Conditional Love

by Calico

Harry sat up and unlaced Tom's fingers from his own. He swung his legs over the edge of the mattress, then gave in to impulse and twisted round to kiss his new lover again.

The hot taste was the same, unique and responsive. Tom’s hand slid up his neck, fingers brushing lightly through his hair, as his tongue slid easily between Harry’s teeth.

Harry opened his mouth wider, hands digging into the mattress to support himself. He had a feeling that, however inadvertent, Tom wouldn’t appreciate it if his jaw were crushed because Harry wanted to stroke his hair.

Tom muttered something, but his hand successfully forestalled Harry's attempt to draw back and hear it clearly. Well, he thought, with a mental shrug, it couldn't have been that important.

Not that much would be important enough to--

His arms started aching from the angle, and he drew back reluctantly. Okay, that was important enough -- wouldn't want to collapse on him.

Tom made a tiny noise of protest, sending a short stab of heat through Harry’s abdomen. Forget cleaning up. Just rearrange himself to clear up the support issue, and carry on. He needed this, so much, after months of fantasy. Needed every second.

He shifted, and his chest stuck to the sheet. Okay, so maybe cleaning up was still a good idea. Not great, since it would mean leaving this gorgeous creature to its own devices, but apparently a necessary evil.

He dragged himself backward, getting to his feet. "Okay," he managed, then paused. Too beautiful. Just stunning; Tom Paris, laid out gracelessly, sprawled among crumpled sheets. His eyes were barely open, warm and clouded, no longer dark with desire.

"Yeah," Tom agreed, and Harry accepted the non sequitur with a fond smile.

He couldn't talk, he was too exhausted and sated and unbelievably happy. Words weren't too relevant, not when actions were speaking with such wonderful, deliciously effective volume.

"Mm," he murmured, as Tom wriggled luxuriously against the mattress, turning slightly onto his side to blink up at him.

Still teasing, even after sex. Actually, knowing Tom, especially after sex. Leave them wanting more. Not unsatisfied or discontented, no, not at all -- just intoxicated, addicted, obsessed…

Swallowing, he leaned down for another brief, warm kiss, then backed away to the bathroom. Must wash, no, really, or he'd never tear himself away. He couldn't stop watching, though. Tasting with his eyes, because he was still so hungry.

Tom's eyes stayed closed after the brief contact, and his smile was a little wider than before. Amazing, on a shining pink mouth. Even the part of his mind concentrating on sanitation was silenced by the recent memory of how that tasted. The bathroom just didn't compare.

Reaching backward, he found the door; it slid open obediently behind him, bisecting the silence. His fingers curled against the doorframe -- absently tracing the smooth, cool corners -- as he prepared to turn away.

This was ridiculous, like he really was obsessed or something--

"See ya' tomorrow, Har'," Tom said sleepily, cutting the thought.

Harry's fingers tightened on the doorframe. What?!

He opened his mouth, then closed it again as Tom back rolled over onto his back, arm flung above his head, still smiling faintly. Oh. Okay, then. Yeah, okay, fine. Apparently his bed wasn't wide enough for two.

Maybe he meant he was going to sleep now? Until tomorrow? Yeah, very likely.

He swallowed. "Tom?"

"Mm?" A drowsy query, eyebrows rising slightly, eyes still closed.

The covers were pushed down, very inviting, even from a distance. The bed looked very comfortable. He wanted to slide down alongside that warm, damp, satin body. Trail his fingers down milky skin in light, circling patterns. He wanted to feel Tom shiver -- because he knew he could make him, knew they were good together -- and grip him tighter to move in close and drift off to sleep, happily. Wake up next to him.

Not turn and walk to the door, walk back to his room, feeling his skin cool as the heat from that bed gradually melted away.

See him tomorrow. To fuck? See him tomorrow, to have sex, to leave again? Maybe they'd go to Harry's quarters tomorrow. Maybe he'd roll over and close his eyes, so that he wouldn't see Tom leave.

It might not be worth it, he lied quickly.

