Afterimage Chapter Thirty-One

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Based on an original series and alternate future by Sonny & Ais called In the Company of Shadows.

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Slash (M/M), het (M/F) and graphic language, violence and sexual situations. Not intended for anyone under 18!


Book One: Evenfall See Evenfall chapter list.

Book Two: Afterimage
See Afterimage chapter list.

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Book Three: Fade
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Afterimage Chapter Thirty-One

Uploaded on 4/11/2009

Boyd read the apartment numbers as he passed, finally stopping at 217 where he knocked on the door. The building was larger than he'd expected it to be but Boyd supposed that it wasn't too strange; a lot of the high-rise condos that had survived the bombings had wound up becoming largely vacant due to the economic collapse. That and the fact that this particular building was only a few blocks from the compound was likely the reason a large percentage of the agents who'd been left homeless after the raid had been housed here.

Ryan had been one of those agents and after learning that he'd been released from the medical building, Boyd had wasted no time getting in contact with the other man.

The door opened and Ryan smiled at him then stepped aside in silent invitation for Boyd to come in. It was a noted difference from the previous exuberance Ryan had shown in the past whenever Boyd had visited.

"I'm glad you came," Ryan told him, shutting the door. He was wearing battered jeans and a sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up. His clothes were paint-splattered and Boyd saw that he was in the process of painting the walls a metallic grey color with black borders.

Boyd raised his eyebrows slightly in surprise as he looked around. "Are you planning to stay here even after you can move back on compound?"

Ryan wiped his hands against his jeans and shrugged, leaning against a rounded counter that led to the kitchen area. The counter separated the tiled kitchen from the living room space. "Yeah. I mean the compound was always my home, I used the excuse that it was my safe place and guess what? Not so safe anymore!"

Boyd inclined his head; it was a fair point. "Well, I approve of the colors." He spoke with faint wryness; when had he ever not liked black?

Ryan grinned at him. "I knew you'd appreciate the color scheme. I'm going for a more modern look-- not all cluttered and ridiculous like my last place. I'm throwing a lot of junk out too. Probably more than I'm saving." He gestured toward several stacks of boxes that sat in a corner.

Looking toward the boxes, Boyd was surprised to see in the ones that were open that they contained all the things he thought of as the essence of Ryan: his action figures and toys, posters, manga, as well as what appeared to be his anime collection on legitimate and burned DVDs.

Boyd raised his eyebrows and looked back at Ryan. "All of that?"

"Yep. I'm getting rid of all of that crap." Ryan picked up a cup from the counter and took a sip before adding. "It's time for me to grow up and give up all of my little kid habits. Living here will be kind of like a clean slate for me."

Boyd studied Ryan idly, taking in all the things that had changed in his friend from the times when they had first spent time around each other. There were a lot of differences but Boyd could still see some aspects of the person he'd once known, and it was for that reason he didn't think it was a good idea for Ryan to give up all his old habits. As much as Ryan was probably trying to cope with his new life and as much as he probably wanted to become someone stronger, someone new, Boyd also felt that in the process of starting a new life it didn't mean one had to completely get rid of the old.

"You know," Boyd said carefully after a moment, expression calm as he watched his friend, "even if you feel different, that doesn't mean everything has to change. You can still be someone new without giving up everything you cared about before."

"I guess," Ryan replied noncommittally although it was obvious he wasn't necessarily agreeing.

Boyd walked over and casually leaned against the counter as well. His arms were loosely crossed and expression idle as he looked at the boxes. "You know, I have a car and it's no trouble for me to take care of them. Especially if you're trying to arrange your place, you probably don't need anything else on your mind."

Ryan finished whatever was in his cup and gave Boyd a somewhat suspicious stare. "Why?"

"Maybe there's something I'd be interested in so I'd like to go through them later," Boyd said with a shrug. His demeanor was completely casual and unassuming.

Ryan looked at him for a moment before shrugging. "That's cool. They're in the way of my painting anyway."

"That's what I figured," Boyd said easily. He studied the boxes thoughtfully. "I could load them into my car now and come back to help you paint if you want."

"We can do it later. I was taking a break from painting anyway." Ryan walked to the middle of the living room and sat down on the carpet, gesturing for Boyd to come over. "We need to catch up and stuff."

"Sounds good." Boyd took his trench coat and messenger bag off and set them to the side before he walked over and sat down on the carpet as well. The fibers were soft and fluffy beneath his hands and he couldn't help idly scrunching his fingers against the carpet. "So has anything exciting happened with you lately?"

"Other than getting my freedom?" Ryan asked with a laugh, brushing strands of his wild black hair out of his eyes. "Nah. But I'm planning some stuff for the future. I don't know what's gonna happen yet but I have big dreams. It's so strange how... I dunno, how my way of thinking has changed so much."

"What are your dreams?" Boyd pulled some hair behind his ear and watched Ryan in interest.

"Well..." Ryan let the word roll off his tongue a bit and rocked back and forth slightly, a shy smile lifting the corners of his mouth. "I kind of want to leave the country and live in Europe. Ideally I'd get a release from the Agency to go to a university and deal with their surveillance and shit for the rest of my life but if I can't do that I may just try to transfer to the Euro Agency."

Boyd raised his eyebrows. "Europe," he said in a tone that was half impressed and half surprised. "That would definitely be a change." He kicked his legs out in front of him and leaned back on his hands as he smiled. "It sounds interesting. What would you major in?"

"I'm not really sure. Everyone keeps expecting me to say something to do with computers but honestly?" Ryan made a face, rolling his round eyes almost comically. "Do they seriously think I'd learn something about technology in a university than I haven't learned here? Bree taught me everything she knows and she knows a lot about everything. She's practically a genius. Any professor would be light years behind what she knows."

Boyd couldn't help a brief laugh; he didn't know who Bree was but she had obviously been Ryan's mentor. "True. Honestly, I'd think you'd be better suited to teach a computer class rather than take one. It makes more sense to do something you have interest in but haven't had the chance to explore yet."

"I'll probably do something either super liberal artsy or like... be totally random and go pre-med. That would be hilarious!" Ryan looked thoroughly amused by the idea, most likely picturing himself in scrubs with rubber gloves on or something.

"You could do whatever you want," Boyd said lightly. His honey brown eyes softened slightly in a mixture of amusement and fondness and his lips pulled to the side in a smile. "You could be a photojournalist or revive the travel book movement..."

"Or I could become a scientist and learn how to clone people," Ryan said enthusiastically, some of the old sparkle back in his eyes. "Man, the idea of school sounds so exciting but... but I know it won't be how I imagine. Hell, it won't even be how it was on all of those old TV shows. The kind of college I'll end up going to will be full of spoiled brat kids that I'll hate."

"They may not all be that terrible," Boyd said with a shrug. He pulled his feet in to sit cross-legged instead, a more comfortable position, and he rested one arm against his knee while the other hand dropped to the carpet where his fingers idly curled against the softness. "Who knows how different it may be in Europe, depending on the country. And even if the place is crawling with elitists, there may be other people like you there that you can band together with and commiserate." He tilted his head slightly, studying Ryan thoughtfully. "Even if there isn't, there's plenty you can do and people you can meet outside of classes. If nothing else, just be yourself and prove to all the snobs that you can excel far past them without their attitude."

Ryan leaned back, resting his open hands on the carpet and sighed. "I dunno. We'll see how it goes, if it goes at all anyway."

There was a very brief silence before he looked over at Boyd again and asked, "Hey, is Hsin doing any better?"

Boyd hesitated, fingers going still against the carpet. "What did you last hear?"

Ryan frowned slightly and sat up straight again. "I'm sorry to bring it up if you don't want to talk about it, Boyd. Just... all of this talking about starting some new fantastic life for some reason made me think of him. I guess because... well, anyway it doesn't matter. Last I heard he was in the psychiatric building."

Boyd shook his head. "It's alright. But unfortunately, I don't have much information. He's still there and all I know is he'll be released once he's deemed fit for service again. I'm assuming that means his psychiatrist will have to determine that he's at a certain level of control, and probably is taking medication and has been regularly attending sessions. But they aren't telling me anything so I don't really know."

