Greeted by a most unexpected sight of his Dear Doctor, Paul stands stunned at the door of his new accommodations aboard the ship.
"That's Dr. Culber to you now, Lieutenant", Hugh's reply comes to the exclamation Paul didn't even realize uttering.
What the hell is Hugh doing here? Is this real? Paul is so confused, that for a while he thinks he's being fooled by a hologram. Is he?
Or is he hallucinating. Daydreaming of Hugh? Wouldn't make this the first, but certainly the most vivid instance.
"Latest addition to the medical team of USS Discovery", Hugh smiles, presenting himself.
The man seems real. But the situation still too surreal to register completely... wait, what did the man just say? Part of the Discovery crew?
"What?...", Paul manages, "...seriously? What are you really doing here?" How? No:
""Why?"", Hugh takes a step closer, his gaze slightly amused, "do you really need to ask?"
Fuck, what a delight it is to see that familiar sunshine of a smile.
"I figured it could only benefit the mental and emotional health of my favorite Starfleet officer". Hugh moves even closer, reaches to take the bag from Paul. A gentle brush of hands. Yes, the man is real alright. His scent, his warmth, the closeness of him...
Fuck. The man isn't kidding? And, fuck yes on emotional. Paul can't comprehend this at all, but somehow still he can feel the dread he's been carrying around in his mind for days starting to melt away.
He realizes he can't currently form a single quite rational thought through this overwhelmed state -, but it really doesn't matter either: all he cares for is this faint hope of a relief that is beginning to rush through his mind. The tension he's been building up inside for the past couple of days about to want to release itself.
And it feels too good to try and stop to question it.
He won't have to abandon Hugh after all? Leave his Love behind? Won't have to battle with these choices in his head anymore? Suffer this constant doubt? Or the guilt?
The guilt he was prepared he would have to carry for months to come, years even, depending on how long the mission would take, and then some, depending on what would or wouldn't come after.
It's all unnecessary now?
Paul can feel the delight building up inside, wanting to surface - he can't hold it in much longer. It needs to come out. But he lacks the words. He needs to act on it.
"I know enlisting wasn't easy for you...", Hugh remarks, and turns to place the bag down by the door.
The gentle, compassionate tone in the doctor's voice does nothing but excite Paul further.
"...but you do look good in a uniform", Hugh turns back to Paul and smiles, letting his eyes wander over this new sight.
Really? The man likes this fucking getup? Paul huffs in his mind, before realizing there's something relatable here, recalling how he had once himself found unexpected fondness for the uniform on Hugh. Although he's sure the doctor's impressive figure had a lot to do with it, too - anything would look good on that. Anything, or nothing.
Paul lets it be. He watches his own hand starting to reach out to the man, as if involuntarily. He won't pretend like he doesn't like the idea of his man finding him attractive. And on that thought his cups the doctor's face and locks lips with Hugh's passionately.
And fuck how it is real. And feels so good! And new: like he wouldn't have kissed the man a hundred times before. Like this would be the first time he's felt those soft, full lips against his own, or like it comes as any surprise, the treacherous way in which the carefully groomed beard brushes against his jaw, teasingly tickling Paul's senses, sending sweet flashes down along his spine, urging he'd go on. He knows it always does, and right now he lets it.
Or like he's never experienced that agile tongue now entering his mouth, dancing around with rousing dexterity, eagerly responding to Paul's need.
Fuck, it's been too long. Not more than usual, Paul knows, but the touches he hasn't been able to deliver in these agonizing past days have made these weeks feel like months. The caresses he knows he owes Hugh.
Paul needs more than this kiss. Powerful as it is, this alone won't do.
The decision becomes clear in his head the moment his hand reaches behind his back to fumble with the control panel by the doorway.
"I need you", he breaths out against Hugh's lips, "now". His hand on the panel makes sure the door behind is properly locked.
Hugh pulls away a bit, "You sure?" Understanding the request, but surprised for it, the doctor distracts the kiss, in an attempt to confirm the man's intentions in his eyes. Paul won't allow himself the hesitation, and breaches the gap quickly, desperate for the man to carry on.
"Right here?" Hugh mumbles with Paul's lips insistently on his, the man's hands busy feeling him all over. The doctor's jacket zipper comes loose.
"Right here. Right now", Paul demands, and slips his hands under the deliciously formfitting Fleet regulated undershirt. Even Paul himself startles a bit by the utter, palpable need heaving in his voice, but won't let it stop him. His hands travel up the comfortingly familiar terrain of the man's torso to those specific places there he is privileged to have intimate knowledge of.
