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Want by dee
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want, v. ~ 1. To be lacking or missing; not to exist; not to be forthcoming; to be deficient in quantity or degree. 2. To desire, wish for.

Elijah had got used to sleeping alone - no matter how stealthy Franka tried to be, slipping out of bed early in the morning, she always woke him.

He stirred, half-submerged again until the cooling absence insinuated itself. When he rolled over to squint at her, she was zipping up her dress, silhouetted against the pale grey morning outside windows he'd forgotten to draw the curtains over last night.

"That's a sexy dress," he repeated with a lazy smile, a shuddering stretch. Repeated, because he'd said it last night in the restaurant, said it later in this room, slipping those dainty little straps off her shoulders and kissing the bared flesh.

She smiled back at him, picking up her bag from the floor and taking the two steps over to the side of the bed, out of the light, where he could look up at her without squinting. "I have to go," she said, and he loved the way her accent framed the words. She bent to kiss him, the faintest pressure and a clinging of lips until she pulled away, ducked her shoulder out from under his fingers as they slipped under the strap of the dress. "I have to go," she repeated, an admonishment.

And he knew it; she started early today, whereas he had nothing until the afternoon, and nothing better to do than go back to sleep. So he did, letting his hand fall back to the sheets and his eyelids droop closed. In the hazy space between dream and reality, he heard the click of the door behind her.

When he woke, it was later - much later - and he could barely tell that she had been there the night before. Until he rolled over, legs tangling in the sheet he'd pushed down the bed as he slept, and caught the faintest whiff of her perfume on the pillow. Until he rolled over, eyes narrowed against the sun now streaming through the windows, to see one of her black silk stockings cast inelegantly over the bedside table, snagged on the corner of a CD case.

Elijah remembered that stocking. Remembered staggering into the room with his hand already snug against the delicious inward-curve of her waist. Pulled her against him, the press of her breasts and an open-mouthed, clumsy kiss. He ran his hands over her, over a body that gave and insisted in all the right places. She slid her knee up the side of his leg, and he reached down with one hand, caught it, slippery silk under his palm as he ran it upwards. Found the top, the strap of the supporting garter that he snapped lightly against her smooth thigh, and her teeth closed on his bottom lip in response.

He reached out now, and carefully disentangled the stocking, letting it slip out of his fingers and onto the floor.

And he smiled, a smile that welled up from his toes, seeped from the marrow of his bones, flooded his chest cavity before pouring forth like the sunshine spreading on his carpet.

* * * * *

Even standing under the flow, water cascading around his ears and over his closed eyes, Elijah could still hear it; the rasping scrape of razor against skin, against the grain of hair, against Dom's chin. Dom was shaving, and Elijah was in the shower, holding his breath, hating the sound. His hand rested on the tap, but he didn't want to turn it off. Didn't want to end the shower, to have to step out of the glass-walled box, because when he did, there were things he'd have to say.

But he couldn't hold his breath any longer.

The rattle of the shower door was loud in the enclosed space. The bathroom really wasn't big enough for both of them, Elijah thought, as he reached for his towel, wrapped it around his waist. He looked up, met Dom's eyes in the mirror. Dom wasn't smiling, because you don't smile while you're shaving; you might cut yourself with the wrong twitch. And that was why Elijah waited until the razor had finished its rasping stroke, been lowered to the foamy water in the basin, before he said anything.

"This isn't working." And he didn't mean the whole bathroom-sharing thing, although that was part of it, the fact he couldn't relax in the shower when there was someone else in the room and that was just fucking stupid when that someone else had already seen all of him naked, had slept beside it. He didn't mean just that.

Dom knew it, because this had been going on long enough for Dom to know Elijah pretty damn well. "No," he agreed mildly, raise the rinsed razor to his face again. "No, it isn't."

Elijah didn't quite believe this: that here he was, dripping wet, breaking up with someone whose face was still half-lathered. He watched the razor scrape up the side of Dom's throat, under the curve of his chin tilted up for the best angle. "I'm sorry," he offered.

"Don't be," Dom returned, rinsing the razor again. "Honestly, I'm amazed it lasted this long."

The mirror was broken, Elijah noted vaguely. Had been for a long time. He knew that. When he looked at himself, there was a jagged crack straight through his face. It made the reflection weird, refracted.

"Should I move out?"

Elijah jerked his eyes back to his friend. Ex-lover. Something. Who made up these fucking nouns and why couldn't he find a nice convenient one for Dom? Watched him carefully shave his upper lip, a series of short, quick strokes. "No. Don't do that. You can still stay."

Eyes met in the mirror. "Is that what you want?"

Elijah shrugged. "Yeah, I guess."

Dom watched him for a long moment in the mirror, razor poised, and there was water trickling down Elijah's back, slow and cold. Dom did smile then, a quick twitch of one side of his mouth, not much at all really. "OK. I'll stay, then."

Elijah returned the half-smile as the razor scraped again, and then he opened the door and slid out of the bathroom to dry off and dress. Because being naked in front of your lover was one thing, but in front of your friend was something different.

* * * * *

He was laughing, they were both laughing, lolling helpless with it across the bed, a tangle of limbs, linen and mirth.

"Fuck," Elijah stated. "I'm not drunk enough for this."

"You have to be drunk to fuck me?"

"I thought you were fucking me?"

More laughter, general laughter, and he'd been here all his life, naked in the warm dark, laughing with Dom on rumpled sheets. Fingers trailed down his ribs, but they were purely to tickle now. He squirmed away, sat up. "Fuck this. Where's the bottle?"

