Jan. 10th, 2017 09:12 pm
[personal profile] chlorhexidine
chlorhexidine: (Default)
Gladio traced the sharp, fresh lines on the back of Ignis's shoulder with his eyes. Ignis's palm was pressed to the back of his hand, fingers slotted between each of his, and they'd been that way for so long, Ignis's hand felt like part of his own. Ignis must have been awake for an hour or more by now, and most of the time when he woke, he rose, the light of early dawn signalling his internal alarm clock.

Some mornings he stayed, and laced his fingers with Gladio's, and waited for Gladio to wake up. The fortunate thing, he'd said, about managing the schedule for Noctis was that Noct was infamously bad at mornings, and scheduling things for him at that hour tended to be counter-productive. So on the mornings Gladio had stayed overnight, and Noct didn't have anything urgent he had to be roused for, and Ignis hadn't scheduled himself into anything urgent either, on those mornings the stars had aligned just right so Gladio could wake up like this, with Ignis under his arm, and the sight of that feather to greet him.

Gladio sighed and tugged Ignis back against himself, dipping his mouth to press his lips against the tattoo.

“Morning,” Ignis said. He'd been waiting for Gladio to wake up, judging by the alertness of his tone. Gladio merely grumbled a noise in response, and worked his lips up towards Ignis's neck, breathing in the scent of him. His body was warm and comfortable tucked in against Gladio's own, and the press of warm bare skin against his groin made him sharply aware that he'd woken with an erection. He murmured happily and wordlessly as he pressed against Ignis a little more firmly, letting him know about it too. “Unfortunately,” Ignis said, as he nonetheless let Gladio roll and press him into the bed in his freshly woken ardour, “the morning is half gone. I don't have time.”

Gladio tutted and pressed his case again, out of mischief, or disobedience. He mouthed at Ignis's neck once more before he asked, “You got something to attend to that's more important than me this morning?”

“As always,” Ignis replied, with a trace of dry humour.

Gladio grumbled, running his hand down the planes of Ignis's chest as he pressed kisses along his shoulder. “How's a guy get to the top of your priority list? You gotta schedule me in?”

“Essentially,” Ignis answered, “yes. Otherwise, you have to wait until I'm free.”

“Then do me a favour,” Gladio rumbled, tightening his arms around Ignis to enjoy his heat for a few more moments, “clear me a slot one night next week. I'm gonna take you on a date.”

“A what?”

“A date,” Gladio repeated. “You're always on duty, what do you do for fun? Aside from me.” When Ignis was suspiciously quiet in response, Gladio pressed his point, “What do you enjoy doing, aside from me?”

“You, mostly,” Ignis answered, “and cooking.”

Gladio thought about it. Ignis was a damn good cook; he cooked for Noct, because it was the only way anyone was ever going to get a vegetable into Noct without him acting like a five year old about it. It hadn't occurred to him that Ignis really enjoyed cooking, though. He'd presumed it was one of those tasks he'd set himself to on Noct's account, which was pretty much the story of Ignis's life as far as Gladio had figured. They'd been together a while, but their evenings together were training, reading, fucking, or doing the other things they did anyway, just in each other's company. It was comfortable, and happy, but they'd never gone out as just the two of them and done a thing for the sake of doing it together. Ignis needed some real R and R time in his life before he burnt himself out.

“Me, and cooking,” he said, thoughtfully, an idea forming, “yeah, I can work with that.” He pressed one last kiss to Ignis's cheek, feeling the stubble under his lips before he rolled off him and back onto the bed. The sheets tangled around his legs as he did, exposing his chest, stomach, and part of his hip. “Go on then,” he said, tucking one hand under his head, “go to work. Just know you're gonna be leaving all this wanting,” he gestured with his other hand to his own tastefully exposed, highly muscled form.

Ignis sat up next to him on the bed and turned to look at him, slowly following Gladio's hand gesture down the length of his physique. “I haven't put my glasses on yet, so I'm not missing much,” he replied, flashing Gladio a smirk before he stood and made his way to the bathroom.

Gladio placed his fist over his heart as he gave an exaggerated frown. “Right in the ego,” he said. Then he settled his other hand up behind his head as well and allowed himself to enjoy the sight of Ignis walking naked to the bathroom.


