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Drop In the Ocean

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Posted to the RareSlash mailing list February 5, 2003

Title: Drop In the Ocean
Author/pseudonym: Caroline Crane
Fandom: The Forsaken
Pairing: Nick/Sean
Rating: NC17. Well, possibly hard R. Whichever. There's sex, anyway.
Status: new
Archive: yes to list archives
E-mail address for feedback:
Series/Sequel: no
Summary: A night off from vampire hunting leads the boys to a new understanding.
Warnings: movie spoilers

        Nick wasn廠 the kind of guy that wasted a lot of time worrying about other people廣 feelings. He didn廠 have time for that kind of stuff, not when he was working on a year and a half with a direct psychic hotline to a member of the undead. Still, the fact was that Sean had given up everything to follow him on his search for his Forsaken, and anybody would have to admit that he owed the guy *something*. He could think of better ways to spend the evening than staring at some lame Hollywood blockbuster, but if that was what Sean wanted to do then Nick was willing to go along with it.

        He wasn廠 happy about it, but when Sean grinned at him and practically pushed him out of the motel room it was worth it. He got a kick out of seeing Sean smile about something, he was man enough to admit that. Sean was his friend, after all, and their lives weren廠 exactly a barrel of laughs. So a couple hours in a movie theater would be worth it if it made Sean happy for a little while. With any luck Sean would like the movie and his good mood would last a couple days, and Nick could stop thinking about the countdown on his humanity for awhile.

        He didn廠 even mind so much that the only movie playing at the theater was some low budget horror flick, because Sean seemed pretty excited about it and as long as he was happy Nick was happy. He寮 stopped trying to tell himself awhile ago that his interest in Sean廣 happiness was just because Nick felt responsible for getting him into this mess, and it wasn廠 long after that when he寮 finally admitted to himself for the first time that he wanted Sean to stick around after they found his Forsaken.

        So yeah, he could think of better things to do with his evening than sit through some movie he寮 never heard of, but if this was what Sean wanted to do then Nick would be right there with him. It was only fair, after all; at least that was what he寮 told Sean when they drove past the tiny, rundown theater and Nick had suggested stopping a little early for once.

        "Do you think that廣 safe?" Nick asked when Sean appeared next to him holding a giant bag of popcorn and enough Coke to keep them both awake all night.

        Sean glanced down at the bag and then back up at Nick, a cute little frown wrinkling his forehead and making it hard for Nick not to lean forward and kiss him. "It廣 popcorn. This stuff has a shelf life of like a hundred years. What could go wrong?"

        "You didn廠 get any of that fake butter stuff, did you? People get food poisoning from that shit, you know."

        Sean rolled his eyes and turned in the direction of the theater, forcing Nick to hurry to catch up with him. "You know, for somebody that never goes to the movies you know a lot about movie theater popcorn."

        "Yeah, well, I watch the news." Nick grinned when Sean shook his head, reaching for the door and letting Sean brush past him into the theater. He took a second to wrestle his body back under control before he followed his friend into the dark theater, doing his best to ignore what the familiar scent of Sean did to him.

        The longer the disease was in his system the sharper his senses got, and sometimes it got so overwhelming that it was all he could do not to reach out and take what he wanted. Every once in awhile he'd wake up in the car or some motel room in the middle of the night, drowning in the scent of Sean and wishing the disease would finally overcome him just so he wouldn't have to torture himself anymore. Of course turning meant losing Sean altogether, and he wasn't sure how he'd deal with that. He knew it had to happen eventually, but that didn't mean he had to think about it. Sometimes it was hard not to, though, especially when Sean's scent made him want to crawl out of his own skin.

        Sometimes he got the feeling that Sean wouldn't object too strongly if he did decide to act on impulse. It was easy to watch him through the dark glasses Nick wore, and every once in awhile he'd catch Sean looking at him with what he wanted to believe was longing. He wasn't really sure, though; nobody had ever looked at him with actual longing before, and it could just as easily have been guilt. Not that Sean had anything to feel guilty about, but he was the kind of guy that would feel responsible for Nick anyway.

        Right now the scent of Sean was mingled with the smells of old velvet, sugar, and movie theater popcorn; the combination shouldn't have made his stomach flutter, but oddly enough it did. Or maybe it was just the idea of spending a couple hours shoulder to shoulder with Sean in a dark movie theater; either way his pulse was racing, and for once he wasn't preoccupied with what happened to him if he didn't find his Forsaken.

