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[personal profile] novembersmith
MASTER POST
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

***

“Ray,” Bravo grumbles, twitching her tail, and Ray leaves off singing about the perfidy of sailors and the numerous diseases they pick up in every port of call, craning his head to look up at her. It is very dark now, the sun long set, but there is a full moon and he can see the ivory glint of her teeth and the narrowed slits of her eyes.

“Yes, buttercup? Is something wrong?”

“Only that I am trying to sleep,” she says pointedly, rearranging herself and flapping her wings with a decidedly irritated air. “And you will not stop singing about dickrot, which sounds very unpleasant and is not restful at all.”

“Oh,” Ray says, sheepish, and huddles down in his coat. It is cold out in this stupid paddock, and Brad is probably inside the fort somewhere, flushed with good wine and food and smiling at stupid Captain Fick and his stupid tales of stupid heroics on the high seas. And now even his dragon is annoyed with him. “Sorry.”

Bravo sighs and flicks him with the tip of her tail; he will have a bruise on his arm in the morning, but he supposes he deserves it, so he doesn’t complain.

“No, I am awake now. You might as well tell me what is wrong and who has been troubling you, and I will go stomp them and then we can go to sleep.”

“Nothing’s wrong,” Ray protests, and makes to get up. “I’ve been keeping you awake, and we’ve only a few days before we take off on this blockading madness. You should rest.”

“Something is so wrong,” Bravo protests lowly and traps him within a cage of her talons, peering at him. “You have been very quiet lately, and I wish to know why. I am your dragon, I should know if something is amiss with you.”

“I’m not quiet,” Ray seethes, and then sighs and pillows his arms on one enormous claw. “Am I quiet? I am trying to be normal.”

“You are not talking half as much as you normally do,” she assures him. “I noticed in the map room. You just played with that tiny knife and glared a lot, and said very little, even though the conversation was quite interesting. I was going to ask you about it, only then you took forever to come outside and when you did you only smoked and drank rum and sang songs and did not want to talk to me.”

“The conversation was not that interesting,” Ray says, scowling. “Did you really think it was interesting? Is Fick just that fantastic? And I always want to talk to you, don’t be ridiculous.”

“Normally you do. And Captain Fick seems very lovely,” Bravo says, sounding taken aback. “We are going flying in the morning. I am going to show him how very fast and clever we are, and then he will better understand how we can trounce the French together. It will be quite fun, I think. He seems very fond of dragons; it is sad he is stuck with a boring ship instead.”

“Traitor,” Ray accuses miserably. “Why don’t you just take him for captain and then you and Brad will be blissfully happy, and I will go live in a cave and eat worms and those creepy fish without eyes.”

“You will not,” Bravo says indignantly, forgetting to whisper. “I would dig you out, and then Brad would shake you, which is quite right. You are being remarkably silly, and that is saying a lot. You are often quite ridiculous, you know.”

Ray mumbles into her scales unhappily and doesn’t respond or look up. His own dragon thinks Fick is marvelous. A cave is sounding better and better. He’s sure he saw some on the flight in; he could live there and try to grow a beard that wasn’t all patches and eat raw fish and scare the local townspeople. They’d call him the Zany Ragamuffin Aviator and children would throw stones at him and he’d gibber and make beer out of seaweed and froth all over his facial hair. It’d be miserable. It sounds perfect.

“You,” Bravo says after a moment, with an air of smug realization, “are jealous. Hah! And it serves you right, after all your talk of how brilliant Captain Granby is, when he is not a patch on Captain Fick, who is very noble and kind and thinks I am the loveliest, most capable dragon he ever saw.”

“Damn straight you are,” Ray mutters, and prudently does not address the rest of the sentence.

“Well, I will not stomp Captain Fick, he is very nice. So we will have to fix this some other way,” she says, with an air that suggests she thinks she is being very sensible.

“You don’t have to fix anything,” Ray tells her, and paws at coat pocket for his flask of rum, which is unfortunately half-empty, which means he is not going to be able to get nearly drunk enough to navigate this conversation without clawing his own eyes out. “Nothing needs to be fixed, everything is, what’s it, copacetic. Everything is peachy, wonderful. Delightful.”

“It is not,” Bravo says, snorting. “You are not allowed to be upset. You are my captain, and we will fix this together. Even though you were very cruel before and a great hypocrite, I do not want you to be jealous of Fick. You know I love you best.”

“Well, I would hope so,” Ray says, mollified slightly, and then she continues.

“And Brad loves you best too, and he will tell you so when he gets back from dinner.”

“He’ll probably just tell me what a smashing dinner it was and how fabulous Fick’s conversation is,” Ray says morosely, then immediately realizes his mistake when she rumbles interestedly and lowers her head to look at him more closely, her pupils wide and black in the scant light of the moon.

“That is why you are so upset? You are upset that he has gone to dinner with Nate?” she asks interestedly, lashing her tail, and Ray moans and covers his eyes. And it’s Nate, now, apparently. God, that’s annoying.

“I’m not upset! Just, leave it,” he begs. He takes another swig of rum and prays it will help. It doesn’t. “And please, for the love of Christ, don’t bring it up with Brad. Brad doesn’t need to know about this conversation ever. Ever.”

“You want to mate with Brad!” Bravo says brightly, out of fucking nowhere. Ray has a small heart attack. “That makes very good sense; I think you should do it. I do not like you mating with all these random people. This is much better. Brad will take excellent care of you, and we will not have to share you with anyone else.”

“Nooooo,” Ray moans incredulously. “How did you even guess that? You couldn’t possibly have guessed that, I haven’t said anything! And not that I do want to tup Brad, mind, because I don’t.”

