May 16, 2005

A Day Unlike Most Others


"What in the name of--?" came a bellow worthy of just one man: sure enough, as Simon watched the doorway, his fork halfway to his mouth and frozen there, Mal stormed into the mess room. He flung himself down into a seat and slapped his palm on the table, swearing fluidly.

Simon set his fork down warily. "Can I help you?"

"No man's experience," Mal said fervently, "can exceed mine in the peculiarity stakes this week," and then he swore some more, almost whispering, the expletives a long way beyond Simon's grasp of the vernacular.

"Right," Simon said, and picked up his fork again. "I thought it might be something like that." He chewed.

"Your husband," Mal said vehemently, and Simon inhaled a lumpy bit of protein, then looked over his shoulder with streaming eyes and began to choke, because Zoe was right behind him and he hadn't known it, even after weeks of audio training, "just tried to kiss me."

Simon gave up and reached for his napkin.

Zoe laughed, folding her arms. "That's okay, sir. I said he could."

Simon secretly took a pinch of his wrist's skin between his thumb and forefinger and squeezed, hard. It stung.

"Did *I* say he could?" Mal was demanding, "because I don't recall saying any such thing, and in fact, had such a suggestion been brought to my attention, I can guarantee that I would have been very much against it."

"Well, I'm sure he won't try again," Zoe smiled.

Mal was spluttering, "oh yes, in that you are correct, he doggone will not," and Zoe was hiding her amusement extremely badly, and at that moment, from one door to the other, blurred Wash.

"Are you saying my one true love's an unappealing prospect?" Zoe demanded, still grinning, but dangerously now, and Simon pushed back his chair.

"Excuse me," he said. He lifted his plate, and headed in the opposite direction to the one that Wash had taken, trying to ignore Mal's outraged crescendo of a reply. All he'd wanted was a peaceful bite to eat; was that really too much to ask?

Apparently. He ran into the preacher before Zoe's laughter was out of earshot, and the preacher informed him that River was asleep on the floor around the next corner, and that after last night's shouting visions, he was sure Simon wouldn't want to risk waking her again.

"I... no, of course not," Simon agreed, and tried navigate a way back to his bunk without going through the mess or past Jayne's newly installed "workshop" (no wonder River couldn't sleep, sensitive as she was - the noise of metal on metal hardly suggested the lilt of a lullaby), and found himself nose to nose with Wash on rounding an evasive corner. He jumped back, of course, and his plate fell to the floor.

"Oh-ho, Jesus, *hush*," Wash hissed, jumping about three feet in the air himself, "can't you see I'm hiding? get down! shut up!"

"Hiding. In a corridor," Simon observed, and Wash waved at him frantically, then sprang off the floor and tugged Simon around another two corners. Simon decided the food could clear itself up. Somewhere amongst all this, he'd lost his appetite, which was good, because Wash clearly had no intention of feeding him. More, dragging him into a dry-storage closet and pulling the door closed behind them. Right.

"Shh," Wash said swiftly, when Simon made a questioning noise. Something in here smelled of synthetic apricots. He hoped it wasn't some unforeseen by-product of Wash's anxiety, because that didn't look likely to be dissipating any time soon. "Mal's on a rampage," Wash told him, earnestly.

Simon sniffed. "He is not," he said, and felt about for a light. Nothing. "He's sitting at the table in the mess, being harassed by your wife - I don't think you have anything to fear. Would it be too much to ask that you open the door a fraction? Maybe even enough that I can *get out*, and go about my day?"

"You've seen me," Wash said. "Compromises my position."

Simon looked at where the ceiling would be if he had any light. "The last thing Mal's going to do is come after you," he said. "If anything, he'll be coming to me for trauma medication. What possessed you, anyway?"

Wash sighed hugely: the sigh of the oppressed. "I think he's overreacting," he said. "Wouldn't you call this overreacting? I would. There wasn't even any actual physical contact, and he's hopping like a flea on fire."

In the dark, Wash's voice sounded very close - and very gloomy. "Okay," Simon said, as calmly as he could. "You're probably right. Now," and he tried to slip this in under the wire, tried to make it just the natural expenditure of the same breath, "why was it you tried to kiss him, again?"

