. And he's never said much about his son being gay. Until now. Apparently if I were a doctor, it would be okay to be gay. At least I'd have a reputable career and wouldn't be flaunting myself all over the media, ending up in the tabs where all his friends have to see.

At 42, it shouldn't hurt so much not to have your father's approval.

note left for Pierce taped to the computer screen

If I snap at you or seem sullen, it's not you. Or anything we did. I do not regret it. I love you. Just need a bit of space.

Pierce takes one look at the note and starts wandering through the house looking for Peter. He eventually finds him curled up on a chair out on the deck, and Pierce is sorry he didn't think to make tea before going off to look for him. "Hey," he murmurs, sitting down next to Peter. "I don't want to ask how are you if you'd rather not talk about it, but I wanted... you don't have to be alone if you don't want to be."

"Don't want to be alone." Peter's feet are pulled up under his body, and he's tucked in, arms crossed and hands inside too-long sweater sleeves. "Just didn't want you to have to put up with my sullen side."

"I don't mind the sullen side." Pierce climbs off his chair and perches on the arm of Peter's, running his fingers through Peter's hair. "I wish I could make things better." Even if he doesn't know what's wrong.

Peter leans into Pierce's arm, letting his head loll back, just staring at the sky. "Did you always get along with your parents?"

"Me? No..." Pierce shakes his head, lets himself be Peter's support. "No, and even now it's more acceptance because they know they can't change me than acceptance because they're happy for me. They like you, though."

"My mother accepts. Father doesn't." Peter glances up, offers Pierce a weak smile. "He called today to let his son know he didn't appreciate seeing him in the tabs. Mind you, he doesn't read them. But his colleagues were kind enough to point out the younger Wingfield to him." He uncurls enough to touch Pierce's hand, pushing his sweater sleeve up. "You realize he talks about me in the third person? His son, the one who quit the proper profession to take up acting."

Pierce winces. He slips his fingers under Peter's sleeve and rubs at the inside of his wrist. "I'm sorry," he murmurs. "Not about us, not about our careers -- there's nothing I'd want to do to change either -- but I'm sorry he can't see you for who you are instead of who he wanted you to be."

"He said if his son were a doctor, he wouldn't mind him being gay." Peter lets out a long, slow breath. Cleansing. Relief. He couldn't pick a better person to come out for. Pierce seems to understand it all. "Strange, I think, that it's more acceptable to be a queer obstetrician than an out-of-the-closet actor."

"Ah, love..." Pierce wraps his other arm around Peter and hugs him. He's not sure if it's encouraging, thinking his father might come around eventually -- if it's not the gay part that has him set off, then it's something he might be able to get used to -- or discouraging, given how many years his father must have been holding onto the disappointment over Peter's chosen career. "Some parents never get past the idea that the life they would have chosen for you is the best one you could have. That's not your fault. You haven't done anything wrong."

"Oh, I know that. The 42-year-old rational brain understands." Peter snuggles into Pierce's embrace. Damn, he thinks he could stay like this forever. "He just gets overruled some days by the 25-year-old who had to explain a month before graduation that he wasn't going to be a doctor." There's another breath out, then one in. "How about we make some coffee, find that kalhua and curl up inside? I wouldn't mind reading a bit, watching you paint if you'd allow."

The thought's surprising, but not startling, and Pierce half-grins at the thought of it. "If you come up to the studio, I'm likely to end up painting you. I've done that before."

"I don't suppose you mean literally." Peter smiles, first time in hours, and it feels a lot better than frowning. What was that fact he'd learned in school. Seventeen muscles to smile, 43 to frown. He pushes forward on the chair.

Oh. Pierce finds himself breathless all of a sudden, the thought of colors against Peter's skin enough to get him hard immediately. "I didn't mean literally. But we could. And that, I've never done before."

"I've never done that either. Would you like to?"

"Very much."

Peter slides out of the chair and stands up. He reaches down and takes Pierce's hand. "C'mon, let's go up to the studio and see what happens."

"Detour first. You go ahead and get the coffee. I'll dig up an old t-shirt and jeans I can work in, get the paints ready for you." Pierce squeezes Peter's fingers. He's also got a canvas upstairs he needs to uncover. It's about time.


It takes a few minutes to brew the coffee into the stainless steel carafe. Fresh beans, and the aroma's intoxicating. Then the kalhua. Peter knows it's somewhere, but he hasn't finished stocking the kitchen and it's another minute to find that. He doesn't go formal, just grabbing two mugs, the carafe and the bottle, tucking a spoon into his back pocket at the last second, and heads upstairs to the studio.

"You're going to let him paint you?" Peter mutters as he climbs the stairs. "You are insane." He grins. "Or in love." Either way, he thinks it's an excellent way to forget about the morning's phone call.

While Peter's taking care of the coffee, Pierce heads to the bedroom and digs old, paintstained jeans out of his chest of drawers and pulls on a ratty white t-shirt. He's barefoot, and he looks bohemian, far too Bohemian for someone his age. He shakes his head at his reflection, puts the rest of his clothes in the laundry hampers, and heads upstairs to the studio.

He pulls the sheet off the canvas in the corner, then goes to the closet and gets out a new canvas, one of his bigger ones. Maneuvering it out of the closet isn't easy -- it's four feet by six feet -- but he manages, and he puts it on the floor. It takes up almost all the free space, but that's fine; he doesn't mind. Paints come out next; he has a collection of old coffee cups he uses if he's actually fingerpainting, and he lines those up around the border of the canvas. Greens and blues and greys. He's never done this before. He's not sure how it's going to come out, but he's already looking forward to it.

Peter stands at the studio's door, watching Pierce finish assembling all his paints and pots and -- oh, fuck, he looks good -- shaking his head, he finally walks in. He sets the carafe and mugs on the table, nudging aside tubes of acrylic. "I think I've found a new look I like. You as the artist." Peter's never really been up here when Pierce is working. It's Pierce's space and Peter respects that. "I could see you on a barge in the Seine, tumbling out of bed to paint awhile in that predawn light."

Pierce kneels up at the edge of the canvas, sliding his hands down his thighs and resting them on his knees. That's about as close to being in present mode as Peter's ever likely to see him, and Pierce knows he's teasing but really can't help himself. "I took the sheet off the canvas in the corner," he says, nodding back towards it.

The position isn't lost on Peter. He grins, cocks his head and studies his lover for a moment. "I suppose I shouldn't say you look good like that." Peter walks around to the canvas and he's speechless. He's stunned by how beautiful the painting is. The colors. The brushwork. Humbled at the subject.

He likes it. Pierce pushes up to his feet, walks over to Peter and hugs him from behind. "Last fall," he murmurs, "when my thoughts were too confused to settle without paint."

Peter touches his hand to Pierce's, rubs over the long fingers. "You painted this because of what you were feeling for me." It's not a question. "I can only imagine what you'll do with a subject in hand."

That makes Pierce chuckle, and he bends forward to kiss Peter's shoulder. "Not that I normally share the artwork I do when my thoughts are cascading," he says, "but it'll be interesting knowing from the start that this one's just for us."

Twining fingers, Peter brings Pierce's hand up to his lips. He lightly kisses each finger pad, sucking ever so softly on the thumb. "This is another of those 'I never' moments. Never posed for a painting. Where would you have me?"

"That depends on whether you want to be model or canvas. I'd thought canvas, but if you'd rather simply pose..." Pierce's voice trails off at the feel of Peter's mouth on his hand, and he presses his hips against Peter's ass, sighing softly. "You feel good."

"Can I be both?" Peter loves how Pierce gets distracted. It's such a simple thing most times. A touch. A word. "You feel good like that, but let's paint first and when we're thoroughly debauched, we'll play."

"Paint first. Definitely." Pierce slides his hands down over Peter's chest and then teases his fingertips under Peter's waistband. "Let's get you undressed, because where I want you is on my canvas."

Peter obliges, moving his hands to tug at the hem of his shirt, pull it up, stripping off while Pierce rubs fingers over his waist, stretching and rolling his shoulders forward, working out the slow kink of a long day. "Your hands are more poised to take care of my jeans, Pierce. You mind?"

"Mind getting you out of your clothes? Never." Pierce nibbles Peter's shoulder as he pops the button open; he works the zipper down slowly, slipping a hand down the front of Peter's jeans as the fabric parts to make room for it. Fingers brush silk, and he squeezes, hips pressing against Peter's ass again. Damn, he feels amazing.

Nibbles tickle, no matter how much Peter expects them, or likes them, and he's learning to seriously enjoy them. He closes his eyes, leaning his head back on Pierce's shoulder, savouring the touches, the just-shy-of-gentle squeeze. Could stay like this for eternity.

It's been nearly six months now -- nearly six months, God, but time flies -- and Pierce still hasn't gotten over the newness of having a lover. Someone where the lines aren't clearly defined and the roles aren't set in stone, someone who pushes back when Pierce shoves at him, someone who accepts touches and has touches of his own to give in return. There's comfort between them, but it's still intoxicating, and he loves that sensation.

He pushes Peter's jeans down over his hips, still stroking both hands over the silk of his boxers, murmuring his pleasure at the way silk feels on skin. "Tell me if I'm taking too long with this," he says, licking the point of Peter's shoulder.

"Too long." Peter chuckles. "I have nowhere to go, Pierce, except where your hands direct." He still hasn't gotten used to being able to slip into another persona, of wanting to let someone else take control for a moment, of needing a lover's touches and kisses. "For today, I belong to the artist and he chooses how to mold me."

"You give the artist too much credit. It's the inspiration that drives us. The muse that guides the artist." It's both, and Pierce slides down Peter's body, going to his knees again to push Peter's jeans down his legs and help him step out of them.

Out of his jeans, Peter feels less vulnerable, more secure, Pierce's hands at the back of his calves. He shouldn't feel that way. Being naked's supposed to make a person more vulnerable, open and unprotected. The time's not right for deep thoughts like that. "Then let me inspire you." He reaches his hand down, rubs his fingers through Pierce's hair. "Want to be on the floor, under your hands, covered in paint."

"Want you there," Pierce agrees, rubbing his cheek against Peter's thigh. Being on his knees is making Pierce feel more vulnerable, odd since he's been off and on his knees a few times tonight and this is the first time he's felt any shiver of that sensation. He slips his hand under the leg of Peter's boxers and scratches at the crease of his thigh. "Let's get you down to my level," he murmurs, tugging the boxers down and off.

The move tickles, excites, shivers through a gauntlet of sensations before Peter sinks to the floor, kneeling in front of Pierce. "Down here." Peter grins. "View's even better."

"You're certainly improving mine," Pierce says, sliding his hands up Peter's chest and giving his shoulders a quick, gentle knead. "But we're a few feet shy of canvas. Ready?"

"Ready." Peter hasn't a clue what he's ready for, what he's committing to, except that it's going to be fun. He's sure of that. He moves away, covering the short distance to the canvas, hands and knees, knowing full well the look he's presenting.

It's all Pierce can do not to tackle Peter to the ground. He'd thought of how that would look, entertained the notion of asking, and actually seeing it hits as many buttons for him as watching him kneel must have done for Peter. It's insane. And beautiful. And he grins, following in a prowling crawl of his own.

The insanity of the moment strikes Peter, too, along with the sideways shot of arousal at watching Pierce over his shoulder. Crawling. Then there's being on his own knees, waiting. It's short-circuiting his brain in the best way possible.

Pierce catches up and follows Peter onto the canvas, sliding his hands up Peter's body and leaving a kiss on his hip. "Damn," he breathes, "you make me feel so lucky." He nudges Peter just a little before kneeling up again. "On your back, please."

"Back," Peter echoes. "Yes, sir." He shifts, turning around and sitting before stretching back over the canvas, resisting the urge to sprawl or recreate da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. "Luck of the Irish, Pierce? Might even find the pot of gold."

"That sounds like terrible innuendo." Pierce grins and bends down again, taking tiny, soft kitten licks up the inside of Peter's thigh.

"Oh, it is. Horrible." Peter squirms, spreads his legs. "But that's quite nice."

"Mmmmm." Pierce licks up the crease of Peter's thigh. "Next time I ought to use edible paints. Draw on you with my tongue. For now..." He crawls up Peter's body and settles down on his thighs, then reaches out for a mug full of dark, almost indigo, blue. He dips two fingertips in it, then starts with a stroke that covers a few inches of canvas, then runs up over Peter's shoulder and across his chest before Pierce runs out of paint. It's got a thick, heavy scent, and the look of it is beautiful.

The paint's cool, Pierce's fingers warm. Peter closes his eyes to savour the touch, the trace of pain over his chest. Edible paint sounds utterly sinful. Then, of course, there's chocolate, he thinks, but that needs to be warm and maybe should best be left to kitchen play.

"That looks good on you," Pierce murmurs. "I think it needs some silver." He's got a grey that's not quite metallic but will do the job nicely, and he drips a few spots onto the canvas next to Peter's neck before drawing a jagged, lightning-style line across Peter's throat and down onto his shoulder, bending down to leave a kiss just past the end of the mark.

Peter can't see the design, but he can feel a jagged mark being made across his throat. And the kiss. Perfect. "This is quite arousing, Pierce," he says. "Blue and silver. Might I suggest a nice vermillion in the more sensitive areas?"

"Not on this canvas," Pierce says, grinning, licking down toward Peter's nipple. "I could be talked into chartreuse."

"As long as it's more toward the lime side," Peter says, wriggling under Pierce's careful licks. He doesn't really need anything to make his cock harder, but Pierce's tongue is working well towards that goal. "I really pale out in yellow."

"I like the idea of you in sea and sky," Pierce murmurs, "storm and tempest." He pulls away to get more paint, trailing it down Peter's shoulders and arms this time. "You fit here. I didn't know if you would. If anyone would."

"I feel that way, too. I belong." Peter moves his arms, flexing just a touch under the paint streaks. "That tickles, in all the right ways. You've never done this before?"

"No." And he's worried he's not doing it properly; he's worried the paint feels sticky or that Peter's not going to like the mess they're making or... don't think. You're thinking too much. He smears paint down Peter's forearms, to his hands, slides his fingers into Peter's and lowers his head to the center of Peter's chest, small kisses left just over his heart.

Peter whimpers. There's no other word to describe it. Guttural purring might work, but it's more sexual than sensual, more an intense need. "More. Please, Pierce, coat me in paint and then fuck me."

"Yes," Pierce murmurs, and he starts fingerpainting faster, adding green here, a splash of grey there, swirls that run from canvas to skin to canvas again. He smears blue over Peter's thigh, ivory down his side, and the look of it is thick and heavy, Van Gogh's paint swirls on his lover's body. He leaves Peter's hands bare; one of them's going to need to have clean hands in order to get Peter prepped. But that can wait until he's got the art exactly the way he wants it, and when he comes up for air, he stands up and wipes his hands off on his thighs, staining denim with green and grey and blue.

"You look beautiful," he says. And grins again. "I should take a photograph before I smear everything to hell and back."

Caressed with pigment, Peter stretches more fully as Pierce stands, pressing his hands against the canvas. They feel naked, untouched, making him seem incomplete, but he supposes Pierce has his reasons. "Hurry, then, Pierce, and take your photo," he says, grinning. "I want to be smeared. Now."

There's a digital camera in the closet on one of the shelves. Pierce gets it, along with a small stepladder, and climbs up so he's got a good downward angle for the photograph. Damn. Pierce doesn't melt. Isn't the type. But he snaps his picture and shoves camera and stepladder aside, feeling like all his circuits are fusing. The man on the floor is someone who's Pierce's equal in every sense of the word, who Pierce can't scare or intimidate or run off, and he's nothing like what Pierce always expected to settle down with but Pierce can't imagine what his life would be like now, here, today, without him.

Right. Thank him later. Fuck him now.

He's stripped bare in seconds, snagging lube out of his pocket as he drops his jeans. The lube gets passed to Peter, the paint on Pierce's hands just dry enough not to leave streaks on the bottle. "Since I'm assuming you wouldn't consider paint a proper lubricant, I think you'll have to handle this," he says. "Do you mind?"

There's a momentary temptation in Peter's brain to say "Yes, I do mind. I don't want to take the time and would you just fuck me, for Christ's sake." but there's just enough of his rational brain working, the one that had all that medical training, to know that fucking without lubricant is not only damned painful, it's riskier than they need to be and pretty stupid. So instead he curls his fingers up around the bottle's cap and pops it open.

"Of course not, luv," Peter says, smile somewhere left of skew. He shifts around enough to manage the angle and logistics of prepping himself. Not an easy endeavour, especially if you're trying to not look completely idiotic doing it. But, then, Peter laughs, he's covered in paint and working slick fingers into his arse. How elegant should he look?

He doesn't look the least bit idiotic to Pierce. Pierce's cock aches and his skin's on fire to get between Peter's legs and just take him. Watching him prep himself doesn't help. It's firing off impulses that he's been getting very good at clamping down on. And as tempted as he is to grab Peter's wrist, move his hand away, pin him to the canvas and fuck him, he's patient enough to wait until Peter's done on his own, finally climbing between Peter's thighs and settling down. "Ready?" he murmurs.

"More than," Peter says, stretching out from the awkward position, spreading legs and drawing knees back.

Paint's drying on Peter's skin as Pierce gets a grip on his cock, near the base, and sinks in. It's not rough, not enough to send Peter tearing through the canvas, but it is solid and it's good enough to have Pierce's eyes closing, hands moving to either side of Peter's shoulders so he can brace himself against blue and green.

It's more than enough to have Peter tilting his head back, eyes closing and hiss of breath escaping his throat. It's just enough, not rough, but Peter doesn't mind that. He's not comfortable yet being on the receiving end of rough. Giving. Yes. He slides his hands through paint and up, over Pierce's hips, pulling his lover in tighter.

Some of the paint's still slick, and the texture smeared between bodies is as arousing as it is messy. And Pierce can't help laughing softly, licking Peter's shoulder, bending his head to lick at the side of Peter's neck. "God." Another nuzzle, another lick, but he's not biting. He wants this to be good, not painful; solid, not too rough. It amazes him how much passion he can find in sex that's so vanilla, and then it makes him grin to realize he's coated his lover in paint and rolled him onto a canvas and that counts as vanilla play. "Love."

"Which am I?" Peter sluts out the words between moans -- or are they breaths? he's losing track. The paint's drying and he knows it's going to take a damned good bit of scrubbing to get it off. That or turpentine. He shudders at that thought, then slides into a bonafide shiver as Pierce's cock slips in deeper, lubed enough for it not to hurt but not enough for there to be no friction at all.

"Both," Pierce groans. And while ordinarily he'd get a hand around Peter's cock and jerk him off in time with his thrusts, with his hands covered in tempera he's not so sure it's a good idea. There are places one doesn't want paint, after all. He grins, nibbles and licks the side of Peter's neck, trails his lips up so he can kiss Peter slow and hard and deep.

Peter laughs, but it's to himself, trapped somewhere in his throat by Pierce's lips. Fuck, he kisses well. Peter is sure he's never been kissed this good, and definitely not repeatedly, and that chuckle tickles his throat as he wonders if they'll ever get beyond the "I never" stage. There's a grind of hips up, movement as much as he can manage, and he digs his fingers into Pierce's back, insistent on getting them as close as possible.

They're so close Pierce feels like they could melt into sharing the same skin at any moment. And he picks up the pace accordingly, squirming and thrusting and licking into Peter's mouth all at once, wondering if he can pull Peter up to the edge of coming just with the thrusts of his cock in time with long, deep thrusts of his tongue. He's going to try.

Pierce can do anything he wants -- everything, just about -- and Peter's responding, being tugged closer to the brink, his cock weeping and aching and pressing against his stomach, picking up the shadows of drying paint. He matches Pierce's actions, pushing up against the down, sweeping his tongue around his lover's in a counterswirl. Just another minute, just a little closer, and he might just come without thinking.

In slightly more coherent times, Pierce has reflected over the idea of how ingrained certain habits are. Ordering his partner to come. Having to be aware of just how close he is, and holding back 'til the time's right. There's something sinfully wicked about just being able to fuck, not having to think about where all the pieces fit, knowing in the back of one's mind that any moment they could be crying out and going over and there'd be nothing wrong with it, no reason to stop it.

Right now he's getting more and more caught up in how good this feels, how every thrust drags him closer to the edge, and Christ, Peter feels so good and so hot and Pierce can barely stand it. He groans with the next thrust of his tongue, wanting to warn Peter he's close but unable to get the words out before he's coming, gasping, pressing in as hard as he can so he can get as close to Peter as possible.

Peter clutches at Pierce's flesh, sliding his hands all the way up Pierce's back as his lover spills inside him, fingers digging and nails scratching until he has his hands on Pierce's neck, splaying fingers up into the thick hair, holding and pulling back.

"Love. You." Peter hisses the words out, sharp against Pierce's lips, and doesn't bother holding back, staring into Pierce's eyes until he's coming, cock jerking against his stomach, between their bodies. "So. Fucking. Much."

"Oh, God. Oh, Christ. I love you, too," Pierce moans. The hot, sticky feel of Peter's come smeared across his stomach shouldn't be as arousing as it is, but it's one more sensation on top of all the rest, and he can barely keep himself upright. "I love you, too," he says again, panting for breath.

Peter's coherency slides left, smears with the paint blending from his thigh into the canvas. "Dead now," he mutters. "Sure of it."

Pierce collapses right on top of him, finally, breathing hard and laughing softly. "Me, too," he grins. "But at least you're immortal."

It hurts to laugh that much. "Fuck. Aren't you lucky for that." Peter shifts, Pierce's weight pushing him down a bit. "You know, luv, you're not exactly a lightweight. Think we could migrate off the canvas? Shower. Bed."

"Shower. Yes. Thank God for water-based paint." Pierce groans as he shifts his weight onto hands and knees and crawls back off Peter. "Bed sounds even better, but I don't want paint all over the sheets..."

Peter debates for a moment how to move. He holds his hands out. "C'mon, a bit of help. Don't want to ruin the canvas."

"You were the artwork. The canvas was just a convenient place to avoid having paint spilled." But Pierce takes Peter's hands and pulls him upright. He glances down at the canvas and laughs, shaking his head. It's swirls of paint, and not very defined ones at that. Definitely not what Pierce would call art.

Looking back over his shoulder, Peter laughs. It isn't art. But he likes it. "I don't know." He leans in, brushes Pierce's lips, sucking and kissing. "Might need a few more swirls, but I've seen much worse hanging in galleries."

"So have I." Pierce tries to contain the smirk. "Maybe I can add something to it when it's dry." Outlines, something that reminds him of Peter, maybe. "But if it were in a gallery, do you think either one of us could keep from grinning hard enough to garner questions?"

"Questions. There'd probably be a lot of them." Peter had pushed the day's problems away, not thinking about his father or -- oh, fuck --the public fallout, if there would be any. "I suppose we'd just keep smiling and answer politely."

Pierce ignores the sticky, stiff feel of paint all over his body and wraps his arms around Peter's waist. "It's all we can do," he says softly, "but at least neither one of us has to be alone for it."

"I'm grateful for that. Glad I waited till now to come out, that I have you around to walk me through it." Peter mirrors Pierce's motions, arms going around lover's waist. "Might even get my father speaking to me again by Christmas."

"He'll come around. Families do." Pierce has optimism about that. His own family was never entirely comfortable with his being gay, but they've gotten better about it over the years.

"I suppose." Peter knows his father's just irritated with the publicity, seeing his son's face and name splashed over the tabs. It'll pass. "And even if they don't, I still have you, my new family, and I'm quite happy with that."

Family. It's a thought that takes Pierce by surprise, but not for very long. That is what this has been. Sharing not just time and space but lives. One decision after another leading them to where they are now. No proposals, no great displays of love, but quiet simple comfort together. And it's a wonderful thing.

"Come on," he murmurs. "Let's go take that shower."

Chapter Text

"So, I'm dropping you off at the airport Saturday and picking you up," Peter says, picking up a stray loafer, "Tuesday, right? You printed out your itinerary for me, I trust." He pauses before tossing the shoe toward the closet. "Did you need this?"

"Not that one, no," Pierce says. "I've packed the dress shoes and the casual shoes and the trainers already. And yes, the itinerary's on the board in the study. I'd have stuck it to the fridge, but I don't want to risk leaving fingerprints." He grins. "Easter's early this year. I kept thinking I had another week to pack." He digs into the duffel full of things for Jeff -- more than usual this time, since it's been a while since they've seen each other, and Pierce tends to collect things for Jeff randomly wherever he is until he's amassed a small ton of them. It's easier than worrying over what to do about birthdays and Christmas.

Peter swats Pierce's arse with the loafer before tossing it into the closet. "Smart-arse. That's why I keep the spray bottle next to it. So you can wipe them off."

"You know, I honestly haven't a clue whether you mean these things or not," Pierce says, finishing with the bag and shoving it to the foot of the bed. "Have I mentioned how much I love the way you get overprotective of your kitchen?"

"Twice on Tuesday, once last Thursday and," Peter pauses, smiles, "our new sauna will be finished when you get back." He plops down on the bed, leaning back on his hands. "Have I mentioned I'm going to miss you?"

"I probably shouldn't take quite so much pleasure in that, should I?" Pierce asks. "But I'm going to miss you, too. Even if I'll only be gone for the weekend." He leans forward, bending down over Peter. "Promise me you'll keep yourself entertained and happy while I'm gone?"

"Promise." Peter stretches up, gives Pierce a quick kiss. "Might wander down to the club, find someone who wants to put under for the night." He stops short of asking if Pierce minds. "Just to avoid having to watch movies all weekend."

Pierce kisses back, then nuzzles the side of Peter's neck. "I love the look you get on your face when you're dominating someone," he breathes. "Will you tell me about it when I'm home?"

"In incredible detail." Peter tilts his head, allowing for better access. "When you get back, we should talk about doubling up on someone. I've an idea of a young man who'd be agreeable."

"Have you now?" Pierce grins, nips gently. "Anyone I know?"

"Not met personally." Peter doesn't bother to feign discomfort at the nip. It'd be a lie. He's starting to enjoy them. "At least I don't think so. Tom Welling, the one from the guest stint I did on 'Smallville.' I think I mentioned he exuded submission and a desire to hurt."

"Oh. Yes, you did." Pierce's grin moves into the bared-teeth range, and he pulls back before he can nip harder than Peter's going to put up with. "He's gorgeous. Doubling up on him sounds like fun."

"My thought exactly." The hesitancy's not lost on Peter. He shifts on the bed, puts one hand up around the back of Pierce's neck, keeping him from pulling back too far. He speaks slowly, softly, very deliberately. "It's all right to nudge at the limits, Pierce. I'll tell you if it's too much."

The words send Pierce shivering, nuzzling and licking at Peter's jawline. He pushes Peter back onto the bed, finally climbing up on top of him, and settles down carefully, no attempt at pinning Peter past the initial awkward figurings of where this limb or that limb goes. "I just don't want to come at you growling," he murmurs. "It seems impolite."

"But if what you need is growling, ask." Peter scoots back under Pierce's pinning, getting this limb moved into a better angle. "I love you, Brosnan. There's little I'm thinking I'll say no to." He grins. "No matter how impolite you are. Plus, I can hold my own against you."

Now that Pierce is sure he can rely on, and it makes him breathe a little easier. "Yes, you can," he murmurs. He leans down, gives a testing nip to Peter's neck.

There's a whimper, a hiss of breath. "That's good," Peter whispers. He's testing his own limits, curious more each day how far he'll let his lover go. He tightens his hold on Pierce's neck. "A bit more, I think, would be fine."

"Like this?" Another sting of teeth, this time hard enough one couldn't call it gentle.

Peter shivers, his body jerking. That's definitely not gentle. "I can handle that," he says.

"You can handle it. Do you want it?" Pierce asks. "You can have damn near anything you want from me. I love you."

"Yes. Want." Peter draws in a deep breath, lets it out slowly, anticipates.

Pierce settles down a little more comfortably, licks over Peter's throat. He tugs the collar of Peter's sweater aside, leaving kisses along the way, until he's got a nice patch of skin where a mark won't show. And he bites down, sucking too, pressure even and steady, ready to back off at the first sign Peter wants him to.

Peter clutches at Pierce's neck, fingers gouging into the flesh, splaying deeper into black hair. It hurts, not intense but a pain unaccustomed to someone who doesn't know where his threshold lies. He closes his eyes, focuses on the adrenaline rushing from brain to nerve endings. "There. That's it," he whispers when Pierce's teeth abrade. "No harder. Please."

Pierce stops, leaves the pressure as it is, then eases up and licks over the bite. It'll mark. A small bite, print of teeth, but it'll mark. "You're beautiful," he murmurs. "Do you want more?"

"One more," Peter says without thinking. "A little to the right. Something to look at in the mirror till you come back."

"Mmhm." Pierce slides his lips over, licks and sucks before bringing his teeth down. It's a beautiful thought. Not the kind of possessive mark he'd leave on a sub, but a damned fine decoration to leave with his lover over the weekend.

He's not thinking at all and he winces at the sudden, sharp twist of pain, the one in his shoulder that shoots straight to his cock. "Oh, fuck," Peter mutters, "that's more arousing that I thought it'd be. Want a fuck in return?"

"Yes." Pierce grins, sits up straddling Peter's hips. He strips his shirt off and tosses it aside. "There's something I won't be getting for the weekend." His arse presses down hard against Peter's cock. "Want to make it difficult for me to sit through a plane ride?"

"I'd be happy to." Peter rocks his hips up. "You let me get out of the jeans first." He grins, almost evil. "Or at most unzip them."

Oh, that grin. "Bastard," Pierce says, laced with affection, and slides back so he can unzip Peter's fly. He has to move off the bed entirely to get his own jeans off, stripping the rest of his clothes off along with them, and he glances to the mirror at the side of the room. Peter fully clothed and Pierce naked and looking ready to be fucked through something. It's not a bad view.

It's much better than not a bad view. It's great. Peter pushes his jeans down his hips while looking at their reflections. Not far. Just a couple inches, enough to give his cock a bit more room. "Do the bastard a favour and lean against the mirror," he says, scooting to the bed's edge. "If you don't think he's being a bit too kinky."

"Just the right kind of kinky," Pierce says, and he's got no trouble sliding off the bed and walking to the mirror, naked, pressing both hands against smooth glass and looking behind himself in the mirror. "Coming?"

"I'll resist the pithy comeback." Peter walks up behind Pierce, pulling his sweater off and tossing it to the floor. He lightly swats Pierce's arse, rubs it, fingers dipping into the cleft, teasing the pucker. "You look good like that, reflected. Just how sore do you want to be on the plane?" He presses a single finger into the hole, easing it in to the second knuckle.

Pierce hisses as his body opens, and he presses back, still looking at Peter in the mirror. His body's learned to open up for this, even learned to like it, but after as many years he's had of just topping, it still feels new, even surprising.

"Not so sore I'll ask you to skip the lube," he says with a grin, "but sore enough I won't ask you to hold back."

"Well, lucky you," Peter whispers, leaning in and kissing Pierce's neck. He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a tiny tube he'd stashed earlier, playing off those boyfriend dreams of a pre-trip screw. He pulls his finger out, rips open the packet and squeezes out the lubricant, coating them before shoving two back in, working quickly and just to the edge of rough.

The sounds Pierce makes are low, not startled, just on the good side of pain. His hands splay out wide, fingers spread, palms pressed hard against the mirror, and he takes everything in -- the way his body moves back against Peter's fingers, the decadence of being naked while his lover's clothed, his cock hard between his legs, the grin on his face that's entirely too broad and bare-teethed for his own good. "Yes."

"Could just fuck you on my fingers," Peter murmurs, leaning in over Pierce's shoulder, pressing in deeper, harder, twisting and scissoring, then curling, his fingers inside Pierce's body. "Watch you till you're ready to come, then just touch your cock."

"You could. But would it give you what you want?" Watch you. Pierce almost groans, the idea hitting him in all the right exhibitionist places. "Do you want to fuck me?"