“You do!” she croons excitedly. “I can tell! You have that look upon your face, and sometimes it means you are hungry, but I know you ate at dinner. I was worried, because you seemed so out of sorts, and I asked Walt and he said you ate well and stole all of the trifle and snarled at him.” Walt is going down later, Ray vows. He’s going to figure out some thankless, godforsaken task and assign Walt to it forever. Something involving dragon dung, possibly. “So I think it must be that you want to mate with Brad, and are cross he has gone out with Captain Fick instead.”

“I do not want to mate with Brad,” Ray repeats miserably. The rum is not helping in the slightest. She snorts and Ray deflates sulkily.

“You do so,” she says, twitching her tail minutely, sounding hugely amused.

Ray gives it up. “I do,” he admits grumpily. “I want to rub myself all over him with my egg spurs and never let him leave the bed, ever, and buy him all the crazy stupid pointless maps of the Macedonian empire and Faerie and fucking—fucking Worchester in the entire world.”

“He does like maps a great deal,” Bravo concurs thoughtfully. “That sounds like a fine idea, although I do think perhaps something shiny and gold would be good too. Also, I thought human males did not have egg spurs, but testicles? Yes, bollocks, that was what Lilley called them.”

“Compass,” Ray mumbles, wondering vaguely why that fucknut Lilley had been talking to Bravo about bollocks. “I could get him a shiny fucking sextant. With tourmalines. Pink ones.”

“That sounds lovely, Ray,” Bravo says earnestly, nudging him encouragingly with her nose. “We have amassed some capital these last few months, have we not, with all our victories? You should buy him one immediately. He will be quite pleased, I am sure.”

“He would probably make me eat it,” Ray tells her sadly. “And anyway, it doesn’t matter. Brad doesn’t want me.”

“Ray, you are being stupid, again,” Bravo protests. “Brad will be very happy to have you, you are the best man in existence, obviously. You are my captain, and you have said you are quite good at sex. Why would he not want you?”

“Well, you are a little biased, aren’t you? And he doesn’t like men, not really. He likes women. And anyway, if Brad did make an exception and fall for a man, it for damned sure wouldn’t be for me. Nate, maybe. Not me.”

“Well, why not?” Bravo asks, sounding affronted. Her tail is beginning to lash dangerously again; Ray’s starting to fear for the nearby outbuildings. “You are quite handsome for a human, I think, and excellent with a sword or with a rifle. And he looks at you quite often, and he was very jealous over Captain Granby, too. I think he wants to mate with you as well. What is the word, for men? To sod you, that is right.”

“Shhh,” Ray says despondently. “Don’t be vulgar, people can hear you.” And then he bites his lip, cannot help but ask: “What do you mean, he looks at me?”

“Like he is hungry!” Bravo affirms, nodding sagely, like she is the font of all human knowledge on sexuality. “Even after he has already eaten. For humans, that means they want to have sex, does it not? This is quite exciting. You should tell him you would like to give him pleasure with your mouth. Human men like that quite a lot, from what you have said. I am sure you would be good at it, Ray, you are good at everything, and you can give him a jeweled compass or globe or something later.”

“I hate to break it to you, love, but I’m not much good at most things,” Ray says, deflating. Bravo is a brilliant dragon, there’s no doubt, but he sincerely doubts Brad has ever looked at him like that, with hunger. More like with ‘must keep an eye on coal-bred halfwit so he doesn’t get us all killed,’ if anything.

He tilts what is left of the rum into his mouth, letting the flask fall to the ground with a hollow thud. He keeps thinking of Nathan, bright-eyed and intelligent and beautiful. Ray is scarred and stupid and can't shut up, and he has no idea how Brad has withstood his company all these years, has been glad but mystified, and now Brad has found someone better, and that's good, except Ray sort of wants to die. He sighs. “I’m hardly good at anything, really. Good at talking. That’s it. I’m loud. No one in their right mind would choose me, not for keeps. Too loud. I drink too much coffee.”

“I am in my right mind,” Bravo says, sounding a bit cross, and normally Ray would tease her over it, but he’s too busy wallowing in self-pity at the moment, but as she continues he finds himself going pink and astonished. “And I like very much when you talk. You talk wonderfully. You tell the best stories of anyone. That is why I chose you. All the other humans did not have nearly so much to say, even Brad, whom you know I like very well. But you say everything, and it is always true, even if you do exaggerate.”

Ray cannot speak for a moment. “Thank you,” he says hoarsely, and she nuzzles him.

“So very silly,” she says fondly.

“Silly is one word for it,” a voice says, and Ray is entirely sure that his heart has stopped. If someone shot him at this exact moment, his blood wouldn’t run. It’s all frozen in his veins, pooling in his chest and catching thick in throat, making him choke.

Maybe he’s hallucinating—the bloke he’d bought the rum from had looked a bit dodgy. Maybe he’d slipped wormwood in it.

“You twits do realize everyone with an open window can hear you?” Brad asks in a terrifyingly even voice, and he’s entirely in darkness. Ray can’t see his face, but he has a sneaking suspicion Brad is less than pleased with him. Maybe if he hunkers down in Bravo’s talons, Brad will disappear and this will be some odd and terrible dream. But, now that he thinks of it, he and Bravo had left off whispering about halfway through the conversation, and neither of them are especially quiet even when they are trying to keep their voices down. Bravo talking at a normal volume—Ray blanches. Christ, everyone in the entire fort probably had heard them.

“They are quite loud,” Marisol agrees, grumbling, raising her head. Her great yellow eyes gleam in the moonlight, narrow and obviously annoyed. “Some of us are trying to sleep.” She noses Anima and sighs. “Of course she can sleep through anything, but some of us are more particular. Do be quiet, Bravo.”

“Oh, as though you would be quiet if it were Tony who was upset,” Bravo says indignantly, straightening, and incidentally letting go of Ray and exposing him to Brad.

Brad stands above him, staring down silently, blocking out the stars.

“Um,” Ray says, sprawling in the dirt, ignoring the squabbling of the dragons beside him. “Did you… hear much of that?”