There was a huger sigh, muffled now, as if Wash had buried his face in his hands. "Zoe," he mumbled. "We were up late last night drinking that fermented Zarglikan sugarwater, and she started telling me about her pre-war days, when she was, you know, exactly as beautiful and strong and independent as she is of course now, but also young and free and single... And then she broke off, and I wanted to *know*, and she said I *couldn't*, and here we are."

Simon frowned. "I'm sorry?" He thought for a moment. "You... right. You were intoxicated. You're *still* intoxicated? I don't understand."

Wash moaned softly into his fingers. "Not so loud," he said, and then, "why does everyone always shout? Is it so hard to keep things below ten decibels? five?"

"I don't understand," Simon stage-whispered, thinking, that answers the intoxication question, at least.

Wash heaved another sigh, this time with a definite edge of exasperation, quite possibly at Simon's obtuseness. "Zoe said she'd only tell me about her sordid adventures in the past if she knew I could cope with it," Wash said heavily, and then, "and she dared me to... do what I did, to prove it wasn't idle curiosity."

Simon raised his eyebrows, not that Wash could see them. "Um, you'd *want* to know that sort of thing?"

"It was with a dancing girl," Wash hissed. "My wife. went on adventures. with a dancing girl. What *wouldn't* I do?"

"Nothing, apparently," Simon agreed. "And here we are, hunkered down in a cupboard, proving that very statement."

"I don't think," Wash said, matter-of-factly, "she actually wanted me to prove anything. I'm beginning to suspect that she didn't do it for any reason except it's funny. For her."

"Oh, and for me," Simon assured him. "And Kaylee. I'm sure Kaylee will be very amused. And Inara will love it. And *Jayne*--"

"Enough," Wash said, and then groaned. "Oh, man."

Simon laughed softly, rubbing his eyebrow with one knuckle. "Why didn't you just tell her you'd done it," he said, smiling, "without actually scarring Mal for life? No offence."

"She has ways of making me talk," Wash said darkly. "She would know."

Simon's eyes were open, drinking in the dark. He was beginning to relax. It was fun, hunkered down in a cupboard, teasing. "I think you should be worried, personally," he said. "Most people would make their husbands do all the chores for a week, or eat something horrible for their amusement. This, though? She's clearly out to get you killed."

"Well, she didn't say kiss *Mal*, she just said kiss a guy."

"Oh," Simon said, "really?" and wasn't sure why his voice had changed.

"And Mal was the obvious choice. Risky, violent, but straightforward. In retrospect," Wash added, sucking in rueful air, "more violent than anything else."

"Hm," Simon nodded. He felt odd, for some reason. Off-balance. He assessed the feeling quickly, and began to suspect that he was taken aback because this was yet another indication that the others had their playful boundary-pushing social networks and he, he had his surgery.

"Mm," Wash agreed.

Into the seep of the quiet, Simon heard himself ask, lightly, "You didn't think of... anyone else?"

"It'd be wrong to kiss a preacher," Wash said instantly, and shook his head quickly. "Very, very wrong."

"Or an ape," Simon guessed, and Wash nodded, equally quickly.

"Absolutely not. But I figured the Captain, well, he's a man of the world, seen a lot--

"You didn't consider me?"

Wash was silent for a moment, then barked a laugh. When Simon didn't join in, he stopped again. There was a pause. "Oh, come on, if the Captain wouldn't, you think you're more likely to?"

"I might," Simon said, contrarily. He probably wouldn't have, but now there was principle at stake. He was *not* unapproachable, damnit. "I wouldn't have scared you into a cupboard with promises of revenge and castration, if I hadn't wanted to."

"Mal promised castration?" Wash gulped.

"Right before he considered throwing you out the airlock until you'd come to your senses," Simon agreed. He was on safer ground, here, and began to relax again. "This was when Zoe stepped in and suggested he was overreacting."

"I love my wife," Wash murmured.

"Well, then Mal said it wasn't overreacting if he could prove you were a danger to yourself and others, which, he claimed, the course of action you'd chosen clearly indicated, as any jury would agree."

"Anyway," Wash said quickly, "you'd kiss me?"