"Yes. I do." Peter resists the urge to slam his palm into Pierce's back and shove him into the glass, remind him of who's in charge. That's not the right scene, not the right place. Or person. Instead, he jerks his fingers out, wipes them on his jeans, lines up and shoves his cock back into the tight space. "Want. To. Fuck. You. Hard." He pushes forward on each word, hands slipping to Pierce's arms, sliding down until his fingers are overlaying Pierce's and their heads are nearly perfect in side-by-side alignment. "Like. That."

"Ahh -- fuck -- fuck," Pierce pants, body rocking back against the thrusts, eyes wide open and watching both of them in the mirror. "Love you," he groans. "Love you. Want you. Love you," over and over, like the words couldn't stop even if he tried to make them.

"Love. Need. Want." Peter picks up the pace, relentless in his thrusting, no pulling back, only forward motion. Slowly he draws his hand back along Pierce's arm, digging nails into the flesh enough to make scratches. The path curves and Peter's fingers move under Pierce's arm, down his side and back across stomach, splaying there and stretching toward the cock hanging hard between Pierce's legs.

Pierce groans, trying to move forward to get his cock into Peter's hand. "Come on," he growls, "you know I need it, come on, let me have it..." Pierce fails spectacularly at begging even when it's Peter's cock up his ass and he's pressed naked against a mirror. It could almost be funny if Pierce weren't so hard and desperate and his words weren't all edged with need.

Peter chuckles. "That was pathetic, Brosnan." He wraps his fingers around Pierce's cock and strokes down. "But I'll give you this one 'cause I'm ready to come," he says, inching back and shoving forward again, "and I'm feeling romantic and want it to be a together thing."

It is romantic, given how much Pierce loves Peter for all the ways he's a gorgeous bastard and all the ways he doesn't get away with a damned thing in this relationship. It's romantic as hell, and Pierce comes with a grin and a gasp, streaking the mirror with it and thinking -- as much as he can call it thought -- that Peter's use of the word pathetic is utterly fucking hot and that he'd like to hear more of it. But he hasn't played humiliation from the bottom since he was Robert's, and maybe that's not territory he can track back into. Later. He'll bring that up later.

That's what it takes, the tug of Pierce's body on Peter's, clench of muscles around his cock, and he's coming, spilling into Pierce's body with a mutter, a scream, silent though it is, and he wraps both arms around Pierce's chest, holding tight. "Fuck, you look good like that," he says, looking at the mirror. "A series of photos, you reflected in mirrors, us even, would be gorgeous in the new sauna."

Pierce looks up with both eyebrows raised. "It would be," he agrees. "Are you serious about that?" God, Peter feels good; those arms around him just make Pierce want to stay like this for hours, regardless of how tired his legs are going to get and how much his ass is starting to ache.

"About wanting to take photos of you like this? Yes." Peter grins, pulling Pierce back to his chest, nuzzling his neck and then kissing. "I'd love to watch you pose for the camera."

"You do wonderful things for my ego. As if it needed the help." Pierce sighs happily and tries to squirm and nuzzle back against Peter. "I want you in them, too. Both of us. We could do artistic things with light and shadow if you don't want it to be too obvious who we are..."

"Hmm, that's a thought." Peter sighs, stretches. "When you get back, we'll talk about it."

"All right." Pierce grins and wriggles back a little. "When I get back." He pauses. "I'm still going to miss you."

"Will miss you more." The tone's something close to teen angst. Peter grins, licks Pierce's ear. "After you leave, though. Right now, I want a quick shower and then I have dinner to make while you finish deciding whether to take more than two changes of underwear."

"You underestimate the fashion maven part of my homosexuality," Pierce smirks, finally able to pull away and stretch. "A shower sounds divine, though. And I'll clean the mirror up."

Peter steps back, glances at the mirror's mess and shakes his head. "Oh, yes, forget that 'Queer Eye' wanted to recruit you."

"They should have been looking for you for the chef's part of the show," Pierce teases. He heads to the bed -- has to limp -- and gets one of the handcloths for the initial mirror cleanup. "I can't see you on 'Iron Chef', but I could see you running your own show."

"I'll ring up Alton Brown while you're gone." Peter walks in the other direction, toward the bathroom. "See if I can't impress him with my tenderloin trussing techniques."

"You are good with rope. Suppose that translates to twine." Pierce flashes Peter a grin.

Peter pokes his head back out of the bathroom door. "You'll just have to wait till you get back to find out. Would hate to send you to Jeff with rope burns." He grins. "You want hot water?"

"Hell, yes, I want hot water." Pierce raises an eyebrow. "Does that mean I need to hurry?"

"Well, I'm sure as hell not taking a cold shower to conserve water." Peter can't resist sticking out his tongue, even if it makes him look all of five years old. "Get in here."

Pierce smirks right back at him. "Yes, sir, on my way," he says, and he tosses the cloth aside and heads for the bathroom.

Chapter Text

Almost every time Pierce has met Jeff somewhere, it's been Pierce arriving first and Jeff meeting him; this time it's the other way around. There's the rental car, the drive through town, the valet, the wait at the front desk, but it doesn't hit Pierce until the receptionist says "Shall I call to let him know you're on your way up?" that Jeff's already there.


"Yes, please," Pierce says. He takes the keycard and picks his bag up, heading for the elevators.

It takes an effort not to press the button repeatedly. The elevator finally arrives, though, and Pierce steps in.

It's been months. Longer than Pierce wanted it to be, but between Jeff working and Peter's move in, the timing's been off. Pierce is nervous. It's a strange feeling, to say the least.

Finally, the elevator stops, and Pierce steps out, glancing at the signs and heading down the appropriate hallway. He gets to the door, slides the keycard into the lock, and lets himself in.

The lights are on, and Pierce has just enough time to drop his bag and look around before there's a flash of motion to one side and he goes thump into the wall, pinned in by Jeff, who's pressed up against him and feels -- God -- better than Pierce remembered.

"Hi." Jeff grins.

Pierce's smile is all bared teeth.

"We've got this backwards," he says, and he grabs Jeff's arms and turns him around, shoving him into the wall and pressing his thigh between Jeff's legs. "God, it's good to see you."

"It's good to -- ahhh," Jeff pants, interrupted by a hard press of Pierce's thigh and a kiss that swallows the rest of the sound. There's a brief struggle as Pierce gets Jeff's hands pinned, and it's an effort keeping them that way, but when the kiss breaks it's because both men need a chance to catch their breath.

Jeff's grin is every bit as ear-to-ear as Pierce's, and Pierce pulls back a fraction more so he can see it better.

"I was hoping for an entrance like that," Jeff says.

"Were you?" Pierce asks. "You didn't want me to go easy?"

Jeff shoots him a look, but it doesn't last long, because Pierce is grinning again and leaning in to kiss him. Jeff rubs his cock against Pierce's thigh and moans when Pierce presses forward again, ruthless with the pressure, going more than hard enough to hurt.

"Please," Jeff gets out. Pierce bends his head down, bites at the side of Jeff's neck. "Fuck. Sir. Please."

Please could mean a half-dozen things, and the only thing Pierce can complain about is not being able to do them all at once. He lets Jeff's arms go, backs off enough to get his hands on Jeff's belt, his fly, one hand shoved inside and wrapped around his cock, the other coming back up and getting a grip on Jeff's wrist again. Jeff's other hand digs into Pierce's shoulder, and Pierce slams his mouth back onto Jeff's, tasting moans and gasps as he jerks Jeff off.

There's a certain desperate noise Jeff makes when he's close, one that runs straight up Pierce's spine, and when he gets that, he pulls back enough to whisper "Yes," permission and encouragement, and that's more than enough. Jeff comes with almost no sound at all, just breaths in time with the jerking pulses, but when it's over he shudders and collapses against the wall.

"Damn," he breathes. "All right, I can't see straight and you're going to have to carry me to the bed now."

Pierce laughs. "I don't work out nearly that much," he says. But he leans into Jeff, letting Jeff lean on him as he recovers. Jeff tucks his head into Pierce's shoulder and wraps his arm around his back; Pierce lets his other arm go so Jeff can wrap that one around him, too.

But it doesn't take him long to recover, and soon enough he's hugging Pierce hard and standing up on his own power again. Pierce backs up a step, biting his neck gently -- well, gently for Pierce, which is still enough to make Jeff yelp -- before he goes.

"Let me go clean up and then I'll unpack and we can think about dinner," Pierce says.

Jeff grins at him. "Hey, I'm as sticky as you are. Counteroffer: We go take a nice hot shower, then I'll unpack for you, and we can order room service."

"Or counter to your counteroffer: we take a shower where I get to fuck the hell out of your throat, you unpack for me, I explain what all the random gifts are and room service is something I feed you while you're tied to the bedframe." More bared teeth. It's just so damned good seeing Jeff again.

Jeff's eyes are going dark at the list of Pierce's thoughts. "Yes, please," he murmurs, before raising an eyebrow. "What was that about random gifts?"

Pierce laughs. "You'll find out."

Chapter Text

Peter's starting to get the hang of this airport thing, picking up the lover at the baggage area. He's lurking by the wall, sort of in a corner, sunglasses on, hair tousled and moussed into compliance. It works well with the black jeans and deep green button-down shirt neatly tucked in. He's watching the escalator from the gate area, twirling his keys between his fingers as he glances at the arrival board, verifies Pierce's plane has in fact landed.

Vegas to Los Angeles is a short, painless flight, and even though Pierce does have baggage to claim, he's in a good mood as he comes down the escalator and looks around for Peter.

There he is. Pierce grins, all his teeth showing, and he holds a hand up to wave in Peter's direction. It's good being home.

Tilting his glasses down, Peter smiles with lips and eyes and pulls himself off the wall, walking toward Pierce. "Hello, lover," he murmurs when close enough. "Welcome home. You got bags coming?"

"Only a dozen." Pierce smirks. "All right, four." Only when he goes off to see Jeff does he come back with fewer bags than he started with. Still, it makes getting home easier. "How was your weekend?"

"Smart arse." Peter resists the urge to swat, being a little public maybe for that, but he nudges Pierce's shoulder. "My weekend was fine, rather productive," he says, hint of a leer in his voice, "and did you bring me any pressies?"

"Don't tell me you wanted fuzzy dice, because I did not buy those." Pierce nudges back. He's enjoying the look on Peter's face, though, and his voice lowers. "Productive, is that what they're calling it these days? And do you need to wait 'til we're out of public earshot before you tell me?"

"If you want the details." Peter pushes the sunglasses back up his face, covering his eyes once again. "And if you didn't bring me fuzzy dice," he says, exuding mock-pout, "then you're going to have a lot of making up to do."

"Oh, the shock, the agony, the horror. What does making up consist of?" Pierce pulls the first of his suitcases off the carousel, the second and third following after, but then there's a young man giving him a look and the fourth goes by before Pierce can grab it. Damn. And the lad's not even coming over for an autograph. Either I'm getting old or it's harder picking up lads in airports when your lover's standing right nearby.

Peter bends down and retrieves the escaping bag, glancing up at Pierce and then the man who'd gotten the look. "Not cramping your style, am I, luv?" he says, shrugging the bag's strap over his shoulder. "C'mon, get you home and I'll make up for your pick-up losses." He picks up one of the suitcases. "I lucked up. Car's close."

"You never cramp my style. That one looked like he'd break if one of us got him into a stall or a backseat somewhere, though, let alone both." Pierce grins again as he follows Peter out of the airport. "Did I mention I missed you?"

"Hmm, don't think so." They're into the garage area when Peter looks around, turns and gives Pierce a quick kiss. "Missed you. A lot."

The kiss is brief, but it's more than Pierce expected until they got home, and it makes him feel warm all over. "It really is good to be home," he murmurs. "And I can't wait to hear what's got that look on your face. Did you track someone down at the club?"

"Not exactly. Tripped over him in the hardware store." Peter pulls his keys from his pocket and triggers the door locks as they near the car, then pops the trunk. "Complete novice. Doesn't have a clue about the scene." He tosses the bags in, pushing them to one side to make room for what Pierce is carrying.

Pierce's eyebrows go up as he helps get the bags put away and climbs into the car next to Peter. "Is that a 'not yet he doesn't', or...?"

"That's a I called him 'boy' and 'slut' and he wondered if it was because I'm British." Peter grins, catches the wry 'you're kidding?' look on Pierce's face as he buckles up, turns over the engine. "Seriously. I don't think anyone's ever told him to come without a reach-around."

Pierce snickers. "Because you're British? Oh, that's a new one. I'll have to pass that along." The last bit of Peter's statement catches Pierce's attention, too, and he smiles with more bared teeth. "Did he manage it? Coming without getting the benefit of your very nimble fingers, that is."

"Yes, he did, much to his surprise, I think." Peter backs out and heads out of the garage. "You need anything before we head home? Or just straight there?"

"Just need you and home and maybe a nice bath." Which reminds Pierce of all the construction, and he blinks. "Did they actually finish our sauna while I was gone?"

"Why, yes, they did, oh master of the house." Peter thinks Pierce is going to be impressed by the room. "The workers finished Monday, and I fought the urge to use it immediately." He's turning onto the highway now. "Thought we might christen it properly."

"I hope you mean sex and not smashing champagne bottles." Pierce grins. "I'm all for christening the new sauna. Can't wait to see it." Peter's taste in decoration is much more interesting than Pierce's; Pierce would happily stick with black marble and polished chrome and leave it at that. He really is looking forward to seeing it, and not just because Peter's been so enthusiastic about the redecoration. It's always good seeing the ways Peter's turning Pierce's house into their home.

"Yes, I mean sex. Only champagne in there will be what we might be drinking." Peter concentrates on driving, the road familiar enough for the occasional glances at Pierce. "How's Jeff? Good visit, I trust."

"Fantastic visit. He's doing well, sends his best, of course. He's got some time free in May, after we're back from Sydney, and he'll be visiting me this time. I can't wait."

"That'll be nice. Do I get to spend more than five minutes with him?" Peter's met Jeff, but that's about the extent of their interaction. He realizes after he says it that it might sound a bit defensive, but he doesn't mean it that way. "I promise not to entice, threaten or pry for information," he says, grinning.

"Just promise you won't tell him that I leave my socks in the living room instead of getting them all the way to the hamper," Pierce teases. But it does occur to him that there are a hell of a lot of day-to-day living details that Peter knows and Jeff doesn't. He's been seeing Jeff longer, but Jeff doesn't live with him. "And yes, you're welcome to spend more time with him if you'd like. I can invite him to the house..."

Peter laughs. "I'd never give away your laundry secrets, Brosnan. Well, not unless The Sun calls and it's for a really, really good sum of money." He makes a turn and pulls into their neighborhood. "It'd be nice to have him at the house. We ought to have more people in general out, now that I have that gorgeous kitchen to entertain in."

"I like watching you play host," Pierce murmurs. "I'd be happy to have more houseguests. Have anyone in particular in mind?"

"Huh? No. I don't have friends in LA." Peter makes the last turn, pulling into the driveway. "Which reminds me, you mentioned Sydney and we're on for that. Got an email with the particulars so we can go ahead and make flight plans."

Pierce grins. "Will I come off sounding like a fanboy if I say it sounds like fun already?"

"Yes, but that's all right." Peter turns the car off and opens his door. "I might actually be more excited about this one than I've been in awhile. Race you inside?"

The luggage can wait. Pierce flashes Peter a grin and snaps off his seatbelt, pushing out of the car and dashing for the garage door.

Peter cuts him off, slamming his hand against the keypad, hurriedly pressing the numbers to get into the house. "We gonna try to make it to the bedroom?" he asks, falling in as the door opens, tripping into the mud room.

"At the rate you're going?" Pierce teases. It's so damned good having a lover who makes him feel as young as Peter does; he grins as he passes Peter by and ducks down the hall, past the kitchen and into the bedroom.

"Am I going too fast?" Peter tosses his sunglasses off onto the kitchen counter, and he's unbuttoning his shirt as he moves down the hall. That's off the minute he's in the bedroom and his fingers are on his jeans. "You want fucked first or want to do me?"

"God," Pierce says, still laughing, "flip a coin, we definitely don't need to spend the time in talking about it." He kicks off his shoes, groaning at the feel of carpet under his feet. It's a short flight, but it's still a flight, and as he peels his jacket off, gets out of his shirt, he's more than glad to be out of travelling clothes.

"Better idea." Peter tosses his jeans aside and moves quickly across the room, pouncing on his lover and pushing him to the bed. "I'll flip you for it." He's missed Pierce more than he's ever missed anyone who was away. That slide of skin under his tongue as he licks across a nipple when he finds the right angle to nuzzle.

The laughter dies down to a moan as Pierce clutches at Peter, pulls him closer. Acquaintance to friend to lover to someone Pierce couldn't imagine being without, and it only took a decade. Pierce smirks at the train of thought, tilts his head up to nuzzle back, kiss whatever parts of Peter's face are nearby, rocking up against Peter and growling under his breath as the nuzzling and kissing get more intense.

Peter's scooting down Pierce's body as he nudges his lover up the bed. He licks over the crease of groin, soaking up the familiar scent and taste. How'd you get here? To a place where even a few days away from this man is more than you imagine? There's no answer coming, but Peter doesn't care. He's where he wants to be, tongue lapping over lover's thigh, fingers creeping in to give a thumb access to cock, just so he can slide the pad along the underside.

"Oh -- God," Pierce pants, reaching down, fingertips sliding through Peter's hair and scratching lightly against his scalp, "you feel so good..." Please is closer to Pierce's lips than it's been in ages, and it doesn't feel odd or uncomfortable at all. Maybe you bring out the best in me. Whatever that is...

"You keep calling me 'God', Pierce, and I'm going to have an ego that rivals yours," Peter says, smirking as he glances up, "and then we'd have to expand the house again to accommodate." He pulls his thumb back along Pierce's cock and wraps his fingers around the foreskin, rubbing gently. "I think I want this." He licks the tip of Pierce's cock, swiping away the drop of precome too enticing to pass up.

"You are -- mmm -- such a bastard," Pierce groans, "one reason out of many why I love you." He pushes himself up on his elbows to watch Peter, grinning and sliding his tongue out over his lips. "How do you want it?" he asks.

"Hmmm, so much cock, so many choices." Peter's having too much fun with himself, and they haven't even made it to the sauna. "First I want it in my mouth, tickling my throat. Not too rough. Then when you're almost in pain from wanting to come, you can fuck me. Or just come on my face and lick me clean." The grin's positively wicked witch. "Any of that sound good?"

"Hell, yes, that sounds good," Pierce growls. "Want to stop talking about it and suck me?" Maybe the tease is just too much, or maybe the dominant instincts haven't worn off completely from being with Jeff, but either way, Pierce trusts Peter; if he's going too far, Peter won't let him get away with it.

If Pierce were a boy instead of a lover, the glare would be for real, and it'd be followed by a sharp slap and Peter would walk away. But Peter will allow Pierce the momentary slide into demanding. After all, it's been four days. He opens his mouth and flicks his tongue out, lapping along the length of Pierce's cock before taking him fully, closing lips around the hard flesh and sucking strongly. Is that better, Mr. Brosnan?

Growl turns into moan and Pierce falls back against the covers, hips moving up because he needs more contact -- more, deeper, my God, he feels good. Easing out of the urge to demand takes thought, deliberate focus on where he is and who he's with, but Pierce calms down, settles in and takes what he's given instead of trying to force Peter to speed up or slow down or oh, God maybe spend a bit more time on that spot.

It's a slow process, but Peter's learning his lover's body. How working his tongue over that spot elicits a much more intense reaction than over this spot and how if he lets the edge of his teeth press down lightly at the base before dragging his mouth back up along Pierce's cock, it ricochets a spark through both their bodies. In general, Peter's getting a lot better at cocksucking since he moved in with Pierce, not that it's a skill he wants to use on anyone else.

And if Pierce hasn't shown proper gratitude for Peter's newfound skill, that's something he'll remedy later. After this, when he's not going half out of his mind from pleasure and need. His hands slide away from Peter's head to twist in the bedcovers; he's not sure he could keep from the demand, the hard shove, the tug and twist that suits Jeff much better than it's ever going to suit Peter. This is different, equal footing, and it's delectable for that and for a hell of a lot of other reasons, not the least of which is that gorgeous little flick of tongue just under the head of his cock, the one that has him biting his lips to keep from begging.

Peter works his hands around Pierce's thighs, up under the curve of buttocks, firmly squeezing as he sinks back down on Pierce's cock, this time all the way to where his nose is pressing into flesh, breathing in that delectable scent -- leather, like a new car, soft and supple. Not that Pierce is soft. No. Nor yielding, except maybe when Peter starts a slow hum, nothing really important, just noise, a vibration low in his throat while it's being filled with cock.

At the rate Peter's going, it's not going to take long to have Pierce aching to come. The warmth of his mouth, the gentle pressure from his teeth, that hum -- it's so good and so intense, enough to make Pierce want more than just the pleasure of lying here under Peter's mouth and hands. "Wait -- wait." He's panting, trying to draw a full breath. "Want to touch you. Get my mouth on you." He grins. "Please?"

The chuckle rattles around in Peter's brain as he pulls back, raises up on his elbows and grins at Pierce. "Are you suggesting we pretend we're 20 and 69 this moment?"

"Men in their forties and fifties can't arrange their limbs like that?" Pierce squirms around on the bed, stretching out on his side. "Fifty bucks says we can still do it at our age."

Peter shakes his head. "I'm truly insane." He can't even go back to the exact time and place he last 69'd anyone. Pierce is the only one he' do it for, he's sure of that. "Okay, we'll give it a try, but I'm not liable for any damage done to psyches or vertebrae." He smiles and waits a moment before Pierce is in the right place, then he's sliding that cock back into his mouth, going back to the matter at hand, sucking hard.

"Oh, fuck," Pierce breathes, but he gets a hand at the base of Peter's cock and licks his lips, drawing the head into his mouth, licking over the foreskin and teasing it back with his tongue.

Holyfuckingshit. Pierce is good at this, Peter thinks. Understatement, his brain processes. Peter shifts, stretches, and makes his position even better, more accessible, all the while working his tongue around the base of Pierce's cock, stretching and lapping over those heavy balls.

This really is turning out to be an excellent idea. Pierce finds himself caught between moaning and sucking, not quite doing either, and he nuzzles deeper, takes in more of Peter's cock. The angle's a little awkward, leaves his teeth scraping skin more than he'd like, but little by little he's swallowing Peter's cock 'til he's got nearly all of it down his throat and can stroke over it with his tongue. "Mmmm."

That graze of teeth shoots a spark from Peter's cock to his brain and it has him instantly hard, aching for more and forgetting for a second how deep Pierce's cock is pushing into his throat. Then the gag reflex triggers and he coughs, catches himself and opens his mouth, pulls back a fraction, adjusts the angle to lessen that impact. "So good," he mutters before resuming, mouth on the head, sucking just the tip in short, strong pulses.

Sucking Peter's cock hard is the only thing that keeps Pierce from pulling his head back and groaning. Peter's mouth is going to drive him absolutely mad. If he isn't there already. He slips a hand behind Peter's balls, traces a finger along his cleft, not quite tickling, more of teasing.

Damn. That drives Peter insane, in the best way possible. He''s on the verge of coming; he can feel the tingle of orgasm ripple through his stomach, creep into his groin, demand attention from his stiffening cock. He reciprocates, upping the ante, snaking his hand in under Pierce's leg until he gets his fingers against that puckered hole. Then he presses. Sucks. Presses a bit more. Sucks even harder.

Pierce does the same, wriggling his fingertip just into Peter's ass, and he scrapes Peter's shaft just the slightest bit with his teeth. If he could speak, he'd be growling out Come on, you bastard, let me taste you, but then if Peter could speak, he might well be saying the same thing. Love you. Oh, God, you feel so good...

It's not a battle of wills. There's no prize for coming first. Or not coming. The prize is the man whose mouth is wrapped around his cock, sucking him hard. He lets go, comes hard, cock throbbing in Pierce's mouth and pulsing into his lover's throat. Your turn, lover. He nudges a bit deeper, presses tongue up into the underside of Pierce's cock, works damned hard to keep from biting as his own orgasm surges through him.

Not biting is definitely a noble goal, and as soon as Pierce tastes Peter's come pulsing into his mouth it's his turn to make sure he doesn't bite down hard. He comes with a jerk, a gasp, a choked cough as his attention gets divided enough he can't keep mouth and cock in line.

Peter pulls back, off Pierce's cock as the spasms stop, a trail of come on his lips. He licks over it, swipes it into his mouth. "Oh, fuck, that was good."

"Mmmm." Pierce pulls back and collapses, head against Peter's thigh. "Hell of a welcome home, lover. It's good to be back."

"Damn good to have you home." Peter rolls onto his back, stretches out. "When I remember how to walk, I'll take you upstairs and show you the new room."

Pierce is slightly more mobile than Peter, if only because he wants to turn around and cuddle. He moves up and wraps an arm around Peter's shoulders. "Sounds nice," Pierce murmurs. "Can't wait."

"It can wait, you know," Peter says, snuggling closer. "This is too comfortable. I'll fall asleep here and you can wake me up with nuzzles sometime middle of tomorrow."

"That means you'll have to put up with my cooking," Pierce says. "Or I could order us a pizza. Or a boy to serve as delivery boy and platter."

"Ooooh, now that's an idea." Peter turns his head, grins widely. "Does the club deliver pizza?"

"I've learned to assume the club delivers everything," Pierce says, grinning back. "Do we have a plan for dinner, then?"

"Actually, no. I'm sorry. I wasn't a very good boyfriend today. Didn't have a three-course welcome-home dinner planned." Peter moves enough to push up into the pillows, get a bit more comfortable. "There's leftover brisket from Sunday, though, and I could easily whip up something finger-foody that we could retreat upstairs with, if you like."

Pierce follows Peter's movements, tucking his face into the side of Peter's neck. "You realize I'd be perfectly happy with takeout Chinese or something we carry out from the deli. If you'd rather save your strength for fucking me unconscious, I can worship at your apron later on."

It takes a minute for Pierce's words to sink in, Peter's brain skewed by the image of Pierce worshipping at Peter's apron. He shakes his head. "I'll still have energy, especially if you come in the kitchen and help."

"You'd let me touch anything in your kitchen?" The astonishment's only slightly exaggerated.

Peter rolls his eyes, sighs with as much exaggeration. "You can touch me. And maybe my red rubber spatula, if you're extra good." He turns onto his side. "You want food? Now or middle of the night?"

"Later," Pierce says, snuggling closer. "Cuddle now."

Chapter Text

journal entry, locked to Pierce

Curious ... would matching earrings be just too gay boyfriend? And, no, that's not rhetorical. Sitting on the deck, watching the smog roll over the hills, and got into that random thinking thing.

Love you, by the way, in case I haven't mentioned it enough today.


Love you, too.

And no, I don't think it'd push the limits too far. I'm already pierced, but I wouldn't mind seeing something from you there. That's an understatement. Wouldn't mind in the sense of considering rings vs. studs and trying, oh God, so hard not to make the obvious puns. Is your earlobe still punctured, or are we going to need to pierce you?




...really did try hard. I just can't.

C'mere, lover, I'll Pierce you.
Why go for a ring when you can have a stud impaling you?
Of course I want you inside me all the time. *pause* Oh, you meant with jewelry...

I might actually let you hurt me for those. I deserve it. I just couldn't resist. ;)


*rolls on floor in hysterics*

Pierce, luv, the brandy was for dinner. Did you nip early? *g* Hole would need to be reopened. That is, the one in my ear.

"So, I did this myself the first time," Peter says, rubbing the towel over his wet hair as he stands in the sauna room. Another larger towel, ecru bath sheet, is wrapped around his waist. "Back in medical school. Would be simple enough to reopen." He's already thought through it, gotten the sterile needle out of the medical kit and the astringent. "In the mood?"

"Aren't I always?" Pierce leers, but he grins and sits up instead of following through with another lewd comment. "When Robert did mine he was fucking me at the time, so let me follow your lead on this one."

That comment gets the double take, followed by a wide grin. "Well, I definitely didn't have that advantage the first time." Peter leans against the glass block wall. "Think you can multitask like that, Brosnan?"

"God, I was hoping you'd ask." Pierce flashes a grin. "We'd better do it without the acrobatics. Both of us sitting up with you on my lap would work best."

"Of course, no acrobatics." Peter finishes towel-drying his hair and tosses the towel aside. "You know, 20 years ago, I'd never have imagined the prospect of having my ear pierced at 42 while sitting on my boyfriend's lap being fucked." He shakes his head. "There work, the sauna bench?"

"Mmhm." Pierce ditches his towel, too, and goes looking for lube in spite of the number of times Peter's said not to bother with it. It's not just for Peter's benefit; friction-filled sex is rough on one's cock, too. "Should I be overly cautious and prep you, then wash up so I'll have clean hands?"

"The lover part of my brain is heavily outweighed by the lingering physician part, so yes, prep and then wash." Peter unwraps the towel from his waist and hangs it over the wall hook. He turns back to the counter and grabs the needle and bottle of astringent, along with a washcloth, and puts them on the bench where they'll be handy. Wrapped in the cloth is a small box. He takes it from underneath and sets it on top.

The box gets Pierce's attention, but he holds off asking, instead flipping the cap off the lube and pressing Peter forward until his hands are on the bench. "Don't you look delectable like that," he murmurs. He's not teasing today, though; he slides his fingers in, curls and twists them.

"Hmmm, and don't you feel good like that." Peter leans over the bench, hands flat and legs spread. "Has to be one of the best sensations in the world, your hand in my body."

"You're going to get me distracted with talk like that. Which could be dangerous. You don't want to have your nose pierced by mistake, do you?" Pierce smirks at Peter's back.

"Should I be concerned that you would mistake my nose for my ear?" Peter rolls his neck back, chuckles. "Or be relieved that your hand doesn't stray farther south when distracted and I end up with pierced foreskin." He lets out a long, luxurious whimper as Pierce touches the right spots. "I promise, I'll be good for a few minutes. Don't want to miss out on the main show."

"I can definitely tell ear apart from foreskin," Pierce murmurs, running his other hand down Peter's chest and reaching lower, drawing the foreskin in question back and rubbing his thumb over the head of Peter's cock. "But a refresher course doesn't hurt..."

"Yes, that would," Peter says, sighing at the touch, "foreskin. Very sensitive. Unlike the ear, which requires a bit more work to stimulate."

"But won't hurt as much being pierced." Peter feels slick enough now, and reluctant as he is to let go of his lover's cock and slide his fingers back, Pierce does need to wash his hands if he's going to poke a hole through Peter's earlobe. He moves back and kisses Peter's shoulder as he goes. "While there are a great many things I'm not too old for--" like swallowing your come while your mouth's on my cock-- "--I may have to draw the line at body piercings other than the ear."

"That's fine. I don't plan on piercing anything below the ear." Peter stretches, rolls his shoulders down. It's a comfortable position, a very nice place to be, leaning over, body open, waiting on a lover's return. He glances over his shoulder. "I will consider challenging you on those other things, though. We could make a list and work through it, all the things we're not too old to do."

Pierce finishes with the cleanup and comes back to the bench, sliding an idle hand up Peter's back before sitting down again. "Cliff diving in Australia comes to mind," he says, a bit of a smile around the corners of his eyes.

Peter turns toward Pierce. "Cliff diving? Where'd that come from?" He shakes his head slowly. "In Australia, no less. Hmmm. Guess we could work that in, if you're serious."

"It's a thought. And I'm game if you are." Pierce glances at the box. "Have you picked something out?" he asks. "I'd thought about it, but hadn't gone shopping yet..."

It's a very good thing Peter doesn't blush, or that doing the "gay boyfriend" thing doesn't faze him as much as it might once have. "The small box," he says, nodding, "there. Something simple I picked up this morning."