Gladio picked Ignis up at his apartment a week later. He'd given him instructions to dress for smart casual, trusting Ignis's sense of style to do the rest, so when Ignis opened the door to reveal himself wearing smart trousers, a coloured shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and his hair styled he had to take a moment to swallow. “Is this what you had in mind?” Ignis asked, arms folded and weight resting on one leg while Gladio looked him over.

Ignis wasn't short, or slight, he was just those things in comparison to Gladio. He wasn't built like Gladio, most men weren't, and having sparred with Ignis, and watched him fight, it was obvious why he wasn't built like Gladio. He had muscle, that was for sure, but Ignis was the slender toned muscle of someone that can do a backflip at a fingersnap, rather than the bulked muscle used for swinging a greatsword around.

His clothes showed it off. The trousers showed the length of his legs, and the belt sat at his hips just right to show there was a flat, toned stomach under there. The shirt, too, with the top buttons undone, showed off his shoulders and a hint of collarbone, and his hair was off his face, so even the freckles on his forehead were visible.

“You should keep your hair like that,” Gladio said, “it suits you.”

It was taking a lot of Gladio's own control not to forget about the restaurant reservations he'd made and just pin Ignis against a wall and mess him up. He allowed himself to grab Ignis by the belt and draw him close, devouring him with a kiss that promised much, much more to come later. To his slight surprise, Ignis's fingers crept under the waistband of his own trousers, and his fingers curled around Gladio's own open collar, holding him there for longer than Gladio had anticipated. “I take it I meet with approval too,” he rumbled, as their lips parted and their bodies didn't.

Ignis smoothed his fingers over Gladio's shirt and traced the contour of a button before he said, “More to unwrap.” He leaned in to take another kiss, and murmured against Gladio's mouth, “Not that I object to looking, but sometimes there's a pleasure in what you can't see.” His tongue pushed in, and Gladio let it, taking a step back with the press of Ignis's body threatening to overbalance them both, and then another, until his shoulders hit the wall and then Ignis was pressing him there with his mouth and his hands and his hips.

Gladio closed his eyes, feeling the warmth build in his chest. Ignis taking charge was fun and sent a pleased thrill down Gladio's spine. He wanted, he really wanted, to just let it go on. To let Ignis take the lead, and take his pleasure, and forget about the table reservation.

But then tonight would be any other night they spent together, and that would defeat the object, so it was with a heavy heart and a slight discomfort in his trousers than Gladio took Ignis's wrist in one hand, wrapped his other around Ignis's waist, and broke the kiss, standing to his full height. “Plenty of time for unwrapping later,” he said, pulling Ignis's hand up to kiss his knuckles.

Gladio's resolve almost melted when Ignis actually sounded disappointed. “I suppose,” he said, and then pulled away.

The restaurant wasn't the most expensive in Insomnia, but it had come highly recommended. Their table for two was tucked against a wall, intimate without feeling like they'd been put out of sight, and the first menu they'd been given was the wine menu.

“I'm not much of a drinker,” Ignis had admitted, glancing over what to him was a lengthy but largely meaningless list of wines, years, and location of origin of grapes.

“Good wine goes hand in hand with good food,” Gladio had told him, with a smile, and chosen from the menu for them both. The waiter had brought it over, allowed Gladio to try a mouthful and give his approval before pouring conservative glasses for them both and leaving the bottle behind.

Ignis picked his glass up by the stem, with more manners than most of the palace showed on a regular basis, and inhaled before tasting. “Not bad,” he conceded. “though I think I'll stick to Ebony during the day.”

Gladio laughed. “You drink way too much of that stuff, Iggy.”

“Would you believe I get headaches if I don't?” Ignis replied, and took a larger sip of his wine before replacing his glass.

Gladio thought about it. He'd counted three cans in one morning being steadily emptied down Ignis's throat. “Yeah,” he answered, “would you believe we can all tell when you haven't had any yet?”


Gladio picked up his own wine glass and gave Ignis a smirk over the top of it, “You get even more sarcastic than usual.” He took a sip of the wine, appreciating the flavour and the drying effect it had in his mouth.

“That's not a reaction to a lack of caffeine,” Ignis replied, calmly, “that's just my natural response to all of you.”

Gladio laughed again, and Ignis smiled, ducking his head a little as genuine warmth crossed his expression and he flashed his teeth. Gladio watched him, feeling a pleasant warm buzz in his chest at the sight of Ignis loosening up and enjoying himself for an evening.