“We all heard much of that,” Brad says pointedly, hauling Ray to his feet.

“I, ah, hope I didn’t interrupt your dinner,” Ray offers feebly, wincing as Brad takes a firm grip on his arm and begins towing him off towards the barracks. “With Fick. I mean, Nathan. Nate. He seems… quite nice. A good bloke. Erm. Sorry about all the, ah, talk of sodding. Maybe he didn’t hear? Or maybe he didn’t hear clearly. Maybe he… misinterpreted. Somehow. In a good way.”

“Ray, be quiet,” Brad interrupts tersely, and Ray shuts up. This is it. The face of his death. He can see it in the broad lines of Brad’s back, the tense muscles and the way his shoulders are hunched, can feel it in how his wrist is currently being bruised black and blue in Brad’s grip. Brad’s going to beat him to death with a shoe, like he always threatened to do when they were children. Ray has finally tipped the scales with his inappropriate conversation, and Brad is going to toss him off a cliff, or actually find him a muzzle, or possibly just read military ordinances about standards of proper etiquette at Ray until he dies of sheer boredom. All cruel and unusual and preferable to Brad being horrified and disgusted with Ray, which Ray’s trying not to think about. Surely Brad wouldn’t be holding on to Ray’s wrist so tightly, skin on skin, fingers on Ray’s pulse, if he were actually repulsed, would he?

Brad leads him through the shadowed halls at a quick, steady pace, and the smart sound of his boots against the stone is completely at odds with the frantic, uneven beat of Ray’s heart. They pass some of their crew, and Ray’s about to maybe ask for help, crack a joke about his impending funeral, but Brad drags him inexorably onward, and Ray almost thinks he hears a growl, so he snaps his mouth shut on a nervous witticism and tries not to trip over his own feet.

“Um, Brad?” he asks, voice annoyingly uncertain. “Where are we going?”

“Your room,” Brad says flatly, and opens the door, gestures Ray in. Ray balks, and Brad’s eyes glint strangely. “Raymond,” he says, and that is definitely a growl, and Ray definitely does not squeak and dart across the threshold upon hearing it.

Huh, he has time to think. There’s no vat of vipers or riflemen or guillotine blades waiting for them. Maybe Brad’s not as angry as Ray thought. Maybe he just wants to chew Ray out in private. And then Brad’s shoving him up against the closed door and just staring at him. He’s breathing shallowly, and his eyes are huge and dark. Ray feels something shift in his brain, slotting facts and memories and impressions together like clockwork gears. His mouth drops open.

“You—I thought you were angry with me,” he says weakly, just before Brad kisses him.

Brad’s got Ray’s hands up over his head, pinned effortlessly against the door, and Ray’s never felt as the differences in their heights as he does at this moment. Brad has one hand wrapped around both Ray’s wrists and another at the small of his back, pressing their hips together, and he’s towering over Ray and kissing him like he wants to steal the breath from Ray’s lungs. Ray can’t move, but he can’t stay quiet, either, can’t keep from moaning into Brad’s mouth and trying to curse and say Brad’s name all at once, desperate and disbelieving. He feels like he’s dreaming. Brad’s hard—hard against Ray’s hip, and it’s entirely possible Ray might come in his trousers like a schoolboy, right this second.

“I am angry with you,” Brad breathes against Ray’s mouth, between kisses, and then presses their foreheads together. “You’ve done a number of things over the last few days, Captain Person, that have made me exceedingly angry. Let’s examine them together.”

“Huh?” Ray says, dazed, and then has to struggle to stay on his feet as Brad releases him.

“Get on the bed,” Brad says casually, and when Ray just slumps against the wall and stares at him for a moment, he smiles slightly. “Do you really want to add to the list of your wrongdoings, Captain Person? Then I suggest you hustle. No, on your back. Lay down. Yes, that’s good, Ray, like that.”

Ray lies down awkwardly on the hard mattress—this isn’t exactly luxury, here. The room’s musty and the only light comes from a few flickering candles in the corner, but he’s not complaining, definitely not, because Brad is watching him, arms crossed, leaning against the bedpost and smiling slightly. Ray wets his lips and Brad’s attention zeroes in on the movement, Ray sees it. Fuck.

“Holy bollocks,” he breathes, rising up on his elbows, eyes huge. “Bravo was right. You want—” Ray can’t quite say ‘me,’ can’t believe it, even when his mouth is still raw and bruised with Brad’s kiss, when he can see Brad staring at him right now with dark eyes and a hand cupping himself idly through his trousers. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Brad Colbert, the Casanova of His Majesty’s Aerial Corps, you—what the fuck, Brad, I thought you had better taste than this. I thought—”

“Yes, we’ve established that for one of the better captains and tactical thinkers in the Corps, you are a cripplingly stupid man, Ray, but you do have your good qualities, buried somewhere under all the bullshit, so I’ll thank you to leave my tastes out of this. Now, I think we’ve both been laboring under a few key misapprehensions, and we are, by God, going to talk about them. Take off your belt.”

“Wait, I—what the fuck, Brad?” Ray says, and Brad smiles. It makes Ray clutch at the blankets.

“I like that you’re still lying down for me, Ray,” Brad purrs, and Ray goes hot all over. “Now, take off your belt.” Ray does, hands moving automatically.

“You’ve been hiding things from me, Ray,” Brad says, “for a very long time. Now, I understand your reluctance at first, but I admit to being a bit disgruntled at the lack of trust this demonstrates.”

“Oh, come on!” Ray says faintly. “It’s not like you said anything, and I—”

“I did say something,” Brad interrupts, voice sharp, and Ray remembers the look on his face in the baths when Ray’d pushed him away. “And in return, I only got to overhear your drunken, incoherent, addle-pated thoughts on the matter when you’d decided to talk to your dragon about it. Not to me. Open your trousers, Ray. I’m going to watch you touch yourself. Now.”