Pierce flips the box open and pauses at the set of matched studs inside. Simple, small, and from what he can tell, jade set in titanium. "One for each of us?" Stupid question, Brosnan, what do you think he got two for?

"Well, I think two pierced ears is a bit much, unless I plan on cross-dressing and I never intend on doing that." Peter's grin is faint. He second-guesses his decision to go ahead and buy the studs. "Not too presumptuous of me, is it? To buy you jewelry."

"No, it's not." Pierce squeezes Peter's forearm. He can blame the fact that he feels like he's melting on being in the sauna room. "Get over here."

"Yes, sir." Peter moves over to stand in front of Pierce. "Sitting facing or away? Which is easier?"

"Facing." Either's fine, but this way he'll be able to watch Peter's expressions. "Should we have gotten ice?"

"No, the astringent has enough kick to make me not mind." Peter settles onto the bench, straddling Pierce's lap. "Hmm, I like this position. Plus, I'll just dig my fingers into your shoulder if it hurts too much."

"Seems fair." Pierce puts his hands on Peter's hips and grins up at him. "Ready to be pierced?" He rocks his hips up. "Or is that Pierced?"

Peter settles himself down, keeping his eyes on Pierce's. "Smart arse." He pushes, breathing out, as he slides his body over Pierce's cock. Lube or not, there's friction, but it's more sweet than bitter. "Do it, lover. Both."

"Oh that's good," Pierce breathes, tightening his grasp on Peter's hips, losing himself in that first too-tight slide in. And he bites his tongue against a half-uttered prayer, despite thinking it's not too out-of-bounds to be worshipping his lover. Not out of bounds. Just something you'd get called on. His cock's throbbing and his whole body wants to be focused on that sensation. This might not be as easy as it sounded.

"Understatement." Peter slips the word out in a slur along the slide of Pierce's cock inside him. He moves his hands to brace against the back of the bench, either side of Pierce's shoulders, sinking himself lower. It is like worship, kneeling and sacrificing himself at a newly-built altar. He leans in, kisses Pierce, stealing what unuttered words linger on those lips, whispering out "love you" with a final breath.

"Yes." Pierce kisses Peter hard, both hands moving up now, taking in the curve of his back, the stretch of his shoulders, scratching at the nape of his neck.

There's no relinquishing on either side, the kiss deepening and getting harder with each stretch of Peter's body. Little need to breathe for the longest of minutes. Then there's the inevitable pulling back. Peter rests his forehead against Pierce's. "Don't ever let me go," he murmurs. "You hold on tight, and I will, too, for as long as you'll have me."

Where this comes from, Pierce still hasn't figured out -- falling in love with this man, having that feeling returned, still seems like the unlikeliest proposition ever at times -- but he's stopped looking for the clouds in his silver lining and has started just sinking into the comfort of loving and being loved back. "Yours," Pierce whispers, holding Peter tight. "I won't go anywhere."

"Then mark me, luv, inside and out," Peter says, punctuating words with kisses to Pierce's cheeks and temples.

"You have one hell of a lot of faith in my ability to coordinate," Pierce says, reaching for the needle. There's a pause while he tries not to think about the way Peter feels on his cock -- does he have to feel that good? God -- and finishes the last minute preparation and reaches up. "Hold still," he murmurs. "It'll just be--" a prick -- fuck, don't laugh now "--a sting and it'll be over." He's got the stud handy, so he can make the switch a fast one.

"I have complete faith in your abilities, Pierce." Peter breathes out, stills himself. He knows exactly what sting to expect, wonders for a second why he's doing this when he doesn't like intentional pain, then realizes in staring into Pierce's eyes that's all the reason he needs to do anything. "Quick sting. I'm ready."

Pierce doesn't draw it out. A small motion and it's over, and he trades needle for stud and presses the back on tight to stop the bleeding. "A few minutes and I'll loosen that," he murmurs. "Until then..." He rocks his hips up. "Any suggestions for keeping ourselves occupied?"

The sting bites into Peter's brain for the split-second, and he's glad there's someone else holding the stud and not him. Frees his hands to clutch at Pierce's shoulders, push himself down against his lover's upward motion. "That work?" He pulls up again, slowly, till there's nothing but the tip of Pierce's cock in his arse, grins, and then slams back down, the force causing him to shut his eyes for another second. "I'm occupied."

And Pierce is speechless, reaching for Peter's hips and rocking with him, gasping at every motion of his lover's body. He'd tell Peter just how perfect this feels, how good, but he's almost entirely lost to it, insane with it, and he thinks Peter's got a good idea of how bloody perfect this is himself.

It is perfect. Almost exceptional. Just needs that push over the edge and Peter will be as lost as Pierce is. "More," he mutters. "Harder. Come, luv. I want to feel you overcome me."

Pierce licks across Peter's collarbone, teeth just skirting the edge of it, scratching but not biting, and he doesn't hold anything back --arches up, drags Peter down and comes, gasping against Peter's skin, holding him tight as the world goes dim around them.

"Yes," Peter hisses, fingers clawing at Pierce's body, nails digging into flesh as he holds on through the rush, that immediate sense of being filled to brink of overflowing, the clench of his body around Pierce's cock, shivering his spine. "Fuck, so good."

"Of course I am," Pierce pants, unable to help himself. But he grins up at Peter. "Of course you are," he murmurs, nuzzling the side of Peter's neck and licking.

Peter laughs, burying his head against Pierce's shoulder. "You are fuckin' insane," he mutters, breathing rasped, "and damn good for my ego." He shifts up a bit, not enough to pull off or make a real difference in their positions. "Very comfortable like this."

"Is that how -- mmm. Is that how you're feeling, comfortable?" Pierce asks. He nudges up a little with his nose, just brushing Peter's earlobe, and slides his hand around Peter's cock. "Comfortable here, too?"

"Uh, less comfortable there, but it's better with your hand on it." Peter turns his head, resting still on Pierce, swiping his tongue out over available flesh. "Would love to come if you've a mind to wiggle your fingers a bit."

"Mr. Wingfield, I daresay I'm not the type to do something as undignified as wiggle." Pierce smirks against Peter's neck. "Stroke, though... glide..." Pierce sets motion to words and draws his hand up the length of Peter's cock. "God, I love you. Come for me?"

"Marymotherandjosephfuck." Peter almost bites Pierce's neck at that last stroke. Definitely not a wiggle. Most assuredly a gorgeous glide. He comes, smiling as he feels it splatter between them, streaming over stomachs. This is love. Pure. Perfect. "Excellent, Mr. Brosnan," he mutters through clenching teeth. "Spot on."

"Spot on and sticky." Pierce grins -- no, grin's too light a word, that's far more a smirk than a grin, and it's got all his teeth showing. "How's the ear?"

"Good thing we're in a sauna, then, isn't it?" Smirk returned with equal force. "Ear's fine. Will take a day or so to get used to having something in there again, but more than worth it. Shower again?"

"My earring first?" Pierce uses the hand that's not sticky to get the box open again. "Would you put it in for me?"

"I'd be honored." Peter straightens himself enough to get the box and pick up the stud, pulling the back off. "I love you for wanting to wear it," he says, pushing the sharp point through Pierce's lobe, securing it. "For being my partner. Looks good. Jade suits you."

Pierce takes Peter's hand, squeezes lightly before kissing his fingertips. "We suit each other," he murmurs. "Thank you for that."

Chapter Text

It's been a few days since Bron gave Pierce a phonecall, so it's more or less time to check in. Pierce has seemed almost disgustingly happy lately, and it's never a bad time to rib him a little for that.

The phone rings and Peter's closest by virtue of being on the side of the room where they left the cordless handset. "I'll get it," he says, picking up the phone from the end table. He doesn't think anymore about it being that he's answering Pierce's phone. As many people now have this number to find him. "Hello, Peter here."

"Hey, Peter, it's Bron. How are you doing?"

"Bron, hi. I'm fine. You?" Peter walks across the room. "Business or pleasure have you ringing today?"

Pierce glances up. "Is that for me?"

"Pleasure," Bron says. "If there's business happening, nobody's told me yet."

"It's Bron." Peter grins. "Does that mean it's for you?" He settles onto the arm of the couch. "Pleasure's much more interesting than business."

"Isn't it, though? Of course, the best part's when you combine both. Like Pierce's Halloween getup, which I hear was a success. Note that I never got a thank-you card."

"What does Bron want?" Pierce asks, putting his knitting down and reaching up. "Can I have the phone, please?"

"He never sent you a thank-you card." Peter looks at Pierce, making a tsking noise and mouthing "no." "Such a bad boy. Why don't you come out next week? I'll make you lunch. My way of saying thanks."

"I'd like that," Bron answers, chuckling. "Is he reaching over your shoulder for the phone yet?"

He's not, but he's thinking about it. "A thank-you card for what?" Pierce asks. "Would you give me that?"

Peter laughs. "Yes, he is. Rather cute when he does that." He switches the headset to the other ear, away from Pierce's grasp. "Halloween, luv. You didn't thank Bron properly," he says over his shoulder. "I'm making amends. Invited him to lunch."

"I didn't?" Pierce asks, honestly bewildered. "I thought I did thank him. Gave the little bastard voyeur all the details," he says, raising his voice, "or at least enough to make him happy," he adds, a little quieter with a smirk at Peter.

"Details." Peter turns around, leans over and gives Pierce a quick kiss, holding the phone out at arm's reach. "Exactly what did you tell him, Mr. Brosnan?"

"That you admired his makeup job," Pierce growls, reaching for the phone. "Bastard, both of you. Come here."

Peter clicks on the speakerphone. "Did you hear that?" His voice goes up, mock dismay. "He called us bastards, Bron. I'm thinking no sex tonight. Maybe not tomorrow either." He grins at Pierce, leans back into the couch arm. "And to think I wanted to take him to Sydney with me, too."

"Come here," Pierce says, dragging Peter off the couch arm and wrestling him backwards onto the sofa.

"You do know he only calls people he loves bastards?" Bron teases, though with all the noise in the background he's not sure Peter can hear him.

"Yes, I do," Peter says, voice muffled by Pierce's arm as he falls to the sofa. "Love being his bastard." He smirks. "You want the phone, Pierce. Make me an offer."

"Oh, to be a fly on the wall. Or let's be honest, a security camera," Bron says.

The only thing Pierce catches is camera; he's still struggling for the phone. "Hand it over and I won't shove it up your ass when I'm done telling Bron where he can put his camera."

"Ouch." Pierce's elbow catches Peter's rib and he nearly drops the phone. "I like the idea of Bron and his camera. We wanted some photos made."

That stops Pierce in his tracks, which is bad, because he's got his face half squished into the back of the sofa. "Those photos?" he asks, muffled through the fabric.

"What photos would those be?" Bron asks. He's not trying to stifle the laughter anymore. It's been years since he's heard Pierce wrestling someone, and it's more than he ever expected.

"Oh, nothing. Just some portraits we'd discussed." Peter pushes himself up, giving in, holding out the phone to Pierce. "Your turn."

"Hrmph," Pierce mumbles, taking the phone at last. "And what was it you wanted?"

"Oh, I'm pretty happy with the way the conversation worked out," Bron says, smirking hard.

"Yes, I'll bet you are. Smug bastard."

"Takes one to know one."

Peter shifts around to straddle Pierce's legs. He's not finished with teasing his lover. "But you're the perfect bastard, lover," he says, stretching out over Pierce's body and nuzzling his throat. "The one we all take our cue from."

The nuzzle helps mollify Pierce. But he's still pouting, and he tucks the phone under his ear and slides both hands down Peter's back so he can grope his ass. "If you're both done teasing," he breathes, "I'm about ready to hang up the phone."

"Aww. I don't get to listen in?"

"Yes, Pierce, doesn't he get to listen in?" Peter licks Pierce's throat, nibbles as he intentionally wriggles into Pierce's hands. "Surely his voyeuristic tendencies include phone sex. And your exhibitionist ones." He has to wonder just how far Pierce will let him take this, but Peter's not really worried about angering his lover. Not seriously. Or permanently. At least not beyond the point of makeup sex.

Pierce draws Peter down, grinds up against him. "Thought you'd object," he murmurs, bending his head up to lick Peter's throat. "Want to guess how long it's been since Bron's heard me getting fucked?"

Bron's sorry he's been sipping at a glass of water, because he ends up choking and coughing. "Since you what?"

"From the choking noise he's making, I'd guess a rather long time." Peter can't help but grin, tilts his head at Pierce's lick and intentionally readjust his position for maximum grind back against his lover. "Don't object at all, luv. I'm having fun," he murmurs."

Pierce grabs for the phone and switches it to speaker so he can shove it onto the coffee table. "You are a naughty, kinky bastard, and I love you," he growls. "And want you. Mm. Feels good."

"Could feel a lot better." Peter nips at Pierce's shoulder, a sliver of flesh exposed in the tumble. "Could be fucking you, wrapping my hand around your cock and jerking you off."

That's an image that has Bron tucking the phone between ear and shoulder, unsnapping his jeans to get his cock out. He grins. "Don't let me stop you..."

"Don't let anything stop you," Pierce says, encouraging, struggling with the hem of Peter's shirt as he tries to pull it up. "Want. You. Now."

"I'm not stopping. Just have to move. How about we each get naked?" Peter pushes himself up to his knees, quickly unbuttons his shirt and tosses it over the couch back. "Wouldn't want to make our audience wait too long." His fingers are deftly working at the buttons of his jeans, tugging the denim down over his hips.

Pierce scoots back to get his own clothes back, sweater abandoned, jeans shoved down his thighs and socks tugged off and tossed aside. "Fast enough for you?" he grins.

"I'm impressed. Socks off, even. You must love me." Peter digs into the cushions of the sofa. "We did leave lube here somewhere, didn't we?"

"No, it's in the lube box," Pierce says. He rolls over, climbs halfway over the armrest so he can get at the box and retrieve the lube.

Peter laughs. Absent-minded to forget about the lube box. "Perfect position there, if you're inclined to stay bent over the armrest."

"Is this how you want me?" Pierce asks, bracing himself and spreading his legs. "Bent over, braced, open for you?"

"Yes. Like that. Bent over. Arse in the air. Waiting." Peter's hard instantly and he moves across the sofa to lean over Pierce's back, take the lube from his hand, slick his fingers and cock. He curls two fingers in on each other and shoves them into Pierce's hole, scraping and twisting. He quickly adds a third, not giving Pierce much time to adjust. "Slut for me," he whispers.

"Maybe I'm just a slut in general," Pierce groans, shoving back on Peter's fingers. "Dear God, man, give your lover a chance to adjust." He's not expecting to get it, though, and he gasps, shoving back harder. "You have the most wicked fingers..."

Bron groans on his end of the line, too, squeezing his cock and wishing he could see it. Hearing's good -- damn good -- but he'd love more. Another time.

"Why thank you." Peter twists said wicked fingers into a knot and then curls them back, raking over Pierce's prostate. "Don't take too much time adjusting 'cause I'm going to switch out to cock in another minute. Don't want to keep Bron on the phone all afternoon."

"So stop talking and fuck me," Pierce says. He grins over at the phone. "Enjoying yourself there, Bron?"

"Mmm. Keep talking," Bron says, hand moving faster on his cock, "I can just about picture this. Which one of you's smirking more?"

"Yes, Pierce." Peter jerks his fingers out. "It's phone sex." He lines up and shoves his cock in before Pierce can even feel empty. "We have to talk." He pushes hard, all the way, till his balls are pressing against flesh. "Like I could describe," he says, his voice terse, "just how tight your arse is and how the burn of sliding my cock into you has my brain on fire."

"Fuck." Pierce pants for a few seconds, tries to get words together. Pushing past the comfortable vanilla zones with Peter always feels so new, impossibly kinky even if they're not doing anything Pierce hasn't done before. "Maybe you'd like to hear how stretched I feel," he says, "how every time I think he's never going to fit and he's going to tear me open and God it's good that way."

"Getting to be a perfect fit. And it looks so good on him. That twist of smirk and pleasure. I'm sure you know the look, Bron." Peter pushes a bit harder, edging the vanilla into something short of kink. It's all comfortable, more familiar than not as the days slide into weeks and months.

"I'm familiar with that one," Bron drawls, dragging his fingers up the length of his cock. All sorts of things run through his mind, and he's tempted to push the humiliation line, but it's been way too many years since he got to play with Pierce that way and he doesn't want to risk jolting the scene. "You sound good together. Bet you look fantastic. I know what he looks like when he's close. Wouldn't mind getting a look at you, either, Peter."

The words scintillate. Peter likes the idea. "That could be arranged. Right, Pierce?" He stretches out with the next push, leaning over Pierce's back, slipping his hand down and wrapping fingers around Pierce's cock. "I wouldn't mind a voyeur. Would you?"

"Never have before. Oh, that's good. That's -- his hand on my cock, perfect strokes, he really is quite good at this..." Pierce laughs, pushes back then rocks forward, groans getting louder as he feels himself getting close. "We're going to make a mess of the upholstery."

"Oh, fuck that. We'll get it recovered." Peter strokes harder, switches to a fisting of Pierce's cock, working through solid thrusts in and out of his lover's arse. He's so close, holding out intentionally for another minute. "I haven't done any redecorating in this room." Barely holding off. "Just there, Pierce. You want to come first?"

"No," Pierce says, not that it's easy holding back when Peter's fucking him that way. "I want to hear Bron go over first."

"Oh, you bastard," Bron groans, and he speeds up, head tilting back, fingers squeezing just right. Fuck. He's there, and he comes with a bitten-off yell, remembering halfway through that fair's fair and he should be trying to make sure the other men can hear him.

And hearing Bron go first is the best choice. He sounds good enough to eat, Peter thinks, or at least watch. Next time. Peter stops holding out, thrusts once, twice, comes and twists his wrist, squeezing Pierce's cock.. "You. Now."

"Fuck." Not the most dignified thing to say while coming, but Pierce isn't thinking anymore and his body's dragged over by Peter's all-too-expert hand and the low sound of his voice. "Oh, fuck. Love you. So much."

On the other end of the line, Bron blinks, words cutting through the fog in his brain. Jesus, he can say it. Fucking hell, it's been a long time.

"I love you, you bastard," Peter murmurs, not caring that Bron's listening. He's way past hiding any emotions from anyone. He's also past holding himself up, and he collapses against Pierce's back, barely keeping his full weight off his lover. "Damn, that was good."

Pierce grunts at the impact, but it's a halfhearted protest at best. He slides a hand behind him, running it over Peter's hip, digging his fingers in to keep him close. "Always good with you," he murmurs.

Peter's not moving. Not until he needs to make dinner and he figures they can damned well eat late. "Exceptional, but I think next time our audience deserves to be in the room." He's grinning, kissing Pierce's back. "With his camera."

"Christ. You're both bastards," Bron says. And I could probably love you as much as I love him. Now there's a thought. He laughs as he grabs for nearby tissues. "Thanks for the entertainment -- that sure as hell wasn't what I was expecting when I called."

"We strive to please." Peter looks at Pierce, nudges him to move just a bit. "So, you'll come for lunch next week and we'll talk photos, maybe even entice you into going on holiday with us."

"Sounds good." Holiday? What holiday? Bron gets his jeans buttoned up again. Ask when your brains aren't leaking out of your cock. "You two have a good night."

"Same to you," Pierce mutters from underneath Peter. He gropes for the phone. "We'll see you soon, Bron." And he clicks off, tossing the phone away. "God," he murmurs, running his hand down Peter's thigh. "Anything in particular bring that on?"

"What? The desire to fuck you while your best friend listens in?" Peter has his hand on Pierce's back and is tracing over the muscles, making random patterns. "Just love you. Was in a playful mood." He sucks in a breath, lets it out slowly. "Didn't cross a line, did I?"

"No, nothing like that. I was just curious." Pierce purrs at the rub, arches back into Peter's touch. "You keep finding your way into all the parts of my life I don't share with anyone. It scared me some at first."

"I'm sorry. If there's a part I shouldn't be in, you have to tell me, Pierce. If there's something you don't want to share, then slap my hand away." Peter keeps rubbing, smiling at the reaction he's getting. "Otherwise, I'm most likely to insinuate myself into every nook and cranny."

"If you ask for too much, I'll tell you. Just now I'm not in any danger of slapping your hands away." Pierce sinks into the armrest, settles in a little better. "Want to keep you right where you are."

"Good, 'cause I'm not going anywhere." Peter means it both ways. Now and future tense. "Of course, at some point, we'll need to eat. And shower. And get the couch reupholstered."

"Fair enough." Pierce grins. "I should be ready to move sometime in the next hour."

Chapter Text

"Do you have a strong preference for a suite versus adjoining rooms?" Peter looks up from his laptop where he's perched on the deck chair, sunglasses on and shoes off, t-shirt advocating his love for British music. "We can get either. Love conference organizers eager to please."

"Hmm, no strong preference either way," Pierce says. He's just stepped out onto the deck, barefoot, loud Hawaiian shirt unbuttoned, and he digs his hands into his pockets as he leans over Peter's shoulder to look at the laptop. "So how much fawning worship can you expect at one of these things?"

"That depends on whether or not that weird U.S. group is there. They'll be the ones who sit down front at every single panel." Peter tilts his head back, raises his hand and pulls his sunglasses down, giving Pierce's shirt the once-over. Twice. "No, glare's still there, with or without the glasses." He grins. "You will fit in perfectly with that shirt."

"What about my shirt?" Pierce asks. He grins, leans down and nibbles the side of Peter's neck. "I've seen what's in the back of your drawers. What color's the pot again, kettle?"

"Har har. Pot's black, love, unlike that shirt. Or the ones in my drawer." Peter cranes his neck enough to steal a quick kiss. "I like your style and the fangirls will think you're just adorable."

"Why is it the idea of fangirls doesn't set my heart -- or other relevant body parts -- to beating?" Pierce teases. He sucks on Peter's lower lip for a moment before straightening back up.

"Okay, what about the fanboys?" Peter smirks, turns his attention back to his laptop and finishes the email he's composing. "Those fawning creatures with the hair falling into their eyes who trail you around the convention center, just hoping for a look."

"That could be significantly more interesting, yes," Pierce drawls. He stretches out on the deck chair next to Peter's. "On the other hand, I think as your boyfriend I'm obligated to be a fawning fanboy myself." He flashes Peter one of those ear-to-ear bared-teeth grins and laces his hands behind his neck. "What would my job as a fawning fanboy consist of?"

"Hmmm, fawning fanboy needs to be quick with the compliments, tell me over and over how good I am, how sexy, how I'm the best thing to grace the screen since," Peter pauses, closes the laptop, "well, since ever. Of course, he'd need to be wearing the obligatory 'Methos rules' t-shirt and hanging on my every word."

"'Methos rules' t-shirt," Pierce muses, obviously making a mental note. "I think I'd also have to overcompensate and tell you how great an actor I think you are so you'd know I lust after you for something other than the obvious physical attributes."

Putting the laptop on the side table, Peter stretches out in his chair, leaning back to soak up a bit of sun. "Of course you would, but I'd appreciate the lust, too. What are the chances I could get that delivered from your knees?"

Pierce snorts -- reflex -- before trying to put himself back in the fanboy's place. "Your fanboy would be honored. Your lover would want to know what you've got up your sleeves."

"My lover has little to worry about. Wouldn't try a thing without asking first." Peter turns his head, smiles at Pierce. "Speaking of fanboys," he says, tilting his glasses down to peer over the reflective lenses, "and if you tell him I said that I'll strangle you in a not-good way, think we can manage to convince Bron to tag along?"

The idea of Bron as a fanboy has Pierce laughing enough to make it difficult to answer, but then there's the question, and he raises both eyebrows. "I'm sure he'd join if we asked. Now I'm even more curious. You'd like to take Bron with us?"

"Just thought it could be fun, having our own photographer traipsing around behind us." Peter hasn't quite learned how to read all of Pierce's expressions, understand the nuances behind the inflections. "If it's treading where I shouldn't, or encroaching in any way, I can back off. It was just a notion after getting to know him."

Pierce shakes his head. "You have to learn to stop worrying about whether you're encroaching. You're allowed to get to know my friends." He's thinking about how long it's been since Bron's gotten along with one of his lovers, and there's a wince he can't stop when he realizes Bron got along with Aidan but hasn't cared for anyone since. But he hasn't met Jeff, barely knows Peter. "I'd be happy to ask him. Or you can ask him. Either way."

"You have friends?" Peter gives Pierce that grin, the one that would get him off death row. "I know I can ask him. Do you want me to? Do you want to explain that wince?"

"Sorry. Aidan," Pierce says, which is a lame explanation at best. "Go ahead and ask him. I'd be glad for his company, and it'll give me someone to keep busy with while you're entertaining your adoring fans."

Peter winces this time, a momentary pang of regret for having brought up Aidan. He wishes he understood more fully what that portion of Pierce's past meant, but figures he'll know when he's supposed to know. "I like that you won't be left to your own devices," he says. "Last thing I want is you getting bored because you went with me."

"I'm not going to be bored." Pierce turns on his side, looking more seriously at Peter. "I want to go. I like that I'm not going to be the center of attention. That I'll be able to step back and watch you in the spotlight. I like that one hell of a lot."

"Watch me make a fool of myself." Peter knows how insane the conventions are. "Valentine's going, but I'm not sure who else will be there. If you're lucky, I suppose, you can fanboy the entire cast." He crinkles his face. "Well, except Liz. Even if you did girls, you wouldn't want to go there."

"Valentine, hm? He's fun," Pierce says, leaving out the part where he adds to needle. "And it's fun making a fool of one's self. Especially in front of a forgiving audience. That's what acting's all about, after all."

"And I'm just the consummate actor." Peter feigns a bit of Oscar-winning haughtiness, then laughs it off. "I don't think I've ever been as excited about a convention. Of course, never had a boyfriend to take with me. Nice difference."

"Is it?" There's actually a touch of insecurity in Pierce's voice, which he covers by rubbing at his cheek with his palm. "It does seem like I could end up cramping your style a bit. I'm sure you get offers at these things that you'd like to take the lads up on."

Peter can't help but pick up on the slight change in Pierce's voice, and he turns around on the chair, putting his feet on the deck, the burst of warmth curling his toes. "I have no desire to take any lads at conventions up on anything." He leans over, puts his hand on the spot Pierce has been rubbing. "I'm taking my boyfriend for a reason."

Pierce turns into the touch, licks the inside of Peter's wrist. "Should I ask about your reasons?" he teases.

"Hmm, that's one of them. Wicked tongue." Peter shivers in the sun. "Then there's your lips. And your neck. And other highly usable body parts."

"Mr. Wingfield, I am shocked." Pierce grazes teeth against Peter's wrist -- the teeth are, after all, out already with his grin. "You make it sound as if you're bringing your lover to Australia just for sex. Not that I'm objecting, mind you..."

"Oh, hell, that feels damned good. What were we talking about?" Peter shakes his head. "Sex. You. Trip. Yes. Do we have to wait on one for the other?"

"Don't be silly." Pierce nibbles a little harder, presses teeth into skin. "Want to do it on the deck chairs?"

"You really expect me to think when you're doing that?" The grin's a bit silly, Peter's brain forgetting to fire a few synapses. "But you know, if we're not too old for doing 69, we can do deck chairs."

"Come here, then," Pierce says, tugging gently at Peter's arm. "Stretch out on me and I'll give you all the nibbles you can stand."

Peter doesn't have to be asked twice, and he moves over to Pierce's chair, stretching out, smiling at how easy it is, how well they go together, limbs matched point for point. "Nibble awhile, then I'll get up and cook us a bit of dinner. Thinking ziti tonight with a plum tomato sauce and Italian sausage."

"Mmm, dinner plans as foreplay." Pierce grins, slides his hands up Peter's arms and squirms under him. "Sounds perfect, but everything you make always is."

"Flattery will get you whatever you want for dessert, sir." Peter does a bit of squirming himself, making that final body-to-body connection. "Plus the homemade creamy Italian dressing over Bibb lettuce as an accompaniment."

"I never thought food could count as dirty talk," Pierce says. He licks up the center of Peter's throat, runs his hands down to Peter's ass and squeezes as he grinds up. "The things we learn from our lovers..."

"Yes, the things we learn, like how much I like having my arse squeezed. Never thought about that before." Peter wriggles appreciatively, the equal and opposite reaction grinding his cock down against Pierce's.

Pierce is rapidly losing his ability to talk, so he draws his hands up again and slides them under Peter's waistband, groping bare skin this time as he tilts his head up and kisses Peter, groaning softly against his lips.

Peter matches groan with whimper, grope with caress, fingers slipping around the back of Pierce's neck. There are days when he has trouble remembering a time when he didn't enjoy quiet moments like this, when there would've been the inevitable tug to dominate the body under him. Those days he doesn't care to remember former times, when all that matters is the present, what's on the horizon.

It's not that anything was missing. Pierce never felt a lack, a need for something he couldn't define or describe. But he'd miss Peter now if he were gone. Worse than missing him, he'd feel the loss through every part of him that Peter's opened up. But Peter's not going anywhere, and Pierce slides his hands back out of his pants, trailing his fingertips around toward the front of the waistband. "Out of these?" he asks.

"Out of these," Peter echoes, shifting back enough to move his hands down, tug at his jeans and slip over his legs. Bad habits he's picking up, going commando and all. Bad habits he likes, habits that make a lover happy, that make Peter want to stay exactly where he is, to think about forever and understand it's a concept he can embrace.

Pierce's eyes flick down and then widen once he realizes Peter's not in boxers. "Mr. Wingfield--" It's on the tip of his tongue to tease Peter about being in a naughty mood, or wondering what brought that on, but he's a little too overcome with lust to bother with words, so he kisses Peter hard and thrusts up, rubbing denim against bare skin and groaning.

Denim scratches. Denim rubs the wrong way. Denim exhilarates. "Yes, Mr. Brosnan? Did you want to say something?" Peter welcomes the grind of fabric to flesh and grinds back against Pierce. "Or could I help you in some way? Out of the jeans, onto your cock. Something like that."

"Best offer I've had all day." Pierce presses Peter back, just enough to make room between them so he can struggle out of his jeans. He doesn't make a move to get the shirt off, though; it's already unbuttoned, which is close enough for Pierce.

Peter stays off just long enough for Pierce to get rid of the jeans. "How do you want this again?"

"You like that, on me?" Pierce glances around. "Do we have lube handy?"

Peter leans over the chair's edge, grabs his jeans and scrounges in the back pocket, pulling out a small tube. "Did I mention I was a Boy Scout?"

"Stop it, you'll give me fantasies about camping, and I'm allergic to the outdoors," Pierce says, taking the tube and slicking up his fingers. "Lift up a bit, luv..."

"We're outside now, Pierce." Peter shifts, lifting up enough for Pierce to get his fingers in. He can't help squirming. "I think fucking you against a giant sequoia would be just the thing."

"Now that sounds even better than what I was thinking. And I've been known to hug a tree or two." He twists his fingers, thrusts in and out. "I was thinking tents... rope bondage..."

"Oh, fuck. That's different." Peter slowly licks his lips, gently biting his tongue as he pushes down a bit on Pierce's fingers, moans. "Want to wrap a little roleplay into that? Something thousands of years old, say."

Pierce thrusts in roughly and drags his hand away, wanting to be in Peter now. "In a heartbeat," he growls, lining up, getting his hands on Peter's hips to steady him, "just say the word."

"First we have to find a forest." Peter sinks down, solid thrust onto Pierce's cock, taking as much of it in as will go against the friction burn. "Damn, but I love that feeling. Getting addicted to it."

"Hmm, that makes two of us," Pierce grins, rocking his hips up. "So good."

Peter works himself up and down Pierce's cock, breathing harder by the moment. He slides his hands under Pierce's shirt, pressing fingertips down and padding like a cat until he reaches nubs of flesh, nipples, and there he scratches.

The scratch is unexpected -- enough so to make Pierce hiss in a breath through his teeth -- but it's not unwelcome. Pierce tightens his grip on Peter's hips, pulls him down harder. "Like that," he murmurs. "You could do more of that..."

