Pairings: Athos/Porthos, Aramis/d'Artagnan, past Athos/Aramis
Rating: NC17 (overall)
Summary: Ghost story AU set (vaguely) in the 1920's. When literature professor Athos de la Fère is invited to spend Christmas with an old friend and one of his students insists on tagging along, he's not expecting it to be overly eventful. But then a mysterious stranger arrives at the door in search of an old manuscript and all hell may be very literally about to break loose...
Having sat up all the previous night, they were weary beyond measure. Upon gaining the sanctuary of their room, Athos and Porthos simply crawled into the big soft bed still half-dressed and curled up protectively against each other.
The sun fell in bright bars through the leadwork of the window and they fell asleep with their faces turned towards it, comforted by the light.
Down the hall, d'Artagnan and Aramis had repaired to the bathroom, both finding that neither were quite yet comfortable at being alone for any length of time. Having filled the bath, it was with a certain unease that Aramis lowered himself into it after his previous experience, but at the same time he was determined not to let it affect him. As he pointed out to d'Artagnan, who was watching him with an equally suppressed anxiety, he could hardly go the rest of his life without ever taking another bath, so he might as well start now.
The warm water soothed his tired limbs, and he relaxed by inches. D'Artagnan dabbled his fingers in the water, then took hold of Aramis' hand.
"You could always join me," Aramis smiled, finding that despite the lingering associations of so nearly being drowned, the experience of lying naked in a bath before the scrutiny of his fully-dressed young lover was unexpectedly arousing.
D'Artagnan blushed and ducked his head before daring to catch Aramis' eye again.
"You're serious?" he demanded, as Aramis continued to look up at him enquiringly.
"Why not?" Aramis sank lower in the water and let his knees fall open, drawing his free hand up his slowly swelling cock. "The door's locked. It might do us both some good. Better memories, eh?" he added softly.
D'Artagnan's lips twitched and he said nothing, but started to unbutton his shirt. Aramis watched with pleasure as he steadily stripped off his clothes, looking self-conscious but amused.
With a certain amount of laughter and sloshing of water, d'Artagnan climbed awkwardly into the bathtub with Aramis, settling between his legs and leaning back carefully. Aramis wrapped his arms around him and for a minute just held him tightly, face buried in his hair.
"I'm sorry," he murmured. "I imagine this isn't quite what you expected of your holiday. I mean, what with the nearly dying and everything."
D'Artagnan turned in his arms and kissed him. "On the other hand, I quite like this part," he smiled. "I didn't really expect this, either."
"At least, not with me," Aramis teased, and laughed when d'Artagnan blushed.
"I wouldn't have it any other way," d'Artagnan said quietly.
"Glad to hear it," Aramis smiled, and kissed him again. D'Artagnan was sitting in his lap by now, hard against his belly, and Aramis ran wet hands down his back, making him shiver.
"Tell me what to do," d'Artagnan whispered, nuzzling kisses into the corner of Aramis' mouth. "Tell me what you want."
Aramis let his hands slip down to cup d'Artagnan's buttocks, lifting him closer with a breathy laugh. He'd been constantly amazed by how open d'Artagnan was to everything they'd done, how willing he was to try everything Aramis had suggested.
Perhaps it was the fearlessness of the young, Aramis thought. D'Artagnan couldn't picture a world where he might actually get into trouble for doing this, therefore he'd decided it was nothing to be worried about. It was all still an exciting new game, a scandalous novelty in the safety of the countryside, a long way from home.
"Aramis?" D'Artagnan shifted his position, resting on his knees astride Aramis' lap. "Is everything alright?"
Aramis blinked, wondering what his face had shown. "Yes, of course. Sorry, where were we?" He let his fingers curl around d'Artagnan's erection and began to stroke him slowly, dipping his hand in the warm water with each pass.
"You're either afraid I'll leave you, or trying to work out how to get rid of me," said d'Artagnan with rather startling frankness, studying Aramis' face. "But I can't work out which."
Aramis raised his eyebrows. "Are you always this direct?"
