Hugh’s heart is pounding a hundred miles an hour, and it has nothing to do with meeting Captain Lorca for the first time.
The Captain called his section chiefs together, and he’s sharing a turbolift with a human woman half a head shorter than him (calling her petite would be a disservice to the contained strength in her motions), olive-skinned and hair pulled back. Her sharp eyes mark her as Security even before she introduces herself, nodding politely in return.
He boarded Discovery barely ten minutes ago, not even enough time to drop off his bag in his - their - quarters. Paul would likely be on shift, trying to ensure that he had everything he needed before they left spacedock, so he didn’t expect a romantic reunion at the airlock. He is, however, disappointed that going straight to the bridge means he can’t bury his face in Paul’s pillow for a few precious moments before pulling himself back together.
The turbolift is silent save for the quiet whir of mechanics. Three decks in, she shifts in his peripheral vision, turning towards him with an appraising look. She’s also gripping a small duffel, and he’s relieved that he won’t be the only one arriving in a less than perfect state. First impressions are important.
”So you’re the Doc.”
”Yes. Hugh Culber.”
”Pardon," his eyes flick down to her badge and back up again, "Commander...?”
He’s read through the crew roster, and years of practice matching patient records to faces from stiff file photos means he knows who she most likely is, but it would be impolite to presume.
”Landry. Ellen Landry, Security.”
She offers her hand, grip firm and strong.
”You weren’t what I was expecting.”
”Well, given that he’s-“
The turbolift halts, and the doors open before she can finish the sentence. He’s not really listening any longer either, because the lights on the bridge illuminate blond hair and stiff shoulders that he longs to rub the tension from. Of course he would be here - Chief Engineer - but he hadn’t thought their reunion would be so...public. Paul’s turned away from him, speaking to someone at the helm, and he’s glad to have a few moments to compose himself. He’s sure Landry didn’t miss his visceral reaction to the sight of his partner, but she doesn’t comment on it as they approach.
”Captain," she calls when they're still behind the chair, tone casual, "I found your CMO.”
Her voice is loud enough that the others on the bridge glance over, and he forces himself to focus on the man in the center seat even as he sees Paul's head turn their direction sharply.
"Doctor Culber," Captain Lorca smiles, but it doesn't seem to reach his eyes, "good to finally have you aboard."
"Captain," he reaches for Lorca's extended hand, "pleased to meet you."
Unlike Landry's solid but courteous grasp, the Captain's handshake is heavy, palm unyielding, testing Hugh's strength. He's surprised, but keeps it off his face and doesn't let Lorca twist his wrist over, noting that the gesture suggests a dominating personality Something about him seems...off, but Hugh shuffles the thought away for further examination later. He does wonder though, if his physical presence was quite so blunt before the Buran was destroyed. The man went through quite a bit of trauma from the loss of his first ship, and it's Hugh's duty as CMO to monitor the Captain's health, so he'll have to keep an eye on him for signs of PTSD.
"All right," Lorca raises his voice as the others join them, "let's get started."
Hugh frowns internally, counting. Medical, Security, and Engineering are all there, but shouldn't there be- ahh. That's right. Commander Saru, the first officer, comes from Science and is likely head of the division. It does seem a bit odd though, that a science vessel wouldn't have more than one senior science officer.
Quit looking for distractions, he chides himself, pay attention to the Captain.
It's a much simpler concept than putting it to practice. Standing five feet away from Paul and not physically throwing himself at him takes a strength of will that surpasses even the focus needed to perform microsurgery. He’s gripping the strap of his bag so tightly that he can feel the texture imprinting itself on his skin, just to control the urge to reach out. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Paul probably wrestling with the same instinct, hands curled into fists.
"You're all here now," Lorca's brusque address cuts through his thoughts, "assuming some of you have already met, but let's do this anyway. Commander Saru, Commander Landry, Doctor Culber. Lieutenant Stamets."
His emphasis on Paul's rank tells Hugh that his partner's complaints about Lorca aren't easily dismissed. He'd hoped that it was just Paul's tendency to be critical, but apparently the feeling is mutual (Paul never considered rank to be important, unless he and Hugh were playing- nope, do not go there right now). He also notices the Captain doesn't stand; remaining seated is a subtle message of power, and his assumption that the man is more pleasant than he seems on the surface dwindles even further.
