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Quentin rolled over and shook Eliot. He was – trapped in the spaceship, he wasn’t safe – “El, El, wake up.”

“What, what is it?” Eliot sat up, and, with forethought Quentin would never have managed, flexed one hand into a defensive tut, while flicking the lamp on with the other.

The sudden light made Quentin’s head spin, but it also grounded him. They were in their bedroom, under their crisp cotton sheets. It was almost morning: everything was OK.

“It’s – nothing.” He felt ridiculous now, though his jaw was tense and his heart raced. “I had a bad dream.”

“Oh.” Eliot relaxed his hand, and rubbed his eyes. Yawning, he propped his pillows up and sat back, opening his arms to Quentin. “Well, you’d better tell me about it.”

“It’s…” He felt ridiculous but also grateful to sink against Eliot’s chest. How often did he disturb Eliot’s sleep all because of his stupid dreams and anxieties? His throat burned. “It’s no big deal.”

“Tell me about it.” Eliot’s voice rumbled comfortingly under Quentin’s ear. “You know you feel better when you share with Daddy.”

Quentin sighed. “It really is stupid. I was on a spaceship.”

“I knew we shouldn’t have watched Gravity.” Eliot’s hand settled on Quentin’s bare butt. He’d gone to bed in his favourite bedtime outfit of just Eliot’s discarded shirt and now regretted being naked from the waist down. He felt exposed.

But Eliot’s hand on his butt was a comforting weight. Quentin wiggled his hand under Eliot’s pyjama shirt so he could feel Eliot’s stomach: soft and very warm. “Josh was there,” he continued.

“Josh? A very frightening beginning.”

“You’re already teasing me.”

“I’m not – Josh isn’t hot at all, which is a really bad start to any dream.” Eliot leant his chin on the top of Quentin’s head. “Keep going.”

“We were both in our boxers,” Quentin went on.

“You weren’t just wearing my shirt?”

“No, thank god. The clothes aren’t important.” Quentin scrunched his face up. “I’d – I guess worked for NASA? I’d just come back to Earth after – exploring space? And we were being – health checked, I think, and I – knew something was wrong. I thought – someone was going to kill us, me and Josh. And I was – was the Commander, and I had to save him, but it also felt like maybe I was – was losing my mind, I didn’t know if it was real, and I felt so trapped – it was like, like being in the hospital but much worse –”

His pulse was rising again. He nuzzled into Eliot’s chest.

“That sounds really scary, baby.” Eliot’s voice was very gentle. “Being trapped like that.”

“I couldn’t trust myself.” Quentin remembered it too clearly now: the sense of impending doom, of walls drawing in, of death coming for him. And being responsible for Josh, needing to save him, and not knowing now.

“It sounds unrealistic though,” Eliot said. “You were a Commander?” He tapped Quentin’s head lightly with his knuckle. “Come on, subconscious, get it together. No one is going to put you in command.”

“Hey.” Quentin looked up at him. “I’m very smart. I could definitely be in command. I know lots of things.”

“Of course you know lots of things. But anyone can see that you’re always looking around thinking, Who’s in charge here? I hope it’s not me. Oh God, don’t let it be me.

Quentin pouted. “Who told you my inner monologue.”

“You did.”

“I didn’t know you’d use it against me.”

Eliot kissed his forehead. “I’m not. I’m just pointing out that I’d never let you get into a situation like the one in your dream.”

“What if NASA asks for me, specifically?”

“Then I’ll come with you,” Eliot said. “Even though, since that terrible orgy in Belize, I know zero gravity sucks. I would make that sacrifice.”

Quentin settled back against Eliot’s chest. “I’m sorry I woke you.”

Eliot squeezed the back of Quentin’s neck, long fingers rubbing his throat. Quentin relaxed into the touch. “Don’t be sorry. This is what I’m for.”

Quentin focused on Eliot’s slow breaths, the quiet of the room. “I was so ready to die. In the dream. I didn’t want to but I – I was so ready to sacrifice myself. And then I woke up and I – I was so sad because I would have been leaving you, and I –” He swallowed. “It used to feel OK to just let myself go. And now it – doesn’t, and that’s weird too.”

“I think that’s progress, baby.” Eliot smoothed back Quentin’s hair.

“Progress always feels terrible.”

“Irresponsible Eliot would give you some booze now. But I’m progressing too, and I’m not sure 5am whiskey is the answer. So how about hot chocolate?”

Quentin snuggled closer. “Both of those sound kind of nice.”

“We could make hot chocolate with rum. That sounds very civilized. No one ever got drunk from hot chocolate.”

“Sounds decadent too.” Quentin kissed the skin just above Eliot’s collar. Silky smooth and warm.

