Rating: NC-17, m/m sex, course and bigoted language.
Disclaimer: All characters are trademarked and copyrighted to Marvel Comics. They are used without permission and no money is being made on this work.
Notes: Oh, let's see. This is part four in the Toronto series. I think that might be the only note I have. Oh, wait. Silly me. Previous stories (Toronto, The Edge and Inside Out) can all be found at Devo's Lightspeed page, http://jp_beaubier.tripod.com/cgi-bin/index.html ... which is a lovely page in itself. Comments are always appreciated at [email protected], archive requests too. Enjoy the tale. :)
I saw him long before I ever became more than a blur against the horizon to him, black hair and pale skin streaking over the road at near lightspeed. My eyes often saw what they want to see long before anyone else could focus, they were like that. I could see the entire world before the same person next to me became aware the colours of the sky had changed.
"Warren, I love you, so take my word on it, mon amour, and run like hell," Jean-Paul cried merrily, grabbing my arm and tugging me down to the dock, laughing so horribly he was wheezing as he moved. I ran with him, laughing at some joke he hadn't yet told.
"Come back here, faggot!"
I tried to turn my head, but Jean-Paul decided I was too slow, heaving me over his shoulder as he ran faster, creating waves. I was vaguely aware of a group of men chasing us, screaming loud and angry words, but Jean-Paul's laughing seemed to silence them.
"Warren, start the boat, I am going to give it a push," Jean-Paul said merrily, dropping me off at the wheel and racing back to the dock. "Quickly, Warren, chop-chop, these men are going to attempt to beat us ugly in a moment or two, and I am in no mood to waste precious time fighting them off."
Still not quite sure what was going on, I started the engine as Jean-Paul pushed the boat back, skimming across the water as he flew without flying. Once he oriented me in the right direction, I pushed the schooner into overdrive and sliced through the water, leaving seven very angry men on the dock screaming bloody murder.
"Mon dieu, what trouble I go through for love," Jean-Paul said slyly, wrapping his arms around my waist, pressing tightly against my back as he kissed my spine, tracing it with his tongue. "But hello, stranger. How have you been?"
"Are you not even going to share the story?" I asked, incredulous that it wasn't the first thing out of his mouth. "All of my father's rich friends were on that dock, enjoying their retirement. I should hope the rumours that will be stirred were at least for something."
"There is hardly a tale to be told, mon amour. I was minding my own business, buying sun screen for we both burn easily, and suddenly there is this very large, very dumb man standing next to me, calling me distasteful names. I hate that."
I smiled. "So what did you do?"
"I grabbed his balls and squeezed until he passed out," Jean-Paul replied nonchalantly, shrugging against my ribs as his hands tucked into the pockets of my jeans, pulling me back against him. "I could have done worse. They should be glad my excitement over my week of upcoming sex saved that boar from castration."
"All's well that ends well," I added helpfully, slowing the boat down to a respectable speed before stopping it completely, wanting to do things right. Slowly, I turned in Jean-Paul's arms and cupped his face in my hands, relearning the angles of his jaw. "Though I don't like the idea of your hands on someone else's crotch."
"I only have fingers for you, Warren," Jean-Paul replied sensuously, proving his point all two well by curling that elegant hand around the growing bulge in my jeans. "Mmm, Warren, tell me again why we have not seen each other for five weeks?"
"I blame Cyclops. You can blame him too if you like," I muttered, unable to hold back any longer. Slowly, I kissed along his jaw until I met his lips, kissing open-mouthed just to taste his breath before reaching out to greet his roaming tongue, bringing his essence back into my body. "If we were accountants, this would not be a problem."
"But we'd be so dreadfully dull," Jean-Paul replied coyly, fingers brushing through my hair, twisting in the golden silk before rubbing my scalp sensuously. "Mmm. You're letting it grow long, Warren, very sexy."
I smiled largely, flashing brilliantly white teeth before taking his hands, pulling him to the stairs, entering first into the lower room. "Watch your ..."
"Head," I finished and kissed the bump once we were both on level ground, making it all better. Jean-Paul laughed, nipping at my neck when it was exposed to him. My hands were already on his stomach, creeping under the flaps of his black silk shirt and rushing up the plane of his flat belly. Jean-Paul's fingers were working furiously at my buttons, popping them open by one as I moved to do the same to him, lost in the incredibly hot kiss we were sharing.
Frantically, without getting tangled and completely in unison, our jeans settled into a homologous pile on the floor. Twisting our legs together, I leaned against him, his back against the wall, and danced my tongue with his, quick and urgent as our hands felt as much skin as we could find. God, these times apart were too much. I wanted to feel the thump of his heart or the sweet curve of his spine whenever I wanted.
"Jean-Paul," I muttered, fumbling stupidly with one hand in the bedside table, breaking the lamp and refusing to think about the fire hazard, popping the cap off the lube when I found it with my thumb and slicking him up without preface. Jean-Paul groaned loudly in my ear, thrusting into my fist, and I laughed, shaking my head.
