|A little something steamy...
||[May. 14th, 2005|01:04 am]
The All-Holy Shrine to Flut!
|||||Somewhere Only We Know - Keane||]|
WARNING: Lemon ahead!!
Tis the sequel/companion fic to my previous Zack/Rem ficcie, only this one keeps going on to...other things. >.>
Many thanks to Akai for helping me along, as it was her encouragement that made this possible. *hugs*
P.S. Typos? I know naught of what you speak...*is delusional*
The Name of This Feeling Is...
“…and there he goes again,” Zack commented wearily as he watched Rem march right past the door to the dining hall and up the stairs toward their rooms. “Just as sociable as ever, that Rem.”
At his side, Fei looked on helplessly, glancing sideways at Zack after a few moments. “But what can anyone do?”
“That’s the big money question, isn’t it?” Zack replied with a wry grin, through there was an actual hint of worry in his eyes. “Well, I guess if that’s what he really wants to do…”
Zack shrugged his shoulders hopelessly, following the others in for dinner. He really shouldn’t have been giving himself more things to worry about, after all. They were doing…pretty okay, all things considered. Out on a quest once again, being the ‘nice people’ that they were, while at the same time searching for a way to reach Hollow Bastion. Or just home, in some cases. At present, everyone was thankfully in one piece; no one was missing/assumed dead/emotionally unstable/insane/or wounded terribly, which was a step up, in Zack’s opinion.
Yet Rem still irked him. Never acting on his own, just following along without voicing any opinion—without voicing much of anything, really—simply going where they went, doing what they did. Or what Zack told him to do, which was either annoying or useful, depending on the situation. Rem didn’t seem unhappy or anything…but then, he wasn’t one to show much emotion. Just…blank, which bothered Zack for a reason he couldn’t quite explain.
The few times he had expressed something other than neutral calm were instances of lost control and demonic instincts, both of which brought unhappy results. People hurt, people estranged, even people dead, and Rem…he may not have shown it, but he would always be unhappy. Despite his calm face, his closed eyes…Zack could still tell when he regretted something. When he was…well, when he was sad. Or wistful, sometimes…almost envious. There was even a deep, heavy longing in his gaze for a few brief moments here and there, though Zack assumed he imagined it most of those times.
After all, no one else seemed to notice but him…did that make him weird? Or just delusional? Was he looking too deeply into things? If Rem had something on his mind, he should just come out and say it…not that he would, as Zack figured it. That was what drove him crazy! And made him want to do something about it, even if that something was rather…rash. Zack was certainly never one to beat around the bush, but going up to someone like Rem and asking “Hey, are you having improper thoughts about me? ‘Cause, you know, I’m all for it!” sounded particularly ridiculous, even to him.
…if that’s even the case, Zack muttered silently to himself, distractedly poking at his dinner and distantly wondering why they had bothered to pay when they could have gone into the woods and killed something more appetizing.
The truth was, Zack wasn’t entirely sure if Rem was capable of something like a…romantic relationship. Heck, when they’d met Rem had tried to kill him! Yet things felt so different now…whether it was all in his head or not, Zack got the distinct impression that Rem was watching him. Not just because of the whole ‘Master’ business, but due to something else. Something Zack would have never expected…though, at the same time, something that he didn’t necessarily disapprove of.
And that was the other funny thing. Zack had always been the object of people’s affections—and yes, he could admit that with an entirely straight face—so he had some experience when it came to kindly turning them down. Yet with Rem…the demi-Fiend never said anything, never gave any proof that he felt at all. But, if he did, the ramifications of that tugged at Zack’s heart like little else could. After all…Rem had once said that he used to be human, a long time ago. Just how long was that? Fifty years? A hundred years? More?
That time, and whatever terrible things Rem had faced, had stolen something away from him. His heart, his humanity, his future…things that someone should never lose, as Zack well knew. And yet, here Rem was…attempting to feel again, or so it appeared. The courage something like that must take, and the confusion and uncertainly he must be facing…well, Zack couldn’t sit idly by and let him face it alone. Sure, he might have been deluding himself into thinking something that unlikely was happening, but he couldn’t shake it from his mind.