It’s torment to smile and incline his head professionally as the introductions go round, making sure he’s not giving Paul any more or less attention. Paul's brows are drawn together in worry or frustration, but the flat line of his mouth softens as their gazes finally intersect. The bridge lighting catches his eyes just right, stormy blue almost transparent, and for a moment Hugh forgets they're not alone. He's brought back to reality as Paul's chin jerks up, the openness in his expression fading back into one of glacial dislike as Lorca says something in a dismissive tone.
The whole speech sounds closer to a battlefield oration than a Captain inspiring his crew, and Hugh pays just enough attention to ensure that nothing is being addressed to him or about the medbay. If asked later, he could probably justifiably disclaim any knowledge of the Captain's briefing, even as he nods in all the proper places. Even visibly displeased and defensive, Paul is beautiful, and Hugh shifts his legs slightly further apart, thanking 'fleet services for the tight trunks he's wearing under the uniform pants. Landry's side-eye is palpable, but he ignores it.
Hugh exchanges a nod with Saru - they'd met briefly a day ago on the ground at Medical - before turning to head for the turbolift. He's not technically on duty until the ship launches tomorrow, and it shouldn't seem unusual for him to not linger on the bridge. Paul says something in passing to the cybernetically augmented officer at the science station, and Hugh tries to remember her name - Erin, or Rhea, or something like that - doctor's recall failing him because Paul is within arms' reach and he can smell his cologne and they're almost clear of the bridge.
They’re standing a very proper eighteen inches apart, and he can feel Paul practically vibrating with impatience for the doors to close. Hugh’s mouth waters and he feels a rush of blood to his fingertips and lips in preparation. Then-
“Hold the lift please.”
He bites down on the inside of his cheek hard enough to taste the metallic tang of blood as Landry steps into the turbolift, forcing them to move further apart to accommodate. He’s almost positive she's observant enough to tell that they’re at least acquainted, but he can’t be sure. The lift seems to be taking forever to move a few decks and across the section, despite the fact that it can’t be more than thirty seconds.
In the periphery of his vision, he can see Paul in profile over Landry’s ponytail, ear and cheek flushing pink. Squeezing the hand not visible to the others into a fist, he focuses on the feeling of his fingernails digging into his palm. Tries not to think about opening Paul’s collar and sucking bruises all over the pale skin of his throat, down his chest and over his stomach, licking-
The doors hiss open. He thinks he sees Landry smile to herself as she steps off the lift.
Then she's gone, and they're alone at last.
He shakes his head, staring resolutely at the blank metal doors despite how tight his uniform pants are growing at the sound of his name in Paul’s mouth. It’s one more deck to their quarters, and if he lets go of even the tiniest bit of control before they’re safely inside, he doesn’t think he’ll be able to stop. Paul swallows hard, but doesn't argue.
They step out and move down the corridor, distance between them dwindling the further they go.
Paul nods at a couple of passing crew members.
The door is barely closed when Hugh is slammed back against it, ignoring the way his shoulder bounces off the metal because Paul is pressed against him from neck to knees, arms around his shoulders in a fierce embrace and face buried in his neck. Hugh's light headed for a moment before his brain catches up, then his hands move of their own volition, dropping the bag to clutch Paul’s shoulders, fumbling over the stiff braid of his uniform.
Hugh doesn't feel capable of words right now, doesn't care. Paul is actually here with him, a warm, solid body. They're both struggling to breathe because of how hard they're holding onto each other, trying to somehow get closer.
He tangles the fingers of one hand in Paul’s hair, mussing the carefully groomed style and nearly melting at the groan he receives in response when he pulls his head back to really look at him. Paul’s eyes are dazed, but full of wonder and happiness as he cups Hugh’s face between his hands, thumbs stroking his cheeks.
Hugh licks his lips, mouth gone dry. The movement catches Paul's attention, focus shifting down to stare at his lips, affection sharpening into something much less innocent. His own tongue darts out, unconsciously mirroring the action, and Hugh can’t wait any longer.
He needs to taste him.
