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"If you lose your dream everything is over"
From Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy's image song: Take off to the Sky

An Original Anime/Manga Novel by Caleyndar.
Dedicated to those who live for their Dreams.

Rating: R

Warning: This story contains shounen ai (m/m themes), sex scenes, violence, course language, alcohol use, and incest. Whilst for most part, this story is only PG-13, certain key scenes necessary to the plot push the overall rating up to R. Reader discretion is advised.

Author's Note: After a fight between lovers... there is always make up sex! HAHAHAHAA!

Website: cruelangel divnitas (without the spaces)

Please visit the website for full character profiles, illustrations, and fanworks.

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.: First Posted on - 27th May. 2007 :.

He felt empty. Lost. Yes, that. Lost in this empty bed, lost within its unfamiliar sheets that smelt of nothing… nothing at all except the fragrance of flowers and dust.

It had felt so strange, to undress himself for bed. Stranger still to lie there in his black silk boxers that suddenly seemed to tight about his waist and always itched to be off his body like it had no right to be there whilst he was in bed.

The bandages had been unwound from his body and discarded when he'd bathed himself after the welcoming feast. His wings no longer hurt unless he pressed upon them through his back, and no other lingering physical sign remained from the flogging Aether had inflicted upon him the night before.

But there was something extremely lonely about treating one's own wounds, unwrapping bandages and testing the newly healed flesh. A lack of care, the absence of another to ensure all was well. Aether had always, always ensured he was healed after their violent play. Always ran a caressing hand over the most abused flesh, pressed his lips to the place where he'd slid the knife through his skin. Yes, he missed that. Ah, when had he become so needy?

The welcoming feast had been a dreadful affair. No, not quite true. The food had been delicious, especially so after skipping lunch. Soups, salads, roast meats and baked vegetables and pastries. Freshly baked bread that puffed up steam when you broke it open. The decoration of the tables had been flawless also, with its fancy tablecloths and too many candelabrum to count, the mood completed by crystal chandeliers that shone fractured light down from above.

No, it had been the company that had made it dreadful. Had made it a gut wrenching experience, a feeling that threatened to engulf his very existence.

The young carriage driver had been there, invited by Aether himself. Dressed up in pretty clothing and shiny black boots, with his hair combed and tied back neatly with a matching ribbon. He had been so nervous, that boy, under the constant glare of the God of Soul. They never exchanged words, yet Aether barely took his amethyst eye off him. A deep, boring gaze filled with discontentment and demanded answers for unasked questions. So many times, the youth looked on the verge of asking, begging why, yet he always lost his nerve and lapsed back into silent fear, quivering in a place he did not belong and should not have been.

Phoenix should have taken the boy under his wing, or at the very least laughed it off with him, and told him that Aether was a jerk who always did such silly things and should never be taken to heart. Even if that was somewhat a lie.

But he didn't. Couldn't. Aether was pouring every fragment of his twisted attention on that boy. It was like Phoenix had ceased to exist.

And if I am no longer wanted? If I'm no longer needed?

The idea was too big to squeeze into his mind. It overwhelmed it, left him breathless. A beginning, then blackness, void. Or perhaps endless noise in which nothing could be contemplated upon. The beginning of that thought was more than enough to fill him with a fantastic terror. It made him want to wrap his arms around himself and sink to the ground, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet like a terrified child.

If he was no longer wanted… needed… What did he exist for?

I exist for myself!

It should have been a defiant roar, one that shook his very soul. But it wasn't. It was meek, small, a whisper amongst that all encompassing idea. The idea of being discarded forever.

He couldn't bare it in the end. Being in the same room as Aether and that boy. Not with Aether staring at the carriage driver and not even sparing him a glance. So he had left. Excused himself, apologised to Draco for being unhelpful, and retreated to his rooms to wash away that mind shattering thought.

But lying here now, it wasn't any better. Calmer, yes, but no less hurtful beyond imagining. It didn't help to tell himself that Aether would never not need him or want him. He had sold half his soul for Phoenix and Phoenix alone. And if, by some amazing chance, Aether did discard his obsession of him, then wouldn't that be better? To have the freedom he so desired, to search for his place in this wretched world that was not defined by his birth or title?