There's a distinct relieved sigh out of the doctor's mouth, as Paul's fingers reach their intended destination.
The way the doctor's body tenses, then relaxes under his caress, sends a pleased smile on Paul's lips, as his thumbs do their familiar, excited rubbing motion, circling over Hugh's nipples.
Paul feels like bursting out crying under the enormity of these emotions if he doesn't get to relief them soon.
And fuck, these already tight uniform pants are starting to get really uncomfortable on him, which Hugh must feel too, firmly pressed against each other as they are right now.
Paul needs to release. Any way possible. His frustration voicing itself in an impatient mumble into their heavy kiss.
He can sense the small smile he gets in reply, and the shrug the doctor does accepting the idea. Followed by the sensation of a hand reaching past the tight waistband, down into his pants.
Fuck. Paul breaks from the kiss with a heavy, relieved sigh. How the man's touch is sweet! Sweeter than it ever was. Paul drops his head in surrender to the exciting touch, letting escape a pleased moan against Hugh's chest. Paul's hands reach around the doctor, clutching tightly to the back of the man's jacket for some support in case his knees should buckle under this sudden, overwhelming ecstasy. "Please..."
To give himself some room to operate, Hugh's fingers are quick with Paul's zipper. "You're sure, you're okay with me going on?" the doctor asks, knowing well enough to doubt his man's usual resolve on the matter, however raring he may appear.
"Fuck yes", Paul's reply comes frustrated for Hugh's mindfulness, and cursing for his own inhibitions to stay the fuck clear. He wants no room to think this. "I need it".
Hugh confirms with another kiss, and pulls Paul back couple steps towards a bed next to them - still just an empty mattress without any linen, but perfect enough right now.
Hugh pushes Paul back to lay on the bed, and bends down right after him, his hand grasping back firmly around Paul with that heavenly, self-assured touch. And almost before Paul is down, Hugh's mouth is already on him - enveloping him, soft, warm, wet and so right!
"Fuck. Me!" Utterly pleased, Paul lets out almost a painful sounding exclamation, his body jerking involuntary in response to the jolt of ecstasy.
"Fuck, that's good", he growls, the sheer delight sounding through his voice as the beautiful rhythm begins around him, all of the build-ups inside him bubbling up, expectant.
The hand squeezing tightly around his root suddenly loosens it's grip, freeing all the sweet pressure to travel along the whole length, and Paul can't fight the urge to thrust against the agonizingly adept mouth just then. Goodness, yes.
Startled by his own involuntary actions, Paul first hesitates to raise his head, but feeling the resulting smile on the doctor's lips around himself, dares to take a look at the man. Reassuringly, Paul is greeted with a pair of gorgeous dark eyes, lovingly peeking up at him, almost as if winking - clearly signaling their gratefulness for Paul's unusual willingness to all of this, and their enjoyment in being able to finally give him this.
The man is good at this, knows it, and has wanted to show it to Paul for so long. And Paul has been too stubborn to fully accept it, despite numerous offers. He can see in Hugh's eyes the excitement for this leap in the right direction, and feels the slender fingers grab his hips.
And fuck if Paul isn't delighted to realize he's able, craving even, to maintain the eye-contact, which he has so far felt the need to avoid in similar attempts to be able to even consider this.
He's thrilled to find he can now cherish this moment with Hugh like they've shared the rest of their most passionate moments: eye to eye, with all feelings exposed - just like they are now. Just as they should've always been, if it hadn't been for his own damned reticence.
For the first time he can feel the full arousing hotness of Hugh in this position; and fuck if it isn't a turn on, to watch his man work his skills around him. See himself between those beautiful thick lips, disappearing into the man's eager mouth.
Enjoy the sensation without the usual, useless hints of guilt in the back of his mind.
No, that guilt is nowhere now - it's gone, completely irrelevant -, and the rest of the past days' regrets quickly evaporating as well, with Hugh's possessive gaze holding him captive, demanding Paul to feel that utter control Hugh has on him in this position. Expecting his complete surrender to the doctor's power over him and to relaxing to the touch.
And fuck how it's ecstatic beyond anything Paul could've imagined. To just let go - willingly - of that stubborn hold he's always so adamant to maintain, and let Hugh take over.
Fascinated by the measures of pleasure and mental ease brought on by such a simple physical act. The satisfied smile in the doctor's eyes staring into Paul's, witnessing his man's ecstasy. All are adding layers to the delight, multiplying this blessed circle of exchanged joy.