Ryan nodded and tilted his head to the side. He studied Boyd for a long moment, his deep blue eyes entirely focused on the other man as he chewed on the inside of his cheek. After awhile he smiled and said somewhat sheepishly, "I can't help but ask-- are the two of you still together?"

Boyd paused for a moment before shaking his head. "No. Not anymore."

Ryan's eyebrows shot up and his back straightened. "Really? Why not?"

With a slight twist of his expression, Boyd sighed quietly. He didn't mind talking about it all; it was simply that the situation was complicated. He fought the urge to slide his gaze away and instead continued to meet Ryan's eyes. "Because... Well, the catalyst was he cheated on me. But we'd never discussed the relationship or our expectations so he didn't realize what he was doing. And honestly... We're completely dysfunctional together; we go in cycles of everything being fantastic and everything being horrific. It started affecting other people as well, not to mention aggravating our already self-destructive tendencies, so it was time to end it."

Ryan's mouth turned down slightly and he crossed his legs in front of him as he leaned forward slightly. His eyebrows drew together under his long bangs and he sighed. "That's terrible to hear. I really don't know what to say. It's like someone just told me my parents got divorced."

The comment made Boyd smile faintly. "If it makes you feel any better, I don't think Sin is too happy with the current state either."

Ryan seemed to consider that and he hesitated visibly before asking, "Why would he ever cheat on you? I mean, he seemed so consumed by you and stuff."

Boyd didn't want to keep telling people about Sin's problems but Ryan had supported them for so long that he deserved an answer.

"The last several months have been difficult for him and I happened to be in training when it all hit him," Boyd explained with a shrug. His eyes expression was calm and honest as he did nothing to hide the truth of the situation. "He was trying to escape through sex. I just didn't know that at the time so I was angry with him."

"Are you angry with him now?" Ryan asked curiously. He was frowning slightly and looking truly disappointed to be hearing this. He actually shook his head with a sigh.

"No." Boyd gave Ryan a faint, humorless smirk. "If I were, I wouldn't be as calm as I am and I probably wouldn't have wanted to talk about any of it."

"Oh." Ryan's frown deepened slightly and he tilted his head to the side. "I'm confused, though. If you're not mad anymore, why not give him another chance or something?"

"Because..." Boyd trailed off for a second, then sighed and leaned forward, resting his other arm across his knee and watching Ryan more frankly. "We're bad for each other. Regardless of what we feel for each other, people have gotten hurt because of us. Jessica died and Sin was tortured and almost killed because I was jealous about them so I abandoned him. Sin..."

Boyd looked away for a moment, trying to figure out what he wanted to say and the best way to say it. His eyes narrowed slightly and his expression turned pensive, not entirely pleased, yet he didn't hesitate to explain further. "When he's more vulnerable, he makes rash decisions influenced by my actions or words. He almost killed himself when he came out of his coma because I told him to leave me alone and even recently he demanded termination because he had an episode and hurt me. We constantly hurt ourselves and each other and all our best moments happen after some of the most terrible. It's stressful and I just want stability for both of us. Not to mention, Carhart told me to stay away from him except at work and made it very clear that it would be a problem if I didn't."

Ryan sighed long and loud, almost exaggeratedly, and blew bangs out of his eyes in the process. "I mean, it makes me want to cry and lose hope in the possibility of true love and all of that stuff but if it's been like that... if that's the way it is, you're doing the smartest thing. Like, the mature thing. It's like..."

Ryan screwed up his face slightly, something he typically did when in deep thought, but somehow he looked far more serious than he had in the past. "It's like people who stay in abusive relationships because they're so obsessed with the idea of how they want stuff to be. Except here maybe it's like... mutual abusiveness?"

Boyd inclined his head in agreement; unfortunately, it was a fairly accurate assessment of his and Sin's relationship. "But this shouldn't make you lose hope in anything. It's not impossible that we'd get back together again in the future, it's just... I don't know if it will. Right now, my only goal is properly building whatever relationship we end up having. First and foremost, we have to be work partners who can completely trust each other. After that, I want to have as close to a normal friendship as we can have. And beyond that..." He shook his head. "Well. We'd both have to put a lot of effort into fixing ourselves before anything more happened."

"Makes sense."

There was a moment of silence before Ryan asked, "So... what was it like? Just being in a relationship with him at all?"

"In what way?" Boyd asked, drawing his eyebrows down slightly.

"I guess... Sexually? Emotionally?" Ryan smiled slightly. "I know I sound like an obsessed weirdo again but for the rest of us he's so untouchable and stuff, Boyd. It's so insane to hear about him being with anyone even though I always wanted you guys to get together."

Boyd found it interesting that in some ways, that was basically what Kassian said-- how odd it was to hear about the other sides of Sin. "We had very rough, sometimes violent sex," he said bluntly, seeing no reason to do anything other than honestly answer Ryan's questions. "Bruises, marks, that sort of thing. He uses sex to forget things he doesn't want to think about so many times it was really frantic."

Ryan's face reddened slightly at the description and his shoulders hunched forward slightly. "Did you... I mean-- did it bother you that he was that way?"

"Not really," Boyd said with a shrug.

He thought it was cute the way Ryan seemed almost embarrassed by the conversation despite having initiated it, but Boyd didn't feel the need to be any less blunt about his answers. "Honestly, for the most part I like it that way except for the times when he would get so impatient he'd completely manhandle me to get me into whatever position he wanted but even then it wasn't too big a deal."

There was a brief pause as Ryan stared at him, seeming slightly flustered, but otherwise didn't respond.

When it was clear he was still listening, Boyd continued, "Things only really started to bother me when it felt like all we had going between us was sex and nothing else. During those times it made me feel like he just wanted me to make him come and it didn't matter as much what I wanted. He didn't focus on my likes the way I sometimes would for him, although I don't think it was anything malicious on his part and since I didn't say anything, he can't be blamed for it."

There was a brief pause before Ryan admitted abruptly, "I wish I had specific likes in bed. I feel like all I've ever done is fool around a little." Ryan looked embarrassed but somehow relieved to be saying it. He stretched out on the carpet, resting his elbow on the floor and face on his open palm. "Isn't that odd?"

"Do you mean you haven't had sex or you just usually fool around more?" Boyd asked curiously. He leaned back on his hands and straightened his legs again after a moment.

"I've never had anal sex before," Ryan admitted. "All I've ever done is oral sex. I know I'm lame and that's not like real sex but the one time I tried anal it just hurt so much it was awful!"

"You're not lame at all," Boyd said honestly. He watched Ryan with thoughtful brown eyes, and although he was intent on what Ryan was saying, he was completely accepting of the information and didn't judge Ryan in the least. "Did you keep going or did you stop when it hurt? And how much lubricant was your partner using?"

"I dunno." Ryan extended the word slightly so it sounded like an almost mournful wail and the embarrassment was clear on his face now as he talked about his failed attempt. "It hurt so bad I made him stop even after he offered to use more."

"The first time I had anal sex, it was very awkward," Boyd admitted casually. He kicked his feet slightly, eyes going a little distant as he remembered his first time; the fumbling fingers on his clothing, Lou's hot breath against his skin, the awkward way they moved against each other even as they couldn't bring themselves to pull apart. "I wasn't expecting it to be painful so it seemed even worse to me than it probably otherwise would have. I felt stupid for feeling that way, especially since the sex wasn't initially my idea so I felt somehow like I had to live up to it. I tried not to show it but Lou noticed and tried to stop. I just made him keep going and once my body adjusted to it, it felt good."

Ryan watched him, the embarrassment still clear although he seemed interested and a little relieved to know he wasn't the only one.

Boyd sat up straight and shrugged, watching Ryan idly. "My advice is, next time just make sure your partner uses a lot of lube and gives you a chance to adjust. If you keep going, you'll probably like it. If you don't have sex for awhile, it's always a little uncomfortable at first, but then you know what to expect and it gets better. Once you're used to it, and if you have a partner who's in line with your style, it can feel amazing."

"It must," Ryan agreed. "Andrew was all crazy for it. He practically begged me to let him do it and then he started asking me to do it to him but I was so... I guess embarrassed because I had no idea what to do, that I refused." He winced slightly at the memory. "I'm such a loser."

Boyd rolled his eyes although it was good-natured. "You're not a loser. Just keep it in mind for next time. Not everyone's interested in the same thing at the same time in their lives; that doesn't make one side or the other right."

