Bent over the desk in his quarters, Vila was exactly where Avon wanted him. A sheen of sweat glistened over Vila’s bare back, the ridges of his spine standing out in a tantalizing trail as he hunched over the desk, gasping for breath. One of Avon’s hands dug bruisingly hard into the soft flesh of Vila’s hip, while the other gripped Vila’s shoulder, keeping him in place as Avon rode his passion out over and over inside Vila’s yielding body.
“Avon,” Vila groaned, unable to formulate more words. His fingers scrabbled at the glass desktop, seeking and not finding purchase.
Words were not necessary between them now. Though it had been quite some time since Avon had taken his pleasure from Vila like this, they both knew their roles. Perhaps Avon was riding Vila harder than he once had, but times had changed; he was no longer that man, and he knew Vila knew it.
Grunting with exertion, Avon thrust harder into that tight cavity and, thighs trembling with the effort of not pistoning out again, held himself in place, buried deep as he could. The fingernails clutching Vila’s shoulder bit hard into the flesh, and Vila gasped, though Avon didn’t know—or even allow himself to care—whether from pleasure or pain. With considerable effort, he bent down until he could press his mouth against the vertebrate curving Vila’s spine. The hand on Vila’s shoulder loosened, slipping around front, over Vila’s chest to lift him off the desk and pull him closer. With the inches gained that way, Avon let out a low hiss of air and bit Vila’s shoulder hard.
It caused Vila to tense and jerk unexpectedly, and that body tightening around the length Avon had already buried so deep was euphoric. Moving his mouth, Avon bit again, this time on the soft flesh where Vila’s neck joined his shoulder. The response this time was less from surprise, but Vila knew the trick; he let out a muffled sort of sob, and obediently ground his hips back against Avon.
The stimulation was too much to bear. The hand on Vila’s hip tightened. Muscles rippled along Avon’s thighs, and he began to thrust again, harder, more erratically. Though Avon still held his torso up off the desk, Vila responded as best he could, working back against him as Avon worked forward. It was hard work and the slap of bodies and the sound of their heavy breathing was all that filled the air for some time. Before too long Avon curled his lips up to bare his teeth, hissing as he came. He dug his nails into Vila’s hip as he did, riding him hard as he emptied, jerking three times inside that tight heat until he was satiated.
Exhausted and spent, Avon sagged down on top of Vila, dropping them both to the desktop, their weight supported now only by its durability. It had been too long since he had let himself release with Vila’s help, and now Avon remembered why; even like this, hard and faceless, he enjoyed it far too much.
“Get off, if you’re done,” Vila said muffled, his cheek pressed into the glass.
Though he had been sure to get Vila off first, Avon found that was not the suggestive voice of a man content from orgasm. Vila did not move to push him off, but his body worked to expel the intrusive organ. Avon slipped out, but kept his weight on Vila, unable for some reason to let him up and break the moment yet. His mind was still pleasantly dulled from his climax so the pieces around him were refusing to slot into place. For all that Vila normally clung to and fawned over him, the tone he had just used was defeat. In his temporary numbed state, it unsettled some part of Avon.
“I said, get off.” Vila’s voice was even sharper this time.
Realization came in a flash. It wasn’t that Avon had smashed the fake Feldor crystal necklace Vila had stolen, or even that it had been a fake. It was that one of Avon’s plans had failed. Again. People had died because of it and the Scorpio crew was no better off for their involvement. Those were collateral damage statistics that Avon forced himself to ignore and bury away in his subconscious, but he knew things like that stayed with Vila. Even now he remembered nights during the Andromedan War, when Vila had begged Avon to help him forget the rising death toll any way possible, even if just for the night.
But it hadn’t been long before the compassion had run dry, before Avon had stopped being able to block it out himself, let alone for anyone else. Things started on a slow, downward spiral and the more it advanced, the more Avon had to take care of himself; Vila fell by the wayside. He knew that. He thought Vila knew that as well. He had consoled himself with the knowledge that Vila was strong and a survivor.
But even survivors succumbed, in the end.
Sighing heavily, Avon bowed his head and pressed his mouth against the fading bite mark he had left on Vila’s shoulder, a crude parody of a kiss. “This is a mess,” he whispered. It was all the admission and apology he could offer.
He felt Vila stiffen in surprise beneath him, but wasn’t sure if that reaction pleased him or not. Before Vila could reply—or order him off again—Avon pulled back. That left Vila still bent over the desk, the curved glass edge digging into his stomach, looking used and debauched.
It wasn’t at all what Avon wanted.
But he had left beds and kisses and kindness back on Terminal, back with Cally’s corpse and Blake’s memory, back with their disintegrated quarters on Liberator. On the desk, Vila had twisted and was looking at him, not with the hurt gaze Avon had expected, but one that looked almost hopeful. It was an expression he hadn’t seen Vila wear for a very long time.
“It’s not getting any better,” Vila said after a lengthy silence. Avon remained standing there, looking down at Vila. Propping himself up on his elbows, Vila looked away, the hope on his face fading to its more accustomed resolute sadness the longer the silence stretched between them. “I killed a guard down there, you know,” he said quietly, eyes averted.
“Statically speaking, it is given you would eventually hit your target once,” Avon coldly said, but inside his gut twisted at the revelation. Stepping back, he found his trousers and mechanically began to pull them back on. Vila righted himself but remained leaning against the desk, watching as Avon dressed. It was disconcerting, but Avon did his best to ignore it.
Glancing up at him once, Avon blanched a bit. With the sad way he was watching Avon dress, Vila had to be gearing up to ask him to stay the night. That hadn’t happened in many months, and Avon did not intend to start again now, but it killed him a little inside each time he had to decline and see the flicker of hurt in Vila’s eyes before he managed to mask it.
“Avon,” Vila said, once Avon had finished dressing. Waiting until Avon lifted his eyes to meet Vila’s, he firmly said, “This is the last time.”
It was unexpected enough the words were like a sharp blow to Avon. Vila was past being turned down, then. Past his self enforced promise not to kill other humans, too. Avon took it as a warning—a threat—and pulled his cold, controlled walls back up around him. It had been bound to happen, sooner or later. It had been foolish to hope it would be much later; to even hope at all.
Steeling himself against the advent of emotion, Avon icily said, “It is not very enjoyable anymore, anyway.”
Turning, Avon made to exit Vila’s quarters, not even caring if someone saw him leaving, or the state of Vila in the room behind him. Avon could only think of obtaining solitude and distraction to quell the unaccustomed pain throbbing now in his chest. He was through the door before Vila could reconsider and give a call for him to wait. Forcing himself to ignoring it, Avon let the door close behind him, shutting out one of the last chapters of his life.
After all, sentiment bred weakness and Avon had no desire to die.