The first glass of wine was gone, and Gladio had topped both of them up, a little more generously than the waiter had, before the food menu was brought to them. They weren't being rushed, that was one of the things this place had been recommended for. Service would be as fast or as slow as you wanted it to be, and the staff made the minimum of fuss because they were used to attending to people that were there to be together, not to be disturbed all evening long.

They ordered, and Ignis settled back in his chair with his wine in hand to give Gladio a knowing smirk. “So,” he said, “with an interest list consisting of you and cooking, you decided on wining and dining?”

Gladio shrugged one shoulder, fixing Ignis with a bright, devilish smile. “I figured you could see how professional chefs do things, see if inspiration hits for your own recipes. You don't have to get everything out of a cookbook.”

“I did bring a notebook,” Ignis admitted, taking another mouthful of wine.

Gladio stopped to stare at him. “Are you serious?” Had Ignis genuinely brought a notebook to a restaurant?

“I always carry a notebook and a pencil,” Ignis told him, “I like to be prepared.”

“You are serious, aren't you?”

Ignis shifted in his seat, reaching into his back pocket, and produced a slim notebook no bigger than his palm, and a pencil the same length. Gladio laughed as Ignis put them back and shifted in his seat until he was comfortable again. “My schedule can change at the drop of a hat,” he said, retrieving his wine glass and drinking a little more of it than was strictly necessary, “I got in the habit of keeping a notebook on me so I could keep track.”

“It's cute how much of a nerd you are,” Gladio told him, with genuine fondness in his voice.

“Someone has to do the thinking around here,” Ignis replied.

Their food arrived quickly, and the conversation abated a little as they both began to eat. Ignis was wearing the faint flush and lack of reservation that indicated he had a gentle, pleasant buzz going from the wine, and he finished his second glass as he finished eating. Gladio topped his own glass up, and then poured the rest of the bottle out for Ignis, who was now cradling the body of the glass in his hand and looking more relaxed than Gladio had seen him in ages.

“Good to see you're enjoying yourself,” Gladio said, settling back in his own chair and framing the image of Ignis at his ease in his mind.

Ignis murmured, and then asked, “D'ya think we could do it again?”

Gladio narrowed his eyes and sat up a bit straighter. “Say that again?”

Ignis cleared his throat, and flushed. “Do you think we could--”

“That wasn't how you said it,” Gladio said, amusement creeping in across his face. Ignis usually spoke with a slightly stuffy, refined, highly educated air, but just then it had slipped and something almost normal sounding had come out of Ignis's mouth.

“I've had a little too much wine,” Ignis said, putting his glass down as his face held that flush of colour.

“That wasn't slurring,” Gladio said. “Your accent changed.” Ignis frowned, sitting up straighter in his chair, but said nothing. Gladio watched him critically, and then asked, “This isn't your natural accent, is it?”

Ignis looked to the ceiling, and then sighed through his nose. “It is,” he answered, pronouncing his words a little too carefully, “for a given value of natural.” Gladio raised an eyebrow at him until he explained, “I didn't receive an average education; I was classed as gifted, and educated accordingly, and that education included elocution lessons.”

Gladio grinned, brightly, and settled back into his chair. He pushed Ignis's wine back towards him. “Well, they just slipped.”

“I'm aware,” Ignis said, and then he sighed and retrieved his wine. “This manner of speech has been so thoroughly drilled into me that it essentially is my natural accent, but if I'm tired, or, apparently, under the influence,” he cast a sideways glance at his wine glass, “my enunciation may slip slightly.”

Gladio couldn't help but smile. Ignis was so tightly controlled that even his accent masked what was going on underneath. But it had slipped, and Ignis had looked happy, and relaxed, at least for a bit. He reached forward, running his fingers over the back of Ignis's hand. “I've never heard it before,” he said, his voice soft as he caught Ignis's eye and fixed him with a gentle smile. “I hope I get to hear it again.”

Ignis turned his eyes away, as he always did when Gladio was edging into mushy territory that Ignis found hard to use language to traverse, but the way the corner of his mouth twitched up in a smile was soft and warm, and he turned his hand slightly against Gladio's until Gladio's fingers were against his palm and he could close his own fingers around them.

“And to answer your question,” Gladio said, “yeah, we can definitely do this again.” Ignis squeezed his fingers, a thanks he lacked the words to express, and then Gladio asked, “So, are you having a dessert?”

Ignis murmured, thoughtfully.

