Title: Vignette: The Academy: Impatience Is A Virtue
Cody was acutely aware of the passage of time.
Time had been a huge part of his childhood, and not just for normal reasons like waiting for birthdays to come around. His schedule had been rigid, settled, a never-ending train of doctor’s appointments and vaccinations. He’d learned to count before he really knew what the numbers meant, measuring the spaces between visits like the precious things they were. His dad had always done his best to keep Cody healthy, and he knew that had been tough when they were Drifters. Pandora had made things better, and Garrett had thrown a wrench into their carefully-denominated schedule that had meant excitement and fun, but Cody never forgot what the numbers meant, especially for him.
One more year lived was one less year he would live. People on Regen could expect to be healthy and vital for centuries, and even once their original bodies finally refused to respond any longer, they had the option of being transplanted into new growths. It was a controversial practice but plenty of the elite were doing it, unwilling to let go of their long and powerful lives. Functional immortality, which meant there was no impetus to hurry. Why bother? Time was on their side.
Time was never on Cody’s side. He hadn’t noticed it so much as a child, but as he got older he started to see the fear in his dad’s face, a fear that Garrett was very careful never to mirror but that Cody could see all the same. In ten years, he would look as old as his parents. In twenty years he’d have lines around his eyes, in forty years he might be replacing joints. In eighty years he would probably be dead, and his corpse would look ancient in a way that few bodies ever were these days.
He knew this. He’d come to terms with it fairly early, actually. Being in Pandora and getting genetic counseling about his condition helped, and having friends who were in the same boat was definitely useful, but that was part of the reason Cody couldn’t stay on Pandora. Time was heavy there; it weighed you down with its overbearing presence. He wanted a life where people were light and happy and hopeful and careless about time, so that he could try and forget it too. He’d gotten to the Academy, and he could honestly say that he’d never been happier.
Still, Cody thought about time. He thought about how it affected him and the people around him, and the night before they finally landed on Perelan, he knew his time with Ten had almost run out.
Not because they were going to be apart, exactly. Definitely not because he was dying or anything. No, Cody was about to lose the battle for Ten’s attention to science, because once they got down to Perelan there would be no stopping Ten’s curiosity, and Cody knew he would be lucky to distract hir long enough to eat, much less have sex. And fuck it, but they hadn’t actually quite had sex yet.
There had been orgasms, and those were great. It was different with Ten than it had been with Lacey, not just because the parts were different but because Ten was nowhere close to timid. Ten was actually surprisingly patient, and there had been hands and mouths and toys—holy shit, the toys were crazy, weird rotating-grasping-pulling toys that left you feeling like you’d been turned inside out in a really, really good way—and all of that was great. But there were a few things that hadn’t happened yet, and Cody was kind of really ready for one of them to.
One of those things was penetrating Ten. Ze’d brushed it off, saying ze’d done it and didn’t care for it but Cody could if he really wanted to. Which, no. Knowing Ten that meant ze’d let someone fuck hir and had hated it, or gone into it clinically and taken notes the whole time, or forced hirself to for some other reason and if it wasn’t something ze wanted, really wanted, then Cody wasn’t going to go there. Maybe someday Ten would feel differently, but honestly Cody didn’t really care if they ever did that.
What he wanted, and what Ten hadn’t done yet, was fuck him. Maybe the delay stemmed from strange sense of reciprocity, although that wasn’t really the way Ten thought about things. Maybe—probably—it was because Cody hadn’t asked yet, although if Ten could infer anything about the way Cody writhed on that vibrating tentacle thing, it was that he really didn’t mind having something inside of him. Really. Like, holy fuck, really. He’d just like it to be Ten.
So tonight Cody was going to ask. He was ready for it, he wanted it, he kind of felt like he needed it. He’d take anything, he’d take everything. He was stupid in love with Ten, but he was never quite able to turn off that ticking in the back of his mind, that ever-present timer that was counting down his life. They were about to land on an alien planet. They’d had inoculations, they were prepared for the climate issues, but who knew what could happen? Maybe he’d have an allergic reaction to something, maybe there’d be an accident, maybe something else would go wrong. And Cody was not going to die a sort-of virgin.