Ray stares, gaping, and Brad narrows his eyes. “Ah,” Ray says faintly, and then slips his hand below the waist of his breeches, and fuck, he’s so hard already, and Brad’s watching him, moving closer and standing over him. “I didn’t—” he says jerkily, giving himself a tentative stroke and eyes nearly crossing at how insanely good it feels, Brad’s gaze on him heated and as tangible as his own hand, maybe more so. “I thought you felt sorry for me,” he stutters, tries not to pant. “I didn’t think—”

“No, you didn’t think. Thinking has not been your forte, lately. Faster, Ray, don’t act like a fucking vestal virgin, here. Do you need me to show you?” Ray shudders all over as Brad’s hand closes around his. Speeding the pace of his strokes, thumb brushing over the head, where Ray’s already wet and leaking, and Ray moans, can’t bite down on the needy sound he makes soon enough.

“Fuck,” Brad says lowly. “Yes, like that. Fuck, Ray, look at you.”

“Is this meant to be punishment?” Ray gasps, bucking his hips. He can’t stop looking at Brad’s face, the slight flush to his cheeks and the way his mouth has fallen open. “Because I have to say, Lieutenant, it’s not very—ah, Christ—effective, but I’ll be more open with you in the future, I swear—” he breaks off, panting.

“Oh, Ray,” Brad says fondly, and then he leans down and catches Ray’s hand mid-stroke, mouths a messy, wet kiss over Ray’s fingers and Ray’s cock jerks and his eyes roll back in his head. “Mmm,” Brad says. “Now, let’s talk. When in your entire, backwards, coal-fed, word-grubbing, wastrel existence have I ever even slightly intimated that I feel sorry for you? Moreover, when have you ever known me to offer you pity?”

“What?” Ray says faintly, and hisses through his teeth as Brad tightens his grip and then lets go.

“Don’t lose speed, Captain, I promise you won’t like the consequences.” Brad’s voice is barely above a whisper, but it’s dark and slightly unsteady and wild, and Ray moans and, if anything, picks up the pace. Fuck, he’s going to explode. “Answer the question.”

“It was a reasonable assessment of the situation,” Ray protests, fighting not to close his eyes. “Brad, I—fuck, I just, you never liked men, what the fuck was I supposed to think, I don’t—”

“I know you’re good with both hands,” Brad interrupts, and Ray shakes his head in protest, can’t think, and Brad takes his left hand and pulls it down to his balls. “Don’t come yet.”

“Brad,” Ray says, eyes wide and throat tight. “Christ, I can’t—fuck, Brad, please let me—I want to touch you before I— please.”

“Yes,” Brad says, sounding dazed, and then bites his lower lip. “I mean, no, not yet, you don’t get to touch yet. We’re not done here. But keep talking, Ray. Don’t stop. Tell me what you want.”

“I want,” oh god, Ray wants so much he feels like his tongue’s going to trip over itself getting it all out. “I want you on top of me and I want to touch and fuck, Brad, your hands, please, why are you so—please touch me,” he begs, and Brad leans over him and Ray’s hips strain up frantically. “I’m sorry, I should have said something, should have told you, but it’s you, and I wanted you for so long, and—”

Brad stops him, cuts him off with a kiss, lewd brilliant tongue and the taste of salt and skin, climbing on top of Ray and straddling his hips. Ray moans into him, bucking upward, and Brad hums back, pleased. It’s hot and filthy and then Brad breaks off and whispers into Ray’s mouth, “Come now.” And Ray does, comes with a sharp cry all over his own fingers and then falls back in the tangled blankets, dazed.

“You should have trusted me. You should have told me at the beginning. And that’s one,” Brad says huskily, and Ray has time to think, ‘What? One what?’ before Brad’s biting his throat, sending shivers all up and down Ray’s spine, and then there’s a hand swiping through the mess on his lower belly. Ray lets out a low, helpless noise and then Brad’s smearing wetness on his lips and Ray can taste it, taste himself.

“Yes,” Brad says breathlessly in Ray’s ear, and fuck, Ray’s getting hard again, just like that. “Yeah, just like that, fuck, your mouth, Ray, you’ve got such a perfect cocksucking mouth, don’t you. Oh—”

Ray’s a little smug at that choked off noise, the startled sound Brad makes when Ray swirls his tongue around Brad’s fingers and mouths between his knuckles. Then Brad’s pulling his hand away and Ray’s the one making a needy noise, missing the fullness of Brad’s hand in the mouth, wants Brad’s skin back beneath his teeth and tongue.

“Yeah, you want it,” Brad breathes unsteadily, and bites just below Ray’s ear. “Say you want it.”

“Fuck you, you know I want it,” Ray says, letting his eyes slip close, breathing heavily.

“It makes me so fucking angry I can barely speak, Ray,” Brad says conversationally, and Ray’s eyes snap back open. He’s still straddling Ray’s hips and he’s staring right at him, eye to eye. Ray goes still, hypnotized. So fucking blue, Brad’s eyes. “Thinking of you doing this with those other men, when it should have been me. It would have been me, if you’d just said something. When I first found out about it, I was so angry with you, and I didn’t know why, not exactly. I didn’t think less of you. That’s not it at all. And I admit I was a bit infuriated to find it out from a stranger, rather than from you.” Ray aches, opens his mouth to apologize, but Brad’s not done talking. “But more than that, I couldn’t stop thinking of it, of you with those men. You fucking them. Them fucking you. Did you think of me when you were with them, Ray? Tell me.”

“Yes,” Ray hisses out between his teeth, too desperate to be embarrassed, bucking his hips up against Brad. “God, yes, Brad, I—Jesus!”

Brad’s taken himself out of his trousers, and he’s long and hard and touching himself, and Ray wants, oh fuck, he wants, but Brad’s got one hand on Ray’s chest, pinning him down, and he can’t reach and it’s driving him mad.