“Well, that is my brand.”

Quentin began to get out of bed, but Eliot stopped him. “You stay here. I’ll whip up the hot chocolate.”

“Are you sure?”

“You know I like taking care of you.”

Quentin wrapped the blankets tight around himself and hugged his knees. Outside, rain whispered down. Through the chink in the curtain, Quentin could see the dark shapes of their fruit trees against the navy-blue sky. He yawned – Eliot would be tired; it wasn’t fair to make him get up when Quentin was the one with bad dreams. Why did he always do this? He wasn’t a kid any more, he shouldn’t be so upset by dreams, he should –

He heard the fridge open, and then the clink of Eliot taking down one of the liquor bottles. Eliot made the best hot chocolate, frothing the milk by magic, and he always melted real chocolate chips rather than using powdered cocoa. It was rich and warm, like a drinkable hug. Eliot wouldn’t bother to do all that if he didn’t want to, if he didn’t actually like taking care of Quentin.

Quentin held onto that knowledge, like a teddy-bear clasped to his chest, and tried to let go of all the other thoughts.

Eliot brought the hot chocolate on a tray, spread with a crimson linen napkin. He set it across Quentin’s lap with a flourish. He’d even grated chocolate over the top. Quentin sipped, humming in appreciation as the richness of the rum filled his throat.

Eliot settled beside him, fingers curled around his own cup.

“That’s really good.”

“I know,” Eliot said. “I should spike it more often.”

They leant back against the pillows, Eliot’s arm around Quentin. The rain wasn’t heavy enough to drum on the roof, but it tapped gently on the window.

“Do you have a lot of meetings today?” Quentin asked.

“Hmm.” Eliot nuzzled into his hair. “Not until noon, I think. We should sleep in.”

“I have that order to finish. All those mechanisms for the clock portals.”

“I’m your boss, Q. I say you sleep in.”

“We’re partners running a small business,” Quentin complained, sipping more chocolate. “We’re equals.”

“That’s true,” Eliot said. “And also, when it comes to you taking care of yourself, I’m the boss.”

Quentin snorted. He felt better now, the cobwebs beginning to dispel. “Fucking around with some clockwork might actually help.”

Eliot tangled his fingers in Quentin’s hair. “As long as you stop when you get sleepy. No being a martyr: the whole point of making our own rules is so we can take care of ourselves.”

Quentin rolled his eyes. “Yes, Daddy.”

Actually calling Eliot ‘Daddy’ always had an impact. Eliot tightened his grip on Quentin’s hair, and tilted Quentin’s head up, so their eyes met. Then they were kissing: chocolate-sweetness covering the musk of morning breath.

Eliot put his chocolate mug on the bedside table, and reached for Quentin’s. “Hey, no,” Quentin said. “It’s really good.”

Eliot laughed. “Putting my hot chocolate before kissing? I don’t know if I’m flattered or not.”

He was still taking the cup away, though. Quentin released it, allowing his face to be tilted up against Eliot’s mouth. “Mm, OK, yes,” he murmured into Eliot’s mouth. “This is the real solution to all my emotional problems.”

“I’ve always thought it was.” Eliot smiled against Quentin’s lips. “How do you want Daddy today?”

“You on top of me.” Quentin nuzzled at his throat. “I want to – to only feel you.”

Eliot’s eyes met Quentin’s with a tenderness, a wanting, that Quentin had seen so many times, but which always surprised him. He looked at Quentin like he was thrilled and delighted by him. Quentin wondered what he saw reflected back on his own face. Eliot’s big hands gripped Quentin’s wrists, strong and familiar, and pushed him down.

Then, as he settled on Quentin’s thighs, he was treated to the view of Eliot carefully unbuttoning the satin pyjama top, the fuzz of chest hair and his dusky nipples gradually revealed. He stroked Eliot’s shoulder, feeling tender and aroused at the same time.

Then the undignified shimmy as Eliot pulled off his pants. Naked, he was at last on top of Quentin, arms bracketing him. They kissed again: Quentin deepening the contact, drawing Eliot’s tongue into his mouth. He relaxed into the rhythm of it, Eliot’s mouth taking over his – the sweep of his lips, the tremble of his breath. Was it still supposed to be like this, kissing like this, like whole worlds could vanish while they touched and they wouldn’t notice? Would he ever feel like he’d had enough?

Eliot pressed his crotch against Quentin’s: “It’s nice that you weren’t wearing pants.”

“I’m not hard yet, though.”

“You’re not soft, either.” Eliot palmed Quentin’s cock. “Such a small handful,” he murmured, nuzzling Quentin’s neck. “Such a little guy.”