The question brought Simon up sharp, literally - the top of his head brushed against something he hadn't known was above him. He hunched down again. "Would I..." he said, drawing the syllables out to avoid thinking about the fact that the question threw his thoughts into a strange panic, and then he gave himself a little shake. Come on, Doctor. Indecision is weakness. "Sure I would," he said, confidently. He grinned. "I mean, if Zoe was not one-hundred-per-cent happy about it then I fully understand I would lose at least one limb during the proceeding minutes - but if it was all above board, then why not?" Apparently I'm not the prude Kaylee thinks I am, he thought. Kiss a buddy for a bet - that wasn't prudish, now, was it? No.

"Wish I'd known that this morning," Wash said, and sighed. "Ugh, my legs. And I'm hungry. You think Mal's gone?"

"I should think he's... calmed down," Simon hazarded.

"Mm."

"Well, if you get to Zoe first, you should be fine."

"Hm," Wash said, and then, "oh, how bad can it be?" and pushed open the door, bounding out into the room. Simon followed, more sedately. The light stung slightly, and Simon's face went hot as he realised he was watching Wash shake his legs out. "Nnnng," Wash strained, stretching his hands high and rising up on the balls of his feet, and then he exhaled all at once, the strings cut, his arms flopping to his sides again. His hands looked nice.

"I'd better go clear up that plate I dropped," Simon heard himself say, and Wash shot him a fearful look. "I won't say anything, if I see Mal," he added, and Wash nodded, face relaxed again.

"Right, okay. Cool. That's cool."

"Right," Simon nodded, and hoped all the heat was gone from his cheeks, and hurried out of the room.




It took three hours and two of Wash's secret supply of bottled beer to make Mal admit he'd forgiven him.

"A man needs to know what's what," Mal kept saying. "It's not right, suddenly finding your pilot's jonesing after you, when there you was thinking that said pilot only jonesed for his goodly wife. Not right."

"I wasn't," Wash said, through gritted teeth, "*jonesing*. It was a joke."

"Funny joke," Mal said, and took a swig of beer.

Simon watched Wash's mouth move and felt slightly disconnected from reality. Wash had offered him one of the secret bottles as well, but Simon had declined. Now he watched Wash drink, and wished he'd said yes, if only for something to do with his hands.




The steam from Inara's cup rose like a veil over her face. "I'm sure it wasn't like that," she was saying, smiling indulgently at Kaylee, whose eyes were even brighter, whose tea sat untouched on the table.

"You don't know though, do you? I bet-- *Simon*," Kaylee cooed, delightedly, as she noticed him in the doorway. She patted the seat next to her. "Come in, sit down!"

"Thanks," Simon said lightly, hoping he'd walked in on something feminine and complicated. He liked listening to these two talk gender. He learned things. "What's happening?"

"I heard Wash *jumped* on Mal," Kaylee said, excitedly. "Like, out of nowhere. He was trying to get into his pants!"

"He was not," Simon protested, and Kaylee grinned at him, and steepled her hands together, and rested her chin on them.

"Oh no?" she drawled. "You were there? You better tell me what really happened. Set my facts straight."

"No one else will gossip with her," Inara said helpfully, and blew on her tea.

Kaylee didn't look away from Simon's face. "So?" she prompted.

"*Nothing*-- nothing happened," Simon said, sharper than he'd intended, catching himself. "It was a dare, and Mal freaked, and Wash spent the afternoon in a cupboard until he'd calmed down."

"But were you actually there? Did you see? How did Wash do it? Was there actual kissin'?"

"There's *no* gossip here," Simon said, exasperated, and Kaylee's eyes sparkled.

"Oh, you know there is. You're just not gettin' round to tell me yet. But I have ways of making you talk."

Simon remembered Wash saying that, in the cupboard, about Zoe. He decided against asking for some tea, and went over to make a new batch himself, waving down Kaylee's protests. While he was boiling the water, Jayne came in and sat down at the table, elbows planted, knees splayed. He was still wearing his metalwork apron, his fingers were stained shining grey, and filings glinted in his hair.

"'Sup," he said, and Kaylee drew breath to answer him, and then Wash charged in, Zoe striding at his heels.