Intentionally, my plan was to have us fall onto the bed, but the four steps it would take to get there seemed far too long. Jean-Paul agreed, and before I could even register who had made the first move, I was belly-up against the wall and he was pressed tightly against my back, licking the base of my wings, my lube-covered hand leaving frantic prints on the old paint as I grasped desperately at something to steady myself.
A silent conversation ensued, with his hands dipping between my buttocks, fingers seeking only to prevent discomfort, but I shook my head insistently, too urgent for anything but *now*. Arching my back, I pushed against him, again and again, until I felt his hands moved from their task of protecting to aiding Jean-Paul into my body.
"Mon dieu!" Jean-Paul gasped, teeth scraping the arc of my wing, and I tightened around him, elbows curved against the wall and hands held over my head. Slowly, he began to fuck me, long and deep, one hand on my belly, the other stroking my chest, playing with my nipples.
Belly taut with need, I rocked my hips faster, trusting him to take the lead, and with his mouth on my back and his lower hand dropping to my cock, the love became intense, mind-blowing, totally earth-shattering. The muscles in my legs were throbbing, pressed around his thighs as he plunged deep in my body, and I could hear the air hiss through his teeth, a sign of how close he was to orgasm. Spurred onward, I clenched every muscle I could, milking him, squeezing him, until I heard the unmistakable exclamation of his release.
Abruptly, he pulled from my body and turned me around by the hips, hand leaving my cock and mouth replacing it, hot like liquid lava, so tight in his throat, and I thrust urgently into the cave of his lips, careful of him, knowing just how far to go. Nearly falling over, I came hard inside his mouth, moaning as he continued to suck until I was dry, using a nimble tongue to clean up any trace of my explosion. Then, in the completeness of our union, we collapsed into a heap on the floor, panting and sated.
"So, really, how have you been?" Jean-Paul asked again with a grin, leaning against my chest as I patted his spiky hair, loving how it felt between my fingers. It smelled like flowers, manly flowers of course, like ... roses, with a lot of thorns.
"Not bad. Some old, same old, really. Stock is up, but someone stole my Porsche, literally outwitted my alarm system when I ran in to buy a bag of milk. I lost all my mail," I said, still befuddled by the stupidness of the situation. "My car and my mail."
"Let me guess," Jean-Paul said, "there was a package from me in there?"
"Just my luck. I finally get around to mailing it and it gets stolen. Warren, I am not sure if you're the one cursed with bad luck or if it is I who is condemned." Jean-Paul sighed deeply, putting his fingers to his head. "My superiors are up in arms because I am, and I quote, ‘not being paid to be gay.'"
"Huh?" I asked eloquently, blinking. "I thought you said you had vacation time coming up."
"I do," Jean-Paul replied, rolling his eyes as a sign of his intolerance for their ignorance, "they simply think it is better spent alone. Stupid people of this world, they steal your car and they take my vacation pay." He sighed massively then waved away his concerns. "Oh, it doesn't matter right now. I won't let it trouble me. I am here with you. The world is perfect."
"Romantic," I teased coyly, slinking around his body until I sat in front of him.
"Don't be preposterous," Jean-Paul replied lightly, hands immediately settling on my hips, and I climbed onto his lap, setting myself directly atop his already rejuvenated erection. "I could never be one of those."
"Just want me for my incredible body, don't you?"
"Mon amour," Jean-Paul whispered, kisses already burning up my belly, desire already sinking into me, already so welcome, "you have no idea."
"I love the sea," Jean-Paul announced, sitting next to me as I steered the boat, heading south. Lovingly, he laid his head on my shoulder, fingers tickling my belly. I groaned. Loudly. "What? You think I have been sexually satisfied?"
"I think that's impossible," I replied, grinning largely, so utterly in love with this man it was sick. Five weeks this time without him, it was becoming harder and harder to endure. "But Warren the Fourth needs some rest, or he's not going to be up for tonight's celebrations."
"Pity," Jean-Paul said softly, pouting, "I suppose I might have to actually talk to you."
"Poor boy," I offered, laughing when he squeezed his arms around my waist, teeth nipping my chest as I leaned against him, wind in my hair and heat of his body on my skin. "We still have a couple more hours until we get to the Florida Keys. You did say the bunk was atrociously filthy."
Jean-Paul blinked, his face completely deadpan as he dryly said, "you don't propose I clean when I could spend the next four hours fondling you?"
I laughed again, feeling my will crumbling under his tongue as he licked across my chest, grinning when I gasped despite myself. "Jean-Paul, I love you, you know that, but I will not survive another round with you. Please, please, for my sanity, clean my cabin."
"I'll clean your cabin any day, baby," he muttered, giving me one last, sloppy kiss on the cheek before standing up and stretching, the tight muscles of his abdomen shifting beautifully beneath his flawless, pale skin. Exposed to the sun, he was so vibrant he glowed. "But very well, Warren. I'll be back, and I expect to be compensated."
"You will be," I promised, grabbing him back to plant a firm kiss on his belly, inhaling so I could breath in the smell of his skin. Jean-Paul grinned brilliantly and disappeared into the boat, leaving me to sit in the sun and head south.