"Give us some too, will ya?"

Elijah found the bottle of tequila in the safe place he'd tucked it, still sober enough to realise that squished between the bed and the bedside table, it was unlikely to be knocked over. He sat on the edge of the bed, smirked over his shoulder. "What happened to 'I've never touched the stuff in my life'?" He took a swig, grit his teeth at the bite.

"What happened," Dom commented, sprawled on his back with one arm cast over his face, "is that some cunt drank all my fucking vodka, didn't he?" He raised the arm over his eyes, stretched it out towards Elijah.

"Nope." Lij grinned, swigged again at the tequila. "You want it, you gotta come get it."

Dom rolled onto all fours with a growl, crawled across the bed glaring at Elijah. Who took a final mouthful from the bottle before holding it away from Dom's reaching hand. At a quirked eyebrow, Elijah merely smiled, lips pressed together over tequila.

"You little tease," Dom whispered, breathing warm air over Elijah's face as he leaned in, ever-so-carefully fixing his mouth over Elijah's before prying lips open with his tongue, letting the liquor spill out. Missed a bit, and Elijah could feel tequila trickle from the corner of his mouth, but he didn't care - told himself he didn't care - as Dom swallowed and then there was just his tongue in Elijah's mouth, saliva and lingering traces of alcohol.

Elijah fumbled the bottle onto the bedside table as Dom pulled him back onto the bed, arms around him and the kiss continuing. Yeah, and this was good. He could get used to this. Was used to it. Liked it.

His eyes fluttered open as Dom pulled back a little. "It's OK, you know. If you want to wait."

Elijah growled, pulled him back against him. He didn't want to consider this any more. Didn't want to go over it all again, and again, and again. Wanted lips rough and pushing, tongue in his molars, bruising fingers on his shoulders and body heat against his, the entire length. It was so comfortable, a craving he didn't realise he had until he had Dom's arms around him and he could stay like this forever, just kissing and being pressed against and -


Dom's hand, just brushed over the inside of his hip, down his thigh, and it had happened. He'd frozen. He'd tensed, and he knew it, and Dom knew it, and fuck. Elijah grit his teeth as Dom pulled back, tried to hold onto him but it was inexorable, this disentangling. He was annoyed, and he didn't know why. Couldn't figure out this frustration-relief-unease feeling. And he wanted...

He didn't know what the fuck he wanted.

He screwed his eyes shut, buried his face in sweat-slicked skin, thought how stupid it was to try and hide from Dom by clutching at his shoulders like this.

"I'm sorry," he said, voice muffled, dulled by flesh and bone. "I just... I can't."

Soft hands in his hair, and he took a deep, shaky breath. "It's OK," Dom soothed. "I told you, it's OK."

And Elijah knew that was the truth. For Dom, it was OK. And for them both, it could be OK.

It could.

Except it wasn't.

* * * * *

"Christ, I never knew."

The words fell cold from Elijah's lips, dropped into the silence of the room.

"Yeah, well." The words were directed into the void. Dominic wasn't facing him; Elijah was staring at the back of his head. Lij was sprawled on the couch, Dom sitting in front of it, leaning against him. Exactly the same as it had been five minutes ago.

Except for what had happened in the intervening time. The TV was still going, blaring its meaningless shit, and outside the window where Elijah had been staring the sun was still setting in glorious melting gold, but that was all secondary, completely irrelevant, nothing in his mind compared to the fact that he could still feel the rasp of stubble against his cheek, warm breath, the faint press of a mouth against his.

Dom's mouth against his.

Dom's kiss.

And Elijah had stopped but, inconsiderately, the world seemed to have kept turning. The TV kept yammering away, and the sun kepy setting, and Dom kept sitting there, just in front of him, with his back to him, leaning against the couch, his arm stretched out along the front with a casual ease somewhat belied by the way his thumb was tapping a fast beat against the upholstery. It was the thumb with the ring, Elijah noticed, and he'd always thought that it should look ridiculous, but it didn't. Maybe it was because Dom had those strange long fingers, splayed out and curving slightly over the edge of the couch cushion. The sleeve of his shirt was pushed casually up to mid-forearm, showing his watch resting low on his wrist, and Elijah could see the seconds ticking by. Could count them, one by one, time passing since Dom had turned around and kissed him.

"Forget it." And the hand braced against the couch to help push him upright as Dom gathered himself to leave.

"No, wait." There was a hand laid over Dom's on the couch now, and it was Elijah's, he realised. And that had been his voice that spoke. His voice that made Dom stop, pause hovered barely an inch above the floor. He had turned to look at him, Elijah was certain, but he couldn't drag his eyes away from his hand over Dom's. Smoothed his palm over the back, fingers flexing, and then sliding between Dom's fingers, squeezing along the ridges of knuckles and breathed. In. Out. Watched it. Felt it. Thought.

The hand under his moved, twisted, turned over and there were fingers twining with his, a knot of bone and gripped skin. From somewhere at the corner of sight Elijah heard Dom draw a breath, but he got in first: "Just wait."

It was a whisper, nothing more, because he didn't have the breath for anything more. But it was enough, and Dom stilled, subsided, settled back into his position in front of the couch, Elijah stretched out on it, their locked hands between.

Wait. Because this was something special he had, something amazing he was being offered, and if he had time, he could get used to it. He could want it. Couldn't he?

Too much for now. For now, he'd just lie here, staring out the window at the deepening dusk, and holding Dom's hand.