Their noses collide, then Hugh angles his head to the side so their mouths slot together perfectly. Paul's kissing him with a fierce hunger that matches his own, and he tastes amazing after months of separation, everything about his physical presence intense and overwhelming - the slight stubble prickling at his thumb where it's braced on Paul's jaw, his breath gusting damp over Hugh's cheek, teeth tugging at his lower lip, their tongues meeting in a desperately erotic dance. Hugh wants to drown in his scent, re-map every inch of his body with his mouth and hands, and never let go again.
"Sweetheart..." he groans between kisses, "Paul."
"Missed you. Finally here," Paul pulls their mouths apart, diving for the tender spot just below Hugh's right ear and licking at the skin, nuzzling, inhaling deeply, "together."
"Fuck..." Hugh tears his own collar open, desperate to give Paul more access to his neck and encourage the wicked things his lips are doing, "don't stop."
They're still fully clothed, but Paul wedges a knee between Hugh’s, pushing his leg up and in. The sudden friction makes him gasp, growing erection riding against Paul's thigh and an answering hardness grinding into his hip. He frees a hand and gropes Paul's ass, squeezing the firm muscle under his grip. Hugh works his other hand between their bodies, fumbling for the snap on Paul’s collar and tugging down the zipper with enough force that he would be worried if he wasn’t so focused on his partner finally, finally in his arms. After a few misses, the jacket comes open, and he shoves it down Paul’s arms without a second thought. Tries to, at least - it gets stuck at Paul's elbows, and he resists Hugh's attempt to rid him of the garment at first, too caught up in biting at Hugh's throat to realize that he's not trying to make him let go for long.
Their mouths meet again and separate with an obscene smack. He takes in Paul’s disheveled hair, swollen lips, cheeks flushed with arousal, pupils nearly eclipsing the brilliant blue of his eyes as he pants. Paul looks wrecked already and Hugh probably doesn’t look any better himself, but the desire in his eyes makes his skin burn hot.
"Off," he tugs again at the jacket still clenched in his fist, "need to touch you."
Paul steps back just far enough to give them room to rid themselves of their now uncomfortably constricting uniforms, kicking his pants and boots off together in a way that would be comical if Hugh wasn't also struggling to undress as quickly as possible. He skims off his trunks, hissing as the elastic catches on his erection before it slaps up against his stomach. Hugh’s positive that he hasn’t been this hard since the time they used refractory suppressors for a three-hour marathon of toe-curling sex on layover last year. Even that experience is going to pale in comparison to tonight, he suspects (and hopefully, unlike the suppressors, won't leave him unable to achieve erection for forty-eight hours afterwards).
His socks come off inside out, and he looks up to find Paul pulling his own briefs off, barefoot and flushed from his chest up to his hairline. Hugh gives him just enough time to drop the final garment onto the floor before practically leaping at him.
They crash against the bulkhead next to the viewport, Paul's turn to gasp with the impact, both moaning as their bodies meet with nothing between them. The heat of skin on skin is electric, and Paul swallows Hugh’s hungry moan. His hands roam Hugh's torso, kneading his pectoral muscles, groping over his stomach and pressing his thumbs into the cut of his V-line. Hugh returns the favor without ever stopping the kiss, squeezing the thickness of Paul's waist and scratching down his back, thrusting against his hip. He's fucking Hugh's mouth with his tongue, and Hugh feels his cock start to leak at the thought of that clever tongue on his nipples, sucking his fingers, up his ass.
The next time they break for air, he gives in to what he's wanted to do since laying eyes on Paul on the bridge and fastens his mouth to the side of Paul’s neck just above his collarbone, licking and biting at the skin. The desperate noise it evokes goes straight down to where he’s aching and ready. Paul shivers under him, tiny gasps escaping every time Hugh sucks harder at the growing love bite. It’s large enough that they’ll probably have to use a dermal regen on it if Paul wants to go on duty without looking like he's been mauled, but he ignores that thought for the overwhelming rush of possessive desire when he pulls back to admire the scarlet marks.
Mine, he thinks, I belong to you, and you’re mine.
“Yes. Oh fuck, yes. Yours.”
He hadn't been planning to say that out loud, but it's not a sentiment he minds voicing.
