Title: Oasis Cycle ch 1: "Paradise Lost and Oasis Found"
Author: falsechaos
Email: falsechaos@mail.com
Rating/Warning: Big, fat lemon warning. Yaoi. Give it an R.
Notes: Formerly posted under alias of "Ayame Daae." Account got eaten. Account lay dormant for over a year. [shrugs] New account.
The man that appeared at their doorstep was dressed in a nondescript suit. He was of that bland faced type who could disappear unnoticed in a large crowd. He was of no extraordinary tallness or shortness. His build was slim, but not skinny; well-built, but not bulky. He said his name was Jones. That too would soon fade into the whispers of their memory.

"So what kind of problem are we talking about here, Mr. Jones?"

"A group of pirates known as the Berai have kidnapped an important weapons dealer. They felt that he cut into their territory a tad too often without offering the appropriate amount for their 'protection' This man was my employer. I have been authorized to offer up to 140,000 wong for his return. An additional 60,000 will be awarded if he is returned unharmed within the next forty-eight hours."

The deal was too good to be true. 200,000 wong for a simple rescue mission. The Berai were renowned mainly as pests in the Heifong system. They offered weapons of high price and questionable quality. Nevertheless, they were tolerated in the system. This was mainly due to the fact that they were too small of a group to challenge either the pirates or space authorities and occasionally proved useful to both. Truly, a simple target. A small display of force, a few weapons fired, and perhaps five minutes of tough talk from the Outlaw Star.

That, of course, was what had lead Gene Starwind to his current predicament.

"If you don't shut up, Fred Luo, I swear I'll use my last caster shell to plaster your brains all over this flying coffin's pathetic excuse for interior decor!"

"You wouldn't do that, now would you, Gene? Gene? Please stop staring at me like that. It's quite unsettling. Gene!? Mmph!!"

Gene Starwind knew of the source that caused his fear of deep space. That was no mystery to him. Floating alone for 20 days in the dark depths of space in a life pod only meant for two weeks use would be enough to curdle anyone's brains, however temporarily. In those dark times, he had prayed for any company, any *thing* to tear his mind from the vast canvas that threatened to overwhelm his young mind. Anyone. Anything. Just to stop that terrible and blinding eternity from ripping into his painfully mortal and finite mind.

He realized now (with a breed of painful mental smirk) that perhaps that hadn't been such a bad deal after all.

Being trapped alone in space with Fred Luo was not Gene's idea of hell.

It was becoming frightfully close, however.

Gene slumped bonelessly against the side of the life support pod. Two people. In a machine only meant to support a single inhabitant. Already three days had passed. Even to Gene Starwind's limited ability to think logically towards the future, this was not good. At all. Three days of cramped weightlessness in a pod that barely allowed the two of them to remain upright at the same time. Three days of listening to Fred Luo spill his guts in a family history that never seemed to end. Three days of 'accidental' contacts and jostlings in regions of the outlaw's body that even *he* wasn't that familiar with. In short, three days of nonstop Fred Luo.

A few precious moments of golden silence passed. Fred huddled against the opposite side of the pod, torn between glowering at the outlaw and whimpering through the import gag stuffed into his mouth. Perhaps an hour passed before Gene removed the ripped piece of cloth. Fred opened and closed his jaw soundlessly for a few moments, trying to work saliva back into his dry mouth.

"You just could have *asked*," he grumbled after a few moments more of silence.

Gene glared at him once again. "I've asked, pleaded, begged, bargained, and demanded that you change the subject, talk quietly, talk to yourself, or just plain *shut up*. I had to have silence. Okay? Or is that too hard to understand?"

"You're acting as though it's my fault we're out here."

"It *is* your fault! If you hadn't have run directly into this damned thing when the pirate ship began the self-destruct sequence, we wouldn't be sitting here, now would we!?"

"Well actually, we're floating, not sitting."

Once again, Gene fondled his remaining caster shell with a most unpleasant gleam in his eyes.

Fred fell silent for a few blessed moments. "Gene, I think we should drop the shielding for a few minutes. Just to see if anyone is out there."

The rust-haired outlaw stared at Fred. The abrupt change in conversation threw him off. He swallowed. "I can't go through that again. I'm sorry, Fred. I can't."

The life pod held an automatic distress beacon that began a nonstop SOS broadcast at the moment the unit was activated. Five distress flares were represented by five round red buttons on the northern wall. The opaque shielding that clouded the viewing window prevented the two occupants from gazing out into the depths of space. Unfortunately, this minor protection had to be lowered before the flares could be used. Four of those five flares were gone. Four hours of Gene's precious sanity had flared and vanished with them.

"We have to." Fred paused, his voice caught in his throat. "Or we'll die."

The outlaw's only response was to squeeze his eyes shut. He didn't even have the simple luxury of turning from the viewing portal. "Do it." The words were ground out of his throat like the bitterest wheat.