A half an hour drifted by quickly, and once in a while, I happened across another boat and gave them a friendly wave. Bare-chested and wearing only a loose shirt over my shoulders, my skin was artificially tanned, a fake Caucasian colour that I knew Jean-Paul hated. Much to my surprise, he seemed to enjoy the blue, and though I had never said as much, it meant the world to me to know that my exotic hue didn't affect his attraction to me.
After an hour, I began to grow suspicious. The sounds from bellow had long since silenced, and I would have thought the promise of sex would have lured Jean-Paul back up the minute he was done. Stopping the boat, I walked down the steps to see what was going on. Jean-Paul, with his beautiful back to me, appeared to be reading.
"What are you doing?" I asked, smiling when he jumped and turned around, looking sheepish. I looked over his shoulder, and it was my turn to look embarrassed, my false skin appearing to turn a deep shade of red. "I told you I hadn't been on this thing for years."
"I can tell," Jean-Paul replied merrily, "this is well-aged porn."
As if to further his point, Jean-Paul offered a stack of magazines as proof, and I tried to laugh, aware of how pathetic it appeared. "Jean-Paul, just put those away, please. It's nothing you haven't seen before."
"I have to admit," Jean-Paul said slowly, "at first I was not entirely impressed with your selection. Checking the dates helped ease my worry a bit, but I was still concerned. You may have noticed I have neither large breasts or a," and he decided to quote this phrase using his fingers, "shaved beaver, as you seem to enjoy."
"Of course not," I replied, "you're not a woman."
"Does that ever bother you?"
I sighed deeply. I knew he was going to ask this eventually, everyone had warned me of it repeatedly, especially when they all seemed to think this was a fad on my part and nothing more, and I had just as quickly informed them that Jean-Paul understood my sexuality, wasn't threatened by it, wasn't afraid of it. I had no doubt that he accepted me, so I did not fault him for his worries, however unfounded.
"No, it doesn't. You're gorgeous, first of all, and I like your breasts." Jean-Paul smirked as I cupped the swell of his left pectoral in my hand, standing with my legs braced on either side of his right thigh. "But more than that, Jean-Paul, I love you for your mind, your heart and your soul. So long as we're together, I only have eyes for you."
"And your young stags?" Jean-Paul asked, holding up another magazine, and I blushed hideously, grabbing the book out of his hand. "Come, Warren, you have some handsome boys in that, don't deprive me."
I only laughed in response, gathering in my arms all the magazines and racing up the stairs, with Jean-Paul close on my tail, trying to grab my waist. With a grand leap onto the deck, I tossed the magazines in the air, watching them land in the water.
"It's raining men," Jean-Paul announced, arms to the heavens, "hallelujah!"
As the books began drifting away, I turned back to Jean-Paul and hugged him tightly, kissing his neck as I buried my face in his shoulder. "I know it worries you, but I'm really happy being with you. I'm completely and utterly attracted to you."
"I know," Jean-Paul replied, "I am just being an insecure idiot. It happens."
I nodded then grinned, running a finger down his chest. "Wanna blowjob?"
"Do I?" Jean-Paul immediately perked up, hooking his elbow with mine. "Warren, lead the way!"
"I think Orion is lusting after Ursa Major," Jean-Paul commented idly, pointing to the constellations. I laughed, relaxing further as he shifted, leaning against my chest while we star-gazed. "Seriously. That star there? An erection."
"You're lying," I replied, my entire body lazy. "I may not know much about constellations, but I don't think you're right on either account, and more to the point, cross-species, it doesn't work."
"Amour has no boundaries," Jean-Paul announced, reaching up for the sky before letting his arms sink back down, encircling my neck. Rubbing my cheek against his spiked hair, I felt him sigh beneath me. "Warren, do you find that no one is taking us seriously?"
"I thought we agreed to laugh about that," I muttered, hands on his belly as I hooked my head over his narrow shoulders, his body a swimmer's build, tight and lean. "Jean thinks it's love, Bobby and Remy are giving us their support, but everyone else? I think it caught them unaware and they're not quite sure how to deal with it."
Jean-Paul hummed at my comment, shifting his long legs, ankles rubbing together as they passed. "Perhaps. I suppose ... I have been thinking."
Jean-Paul looked up at me, smirking. "Anyway, I have been thinking that perhaps we *should* become more together, not just because my employers are pricks but because I want to spend as much time with you as possible, make a statement about us, to shut up your team and mine once and for all. I would like, if it interests you, to make a deeper commitment."
Jean-Paul presented the idea so quietly I wondered if he wasn't somehow waiting for a rejection, some comment from me that would strike the idea from his mind, but it wasn't anything I hadn't spent the last few months pondering. "Okay. Should I move to Canada or would you rather move to the United States?"
Jean-Paul lifted his head, attempting to turn around, but I placed my palm flush against his forehead, holding him against me. "Just like that, Warren? No angsting over the decision? No should I or should I not? Warren, I'm ashamed of you."