“Morbid,” he muttered to himself as he twisted under the blanket so that he could see the door. Because naturally Ten wasn’t here, ze was overseeing the packaging and transport prep for hir equipment. They were only going to be on the planet for a month, and ze’d still brought a full lab along, just in case ze wanted to...fuck if Cody knew, but if it could be done Ten had the gear to do it. It was all coming with them too, and Ten had been unpacking and repacking it for the past two hours. Cody sighed and kicked off the blanket. He was tired of waiting.
The door opened silently for him, and he stepped out into the hallway and headed for the cargo bay, wincing slightly at the chill of the metal beneath his bare feet. It warmed automatically before he could take another step, though. Meta-materials with smart sensor systems—Jason had spared no expense for his personal ship. Of course, he was an ambassador, a certain level of elegance was expected, but this was just lovely. Cody could remember being a young child, running along the tight corridors of the Drifter’s enormous homeship, the only kid required to wear shoes. He’d still managed to cut his ankle on a sharp wire that had jutted out from one of the walls, and he’d bled and bled and bled. His dad had been frantic. It was shortly after that that they’d signed on to the Pandora mission.
This ship was fancy but it wasn’t that big, and Cody found Ten alone in the cargo bay, staring critically at hir grav-sheet wrapped pile of stuff. Grav-sheets were the most expensive packaging money could buy, something that would literally slow the descent of a falling object into a soft landing before it could hit the ground, but Ten still looked critical.
“I think I need to change their configuration,” ze said, still staring at the boxes with hir hands on hir hips. Ze’d gone ice blue with hir hair, with lavender tips. Hir head looked like a beautiful, scowling, exotic flower.
“You need to come to bed.”
“No, I need to ensure that thousands of credits worth of precious scientific equipment isn’t destroyed due to my, or other peoples, negligence tomorrow. Admittedly if there’s any negligence involved it’s almost certain to be other peoples, but you can’t guard completely against stupidity which is why I really think I need a few more grav sheets.”
“You’ve already used all of the ones Jason and Ferran keep on board.”
“They really ought to keep more,” Ten grumbled. “How do they keep anything safe otherwise?”
Cody moved in behind Ten and wrapped his arms around hir waist. Ten sighed but didn’t push him away; if anything ze leaned back into the embrace. “I don’t think they need to worry about transporting entire scientific labs very often.”
“A terrible oversight.”
“Mmhmm.” Cody kissed the back of Ten’s head. “Come to bed.”
“I won’t fall asleep.”
“I don’t want you to fall asleep.”
“I don’t want you to all asleep,” Cody repeated. “I want you to come to bed, with me, so you can fuck me before we land on Perelan tomorrow.” There. Honesty.
“Um.” Ten craned hir head back to look at Cody. “Uh, no, that’s okay.”
“What?” That was not the response Cody had been expecting.
“I think we shouldn’t, not tonight, you can use the Morpher instead, I programmed it to do all the things you like, or, or I could use it on you,” Ten babbled, “that would be good, wouldn’t it? I think that would be good.”
“Ten.” Cody tried to marshall his thoughts. “Are you saying you don’t want to fuck me? Because you wanted to four days ago.” The only reason they hadn’t was because Cody had been sore from his first time with Ten’s bigger shape-changing toy.
“I’m saying you’ll like it better if I don’t.”
“Why the hell would I like it better if you didn’t fuck me?” Cody demanded. “If you don’t want to that’s one thing, but…” He glanced over Ten’s shoulder. “It looks like you want to from here.”
“Stupid spontaneous erections, you just don’t have these problems with vaginas,” Ten said disconsolately. “Look, I want to, but I’m not going to be able to give you what you like.”
Cody still wasn’t following. “I like you.”
“No, no, you like being stretched. I’ve been cataloguing your physiological responses to stimuli and you definitely like being stretched the best, it makes you come harder and longer, especially when I’m using my mouth on you at the same time. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but when it comes to circumference I’m not exactly able to achieve the widths you seem to prefer, and so I won’t be able to do it the way you like it and so I don’t think we should try.”
Cody was dumbfounded. “Are you kidding me? We haven’t done it enough for you to make that kind of call!”
