Oh, The Places You'll Go

γλαυκῶπις (With Gleaming Eyes)

Notes: Written for Porn Battle X. Prompt: owl.

The moon shines silver-bright and full in the ink-dark sky, and Geoff sees the swift shadow of an owl pass silent before it. They are the same, he thinks, both searching the tall stalks of corn that crowd the field behind the encampment for sustenance. The joust is tomorrow, the sun long sunk into slumber, and the retinues of the knights and the raggle-taggle assemblage that trails in the wake of the Great Game were abed soon after the sky put on its royal robes. All is not quiet, however. The low moans of those seeking pleasure in each other writhe and curl past his ears and on into the night, searching out dark places. He smiles, and only the owl sees it.

It dives low, deep into the stalks, fleet and deadly, rising up again, small creature curled still in its talons. Too frightened to struggle or life already pinched out, Geoff cannot tell. He hopes it is dead. Fear is a terrible thing to live with.

He cups his hands together, hollowing them out and making a gap between his thumbs. Raising them to his lips, he blows soft air into the hollow, two bursts in quick succession. The owl, now high in a tree, echoes his intrusion into the silence, but it is not the call he wants to hear. He calls again. Hoo hoooo. Where are you?

The owl echoes once more, but this time there is another hooting call, low to the ground. Geoff cocks his head and listens. It comes again, close and to his left. He changes course. His prey is much larger than the owl's--surely it should be easier to find. And, yes, a few long strides takes him through the cornstalks into a clearing, stems trampled into submission to create a space apart.

And there he is, flame hair doused by the dark and silvered by the moonlight, long body stretched on its back, face upturned to the heavens, though his eyes are shut. Geoff's heart leaps. He wishes it wouldn't, but there it is. He drops down, spreading his long coat comfortably underneath him as he stretches out beside Wat. He says nothing, letting his arm fall close to Wat's, letting him make the choice. Fear is a terrible thing to live with.

For a while, they lie there without moving, Geoff tracing the constellations with his eyes. The sky is cloudless and rich with stars and Geoff does not think there is a number yet great enough to count them all. It seems strange that given something so ineffable, so vast and unknowable, that anything as small as this unnamed and unsure connection between him and Wat should matter, but it does. It does.

There is the tiniest shift beside him and the back of Wat's hand is brushing his. It is a breath of a touch, but it passes through Geoff as if a lightning bolt from Zeus himself. His prick stirs and begins to harden, but he does not move. This is not the first time they have played this game, and Geoff knows patience to be his friend. Wat's fear comes from a godly place and Geoff must respect it even as he wishes it to the devil.

Slowly, and so lightly that Geoff cannot even be sure it is happening, Wat's knuckles trace the line of Geoff's. His fingers part as Wat pushes his between them, the slide of his fingertips along the silk-soft tender skin chasing whispers of sensation up along Geoff's arm and across his chest, nipples hardening. Geoff gasps as they catch on the rough cloth of his tunic, and Wat's fingers spasm against his.

"Now," mutters Wat, low and urgent. "Now, poet."

And now it is Geoffrey who must take the lead. Who must roll onto his side and tug Wat over to meet him. Who must press forward for a kiss and try not to curl his body over the blow that is a face recoiling in alarm and disgust. Who must take Wat's hand and place it on Geoff's hip and press their bodies together, their twin hardnesses Geoff's pride and Wat's sin and shame.

Geoff rolls Wat over as deadweight as a sack of corn and rises over him. Wat's eyes are screwed tight and, Geoff knows from bitter and bruised experience, he won't let Geoff free either of them from their britches. Nothing seen, nothing done. It is a brutal punishment and Geoff does not know why he keeps coming back, save for the fact that he knows it is brutal punishment for Wat, too.


His hands bracket Wat's head and he thrusts his hips forward, angling them just so to meet the rise of Wat's length. Wat's eyes squeeze tighter shut and his lips press into a thin line. Geoff thrusts again, shimmering pleasure weaving over his body as the wind weaves the cornstalks into soft susurrations. Again and again, he thrusts, wishing he had the eyes of the owl so he could see Wat more clearly, could see the words his body says whilst his mouth cannot. Wat's eyes dance under closed lids and Geoff is willing to stake his life that, for once, Wat wishes for the chance to play the girl.