"You like that?" Peter strokes his thumb over Pierce's nipple, rubbing it up between his fingers, pinching quickly before scratching again. He almost loses it being pulled down that hard onto Pierce's cock. "Damn, luv, barely going to hold it if you keep doing that."

"Don't, then. Don't hold back anything." Pierce leans up, tries to get his teeth on Peter's shoulder. He's not quite successful, only managing to scrape instead of bite.

He doesn't hold back, cock jerking until he's coming against Pierce's stomach, leaning down, fingers still scratching Pierce's chest, trying to give his lover the access he's wanting.

"Yes -- fuck, yes--" Pierce manages to bite down, letting go enough to bite hard as he comes, fingers digging into Peter's hips, shivering slightly as the orgasm's last edges move through him.

It's only in the aftermath, in the coming down, that Peter realizes just how hard Pierce h as bitten, his shoulder throbbing. He lets himself down, stretching out against Pierce's chest, kissing throat and jaw. "Love you," he murmurs, kissing the corner of Pierce's mouth. "That was sinful and I'm thoroughly wasted. You might be getting delivery pizza tonight."

"Sounds like a fair trade for all the sex," Pierce says, rubbing Peter's back in circles. "If you don't feel like pizza, I could try making something. I'm not entirely hopeless, you know. I've been watching Alton Brown over your shoulder." He suspects Peter can feel the grin against the side of his neck. It's possible pizza would be safer.

Peter doesn't bother to lift his head. He knows that grin. "Soon you'll be leaving me for him, I'm sure," he says, smirk heavy in his voice. "No, we'll order pizza, curl up with a movie and be boyfriends tonight."

"Perfect." Pierce kisses the side of Peter's neck. "I love you, you know."

"I was starting to suspect." Peter nuzzles Pierce's shoulder. "Love you as much."

Chapter Text

"So do you have a preference for your meat, Bron?" Peter looks up from the range's grill area, grins. "London broil's supposed to be medium, but if you're one of those who has to have it charred, I don't have a problem with that."

"I'm one of those people who wants the cow still mooing," Bron says, stretching his legs out in front of him and glancing back toward the doorway; Pierce took off to get a phone call, and it's left Bron alone with Peter for the first time. "But given what he says about your cooking, I'll trust your judgment on it. So since we've got a couple minutes without Mr. Center-of-Attention grinning ear to ear, any curiosities you want satisfied?" Bron's used to this part. He could have opened a brewery with the number of beers guys -- and the occasional girl -- have bought him in hopes of figuring out something about Pierce.

"Hmmm, that's open-ended. I imagine you have all sorts wanting to bend your ear about him." Peter turns the beef over, places the tongs on the holding dish and opens the drawer. "Should I start with the exes? Why he cringes if certain names waft into the conversation?" He pulls out the laser thermometer and checks the broil's temperature. Just shy of the rare. "Or maybe something simpler, like why you're with him but not with him?"

"You know, the first question's one hell of a lot simpler," Bron says, tipping back his beer and setting it down again, running a finger along the bottle's neck. "Who's he been cringing at?"

"Aidan. I was reading Variety and mentioned he might be getting a TV series. The hush that fell was rather deafening." Peter wonders about why the other question's so complicated, but shrugs it off. They can always circle around to it later. "The other one, Sean, barely gets a ripple. In fact, there was talk of inviting him to lunch before he dashed off to London."

Bron grimaces. "Okay, maybe not so simple. I don't know what the hell his deal is with Sean; I know they talk sometimes, even though I wish they didn't, and I know he's pretty much as over Sean as he's gonna get by now." After Jeff, after you, and thank God for that. "Aidan -- things ended really badly with him." Bron makes another face, looks down at his beer. "I always thought Aidan kinda got the short end of the stick, and Pierce was kind of on his own in the days right after."

"Okay, I get you don't like Sean." Peter turns the beef over once more, does a slow mental count to 75 and takes it off the grill, putting it on the cutting board. "You have to pick up the pieces after that one?"

"Yeah. Literally and figuratively. That scar on his lip -- Sean was at the set taking care of the legal shit, getting some of his things. He spent the rest of the day distracted, took a hit from a stuntman. I spent weeks covering that. He was in bad shape in those days."

Peter covers the meat with a piece of foil; it needs to rest another 15 minutes or so. "I've wondered where that came from. Makes sense an ex caused it." He pulls a stool out from under the island's overhang and sits down. "You wouldn't cover up the injuries after Aidan, though. Pierce must've really screwed up, in your mind."

"I liked Aidan. I liked him a lot. We got along well. They pretty much tore each other to pieces by the end of it, and I couldn't just take Pierce's side at the end of it the way I do with most breakups, right or wrong." Bron gives Peter a sheepish grin. "Hey, at least I know it's blind loyalty."

"Nothing wrong with blind loyalty when you love someone." Peter returns the grin, his a bit more wry than sheepish. "And it's obvious you love him. You've stayed through all the exes."

"Yeah, I do. Nothing like what you've got with him, but I do love the bastard." Bron shrugs. "It's been a long time."

Peter walks over to the refrigerator and pulls out the vegetable makings of the salad, stretches and puts them on the island. "You can work on tearing up that lettuce if you want." Then he's turning to find the oil and balsamic vinegar, snap off some herbs from the pots in the garden window. "I do love him," he says, looking up. "Don't plan on you having to pick up any pieces, either."

"Good," Bron says, but there's no challenge in his voice, nothing that reads like a challenge. "I go with the 'innocent until proven guilty' method of operation; you're not going to get the speech where I say 'hurt him and I'll kill you' from me."

"What if he wants to be hurt?" Peter smirks. "In all the good ways, of course. Will you take pictures for me?"

"Are you talking about that?" Bron sits back, shrugs again, this time awkwardly. "Never thought he'd go for it. Congratulations, if you've got him headed that direction."

Peter turns back to the island, catches Bron's look. Think I've crossed a line. "Not really. Just my random thoughts. The hurting. Not the photos. I'd like that, seeing I've discovered this strange exhibitionist streak." He sets down the bottles and picks up a knife, pulling the foil off the London broil. "Sorry, Bron. One of the habits I've developed in living with Pierce. I talk more than I ever used to."

"That's not a bad thing," Bron muses. "Sometimes I think none of us talk enough, men in general, the ones I know in particular. But I spend a lot more time around girls than Pierce ever has." He grins. "Maybe it rubs off."

"Then you're light years ahead of me. I don't do women, on most every level." Peter starts slicing the beef. "Salad, Bron, your job."

"Torn or chopped?" Bron asks, sliding off the bar stool and rolling up his sleeves. "Yeah, you and Pierce have that in common, then. Though he at least has them as friends on occasion, and he did try sleeping with them once upon a time."

The knife stills in Peter's hand. "You're kidding? Now that's a dark secret he hasn't shared, the sleeping with." He glances around, conspiratorially checking for the unexpected arrival of his lover. "Okay, spill. Who?"

"Oh, God, nobody for twenty years. But he did some of it when he first got to LA and was trying to find work." Which really ought to be followed up with those things aren't related, but isn't.

"Well I didn't think it was recent. Just curious if it was anyone I should know. Or would know." Peter cocks an eyebrow, thinking on how he phrased that. He doesn't really care to know. He finishes carving the beef and arranges it on the platter before turning to check on the potatoes roasting in the oven. "Not that it matters, really. You can keep the girls."

"I do, on occasion," Bron says, smirking again. "Nobody at the moment, though. Haven't had anyone catch my eye in a while. How about you?" he asks. "Pierce has Jeff -- do you have a sub you're seeing?"

The question catches Peter's brain sideways. He shakes his head. "Not officially. There's a young man I met while Pierce was with Jeff over Easter, but I haven't followed up on it." He doesn't add that he's not sure how Pierce would take it, Peter having a sub on the side.

"That's one of about a dozen reasons why Pierce and I never really gave it a shot," Bron mumbles, finishing up with the salad. "Never could get all that shit settled. And I don't think either one of us really thought it was worth it."

"You couldn't decide which way you wanted to go?" Peter says, pulling the potatoes out of the oven, moving them to the platter around the beef. "Or he just wouldn't yield?"

"Neither one of us wanted to yield that much," Bron said. "And we really don't switch, but then..." He glances over his shoulder at Peter. "You know, I don't think I was the only one who was shocked when Pierce fell for another dom. But it does seem to be working."

"Shocked the hell out of the dom he fell for." Peter picks up the platter, walks around the island and sets it on the table. He messes with the place settings, straightening napkins. "Never been in love before, Bron. It's a very strange emotion, but I'm truly happy. And," he looks around, "there's a fresh bottle of shiraz somewhere," he mutters. "Best thing is I'm taking my boyfriend on holiday next week, and introducing him to the insanity that is Highlander fandom." He spots the bottle. "Ah, there." Grabs it out of the wine rack. "Want you to come with us, by the way. Can I entice you?"

"Could you--" Bron blinks, startled. "You want me to go with you? To Sydney?" That's two questions in a row, so he figures he might as well go for the third: "Why?"

Peter laughs. "Okay, let's take those in order. Yes, want you to go. Yes, to Sydney. Hmm, why? Because I like you." He leans in next to Bron, retrieves the corkscrew from the counter. "Because you're good for PIerce, and I don't want him to be bored. Because I think it would be fun to have you with us." He starts working on the wine bottle. "Was there a question with the aborted 'could you'?"

"Nah, just me rephrasing," Bron says. "I'm just surprised. It's been a long time since one of Pierce's lovers wanted me to spend time with him, and Pierce doesn't usually ask for much. But yeah, I'd love to go, as long as it's all right with Pierce. Have you talked to him about it?"

"Asked him before I asked you." Wine's open and Peter's filling glasses. "And dinner's going to be cold if he doesn't get off the phone." He shakes his head and sets the bottle on the table.

"Don't tell me he'd actually get in trouble for making one of his famed dramatic entrances," Bron smirks. "You don't let him get away with that?"

Peter grins, shakes his head. "He can make it. He'll pay for it later, when it's most uncomfortable."

"Ahhh." Bron settles down, goes back to his bar stool and leans on the counter again. "Now that sounds like a reasonable way to deal with him. Cheers." He salutes Peter with his beer bottle.

Chapter Text

"So, wanna lay odds Valentine gets here just in the nick of time for that first panel?" Peter catches up to Adrian as he walks across the harbour's sidewalk. They've finished a quick photo shoot to appease the "Highlander" fen group, something Peter doesn't really mind, and he's ambling back to the hotel after checking his watch, knowing he has another hour before Pierce finishes with the massage he'd ordered. That gives him ample time to catch up with folks.

Adrian laughs, glancing at Peter and matching his pace. "That sounds like Valentine," he says. "Do you see much of him these days?"

"Chat occasionally. Pierce and I flew to London a couple months back for the collaring of his slave." Peter blinks against the bright sun and tugs his sunglasses down from the top of his head back to his eyes. "When'd you see him last?"

"Oh, it's been a long time," Adrian says. "I haven't seen him away from one of these things in years." He shakes his head. "Of course I've not seen you away from one of these things in years either," he says with a little smile. "Seems a shame, but then it does net me interesting little surprises like learning you're involved with a man who's almost as notorious a top in certain circles as you are."

Peter shoves his hands into his the pockets of his khakis as he walks. "I'm sure Pierce will take that as a high compliment, being notorious. Never thought of myself that way." He grins. "Personal assessment, Adrian?"

Adrian laughs. "No one who is notorious thinks of himself that way," he says, ignoring the question for now. "I spoke with Millicent a few months ago," he says with a little smile. "She tells me you've not been around to any of Scott's parties in quite a long time. I can't say I'm sorry to hear it."

"Not my style anymore." Peter would prefer to forget about Scott's parties. They're not fond memories. "I went to one last year, a final obligation of sorts. You'd do best to avoid them, Adrian. Can't imagine you're wanting to play like that."

Adrian shakes his head. "From what Millicent's told me, they're both too formal and too uncontrolled for my tastes," he says, and then he chuckles softly. "And I can only imagine what they'd make of Vin, and what he'd make of them."

"I doubt he'd fit in. How's Vin doing? You're still happy there? Getting what you want?" Not driving him insane with being a pushy sub? Peter likes Adrian, enjoyed a number of their encounters, but just couldn't deal with what he perceived as unnecessary demandingness.

"Very happy," Adrian says, and his smile softens. "I can hardly imagine someone more different from me, but I suppose that's why we fit together so well. And he has the patience and and determination to put me where I need to be." He laughs, adding, "Though I don't suppose it'd look like patience to most people."

"Patience has never been one of my virtues," Peter says, thinking perhaps that's why he and Pierce get along so well. Peter isn't patient and Pierce tolerates it. "A prime reason we didn't work out, Adrian. I imagine Vin's temperament is much better suited to your needs."

Adrian smiles, nodding. "Yes, it is," he says. They reach the front doors of the hotel and Adrian pulls one open, stepping back to let Peter enter first. "He enjoys the struggle," he says. "By 'patience' I mean that when I push back, he may lose his temper but he doesn't walk away."

Peter steps through the doors, waits for Adrian to join him. "I don't think I walked away," he says, neither maliciously nor accusatory. "Just choose not to pursue a long-term relationship. I believe we would've driven each other insane, Adrian."

"Oh, that's not really what I meant, Peter," Adrian says, frowning a bit. "I meant...well, you never cared for it when I didn't do as I was told," he says, "or when I tried to push you during a scene. It felt as though you'd pull back from that -- not literally walking away, but, well," and he shrugs a little. "I never meant to be difficult," he goes on as they make their way towards the elevators. "But it's very difficult for me to give up control, and Vin just keeps battering away at me until the defenses come down and all I can do is what he tells me."

"I know, Adrian, and I don't fault you for it. Our D/s styles aren't compatible. You want to push and be forced into giving up control. I prefer not having to batter down my subs. I get more out of the subtle control." Peter grins, chuckles. "You're not subtle. In anything you do."

"Oh, Peter!" Adrian says, laughing. "You wound me! I'm a very subtle man. I may be a bit...broad in my subtlety sometimes, but I can be very subtle when the mood takes me." He nods towards the restaurant-slash-bar and arches an eyebrow. "Join me for an unsubtle drink? I can regale you with stories of my subtle humour and Vin's exceedingly broad responses."

Peter shakes his head. There's no winning at these conventions. It gets silly, no matter what. "C'mon, Mr. Subtle." He locks his arm in Adrian's and nudges him in the bar's direction. "You're buying, though."

"Cheapskate," Adrian says with a grin. "Doesn't matter, I write the whole thing off anyway. So tell me about you and Pierce," he says. "I've spilt my soul -- or, at least leaked a little of it. It's your turn."

"Oh, so, great, now I'm a tax deduction." Peter takes a seat at the bar, orders the fanciest umbrella fruity drink he can think of. "Pierce. Hmm. Short version? He's everything I never knew I wanted."

Adrian raises an eyebrow. "That sounds far too interesting for the short version. What's the longer one?"

"The longer one. That's a bit more complicated. We've known each other for years, but didn't connect sexually until last fall. Random conversation led to this and that and," Peter pauses, taking his drink from the bartender, pushing the umbrella to one side and sipping a delicious rum concoction through the myriad assortment of orange, lime and kiwi. "Hmm, yeah, Halloween. He won my heart with his costume. We moved in together in January."

"Must've been quite a costume," Adrian says, taking his own rather simpler shot and beer from the bartender. He downs the shot, chases it. "What was it?"

Peter looks around. "Kronos. Complete with the tribal markings." He grins. "Course I went as Methos, so it worked out nicely."

Adrian's eyes crinkle at the corners as he tries to hide a grin and fails. "Well," he says, "I always thought there was more to Kronos and Methos than a purely platonic lust for mayhem and terror. Christ knows Valentine always got my attention when he slipped into that role, and I'd imagine if anyone else could do it some level of justice, it'd be you or Pierce."

"Funny thing, that, it's Kronos who interests me, not Valentine playing him." Peter drinks down half his concoction, sucks a kiwi into his mouth and chews on it. "Always wondered about that, the relationship between the Horsemen. I mean, we played a lot of those scenes out with a rather homoerotic undercurrent. Not just Methos and Kronos, but Mac, too. You think he was jealous of what they had?"

"Oh, absolutely," Adrian says, nodding, and he takes a swallow of his beer, sweet and bitter and too cold. "Absolutely," he repeats. "It's part of what fueled that hatred. They had a bond -- Kronos had a part of Methos that Duncan would never be able to touch, and wasn't sure he wanted to. Yet he was desperately envious of that."

"So, dark and stormy night, Mac and Methos on the barge," Peter says, tapping the edge of his glass, fascinated with conversation, "how drunk would he have to get Mac to get him into bed?"

Adrian thinks about that for a moment, trying to fall back into the character, to remember what Duncan felt for Methos, how complicated and unexpressed. Finally he shakes his head. "Not very, I think," he says. "Just drunk enough that Duncan could pretend later he was more drunk than he was."

Then he shoots Peter a curious look. "How drunk would Methos have had to be to want to?"

Peter thinks a minute. There was something unrequited there. Definitely. "Two glasses of that really good scotch Mac kept around and wouldn't admit to." He grins. "A good bit of untapped desire there, I think."

Adrian grins, then laughs, shaking his head. "And we wonder why they write those stories," he says. "You're right -- they're right, there was something between them more complicated than friendship. I'm almost sorry we never chose to really explore it."

"Not sure we could've sold David on exploring it any more than the innuendo we were laying down, Adrian." Peter takes another couple sips. "You read a lot of them? Some of them are rather explicit, things I've never even done."

"I've read a few," Adrian says. "They came as quite a shock at first," and he shoots Peter a sly grin and adds, "But I saw the ones about Methos and Kronos first, and after those, the stories about Duncan seemed pretty tame."

"Lots of S&M in those," Peter says, "but then that's to be expected, given their history and violent tendencies. Not that I resemble them in any way. I'm much more methodical than Methos would be. He's much more the beat, fuck, beat again and, oh, yes, by the way, did I hurt you?"

"Mm, and Kronos, who never minded if he killed you, whether or not you'd stay dead." Adrian laughs. "My god, I can hardly imagine two men more different from your counterparts than you and Valentine."

"Different in all the right ways, I think. I'm sure I wouldn't've survived long like Methos." Peter picks up the mini umbrella he'd discarded earlier and spears a floating orange. "Would've ended up killing myself at some point, I imagine."

"Why do you think so?" Adrian asks. "Apart from his murderous past, Methos always seemed to me to be the sanest character on the show."

Peter gets Adrian that look, the one that says Are you kidding? and Fuck, I adore your insanity. in one. "Get serious, Adrian. He was psycho. In the best possible way, of course, but certifiable. I'd be tempted to say borderline bipolar."

"Maybe so," Adrian agrees, "but look at the rest of them. We can leave out Kronos altogether -- he was clearly a lunatic. But Joe," he begins, ticking off the names on his fingers, "continually breaking his Watcher's oath and couldn't seem to decide whether to be proud of it or conscience-stricken, ready to let them kill him over it but even afterwards blithely continuing to break it. Duncan, whose over-developed sense of righteousness caused him to make any number of arguably suicidal decisions. Amanda, another obvious sociopath and general nutter." He shakes his head. "Richie wasn't insane, I suppose, but it's possible it's only because he wasn't bright enough to be. Of all of them, at least Methos was certain of who he was, and of what he was, and had come to terms with it, and was determined to survive in spite of everything."

Then he laughs. "Well, and who wasn't still a murderous psychopath."

Peter's laughing, near hysterics by the end of Adrian's explanation. "They could probably get a group discount at the therapist. Not that it would help."

"No, it wouldn't," Adrian says, still laughing. "The lightbulb has to want to change." He takes a long swallow of his beer, then adds, "Of course, the show probably wouldn't have been nearly the success it was if we'd just flung them all in therapy. Imagine it, Bob Newhart meets Highlander."

"Oh, fuck, Adrian, stop." Peter's side is hurting he's laughing so hard. "What time's our first obligation today?"

Adrian glances at his watch, trying to choke back his own laughter -- if he starts laughing at Peter laughing it'll take them twenty minutes to calm down. "Not for another forty-five minutes," he manages at last. "Time to shower and change if you want to."

"Okay." Peter clears his throat, cuts off the laugh wanting to escape again. "Going to be calm. Going to get up and go upstairs. Going to shower and not shag anyone. Forty-five minutes?" He picks up his drink, drains the dregs, and sets the glass down, scooting it to the back of the bar. "I can do it."

"You sure?" Adrian says, shooting Peter a serious and speculative look. "Forty-five minutes is a long time to go without a shag."

Peter cuts Adrian a glare, practiced over the years and shared often. "Denial, Adrian. Surely you remember that."

Adrian almost chokes on his beer, coughing through a laugh. "Oh yes, I remember that," he says as he tries to get his breath. "I just wasn't aware you would."

"I remember a great deal. Very little of it bad. Most of it fascinating." Peter pushes back his stool from the bar. "Later, then, we'll do some more catching up."

Adrian raises his glass to Peter, and says with a smile, "I'll look forward to it."

Chapter Text

Exhibitionism isn't the easiest kink to indulge, not when people on street corners recognize you, so when the opportunity comes by to indulge Pierce's exhibitionism, explore Peter's developing interest in it, and Bron's voyeurism all at once, it's too good to even think of passing up.

Bron's bed isn't made, housekeeping hasn't gotten to it yet, which is fine by Pierce as he tugs Peter into bed with him. The sheets still smell like Bron. "He ought to be back in ten minutes," he says. "Think that's enough time to get ourselves into a compromising position?"

"Did you have a particular position in mind?" Peter rolls Pierce onto his back, wedging his knee between Pierce's legs and leaning over to suck at one nipple. "We're naked, hard. I'm thinking most any position we get into will do the trick."

"I -- ahh," Pierce gasps out, reaching up to thread his fingers into Peter's hair. "You. In me. Hard. How's that?"

"Me. In you. I can do that. Okay." Peter's eager, like a kid. He gets that way at conventions, silly and random, and having a lover around to play with makes it even better. "There's lube here somewhere. I know I had a some in my hand when I walked out of our room."

Pierce points and says "Presto!", wondering if that'll cause the lube to spontaneously appear. "Any luck?"

"Hold that thought." Peter's leaning over the bed, scraping his hand over the carpet. He looks back, grinning at Pierce splayed over the bed. "And that position. Extra nice." He rubs his hand, fingers clutching at a small bottle. "Aha! Success." Pulling it up, he clamors back up onto the bed, onto his knees, reading the label as he uncaps it. "Gun Oil?" He smirks, coating his cock. "If this doesn't just scream roleplay, I don't know what does. You want any prep? Or just this?"

Gun oil, Pierce thinks, and his eyes go dark thinking about roleplay. "Just that," he says roughly, spreading his legs wider and using his hands to draw his knees up. Fourteen months. How often did this happen? How often did he have to take it like this?

That doesn't escape Peter's attention, the subtle shift in Pierce's demeanor. He caps the bottle, tosses it aside and moves closer to his lover, running his fingers back and forth over his cock. "You'd like that." He settles into the space between Pierce's legs, presses his cock against the puckered hole. "Not Methos and Kronos. No." He pushes forward, head pressed into the tight muscle. "We could play on your side of the fence. Wicked villain subjecting the valiant spy to all sorts of unspeakable torture." Peter makes it count, a slow and steady thrust forward, the burn immediate, sinfully good.

It hurts, feels tighter than Pierce expected, and it's a good thing he's been getting fucked as much as he has in the last few months or it'd hurt enough to make him want it to stop. But Peter's words are sparking off all kinds of good feelings, and he reaches up, squeezes Peter's shoulders hard. "Want it," Pierce groans, "never had anyone I could even think about going there with before. Come on. Fuck, that's good."

"What's good? Being used?" Peter shifts, straightens a bit and puts his hands on the inside of Pierce's thighs, pushing his legs farther apart. "You are a slut, opening wide for me." He inches in a little deeper, not rushing but intent on dragging it out, making the burn last for both of them. "Taking this so easily. Bet you weren't at first. Bet I had to force you. I locked your hands in cuffs, looped them onto a chain and pulled it up over a hook on the wall."

"Bastard," Pierce gasps, "bet you did," and his nails dig into Peter's shoulders. "I got promised something if I cooperated. Sleep, maybe, when I hadn't been given any sleep for a week. And it still hurt like hell--" ouch, a thrust that's almost too hard echoes the sentiment, "--and you still made me come from it."

Peter winces, nails sharper than he remembers, gouging more than he might like. "Legs held apart by the spreader bar, there was no way you could hide, protect yourself. You were mine." Peter sinks those final couple inches. "Are mine. And after sleep came the shower, fucking you with my hand while you tried not to drown." Damn, that's good. He holds steady, letting himself adjust to the tight clench of Pierce's body, wraps his fingers around Pierce's cock. "You couldn't keep from getting hard again. Hated yourself for that, didn't you?"

"No," Pierce growls, "but I wanted you to think I did. Wanted you to think I felt shame when after all of it all I wanted was more." And thank God he's got years of practice holding back, because he knows Peter could probably drive him over the edge in a split-second otherwise.

It's not Peter's intention to drive Pierce over the edge. Not yet. He's more interested in keeping him right at the edge. "Nasty edge on that blade, cutting both ways. You want, but if you admit you want, then you're a whore and a slut. If you hold out, feign the shame, then it's not you giving in as much as your captor taking you down. Easier to justify." Peter keeps his rhythm very slow, very calculated, pulling his cock back, nearly out of Pierce's body, before pushing back in. His fingers curl around the hard flesh under them, almost not stroking in his graceful touches.

"Bloody hell," Pierce breathes, squirming now, trying to get more without having to resort to begging for it. Begging's not easy no matter who he's with, even with Peter it's not going to be easy, but the headspace is starting to demand it. "Peter -- want --need..."

"Stop squirming, Pierce." Peter stretches out, kisses the words against Pierce's lips, hint of his more toppy nature creeping into his voice. "I'll give you what you want. Just ask. Simple words forming to make a request."

Pierce flicks his tongue out, licks Peter's lips as he pushes down his own instincts, trying to get past the urge to stay in control. It still takes a few breaths. "Please."

And that's the first word Bron hears when he walks through the door, that along with pants and groans and the soft sounds of the bedsprings creaking. He doesn't think anything of it at first; there's been enough of that sort of thing in the last few days, but it's not until he gets to the door of his room that he realizes just where those words are coming from. "Fuck me," he blurts out, instantly hard and unable to stop staring. Peter stretched out on top of Pierce and Pierce hanging onto him like he doesn't want this to stop for the world -- it's not something he expected to see, even knowing Pierce's exhibitionist tendencies, even knowing they must switch off from time to time.

"Please what?" Peter ignores the noise of the door opening, the words blurted out. Their audience has arrived, but it's no reason to disrupt the performance. He rocks forward, pressing his cock deeper into Pierce's arse. "A captor would make you beg," he whispers, "demand you ask specifically for what you're wanting." He grins. And then most likely not give it to you until you're so desperate he doesn't have to demand the pleas.

There's no way either one of them could be unaware of Bron's presence now, and it isn't stopping them. Bron drops his camera bag to the floor and pulls the chair out of the corner, next to the side of the bed, sitting down so he's got a damn good view of both of them. Peter's incredible, looks entirely natural on Pierce, and Pierce looks like he's struggling to give in, give them both something they want badly. It's fucking beautiful. Bron spreads his legs, presses the heel of his hand against his cock. "Christ."

Pierce ignores Bron, outwardly at least, whole body flushing from the feel of being fucked, having an audience, and on top of all that there are Peter's words, his urging. He brushes his cheek against Peter's, gets his lips at Peter's ear. "Please," he whispers, "want to give you this..." He bites his lower lip hard, reminds himself he trusts Peter. More than he's ever trusted anyone. "Make me beg for it," he breathes.

The words surprise, tantalize. Peter hadn't expected this, Pierce wanting to sink a little deeper. It's not a bad thing. No. He easily slips into the headspace, hand sliding up from Pierce's cock to his chest, fingertip pressing into nipple. "You want to come, whore," he says, "then you ask me." He turns his finger on edge, digs his nail into the tender flesh. "Slut likes this, being fucked hard, his friend watching." He's stretched out, cock deep and stomach pressed tightly against Pierce's cock. He's sure his lover isn't coming until Peter's ready to let him. "Let him hear how much you want this," he says, glancing over his shoulder at Bron and then back at Pierce, still working in that deadly even pace. "Just how good a boy you can be for me."

Wires trip all over, sparks streaking behind Pierce's eyes. He's felt nothing like this, nothing even close to this, for years on top of years, and the hard edge of humiliation makes his cock jerk and his body arch up against Peter's. It's the same place he found with Robert all those years ago, a place where he knows he's never going to be a good sub but he can damn well give control over, because the man he's with deserves it. "Yes," he growls, "good for you. Not until you say."

All right, I don't give a shit if it's fucking weird seeing him like this. It's hot. Bron snaps his jeans open, gets the zipper down and slides his hand inside. They're both fucking hot. God bless exhibitionists.

Not until you say. It's been awhile since Peter heard those words. He likes them, especially coming from Pierce's lips. He kisses those lips, exerts a little control in the bruise he leaves, sucking on the corner of Pierce's mouth. Peter grinds down against Pierce's body, pressing harder on the trapped cock. "How long could you stay hard? Like this. No other help."

"A while," Pierce pants, grinning, a little bravado in the words but mostly just self-knowledge. "Depends on how hard you're pushing the humiliation kink."

"And the humiliation kink," Peter murmurs, pulling back and rocking forward slowly, "that's calling you a slut and a whore. And does it count if I tell you you're really not worth my time?" He grins, obvious love in his eyes, in spite of the words. "That I'd get more out of watching Bron jerk off than working you through to coming."

The words do everything they always have to Pierce. There's that flare of scene anger that sets his teeth together, the immediate gut response of liar -- not true -- you want me, we both know how much you want me -- and Pierce doesn't have words for any of it; he's just shoving up hard and snarling.

It's a response Bron recognizes even if he hasn't seen it since Pierce was with Robert the first time around. And it surprises him; he's always assumed it was just Robert, just that odd flash of chemistry between Pierce and Robert that made Pierce pursue things he'd never even considered before. Seeing it now is a shock, one that slams down his spine and makes his cock jerk in his hand, and now he's working it hard and fast, licking his lips and watching Peter's steady moves toward domination and Pierce's typically unsubmissive but obedient responses. It's familiar but it's new, and later he'll tell them both how he felt about being taken in and made a part of it, but right now it's all he can do to keep from coming right this instant and ruining his part of the scene. C'mon. Hang in there...

The response hits on every domination button Peter has. He grabs Pierce's wrists, pushes them down to the bed, locking them as he braces down, thrusts forward as hard as Pierce is shoving up. Harder the second time. "You don't come, boy," he growls out, succint and sharp words, "until I do." Once more with the brutal push down, shoving Pierce's body back into the pillows, fingers bruising around his wrist. He's almost oblivious to Bron, knowing he's there, knowing he's playing to the man, but not changing anything he'd be doing. Pierce is tripping all the right wires, Peter dropping hard and fast and firm into what he's most familiar with, taking control. He snarls, leans down again and bites hard on Pierce's shoulder, his cock full and clenched tightly. Then he comes, whatever scream or words there might be muffled in Pierce's flesh.

Pierce follows him over, barely a heartbeat between the jerk of Peter's cock inside him and the response of his own, come streaking out warm and sticky between them. Thought's been utterly burned out of Pierce's brain, and he collapses against the covers, panting for breath.

And there's Bron's cue: he's not even trying to hold back, not with Peter biting and Pierce groaning and fuck these two are hot together. He bites off his own growl and comes, working his cock hard and fast until the last drop's gone, then moans and collapses into the chair, trying to catch his own breath. Holy damn.

