Title: Filling All Voids
Author: BehrBeMine
Feedback: Feed the starving writer.
Disclaimer: It wasn't in my stocking this Christmas.
Rating: R
Pairing: Ephram and Amy
Summary: "Amy, this isn't going to be a moment out of Cosmo. It isn't going to be a speech that you can retell to your parents and expect them to gush over later. But I'm ready to ask you something, and it's Christmas, and I figure what the hell."
Spoilers: 'Foreverwood'
Distribution: My sites. And if you ask, you can take it anywhere.
Note: Basically my excuse to write me some mushy lovey dovey smut for my OTP. I know the Christmas theme thing is a couple of months late. Forgive me?

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"Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow... empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead." -- Joss Whedon

Ephram didn't want to close his eyes.

The weight of sleep deprivation on his eyelids was a heavy burden to bear at just before six in the morning. But it was Christmas Day. He'd been up all night pacing the hastily-rented one bedroom apartment he and Amy shared, his path treading a smashed trail in the carpet from the tiny kitchen to the living room and back. Again, again, again. Thinking, obsessing for hours over a single request, he'd fought the sleep through all of the darkness, blinking at the sleepy stars. Certainly, he could be strong enough not to surrender to passing out now. Just when the sun was rising. Just when it was illuminating her face.

He sighed at the beauty of her, of Amy, with her face cleanly scrubbed and her hair back in a messy bun, eyes closed in slumber as her head lay gently on the pillow. Her pillow, the one that she dropped in potpourri or something on a daily basis; the one that smelled as good as her every morning.

The pale yellow glow illuminating his girl from the bedroom window shone so invitingly, he just had to crawl into the bed beside her, at long last. He unbuttoned his jeans and shook them off, then removed the scratchy sweater that made it feel like he'd been wearing it forever. An early Christmas present from Andy. What could Ephram say when it came to his dad's gifts? The guy couldn't Christmas shop. Ephram was just amazed the sweater fit. And glad that now he'd worn it for the obligatory day, and could promptly shove it into the ball of unmentionables at the back of the closet.

As he moved to close the closet door, its old wood creak betrayed him, and he whirled around to find Amy's eyelids fluttering in that delicate way, like she was shooing away fairy dust with her eyelashes. Delia had grown to do the same thing. Girls and their little rituals. Made him smile on mornings like this when he was rundown and tired of being alone. Ready for the company of a girl he'd choose over any other in the world.

"Hmm..." Amy moaned quietly to herself as she coaxed her senses into the waking thing. Ephram bit his lip with a groan as a wave of wanting washed over him, coating his veins with warmth that almost stung. He crossed his arms over his chest, considered staying where he was, then couldn't bear the thought, and quickly rushed to her side.

"Amy," he began excitedly, his voice suddenly all of fifteen again, trembling, insecure, afraid. He lifted up the covers on his untouched side of the bed and slid in under them to curl his feet around her toes, wanting to make them tingle like every part of him wouldn't stop doing until he gave her his request. Until the agony of wondering last night was over and thrown to the past, dealt with like an exposed wound and also a surprise gift all at the same time. It would be his favorite time, or it would be the end of time. "Amy."

Wiping stray sleep away from that perfect face, Amy opened her eyes and gave Ephram her patented Christmas smile, the one she would give her parents during the opening of her stocking, and the one she would give Bright only long enough to make the adults turn away so she could show him what she really thought of his Christmas "present". The, "Oh, Bright, you shouldn't have"? Oh yeah, that was sincere. Believe me, you can have the pink rocks from peoples' yards back; you can keep the gum that you know I hate; please remove my new pet rodent from my sight before I smack you in front of everyone.

"Ephram..." She said the name so slowly, savoring it like expensive chocolates that resembled the locks of his hair that were all out of place. Seeing this, and realizing the maneuver he'd just made to sit beside her, her face took on a concerned look. She had to ask: "Are you just now coming to bed?"

Ephram's eyes were wild with some kind of barely tamed excitement she didn't understand but so badly desired to as she noticed it. His smile was more than a little strained with nervousness.

"Merry Christmas?" he started, choosing to be like she could be sometimes -- infuriating in her ability to avoid the subject. A woman's right, she called it. He was now claiming it as a right of his own. He needed it to hide behind as he laid nearly naked, and not only physically, before her inquiring eyes.