“Seventeen orgasms is a decent sample size,” Ten argued.
“Yeah, but like…eight of those were from hand jobs, right? Your hands on me, nothing else. And then there were blowjobs, and then finally there were the ones where we put something inside of me, and honestly, the only thing I really wanted out of any of them was you.”
“Bullshit,” Ten said, but hir voice was softer, less confident. “You like…”
“You. First and foremost. I don’t care if we never use any of your toys again,” although he would miss the one that vibrated in time with his heartbeat, that was pretty cool. “I’d rather just have you. I can’t believe I have to explain this to you,” Cody added incredulously. “I’m the inexperienced one here, right?” Except he was starting to get a sense of Ten’s ‘experience,’ and it didn’t stand up very positively to scrutiny.
“I would really, really like you to come to bed and fuck me,” Cody said finally. “It’s all I could think about all day. I haven’t touched myself, I’ve been waiting for you to do it and I feel like I’m about to explode, so please don’t make me beg. Unless you really want me to, because I probably will right now.”
Ten turned around in Cody’s arms and stared at him. Whatever ze saw in his face must have been convincing, because suddenly ze smirked and leaned in to kiss him. They rubbed against each other, ramping up the tension, and finally it was Cody who pulled back and snapped, “We aren’t doing this here, come on.”
“We were just kissing!” Ten said faux-innocently, hitching hir groin against his again and making Cody groan.
“I am not coming in my pants somewhere with surveillance. Bed. Now.” He took Ten’s hand and towed hir along down the corridor, away from hir precious cargo, and was gratified to see that Ten didn’t look back once. They got into their room and onto the bed in record time, and then they were kicking off clothes and shifting around until Ten was perched naked on top of Cody, staring down at him like ze wanted to eat him alive. Which, at this point, would be a relief. Ze stroked Cody’s cock and he almost bit through his lip.
“No,” he gritted, “not like that. Inside me.”
“You really do like it when I touch you, don’t you?” Ten marveled, not letting go but keeping hir touch light. “You respond much more strongly when it’s me than when it’s a toy, and even when we bring them into sex it’s usually after a decent period of stimulation with me.”
“Yes, fascinating, now how about you stop that before I come all over you?”
“You’re eighteen, you can get it up again fast.” But Ten did let go, leaned down and framed Cody’s face with hir hands and kissed him, hard. Ze hovered hir body over his own, not quite making contact, but Cody still felt the sticky drip of precome on his stomach, and he knew it wasn’t his. “You’re amazing,” Ten whispered. “I don’t understand you completely yet, but I’m going to. I’m going to figure out everything about you, right down to the proteins that make up your DNA, and I’m going to memorize every one of them.”
“Do that tomorrow,” Cody gasped, feeling lightheaded. “Do me right now.”
“Right. Yes.” Ten let go of him and sat back. “Roll over.”
“It’ll be better this way! We can do it the other way later, there are a million ways to do this and we can do them all, just roll over already!”
Well, that was encouraging. Cody rolled onto his stomach, shifting onto his knees so that his cock didn’t touch the bed. He was so hard, and Ten wasn’t even touching him yet. How the fuck was he going to do this?
“You’ll be fine,” Ten said, and Cody figured he’d accidentally said the last part out loud. “You’ll like it.”
“I already do,” Cody managed as Ten began to rub slick fingers over his hole. “Oh, fuck, you really don’t need to take your time. Seriously.” One slipped inside of him, and he groaned. “Seriously, I’m not going to last, I’m fine, just…Ten, c’mon.”
“We need a blocker,” Ten said meditatively as ze switched to two fingers. Cody opened easily—he did really like the Morpher, they’d used it last night and yeah, he liked being stretched, but this was better. This was Ten. “Some people use injections, but there are external devices we could put on you to keep you from coming. Rings used to be really popular, I could make on that has a warming element, I could put it on a timer…that would actually be really fun, I’m going to do that.”