Peter slowly lets go of Pierce's wrists, slowly pulls out, cock twitching in that oversensitivity of having come, even more slowly drops to the bed, half on Pierce and half rolling to his side. "That was," he murmurs, voice strained and energy sapped, "wonderful." Somehow it seems a wholly inadequate word, but it's the only one in Peter's brain at the moment. He smiles, looks over at Bron, grins wider. "I think someone else enjoyed it, too."

"You're both bastards," Bron says, stretching an arm out and dragging a towel out of the nightstand, "but you know I think that's a good thing, right?" He winces as he gets cleaned up.

Pierce rubs at Peter's back as soon as his arms are free, nuzzling in against him, glad Peter hasn't rolled off him completely. "Good thing," he mumbles, "understatement. My God, you're hot like that."

"Assume you mean me." Peter kisses Pierce's throat. "Of course, he looks pretty good like that, too. And you, my lover--" he sucks over the pulse point "--are incredible any and every way."

Pierce chuckles. "It's been years," he says, and we need to talk about this. "Give me a few minutes and I'll be ready to clean up. And poor Bron." He looks over and smirks. "Looks like you're stuck with the wet spot tonight."

"I'll call services," Bron says, getting his cock put away and smirking back. "You guys are welcome to my bed anytime."

Chapter Text

For once they're in bed, fully clothed, even down to socks, and it's nothing more kinky than reading. Bron's off doing something --probably something involving his camera -- and they've had a few days to relax and fool around since ambushing Bron and fucking each other through his mattress.

The convention's been nice. Pierce is really enjoying being in the background, thrilled that the fans are so focused on Adrian, Peter, Valentine and the rest that they sort of shrug at Pierce's presence, and maybe it's that -- the sense that he doesn't have to compete or worry about looking like he's on top all the time -- that has him thinking about that scene, being pinned down and letting Peter top him.

We still need to talk about that, Pierce realizes, and he pushes his book aside, slides across the bed so he can drape himself on Peter's stomach and look up at him. "How's your book?" he asks.

The sudden additional weight on Peter's legs and stomach distracts him. Not in a bad way. He welcomes the distraction Pierce offers, whether it's sexual or not. The convention's been much more enjoyable with Pierce around. Peter's felt a freedom he hasn't known in years, if ever, bantering without worrying about what he's saying, just having a good time. "It's a bit predictable, but I'm finding it a good read," he says, lifting his book up above Pierce's head. "Yours get boring?"

"I had something else on my mind." Pierce leans down, kisses Peter's thigh. "The other afternoon with Bron, to be specific about it. Was that--" He pauses, ponders. "Did that work for you?"

Oh. Okay, it's time to have that talk. Peter puts the box aside, face down flat on the bed. "Did it work? Complex question, Pierce. Did I get off on it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Yes." He rubs his hand through Pierce's hair. "Am I still in a bit of shock that you let me go even that far? Yes."

Pierce smirks, leans down and drags his teeth over denim, licks at Peter's inseam. "I wouldn't normally," he says, and then pushes himself up so he can look at Peter -- really look at him. "It's a very odd place for me, to say the least. There are buttons I very much enjoy having pushed, but there's been no one I'd even contemplate allowing to push them. Not since Robert."

"Didn't do it intentionally, or rather, I didn't set out to do it. But it did feel good." Peter thinks through what Pierce is saying. Buttons being pushed. Robert. Complex matters. "It's nice to know I haven't lost my edge, though, and I'm honored you'd let me." He spreads his legs a bit more, his hand moving to Pierce's neck, rubbing with fingertips.

"Certainly haven't lost anything as far as I can tell," Pierce says, tilting his head to get more of those touches. "I wanted you to know -- I wanted you to understand what happens to me. It's not that I go submissive. It's never been that. But my humiliation kink does go both ways, and then there's the interrogation scene we keep talking about..." He rubs his cheek against Peter's thigh. "Don't know what it is about that. But I'd like to go there."

"I don't want you submissive. I can find any number of foolish young boys to do that." Peter presses his fingers a little harder into Pierce's neck, slipping them under the shirt collar. "But the other. Yes. That's somewhere I'd like to try going. See what happens."

"I trust you," Pierce murmurs. "More than I trust anyone. I trust you to take me to all kinds of places I'd never go with anyone else. There are things I'd like to share with you because I want to share them with you and not just because they're underexplored kinks."

Three words more potent than I love you. "No one's ever told me that before," Peter says, near whispering. "Not without being taken down to the point he had no option." He tugs at Pierce's shoulder. "Come up here, tell me those fantasies, the places we could go."

Pierce grins and climbs up Peter's body, sliding his hands up Peter's arms and leaving a kiss on his forehead. "There's one that doesn't fit into the me-on-bottom realm. Something I've been thinking of for a while now. If you'd like to hear that one."

"All of them. Start wherever you're comfortable." Peter slides his hand down Pierce's back. "You not on the bottom. Sounds natural, not fantasy."

"Not a roleplay," Pierce confirms. "Just us. I want to try breathplay from the top. Would you be willing?"

"You want to try it on me?" Peter tries not to sound incredulous. He wants to make sure he knows what they're talking about before he says much else.

"Yes." Pierce doesn't back off. Not yet. If he gets turned down, then he gets turned down. But he'll ask first. "Having it done was one thing -- it's doing it myself that scares the hell out of me. I'd like it to stop scaring the hell out of me, and I'd need it to be with someone I trust as far as I trust you."

Peter's gut instinct is to say no. And if anyone other than Pierce were asking, that'd be the answer. Swift. Firm. "Scares me, too." There's no shame in admitting it. "I trust you, Pierce, with everything, but I've never done anything close to that. Never given up that much control to anyone." He leans over, kisses Pierce's temple. "We'd have to take it slow."

"You don't have to decide now," Pierce murmurs. "But it's something I've thought about. What about you? Anything you haven't mentioned yet?"

"I didn't say no. I do want to try, Pierce." Peter trails his finger through the edges of Pierce's hair, down his face. "It plays into what I want," he whispers, "what I think I want. To explore that side of it, giving up the control, letting someone else take me where he wants me to be."

Pierce nuzzles Peter's fingers, enjoying the exploration. "Have you noticed how many of the things we want with each other are things we haven't done before? It's amazing that men our age can get this far and still have so many I nevers to play with."

"I imagine it's because we focused on a clear path early on. There was no room for exploration." Peter shivers at Pierce's nuzzling, rubbing his thumb over Pierce's lips. "I've always been a dom, so there was no reason to think I'd want the other." He smiles lightly. "Until I had a lover."

Mouth opens, lips part, tongue slides out and teases Peter's thumb. "Mmm." He nibbles on the end of it and then settles down again. "Sometimes it amazes me that you got me to hold still long enough to try being lovers. Really being lovers. The last few times I've done it it's been one disaster after another."

"Mmm. That's nice." Well, it's actually better than nice, the sensation rippling to Peter's cock, but he's content to relax, let it wash, continue with conversation. "At least you'd tried. You're my first attempt. Glad I waited it out, can make this work. Fantasies and all."

"You should let me know when you feel like getting handcuffs out again," Pierce says, glancing up with a grin that shows off all his teeth. "Or you could try to blow the top of my head off and try combining handcuffs and humiliation." He squirms a little, offering that, and the squirm's part surprise that he was willing to offer such a thing and part interest, outright interest. "I wouldn't want to make it a regular part of our sex life, but once in a while it could be nice..."

Peter doesn't say anything. Not at first. He's too surprised by the offer. Or maybe it's the squirming. Both have him intrigued. "I'd like that. Handcuffs and humiliation. You taking my breath away. Sex with voyeurs. Maybe a little knifework. I wouldn't mind seeing if you could up my pain threshold a bit."

That last idea goes straight to Pierce's cock and makes him come up some, just enough that he can press his cock into Peter's thigh. "I love you," he murmurs. "That all sounds bloody fantastic."

"It does." Peter grins, Pierce's cock hard even through the denim, and he rocks back against his lover. "And there's always vanilla sex. Just random waking up in the night and shagging. Or middle of the afternoon." He glances at the clock on the nightstand. "Don't have to be anywhere for awhile."

"Mmmm. That sounds like an offer," Pierce says, books forgotten as he bends down to kiss Peter hard.

Peter kisses back, just as hard, sliding his body down under Pierce's. "Your lead," he whispers. "What would make you happiest this afternoon?"

"Roll over and let me get you out of your shirt?" Pierce suggests. "I promise I'm not being as predictable as I sound."

"The last thing you are is predictable, Pierce." Peter laughs, rolling over as requested. "Another of the things I like about my lover."

"Glad to hear it," Pierce says. He helps Peter out of his shirt and then quickly ditches his own, picking up a bottle of massage oil from the nightstand and straddling Peter's hips. "Haven't done this in a while," he says, drizzling the oil over Peter's shoulders, setting the bottle aside, stroking down Peter's back and getting comfortable.

"Backrubs lead to the best things, so I don't mind at all." Peter stretches, rolling his shoulders and settling with his arms tucked under the pillows.

"I seem to remember a backrub that led to barebacking once," Pierce grins, and with the oil smoothed over Peter's back he's able to start the long gliding strokes up, working from Peter's lower back to his shoulders and then drawing his hands back down.

"Mmm, yes, an exceptional backrub. Prime example of how being with you takes me places I don't expect to go. I love that about you, about me when I'm with you." Peter's relaxing, more than he had with his book, Pierce's hands working exactly the right muscles.

"I love it, too," Pierce murmurs, "even though sometimes it's frightening. Things that happen with you aren't things I control. Things that happen with you feel like things neither of us control, sometimes." Pierce works at a tight place in Peter's shoulder while he thinks that over. "I'm learning it's all right when that happens. That's one of the things I love about being with you."

"Maybe having control isn't that important." The words are out before Peter thinks about them. Or maybe he has been thinking about it and the words are just now finding their way out of his brain, taking form. He pushes up slightly into Pierce's hands, that spot particularly tight. "Is that what love is? Not caring about who has control?'

"I don't know," Pierce says softly. "Sometimes I think love means knowing if I push, I'll get pushed back. Maybe that involves an element of the uncontrollable."

"I promise to love and push and be uncontrollable," Peter murmurs. "Forever and the week after that."

Pierce grins, leans down and kisses the back of Peter's neck. "I promise you the same," he murmurs.

"Like that as much as the backrub. Can I get more?"

"More of this?" Pierce leaves more kisses against the back of Peter's neck, slides his tongue out in a smooth, slow lick.

"More of that is nice." Peter stretches, fingers finding the slats of the bed's headboard, curling along the edges. "More of the rubbing would be nice. More of everything. I haven't hit sensory overload yet."

"Mmmm," Pierce agrees, and he stretches out over Peter's body, thighs to either side of his, hands moving up and gliding down Peter's arms. He licks again, nuzzles the back of Peter's neck, nibbles lightly. He's getting hard, too, cock just starting to press against Peter's ass. "You deserve a little sensory overload," he murmurs.

Two layers of fabric don't diminish the feel of Pierce's cock against Peter's ass. Good feeling, one that has Peter pushing up, stretching and arching his body under Pierce's. "And how do you achieve that?"

"Mouth. Hands. Mine all over you. Right now the plan's to get your whole body massaged and stretched and all the tension out of it. Melt you right through the bed. And when my hands are done I'll start going over certain regions with my tongue." He squirms closer, puts his lips at Peter's ear. "Your cock. Your balls. I'll rim you if you like. And if you want to come down my throat, there's that option. Or I can sit on your cock, ride you until you pass out from coming."

Peter sighs, the noise slipping easily into a whimper. "Dearest, you expect me to choose between those options? Although the rimming sounds interesting, another in that never category. Well, almost never."

"Not expecting you to choose at all," Pierce teases, sitting back up so he can go back to rubbing Peter's shoulders. "It's early enough I can do it all. There's sensory overload for you."

"Fuck. Pardon me while I dissolve into the bed." Peter can't process that level of overload. He's willing to give it a try, though, just to see what happens. "The massage will do me in, you know, and then I'll be incoherent through the rimming, most likely passing out by the time we get to deciding whose cock goes where."

"We'll find out when we get there," Pierce says, moving up from Peter's shoulders to his arms, moving off Peter's hips so he can reach better. "I love you," he murmurs. "And I like caring for you. It feels good."

"I love you." It's an echo with a lot of heart and soul, Peter almost drowsy in being so relaxed by Pierce's touch. "Nice to have someone care for you who isn't obligated to the task. Where returning the favour doesn't spark concern."

"It's nice being able to do this without having to have a reason for it, or a scene reason for it. Without having to have an excuse." Pierce smiles, hands moving down to Peter's wrist, turning his hand over so he can rub at Peter's palm, massage his fingers. "Sometimes it just feels good touching someone. Giving something."

"Casual kink. What a concept." There's a new sensation curling from Peter's fingers up his arm. "Damn, Pierce, that almost stings it feels so good. I think I'm going numb."

"Don't want you going numb. Just relaxed. Completely." Pierce grins. "I'm glad I'm still good at this. It's been a while."

"Good? You're great. Lessons learned a long time ago?

"Mmm." Pierce switches to the other arm, working his way down from the shoulder again. "When I was under Robert he occasionally gave backrubs to slaves who'd done well. I liked it enough I'd have done damn near anything to get it, and I wanted to have that skill along with the rest. So I took lessons."

"Another thing you can teach me, Pierce." Peter moans, that shoulder tenser than it should be. Must be all the swordplay with Adrian. Parry. Thrust. Ache. "Massage, along with submission."

"I was never any good at submission," Pierce admits. "I'm much better at massage. Whatever it is you'd like to learn, though, explore... it's all yours. Just a matter of figuring out when the time's right to go there."

"I imagine I'd be lousy at it, too," Peter murmurs. "Submission, that is. In its true form." He shifts again. "Speaking of right times, I think my back's thoroughly worked into submission. Next phase, perhaps?"

"Let's get your jeans off," Pierce says, sliding a finger under Peter's waistband and tugging gently. "I'll do your legs. Unless you'd rather have me do your chest first?"

"Legs first, and we'll take bets on whether you get to the chest." Peter grins, pushes up on his elbows, arching back to make it easier on Pierce to strip him. Delightful thought, that, being stripped by your lover. More enjoyable in so many ways than be undressed by your boy. Lacking in a few, but nothing that matters really.

It's different, more than anything; different way of being touched, of being looked at. Pierce gets rid of his own clothes, too, wanting more skin-against-skin contact while he rubs at Peter's thighs. He grins, stroking Peter's calf. "Roll onto your back to get started. You can have me kneeling more or less at your feet."

"Don't give me ideas, Pierce," Peter mutters, half against the pillow. He pushes back, rolls over and stretches out again, upper back against the pillow's edge, shoving another pillow behind his head. "But you do look good there. Lover."

"Bend your leg up," Pierce murmurs, moving Peter's leg as instructed and sliding both hands up, ankle to thigh. "And I probably shouldn't tease you that way, should I?"

"Yes, sir," Peter says, grinning as he settles his legs into place. "Not sure about the teasing. It could go several ways, I imagine."

"It could go many different ways. Now, if it's going in a good direction, no, I'm not likely to stop. But hit me if I'm going somewhere you don't want me to be." Pierce's expression goes a little serious. "Tell me to back off if you need me to. I'll listen."

"Don't worry about that. I'm not some vain boy who thinks he needs to prove he can take more than he should."

"I know." Pierce switches to the other leg, crooking it up at the knee so he can reach front and back of the thigh at the same time. "I think all too often lovers want to promise everything before they know what they really have to give. I don't want us to fall into that."

"If I promise not to promise, does that constitute a promise that shouldn't be made?" Peter's smirking, adjusting to the new position, finding it strangely not uncomfortable. "Seriously, though, I think I gave up the notion of hard limits when I moved in with you. Explore away, Pierce, and I'll just say that N-word when it gets too weird."

"That works," Pierce says. He presses Peter's legs flat again, then climbs up on his thighs and slides his hands up Peter's chest. "Now what was I planning on doing once I got here again...?" He shifts forward, rubs his ass against Peter's cock. "I'm sure we'll think of something."

"I remember two R's being mentioned, rimming and riding. You opting for the latter first?" Peter puts his hands on Pierce's hips, tugs him down.

"It's up to you," Pierce murmurs, rubbing and grinding down again. "All of this is for you. I'm in a mood where I just want to do everything for you. Give you anything you could ask for." He grins. "And yes, I know how much you could take advantage of that."

"Then fuck yourself." It's almost impossible to leave off the boy, not take advantage of the moment or the man. "Ride me for now, and we'll put your tongue to use later."

It's nearly as impossible for Pierce not pushing Peter to take advantage. He slides his hand down, though, slicks leftover traces of oil over Peter's cock, and presses his body down on it, hissing as the burn and stretch hit. "Yessss..."

The burn's just right, friction keeping Pierce from sinking too fast, despite Peter's hands on Pierce's hips pulling him down. "Harder. Now. Want to feel every thrust," he murmurs, a mouthed but silent boy at the end.

"If you can't feel it," Pierce smirks, "then I'm definitely not doing it right." He tightens up hard with the next stroke down. "Can you feel that?"

"Oh, I can feel it." Peter grins. "Lad." He draws out the word, letting his tongue click against his teeth at the end. Then he's digging in, nails scratching Pierce's back. "The burn. The friction. The intense need to come. Yeah, I feel it."

Pierce hisses at the scratch, jerking forward, muscles clenching tight all over again. "I think you do," he murmurs, and he reaches down to wrap a hand around his cock as he speeds up. "Can you feel how much I want you? Can you see that?"

"Oh, that's obvious. Cock's hard and you're touching it. A boy would be reprimanded." Peter bruises with his touch, focused hurting, heightening the sensation. "Lover's encouraged." He pulls down hard. "Another minute, max, in case you're trying to time that."

"Love, if you can count, you're one up on me," Pierce gasps. The pain he can take; just focus on the man giving it. That part's easy. Then there's meeting Peter halfway, speeding up his hand on his cock, groaning with every stroke until he knows he could go over with Peter. "Close," he breathes.

"Were we keeping score? I didn't realize." Peter's words are short, raspy, his breath quickly finding his lungs lacking in capacity to keep up with them. On another occasion, they'll linger more, draw this out for hours, when they both have the patience for it. At the moment, the thing foremost in Peter's mind is the orgasm unraveling his body. He holds tight, thrusts up as much as Pierce's downward motions will allow, and lets it ride out. He comes in jerks, Pierce's body clenching around his cock, forcing a long, slow pull from him. "There you go, luv." Barely breathing.

Pierce is coming before Peter finishes, groaning softly as his come spills over and streaks over Peter's stomach. "God," he moans, "now that's the perfect way to finish off a massage."

"Couldn't think of any place I'd rather be, thing I'd rather be doing." Peter eases back into the pillows, pulling Pierce with him. "God, I'm glad I take you up on all your offers."

Pierce grins and lets himself be tugged down, nuzzling Peter's cheek when he's lying on Peter's chest. "You ought to be," he murmurs. "They're good offers. They come from me, don't they?"

"Arrogance. Look it up in the OED and there's your picture." Peter's grinning, smirking a bit, too, all the while pulling Pierce closer as he stretches out his legs. "Love you for it, by the way, in case I haven't mentioned it."

"Mmmm." Pierce rolls to the side, but doesn't stop cuddling. "I had figured that out. Couldn't imagine why you'd stay with me if you couldn't manage a bit of ego now and then." All right, more than a bit.

"Your ego is an excellent companion to mine. Perfect blend." Peter likes the cuddling, doesn't mind the snuggling. Well, more than likes. It's actually rather nice.

"You make us sound like espresso," Pierce murmurs, yawning.

Peter laughs, stretched out fully, and rolls onto his side to wrap his arms around PIerce more tightly. "Espresso. That's us. And I'll get you one when you wake up."

Chapter Text

note left for Pierce by Peter

Don't get out of bed. Don't even think about it. Belgian waffles with fresh blueberry syrup and chicory coffee coming up soon. Along with the morning paper and a lover to serve it to you.

Then the day's yours. Whatever you wish. And I mean whatever, with one caveat -- the chef has to be coherent and coordinated enough to fix dinner tonight, which will be on the grill. Lunch is negotiable, nothing more than cheese and wine on the kitchen floor if you like.

Happy birthday, beloved.

yours immortally,

"You're awake," Peter says, walking into the bedroom, breakfast tray in hand. "And here I wanted to kiss you out of slumber." He balances it, careful not to tip too far one way, the small pitcher of blueberry syrup balanced precariously between the plates.

"I was thinking about what we might want to do today," Pierce says, pushing himself up a little further and arranging the pillows behind him. He grins down at the tray. "Looks like we're starting with breakfast."

"Breakfast is all I have planned. The rest of the day is yours, m'lord." Peter sets the tray down across Pierce's lap. "Although I do have a notion about dinner, it can be delayed a day or two if you come up with something wonderful to do."

"Hmm." Pierce makes room next to him for Peter, scooting over so he's not sprawled over half the bed -- the middle half -- anymore. "I thought -- how do you feel about boats, let me ask that first," he says. "As in sailboats, the sort that are just big enough to hold two comfortably."

"I've not been on many." Peter picks up the syrup. "A lot or a little?"

"Just enough to taste." Pierce grins. "Would you like to go? It looks as if it's going to be a beautiful day."

Peter drizzles the syrup over the waffle, making sure a couple whole berries manage to topple out. "You sail? Did I know that from before and just forget?"

"I'm not sure. Possibly?" Pierce grins. "I fly, too, if we're talking about things I do you might not know about, and I ski. Never got the hang of snowboarding. I can ride a motorcycle, though I don't really care for it, and I have no interest in rock climbing, indoor especially -- why scale fake mountains? You might as well practice cat burglary instead; it's more likely to be useful."

"Well, if we're cataloguing, I ski. Love it. Would rather have a fast car than a bike. Been rock climbing, but it didn't take, and," Peter pauses, sets down the syrup and pours the coffee, "tried burglary once. Med school lark. Think I'd be good at it."

Pierce laughs, dodges Peter's arm as he puts the coffee back down, and leans in to kiss his lover. "How about surfing?" he asks. "Ever try that? I did it for a while before realizing that if I'm going to be near a beach, I'd rather be on a lounge chair with some beautiful tanned cabana boy rubbing lotion into my legs."

Peter looks at Pierce, shakes his head. "I grew up in Wales, Pierce, then moved to London. Not exactly 'surf's up' part of the world." He kisses Piece, quick, even as he's cutting into the waffle. "All my kinky behaviour was limited to indoors. You going to eat?"

"You don't think I'm going to let food you made for me go to waste, do you?" Pierce pauses in the back-and-forth cataloguing of unexpected physical talents to take the first bite of waffle, and nearly sinks back into the pillows. I really am a lucky bastard, he thinks, not for the first time, and he grins at Peter as he takes a drink of his coffee. "Thank you," he says. "For breakfast." Hell, just for being here. "I love you."

"You're welcome." Peter grins, picking up his coffee and sipping at it. "Love you, too, and want to go sailing." Want to spend every day of the rest of my life doing this.

"Perfect." Pierce grins. "Will you settle for a fifty-one -- no, fifty-two-year-old former James Bond rubbing sunscreen into your legs? I'd have to call out if you want a cabana boy, too."

"Want the truth, Pierce?" Peter holds the coffee mug in both hands, soaking in the warmth. "I'm more fond of Thomas than James, but I'll settle for the intensely sexy lover I have right now. Cabana boy optional."

"Well, you're still welcome to Thomas Crown." Pierce grins. "I've got at least one more film with him and no one's looking to replace me." He goes back to his waffle, still grinning. "I'll need to make some calls," he says, "but we could pack a lunch, head out for a few hours, be back in time for dinner."

"Another film? Didn't realize. That's wonderful." Peter takes a bite of waffle, pleased with himself at how well they turned out. "Lunch is simple. There's cheese and wine in the kitchen," he says, "and I can put dinner to marinating while we're gone."

"Cheese and wine sound much better than beer and shark," Pierce says, licking a bit of blueberry syrup off his fork, "and you'll be far better company than the last man I went out on a boat with." Another grin, and he wonders if Peter knows the reference.

Peter's not up to speed on Pierce's allusions so the look on his face is a touch confused. "I hope so." He picks up a piece of waffle, syrup dripping from it, and pushes it into his mouth.

Pierce chews, swallows, leans over and kisses Peter's shoulder. "Sorry. Bahamas," he says, "Woody, of all people. For the film. It was a case where the end results are nice, but God, the work in getting there -- it's hard looking back on that film and not remembering how far down I was in those days."

"What's the penalty for not having seen it?" Peter nudges Pierce, leaning in and kissing his cheek. "You realize you're not allowed to talk about sad things today. It's your birthday."

"All right, all right," Pierce agrees, finishing breakfast and pushing the tray back so he can wrap his arms around Peter. "Good thoughts. Let me get myself showered and I'll make those phone calls."

"While you're doing that, I'll get breakfast cleaned up and change into something more sailory." Peter lets himself be embraced, wrapped up in his lover for the moment. "Not just good thoughts. Think perfect ones. Like how our life together is going to be."

"Or how it already is?" Pierce asks. He nuzzles Peter's neck, then lets him go. "Won't be long."

"It's wonderful." Peter slides off the bed, picking up the tray. "I have absolutely no complaints about my life," he says, leaving the room, heading off to the kitchen to make lunch. "None."

Mildly bemused -- but certainly pleased by the sentiment -- Pierce heads for the shower, grinning to himself. Fifty-two. So it's taken him a little longer than he expected to have everything he's ever wanted. Hell with how long it's taken, though. He's got the whole bloody world.


The weather's gorgeous. Not a cloud in the sky, and the ocean's so blue it's rivaling Pierce's eyes, not that he'd ever admit it. Majestic natural beauty's one thing, but Pierce Brendan Brosnan's something else entirely.

The winds are calm enough that he can set the sails and trust the boat to more or less stay out of trouble, so he goes up to the bow and stretches out on the blankets next to Peter. "Everything feel all right?" he asks. "Want to break out the sunscreen?"

"Feels perfect, although a little protection might not be a bad idea." Peter pushes himself up on his elbows enough to reach for the sunscreen. He laughs. "I sound like a doctor instead of a lover. You first."

Pierce unbuttons his shirt, loud Hawaiian print tossed aside, and rolls over on his stomach. "I'm lucky; I don't burn much, despite the Irish blood. But any excuse to have your hands all over me..."

Peter uncaps the bottle and squeezes a little of the lotion onto his hands, rubbing it between his palms before slaterhing it over Pierce's shoulders, kneading the muscles as he works it in. "I think I tan," he says, sliding his hands down Pierce's back, "if I'd stay out in the sun long enough. Need to nurture some outdoors hobbies."

"Mmmmm," Pierce answers, certain he was going to come up with words until Peter's hands started moving over his body. Oh, that's good.

"Quite articulate, Pierce." Peter grins, chuckles, picking up the sunscreen and adding a dollop to his fingers. He covers Pierce's lower back, fingers gliding just under the loose waistband. "This is particularly nice, being out like this, just us."

"Mmmm," Pierce says again, this time meaning the sound to be agreement. "We could," he starts, and then the words are cut off by another soft groan as Peter's hands trail up his sides. "Travel more," he says softly. "I don't have any work coming up soon. We could take a few months off. Travel together."

"Travel." Peter slows down his movements, coming up and over Pierce's shoulders and down his arms. "Together. That'd be nice." He doesn't mean to sound distant. The idea is nice. Wonderful. Just another in the unexpected twists and turns of his life with Pierce. "I don't have anything that can't be put off."

Pierce rolls over, squinting around the sun so he can look up at Peter. "I worry about not getting enough time with you," he says softly, reaching out and squeezing Peter's knee. "It's insane, really. You're the one I don't have trouble finding time with. But sometimes I think about how precious time is in general and I think of things I'd like to do with you and I don't want to waste the chance."

"I would say we have all the time in the world, but we're both mature enough to know that's not reality. We have today," Peter says, reaching down and laying his hand over Pierce's, "and that's not even a guarantee. So, yeah, I understand the worry. Let's not waste any time. Or chances."

"Not wasting anything," Pierce agrees, lifting Peter's hand to his lips and kissing his thumb. "Is there anywhere you particularly like to go when you're travelling?"

Peter half-frowns, positive the taste of sunscreen from his thumb is not appealing, but loving Pierce for kissing him. "Italy," he says, first thought in his head, of how he'd like to make new memories to replace bitter ones. "Florence and the Tuscan hills." He grins. "You know, there's a cooking school there."

"One you'd like to visit or one you'd like to study at?" Pierce asks. He's been to Italy several times, but never with a lover.

"Both. If my lover would indulge me a week in the kitchen while he lounges in the vineyard." Peter moves closer, rubbing his free hand around the back of Pierce's neck. "Greece, too. Crete and Mykonos. What would you like to see?"

"Spain again. I love Spain. France, maybe? If we're feeling very adventurous, we could see Egypt." Pierce half-purrs and rubs up against Peter's hand. "We've done Australia already this year. One of these days we ought to go to Japan, but then we might want to take Bron with us. He loves Japan and he's a hell of a lot closer to fluent than I am. He never gets lost."

"Yes, Spain. It seems a lifetime ago I was there. Paris, of course, and then head south, just do the whole Mediterranean." Peter's beaming, lost in the thought of world travel with his lover. And there's a wicked glint in his eye. "Bron's fluent in Japanese. I am impressed. If he's not working, he could take the trip with us. Or part of it. I enjoy his company and it's so much fun to double-team you."

"Oh, I don't stand a chance," Pierce murmurs, shaking his head and not doing a very good job at all of holding back his own smirk. "I can ask what his schedule's like. He might not want to spend all summer travelling, but he'd probably join for some of it. Especially if I let him bring his bloody cameras everywhere he goes. The digital age has been a terrifying thing when it comes to that man."

"You love it." Peter leans in, kisses Pierce's shoulder. "And he got some good shots in Sydney. I was thinking of having a couple of them blown up for the house."

"He does suit my narcissistic side," Pierce mumbles. All right, you got me. "And some of his photos from Sydney are lovely. You should tell him you liked them; he'd love to hear it."

"I'll be sure to, next time he's by." Peter smiles, pleased with himself for getting his lover. "Question. I know Bron likes me, but do you think I make him uncomfortable?"

"I've never thought so," Pierce says, eyebrows going up. "Why do you ask?"

"Just curious. Haven't quite figured him out," Peter says, cocking his head, shrugging, "and I get the oddest vibe from him at times, like I'm about to make him jump out of his skin. Probably just me."

"I hadn't noticed." Pierce doesn't doubt it for a second, though; Peter would know better than he would. It's been years since Pierce looked -- really looked at Bron. He's just familiar, a part of his life, someone Pierce recognizes that he takes for granted. He'd stop if he could, but Bron's familiarity is very comfortable at times.

"Maybe I'll ask him myself." Peter stretches out, lounging against the blanket. "So, does my birthday boy want spankings? Or would he rather just fuck his lover for 52 minutes?" The grin's odd, bordering on mischievous, somewhere left of sane.

"I think giving me a spanking is something we do for your birthday," Pierce smirks, crawling up and leaning over Peter. "And certain body parts might fall off if we try for a fifty-two minute shag... I'd settle for fifty-two little bites. They don't even have to hurt." He grins, fully expecting to get a raised eyebrow and a look that questions Pierce's sanity.

"Spank you for my birthday? Interesting proposal. I'll remind you come September." Peter doesn't raise an eyebrow, but tilt his head a bit farther left, quirk his grin. " Now, as to bites, you say 52." He licks his lip, sucks it back in under his teeth. "I suppose I could indulge you that much. For your birthday and all."

"I'll start small," Pierce offers, settling down at Peter's side and nibbling his shoulder. "There's one..."

It doesn't hurt. "That's doable."

"Two." Another nibble. "Three." And another. "Four through ten..." These come in a series, from shoulder to the side of Peter's neck, none of them any harder than the first.