Simon glanced up, startled, then backed up against the counter as Wash saw him and beelined. Wash's hands went to Simon's head, holding Simon's ear near Wash's mouth. "You know what you said earlier?" he whispered, really fast, "it better still hold," and kissed him. Firm. Not quite close-mouthed.

Simon squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out the images of Jayne's gape and Kaylee's huge eyes and Inara's thoughtful smile-frown. He thought, buddy, buddy, as he parted his lips and felt Wash's hands gather him closer. Wash's jaw was rough, and their noses bumped. Wash's lips were soft, and his tongue slowly played into Simon's mouth. Simon was getting lightheaded with not-breathing.

"What the--" he heard Jayne say, as if from a different planet.

Simon dared flicker his tongue, and with that - the flare of heat, the sudden quickening of Wash's breathing - the kiss was over. Wash released him all at once, took a step back and looked at Zoe, then turned abruptly back to Simon and muttered, "I owe you," before moving back to his wife. "You *see*," he said triumphantly, and waved a backwards hand in Simon's direction. "I really, *really* want to know."

"Then, I guess, I'll have to tell you," Zoe said slowly, with a wide, wolfish smile.

Wash made a noise that sounded suspiciously like *yay*, and bounced on his feet, and followed her out.

"Bye, Simon," Zoe called back, before the door shut behind them.

Simon looked at the table, at Kaylee's frozen incredulity. Inara was looking expectantly at him. Jayne was twisting a finger in his ear, as if that might fix the problem with his eyes.

"Um. Simon," Kaylee said, brightly. "You never said."

No, Simon thought. He certainly hadn't. He made his tea, and came to the conclusion that he just couldn't cope with the third degree right now. "I'm going to my room," he said, and then, when Jayne snorted, "not like that! I just - I need some sleep." He shook his head, trying to clear his vision from the haziness round the edges. "It's been a very peculiar day."

He left before they could catch up with him, though on a ship this size, he probably had til he opened his hatch tomorrow to work out his story. He'd probably try for the truth, he thought. Wash couldn't cry foul at that. It might even impress Kaylee, showcasing his unprudish ways.

He'd probably try the truth with a few excluded details, he amended, a moment later. There was no need for anyone to know about the jump in his stomach, the enduring glow. No need at all.

Posted by Calico at 08:48 AM

Ante


Blaise was the sort to put his money where his mouth was. Never begged off, never tried to weasel out of paying up. If he bet Draco a bottle of Gargoyle Cordial that he could get into Cho's pants, Draco would be sipping the sultry stuff (a gourmet high-impact bastard of ale, treacle and Yorkshire peat) by midnight on the day that Blaise got slapped hard enough to make him give up.

Even better, Blaise liked a challenge, and was a shocking judge of character. When he bet Draco six galleons that he could get Pansy drunk enough that she'd play strip poker, Draco saluted Pansy the following morning with the thimble of Blastum Claritopia he'd bought with his winnings (she'd been hammered, all right, but the girl could hold her drink). She'd sipped it gratefully, face clearing as the hangover melted out, whilst Blaise slumped in an armchair with his long legs crossed at the ankle, tossing genial insults at them, accusations of secret-coffee and sleight-of-hand.

When, a week later, Blaise said, "fine, you choose the stakes, but I've blatantly won so don't think too hard," regarding the nicking of Granger's pride and joy, a crimson Wyrmfeather quill the oldest Weasley brat had given her, Draco knew what to lay on the table.

He wanted Blaise's mouth where his money was.




Blaise's fingers were singed where the quill had blasted him; he looked normal, but there was a pervading smell of burnt hair around the place.

"Well," Draco smirked, "that looks to have gone as well as could be expected."

"Sod off," Blaise said. He folded his arms. "So."

"So," Draco agreed. He was glowing inside. "I've got half that Gargoyle Cordial upstairs. Want some?"

"Why not?" Blaise said, then added, in an undertone, "Help take the taste away."




Draco had two well-worn fantasies about this scenario.

In one, he was sitting on the side of his bed and Blaise was drunk and cheerful, going down on him like Draco was the sexiest thing ever, licking his cock all over and rubbing his cheek against it and mouthing his balls and basically worshiping him, and then, slowing suddenly down, sitting shyly back on his heels. "I want you to see it," he'd mumble, and hold the head of Draco's cock close to his open mouth, stroking him furiously with both hands until Draco came all over his tongue.

