Gage had finally gone to his shower, and Shan had taken a minute in the Quickbath, feeling much more like his old self when he was done. He went back to the kitchen and sat down backwards in a chair, unable to stop smiling. On the stove, his makeshift stew was starting to bubble, and he could hear Gage singing over the roar of the water.
He could almost forget that they didn't live here; that they were only fifteen, that their happiness was borrowed and downright illegal at the moment.
One day, he thought, one day it will be real. We'll have a house of our own, just like Gage said. And we'll be able to have nights like this any time we want, and no one can stop us.
The water stopped, and a moment later Gage came back into the kitchen, his white hair plastered to his head. He'd changed back into his jeans, and washed away the thick layer of make-up, but his chest was still bare.
"It should be ready." Shan dished up the stew and handed Gage a bowl, and they ate in comfortable silence for a while.
"This is nice." Gage said suddenly. "Just being here like this, with you. Able to forget about everything for a while."
"I know. I was thinking the same thing. It's like we're legally pledged." Shan pushed his bowl away. He reached across the table and took Gage's hand, running his thumb over the back. "When we do go back, we'll convince them that this is right. Somehow or other, we'll make them see it."
Gage covered his hand with his free one. "It's right, and it's real, and it's ours. I look at you, and all the other bullshit, it doesn't matter any more. I don't care who my father really is, or that my mother wanted to kill me, or that one of my sisters hates me. You make it all seem unimportant."
"Hey, you thought I was worth becoming Sara Connor for." Shan grinned.
"Johnny is just so unmotivated." Gage replied in his Sara voice. "He's in need of some serious discipline."
"Yeah, whatever you say, Mom."
Gage toed open Shan's knapsack, which was lying by his foot, and reached inside, pulling out the lube. "Yup." He said in his own voice. "Definitely in need of some discipline."
"Oh, and what do you think you're going to do with that?" Shan challenged.
Gage very calmly explained exactly what he planned to do with it.
"In theory that might work." Shan admitted. "But you've got to catch me first."
He jumped to his feet and began to run, Gage only a heartbeat behind. They entered the bedroom, and Shan tried to dive over the bed, but Gage tackled him to the mattress, pinning him down. He dropped the lube to free up both hands, and began tickling the other boy. Shan squirmed, laughing, as Gage's fingers moved over his stomach.
"Come on, give up." Gage urged, nearly hysterical himself.
"No, never." Shan gasped. "I'll never surrender, you..."
Gage quickly pressed his mouth to Shan's, and moved his hands up to hold the younger boy's wrists to the mattress. Shan groaned helplessly into Gage's mouth, jerking his hips upward.
"Oh, so now you want it, huh?" Gage whispered. He moved his hand down between the, stroking Shan through the thick denim. "Do you want it bad?"
"How bad, baby? How bad do you want it?" Gage spoke his words against Shan's collarbone, rubbing him harder.
"Want it real bad. Need you."
Shan closed his eyes, feeling his belt loosed, feeling the rasp of the leather under his back as it was pulled free. Gage attacked his shirt then, pulling it over his head and throwing it to the floor. His hands were back at Shan's stomach now, unzipping his jeans and pulling them down, pushing them away.
He moved down on the bed until his mouth was over the tent in Shan's boxers. He licked his lover through the cloth, sucking, trailing his fingers up and down Shan's left leg.
"G... Gage..." Shan was trembling now.
"Sh, I know. I want it too. It's okay. Soon we'll both be happy." He slipped his fingers in the waistband of the boxers, and pulled them down, kissing each inch of flesh as it was revealed.
"You're the devil." Shan gasped.
"Guilty as charged." Gage muttered, moving up to cover his body again. He kissed Shan, and then stood up, one leg on each side of the boy's hips, slowly unzipping his own jeans, and letting them fall around his ankles. He wasn't wearing anything underneath, and he was red and hard. Staring at Shan, he wrapped a hand around himself and began to stroke.
Something in Shan snapped. "I swear to God, Drummond, if you make yourself come I'm cutting it off!"
"Such language." Gage moaned. "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?"
Shan moved like lightning, yanking Gage back down to the bed, wrapping his legs around Gage's waist and trying to impale himself.