"Yeah." Ryan seemed to consider that for a moment, his blue eyes drifting away to stare into space thoughtfully for a moment. The silence stretched between them and Boyd noticed that it was nowhere nearly as awkward as it had been in the hospital room, which he was thankful for.

After a minute, Ryan focused on Boyd again and he smiled hesitantly. "What about the emotional aspect of your relationship? I know you probably don't want to talk so much about this and you can tell me that-- I just wonder how it was to be with someone like him... You guys always seemed to have such an intense relationship."

"Hmm." For a short moment, Boyd paused as he once again considered how to word his thoughts. His eyes were a little distant and without realizing it, his expression softened slightly yet turned a little sad as he thought about the way it had been. "He's not affectionate; unless we were having sex, we infrequently kissed or touched. And if it did happen, it was usually because I initiated it. But he loves to be touched gently, especially when I ran my fingers through his hair. He usually leans into that. Emotionally... he's distant but he's also vulnerable. When he smiles, even when he's tired, somehow it seems to lighten his expression; and I love the sound of his laugh."

Ryan's mouth turned up into a small, sad smile and he sighed again but this time it wasn't as dramatic. "I'm sorry it turned out the way it did, Boyd."

"Me too," Boyd said quietly, then tilted his head and looked at Ryan a little more somberly. "But then, maybe it was inevitable. I never meant for any of this to happen, so I guess... given our personalities, maybe we were both just too unstable and desperate from the start."

Ryan nodded slightly. For a moment his eyes dropped and he studied the carpet, dragging one finger along it before saying quietly, "Well, I haven't been very stable myself. In the last couple of years anyway... I know Andrew was in training, I'd wondered if he told you about it."

"We didn't talk about anything of import," Boyd said, shaking his head.

Ryan looked somewhat relieved to hear that. "Good. It isn't any of his business and I don't want him telling you that kind of stuff. I'd rather you hear it from my side, not someone else's, especially not his." His tone of voice made it quite clear that his feelings towards Andrew weren't entirely friendly.

"What happened?"

"Well..." Ryan trailed off and suddenly he turned on his back, laying on the floor and looking up at the ceiling as if he couldn't meet Boyd's eyes. "It actually happened even before you got back from Monterrey. I just... I don't know. I was so happy to see you before, I didn't want to spoil it by bringing it up."

There was another brief hesitation before Ryan said finally, "After I found out about my diagnosis I tried to kill myself."

For a moment Boyd could only look at Ryan silently as shock overtook him, mostly because it seemed like something so against what Ryan had once been like. For someone who had been so exuberant and optimistic, imagining him trying to commit suicide was a complete change.

At the same time, Boyd could appreciate the strength of the hopelessness Ryan must have felt, so he could understand what had driven Ryan to such a decision. He was just glad that somehow Ryan had failed and, given the fact Andrew apparently knew about it...

He studied Ryan's calm expression and asked without judgment, "Did Andrew stop you?"

"He found me," Ryan replied with a frown. "He still had access to my apartment even after we broke up because I was dumb and forgot to change it back."

"Is that part of the reason you don't get along with him?" Boyd asked in the same tone.

Ryan seemed to think seriously about that for a long moment before finally shaking his head. "No. It was the way... the way he handled it. The way he acted like, because he thought I was so fragile and broken and out of control that he could suddenly come in and take charge of me and treat me like I was some damaged little boy who he needs to protect. Even when I told him that I'd made the decision like... I don't know... not even in a moment of weakness. When I tried to explain why I wanted to do it... he still wouldn't understand me. He just acted like I was some confused kid."

"Ah," Boyd said, now completely understanding the situation and why there was resentment between the two. That attitude fell right in line with what Boyd knew of Andrew, who wouldn't have been trying to offend Ryan but who was so into the hero role that he probably couldn't help it. Andrew just wasn't the type of person who could appreciate or understand that sort of decision; he would have only been able to look at Ryan as needing protection.

"I can see why you would have been upset about that," Boyd said with a nod of understanding. "I may not have ever been in a situation like you were, but I can understand why you may have made that decision. After Lou died, I tried to kill myself, too; I felt like I had no future so it made it harder to see the point in struggling to live."

"Exactly," Ryan said, sitting up and looking at Boyd again. "I mean now I'm glad that I didn't succeed because I wouldn't have gotten to really live before I die but then it was just like, what's the damn point, ya know? Like... I'm going to die anyway, why die and be really sick all the time before it actually happens? Why not get it done with?"

"I can appreciate that mindset but I'm also glad you didn't succeed," Boyd said honestly, then hesitated as he studied Ryan. "How have you been feeling lately? Is there any pain or is it mostly weakness..? You don't have to answer if you don't want to talk about it."

"Hmm." Ryan shrugged his thin shoulders. "Lately it hasn't been that bad but that's how it always is. It comes and goes... it's bad then I'm okay. But I'm not responding to the treatments anymore so it's only a matter of time before I'm always really bad. All of the smoke and debris inhalation took a really long time for me to recover from after the raid, that's why I was in the hospital so long."

Boyd felt a short spike of guilt at the comment; his expression darkened slightly and he looked away. "I'm sorry about that... When Andrew and I found you, we were so intent on getting you out of the building that we didn't cover your mouth the way we should have."

Ryan frowned at that. "What? You saved my life, Boyd. I was laying there for a long time breathing it all in when I was unconscious, it's not like you saving me did more damage than that!"

Feeling a sense of relief, Boyd nodded reluctantly. He'd been so worried about whether he'd made it worse that he hadn't considered how long Ryan may have been lying there all along. His honey brown gaze slid back to Ryan. "That's true."

Silence fell between them and when it became apparent that neither of them quite knew what to say next, Boyd raised his eyebrows. "Alright, I have a proposal. I'll help you paint for a bit, then you help me bring the boxes to my car, and after that we can go get something to eat as a reward for all our hard work. How does that sound?"

"Sounds good to me," Ryan replied with a smile, looking relieved to be off the topic of his illness.

Boyd returned the smile then stood up, dusting his hands off on his legs, mostly as something to do. "Then tell me what to do, Boss. Am I on silver duty too, or do I get to be lucky enough to work with black?"

"You can do the borders of the parts I already finished with silver." Ryan pointed to the wall, smiling. "But don't blame me if you get all covered in paint."

"Ha," Boyd said with a small grin. "Black becomes me so I'll just be better off." He grabbed one of the paintbrushes next to the buckets and set to work on the border.

The wind was cold and caused Boyd's trench coat to billow out behind him with the occasional stronger gust. He'd felt a little restless and bored when he'd awoken in the morning and since he hadn't received a call for any new missions, he'd ended up working on his attic for several hours. By the time evening came, he was tired of being in the house and despite the cold weather, he decided to take a walk to cool down. The attic was so stuffy that, especially with moving around, it was easy to feel overheated rather quickly.

He hadn't had any particular plans for where he was going to go, although he'd considered heading to the grocery store to pick up some more tea, but as he passed Harkey Street and absently glanced down the block, he noticed Kassian's new truck in his driveway. The truck had been parked in the Agency lot while Kassian was on a mission and Boyd hadn't realized Kassian had returned.

After a moment of debating, Boyd decided to head toward Kassian's house and see what he was up to.

His suspicion that Kassian was home was basically confirmed once he approached the door and could faintly hear the pounding bass of loud rock music blaring inside.

Boyd reached up to knock on Kassian's door, grimacing as the cold touched the bare skin of his hands. It had been a few days since Boyd had helped Ryan paint the walls but there were still a few flecks of black paint that stubbornly clung to his skin and he noticed it idly before shoving his hands back into his pockets.

There was no answer and it quickly became apparent that it was probably because the music was too loud. Feeling mildly amused by Kassian's tendancy to blare music loud enough for his neighbors to hear, Boyd rang the doorbell instead.

After a moment that seemed incredibly long due to the chill of the wind, the music finally lowered and Boyd heard the clattering of locks before the door swung open.

Kassian smiled down at him and immediately stepped back so that Boyd could enter. The senior agent was barefoot and wearing nothing but boxer-briefs and a threadbare wife-beater. He looked slightly flushed and his smile was a little brighter than usual.

"What's up?"

