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Lemony Eggnog
"Mostly," Part 2.2 (SFW, hurt/comfortish)
Tue Sep 4, 2018 11:09pm

Time passed.

“Brother? . . . Derik?”

“Hn?” His eyes snapped open and he started up with a sharp intake of breath. He’d almost drifted off. How pathetic.

Thoth took his hand from Derik’s shoulder. “You are injured, and today’s mental effort has drained you. It would be wise to go and rest.”

Derik shook his head mulishly. “Stop trying to get rid of me.” He rubbed his face vigorously, stretched, and rolled his head to rouse himself further.

“I am merely pointing out the obvious. If you choose to resist good sense and stay . . .”

“I do. I waited nine days for this time; I’m not wasting it.”

Thoth nodded. “As I anticipated. In that case, I thought I might attempt to heal you, if you wish it, although I cannot guarantee such excellent results as I achieved with Nurse Robinson’s assistance.”

Derik thought a moment. He vaguely recalled Tom being very concerned about the Astartes using his psyker powers to repair Derik’s foolishly broken knuckle on the day they had met, but it had been perfect afterward, never so much as a twinge. Yes, Jenni had been there, but she had simply been supervising, he thought.

He shrugged. “I don’t see why not.” A thought occurred, and his mouth twisted into a teasing smile. “Are you trying to get my shirt off?”

Flatly, Thoth said, “Viewing the injury makes no difference to the biomantic healing process.”

Derik sighed and shook his head fondly. “One of these days, you’ll learn when to play along with me. Look, if it makes no difference, it can’t hurt, right? I’ll feel better if you see it with your eyes first.” He shucked his jacket and pulled his shirt off over his head.

There were actually several yellowing bruises across his torso, courtesy of the super-Stu’s fists, but the worst was on his left side, near the bottom of the rib cage but above the floating ribs, where he’d been kicked twice before Gall got behind the Stu and caved his head in with her mace. (She’d thrashed Derik a bit herself for hashing the mission and nearly getting himself killed, but her blows, moved by rough affection, hadn’t left marks.) The main injury was still a livid maroon in the middle with a blotchy blue-black corona.

Derik set himself on his stool and raised his left arm over his head. Thoth leaned in and ran his hand down the smaller man’s ribs, framing the bruise in the angle of thumb and forefinger. Derik felt a mild electric tingle as Thoth psychically probed the extent of the damage.

“I know it looks awful, but nothing is broken; I did get it checked. Medical cheerfully turfed me out with a bag of ice and some arnica gel.”

Thoth snorted softly. “Clearly an inadequate remedy. Your pain tolerance is impressive for a mortal.”

Derik rolled his eyes. “It only hurts when I breathe. But honestly, your psychosomatic techniques have helped, when I’ve been able to use them. For some reason, my focus has not been at its peak, which is how this happened in the first place.”

“Indeed.” Thoth sat back and studied the floor. He spoke through clenched jaws. “It is humiliating to admit, but my own may not be sufficient to perform this task.”

Derik lowered his arm and turned toward him. “What do you mean?”

“You are distracting me.”

“Well, I can shut up, if—”

“No. That is not the issue.”

Derik cottoned on and felt like an idiot. “Oh. Oh.

He suddenly was aware of his bare skin. He was a warm brown, like many born in sunny Southern Boll Hold. A few stray Threads from the same clump that had scarred his face had bitten into his right shoulder, leaving scraggly white lines behind, and besides the recent bruises, he had a few other miscellaneous souvenirs from fights and accidents. The most prominent was an old lash across his left forearm, faded to a dully gleaming pink, that had been made by a snapped harp string. That had damn near crippled him. There was also a pair of jagged scratches across his belly, made by a young green watch-wher he’d rescued from some ignorant boys when he was ten. The wher had been so worked up and confused, dragged out of her den in daylight, that she hadn’t been able to tell him apart from her tormentors and nearly gutted him like a fish with a stray swipe of her paw.

All in all, though, his hide was remarkably intact, and he kept himself fit by running, working with weights, and swimming when he could (though he’d never managed to find the fabled pool in Headquarters). He had broad shoulders and a deep chest, full but not strained with muscle, and little hair except on his limbs. Exposed to the air, and to Thoth’s gaze, his nipples had puckered into dusky rose nubs.

“You haven’t seen me like this before, have you?” Derik sometimes went topless when he exercised, but he and Thoth had very different physical regimens, so that wasn’t something they’d ever done together. In the past two years, there was no other occasion he could think of where it might have happened.

“No. I have imagined, but I am no longer familiar with what might be considered normal human physique. The reality is . . . most pleasing.” He didn’t sound comfortable saying it, and he gave Derik that invitational look again.

Since Thoth was being forthcoming, Derik joined him in a state of heightened openness and perception. He felt the same turmoil of conflict as before between his friend’s intense affection and yearning for him and what Derik could only call dread of the consequences. Given the context, he thought he understood.

“You can still do it,” he said gently. “Your powers aren’t gone. You just need to focus them in a slightly different way.”

