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The Reward Is Worth The Risk

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Mew shifted in his seat, waiting for Gulf to come sit with him. It had been a long day and all he wanted was a cuddle and some TV to round out the evening, which made what he was about to suggest even more ridiculous. It's not that he didn't think they could do it, if they had to, but doing it by choice was different.

Everybody knew, it was a running joke in fact, that Mew and Gulf were touchy. It had been that way almost since the beginning and had progressively gotten worse. During workshop people had physically separated them, joking about the fact that unless they were sulking with each other you couldn't find them apart.

Mew and Gulf were just fine with this arrangement, getting close was the entire point of workshop, to pull off the intensity of Tharn and Type. They'd done well, so well that it was months after the series had finished airing and they were closer than ever.

It was almost an inevitability that they had ended up together, fate, if you wanted to call it that. They were happy though, that was the important part, and all the teasing in the world couldn't ruin that.

He looked up from his hands in his lap as Gulf sat next to him, sinking into the couch and into his side, smiling contentedly the whole time. This was the best feeling in the world, so why was he even entertaining this?

Gulf looked up at him and smiled, the smile he had only for him, eyes searching his face as if he had sensed something was running through his mind. "What's up, Phi?"

He smiled back, because no matter how this suggestion went over, he still has this moment to cling to. "I was just thinking. About the teasing we get when we touch each other."

Gulf raised his brow, his smile slipping from happiness into something more sly, smug. "Well they do have a point, when was the last time we didn't touch each other when together?"

"That's the point." Mew was commiting to the idea now, as the words slipped out from him, "do you think we could go without?"

Gulf laughed at him for a moment, before realizing just how serious he was. "Sure we could, we have some semblance of self-restraint, we show it all the time."

"For how long?" Mew leaned back a bit to take in Gulf's face, his body language. To see how he'd react when he understood what Mew was about to suggest.

Gulf searched his eyes, squirming a bit, realizing the question wasn't rhetorical, and he wasn't sure he liked it. "Why would we want to anyway?"

Mew bit his lip, knowing it was now or never. "I want to make a bet. That we couldn't make it a week without touching each other."

A laugh from Gulf followed the statement, no doubt from the shock and absurdity of the suggestion. "Why?" It's the only question he can think of. Why would Mew want to not touch him on purpose? They'd waited all this time dancing around each other, months to get to this point, and now Mew wanted them not to touch at all? For an entire week?

His demeanor shifted, slightly teasing, slightly dark, languid. "At first it was the teasing, all the comments and laughs about us getting handsy no matter who was there or where we were. Then I thought about how it would feel to wait, to have you in front of me not touching you. Then finally being able to touch you again, how sweet it would be."

Gulf ran his tongue along his teeth, his mouth dropped slightly open and his eyes unfocused. Not exactly the response Mew had expected, but promising. Gulf was taking the time to think about it, which was all he could ask.

"Think about it. How Type felt being away for a month and feeling Tharn again after so long, the rush." The way it had started in his head as a slight joke, thinking of how ridiculous they'd be to actually take the words said by their friends to heart.

Now it had morphed into the ultimate edge, wanting to see just how long they could make it without the other. Gulf was blinking quickly, his eyes shifting around the room while he thought it over. All he wanted was to touch Mew all the time, to take comfort from it, feel safe in it, to burn from it.

Gulf's brows furrowed then, what did it say about him if he didn't take the bet? He wasn't even the clingier of the two and yet thinking about the week ahead set something churning in his stomach. The more Mew talked, the more it turned within him, until finally he realized he had the upper hand.

Steeling himself, he looked back to Mew. "As long as possible. Not a week, but as long as possible." His jaw clenched, determination flaring in him. The competitiveness started to take over, the way it did when he played games. He'd made up his mind, even if Mew was the one to suggest it, he would win. Searching his eyes, he opened his mouth to seal their fate.

"I'll take the bet."

Mew looked at him now, happy to have gotten his way, but this was more important now. If he wasn't allowed to touch Gulf for the foreseeable future then he'd take advantage of tonight. "We start tomorrow. Tonight is for us."

Gulf leaned towards him, tilting his chin up slightly and Mew leaned down to seal the deal with a kiss. It was soft, almost chaste, but that didn't last. Gulf had fluttered his eyes closed and melted into him, taking comfort in the touch he wouldn't have starting tomorrow.

