Kyle half-carried the shuddering Julian to the shuttle. Hearing the guy trying not to scream in pain was brutal. He quickly dumped him into a chair and slid into the pilot seat. The sooner he got out, the sooner he could get that thing off.
He gunned the engines as the launch bay doors opened, sliding out as soon as they had room. As soon as they were clear of the ship, he engaged shields and hit the course program before whirling around.
The multitool nicked Julian’s wrist as it sliced through the cuff. “Sorry.”
“Not…” Julian panted. “Complaining. I —”
A beeping sound signaled that they were being hailed. Kyle turned back around to the pilot’s display. He hit the comm unit to hear the Captain’s voice. “… the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“Sorry, captain.” Kyle shook his head. “I quit. Effective, well, now.”
“Turn your ass back around, Olesen, or I’ll open fire.”
“That would be a mistake on your part, Captain.” Kyle growled as he noted someone on the ship was trying to override the autopilot, and flipped the controls back to manual.
“Back off, Captain.” He glanced at the small unit he’d brought with him. A readout told him the Silverfish was powering weapons. “You fire, captain, and I’ll retaliate.”
“With what?” Her voice was mocking. “First shot takes your shields, second shot your engines. You power down now, Kyle, I’ll hear you out.”
She was lying. He knew that with crystal clarity. He glanced over his shoulder at Julian, who was giving him a wide-eyed look, then turned back to the control. “Captain, final warning. You shoot. You die. Just let us go.”
“You’re a fucking idiot, Kyle.”
The first shot made the shuttle shudder. Shields dropped, but he knew he could get them back up in minutes. They weren’t going to get out of range, not in time. He took a deep breath.
Then he detonated the mines he’d carefully placed. Take out the shields, the weapons, and the engines. Leave the Silverfish dead in the water. It would take them at least a day to be able to limp somewhere for repairs. He’d considered signaling a warship, revealing their location.
Maybe he still would.
The view screen showed an explosion on the bow of the Silverfish. Shields were…
Another explosion. Then another. Then…
Then the Silverfish broke apart.
“Kyle…” Julian looked at the other man’s face. It was clear whatever Kyle had done, he hadn’t expected it to do as much damage as it had. He was surprised to feel a measure of sympathy. Not for the crew of the Silverfish, certainly, but for the man in the pilot seat.
The wreckage of the Silverfish began to fall towards the planet below. Kyle swallowed. “She should have just let us go.” He shook his head. “She should have just…”
He put a hand on Kyle’s shoulder, and the man turned, pulling him in and holding him close. Julian gently put his arms around Kyle as the man wept. And there, where Kyle couldn’t see him, he smiled.
He woke to the sound of a heartbeat, and realized he was laying with his head on Julian’s chest. Kyle smiled sleepily, enjoying the sensation of waking up next to his lover. Then the events of the previous day flooded back into his mind, and he sat up. The Silverfish was gone. Destroyed. By him. He swallowed.
“Kyle?” Julian’s hand touched his arm.
“I didn’t mean to.” He shook his head. “I just intended to disable the ship.”
“It was not your fault, Kyle. You gave her fair warning, and she fired upon you.” Julian rubbed his shoulder.
“Yeah.” He nodded. “Yeah.” He leaned his head back against the wall. “I should be more…” He looked down at his hands. “I thought we were vigilantes. That they called us terrorists because of propaganda and…” He shrugged. “But they were, weren’t they? They…” He sighed. “I never really knew them at all.” His laughter was bitter. “You probably think I’m stupid.”
“No, of course not.” Julian moved closer, and twined his fingers around Kyle’s. His other hand caressed Kyle’s cheek. “Do you think I would fall in love with a stupid man?”
A smile came to his face, and he pulled Julian closer to him, kissing the younger man on the forehead. “Thanks, Julian.” He blinked suddenly. “I, uh…” He stood, looking around. “Where did I…” It took him a moment to locate the box he was looking for. He pulled the items out of it, then offered them. “Got you these.”
“Clothes?” Julian’s eyes widened.
Kyle couldn’t help but laugh at how eagerly Julian grabbed the garments. He put the pants on so quickly the first try had them inside out. “You know if you’ve forgotten…” He laughed again at the look Julian gave him. It was adorable. The clothes were a size too large for the other man, but they’d do well enough. Of course, they were presenting another problem, one he hadn’t exactly expected. He rubbed the back of his neck.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s just…” He gave an awkward shrug.
“Uh…” Kyle chuckled. “Seeing you in clothes is making me really want to toss you on the bed and yank them off you again.”
“Ah.” Julian looked down at himself. “Well.” He shrugged. “Perhaps you should set a course first?”
Clothes. It felt odd to be wearing them again, almost uncomfortable. He tried to push that thought out of his mind. After Kyle had fallen asleep, he’d crept up to the cockpit of the shuttle. It had taken him thirty seconds to admit he had no chance at all of learning how to fly the thing. He could barely pilot a skycar. Even watching Kyle work the controls didn’t help. Perhaps he could convince the man to teach him?