Amy's eyes softened and she gently propped her head up on an arm. She broke out into a little giggle as she stared at Ephram for the few seconds that she could stand with such a sober expression, and leaned in, so perilously close.

"I know I didn't bring the mistletoe to bed," she said gently, beginning to caress Ephram's exposed bicep. She felt his body begin to tremble beneath her touch, and couldn't stop there. Her next words came out in a whisper: "But I think you're going to have to let me kiss you, anyway."

With that, her lips touched his. He sucked in his breath at the first contact, and it was so unlike him to be so on edge. She longed to calm him down with her kisses that pulled his bottom lip into her mouth and sucked on it slowly, gently. With her caresses that moved from his arm to his chest, following the pathway to each of the secret spots she liked to fondle when given the chance. Something in his shyness was telling her he needed some sort of green light to unload the words that burdened his eyes and caused a storm in their depths.

Ephram's lips tingled like the first time she touched him this way, loving the taste of her that never lingered long enough. From somewhere deep and primal within him, he growled low in his throat, hesitantly pulling away. This was driving him crazy, being unsure this way. He had grown to respect himself, his decisions, and his choices. His confidence had been building, and it felt foreign to be so "fifteen" again. It was time to let the plaguing question within him spill out.

"Amy, this isn't going to be a moment out of Cosmo. It isn't going to be a speech that you can retell to your parents and expect them to gush over later. But I'm ready to ask you something, and it's Christmas, and what the hell. Will you marry me?"

Amy's ears started ringing, like the shrill cry of a microphone that veers away from the music with a continuous string of dreaded twang. Her eyebrows shot up, and she didn't dare conjure up the fake Christmas smile again. "What?"

"Amy." He was laughing as his words flowed out with the happiness of sharing his question with her, and he reached out to hold her hand in both of his, squeezing tightly. "I remember when we got back together again, in front of the Ferris wheel... how I was scared shitless that I would do something to screw this up, and force us apart, maybe this time forever. But time kept passing by, and I -- I watched you grow, and somehow was able to keep up pace to stand beside you. You were like... it was like the first time I felt that things were on the right course again since my mom died." He was looking into her eyes when he could, but also looking to one of his hands that he freed to illustrate in gestures along with his words. Some seconds he was seeing nothing but her, and others he was seeing everything else.

Her hand held captive, Amy sat up as Ephram pulled her from the pillow, clasping his hand with her warm fingers, wanting her love to remain present but not being able to express a syllable of it in words.

Ephram was still speaking, scanning his memory to the last years in his life, reliving them, liking it. "We would have problems, and I would expect it to be over every time. I would wait for you to say so, always ready to fight for you. The way I've never fought for anything, really -- I had to find a way to win. But you kept... fighting on my side for us to stay together, and we did. And we have.

"And last summer, at graduation, I promised myself, 'If we make it another six months, I'm asking her to marry me.'

"I watched you walk across that podium in your robe and tasseled hat. I was laughing in my seat about how you stressed over graduation robes looking like 'high class trash bags' when you wore them, and it was okay to laugh, because you made that idea lie over and die. You were so confident, and you'd accomplished something that not enough people do anymore. And it inspired me. I had to win you over, I had to covet you before you became so amazing you grew wings and flew away."

Amy couldn't remember a time when he'd been so eloquent and spoken a trail of words that lasted so long. She smiled to herself, remembering that day, that perfect hair day, perfect everything day, when she had walked with such a stride across the stage to the podium to accept her college diploma in front of her family, Ephram's family, and Ephram. She thought of the way she moved her tassel from one side of the hat to the other and found Ephram's eyes where he sat with her fellow graduates. She could remember how she felt when their eyes locked and held, the muster it took to finally look away and go back to her own seat.

"Why would I fly away when everything I want is right here?" Amy finally asked. The words came tumbling out as soon as she opened her mouth. She reached a hand forward to tuck some hair behind his right ear.

"You promised me we'd graduate last year," Ephram told her. "Promise me you'll also be my wife."

Tears of crystal clarity shone in Amy's eyes, and as she blinked they were released in zigzags down her cheeks. The answer was right there. She pursed her lips together and nodded, suddenly shy.