"How do you-" he has to pause for breath when Paul's fingers graze over the cleft of his ass, "how do you want it?"
Their erections nudge together, and Hugh considers just dropping to his knees and begging Paul to fuck his face while he jerks off. Paul nips at the corner of his mouth, sucking on his lower lip before replying.
"Need you inside me."
Hugh is equally happy with any of the possibilities, but he has to admit this is the one he hoped for. Paul's ass is amazing, and watching him writhe underneath while Hugh makes love to him is its own kind of ecstasy.
Paul shakes his head, grip tightening on the back of Hugh’s neck.
"Right here. Now."
The dark desire in Paul's voice makes his cock twitch, and Hugh's world narrows down to just the two of them.
“Sweetheart-“ he pants between kisses, “we need- not here-“
”Don’t. Need it.”
Paul works his hand down to where they’re grinding together and wraps his fingers around Hugh’s cock, thumb teasing the slit before spreading the slippery wetness around the swollen head and down his shaft. It’s been a joke for years that Hugh leaks enough for them to not need lube, but he never seriously planned to put it into practice. Hugh tries to speak, words deserting him when Paul abandons his cock to fondle his balls. From the look on his face, Paul knows exactly the effect he’s having, and releases Hugh with a final caress.
"-oh god. Babe, can't- I'll hurt you-"
Paul pulls Hugh’s hand down between his own legs, and Hugh almost comes the moment he realizes how slick his ass is already, noticed the sheen on his inner thighs. His questing fingers move further, the tip of one nearly slipping in with minimal effort.
Hugh doesn’t push any further immediately, despite the need to be buried to the hilt in this man.
“You went on shift all...wet like this?”
The thought does have its merits, imagining Paul spending hours moving around Engineering, lube trickling out of his ass with every step.
“Nuh uhh,” Paul jerks his hips, trying to impale himself on the finger massaging his rim in shallow strokes, “when you commed. To say you were almost at spacedock. Before going to the bridge. Took a break, and...”
“Fuck, you didn’t...”
He’s thinking about Paul with lube in his pocket, crammed into one of the standard tiny facilities located on every starship of this size, biting his own hand to keep the noise down. Playing with his hole and fingering himself open to be ready for Hugh to fuck.
He needs to be inside of him. Now. Still...
"You know," he tries to sound less like he's about three seconds away from throwing his partner on the bed and having his way, "I was planning on a little more...finesse."
”Got myself. Ready for you,” Paul pants against Hugh’s lips, “need it-”
He breaks off with a whimper when Hugh pushes two fingers in without hesitation, lust overriding his instinctive concern. They curve unerringly forward, seeking out and finding that sweet spot. He might be out of practice, but his body knows what to do, the exact angle needed to make Paul go mindless with pleasure.
"Oh god. Now- Hugh, I need-"
Paul lifts and wraps one leg around the back of Hugh’s thigh, opening himself up further. Offering his body in a way that never ceases to amaze Hugh with the trust it implies even as baser instincts take hold. He has to trust that Paul knows what he's asking for and prepared accordingly, because there's just enough higher brain function left to gasp out a question.
His jaw goes slack as Paul clenches down around his fingers, clearly impatient. More lube makes its way out onto his knuckles, and now he understands the other reason for Paul walking so stiffly on the bridge - he must have had his ass squeezed tight, trying to keep it in.
How much slick would he have had to use to be dripping with it now?
"Yes. Fuck me. Now- oh fuck!"
Hugh pulls his fingers out and hooks his hand under Paul's other thigh, hiking it up over his hip, barely giving Paul enough time to wrap his arms around Hugh's shoulders as he's lifted and pinned to the bulkhead in one smooth motion.
He reaches around Paul's leg to grip his cock, rubbing the leaking tip against Paul’s hole in a teasing circle that makes them both moan. Then he pushes in, blood pounding in his ears at the slick heat, silky glide eased by excessive lube. It’s so much better than his hand or a toy - not just the physical pleasure, but the ever-present love for this gorgeous, brilliant, impossible man along with the lust driving them both, too entwined to ever be separated.