As soon as Kyle was done with the controls, he stood. Then he caught hold of Julian and dragged him back into the back section of the shuttle. “Is something wrong?” Julian tried to control the pang of fear as Kyle stood there, holding him against the wall.
“No.” Kyle smiled, and gently untucked Julian’s shirt from his trousers. “I just realized there’s no more time limit. No interruptions.” He kissed Julian. “I can take my time. Do things right.” He began unbuttoning Julian’s shirt.
Julian ran his hands over Kyle’s back as he let the other man undress him. Kyle’s movements were slow and deliberate, and despite himself Julian felt his body start to respond. Perhaps it was for the best. He needed Kyle a little longer, long enough to get him to a planet where he could call for help. He didn’t even know what quadrant he was in at the moment.
Kyle caught him by the hips and picked him up, guiding Julian’s leg. Julian complied, wrapping his legs around Kyle’s waist. The other man kissed him, his tongue dancing in and out of Julian’s mouth as he pressed Julian against the bulkhead. Then he grunted and carried Julian towards the cot. He laid Julian down and moved atop him, hands caressing Julian’s body.
He could feel Kyle’s erection pressing hard against him. The bigger man lifted Julian’s hips and pressed his cockhead into Julian’s passage, moaning as he continued pressing kisses against Julian’s neck. Julian let out a moan of his own as he felt Kyle slide still deeper inside him.
Sometime later, Kyle shuddered as he came, and lay atop Julian, gasping. Julian made himself smile and embrace Kyle.
“You…” Leon swallowed. “You’re sure?”
“They found enough pieces to be certain.” The man on the other end of the transmission gave him a sympathetic look. The transmission itself could get the other man in serious trouble, but Captain Thorne had chosen to deliver the news as close to in person as he could manage. “From what they could tell, the ship’s engines weren’t being properly maintained. Something caused an explosion and created a catastrophic failure. The ship was gone within ten seconds of the occurrence.”
“So, there was no chance anyone could have evacuated…” Leon took a deep breath.
“I’m sorry, Leon.” Captain Thorne’s face was full of sympathy. “We…” He gave a small shake of his head. “Much of the debris had already fallen into the planet’s atmosphere. We were unable to recover…” He sighed. “I left a beacon. Should peace prove possible, you will be able to find the site.”
“I…” He nodded. “Thank you, Gregori.”
The screen went blank. He kept staring at it. His little brother was dead. Grief swelled in his throat, and he blinked back tears. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he felt a sense of relief that almost shamed him. Whatever his brother had endured over the past months, it was over. “I’m sorry, Julian. I’m so sorry, little brother. Rest in peace.”
Three days they’d been aboard the shuttle. Kyle apparently had no destination in mind, no desire to make planetfall. The shuttle was well supplied, and Kyle seemed content to simply spend his waking hours fucking Julian every time he laid eyes on him. Considering the shuttle consisted of the the cockpit, a cargo area, and a tiny refresher unit, that meant Julian could count on one hand the number of hours he’d spent without a dick up his ass.
Listening to Kyle go on about the dead of the Silverfish was almost worse than the nerve stim. The man waxed nostalgic about the individuals that had spent months raping and torturing Julian. It was all Julian could do not to smile every time he thought of them burning on the ship, or being torn apart by explosive decompression, or slowly choking as the air thinned. Even knowing it wouldn’t have been quite the way it was depicted in action vids didn’t stop him from savoring the mental image.
And so, he lied, quietly reassuring Kyle that the crew had either died instantaneously when the ship broke apart, or smothered painlessly in their sleep. Kyle believed him, just as he believed Julian’s words of tender affection. Then he’d throw Julian atop the nearest semi-flat surface and fuck him again. He’d never thought rape could actually grow tedious.
The floor of the cargo hold now had a makeshift bed, a little nest of blankets and cushions. Kyle’s arms were tight around his shoulders as they lay together, forcing his body to press against Kyle’s side. Kyle’s hand gripped his own, making it lay across Kyle’s chest. He’d lie there, cuddled against the much larger man, powerless even if he dared struggle.
There had to be some way to get out of this situation.
“A beach?” Kyle raised an eyebrow at Julian.
Julian glanced at the navigation readout, and then smiled up at Kyle. “I have been…” He swallowed. “I have not felt sun in a year. A beach…” He stepped towards Kyle, running a hand down on chest. “Sun and sand.” He kissed his lips, then began running a trail of kisses down Kyle’s neck and chest.
Kyle let Julian move him towards the bed, and smiled as Julian began unfastening his trousers. He ran his fingers through Julian’s hair, then moaned softly as Julian took him into his mouth. Sun and sand… His breath caught as Julian’s tongue caressed his shaft. Julian’s hands caressed him as that soft mouth pleasured him, taking in his entire length.
He shuddered when he came. Julian lifted his head, and then kissed his shaft tenderly before bringing a trail of kisses back up his belly. Kyle wrapped his arms around his lover, pulling him in gently. He kissed the top of Julian’s head. “Not Vandagos. We’re only a week out from Maelon. White sand and clear water.” He held Julian tightly. “We’ll find some little cove, and won’t put our clothes back on for days.”