"Just do it!" His voice was a harsh scream.

Fred pressed the remaining button that held the only hope for both of their salvation. The flare ejected forcefully from the life pod, flinging the pod from its already unstable trajectory in space into a whirlwind tumble. The opaque shield on the viewing window slammed down. Gene gasped at the sudden change in position, eyes flaring open instinctively.

Cold space stared back in at him.

The stars wheeled and spun around in a vicious arc. The cloying smell of cramped bodies in a cramped space vanished, leaving behind only the cold, metallic scent of ether. All sense of contact with his body was severed in one sweeping motion. He was flung, mind and soul, into the dark belly of space. Spacer's glamour. That rare, out-of-body experience that could accompany long periods of time in space. The callous stars continued their siren call to all sentient life, uncaring of the danger of that lulling song. Gene could hear (feel, sense, what remained?) the vibrations through what was left of his being. This terrible, aching hollowness.

The outlaw struggled to scream, but how could he? He had no body. No lungs to draw in stale and recycled air. No throat to issue forth the cry of outrage and despair. No mouth to the shape the words of terror and denial that burned within (or was it without?) him. No mouth to feel the firm lips pressed against his own, locked into a gallow's embrace. No body to feel the hard frame shoved against his own, or the burning need surging through his veins.

Reality returned sluggishly. The deep reptile part of his brain responded immediately to the abrupt change in stimulus, opening his jaws to allow a warm, slick tongue to dart into his mouth. Part of his mind was still screaming at that stars, while his hips thrust frantically against the warm body pressed close to him. Stars, screaming at him, warmth, returning to him. It collided within him. Burned. Torn between the cold, dead glare of space. Torn between the hard, aching need building within. Sight returned and Starwind saw dark and glossy hair. He saw the wiry body pressed against his own. He saw his own hands clenched in a death's grip about the other man in the pod.

Gene moved as far away as he could. Only a bare half-step. Not enough. He stared at the other man. Fred's face was flushed with desire and his eyes glittered in the darkness of the pod.

"Wha--" the outlaw blurted out stupidly.

Fred at least had the decency to look away for a moment. He reached with a slender, trembling hand towards the twin scars that snaked across the outlaw's face. His palm fit perfectly into the hollow of Gene's cheek. "You were out of it for almost four hours. You've never been out of it this long." Fred removed his hand awkwardly and gestured towards the glowing red numbers that hung suspended in front of the viewing window. Four hours, fifteen minutes, and thirty-nine seconds. "I did the only thing I could think of to bring you back." Fred smiled. It was the same flirtatious and oddly innocent smile that had both angered and unnerved Starwind on numerous occasions. "It seems to have worked, right?"

Anger surged throughout Gene's body and threatened to overwhelm him for a moment. Before he could voice any of the swirling, chaotic thoughts tumbling through his mind, he caught sight of the viewing portal again. The remaining traces of arousal that burned within him took control before the panic could take hold. He pressed himself desperately against Fred. "Please." The word was hoarse and desperate. "Please, don't let me fall. Not out there again. Please."

Gene felt gentle lips press towards his own. He clung to Fred, his hands slipping and scrabbling along the other man's back for purchase. Fred rubbed gentle fingers into Gene's scalp and traced down the outlaw's spine. Gene arched into the caress and felt the welcome and familiar mating haze settle about his mind.

This was nothing like making love to a woman. No gentle curves, or soft mounds of flesh. No sacred blossom to tease into ecstasy. No long hair to tangle his fingers into. Was he the aggressor now? Or the one pursued? Did it matter? No. Now there were firm planes of muscle that needed his touch. Now there were strong hands that unerringly sought out the sensitive places of his flesh. Now there was a burning hardness that pressed urgently against his own. So alien. So familiar. And so very needed.

Somehow, in the cramped confines of the life pod, clothes were ripped off or shed in some other way. Flesh sought out flesh. Fred's hand was clamped almost possessively around their two erections. This was no gentle love making; this was pure rutting, pure need to be satisfied. One denied by emotion, the other denied by darkest fear. Their hips bucked and thrust against that of the other's. Slick lengths rubbed and caressed in that most intimate of embraces.

Oh, to be tangled in the flesh.

Gene cried out, agony and ecstasy flaring open brighter than any of the stars, brighter than any burning desire that had ever haunted his heart. He crushed his mouth against Fred's, anything to stifle his own panting cries. Fred pulled away roughly and bit deep into Gene's shoulder with uncharacteristic agressiveness. Marking the outlaw. Branding him.

The two curled around the other. They let the proofs of their exertions dry on their naked bodies. Fred and Gene twined about one another in an embrace more intimate than any shared by twins in the womb. They slept as the outline of the Outlaw Star grew in the distance.