Rating: NC17 (this part)
Summary: Written for the prompt of "Athos rescues Porthos from a burning building. Porthos is so grateful that he's driving Athos mad." Modern AU.
"Why don't we just go back to yours?" Athos suggested quietly, after they'd been standing there for a whole minute just holding each other.
Porthos pulled back a little and smiled at him. "Are you kidding? Now I'm here I want the tour." He nudged Athos with a smirk. "Here, there isn't a guide book is there?"
"Oh shut up," Athos protested, but he was smiling.
Porthos hugged him closer, unwilling to let go yet. "I'm sorry I acted like such a jerk," he sighed. "It was just all a bit of a shock. Why didn't you say something?"
Athos looked helpless. "I couldn't think of a way to put it that didn't sound - I don't know. Awful. I suppose I just hoped you'd be okay with it."
Porthos sighed deeper. "Screwed that up then didn't I?"
"I'll forgive you if you forgive me," Athos murmured, and Porthos kissed him.
"Deal. So - you going to show me around or what? I'm not leaving until I've at least seen your bedroom." Porthos grinned. "I bet you've got curtains round your bed."
Athos snorted. "I have not."
"Bet you have. I bet it's the size of a football field and all."
"It's just a bed," Athos objected, knowing Porthos was winding him up and smiling.
"It's your bed," Porthos corrected, winding his arms around Athos' waist again. "And I want to fuck you in it."
When they finally disentangled themselves Porthos still insisted on exploring, wandering through the ground floor rooms with his hand planted firmly in Athos'. They ended up in the kitchen, and Porthos gave an impressed whistle.
"Wow. Wish I had a kitchen like this."
Athos rested his head on Porthos' shoulder. "Feel free to make it your own. I told you, I'm a rubbish cook, it barely gets used."
"Just for wine storage, huh?" Porthos laughed, seeing a well-stocked rack against one wall.
Athos smiled. "Fancy a drink? God knows I could do with one. Pick out a bottle, I'll get the glasses."
Porthos went over to examine the rack and felt his eyes getting wider with each label he looked at. He'd thought the bottles he'd bought had been eye-wateringly priced, but these looked like he'd have had to sell not just his kidneys but possibly his soul to afford them.
"Found one?" Athos asked, coming over to join him.
Porthos gave a weak laugh. "Some proper top shelf wine, this lot, eh?"
Athos looked wary. "It's just wine. It's nothing special."
"Nothing special?" Porthos blinked at him, the earlier feelings of embarrassment flooding back. "Have I been making you drink utter plonk? You should have said something."
Athos frowned. "Porthos, don't do this. I'll drink anything, I'm not fussy."
"So I have then?" Porthos slumped defeatedly. "Not exactly been keeping you in the manner you've been accustomed to, have I?"
Athos put down the glasses he was holding and took Porthos' hands in his. "Do you know what I've not been accustomed to?" he said quietly. "What I've never had, ever? I've never had someone who cares about me like you do. Never had someone who worries about me, cooks for me, holds me in the night. And believe me, you can't put a price on that. So don't you dare tell me that what you've given me isn't worth more than a couple of mouldy old bottles of wine."
Porthos gaped at him in speechless astonishment for a second, then kissed him hard, grabbed a bottle at random, handed it to Athos and picked up the two glasses. "Right. Come on."
"Where are we going?" Athos asked in surprise.
"To drink it in bed."
"It's only two o'clock in the afternoon."
Porthos grinned. "So? Let's be decadent. Reckon you can manage that?"
As Athos lead him back out into the hallway and up the stairs, Porthos let his eyes roam around, taking in as much as he could. There were framed photographs hung on the panelling, and he looked with interest to see if there were any of Athos.
There were no recent pictures of any sort, but tucked in a corner was a faded shot that showed two little boys in bathing trunks on a beach somewhere. Porthos bent over for a closer look. "Hey, is this you?" Athos had never mentioned any family, and he wondered who the other child was.
Athos came back down the steps and pulled him away. "Are you coming or not?" He smiled. "If you want to see me without any clothes on I can give you a much better show than that."
His bedroom turned out to be entirely normal, if anything more modern than the rest of the rooms that Porthos had seen. Athos' bed was definitely larger than his though and Porthos threw himself bodily onto it, grinning.
Athos rescued the glasses from his waving hands and gave him a smile of tolerant amusement. "Am I opening this wine, or what?"