        There were only a handful of people in the theater, most of them gathered in the middle rows. Nick didn't argue when Sean led him up the stairs to the back row, choosing two seats in the center of the theater and sinking down onto an upholstered seat. He'd never been much for going to the movies; the only theaters he'd ever seen were those big, streamlined ones with the huge seats that practically swallowed you when you sat in them.

        This theater was different than any of the ones he'd been in it was a lot older, for one thing, and the seats were small enough that he didn't have to think up an excuse to lean into Sean's personal space. He sank a little further into his seat, letting his knee brush against Sean's. Instead of pulling away Sean leaned toward him, his shoulder warm against Nick's arm. "Want some?"


        The scent of popcorn floated up to him as Sean waved the box under his nose, but Nick was only vaguely aware of it. Most of his attention was focused on Sean廣 leg still pressed firmly against his, and then there was the way the other man was grinning at him. Nick couldn廠 remember the last time he寮 seen Sean look so happy. It was almost as though they寮 both managed somehow to leave the reality of their lives outside when they寮 stepped into the theater, and Nick would have been happy to stay right where they were forever as long as Sean kept smiling like that.

        "Popcorn. Or are you still worried that it廣 going to contribute to your untimely death?"

        As soon as he said it reality came crashing back down on both of them, and Sean廣 smile faded as abruptly as it had appeared. "Jesus. That was really fucking stupid, Nick, I幟..."

        "Forget it," Nick interrupted, talking over Sean in an effort to avoid hearing the apology. The last thing he wanted was Sean feeling sorry for him. Not Sean; from anybody else a little sympathy wouldn廠 bother him, but he couldn廠 keep going the way they were if he thought Sean was doing it out of pity. Besides, he was enjoying doing something almost normal with Sean, even if they were running the risk of getting weird looks from the locals for whispering at the back of the theater.

        "No, it was a dumb thing to say."

        "Seriously, it廣 cool." He could tell by the look on Sean廣 face that he wasn廠 going to forget it that easily, but the last thing Nick wanted to do was listen to him stumble over an apology. They both knew what Nick was facing, so there was no use beating the subject into the ground. Besides, they were there to cheer Sean up and take both their minds off the search for his Forsaken, and that was what they were going to do. Even if it killed them both.

        The corners of his mouth twitched slightly at that last thought, and he reached over and grabbed a handful of popcorn to cover his amusement. "So what廣 this movie about again?"

        Sean tilted his head for a second as though he was considering the answer, then he granted Nick a sheepish grin that made his heart skip another beat. "You know, I'm not exactly sure."

        "I thought you were dying to see this," Nick said, trying his best to sound indignant at the idea of Sean tricking him into coming to a movie he didn't know anything about. He couldn't really get mad, though, not when Sean seemed so happy.

        "Well it beats sitting in a motel room staring at each other all night, doesn't it?"

        Nick opened his mouth to answer, then thought better of it and stopped himself. Instead he just shook his head and popped the handful of popcorn into his mouth to keep himself from saying anything he might regret. Part of him wanted to tell Sean the truth: that as far as he was concerned sitting around and staring at Sean was a pretty good night, and he didn't get to do it often enough. Most of the time they took turns with the shower and then crashed right away, and in the morning it started all over again.

        It wasn't even close to the first time they'd been alone in the dark together; well, they weren't technically alone, but the few other people in the theater were far enough away that he could pretend they were. This felt different than sitting in a chair in a motel room watching Sean sleep, or riding shotgun late into the night to try to gain a little ground. This felt almost date-like, not that Nick had a lot of experience with the concept of dating. Since he got bitten Sean was the closest he'd come to having any kind of social life, and before...well, he'd always been too stoned to worry about trying to carry on a relationship.

        So in a way Sean was the biggest commitment he'd ever made, and he didn't even remember making it. It was almost like they'd both decided they were in this together the day that Sean pulled up next to him on that deserted highway. Neither of them had ever said a word about it, but they both knew exactly what they were doing.

        More or less, anyway Nick wasn't positive that Sean was thinking everything he was thinking, but every day they spent together he got a little more anxious to find out. It wasn廠 like he had a lot of time to wait for Sean to make a move. Even if they didn廠 talk about it they both knew he was getting worse, and if they didn廠 find his Forsaken soon whatever they might have had would be over.