"I don't angst all the time," I said in my defense, "just very, very often."
Jean-Paul laughed, such a wonderful sound to hear, especially in the solitude of night when it sounded even more incredible against the silent backdrop of stars. "You and me both, mon amour. I think it creates a sort of sexual appeal, an air of mystery. Is he or is he not going to slit his wrists tonight?"
"I hope he isn't planning anything like that," I whispered in his ear, those wonderfully pointed ears that added so much to his entire appearance, to his immense beauty. "Because we both know that's my game, and it's not the way to play it."
Jean-Paul sighed, shifting his weight so he was draped over my left thigh, body stretched and long, feline like a cat. His grace astounded me. "I know that. I am being silly, ruining everything. I apologise, Warren."
"Nothing to be sorry for," I assured him, bending forward to touch a soft kiss to the back of his dark head. "I have my moments, you've been there for some of them. It's frustrating that no one takes us seriously, and it pisses me off that everyone laughs at us, but do I care? Sometimes. Right now? No. Because I'm with you. I can be in Ottawa within the week."
"I've always fancied New York," Jean-Paul replied, rolling onto his back and using my leg as his support. Brilliantly grinning, he stretched that slinky body out again, tight muscles becoming tighter, belly hard as a rock. "I don't have a lot of money, some in the bank."
"You're welcome to drive me into the poor house," I replied, combing my fingers through his black hair. "It doesn't look like I'm getting any heirs. I might as well spend it now. Honestly, I don't think I'm enough of a capitalist. I only own seven cars."
"You need at least twelve," Jean-Paul replied, "and one Ford to keep you humble."
I grinned but said nothing more, taking the moment to openly admire this beautiful man. I still liked women, still noticed the gorgeous ones and still got a bit excited when I saw one naked, but no one would ever compare to him, I understood that. This was my last great love, the end of the road for looking and the beginning of finally living. And if, by chance, this did not work out, I did not doubt I would be destroyed in the end and it wouldn't matter anyway.
Jean-Paul touched his fingers to my face and only then did I realise my eyes were closed. He looked at me curiously, probably attempting to guess why I looked so suddenly grim, and I took those fingers, held them out of pure, animalistic fear.
"Swimming," he said simply.
And with that, his shorts were on my head and he was diving into the water, sliding under the surface with a gentle splash. I almost asked him to do it again so I could see the elegant glide of muscles as he moved, but I contented myself with swinging my legs over the edge, watching him.
"Come in?" Jean-Paul asked, back-stroking.
"I can't swim," I replied, leaning forward, legs dangling over the water.
"You cannot swim?" I shook my head, smiling as he spared me the most pitying look possible. "Whatever are you doing on a boat, Warren?"
"My irritating and stubborn boyfriend wouldn't give up when he found out I had one," I replied, ducking the splash of water I got in turn for my explanation, ducking, yes, but still getting completely drenched. "Jean-Paul, I rue the day I actually get these things soaked. You'll want nothing to do with me afterward."
Jean-Paul smirked, treading water, white arms and legs moving under the water, reflecting the shin of the moon. The sight simply left me without breath. "It cannot be any worse than Walter. Warren, the day you smell a wet Sasquatch is the day you realise nothing will ever smell horrid again."
"Point," I conceded, "and it doesn't smell bad, exactly, it's more like wet carpet."
"I can deal with wet carpet. Come into the water with me, mon amour?" Jean-Paul asked, rising from the ocean and hovering there, water barely above his groin. I shook my head, but he took my hand, tugging insistently. "I will hold you."
"My wings ..."
"Strap them to your back," Jean-Paul replied, serious blue eyes staring into mine as he rested his hands on my knees. It was under that azure gaze that my will began to bend, that I almost said yes. "Warren, trust me? I will not let you drown."
I felt myself nodding, giving into him as I always seemed to do. I stood up and walked to get the harness, slipping into easier than I had in years, then I came back, standing there and eyeing the water distastefully. Who knew what lurked under the surface?
"Shorts off," Jean-Paul said helpfully, and I followed his words, pushing them down and off my body. Jean-Paul hummed appreciatively, and I smirked, sheepishly messing my hair. "Mmm, but I do like a man in leather."
"You're awful," I replied, taking Jean-Paul's hand when he offered it to me, resting against his back when he turned, my arms wrapped around his chest. I really hated water, I couldn't help it. If something went wrong, the weight of my wings would drag me under the surface. "Promise you will not let go of me, even in jest? I won't forgive you."
"I am not an X-Man, Warren, I will not play with your mind like that," Jean-Paul responded quietly, and in my head, though I knew he'd just insulted all of my friends, I saw what he was saying. Understood it. Trusted it. "Hold your breath."
With air in my chest and my eyes tightly held shut, he took me under the surface, my arms and legs tightening around him instinctively as I thought for a fleeting moment that I was going to die. Whether he was swimming or flying, I wasn't sure, but after awhile, I relaxed into the motion, water racing by my body, a bizarre lack of gravity present among us.