“Oh come on,” Gladio said, his amusement cresting again, “I know you like sweets, you keep a bag in the glovebox with your emergency Ebony supply.” Ignis looked about to protest, and Gladio pressed, “And Noct doesn't eat all those cakes on his own or he'd be the size of a house.”

Ignis gave a halting sigh, as if he was being bullied into the decision, and then he said, “Very well.”

Dessert had been reason to break out the notebook, with Ignis jotting down a couple of lines about the chiffon cake he'd chosen. They'd had a glass of sweet wine to go with it, and Gladio could still taste it on the walk back from the restaurant.

Halfway between the restaurant and Ignis's apartment, he'd taken Ignis's hand. Ignis curled his fingers around Gladio's in return, and Gladio's heart was soaring by the time they'd got back to Ignis's apartment and locked the door behind them.

A part of Gladio wanted to pick up where they'd left off before heading to the restaurant, but another part of him didn't want to spoil the soft and affectionate mood that seemed to hang between them. It was turning into one of those evenings where he could feel those emotions Ignis never voiced exuding from him, and breaking the mood would make them scurry away back into the dark corners of Ignis's mind where Gladio was relied upon to know without having to be told.

He did know. He didn't have to be told, but nights like this where Ignis led him to the bedroom by the hand and kissed him without a word, lips that still tasted of cake and sweet wine brushing over his own, these were the nights that told him anyway.

He pulled Ignis against himself, and sat down slowly on the bed, keeping Ignis held against himself as he did. He could feel Ignis's weight in his hands, feel the trust the man was putting in him not to drop him, or topple them both over, just like he could feel Ignis's quickening heart and hot breath against his cheek and lips.

Once he was sure Ignis was safely positioned and wouldn't fall, Gladio tugged at the back of Ignis's shirt, pulling it up and free of his trousers so he could run his hands under it, and up the lithe muscle of Ignis's back. Ignis's skin felt hot to the touch, and Gladio realised his hands probably felt really cold when Ignis jumped in his lap before returning to press sweet kisses to his lips.

Gladio gave a happy sigh as he reached up and did what Ignis forgot, always forgot, and removed the man's glasses for him without even breaking away from his mouth, tucking them into Ignis's shirt pocket, and then he reached down and untied Ignis's shoe with one hand. He pulled it off from the heel, and tossed it carelessly to the room, where it landed with a couple of thuds. The next task was sliding his fingers up the inside of Ignis's trousers, until he met skin, and then down into his socks, and removing those for him because Ignis tended to forget those as well.

His fingertips brushed the sole of Ignis's foot as he pushed the sock off, and Ignis jumped like a man startled, his foot kicking out of the way, and his mouth separating from Gladio's. At first Gladio thought something was wrong, and he looked at Ignis's startled, wide eyed face with concern. Then he realised, and his own expression became something much more devilish.

“Are you ticklish?”

Ignis looked down at him, clearly caught in that quandary every ticklish person faces when asked by someone within easy reach of their ticklish spots if they are, in fact, ticklish. Gladio grinned like a coeurl spying easy prey and brushed his fingertips along the sole of Ignis's foot again.

It elicited the same jerk, and this time a desperate attempt to get away as he told Gladio, somewhere between panic and laughter, “Get off!”

Gladio laughed, and removed his hand from Ignis's foot, but rolled over to pin him to the bed beneath himself. “Are you ticklish anywhere else?” He asked.

“No,” Ignis said, although his hands went to Gladio's arms and tried to hold them away. It was ineffective, and Gladio ghosted his fingers up Ignis's sides until he squirmed again, and then broke into laughter, his voice begging, “Gladio, please!”

Gladio laughed again, but stopped. “I'm going to have to remember that.”

“You're a bastard,” Ignis said, with feeling, but he relaxed under him again.

“You love me for it,” Gladio replied, without really thinking about what he was saying, or had just said until the words had come out of his mouth and Ignis's expression had changed.

Ignis looked up at him, expression slightly stunned, his lips moving as if he was trying to make himself say something, anything. Gladio was about to apologise for saying it, his eyes closing when Ignis's hand fell against his cheek. He opened his eyes again to see Ignis pressing his lips together, the way he always did when he was steeling himself for something, and nod his head before he managed, ever so quietly, “I do, yes.”

Gladio looked down at Ignis, and felt himself melt, at those words, at the depth of emotion they meant for being such little words, and the shyly uncertain smile that followed them. He met it with his own soft and happy smile, and pressed in to take that uncertainty off Ignis's face with a kiss.
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