“Ten…” Cody was aware of just how ragged he sounded, and finally Ten had mercy on him. Ze slipped hir fingers out, pressed hir body close to his and then slowly, so slowly, pushed inside of him. Hir cock was smaller than Cody’s, definitely smaller than the Morpher, but it was bigger than hir fingers and right now it felt like all Cody could handle, almost more than he could handle. He exhaled heavily and tried to remember to breathe but oh god, it felt so good, his whole body seemed to throb in time with Ten’s slow thrust and he couldn’t even think about touching his cock, he couldn’t, because he was going to go off like a fucking bomb…and then Ten was all the way in, leaning over him and moaning softly, a sweet, low sound that Cody had never heard hir make before.
“Fuck,” Ten said, and Cody laughed, then groaned at the way it made him tighten. “Fucking…don’t do that, you’re going to make me come and I just got in here, just don’t do anything for a minute.”
“Maybe you need a ring too,” Cody suggested. Ten punished him by pulling back and then pressing in again, and Cody whined.
“Maybe you need to be quiet and let me have you.”
“Mmm…just…move.” The ache was gone, there was nothing but fullness and a sense of incredulous pleasure. Ten was inside of him, and it was brilliant. “Move.”
“You’ll come in fewer than ten strokes if I do, and I won’t even have to touch you,” Ten said, but Cody didn’t care.
“Just do it.” Ze pulled back and thrust in, smooth, small movements of hir hips that left hir chest pressed to his back, over and over and oh shit, ze was right, Cody was going to come, he couldn’t help it, it felt so fucking good, oh god, god, right there—
He was gone, clenching and crying out as he shot all over the bed, his body rocked by the strength of his orgasm. He was loud, too, loud and inarticulate, and fuck, Ten was probably recording the decibel level and Cody didn’t even care, it was so good it was almost too much, every muscle trembled and ached with pleasure and he was going to collapse onto the bed but he wanted Ten to stay in him, and so he reached back and gripped Ten’s hip as he slowly went supine, holding hir close.
Ten was shaking too, but probably for a different reason. “I knew it,” ze said breathlessly. “Seven, I knew it, you made it to seven, oh fuck, but I’m not ready to…I can’t…”
“Just wait,” Cody said, still holding Ten close. “Just wait, I’m eighteen, remember? I can go again, I can go right now, just don’t leave.”
“Pulling out is not part of the plan,” Ten snapped, sounding much more like hirself as they both relaxed a little. “I just don’t want to hurt you.”
Cody laughed. “How would you possibly hurt me?”
“It can hurt, sometimes. You might be too sensitive, you might be sore, your skin might be abraded—”
“Not with the amount of lubricant you used.”
“I don’t want to hurt you,” Ten repeated, and Cody finally got what ze needed.
“I’ll tell you if it bothers me, I promise,” he said. “But it doesn’t hurt right now, it feels amazing. You’re fucking perfect, and I’m ready, I am, please.” Keep going, he wanted to say, but he could wait for Ten to feel comfortable.
Fortunately Ten took him at his work. Ze braced hir knees outside of Cody’s and thrust in again, and yeah, oh fuck, he was sensitive, expecially when the head of hir cock passed right over his prostate, but it felt so good too, it was the sort of pain he could bear and he was already getting hard from it. “More,” he begged, finally begged and Ten gave him more, fucked him slowly but hard and deep. Hir weight was a welcome burden and hir heat set him on fire, and by the time Ten finally came inside of him Cody was coming too, lasting long enough to touch himself this time, just a few quick strokes of his cock and then bam, gone.
There was just enough room on the bed that when Ten rolled them to the side, they avoided most of the mess. Not that Cody wasn’t going to need a shower anyway, but it was still thoughtful. Ten got hir arms in a vice grip around Cody’s waist and buried hir face against his neck.
“Sometimes I just want to bury myself in you and never leave,” ze confessed.
“Feel free to do it as often as you want,” Cody offered languidly. He felt exhausted and exhilarated all at once. “That was awesome.”
“It really was.”
“You still sound surprised.”
“I told you, you still surprise me.” Ten kissed his shoulder, used hir tongue to taste his skin. “I think you’ll surprise me forever.”
Cody wanted to agree but even now he could still feel it, the invisible force that ruled his life and measured out his moments. They didn’t have forever, but at least they had right now.
That was good enough.