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Hello My Old Heart

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The moment that Dorothy gets the door closed to the room she got them, her hands are all over Lucas, checking for wounds and hurts she can't easily see. She pushes his shirt up his chest, urgent and demanding, until he takes it off for her and she can run her fingers over bruises and blood. He's repeating her name, over and over, trying to calm her, and it isn't until he manages to catch both of her hands in his that she hears him.

“Dorothy. Dorothy. I'm fine, I'm fine, I promise.” Lucas moves one hand to cup her cheek. “You saved me. Again. You have a knack for it.” He presses a soft kiss to the corner of her mouth, his thumb brushing over her cheekbone, his other hand still holding hers. She sags against him, turning her face to deepen the kiss as they wrap their arms around each other.

She pulls back when her heart rate is reasonable again and looks up at him. “You're not hiding any injuries from me, are you?”

“Of course n--” Lucas starts, but her raised eyebrow shuts him up. He smiles, faux innocent. “Truly not. You got to me in time.” He considers for a moment for her. “I...hurt. But that's all.”

Dorothy nods, but eyes him over anyway, pulling away to walk around him, running her hands over him again to make sure. She finds him satisfactorily well, noting only a few cuts which she needs to deal with. She takes care of those while an attendant in the inn draws them a bath. The alcohol she uses to clean them stings and he grips her thigh each time she uses it. She takes his hand and kisses the inside of his wrist before nodding towards the bath and telling him with her nose wrinkled, “You're gross.”

He laughs, running a hand through her hair and shaking dirt onto the floor as he does. “So're you.” He pauses. “The water will only be clean once.”

Dorothy grins, stepping back and stripping off her coat and flannel shirt. “You're right. And it's not gonna be hot forever.”

Lucas steps up, helping her pull her tank over her head, then trips out of his pants when she slips her jeans down her legs. “We should – ” He swallows as her bra slides down her arms. “Share.”

Dorothy turns to face the tub before sliding out of her panties. Lucas moans low in his throat when she steps into the tub, a smirk tossed back at him over her shoulder. He moves to join her as she sinks into the water, but is stopped by a twinge in his side near one of the cuts Dorothy'd cleaned up. He gasps, clasping the hurt with one hand and stumbling toward the tub for a grip to keep himself upright.

“Easy.” Dorothy places her wet hand on his forearm. “You told me—”

“It's fine,” Lucas says. “Just surprised me. Some bruised ribs maybe.”

“Bruised? Are you sure they're not–” Dorothy gathers herself like she's going to stand, but Lucas leans over to place a kiss at the top of her head to still her.

“Not broken,” he assures her. “Broken ribs hurt worse than this.”

Dorothy cocks her head at him, rubbing wet circles into his forearm. “How do you know?”

Lucas' eyes widen and he looks at Dorothy in wonderment, a smile unlike any she's seen from him coming to his lips. “I had broken ribs once. I don't remember how I got them – but I remember that it was several years ago and I remember how badly they hurt.” He laughs, delighted and hopeful, and Dorothy grins up at him. “Can my memories – can they just? Come back like that?”

“I'm not really sure,” Dorothy admits, reaching for him, “but I think so.” They kiss, as sweetly as the first time. “Get in here,” she instructs when they pull apart, drawing her legs up to give him room. He strips off his undergarments and climbs in opposite her, their legs tangling as they get comfortable.

“Can you hand me that?” Dorothy asks him, pointing to a small cloth the attendant had left on the chair near Lucas' end of the tub and admiring the way the water runs down his back as he twists to reach it. He passes it to her and she wets it, scooting towards him to run it over his face. Gently, she wipes all the dirt from his neck and torso, too, careful around the cuts and bruises and over his ribs, which she checks again for good measure. His breathing slows beneath her ministrations and the tension in his muscles eases, his eyelids drooping but not closing.

When she begins to run the wash clothes over herself, leaving the parts of his body she can't see past the soap bubbled up in the tub to him, he takes it from her and gives her the same attention.

Once they're otherwise clean, they take turns rubbing soap into each others' hair, Lucas going limp when she kneads at the base of his skull. She turns her back to him so that he can reach all of her hair and when he's washed and rinsed her locks, he draws her against him. Dorothy can feel his heart beat against her back.

The water is cool around them when she turns to face him again. She draws her hand along the base of his neck, mindful of the skin that was rubbed raw by the chain, then moves her hand slowly down the center of his chest, intending to follow the path under the water. Lucas slips a hand under hers, stopping her.

"No, I-I can't," he tells her, breathing stuttered, chest heaving under their locked eyes and clasped hands. "It's not about not wanting you. I want you." He makes a yearning noise deep in his throat. "I'd rather go back up on that cross than not have you. I just can't," he tilts his head toward where she'd been traveling with her hand, "do that. Tonight."

"Oh," Dorothy says and then, with realization, "Oh." She smiles gently at him, drawing her hand from his to caress his brow. "We can sleep. You need it." Her brow furrows as she lowers her gaze to the mark the chain left on his neck.

"No, no. No, I want you," he repeats emphatically, leaning forward to tuck his face beneath her chin, moving so quickly that water sloshes over the sides of the tub. "Can I – please Dorothy – can I touch you?" He moans against the side of her neck, high on just the notion. "Taste you?"

Dorothy shudders beneath him. "Are you sure? You had a bad day," she reminds him, a hand lingering on the bruises over his ribs.

"Dorothy." He scrapes his teeth along the underside of her jaw. "Please."

She puts her other hand in his hair, arching beneath his touch. "Okay. Jesus. Yes. Lucas. Yes."

"Jesus?" he asks, palming one breast and nipping gently at her throat.

She gasps, "Later, later, I'll explain – later."

