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Above the Workshop

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Above the Workshop.



March 1793.

It was early, the workmen had just arrived downstairs and Maximilien could hear them preparing for the day’s work. He was still in the same position he’d started the night out in, arms braced on his desk, back curled and shoulders hunched as he wrote. The coffee at his elbow had long gone cold and the remains of an orange clustered at the corner.

He sat back and sighed, his spine cracking. He winced and rubbed his arms, suddenly aware of how cold his room was. Cold air crept in from under the door that led to the outside. Maxime looked out at the barely there sunrise. Something told him that he should probably go to bed, try and get some sleep before he went to the Club des Jacobins later that day.

He sighed again and placed his fingers to his temples. A headache threatened on the horizon, but his own personal discomfort was little in the grand scheme of the new Republic. If he worked for another hour, surely, he’d have enough time to sleep before his barber arrived…

A sudden soft knock at his outside door made Maxime jerk up from where he’d been leaning his elbows on his desk. Getting up and quickly crossing over to the door, he opened it slowly, already predicting who would be at here so early in the morning.

His premonition proved correct, when he opened the door Antoine Saint-Just was standing on there, seeming to be comprised of the brisk morning itself, as his eyes were the same shade as the dim blue of the sky and his aura was one of cool certainty. When he saw Maxime at the door the younger man smiled, lips curling up on one side and then the other.

Maxime could help but copy the expression.

“Saint-Just,” he greeted him softly, before standing back and allowing him to enter. He noticed that the younger man carried a folder with him and guessed that his night had been spent in much the same way Maxime’s had, in dedicated writing.

“Good morning, Robespierre.” The younger man greeted him, and gestured to the crowded desk. “Have you just awoken?”

Maxime blushed. “Ah, non. I have been up all night, writing and revising.”

As he expected Saint-Just nodded his understanding.

Silence fell between the two, and Maxime noticed that his friend seemed distracted, eyes darting over to him then racing away to firmly look out the window. He fiddled with one of his earrings, molesting the hoop, slender fingers it twisting back and forth.

“Is there something that brings you here, this morning?” Maxime asked, curious.

Saint-Just’s eyes had darkened slightly and much as before Maxime had the sudden feeling he knew what the other man was going to say.


Maxime’s breath caught in his chest and as if drawn by some unseen force he slowly walked forward. Antoine dropped the folder on his desk, just past Max’s own neatly arranged piles. When they were close enough that he could nearly smell the cold on Antoine’s clothes, close enough to touch, he asked why.

Antoine smiled again just slightly and his velvet blue eyes drew over Maxime’s body. He suddenly became aware of his own state of near undress. No wig, no cravat, no culottes. All that separated skin from air was the thin nightshirt he wore. He held himself still as Antoine stared at him.

“I think,” Antoine drawled, his smile widening, “that you know why, mon cher.”

The kiss, when it came, was warm. Antoine’s mouth was feverish on his, his arms going around is shoulders and drawing Maxime close to share his body heat. It started very simply, just the near chaste press of mouth to mouth but quickly escalated as the younger man opened his mouth slightly on his, an unspoken question pressed into Maxime’s lips. He tilted his head and accepted, allowing Antoine’s tongue to press against his, much as their bodies were.

He couldn’t help his eyes from sliding shut, savoring the feeling of closeness with his friend. His hands went around Antoine’s waist, clutching slightly at the wool coat. Eventually the annoying urge to breathe overtook them both and they broke apart slightly. Antoine’s warm breath brushed past his face, and Maxime opened his eyes to look up at him.

“Does that answer your question?” Antoine murmured.

“Oui, I believe so. Although you answered so eloquently, I think I could use some clarification on it.” Maxime’s tone was one that was rarely used, one that only a few people had ever heard from him. Soft and dry like fresh cotton sheets with a teasing breeze blowing through it.

“As you request, mon ami.”

Antoine’s mouth was harder this time, more enthused by the previous contact, as if he was drawing vitality directly from the kiss. Their tongues tangled together faster this time and breathing seemed less and less important than the urge to be close.

An urge that was quickly taking hold over Maxime’s body. He hadn’t noticed that they were moving back towards his desk but when he was backed into the hard surface and Antoine’s waist pressed to his torso, he gasped into the kiss.

The younger man was aroused, and groaned even at the brief touch. Maxime broke from his mouth, to blink up at him. Uncharacteristically, Antoine flushed under his stare.

“I may have been kept awake by things other than just paperwork,” he admitted reluctantly.

