Title: Upstairs at the Inn
Word Count 1141
Disclaimer Not my boys
Upstairs at the Inn
Horatio blinked like a started owl.
“Where are we?”
“Some little town.” Archie's tone was light. “They need to rest the horses. We are to enjoy the inn here tonight.”
“Oh, all right.” Horatio sat up with a yawn. “How long have I been asleep?”
“Hours.” Archie said. “How do you feel?”
“Hmmm, rested I guess.”
Nevertheless, Horatio took hold of Archie's arm as they left the coach.
The ground was damp underfoot, and the horses steamed, head down in the chill of evening. Soon, Archie knew, a boy would come. He would unharness them, and take them to a stable, warm and smelling of hay. He would wipe them down, and he would check their feet. They would be led into the dim of the breathing of beasts, in the smell of glossy backed sweat, and the rain on old wood. They would sleep until cocks-crow, swaying and blinking their big fringed eyes.
Horatio was walking steady beside him, but the sides of them were warm where they touched, and Archie kept his arm around, kept Horatio close. 'My friend is ill.' He could always say that, if anyone cared to ask. But no one gave them as much as a glance, and they found a quiet corner in the tap-room.
Cool ale came, and hot pies dripping meat grease. Archie ate hungrily, efficiently. Neither of them said much. They listened to the sounds of the inn, and they put the food where it would do the most good. Archie was aware of Horatio, eating well, for the first time in so long. Horatio's face was flushed, now, and his eyes were shining, but the worrisome drained quality was gone. Archie saw none of that horrible patience that had been so frighteningly unlike Horatio.
When the plates were empty, Horatio looked up. His smile was soft, thoughtful.
“They've given us a room upstairs.” Archie said. Horatio nodded, his eyes ranged over Archie, and that long mouth quirked slightly.
The stairs were narrow and the room was small, tucked under the eves. The wall tilted, the ceiling sloped. They had to stoop to go in the door. There was a worn little rug on the floor, and a washbasin, and a bed and two candles. It was more than enough.
The bed was cool and narrow. There was room to lie close, but not yet entangled. Archie felt Horatio's hand travel slow down over his bare shoulder and arm, to finally take his hand. The kiss on Archie's palm was soft and warm. Horatio gave the heel of Archie's hand a nip. It was not enough to hurt, but it filled his awareness, made his blood rush.
Horatio rolled onto his back, taking the arm with him. Archie gave an anticipatory moan. He knew what was coming, he loved it like this.
On his side, as he was, Archie could see all of Horatio, deliciously exposed to his gaze. Horatio had gotten thinner during his illness. Archie could see the dear place where belly ended and the ribcage began. Kisses there made Horatio shiver, made him loose the small sounds trapped in his throat. Below that, the soft abdomen, and the twin prows of hipbones. Kisses there would-- oh, they would—but the thought slid away. Horatio's mouth was working on the soft flesh of Archie's arm. And Archie was so hard himself, so swollen and needing. And he was the one who had to whine.
Horatio's mouth traveled, soft, soft, up the inside, where the skin was white and thin, where nothing but Archie's shirt ever touched. He held Archie's hand, steadying the palm stroking with his thumb, letting Archie's fingers seek helplessly in the air.
Horatio reached the crease of the elbow, traced with his tongue, a line of heat.
“Please.” Archie's mouth was dry, his words a rasp of need.
Up the bicep then, biting, nuzzling. Horatio's eyes were dark and wide.
Enough. Archie rolled, Horatio under, himself above. The feeling redoubled, increased, where they touched, the need screaming now, all down between them.
“In me, in me, in me now...”
Horatio's voice was drunken, dreamlike. He rolled his hips, driving Archie down against the heat.
Archie drew a shivering breath.
“We can't, H'ratio. We have nothing here to – to ease the way.”
“Don't care. Spit. Nothing. Anything. Ohdeargod, please.”
Archie said it as kindly as he could. As gently as he could speak, with the hunger crushed between them as it was. But the dark eyes flew open wider. He had never refused Horatio anything before. He captured the thrashing head between his hands, holding Horatio's eyes with his own.
“It would hurt you. I will not hurt you, Horatio. Do not ask it of me.”
Horatio shuddered, wordless, protesting.
“Like this, like this, Honeybee.”
Horatio was frantic with need, his mouth open, his eyes rolling.
“It will be.”
Archie slid, aligning them. He caressed Horatio's thighs with the slide of his own, gentled his hold to a caress. He brought his mouth down to kiss, to taste the edge of neck and jaw. He rolled down into Horatio's buck. They slid against each other, both dripping now, both gasping like boys in a footrace. He could feel Horatio's heart, drumming in its bone enclosure. His own, was against it, so close.
Archie was going first. He was going now, oh, now. The lovely sweetness broke around him. He went up into the soundless light. He came down again, slowly, boneless as an egg yolk.
He rocked with Horatio, feeling the body beneath him work, sticky and panting. Archie put his mouth against the dark hair, the crumpled brow,
He held Horatio close, at the end, as the shudders came for him too.
Side by side again, the little room, and the rest of the world, around them. Horatio's hair was stuck to the flush of his face. Archie reached out gently to push back the curls. The big dark eyes were glassy with tears. Archie felt his own eyes prickle in response.
“It really matters.” Horatio whispered. They both smiled, thinking of that first, long ago, day.
“I'm sorry.” Horatio's voice was hesitant. “I just--”
“Shh. It's all right. It would have hurt you, Horatio. I cannot.”
I cannot take you in pain, as I have been taken. This Archie did not say. There was no need. Horatio's kiss, Horatio's palm against his chest, made it clear. He understood.
“Tomorrow we'll be in my father's house,” Horatio said.
“Its going to be great,” said Archie.