"Is that -- is that a yes?" Ephram's voice had gone so deep as if from all the "anything could happen" dread. Every emotion but relief drained from his face, leaving it stained white with the shock of too much happiness.

Amy's cheeks went pink. The burst of sound that exploded out of her resembled something between a giggle and a squeal as she jumped up on her knees and into Ephram's waiting arms. She crushed her body into his, the lace edging of her holiday nightie rubbing against his chest as she jumped up and down excitedly in his embrace. They laughed together, delirious in their happiness, drunk on it, almost. It wasn't only Christmas anymore.

The stark white of Ephram's face melted back into the color of his flesh as his heart became warmed by the heat of her exuberance. He held her until she stopped jumping up and down, her knees sinking into the mattress each time. He held her while her happy tears came and she talked of telling her parents. Her voice fluttered a mile-a-minute, like hummingbird wings. "We'll have to tell them over dinner, of course. It'll have to be at an occasion worthy enough for them to lose their child to her boyfriend for the first time. They'll be so shocked. You know how Bright is -- they figure he'll be forty and still content just to live with the mold walking off of old food. God, my dad's going to have so many expectations. We're really going to have to get a real place, with more room, with 'married people' things. Oh my gosh, Ephram, oh my gosh..."

Amy's tears fell, wet and warm onto Ephram's shoulders. Long after they'd dried, still he held her, after her words had all been spilled, and she was verbally spent. She sagged in his arms, drowning in his warmth, resting her cheek on his shoulder and closing her eyes, losing herself in bliss.

The clock was nearing seven by the time Amy had said all she needed to say about involving their parents. Ephram took his eyes off of the changing numbers on the alarm clock and returned his stare to the delicate skin covering Amy's back. As he inhaled, the scent of her peaches 'n cream lotion dizzied his senses and he placed a kiss on the side of her neck. It felt so right, kissing her in such a sweet spot, such a sweet way, that he did it again. He then let his kisses start to trail up along her ear, noticing as her body in his arms began to stir. She swooped under his chin till the other side of her neck was available, curling up before him, presenting her back to his chest, his heart beating like percussion on her spine.

Ephram's kisses and his wet tongue sliding along Amy's skin began awakening her in places that normally stayed hidden on a Christmas morning. As his mouth reached her earlobe, she became lost to him; as he closed his lips on her lobe and began sucking, a moan escaped her. He knew it was her sweet spot, and he was milking it for all it was worth.

The tension of the morning drained from Ephram's body, melting into something else, something primal that seeped into his veins to make them begin pumping. Blood rushed to his extremities with every throb of his pulse, warming his hands that slid along the creamy skin of Amy's back. He nuzzled her wet earlobe and tapped his nose into the lining of the back of her ear, drawing an invisible line, and leaving tiny love bites to mark where he'd been.

Amy's eyes fought to stay open as she relived the question countless times, her mind speeding on a highway that wrapped around and repeated itself, to her delight. She tried to concentrate on bottling up the feeling of when the words had come out of Ephram's mouth, but the touch of his lips against her neck began to become her undoing. Gradually, her eyelids fluttered closed, like butterfly wings coming down from flight, and she stopped fighting the curly-q sensations building up in the small of her belly. She sighed, and reached back with one arm to cup Ephram's head and hold him close to her from behind.

Ephram was pulled flush against Amy's back, and his sigh was not a bad one. He brought his hands to her arms that peeked out from last year's Christmas negligee. Sliding his fingers up her arms in a piano player's gentle caress, he sent shivers through her body that became contagious as they spread to his, as well. He parted the clothing covering Amy, an expert by now at removing her clothes from all angles. The filmy silk dress fell in a pool around her waist as the straps were guided off her shoulders, and her top half was left bare for exploring. No matter how well he knew her body -- memorized it, dreamed about it, brought it to climax -- there was always more of her to be explored. She changed like the seasons, only more often -- every day. She was not summer or winter, but rather pink, blue, lace, delicate, eternity, or soaring to the sky. She could not be pinned down with words or categories, only hands that could feel and discover her in ways that could not be described.

