Working Up To It by Mab

Working Up To It - Mab

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Notes: This story is a sequel to some short fics I wrote a while back, which can be found here: How It Works and sequels. Before this set of stories, our boys thought they were straight...

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The loft is full of smells. Before, there was the oil heating in the skillet. Now, the sharp smell of raw onion is gradually changing to something sweeter and mellower. Then Sandburg adds some more vegetables peppers, mushrooms. I lean over from the other side of the kitchen island and throw in the steak I've finished slicing. It hits the skillet with a hiss.

There are plenty of other smells. There's the smell of home: fabric and wood and laundry powder and Sandburg's teas sitting on their shelves. There's the smell of Sandburg. He's nervous, but he's anticipatory too. So am I.

"Won't be long," Sandburg says, and his tongue swipes over his lips; it's part hunger, part nerves.

"No," I reply, but I'm not thinking about the food. I guess something in my voice clues him in, and he looks up then, and smiles.

We got home later than we'd hoped. It always happens that way when you have plans. Yeah, I have plans. Sandburg and I have plans. Action at last. If talking could be compared to books, I think that we've damn near filled Rainier's library. Or at least Sandburg has.

"Smells good," I say, walking around to look over his shoulder. I put my hand in the small of his back, and rub; slow, small circles against the smooth comfort of one of his favourite shirts. He leans back, experimentally at first, but I'm not going anywhere.

"Yeah," he says, but his nose is turned towards my neck.

My hands are on his shoulders. "Proof that you're not a sentinel there, Chief."

He turns his attention back to the cooking food.

"You think? It's not like today featured any adrenalin rushes. You smell fine to me. And you haven't demanded that I hit the shower before food; or bed."

"Yet."

"Showers. So whitebread, man, so unspontaneous. What happened to the concept of indulging that first, fine careless rapture?"

I sigh. "I didn't notice anything careless, or spontaneous, about getting us to this point, Sandburg." This point where we stand together like the lovers we're going to be - once we've eaten. Because it's been a long day, and we both need food, and maybe we both need a normal beginning to this new thing we're planning on being.

He tenses against me. "I don't know," he argues. "You were kind of careless about the stalking thing. And I was totally spontaneous about the exhibitionism thing." I don't say anything or even twitch, and he relaxes before his thoughts turn to practicalities. "Get us some plates, will you?" He has to move then, to empty the noodles into the mix.

His shoulders were solid and warm, and the plates are sharp-edged in my hands. I know what I'd rather be holding. I put them down beside him and grab some silverware and a couple of beers and put them on the table. Then I sit and watch him stirring the noodles through, his face all concentration; I see how his hand curves around the serving spoon, the crook of his elbow as he dishes food out into the plates.

He bustles over and lays the plates down. "Here ya go." Then he starts shovelling it in like it's his last meal.

"In a hurry there, Chief?"

He looks up and has the grace to look abashed, before he gets this goofily lecherous expression. "Now that you mention it..." Jesus, there's eyebrow waggling going on.

"So long as you don't have to leap out of bed to grab the Pepto-Bismol at a crucial moment."

"You will have my full attention, man. Guaranteed."

"Good." I eat my food. Since Sandburg has gobbled his like it's a race, he's finished now, and he's watching me, like I watched him. Exactly like I watched him, I think, with a spark of anticipation and fascination in his face. "See something you like?" I ask.

A slow, secret smile curves his lips. "You know it."

I shrug, entirely for effect, and stand and take our plates back to the kitchen. I'm not about to do anything more than a speedy rinse. More can wait until later. Much, much later.

I hear his steps, and then he leans against my back, his arms around my waist. His nose is rubbing somewhere around the back of my neck and I swear he's snuffling, his breath warm and moist against my skin.

"This is weird," he says. "But in an entirely good way."

"I think it could maybe be better," I tell him, and turn and put my hands on his shoulders again.

"Hey, you're right," he says, all mock surprise. I shake my head in disapproval that's about as serious as his surprise, and kiss him. It hasn't lost the thrill of novelty yet. From that scary night I confronted him with this thing that's going on between us, to now; not so long. We stop for a while, and just stand there in each other's arms until he runs his hand along my jaw. His thumb strokes my cheekbone and there's a look in his eye that I'm not sure of. He's thinking too much.

"Upstairs," I tell him.

"Sure." He walks a little ahead of me, which is fine because the view is fine too. We go up the stairs to my big bed, which we made up together with clean sheets this morning. It was, I admit it, kind of cute watching Sandburg corner the sheet tuck-ins. I wonder who taught him, or if he figured out the mechanics on his own to please me. It's not something that he bothers to do too often on that rickety futon of his (which I am never, fucking never having sex on, ever).

He turns when we're both by the bed and swings around with his arms out, like there's some discovery he's just made that he wants to point out. But what he does is put his hands on my shoulders, draw close and say, "Here we are."