“I thought about it, pictured it. And you know what I found out, Ray?” He leans down and looks Ray in the face, says sharply. “I found out I hated it. Because you’re mine. Those men shouldn’t get to have you, shouldn’t get any part of you.”

“They didn’t,” Ray says, trying to struggle up, and oh god, Brad’s just pushing him down harder; he’s going to have a bruise in the shape of Brad’s hand on his chest, and he fucking loves it. He had no idea that he’d love it like this. “It was always—it was always about you, fuck.”

“Tell me what you thought about,” Brad says, eyes half-lidded. He’s stroking himself insanely slow, it’s driving Ray crazy just to look. “Ray.”

“Your hands,” Ray says automatically, and he can’t decide where to look. Brad’s face, his hand, the sweat gleaming on his chest. Ray’s not a teenager any more, his cock shouldn’t be filling again so quickly, oversensitive and hard, but it is, and the friction of Brad’s movement against him is so pleasurable it almost hurts. “Everything about you. I want to suck you, please—Brad, God, please, I want to touch you, please let me.”

“When we’re done here,” Brad says evenly, “you won’t know anyone’s name but mine. And then you can touch me wherever and whenever you want. But you’re mine first, do you understand? Now. Tell me what you want.” And he’s slowly unbuttoning Ray’s shirt as he speaks. Ray can barely even talk, he’s so turned on, and Brad is managing to jack off, talk, and undress Ray all at the same time. In some distant corner of Ray’s mind that isn’t a mass of jangling lust, he’s not surprised.

Ray gets it now, gets the punishment—tell Brad all about the things he wants but can’t have, not yet, but Ray can tell Brad’s on the edge too, however good a show of control he’s putting on. Ray can still barely fucking believe it, that he can make Brad look like that. He licks his lips and lies back and tests it.

“Brad. Bradley, I do have a cocksucking mouth, I’m so good at it,” he says roughly, and grins darkly when Brad goes suddenly still. “Believe me, you have no idea how good. Have the girls you’ve been with sucked you off? I can take you so deep, your huge cock, look at it, you’re so hard, Brad and my mouth’s so fucking filthy, isn’t it, filthy and wet and all yours. Brad, it’ll feel so good, please let me, god, I’ll make it so good for you.”

“I know you will,” Brad says huskily, pupils blown and dark, irises the thinnest ring of blue. “Not yet, oh fuck, Ray. Keep talking.” His hand’s speeded up and he’s fallen forward, pressing Ray into the bed, and his hair’s come loose and is drifting gold in the candlelight, and Ray wants. He tries to struggle up and can’t, still can’t. Fuck, Brad’s so fucking strong. He feels his cock jerk involuntarily as he arches up into Brad’s hand.

“Brad, it was always you, I always thought of you and this and how you’d look, and this is so much better, so much,” he says, moans, and he can barely think, barely articulate anything at all. Brad leans down and kisses him, pants through it, and then comes over Ray’s chest in a hot wet splash and Ray jerks beneath him.

“Mine,” Brad whispers, and then collapses on top of him, kissing his neck and snaking a hand between them, and oh Christ, that’s a hand on his dick, right now, Brad’s hand on his dick, and Brad just came all over him. Ray makes a keening noise, doesn’t know where to move, and he’s hard again, fuck. When Brad arches up and looks Ray in the face and says, “Now,” Ray does, comes right then, right there, comes all over Brad’s fingers and then maybe passes out for a moment, vision sparkling.

When he swims back to consciousness, Brad’s shucked off his trousers and smallclothes and is pressing kisses all over Ray’s belly, tongue thoughtfully tasting the seed he’d left there, and Ray’s cock gives a weak, helpless twitch.

“Mmm,” Brad rumbles. “Good boy, Ray. That’s two.”

“Brad,” Ray says, pained, and wants to struggle upright, but all his muscles have turned to taffy or tar, liquid and useless in the heat of this. “Brad, you’re going to fucking kill me.”

“No, I’m not,” Brad says, eyelashes tickling Ray’s skin as he rubs his face over Ray like some kind of gigantic, scorchingly hot cat. Marking him. Fuck. “And you’re not done yet. Remember how you avoided me for days? Remember that, Ray?”

“I’m so fucking sorry,” Ray says, and he’s serious, if he’d known—he feels like the worst kind of heel, remembering how Brad had looked when Ray shoved him away: as though Ray had swung around and cold-cocked him, shocked and confused and hurt.

“I know,” Brad says, nuzzling him. “Ray, can I fuck you?”

“Can you—yes?” Ray says weakly. “You want to? But you need—but I, Brad, I didn’t think you even knew—”

“Oh, you want to talk about what I want now, do you?” Brad says idly, and then stretches and reaches for something on the bedstand, and Ray’s entire body thrums like a plucked bowstring when he recognizes it—a pot of oil they use on the harnesses. Brad’s body is golden and perfect in the candlelight, and he’s settling between Ray’s legs with a wicked smirk, and Ray is going to die, he really is. “You certainly didn’t want to talk about it before.”

“It’s hard to talk about,” Ray says feebly, and then moans Brad’s name and writhes.

“Hold still, Person,” Brad says, sounding fascinated, watching his own fingers moving in and out of Ray’s body, and that’s enough right there to nearly kill Ray, and if he hadn’t just come twice, each time so hard his muscles had dissolved and bones gone to jelly, he’d be getting hard again, right now. “Fuck, Ray, you’re so fucking tight.”

“Yeah, like that, do you?” Ray says, trying to breathe, get some semblance of control back. “Gonna like it when it’s around your cock, Brad?” And Brad looks up at him from lowered lashes, smirks, and twists his fingers, and Ray’s hips leave the bed. “Fuck fuck fuck,” he bites out. “Fuck, Brad, you fucking tease, God.”