"Whoa, easy boy." Gage drew back. "I've got to prepare you first. You'll hurt yourself."
"I don't care."
"I do. I'm not going to take a chance on hurting you."
"Please, Gage. I can't wait any longer. I've got to have something."
"I think you're right." Gage agreed. "There's an easy solution to this." He moved down the bed again and took Shan into his mouth. He flattened his tongue against the veined flesh, sucking, his fingers weighing the soft lumps underneath. It didn't take much to send Shan over the edge, and he thrust hard up into Gage's mouth, spilling himself over and over.
"Better?" Gage asked, drawing back, and Shan nodded a second later.
"Good." Gage opened the tube of lube and slicked up his fingers. He positioned Shan's legs over his shoulders, leaving him open and exposed. Unable to resist the temptation, he moved his head down again, and probed the small opening with the tip of his tongue. Shan let out an animal cry, and began to swell again.
His own control was almost gone, and Shan had the enthusiasm for this act in spades, but he was young and inexperienced, so he hadn't built up Gage's impressive stamina yet. It won't take much before he was at the edge again. Gage prepared him as quickly as he could, but thoroughly. He'd been on the bottom so much in his life that his own channel was tough enough to withstand just about anything. Shan was still soft and tender, and would tear easily if he wasn't careful.
Finally, Shan was as ready for him as Gage could possibly make him, which was good because both of them were ready to go insane from need. Gage removed his fingers and positioned himself, groaning as the head of his penis slipped into Shan's body.
"I love you more than ice cream." Gage whispered, and moved forward all the way, impaling himself fully.
"I love you more than my father's homemade soup." Shan gasped back, snapping his head as Gage drew back and thrust harder, striking his most sensitive spot.
"I love you... there?... more than a cold beer on a hot day."
"Right there." Shan was moving as fast as he could now. "I love you more than a hot bath on a cold day."
Sweat was rolling down Gage's chest, and his hand had encircled Shan, stroking him hard. "I love you more than Monty Python."
"Tell... Monty... I'll kick... his ass... if he touches you..."
"I love you more than anything." Gage was beginning to shudder, and the rhythm broke.
Shan lost himself again into Gage's touch, and through the haze of his orgasm, felt Gage stop moving and seal them together. He could feel the hard organ throbbing, and the hot rush of Gage's seed spilling inside of him, before the other boy fell forward heavily, collapsing in Shan's arms.
Shan's fingers combed through his short hair, stroking and petting him. "Do you know how beautiful you are when you come?" Shan asked softly. "You're beautiful all the time, but you just seem to glow at that moment." The other hand was rubbing Gage's back. "And I know that even if other people have seen you come before, no one's ever seen you look like that when you do. I'm the only one alive who's seen that."
Gage was quiet, sleepy but wanting only to lie in this moment for the rest of his life. He didn't think it was too much to ask for.
"I never told you, but I dreamed about you once, before you came back to Dera. It was years and years ago, when I was maybe ten, but it was definitely you in the dream. Sort of."
"We were orphans, working down in a mine. The shaft was small, so they always sent kids down. The kids died quickly, so they were always getting new orphans to work.
"We were a team, you and I. We always went down into the mines together. One day, when we were down there, the shaft collapsed and we were trapped. My leg was hurt. I told you to leave, to try and find a way out, but you told me no. You told me that you'd rather die in the mine with me, than go outside and live without me. And you put your arms around me. I woke up a minute later, but I felt safe, like you were still holding me. I just chalked it up to too much pizza."
"It was your subconscious, Shanny Boy. Telling you that I'm the one you were meant to be with." Gage stroked his chest.
"Guess so. I wish we could have grown up together. Maybe we would have both turned out a lot different. Not that there's anything wrong with you, but..."
"Shan, there's plenty wrong with me." Gage corrected with a sigh. "You just haven't seen me at my worst."
"Maybe not, but I've seen you at your best. That's got to be enough to make up for any worst."
Gage rolled over then, but his head was still pillowed on Shan's chest as he looked up at the ceiling. "Do you think I can change? Do you think I can be good?"
"Gage, you can be anything you want to be, good or bad."