Mew's tongue licked into his mouth, running along his own in a twisting dance before they pulled back. "Let's make the most of our time tonight then." Gulf smirked up at him, and Mew immediately knew that he'd made a terrible mistake.

(...)

They woke up as they normally did, with Mew wrapped around Gulf, his head tucked into the junction between Gulf’s neck and shoulder. Mew moved his nose closer, nuzzling the side of Gulf’s neck before he got up. Drawing in a deep breath he went to place a kiss there before pulling back slowly. He knew, as soon as they woke up they were to detangle themselves and separate. Exhaling he turned back and rested his head on Gulf’s shoulder, who was still soundly sleeping.

He didn’t want to wake him, ruining the last of the time they could still touch each other without “consequences”. He’d known last night, as soon as he’d kissed Gulf after they’d agreed to the bet, that it had been a mistake. Knew it now as he curled tighter around Gulf to get his last fix in.

Gulf came awake slowly, yawning and stretching as much as possible with Mew still curled tightly around him. He felt Mew tighten his hold slightly before letting go, drawing back from him so slowly that Gulf wondered if he actually was awake. Then Gulf felt a squeeze on his hip and he smirked, before turning his head to look at Mew, who looked extremely disgruntled.

Mew normally was a morning person, which could only mean the disgruntled look was because he’d remembered what he had instigated yesterday. He huffed out a laugh, which only further soured Mew’s mood. “It was your idea, and you can’t take it back now.”

Gulf had known this would happen, the moment the time actually came, that Mew would regret ever bringing up the idea in the first place. He’d hated the idea at first, he wasn’t the best at being the one to initiate their touching all the time, but he enjoyed it all the same. Not touching on purpose had been the worst idea he’d ever heard.

Well, until Mew had told him why. Not the teasing, he didn’t care so much about what others thought of their incessant need to touch each other at least 85% of the time they were together. The second part though, had him extremely interested, which was why he’d even agreed to it. He liked a challenge as much as the next person, liked winning, when he could. However, remembering feeling Types reaction to Tharn coming home, that was what had been the deciding factor. They had danced around each other, bantering, but feeling Tharn touch him, kiss him, after a month apart had been pure bliss.

The only real problem they’d had was stopping. They were notorious, to a fault, for getting lost in kissing each other. That really should have been their first clue, that normally co-stars easily stop kissing each other, not feeling like pulling themselves out of a pool of quicksand. It was this thought, when he remembered how sweet it was and how hard it was to pull away, that made him want. This time they wouldn’t have to stop, wouldn’t have to pull away at all, would be able to get lost without consequences.

Mew was actually pouting now though, apparently thinking that Gulf too would regret agreeing to the bet. It’s not that he looked forward to not touching Mew for the duration, he was still slightly upset about the thought, but it would all be worth it in the end.

“Are you sure?” That set Gulf into low laughter, at the situation, at how much Mew regretted bringing this up. He hadn’t known just how much though, obviously.

“Positive.” He beamed back and Mew, giving in just slightly, rolling his body to face him. He leaned forward to catch Mew’s lips with his own, a small, short kiss, before pulling back and beginning to get out of bed to get ready for the rest of the day. It wouldn’t be so hard, he thought, after all they only spent half or less of the day with each other. Not to mention that they didn’t stay over with the other that often, so waking up in each other's arms wasn’t the norm.

Mew tightened his grip on his hip, “Are you sure it can’t start after we get out of bed?” As Gulf looked back Mew smirked, and he was sorely tempted to take him up on it, was it cheating really? Then he realised if he agreed they wouldn’t get out of bed for hours, so he smiled and shook his head. He looked down and squeezed the hand still grasping his hip, “Sorry Phi, it's time.”

Mew dropped his smirk, withdrawing his hand so Gulf could get out of bed. Gulf walked to the bag on the chair in the corner, pulling out clothes to get dressed for the day. He had to go to his uni to turn some things in and grab lunch, but most of the day was free, which was unfortunate considering what he’d much rather be doing was now not possible. He turned back to the bed, to ask if Mew wanted to get lunch with him, only to see Mew staring hard at him. Gulf’s eyebrow raised when he realised why Mew was staring at him like that, and wondered just how easy it would be to make Mew lose. A smile tipped the side of his mouth up when his hip cocked to the side and Mew’s lips parted slightly, the only clothing he’d managed to drag back on himself last night was boxers.