For a moment, they stare at each other, then Hugh bottoms out and Paul slams their mouths back together. His knees lock tight to Hugh’s ribs, heel digging into the small of his back where his ankles are crossed over Hugh’s ass. No matter how much he prepared ahead of time, Paul is going to need a minute to adjust and Hugh doesn’t move yet, balanced on the edge and too close to coming. He breaks the kiss and presses their foreheads together, mouth hanging open, tries to pull in a normal breath through his nose.
”...Hugh, oh god- so full...”
Paul sounds fucked-out already, voice husky and immensely pleased, drunk with them.
“Sweetheart, feel so good- fuck, missed your ass...”
Hugh adjusts his grip on Paul’s thighs, widening his stance.
”Are you su-“
Paul’s fingers dig into his shoulder blades as he squirms a little, using the support of the wall behind him to force Hugh in just that much deeper.
”C’mon. Fuck me. Hard.”
”Time to- be gentle. Later. Need this now.”
He doesn’t have much room to thrust, not if he doesn’t want to drop Paul, but they both moan after the first snap of his hips, barely pulling out more than a couple of inches before pushing back in. Paul stops talking, yanks his head forward again for a bruising kiss as Hugh sets up a rhythm of short, forceful thrusts.
”Missed you,” he mumbles into Paul’s cheek, “love you. So much.”
His arms are burning with the strain of trying to keep Paul from sliding down the bulkhead, hands under his ass, spreading him open. Sweat rolls down Hugh’s forehead, mixing with Paul’s and giving their kisses a salty edge. There’s no finesse to them now, biting and licking and smearing saliva from nose to chin as they try to sate their mutual hunger. Paul's just as noisy as he remembers, loud and unashamed as he cries out with every thrust, babbling curses mixed with Hugh’s name. His erection is trapped between their stomachs, rubbing against Hugh's flexed abdominal muscles with each movement, painting them in sticky pre-come.
Hugh loses track of time, lost in the feeling of Paul clutching at his shoulders to pull him closer, the incredible tightness he's thrusting into, until a twinge of pain breaks through the haze. He slows a little, trying to take some of the strain off his back. The muscles are protesting their unusual use, and less than a minute later he has to stop, hands braced on the wall, buried in Paul’s ass and using his hips to hold him in place as he straightens.
”...Hugh?” Paul’s eyes are glassy as he struggles to focus, “are you- why’d you-?”
“Sorry,” he barely recognizes his own voice, wrecked and hoarse, “need to, just give me...oh god, need a break. Not as young- as I used to be.”
Disappointment flashes over Paul’s face for only a second before being replaced with understanding and concern.
“This isn’t exactly- not the usual,” Paul frees one hand to cup his jaw, gentle in contrast to the intense passion of a few moments ago, “wanna move to the- fuuuuuuck!”
Hugh takes as deep a breath as he can manage, then steps away from the wall, supporting all of Paul’s weight over his bent thighs. Paul’s hands scrabble across his back, slipping on sweaty skin to rebalance the sudden change in position. The grin Hugh gives him is more a baring of teeth than anything else as he wraps his arms around Paul’s waist tightly before leaning back and fucking up into him.
Paul’s forearms dig into Hugh’s trapezius muscles, gripping his own wrist behind Hugh’s straining neck and using the leverage to lift himself a little and drop back down to meet him. His moans change in pitch, breathy and growing higher with every bounce. They’re not even attempting to kiss, which Hugh misses immediately, but the thought is overridden by the tension growing in his lower back, balls tightening.
“Close,” he gasps, watching Paul’s eyes, heavy-lidded with pleasure, snap back open wide with intent. He clenches down hard around Hugh’s cock, tightening the intimate grip, pressing their foreheads back together.
”Come for me. Wanna watch you come Hugh, give me-“
Hugh was never going to last long, not with the desire singing through his veins and Paul’s moans filling his ears. He has just enough presence of mind to tumble them onto the bed, thrusting a half dozen times before he comes hard, hips jerking and muffling his cry against Paul’s neck. The air whooshes out of Paul’s lungs as his back hits the mattress and Hugh’s weight lands on his chest, but he holds Hugh close while he shakes through his climax, stroking his cheek and murmuring soothingly.
“...so fucking good. I’ve got you. So beautiful, Hugh. Love you, so much. So good.”