"Yeah. Here we are." And I kiss him, and I'm not holding anything back, I want his mouth, I want him, I want the both us of us on that bed sweaty and gasping and touching everywhere. Getting clothes off is a good place to start. My hands hook and haul his sweater, up his torso, over his head, no catch and release here. The tee-shirt follows and there's only skin. I've strapped kevlar on him, bandaged his ribs, watched him with his women. This time is different. This time he's entirely mine and my hands go check out what I've got. He has one hand hard against my nape as he pushes and pulls himself up to kiss me again.

He stops and I swear I whine. God. He's breathing hard.

"Okay," he says. "Here's the deal. I take off my clothes, you take off yours, we get on the bed."

I can do that. I can strip off all my clothes with ungainly speed and I can drag him down with me. I can kiss his mouth, and his neck and run my hands through his hair. He's strong. He writhes under me, and that's when I stop, and stare down at him. I'd stare past his eyes to every thought in his head if I could.

"Sorry," he says. "It's...there's a lot of you, Jim, and that's great, totally great but right now I think I'm freaking out."

I'm pinning him to the bed, and I'm hard; and the last time Sandburg was in bed with anyone as turned on as I am, he was with a woman.

I'm nearly ready to get right off him when he grabs at one arm and hooks his other arm across the back of my neck. "No! No, Jim, I didn't mean...." He wrestles with me for a moment, and I'm willing to go with it when I realise what he wants.

So, now he's pinning me to the bed.

"Damn it," he says, and lowers his head to hide it in the pillow. His skin is hot against mine, and I blow a strand of hair out of the way where it's tickling my nose. "I think there are some things I have to work my way up to," he explains, his voice muffled between the bed linens and my skull.

"Okay," I say. I can live with the current arrangement. The caveman who hangs out somewhere in my reptile brain isn't so impressed, but he can wait. Blair's body covers me, and his dick is still half-hard even with the freak out. Maybe this is better anyway. I can reach more of him like this. I can feel the strong, smooth lines of his back; I can cup that gorgeous ass in my hands. He lifts his head and he licks from my throat up my jaw to somewhere around my ear, and I shudder.

"Yeah," he whispers. "This is okay, very okay.." He sets out to prove it with more kissing. He likes my chest. Hooray for bench presses if they get me the type of attention he's giving me now. His mouth is all over me, same with his hands. He's lying between my spread legs, and as he kisses and licks he's rubbing himself into the mattress. The head of his dick is nudging behind my balls. My dick is rubbing against his torso; sweet friction. I shut my eyes and cradle his head in my hands, but then he's gone. I have one moment where nervousness leaps in my gut again, but it goes when I hear his voice.

"Whoa..." It's stunned but entirely happy. He's sitting aside my thighs, and I think that stunned and entirely happy works for me too as he gathers our hard-ons together into his grip. I suck in a breath. It's the look on his face as much as the touch of his hand and our dicks skin to skin. Curiosity, sure. He's never not going to want to try to figure out everything. But whatever ideas he's got going are heating his skin, making the musk pour off him even more intensely. He has both his hands involved now, and I just hold onto his thighs and let him play. He knows the best games. It looks like one of them is 'give Jim a really great hand-job', and when I come, he's still watching. My eyes are closed, but I know. I know that he's watching me.

With a sigh he plasters himself back across my body and I put my arms around him. His own dick is still waiting, still hard, and experimentally he rocks against me. Looks like the preliminary results are satisfactory, because he keeps going, and I hold him, and maybe in the cold light of afterwards what I'm crooning into his ear would sound stupid, but right now I don't give a damn. He makes this surprised little noise when he comes, before he finally lies still, gasping like he's just run for his life.

He shifts after a while. "Double the fun but double the mess," he says, and hunts up some wipes from the side of the bed and does a basic clean up of us both. "Now would be a good time for a shower. Because I'm going to be rank with this gunk all over me."

"In the morning," I tell him. I'm going to be out of bed in the morning agreeing with him over the 'rank' concept, but now I'm too wiped to move.

"Your nose, man," he says, but lies back down beside me. He's on his side, staring at me. "Well, that worked."

I can hear the question in the statement. "Yeah," I tell him, and he comes closer, and I offer an arm for him to support his neck.

"You know," he says, "I think that maybe I'm bigger than you are - just."

The little shit. But I'm too pleased with the world right now to take offense. Besides, this is Sandburg. He's pointing out an observation as much as he's boasting. "Yeah, Chief, you're all man."

He snorts at that. "Thanks, Jim. I appreciate the reassurance."

He wriggles closer against me, so I guess he's not too much man to object to post-sex cuddling.

"What are you thinking?" he asks.

"What we'll do next time."

"Next time. Got ideas?"

"Lots of ideas."

"Cool." And he's asleep, just like that, warm and heavy and mine. Sandburg. Blair. Mine. Works for me.

The end

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Acknowledgments: Thank you to Ankaree for the beautiful cover art.