"It generally saves time." D'Artagnan grinned apologetically. "Sorry. Athos is always saying that I 'confuse openness with rudeness, regrettably often'."
"And do you ever listen to him?" Aramis teased.
"If I listened to Athos I wouldn't be sitting in a bath with you, would I?"
"Fair point. And for the record, I wasn't trying to work out a way of getting rid of you," said Aramis. "Far from it."
D'Artagnan wriggled closer at that, taking Aramis' cock into his own hand and pressing it together with his own. "Good. Because it's nearly Christmas, and I want to be your present."
"Well I seem to have succeeded in unwrapping you already," said Aramis with a smile, running his hands appreciatively over d'Artagnan's body.
"Sit up a little," Aramis murmured after a while, and when d'Artagnan obliged he let his hand dip beneath him. He watched d'Artagnan close his eyes and part his lips as he felt Aramis' fingers working him open, slow and gentle.
D'Artagnan had closed his eyes every time Aramis had touched him in this way, as if his natural embarrassment at what Aramis was doing was too much for him to watch, but his quiet sighs of approval were more than enough to encourage Aramis to continue.
The warm water made it easy to relax, and d'Artagnan needed little persuading to attempt lowering himself onto Aramis' wet and rigid cock. He knelt up over his lap and with the help of Aramis' steadying hands, sank down by gradual inches.
"Breathe," Aramis whispered, seeing that d'Artagnan was holding his breath. "You're tensing up."
D'Artagnan let it out in a huff of laughter, resting his hands on Aramis' shoulders and easing his way further down onto his cock.
"God you're amazing," Aramis breathed, leaning up to capture d'Artagnan's mouth in a reverential kiss.
"How do I let you talk me into this stuff?" d'Artagnan asked, now panting quickly and shallowly as he gradually became accustomed to the feeling of Aramis thick and hard inside him.
"I don't remember you taking a lot of convincing," Aramis laughed, rubbing soothing circles on the small of d'Artagnan's back, and trying to resist the urge to thrust up into him before he was ready. "Do you need to get off again?"
D'Artagnan shook his head tightly. "Just give me a minute." He leaned forward with Aramis still buried to the balls inside him, and Aramis hugged him close.
"Take your time," he whispered. "I don't want to hurt you."
Slowly D'Artagnan started to move, bracing himself on Aramis' shoulders and lifting himself up a little way before letting the weight of his body slide him down again.
"Christ," d'Artagnan managed, his eyes crossing slightly at the burn of pleasure it induced. He did it again, and again, rising further each time and making Aramis groan at the sudden spike of fresh arousal as d'Artagnan gradually fucked himself harder and faster on his cock.
They gripped each other fiercely, Aramis wrapping one hand around d’Artagnan’s bouncing cock and pumping him roughly, in time with their movements.
D'Artagnan came first, painting white streaks up Aramis' chest and muffling his groans with his own wrist, pressed hard enough against his mouth to leave teethmarks in the skin. Seconds later he felt the hot rush of Aramis' climax inside him and writhed on his cock, drawing out the pleasure for both of them.
Spent, afterwards d'Artagnan lay in Aramis' arms and idly rinsed the traces of his own orgasm from his chest.
"We'd better clean up the room before we go," Aramis said sleepily. "Looks like we may have caused a tidal wave."
"Yes, I think I felt it," smirked d'Artagnan, making him laugh. He peered over the side of the bath and made a face at the amount of water on the floor. "Oh dear."
"If one of the others comes in here next they'll think something tried to drown us again," Aramis said, stretching out and groping d'Artagnan's backside shamelessly.
D'Artagnan sat up and shivered. "And there was me having nearly forgotten about it." He climbed out of the bath and offered Aramis a hand. "Come on, the water's getting cold anyway."
Aramis clambered out after him and wrapped his arms around d'Artagnan from behind. "I'm sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you."
"It's okay." D'Artagnan kissed him, then sighed. "Do you really think it's all over now?"
"I hope to God it is," Aramis nodded. "I guess the test will be going back to collect the rest of my things." He looked uneasy for a second. "I have no right to ask this, but - "
"Of course we'll come," d'Artagnan said immediately. "Safety in numbers, remember?"