Boyd walked into the house and turned toward Kassian with a grin. Even though Kassian tended to be very amiable, it was nice to see him in an especially good mood. For some reason, it lightened Boyd's mood as well. "You look happy. I was just bored and noticed you were back. I was going to ask how the mission went but apparently pretty well?"

"Yeah, I guess," Kassian said with a shrug, turning and heading to the kitchen as he spoke over his shoulder. "I'm just on a crazy fucking adrenaline high right now. My first recon and storm in years, kid."

Boyd couldn't help checking Kassian out as the man walked away; the boxer-briefs Kassian wore were cotton and form-fitting, showing off what Boyd felt was a very nice ass and muscular thighs. It was the first time Boyd had clearly seen so much of Kassian's lower body and he briefly thought it was a shame that Kassian had turned away before Boyd had been able to properly see his front.

Boyd took off his boots then pulled his coat off and tossed it onto the couch. He then trailed after Kassian and walked into the kitchen in time to see Kassian leaning over to grab some drinks from a lower shelf in the fridge. Boyd sat on one of the stools at the island and leaned against the counter, casually admiring Kassian rear and deciding that today he'd had very good timing.

"Who'd you storm with?" Boyd asked idly.

"Archer and Blair," Kassian replied as he straightened and shut the fridge, setting a Guinness and a twelve ounce bottle of flavored premixed vodka down on the counter. After the first several times they'd hung out, Kassian had quickly realized that Boyd would never grow fond of dark beer and had offered to buy him a six pack of the mixed drink instead. Since vodka was Boyd's drink of choice and the twelve ounce bottles weren't that strong, it had worked out in the end.

Kassian sat on the bar stool next to Boyd, twisting so that they were facing each other. He slouched back on it casually and gave a rolling shrug of his strong shoulders. "It was a last-minute mission pretty much; a follow-up of something gone astray. They only pulled me in because they knew I'd get it done and Harriet and her team are already out somewhere."

Boyd nodded as he opened his vodka and then took a drink.

Kassian had told Boyd the last time they'd met, after Boyd had been released from isolation and they'd talked about the results of training, that Harriet had received a pseudo-promotion; she was still Level 9, but had a higher status within. Boyd was pleased to know that at least Harriet had received that much of a promotion even if he still thought his own promotion was bullshit.

Harriet had taken over Kassian's previous position of being the team leader of all high-profile storms and groups of upper-level agents. Although originally Boyd thought that the team he'd met in Monterrey had been Kassian's only team, Kassian had actually been the designated team leader for all high profile missions that required an entire group. The only reason that team had been so close with Kassian was because they were all in General Stephen's division and were typically sent out together since the unit consisted of so many level 9 agents.

"How are t hey?" Boyd asked curiously.

"I dunno." Kassian extended his legs, slouching down more so that his feet rested on the bottom of Boyd's bar stool. "Fine, I guess; same as usual. But I'm not too concerned with them right now. My interests lie elsewhere."

Kassian picked up his Guinness and cracked the can open, taking a long gulp.

"What are you interested in?" Boyd asked a little distractedly, finding it difficult not to look down now that Kassian's legs were sprawled open.

"You know," Kassian said with a half smile, wiggling his eyebrows. "All of that adrenaline has a certain kind of effect on me."

Boyd met Kassian's eyes but before he could reply, Kassian's phone vibrated and the senior agent looked over to check it. Especially considering the conversation had turned toward sex, Boyd couldn't help dropping his gaze to briefly admire what he could see of Kassian's body. His gaze traced the nice-sized bulge that rested behind the briefs and between Kassian's well-defined thighs.

"Hmm." Boyd leaned an elbow against the counter and returned his gaze to Kassian's face. "Well, that's a problem. That energy has to go somewhere."

"Uh huh." Kassian shrugged one shoulder and looked at Boyd again. "It was going to go towards Christina. You remember her, right?"

Boyd nodded and smirked. "The saleslady you planned to take for a ride; I remember."

Kassian grinned slightly and he lifted his beer but paused before drinking. "I actually did take her for a ride a couple of weeks ago."

"It must've been good if you were planning to head over there again," Boyd observed idly before taking another drink.

"Eh." Kassian made a face and shrugged. "A little too conservative for me."

Boyd watched Kassian. "What are you going to do, then?"

"Well I was going to go over there anyway but I think I'd rather hang out with you," Kassian replied innocently, although there was a glint in his eyes that was definitely part mischief and part something Boyd couldn't readily identify.

Although Boyd was pretty sure Kassian was hitting on him, he still didn't want to say anything about it until he was certain. He had to admit that while initially when their mutual attraction had come up in conversation Boyd hadn't known what he'd thought of acting on any of it, by now the idea of sex with Kassian was appealing.

There was no question that he found the man to be attractive and Boyd was intrigued by the idea of casual sex with someone he liked as a friend-- of something he could simply enjoy without any expectations. There was no one else he would have considered saying yes to; but over time, the comfortableness he'd grown to feel around Kassian had extended to acceptance of the idea of sleeping with him, as well as interest in what Kassian had described in the pub as his preferred sexual style.

But since Kassian could be a prankster at times, Boyd wasn't about to outright say anything until it was clear between them what the expectations were.

"What kind of hanging out are you thinking?" Boyd asked, not looking away from Kassian's eyes.

"Oh I dunno," Kassian replied in the same innocent tone, his grin widening slightly. "Some pizza, some music, some sex. The possibilities are numerous and some are more interesting than others."

"Hmm." Boyd took a drink of vodka as he seemed to consider it then set the bottle down on the counter. He studied Kassian and a slight smile pulled at one edge of his lips as he said casually, "Then I want to hang out, especially if the more interesting possibility comes into play."

"Oh, really." One of Kassian's eyebrows rose and he tilted his head to the side as he gazed at Boyd. "Is that a fact?"

Boyd made a noise of assent. "Maybe some of your excess energy is rubbing off on me." He tilted his head toward Kassian's lap. "Or maybe your clothing choice is contributing."

"I don't know what you mean," Kassian replied, although his lips spread into a satisfied smile and he sprawled out even more, as much as he could on a bar stool.

Boyd's smirk widened and he lifted one socked foot, resting it on the stool between Kassian's legs although he didn't quite touch him. "Then I won't know what you mean when my foot accidentally slips forward," he said innocently.

"Should I take that as some kind of threat?" Kassian asked, raising his other eyebrow although he didn't seem very concerned. He just seemed intrigued by the proximity of Boyd's foot to his crotch.

"Not unless you find the idea of me rubbing my foot against you to be frightening," Boyd said idly. "Then I suppose it could be."

Kassian looked downright amused now and he scooted down slightly on the small bar stool so that his crotch was lightly touching Boyd's foot. He had an almost challenging look in his eye, akin to the expression he got when they played video games. It was almost like he was playing a game now, seeing how far Boyd would take it and making it quite clear that he would always be the one to go farther first.

"What would you do if I, as your senior agent, ordered you to strip naked right now?" Kassian asked with the same half-grin, making it impossible to tell if he was being serious or not.

"Hmm." Boyd put some pressure on Kassian's crotch with his toes, then met Kassian's eyes with a somewhat challenging look of his own as he moved his foot back and forth. "And how would I know you, as my senior agent, wouldn't just be playing a trick on me?"

Kassian's lips parted slightly at the contact but his expression didn't change. "Would I really do a thing like that?"

Boyd narrowed his eyes and smiled slowly as he increased the pressure and movement of his foot. "I seem to recall a conversation about me not being allowed on the bike again..."

"Oh, but that was before," Kassian said mildly, moving his thighs apart even more and allowing Boyd full access as he absently wet his lips. "Before you knew about my random tendency to want to fuck men until they scream."

Boyd began kneading Kassian more thoroughly, watching as the other man's eyes rolled back slightly although the grin never quite left Kassian's face. "You wanna see me naked, Trovosky? You have two hands-- you could undress me yourself."

"Is that what you really want?" Kassian asked, looking at Boyd through half closed eyes, still seeming terribly amused by everything that was going on although his breathing had picked up a little.

Boyd realized he didn't know the answer to that question; part of him did want that and part of him didn't really want to give up the control he had at the moment. He smirked languidly, continuing to massage Kassian with his foot. "Maybe."