Coming to a decision—a rather hasty and impulsive one, but a decision just the same—Zack got to his feet, offering his companions a wry smile. “I think I’ll head upstairs and grab some Antidotes; we’re going to need them after this…ehem, delightful meal.”
There was a spattering of laughter here and there, the desired effect, though Zack noted Fei was watching him with something resembling both concern and curiosity, tinged with Fei’s usual tendency to not want to interfere. Fei was more observant than a lot of people gave him credit for, however, and Zack knew his friend at least suspected something…though to what extent, Zack wasn’t sure. But then, Fei could also be rather ignorant sometimes…say, like how he didn’t notice the odd undertones of Ark’d’s constant teasing and clingy ways.
But that was a concern for another day. At the moment, Zack simply made his way out the door and up the nearby stairs, running a hand through his long, dark hair as he did so. What would he say, exactly? Why don’t you join me for an unpalatable dinner that will have half of us stuck in the bathroom before morning? Nope, too lame. Care to sit on my lap and confess any repressed feelings you might have? Nope, too mushy. Is never wearing a shirt some signal to me that you would like me to remove the rest of your clothes? Sounded nice, but Zack knew when he was pushing it.
“And I might end up knocked into next week if I’m not careful,” Zack muttered to himself, aware that even someone like Rem had his limits. Though, a part of his mind had to wonder how he was aware of this; after all, Rem had never shown those limits before. Maybe it was just Zack, imagining things? Or hoping for them, perhaps? Well, hoping and imagining did little to actually change anything, so Zack opted for his preferred method of dealing with these kinds of situations.
Confronting them head on, of course.
Finding himself outside Rem’s door, Zack paused, weighing the pros and cons of knocking. One, he wouldn’t be chucked through a wall for intruding if he announced himself first—nevermind that Rem wouldn’t actually do that to his ‘Master’. Two, he could not knock and perhaps see Rem in an unguarded moment, for however brief a time. Why exactly did Zack want to see Rem without that neutral face hiding everything else from view? Because Zack was aware that things were being hidden in the first place.
Slowly opening the door and slipping stealthily inside, Zack instantly spotted Rem near the window—glowing in the dark made it damn near impossible for him to hide, after all—leaning against the wall and staring absently out into the darkness. He looked…distracted. Normally composed face set into a small, unhappy frown, Rem remained utterly still as his eyes—which looked deeper, for some reason—seemed to search for something in the shadows beyond the window. Loneliness wafted off him in nearly palpable waves, smacking Zack square in the heart.
It was enough to make Zack want to kiss the expression right off his face.
Oh crap! Tactical retreat!
…wait. Did he just say…?
Mystified—and, at the same time, once again utterly sure of himself—Zack took the last few steps forward until he was nearly on top of Rem and, grinning in his signature way, asked: “Yeah, what?”
Rem didn’t move a muscle, didn’t even flinch…but Zack, acutely aware of how unguarded he had been a second ago, easily caught how Rem’s shoulders stiffened, his chest seeming to freeze mid-breath. Miracles of miracles, Zack had actually surprised him. Well, to be fair, Rem had surprised him, too…all that debating downstairs, and on the road, and during all the weeks and months he had known him…now to be totally wiped away by a single soft, whispered word. By just his name…
Zack knew he was relieved, he knew it…and decided to make sure that Rem would be just as relieved as well.
“Got something on your mind?” He asked nonchalantly, leaning against the wall opposite of Rem and crossing his arms. Eerie eyes watched him calmly, though just behind them was a measure of fear and exposure, Rem no doubt seeking some way to answer without admitting to anything. Zack wasn’t about to let him off so easily, however, and simply waited, friendly face set with expectation.
At last, Rem spoke, lacking inflection just as always…though not quite enough for Zack to miss the fact that he was lying. “No.”