        Sitting in the dark in the movie theater he couldn廠 remember why he kept putting off telling Sean how he felt; suddenly it seemed like a waste of time, especially if Sean felt the same way he did. He leaned closer to the other man without looking away from the movie screen, taking a second to breathe in Sean廣 scent before he spoke. "You can say it if you want."

        He didn廠 bother hiding a grin as he felt the shudder roll through Sean, pulling back just enough to let his friend look over at him without actually making contact. "Say what?"

        It was possible he was imagining the slight tremble in Sean廣 voice; the words were whispered low enough that he couldn廠 be sure, but it sounded like the other man was having a little trouble getting them out.

        "We both know I haven廠 got much time left," he answered. "If we don廠 find him soon I幟 screwed. And even if we do find him, he might kill both of us."

        "Don廠 say shit like that," Sean snapped, his eyes flashing with something Nick couldn廠 quite place. It was hard to see him in the darkness of the theater, but he could feel the rise in the other man廣 temperature and he knew he寮 struck a nerve. "Nobody廣 gonna get killed, okay?"

        Sean turned abruptly back toward the front of the theater, and Nick almost regretted bringing up the subject when the other man pulled away from him. Still, it had been worth pissing him off to get a reaction out of him; at least he knew a little more about how Sean felt now than he had an hour ago.

        He shrugged even though Sean wasn廠 looking at him and reached for another handful of popcorn. "Whatever."

        Sean tensed next to him but didn廠 say anything. He knew it annoyed Sean when he acted like it didn廠 matter to him, but sometimes that was the only thing he could do to keep himself from losing it. Sean was all he had, though, and if he annoyed him too much one day he寮 wake up and find himself all alone again.

        That thought was depressing enough to make him turn back to the movie, staring blindly at the screen while he tried not to think about the possibility of Sean leaving. He hadn廠 paid much attention to the beginning of the movie; there was something about a road trip and some girl at college, but that was pretty much all he寮 gotten so far. Besides, watching some kids drive across the country together wasn廠 exactly his idea of a good time considering what they did all day.

        He stared at the screen for another few minutes before stealing another glance at Sean, stifling a grin at the set of the other man廣 jaw. It was obvious he was still mad at Nick for acting like the thought of them dying didn廠 bother him, and oddly enough his anger made Nick feel a little better. He leaned into his friend廣 personal space, stretching across the armrest separating them so he could whisper in Sean廣 ear. "Sean."

        Sean廣 jaw twitched but he didn廠 look over. "If you廝e not gonna watch the movie..."

        "Come on," Nick interrupted, plastering his most sincere grin on his face. "I幟 just trying to say sorry."

        "Then say it and shut up."

        "Sorry." For a second Sean廣 gaze shifted toward him, but as soon as their eyes met he scowled and looked back at the movie screen. Nick expected him to say something, to acknowledge the apology even if it was just to tell him to shut up again. He knew he should just let it go and let Sean watch his movie, but it was hard to resist seeing how far he could push before his friend finally lost it. Besides, he was pretty sure Sean didn't really mind.

        He fidgeted in his seat for a few more minutes, trying and failing to get into the movie. He knew Sean got into this kind of thing, and there was a time when he wouldn't have thought twice about wasting a few hours doing nothing. Now, though...he turned to face Sean again, leaning across the armrest and dropping his voice so no one would overhear him. "You really wanna watch some movie about a road trip?"

        "Yeah, I do," Sean hissed under his breath, finally turning long enough to glare at Nick. "So if you can't shut the fuck up then go back to the motel."

        Okay, so maybe he was more pissed than Nick had originally thought. He hadn't been expecting Sean to tell him to leave, anyway, and for a second he thought about getting up and walking out. Hanging out in the motel room by himself wasn't exactly his idea of a good time, though. There was a chance that if he headed back to the bar just off the interstate he could find somebody to take back to their room with him, but even if he hooked up with some stranger and managed to make Sean jealous it wouldn't be worth it. He'd just feel guilty if he did that, and there was a good chance Sean would ditch him and go back to L.A.

        So he stayed put and sank a little further into his seat, drumming his fingers against the knee closest to Sean. He stared straight ahead, not focused on the movie so much as his own thoughts. He was so lost in thought, in fact, that he didn't see Sean move until a hand reached out and clamped down on the fingers tapping out a steady rhythm against his jeans.

