Author's Notes: This is my interpretation when "Last Cigarette" by Sleeps With Coyotes, and "Snippet #29" by Kadorienne, are combined.


Morning After Thoughts
By Margaret Price

Dorian lay watching the sleeping figure beside him. Still not quite believing he was real. Still not quite believing it had happened.That the Major was his. Finally and forever.

o

"You've had far too much to drink to drive safely, Major. Why don't you rest a while? My suite is just upstairs…"

"You're in this hotel! How—? Never mind. What room?"

"I'll take you. There's a lovely bed you can use."

"I'll bet. I'll use the floor."

"There are two bedrooms, Major. All very proper."

o

Dorian reached over, brushing stray strands of dark hair from Klaus's face, causing him to shift in his sleep but not wake. He recalled the lengthy wait for the lift, the Major's unusually subdued manner the whole time, his own non-stop innuendo and the lack of outrage in response. Dorian had put it down to too much alcohol on the Major's part, or just fatigue. Not acquiescence.

o

"See, Major? A very proper suite, just as I said. Two lovely bedrooms."

"Why two if you're alone?"

"Well, one never knows when one will have an unexpected guest. Especially one as handsome and sexy as you."

The reply to this was a grunt.

"You're welcome in my room, you know. Keep me company."

"Am I?"

"Always."

Dorian paused. The look he received was one he had never seen before and he wondered if the man were about to pass out. He moved to his side, intending to help him to the next room.

"Just how much did you drink, Major? You haven't snapped or sworn at me once. Does that mean you're—?"

The kiss that cut off the inquiry took Dorian's breath away. He had expected the Major to be clumsy, but that was not the case. Well, he must've kissed his share of women, the Earl had thought, but that didn't account for later. Klaus followed his every gesture, taking his cues perfectly, seamlessly matching his movements, never once asking for, or needing direction in any of the numerous positions they took over the next several hours.

o

Dorian's reflections were overcome by a call of nature. He had consumed quite a bit of alcohol himself. He slipped out of bed with practiced skill, not disturbing his partner, and padded to the toilet. He did not have to turn on the light, as the room was growing slightly brighter. Dawn. Much too early for him to be awake. And much too chilly to be standing naked on a tiled floor.

Dorian slipped back into bed, settling himself under the blankets and beside the inviting warmth that was Klaus. He could look at that face forever. Then the dark green eyes opened and turned in his direction. Dorian pretended to be asleep, giving the man time to come to grips with where he was, and with whom. The first morning after was always rather awkward. And he was certain it would be a hundred times so where the Major was concerned.

Klaus looked at the apparently sleeping figure beside him and drew a deep breath. There would be no turning back now. He slipped out of bed, answering his own call of nature, and then went on to shower and dress.

Dorian listened as the shower came on and drew a deep breath. This was going to be a very tricky situation. Casual would never do. Perhaps he should play congenial host. Call for room service, and offer coffee and breakfast. The possibilities for the future were endless now. As he lay wondering how best to begin the inevitable conversation, he dozed off.

Cleaned, dressed, and ready to meet the day, Klaus stepped from the bathroom. He looked at the dozing figure curled up in bed before crossing to the window. He looked out over the city as the sun rose. Why did he think it would look different? Why did he think he would look different? His life would never be the same, but the world didn't care. He lit a cigarette and stood contemplating the future, the past, and the previous few hours.

o

"Just how much did you drink, Major? You haven't snapped or sworn at me once. Does that mean you're—?"

Stop talking! Klaus had thought, planting a kiss on the Earl's inviting lips, feeling him respond with surprise and then desire. Hands tangled in his hair, ran down his chest, unbuttoned his shirt, pulling him to the bedroom. How Dorian got them both undressed so quickly was still a mystery.

Then they were on the bed, tangling together, hands everywhere. The Earl produced condoms and lubricant as if by magic. He gave Klaus a baffled look when he laid back and opened his legs for him. A look that deepened as he carefully prepared him and received moans in response. A look that was swallowed by wanton desire as he drove Klaus mad with pleasure not long after that.

Klaus was too consumed with passion to even notice if the baffled look returned as they carried out a marathon session of sex, trying every position the Earl could think of and then some of his own.

o

Dorian shifted position slightly, giving a soft moan and returning Klaus to reality. He stubbed out what was left of his third cigarette, grabbed his coat, and headed for the door.

Dorian opened his eyes in time to see Klaus, not crossing to the bed, but crossing to the door. He's leaving me? Just like that?

"I hope you left some money on the dresser, Major," came Dorian's cold, hard voice that stopped the Major dead in his tracks. "I won't feel like a complete whore if you didn't." He watched as the Major stiffened visibly. Good. I hope that stung, you bastard.

Klaus turned slowly, meeting the accusing gaze. "You're awake," he said stupidly.

"Obviously. Was I that awful?"

Shit. Klaus drew a deep breath. "Lord Gloria…"

"Dorian! Last night you called me Dorian, God dammit!" the Earl said as he sat up in bed. He jammed a pillow behind himself and sat back, arms folded.