“You think I’m the tease, do you,” Brad says mildly, but his voice is trembling a bit. “Ray, you—yeah, I like that. I’m going to like it. And you’ll feel me all tomorrow, all the day after, and you’ll know it was me inside you, and you’ll love it. It’ll make you hard all over again, won’t it, knowing it was me that fucked you.”

“Yes, yes, fucking do it already,” Ray retorts, eyes screwed shut, trying to get better leverage on Brad’s fingers and whining helplessly when Brad just pins his hips down with his free hand.

“Not yet,” Brad says hoarsely. “Come on, Ray,” and then he’s, oh fuck no, Ray really can’t, he really will die.

“You can, baby,” Brad croons, and lets go of Ray’s hip to dip his fingers back in the oil and wrap them around Ray’s half-hard cock, and Ray keens miserably. “Do it for me.”

“I can’t, Brad, oh god, your hands, you fucker, I can’t, I can’t.” Ray doesn’t even know if he’s talking out loud or not anymore, if he’s just writhing helplessly, trying to get more of Brad’s hands, trying to get away from them, but Brad’s everywhere and he loves it and it’s killing him.

“You’re so good, Ray, and you’re mine,” punctuated by a sharp nip to Ray’s thigh, then a wet, open-mouthed kiss to the same place, and Ray’s entire body is on fire, he’s going to die. “Come on, for me, darling. God, like that, look at you. Fucking beautiful. No one else gets to see this ever again, you understand me? No one.”

“Brad,” Ray whispers, and comes. He lays there and listens to Brad praise him, dazed and stupid with it, and then fuck, Brad wants him to move, Brad’s fucking insane.

“I’ll make it so good,” Brad promises thickly, kisses Ray’s stomach and then helps him roll over. Ray’s shaky and helpless and fuck, fuck, he can barely think. Brad, it’s Brad telling him to get on his knees, that he’s being so good, that Brad can barely stand even looking at him, he’s wanted it so long and Ray’s so perfect, look at him, being so fucking good. “Take such good care of you, baby.”

“Get on with it, Colbert, Christ,” Ray manages to grit out, getting his knees under him and shaking sweaty hair out of his eyes. He wants to just lay there and never move again, but it’s Brad, and Brad will mock him for the rest of his life if he gives up now, and so he manages. He’s rewarded with a wet kiss to the small of his back and Brad’s shaky breath against his skin, panting. “What are you doing,” Ray says unsteadily. “Writing a sonnet back there?”

Brad laughs, surprised and husky, and says, “Well, you do have a surprisingly lovely arse, Ray.” And Ray’s about to say something snippy back, but then he can’t say anything at all except a random collection of syllables, a noise that’s not a word in any language whatsoever. He has space to think that Brad really, really shouldn’t be this good at sodomy, it’s not fair, Ray’s been a sodomite for years and years and no one in the world is this good at it. But Brad’s good at everything, isn’t he.

“Should have thought of that earlier,” Brad moans, and plasters himself against Ray’s back, sweat slick and moving on top of him, and it’s so good, nothing should be this good. He wants this forever, never wants it to stop, the slow build of it, so intensely pleasurable it hurts. “Ray,” Brad moans, and then slips a hand beneath Ray’s belly and Ray’s practically in tears, shaking his head and saying no soundlessly.

“Ray, please,” Brad says, “please, just one more, for me, just for me, come on,” and his voice is hoarse and shaky, and it’s Brad, and his hips are slamming into Ray’s and he’s hitting something inside Ray over and over again that’s making pleasure spark through him like lightning, like fire through sails, and Ray’s face is wet. “Ray, Ray, fuck, god, you feel—come on, baby, you can do it, Ray, fuck.”And Ray comes dry, sobbing, and feels Brad follow him.

“So good for me, so fucking good. I’m never letting anyone else touch you, ever,” he hears, Brad’s kissing his face. “You’re such an idiot, can’t believe you thought I wouldn’t—”

“Do you ever shut up?” Ray slurs, and is distantly smug to hear Brad’s startled laugh. “Lay down. This is the part where we sleep, twit.”

“Thanks, I’d never have guessed,” Brad grumbles, and then wraps himself around Ray, nose in his hair, just behind his ear. Everything’s warm, and quiet, and aches perfectly, and Ray falls asleep between one heartbeat and the next.

Ray wakes up the next morning to Brad running a hand through his hair, kissing his temple.

“Hi,” Ray says muzzily, after he’s convinced himself via surreptitious stretching that he’s not dreaming, because no dream could make his balls and bum that fucking sore.

“Good morning, Ray,” Brad says, and Ray can’t quite believe it, that that pleased, cat-that-got-the-cream tone in Brad’s voice is for him.

“What are you even doing here?” Ray wonders aloud, and when Brad goes still as death, he clarifies hastily, twisting in Brad’s arms and looking into his face. “No, I mean—with me. You could have anyone, I know you could. I mean, look at you. People fling themselves at you all the time.” And they do. They see Brad's broad shoulders and aristocratic face and the nobility shining out of every pore of him, and they swoon at his feet, country maidens and elegant young ladies and naval captains all.

Brad doesn’t look mollified at all by this explanation, though. He looks thunderous, and Ray’s a strange mix of worried and aroused. One night and Brad’s already primed his body to respond to his scowls. Fuck.

“I thought we went through this last night,” Brad says evenly, eyes narrowed dangerously. “I want you. I think I always have, honestly. You’re Ray. And you’re mine. I don’t want those people. They don’t even know me, not really. Must we really talk about this?”

“But,” Ray protests, frustrated and insanely happy all at the same time, and he can’t just shut up and let it lie, which is exactly the problem, dammit. He shoves Brad away with a hand to the chest, so that he can actually get a good look at Brad's face, see what he's thinking, because it can’t be this easy. It just can’t. “I drive you fucking crazy, Brad, I know I do. I drive everyone mad. I talk too much and too loudly, and I say stupid crap and annoy the hell out of people, all the time. And—and I don’t know Greek!" Brad gives him a blank look, tempered with disbelief, and Ray babbles helplessly on, unable to stop himself. "Or Latin, or Dutch, or about fucking Boethius or Aristotle or whoever, I mean, aside from the stuff I overhear when you’re lecturing the ensigns about the Romans, I guess. I don’t know anything useful at all. You could have someone—” better “—less obnoxious than me.”