        His heart skipped a beat and he looked over to find Sean staring at him. "Would you cut it out?"

        "Sorry," Nick muttered, although he wasn't even sure what he was apologizing for. All he could think about was the fact that Sean was holding his hand. And okay, it wasn't hand-holding so much as his fingers in a vice grip, but it was still contact and Sean hadn't let go yet.

        As soon as he thought it Sean seemed to realize he was still holding Nick's hand, and he let go and snatched his hand away as quickly as possible. Nick grinned when Sean turned back to the front of the theater again, mentally forming a list of things he could do to annoy his friend. It would give him something to do besides watch the movie, anyway, and it was a lot more entertaining than going back to the motel room alone.

        He sat up enough to brush his shoulder against Sean's, reaching over his head and letting out a quiet yawn as he stretched as languidly as he could. His shirt road up a little, cool air hitting his skin and making him shiver. He kept his eyes trained on Sean the whole time, a smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth when the other man's eyes darted toward him. As soon as he was sure he had Sean's attention he slumped exaggeratedly into his seat, sprawling his legs in front of him and managing to invade Sean's space without making it look deliberate.

        Sean's only reaction was to shift a little further away; it was pretty much the opposite of what Nick was going for, but at least he'd gotten a reaction. He knew he'd get an even bigger reaction if he just leaned over and kissed Sean, but he wasn't sure that was safe in a small town out in the middle of nowhere. Besides, if Sean was really pissed at him it might just make everything worse.

        He sat still for almost a full minute, pretending to watch the movie while he decided on his next move. When it finally came to him he had to stifle a laugh, but he managed to swallow the sound and reached behind their seats to put his arm around Sean. He let his hand rest against the back of Sean's seat, watching out of the corner of his eye to see if Sean would react. He felt the other man tense again, but that was the only reaction he got. They sat without moving for a few minutes, then Nick began to drum his fingers absently against the back of Sean's seat.

        "That's it."

        Before Nick had a chance to react Sean was out of his seat, climbing over the other man and stumbling into the aisle. Nick stood up just in time to watch Sean run down the stairs, his mind racing as he headed in the direction Sean had disappeared. He knew he'd been getting on Sean's nerves, but he hadn't expected him to get up and actually leave the theater. He was the one that wanted to see the movie; he'd looked so happy less than an hour ago, but now he looked like he was thinking about getting back in the car and leaving Nick without a backward glance.

        Nick's heart pounded too hard in his chest as he ran out of the theater, looking across the street just in time to see Sean heading for the motel. He picked up his speed a little, regretting all the pot he'd ever smoked as he tried to catch up with Sean before he locked Nick out of their room. He reached the other man just as Sean got to their door, pausing long enough to fish the motel room key out of his pocket.

        "Sean," Nick choked out between gasps for breath, "would you...just wait."

        "For what?" Sean shot back, turning on his heel to face Nick. "Jesus, Nick, why do you always have to be such an asshole?"

        "What, because I didn't want to watch some dumb movie? You know I hate that shit."

        "Then why the fuck did you say you'd go?" Sean asked, his eyes shining with accusation and something else Nick couldn't define. He wanted to believe he knew what that look meant, but every time he thought he'd figured out something about his friend Sean found a way to prove him wrong.

        He shrugged and looked away, trying to come up with a reason for tagging along with Sean that wouldn't sound too pathetic. He couldn't just tell him the truth; that he'd go wherever Sean went no matter how much it sucked, just as long as they were together. At first he'd expected to get sick of having Sean around, but it hadn't happened yet and he'd finally come to terms with the fact that it wasn't going to. "There was nothing else to do," he finally answered.

        "Fuck you." Sean's eyes flashed with anger this time, and it was all Nick could do not to react to that. He'd always thought Sean was totally hot when he was pissed; it was one of the reasons he worked so hard to get under his friend's skin. "I can't take this anymore."

        "Jesus, Sean, I was just screwing around. If you wanted me to shut up all you had to do was say so."

        "It's not just the movie. I can't take any of this. It's the same thing every day and we're together all the fucking time and I can't stand it."

        Nick looked up when he paused, anger making his stomach clench. "Nobody asked you to come after me," he hissed, the bitterness in his voice surprising both of them. "If you're so goddamn miserable around me then you can fuck off back to Hollywood any time you want, you know. Nobody's making you stay."