“You can barely feel me, hmm?” Quentin murmured, playing along. At first, he’d pushed back against Eliot telling him he was small. He wasn’t supposed to like that, was he? But it had always got him hard, even when he thought it shouldn’t: he wanted to be small, to be easily subsumed by Eliot’s body, to need Eliot’s help to get off. “I can’t – I can’t get it up on my own, Daddy. Will you help?”

Eliot made a sound like a purr. “Mmm. I’m going to take your shirt off, I’m going to suck on your little tits and listen to the sounds you make, and I’m going to rub our cocks together, even though you’re so small I’ll barely be able to feel you.”

Quentin’s arms rose obediently, so Eliot could get rid of the shirt. “What if I can’t get hard, Daddy?” It was a line, and yet his voice cracked a little. Sometimes he didn’t get hard, especially after a dream like that – but he still wanted to be held, to be wanted, to have Eliot get off because of him.

“That’s OK. You’re still delicious, precious boy. I’ll rub my cock against you, I’ll come on your soft little thighs, and you’ll know how much Daddy needs you.”

“Mm.” Quentin pressed his face against Eliot’s. He gripped Eliot’s hair. His skin felt too tight, raw, and his throat burned. God, he was – he was so needy. “Stay close, El. I like h-having you here, knowing I can kiss you.”

“Oh, baby,” Eliot leant his forehead against Quentin’s.

“In my nightmares y-you’re never there. Or if you’re there, I can’t get to you. Daddy, don’t go. Don’t leave me.” His voice broke. God, this was embarrassing too: he wished he was just playing along.

“I’m here.” Eliot kissed him: cheek, eyelid, nose, mouth. “I’ve got you, little one.”

“You’re so hard,” Quentin said, and it wasn’t an exaggeration: he could feel Eliot’s cock, the velvet hardness of it. Quentin wanted to suck it into his mouth, to show Eliot how good he could be; he wanted to rub his face against it; and he wanted it just like this, pressing against his belly, while he was small and contained by Eliot, and unable to make any decisions.

“Much harder than you,” Eliot agreed, thrusting a little.

Quentin nuzzled Eliot’s jaw. “You like it w-when I’m needy. When I’m scared.”

Eliot nodded, gripping him: one hand on Quentin’s shoulder, one on his thigh. Pulling him close.

“It’s OK,” Quentin whispered. “It’s OK that you like it when I cry, Daddy.”

“Oh, Jesus,” Eliot said, and thrust again, hard cock into Quentin’s soft stomach. “Baby.”

And it was OK: it was a fucking relief. He wanted to sob into Eliot’s shoulder, while he felt Eliot’s hard dick against him. Quentin needed this mixture of powerful and helpless – being held down by Eliot, consumed by him, but at the same time knowing exactly the effect he had. He could stretch out in this feeling, wallow in it, never leave.

“Can I touch your cock, Daddy?” Quentin asked. Feeling small, feeling uncertain.

“Fuck yes.” Eliot nipped his ear. “Baby boy, you’re so smart. So good with your hands. You know what to do.”

Quentin reached down between them: Eliot shimmied to the side a little so his cock wasn’t completely tapped by their bodies. Quentin used both hands, because it made him feel smaller, like Eliot’s cock was too big for him to contain. This time, he’d got hard too, his cock jutting between them. He liked knowing that he was hard for Eliot, that Eliot could feel it as he wrapped his fingers around Eliot’s dick. He jerked it slowly at first, silky-soft, hand gliding with Eliot’s pre-come.

“I’ve got you,” Eliot was saying. He was squeezing Quentin, pressing against his ribs, as though he couldn’t get Quentin close enough to him, even lying on top of him. “You’re doing so well, you’re so good at this – ”

The praise used to make him blush and feel so awkward he wanted to cry, and he knew Eliot had liked that: his redness, the catch in his breath. Now, years down the line, he’d got used to it, he almost loved it: knowing he was making Eliot happy. Sometimes he felt like all he ever needed was to be good at this, to be so close to Eliot, and make him so hard and so eager, and to hear him tell Quentin he was a good boy, a smart boy, a precious boy.

Heat grew in his own belly, a yearning in his cock and his balls. He didn’t want to thrust up, he didn’t want to get off: he’d probably lose the erection if he thought about it too much. It was much more important to work Eliot’s dick, to listen to his breath, his hushed words of praise.

Eliot was kissing him again: biting at his lips, overpowering him. Quentin’s hands didn’t work any longer: he felt small, powerless, he gave himself over to Eliot. And because he cried so easily, because joy and tears were right next to each other for him, he eyes grow wet and he pressed his face into Eliot’s neck, sobbing a little, letting the tears spill over, letting his body grow limp, as Eliot held him, and called him baby.