Brad looks pissy, like he’s going to give Ray not an orgasm, but a black eye this time. Which is totally Ray’s goddamned point.

“Look,” Brad grates out, looking hugely annoyed. “Never bring this up again, or I’ll toss you off Bravo into a bloody colony of lepers, but… I like it. When you drive me crazy. I like you and your ceaseless, unending forays into impropriety, alright?” Ray blinks, and Brad tugs him closer again, huffing grumpily into Ray’s hair before speaking again. “Also, stow that fucking garbage. You’re brilliant. You’re a good man. You know more than any educated, foppish twit in any drawing room in London, and you actually think about things, about the things you learn, and have your own opinions, and they're real, and it’s—I like it. I like you, just as you are. Christ, are we done now?” Brad’s blushing and scowling and Ray’s chest feels like a flock of dragons has just landed on it.

“Oh,” Ray says, feeling stupid and shy and like he wants to make Brad a posy of fresh violets and roses and bluebells, which he will never admit out loud, ever. Or at least not until they’re in front of Poke and Pappy and Hasser, when he can turn it into a shared joke, a game. But. Well. Maybe Brad would want to know. Ray hesitates, then spits it out in a rush.

“Well, uh, sometimes I want to bring you flowers, even though bringing you flowers is ridiculous and I think you’d make me eat them or shove them down my trousers or something? But I still want to. So there,” he says defensively, staring at his hands twisting the sheets, and when he ventures to actually look up and check Brad’s response, Brad’s got a funny expression on his face, pink and pleased and annoyed.

“You are entirely correct,” he says after a moment. “And if you begin reciting Wordsworth or Byron or any poetry whatsoever at me, I will toss your arse out of bed.” But he’s got a smile in his voice that sounds an awful lot like the way the sunrise feels, bright and hopeful and new. Ray isn’t going to recite any poetry, but he might start composing some of his own, soon. Dirty poetry in the style of good old Robbie Burns.

“Duly noted, lieutenant,” he says, deciding not to bring up his new literary ambitions for now. He tweaks Brad’s nipple, pleased when Brad makes a startled noise. “So look, okay, I get that I warped you from a young age and somehow tricked you into liking me—” Brad rolls his eyes and is clearly about to protest and make Ray go even soppier and redder than he already is, which is just not acceptable, so Ray presses on hurriedly. “But how you could possibly think I didn’t want you? I mean, I wasn’t exactly subtle. I told you I wanted to take you down my throat on dragonback last time you brought me a cup of coffee.”

“You told Rudy the exact same thing the day before,” Brad points out grumpily, and tugs Ray’s hair sharply, and wow, that’s—Ray winds up purring, and Brad’s eyes go dark. He hums and tilts Ray’s chin up for a kiss, which is a much better way to start the morning than with embarrassingly exposing, heart-warming conversations. “I would much prefer you no longer did that, by the by.”

“But I meant it with you,” Ray says into Brad’s mouth, thrumming with sleep and sex and a wave of incredulous happiness. “I’m totally disillusioned with your observational skills, lieutenant. You’re meant to be able to anticipate my needs before they happen, you know.”

“It was remarkably difficult working out your needs under the circumstances,” Brad says archly, rolling his hips, and Ray whimpers, thinks poetry couldn’t possibly capture any of this, the feeling of heat and hope and shivering need. “My own captain was doing his damnedest to keep me in the dark. You brought this upon yourself.” Then the bastard runs a hand down Ray’s arse, squeezes and then runs a finger tantalizingly lower. He laughs, clearly pleased when Ray moans and bucks his hips into Brad’s touch. “Disgraceful of you, sir.”

“You shut your mouth or I’m going to shut it for you,” Ray pants, and rubs his cock against Brad’s hip meaningfully.

“Hmm,” Brad says thoughtfully, and then Lieutenant Bradley Colbert flips them over, in an astonishing display of agility and skill, and then he begins giving Ray the world’s worst blowjob, and it’s basically the best thing that has ever happened to Ray since, well, since last night, at least.

“Oh my God, you are terrible at this,” Ray moans in disbelief, watching Brad bob his head awkwardly. “No, get your fucking mouth back on my cock immediately, who said you could stop?” Brad looks annoyed as he can be with a mouthful of Ray’s cock, glaring at him and raising an eyebrow, and it’s so hot Ray wants to get someone to come and paint a portrait of it, right now. “You’ll, fuck, you’ll learn, just—less teeth,” he hisses, and tries not to buck his hips. “God, yes, you love it. Brad, oh my god, I can’t even fucking believe you. Look at you, sucking me off and it’s awful, but it’s you, I love you so fucking much you stupid, stupid bastard, fuck—”

Ray doesn’t think he can come again, not so soon after last night, so he just lets Brad go to town for a while and then hauls Brad up and kisses him messily, getting saliva and precome everywhere, over both their faces.

“Ray,” Brad pants, sounding grumpy and happy at the same time, how does he even do that? “You didn’t come.”

“Obviously not,” Ray says, nuzzling his cheek. “You were there last night, my balls are empty. You have drained the reservoir, you lunatic. God, you’re hot, can I suck you now? Please let me, Brad, it’ll be so good.”

“No,” Brad says, sounding faintly embarrassed. “Your hand? Please?”

“But why?” Ray asks, indignant but obliging, spitting in his palm and reaching down. Brad’s hard, and Ray’s finally getting to touch him. There are no hands pinning him to the bed this time. Brad’s splayed out for him, all for Ray, and he’s damned well going to take his time, savor this. He strokes upward, tight and firm, sets a torturously slow pace and marvels at the feel of Brad writhing under him, so responsive. Ray wants to taste, but Brad had told him no, so he doesn’t, not yet.