"Maybe I don't have a choice. I mean, look at my parents. My mother blackmails the Drummonds not because she needs the money, but just for the sake of being an evil bitch. And my father... not even man enough to say to his wife 'Look, I was wrong. I cheated on you. I've got a child on the way.' So maybe my DNA is just fucked. Maybe I'm genetically coded toward disaster."
"Your mother sounds like a woman incapable of loving anyone. I mean, a mother/child bond is supposed to be the strongest thing in the world, and she couldn't even feel that. And people who can't love turn evil; they have nothing to be good for. You love, Gage. You love your father... or you did, anyway, before you knew he was your father. And you love me; you dressed in drag for me! So I'd say that Laura Landfill's DNA hasn't contaminated you.
"And you stand up for what you believe in. You live your life your own way, and to hell with what anyone else thinks. You'd never, ever put your image or your pride ahead of someone you love. You'd never turn away from your own child because he showed up at a bad time. So Milliardo's DNA hasn't tainted you either. You're neither of them, Gage. You're no more your father than I am Baba. And thank Nataku for that! Do we really need to be Zechs and Wufei clones? We're just us. That's all. Just us. And that's all we need to be."
"I would have been a good son for him." Gage whispered. "For him, I would have tried."
"I know. I know you would have. I've tried to be a good son as well, but I can't be the son he wants. I used to wish I could, but now I don't want to be. He had no right to write out a list of specifications and then act all shocked when I didn't meet them. I mean, you don't get to pre-program your kids."
"What if you could?" Gage asked. "What if you were about to have a son? And you could choose what he'd be like. What would you want him to be?"
"Happy. I'd want him to be happy. I can lay here and say that I'd like him to be smart, and funny, and kind, but if he'd be happiest being dumb as toast, as interesting as a rock, and hating the world, well, then that's what I'd want for him."
"We had do to that once in school. We had to pretend like we were ordering our kids from a catalog and we were supposed to pick qualities for them to have. Brains, hair color, eye color... and there were no bad grades a person could get, as long as they did the assignment. Then the computer would generate a picture of them and a bio."
Shan laughed. "Do I even want to know what you came up with?"
"He was bald, with one blue eye and one green eye. He had a crooked nose, and a birthmark on his head shaped like Italy. He was avidly interested in earthworms, a mathematical genius, and allergic to solid foods. Oh, and he collected pictures of chipmunks."
"The teacher asked us to all explain why we picked our children the way we did, and everyone had the same story. They all had these perfect, cookie-cutter children, and then there was my Theo."
"How did you explain Theo?"
"I said that Theo would learn to value himself for who he was, not for what he looked like. That his deformities would make him kind and sensitive to those in other people. That he would be a fun boy, and a nature lover, and that we could have fun collecting worms together. And that his math skills would guarantee him a good job when he grew up. There was silence for a moment, and then everyone started laughing. And my teacher said. 'Very amusing, Gage. Next?' No one knew I was being serious. I mean, I wouldn't deliberately make my kid sick or something, but I'd just take him as he was. I'd buy him a blender. Fuck it, I don't WANT a perfect kid. I don't want any kids, but if I had one, I'd spend my time being happy about what they were instead of worrying about what they weren't."
"Your father was an idiot not to keep you."
"I'm glad he didn't. I'd have probably never met you if he had. And as far as I'm concerned, everything that's happened has been worth it, because it's led me here."
"Do you think they're worried about us, back on Dera?"
"I hope not. I hope they realize we can take care of ourselves. But you know adults; we're always going to be little kids in their eyes."
"Well, I'm not a little kid." Shan winked down at Gage. "I'll have you know it's been at least four months since I wet the bed."
"Really? I've gone six months and counting." Gage winked back. "And unlike you, I'm telling the truth. I got drunk off my ass, fell asleep, and... well..."
"That's gross. Gage, you are gross."
"I promise I'm very sober right now. You don't have to worry."
"I better not. I'm willing to explore just about any fetish you can imagine, but I am not putting a diaper on you."
"I knew a chap who was into that. Rather disturbed fellow; he had a little bonnet and a baby bottle to go with it."
"All righty then."
"Night Shanny Boy. Sweet dreams. No trapped in mine dreams either."
"Sweet dreams, Gage."
"I did have that cocktail on the Shuttle..."