"Dorian. What do you expect me to say?"

"I don't know. Good morning, maybe? I didn't think you'd be creeping out first chance you got."

The Major became, if it were possible, even straighter. "Iron Klaus does not creep."

"Does Iron Klaus regret?" came the sharp retort.

"Regret?"

"Don't act stupid, Major, it doesn't suit you. You know what I mean."

"I see. Now I'm supposed to say that last night was a mistake. That I wish it never happened? Swear you to eternal secrecy on pain of death if you tell anyone, right?"

"Well, aren't—?" Dorian blinked and gave Klaus a searching look. "Are you saying you don't regret it?"

"Now who's acting stupid?"

"Dammit, Klaus!"

The Major was still standing rigid halfway across the room. He had not moved closer, but had not moved away, either. "No, I don't regret it."

"Then…why are you leaving without so much as a good-bye kiss?"

Klaus closed his eyes and drew a deep breath. "Because I still I have a job to do, and a conference to be at in a few hours. I don't have time for sentimental nonsense."

"I'd settle for a handshake at this point." Dorian could not prevent the amused look that passed briefly over his face at the annoyed scowl this remarked produced. Then he was serious again. "I wasn't your first, though, was I?"

Klaus rolled his eyes. "Is that what this is about? Your bloody ego? Did you think I'd be some blushing virgin, unable to unbutton his own shirt and tripping over his own feet?"

"Well, yes… I, um… partly, I supposed…" Dorian's faltering words trailed off and he bit his lip as a dark look came to the Major's face. "I expected you'd been with women, Major, but…I just didn't…"

"You are not the first man I've been with." It was painfully obvious this admission was a difficult one.

"I see."

"Happy now?" Klaus asked more harshly than he intended. He saw the injured look on Dorian's face go from manufactured to genuine and sighed heavily, finally moving back across the room to sit on the edge of the bed. "When I was in school, and a few times afterward," he said in reply to the Earl's unspoken question.

"Have you…? Since I started…?"

"No. Not since I met you."

Dorian felt what could only be relief wash over him upon hearing this. He leaned over and gave Klaus a peck on the cheek. "Then it doesn't matter, does it?"

"I didn't think it would matter before."

Dorian sat back, giving him a startled look. "You didn't?"

"Did it matter before when you thought I slept with women?" Klaus asked logically.

"Yes, actually. You being with anyone other than me bothers me," came the truthful reply. Dorian gave the man beside him a steady look. "If the reason you're sneaking out is because you think I'll make some ridiculous hysterical scene, then don't. I only do scenes for public audiences. And I'm not melodramatic in the bedroom."

"So I've noticed."

"What did you think I'd do?"

"I don't know what I thought you'd do. Whatever it was, I don't know if I can deal with it just now."

Dorian decided not to pursue the matter. Clearly, Klaus needed time to work things out. He'd waited this long to get the man in his bed once. He also knew that Klaus did not like being uncertain about anything. He would not have to wait long. Instead, Dorian asked the question uppermost in his mind. "May I ask why you finally…?"

"Because I had too much to drink—"

"You were drunk, is that your defense?"

"—and I didn't care. My defense is that I have no defense."

Dorian saw an odd look in the Major's eyes. "There's more to this. Something happened, didn't it?" The dark green eyes flickered, but there was no reply. "You can't deal with that now, either, can you?"

"No. Not if I don't have to."

"Then I won't press. You can tell me when you're ready."

A small smiled played over Klaus's mouth. "I hoped I could trust you in this."

"Maj—Klaus, you can trust me in anything."

"Oh? Can I trust you not to fuck up my missions anymore?"

Dorian actually laughed. "Where would the fun be in that?"

Klaus gave him a dark look but did not reply.

Dorian wondered at the man's misgivings and took a stab at what he thought might be the cause, giving him a steady look. "I am faithful to my partners, Klaus. I am also discreet. I would never do anything to embarrass you."

Klaus gave a small derisive snort.

"You know what I mean."

Klaus was silent a long time as he mulled this over. He drew a deep breath and looked up. "I didn't mean for you to think I was treating you like…a common whore," he said as he got to his feet.

"But you're still…I won't say running out, but…"

"I'm finished running," Klaus said firmly. He saw what could only be relief wash over Dorian's face at this admission. Perhaps this wasn't going to be as difficult as he imagined. "I'm just…not very good at morning afters. I've never had to do more than one with anyone."

Dorian sat back, his eyes wide. "Never?"

Klaus shook his head.

Is that all? "But, that's no problem at all."

"Yes, it is."

Dorian froze. "Why?" he asked cautiously. Because you hate yourself and can't admit it? Because you need more time to think? You want to comparison shop? What?

Klaus gave him a sideways look. "I've already fucked this one up. We need another so you can show me how to do it properly."

Dorian blinked. Well, that decision didn't take long! A bright smile spread across his face. He laughed, threw off the covers, rose up on his knees, and threw his arms around Klaus. "That, my darling Major, can be very easily arranged," he said as he dragged the man down onto the bed.

— End or Beginning…? —