“Oh, fuck, Brad, you’re so ready to come, aren’t you? Is that for me? Did you have fun sucking me, is that it? Did you like it? Because I love it, you should let me. I’m so good, you could take notes.” Brad leans into his shoulder and closes his eyes, hips jerking upward.

“Keep talking,” Brad gasps, “please.” And Ray says, “Oh,” in a faint voice, and then he spills open, babbling, says, “Oh fuck, you like that, Brad? You do, Jesus, like my voice, don’t wanna stop my mouth with your cock, is that it? Oh god, you’re so—Brad, you fucking—never stop, I fucking love it, I’ll do anything you want, just let me.”

“Ray,” Brad says, sounding almost pained, and comes. Ray sucks his own fingers clean while Brad watches, wide-eyed and flushed. Brad’s going to give in eventually. Ray really is fucking great at sucking cock; Brad can’t hold out forever.

Ray flings himself on top of Brad after and rubs their noses together, marveling at Brad’s dazed, dopey smile, how Brad curls around him, content and rumbling faintly. Ray never wants to move again, unless it involves pressing kisses to Brad’s chest and throat and nose and chin.

“What are you doing?” Brad asks, sounding annoyed, but he’s got a tiny smile on his stupid, perfect face, and Ray’s too happy with the world to stop.

“You love me,” he announces, and sucks a red mark onto Brad’s collarbone, moves upward to kiss Brad’s jaw. Brad’s not the only possessive one around here, after all. “We should have been doing this years ago.”

“We could have been, except you’re an idiot,” Brad says sleepily, and bites Ray’s chin. Ray even likes that. His entire body has been tuned to Brad’s for years, and now anything Brad does is a stupidly huge turn on, ridiculous.

“But I’m your idiot,” Ray says cheerfully, and then decides that at some point, after they’re done basking, he needs to actually lever himself out of bed and get some coffee, and breakfast, and clothes. Maybe a bath, he is fucking filthy. And then they have to go check on Bravo, and take up Nate for a flight, and win a war. But Brad is being sweet and sleepy and charming, and Ray decides he’s going to keep him pinned to the bed for a while longer.

“Yes,” Brad says after an eternity laying tangled in the sheets has passed, voice muffled because he’s still got his face buried in Ray’s shoulder, “you are my idiot.” And Ray thinks, what the hell. Bravo can entertain Nate for one morning; Ray can be magnanimous about this. He flips them—Brad lets him, which is hotter than it should be—and presses Brad into the sheets.

“So, still angry with me?” he teases, mouthing down Brad’s chest, and when he looks up, Brad raises an eyebrow.

“I think I’ve found it in my heart to forgive you,” he says lowly, cupping the back of Ray’s skull in his palm, breathing unsteadily. Ray is delighted; he thinks Brad is getting hard again already, just from Ray winding his way down Brad’s chest, sucking kisses into the planes of his belly, his hips. “But don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll do something to infuriate me again soon enough.”

“Damn straight, lieutenant,” Ray says, and sets about showing Brad what a real bout of fellatio feels like. He takes his time, sloppy and teasing and delirious with it, until Brad’s writhing and calling his name, and then he backs off and grins when Brad swears and makes a grab for him. But Ray’s got plans; Brad just needs to trust him, clearly. Brad scowls when Ray says this, starts to sit up, and then he freezes. Ray can’t help but moan, slicks himself up with his own fingers, works himself open while Brad watches, wide-eyed and biting his lower lip raw.

Then he slides down slowly onto Brad’s cock. The burn of it in his arse is fantastic, ungodly, lewdly hot, and this time he’s awake and alert and can appreciate the drag of every inch, the red flush on Brad’s chest and the way his mouth falls open, the tortured look on his face when he comes.

They collapse together in a sweaty, decidedly smelly heap afterwards. Ray wants to do it all over again, but he supposes they really should rejoin the real world at some point.

Plus, he loves sex and all, but he really, really needs a cup of coffee.

Later, after Bravo has squawked triumphantly and Poke has covered his ears with his hands and muttered about how he does not want to know, ever, Christ, Person, shut up and Nate has given them both scandalized looks—Ray is totally going to look forward to fucking with this guy, now that he knows that Brad is spending all his free time staring at Ray’s arse and not Captain Fick’s mouth—after all that, they take off for some high speed flight maneuvers. Ray’s standing uncomfortably, shifting his weight from leg to leg, enjoying the ache of it. Brad finally wanders over and says smugly, “I see you blushing, Captain Person. What are you thinking of?”

“What do you think, Lieutenant?” Ray replies, entirely serious, happier than he’s ever been in his life, and Brad stares at him, gets a strange look on his face, like he’s watching a particularly complex pattern of signal flags being flashed before his eyes, and Ray’s delighted to see Brad go suddenly red and speechless, a tiny grin at the corner of his mouth. Fuck, Ray loves him.

“Glad to hear it, Captain,” Brad says finally, looking a little uncomfortable himself, like maybe his trousers have suddenly gotten a bit too tight. Ray can’t stop smiling, and when Brad smiles back, a tiny crooked thing, all for Ray, it’s like watching Bravo hatch again for the first time. And then his dragon takes a joyful, controlled spiral that brushes the nearby cliffs and sends Nate and the rest of the crew whooping ecstatically from behind them. There’s nothing they can’t do, Ray thinks, doesn’t care how soppy and naïve it is, because it’s true. He knows it, the way he knows the feel of the wind in his face and the sun on his skin.

The French had better watch their fucking backs, because Bravo and her men are on the move.

***

SPOILER FOR HISTORY: Napoleon loses. IN YOUR FACE, BONEY. Etc.

FIN´╗┐

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novembersmith

May 2010

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