What a load of bullshit.

Even more useless than lying here wide awake with such thoughts.

He wouldn't be able to sleep. Not on these clean, untainted sheets, not without Aether's body against his own and his familiar weight upon the bed. He was too filled with restlessness, lacking the three hours of violence and passion that had sent him into the realm of the unconscious for the last month. So why bother even trying.

His mind made up, the God of Fire swung himself up from the guest bed, and pulling on his discarded clothing, slipped out of his apartment.

The carriage boy, Tobias, was nothing like Phoenix. Physically, his appearance was similar, yes. Phoenix's features were a touch more delicate, his eyelashes twice as long and thick, and his lips all that more sensual to kiss, but height and age wise, the build, the face shape, they were almost the same. If you were to dye Tobias' hair a brilliant rich red with gold highlights, and changed his eyes to Phoenix's smouldering ruby red, they could definitely have passed for blood brothers.

But there was no defiance in Tobias. No strong unbreakable will that pushed against Aether at every turn, that mocked and taunted him with its constant rejection of him. And fear flavoured his very scent, a constant need to do exactly as Aether asked, less the deity strike him dead.

That annoyed Aether. It made him want to wrap his fingers around the boy's neck and shake him until he swore he would never submit to him again. And that confused him. Because wasn't that what he always demanded of Phoenix? That the God of Fire submit to him, be his completely, worship him and live only for him? But when presented with a youth that would have willingly done all this and more if Aether so much as asked, it angered him beyond comprehension.

"Take your clothes off," Aether commanded quietly, breaking the long silence and startling the boy who stood so unsurely in the middle of the large darkened guest bedroom.

He didn't want to, that was painfully clear on his youthful face. The command had the boy breaking out into a cold sweat, a realisation of what he had half expected and completely feared. The thoughts swimming though Tobias mind were all too visible beneath his frantic hazel eyes. A conflict to comply or yelp out no and run away for his life. But he had guessed… for what other reason would a higher being invite a boy from the working class into his bedroom?

Biting his lip, the boy unbuttoned his clothing and slid it from his limbs, letting it all drop ungracefully to the thick patterned carpet beneath his feet.

"Tell me, Tobias, did you see my God of Fire today?" Aether asked, walking slowly around the quivering carriage boy. "The deity with the fiery red hair and crimson eyes?"

The boy swallowed before he answered. He wanted desperately to cover himself, but felt he had no right to move his hands, no right to do anything except stand there, bared body and soul to answer whatever whims his god directed at him. "Y-yes. He looked at me a few times… he looked furious… and…"


"I look like him," Tobias whispered in a barely audible voice as the connection was made, and his fate settled over him like a smothering sheet.

"He is mine," Aether confirmed, touching a fingernail to the boy's back and letting it scrap lightly across shivering skin. "He has a contract with me. That for his limited freedom, three hours of each of his night belongs to me. But I want to know… why it has to be him. Why can't it be someone like you?" The God of Soul stopped his circular walk around the boy, studying his face again. "He begged me last night. To stop. I want to know that too… why he said those words. So won't you tell me? If I inflict upon you what I did to him… whether or not such actions are worth lowering yourself to beg for it to stop?"

Aether didn't allow the youth time to respond. He pressed his forceful lips against the boy's quivering ones, sliding his tongue between them like sensual liquid that invaded all senses and demanded a response. Tobias was so awkward, so innocent, and the muffled sounds he made against Aether's mouth locked against his own would have sent a lesser being into eddies of amused ecstasy. But it disappointed Aether. It didn't burn him, it didn't resist him. The boy was so set on pleasing him, that despite it was obviously his first time kissing another male, he gave in completely to Aether's demands, no matter how the deity chose to defile him.

Frustrated, Aether backed the youth roughly against the bare wall, pinning his wrists painfully above his head, tight enough to grind the bones together. Tobias let out a sharp cry, tears welling in his hazel eyes as he stared fearfully at the God of Soul's angered face.

"Your tears don't move me, Tobias," Aether whispered, closing the distance between their mouths and biting down on the boy's bottom lip, hard enough to break skin and draw blood. "Nor does this pitiful amount of blood," he continued, taking a step back from the shivering wide-eyed boy pressed up against the wall. "And your screams, Tobias? Will they move me?" Aether wondered, reaching for the cursed Cat O' Nine Tails that laid dormant on the table beside them.