“A likely story,” Zack replied with a grin, hoping his usual friendliness would disarm the half-human, as it did with most people he met. But, he should have remembered how immune Rem often was to certain aspects of emotion. Realizing he had to try something different, Zack sighed, and shook his head almost sadly. If there was one thing he knew got under Rem’s skin, it was him acting like Rem wasn’t doing something right. “So, why didn’t you come down for dinner?”
“Okay, okay, stupid question, but it isn’t like you can’t at least sit with us,” Zack continued, giving Rem a slightly tired, annoyed look, while at the same time carefully gauging his reaction.
Just as he predicted, he got an immediate response. “I will join you for breakfast.”
Distracted by pointless conversation? Check. Lulled into false sense of security over earlier lapse? Check. Cornered alone? Double check. Maneuvered into grabbing distance? Triple check. Request permission to initiate final stage of operation. Permission granted.
Gotcha, Zack murmured silently with a smile on his face. Rem was looking directly at him, hiding so many things Zack could see just fine anyway. But he would make it easy, simple…he knew what this had to be costing him, and Zack was never one to hurt those that he cherished.
“What happened to ‘Zack’?”
And he actually didn’t answer. Instead, Rem simply stared at him for several long, silent seconds, looking for all the world like a deer in headlights. Then, moving as though every inch was a hard fought battle, Rem slowly looked out the window again, face lit with all the words he couldn’t say.
“You know…,” Zack began, aware that Rem couldn’t see the smile on his face. Thusly, all he heard were the simple, calm tones of his voice, his mirth and care hidden as he waited to see how much it would take for the demi-Fiend to open up. Well, that and wanting to watch Rem squirm; it was so difficult to get any kind of response out of him, but here he was, acting like a teenager for once. It made Zack’s smile widen all the more. “You’ve been hanging around me more than usual lately. I can hardly get any time to myself. It’s almost like you’re always watching me, which is distracting as hell.”
Distracting…damn straight it is. Always watching me, which makes me end up always watching you…
“Is there any particular reason for this? I mean, if someone is stalking me, I’d love to know why.”
Zack could almost swear that Rem stopped breathing. His jaw clenched tightly in the darkness, his fists tightening at his sides as he attempted to hold something in. The look on his face…torn and uncertain, young and old at the same time; frankly, the most expressive Zack had ever seen him. Zack almost, almost reached out…but he knew, in the end, it had to be Rem who made the choice. Whether it was in words or in his eyes, Zack couldn’t very well do anything until Rem could come to terms with it himself.
There…there, in his eyes. In his voice, the sound of it. It wasn’t calm anymore, or without emotion; his eyes weren’t blank or flat or empty. Instead, his voice trembled and shook, low and afraid, like that of a child. His eyes burned silently with need and want and sorrow, since he obviously believed that he’d never be able to have what he was seeking.
And damn if I love you for it.
“…a likely story.”
Before he could move, before he could get away, Zack wrapped his arms around Rem, pulling him close against his body. He went stiff, his back ramrod straight, but Zack didn’t let him go. He simply waited, silently relishing the closeness that he realized he had been seeking for quite some time. Why he needed it from Rem…well, there were—or could be, at least—a lot of reasons, the majority which he had already mulled over and analyzed to death. The few remaining were silent, private and precious in their own, painful way: the similarities between the two of them: their lives and identities altered and forever scarred by others. It didn’t matter if it was in the name of science, or demonic conquest: they were, in some distant, deeply connected way, the same.
Except Zack could smile, and Rem could not.
I guess that’s why…you need me, isn’t it? Why you’re always watching me…you’re free, away from all the terrible things that I see haunting your eyes…but you still don’t know what to do.
“You know, I like a straight answer from people that I care about,” Zack murmured into the short, half neat, half wild hair, marveling in some back part of his mind at how small Rem was. Zack had never noticed before…Rem was so strong, yet he wasn’t meant to be. He was meant to be human, and whole, and without this loneliness, as was Zack. They could never regain what they had lost…except, maybe… “I’m sure I can handle it.”