Kassian's made a sound at the back of his throat and moved backwards on the stool, ending the contact abruptly. He pushed Boyd's leg to the side and leaned forward so that he was less than an inch from Boyd's face. "Either you do or you don't, Agent. It's a yes or no question. This is serious business, obviously."

Boyd watched Kassian, equally amused and intrigued by the situation. The small smirk continued to play on his lips and his honey brown gaze only intensified on Kassian. "Then I suppose it's a yes, Senior Agent."

"Alright then."

Kassian seemed satisfied with the situation; the corners of his mouth twitched as though he wanted to laugh and he stood up. He stared down at Boyd for a moment before suddenly grabbing him and almost casually flinging Boyd over his shoulder.

"Hey," Boyd said with a startled laugh, his tone half indignant and half amused. "I can walk, you know."

"It's true," Kassian agreed before he began striding out of the kitchen and across the living room. Peaches gave them an odd look and leaped out of the way as Kassian crossed the foyer and went up the stairs.

"Wow, the second floor," Boyd drawled as if it were a great honor. He'd never been up the stairs in Kassian's house because Kassian basically lived on the first floor. "I'm getting four-star treatment tonight."

"Quiet, punk." Kassian smacked Boyd's ass and bounded up the rest of the stairs, crossing a short hall and toeing open a door.

The door led to what appeared to be the master bedroom. The room was rather spartan, which was unsurprising since Kassian's ex-wife had likely taken most of her belongings. The only furniture in there was a chest of drawers, a mirror, a single nightstand and an extremely wide mattress that was laying on the floor. The bed was made and the room looked much neater than the living room did, likely because Kassian had made it obvious that he rarely used the bedroom except, apparently, on special occasions.

Kassian dropped Boyd to his feet so abruptly that Boyd nearly lost his footing; before he could properly regain it, Kassian spun him around and began disrobing him with the speed of a man who was clearly an expert at stripping people naked.

He yanked Boyd's shirt over his head easily, not even getting it caught around Boyd's neck although blond hair went flying everywhere in disarray. Before Boyd could even run a hand through his hair to get it out of his eyes, he felt his dark jeans being yanked down so that he was left standing in only a pair of black briefs and his socks.

Boyd quirked an eyebrow then kicked his jeans to the side to get them out of the way. "Points for speed but your style is a little lacking," he informed Kassian.

"Pfft. I don't need to impress you." Kassian placed an open palm on Boyd's back and shoved him forward and down onto the mattress. He stood above Boyd and seemed to be admiring the view from behind, his blue eyes roving over Boyd's back, ass and thighs appreciatively.

Boyd flipped onto his back and propped himself up on his elbows, leaving his legs open wide enough to give Kassian a good view. "Oh, but you do. What if I decided to walk away right now? Then you'd have to go conservative tonight."

Kassian gave him a 'yeah, right' look and knelt between Boyd's legs at the edge of the mattress. He lifted one of Boyd's feet and looked back at Boyd. "Do you watch gay porn often?" he asked curiously, as if this was a normal occurrence and he typically queried such things from between his friend's spread legs.

"Not really," Boyd answered as he watched Kassian movements with interest. "I've read a few books but that's about it. Why?"

"Failure of a gay," Kassian informed him casually and pulled one of Boyd's socks off. Kassian's fingers slid up the bared flesh. "I was going to comment on the sheer amount of gay porn movies where the guys fuck with their shoes and socks on."

Boyd's eyes fell slightly closed at the feel of Kassian's fingers on his skin, although he otherwise gave no indication that he liked it. Kassian dropped Boyd's foot and lifted the other, taking that sock off as well.

"You've watched a lot, then?" Boyd asked.

"Some. Mostly out of curiosity before I'd ever been with a man," Kassian replied nonchalantly as he idly ran his fingers along Boyd's other foot, trailing his hand up Boyd's leg and down to one thigh. The movement was casual and Kassian finished his thought almost belatedly, "But then I realized I'd rather do it than watch it."

Boyd watched Kassian with slightly darkened eyes. "What are you planning to do?"

Kassian lifted Boyd's leg a little higher and shrugged casually, pressing a kiss against Boyd's ankle. "I'm not entirely sure, kid."

He gave Boyd another grin and kissed Boyd's calf. Kassian's lips were slightly parted and the warm moistness of his mouth temporarily heated the flesh of Boyd's leg. Kassian never broke eye contact, his blue-eyed gaze continuing to possess the same half-mischievous and half-serious expression he'd had since this new sudden flirtation began.

One hand skimmed up Boyd's other leg, trailing up his thigh and squeezing slightly as Kassian moved forward on the bed.

Boyd leaned back on his elbows and spread his legs more to give Kassian better access. His lips parted slightly and his gaze intensified as he stared at the other man. Kassian's light blue eyes were such a vibrant color that they were impossible to look away from, especially when trained on Boyd and his every move.

"Well," Boyd said after a moment, partially not serious and partially distracted. "I don't know if I can trust you when you don't have a plan..."

Kassian chuckled quietly and hunched over slightly, leaning over Boyd and placing another kiss against the inside of his thigh. "You shouldn't. I have no grand seduction plans for you, sorry to say." Kassian's lips trailed up, the touch firm and confident, and he completely bypassed the growing bulge in Boyd's briefs to kiss his stomach. "I'm just having fun."

"What a disappointment," Boyd said, although a small smirk pulled at his lips. He laid back and enjoyed the warmth against his skin, leaning just a little into the touch; he wasn't as sensitive on his stomach as he once had been but he still felt especially aroused by gentle touches brushing his scars. He didn't break eye contact and reached one hand up to rest on Kassian's upper shoulder near his neck. "You've had all this time to come up with one."

"Ha." Kassian ran his tongue up the middle of Boyd's flat stomach, causing Boyd to arch into the touch with a nearly inaudible hiss of breath. Kassian straddled Boyd on either side of his thighs and spoke against his skin, "I told you I don't play those games. We're either going to fuck or we're not."

Boyd's hand unconsciously tightened against Kassian's shoulder at the words and the fabric of Kassian's tank top bunched beneath Boyd's fingers in the process. His gaze finally slid away from Kassian's eyes to study what he could see of the man's body, but all the parts he was interested in were covered in clothing.

"You're overdressed," Boyd informed him, meeting Kassian's gaze again.

"So are you," Kassian replied with another grin and abruptly ceased all contact, shifting to the side and looking down at Boyd. "Take off your underwear."

With a quirked eyebrow, Boyd met Kassian's eyes evenly. "Take off your shirt."

Kassian shrugged easily, obviously not too impressed with the demand, and yanked off his wife-beater to reveal his powerful chest and well-defined abs, his pale skin covered with tattoos. His gaze traveled along the length of Boyd's body and, judging by the obvious erection in his boxer briefs, Kassian liked what he saw.

Boyd ran an appreciative eye along Kassian, feeling himself grow more aroused by the sight of Kassian's hard muscles, the lines of his body, and the desire that was currently beginning to show through the good-natured amusement that had glinted in Kassian's clear blue eyes since this started. Boyd briefly considered dragging their game out longer but then decided against it. He casually pulled his underwear off and tossed it to the side, doing nothing to cover himself.

Leaning up on his elbows again and reaching over to hook his fingers beneath the elastic band of Kassian's boxer briefs, Boyd pulled down just enough to see more of the snake tattoo that dipped beneath the fabric. His gaze focused on the tattoo as well as where a light line of hair led from Kassian's navel and down beneath the boxer briefs. He looked up at Kassian again.

"Your turn."

Kassian leaned forward and pulled Boyd up into a sitting position so that they were facing before he stood up entirely and yanked his boxers down, freeing his penis which stood hard and completely erect, directly in front of Boyd's face.

Boyd's mouth fell open slightly and he couldn't drag his eyes away from the length of flesh that was so near his lips. He didn't even care that Kassian was watching him or that his desire to just lean forward and take it into his mouth was incredibly obvious. Boyd had realized that he enjoyed giving blowjobs awhile ago and he saw no reason to hide it from Kassian.

But just as he leaned forward to give in to the desire to run his tongue along Kassian's cock, Kassian planted one hand against Boyd's naked chest and pushed him backwards onto the mattress. Boyd looked at the other man with such an indignant expression that Kassian actually snickered before straddling Boyd once again.