Tobias' eyes flickered from the God of Soul, catching in panicked snatches the elegant weapon with its wicked jagged tails. Terror tore through the boy, pulled his knees from under him and sent him slumping to the ground. The whips flashed in front of his face, dim light catching on the blood tainted diamond shards. Tobias screamed.

The sound was filled with unbound terror and fear, the mere thought of pain bringing unbridled panic gushing to the surface. Screams of pain were different. Screams of agony were the body's voicing of its suffering, which would not, could not be silenced. But screams of fear… they were the soul's vanity, its terror of being marred and deformed, of being encased in a vessel that hurt and made it suffer. Screams of pain were sweeter, purer… and certainly preferable to such a show of weakness.

And now the boy was pleading. Crying and begging for Aether not to use that weapon on him, that he'd done nothing wrong, that he'd tried his very best to please the deity, so please, please spare him.

"I have yet to even touch this to your skin… and yet you beg me to stop before I've even begun, Tobias…" Aether said quietly, apathetically, as he watched the quivering form huddle against the wall, clinging to it as if it might protect him from the sinister flogger that dangled inches away from his defenceless skin. "But it's strange. His words made me stop without question. They left his mouth and my hand halted by its own accord. But with you… with you, I want to continue. Because everything has been a disappointment so far… so I want to hear you scream in agony. That at least, I know I can revel in."

The boy's hazel eyes widened further, tears spilling down his sickly pale cheeks. He kept shaking his head in denial, refusing to comprehend Aether's cruel promises. "No, please please no. Please, my Lord, let me go. Please, I don't want to be flogged!" the boy cried, and screamed again as Aether lifted the weapon and brought it whistling down.

Warm blood splattered on the carriage boy's bare skin, and the sound of wet ripping flesh assaulted his ears. But the pain didn't blossom, and the blood wasn't his.

Slowly Tobias' frozen hazel eyes focused, head turning awkwardly, haltingly to his left to see the blazing form of the God of Fire standing before him, facing the God of Soul. Blood dripped from his hand and forearm, his fingers curled around the lashes of the Cat O' Nine Tails, halting them in their path with flesh that gave in to its hungry teeth all too readily.

"Go," Phoenix's voice said calmly, masked of all its fury and without a hint of pain. "Get dressed, and return to wherever they've lodged you."

The boy didn't move, his breath coming out in little gasps the only sound, drowning out the steady drip drip of Phoenix's blood.

"Go!" the God of Fire repeated sharply, startling Tobias into action. Phoenix could hear the youth struggling on to his shaking legs, glimpsed him out of the corner of his eye as he made his way passed him to the discarded clothing and pulled them clumsily on. With a last hasty fearful glance at the God of Soul, the youth darted from the room, the door swinging close behind him.

"Are you stupid, Aether?!" Phoenix snapped finally, blood smeared fingers clenching around the tails and jerking the entire whip from Aether's hand. "He's human! He doesn't heal!" the God of Fire shouted, grasping the Cat O' Nine Tails with his left hand and pulling it free from his flesh, suppressing the flinch of pain as the shards tore open his skin as they were torn away. The fire deity threw it furiously to the ground before rounding with burning eyes on Aether once more.

"If you don't want me anymore," Phoenix growled quietly, low in his throat, "then that is fine. That's your bloody choice. But don't use what was given to you for me on someone else! He's mortal! You could have killed him, knowing how you get carried away with your blood lust! And I do not want another death on my hands no matter how removed it might be!"

Aether's eye was glazed, staring too intently at his God of Fire ranting and raving before him. He didn't feel angered by the interruption, no, not at all. Too enthralled by the fire that seemed to shimmer around his deity, flickering and licking, making Phoenix all that more desirable, surreal. This was what he wanted. More than anything else, this, and only this… Why had he played with that mortal boy again? Why had he kissed another's lips when Phoenix's were so red and flushed with anger and invited pillage upon it without words?

"Why did you come here?" Aether asked quietly, still staring at Phoenix's furious face. So much better, that anger, that outrage… so much more fitting that the emptiness that had been there the night before.