        "That's not what I..." Sean began, but before he even started talking Nick was already walking away. He had no idea where he was going, but he wasn't planning to stick around and beg Sean to stay. If he wanted to leave Nick wouldn't stand in his way, and he sure as hell wasn't going to let Sean know how much he wanted him there.

        "Nick, wait," Sean called from behind him, his voice coming steadily closer as he jogged to catch up with the other man. "Would you just fucking wait a second?"

        A hand closed around his arm, and Nick flinched at the unexpected touch and yanked his arm out of Sean's grip. He stopped walking, though, mostly because he knew Sean could outrun him. For one thing, he hadn't spent most of his teenage years destroying his lungs, and for another he wasn't infected. He turned to face his friend, affecting the most cynical look he could muster. "If you're gonna lecture me some more on how much of your time I've wasted you can save it."

        "That's not what I meant." Sean sighed and reached up to run a hand through his hair, finally letting his hand settle on the back of his neck. When he glanced up at Nick again it was through his eyelashes, and even though Nick was pretty sure he wasn't trying to flirt it was hard not to react. "This whole thing sucks. I know it's not your fault, but you always act like you could care less what happens to you. You talk like it's no big deal if you drop dead tomorrow. You act like it's all just a big fucking joke, but it's not. It's not."

        The sarcastic answer died on his lips when he saw how serious Sean was. Sure, Sean had accused him of being depressing and never taking anything seriously, but if he'd known how much it bothered him...then again, maybe he wouldn't have been able to stop. Sometimes the thought of turning got so overwhelming that he had to joke about it or he'd completely lose it. He didn't like to think about what happened if they didn't find his Forsaken, but he'd never stopped to think about how much it really bothered Sean.

        "I know it's not a joke, Sean. Don't you think I know that? I can feel it getting a little stronger every day."

        "So what happens if we don't find him in time?"

        Maybe it was the way Sean said it, or maybe it was the way he'd said 'it's not' like he was trying to convince both of them. Either way, as soon as he asked the question Nick knew exactly what he was asking. He wanted some kind of guarantee about a future that neither of them could count on, and even though he knew he shouldn't Nick wanted to give it to him. He'd given up his whole life to try to save Nick's, and if this was all Nick could give him in return he'd do whatever it took.

        "You don't have to worry about that," Nick answered, closing the distance between them and reaching up to rest his hand on Sean's shoulder. "We're gonna find him, and then we'll figure out what happens. Okay?"

        It wasn't much of a guarantee, but it was the best he could do and they both knew it. Sean didn't look very reassured, but he wasn't pulling away and that was a good sign. The only answer he got was a shaky nod, but Sean's expression softened and Nick let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. He wanted to say something about going back to L.A. with Sean when this was all over, or maybe finding someplace they could start over. Anywhere was fine with him, as long as Sean wanted him around after they did what they'd set out to do. And he was pretty sure that was exactly what Sean wanted; at least he hoped so.

        He didn't realize how close they were until Sean cleared his throat, his breath warming Nick's cheek and reminding him that they were still standing in front of the motel. He let go of Sean's shoulder and looked around, but he didn't spot anybody watching them. When he glanced at Sean again he was looking around nervously, and Nick had to stifle a laugh as he pulled the key to their room out of Sean's hand. "We should probably get some shut-eye. Long day tomorrow if we wanna make Vancouver."

        "Yeah," Sean said, but he sounded a little shell-shocked as he fell into step next to Nick. "You ever been to Canada before?"

        "Nope. Been to Seattle, but that's the closest I've gotten. They've got great weed in Seattle."

        "Sounds like a great way to boost tourist traffic. Maybe once all this is done with they'll give you a job doing their advertising."

        Nick stopped in front of the door to their room, glancing over his shoulder long enough to grin at Sean. "Maybe. You ever thought about moving north? I bet you'd like Seattle."

        It took Sean a second to get what he was saying, but by the time Nick got the door open and turned the light on he could see comprehension slowly dawning on the other man. His grin grew a little brighter as he let Sean in and kicked the door shut, dropping the key on the only table in the room before he pulled his coat off. He still had one sleeve on when Sean stopped in front of him, staring up at Nick as though he wasn't really sure what he was doing.

        And maybe he wasn't; he'd always struck Nick as the nervous type, so it was possible he'd never done anything as adventurous as making the first move. That was fine with Nick; he'd done this enough for both of them, and he'd always been one to go with whatever felt good. And he had a feeling everything about Sean would feel good.