Aramis nodded with a certain relief. "Thank you. Wait till the snow melts though, I think. I don't fancy that walk again. My legs still ache."
D'Artagnan handed him a towel and grinned. "In that case, I think we should both go and have a nice lie down..."
Waking the next morning, Porthos found Athos was still asleep, nestled into the crook of his arm. He shifted slightly to a more comfortable position and looked down at him. Athos' face was relaxed in sleep, and he looked so peaceful Porthos couldn't help smiling goofily at him, hoping that the day had nothing more taxing to offer them than a good long lie in followed by an even longer Christmas dinner.
The night before, the four of them had reconvened in the public bar to eat a late supper before going out with the rest of the pub's incumbents to midnight mass. Upon their return there had been no disturbances during the night, and Porthos hoped this meant that it was finally all over.
Or, in the case of himself and Athos, just beginning, although there was a fear he was keeping firmly buried that now they were away from the claustrophobic atmosphere of the house and the shared danger, Athos might have no wish to prolong their association.
Beside him, Athos stirred and blinked up at him. Porthos smiled, and to his relief Athos smiled back.
"Happy Christmas," Porthos murmured, and Athos gave a low laugh.
"Oh yes, of course. Happy Christmas." He pulled himself up to sit next to him, and Porthos screwed up his courage and leaned in to kiss him.
To his considerable relief Athos immediately returned the kiss with interest, and folded Porthos into his arms with an easy familiarity.
They were wearing long underwear, both their nightshirts having been forgotten beneath the pillows of Athos' bed in their haste to depart the house. They slid back down into the bed together, kissing with increasing fervour, until they were both hard and breathless.
"I've got a confession to make," Porthos murmured, when it seemed inevitable that their kisses were going to lead to more.
"You do seem to have a lot of those," said Athos, dryly, and Porthos gave a sheepish laugh.
"I - stole something from the house after all."
Athos looked startled. "What?"
Porthos let him hang for a beat, then smirked. "Aramis' bath oil."
There was a second where Athos processed this, and then to Porthos' delight he collapsed against him in breathy laughter. Porthos hugged him close, beaming.
"You're a bad man," Athos smiled.
"Guilty as charged."
They kissed each other again and things became even more heated, hands finding their way into underwear, stroking and teasing, until Porthos pulled back with a slight hesitation.
"Athos - you do want this, right?"
Athos cupped Porthos' face in his hand and looked questioningly at him. "I seem to remember you asked me that before. Do you think I'm likely to have changed my mind?"
Porthos gave an awkward smile. "Just checking."
Athos thought back to the voices that had tormented him, and wondered for the first time what they might have said to Porthos that night.
"You told me once, that you wanted me from the first minute you set eyes on me?" Athos said quietly.
Porthos nodded, wondering what he was leading up to.
"Well, you weren't the only one." Athos leaned in and kissed him. "I may have issues with what I feel I should want, but they've never yet stopped me wanting it in the first place," he whispered.
Porthos grinned in slow delight, and bore him down to the pillows.
With liberal use of the purloined bottle of oil, Porthos spent the best part of the next hour bringing Athos to a point where he was literally begging to be taken. Working him open with slick and gentle fingers, Porthos brought him to the brink of climax over and over, before drawing away again, leaving Athos thrashing and laughing in the sheets, a tousled and gasping mess. He was undone by inches, Porthos determined to show him how gentleness could be just as intense, and how much he deserved this to feel good.
"Porthos. Please." Practically incoherent with need, Athos' eyes were dark and wide, his cock aching and stomach all sticky.
Porthos was only just keeping it together himself. Slippery with oil, conscious of his blood pulsing through his body like a distant hum, he finally pushed into him with infinite care.
Athos gave a bodily shudder of relief, wrapping his limbs around Porthos demandingly and urging him deeper. Porthos' fingers inside him had been a revelation, but this was what he craved, what he needed, and he was so, so ready.
The feeling of Porthos thrusting between his legs, filling him and stretching him until he felt he'd come apart at the seams made Athos throw his head back and moan.