For a moment Boyd paused, unable to do anything but go still as the feel of Kassian's naked body pressing against his own caused a shudder to go through him. As Kassian leaned down and their lips finally met, Boyd couldn't help absently feeling a brief sense of disbelief that this was actually happening. After all their subtle flirtation and the obvious, appreciative gazes that had lingered in the past several weeks... Even after all that, Boyd still couldn't help feeling a little surprised.

But then Kassian's tongue slid into his mouth and all coherent thought fled Boyd's mind.

It wasn't romantic, it wasn't frantically hungry; the kiss they shared could only be described as intense. For several long moments, Kassian didn't even touch the rest of Boyd's body, he didn't do anything but explore Boyd's mouth so deeply and thoroughly that Boyd couldn't do anything but respond desperately with muffled moans. At some point, Kassian slid down so that he was laying directly on top of Boyd but despite that, despite the fact that Boyd would normally begin bucking his hips wildly and impatiently for more pressure, he couldn't focus on anything but Kassian's mouth.

When Kassian pulled back finally, their breath coming quicker and their lips a little swollen, Boyd could only think somewhat distantly that Kassian was an amazing kisser. Boyd started to lean forward, not really wanting it to end; he wanted to keep tasting Kassian's lips, his tongue, the slight hint of alcohol and something minty; he wanted to keep feeling the heat and the slide of a well-practiced tongue that seemed to be worshiping Boyd's mouth. But Kassian combed his fingers through Boyd's hair, pulling Boyd's head back firmly but not painfully, and began sucking on Boyd's neck.

The feel of it was unexpectedly, especially arousing. A hiss of breath escaped Boyd's mouth and his eyes shut slightly, unable to stop himself from grinding up against Kassian's crotch this time.

Kassian laughed against Boyd's neck, looking up at him with smoldering blue eyes and an arched eyebrow. "I just had an epiphany."

"What?" Boyd asked somewhat breathlessly, partially curious and partially incredulous that Kassian was so casually talking at a time like this.

"You'd asked me why I was attracted to you," Kassian replied, running his tongue along Boyd's neck. "I think it's your androgyny. It fucking turns me on like nothing else."

Boyd watched Kassian with golden brown eyes dark with desire; Kassian's comment served to arouse Boyd further, partially due to knowing that an experienced person like Kassian was that turned on by him. "Am I the best of both worlds?" he asked jokingly, unable to stop the smirk that spread across his face.

"Ehhhh." Kassian kissed up his neck, over his cheek. "Not exactly but I still want to fuck your brains out."

Boyd shuddered visibly and Kassian covered his mouth again. They began tonguing each other more wildly, more passionately, both of them grinding against each other unabashedly now. Boyd arched up off the mattress as he panted against Kassian's mouth, wrapping his legs around Kassian and forcing them to roll over.

Boyd tried to stay on top of Kassian but the other man immediately flipped their position, muscular thighs clenching around Boyd in a way that was incredibly hot and impossible to escape from as he trapped Boyd beneath him.

Boyd couldn't help a breathless laugh as Kassian finally broke the kiss. It seemed that the competitive spirit of their friendship would follow them to the bedroom as well.

Kassian scooted backwards, face flushed and lips parted as he breathed hard and stared down at Boyd with a heated, lustful expression that he didn't even attempt to conceal. Boyd surged up off the bed, unable to look away from Kassian's face, and crushed their lips together again but Kassian spun him around in one quick movement so that Boyd's back was against his chest as they knelt on the mattress.

Boyd turned his face to the side as they shared another fiery kiss but this time one of Kassian's muscular arms snaked around Boyd's waist. Kassian's hand slid down and he began masturbating Boyd's swollen cock, pumping it with swift, steady movements of his long fingers as he swallowed every moan that escaped Boyd's lips.

Boyd's entire body was trembling with pleasure and as Kassian's hand continued to work his dick, Boyd's kisses degraded into open mouthed groans as he fucked Kassian's hand. "Christ-- Kass, you're gonna make me come," Boyd panted, sliding his eyes open as he bucked his hips forward insistently.

"That's the point," Kassian said in his ear, voice low and thick with arousal.

"Fuck," Boyd growled, breathing hard, not wanting to come so soon, not wanting this to be the extent of it all-- yet he couldn't deny that he didn't want Kassian to stop. He didn't want those long fingers to stop sliding up and down his dick, pre-cum making it slick, sticky, and hotter.

"Look up," Kassian murmured against Boyd's ear once more. "Look at the wall."

"Wha--" Boyd dragged his eyes up and tried to focus despite the explosions of color that were dancing behind his eyes, and what he saw made him swear loudly. The large oval mirror was leaning against the wall opposite from the bed. The reflection of them, of Kassian crushed against his back, gazing at him intently, heatedly, as his hand worked between Boyd's thighs faster and faster-- Boyd's breath quickened and the burning in his stomach spread like wildfire.

"Oh God... Oh--Fu--" Boyd tried to keep his eyes open as he came violently hard but it was impossible. He shouted loudly, his voice a desperate moan, before he slumped forward on the mattress and panted against the sheets.

Kassian's hands slid up Boyd's bared back, squeezing his ass cheeks as he grinned. "You like that, huh?"

"Pervert," Boyd said hoarsely against the sheets, still breathing hard.

Kassian laughed at that. "It's purely coincidence that the mirror is there. Scout's honor. Although Christina got a kick out of it too."

Boyd rolled over onto his back and gazed up at Kassian through half open eyes. "I didn't want to come so soon, asshole," he muttered in an accusatory voice, although he was unable to keep his gaze from dropping once again to Kassian's cock; the other man was stroking it idly and despite the fact that Boyd had just orgasmed, the sight sent a bolt of lightning straight through his body.

"It's okay, kid," Kassian said easily, lips twisted in the same smirk. "We have plenty of time."

Boyd regained his breath and pushed himself up on his elbows. Before he could do or say anything else, Kassian tackled him and they fell backwards on the large mattress. They rolled across the bed in a passionate wrestling match, long limbs tangled together and in the sheets as they groped each other and exchanged hot kisses.

Boyd had never spent so much time just fooling around in bed, grinding and licking, kissing and laughing, and he found himself temporarily forgetting everything else that existed outside the bedroom, which was hot from the radiators, humid from their sweat and rich with the smell of sex. For a brief time all he cared about was the feel of strong, confident hands on his body, a knowing grin that held no expectations, and mind-blowing pleasure that made him want to stay on the sagging and too-soft mattress forever.

He didn't know how long they spent touching each other, exploring each other, taking turns bringing each other to the brink of orgasm and stopping before it could go too far. After awhile, Boyd couldn't help giving in to his desire to suck Kassian off.

"Jesus," Kassian hissed as Boyd's head bobbed up and down between his thighs.

Boyd took the entire length of Kassian's cock in his mouth, enjoying the way the older man arched off the bed, the way Kassian's hands gripped the sheets as he fucked Boyd's mouth. The sounds Kassian made were enough to make Boyd shiver; he was incredibly turned on by the effect he was having on the senior agent.

"Fuck, kid, you deep throat like a champ," Kassian mumbled, throwing his head back against one of the askew pillows, thrusting up into Boyd's hot, wet mouth with abandon.

Boyd began moving faster, taking Kassian deep in his mouth and then sliding almost entirely away before going down again. Kassian's dick was driving Boyd wild, the feel of it pulsating between his lips as Kassian tensed up, the salty taste at the tip as clear liquid oozed out, the musky scent-- Boyd couldn't help getting off on the act as he performed it.

"Boyd," Kassian groaned, unable to stop himself from slamming up into Boyd's mouth, although he was starting to shake his head back and forth.

"Fuck, Boyd," he said again, voice getting louder. "S-st--stop! Holy fuck stop or I'm gonna come!"

Boyd pulled back immediately, releasing the swollen flesh from his mouth and immediately licking his lips as he sat up and looked at Kassian with eyes that were dilated and darkened with lust.

"Jesus," Kassian hissed again. His fingers and toes dug into the sheets, his entire body tense with the need for the release he wasn't allowing it. "Give an old man a heart attack, why don't you?"