“You know I’d love to stay in bed all day, I don’t have many plans.” Mew’s eyes drifted up his body slowly, finally resting on his eyes. His brows raised in question, it wasn’t that easy, and he knew it. “You just have to admit I win.”

Mew blinked, his brows furrowing before shaking his head. He was shaking himself out of the thoughts of being in bed all day no doubt, before standing from the bed himself. Gulf’s eyes stayed on Mew’s face, not wanting to tempt himself, before turning to pull his clothes on. Not all that easy he guessed, it hadn’t even been an hour before he was questioning his resolve. Did they really have that bad of a problem?

“Would you like to get lunch later?” Having clothes on made everything seem easier, and he turned back to find Mew had pants on already, thankfully. It was easier to drag his eyes away from Mew now, grabbing his bag off the floor.

"Sure, let me know where." Mew was pulling on a t-shirt and had turned, leaning forward before he got a pained look on his face. He stopped abruptly and moved back, Gulf knew the feeling. He waved slightly, feeling more awkward around Mew than he had for many months.

"Bye bye." Gulf's smile wasn't as bright as normal as he backed away to leave, feeling the abnormal distance between them. Mew waved back at him, half smiling.

"See you, drive safe." Gulf turned to leave, already ready for this to be over, which meant he had to come up with a plan.

(...)

Gulf's relaxing into the sofa was more of a collapse, his energy gone after what should have been a laid-back day. Instead he'd felt it was a workout, having to hold himself back from the comfort of Mew's touch apparently had done a number on him. They'd gotten through lunch easily enough, even though sitting across from each other wasn't the norm. Thankfully they'd driven separately, so the temptation to reach for each other while simply sitting wasn't there.

Tomorrow they'd already planned to spend the day at Mew's condo, before the bet had taken place, but they weren't changing their plans for that. Day one had been simple, sort of, with them having woken up in each other's arms and spending half the day together. Tomorrow though, tomorrow would be the real test. They'd planned to play some games, watch something, and normally they'd be getting their fill of touching each other.

Huffing a sigh he stood up to go into the bedroom, leaning against the door frame to look around while he thought about what to take with him. Probably the simpler the better, he didn't think he would need many tricks to get Mew to give in to him. Not, that was, if tomorrow continued like today had. He'd struggled, as he always did, with Mew not reaching out to him. It felt like something was missing, he got anxious and tended to fidget. Mew, however, looked lost and regretful every time he started to reach out, before he pulled back and looked more determined.

He grabbed some pants, some shirts, and a few odds and ends that he would need, throwing them into his bag. He zipped it and tossed it over onto the top of his dresser. Hoping that things would go accordingly tomorrow and he wouldn't need a few of the things he'd grabbed he crawled into bed, tucking himself in and reaching for his phone. He'd texted Mew an hour ago when he'd gotten out of the shower, only to remember that Mew had planned on studying later, since he "didn't have a distraction in his bed" he'd said.

Unlocking it, he saw a message from a few minutes ago asking if Mew could call. He smiled softly, knowing that at least this wouldn't change, a tradition by now. Unless something extreme happened they called each other every night, the length of call wasn't important. He texted back that of course he was free and moments later his phone rang.

Exchanging hellos and conversation was as natural as breathing. Teasing, laughing and inane chatter filled the room, making the exhaustion of earlier melt away. This, at least, was normal. He heard about Mew's studying, he mentioned a few movie choices for tomorrow, and somehow an hour had gone by in a blink. They were together half the day, but that never really mattered in the grand scheme of things. He was getting tired now though, and before he'd even gotten the chance to say so he was yawning into the phone. "Sorry, I guess I'm more tired than I thought."

He heard a soft laugh, followed by Mew saying "I understand, I'll see you in the morning. Sleep well okay? I love you."

His smile widened, his heart full once again. "I love you too, goodnight." He clicked out of the call, setting an alarm and plugging it in before rolling over and letting sleep claim him.

(...)

Whatever Gulf had expected when the door opened to Mew's condo the next day, Mew dripping in sweat was not a choice. It wasn't even in the right ball park for possibilities. His mouth dried up as his gaze flicked down and back up, continuing to disobey his thoughts to just fucking focus on Mew's face so he didn't drag him back into the condo.

Mew looked half a second from laughing at him because of his struggle before moving to the side and letting him come in. This was all his fault in the first place, why had he even agreed? The door closed softly behind him as he walked towards the couch, Mew splitting off to go to the kitchen before asking, "Water?"