Phoenix's face scrunched up, as if he was trying and failing to suppress an emotion from showing his inner soul. "Don't change the subject!"

Silence weighed heavy in the air as Aether lapsed back to staring at the anger that bloomed so vividly on Phoenix's face and flashed like molten metal in his eyes. His eyelashes really were long. They touched his cheeks whenever the deity blinked, curling upwards in delicate lines.

"Fuck you, Aether! You know why I came, so quit it!" Phoenix boiled over, stomping his foot like an angry child throwing a tantrum.

The God of Soul cocked his head to the side, as if deliberately not understanding. "Quit what?" he answered, watching the explosion of suppressed emotions. Phoenix's face was so red right now. How hot would his skin be if he were to press his fingers to that flushed cheek?

"Being a bastard!" the God of Fire shouted as he completely lost any semblance of control, blood encrusted hand clenched in an angry fist, shaking with fury at his side. "I came because you've ignored me the whole day! And you took someone else to replace me! After you just left me last night bleeding on the fucking ground! I felt abandoned, okay?! I hate undressing myself, damn it! I hate dressing my own wounds. And I couldn't fucking sleep without you in bed with me!"

The God of Soul raised an eyebrow, the smallest of smirks appearing on his lips. They were the only signs; he hid his shock and surprise well, the strange feeling of warmth wrapping around his chest. What a gold globule of information his pretty fire deity had let slip in his anger and frustration.

"No… I would never. Never would I replace you or abandon you," Aether finally said, softly, voice a caress. He caught Phoenix's bloody hand and brought it to his lips, pressing near delicate kisses to the blood stained fingers before taking two into his mouth.

A shock of surprise shot though Phoenix's arm, pooling in his groin. The dried blood melted with the heat and wetness, dissolved on Aether's tongue as it slid between the digits, seeking out the ambrosia of gods.

"Aether…" Phoenix's voice seemed distant, far away. He sounded so taken aback by the reply, as if it were the least expected of answers.

The God of Soul withdrew the fingers, moving forward and pressing Phoenix back to the wall, melding his body up against the other. "It was all hollow. It has always been hollow… all of it," Aether whispered before lowering his lips onto Phoenix's, closing his amethyst eye as he tasted the fiery deity before him. So warm, bordering on hot. It burned him, but Aether didn't stop. Only deepened the kiss, arms winding around Phoenix's slight form, slipping beneath garments and caressing flushed heated flesh that swelled and contracted with each intake of breath beneath his invading touch.

"All of it…?" Phoenix managed to gasp out when Aether finally moved from his lips, kissing down his throat. The God of Fire was at a loss. Confused and muddled on one hand, driven to further distraction on the other as Aether pulled off his clothing and suckled at an erect nipple. It aroused him terribly. Whatever anger he had held towards Aether had fled with the sudden rush of lust the God of Soul was lavishing upon him.

A string of glistening saliva drew out between them as Aether pulled away, pulling on unseen strings that wound around Phoenix's heart and groin and made him ache. The God of Fire shivered, but whether it was from his cooling wet skin, or the shadowed, lust-filled look Aether was staring at him with, the deity couldn't have said.

"Being with anyone… except you," Aether answered finally, stepping back from Phoenix, hands sliding down his arms until they took hold of the youth's wrists and tugged him along. Even such a innocent touch sent shivers racing along Phoenix's skin, made his pulse race.

There wasn't time for further questions. The bed was suddenly beneath him with its coolness and smooth sheets, and his God of Soul was lying on top of him, continuing those breath-stealing kissing. He wanted to ask. Why… why to everything that had happened today. Why the abandonment, the kindness, the avoidance, the replacement? And why all this affection without pain now? But none of it seemed to have any weight or meaning, not when Aether had tossed aside his coat and unbuckled his belt, and was now sliding off his black leather pants, all the whilst starring at him with such a lustful gaze that it sent a small thrill of fear through Phoenix's trembling body.

