Rei stared at his hand, as if expecting to see the key he’d been holding in the dream or its impression against his palm. His breathing slowly evened out as he realized he was here in Jack’s apartment, surrounded by empty beer cans and leftover pizza and assorted trash, as he heard Jack’s quiet snores. Memory was even slower to return to him, reminding him of the champagne in Jack’s office and then coming here, of drinking can after can of beer while Jack meandered through several topics, only occasionally pausing to see if he had anything to add to the conversation. Of course he really hadn’t, but that had been okay. All his lover cared about was his presence, Jack didn’t expect him to be much of a talker.

But he had joined in a discussion for a short while, one about Yukikaze. The plane would be ready soon, and he’d be back in the air. Maybe that was what had inspired tonight’s dream after he’d fallen asleep from so much alcohol. He still felt a little dizzy and out of sorts, although sometimes the dreams left him that way.

He was relieved that it had happened here, at least, in Jack’s apartment. He could always shake off the effects of the dreams quicker when his lover was there to distract him, even if only as a snoring presence a few feet away. Jack helped the fear and longing to fade away until all he felt was the spinning sensation of too many beers in too short a time. Oh, and the champagne, too. He didn’t think he really liked the stuff, but Jack had bought it for him.

Pushing his hand - the one that had held the key in his dream - against the sofa cushion, he felt the slightest twinge of pain for a brief second and then he was on his feet, more than a little unsteady but soon adjusting. For a moment he looked at Jack and considered going over to wake his lover, but then was unsure of what he’d do once he was there. Shake Jack awake? Say Jack’s name quietly until he heard him and woke up? No, it was much easier to turn around and walk toward the bathroom, to allow his leg to bump into the coffee table and send empty cans rattling onto the floor. Jack was a light sleeper.

"Rei?" Jack said faintly, sleepily, just as Rei entered the bathroom. He ignored both his lover and the light switch, familiar enough with the small room to relieve himself without making a mess. The dark was comforting right now, his eyes adjusted to it, and he knew Jack’s apartment as well as his own.

Bladder taken care of, he left the small room and found Jack sitting precariously on one of the sofa’s arms, eyes blinking and a bottle of water in his hand. "You all right?" his lover asked, his words slightly slurred.

He nodded and took the offered bottle, the water lukewarm. It felt good sliding down his throat and after a slight pause to see if Jack wanted it back, he finished it off. A quiet voice in the back of his head pointed out the fact that alcohol was a diuretic and that he should have been drinking water all along but he was still comfortably buzzed and chose to ignore it. Besides, he was developing quite a tolerance for beer ever since befriending Jack.

"Well then, let’s go to bed," Jack said as he groaned and pushed away from the couch, his body lurching forward. Rei dropped the bottle and grabbed his lover just in time, never mind the fact that he was just as unsteady on his feet, and together the two of them managed to make it to the bed without any mishap. Well, Jack almost slipped on some expense reports left lying on the floor, but they managed.

Everything about Jack’s apartment was different from his own: so big, so messy, possessing a large, soft bed. He knew instantly where he was when he awoke here, body sinking into the soft mattress, the smooth sheets against his skin, his lover’s scent surrounding him as Jack pressed close. Falling onto the bed, Rei let out a small sigh and closed his eyes, the room spinning slightly.

The mattress shifted beneath him, adding to the illusion of motion, and he heard Jack grunt softly. "Need to get out of these clothes," his lover mumbled. He felt hands tug on his boots, more than a bit rough, but the beer and exhaustion left him merely lying there while Jack cursed about damned knots trying to confuse him and why were there two of everything? But soon enough his shoes were off, and the mattress shifted a little more as the grunts and curses were repeated, and there were two more soft thuds.

He started when he felt Jack pull on his belt, and realized that he must have drifted off. Still a little worried about the dream returning, he opened his eyes and found his nude lover leaning over him and trying to remove his pants. At first he lifted his left hand to help his lover, but then he caught sight of Jack’s tattoo. His fingers traced over the dyed skin as he became fascinated with the way the dragon moved and undulated across a sky of gold.

"That tickles," Jack chuckled as he managed to undo the belt and start on the pants’ zipper. He smiled at Rei and leaned down to kiss him on the now exposed bit of stomach, and almost fell down. Rei felt a smile curve his lips at his drunken lover’s antics and resumed touching the dragon, for a moment seeing another creature entirely, one with iridescent wings….

He took a deep breath as his hips were jerked up and ignored the tattoo in favor of lifting up a little so Jack could tug the pants down his legs, leaving him bare except for the t-shirt. There was a flash of a wicked smile as Jack tossed the garments aside and fell down beside him, his elbow resting near Rei’s hip.

