Dominique tightened the final latch on his hammock before expertly scooping himself up in it. He looked around at their little site to find his companion off finding some wood for them. Caden was very much not an outdoorsman, despite being built like a Viking. The dark-haired man thought it was cute, if not a little ridiculous, but he was determined to make this week comfortable for him. He knew how hard it could be to feel out of place.
Fleur and Hermione had left them to set up camp a few hours ago, and to be honest, he was glad to be rid of them. A clumsy city boy he could deal with. What he did not want to deal with were two people who were so obviously in love with one another spending the week swinging back and form on a pendulum between arguing and fuck-me vibes. The Frenchman could practically see the tension between them when they finally left, and though he had to set up the tent by himself, it was finally peaceful enough to enjoy their little hovel.
He closed his eyes and put both of his hands behind his head, relaxing further into the hammock he set up between two birch trees. He truly loved camping. It was one thing his father and he used to enjoy together when he was a kid, and it would always hold a special place in his heart. The sights, the smells. Hell, the freedom. He loved being able to look after himself, and he would always remember the fondness his father gave him when they went backpacking through Europe together. He didn't always understand why he wanted to wear what he wore, but this was something they could both understand.
Dominique smiled a little, reminiscing about his dad as he listened to a songbird nearby. Ah, now this is more like it, he thought.
"MOTHER—FUCKING—CHRIST!" he heard break the silence and resisted the urge to roll his eyes for the hundredth time today. Caden was back carrying more wood than they could possibly need in his thick arms as he shook his head vigorously, trying to get rid of the circulating gnats around his glistening forehead.
His arms were so full he couldn't see in front of him, and Dominique's eyes widened when he realised his next footstep.
"Caden, be careful—!" he tried to warn, but it was too late. He sat up in his hammock as the British man tripped on a huge tree root, lurching forward and losing his hold of all the large branches as they tumbled to the ground alongside him.
Dominique was on his feet in an instant and running over to him as he groaned and rolled onto his back. His eyes swept over him to assess the damage.
"Mon ami, you are bleeding," he said, dropping to one knee and inspecting the jagged cut on the underside of his forearm. The blonde was covered in dirt and sweat, and just silently staring up at the canopy of trees with a look of defeat.
Dominique looked at him for a moment before getting up and grabbing his first aid kit from his backpack. He kneeled beside him again and began cleaning the wound.
"You know, I used to 'ate ze wilderness, too," he said quietly. Caden didn't flinch when he rubbed alcohol on the cut, he just looked over at him, letting him know he could keep talking.
"My fazzer was a big outdoorsman, and 'e used to try to get me to come each summer. For years, I would say non. I told 'im I preferred ozzer zings, like dancing, singing, and playing wiz my friends," he took out an antiseptic cream and lightly spread it across the cut, "Finally, I gave in when I was fourteen. I 'ad no idea what we would talk about, but we were gone for one week," he paused smiling at the memory.
"It was ze worst week of my life," he chuckled a little at Caden's confused expression as he rummaged in his bag for a bandage, "I was so sore, and terrible at everyzing. I tripped and lagged behind, and I wanted to quit so many times. One day, zo, we were fishing and I still 'ad not caught anyzing. My fazzer left me for a moment to find a rock to sit on, and somezing on my line nearly tugged me into ze water. It was so strong!" he finished wrapping Caden's arm and the taller man sat up, listening intently as he started putting everything away.
"I fought it for what felt like ten minutes. My arms were burning; my 'ands 'ad blisters, but I kept going. Zis was our dinner, after all, and my fazzer was taking ages! Zo, when I finally reeled it in I 'had no idea what to do at zat point. It was 'uge! It kept flailing around and I just ended up laying on top of it so it wouldn't get away. But zen I 'eard laughter from be'ind me, and my fazzer was zere watching ze whole time. I yelled at him for not 'elping me sooner, but 'e just said I never needed it."
Dominique stood up then and held an arm out, Caden took it and the Frenchman groaned as he helped him up.
He ran his hand through his sandy hair before asking, "So, you're saying I need to just keep at it?"
"Oui, and I am saying zat I will always be 'ere to 'elp you, even zo I know you can do it yourself," he finished, nodding and moving back to his hammock. When he looked back at Caden he was picking up the dropped wood with a small crease between his eyebrows and a slight smile on his lips.
Their first two nights were successful and thankfully had very few hiccups. They had a little routine down. Dominique would make dinner, Caden would clean up, and they would read and talk by the fire until it dwindled to embers. On Wednesday, the Frenchman woke desperate for a shower, so he dragged the blonde to the spot of the river where they had been cleaning themselves off. A sandy embankment nearly twenty minutes down the stream soon had two fully grown men belly-flopping into the clear blue water and screaming like four-year-olds at the freezing temperature.