He should be rejecting Aether. He should be shoving him away and growling curses at him, fighting with teeth and claws for his freedom. That was how it had always been for the past month. Hunter and hunted, to be caught and chained and then defiled utterly and completely. But now his arms were free, his legs were free, and he had no desire whatsoever to run. Because… because he couldn't help rejoicing, couldn't help feeling elated at knowing his fears were groundless, that Aether belonged too him as much he belonged to Aether. Ah, where was the anger and jealousy now?

The God of Soul's body was eased against the length of his, silken skin sliding against his heated flesh, shudders of pleasure washing over him as he felt with his entire being Aether's body pressed against his. And then their mounting arousals touched, fire against ice, and Phoenix almost bit down on Aether's tongue as his body bucked from the thrill of electric pleasure that shot through him. Again and again, Aether moved against him, rubbing their members together, softly, forcefully, so filled with barely restrained passion that Phoenix couldn't help but wiggle and writhe beneath him. And the kisses. They were intoxicating. Wet and sweet, that dipped into his soul, as if Aether wanted nothing more than to lick at his very existence, drown in it. It left Phoenix breathless, dizzy, but he didn't fight, just responded, returning those breath-stealing kisses with exploratory ones of his own.

The pleasure built, the need and desire to press closer, to feel the other more firmly against his own body growing until it became the only existence that mattered. The heat and slickness of sweat between them drove Phoenix wild. This wasn't enough, this. He wanted more, and more, and his hands slid down Aether's almost feverish back, over his perfectly moulded cheeks and between the cleft, feeling the intoxicating heat hidden there with searching fingertips.

A sharp nip on his lower lip caused Phoenix to open his eyes, startled, staring into dark amethyst. His breaths were short, little more than gasps a mere hair's width from Aether's lips.

"Do you want to, Phoenix…?" Aether inquired with an evil smile, squeezing his muscles around Phoenix's fingers, which had the fire deity snatching them back as if burnt. "No? I do…" Lifting himself up, the God of Soul reached over, capturing a delicate glass bottle with nimble fingers before smiling down at his Sacred Bird of Fire again.

Phoenix made a noise of protest as Aether drew back, settling between Phoenix's thighs and effectively taking away the desired friction from his throbbing member. "Don't tease, Aether," the God of Fire growled, pushing himself up on his elbows and frowning at the God of Soul sitting back on his calves, naked and too sinfully desirable. Try as Phoenix might to keep his eyes on Aether's face, his eyes kept sliding downwards… down to where… oh gods, he wanted to take the shaft into his mouth, wanted it inside of him, warm and throbbing, pulsing with desire as it was thrust in and pulled out, in, out…

"Ahhh!" Phoenix yelped, the sudden coldness dribbling down his manhood and between his legs shocking him out of his fantasy. "What are you doing?!" the deity asked stupidly, biting back a moan as Aether's hand slid between his legs, brushing against the erect organ before taking hold of the twin sacks reverently in his hand and massaging them sensually. It had Phoenix collapsing back onto his back, groaning out aloud, struggling not to buck or pull his legs closed, if only to stop the relentless waves of pleasure from washing over him and driving him to insanity. And damn Aether to hell, damn his other hand, slick fingers tracing around his ringed opening, rubbing against it, teasing it, that did not help at all!

"Aether!" the God of Fire yelped, fingers scrunching up the satin bed sheets in tortured handfuls as the God of Soul pressed a slick digit in, sliding it past the tight ring of muscles and stroking against the inside walls.

"Yes?" Aether ask innocently, withdrawing the teasing finger before easing it back in, following Phoenix's squirming body relentlessly. The fiend was smirking, enjoying the teasing torture. Phoenix could hear the concealed laughter beneath that simple word.

"Don't be a jerk!" Phoenix huffed, throwing his head back fitfully against the pillows, sweat matted red hair fanned out in a halo on the white.

"My hands are otherwise occupied, dear Sacred Bird of Fire. I can't be a jerk," was the infuriating, silky reply. "Take care of it yourself, perhaps? Both your hands are free… for once."

A feral growl sounded from the back of Phoenix's throat. "I hate you!" Phoenix hissed, squirming almost violently as Aether added a second finger, caressing, prodding, teasing, always just short of the mark from the satisfying pleasure his starved body so desired. Clenching his teeth, the youth forced his hands away from the sheets, shifting with pure will towards the source of his frustrations.