They build, one set on the next, not painful but slipping short of pleasure. It's all in all a new sensation, something Peter doesn't know how to handle, except to know he doesn't dislike it. He shrugs his shoulder up, tilts his head, giving Pierce better access, murmurs desire for more.

One that bruises, Pierce thinks, already imagining down the road to bites eleven through fifty-two. The bites get deeper bit by bit, harder, and he climbs between Peter's legs, starts slow, rolling motions that match the soft swells of the ocean underneath them.

Somewhere between twenty and forty, Peter's brain slips into finding something strangely pleasureable in the bites, the way Pierce's teeth nip and nibble, ever so slightly deeper. He pants out short breaths, focusing on the ripple of endorphins.

And it's fifty that gets the hard sink of teeth, just where neck meets shoulder, enough to leave a mark. There are two more to come, but they're both shorter, gentle, and Pierce flicks his tongue out over the rough one, hoping it wasn't too much.

That hard sink hurts. No doubt in Peter's mind. And then the pain's gone. Fleeting, covered by the flick of a tongue, what amounts to a kiss, and Peter's wrapping himself around Pierce. "Happy birthday, beloved," he whispers. "That was incredible."

"You're incredible," Pierce adds to that, hugging Peter back, hard. It's not a gift he's taking lightly. He'll be watching that bruise fade for days, remembering how much love and trust were there, holding Peter still while Pierce drew blood to just underneath the surface of the skin.

And he'll think about Peter's birthday, and wonder about it for the months between then and now, wondering what Peter's going to want when it's his turn.

Chapter Text

Lin's spent the better part of the day puttering around the house, and finally in the late afternoon she finds herself at loose ends and bored. She doesn't have the energy or inclination to go out, and she doesn't feel like reading. It occurs to her that now might be a good time to investigate Pierce's latest hobby -- she thinks that if she knitted, she might enjoy knitting now.

She doesn't, however, knit.

So instead she grabs the phone and the little Bluetooth headset and flops down on the couch, drink in one hand and remote control in the other, and speaks the voice command for Pierce's number, flicking on the television and muting at she does.

Peter's in the kitchen. It's where he spends most of his time, when he's not in the bedroom. Or the sauna. And the kink in his neck tells him a few hours in the sauna would be perfect. Maybe when Pierce gets back from his errands. Meanwhile, he can continue to make the bechamel sauce for the rigatoni to go with the veal recipe he's downloaded from Giada De Laurentiis's site -- she's the only woman he's almost sure Pierce would leave him for, or at least let move in, just for her cooking skills, of course.

The phone rings and he toggles the headset without looking or pulling the whisk from the saucepan of melting butter. "Hi, hon, you forget something else," he says, assuming it's Pierce calling again.

Lin blinks and glances at the phone. No, it's definitely showing Pierce's number, and with a start she realizes this must be Peter.

At least, well, maybe it's Peter. Pierce did say they weren't monogamous, but 'hon' doesn't sound like a pick-up, and the voice does have a sort of Methos-like lilt to it. Still, better not to risk it.

"Uh," she says, "um. Hi -- it's -- uh, this is Lin Fiorentino. I was calling for Pierce?"

Oh, fuck. Peter nearly drops the whisk, but he manages to retrieve and pick up the sifter of flour, sprinkle a bit over and start stirring it in while he regains his composure. "Sorry. Lin? Uh, Pierce isn't here right now. He ran some errands. I can tell him you called." You could talk to her, idiot. It wouldn't kill you.

"Oh, oh, yes, please," Lin says. "There's uh -- nothing in particular I called about, just to chat a bit, he can call me back if he likes."

And now she's sure it's Peter -- or sure enough at least to risk asking.

"So um, this -- this'd be Peter, then?" she says hesitantly, hoping like hell she's right.

Peter laughs, finishes sifting the flour in. "I didn't introduce myself. Major faux pas. Yes, I'm Peter. And you're Lin." He whisks more briskly. Breathe, Peter. It's just Lin. "We haven't met officially."

"No, we haven't," Lin agrees, "but I'm looking forward to it. Pierce has said such wonderful things about you."

"Pierce has said nice things about you." Not a lot of them, seeing as he doesn't talk much about you. "We should remedy that, I guess." Peter starts pouring in the milk, gradually whisking it. "I'm sure we have more in common than Pierce."

"I'd imagine so," Lin answers, sitting up and starting to channel surf, not sure whether what she hears is distraction or a complete lack of enthusiasm on Peter's part. "Maybe one day week we could meet for lunch."

It's distraction, Peter trying not to burn his sauce while he talks. "That'd be good. Lunch. Or even dinner, if Pierce is of a mind. Sorry, I'm cooking right now. Part of the reason Pierce is out. I needed mesclun for the salad."

"Pierce has said you're fantastic in the kitchen," Lin says. "I'm still a baby cook -- I'm hoping to graduate from the George Foreman Grill to the actual stove by the end of the month."

That elicits a laugh. "Pierce is good, but he doesn't get in the kitchen often," Peter says. He pulls the pan from the heat and adds the fontina cheese and proscuitto. "Guess I should start giving lessons."

"Oh, you should," Lin says, nodding and glancing towards the phone as if Peter could see her. "I'd sign up. The Joy Of Cooking is so impersonal. How'd you wind up learning, anyway? Just enjoy it?"

"Started years ago, in med school. Self-defense from having to eat out all the time." Peter adds the nutmeg and seasons liberally with kosher salt and white pepper. "Over the years, it worked its way into an obsession."

"A very handy one," Lin says. "I wish my obsessions were so useful. Wait," frowning, "you went to med school? How'd you wind up becoming an actor?"

"I decided I wasn't cut out for it. More idealistic than modern medicine could handle." Peter smiles, thinking how much grief he'd caught at the time from his parents. He sets the sauce aside and turns his attention to boiling the rigatoni. "One month to graduation and I chuck it all and headed to Guildhall."

Lin leans back, remembering her own family's reaction to her decision. "That's really admirable, Peter," she says. "I mean, seriously. My family freaked when I said I wasn't going to law school after all, and I hadn't even started yet. I can't imagine what they'd have done if I'd been close to graduating and had just walked away from it." She lets out a little chuckle. "If I'd been that close to graduating, I don't think I'd have had the guts at twenty-six to have walked."

"Father didn't talk to me for several years." And now he's not talking to me again because I've come out. "But he's a doctor and so's my brother and two cousins and," Peter dumps the pasta into the boiling water, "the decision didn't go over well." This isn't as hard as he thought it might be. Lin's rather pleasant. "You wanted to be a lawyer? Save the world kind?"

"I had high ambitions and higher ideals," Lin says with a smile, stretching one leg out the length of the couch. "I hadn't decided whether I wanted to go into criminal law or corporate law, but I was going to change the world, whichever I picked." She laughs then, tipping her head back. "Instead I became Hollywood's official deflowerer of virgins, femme fatale, and finally last descendant of Jesus Christ. Not so very world-changing."

"And confidante to the world's most debonair no-longer-eligible gay man in the world." Peter stirs the pasta, pulls out a piece to test it. "Very world-changing, I think."

Lin chuckles. "Well, it's certainly changed mine. And for the better."

"He has a habit of doing that," Peter says, "changing people's lives." The pot's threatening to boil over and Peter quickly turns down the heat. "Listen, don't mean to be rude, but my rigatoni's demanding attention. I'll tell Pierce you called and get him to ring you about coming over."

"That sounds great," Lin says. "Rescue the rigatoni, and I'll look forward to meeting you."

"Yeah. Thanks." Peter toggles the headset off and jerks the pot from the burner, pouring the pasta into a colander already sitting in the sink. "Breathe, Peter. You survived talking to her. You'll do fine meeting her." He lets out a breath as he steps back, turns to the cabinet behind him to retrieve a casserole dish.

Peter has the rigatoni out of the oven when Pierce comes back in, veal resting and he's whisking the oil into the vinaigrette he's making. "Long line at the market?" He looks up, smiles. "Dinner's up in another five, just time to pull together the salad. Wanna do?"

"I think I can do that." Pierce looks into the refrigerator, pulls different salad greens out of the crisper drawer between getting a few different things put away. "You know what I love most about being sent out at the last minute? The way everything smells so good when I get back. Dear God, but dinner's going to be good. Anything exciting happen while I was gone?"

"Dinner's going to be fantastic. Veal and bechamel rigatoni and salad made by my lover." Peter turns and gives Pierce a quick kiss on the cheek as he passes. "Lin called." He's amazed he says it so nonchalantly.

Pierce pauses in tearing up leaves and blinks. "Did she? Does she want me to call back?"

"I think so. If you want. She sounded like she just called to chat." Peter walks the veal over to the table, sets it down and turns back to get the rigatoni. "When you ring her, you need to set a date for lunch next week."

"All right," Pierce agrees. "How was it? Talking to her, I mean. Did it go all right?" He gets back to the business of tossing the salad, adding a little vinaigrette before tossing the leaves again.

"It went fine, after I called her 'hon' and assumed it was you calling from the store." Peter smiles, opens the drawer and finds the slotted spoon for the pasta. "Your lover's a bit of an idiot when it comes to talking to women."

"I never hear you talk about women at all," Pierce says, "suppose that's why it's taken so long for me to get the two of you in the same place at the same time. And maybe there's a bit of me that gets proprietary. There are some parts of my life I've never had to share before. It's strange having someone who gets into every last spot --not bad -- just strange. I need reminding sometimes that it's not just me anymore."

"That's because I don't like them." Peter pauses. "That's a generalization, of course, but I've gotten along with, maybe five women in my life. Counting my mother." He walks back around the island, moves behind Pierce and wraps his arms around his lover's waist, leaning in against his shoulder. "If there's ever a part of your life you don't want me in, you just have to say so," he murmurs, "but, on the up side, I didn't fall apart talking to her, so that's a good thing, I think."

"I would say so," Pierce says, leaning on Peter in exchange. "If I ever felt that way, I'd tell you. But so far you belong everywhere you've found yourself. Everywhere I've found you. I don't want that to stop." He closes his eyes for half a second, just enjoying the way Peter feels. "I'd like you to get to know her, if you think you could handle that. She's not like any other woman I know. She's special. Not special enough for there to be more than friendship there," Pierce says, grinning broadly, "but she is special."

"Then you'll invite her to dinner." Peter kisses the side of Pierce's neck. "Can't promise we'll become best friends, but I would like to know her better."

"That sounds good," Pierce agrees. "I love you both, you know. Maybe it's natural to want to see you get along."

"Love you. Want to make you happy." Peter does want that, to make Pierce happy. Not just today. Or in talking to Lin. But for years down the road. "C'mon, let's eat. Veal's not good cold. And after we can curl up with a movie, fool around a bit."

"Ooh." Pierce flashes a grin at Peter that makes him feel like a teenager again. Which is not that unusual here, with Peter, and it's one of the things Pierce loves about him. "Fooling around, hm? Think I could get to second base if I play my cards right?"

"Maybe." Peter turns on the coy charm. "With a little luck, and strategic complimenting of my dinner, you might hit be able to slide into home."

"I'm good friends with luck," Pierce says, turning and nibbling Peter's neck. "And dinner, as always, is going to be fantastic."

Peter whimpers, the nibble undoing what resolve he might have. "That's a good start, luv." He reaches behind Pierce to grab the salad bowl. "Food now. Sex later." He smirks. "There are rules, lad."

Pierce rolls his eyes at the 'lad', but if one can roll one's eyes affectionately, he manages it. "What do I get for breaking the rules?" he asks, getting fresh grated parmesan and the pepper grinder and carrying both out to the table.

"Hmmm, let me see." Peter sets the salad on the table and pulls out a chair, settling into it and reaching over to grab the wine bottle, fill their glasses. "Depends on how badly you break them, but we could start with kneeling in the corner." He smiles. "Do you respond well to lack of attention?"

"Define 'well'. I get impatient." Pierce grins. "That's part of the point, though."

"Yes, it is. Why do I suspect as a sub you were constantly being corrected?"

"Because you can tell just by looking that I was never really a sub?" The napkins and silverware go out last, really should have gone out first, but Pierce wasn't paying much attention. That looks like everything, though, and Pierce takes a seat.

"I imagine you gave it a try, best effort, and it wasn't you. And there is that. You don't really look like a sub." Peter portions out the veal, musing on the moment. "You know, we have the most fascinating conversations. I'm not sure if I've ever talked this much with anyone about the dynamics of living."

"I talk to Jeff this much," Pierce admits, "but apart from Jeff, I've never talked with anyone half as much as I talk to you. It's probably a good sign." He grins broadly. "Sometimes I even listen."

"An even better quality in a lover," Peter says. "Subs listen because they have to. Lovers because they want to. Migrating topics, though." He pauses, serves himself some rigatoni and passes it to Pierce. "Now that my kitchen's perfect and the sauna's in, what's next to tackle? Or should I put off any more renovation till after our whirlwind trip."

"Hmm." Pierce takes the pasta, serves himself, puts the dish down again. "I have to admit, I don't have much more in the way of improvements to the house. We don't have a full-out dungeon, but we've never really needed one. There's always more art, having more framed, and... you know, I have almost enough paintings for a show now. I ought to think about that."

"I agree, we could do without the dungeon. The club's close enough for anything heavy we might want to try. Paintings." Peter takes a couple bites. "You have too many of other people's up and not enough of yours. And, yes, you should do a show. But I'm biased."

"Your bias is very good for my ego," Pierce says. "I have a pair of paintings from last summer that I've never been sure what to do with."

"One you want to get rid of or keep?"

"I don't think I need them anymore," Pierce says softly, "so I'm looking to do something with them. Just don't want them to do more harm than good. Last year seems like forever ago."

"Then why not paint over them." Peter doesn't know which paintings Pierce is talking about or why they're something he doesn't want anymore. He does know a year ago wasn't a good time, and maybe memories of it aren't the best thing. "Tried and true tradition, Pierce. Make the canvas blank and re-create it."

Pierce shakes his head. "Don't think I could," he admits. "They happened for a reason. That whole summer happened for a reason. I might not be here today without that. I just don't want those feelings tramping around in my studio anymore. I was thinking charity auction. Maybe at a showing, if I do one soon."

"Put them in the show. That would be ..." An excellent way to get rid of them. "It's a logical solution. Mark them for sale and donate the money to charity. Quite equitable."

"And they'd go to someone who'd want them," Pierce says softly, "which is a nice thought." He grins. "I just have to decide what charity." He's having a hard time not immediately thinking of marine relief or research.

"I'm sure we can come up with something worthy." Peter sips at his wine, takes a bite of veal. "Are there paintings you want to put up in the house?"

"A few of them. I've got some things that look a bit art deco; those I like. It's funny when you paint things you don't want to hang, but sometimes I do." He shakes his head. "How about you? Anything come to mind?"

"I like the deco pieces. And several of the abstracts." Peter props his elbow on the table, talking animatedly with his fork moving through the air. "If I paint the front hallway and the one leading to the bedroom a basic ecru, something with a hint of gold, and install some gallery lighting along the ceiling edge, they'd work beautifully. Create a mini gallery of our own. A more public contrast to the black-and-white photographs I want to put upstairs."

Pierce can imagine it easily. "It'd look beautiful," he says, and then, "upstairs? Are we talking about ordinary photographs or the sort of things we'd need to have Bron take?"

"I was thinking some of the photos he took in Sydney, maybe a few new ones. He's promised to come by one day and show me what he's done so far."

"What are you comfortable putting on display?" Pierce asks. "There's a lot to choose from, some of it the sort of pictures we'd be happy to have in Architectural Digest, some the sorts of things that would give my mother a heart attack..."

Peter laughs. "Is your mother coming to visit soon? Should I worry?"

"She hates to fly," Pierce says, shaking his head. "Nothing to worry about there, and there's some beautiful photography that I'd love to have on our walls." Truth be told, what Pierce likes most are pictures of Peter, of the two of them together. He loves being able to see moments and remember how it felt to be inside them, and apart from the narcissism, that's the main reason he's never minded having Bron and his camera nearby.

"Good," Peter says, quickly adding, "Not that I'd mind the visit. I was thinking of some of the photos of us together, the more personal images we don't want to share with the world, those moments that Bron captured just for us."

"I'd like that. Framed, matted, maybe with captions?"

"Like a gallery journal." Peter thinks for a minute. "I like that. Always love it when the artist writes about his own work, comments on what you're seeing."

"Mmm, maybe with comments from all three of us. Better than a scrapbook." Pierce smiles. "We'll need to design the layout so we can add pictures over time. So it won't look out of place when we do."

"Should be easy enough. We'll put our heads together tomorrow." Peter goes back to eating, finishing off his rigatoni and working through more of the salad. "Tonight's dinner, movie and sex."

"You sound like you have it all plotted out," Pierce says. "Does that mean I get to sit back and let you run the show tonight?"

"You could." Peter tilts his head, shrugs. "I don't have anything thought out, Pierce. Not with you. I'm playing this day by day."

"Hour by hour, sometimes," Pierce agrees. "There doesn't have to be a plan. And plans are changeable, provided changing plans doesn't put five hours of work in the kitchen to waste." He grins.

Peter laughs. "Then finish dinner and we'll improvise from there."

Chapter Text

A Moment In Time: May 25

Peter creeps into the bedroom, late in the night, having gotten too deep into a book and barely realizing Pierce had come by, kissed him while Peter was sprawled into one end of the couch. Pierce is sleeping, one arm under the pillow, another draped over Peter's spot. Peter gently picks up Pierce's arm and slides underneath it, carefully tucking himself in against his lover, matching nearly point for point, slipping his hand under the pillow and twining his fingers with Pierce's.

"I love you," he whispers, brushing a kiss over Pierce's lips before soft breathing lulls him to sleep.

Bron closes up the driver's side and walks around to the passenger's side to get out his two books of proofs from Sydney, tucking them under an arm while he heads up the driveway. For all Pierce has complained about never getting a moment away from the camera, he's always know Pierce liked the attention. But it's rare to have someone appreciate the photography, so saying he's flattered to be headed over to see Peter, look over the proofs, maybe pick something out to enlarge, is putting it lightly. He's flattered, yeah, and pleased, and--

--and, OK, he's nervous, too. He's been on the phone with Peter a time or two without Pierce, he's even had a drink while they waited for Pierce to show up in Sydney. But really being alone with the guy -- that one's new.

It had to happen sometime, though. They've been friends for months, Peter's been around for even longer, and they're not always going to connect through the medium of Pierce. Right.

Right. Makes perfect sense. So what's the nervous twitch you've got in your chest? Not to mention... Nope. He's not going to mention it, even to himself, not even going to think about it. Figure out the nervous feeling later, get the books inside now.

He knocks at the door, shifting the books from one arm to the other.

Peter's been waiting, unusually nervous, and he can't place why. Well, he can't put the finger on the exact spot. It's just Bron, he thinks as he opens the door. Yeah. Tanned, blondish, gorgeous Bron. He shakes his head, leans against the door jamb, black Dockers loose and hanging over bare feet, shirt tail out. Don't go there. He's a friend.

"Hi, there. C'mon in. I've got coffee, beer and a relatively fresh bottle of wine. What's your pleasure?"

"Uh, any of the three, as long as you don't mix 'em." Bron shakes his head, chuckles. "No, I'm kidding. A beer would be great, thanks. You want to do this in the living room? I can set these down on the coffee table."

"Yeah, living room's great. You settle in, I'll get a couple beers." Peter doesn't notice the way Bron's jeans fit just perfect. No, not at all. "You hungry?"

"Maybe a little -- nothing that won't wait until after we've gone over the proofs, though. I'd hate to get them smudged." He grins, heading off to the living room. "How's it going?" he asks, setting out the first book, taking a seat on the couch.

"Great," Peter shouts back from the kitchen. He grabs two beers and quickly heads back to the living room. "Pierce took me sailing," he says, passing one off to Bron and settling down on the couch next to him. "For his birthday. Never really done that before. It was quite nice."

"Sounds like it," Bron says, grinning. "Me, I get seasick, so I can't do the sailing thing, but on the other hand, I rock climb, and Pierce says he doesn't see the point." It's another one of those little differences that make all the difference, here and there. Bron glances down at the first photograph, which is Pierce and Peter coming off the plane. Pierce is mugging for the camera; Peter's in the background, looking amused and indulgent. Neither of them looks as tired as they really were. Bron remembers taking the picture and how Pierce yawned loud enough he almost unhinged his jaw afterwards. He smiles.

"I've done the rock thing. It didn't take very well, but I'm up to trying again." Peter looks over the photo, chuckles. "He really does love the camera. It's not vanity, either, just a genuine love affair." He takes a sip of the beer. "Maybe it's the photographer, though, who brings it out. You're really good."

"Thank you," Bron murmurs. "I'm trying to be less of a one-trick pony these days. I do occasionally take pictures of things that aren't Pierce." He grins. "You two are gorgeous together, though. You bring out a side of him I've never really seen before."

"Oh, I like this one. A lot." Peter touches the proof's edge. The image is of the two of them standing on the balcony, early morning light. "Didn't realize you were shooting it. I think it goes both ways. He brings out parts of me I didn't know were there." He traces his finger along the photo, ghosting and not touching. "Never thought I'd have a lover. Just boys."

"Are you happy like this?" Bron asks. "Seems like it's got a trade-off -- shit, that's a really personal question, and I don't have the right -- you don't have to answer that." He winces. "It's hard, sometimes," he admits. "It's hard being happy for him, as much as I am, and thinking about how if he or I were just different in one little place or had chemistry in one different area -- sometimes the 'what might've been's are kinda hard to ignore." He shakes his head. "Not too often, though. I really am happy for both of you."

"Yes, it is a personal question." Peter sits forward, concentrating on the photos, not on the proximity of the man asking the question. "And it's rather vague." He flips through the proofs. "Am I happy having a lover? Yes. Am I happy not having a full-time sub? Yes." The first 'yes' has a lot more power in its delivery. Peter lingers over a photo of Pierce stretched out on the bed. "Do I occasionally want to put someone on his knees without having to worry that I'm disrupting the balance of a relationship I'm quite happy with? Yes." He glances up, studying Bron's expression, unsure what that particular smile means. "That answer the question?"

"More or less," Bron says softly. He scratches at the back of his neck, looks from photograph to Peter, back again. "I'd apologize for him, but he doesn't need me to. We all have our quirks. I'm glad you can live with his. There've been times I thought nobody was ever going to."

"You live with it. Just different way." Peter finds himself strangely mesmerized by Bron. Not an attraction. Not exactly. But it is. In a way. And it's very confusing. "Curiosity, and asking a personal question back, what's your particular quirk?"

Bron tilts his head, wondering where the question comes from. "I don't bend enough," he says, finally, an answer with too many layers and not enough substance, he knows.

"Is that a physical problem? Or a psychological one?" Peter settles back against the couch, stretching his hand along the back. "Maybe you just don't get pushed far enough."

"Maybe I don't get into situations where I could get pushed," Bron counters, "and I do that on purpose. I've done that for years. I don't..." He shrugs, frowns. "I don't like it when I'm not the one who calls the shots." Mostly. He knows there are exceptions, always are, he's just never stuck around places where the exceptions exist.

"Ah. A position I understand quite well. It's awkward giving up control." Peter insinuates himself a bit more into Bron's space, subconsciously moving his knee over and brushing Bron's leg. "Sometimes it takes someone calling you on it, daring you to take that last step forward." That's how it's been for Peter with Pierce, every move forward a response to a subtle request..

There's a subtle shiver, response to that brush of knee against leg, and Bron's eyes widen for half a second before he tamps down the response and turns his head to look full-on at Peter, a little amusement in his eyes. He doesn't have to ask if Peter knows what he's doing. Of course he does. He doesn't have to ask if Peter can tell the response he's getting. He's got to have a clue.

So instead he asks, "Daring?", with one eyebrow going up. "Are we talking hypothetical or practical?"

"I rarely talk in hypothetical, Bron." There's that smile on Peter's face, the grin that can have most men doing what he wants -- sometimes even Pierce. "I dare you."

Whoa. It's a shock to the system, something he should have seen coming but just didn't. He takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly. He's turned guys down before because they had Pierce stamped all over them, but this is different. This isn't any of the guys Pierce has been with before. Peter holds his own, and Bron knows well enough to respect that.

"All right," he says softly. "I'll take you up on it."

Peter's surprised -- not shocked, but just shy of it. "Would now be good? Or do you need time to prepare for it?" He's uncertain, too, of just how much and how far to take it here, in the house.

"No, now's fine." Bron cracks another grin, runs both hands through his hair. "Now's a good idea. It'll keep me from overthinking it." Overthinking it and realizing that he's wanted something like this to happen. Insane as that is, it's been itching at the back of his mind for a while. And he needs to think about it later. Not yet. Not now.

"Now's fine, then." Peter reaches up and grabs Bron's wrists, wrapping long fingers around them as they reach the back of Bron's head. "Stop that," he says, staring at Bron, not blinking as he talks. "Hands are best when they're down and behind the back."

Jesus, Bron thinks, he's serious. He nods and slides his hands behind his back. "How do you want to do this?" he asks softly.

"That's a good start, hands where they should be." Peter slowly lets go of Bron's wrists, pulling his hands back up along the muscular arms. "Tell me where the line's drawn, that one absolute I can't cross." He knows everyone has a line. Some people won't admit it, either to themselves or others. But they're there.

"I don't know." Bron shakes his head, looks down at the carpet. "It's been so long since I tried to do this that I don't know where the lines are anymore. I may not go down all that gracefully. I don't know if I remember how to do this." God, I don't want to fuck up. His eyebrows draw together. It's important to do this well if he's going to do it at all, and he's not sure it's going to happen.

It may or may not work. Peter studies Bron's face, can read the fear -- no, it's not that, but it is distress -- of not knowing how it's going to go. Peter slides his hands over Bron's shoulders. So unlike Pierce. Or anyone you've had. "It's all sensory memory. A touch. A word. That's what puts you there." His fingers rub through the edges of Bron's hair. "On your knees, boy," he says, leaning closer, lips inches away from Bron's mouth. Don't make me put you there."

Bron nods, exhaling softly. There it is. That's what's been making him nervous the times he's been alone with Peter. He's attracted, and he's ready to go down -- willing to go down, interested in it in a way he's never been with Pierce.

He slides off the couch, steps away from the coffee table and out into the room where there's more space, and gets on his knees, not at all the graceful glide most subs would make. No real surprise there, he guesses, and if it doesn't quite look natural on him, at least he does look like he's game for it. He laces his hands behind his back again and glances up at Peter, then lowers his eyes, puts them on the floor. It's all right. You can do this.

It's not graceful, but Peter doesn't care. Grace is something learned and, once taught and embedded in the mind, it can easily be recalled with a bit of tutoring. Peter stands and walks over to where Bron's kneeling. It does look natural, though, but no moreso than it would if Bron were standing and another man kneeling.

"Not bad," he says, lightly touching Bron's shoulder, trailing his fingers along the lightweight shirt, pressing in to trace collarbone over to neck. "Could've been a bit more fluid, but we can work on that." He rubs his fingers along the edge of Bron's hair. "Posture's not perfect, but tolerable."

We can work on that. Bron doesn't blush as a general rule, but his skin feels hot, nearly tingles at the implication. "Show me," he whispers. "How do you want me?"

"Hmm." Peter leans down. "In cuffs and naked, but," he says, putting his hands on Bron's shoulders, tugging up to straighten, elongate his stance, "this will suffice for the moment." He trails his hands down Bron's arms, picking up Bron's hands and recrossing them, laying one flat against the palm of the other. "Head down is good, except when I'm speaking directly to you, in front of your face. Want to see your eyes then."

Bron nods; he'll remember that. Peter's touches would be soothing, he thinks, if this were a second or third scene. Right now he's got several different kinds of arousal distracting the hell out of him, making him want to squirm. It's been a long time since he was caught so much by surprise by wanting something; usually even if it's something he's not going to pursue, he can put a finger on it a lot sooner than he did in this case.

He walks back around and squats in front of Bron, rubbing his finger over the vest, slowing parting the leather, slipping his hand onto the soft cotton t-shirt, working his fingers in small circles. "Stop thinking, boy. Just concentrate on voice and touch," he murmurs. "You want this. I can smell it. Feel it in the air."

"Then you're very observant," Bron murmurs. "More than I was. Sir." He focuses on Peter's fingertips, trying not to think ahead, not to analyze the scene and where it's going. Giving up control means he doesn't need to keep anticipating things. He can give that trust to Peter; Peter knows what to do with it.

"Sir." Peter's fingers continue moving up, over Bron's neck and onto his lips, tracing over them. "Sounds wonderful. Say it again."

Bron meets Peter's eyes and rubs his lips against Peter's fingertips -- not quite a kiss. More of an offer. "Sir," he says softly.

"I like that." Peter means the word and the kiss. Both are perfect, slipping Peter's brain deeper into being in control. "You really are beautiful. California blonde and tan and --." Peter's finger is tracing Bron's jaw. "Are you perfect, Bron?"

"No one's perfect, sir," Bron says. "Not me. And definitely not at this." But the idea that Peter's attracted has him aching. It shouldn't be a surprise -- isn't really a surprise when he thinks about it -- but discovering and acting on it in such a short span is still enough to short-circuit the mind and send a jolt straight to his cock.

Peter's attracted. Has been since the first time he met Bron. The attraction then was more physical, strict interest in a gorgeous man, but as he got to know the man, he was drawn in by what might be underneath. "Honest. That's a refreshing trait in a boy. Knowing he's not perfect." He brings his other hand up and places both palms down on Bron's shoulders, sliding under the vest, working it over Bron's shoulders and pushing it down Bron's arms, quickly pulling his hands back up, leaving the leather hanging as he slips fingers under the t-shirt and starts rolling it up Bron's chest. "Now, remember, hands stay where they are. The whole time."

Losing the vest makes Bron feel that much more vulnerable. It's more fashionable than symbolic in his case, but it's still the kind of thing a top wears in a scene, not a man who's trying damned hard to stay on his knees.

But he's practically shivering by the time Peter gets his shirt rolled up. He squeezes his hands together hard, keeping his breath steady with effort. Just don't fuck up. You want this, and he knows you want it, and it's nothing you have to be afraid of.

He's pressing his palms flat against Bron's chest as he rolls the shirt, then Peter grabs it, wraps his fingers around it and pulls the cotton up over Bron's head, pushing it down around the back of Bron's neck. Almost pornographic, the look, not completely naked.

"Tell me a secret, Bron, something no one else knows about you," he whispers, leaning in, ghosting lips over lips without kissing. He smiles. "No one except Pierce, of course. I imagine he knows every nuance of you." He drags his fingers back down Bron's chest, thumbs rubbing over nipples, nails scratching lightly.

Bron jumps, knees spreading wider as his whole body leans forward to get more of that touch. "Please." All thoughts of what Peter's been saying, complying with his last order -- he meant to, God, he really did, but that one inadvertent touch and Bron's entire body's aching. That's the trouble with having nipples sensitive enough that a breath would make Bron shake; they're such an obvious thing to reach for, such an easy thing to play with.

Peter stops. He breathes out slowly, presses the pad of one thumb against one nipple. "I asked a question, boy." He doesn't move. "Answer me and I'll move my thumb."

Bron can practically feel his heartbeat drumming behind that touch. It's maddening, but not as much as the promise of more. Robert knew about this. Hell, Robert developed this, developed it with time and clamps and pinches and bites and the kind of nipple torture Bron's done to girls ever since. No one else has seen it, not much of it, though Pierce has been around enough to notice. "There's this," he offers quietly, trying to keep his voice from sounding strained. "You could make me come like this. You could--" He swallows hard. "You could hurt me like this," he says quietly, "and I'd beg for all of it, sir."

"And I could keep you from coming," Peter says, stroking his thumb out, rubbing with a gentle sweep over the nipple. He's hit on perhaps Bron's most serious kink, without knowing. It's a treasured serendipity. "Continue with the gentle sweep." He smiles, leans close enough to whisper against Bron's cheek. "Your cock's hard. I don't have to see or feel to know. I can smell your arousal, how much you want to scream for more." He rubs his thumb back over sensitive flesh, starting to make a small circle. "Keep you on edge till I want you to come."