Geoff speeds his strokes, the painful coarseness of his britches a bittersweet adjunct to the insistent building pressure. Wat bucks up to meet him and--oh!--the sweet relief. Geoff wants to bend his head and kiss the shadowed hollow of Wat's throat, but he doesn't dare. Instead, he stills. It is outwith the rules of the game.

He stills and Wat pushes up. The delicious drag of his prick against Geoff's makes him suck in a breath through clenched teeth, but he does not move. Wat tries again. Nothing. Patience, Geoff tells himself, hips desperate to continue the dance. Patience. Again, Wat presses up, short shallow thrusts this time. Geoff waits.

Wat's eyes fly open. Geoff is above him and the pale moonlight stops abruptly as shadows plunge down below Wat's eyebrows. Geoff cannot read what the eyes say.

"Don't screw with me, poet," says Wat. "And don't make no snide jokes about screwing, neither."

"Let me kiss you," says Geoff. "Please, Wat."

Geoff does not need to see Wat's eyes to know they read 'no', writ large. The body underneath him is utterly rigid and utterly still. It isn't Wat. Fighting, flailing Wat. It isn't him at all. Fear is a terrible thing to live with.

But the object lesson to be learned from patience is that it can only take you so far, and Geoff knows that what he has now is not winning. It's losing by a roundabout route and Geoff has never liked to lose.

"Wat," he implores. "I'm only asking for you to love me, I'm not asking for your soul."

Wat shifts beneath him, bumping their pricks together. It takes the heat out of his words. "Then you're an idiot because if there's no soul it ain't love. Lust, desire, call it an' what you will, 't'aint love."

Geoff shifts then, pushing himself up and away, sitting back across Wat's thighs. "Then we should end this-" he waves his hand in circles in the air, "-this whatever it is. Because then I am asking for your soul and I know you won't give it." He places his palm flat on Wat's belly and sighs. "Dear Wat, it appears I cannot accept less."

Sometimes there is victory in defeat, Geoff tells himself. And if he says it often enough, he may even start to believe it.

But then Wat is surging up, his strong, coarse hand clasping Geoff's neck and he is pulling their faces together. The shock of Wat's lips on Geoff's petrifies him. He wants to move, but he cannot. Then there is a swift, slick sweep of tongue against him and he opens up, his whole body instantly alive. Wat's lackadaisical beard rubs rough over Geoff's lip, setting it to throbbing. Geoff swallows an impulsive laugh because now is not the time to cause offence, and wraps his arms around Wat's back. His body is hard and warm and solid under Geoff's hands and he wants to hold on forever. He wishes he didn't, but there it is.

Wat has other plans, surging forward and bearing Geoff to the ground, still kissing him. "Geoff," Wat mutters against Geoff's mouth and his throat and his ear, "Geoff, Geoff, Geoff."

It is the first time Wat has used his name during all the nights they have spent like this, and the words melt into his skin like tallow.

Now, Wat thrusts against Geoff and Geoff rises up to meet him, over and over again, eyes wide open.

"There's starlight in your eyes," says Wat in a wondering voice, and it is enough. Inexorable and inevitable, Geoff spends, and the numbers of stars in the sky are increased as universes tumble from his eyes.

Wat shakes his head and speeds up. "Close," he says, and Geoff grabs him by the hips and guides him to completion, Wat jerking under his hands, his forehead dropping to Geoff's shoulder.

"Trust you to get off on talking," Wat says into Geoff's neck. "Bloody typical, that."

"It was merely the shock of you stringing a coherent sentence together," says Geoff, feathering at Wat's hair with still-tingling fingers.

Wat either does not notice or does not care. He slides off Geoff until he is half lying across him, fingers tapping out a mindless tune over Geoff's ribs. After a few moments, he wriggles and makes a complaining sound.

"It'll be better without, anyway," he says and Geoff wonders if he knows he has had the rest of the conversation in the confines of his own head. "Less washing."

Geoff resists shouting a hallelujah or kissing Wat until he is breathless and his cheeks are the same colour as his hair---let them feel out their new boundaries before they test them.

"Yes, Wat," he says instead. "You are indeed wise like the owl."

"And don't you forget it," says Wat, poking Geoff in the ribs.

Geoff looks up at the stars. A shadow brushes the corner of his eye. He looks around, but sees nothing at all. In the distance he hears a soft hoot. They are the same, the owl and he--both have found what they were looking for. He fits an arm around Wat's shoulders and holds on.

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