"No. Come here." Porthos reached out for him and Athos allowed himself to be drawn down to the bed. He knelt between Porthos' legs and sprawled forward over him, kissing him warmly.
It wasn't long before Porthos was hard in his jeans, Athos' fingers rubbing him slowly through the material. He moaned, wordless and eager, trying to push into the touch and loving that it made Athos smile.
"Someone's impatient," Athos whispered, dipping his head to lay kisses inside the collar of Porthos' t-shirt, pulling the neckline down to reach more skin.
"I'll never get enough of you," Porthos told him, sliding his own hand down the front of Athos' trousers and underwear. Athos' cock was hot and hard in his palm, and Porthos stroked him encouragingly until they were both struggling out of their clothes.
"Can I fuck you?" Porthos murmured, and Athos smiled in surprise.
"Of course," he said, kissing Porthos' temple and wrapping his arms round him, enjoying the way Porthos was still groping him shamelessly.
"You don't mind?" Porthos sounded hesitant, and Athos lay down on the bed, pulling him down on top of him.
"Why would I mind? I'd love you to," Athos promised. It was, in fact, the one thing they hadn't done yet, and he'd come to assume that Porthos just wasn't interested in topping. He felt a twinge of guilt, wondering if he should have offered before now. But Porthos had never seemed shy about asking for anything else he wanted to do.
"Charon didn't - " Porthos broke off, as if realising that talking about your ex in bed with your new lover was hardly the done thing. Athos shook his head slightly.
"Tell me," he murmured. "It's okay."
Porthos sighed. "Charon didn't like me doing it. I mean, he tried it a couple of times, for me, but - he wasn't really into it. I didn't especially mind, I prefer it the other way, anyway. But - yeah."
"Nice to ring the changes occasionally?" Athos smiled, and Porthos nodded gratefully.
"Well, I don't mind at all," Athos told him. He privately wondered sometimes whether Charon hadn't been very nice to Porthos. It was nothing overt that he'd said, more just - sometimes his reactions to things. Now he hugged Porthos close, and let his hands skim up the planes of his back, soothing and encouraging all at once.
They made a nest of the bedclothes, giving Athos something to rest back against and taking their time to play, fingers sticky with lube. When Porthos couldn't bear to wait any longer it was Athos who rolled the condom onto him, teasing and kissing him before sprawling back in open-limbed welcome.
Porthos took him with a steady and gentle care, but he stilled when Athos drew in what he took for a pained breath.
"Am I hurting you?" he asked urgently in a low voice, but Athos shook his head, trying to form coherent words.
"God you're big." He hooked the leg that had so far been waving rather randomly in the air around Porthos' buttocks and locked his hands behind Porthos' neck. "Fuck me," Athos pleaded, glorying in the feeling of Porthos so thick and warm inside him, stretching and filling him to the very limit.
Porthos took him at his word and started to move, slow amazement and pleasure spreading over his face as he gradually accepted just how much Athos was loving it. They rocked together in increasing fervour, Porthos losing his initial inhibitions as Athos urged him on, until they were thrusting violently enough to shake the whole bed.
"Please," Athos gasped, hardly knowing what he was saying, only sensing how close he was to the biggest orgasm of his life. "Please, God, fuck, Porthos."
Porthos could only manage a hoarse laugh in reply, driving into Athos with fierce strokes, blinking sweat out of his eyes. They came within seconds of each other, Athos shaking in his arms, coating both of them with his release.
"God I love you," Athos moaned, clinging to Porthos in desperate adoration and kissing him breathlessly until they were both laughing.
When they'd cleaned up, they lay next to each other in contented exhaustion, drinking the wine and savouring the late autumn sunshine spilling through the window.
Porthos hooked an arm round Athos' shoulders and smiled at him. "When I said I wanted to know everything about you I didn't realise there was so much to find out," he murmured. "Is there anything else I should know, apart from the whole living in a mansion and secretly liking really rough sex thing?"
Athos spluttered with laughter. "Not that I know of. But feel free to ask."
"Really?" Porthos rolled over onto his stomach and looked at him speculatively.
Athos nodded. "Anything you want to know. No secrets, I promise. Not from you."
"Alright. One thing I admit to being curious about. Why did you become a fireman? You told me once it was for a bad reason. Well I know Aramis' story, and d'Artagnan's. What's yours?"
Athos looked uncomfortable. "You know how to pick them, don't you?" he muttered.
"You did promise." Porthos nuzzled him. "You don't have to tell me though. Not if you don't want to."
