Fireside Conversation

Note: Written for Sithwitch13 in the Yuletide 2007 Challenge. I've always wanted to try to do something in this fandom, so this was a good excuse. 🙂 No spoilers.


"I truly think I hate you sometimes." Lucius turned away from Pullo's smiling face, pulling his coat tighter around him as the cool night air hit him. They'd been on the road for days now, with no one except each other for company, and he found his temper fraying.

"That's just because I'm usually right. Must be hard for you." Lucius could hear the smugness in Pullo's voice and huffed, seeing his breath form a little cloud. Disgustedly he turned back to face the fire and his companion.

"You're not right, you're just stubborn, so I end up giving in in the interest of keeping the peace." He was aware of the flimsiness of his argument, but he was saddle-sore, he was tired and cold, and he just wanted...

"Keep telling yourself that. Sir." The barely-added honorific by now sounded more like an insult to Lucius. Pullo seemed to make a point of using it only when he felt his superior was behaving like an ass.

Lucius sighed and shifted. He was too exhausted to work up any real anger or even indignation. Pullo was apparently rubbing off on him. Or maybe it was just that he wanted... This time Pullo did not interrupt his train of thought, and Lucius almost wished he did. Because, really, there was only one way this argument was going to end.

"Oh, alright. I guess there's no harm to it anyway." Lucius found giving in easier than he'd expected, maybe because of his weariness, maybe because the grin on Pullo's face was infectious. Maybe because it was what a part of him had wanted all along.

"You won't be sorry, sir. I'm known for my... talents in this area, I am." Enthusiastically, Pullo moved his blanket next to Lucius' own in the shelter between the fire and a big tree.

Lucius rolled his eyes, but felt more amused than offended as he sat down next to the other man: "We will only be sharing body heat, Pullo, to keep us warm in this blasted cold spell. It has been years since I was a boy interested in that kind of... talents."

"As you wish. It's your loss, though." Pullo seemed content with this reply, apparently feeling that he had won, and lying back Lucius closed his eyes. Sleep seemed to be the easiest way to put an end to this discussion.

He could feel the warmth of Pullo's body as they settled down next to each other. Pullo's breath ghosted against his cheek as the other man turned to his side to take the first watch, and Lucius could hardly suppress a shiver, but not one caused by cold. It had been too damn long since he had last lain with his wife, that was all. He forced his unruly thoughts into order and managed to drift off, finally not cold anymore.

The fire burned out at some point during the night, and when Lucius awoke in the early light of dawn, he found that he had burrowed closer to Pullo for warmth. He was, he realized quickly, almost wrapped around the other man's strong body, and Pullo was keeping still in order not to disturb him.

"Did you not wake me for my watch?" He considered pulling away, but he could feel the cold air at his back and instead just repositioned himself, so their bodies were touching in slightly less indecent places.

"I hadn't the heart, you were dead on your feet earlier." The smile on Pullo's face was disconcertingly... nice, and Lucius realized once again that the other man was quite handsome. If one was interested in such things, which he was not. Except that at least one part of his anatomy obviously did not know this, as it was showing decided interest.

Of course Pullo noticed, and not just because Lucius could feel his cheeks heating up. But at first there was no reaction, and Lucius started to hope that just maybe he would get out of this with his dignity intact. However, this was Pullo, and Lucius found that he was not surprised when, instead of doing the right thing and pulling away, Pullo pressed closer, aligning their hips. Their touch was most definitely indecent now, and Lucius couldn't suppress another shiver, even as he tried to gather his wits enough to end this, reprimand Pullo and get back to business.

"It's just body heat. Sir." Pullo's voice was insistent but surprisingly gentle, as were his hands, slipping under Lucius' tunic, and Lucius did what he usually did: He gave in, arching his body into Pullo's touch with a sigh that was almost relief. The other man laughed in surprise, a sound that Lucius swallowed as he pulled him down for a kiss.

Perhaps he'd win the next argument. For now he was rested, warm, and Pullo was too busy to talk. Giving in did have its perks, Lucius decided.

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