“If I were distracted and they were to fail at a crucial time—”

“Stop right there. This is not a crucial time. This is just you and me, learning something new together in our safe place. Take a moment to look at me if you want to—I certainly don’t mind. Then put all that aside, as I know you can, and do what needs doing. You are very capable, and I trust you.” He knew Thoth would feel the truth of that, and in return he tasted the bittersweetness of gratitude spreading through Thoth’s aura. “When I’m healed, come back to me, and we’ll go from there.” If he was still awake, anyway. Stringing all that together had been a major effort.

Which Thoth also sensed. His brows drew together in a crease. “I will ask no more of you today, brother. I shall do this, and then you will rest.”

Derik gave in. Fighting it anymore was too hard. “All right. I promise.”

“Good. Now, I request your silence. This may take a few minutes.” He closed his eyes and settled into a meditative attitude. His aura receded; Derik could no longer sense him.

Derik followed suit and worked on smoothing out his own mental patterns. It could only help if they were both calm and contained within the Enumerations.

Time was funny in that state, and it might have been a minute or an hour when Thoth finally opened his eyes and said emotionlessly, “Come to me. It would not do for you to fall from your seat if you should be overly depleted by this healing.”

That made sense. As Derik understood it, Thoth would use energy drawn from the Empyrean to speed up his body’s natural repair processes, but some of Derik’s own energy would be involved, too. He scooted back to the floor and sat cross-legged with his left side turned to Thoth.

The Astartes nodded and laid his broad hands on Derik’s back and abdomen, bracketing the injured ribs between them. Abstractly, Derik appreciated the warmth, but made sure to check himself at merely observing the experience, not getting swept up in it.

“I will begin,” said Thoth.

A stronger current of power than before made the muscles adjacent to the area twitch like the shoulder of a horse bothered by a fly. Derik didn’t remember the effect being this harsh the last time Thoth had healed him, but he’d been very drunk then, his nervous system depressed. It wasn’t painful, or at least no more painful than the swollen contusion itself, and Derik didn’t complain. He couldn’t see what was happening with Thoth’s hand in the way, but he could feel a bone-deep itch that waxed at first, then finally waned to nothing.

Thoth sat back and regarded his work critically. “Hm. It is not perfect, but you should no longer be in pain.”

Derik raised his elbow and peered down. There was still a faint tan stain where the angry red had been, nearly indistinguishable from his normal skin color. Within it he could make out what looked like a craze of filament-fine stretch marks, presumably where his subcutaneous tissue had reknit itself in an unnatural hurry. Rubbing it, he found no difference in sensitivity between this patch and the surrounding skin. He nodded. “Thank you.”

“The discoloration may go away in time,” Thoth said, frowning. “I cannot be certain.”

“It’s all right,” Derik assured him. “It’s interesting.” He traced over one of the pale lines with his index finger. “Think it might turn out to be a map of the London Underground or some such?”

Thoth opened his mouth, looking as though he meant to disagree, but thought better of it. “In this place, very little would surprise me. But, apart from that, how do you feel?”

Derik evaluated himself. He still clung to the lower Enumerations, but he sensed exhaustion waiting to claim him as soon as he released them, and he wasn’t sure he could hold on all the way back to his RC. “Would it be entirely too clichéd if I passed out in your arms?” He was only half-joking.

“It would be extremely clichéd. . . . But under the circumstances, perhaps it is an acceptable compromise between your desire to remain with me and my desire to ensure that you are properly rested?”

“Yes.” Derik pointed his finger at Thoth in affirmation. “Brilliant. Makes sense to me.”

So that was what they did. Thoth braced himself against the wall, and Derik leaned back against him in turn, secure in his tireless embrace.

A/N: There! Less generic now, I hope!

Oh, and apologies to the JessamintheCreed99s of the multiverse if you expected hawt mansecks in part two, but actually I'm not at all sorry not to rush the characters into the hot stuff. I believe in delayed gratification. :3