"It's not a secret," Athos sighed. "It's just not a happy story. Or one that paints me in a particularly good light."
Porthos sat up and hugged him then, and Athos wriggled closer into the safety of his arms before continuing.
"When I was at uni I - well I suppose if you were being trite you'd say I fell in with the wrong crowd. Although I knew well enough what I was doing, if I'm honest. We were full of ourselves. Thought we were going to change the world." Athos gave a bitter laugh. "All we really ever did was lie around in darkened rooms drinking and fucking and snorting enough coke to bolster the entire economy of South America."
He gave an anxious glance up at Porthos who sighed with a certain amount of sympathy. "Been there, done that. Although without the university part, or the big ideals. Funny isn't it, how 'penniless students' has a more romantic ring to it than 'jobless druggies'?"
Athos kissed him, and they clung together for a moment.
"You got out, though?" Athos murmured.
"Yeah. I got sick of it. Cleaned myself up, got a job. Split up with Charon because of it, but if I'm honest that was probably a good thing. Looking back, it was all getting a bit toxic. And I don't mean the drugs."
"I wasn't nearly so strong willed," Athos sighed. "It took a hell of a shock to make me take a good look at myself." He paused, mustering his thoughts. "My brother had been on at me for ages to sort myself out. Kept telling me I was wasting my life, throwing it away."
"He's the other boy in the picture?" Porthos guessed, and Athos nodded. "You never said you had a brother."
"I haven't." Athos looked away. "He was killed."
"I'm sorry." Porthos hugged him. "Did he - did he die in a fire?"
For a second Athos actually looked amused. "What, do I look like a walking cliché? No, it was a car crash. But it shook me where nothing else had. He was always the family's blue-eyed boy, you know? The one who was expected to make something of himself. And suddenly - he wasn't there any more. He was the only family I had left." Athos reached for the bottle, refilling their glasses with a hand that shook slightly.
"I felt like I had to do something. Really make a difference for once. So I - guess I looked around and settled on the fire service."
Porthos looked at him, suspecting there was still an element to it Athos wasn't admitting.
"Wanting to make a difference, to help people - that doesn't sound like a very bad reason to me," Porthos said. Athos wouldn't meet his eyes, and he sighed. "On the other hand, you could have picked - I don't know. Fundraising for Oxfam. Volunteering at the cats' home. Something safe."
"What are you implying?" Athos demanded, but there was no heat in it.
"Signing up in a fit of guilt-stricken grief for the job most likely to get you killed? Now that would be a bad reason," Porthos ventured.
After a second, Athos gave in. "I thought I'd be dead in weeks," he confessed under his breath. "I didn't especially want to live any more, and there was no-one left who cared whether I did or not. I was drinking too much, not sleeping enough. I took risks, stupid ones. But somehow they all paid off, and I was still standing."
He smiled slightly. "Then I was transferred to the fire station where I am now. My previous captain refused to take responsibility for me any longer, convinced I was going to wind up getting myself killed."
"I did wonder how you lived so far away," Porthos murmured. "Thought you were supposed to live a few minutes from the station."
"You are." Athos smiled at him. "On the plus side I'm excused from emergency on call duties."
Porthos snorted. "Jammy git."
Athos laughed quietly. "Treville was the only one willing to give me a chance. Took on Aramis at the same time. Probably still regretting his life choices."
"Somehow I don't think so," Porthos told him. "You two are the pride of the unit. Don't think I haven't noticed."
Athos blushed and concentrated on his wineglass. "I don't know about us. But d'Artagnan'll make captain before he's thirty, you watch." He looked up then, and smiled. "Just don't tell him I said so."
As the daylight faded outside they made love again, this time slow and tender in contrast to their earlier frantic coupling.
When they were hungry, Porthos raided Athos' store cupboards and produced a meal that they took back to bed with a second bottle of wine, closing the curtains against the night and feeling like they were rediscovering each other over and over again.
The next day they spent a lazy morning over coffee and papers and went out for lunch at a nearby cafe before Athos drove them back into the city centre. They went to Porthos' flat and whiled away the time amiably enough before Athos kissed him goodbye and left for the evening shift.
He'd been gone about ten minutes when the buzzer went and Porthos went out to open the front door, assuming Athos had forgotten something and wondering if he'd lost his key.
Standing on the doorstep though, was someone he hadn't seen for weeks, looking windswept and upset, and he stared at them in surprise for a long moment before finding his voice.