        "You sure?" he asked, letting his coat fall to the floor as he reached up and cupped Sean's cheek in one hand. "We could wait 'til this is all over."

        If anybody asked him he wouldn't have been able to say why he'd offered to wait, other than maybe the fact that Sean looked a little terrified. Waiting meant risking never knowing what it would feel like to kiss Sean; never feeling his skin under Nick's hands or hearing him say Nick's name in that breathy voice Nick heard every night in his dreams. He'd wait if Sean wanted to, though, even if it meant never having sex again, because he wanted to do one thing in his life right. Even if it was the last thing he did, he wanted this to be right.

        Sean had other ideas, though, because his hands landed on Nick's chest to push the shirt hanging open over his tee shirt off his shoulders. Nick had a feeling he wasn't going to get an answer; not in words, anyway, so he let go of Sean long enough to let his shirt follow his jacket onto the floor. Sean's hands moved restlessly over his tee shirt, fingers flexing against his chest as Nick slid his hand behind Sean's neck to pull him forward.

        And maybe Sean was just nervous about doing this with *him*, because he sure as hell knew how to kiss. Unless he was a natural he'd been practicing with somebody, only Nick wasn't sure he ever wanted to know who. It didn't matter who came before him; Sean was his now, and with any luck it would stay that way for a long time. His other hand threaded through Sean's hair as he backed them toward the bed at the center of the room, stopping when their legs collided with the edge of the mattress.

        He pulled away reluctantly, part of him terrified that as soon as he let Sean think about what they were doing that he'd come to his senses. He worried a lot that the only reason Sean would do this with him was because they were the only constant in each other's lives, but not even that thought could stop him now that he had the mingled tastes of Sean and movie theater popcorn on his tongue. That thought made him grin in spite of the thudding of his heart against his ribcage, and he ran his hands down the length of Sean's arms before he pulled the other man's shirt off.

        The white wifebeater Sean had been wearing when they met was more of a dingy gray now, but it was still Nick's favorite article of clothing. He loved Sean in that thing, and he loved that he could run his hands over it now. Part of him was almost reluctant to pull it off, but he had a feeling he'd like running his hands over Sean's bare skin even more. Before he made a decision Sean decided for him, reaching for his waistband and pulling the tank top over his head.

        Nick could tell he was trying to look brave or possibly defiant but his stomach was shaking a little under Nick's touch. The thought that Sean could be that nervous about doing this with *him* made him fall just a little harder, and he tugged his own shirt over his head before he pulled the other man close again.

        He covered Sean's mouth with his own again, taking his time learning the shape of those lips against his. Just kissing Sean was more intense than he'd expected, and even if it was just because they were so scared about the future he didn't mind. He'd take what he could get, anyway; he'd never been very proud when it came to sex, but when it came to Sean he was even more willing to lower his standards. He had a feeling that would lose something in the translation, though, so he kept his thoughts to himself and focused on getting them both out of their jeans.

        Sean tensed when Nick reached for his waistband, but it didn't take Nick long to figure out that sucking on Sean's neck was more than enough to distract him. And the fact that Sean would let Nick do that told him how much the other man trusted him, something he'd never really expected. He wasn't prepared for how it made him feel, anyway, and he found himself swallowing hard against a sudden tightness in his throat as Sean finally reached down and helped him struggle out of his own jeans.

        He made a mental note to find a place with a Laundromat when he realized they were both going commando, a soft laugh escaping his throat as he slid his arms around Sean and pulled him down onto the mattress.

        "What's funny?" Sean asked, pushing himself up far enough to look down at Nick.

        "Nothing. We need to do laundry."

        "Oh. Yeah," Sean agreed, although by the way he was grinning Nick got the feeling he would have agreed to pretty much anything. It was weird how natural it felt to be this close, as though they'd been sleeping together for months. Which they had, technically speaking, but Nick couldn't count passing out in the same bed in the same category as what they were doing now.

        Sean shifted against him and Nick let out a groan, one hand leaving the other man's waist to slide down his back. He cupped Sean's ass and pulled him forward, thrusting up into the movement to grind their cocks together. "Fuck," Sean moaned, his eyes closed tight as though he was trying not to lose it. Nick raised an eyebrow at this new piece of knowledge; maybe it was just the fact that neither of them had had sex in so long, or maybe Sean just had a hair trigger. Either way he could work with it, and he wasn't really expecting fireworks the first time. For now it was enough that they were here together, that they'd finally admitted what they both wanted.