  • Aww, you guys!Lemony Eggnog, Mon Sep 3 4:00pm
    Are you waiting for little ol' me to kick things off? That's so sweet! You didn't have to do that! I'll totally start, though. Without further ado, I give you: Title: Mostly Author: Lemony Eggnog... more
    • "Mostly," Part 3 (( Link to Gdoc ))Lemony Eggnog, Fri Sep 7 11:39pm
      (( Because Part 3 is too long to break up for the Board. {= P (( Still probably SFW? Involves Astartes body-mods being kinda squicky to a guy from a planet that still has a taboo against surgery... more
      • /almost forgot to not be my usual self!<3<3<3, Sat Sep 8 9:49am
        "Have you realized yet that this is both madness and folly?" Ahh, but that makes this all the more sweet! Despite the descriptions, the body mods actually sound... beautiful? Though that may just be... more
        • Oh good, someone gets it.Lemony Eggnog, Sat Sep 8 6:54pm
          Good to know my effort is not totally wasted here. --Lemony (( I... actually can't tell if you're playing a character or just posting your real thoughts under a different name. ^_^; What's true and... more
          • ((Touche, touche))<3<3<3, Sat Sep 8 8:36pm
            I assure you there is no waste! Unless I am a trash can, omnom. ((And I just meant the general concept, there. |D I am not terribly good at this game; mostly it's the bare-bones idea (in this case... more
    • "Mostly," Part 2.2 (SFW, hurt/comfortish) — Lemony Eggnog, Tue Sep 4 11:09pm
      • <3<3<3<3, Thu Sep 6 12:04pm
        Delayed gratification is a wonderful, wonderful thing. And it is better, yes!
        • |m|Lemony Eggnog, Thu Sep 6 11:44pm
          (( The horns, if you're wondering. As in, rock on! ~Neshomeh ))
    • "Mostly," Part 2.1 (SFW, hurt/comfortish)Lemony Eggnog, Tue Sep 4 11:08pm
      The Duty intervened such that it was nine days before they were able to meet in RC 2112r again. To Derik’s chagrin, he had indeed suffered from second thoughts, both figuratively, in that he despised ... more
      • Interesting work hereMotherShipper, Fri Sep 7 12:29pm
        I like how you've taken time to nail Derik and Thoth's characters. It makes the whole thing so much more believable and exciting, and I always enjoy flowery confessions of love! I think there's a... more
        • Ah, grasshopper, you have much still to learn.Lemony Eggnog, Fri Sep 7 10:28pm
          Love is a grand, life-changing thing, but it doesn't magically make everything perfect! We're dealing with one guy who isn't supposed to be having any of the feelings he's having and is pretty... more
    • "Mostly," Part 1 (SFW)Lemony Eggnog, Mon Sep 3 4:13pm
      Over the two years Derik and Thoth had known each other, they had settled into a routine. They met in Response Center 2112r weekly, give or take: less often if the Duty interfered, more often if they ... more
      • "Cute."ShadowMoonDarkSun, Thu Sep 6 7:28pm
        How absolutely adorable. However, while it might but cute, it lacks all sophistication. It feels unrealistic and fake. This isn't what two men would do with one another. Or even one man. What I'm... more
        • Ahahaha oh god, you're serious.Lemony Eggnog, Thu Sep 6 11:41pm
          Oh, boy. That's not an expression of exasperated disbelief—okay, it is, but I am also addressing you as the misguided kid I assume you are. Listen, girl. It sounds like you're getting all your... more
          • You just don't understand men.ShadowMoonDarkSun, Fri Sep 7 4:21pm
            ((...And thank you for giving this alter ego some well-deserved smacks, Neshomeh.))
            • I'm sorry, I must've blinked.Lemony Eggnog, Fri Sep 7 10:06pm
              When did I fall through the rift into your home dimension, where men aren't human beings? Dare I ask what the women are like here? --Lemony (( And there's the peak snark I have so much fun... more
      • This? Badfic? Surely not!<3<3<3, Tue Sep 4 10:31am
        If this had been with any two characters - guys, girls, neither, mixed - I would have loved it just as much! Though, that IS a problem: it might be too general in its love potency! I eagerly await... more
        • Ouch!Lemony Eggnog, Tue Sep 4 10:56am
          Too general? You wound me, sir/madam/starfish. Granted, the moment one friend confesses to another that their feelings have changed CAN happen to anyone... Well, hopefully the next part will clear... more
      • That was awesoooome!!!JessamintheCreed99, Tue Sep 4 12:14am
        Omg, gay guys are like so hot, am I right?? Siriusly (lol) good stuff there, I loved it sooo much! Write more plz! <3 <3 <3
        • Thanks, I think.Lemony Eggnog, Tue Sep 4 10:40am
          I mean... sure? In the sense that all love between consenting adults is hot? But I shall write more, indeed, and hopefully make it more clear that gayness in and of itself is not the driving force... more
          • I am disturbedLordHammerfell, Fri Sep 7 10:23pm
            I find your lack of confidence saddening. You must not phrase so much of your language as questions, and I find your confused response in the face of foolishness similarly disheartening. You must be... more
            • I am confident!Lemony Eggnog, Sat Sep 8 12:32am
              Awww, you literal-minded Imperial Fist type. I was being sarcastic, darling. I'll rephrase: All expressions of love between consenting adults are hot. Good communication is hot. Consent is hot.... more
              • This is not an area of my expertise.LordHammerfell, Sat Sep 8 8:13pm
                I do not "ship," and I tend assume people involved in "shipping" lack various virtues I aspire to. I should probably stay in my depth, namely, heroism, friendship, the tragedy of the righteous... more
                • That's fair.Lemony Eggnog, Sat Sep 8 9:19pm
                  ♪It's okay to not like things.♪ And I'd tend to agree that your common-or-garden-variety shipper does tend to lack... let's go with prudence and temperance, those are virtues and also... more
                • ...Thus indicating...ShadowMoonDarkSun, Sat Sep 8 8:27pm
                  That you lack the manliness and power to be secure in your masculinity. Real men are secure enough in their maleness to not care about their desire to see men together in fiction, to watch one become ... more
                  • NoLordHammerfell, Sat Sep 8 8:56pm
                    I simply have no desire to see a man become another's "dominant mate," among other things.
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