"You’re drunk," he said softly as his hand reached out to brush against Jack’s chin, adorned with the bristling goatee.

Jack’s grin grew as he managed to prop himself up on the elbow. "Speak for yourself, Rei." He also reached out, his fingers lightly skimming atop the healing scars on Rei’s arm.

Rei suddenly became aware of the distance between them these last few weeks, first from his injuries and then his frustration over being grounded. Jack had seemed almost afraid to touch him at first, and hadn’t pushed things once he’d healed. Of course he hadn’t been aware of how to bridge the gap between them himself, and had waited for Jack to make a move. However, upon seeing the longing in his lover’s eyes, he found himself reaching out farther, pushing against the mattress as he struggled to sit up.

Jack’s eyes brightened as he caught Rei’s hand and pressed a kiss against its palm. "Just lie back down, Rei," he said, his voice husky.

"Jack, I-"

"Lie down," Jack cut him off, a smile curving his lips as he shifted forward, his hand against Rei’s chest until he gave in to the force and fell backward. "Damn, wouldn’t you know we’d both be drunk off our asses," Jack said cryptically as his hands pushed up Rei’s t-shirt.

Rei frowned at his lover. "What do you-" He was cut off again, this time as Jack’s mouth pressed against his, ardent and hot. He felt a sigh escape him and things started spinning again, but Jack was here, pressed against him, a welcome weight pinning him down.

He let out a startled gasp when Jack moved away, the sound becoming a faint moan when his lover’s mouth started to move down his chest, leaving behind a trail of teasing kisses. He stuttered out Jack’s name as one of his nipples was first bitten a little too roughly and then, after a murmured "sorry", gently licked and sucked until he was squirming. Jack shifted over to the other nipple, making him close his eyes as he yielded to the wonderful sensations. Suddenly, it didn’t feel so bad to be all dizzy….

There was another sound of complaint as Jack continued downward, and then Rei was sucking in his breath as warm lips skimmed past his navel and kept going. Moist, hot breath made him shiver before those lips pressed against him, making him harden even more. Warm lips, the bristle of short, thick hair, a wet tongue sliding along that sensitive part until he arched his hips. "Jack… don’t tease…."

Jack’s reply was a deep chuckle, goatee brushing against the tip of his cock and making him twitch, and then the mattress shifted, dipping on either side of his hips and between his spread legs. He looked down to see Jack staring at him through a fall of blond bangs, his mouth hovering above Rei’s cock, and as their gazes met, Jack bent forward.

So warm…. Rei closed his eyes, his head tossing backwards at the pleasure coursing through him, wet and warm and soft, tightening around him and taking him in even deeper. Lying on the soft bed, his head dizzy with beer and more, he felt as if he was floating, felt… a ragged cry slipped free as he arched his hips, trying to feel more of that wonderful wet, tight warmth. His right hand clenched around the bedsheets while his left grasped Jack’s thick hair. The pleasure continued to build, the floating sensation increasing until he felt weightless, barely anchored to the bed by the strong grip on his right hip. His fingers tightened in Jack’s hair as the bliss set the world spinning madly, his lover the only thing he had to hold on to. Then everything shattered as he was lost in a vertigo of ecstasy.

He became aware of reality gradually returning: of the softness beneath him, the sweat cooling on his body, the sound of deep grunts and flesh sliding along slick flesh. Then Jack cried out his name and he opened his eyes to find his lover kneeling between his legs, Jack’s back arched as he came, hand still moving frantically along his cock. He watched with detached interest, the world still fragile around him, and as his lover stretched out beside him, sweaty and panting, he forced himself to move, to lift up his shoulders and remove his crumpled t-shirt.

Jack smiled at him as he took the shirt and used it to clean them both off, and then flopped down beside him with a sated groan. His arm settled on Rei’s stomach, a comforting weight that held him down, his presence warm and unforgettable. A gentle kiss was pressed against Rei’s temple, more warm lips and bristling hair, and he smiled ever so slightly.

"We are so dead in the morning," Jack mumbled rather happily as he shifted about until he was pressed against Rei’s side. "’Night."

"Hmmm," was all Rei managed as he felt the exhaustion from earlier return, along with the buzz of alcohol – but he no longer felt dizzy and out of touch with the world, not with Jack beside him. Forcing aside all thoughts of dreams of cages and keys, he listened to his lover’s breath even out and focused on how much longer before Yukikaze was fully repaired. Soon he’d be flying in earnest.

Until then, he had Jack.


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