Hugh’s hips twitch a couple more times as aftershocks roll down his spine, cock too sensitive but not wanting to move as the shivers of pleasure fade. Orgasm always makes him feel impossibly close to his partner, as if the barriers of their bodies between them don’t exist. The skin under his cheek is damp, and he can smell the musky scent of sweat and sex covering them both. He wants to stay here, buried inside of Paul, breathing him in and feeling his chest rise and fall beneath his own.
He’s brought back to reality when Paul squirms, tapping him on the ass with his heel to let him know he's getting too heavy. The motion also leads to thrusting up against Hugh's stomach in a reminder that he’s still achingly hard. Hugh slowly pushes himself up on shaking arms, rolling to the side with a moan. He slips out in the process, Paul whimpering as he lays down next to him, spent.
Paul is so beautiful right now, aroused and wanting. A wall of lust hits Hugh in the chest as he sees the mess of fluids smeared over his inner thighs and groin, and his softening cock gives a feeble twitch at the sight.
”How do you want to come, sweetheart?”
He nuzzles at Paul’s cheek, hand drifting down to wrap around his straining erection.
“Want you in me,” is the response, “feels so- so empty.”
”Mmmm, I can fix that.”
His hand slips further down and back, tracing the loosened rim of his hole.
“Fuck, babe...you’re so open,” he breathes, wondering which drawer of the nightstand contains the other half of their toy collection, "where's the-"
Paul shakes his head, catching his wrist when he goes to sit up.
”Need you, Hugh. Tired of pretending.”
("It's not the same, Hugh." "I know sweetheart, but last I checked, my dick doesn't vibrate.")
"Shhh, okay sweetheart. I've got you."
Hugh’s not going to be able to get it up again for at least twenty minutes, and making Paul wait would be cruel. Instead, he presses two fingers back in, slippery with lube and cum, feels him clench around them. He thrusts them in and out a few times, twisting on the outpull and caressing the rim with his thumb. Paul tugs him in for a kiss, hand going down to work himself. He spreads his legs wider when Hugh adds a third finger, trying to mimic the thickness and stretch of his cock as Paul’s hips roll up to meet him. It’s clearly not enough though, and he groans into Hugh’s mouth with frustration even as his strokes speed up.
That won’t do, Hugh can’t leave the love of his life to jerk himself off after he’s given Hugh such an intense orgasm. He needs Paul to be as sated as he is, fully satisfied.
He breaks the kiss, fingers stilling. Paul looks up at him in confusion, making a questioning noise.
“Wanna fuck my mouth?”
The nod is almost immediate. He rolls onto his back, tucking a pillow behind his head until he’s propped at the right angle. Paul rearranges himself to straddle Hugh’s chest, whining high in his throat when Hugh curls his fingers forward. He’s a vision straight out of Hugh’s wet dreams like this, and he wishes he could be twenty again, able to get hard in just a few minutes to give Paul what he wants.
He licks his lips, staring at the reddened cock bobbing in front of his face. It’s been months since he’s been able to suck his partner off, the feeling of a toy in his mouth not enough as they came together over the comm. Paul guides himself forward, dripping pre-come over Hugh’s lips before sliding into his mouth. He gives a few shallow thrusts, then moans as Hugh swallows him down without hesitation, cheeks hollowing and tongue pressed to the thick vein on the underside. Hugh lets him set the pace, keeping his lips tight around the shaft and letting Paul use him for his own pleasure. It’s satisfying in its own way, watching Paul’s eyes glaze over and throw a hand out to the wall for balance as he thrusts faster, fucking Hugh’s mouth. Hugh matches the speed with his fingers, pressing as deep as he can and focusing on breathing around Paul’s cock, spit smearing over his chin as the breathing above him grows labored.
Unexpectedly, Paul eases back after a couple of minutes. Hugh suckles the swollen head, coaxing more pre-come out even as he wonders what Paul’s thinking. Eventually, he pulls out altogether, cock bouncing against Hugh’s outstretched tongue.
He understands why almost immediately though, as the change in position lets him ride Hugh’s fingers, fucking himself back onto them. His hand flies down, jerking his cock in hard, fast pulls, other hand hooked over Hugh’s chin and thumb thrust between his lips to suck.