Maybe together, eh, Rem?
Rem did not hear his silent question, of course, but his answer came just the same. Like the breaking of the day you thought would never come, Rem relaxed in his embrace, a shudder running through him as strong—yet weak and relieved—arms wrapped around Zack’s torso. Rem’s breathing slowed, evened out…and picked up again the longer they stood there in the dark, the area around them lighted only by the glow of Rem’s body. Zack knew this must have been the first time in many, many years that anyone had been this close to Rem. It was obviously the first time someone had held him like this, anyway.
“I guess that means I’ll have to show you, doesn’t it?” Zack whispered to Rem in a conspiratorial voice, finding it almost simple to lift the half-human’s chin with a hand. Rem did not flinch, nor did he say anything, though his eyes spoke all the volumes of uncertainty and worry and fear that his voice could not. But the trust…that was all Zack needed to see, making it easy to lower his head to brush his lips against Rem’s. “It’ll be easy…I promise.”
Rem shuddered at the touch, his grip on Zack tightening, but he did not pull away. Instead, he allowed Zack to deepen the kiss, the older man placing a hand at his neck and the small of his back. Rem was clumsy, inexperienced, but Zack made up for it as they memorized the taste of each other, learning or relearning what it was to feel another like this. A stirring began within Zack, a deep, fulfilling warmth blossoming in his chest as he broke their kiss, a smile emerging on his face as spotted the blush on Rem’s cheeks. His expression hadn’t changed much, yes…but Zack could detect the little nuances in his expression that marked his very pronounced emotions. He wasn’t sure exactly when or how he had learned to do this, but he could.
Still smiling, Zack led Rem the few steps to the bed, nearly chuckling out loud at the openly puzzled look on his face. “Something wrong?”
Rem stared at Zack a moment, clearly trying to remember what kind of…activity they would be doing next and obviously failing miserably. Zack still managed to restrain himself from laughing, though he was certain Rem could see the mirth and—was it really? Yeah, it was—kindness in his eyes. “I…I do not…understand.”
Carefully yet confidently, aware of what Rem needed, Zack took the hold of his arms and sat Rem down on the bed, speaking softly as he did so. “I said I would show you, didn’t I?”
And so he did. It began with another kiss, this time soft and comforting on Rem’s forehead as Zack gently pushed him back. There was tightness in Rem’s body again at that, the position obviously one of submission to his mind. But Zack could almost see the inner battle as it was fought, flickering in Rem’s smoldering eyes as he struggled to overcome the demon within him. This conflict was quelled with a touch, many touches, Zack’s hands suddenly there to soothe the twitching limbs and rigid muscles, soft and insistent caresses chasing away the long-fought war.
Zack had always been fascinated by the markings on Rem’s body and, though long used to them, he relished his freedom now to explore them as he chose. Leaning almost precariously over him, Zack began at the lines on his face, a thumb trailing down beneath his eye, palm cupping his cheek as he traced the curve of his mouth. It was enough to make him kiss Rem again, and he did so, his hands continuing their work further down the half-human’s chest, and the larger, broader stretches there.
And further down that that…
At Rem’s quick intake of breath he paused, a palm resting on Rem’s stomach as he pulled back from yet another kiss, Zack gazing down at the neutral face that gave everything away. “I…”
Rem was trying to say it.
“I am af—”
“There’s no reason to be,” Zack murmured kindly, assuredly in return, more than aware that it was his confidence, his unwavering will—or so it seemed to Rem—that kept him here, in his arms. “No reason at all…”
And Zack showed him the why of that as well, with strong hands and playful lips, the care in his voice and the laughing joyfulness in his eyes. Rem responded in the tiny ways that were everything to Zack, the small sounds and changes in his face, the grip that tightened on his shoulders as he straddled him. The room grew warmer and warmer, the nearby window steaming as the cold air from outside met the heated glass. The old bed creaked and whispered beneath them, the headboard thudding against the wall as they positioned themselves in the middle of the mattress.