The other fantasy, Blaise was surly and unwilling and offered a handjob and glared when Draco said no, it was a bet. In *this* fantasy, it took all Draco's coaxing and sneering to make him do it, and when he unzipped, Blaise made Draco hold it, wouldn't touch it with his own hands. Draco would be hot in his own fingers, so stiff and ready, and it'd be hard not to help himself along. Blaise would scowl and close his eyes tight and open his mouth, and Draco would push it in as far as he could, and Blaise would try to back off slightly but also move his tongue and tighten his lips, and that would get Draco going. He'd hold Blaise's head in both hands and start to thrust, just gentle, steady, until Blaise was moving with him, and then he'd speed up, thrusting harder, making Blaise struggle to accommodate him, and then, pretty soon - indeed, all of a sudden - that fantasy would end due to Draco making a satisfying mess.

As he lead Blaise through the Slytherin common room, casually ignoring his grumpily studying peers, Draco couldn't actually quite work out which way he'd prefer it to go: drunk and willing would be a lot of fun, but surly would be *hot*.

His cock flexed against his thigh as he started to climb the stairs. He had a feeling it was going to be quick, either way.




The air hummed as Draco got the bottle out his chest and passed it over. Blaise tilted it sceptically. "Have a nice night in on your own, did you?" he grinned, with suggestive eyebrows. "You lush."

"I've had that bottle for a week," Draco retorted. "A snifter, here and there..."

"What are you, a-hundred-and-six?"

"Discerning taste is born, not made," Draco sniffed. "Anyway." He felt a frisson of warmth as he remembered *why* they were going to crack open the Cordial at 4 o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon. "We can't stay here. Anyone could come in." He looked Blaise straight in the eye. "And I wouldn't want to rush..."

Blaise gave him a dark, wry look - but his voice was perfectly pleasant. "By the river? There's some seclusion upstream."

Draco took his thickest robes out of his trunk and folded them over his arm. "I'll need these, then."




Draco half expected the whole bottle to disappear down Blaise's throat the moment they sat down. Understandable, given the circs. Then, give it ten minutes, and Blaise would be wrecked and pliable. That would be absolutely fine.

Blaise sipped delicately, eyes closed. "Needs ice."

Draco could never remember the ice spell. "Did you bring ice?"

"Nope."

"Well."

Draco looked at the knotty swirl of river water, flowing brilliant and quick and noisy between stone-jumbled banks. The water was pale green up here - it got darker the closer it ran to the Great Lake, picking up all sorts of curses and larvae along its journey. They were a good mile or so upstream - perfectly forbidden, so they shouldn't be disturbed. They'd waved their sixthform badges at the Slytherin prefect and, the Cordial transfigured neatly into a pair of wicked shears, said they were off to collect lunar nettles for their Potions coursework.

Ten minutes' hike, Draco's cock pressing up ever more insistently under his clothes, and they'd found the curl in the river from which the castle was finally invisible.

"I'm no good at ice vocals," Blaise was saying, "leave that to the house elves, eh?" and then, as Draco looked over at him, he opened his eyes. They glinted in the late afternoon light, unreadable. If his voice could have glinted too, it would have. "Let's get on with it, then."

Draco blinked. "Don't you want some more to drink, first?"

Blaise's smile was crooked. "I think the obliteration needs to come afterwards," he said, and passed Draco the bottle, and cleared his throat. "So, you want to lean against a tree, or what?"

"A tree?" Draco said blankly, and looked around them. Standing up? He patted his thick robes. "Can't I just -" he smoothed the robes, words forming ungainly in his mouth, "- stay here?"

"What, not content with getting me to suck your cock, you want me to strain my back as well? That wasn't in the bet."

Draco closed his eyes briefly as a rush of heat shot behind his ribs. His cock felt denser and warmer by the second. "Fine, I'll stand," he said. "But not by a tree."

