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After The Reckoning

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"Is there any guac left?"

I had closed my eyes while he was tidying up in the bathroom. I opened them at the sound of his voice to see a large ginger man leaning over me, stark naked but for a lightweight throw blanket which he'd tied about his neck.

I burst out laughing. "Are you wearing a cape?"

He stood up and put both fists at his hips, elbows out, and adopted a far-off look at the wall. "Yes. I am wearing a cape." Looking at me then, he added: "Thought it'd be rude to walk about your flat naked, looking for food, like I owned the place." He shrugged. "A cape seemed like the answer. Plus, it's cool."

I laughed again. "Oh my God, you're ridiculous. There's some left in the fridge." As I rose to grab a long silk robe, he was already gone. "And don't eat it all", I called out after him.

By the time I reached the kitchen he was sitting on the countertop (atop his cape, of course), greedily clutching the bowl of guacamole. His eyes were on me as I sauntered past him to the pantry and dramatically produced a bag of Essential Waitrose salted tortilla chips. He drew an audible breath of mock surprise. "No fair. You know where everything is."

I smiled and shimmied with the chip bag in front of my chest. "I'll share mine if you share yours." He looked down at his clingfilm-covered bowl and frowned.

"Damn. Get over here, you evil temptress."

I stood between his dangling calves as we finished the guac and half the chips. At times, he would set down the bowl and draw me to him, running his hands through my hair as we leisurely kissed. Once, I licked guacamole off his index finger. Other times, he couldn't stop eating long enough to touch me, so he let a wandering calf slide up the back of my leg and caress my arse, keeping me hyper-aware of my near-nudity. My own meandering hands explored his thighs, hips, and lower back, enjoying the freedom to touch him as much as I wanted.

[Sexy chips and guac. Who would have thought?]

I rinsed the empty bowl, poured us two more Bushmills, and we clinked glasses.

"Balfie?"

"Yeah?"

"Can I ask you a question?"

I nodded while taking a sip, suddenly nervous.

"In the trailer," he began. "You said you were serious about asking me... to... you know... and you said there were a thousand reasons why. Will you tell me?" His face was purity itself. "Please?"

[Deflect, deflect!]

"Well, I mean, maybe not a thousand."

"Cait." His head was cocked downward, and his eyes asked for truth.

[Fuuuck]

"Okay." As he had done earlier, I set down my glass. I took a deep breath before laying my soul as bare as my body. Reflexively, I gathered the sides of my open robe around me to have something to hold on to, and began.

"The day I met you in LA was the end of the old me. It wasn't because of the job. I mean, I was nervous about the audition, and excited about the job, but I hadn't counted on... well, on you. You were just so beautiful and warm and fun to be with. You drew me in and steadied me. I didn't feel self-conscious or like I had to be cool or pretentious around you. You were different, and you changed me."

I stole a glance at him. He had the faintest smile, and I briefly thought his eyes were moist. Maybe they were glassy from the whisky?

"I don't have to be the model, you know? I can wear my dorky glasses and have messy hair and still feel pretty around you. You look at me the same then as you do when I'm professionally made up. I like how I feel when I'm with you. I get happy when I see your car pull up on set. When your arm goes around me, I get butterflies like I'm fifteen years old again... and I tried to convince myself that it was the role, or my naivete, that this is how it's supposed to feel with a costar."

I decided to look at him directly now, and noticed that at some point a tear had slipped out and left its trail down his cheek.

[Not the whisky, then.]

"But how we are together isn't part of the job, and I'm done pretending that it is. You're sitting on my countertop wearing a fucking cape, for God's sake. And since we already agreed this isn't just a fuck, I'll take it one step further: I'm... in love with you. I love you."

He slid down to the floor and was on me in less than a second. Kissing my lips, kissing my forehead, holding me to him. He sniffled once, then... laughed, his chest heaving in spasms.

"Thank GOD. I love you, too. I love you." A kiss on my nose. "I love you." A kiss on both eyelids. "I love you." He lifted me up on the countertop and turned his back to me, urging me to hold on.

"C'mon. Back to bed." He carried me piggyback. All I could do was cross my arms below his neck where his cape was tied, tease his ear with my tongue, and giggle.

[God, I love this man]

He gently set me down on the bed and I slipped out of my robe. "Ooh," he said. "I wanna be naked too."

"You pretty much are. I can see your bits."

He untied his cape. "'Bits', is it?" He narrowed his eyes and lay down beside me, turning to face me. He was smiling.

I took an exaggerated look down at his cock as it came to life in my direction, looked again at him, and shook my head. Smiling, he wagged his brows and nodded. "Right."

He reached for me and pulled me to him, hands traveling across the expanse of my back and down to my arse, kissing me steadily. He was warm and inviting and smelled divine, like whisky and rainwater and soap and sex. As he suckled down my neck and found refuge in my breasts, I buried my nose in his curls and felt drunk on the scent of him, the shape of him, the feel of him as he loved me.

I hooked a leg up over his hip, creating room to sneak a hand down to palm his cock. He hissed against my skin before taking a nipple into his mouth. I sighed low and long, arching my back to give him better access. He suckled deeper, drawing a moan out of me, and brought a hand to rest on my sex with a touch so light, he was barely making contact. "Cait. The heat coming off of you... my God, woman... I will crave you for the rest of my life."