Maxime bit his lip, a sudden surge of heat going through his blood, pumped out from his heart. Here was a young man, vital, who was quickly proving himself a relentless champion of the revolution.

And he’d been distracted by thoughts of Maximilien.

True their association had begun earlier this year, and may have become perhaps more than a contemporary friendship rather quickly, but too feel it so strongly that Antoine had walked over before the sun had risen for a visit, that was making a heated delight uncurl in Maxime’s body.

He brought the young man down for a kiss, leaning up on the balls of his feet before whispering softly in his ear: “Oui. I, too, have been kept awake by thoughts of this association before.”

Antoine’s eyes were wide when he dropped back on his heels. Maxime was flushed entirely. Antoine brushed his fingers along the collar of the nightshirt, soft fingertips tracing over his throat. Maxime swallowed and watched what must have been a truly devastating wave of recognizable desire wash over his features. Antoine blushed and his eyes dilated, and even his breathing, so slow, began to quicken.

“Oh,” the young man said, clear voice slightly shaky. “Have you?”

“Oui, I have.”

“And what have you done about it, Maxime?” Antoine pressed his hips forward pointedly. Maxime bit his lip, and raised his hands to the coat the other man was still wearing. He pushed it just slightly off his shoulders and let Antoine shrug out of it, and fold it carefully over the back his hard desk chair.

He undid the elaborate delicate cravat and unwound it from Antoine’s neck, the pale thin skin being gradually revealed. Maxime shivered, and Antoine rubbed his arms.

When the younger man was finally just in his linen shirt, culottes, and boots Maxime smoothed his hand down the front of his chest, feeling the soft fabric under the tips of his fingers. Antoine placed his hand over his, and wrapped his slender fingers around it. He leaned down and kissed him.

Maxime felt Antoine’s heart pounding as he started guiding them back to the narrow walnut bed in the corner of the small mansard. His knees hit the frame and the world blurred when he dragged Maximilien down on top of him.

They gasped in tandem, pressed together from shoulders to hips. Antoine groaned softly and rolled them over. He was not a heavy man but tension and arousal made his weight nearly unbearable. Maxime breathed out, teeth clenched and head going back. Which was a mistake because Antoine buried his face in the junction of neck and shoulder, mouth latching onto the skin and kissing, sucking, nipping it.

Maximilien covered his mouth, moaning.

“Ah, Antoine, m-marks.” He managed to get out with effort. Antoine broke off and rubbed his lips over the gentle bruising.

“No one will see, not this far down,” he mumbled into Maxime’s skin. He still licked at the mark, as if in apology. His fingers wandered down Maximilien’s body, bunching the fabric of his nightshirt, trying to pull it up. Antoine’s attempts were hampered by his own refusal to let any space come between their bodies. 

Maxime stared up at the ceiling, the sky getting ever so gradually lighter. Not even the birds were awake yet, and it seemed to him that he and Antoine were alone in the world, alone and united.

He was taken from his musings when Antoine’s visage appeared, staring down at him.

“May I take your glasses off, mon cher?” He asked. Maxime nodded and removed them. The world lost all of it’s sharpness, except for Antoine, who was still so close that Max could have counted his eyelashes if he wanted.

The younger man pulled him up, so Maxime was kneeling on the bed, and in one move, dragged the nightshirt off, leaving him in nothing. He was left to consider his new state of bareness for only a moment before Antoine was running his mouth over his shoulders, his collar bone, dropping kisses over his neck and ears and basically anywhere he could get at while struggling with his own clothing.

“Ah, here,” Maximilien murmured and started undoing the clasps at Antoine’s slender waist, so he could pull them off, along with his boots. Maxime grabbed the bottom hem of his shirt and gently rolled it up and off the younger man.

When Antoine embraced him, so all of their bare skin was pressed together, he couldn’t help but shudder. Despite the lingering chill in the room, Maxime was beginning to feel traces of sweat along his neck and the insides of his thighs. He found similar wetness when he ran his hands along Antoine’s spine, tracing it down his buttocks. Antoine moaned softly in his ear when his fingers ran over the lean muscle of his thigh and then to shyly inspect his erection.

Maximilien could feel the burning heat against his palm, cupping the swollen organ and tenderly touching the head. It twitched against his hand, signaling its eagerness for more, harder, now. He gave it a consoling stroke and kissed the side of Antoine’s neck. His own cock throbbed with a gentle insistence.  