The most difficult thing about this is how it's not easy, how he's not just sinking. He wants to. He knows he's supposed to. But he can't just force himself to do it, and it's difficult not letting that become a frustration.

He nods against Peter's cheek. "Please... sir," he whispers, "what do you want me to do for you?"

"The boy can start by relaxing, letting himself do what he feels and not what his brain is telling him he should do." Peter continues, light strokes, abstract spirals. "Then he can tell me how he feels about boot licking." It's a random enough segue.

Bron squirms against Peter's touch, trying hard not to move away from it with the squirming. Boot licking. Jesus fucking hell, Peter's serious about this. Not that he expected less, he really shouldn't have expected less, but even so, it's a shock. "I -- God," he pants, finding it hard to speak, "I like watching it. I don't like having it done, but I think I might like doing it."

"Let's see if you can impress me." Peter moves back, sits on the edge of the chair. "Technically, I guess it's loafer licking," he says, small grin, "but the principle's the same. If I like what I see, I'll go back to touching that beautiful chest." He takes a deep breath. He hadn't expected Bron to be willing to go this far, isn't sure he will, but Peter's curious and Bron's responses are nagging at a slice of his brain that's been dormant. There's a fleeting fear -- or maybe desire -- it'll all stop if Pierce were there, that Peter's pushing an envelope and the paper cut's going to be deadly.

It does take a few seconds for Bron to gear himself up enough to go down that far. It takes a few seconds for him to push thought away and simply give Peter what he's asking for, what Bron's here to give him. And he's blushing fiercely when he bends his head down and takes the first lick over leather. He can see why this appeals, now; he can feel the arousal and humiliation and the urge to be used.

It takes Peter a minute to start breathing right again. He's forgotten how much he likes this kind of service. Wonder what Pierce would say to having a boy full-time? Just one for the little things, like boots. It's not something Peter's interested in, not necessarily. This is enough. He arches his foot, nudging the toe against Bron's cheek as tongue caresses the cordova leather.

"Not bad," Peter murmurs, voice monotone, "but I'm sure the boy can do better."

Bron whimpers softly, nuzzling at the leather and trying harder. He's getting more enthusiastic, but it's all difficult. Difficult and easy all at once, somehow. Have I wanted something like this from Peter all this time? he wonders, and he shivers, tongue lapping faster. Maybe. Maybe that's what all the confusion and the nervousness has been about. God.

Satisfied the loafer's more than licked well, Peter pulls his foot back. "Other one, boy," he murmurs, nudging Bron's chin with his toe. "I'm curious. Your mouth work as awkwardly on cock?"

"Don't know, sir," Bron says quietly, moving to the other loafer. "Probably. I'm out of practice."

"Then we should get you more practice." Peter's getting ahead of himself. It's a moment in time, a potential one-off moment. Or is it? "Finish the loafer and we'll let you try, see how much remediation the boy needs."

It's a shock how much Bron /wants/ to earn that, how much he's willing to do to get it. /Is this what it's like to slip under?/ he wonders. He thinks the answer's yes. He's very quickly getting to a point where all he wants is to please Peter.

Best of all, if Bron knew it, is that Peter is pleased, or he's getting there. "Good boy," he murmurs, allowing for a moment of praise. "I think maybe you should come over more often and do this. Much better having a lad who can lick the leather clean than shining them myself." He tilts his foot, pointing his toe down and turning the shoe slightly left. "You do like this. Serving me. Pleasing me."

Bron struggles with answering, but he manages it after a moment's pause. "Yes," he whispers, "I like serving you, sir."

Sir. The word coils around Peter's brain. Not the sound of a lover being playful. Different. Not better. Just ricochets into his brain from an odd angle, settling in and triggering every remaining dominant trip he has. "Then kneel up," he says, edge of harsh. "I'm suitably impressed with your tongue to let you try it on my cock."

"Thank you, sir," Bron says, kneeling up and drying off sweaty palms on his jeans. "Can I -- /may/ I -- use my hands to get your fly open, sir?" He's pretty sure he couldn't do it with his teeth, as neat as that trick is to watch.

Peter's not one for tricks. "The lad used proper English," he says, barest smirk on his lips. "He may use his hands, just to open the fly, and then ma--" Peter catches himself. "Then sir would like just the boy's mouth."

Oh, God. Bron knows the dominant's thought process well enough to know what Peter didn't say. God. "Thank you, sir," he whispers, reaching forward and unfastening Peter's pants, sliding his hand inside and curling his fingers around Peter's cock. As soon as he's got it free of the fabric, he licks his lips and opens his mouth, slowly, carefully sliding his mouth over Peter's cock.

You didn't say it. And you're not really in that headspace, Peter. No, he's not. Sliding, perhaps, slouching toward master but not there. He sucks in a breath as Bron slips his lips over Peter's cock. Hot, wet. perfect combination. He spreads his legs wider, nudging forward on the chair. "That's a right lad," he murmurs, "all the way in, unless you can't take it." The implication's obvious, the touch of humiliation.

And as much as Bron wants to rise to the challenge, as much as he'd like to give Peter what he wants, he simply doesn't have the experience. He can only go so deep, and he hopes that's enough.

Lad. The word's pricking at his consciousness, making him just the slightest bit uneasy. Or aroused. He doesn't really know.

"Ah, obvious lack of practice," Peter says. He leans forward, cupping his hand at the back of Bron's neck, holding him steady as he pushes forward, nudging his cock a bit deeper. "Or not enough experience. You weren't trained for this, lad?" The word holds no special meaning for Peter. Lad. Boy. Interchangeable, whichever way his tongue slides at a given point. "Suck a little harder. That might make up for it."

It isn't about training, Bron wants to protest; Robert did a fine job training him on this. But it's like any other skill; stop doing it and it'll atrophy. He does suck harder, though, lets his tongue curl around Peter's cock, tries the tricks his girls and occasional boys have used on him. Relax. When's the last time you ever had a bad blowjob? The thought settles him. Maybe he's not an expert. But he knows he can get the job done.

There's nothing special about the blowjob. It's adequate, Peter thinks, and Bron could be retrained, gotten to the point where he does it well. Exceptionally, maybe. Not tonight, though. Peter hasn't the patience for it. He fucks Bron's mouth, less-than-gentle pushes forward, driving his cock into Bron's throat until that moment when he feels he's going to come.

Bron can feel it. It's not just the way Peter's cock swells, throbs against his tongue; it's the body language, the way Peter's breathing changes. There's a satisfying twist in Bron's gut at that; a feeling of accomplishment. I did that, he thinks, I made that happen, and it feels good.

Peter goes very still. He can tell from the way Bron's smiling around his cock that the man's satisfied. "Want it?" He pulls back on Bron's hair, tilting the head back till Bron's lips are all that remain on Peter's cock. "Beg, boy. Let me hear how much you want this."

Beg. Oh, shit. It's something Bron hasn't had to do in decades, and he's not sure he remembers how it works. Okay. Beg. You can do this. You do want it -- want it enough to beg --Christ... "I... please, sir," Bron murmurs, lips moving against the head of Peter's cock, "please, let me... let me--" oh, God-- "please let me swallow your come, sir," Bron whispers, going hot all over from the question and blushing fiercely. "Please, sir, I want it so damn much, sir, please let me..."

"Eager slut. I could paint your face with it, wipe it off and have you lick my hand, and still you'd beg for it." Peter wraps his fingers around his cock, slides them forward, thumb brushing Bron's lips. It's sinfully powerful, this moment, when the control's so tenuous, the power dynamic in flux. Bron could say no, back off, and Peter would be forced to either deny his need or take more stringent action. Somehow, though, Peter doesn't expect that to happen. "I'm right, aren't I, boy? You want this more than you thought, more than you've wanted anything in a long time."

Bron's eyes close, and he nods, a shuddery, shivery motion that has him trembling. "Yes, sir," he whispers. "Yes, I want it that much."

"Then be a good lad and open wide." Peter has every intention of doing just what he described, or something akin to it. He works his cock with short, deliberate strokes, the first streaks of white dabbling Bron's lips. "Or you'll have a much greater mess to clean up."

Oh, God. Bron opens his mouth, slides his tongue out onto his lower lip to lick up Peter's come, and there's a hard, hot flash of shame that streaks through him as he does, his body tightening, cock jerking in his jeans. Can you come like this? he wonders. From wanting it this much?

Peter jerks off with a practiced ease, guiding his cock to coat Bron's tongue, and that's where most of the come ends up. Of course, there's the splatter on Bron's cheek and the smear over Peter's fingers. He's sure Bron will take care of that. His voice is calm, quiet as he finishes. "Hmm, that was," he says, smiling, "wonderful. I feel so much better. You?"

Bron finishes licking up the leftover come from Peter's fingers, taking care of his own face by using his hands and licking them clean, and settles back on his heels. "I'm..." He's hard as a rock and not sure he should climb out of headspace yet. "Sir -- please, may I..." Oh, you're not gonna get far if you can't even ask.

"May you? What, lad, could you possibly want?" Peter stretches his hands down over his thighs, leans back. "You may kneel there and learn to ask properly. We have time for you to figure out how to get it right."

It's a struggle, the way most of this has been, caught between wanting it badly enough to beg and not knowing what the hell has him on his knees. Bron closes his eyes, exhales hard, and tries to fit words together. "May I have permission to get off, sir?" he asks quietly.

Eye contact. It's a pet peeve of Peter's, one Bron has no way of knowing about. "You may open your eyes and try asking again," he says, voice still calm, still quiet.

Breaking eye contact's a way of letting himself hide, and Bron knows it. He needs another breath before he can look at Peter and ask. "May I have permission to get off, sir?" he asks, even more quietly, not letting himself flinch.

Peter's tempted to say no. Very tempted. But he doesn't want to push things too far, risk making mistakes. "Yes, he may." He grins, mentally shoving aside the master even before it comes to his lips. "Sir will watch and he expects the boy to clean up after himself."

"Thank you, sir," Bron whispers, kneeling up and unzipping his jeans, pulling his cock out and giving it a stroke just to take the worst of the edge off. He looks up and gets his eyes on Peter again, and keeps them there as he starts jerking off.

This is, perhaps, the most intense aspect of topping another person. Peter watches with great interest, cataloguing every nuance of Bron's motions, how his fingers touch and pull away, stroke with a solid rhythm, glancing up every other second to watch Bron's eyes, how the color shifts almost imperceptibly. "Would you like permission to come as well?" he asks after a long minute.

"Yes -- sir, please, yes, sir," Bron pants, "please, please, let me come, God, please." Bron's always understood how powerful it is being given full control over someone else's pleasure, but this is the first time in so long he's been on the other end of it. And he feels helpless, fully under Peter's control -- and what's terrifying is that he likes it.

"All right," Peter says, simple and flat statement. "Come. Now."

Bron's not a trained sub, and he's never been able to come on command, but it's only a few strokes before he's gasping, cock jerking, white pulses streaking over his fingers.

It's good enough. For now. Today. Peter's impressed that nearly all the streaks are on Bron's hand and not on the floor. "Good boy. He may clean up now and fix his clothes." And give me a minute to breathe, find myself again.

Bron nods, licking up his hand, getting his clothes in order again. He feels cold, suddenly, cold enough to have goosebumps rising up on his skin, and he rubs at his arms, rubs at his face, wondering just what the hell came over him this afternoon.

Peter leans down, pulls Bron's vest tighter over his shoulders, rubbing over the layers of fabric. "You need something to drink? Water or maybe something stronger?" He slides his hand up over Bron's neck, fingers massaging gently. "If you want, you can curl up on the couch, take a nap."

It's the touch Bron needed more than anything, and he rubs his cheek against Peter's arm, trying to calm down the urge for more contact, trying not to take more than he should. "I don't need much," he whispers. "Just... this was a long way down the rabbit hole for me. A long way down."

"Take your time. Nowhere you need to be 'cept here right now." Peter's fingers slip along the edges of Bron's hair. He's not pulling back from the touch. "Haven't done that in a long time, I take it. I should thank you for trusting me to take you there."

"I did it long enough to learn what I needed to know to go around topping people myself," Bron murmurs. "That was it. I never went back. Never had an urge to." He closes his eyes, takes a few slow breaths. "You're good," he says at last. "You really are."

Peter grins. "I know." It's not a boast, not the way he says it, the soft and subtle delivery. "I'm a bit out of practice," he murmurs. "Not something I'm going to attempt with Pierce, so if you want to back down the rabbit hole, just ask."

"Oh, fuck, Peter, it's not about wanting." Bron laughs softly, rubbing at his eyes. "I've got all the want you need. I just -- I need to think about it. And, uh... there's a third party we should maybe run this by. I haven't fooled around with one of Pierce's lovers since--" That gets him clamming up fast, and he shakes his head hard, pushing himself off the floor. He laces his fingers behind his neck, stretches his shoulders out. "This isn't like that, though. Completely different. He's not gonna be pissed, but it will startle the shit out of him."

"Spill, Bron. Which lover?" Peter's not going to let it pass. "And, yes, you're right, Pierce is going to be startled. I imagine I'll get a lecture of some sort, but I don't expect him to be pissed or say it shouldn't happen again."

"Well, that's good," Bron mumbles. He is trying to avoid answering, though, feeling like he's said too much already. "And I hope he doesn't lecture you too much. If anything, he ought to talk to me."

"No avoiding the other question, Bron." Peter moves his hand, tracing his fingers over Bron's cheek. "How do I live with him if I don't know what's important? And if I'm stepping into history, I want to know the specifics."

Bron rubs at his eyes more, taking a breath. It's his story as much as it's Pierce's -- more than -- and it was a long time ago. Past history and if you don't tell him it's going to sound worse than it really is. "I had a thing for Aidan," Bron says, "not a small thing, and things got messy after he and Pierce broke up. So. This is why I'm saying it's different now. It's very different now."

The admission doesn't surprise Peter, not like it probably should. "That explains why you were defensive of Aidan," he says quietly. "It is different. I'm not going anywhere. I plan on growing old with Pierce, so I don't think things would get messy."

"I want that for him. For you. I want him to have a happy ending so fucking bad -- you don't know what it's been like being half in love with him for years and seeing him get so close and never find it. You give him so much. I hope he's smart enough to tell you that once in a while." The rest of it's unspoken, but probably clear enough. Bron would back off in a heartbeat if he thought he was putting Pierce and Peter in any danger. Even if I don't want to.

"He tells me. I hope I tell him often enough." Peter's silent for a moment. "I've never been in love. Weird. Get to be 43 years old before I manage to find the right person. You know, you have to stick around for that happy ending. No fun if you're not here," he says, "to document it. Be part of it. I may give Pierce a lot of what he's never had, but I think he'd fall apart without you."

"Thank you," Bron murmurs, and he means it all the way down to his shoes. He's dealt with a lot of different men's thoughts on what he and Pierce were to each other, a lot of different attitudes, but he's never gotten this kind of acceptance before. It's strange and unfamiliar and something he hopes he never takes for granted.

Bron's gone, the only evidence of his afternoon visit some photos strewn around, Peter's made dinner, lemongrass chicken over rice noodles. Peter's been trying to figure out the best way to talk to Pierce about what happened, decides somewhere between chopping cilantro and spooning sauce over chicken that direct is best.

So once they've settled at the table, chardonnay in hand, he starts in. "Bron was by this afternoon, brought over some photos to look at for the upstairs gallery."

"That's nice. Did you pick anything out?" Pierce asks. Peter seems fidgety this evening, and Pierce hasn't figured out why yet. It's not the fidgety that implies overactive horniness -- well, not precisely, though it looks a little like that. And it doesn't exactly look like nervousness, either. How odd. Wonder what's going on.

Peter's trying very hard not to fidget. He sips at his wine. "Yeah, picked out a few." After I remembered to look at them again. He doesn't think he's in trouble, like he told Bron. Maybe a lecture. "We actually didn't spend a lot of time looking at them. Got sidetracked." Oh, that's a good way to describe it, Peter. "With sex."

Pierce is following, nodding, thinking everything makes sense, right up until the word sex comes out, and then both his eyebrows make a dash for his hairline and he stares, blinking. "Really," he says. "That's, ah. That's interesting. What happened?"

"Well, there was kissing and touching," Peter cuts a piece of chicken into infinite pieces, "and then he was on his knees and," he glances up at Pierce, smiles, "I'm not as out of practice as I thought on taking boys down."

"Taking," Pierce repeats. "Boys. Down?" His eyebrows may well have disappeared right off his face. "Bron?" he asks. No, that can't be it. On his knees? "You called in for someone to take down together?" he asks. I must be going insane.

Okay, maybe this wasn't a good idea. Any of it. "Uh, no, no one else in the house." Peter chews on a sauced piece of chicken, swallows it. "Just Bron. Down the rabbit hole, as he put it." He motions toward Pierce's wine glass. "A bit of the chardonnay might help, Pierce, especially if you want details."

Pierce nods and drinks, trying to figure out what exactly he's hearing. Bron. On his knees. Bron subbing. For Peter. Where the hell did that come from? he wonders. "I -- he -- I didn't know he ever did that," he says.

"You didn't know? At all?" That has Peter more concerned. He thought Pierce had an idea, knew Bron from long enough ago, with Robert, to know something. "He's rather good at it. Obviously out of practice, but he's been there before." Peter frowns. "You honestly didn't know he subbed?"

"Oh, no, I knew he'd done it once upon a time, but that was -- good at it?" Pierce repeats. "How far down did you get him?"

"Farther than I think he expected." Peter's staring at Pierce, studying his face for hints of anger, hoping there won't be any. "I don't know enough about him to know how deep his headspace was, but he licked my loafers clean and let me come on his face."

"Jesus." Pierce drops his forehead into his hand, rubs at his eyes. It's not anger. It's just shock. He can't even imagine it, doesn't know if he wants to try. He gets his head back up, not wanting to make more of this than he should. "I take it this was something you liked. Something you both liked. Do you want to keep doing it?"

"Yes, I liked it. I think he did. You'd have to ask him that question, though." Peter's sure he's never had this awkward a conversation before. Part of being a lover, he guesses, when you actually care about what the other person thinks. "Keep doing it. I'm not sure. It'd have to be something we all felt good about, you and Bron more than me. You have the history with him, Pierce, and I don't want to create problems for either of you."

"He told you about Aidan." Not a question. History, problems -- it's clear enough from context. "This is not like that. If you want to keep seeing him that way, I won't lie, it'd take some getting used to. But I'd be willing to get used to it if you want it." Pierce exhales, rubs his hand over his cheek. "I'd say I didn't realize he was your type, but then I have no idea what he'd be like as a submissive. I've never seen it."

"Yes, he told me about Aidan. And I know this is not like that. I'm not Aidan." It's emphatic. Peter's nothing like past lovers. "I don't know if he's my type. It was one afternoon, Pierce, a conversation that segued into a dare that Bron took." He runs his fingers over the stem of his wine glass. "Should I say I'm sorry? I didn't plan it."

"No, don't apologize. I know you weren't planning it. It's hard figuring out if you're jealous when you don't know which half you might be jealous of," Pierce admits.

Peter chuckles, quickly stifles it. "I don't suppose you want to be down on the floor, face against my loafer. I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem right to ask something of you I'm not sure I'd be able to give in return."

"That isn't quite what I meant," Pierce says, coughing. "Closest I get to wanting to go under with you is that interrogation fantasy. And that's going under with you, which is a little different than wanting to go under for you. Plus, I know where your loafers have been." He pokes his tongue out. "Not going to be licking them anytime soon."

"Smart arse. I had on the good loafers, not the putter-in-the-garden ones." Peter resists sticking his tongue out, just barely. "Want you to go under with me. Like that notion." He goes a bit quieter. "Some nights I miss it, domming full-time, having a boy. Then I roll over and wrap my arm around you and realize I like this more than living like that," he says, randomly rubbing his finger up over the glass bowl. "But still it felt good. Maybe it's because Bron's safe, a known entity. I don't want to bring home strangers."

"We joke about that sometimes," Pierce says, "calling the club and bringing boys home, finding people to share. There was a time I'd have really liked that. These days -- I don't see him often enough, but I don't really want to dom anyone but Jeff. I wouldn't want to bring home unknown entities, either." He sits back, runs his fingertips over his cheek. "Bron, though. It's not something I'd ever imagined happening. I still can't picture him doing it."

"Is it something you could find yourself comfortable with? Given time?" Peter's lost interest in random encounters over the months. He's never been one for them much at all, even with subs, but there's a sense of -- monogamy? -- creeping into his thought process. "I don't think he imagined it either. Nervous at first, like reaching back for a long-lost love."

The description makes Pierce twitch, but he shakes that off. I need to talk to him, he realizes. "I think so," he says. "I don't have a problem with you seeing Bron. As long as we keep each other informed on how things are going -- when they get more or less serious -- if there are changes we want to make. As long as we keep talking, I don't see why this would ever be a problem."

"Good. Don't want to lose my lover for sake of taking down someone else." Peter goes back to picking at his chicken. "You need to eat, and I can stop talking."

"Eat. Food. Yes," Pierce agrees, looking down at his plate. Dinner looks good, as always; it's just a matter of eating when he's still getting over the shock.

"Or the chef can put it in the oven, heat it up in a few hours." Peter can't chastise too much; he hasn't eaten much of his dinner either. "Do you want to talk more?"

"Yes, but I want to talk to Bron." Pierce gives Peter a wry grin. "Let's go ahead and eat. It's fine."

"All right." Peter's wiling to give Pierce the space he needs, the time. He perhaps doesn't appreciate the whole nature of the shock, but he understands it. "There's apple flan for dessert, but it can wait till midnight, with a pot of decaf."

"I never actually believed that the way to a man's heart was through his stomach until you," Pierce says, grinning. "Apple flan. You really do love me."

"Since the minute after I realized I could have you." Peter returns the smile, picks up his wine glass and finishes off the chardonnay he's been sipping.

Chapter Text

Pierce knocks on Bron's front door, then lets himself in; Bron's expecting him, and he has a key and a security code. "Bron?" he calls out. "Where are you?"

"Right here," Bron says, walking out from the living room. "How are you?"

"You subbed? For Peter?"

"Whoa, no foreplay today, huh?" Bron asks, grimacing and scratching the back of his neck. "So that's what this is about. I wondered what the big emergency was."

"What the hell came over you?" Pierce asks. "What were you thinking -- were you thinking? What happened?"

"I was thinking that he was getting me hard, and that I wanted to do what he was suggesting."

"It was his idea?"

"It was a very mutual idea, thank you very much, and if you've somehow missed the last 20 years, we're both well past the age of consent. Jesus, Brosnan, what's the matter with you?"

Pierce stalks past Bron into the living room and paces back and forth, jamming his hands into his back pockets and glancing over his shoulder. "All right. Fine. You were thinking with your cock. Why this? Why this now when you've never had the slightest interest before?"

"Oh, cut the shit. It's not why now. It's why him. Why not you?"

Pierce's mouth drops open, and he gets it closed after a second. "That's not fair--"

"Well, neither is stomping over here yelling at me like I did something wrong! Christ."


"I like him. God. And he pushes a button I didn't even know I had, so why the hell can't you just be happy for me?"

Pierce shakes his head. "You don't get it, do you? Not at all--"

"What don't I get? What's not to get?"

"You--" Pierce stops, wraps one arm around his midsection while his other hand comes up to rub at his forehead. "Have you thought about what it would have meant if you'd ever been able to go down for me?"

Bron stares, then shakes his head. "Fuck you."

"I'm just asking--"

"No, fuck you. Do you know what it does to me watching the way you fell in love with another dom? Do you know what it did to me when you started seeing Jeff and the only thing I don't have in common with him is that he's a bottom and I'm a top? If you think there's anything I haven't thought about, fuck you. We were never going to end up together, and I don't know about you, but I made my peace with that years ago. So what if I want to try subbing and the guy I want to try it with is Peter? I'd back off in a heartbeat if I were putting the two of you in any danger. And you know it. So fuck you."

Pierce is nodding by the end of it, jaw set, arms crossed. "Are you finished?" he asks, eyebrows going up.

"I don't know. If I think of anything else, I'll tell you." Bron sighs. "Your turn again. Go ahead."

"What happens if you keep doing this and it doesn't go well?" Pierce asks softly. "Do you know I can't imagine my life without either of you?"

"I know," Bron murmurs. "Got one for you. What happens if we keep doing it and it does go well? What if I want more than just a scene here and there?"

"Like what?" Pierce asks. "You want a contract? A collar? You want to be someone's boy now? Is that it?"

"Knock it off. You know something? I don't know what I want. I haven't thought that far ahead. And it's all right. It's all right to play things by ear sometimes. I don't have to have all the answers. We'll figure it all out as we go."

Pierce sits down on the couch, shaking his head. "This isn't you," he murmurs. "This isn't something I ever expected from you."

"Are you kidding? Do you think I expected it?" Bron sits down next to Pierce and nudges up close. "Jesus, Pierce, it scared the shit out of me. It's still scaring the shit out of me. But yeah -- I want it. Would you let that stop you?"

Pierce shakes his head. "No," he admits.

Bron puts a hand on Pierce's knee and squeezes. "You get so much from me," he says softly. "Maybe I don't want you to have that on top of the rest."

"I've never had to share you with anyone," Pierce says, taking Bron's hand in his and squeezing. "Not like this. Maybe I'm jealous."

"I don't want you to be jealous." Bron turns his head, kisses Pierce's shoulder. "I love you. Nothing's going to change that."

Pierce mirrors the kiss with a bite. "I love you, too," he says. "I hate it when things change on me."

"You don't always. Sometimes it's good."

"It's always frightening." Pierce shakes his head. "No matter how good it is, it always scares the hell out of me."

"I know. But no one's going anywhere."

Pierce looks up at Bron. "You sound sure of yourself."

"I am. When have I ever been wrong?"

"Tijuana," Pierce snorts, and both men laugh.

"Okay, Tijuana. But other than that--"


"And that--"



"Still love me?"

"Always," Bron says, wrapping an arm around Pierce's shoulders. "Always."

Peter's been carefully avoiding Pierce since he got home, letting his lover have whatever space he needs to work through the shock of finding out his best friend's subbing to his lover. Best friend subbing to lover. He rolls the thought around in his head and even then it sounds odd. "How did you get here?" Not that here is a bad place. It's just odd. Taking a mug of coffee and the headset phone with him, Peter retreats outdoors, to the deck, and makes a call to Bron.

Bron's been outside sunbathing. Yeah, it's bad for the skin, but he's not an actor and he can afford to trade in a little sun damage for the feeling of relaxation he gets from being under the big yellow star for a while.

The beeping of his phone catches his attention, and he groans, lifting up on his forearms so he can grab for it before plopping face-first back into his lounge chair. "Hello?"

"That's a good sign. You answered. Means he didn't throttle you." Peter sips at his coffee, thinking he might've put in just a bit too much sugar, and assumes Bron will know who's calling. "What you doing?"

Bron laughs. "No, he didn't throttle me. We did kinda yell at each other, though. I'm sunbathing at the moment. Letting the leftover adrenaline thin out some. How about you?"

"Sunbathing." Peter grins. "In the nude? And I'm fine. I got less of a lecture than a healthy dose of shock."

"We could've guessed that," Bron admits. "And yeah, I'm out of my clothes. I did remember to use sunscreen, but not enough. Never enough. You or Pierce does something like this on your Europe vacation and you're never gonna hear the end of it -- I'm going to make sure he's got enough sunscreen before he goes."

"What's with the before we go. I expect you to join us, at least when we get to the sunny parts." Peter's smiling, sipping between sentences. "You'd look perfect silhouetted against the Greek skyline. Just like you are now. Naked."

Bron lets out a long, slow exhale. "That sounds like an offer."

"It is. I don't think Pierce will mind a few days here and there." They haven't really discussed it, not in specifics, but Peter imagines he can get his lover to agree to it, especially if he makes the suggestion Pierce ask Jeff to join them at some point. "We're going to be gone for something like four months, Bron. Can't imagine going that long with proper skin care advice."

"Oh, is that all you want me for?" Bron grins, licks his lips, decides he might as well turn over. "I suppose you might come up with some facial emergency on your trip. Wouldn't want to have you develop a pimple right before a big date out."

"To be honest, Bron, I'm not sure what I want you for." There's no reason not to be honest, not to share the uncertainty. "Right now, I'm having trouble thinking beyond what yesterday felt like."

"Then don't think beyond that." Bron stretches, groans a little as he does. "We don't have to have a plan for this, or a goal. Just whatever comes naturally. Whatever comes by instinct."

Peter chuckles. "Was that a good groan or bad?"

"Good groan. Definitely a good groan. Just getting comfortable. Had to turn over or risk getting sunburn on my ass."

"Wouldn't want that. Would hate to think you too sore to sit." Peter pauses. He debates rephrasing that, but decides to leave the innuendo hanging, moves on to other territories. "Oh, wait, now you're risking sunburnt cock. That's not good. Sure you've got it properly slathered with sunscreen? Maybe you should check."

"Maybe I should," Bron says, still grinning broadly. He runs his tongue over his lips and drapes an arm over his eyes, tucking the phone into his shoulder. "Do you want to make that an order?"

"I have to make it an order?" Peter slips his mind sideways a bit, letting his voice drop into a timbre more commanding. "I really must be losing my touch, if my words don't command weight on their own. I need to work on that," he says absently. "Meanwhile, boy, put those nice long fingers on that prick of yours and tell me if you've enough sunscreen."

It's not a fast drop down. More like a stutter-step and a recognition that he could go, will go, if he can get his guard down far enough. He slides his hand up the length of his cock and exhales softly. "I've got enough sunscreen," he murmurs. "Sir."

"Good boy." Peter sets his mug down on the deck rail and closes his eyes. "Now, stroke yourself. Slow. As if you've begged for my hand and I've finally given in, but it's been hours you've been wanting to be touched." He shoves his hands into his pockets and leans back. "And don't stop talking. I want to hear every reaction."

"Don't stop talking -- God, you ask a lot -- mmm -- sir," Bron says softly, the strokes making him pant already. He thought about jerking off when he got home, but there was something a little more delicious about staying in bed, getting close, and backing off. He didn't sleep much, though.

"It's part of being a dom, Bron. I ask. You give. Really quite simple." Peter chooses to ignore the snugness in his jeans at the second sir, consciously decides to let Pierce be the benefactor of that side effect. Later. "Now, you're hard. Or getting there. I don't have to imagine that. I tend to use more thumb than others might, pressing down on top as I drag, add that scrape of nail as I reach the tip."

"Sounds interesting," Bron murmurs, "would you like me to try it that way, sir?" He's blushing under the crook of his elbow, trying not to, but no matter how much he wants this, it still hasn't been easy. Giving up control is never easy, especially not for someone who's been on the other side of the equation for a long time now.

It's obvious Bron's not used to giving up control. Peter laughs to himself, thinking back on the last boy he had, and how Guy wouldn't've asked, would've just switched however he was stroking his cock to the way Peter was describing, taking it for granted that if master said it then he wanted it done. You're not his master. Remember that? Oh, yes. "Yes, I'd like that," he says. "This isn't easy for you, giving up control." It's not a question. "I've never taken down a switch, not to this level. I think it's going to be interesting."

"I think it's already interesting, sir," Bron says softly, switching over to the kind of strokes Peter described. "Especially since --oh. Oh, that's -- that's good, sir, that feels -- fucking great, sir," Bron whispers. "Christ. I was saying, sir, especially since I didn't think I was a switch. God, that's good. Thank you for the order, sir." Bron blushes crimson at that, but he knows it's the right thing to say.

"Closest I've had to one, not counting Pierce, who's in a category all by himself." Peter smiles at the noises Bron's making. "Just for practicality's sake, Bron, if you're calling me sir then anything I say is an order. Keep going, by the way, and how close to the edge are you?"