"Sure." Gulf shot back, before dropping his bag next to the bedroom door, continuing to flop into the couch. He leaned his head back, closing his eyes, trying to clear his mind. Was it really so bad to lose? Did either of them really lose in this situation?

His eyes opened when he heard the water being sat on the table in front of him, and he leaned forward to grab it, needing a distraction. "Sorry for catching you before you got the chance to shower." He took a swallow of water, and had another mouthful he almost choked on when Mew spoke.

"Oh you didn't catch me." He swallowed again, looking up at Mew's face, seeing his smirk before realising just what he'd walked in on. He'd gotten sweaty on purpose, knowing that Gulf would be coming over then, and knowing how he'd react.

"You should go shower." Gulf deadpanned before getting up and grabbing his bag, making his way past him to the bedroom. He set it back on the chair in the corner before grabbing a few things out, knowing he'd need a shower later. He turned around to see Mew in considerably less clothing than when he'd come in, normally an improvement, but now painful. He felt himself come to a halt, Mew dragging his shirt over his head in front of him.

Side-stepping around him and shutting the bedroom door behind himself he clamped his eyes tightly, counting backwards from ten. He had the advantage dang it! He had a plan! Breathing in through his nose and out through his mouth he went back to sit quietly on the couch, pulling up a game on his phone that he got lost in. He looked up at the sound of a door opening, Mew coming out clean and in shorts and a t-shirt. Maybe he was going to take it easy on him after that?

"Your turn." Mew smiled at him, maybe it wasn't a shower together but it still felt normal, easy. Gulf nodded and grabbed his things before going into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. Was his plan too dirty? Was it unfair? He bit his lip as he undressed and turned the shower on. He took about three seconds to give himself the chance to not go through with it, before stepping under the water and the choice was made.

The only things he'd actually grabbed was a towel and a shirt, "forgetting" his boxers on the arm of the couch. He figured he only had a few minutes before Mew noticed, which meant he had ten, tops, before a knock would happen. He worked on washing quickly, feeling the need to be done before the knock happened. If his plan worked, he'd be clean when Mew gave in. If his plan didn't work, at least he wouldn't have to get back in the shower afterwards.

Fully clean, and not knowing how long he would have he steeled himself before his hand started drifting down his body. It wasn't the fact that he was going to touch himself, not even that he would touch himself in front of Mew, it was the fact that he'd never attempted something quite so forward as this. Every time he was aggressive or took the lead when they were together it was almost second nature, an in the moment sort of aggression.

Once they had actually broken the wall between what was and wasn't over the line, they'd never gone back. They proved their love and their attraction for each other as often, and in as many ways, as they possibly could. No room off limits, neither for furniture or, as he blushingly remembered, on one particular occasion a car. There was a reason they had never been able to keep themselves from each other, their feelings always drifting just under the surface.

This too, was an inevitability, to take the lead before they were in bed, wasn't it? His breath hitched slightly and his eyes drifted closed as his hand finally closed around himself. The bet really was a formality at this point, the wager something they'd traded enough times to not even really be bothered with who won. The only thing they would be actually be seeing was who would give in first. Gulf had been desperate enough to win to throw himself that little extra bit out of his comfort zone.

He didn't exactly think he was sexy, but Mew seemed to like what he saw, and that was all the confidence he needed for this. His stroking sped up just slightly, Mew would have to knock soon right? He leaned back against the wall of the shower and darted his tongue out to lick his bottom lip when the door suddenly opened.

He was careful not to let the shock throw off his rhythm, instead biting his lip when Mew's eyes met his after raking up the length of his body. Mew's mouth was slightly open, giving him a look that Gulf knew all too well by now, hunger. He could relate, at this point past caring who actually won the damned bet, but he still slightly hoped this would work and he would win.

He rolled his hips a bit, twisting his wrist and hissed when he caught the look Mew was giving him, wanting this to be over, to have Mew's hands on him instead of his own. If this didn't work though Gulf would take the loss, drag Mew to bed himself. Except it looked like it was working because Mew's shirt was already off and he had dropped Gulf's boxers on the counter. Before Gulf knew what was happening Mew was shucking his shorts off, he hadn't even worn anything under them, and crowding him against the wall under the hot water.

His mouth had opened to tease about how easily Mew had given in, all he'd had to do was see him in the shower when his mouth was covered by Mew's own. This might not have been a month of anticipation, but it was his own, burning hot beneath his skin. His hand furiously working over himself was replaced by Mew's and he wasted no time bringing his hands up to grasp at Mew. One hand on his shoulder, the other fisted in the back of his hair and pulling him as close as possible. Mew's hand had moved from his cock to his hip, and then Mew pulled them against each other.