"That wasn't so bad," I mumbled when we resurfaced, pushing my hair out of my eyes, and Jean-Paul laughed merrily, pressing my hands more tightly to his chest. "Pleasant, almost. I don't know what my problem is."
"Your secret is safe with me," Jean-Paul murmured, leaning his head back against my shoulder, eyes closed as he seemed to melt into me, so close I could feel every breath he took. "Warren, you can breath at high speeds, correct?"
"Just under below the speed of sound, yes."
"Have you ever walked on water?"
"No, Jean-Paul," I replied with a smile, holding even tighter as he rose completely out of the water, pale body majestic in the dimness of the night, and I wondered if, in times like this, did he remember how beautiful he was? "I have not."
"Hold on tight."
"I won't let go."
At first, it felt no different from flying, the same insistent tug of gravity to keep me on the ground, the same sort of downward weight, then ... nothing. I opened my eyes, watching the night whir by and the stars become smears against the black. A fine mist of spray was left in our path as Jean-Paul ran faster, faster than I had ever seen him run before, yet his body was still relaxed, not breaking a sweat. Speeds like this were natural for him, and I envied him in that moment, envied this because I used to fly like this, move so fast I was no longer flying at all but gliding, just slicing through the air and refusing gravity.
I did not miss my metal wings until then, never thought I would, not this deeply.
Evidently, somehow, Jean-Paul sensed my sudden panic, and we were back at the boat in seconds, me looking like a dear in headlights. Jean-Paul moved to speak, but I shook my head, my stupid eyes burning with stupid tears, and I fell into his arms instead, not understanding why I was reacting like this, only barely accepting that part of me legitimately missed my brief stint of usefulness as an X-Men, given to me by Apocalypse, a monster who would have given me real power, real worth, something more than the joke of Angel, the feathered wonder.
"That was so ... thank you," I mumbled, breathing him in through my nostrils, deep breathes that were filled with *him*. "I'm emotional, I ... forgive me. If I wasn't so sure I didn't have ovaries, I would blame it on them."
Jean-Paul smiled, kissing away my ridiculous tears and holding my face in his hands. "This is a good thing, Warren. It says that you trust me enough to be upset in front of me and that means the world to know. I worry about you, when I am not around, fearful because your brain is such a powerful tool."
I laughed, ruefully, a sarcastic snort through my nose that lead to me crying until I was sobbing irrationally, different tears streaking my cheeks, and Jean-Paul merely looked at me, bemused, waiting to hear the joke. And was it funny? Not really. Not at all.
"You're the first person ... Jean-Paul, I have been called flighty my entire life. You ... you must really love me to say ... something *nice* about my brain," I finally offered, lamely smiling now, sheepishly smirking because, in retrospect, it sounded pathetic.
"You only pretend you are unintelligent, Warren, which is why I worry. You hide this incredible mind, and I fear no one will ever know it's there until you smear it across some wall. You have been depressed since the beginning, but it is only within these last few weeks that I've seen a light in your eyes, a happiness that lets you cry. I don't say this to embarrass you; I say this to love you," Jean-Paul said softly, thumbing the blond hair from my forehead, lips falling on mine, a soft and sweet kiss between true lovers. "I want so badly for you to be happy."
"I am," I assured him, kissing the rise of his cheek, holding my lips there. "I am."
Jean-Paul nodded, mouth resting on my neck, tasting me with a delicate flip of his tongue. I grinned. Always after one thing, I thought fondly, love, and after that, more love. The boat was secure, the night growing late, so I took his lead and walked down the stairs into the lower level. Turning around, I saw him paused at the stairs, watching me intently.
"What?" I asked somewhat sheepishly.
"Nothing," Jean-Paul replied softly, "just thanking God for you."
I smiled and nodded, thinking that if he said anything more I was going to sob myself sick. I was probably molting, I realised, I was mood-swinging because I was molting. I bit my lip, wondering if I should warn Jean-Paul of this now or tomorrow morning when it would be three times as bad. Looking down to see him unbuckling my harness, I settled on tomorrow.
Tonight, I was going to make love with the man I loved.
"Can you at least tell me why you're crying?" Jean-Paul asked quietly, holding my hand as I sobbed, trying to tell him but unable to get the stupid words out. What started this? He'd given me a kiss on the forehead and told me I was beautiful. "Something I did, Warren?"
I shook my head.
"A bad dream?" I shook my head again, bowing into his other hand, kissing the palm in a frantic attempt to tell him it wasn't him but me and my bizarre, avian physiology. Jean-Paul smiled and brushed my hair from my face, flesh gliding across a screen of tears. "Honestly, Warren, help me out here."
"Molting," I whispered, gasping the word painfully before dissolving into tears again, sobbing like a child. Jean-Paul tried hard not to laugh, I gave him that much, but I caught the smile that escaped his lips, stared at it. "I just need sugar. And more sleep."
"Sugar and sleep? Is that all? Sit there, I will be back with breakfast," Jean-Paul instructed, pointing at me to somehow strengthen his point. I nodded sullenly, sniffing loudly as he disappeared below deck. Within seconds, he was back with a handful of fruit. "I used to have birds that simply adored pears while they were molting, which was always very odd because I understood they were supposed to lose their appetites."