"I'm sorry," Boyd replied huskily, once again falling backwards onto the mattress. "I didn't realize an old timer like you wouldn't be able to appreciate amazing head."

"Fuck you, punk," Kassian muttered.

"I certainly hope so."

Kassian's eyes slid open and he gave Boyd a wicked smile before extending one hand over the side of the mattress. He reached up to the nightstand and jerked a drawer open, fiddling around blindly and dropping an empty box of condoms on the floor.

"I thought you always came prepared, Trovosky?" Boyd asked idly, stretching languidly on the sweat-dampened sheets and feeling a sense of relaxation he wasn't sure he'd felt since Monterrey. His entire body was humming with pleasure; if he'd known extended foreplay could make him feel so sated, he'd have looked into it long ago.

"I used them all with Christina," Kassian replied with a grunt as he sat up entirely and pulled a bottle of lubricant out. "And I knew a dirty bitch such as yourself wouldn't mind."

Boyd was startled into a laugh. "Hey," he said with a grin, shoving Kassian with his foot. "Just be glad this dirty bitch stopped by or you'd be risking kids right now. Or ruining the mood for a condom stop."

"The world doesn't need little Kassians running around," Kassian drawled, moving across the bed towards Boyd. "Fucking you is a lot less complicated."

"Is it, now?" Boyd asked, his voice low.

"Yeah, it is." Kassian grabbed one of Boyd's thighs and rolled him over onto his stomach. Boyd immediately got on his knees, looking into the mirror and watching as Kassian once again ran his hands along Boyd's smooth back before sliding down to the curve of his ass.

Boyd watched as Kassian poured a generous handful of lubricant onto his dick, sliding his hand up and down the length in hurried motions as his ice blue eyes took in Boyd's body hungrily. Boyd felt his stomach tighten with anticipation and he began breathing faster, shifting on the bed, unable to stop staring at their reflection. He wanted this badly; he wanted Kassian inside him and that was the only reason Boyd had stopped sucking the other man off.

When Kassian's dick slid into his body, Boyd shuddered violently, his body barely resisting although Kassian paused for a moment anyway.

"It doesn't hurt," Boyd ground out breathlessly, mouth dropping open at the pressure that sent mind-numbing sparks of pleasure through his body.

Kassian licked his lips and ran his hand along one of Boyd's ass cheeks. "Your ass is so fucking tight," he uttered, his face slack with pleasure. He shifted a bit, adjusting his position, and squeezed Boyd's ass before giving it a sharp smack.

Boyd let out a startled burst of air and looked into the mirror again, unsurprised by the half smirk that graced Kassian's features.

Kassian pulled out slightly and then slammed back in so hard that Boyd slid forward on the bed, a loud moan escaping his mouth.

"Yeah," Kassian whispered, eyes rolling backwards and shutting as he slammed his cock into Boyd again. "Hell, yeah."

Boyd whimpered slightly, a low sound that betrayed his need for more.

Kassian pulled out and rammed into Boyd again, harder, and when Boyd cried out appreciatively, Kassian's lips once again twisted into a smile. His eyes still didn't open as he began fucking Boyd faster, harder; a staccato slapping sound of skin on skin that echoed throughout the room, only rivaled by the music that floated up the stairs.

Boyd began slamming back on Kassian's cock with short, harsh sounds escaping his mouth; a steady chant of "yes, yes, uh, uh, fuck, yes," that he panted into the sheets. Even then, it still didn't serve to muffle him entirely.

The feel of Kassian's cock searing into him was so intense that Boyd could do nothing but clutch the sheets and release guttural grunts and wild moans that only seemed to encourage Kassian.

One of Kassian's hands clutched Boyd's waist and the other tangled in the long blond hair that Kassian seemed to be obsessed with as he pounded Boyd's ass mercilessly. Boyd's eyes slid open and he couldn't help looking in the mirror again, watching Kassian's sweat-slicked muscles move behind him, watching the black ink of Kassian's tattoos shine in the dim light of the room as Kassian began uttering hoarse curse words.

"I told you I'd give it to you the way you fucking like it, kid," he growled, eyes open and drilling into Boyd's as their gazes met in the mirror. Kassian snapped his hips especially hard as if to prove his point and Boyd released a loud groan of pleasure.

"You like that?" Kassian demanded, voice husky and low, barely recognizable as he fucked Boyd mindless; harsh groans and pants escaped Kassian's mouth, although they were nothing to match Boyd's loud, demanding screams.

"Fuck yes," Boyd shouted in assent, digging his fingers into the sheets, the mattress, slamming back on Kassian with all his strength. "Don't fucking stop!"

Kassian rode his ass relentlessly, his cock filling Boyd to the core, pressing against every sensitive nerve that sent Boyd into a begging frenzy every time it hit a certain spot. Every deep thrust made Boyd feel out of his mind with pleasure and his sweaty body pushed back on Kassian's hard cock, desperate for more, desperate for that hard dick to just stay there-- to press against the spot that made him wild--

"Yes-- God, yes!"

Boyd came once again and just as explosively, the violence of it sending his mind reeling even though he hadn't once touched himself. His eyes were wide and partially unseeing, glazed with the strength of his orgasm-- but even then he couldn't stop slamming back on Kassian. That hard dick pounding into him felt too intense, too incredible--

Boyd kept moving, his spent cock doing nothing to slow him down, not abating his need to be fucked until Kassian couldn't fuck him anymore. Boyd's moans fell over each other, incoherent pleas tumbling from his lips as Kassian's body started to tighten up, as his cock slammed into Boyd with more urgency.

"Take that fucking dick," Kassian panted, his face twisted in pleasure as their fucking began to reach its climax, as his body pounded harder and harder, faster and faster. "Fuck, fuck, oh God, take my fucking cock," he groaned, lost in the moment, in the sex; almost seeming as though his mind was somewhere else, completely lost in a daze of mind-blowing pleasure.

"God, right fucking there!" Boyd screamed, tangling his hands in the sheets more tightly, crying out in abandon as Kassian's dick slammed into his prostate. "Jesus-- Fuck me right there!"

"Yeah... yeah... Oh fucking--!" Kassian threw his head back and shouted his pleasure, his hoarse voice echoing in the mostly empty room as he came hard in Boyd's ass. His fingers spasmed wildly and tightened on Boyd as he orgasmed and his expression was briefly lost to euphoria.

"Yes," Boyd growled as he felt Kassian come inside him, as he watched that muscular body in the mirror. He pressed his hips back until Kassian slid out of him and collapsed onto the bed with a low moan. Boyd dropped to the mattress soon after, eyes sliding closed as his body positively hummed with pleasure.

For a long moment the only sounds were their harsh panting and the slightly muffled thrum of bass from Team Sleep's song King Diamond blaring through the door.

"Goddamn," Kassian breathed finally, when his heartbeat slowed slightly.

Boyd's moist breath was caught between his open mouth and the sheets, heating the space beneath him until he rolled over onto his back and stared at the ceiling. "Fuck," he groaned appreciatively. "I can barely move..."

Kassian grunted and raised one arm, wiping it across his sweaty brow. "This is a good time for me to pass out," he said, stretching.

"Passing out isn't allowed, old man," Boyd said dryly, looking over at Kassian with a quirked eyebrow and a smirk playing on his lips. "You promised me pizza so I expect it."

Kassian sighed loudly. "I wish there was a place around here that delivered."

Boyd made a sound of agreement then flipped over onto his stomach and rested his chin in one hand as he watched Kassian. "We could go out. What about Annie's?"

Kassian made a face. "I don't want to get dressed and wash up. So much work."

"We don't need to-- let's just grab a pizza and come back. It'll take ten minutes." Boyd raised his eyebrows and offered, "I'll drive."

"Hmmmm." Kassian rubbed a hand against his stomach idly. "That doesn't sound too tragic, I guess. I am pretty hungry..."

"Good." Boyd pushed himself up and shoved Kassian good-naturedly on the shoulder. "Then get off your ass." He stood up and looked around for his clothes.

Kassian made a face and stood as well. He opened one of the drawers in the chest and pulled out a pair of dark jeans and put them on without bothering with underwear. He idly watched Boyd get dressed before also taking out a long-sleeved sweater and throwing that on as well.