A broken moan escaped his lips when they pressed flush against each other. This was almost as good as when they'd finally gotten together, finally kissing after months of dancing around and worrying about what the other thought. The difference now was the confidence, the intensity with which they touched each other. He could see now the upside to not touching each other for a little while, his body practically singing with Mew's touch.

His hand had moved, dropping from Mew's shoulder to his waist. He pressed him away from his body, not pulling as he normally would. Mew leaned slightly away, confusion showing until Gulf had him backed against the opposite wall. His nose scrunched with his smile, recognizing the control shifting, before Gulf dropped his mouth to Mew's neck. He paid attention to the skin there, dropping open mouthed kisses and dragging his teeth at the juncture of shoulder and neck.

Gulf worked at Mew's neck, at the same time shoving a knee in between the older man's. Mew's breathing had been hard until then, when it hitched at Gulf rolling his hips against him. A whine somehow made its way out of his mouth, coming unbidden at Gulf taking more control than he had in awhile. As comfortable as they were with both roles, Gulf was usually happy to let Mew take the lead. The last time he'd been in control had been weeks ago now though, not by choice, but because Mew had asked him to. That's why the bet was so funny, who topped didn't really matter to either of them, it was just formality.

Gulf leaned his upper body back, removing his mouth and rolled his hips harder. He enjoyed watching Mew's head fall back before he turned him around, pressing his chest to Mew's back. His head dropped forward to bite gently at Mew's shoulder, reaching for the lube that rested on the second shelf at the side of the shower. He popped the cap, getting some on his fingers before putting it back and starting to work Mew open.

It wasn't as quick or as easy as it was by now for Mew to do to him, it wouldn't be when this wasn't their norm, but the wait would be worth it. He had one hand on Mew's shoulder, his fingers in his other hand sinking in and working as gently as possible to open the other man to him. Soft moans were coming from Mew at this point, with his hips pushing back slightly. Gulf leaned forward a bit to drop a kiss on Mew's shoulder, as Mew turned his head to look at him. "Ready," the word was quiet, but enough.

Gulf nodded, withdrawing his fingers and lining himself up before pushing in slowly, one hand still on Mew's shoulder and his other on his hip. His thumbs moved in circles, rubbing with steady pressure. "Okay?" Gulf was holding himself still, ready to wait as long as needed, but Mew nodded. His thrusts remained gentle, drawing back so slowly it was almost torture. He kept them slow until he felt Mew start to match him, wanting more.

"Please, more." The request bordered on a whine, but Gulf obliged, his hips moving a bit faster now. His lower lip was caught in his teeth as he moved his right hand from around Mew's hip to his cock, matching the strokes there with the movement of his hips. Occasionally he started to twist his hand, throwing in a roll of his hips, and leaned in to bite just this side of pain on Mew's shoulder. He kept up his rhythm, pressing as deep as possible every stroke, and passed his thumb over the top of Mew's cock.

It hadn't been all that long, but he'd been teetering on the edge of anxiousness since Mew had let go of him yesterday morning. They really hadn't made it long at all, but he guessed that didn't really matter. Mew's breath caught after a particularly hard thrust, and he twisted his head around to catch Gulf's mouth in a kiss. "I'm close Gulf, please." Gulf's hips moved just a bit faster, his hand twisting every other stroke when Mew tensed slightly and moaned loud and long. He felt heat cover his knuckles, felt Mew tensing around him and worked him through it. It wasn't long before he came as well, burying his face in Mew's neck at the feeling. He worked himself through it before pulling out and moving Mew back with him to wash up.

Mew pulled him into a kiss then, dragging him closer under the hot spray of water. When Gulf pulled back Mew looked exceptionally pleased with himself. "Maybe that wasn't such a bad idea after all."

Gulf laughed in his face, not believing his boyfriend's attitude towards losing and the bet in general, but then again. "Maybe you're right." He smiled at Mew, and Mew smiled back. They kissed once more, before toweling off, getting dressed and sinking into the couch. Mew reached for Gulf's waist, pulling him in close and Gulf's head dropped to Mew's shoulder.

"We should do it again some time." With that suggestion from Gulf, they both laughed and settled in to enjoy the rest of their evening.