He heard the telltale sound she made when her lip quivered as he let his fingers touch one of her breasts. Every time was the first time with her; he learned this when she sank into his embrace from the sensation he created, and he held her as his own. It was like being fifteen again, having won the treasured prize. He was fifteen in that it overwhelmed him even to this day; fifteen, in that it aroused him like the very first daydream of his lips touching hers. Time was supposed to erode, to make excitement comfortable; to turn butterflies into boredom. Time didn't touch them, not yet; time didn't steal the passion that had drawn Ephram to her face just because she stopped him in a hallway and said, "Hey," and, "I like your hair."

He massaged the breast, running his thumb feather-light over the nipple. Kissing the exposed skin of her shoulder, suddenly touching her wasn't enough. He wanted to see the pink of the nipple, the tautness of it; the degree of her arousal.

"Amy," he whispered in her ear from beyond the soft tendrils of hair that were beginning to cling to her skin with the slick saliva from his mouth and the slowly building sweat.

"Ephram," she answered, her voice lush with need and wanting.

Ever since letting go of his mom and reconciling with her death, he'd never wanted anything more than to have Amy as his own, to hold and to touch, to love and be bound to; she was the one he chose to save him from being alone. And on top of it all, she wanted him, too.

He could feel himself getting warmer, an excited blush staining his skin as all of his blood rushed down to his organ that was rapidly filling and gaining in size. His other hand set to work, and now he was fondling her completely. He loved the way she surrendered to his touch -- the way they could both get lost in it. Her breasts fit perfectly in the palms of his hands, as if their bodies were puzzle pieces waiting to be joined. Once put together, they were a whole, canceling out one another's insecurities, believing in each other enough to validate themselves.

Amy's breath was beginning to come in shallower gasps. Suddenly a fire spread through her fingers, as they begged to touch something, and she turned around in Ephram's arms until she faced him and sat practically in his lap. She mourned the brief loss of contact as his hands fell away to allow her to move, but as she kicked away the nightie from her legs and climbed back into his embrace, her lips found the warmth of his, and all mourning was not only gone but forgotten. Her hands fell to his shoulders to sear his flesh with her intensity. She rubbed her palms down his chest, tracing the shape of it, discovering it anew.

She could feel the bulge in Ephram's boxers poking at her, though she was trapped behind her panties. She felt so oppressed, so far away from him, separated by those not-even-millimeters of fabric. Wanting to get him going, she conjured his kink with her nails, scraping them lightly over his nipples that grew harder from her touch. He moaned, deep into her mouth, and gathered her urgently in a tighter hold, clasping his arms around her back and thrusting his tongue past her lips.

As she wrapped her arms around his neck and responded to his enthusiasm, bucking her hips into his, her core scraped the hardness trapped beneath his boxers, and the sensation dizzied her senses, making her sway, happy to be caught by such sure arms.

"OhOhGod," Ephram let forth when there was space enough for a pause between their lips. And Amy smiled, loving what she could do to him.

Eagerly their lips met again and again, tongues reveling in touching the other, the exchange a mass of wet and hot and sticky. Ephram tasted her, licking small bits of her teeth as he maneuvered her waif-like body until she was lying beneath him. He straddled her hips as he pulled away to undo her hair and let the strands fall free and flow. They curved this way and that from being held in the bun all night long, giving the term "bed head" accidental style.

Their eyes met in the moment after he admired her hair; Amy held his gaze till he smiled that half-grin, and traced a finger down her cheek.

The spell of tenderness was broken when Ephram hooked her panties with two fingers and slid them down her legs. He tossed them aside like used confetti, desiring to remove all layers possible. Sometimes, she swore, he dug so deep, he brushed her soul before surfacing. It was a welcome invasion, like the eye of a storm: disrupting the way of things for the better.

Amy's eyes didn't leave his face as he scanned her body that he knew so well, appreciating it with every expression, every gesture. She no longer had to be self conscious around him now that she understood how he saw her. How he had always seen her. She was grateful for his weight on her legs, thinking otherwise she might float away from the high of feeling so beautiful and so accepted, not despite her flaws, but because of them and more.

"Hey, Mister," she bugged when he moved to cover her body with his own. "I still see some fabric over your skin."

He chuckled. "Can't get anything past you."

She smiled and helped him to slide the boxers off, being polite with her eyes when his erection bounced out of them as soon as it was freed. Then she grabbed him and pulled him down on top of her till he was covering her like a blanket, warm and protective. She laced her legs through his, her smoothness contrasting his coarse hair. Kisses were rained upon his face, starting at the forehead, then the nose... She stilled herself until the suspense of waiting a moment gave him a violent shiver before carefully taking his bottom lip in between hers, and sucking it into her mouth. It was something she'd always loved about him, that both of his lips were kissable. Usually it was one or the other that you always grabbed when you pulled your lover close, but with Ephram, there was no routine. Everything was fair game.