"Oh, fuck!" Paul lets out, pleased, hit with another wonderful jolt radiating through his very being, his fingers helplessly trying to clutch to the unyieldingly firm mattress, the pleasure pushing his back to an arch. Fuck, it won't take long like this, ravished as he is.
And so it doesn't. Before Paul has the chance to alert his deliverer, he is already unloading, with the usual curses escaping along his gratified growl - the waves of pleasure travelling up along his body, forcibly throwing his head back, sending him to cosmic heights.
And Hugh is down there, everywhere. Welcoming and eager with that skillful tongue now travelling all around, pushing into places with titillating accuracy to help keep Paul floating, before moving up along his groin and licking his belly for good measure; pausing to plant a powerful, senses tingling kiss on it, which is sure to leave a mark. A final seal to their heated moment of passion, and a well deserved signature for finally conquering this lap.
Paul heaves in delirium still, his eyes barely back open yet, as Hugh appears on top of him all dreamy eyed and smiling delighted. "Honey. That was hot", the doctor purrs, his fingers kneading Paul's sides needily.
"That was fucking... unexpected", Paul replies, catching his breath, gathering himself. But was it really? Or was it the climax to something long time coming?
Knowing his brain - the same one that had delayed this till now in the first place - Paul is dearly hoping his mind won't be too harsh on him; retroactively kicking him with the guilt by reminding him of what he's just done on his first day on the job. His very first day in the uniform.
Despite being off the clock already, and free to do as he pleases! He makes a point of as if reminding his future self.
Right now all that is irrelevant, and in fact quite an exciting thought even, if anything.
"What about you?" he then collects enough sense of mind to ask Hugh, realizing he hasn't exactly delivered much himself here.
"I'm fine", the doctor smiles warmly at his man's adorable considerateness. Hugh finds he is getting more than enough satisfaction right now from the sheer fact, that they seem to have finally arrived at this comfortable a point. The point he's been keenly waiting to reach with Paul. "Just put those arms around me, honey".
Paul gladly does as the doctor commands, and wraps his arms around the beautiful man, pulling him into a warm embrace, tightly against his chest. Paul rests his hands firmly on the man's sides, right where they belong. Relieved for being able to hold Hugh, just the way the man's longed to be held for the past grueling days of uncertainty. "Fuck, what would I ever do without you", Paul sighs - relieved, appreciative and guilty all at the same.
His mind - the pestering thing - then shifts back to the moment; starting to return to the reality of Hugh here on the ship and all the things they'd probably need to address.
"I mean, are you really...?", Paul begins, but Hugh puts his fingers gently against the pale lips to stop the man from talking. There's a hushing expression of "not right now" on the doctor's face, before he lays his head down on Paul's chest.
Hugh's weight relaxing on top of Paul effectively does what is intended: calms Paul down.
While the doctor's hand gently appreciates the familiarity of the pleasantly soft body, Paul tilts his head back and around to get a sense of their current surroundings, regarding the significance of the place and the moment.
This unexpected new chapter in his life with Starfeet, which he feared could end his other previously unimaginable journey with love, it suddenly doesn't need to be without Hugh. No, it will instead be decidedly with Hugh. This will not be a chapter to separate them, but the chapter that will bring their journeys together. Where ever they'll go, they will go together.
"This is it then, isn't it?" Paul remarks, taking a better look of the room, bathing in that sunny low orbit glow reflecting from the planet's atmosphere and flooding in from the narrow cabin windows, "This will be our first home together?"
From this angle the space appears upside down to him, "could use few plants, maybe".
Hugh chuckles faintly at the thought of honey already starting to plan his new garden. "I know how much you value your private space", the doctor then speaks gently, lifting his gaze up to meet Paul's eyes, and loosening the man's still neatly fastened collar, which now appears uncomfortably stiff. "I totally understand if you'd want separate quarters".
"No, this will be perfect", Paul assures, turning back to Hugh, giving an affectionate kiss on the bridge of the man's nose, "why separate, to just end up running back and forth the decks?"
Hugh looks at the man dubiously.
"I'll have my private space with Stella", Paul adds.
"Besides", he then smirks mischievously, "I think we might have just claimed this one for ourselves".
Hugh laughs. Which after the agonizing uncertainty and the mad rush of the past few days is beyond euphoric to hear, Paul finds; an overwhelming relief to just lay here, in this moment, with his darling man in his arms, and in the embrace of such all healing joy.