I burst back into tears, touched by his efforts. Sniffing, I put the pear to my mouth and took a big bite, knowing that once I was calm and rational again I was also going to be utterly and completely embarrassed. Of all the weekends for this to hit, it had to be this one.
"You are blushing," Jean-Paul said gently, combing his fingers through my hair. "It is nothing to be embarrassed about, Warren. I admit, I never thought about you molting, but it seems reasonable now. No need to get all up in arms about it."
"It reduces me to a dribbling mountain of sobby snot," I murmured, wiping my eyes dry. "And it is incredibly embarrassing. It's why I've spent the last seventeen years making sure no one ever realised what happens, and it's not like I get any warning, I just start crying."
"It comforts me to have a reason," Jean-Paul confessed, touching his forehead to my cheek as he held me snug under his arms, pressed tight against his body, rocking slightly. Oddly enough, I found it incredibly calming, and I melted into him, holding my pear and quietly watching one foot dangle in the arm, long legs crossed as he sat beside me. "If you do not mind the inquiry, how long does molting last?"
"It's only emotionally bad the first day, and this started last night" I whispered, counting the beats of his heart, "I should be fine by tonight, but you're going to be eating feathers until the end of the weekend. I usually," I coughed loudly, taking the opportunity to bury myself in the pear, "I usually preen to reduce the mess."
"Can I do it for you?" Jean-Paul asked softly, fingers still twisted in my hair, face still touching mine, and I nodded silently, seeing how important this seemed to be for him. "Then tell me how to do it, Warren. I wish to learn."
"It's not hard," I replied, "I learned from watching parakeets."
Jean-Paul smiled brightly and let me up to get some unscented-oil. I returned with a towel, laying it on the deck as I sank to my knees, leaning into him when I felt his heat behind me. Wordlessly, I dipped my fingers into the oil and thumbed a feather, rubbing and pulling, seeing if it wanted to be removed from my wing. All the while, Jean-Paul watched, memorising the slide of my hands before taking them away, replacing them with his fingers.
We sat there for hours, whispering halted conversion, sharing soft laughter. I realised how much I loved smiling around him, how my cheeks almost hurt to be so near to him, and when his hands touched me, I would almost melt into them, a puddle in his lap. Our positions shifted, and I was laced over on his thighs, my legs bent to keep me steady, my chest flush against his leg as he tended to my feathers, collecting the loose ones in a neat pile under the towel.
"You have wonderful toes," I commented lazily, smiling at the light laughter I received in response, kissing the bent knee tenderly. I was crying, I could feel the wetness smear across his skin, but the tears meant very little. "And wonderful legs. A wonderful body. Brain. Smile."
"Stop before you give me an ego," Jean-Paul replied, grinning. "Whoops. Too late."
"Funny man," I commented lazily, my eyes drifting closed, worn out from last night, exhausted from the emotion. The last conscious thought in my head was that of Jean-Paul and the way his fingers moved through my hair.
I woke up to the smell of steak cooking on the grill. I was laying on the padded seat by the steering wheel, a folded towel under my head. I sat up and checked my hair, yawning behind my hand before looking around for Jean-Paul.
"Sleeping beauty is finally awake," he said with a grin, a pair of jean-shorts all but hanging off his hips, so close to being gone completely. "I should be flattered, Warren, to know I wore you out so completely last night."
I smiled and shrugged nonchalantly, standing up and walking the three steps to the deck level. Jean-Paul leaned back as my arms wrapped around his waist, tilting his hips seductively as I settled against him. "What have you been up to, sexy?"
"After watching you sleep became far too addictive, I tore myself away and read a book. I grew hungry and settled on steaks for dinner, rare of course." Jean-Paul turned his head and caught my lips with a bruising kiss. "They are almost done. Set the table, mon amour?"
I nodded and pulled away, getting the dishes together, pausing a moment to remember on which side the fork was supposed to rest. Taking a chance, I laid it down on the left of the plate, thinking that looked right but not entirely sure of myself.
"Don't strain yourself, Warren," Jean-Paul said, a grin plastered on his handsome face, tapping my hips with his own as he passed me, laying two very bloody steaks on the small table. "And it's perfect as it is. Shall I get the wine?"
I nodded and sat down, taking in the rich smell of the meal. There were gourmet potatoes and a collection of steamed vegetables, french rolls and a caesar salad. I was beyond impressed. I was under the impression my lover could not cook to save his life.
"It looks wonderful, Jean-Paul," I said when he returned after putting on some quiet music, watching him pour the red wine, vintage year, into two glasses, offering me one. I took it and lifted it to him in toast. "To the love of my life. May we find happiness together."
"Cheers to that, mon amour," Jean-Paul replied with a bow of his head, clinking his glass against mine before bringing the rim of the cup to his lips, swallowing the maroon liquid. I was utterly captivated by the elegant beat of his throat. "I take full responsibility for any and all food-poisoning either of us may suffer from tonight."
