Through His Fingers
by Lar

Simon has only been to the beach one time in his life, but it is linked inexorably to the feel of manmade sand soft as talc under his feet. His parents took a vacation home in Junka when he was fifteen. He spent the summer months vaguely sunburned and in open-mouthed awe of the men and boys around him everywhere. Bare, bronze bodies that ambled, strolled, lounged in the same sand that puffed between his toes. It was the first time he realized his attraction to those bodies and he accepted it without much concern. He'd already been called mêilì enough times to make note that it was not something a boy expected to hear.

Mal's probably never been to a beach that wasn't more rock than sand. Simon can't picture the man lounging anywhere, although he's doing a seriously close approximation right now, sprawled in the bed beside him with his face pressed into the pillow. Mal would probably have gone running into rough surf that broke against the rocks, fought the tide and the current and the waves themselves, and when he'd gotten past the breakers, he'd grin. Simon can picture that perfectly well.

He leans over and breathes in deeply, inhaling close to Mal's shoulder. There's salt here but it's something more complicated than the ocean. Mal smells like sweat and come and leather, it's soaked into his pores. Simon reaches out to touch his shoulder, draws his hand away and smells that same scent on his own fingers. He lies back slowly so as not to wake Mal yet, and closes his hand, wanting to keep hold of whatever he can.


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