It was embarrassing, that was what it was. It was like the ultimate submission, to pleasure himself before his God, to show so undeniably how much he wanted and needed this, when all along he had fought so hard to deny it. It was Aether who needed and wanted him, not Phoenix! He wanted to be wanted, needed to be needed, but he did not need or want Aether…!

But he did. He really, really did. And before the pained cry could escape his lips, Phoenix brought his right hand to his mouth, sliding in the same two fingers Aether had sucked upon, gagging the pained admittance and satisfying the almost overwhelming need to have something sliding between his lips and over his tongue.

That tore down the last of his resistance. His left hand took hold of his own aching length, and almost violently stroked himself, sliding his hand up and down the slick organ, at last providing that desperately desired friction. With ease, Phoenix fell into the familiar rhythm, thrusting both fingers and manhood in and out in tandem, as Aether's fingers slid inside of him and withdrew in perfect time. The God of Fire could feel is own moans vibrating against his wet fingers, muffled as his own tongue rubbed against the digits, tasting of the saliva that still clung to them from the God of Soul. It was all too much and not enough. The imagery of Aether taking him, his weight covering him, their sweat drenched bodies sliding against one another all exploded in his mind, and with one last jerk, his whole body tightened. Pulse after pulse of intense pleasure encircled his body, ejaculating pearly white semen onto his heaving stomach and chest as the orgasm rolled out to fingertips and toes.

For a long moment, Phoenix laid there, staring blankly up at canopy of the bed, seeing nothing, feeling only the spasms of fading euphoria lapping at his body. His fingers were being withdrawn from his mouth, wet and glistening with his saliva. He was panting, his breath short and hot against his hand momentarily before it was taken away, placed above his head. Aether's fingers inside his ringed opening were gone too, just as the teasing touches on his testicles, and the world was rolling, the pressure shifting, until Phoenix hazily realised he was lying sprawled on his sticky stomach and had probably ruined the satin bed sheets.

Phoenix heard himself make another sound of protest as again that cold olive oil was dripped down his body, sliding wet and slick between his buttocks and being easily smooth inside of him. It hadn't ended, that had just been the beginning, that blatant show of need and desire he held towards his God of Soul. It brought his face aflame just to think about it… his wiggling and writhing under both his own and Aether's hands, and his half strangled, muffled moans of pleasure that slipped out between his fingers.

"I enjoyed that," Aether's voice smiled huskily beside his ear. "It was very… amusing to watch you, dear Sacred Bird of Fire… watching you squirm and locked in the throes of pleasure. It's almost better that watching you scream and bleed."

The God of Fire felt his face burn redder, and the feeling of his arousal stirring once again caused him to bite back a groan. His body always betrayed him, always always always! It never cared about how his soul felt. Just wanted physical sensations, intimate touches, and the God of Soul inside him, filling him. The moan slipped from his lips, as Aether finally did just that. His entire length eased within Phoenix, satisfying him so completely it paled the foreplay that had gone before.

The weight and heat of Aether against his behind was delicious, and the kisses and licks he lavished on his back with each smooth thrust sent shivers of delight dancing across his skin. The satin sliding beneath him with each rhythmic movement teased and tortured him until Aether seemed to take pity, lips curling up in a smile against his hot skin, and enclosed his graceful fingers around his manhood, stroking it sensually in time with their movements.

"It's been a while, hasn't it?" Aether whispered huskily, moving deeply within the deity beneath him, so utterly alive and trembling with passion and lust. Nothing compared to this, nothing at all. Their existence seemed only for each other, and this act that played out between them, this confirmed it all.

"Ahhh…" Phoenix panted out, fingers digging into the soft, giving pillow. "Only because you're a pervert. Wonder… why– Ahhh! Why you… don't just… hnngh… get a doll! To play with instead of me! Gods, Aether!" The God of Fire bucked, the nudging of his prostate sending spasms of bliss racing upwards and blinding his mind.

"Mmm, isn't that obvious…? A doll would hardly make such arousing noises and give me such sweet fluids to lap up… Besides… not being inside of you since I tore off your wings… the denial of the act until now just makes this all the more pleasurable, don't you think?"