"Suit yourself," Blaise said, and looked at him expectantly, and Draco got to his feet, movement strobing into slow motion, lightheaded as if he'd just got out of a hot bath - and a Veela had been holding out his towel. Blaise rose up on his knees and grasped Draco's hips with both hands. "Get it out, then."

His voice was slightly breathy. Draco took a swig of Cordial and reached under the low hem of his jersey with his other hand, thumbing open his buttons clumsily and feeling his cock flex as the strained fabric parted. He pulled it out, coolness of the early evening air sliding in to shiver under his balls, then bit his lip hard as Blaise batted him out the way and wrapped his own hand round Draco's cock instead. The inside of Blaise's fist was cool and firm. He gave Draco a couple of awkward strokes, then adjusted his grip and pulled carefully, easing the foreskin down, sending Draco's pulse into double-time.

A moment later, as Blaise's wet tongue ran over the naked head of his cock, Draco wished to damned Delilah and her furies that he'd opted for the tree. He almost dropped the Cordial. His free hand groped for Blaise's head - for stability, not even to guide him to the right places, because Blaise clearly had a good idea of which places worked. His tongue slipped around and around, barely any pressure but wetter and wetter, and the air played cold on every inch that wasn't being addressed, almost icy where Blaise's tongue was-and-then-wasn't.

Draco breathed out heavily, then gasped, then breathed out shockily, then heard himself whine. The sensation was building, but maddeningly slow, and he'd fantasised about Blaise trying to swallow and being breathless and eager and maybe even letting Draco fuck his mouth, fists in his hair and hips pounding-- he hadn't thought Blaise would take him apart, steadily and delicately and utterly in control. As if, maybe, he'd done this sort of thing before.

"Do you-- ah," Draco said, breaking off as Blaise's fist twisted down his cock, as everything got tauter and tighter and almost too much.

Not - quite - too much. Blaise's tongue stopped swirling and he rested his lips against the very tip of Draco's cock, and his hand on Draco's hip went hard and warning as he slowly, wetly, carefully let the head of Draco's cock slip inside.

"*Uh*," Draco bit off, a pure rush searing up his body, slamming into his balls. He stared at the sky; it seemed to be quaking blue-silver, and the noise of the river pounded in his ears. Pounding-- couldn't think. He looked down, focussing on his own pale hand locked in Blaise's hair, pushing the artful fringe off Blaise's smooth forehead, unshadowing his half-closed eyes. He wondered joltingly what Blaise could see, if he was imagining he was somewhere else, if he was trying not to gag.

Blaise looked rather serene. Draco breathed through his teeth, harder when the slight rocking of Blaise's mouth warmed into sucking, into rocking more steadily. The hand wrapped around Draco's cock started shifting, too - just little twists, little pulls, but oh, felt so damn good.

Draco stared down, moving his hand so he could see Blaise's mouth, see the movement of the head of his cock disappearing into it, shiny and fat and only half-as-pink as Blaise's lips. He swayed, panting now, a base heat building in his balls: needing to thrust. He tried, and Blaise's hand on his hip tightened warningly. Damnit.

He moved his other hand towards Blaise's head, then veered away sharply as he realised he was still holding the Cordial. Fuck! He wondered if he could drop it. Drink it all? His free hand slid round the back of Blaise's head, hoping to get some leverage, and Blaise looked up at him sharply-- and that, the sight of those bright sly eyes in that provocative face, sucking his dick, *sucking* him, the *knowledge* in his eyes as he swirled his tongue--

Draco swayed again, and forced a somewhat-breathless laugh, and realised his eyes were shut. He opened them. "Fuck," he breathed, and Blaise smirked and sucked harder, dipping his head again, letting another fraction into his mouth. Draco made encouraging mm sounds, almost without meaning to, and Blaise slid further down until Draco felt the bump of the back of his mouth.

The exhalation that caused was a lot like a groan. Blaise backed off and did it again, smoother, and again, wetter, moving his hand in strokes that didn't quite match the rhythm of his mouth, that jerked Draco into a second radius of sensation before the first had begun to fade. Draco groaned harder, almost incredulously, and Blaise redoubled his pace, the rhythms jarring exquisitely, the wet noises of it pushing Draco almost to the edge.