I laughed, choking on my wine, and he chuckled with me, throwing his head back. We squeezed our hands together before turning full attention to the succulent meal. The steak was perfect and the taste of it was delightful. I was beyond hungry.
"Should we set a date for me to move to New York?" Jean-Paul asked, elbow resting on the table as his hand hovered near his head clutching a fork. I watched him carefully, convinced he was going to take out his own eye. "A month, perhaps? Two weeks? I do need to give my notice."
I looked at him seriously, trying to picture Jean-Paul thriving in New York. "Are you really sure about moving to the States? I don't mean to pressure you, with the business and everything. I can work out of Canada; it wouldn't be hard at all."
Jean-Paul waved away my worries, holding up his hand in place of words before he swallowed a piece of meat. "No, it is much easier for me to move. If I stay in Canada, I will be expected to play an active role in Alpha Flight. I am old, Warren, I have been doing this far too long. Don't worry, mon amour, New York is ready for me."
"I don't think it will ever be ready for you," I replied with a merry flip of my fork, and I leaned forward so I could be that much closer to him. "Is there anything that needs to be done, like papers to be signed or a commitment ceremony? I'm not sure how things work in our situation."
Jean-Paul rolled his eyes, shaking his head as he laughed lightly. "Warren, mon dieu, where do you get these things? I suppose, after we see if we can survive living together, we might think about having a commitment ceremony, but it's hardly necessary. And, if it'll make you more comfortable, your lawyer could probably come up with a mound of paperwork for me to sign."
I smirked. "Do you plan on taking me for everything I am worth?"
"Only the things that I want," Jean-Paul replied with a cheerful laugh, leaning back and sipping his wine. "Sex every night, at least for the first few months and then I will forgive your lack of stamina and reduce it to six days a week. I don't have plans on running away with your money like your last ex-boyfriend."
"I was wondering if you'd remember that." I dropped my eyes and stirred my salad before looking up again, looking for any sense of anger from him and not seeing it, just a quiet stare as he regarded me. "I don't meant to imply you only want me for my wealth."
"I see the reason for your worry. I assure you, be as safe as you need to be. If only on the off chance that I will be driven insane in the future." Jean-Paul smiled and finished his piece of steak, resting his feet atop mine as he sipped his wine. "I am looking forward to sharing your bed on a semi-regular basis. And, of course, the love-making."
And to further his point, one foot lifted to prod my groin, toes rubbing over my crotch. I smirked and coughed on my wine, fighting with my hips when they tried to roll toward the touch, always so desperate. "You are really too much."
"Are you complaining?" Jean-Paul asked, the pads of his foot laying over the growing bulge in my shorts as the other leg slid up my calf, and all the while, his face never betrayed anything out of the ordinary. "Old man."
"Am I?" I laughed as Jean-Paul nodded, all matter-of-fact as he grinned like a cat after cream. I grabbed his feet, loving the shriek of surprise he betrayed when I tortured his ticklish soles, and I took the opportunity to propel myself over the table with a flap of my wings. Balanced tediously on the edge of the bench, I wrapped myself around him, my hips pressed securely over his, acutely aware of his arousal. "You're such a tease."
"It is only teasing if I do not intend to follow through," Jean-Paul replied, mouth-opening as we fell into a kiss, wet and hot and deep. I could taste the spices from dinner on his tongue, and I lapped at the flavours hungrily. "Warren, take me to bed."
"My pleasure," I murmured, disentangling myself as we danced across the deck, still kissing furiously. Down the stairs and into the bunk, I was already peeling his shorts off his slender hips, mine pushed around my ankles. Jean-Paul landed on the bed first, reclined on his back with his legs spread invitingly, and I was immediately parting his thighs, lapping at the length of his erection. "God, was it only yesterday since we last made love?"
"Technically, early this morning," Jean-Paul gasped, ass clenching under my hands, pelvis thrusting forward in search of hot touch, arm grasping for items long lost, "and Warren, my sweet, I cannot find the lube."
"I think I kneeled on it," I mumbled, sucking the head of his dick into my mouth as my hand searched over the floor, around my right knee. The skin of that leg was slick and wet, and I could only hope there was enough left to salvage. The tube almost flat, but I managed to squeeze a fair amount onto my fingers. I slicked myself up with my fist, tongue busy moving between Jean-Paul's legs, pausing once before delving between his cheeks, touching the puckered ring of muscle.
"Warren! Mon dieu! You devil!" Jean-Paul cried, covering his face with his arms as his hips bucked mightily into the air, and I grinned wildly. I knew he liked doing it, and I knew I liked receiving it, but it was a pleasant surprise to see his reaction and how much he loved it.
Reluctantly, I removed my tongue and inserted a slick finger into his body, sliding over his belly until I could kiss him, sucking on the juicy tongue. Jean-Paul hummed and wrapped his legs around my waist, silently pleading with me, and I was in him within seconds, buried deeply in tight, molten heat. Long strokes interspersed with short ones, we were both moaning loudly, singing songs of desire into each others mouths as we raced toward climax.