Lying together, naked as the day they were born, they ignited the spark that inevitably came each time. Ephram's limbs pressed down into Amy, his kisses becoming quicker and more insistent. His tongue began dueling with hers, daring her to love his mouth more. It was time to illustrate the love between them until they both fell, exhausted, their bodies soaking the clean white sheets.

Amy was no longer as sexually shy as she used to be. As her lips busied themselves with ferocious kisses, she snuck a hand down to grasp Ephram's length and give it a squeeze. She ran her fingers down the entire length until her nails were buried in the curls at the end of his treasure trail, then ran them back up the length to the tip. She tested his wetness by running her thumb over the slick head, drowning it in pre-cum, summoning Ephram's deep moan.

His moans were delicious, her kink for sure. This one made her clit start to throb and ache for contact. She bucked her hips up into Ephram's curls, removing her hand, and turning the steering over to him.

Ephram was seeing rainbow dots behind his eyelids, as always happened when she ran her thumb over his slit that way. He recovered in time to recognize her body's pleading, and gave a manly grunt as his promise to satisfy. He so badly wanted to drag out the foreplay, on this morning of all times, but his nerves were exploding with the joy of the proposal, and he wanted Amy so badly, he couldn't see straight. He didn't know if he'd ever felt so taken by love and lust, or if he'd survive another moment if he didn't get inside of her and become a part of her for the first time since they promised each other forever.

Grateful for being rid of the condoms since the assurance of her new "improved" birth control, Ephram dipped two fingers inside of her, gathering the warm liquid pooled there. She arched her back at the feel of bits of Ephram in her body, and he gave a few pumps for her pleasure and to prepare her. Reluctantly withdrawing his fingers as she mewed like a purring kitten, hands brought to her head and her breathing gone shallow, he used her wetness to coat his length and ensure a smooth entry without pain. His fingers shook from the anticipation and the sounds still coming from her mouth.

And all at once, he was finally in. Buried in her center with one smooth stroke, he gasped and collapsed on top of her as her inner muscles clenched, so tight. Always she was tighter than a careful knot, amazing him with the perfection of the feeling of being inside of her, of being one with her. As he recovered and began sliding out, they both gasped together, and she let out a scream as he began pounding into her delicious heat with an amount of effort that both shocked her and thrilled her at once. They'd started out slow, and now they were building, as if inside a pressure cooker, needing to find release in one another before moving on.

Amy gripped his shoulders, biting her lip and mumbling pleasure sounds that were sometimes dwarfed by Ephram's outbursts. It was like being touched everywhere at once, always, for the moment tasted like forever, and Amy was lost in the sensation that set her body trembling as she refused to look away from his face.

His long hair fell into his eyes, making his full beauty a mystery. And he ground his hips into his lover like she was the home he'd been searching for through an eternity, steadying his weight with one arm while trailing the other hand in a line down her chest and tummy to her clit, which he rubbed at a frenzied pace.

A few of his quick touches, and Amy was lost to the world, spiraling beyond heaven, her limbs dropping to the mattress in surrender. As her body clenched that extra bit, Ephram collapsed on top of her, spilling his seed within her, warming her insides with what just left the inside of him. The deep breathing was almost in unison as his sweaty chest smeared its juice on top of her. She gently hugged his neck, closing her eyes as she nuzzled the side of her face against his ear. And their exhales were all that punctured the silence. Breathing, existing, together.

Lying spent with him, Amy knew her answer was right. She knew there was no other answer, just as there would be no other girl. Not as long as Everwood had mountainous scenery. She loved him, needed him, had him. She listened beyond his breathing to the whisper of the pulse in his chest. She knew it, and she wouldn't deny it. They were joined; they would be married. Their hearts had come to beat as one.

"See?" Ephram said, fighting with his breath to get the words out, his tone the one he used when talking to himself. "Just like I practiced. Piece of cake."

Amy sighed, and twirled a stray strand of hair around her finger with a thoughtful smile. "Piece of wedding cake."

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