Once they got used to it a little bit, Caden floated on his back in his boxer shorts while Dominique scrubbed his hair under the water. The brunette had desperately tried to avoid ogling him as they stripped down. Caden was ridiculously tall, broad-shouldered, and was evidently cut like a model without his shirt on. Dominique knew he was a good-looking man, but his blonde companion was painfully attractive and he seemingly had no idea, which only made him more alluring. The brunette was trying to quell his over-eager mind. It never bodes well to get caught up in a straight man. Eventually, they waded back to shore and laid on their shirts in the sand, letting the hot sun warm up their shivering muscles a little.
Dominique was nearly asleep when he felt a tug on his ear and turned his head. Caden was on his side and much closer than expected, pulling on his dangling earring with a crooked smile that made his heart flutter.
"I like your earring," he said, giving it one last small tug before putting his hand back into the sand and playing with it.
"Merci," Dominique replied softly with a smile. He was used to this by now. Normally he was used to a slightly prudish attitude from the British, but thus far Caden had been pretty open with touching and complimenting him. He said he liked his jumper yesterday, and on Monday he said his light makeup made his eye colour stand out. Now that he thought about it, the sandy-haired man had not seemed offended or weirded out by his more effeminate expression at all.
Later that evening, after they delivered Hermione's report to the Ministry, Dominique was cooking again as Caden fiddled with a speaker to play some music. A low Italian tune started playing, and the Frenchman looked over in surprise at the choice.
The blonde just shrugged but hummed along with the song. We have a closeted romantic on our hands, he thought with a smile. They ate the stew in silence, listening to the melodies float around them cosily.
After dinner, Caden offered to clean, and Dominique helped him dry. When they finished, they both made their way back to the tent to grab some books to read. Dominique was in front at the mouth of the tent when he heard a loud hiss and Caden started shrieking and swearing behind him. Suddenly he was pushed forward and falling, thankful that their sleeping mats broke his fall but not thankful when he felt a solid weight on his back.
"Oooft!" he grunted as he was all but tackled to the ground by two-hundred and twenty pounds of muscle.
Caden stilled on top of him, and Dominique felt like cracking up at how incredibly gay this ended up looking, but thought he should probably not make the man uncomfortable. Two arms reached out on either side of him as Caden shifted and took some of the weight off him.
"Sorry, there was a snake," he said in a low voice near his ear. Dominique didn't reply. He was trying, really trying, not to get an erection, but dammit if this beautiful hunk of a man didn't get off him they were in for a world on awkward. He could feel the outline of his member pressing against his ass through his sweatpants. This universe is a cruel, cruel place.
"Ça va, mon ami," he groaned out, but the blonde still wasn't moving. What the hell? He has to be aware of how this looks! His erection now painful with the weight still on top of him, and Dominique dropped his face into the mattress. He would have to wait this out now.
"I like when you speak French," Caden said, and that time the brunette thought it sounded closer, but he was too concerned with the homoerotic nature of their positioning to really think too much about it.
"Bon, soit baise-moi ou lâche-moi, q'est que tu fait?" he muttered into the sleeping bag.
He suddenly felt hips press farther into him, and his eyes widened when teeth scratched his ear.
"I've been trying to do the former since Monday," he murmured, and Dominique froze beneath him. Caden stopped and pulled away a little. Nervously, he asked, "Unless that's… not something you want?"
Dominique couldn't answer. He couldn't even think. He started shifting beneath him and the weight lifted entirely as he flipped over to his back, staring incredulously at the worried hazel eyes above him. He was just hovering over him in a kind of push-up position, waiting to hear an answer, but the only thought that kept ringing in the Frenchman's brain was, "You're gay?"
The blonde laughed, ducking his head and relaxing his posture a little bit so that he was on all fours above him, one of Dominique's legs in between his own. "I'm not really anything? I don't know. I have kissed guys and enjoyed it, and I don't—I think you're smart, strong, and funny. You're handsome and beautiful at the same time, and I just…really like you, Dominique," he stuttered shyly, looking down.
The brunette reached up and ran his fingers through his sand-coloured hair, marvelling at how soft it felt. He touched the back of his neck and pulled him down gently, still apprehensive that this wasn't what he would want. That thought soon vanished when Caden's lips pressed softly against his. The stubble on his chin tickled at first, but as they reached deeper for one another and hands became more insistent it scratched at his skin deliciously. Dominique pulled the blonde fully on top of him again, groaning at the feeling of his body weight as teeth pulled on his lower lip.
The snake hissed again.
"FUCKING HELL!" shrieked Caden and Dominique laughed, but then the blonde closed the zipper on the tent and all the giggling stopped pretty quickly.