Blaise was definitely, a corner of Draco's mind blurted, not as unenthusiastic as he'd expected. Definitely not surly. His lips found the sweet spots and the ridge under Draco's cockhead, the areas currently shaded luminous in Draco's mind, but he didn't seem to realise, just slid over all those delicious points and on down, stuffing more of Draco's cock into his mouth and rocking and squeezing with both hands. Blaise's artistry had melted into naked enthusiasm, and it was wet and noisy and desperate and felt insanely good.

Draco groaned harder as debilitating hope clicked gloriously into certainly: he was going to come. Soon. Now? No, but soon-- oh fuck, fuck-- *soon*-- He forced his eyes open again in time to stare at the sort of rapt concentration in Blaise's face, the hollowing of his pink cheeks as he twisted down, the screwing of his own fist tight in Blaise's hair, before the rhythms of Blaise's mouth and hand collided like cymbals and the hot chaotic shock of it dragged Draco over a selfish, sun-spotted edge. He shot into Blaise's mouth, his cock pulsing hard, and then he was quaking under the suction as Blaise swallowed once - twice - until he was done.

He was *still* holding the Cordial. He realised distantly that Blaise hadn't quite finished, was sucking softly as he drew back. Draco's knees threatened to give way as he tucked himself back in. He swallowed.

"Fuck," he said, faintly. Aftershocks rang louder than the river in his ears.

"Fucking wasn't part of the bet, now, was it," Blaise smirked, and stood up. He wiped the corner of his mouth with the knuckle of his thumb, licked his lips, and took the Cordial out of Draco's cold, nerveless hand. "Thanks," he said, and took a long swig, and then looked at Draco's dazed face, rolled his eyes, and kissed him.

Draco inhaled sharply, coming back to life, the heat of Blaise's mouth burning with alcohol and a faint, coppery tang. Blaise's slippery tongue darted into his mouth and then away again, and teeth played against his lower lip, and then, as Draco gasped and shivered, Blaise licked into his mouth again, making a low mmm noise. Draco trembled even more at the sensation of Blaise's arm sliding round his back, deliberate and firm, angling him to open his mouth wider.

When Blaise drew back, Draco could barely breathe.

"That wasn't part of the bet either," he managed, and Blaise paused, then released him. Draco stumbled.

"No," Blaise agreed, "no, it wasn't. My mistake."

Draco had a feeling he'd said the wrong thing, and abruptly sat down. The ground was blessedly steady under the blanket of thick robes. His dizziness abated, and then, when he glanced up and saw Blaise silhouetted against the dulling sky, a fresh wave hit him. "Sit down," Draco said curtly, trying to sound normal. His mouth was blazing inside, and the words came out brittle.

"I don't remember sitting down being part of the bet," Blaise said, coldly.

Draco stared at him. "Right," he said. He wasn't sure how they'd gone from kissing to sniping in under a minute - it was probably Blaise's fault.

Blaise took another swig from the bottle, and wiped his mouth viciously.

Draco tried another tack. "Pass me the Cordial."

"I'm not finished."

"It's mine," Draco said, and Blaise gave him a truly poisonous look, and, holding the bottle by the neck, offered him the base. Awkwardly, Draco took it.

"Thank you," he tried. He didn't really want it, now. He set it on the grass, then looked up sharply: Blaise was walking away. "*Hey*," Draco called, managing to knock the bottle over as he sat up on his heels, and Blaise made an exasperated noise and turned round.

"*What*?"

He looked fierce and exciting and in no mood to humour anyone. Dark slugs of Gargoyle Cordial pulsed, and then trickled, into the grass, filling the still air with a smell of ancient rich earth. "I bet," Draco said, swallowing, playing the only card that he could think of, "that you can't sit down next to me in the next thirty seconds."

Blaise folded his arms. "Oh, really," he said. "And what, exactly, would you honour that wager with?"

Draco swallowed again, and looked at the sky, and then made himself meet Blaise's gaze again. "The next hour," he said. His chest was as tight as his voice. "Wherever you like. Doing what you see fit," he said, and reconciled himself to a truly hideous evening if he'd read this wrong. "Whatever that might be."

"Really."

"Yes."

Blaise made him wait twenty-seven seconds before he sat down.

Posted by Calico at 08:46 AM