Zack removed his own shirt for Rem, taking the half-human’s hands and showing him where to touch, how to caress and cherish, how to tease and how to relieve. He showed Rem how to arch and shiver at every feather-light brush across his trembling skin, how to gasp and shudder with pleasure and all the happiness he normally could never express. He showed him the ripples of warmth that came from whispered words at his ear, the wonder of that shuddering release of air as he slid the tight black shorts from his slender hips, his own leggings following not long after.
From there it was all a mix of heat and slickness, Rem’s legs tucked around Zack’s hips as Zack braced himself on both hands. A spiky cascade of hair fell forward with each motion to enshroud them both, locking them within a tiny, steaming cocoon, the sweat on their chests and faces glistening in the flickering bluegreen light. Rem’s eyes tightened at the first, pain flashing across his features, but it passed quickly, the hands that stretched above his head grasping the old wood of the headboard. Zack—reminded anew of the durability of Rem’s body—continued, his cheek against Rem’s as he pushed and drew back, the rhythm slow but strong and pronounced, flowing through them both.
Rem was no longer silent by any means, and, while his voice remained low, the groans and whimpers came just the same, his face pressing into Zack’s as he sought the new, irreplaceable pleasure and comforting reassurance found in his touch. The floodgates were opening, the walls centuries old crumbling with each thrust of velvet over iron, with every cuddle of their faces and necks, the motions intimate in a way that was more basic than any normal person could understand. Maybe it was because of what they both were, little though Zack wanted to admit it; there were instincts and feelings within them that others did not have, and thusly could not understand. There was a separation in their hearts from the lives they had known, the homes they had held dear…a solitude that neither of them had been able to escape, whether it be through smiles or silence.
But here, locked together as they were by heat and sound and touch and intimacy, it was possible to forget…forget what it was to be wounded, and all alone.
“Master, Master…,” Rem moaned, low and sharp, his body taking Zack’s long and deeply. “Master…”
“…it’s…Zack…,” Zack answered with a grin that was also a smile, his motions suddenly slowing, drawing it out as he spoke. “As much as I like…Master in this situation…it’s Zaaaaack…”
The longest pause before the plunge was as he said it, Rem sucking in a harsh breath as his hands came forward to cling desperately to Zack’s shoulders. Their gazes met, equal in expression, in passion, in devotion, just as they had always been equal in exile and penance and despair. Unable to bear not doing so, Zack caught Rem’s lips for another kiss, tasting all of him as he thrust, the rushing release of deep emotion and wild completion surging through them both.
Rem lasted only a second before he threw back his head, the glowing lines on his body flaring the brightest they had ever been thus far. “Zack!”
“That’s…more like it…,” Zack ground out, finding it pretty difficult to keep his voice steady as they tumbled down from that high place together, weak and trembling and fulfilled in a way that they had either forgotten, or never learned. “A lot more like it…”
Surprised to find that he was rather tired—and when had he gotten those scratches on his back?—Zack separated himself from Rem, carefully stretching out beside the openly panting half-human. The anxiety and half-realized unhappiness had left Zack now, replaced by a strange, familiar lightness in his chest. It had been quite a while since he had felt it, this need and contentment that was both maddening and soothing, consuming and giving. He knew what it was, of course, but how strange it was to actually have it again…
“What is…this feeling called?” Rem suddenly asked, nearly in tune with Zack’s thoughts. His hesitant voice was more alive than it had ever been, the half-human carefully rolling onto his side to meet Zack’s gaze as he did the same. He sounded young and tired, awed and happy, relieved and content…every bit the human he had always been. “I…I can’t…remember.”
Zack felt the urge to grin, letting it instead become a warm smile as he gathered Rem in his arms, tucking him against his chest as they lay together in the near dark. His face was lit by the ever-present glow, his faintly golden eyes—it was the first time either of them noticed that, essentially, they had the same eyes—alight with many, many things.
Been a long time, but it was worth the wait.
“It’s called love.”