Porthos smiled as he rocked into him. Even Athos' cries of passion were quiet and polite, although no less heartfelt for that. He could feel in Athos' body just how much he wanted this, needed this, and was intent on satisfying him to the best of his ability.
This was a whole new world for Porthos too. He'd had a number of men before, but they'd all been rushed and furtive liaisons, more often than not anonymous hook-ups encountered in a certain public house he knew of, and never spoken of again. He'd certainly never been with someone he cared about like this, never had time to spend in lazy kisses and the sweet agony of infinitely drawn-out gratification.
Porthos could feel his climax building, a knot of pressure in his groin that tightened with every low moan that fell from Athos' lips, every twist of the body beneath him. He bit his lip and increased the driving rhythm of his hips, wanting Athos to come first, wanting to see him come apart.
"Porthos." It was barely a whisper, but Porthos kissed his name from Athos' lips and smiled.
"I've got you," he breathed. "It's okay. It's okay to come for me. Let go for me Athos. I'm yours, and I'm here, and I love you."
Athos took a shuddering breath and went still for a split second before spilling his release all over his belly and chest with a shiver of completion.
Porthos gathered him into his arms, mess and all, and thrust into him a final time before reaching his own climax, spending his load deep inside Athos' still spasming body.
Once he could see straight again Porthos pulled carefully out and cleaned them both up, settling them more comfortably under the covers, as outside the church bells starting ringing for the morning service.
"Will we go to hell if we stay here instead?" he murmured, kissing Athos' cheek.
"Given that last time hell came to us, I figure we're owed one," Athos yawned, wrapping Porthos affectionately in his arms.
"Thank you," Athos murmured after they'd lain there for a while in sleepy and satisfied silence.
"Thank you," Porthos echoed with a laugh, kissing his arm and squeezing his hands tighter. Athos shook his head.
"I meant for everything."
"So did I." Porthos turned in his arms and looked at him. "Meeting you - it was worth every minute of all the rest of it."
"I'm sorry about the book," Athos said. "I mean - you won't get any money now."
Porthos sighed. "I know. But I've still got my job, so I'm not actually any worse off." He looked at Athos a little shyly. "In fact, I'm a lot better off. I hope? I mean - assuming you - you want to see me again?"
"Yes. God, yes. If you do?" Athos looked back at him with the same expression of anxious hope that Porthos suspected was all over his own.
"Of course I bloody do. Just you try and stop me."
They fell back into each others' arms in shaky relief and hugged each other hard.
"I'll need to go back to the city tomorrow," Porthos sighed. "I can't be late back to work or I'll lose my position."
Athos nodded. "I'll come and visit as soon as I can," he promised, guessing that Porthos would have little spare money for travel. "You must give me your address."
Porthos nodded, then looked embarrassed. "It's - just a room in a boarding house," he muttered, knowing that as soon as he wrote down the address Athos would know it wasn't in the best of areas.
Athos tilted his face up and kissed him. "And mine is just a room in a university college," Athos said with a smile. "Probably smaller, and frequently colder," he added. "Academics are notoriously tight-pursed when it comes to fuel allocations."
"You're not surrounded by drunks and lowlifes though," Porthos sighed.
Athos snorted. "I'm surrounded by students. I think that might be worse."
Porthos finally smiled at him, accepting that Athos was trying to make him feel better. "I just don't want you getting a horrible shock if you come to see me," he admitted.
"When," said Athos. "When I come to see you."
Porthos nodded slowly, and Athos took hold of his hands.
"I won't pretend it will be easy," Athos said quietly. "To continue to see each other - I will confess now, I am neither naturally as blatant nor willing to take risks as someone like Aramis seems to be." He paused and licked dry lips. "But I am willing to try. More than willing - that sounded begrudging, and it wasn't meant to. I have never - nobody has ever made me feel the way you do. I don't mean physically, although - " Athos blushed. "There is also that. But I mean - " he faltered. "Oh God, I don't know what I mean. I'm no good at this. Say something, for heaven's sake man."
Porthos smiled, and in answer merely drew Athos closer and kissed him, deeply, for a very long time.