They went down on the bed, moving together and pressed closely. Maxime’s eyes slid shut, and he was only aware of their breathing, which seemed to be almost nothing against the noise of the workmen below. He could feel Antoine’s chest heave against his and the moist feeling of his breath over his face, but he couldn’t hear him. Perhaps it was the loud pounding of his heart that was driving out the sound.

Antoine threw his leg over Max’s hips and the first brush of their erections together had them both smothering moans in tandem. Antoine wrapped his arm around his shoulders and his other hand wormed between their bodies to grasp at Maximilien’s cock. His slender fingers were soft and strong and on the first stroke upwards made him arch desperately into Antoine’s hips.

“Oh,” he gasped. “Antoine more please!” He grabbed at the younger man’s tousled hair, spreading his finger through the soft curls. Antoine looked up at him, from where he was kissing all over Maxime’s collarbone. His blue eyes were hazy and dark, and he grinned. His hand moved faster, his own shaft pressing a hot brand into Max’s hip.

They were rocking, hands roaming in an attempt quell the fire that engulfed them. Struggling to stay quiet, choking back moans and whimpers. The bed creaked slightly as they moved over it. The further they went the more difficult in became, to endure the intensity of their earthly desire.

However as Maximilien looked into Antoine’s eyes, their hands wrapped around the other’s organ, he saw the same dreamy passion in them as when Antoine was speaking of the Republic, of their shared beliefs and hopes.

It was like coming to a place well-loved in winter, when it was coldly beautiful and the frozen air gave it the aura of perfect clarity, and then returning in the full heat of summer when it’s humid breath pressed in against your neck, back, legs but the sound and sight of nature alive made its intensity all the more aweing.

So was Antoine. In his full blush of young vitality, pressing ever more eagerly into Maxime, he was heavy with the twin passions of love for the Republic and bodily lust for Maximilien. Where one began and the other ended was not a question he’d asked the younger man, yet.

His climax was coming upon him, the tension in his belly and hips starting to unwind. He buried his face in Antoine’s neck, muffling his moans. “Ah mon ami!”

His partner’s rhythm was beginning to falter, becoming faster and jerkier. “Maxime!”

He felt Antoine’s fingers spasm around him as he lost himself to his passions. His head flung back, eyes shut, and teeth clenched, he was the picture of ecstasy. Wet heat spread between them and stickiness spilled over Maxime’s hand, still gently stroking him through his climax.

As Antoine panted, his body relaxing, Max was still lingering towards the edge of his own orgasm. Antoine fumbled over his cock, his usual finesse lost in his euphoria. He rolled Maxime over onto his back and started kissing him. Maximilien was penned in, and made to let the waves of pleasure wash over him as Antoine slowly worked him up to the edge. It was painfully pleasurable, tension coiled low in his hips, ready to release and drown reality in that blaze of glory.  

He sighed and hissed in pleasure, staring up into Antoine’s face. He was staring at him with such focused intensity, as though he could not imagine doing anything more important than being here with Maximilien. His passion was too much and Maxime had to clap a hand over his mouth, else risk shouting out as his climax whited out the word around him. He could distantly feel his body reacting, writhing under Antoine, bucking his hips, trying to wring every fraction of earthly pleasure from the brief moment.

"Mmhmm,” Antoine hummed as Maxime came back to himself, held close to Antoine, feeling his heart beating under his ear. “J’adore.”

He breathed out. He wrapped his arms around Antoine’s body, feeling his warmth. The room wasn’t cold anymore, even with sweat sticking to his skin. Antoine’s fingers dug into his shoulders and he pressed a chaste, friendly kiss to Maxime’s forehead.

They looked at each other, and Max smiled at him, slowly, his thumb tracing over the younger man’s lips. Antoine grabbed it and kissed his palm, then held it to his chest.

The air was beginning to be filled with the sound of birds twittering. The sun was coming up, and the workmen downstairs were still hammering and talking loudly. But they were alone, together in this moment. For a long moment the two men held each other, breathing in tandem and experiencing the moment together.

Things unsaid hovered over them, and with a small sigh Maximilien removed his arm from around Antoine’s waist, turning over to get off the bed. The barber was going to be here soon, and he had to finish the speech for the Clubs de Jacobins.

As he expected Antoine let him go without any complaint. He knew he could trust him to understand.

Maxime stood shakily, and offered his hand to Antoine. “I hope that if you have trouble finding peace again, you’ll think of me,” he offered quietly.

The slow smile on Antoine’s face told him all he need to know.