And he'd have to put his hands over his ears, too, so he couldn’t hear the door, and then Tom would notice, and might call a stop to things. He was perceptive like that, even directly after a slow evening of good sex.

Yeah, and it probably would be directly after, too. What’s the point in lying around if you’re not going to stay?

Even if you wanted to. In his case, the point would be to absorb as much of Tom’s presence as he possibly could.

Oh, god. That was too absolute. Abruptly, he had to try. "Can I…"

His voice was very quiet, catching. He wasn't sure he wanted to ask that, actually, suddenly, now he’d heard the first words. Wasn't sure he could listen to the answer.

Tom's eyes were still closed, and his smile had drifted away, and Harry restrained himself from walking back over. Tom was either asleep, or very nearly. Satiated, as he laid down the last of the rules that had apparently governed their evening. Was this planned?

Although previously, Harry hadn't felt any objection to those rules or the future they'd directed him towards. Well, he wouldn't, would he? They had appeared to direct him to that bed, to lie between those sheets, curl against that heat. Not stumble to the door.

Tom looked contented. And he looked good, lying in his bed, relaxed and probably tasting of salt and semen -- except suddenly Harry wasn't sure he had the license to find out.

"Can I," he tried again, forcing his voice a little clearer, then failed, "use your bathroom before I go?"

"Use…" Tom murmured, frowning slightly. "'M, yeah, sure, go'head."

Harry swallowed, and walked through to stand in front of the sink. He didn't meet the gaze of his reflection. Sad gaze. He didn’t want to see it. Unbearable disappointment wasn't a very good look on him this season -- Tom's voice sounded in his head, amused. Oh, okay, apparently even his thought-process had been corrupted.

Thought-process, sexual preferences, general outlook on life… They'd all changed. Tom Paris, spontaneous corruption. He didn't smile.

Still avoiding his gaze, he rinsed his hands and ran a cloth over his torso. After all, he thought, a little bitterly, since he was going to be walking through the corridors, he'd better not smell of sex-with-Paris.

Most of the women he'd meet would recognise it, he continued nastily. Then his mouth twisted in a wry, sad smile. Probably, they’d follow him down the corridor, wanting more.

He walked back through and looked for his clothes, damp skin tingling. Carefully, he didn't look at the bed.

The cloth was cold, and creased. Well, yes, that spoke volumes. Even though he'd been burning up, sweating and gasping, when Tom had finally stopped teasing and stripped him.

Because they'd been some time, they'd explored and experimented and kissed over and over again, taking things thoroughly, until natural progression had increased the pace, concluding in stunning white light and lovers' eyes.

His clothes had had ample time to cool down.

And now he was being thrown out. No, less than that; Tom was taking it as read that he'd want to leave.

Dressed, beginning to ache, he finally let temptation lead him to the bed. Standing, feeling like some sort of trespasser, he stared down silently.

Tom looked edible. His lips were parted in a forbidden invitation. His hair was off his forehead, pushed back by Harry's fingers earlier -- when he'd been kissing him, hot and sweet, feeling his hunger returned.

Harry watched him sleep, and realised he'd slowed his own breathing to match the steady rhythm of Tom's half-exposed chest. A scatter of red marks, coalescing towards one flat nipple, slammed him into memories of his mouth against that skin. Tom twisted and moaned beneath him, arching up; fire skated through Harry's nerves as his cock rubbed slickly against Tom's thigh.

And then abruptly, Harry turned away, as his eyes began to linger on Tom's hands. He didn't want -- couldn't bear -- to think about them right now.

He walked out, clothes sticking to damp skin in awkward places. He'd change things tomorrow, he'd, he'd, he'd make sure they went to his bed instead, and then he'd make it such a welcoming place Tom wouldn't want to leave. Yeah.

Or if not, he'd settle for Tom's rules. Friends by day, lovers by evening, alone by night. Better to leave than never to arrive, he thought deliberately, ignoring the effort it took to formulate the words.

leave, or make a wise comment.