Phoenix's fingers clenched tighter, fingernails digging into his palm through the soft pillow cover. "Ah, shut up!" Phoenix groaned, droplets of sweat sliding down his skin and disappearing into the darkening satin. He pushed himself almost violently back onto Aether, feeling the full length fill him perfectly, rubbing up against that place that sent shocks arching through him.

Their peak was near, he could feel the pressure building, the wanting of release. It was almost regretful, that the end was approaching, the feeling of Aether sliding in and out of him, so absolutely fulfilling and perfect. But Aether wanted it, wanted to feel him orgasm, wanted to have his essence spill out over his hand which even now was tightening around his shaft, sliding a finger over the head and rubbing it between the slit, sending thrilling shocks of pleasure spiking up and to spread like wild fire in his lower stomach.

It was all Phoenix could take.

His cry was muffled as it bit down savagely onto the now mangled pillow. His entire body seized up, the second orgasm hitting him like a crushing wave, knocking all breath from him, suffocating him, yet embracing his entire body and soul. Another moan was drowned in the pillow as he felt Aether come inside him with one final stroke, pouring semen deep within his sated body.

Little gasps and pants filled the still air, and the scent of sex laid heavy over them like a blanket. Phoenix felt overly warm, sticky, crushed, pinned under the weight of Aether's body and between the clinging sheets. The God of Soul hadn't withdrawn, was still filling him, a presence that was impossible to ignored as his own body pulsed around the organ, reminding him again and again of everything he'd just done, and done so willingly.

Aether shifted ever so slightly, pulling his hand away from Phoenix's spent sex and bringing it to his mouth. Like a cat, he lazily licked himself clean. Phoenix fancied he could hear the God of Soul purr.

Fingers threaded through his damp hair, stroking with lingering caresses the back of his head. Shivers ran down his back as Aether nuzzled his neck and shoulder, seeming to just enjoy the feel of Phoenix's skin against his cheek and lips.

"How is your back?" came the murmur, half spoken into Phoenix's skin.

"Now you ask?" Phoenix retorted, tempted to roll over and shove Aether off, but completely too comfortable and exhausted to really care. "I'm fine. Even though you're lying on top of me. I heal fast, remember?" And that was the truth. The last eddies of pain from his wings had vanished.

He could feel Aether smiling again. Smiling, smirking… But then it faded, and Aether withdrew from within him, moving until he laid beside Phoenix, spooned against the younger deity's back, arms and legs locking Phoenix in place.

"Why did you say those words to me?"

There wasn't a need to ask what words. It was obvious. Those words which had started this whole silent-ignore-avoid you ordeal. If Phoenix had a choice, if he wasn't lying naked, covered in semen and sweat, locked in Aether's embrace, he might have just shoved the question aside and walked out, denying an answer completely. But he wasn't a liar. He couldn't make up a story. And right now, he couldn't move. Not without completely ruining this rare, peaceful moment, not without seeming like he was hiding a terrible secret, or appearing weak. Besides… the truth wasn't that bad. It was just a case of not wanting to talk bout it, discussing it… not until he himself had thought it through and was sure of the path he wanted to take.

Phoenix finally let out a long breath, threading hesitant fingers through Aether's hand where it draped across his waist. "I wanted to know… if you would stop if I begged. And… you did. So it's okay."

A tenseness that Aether's body had unknowingly held vanished. Some undefinable fear subsided also, letting the smile tug again at Aether's lips. He pulled Phoenix closer, almost crushing him, which earned him a half strangled sound from the fire deity.

"If that's the only reason… don't count on it working again," was Aether's answer. But there was the smirk behind it, and made it only a playful, sated threat.

Phoenix closed his eyes, letting his body relax fully into Aether's embrace. Aether wasn't going to pursue it. Wasn't going to ask why… why Phoenix wanted to know such a thing. It didn't even seem to cross his mind.

He'd done something stupid tonight. Or perhaps it was bound to happen from the very beginning. Admitting the truth he'd denied even to himself since their first time in Ten within Deus' rooms, hiding it behind half lies. But he'd gotten something in return. Aether's little confession that had so soothed his jealousy and fears. And somehow he knew. Aether would never touch another besides him ever again.

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