Notes: Set during the time of the Crimson Squad, after the events of Crimson Sphere 2. An early version of this was written back in 2005 as a "deleted scene" from Chapter 13 of "One More Confessional" (197S9.9.19 in the four-part story). But it's definitely also intended to stand alone. I went back and cleaned it up recently, and this is the first time it's ever been posted publicly on LJ. Enjoy!
The sound of Nooj’s voice and the light touch of metal on her bare shoulder cut through the haze. She noted a warm back against her cheek and was disoriented for a moment until she opened her eyes and saw lavender. It was the wrong back; she heard a gentle snore and felt Gippal shift beneath her hands as she stirred. She rolled towards Nooj, concerned that he might not approve, but then she saw his affectionate smirk and knew that he was merely amused.
“Too much brandy?” he asked.
Paine smiled and stretched, her limbs still loose from the effects of the alcohol. “Mm. You’d think I’d learn that two drinks is my limit.”
He chuckled briefly. “If you’re awake, perhaps you’ll join me at the back of the cave.” The words were casual but the tone was not — Paine heard the desire in his voice and felt a rush of warmth as her entire body responded to it. She sat up and met his gaze with a slight lift of her eyebrows.
His expression did not change, but his eyes sparked with a sudden surge of lust. So we’re playing that game, they seemed to say.
Paine nodded in answer. She didn’t want to have to think just now; letting him take control would be the easiest, and most pleasurable, route to that end.
Nooj reached out with his right hand and helped her stand up. Their fingers threaded together, the lovers made their way toward the secluded alcove where they had made their bed last night, the sleeping bag that they had taken to sharing already laid out and waiting for them.
“You’re prepared,” Paine commented.
Nooj let go of her hand and turned to her, his face composed into the mask of the commander. “None of that. You’ll speak only when you’re spoken to. Is that clear?”
Paine’s lips curved into a smile of anticipation. He was going to be strict today. She liked him strict. “Aye, captain.”
“Good.” He took a step back and leaned against an outcropping of the cave wall. “Now undress me, then yourself.”
“Aye, captain.” She stepped up to him and began the now-familiar sequence that would release all the belts and buckles that held Nooj’s accouterments in place: the soft fur that he wore to pad his right shoulder against the kick of his large machina rifle, the supple leather cap protecting his left. Once these were out of the way, she attended to the zipper of his jumpsuit, pulling it down slowly, applying kisses to the chest so revealed. Stopping just short of his stomach, she stood and pulled off all his clothing, shed her own, and then stood on her toes to move in for a kiss.
Nooj stopped her, laying his left hand over her mouth, the cool metal burning against her lips. “Not yet.”
Paine adjusted her aim lower. “Aye, captain,” she replied, lips moving against the skin of his neck as she spoke. His chest rose and fell with a sigh as she began to massage his throat and right shoulder with her mouth and tongue. He brought his arms around her and pulled their naked bodies together, and she felt him already hard and ready against her. She trailed kisses across the collarbone and then over what remained of his left shoulder, the skin there unnaturally smooth and hard. She came to the place where machina merged with flesh, and he gasped as she nipped at him there.
Uncertain, Paine pulled back for a moment, looking a question at him. Had she hurt him in her enthusiasm?
“No,” he breathed. “Don’t stop. More.”
“Aye, captain.” She continued ministering to him with her mouth and her hands, answering his every request with the same two words, feeling him moan and sigh and tense with his pleasure, her own desire becoming more powerful with every caress. Then his hands moved to her shoulders.
“On your knees, soldier.” He pushed downward, the gesture firm, unmistakable.
Paine yielded to the pressure and sank to her knees. “Aye, captain,” she whispered into his stomach. She laid one hand along each hip, then took him in her mouth; he buried both hands in her hair and groaned as the warm fingers of one hand and the steely ones of the other lightly gripped her head. She stroked him with hot lips and wet tongue, raked him with her teeth. His groans became cries of ecstasy as she brought him close to his release. Suddenly he stopped her, pulling her away with the natural hand and yanking her head back, forcing her to meet his eyes. They burned with fierce longing, and Paine felt a jolt deep in her core.
“Kiss me, now,” he said breathlessly, pulling her to her feet and almost tipping her off balance.
“Aye, cap–” His face came down to hers and their mouths crashed into one another before she could finish the word, a frenzied meeting of lips and tongues and teeth. His left hand reached for her softness and probed, and she gasped as the metal fingers stroked her, slid up inside her, their coolness on the warmest part of her body far more intoxicating than the brandy had been. He lowered her to the bedroll, and their eyes locked as they joined, an involuntary cry of satisfaction and relief escaping her lips as he filled her. His hips moved hers into a perfect rhythm, joining and parting until they climaxed together, clinging to each other and shuddering with the shared release.
Nooj collapsed, shifting just enough to keep the weight of his machina arm off Paine’s body. His breathing slowed, his eyes closed, and he relaxed nearly into sleep, lying perfectly still. Still as the grave, Paine realized, and though she tried to stop herself, that thought was followed by another, unbidden, unwanted: How many more? How many more times would they have together before he left her arms for the permanent embrace of death?
She shook her head in an attempt to dislodge the words from her mind. Such brooding was pointless; it was time for another distraction. Nooj raised his head at the motion and looked at her. “Dismissed,” he said, his face again blank but the words tinged with the sense of a smile.
Paine tangled her fingers in the braided loops that fell from the crown of his head. “Did I say I was finished with you, soldier?” she asked, voice husky.
Then he did smile. “No.” He fastened his mouth over her breast and kissed it, flicking the already-hardening nipple with his tongue. Paine’s heat began to rise again, and she sighed, flattening her hands against his head and pushing him downward. “Lower.”
He made a noise that might almost have been a laugh against her stomach as he drifted down, the warmth of his breath tickling her skin. “Aye, captain.”