His middle finger gently stroked me as I felt the weight of his balls in my palm and reached farther to feel the smooth skin right behind them against my fingertips. He gasped and bucked a bit in surprise; his cock once again found my hand, and I closed around it, giving him a place to gently thrust forward again and again.

"That feels... so... good." He breathed his words into my neck. "Don't stop." I softly twisted my fingers this way and that, teasing his cock with steady pressure. In response he slid two fingers into me with a gentle twisting motion, grazing my inner thighs with the other two each time he followed through. It was dizzying, and I grew more and more breathless as his hand slowly ground into me. By the time his thumb touched my clit, I shuddered.

"Yesss," he coaxed. "Come on, love. Let me feel it." I came for him before he was finished talking, open-mouthed but silent.

[..."love"...]

"Oh God. So beautiful." I felt a drop of moisture leak onto my moving hand just then, as if to confirm just how much he enjoyed drawing pleasure out of me.

"Babe," he whispered. "Can you reach the nightstand? I wanna be in you so bad..."

With him anchoring me at my back, I managed to contort enough to return with a packet in hand. I tore it open with my teeth: "I want to do it," I whispered, smiling.

He bit his bottom lip and nodded as I rolled it down the length of him. "Let's stay like this, okay? Facing each other. Equals."

[This is the last man I will ever want]

I kissed him deeply at that, both hands caressing his jawline. "I love you," I breathed as he positioned his legs between my thighs.

"Mmm, I love you too." His forearms slid under my thighs, cradling me. I ceded control of my pelvis and let him bring me over his cock til I was flush with his torso. That first motion went so deep as to elicit an unexpected "Oh" from both of us. I swept his lips with my tongue and closed around his mouth, when I felt him start to swing my hips away, moving me backwards off his cock to start again.

He moved me, to and fro, sliding us together and back apart, at a pace that kept me guessing: for five strokes he might keep steady, only to move me halfway off before resheathing himself by bringing me over him hard and holding me there.

For my part, I clamped tight around him at irregular intervals: pulsing now, leaving him wanting when I relaxed, then holding tight for a full five seconds as he moved me over him, his mouth coming open with a strangled moan.

This was making love: slowly and deliberately, face to face, chasing each other's pleasure, savouring it, and giving more.

My breathing relaxed as he set a regular pace, and I heard myself whisper:

"I love you without... knowing how..."

In his eyes, a spark of recognition as I went on.

"Or when..." I sighed as he moved me over him again. "Or from where..."

"Ahh," he breathed before he whispered: "I love you... straightforwardly..."

My turn. "Without complexities or pride... ohh"

Him: "I love you because I know of ... mmm, God... no other way than this..."

Me: "Where I does not exist, nor you..."

Him, picking up the pace now: "So close that your hand on my chest is my hand..."

Together: "...So close that your eyes close as I fall asleep."

He was close, struggling to keep his eyes on me as he brought me over his cock in irregular staccato bursts now. Determined to finish with him, I shot a hand down between our bodies and felt his girth inside me, then reached higher and unabashedly fingered my clit in front of him.

His eyes blew wide, but they stayed on mine. He could feel my movements below, and seemed intent on watching my eyelids flutter as I began to nod and breathe irregularly.

"Oh God," he growled, "that is so fucking hot, ungh." Next, he turned my nickname into four distinct syllables as he came: "CA/AA/AA/AIT!" I came hard, nearly pushing him out of my body as I did so, but he instinctively pushed back and somehow I came even harder.

I clung to him then, and he to me, until the latex between us had outworn its welcome and he got up.

When he came back to bed, he leaned down and brought his tongue to my lips, kissed me deeply, and left me sucking his tongue as he pulled away to curl around me. "I love you so much," he kissed into my hair.

"That didn't bother you?" I asked.

"What? There at the end? Hell, no!" He pulled me tighter. "I've never seen anything that hot in my life!"

"Good." Truly, that was a relief.

He shot straight up and gasped: "Don't tell me someone ever left you a negative Yelp review for that?!"

I burst out laughing. "No, no. I just wanted to be sure you didn't take it as a slight. There was no way we weren't going to come together after tag-teaming Sonnet Seventeen. No. Way."

He lay back down and curled around me. "I like how you think."

After a minute, he whispered: "Babe? Can I ask a favor?"

"Of course."

"My whole life I've been the big spoon. Can I see what it feels like to be the little spoon?"

I did not expect that, and again I laughed. "Are you always like this?"

He thought, keeping me in suspense before his whole face burst out with: "Yes!"

"Oh God. Roll over." To be sure I could clear him, I propped myself up on an extra pillow and curled my leg around his hip. I enveloped him as best I could. "How's that?"

"It's nice. I can see why people like this."

I kissed his ear. "I love you."

"Love you too. Just one more thing?"

I groaned.

"Um, Ms. Bal-FAY? Is that...? Am I correct in thinking there is an accent at the end?"

My giggles shook his body.

"Anyway, Miss B." He sounded like a used car salesman now, slick and shameless. "What... can I do... to get you in to a relationship... today?"

"Just go to sleep."

"G'night, Balfie."