        He slid one hand between them, closing his fist around Sean's cock and stroking a few times. When Sean was completely hard he closed his fingers around the base of his dick, applying enough pressure to take the edge off before he leaned up and pressed his mouth against Sean's ear. "What do you want?"

        As soon as he said it Sean's eyes flew open, his cheeks flushed from a combination of lust and embarrassment. So Sean wasn't a talker; that was cool, Nick had never really thought of conversation as an essential part of sex. He liked the sound of Sean's voice, though, and there were a few things he wouldn廠 mind hearing Sean whisper. They had time to work on that, though for now all he wanted to know was how far Sean was willing to go.

        "Close your eyes," he said, punctuating the words with a brush of his lips against Sean's cheek. Instantly the other man's eyes fluttered closed again, his face a picture of concentration. "Unless we've got some condoms around here I don't know about, I don't think I should fuck you. But it's probably safe if you fuck me. Or I could do something else for you," he added, his hand loosening on Sean's dick as he began to stroke again. "Whatever you want, Sean."

        For a second he thought Sean wasn't going to answer him at all, but just as he was about to try again Sean's eyes opened and he looked down at Nick. "We don't have any lube," he said, his voice laced with so much regret that Nick couldn't help smiling.

        "Good point." They might have been able to make due with something else, but it had been awhile since he'd let anybody fuck him and he wasn't sure how badly he wanted to spend the next couple days walking funny. Okay, so there was a trip to the drugstore in their future. He made a mental note to ask the guy behind the desk where the closest one was when they checked out, then he let go of Sean's erection and shifted them both until they were lying on their sides.

        "We'll pick some up tomorrow," he said, leaning forward and opening his mouth against Sean's neck. "It's probably safer if we use condoms anyway."

        He felt Sean nod jerkily against him, and he pressed one last kiss to pale skin before he pulled back to look at the other man again. Sean's hands were moving slowly up and down his back, his fingers dipping low enough to tease his ass every so often. When Sean's thumb grazed the entrance to Nick's body he gasped and thrust back automatically, letting out a frustrated growl when Sean laughed and pulled his hand away.

        Nick opened his mouth to complain, but before he even got any words out Sean slid his index finger between Nick's lips. He got the idea immediately, flicking the pad of Sean's finger with his tongue as he sucked on the digit. When Sean's eyes were glazed over and his breathing was a little more shallow Nick finally released his finger again, grinning as Sean shook his head and slid his hand down Nick's back.

        This time he didn't hesitate before he pushed his finger past the tight ring of muscle, eliciting a low groan from Nick as he shifted in an effort to get used to the sensation. It only took a moment, and as soon as he relaxed Nick slid one leg over Sean's hip to give him better access. He licked his palm and reached down to close his hand around both their erections, stroking roughly as he leaned forward and covered Sean's mouth with his again.

        He wasn't sure which of them tensed first; all he knew was that before long he was rocking back as hard as he could against Sean's hand, trying to get Sean as far inside him as he could. Sean thrust against him, their bodies slick with sweat and sliding together on the bedspread. He had a vague notion that they should have pulled the bedspread down, but at least this way they still had the sheets to mess up in the morning. Or possibly later tonight, because they were both young and it had been awhile since either of them had gotten off with anything besides their own hands.

        An image of Sean standing in the shower, water running down his chest as he jerked himself off, popped into Nick's mind, and he murmured something that might have been intelligible and clamped down on the finger still buried inside him. Sean gasped and tensed against him, and Nick was vaguely aware of something warm and wet hitting his chest and hand before they both melted into the mattress.

        He was barely aware of Sean pulling his hand away, but as his breathing slowly returned to normal he slid his leg off the other man's hip and pushed himself up on one elbow. When he looked down Sean was watching him, his expression more open than Nick had seen since the first moment Sean pulled up next to him on that deserted highway. There were a million things he wanted to say; things about love and loyalty and a future that neither of them could count on, but he was afraid that saying anything at all would spoil the moment. Instead he leaned down and pressed his lips to the corner of Sean's mouth, lingering for a long moment before he pulled back again and pushed a few strands of sweat-damp hair away from the other man's face.

        And maybe he'd find the right words to say everything he needed to say before it was too late, but even if he didn't he had a feeling that Sean already knew what he meant.


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