”More...please Hugh, fuck me-”
Hugh hums acknowledgement, reaching up with his unoccupied hand to pinch Paul’s nipple between his fingers, tugging and flicking the nub. Paul mewls, pressing his chest into Hugh's hand, but it turns into a growl of frustration again not long after. It does take Paul a bit longer to come than it used to, but given how pent-up they’ve both been, Hugh doesn’t think that’s the problem.
"What is it, sweetheart?"
Paul blushes, cheeks already pink with the flush of sex tinging darker. Ahhh. It means he's about to ask for something - and for all of his assertiveness as a scientist, Paul is still so insecure about asking for things in bed, no matter how many times Hugh makes it clear he wants to know.
He slips his fingers out, pulling Paul down to lie on top of him and wrapping both arms around his body, protectiveness mingling with the need to bring his partner to orgasm. (Also? Hugh would very much like to know which former lover left his partner feeling so embarrassed about his wants.) He feels safe under Paul’s weight, even if he’s the one nominally offering comfort. Paul presses his face to the side of Hugh's neck, kissing the skin there slowly. Hugh waits patiently, petting Paul's lower back and letting him rub his still-hard cock on Hugh's thigh.
Paul brings his head up until they can make eye contact, tiny smile reassuring Hugh in a way that no amount of words could.
"Umm. So I know I said I wanted it hard earlier, but would you...I want you to hold me. While I come. Please?"
Oh. Yes, he can definitely do that.
Maybe slower and sweet is happening sooner rather than later.
"Anything you want, sweetheart."
He lets Paul tip them sideways, sharing the pillow and close enough to kiss, which Hugh does with enthusiasm. Bending the arm underneath Paul upwards, he cradles his head gently while his free hand glides over his side in light caresses. Paul helps by throwing a leg over Hugh's hip, letting him know what he wants, and Hugh happily redirects his wandering hand further down. He settles them just a little closer, tracing the cleft of Paul's ass before pushing his fingers back inside.
Hugh smiles into the kiss, keeping it slow and undemanding as Paul rocks back onto his fingers and forward to rub his erection on Hugh's stomach. He flexes his abdominal muscles, humming in amusement when Paul's hips stutter and he starts thrusting with more force. His hands roam the planes of Hugh's back, foreheads pressed together and whimpers beginning to escape between their lips.
It's barely more than a whisper into the still air between them.
Paul nods, eyes falling shut.
He doesn't reply out loud, just shifts the angle of his fingers to brush over that sweet spot, slipping in a third and pressing firmly. Paul comes with a choked-off gasp and Hugh steadies him through it, feeling heat spill over his stomach. He keeps his hand where it is, helping Paul ride out the wave of pleasure until he hears the whine that means he's heading towards oversensitive.
His fingers are covered in a slick of lube and cum, but he ignores that and the mess between them to rub Paul's back while he comes down. They need to shower, and probably should have put a towel down on the duvet first, but for the moment he's content to lie there with the man he loves in his arms with the evidence of their lovemaking covering them both.
Eventually, Paul stirs, sliding his leg back down and wincing slightly as he does so.
"A little. But in a good way," he smiles lopsidedly at Hugh, eyes still slightly out of focus, "a really good way."
"Mmm. We need to clean up."
"Yeah. In a minute. I just want to look at you for a while."
"Look at me?"
It's a tease, because they both know Hugh is more than satisfied to do the same.
"You're finally here. We get to be together, dear doctor."
Hugh's smile widens and he tightens his arms around him, giddy in a way that has nothing to do with orgasm and everything to do with what Paul just said. Paul returns the embrace, until something squelches between them and breaks the moment with a fit of laughter.
"...okay, now we need a shower."
"Sounds like a very good idea."
"Come on," he pushes himself up with a groan, tugging Hugh's hand, "it's big enough for both of us."
He pauses when Hugh squeezes his fingers.
"How much I love you. And," he adds when the adoration in Paul's eyes makes his chest go tight, "whether or not the shower is going to be big enough for sex."
"I guess we'll have to find out."
"Later though, I don't think I can get it up again just yet."
"We have ten hours until either of us has to be on shift."
Paul turns to look over his shoulder in the bathroom doorway.
"I love you, too."