Boyd looked over as soon as he was dressed and the two of them headed toward the car. As Boyd drove them to Annie's Pizzeria, one of Kassian's local favorites due to their phenomenal thin crust pizza, Boyd found himself in a state of bemusement about the events of the day.

Part of him still felt disbelief over the fact that he and Kassian had not only had sex, but that it had also been so intense and hot.

But more than that, and most relieving to Boyd, he didn't feel that same sense of awkwardness he had with Thierry. If anything, he was surprised by how little had changed. Even when he'd been lying there in Kassian's bed, as strange as it was to realize Kassian and he had just had sex, it had somehow still felt... comfortable. Good.


Even if he looked at Kassian's lips and remembered the intensity of the kisses that had made him groan with pleasure, even if he saw Kassian's hands and remembered the feel of those fingers on his dick and the helpless way he had thrust into them, even if he heard Kassian speak and remembered that sexy, low voice talking dirty into his ear...

Despite that, he still looked at Kassian and thought of him as a friend. He knew he could still hang around with Kassian as casually as before, that the sex hadn't interfered with their relationship at all, at least from Boyd's perspective. And given the fact that Kassian seemed as casual and comfortable around Boyd as ever, not to mention that Kassian was more accustomed to casual sex than Boyd was, Boyd knew the feeling would be mutual.

It felt good to experience such a casual relationship without any expectations, in or out of the bedroom.

Boyd didn't know why sex was so different with Kassian than Thierry, except that they'd become friends first and that there hadn't been any pressure on either side regarding decisions. The fact that he thought of Kassian only as a friend made everything seem less complicated and difficult. He didn't feel like he had to live up to anything with Kassian; he could just be himself and that was fine.

Boyd mused about the new aspect to his friendship with Kassian on the short ride to the pizzeria; by the time they arrived, he realized that overall, he was glad he'd happened to stop by Kassian's house tonight.

Annie's was pretty quiet for that time of night and as Boyd and Kassian walked inside, they noticed there were only a handful of other people in the restaurant. Kassian and Boyd headed toward the counter, where a bored-looking, dark-haired man seemed to wake up a little when he noticed them.

"Hey Pete," Kassian greeted casually, leaning against the counter with a grin. "How's it going?"

"It's going," Pete replied with a shrug, his eyes taking in Boyd's still-tousled hair and haphazard attire before swinging back to zero in on a particularly prominent hickey on Kassian's neck. It wasn't too surprising that Pete had noticed-- Boyd and Kassian both had the presence of two people who were well-fucked and neither of them cared enough to look more put-together.

"Fun night?" the cashier asked in the same bored tone.

Kassian just shrugged innocently. "Sure. It looks like you're having a blast yourself."

"Uh huh." Pete raised an eyebrow. "Business is slower than usual. I bet it's only a matter of time before this place closes down."

"You've been saying that for as long as I've been coming here," Kassian replied with a snort. "I think the only remaining pizza place on this side of town has a good chance of surviving the economy."

"Uh huh." Pete didn't look convinced. "The usual?"

"Yup." Kassian glanced at Boyd. "You want something else?"

Boyd shrugged. "A soda and I'm good."

"Give me some garlic knots, too," Kassian told Pete. "And another soda."

Pete nodded. "Give it twenty."

Kassian turned and walked to the back corner of the pizzeria, sitting down at one of the small tables. He stretched his long legs out in front of him as Boyd sat down across the table. Kassian unzipped his jacket and looked around, noticing but not reacting to the fact that Pete wasn't the only one eyeballing them.

Kassian smirked and returned his gaze to Boyd. "Maybe we should have cleaned up better."

Boyd grinned; he felt sated and well-fucked and it put him in a great mood. "But then we wouldn't be the envy of the room..."

"True enough." Kassian put one elbow on the table and leaned his face against it, watching Boyd. "So you're cool with everything, then?"

Leaning back in his chair and sprawling his legs out beneath the table, accidentally bumping one of Kassian's feet in the process, Boyd tilted his head slightly to study Kassian. His expression was somewhat enigmatic and a small smile pulled at one side of his lips but he nodded without hesitation. "Surprisingly so."

"Good." Kassian nodded, appearing pleased. "You seemed to enjoy yourself. I wasn't sure if you would since you claimed Thierry was such a bore."

"Yeah, well; as it turns out, you two aren't exactly alike in the bedroom," Boyd said mildly.

"Yeah," Kassian agreed with a nod. "But you said you liked it all crazy style so I had some doubts at first."

"Well, I do. But I'd never experienced that kind of extended foreplay... I had no idea it could be like that." Boyd smirked. "And you're sufficiently rough so between the two, I definitely enjoyed myself."

Kassian raised an eyebrow at Boyd curiously. "So I take it Vega is rougher?"

"You know, you're the second person this week to ask me what Sin's like in bed," Boyd said in amusement.

"Oh really?" Kassian gave him an odd look. "Who was the other person?"

"Ryan Freedman," Boyd said, watching Kassian curiously. "Do you know him?"

"Not personally but I know who he is. Mostly everyone knows who he is because of his relationship to the late Marshal Connors, just like everyone knows who you are because of your mom." Kassian didn't look too surprised by the information. "He's in your unit, right?"

Boyd nodded. "He's one of our R&D's."

Kassian considered Boyd for a long moment before saying, "I'm not trying to get the details about Everything Vega or anything, Boyd. I'm just curious about the difference between us since you mentioned it before about him and Thierry."

Boyd watched Kassian thoughtfully. He wasn't going to deny Kassian's request but he also wasn't going to say much about Sin, since he suspected Sin wouldn't appreciate it. "Sin and I were more likely to come out with bruises after having sex, yes," he said neutrally after a moment.

Kassian shook his head with a wry smile. "I'm not too shocked by that."

Boyd smirked lightly. "I didn't think you would be."

There was another brief silence and after awhile Kassian said, "Can I ask you something else?"

"Of course," Boyd said easily, leaning back in the chair and idly watching Kassian. Boyd's long blond hair was mussed and partially fell into his face, so he pushed it out of the way.

Kassian hesitated for a moment and raised his eyebrows at Boyd. "I know you don't owe Sin explanations anymore but I also know that you still want to be his friend. So I was wondering if you're going to regret all this if he finds out and gets pissed?"

Rather than answer immediately, Boyd took the time to actually consider the question. He did not intend to unnecessarily mention to Sin the fact that he'd had sex with Kassian, but if Sin were to find out or ask, Boyd wasn't going to lie.

Considering the fact that Sin hadn't seemed too impressed even with the idea of Boyd being friends with Kassian, Boyd couldn't imagine knowing they'd slept together would make Sin any happier. Then again, even when they'd been together, Sin had said he'd thought that Boyd could sleep with whoever he wanted so the fact that Boyd slept with Kassian months after the fact was something to be taken into account.

Regardless, even imagining Sin being angry about this later on, it didn't change Boyd's answer.

"No," Boyd said without a hint of uncertainty. "It's not his business who I sleep with and this has nothing to do with him. I do want to be his friend but we'll have to build toward even that since our relationship was always a little dysfunctional and abnormal. I doubt he'd be pleased about it but if that knowledge affected our friendship then it'll just prove that we wouldn't be ready to be friends yet."

Boyd shrugged and continued, "Since I'm willing to be his friend again even after he slept with someone else while involved with me, I should hope he'll be willing to be my friend if I slept with someone else after it was all said and done. Even if it's you. And beyond that, I've been enjoying spending time with you... I think it's good for me. So, regardless of how it affects my relationship with him, I won't regret it for how it affects me."

"Good," Kassian replied, satisfied. "It's pretty rare that I can find someone I'm so comfortable around, you know? I have friends, but... well, you know the deal. If us fucking around would in any way compromise us being friends I'd stop it, as I'm sure you would too."

"Yes, I would," Boyd said without hesitation. He paused and idly watched Kassian, a small smile playing at the edges of his lips as he quirked his eyebrows. "So does that mean you enjoyed yourself enough that you'd consider doing it again if it came up?"

"Hey, your order's ready," Pete called over to them.

Kassian nodded at Pete and stood up, although at first he just grinned down at Boyd with a wink. "You know it, kiddo."

"Good," Boyd said with a satisfied smirk as he stood and followed Kassian to the counter.

Continue to Afterimage Chapter Thirty-Two...