Lucas pulls back to smile at her before leaning back in for a kiss, his lips tender against her own. He licks at her bottom lip and pulls away, bringing her after him, mouth open softly, her eyes still closed.

He takes her hand and gently helps her stand, guiding her out of the tub as he steps out himself and she keeps trying to lean in to continue their kissing. He laughs in the middle of her third attempt and she catches him at the height of it, their renewed kissing mixed with smiles and laughter as they do a poor job of drying each other off with the towels they've grasped. After several moments of dripping and kissing, they pull apart to finally do the job properly.

He runs the towel over her hair to stop it dripping down her back, gently rubbing her scalp until she thinks her legs are going to melt. She's holding herself up with her hands at his waist, the towel she was using slipping from her grasp. Reverently, he slides the towel down her back and her flank, kneels to run it up one calf and thigh and down the other, so careful and sweet at the apex she almost starts to cry.

She keeps her hands lightly on his shoulders to balance herself, running a forefinger softly over the mark left from the chain. He shudders when she does, then lifts her foot to rest on his thigh so that he can reach a rivulet he missed on the back of that calf. He kisses the inside of her knee before placing her foot back on the floor and standing up again, trading her towel for the one she'd been using for him.

He runs the towel quickly over himself, ignoring her attempts to give him the same treatment he'd given her, her reprimanding, "Lucas," met only with a teasing, "Dorothy," despite her hands on her hips and stern look.

"C'mon," he encourages her, taking both her hands and pulling her to the bed, smiling sweetly. She capitulates and falls grinning to the mattress beneath him. He props himself up on his elbows above her, using both hands to brush her hair back from her face. The adoration on his face is so intense it's hard to look at, so Dorothy opts for close-eyed kissing instead. He can hardly kiss her back for grinning, his joy radiant and warm.

He trails kisses down her neck and along her collarbone and by the time he reaches her breasts, she hears him murmuring “Thank you thank you” in between pressing his lips to her. Both the kisses and the thank yous get shakier as he goes.

"Hey, hey," she soothes, placing one hand on his shoulder and the other on the side of his face and drawing him back up. A splash against her collarbone lets her know that he's crying. "It's okay."

Lucas buries his face in the side of her neck. Dorothy runs her hands through his hair and down over his shoulder blades, mindful of the tender places.

“What's wrong?” she asks, bringing her hands up to his face. “Lucas?”

He pulls back far enough that she can hear him speak, carefully arranging his weight to the side of her. “I-I thought I'd never see you again. I was so sure...” He exhales, a soft, awed puff of breath against her neck. “I'm grateful to you. For you.” He pushes himself up onto his elbows over her again, mouthing at her jaw before sliding down to hover above her waist. When he looks up at her, his eyes are hungry and glinting and the wicked curve of his smile makes her bite her lip. “I want to show you.”

Tenderly, he draws her legs apart, whimpering at the tableau she creates when she brings her arms up, too. She's balling her hands in fists in the sheets and he hasn't even touched her yet.

He leans down and runs the tip of his nose up the inside of her right thigh, mindful of his beard. One thumb rubs tender circles on the inside of her right knee, while the other does the same over her hip. He reaches the apex and skips over to the other side, running his tongue down her opposite thigh, mingling the licking with kisses as he climbs back up again.

He gently slips a finger between her folds, to test her readiness, and she arches her back at the contact. “Lucas,” she pants, reaching for him. Lucas meets her reaching hand with his free hand, moving up to kiss her knuckles. She smiles at him, eyes dark.

She's wet against his fingertip, so one finger becomes two. He finds her clit, rubbing in tender circles until she's grinding down to meet him. Her grip on his hand is white-knuckled. He kisses her breasts, licking around her nipples and skating his teeth along the ribs below them. He moves higher to capture her lips with his as his fingers move lower, teasing her entrance. The noises she makes when he does nearly cause him to collapse on top of her. He takes a moment to catch his breath, his forehead resting against hers.

Dorothy stares up at him, tamping down on the desire to bring her other hand to rest against his cheek because she doesn't want to end this moment early. His lips are parted beneath her gaze and when his eyes open again, she does bring a hand up, rests her thumb on his bottom lip. He nips the tip gently, pulling back far enough that she can see his eyes without going cross-eyed again. The look on her face takes his breath away. She sees his breath hitch and presses up against him to lend him hers.

The kiss dissolves into nuzzling and panting, Lucas' eager fingers waiting between her thighs. “Ready?” he gasps against her cheek.

Dorothy nods, feeling the drag of his beard on the side of her face. He leaves one last kiss on her temple and moves down her body again. As he carefully pushes one finger inside her, he lays his next kiss on her clit. Her legs come up over his shoulders, heels resting in the small of his back. The hands they were holding rest against her flank, fingers hooked around each other still.

He lavishes attention on her clit, licking in circles and swipes and moaning against her core, drunk on her taste. He's worked up to two fingers crooking inside of her when her breathing changes and her body tenses up.

His fierce grinning causes his efforts to get sloppy but no less effective and in moments, Dorothy is tumbling over the edge, gasping and writhing and tripping over his name. Her free hand holds him in place, where he is all too happy to stay, until most of the waves have been ridden out. When she goes limp against the bed, he gently untangles himself from her, so that he can nuzzle at all the parts of her he missed. He kisses her knees, her shins, the inside of her ankles. He brushes his lips over her hips, around her flank, up her sides, bouncing against her at her uneven breathing.

She brings her hands to the sides of his face when he reaches what he's determined is his favorite spot on her neck again and draws him up for a kiss. She slips her tongue between his lips and over his teeth, light and loving. His hands tangle in her hair; her fingernails skritch at the base of his skull. He carefully lays just enough of his weight on her to give her warmth. They kiss and they kiss and they kiss.

When Lucas pulls back, it's only to ask, “Again?” with great hopefulness.