"Do you have any idea how much I love you?" I breathed into his lips, grinning when he swore loudly in French and sprayed my belly with thick strings of semen. As he could, the spasms that racked his body pulled me over, our bodies joined completely. "Is that a yes?"
Jean-Paul laughed and relaxed under me, strong hands cupping my face. "It's a yes."
I smiled into his neck as I collapsed upon him and pulled out, feeling his heart beat like lightning against my chest. Fingers stroking my especially sensitive wings, I lay there, imaging how it would be every night to have him lying with me in a bed that belonged to us.
The future was a shade of colour to which even the pure blue of the ocean could not compare in beauty.
"Warren," Jean-Paul whispered, shaking me awake, and I woke with a start, pushing to my knees and looking around. The wind was loud outside, and the boat seemed unnaturally unsteady, rolling with every wave. It was nearly six am, but the sky was dark. "It's a storm, out of the blue. The coastguard is recommending precautionary measures. I am going on deck to secure it. I want you to stay down here."
I looked at him as if he was mad. "I know what I'm doing. I can handle a crisis."
Jean-Paul shook his head and pulled on his jeans, zipping them up quickly and leaning forward to kiss the top of my head, speaking softly. "I know, but I also know you can't swim. You're safer down here. I can't be worried about you if I'm up there. Okay?"
"And what about you? What if you get into trouble?"
"I can fly without wings. I'll be all right. Promise me, Warren, that you will not leave this cabin." Jean-Paul pulled back to look at me, deep into my eyes, eyes as pure blue as his own. "Warren, please, give me you word."
"Within reason. If I think I should be up there, I'm not going to stay here."
"Stubborn man," Jean-Paul whispered, brushing my hair from my eyes, "je t'aime."
I nodded and watched him disappear up the stairs, closing the hatch. I stood up and looked out the window, horrified with how black the sky appeared. The weather was supposed to be great, clear skies and bright sun all the way, but the water was already coursing violently, and I could see another boat in the distance, the crew struggling to get the sails under control. I sat down and waited, hearing Jean-Paul scurry over the deck, walking heavily.
I tried to take solace in the fact that Jean-Paul was undeniably superhuman, his mutant powers all but assuring that he'd come back to me safely. He was not going to die, he promised me he wouldn't the first night we were together. My infamous luck was not going to take yet another person I loved away from me. I refused to dwell on the idea.
Things were going to be just fine.
It was only a storm.
It was only a stupid storm.
Without any warning, I was thrown against the roof the cabin, my head cracking over the light fixture before I fell to the floor again, blooding pouring down my face. The boat had rolled, the boat with Jean-Paul on the deck, whose footsteps were suddenly very silent. I ran to the window, a hand pressed to my bleeding head, and I tried to see if I could see him in the water.
There was nothing.
Shit. I tugged on a pair of track pants, tying the string tightly around my waist as I clambered up the stairs and onto the deck. Frantically, very aware that I was bordering hysterical, I looked around, trying to get a flash of black and white.
"Warren! Go back inside!"
I looked to see him sopping wet, hovering midair, safe and alive. With that swell of relief still heavy in my chest, I was tossed from the boat as it rolled again. One minute, I was standing on wood, the next I was in the ocean, my mouth open as water invaded my lungs. I was dropping into blackness, cursing myself as I went, waiting for arms to save me, calm until I realised they weren't coming. All within seconds, I was off the boat, under the water and blacking out.
I never thought I'd die by drowning.
"You damn fool, you goddamn fucking fool! Open your fucking eyes, Warren! Open them! Fuck you, Warren, fuck you if you leave me! I will never forgive you if you leave me! I will hate you forever if you do not come back to me!"
Jean-Paul was not one for swearing. Or getting this venomously angry at me for any reason. Slowly, I opened my eyes and blinked, the sun already cutting through the clouds. I was lying on sand, there were other people around, and I immediately began to choke, water rushing from my lungs and over my chest.
Air! I gasped and coughed and was immediately buried in a pale chest, wet arms holding me so tightly I was sure I felt a rib or four crack. Spluttering, I couldn't speak, but Jean-Paul didn't seem to mind. He just kept calling me names.
I loved him more in that moment that I ever had before.
"Are you all right?" Jean-Paul finally asked, immediately beginning to search my body for injuries, pressing over my skin, fingers coming back covered with blood. My eyes shot open before I remembered I'd hit my head. "You damn fool."
"I kept my word," I breathed, pressed to his heart once more, breathing in the smell of his skin, the salt and the sweat. "I kept my word, Jean-Paul."
"I know," Jean-Paul whispered, hand pressed to my head, bathed in my blood as he shook like a leaf in wind, scared, "and that's why you're a fool. You could have died for me. You damned fool. I don't deserve love like that."
Barely aware of the crowd of people, not caring what they thought, not caring about anything more than my life with him, I hugged him back, sobbing against his chest as I responded to his terror, felt it full-body. "But you have it."
"I know, Warren, mon amour," his arms tightened further, "I know."