"Not too close," Bron says, "sir. Could keep going like this for a while -- it's just a little different from what I'm used to. God. Feels good, though, sir." So does saying sir in and of itself. It's like being back at Robert's, one of those days when Robert got him down far enough to like what was happening to him, only here it's just a matter of Peter asking -- or telling -- instead of hours of work just to get them started.

"That's good to hear. I've got some shopping to do for dinner." Peter pulls himself off the rail, stretches. " I'll check back in a few hours. I expect you to do just what you've said, keep going. Any problem with that?"

You're kidding, Bron thinks, eyes snapping open behind his arm. He pulls his arm away and squints up at the sun. "Only problem, sir," he says, panting until he can get the words out, "is I'm at risk of a pretty bad sunburn if I don't get into some shade first."

"You have permission to move," Peter says, smirking, suspecting what's going through Bron's mind. Something along the lines of how insane Peter must be. "Out of the sun. Into the house if you like. But other than that, no stopping."

"God," Bron groans, but he's smart enough to bite his tongue on the rest of it, which is you're a bastard. Which is something Peter knows already, of course, and probably not the sort of thing his boy's supposed to say.

Pierce would eat that up with a spoon, Bron thinks, and since when do you think of yourself as "his boy"?

"Sir's perfectly acceptable, Bron. I don't have delusions of godhood." Peter can't resist, sliding easily into the bastard mentality. "I'll trust you'll be fine till later. I'm going to hang up now." He toggles the headset and, once he's sure the sound's off, the line dead, Peter nearly doubles over in Methos-inspired laughter. "Christ, this is going to be such fun."


A few hours translates to three hours, 35 minutes, by the time Peter finishes his shopping and gets the groceries stored. He pounds out the chicken breasts, washes his hands and walks outside to pick fresh herbs, stopping to pick up the phone before he opens the French doors. Adjusting the headset, Peter redials the last number called, listens to the ringing as he chooses basil. Thai, purple ruffles. There's a click on the other end of the line and he waits for the voice.

It's been three and a half hours, but Bron isn't counting. Not exactly. He's looking up at the clock every so often, between strokes and fantasies and all the steady breathing exercises it's been taking to make sure he doesn't go over too soon. His cock's not the only part of him that's sore; he's aching all over, having been close to the edge more times than he can count this afternoon.

And you're doing it anyway. Because -- what? You need it? It's not about need. You just want. Want it. You want it enough to do what you're told for hours while he's gone. What the hell are you doing, Bron?

He's not above counting the seconds till Bron answers. He's been known to reprimand for lack of punctuality. Not today, though. He's in a good mood. "Three hours," Peter says, glancing at his watch, "47 minutes. I assume you're out of the sun, have wanted to come, what, three or four times by now. Did you have a good afternoon, Bron? I did. Bought chicken; we're having rolled variation of piccata."

"Sounds delicious, sir," Bron says, and he's almost startled by how easily the word rolls off his tongue. "And it's more than four times. A hell of a lot more than four. But I'm still going. Like I was ordered to. Sir."

"That's a good boy." Peter bends down, pulls up a handful of the spicy globe. "Cock's sore, I bet. Whole body most likely. You should be on your knees, back straight and hand slowly a bit when you start to beg. You are going to beg, for more, to come. Which shall we start with, boy?"

Bron groans, heartfelt, as he moves from his cozy position flat on his back in bed to up on his knees, knees spread wide, cock in hand. At least this time he had the foresight to bring the handset with speakerphone capabilities; he sets it down nearby, in speaking and hearing range, but he's got both hands free and no worries about getting a cramp in his neck from tucking his phone between chin and shoulder.

"So -- let me puzzle this one out, sir, if I may," Bron says softly, picking up a rhythm again. "If I beg for more now, we draw out the torture. Plain and simple. If I beg to come now, I have to keep going past the point where it hurts, and I have to beg for more even when I want to stop enough it's drawing tears out. Am I close? Sir," he adds belatedly. "Or are you much more nefarious than that, sir?"

"Excellent analysis," Peter says, voice almost too casual. "I do love it when boys plot their own demise. Let's go with option two, Bron, the begging to come now, I say no, and you beg some more until those tears start flowing, you wish your cock would fall off and," he decides to pick a bit of the lemongrass, "I'll work on chopping my herbs while you get to that point."

"Oh, fuck, I just dug my own grave, didn't I?" Bron asks, head tilting back. "I am close, sir, please, been hard like this all day. And fuck, I'd like to come, please, sir."

"Yes, you did. Rather eloquently. I'm impressed." Peter walks across the deck and back into the house. "I'm sure you'd like to come, Bron, and good things come to those who wait." He glances at the clock. "Hmmm, it's 10 minutes to the hour. You can come then."

Ten minutes. Ten minutes feels like an eternity when Bron's been at it for as long as he has. It feels like forever, and Bron has to force himself not to count. Counting would just mean counting too fast, overestimating how much time has gone by, and finding out there are really five minutes to go when he thought he was finished.

So he closes his eyes and goes back to stroking, Peter's stroke in addition to his own, letting Peter hear his groans and his curses and all the soft sounds of skin sliding against skin. There's a certain weight that comes off his shoulders, somehow; he's not sure where it's gone, but this is getting easier with every minute.

Every minute up until the tenth, when he looks at the clock again and moans. "Sir -- please -- please..."

Peter pulls out his paring knife and rolls the herbs into a tight bunch, chiffonading them and pushing them aside on the cutting board as he listens to Bron moan. It's a wonderful sound, and the only thing that would make it better would be if Bron were kneeling in the kitchen beside him, face nearly pressed up against Peter's leg. He particularly enjoys the curses, random spatterings of words he's sure Bron is using more strongly under his breath, in his mind, expletives he'll probably come to reserve just for Peter.

He waits a beat after hearing Bron's plea, slowly counts to sixty. Then he stops rolling the herbs into the flattened chicken. "Yes, you may."

"Oh God, fuck, thank you," Bron gasps, and he barely manages to drag out a growled "sir" as his balls tighten and the come streaks over his fingers. "Fuckfuckfuck... oh, Christ... oh, Christ, that's good." And now you don't get to stop, smartass. He doesn't stop. He keeps going, until the moans turn to whimpers and he's starting to wince.

Sweet symphony of pain. Peter closes his eyes, visualizes, can see Bron kneeling and stroking his cock and coming. And hurting like hell. "Is there anything else you want to ask for, lad?"

"M-- more," Bron pants, cock already protesting the continued strokes. "Please -- sir -- let me -- give you more of this. God. Please -- let me hurt more for you."

"Give me as much as you can, lad," Peter says quietly, wrapping a piece of butcher's twine around the chicken. "Let me hear you hurt. Scream when you need to stop."

It hurts, Christ but it hurts, every stroke feeling like electric flame sparking down the length of his cock. But there's a stubborn part of Bron that doesn't want to see this come to an end until he's giving Peter everything he wants to hear, and he ends up groaning, biting off screams between his teeth, not letting them loose until his eyes are hot and stinging and tears are just at the surface.

"Jesus -- fuck -- sir," Bron pants, "fuck, oh God, hurts so much, sir, please let me stop, oh Christ...!"

Peter's heard everything he needs to hear. He's on the edge of desperate himself. But he controls his emotions, his voice. "Stop, lad," he says, barely above a whisper. "That's enough pain for today."

Bron stops immediately, collapsing back into the pillows, swallowing hard to get his voice back. "Thank you," he pants, "thank you, sir."

"My pleasure. Always enjoy hearing a boy work out." Peter turns on the heat under the skillet, keeping the gas to a low flame, and sprinkles olive oil over its surface. "Very nice way to spend the afternoon."

Bron chuckles at that. "I understand the feeling," he says softly. "Still feels a little weird being on this side of that line."

"I imagine it would be. I've never been there, so I won't say I understand. If I haven't said it already, thank you for letting me help you explore it." Peter drops some minced garlic into the oil, stirs it around. "Think it's best to give Pierce a couple weeks before we have you over for dinner again? I might need to work through a few more dinner talks."

"Probably so, yeah," Bron says softly, feeling a bit of a pang at that. It's been a long time since things were even a little bit awkward between him and Pierce, and even if he knows he can lay the blame for it squarely on Pierce's shoulders, even if they both know the problem isn't what Bron's doing but in how difficult it is for Pierce to accept it, it's still going to be strange having something to work through.

Strange, yeah. And worth it. You can't spend your entire life as a sidekick.

"Let me know if the son of a bitch frustrates you enough you want to go hurt somebody," Bron offers, tongue-in-cheek but offer serious. "It's been a long time since I went there, but... well. It's something to think about."

"Be careful what you offer, Bron," Peter says, serious but casual. "I might find it's been too long for me as well and take you up on it." He sighs, still caught in the machinations of it all, trying to figure out where this new dynamic slides into his life, with Pierce. Still too new a sensation. "For now, I think we let it progress naturally. I have dinner to finish and I assume you want a shower."

Another soft chuckle at that. "Yes, sir, I very much do. Have a good dinner, Peter. Say hi to Pierce for me."

"Sure. Grope and a kiss even." It's Peter's turn to chuckle. "Have a good night, Bron." He toggles the headset off and slides it off his head, letting it drape around his neck as he goes back to cooking.

Chapter Text

Peter walks out of the master bathroom and plops onto the bed, plush terry robe wrapped around him. He shakes the bed with the force of the plop, near-seismic ripples across the mattress where Pierce is stretched out, head against fluffed pillows.

"So, I was thinking, about the trip we mentioned," he says, pulling a pillow down and wrapping his arms around it. "Want to do it for real? Start in August, maybe?"

"That sounds perfect." Pierce hasn't had his turn in the shower yet, though he's been up to brush his teeth. He's still rumpled, though, hair mussed, naked and tangled up in covers. "August through... when are you working next, any idea? I don't think I get started again until early next year, or at least nothing I can't do by phone and by fax a few hours a week."

Rumpled, naked and in the covers looks exceptionally good on his lover, Peter thinks, momentarily distracted by the stray locks of hair on Pierce's forehead. "Nothing on the horizon. I think I could manage a few months away from the real world."

"Then I suppose we'll have to figure out where to start," Pierce says, scooting closer to Peter and nuzzling his shoulder. "How does Spain sound?"

"Filled with nights of paella and sangria." Peter nudges Pierce's shoulder in return, a bit harder, upping the ante as it were. "Long walks in the sun. Then you can sail us around the Mediterranean."

"I'd like that." Pierce nibbles on Peter's arm but doesn't get very far; plush bathrobes are far too insulating. "Let's check the dates on the culinary school you'd like to visit -- I can't remember if that was Spain or Italy -- and make sure we plan around that."

Peter smiles, more than pleased Pierce remembers him mentioning it. "That's Italy," he says, "and if you'd like flesh, the robe does come off."

"It does?" Pierce does a very good job of looking like a kid who's just about to tear into a birthday present. "Don't get me wrong, the terrycloth tastes fine, but..." He slides a hand into the neckline, over Peter's chest, up so his thumb can stroke over Peter's collarbone to his shoulder. "You do taste better."

"By all means, Pierce, I wouldn't be one to deprive." Peter turns onto his side, the robe coming open a bit more. "Any particular patch you'd like to taste first?"

"Right about here," Pierce murmurs, nuzzling open the robe so he can press a kiss directly above Peter's heart. "I'll call my travel agent after I've had breakfast and have her come over with a briefcase full of brochures. If there's anything in particular you'd like to do while we're gone, I'll be happy to either do it with you or be the supportive boyfriend." Pierce drags his cheek over Peter's chest, then grins up. "Is the stubble too much early in the morning?"

The stubble tickles, subtle abrasion. "It's fine." Peter rolls onto his back, stretches out. "No. Better than fine. It's my lover. Wouldn't have him any other way before breakfast."

Pierce chuckles. "You sure? What if I'm not rubbing here?" He crawls down, rubs his cheeks against Peter's stomach. "How about here?"

"That's a little rougher, but manageable." Peter wriggles back into the pillow, gets a bit more comfortable. "No, correct that. It's," he pauses, bites his lip, "almost erotic, Pierce."

"Only almost? I'm losing my touch," Pierce teases. He goes down a little further and nudges Peter's thighs apart, cheek rubbing against the inside of Peter's thigh. "How about there?"

Wriggle becomes bonafide squirm, the scruff of Pierce's stubble rubbing over Peter's thigh like fine sandpaper, igniting his flesh. "Oh, yeah. That works." He's never had that feeling before. Another first. "You want to keep doing that, I'm not gonna say anything negative."

"Good," Pierce grins. He strokes his other cheek up the inside of Peter's thigh, but instead of going the full distance and using his stubble on Peter's cock, he runs his tongue up the length of it, swirling it around the head before taking the head into his mouth and sucking lightly.

Peter blurts out something in Welsh, something good, he's sure. The combination of stubble burn and Pierce's tongue is mind-numbing. Fuck, boy, relax. It's just sex. You've had it before. His brain's not very good at listening, and he clutches the sheets, wadding them up in his fingers. "Pierce. Never. More."

"Mmm." Pierce lets Peter's cock go, grins up at his lover for a moment, then drags his cheek over the other thigh, moving his face in circles before tonguing at the base of Peter's cock and slowly licking up the shaft again.

"You're having way too much fun." Peter spits out the words on short breaths. "Knowing you're doing something I like and can't explain." It's insane, he thinks, that something so simple could drive him full-speed to the edge of coherent thought.

"Absolutely," Pierce says the next time his tongue's free. He gives Peter's thigh another scrape of stubble, then nips at it. "I don't want you to be able to explain it. I just want you feeling it."

"Doing that." Peter closes his eyes, tilts his head back, the movement rippling down his body, pulling his hips up, nudging his cock and thighs against Pierce's mouth, chin. "Oh, fuck, yes." It's through willpower he doesn't come then and there, strictly a matter of mind over body, but the mind's quickly losing ground.

Pierce uses his hand to lift Peter's cock and balls, gets his tongue behind them and slides it over the sac, then grazes his stubble --impossibly lightly -- over the same path, squeezing Peter's cock gently as he goes.

Impossibly light is still excruciating, maybe because it's so damned light. Peter's cock is leaking, it's aching and he's holding off just a touch more. "Pierce. Mouth. Please?" It's not begging. Peter doesn't beg. It's asking. Very emphatically, but politely.

That tone of voice gets Pierce right in the gut -- or maybe a little lower -- and he slides his mouth down over Peter's cock, sucking hard, taking him in as deep as he can get. No more teasing; if Pierce's stubble is scraping against Peter's thighs it's only because he's giving Peter one damned enthusiastic morning blowjob.

Enthusiastic is a rather bland word for how Pierce is sucking Peter's cock. It's remarkable, enough to make Peter move his hands from sheets to Pierce's shoulders, clutching flesh instead of cotton. The stubble's a wicked addition, and the combination has Peter coming fast and, if not furious, rather sloppily, in pulsed jets, moaning throughout.

Pierce doesn't get it all; a little bit leaks past his lower lip and dribbles down his chin. He swallows, licks his lips, wipes his chin with the back of his hand and licks that up, too, eyes finally going back to Peter as he grins. "That was gorgeous," he says, coming up and wrapping his arms around Peter's shoulders. "We have to do that more often."

"We should." Peter rolls his head to one side, watching Pierce move up. "You're sexy with the stubble. I think you should shave only every other day during our trip."

"You should have seen me while I was doing Sunset," Pierce says, nuzzling Peter's cheek. "I wore stubble and a tux with velvet lapels to the Oscars."

"Hmm. Sounds kinky. And gorgeous." Peter wraps his arms up around Pierce, stretching out his legs. "You want a return blow? Or we can do the sauna and you can fuck your boyfriend?"

"I'm saving up for a post-breakfast, pre-lunch shag," Pierce says, cuddling in return. "That and I badly need a shower. But no shave, if you want me rugged."

"Rugged. Hmm. Yes, boyfriend wants you rugged for pre-lunch shag. Maybe even early evening cocktails and late-night all-out fuck."

"Sounds like a perfect day," Pierce says. "Any chance you'd like to join me for the shower?"

"Just finished one, but seeing as how I seem to be sticky again, sure."

"Ha. My nefarious plan worked, then." Pierce hugs Peter again and sits up, climbing off the bed. "You do realize all of that was part of a secret initiative to get you into the shower with me?"

Peter scoots up into the pillows. He's laughing, almost uncontrollably. "Now I understand why they made you Bond," he says, still chuckling as he kneels up on the bed, climbs off. "You should've been the villain, but you'd've managed to defeat the hero and that's unthinkable."

"Mmmmm." Pierce leans over, kisses the top of Peter's head -- given the way he's laughing, it seems safer than going for his mouth. "You could be the hero," he murmurs. "We'd see how far I got then."

"You'd have all the money from the banks of London and we'd be living on a tropical island somewhere, me trying to forget that misguided hero business." Peter kisses Pierce on the cheek and swats his arse. "Go on, get the shower started. We can work out the roleplay logistics between shampoo and rinse."

Chapter Text

Dinner was nice. Nothing special. Just nice. And the time after dinner had been relaxing, Peter absently watching something on television while Pierce knitted. The movie's finished and Peter's leaning into Pierce's shoulder, watching the yarn take shape.

"Ready for bed yet?" Peter murmurs, rubbing his hand over Pierce's thigh. "Thinking long, slow, leisurely fuck."

"Mmm," Pierce murmurs, turning into Peter's touches and tossing the knitting into the tapestry bag on the floor -- after he finishes the row, of course. "Slow fuck sounds perfect. Want to go all out with candles and soft jazz?"

"Sounds perfect." Peter likes the idea. Romantic. Sensuous. "You want to pick out the jazz or light the candles?"

"You get the jazz, I'll get the candles, and I'll meet you in bed." It's the kind of care you take with a lover, and the idea definitely appeals. Pierce kisses Peter's cheek. "Don't take too long."

"Not too long at all." Peter returns the kiss, same spot, quick, and pulls himself off the couch, heads for the CDs. "I need to have the house rewired, pull lines into the bedroom, maybe a remote control there for the master receiver instead of just the speakers." He's muttering mostly to himself as he starts thumbing through their collection. "Hmm, what says romance?"

Pierce lights a collection of candles, all soy wax in tins, the kind of candle he loves for massages. He's not sure if that's on the agenda for tonight, but he'd hate to miss out on the possibility. He goes to the closet and takes his clothes off, humming softly and stretching once he's naked, grinning at his reflection in the mirror. "Mr. Brosnan, you still look damned good," he murmurs.

And then there's the sound of jazz filtering in, and he heads out to the bedroom, grinning.

The light from the candles filters into the hallway. "Very nice," Peter says, walking in. He's unbuttoning his shirt, toeing out of his loafers. The glow's sinfully decadent, the kind of atmosphere where he could easily relax, let Pierce attend to his needs for hours. "And my lover looks ready."

"Whereas mine looks overdressed," Pierce teases, coming forward and helping with the buttons. "I'm looking forward to getting you into bed," he murmurs. "We haven't taken our time with it in a while..."

"Yes, we have been hurried the last few times." Peter stretches out his arms. "Should I just let you attend to this? Or am I permitted to help?"

"Oh, it doesn't really matter," Pierce says, sliding his hand under Peter's shirt so he can leave soft scratches in circles on the small of his back. "As long as I get you naked in the end."

Peter laughs, smiling as his shirt falls to the floor. He lowers his arms, working his fingers over the fly of his trousers, sliding the zipper down. "Naked is definitely where I want to be. In bed. In you. On you."

In me? Pierce thinks, but he shrugs it off as one in a series of prepositional phrases. He's not really in the mood for that tonight, and it doesn't seem as if it'll be too hard to talk Peter into switching up. He nibbles at Peter's collarbone, licks and bites gently as he works his way over to Peter's shoulder. "Mmm, you taste good," he whispers. "Not as good as dinner, of course, but good all the same."

"Flattery will get you everywhere, Pierce," Peter murmurs, pushing his trousers down, working them off the final bit with his feet as he wraps his arms around Pierce's waist, nudges him back toward the bed. "But we should start on the bed, don't you think?"

"Bed sounds perfect." Pierce pulls the covers back and tumbles in, pulling Peter on top of him as he goes down. "Come here. Let me feel you all over me..."

"Of course. Always obliging of a lover." Peter stretches out, nearly point to point, except for nuzzling into Pierce's throat. The candles are flickering around the headboard, the aroma arousing, Pierce's body hard under Peter's weight. "You feel good," he says, wriggling a bit. "Going to enjoy this."

"Already enjoying it," Pierce counters, licking the side of Peter's neck and biting, a little less than gently this time. "Have I mentioned you have the most incredibly biteable neck...?"

"No. You usually just bite without the pronouncement." Peter jerks, not away, not entirely. It's a reflex. He still isn't used to the biting, the sudden, sharp tang of pain. Maybe he's just not in the mood tonight. "Have I mentioned you look delicious sprawled?" He slides his hands down Pierce's arms, wrapping fingers around the wrists, pinning them against the sheets.

Pierce leans up to kiss Peter hard, frowning a little when his face is too close for Peter to see the expression. No biting tonight. All right. He squirms a wrist out from under Peter's grip and runs his hand down Peter's back, not even scratching this time, and rocks his hips up hard, cock pressed tight against Peter's thigh.

Okay, we aren't going to give in. That's manageable. Peter counters with a press down, solid weight against Pierce's body, trapping his cock, tightening his grip on the wrist he still holds. He kisses just as hard, tongue working to part lips, demanding access.

It's a hard kiss, one that has Peter firmly on top until Pierce kisses back, tongue stroking Peter's and lips crushing lips. This actually feels good; sometimes Pierce worries that he gives in too easily, tends to roll over without a fight, and the wrestle's a nice change of pace. He'd rather be on top anyway, tonight; just not in the mood to bottom. "Feel good," he pants, hips rocking up again as he tries to slide a thigh between Peter's legs.

"Yes," Peter murmurs. It does feel good, but there's something not right, a struggle that's not usually there. Peter doesn't want to bottom. He's not in an accommodating mood either. "Spread out a bit for more, luv?"

"How about you this time?" Pierce asks, leaning up and nibbling the side of Peter's jawline. "I'd rather be inside you tonight."

"Not really in the mood, Pierce." Peter tilts his head down and sucks on Pierce's shoulder. "C'mon, let me in. Roll over. Promise to be slow and good."

Pierce groans. "I know," he murmurs, "I know you would be, but--" He wriggles the other wrist free, wraps both arms around Peter and hugs hard. "Other way this time. I'll let you have me any way you want next time."

"I could make the same offer," Peter mutters, head buried in Pierce's neck. For a moment, he considers acquiescing, but the nagging toppy synapses fire and Peter thinks he shouldn't have to give in. "Up the ante even. You can have me twice as hard next time."

Pierce grunts, tempted. Very tempted. The problem is he's still not in any particular mood to bottom, and giving in would mean doing it somewhat grudgingly. He ends up nudging his head up, looking for Peter's mouth, kissing him again without answering the offer.

The kiss is nice, but it's no concession. Peter responds, almost absently, his mind processing how to get his lover to capitulate. Maybe you should tell him you love him. That might loosen him a bit. The thought's there, but the words don't quite get out, Peter's mouth occupied with pushing back against Pierce's. He knows that. This isn't about love. It's power. Peter nudges his knee between Pierce's leg.

Pierce growls softly and pushes back, working at rolling Peter over -- if not to get them switched, at least to push them onto their sides.

Peter rolls over, stopping himself from going completely on his back. He frowns. He was happy with the position they'd been in. But now they're even, on their sides, touching point to point, arms around each other's waists. "Want to spend the night like this?" He smirks just a little.

"Well... We could," Pierce says, sliding his hand between them and wrapping it around Peter's cock. "We could get each other off this way. And prove we're both bloody stubborn bastards."

"We could." Peter's voice is just as terse. He mirrors Pierce's actions, slipping his hand down and wrapping Pierce's cock. "Or we could not get each other off, prove we're complete idiots."

That gets Pierce laughing, shaking his head. He gives Peter's cock a nice squeeze. "What do you suggest? Flip a coin? Wrestle?"

"Greco-Roman style?" Peter loosens his grip a touch, rubs the pad of his thumb down over Pierce's cock. "That club shrink do phone advice? We could call hands-free."

"I have a therapist," Pierce points out, thrusting into Peter's hand, "and I can tell you for certain she wouldn't be much help here. Fine. Let's wrestle for it. I'm game."

"You have a female therapist?" Peter matches thrust for thrust. "For a gay guy, you have a lot of women in your life." He grins, something shy of a smirk but not totally sweet and innocent. "Wrestle you. Fine. Rules? Or is this free for all?"

"Rules. Mmm. We both lube up first. If we're not in the mood to bottom, we don't need to exacerbate the problem with a friction-filled fuck."

"You're not kidding. We're going to wrestle to see who bottoms." Peter's a bit incredulous at the thought. "Prepped, like two subs vying for master's attention. That's a nice image, Pierce."

Pierce blinks. "That's... not what I was thinking," he says slowly. "And it is a nice image, or it would be if it were something we were watching." He uncurls his fingers, pulls back an inch. "Maybe -- this just isn't going to work tonight. Maybe we try again tomorrow."

"Maybe we should." Peter bites at his lip, pulling his hand off Pierce's cock. It's not a good feeling, the one curling his spine. "You want the bed to yourself?" Please say no. Don't really want to sleep alone.

"Do I -- Jesus, Peter, no, I don't -- I'm not upset. Come here." Pierce reaches out, wraps an arm around Peter's shoulders. "Just thinking sometimes it's better to call a truce if no one's going to surrender."

"I didn't think you were upset." Peter nudges closer, moving his hand over Pierce's hips. "Some people like to sleep alone when plans go awry." He kisses Pierce's shoulder. "Truce, then, and I love you."

"I love you, too," Pierce murmurs. He nestles his face into Peter's shoulder. "If you walked off now I'd just lie here and stare at the ceiling. I don't think I could sleep if we had something unresolved."

"Not sure it's resolvable tonight, luv. Perhaps with sleep, though, and omelets for breakfast, we'll see things more clearly."

"Mm, omelets." Pierce grins. "Maybe I should roll over if I'm getting omelets in the morning."

Peter laughs. "Aha. Knew I could get you with food." He nuzzles into Pierce's shoulder. "No bribery. Go to sleep. We'll talk when we're both adequately caffeinated."

"I should get the candles," Pierce says, feeling a small pang in his chest thinking about it. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ruin our evening."

"I'll help. You get that side of the room; I'll get this," Peter says. "As much my fault, Pierce. I wasn't yielding. Sorry."

"That might happen sometimes." Pierce slips out of bed long enough to get the candles, then heads for the bathroom. "Hang on. Teeth, face..." He keeps talking from the bathroom, though. "Our subs over the years would say we're not exactly known for being compromising men."

Peter follows, blowing out the candles on his side of the bed, leaning against the bathroom door when he's finished. "No, they wouldn't. But compromise is for lovers, not doms, and we're just getting used to exploring that facet of life."

"Mmhm," Pierce agrees, mouth full of toothpaste. He finishes brushing, rinses his mouth out. "And I like exploring that with you," he says, "but what if sometimes there is no good compromise? Like tonight. It wouldn't have been any better if one of us had rolled over and grumbled through it."

"No, it wouldn't." Peter nudges Pierce aside and picks up his own toothbrush. "I don't know. If we see we're at an impasse, we both back off?" He squeezes out paste onto the brush and scrubs his teeth. "Would that be any better?" he asks through foaming suds.

"It's better than being angry with each other. But I bet my therapist would say it's not going to get us anywhere. Christ, she can be such a pain." Pierce groans. He pumps foaming face wash into his palms and gets his face lathered up. "I don't normally mind," he says. "I just didn't feel like it tonight."

Peter rinses out his mouth, puts the brush back in the holder and perches on the vanity's counter, watching Pierce finish his nightly regimen. "Ditto on that one." He smiles, but it's half-hearted. "Can't explain it. Just didn't want to give in. Still can't believe you have a female shrink. She the Faye Dunaway type?" His grin widens a bit.

"Yes, as it happens," Pierce mumbles, rinsing off his face and reaching for a hand towel. "I've been seeing her for years. She really is quite good. Asks tougher questions than Faye did, but then I don't get to script Anna."

"Here you go," Peter says, putting the hand towel into Pierce's hands. "You think we need therapy together?" It's a random notion, not one Peter's keen on, but something he's willing to try if Pierce thinks an outside influence would help. He cups his hands over the edge of the counter. "Or, you know, we could keep a boy on call for nights when we won't budge. Someone to tuck in between us and beat up on till we work through it."

"I don't think one night's attack of the uncompromising doms requires couples therapy to get over. If we start doing this every week, then we might want to talk to someone, but right now I think we're fine. A boy on call isn't a bad idea. Someone who doesn't mind being shoved in the middle and used and sent home sore."

"Shall we start interviewing in the morning?" Peter leans over, stretching off his hands, and kisses Pierce's cheek. "Hmm, clean and tasty."

"That's because I don't have the moisturizer on yet," Pierce smirks. "And I don't know about interviews. It might just be something to play by ear. Or we could get files on club submissives sent over and look at profiles."

"Playing by ear's good." Suddenly he's nervous about the idea. He's not sure why. Maybe it's the idea of sharing Pierce with strangers. Peter sits back, matches Pierce's smirk with a sideways one. "Ah, yes, moisturizer. I'll do a taste comparison when you finish."

"You-know-who would murder me if I went to bed without moisturizer. He's been trying to talk me into getting you onto my skin care regime, too, do you know that?" Pierce grins. "He wants me to bribe you." He smooths moisturizer onto his cheeks, over his forehead and nose and chin. "What sort of bribery would it take?"

"You-know-who? Is he like Voldemort now? We can't say his name." Peter's smile is ill-eased. "Not sure what it would take. Never been one for moisturizing. I guess, though, between the two of you, there's a way."

"Oh, honestly. Bron Bron Bron. The name's fine. I was being cheeky." Pierce leans in, kisses Peter's cheek. "Maybe I'll let him bribe you into skin care on his own. He'd probably hate to miss a good opportunity at bribery."

That brings a laugh, a pursing of lips. "I'd need a reason to want to look good," Peter says, rubbing his cheek against Pierce's, the lotion tingling, "and you're that, not him. Although I'm open to him bribing while you watch."

Pierce closes his eyes, exhales as he turns and presses his body up against Peter's. "Don't know if I'm ready for that," he admits softly, "but I will be."

"It's not something you have to get ready for, Pierce," Peter whispers. He slides his arms around Pierce's waist, spreading his legs to make room for Pierce to get closer. "Doesn't ever have to happen, unless you want it. That's how this love thing works. I think."

"It's all right," Pierce says. "It's just taking some time to get used to the idea that he has a submissive side. Twenty years is a lot of habit to break. You get used to thinking of people one way and it takes you by surprise when there's more there." He grins, tucks his head against Peter's shoulder. "It was like that with us early on, too."

"Just what I was thinking. Had gotten rather used to you as the wicked dom, the one who dropped boys with a grin. Shocked my system first time you danced with me."

"You always looked so controlled. I was startled finding out you had a quirky side to go with that smile of yours."

"Quirky. Most wouldn't take that as a compliment, but I do. You know something. I've never really been out of control. Not till you." Peter sucks in a breath, lets it out slowly. "I'm liking it. Even with the bumps like tonight, it's a great ride."

"It's the same for me." Pierce runs his hands up and down Peter's back. "I love you. I love being with you. I'm so damned glad we're here together."

"I love you," Peter murmurs. "Think we could go back to bed now, curl into the sheets and sleep?"

"Definitely." Pierce hugs Peter again and can't resist sneaking in a light grope before he lets him go. "Bed sounds good."

"Oooh, groping. I like even more." Peter squirms, a rather affectionate wriggle as he slides off the counter's edge. "You can do that all night, if you like," he says, "and I'll return the favour."