Everything was so much. It was so much – too much. And Eliot was here, panting against him. The weight of him: Quentin was sinking into the bed, into Eliot, as Eliot’s hot come slicked Quentin’s stomach.

He lay, face wet, body too hot, melting under Eliot. Feeling the tremble of Eliot’s chest as the stickiness settled between their bodies and began to slide over his groin. He wanted to stay here forever, but – “El, I can’t breathe.”

Eliot moaned, and rolled off him, lying on his side. Quentin pressed close, pulled Eliot’s arm back over him, nudging into Eliot’s armpit. He loved every part of Eliot’s body, every scent: the musk of his armpits, even the tang of his navel. He reached down to cup his little erection, feeling the warmth of it. It was comforting just to hold it.

“Did I make you cry, baby?” Eliot asked, brushing Quentin’s hair out of his face.

“I just had feelings. Good feelings.”

Eliot swallowed, nuzzling into Quentin’s hair. “Do you need me to help you get off, beautiful boy?”

“I could jerk myself off into your come. ‘Cause Daddy’s sleepy after he gets off, he doesn’t have to work.”

“This isn’t work, baby, this is a privilege.”

“Mm.” Quentin rolled over, rubbing his cock against Eliot’s leg. “I think Daddy’s fallen asleep, and I’m not sure if I’m allowed to get myself off, because I-I’m just a little boy.”
Quentin felt his face heating up: he could have a thousand fantasies about this, and he still got embarrassed.

“I think Daddy would know what you’re doing,” Eliot said. “But he’d let you if – if he thought that’s what you needed.”

It was what he needed: imagining this was all for Eliot. That he was small, and trying very hard to be good, fumbling in the dark against his Daddy’s leg. Knowing he – he wasn’t supposed to get himself off like this, shamelessly, but that his Daddy would let him. He wrapped both his legs around one of Eliot’s, humping harder now.

“Y-yeah, th-that’s it. I’m snuggling against you – Daddy – and I know it’s early, and I don’t want to wake you, but I’m so – so hard I can’t resist, s-seeing you come made me so hot. So I’m g-going to rub myself off, and hope you won’t get mad if you notice.”

Eliot’s hand settled on the back of Quentin’s neck: familiar, powerful. “I would never get mad at you, precious boy.”

“W-well, I don’t want to bug my Daddy,” Quentin said. “So I’m j-just getting myself off.”

“That’s very considerate.” Eliot was squeezing his butt with his other hand. Quentin felt good: those two points of contact, the places that, when Eliot touched them, made him feel the most entirely owned.

Eliot said, “I’ll just lie here, and I’ll pretend I don’t notice my sweet little boy, because he’s trying to be so good, but if he needs me, he just needs to say.”

Quentin shut his eyes. “I-I’m pretending I’m having a wet dream. Thinking about you, and how y-you hold me down, and make me feel so – so safe, like I belong to you, and you’ll never let anything bad happen, and I – I can’t help it, I can’t help humping your thigh.”

“Don’t stop, baby.” Eliot’s fingers were tight on his ass, pulling him close, closer. Quentin rocked, his cock hard, so close to coming, teetering there, humping himself over the edge. “Daddy’s got you, you belong to him, he wants you to come, he owns you, he owns your little cock, and he wants you to – ”

Quentin felt the keen begin in his chest. He was whimpering, clinging to Eliot, his cock spilling out onto Eliot’s thigh, hot and desperate. He tipped over, over, giving everything to Eliot.

“Such a good boy, so good for me, so good,” Eliot cooed into his hair. God, they were so close, their bodies so sweaty, the scent of come vivid in the air. Quentin felt wrung out, throat raw, whimpering in Eliot’s arms. Emptied out, and so utterly complete.

He let Eliot clean them up, because that was Daddy’s job. He felt blurred at the edges, too wrung out to do more than mumble when Eliot scrubbed his stomach clean. Then Eliot pulled the blankets up around him, settled him back into his arms.

“What’s that sound?” Quentin mumbled.

“It’s the rain. It’s a real storm now,” Eliot said, and the sound clarified into rainfall, rain beating on the roof. Quentin’s eyes opened enough to see it drip down the window. Dawn had arrived in a white wet cloud, like the surface of the sea.

“Mm.” His eyes seemed to be closed again. “What about my hot chocolate?”

“Little boys who are 90% asleep don’t get hot chocolate in bed.” Eliot cupped Quentin’s soft cock, containing him in his palm. “But I’ll make you more later.”

“You promise?” he asked.

“I promise.”