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Thom woke in the morning feeling sore but luxuriously warm and stretchy. He didn't know a better word to describe it, even though he probably did in some part of his brain that was just a little too far to reach for when everything felt so nice. He realized he was covered in one of the warm wool blankets the airmen used, instead of the thin cotton one Thom had been given upon his arrival. The professor shifted, stretching his sticky legs and curling his toes.

Thom sat bolt upright and yanked off the blanket. Sticky legs? He immediately began searching for the blue paint or feathers or tar, not wanting to end up completely covered. However, it seemed that Rook had… Thom blinked three times. Rook… Then everything went black.

Everyone was moving about the hallways by the time Thom woke again. No chance to confront Rook, then. Thom wasn't particularly sure how one confronted the person one begged the night before, but he needed answers more than pride. Or dignity. Or food.

On second thought, Thom could do without food for the rest of his life. He fought down a wave of nausea as he remembered the full extent of his activities last night. He was a pillowbiter, he was a spy, and he may or may not be about to have his academic career ended by an insane airman who could kill him in his sleep. Thom almost managed a wry grin – at least one thing hadn't changed since yesterday morning. Yesterday. Thom dry heaved into the nearest bin. He was going to be dead soon. Fuck.

Then he heard laughter coming from Rook's open door. Thom shuddered at the strange feeling coursing through him. Rook never laughed at anything he said except with a derisive snort. Thom snuck closer to the door, trying to look as hung over as possible.

"Already started," crowed Rook, the sound echoing in the hallway. Thom inched closer. "Stupid Cindy's eating it up."

"Thought a 'Versity brat like him might put up something of a fight," laughed someone else. "Ain't they supposed to have smarts?"

Thom couldn't breathe as he ran to the bathroom and heaved. It had been a test. Last night had been one giant test and he had failed it all. Every little last bit, no matter what th'Esar said. Failed so miserably that –

"Professor?" A strong hand rested on his shoulder.

Thom looked up in dread, relaxing only slightly when Adamo seemed more confused than murderous. "Sorry. I just… I forgot to lock the door."

The old man's brow furrowed. "Of course. Is everything alright?"

No, thought Thom. I am going to die at the hand of a man who – "Just ate something that didn't agree with me last night. Haven't had food like that-"

"Of course. I thought Rook-" He broke off as Thom turned and retched again. "Are you sure it's just an upset-"

"Yes! Upset! Stomach! Food! Party!" Thom realized he was squawking in a most unprofessional manner. "Sorry," he took a deep breath. "I thought Rook put on a masterful performance last night. You should commend him." He stood on shaky legs, grasping the tiled wall for support. "But I really must be getting back to-"

"Of course," agreed Adamo, looking a bit too relieved. "I shouldn't have kept you."

Thom nodded so furiously it made him dizzy, but he didn't stop until he collapsed back onto his couch. Maybe if he closed his eyes for a million years he would become invisible…

Thom jerked awake to the whirring of the siren. Heart pounding, he bounded into Rook's room. "We need to-" He was speaking to an empty space. "Bastion!" He kicked the frame of the airman's bed for good measure, nearly splitting his toe, before he sat down and vowed to wait. Rook would have to come back sometime, and then he would be tired and easy to… something. Something important and authoritative which Thom would figure out while he waited…

Five hours later, Thom still had no idea what he was going to say, but the other airmen were already out of the showers so-

"Do you ever stop fucking pacing?" Rook smirked at him from the doorway, uniform in his arms and towel around his waist.

"No! Yes! Not the point!" This was not going at all as Thom had intended.

Rook barked, throwing the clothes onto the floor. "Go away, unless you've got more of a suicidal streak that I thought."

You wanna die, huh? Thom gulped as he put a hand on his neck. "No. We need to talk."

The airman looked him up and down before shaking his head. "No, we don't. Now go back to your hole you fucking rat."

"At least I didn't spend my day ratting out to the other airmen to save my ass!" Thom stuck his chin out defiantly.

"Get out," snarled Rook quietly, "now." The professor stalked to the door, only to grab it and throw it shut.

"No," he spat, taking a step forward.

In retrospect, Thom really should have known that throwing his arms up to defend his face would just make Rook's punch hit the side of his jaw instead of dead center. The professor tasted blood before he even hit the ground.

"When I say 'get out', it means to move your sorry-" He fell to his knees as Thom kicked his shins.

"Listen here you cowardly little Ke-Han-loving woman-" The professor stopped as Rook hit him again, this time from the other side, and pinned him to the floor. Thom felt the spark started to light his entire body on fire again.

"I'm fucking cowardly? What happened to 'just this-" Thom lifted his head and slammed his lips against his captor's as hard as he could. Biting down on Rook's lip, he fought to get his arms free.

Rook let them go, only to hit Thom in the jaw again. "Don't ever do that again."

Blood flowed from the corner of the professor's mouth; he watched the blond man's eyes follow its trail down his chin. Thom could see the imprints of his teeth on Rook's lower lip. Pride and something else infiltrated his blood. "You wanna taste it?" he asked simply, tilting his head to give Rook an eyeful as the blood glided over his throat.

"Bastion!" The sound tore from Rook's throat as he ripped himself away from Thom.

A grin spread across the dark haired man's face. He sauntered towards the other man, angling his head just so. "Taste it," he whispered as he closed the space between them. "Taste it." Rook was against the wall.

"You fucking whoreson of a bastion-damned-" The angry yet forceless words stopped as Thom dipped his tongue into the crevice of Rook's collarbone.

"What was that?" he asked, lips moving across the skin of his captive's chest. Thom had never felt so powerful. He felt Rook tense the instant before he switched their positions, suddenly holding Thom's head against the wall with one hand.

He bowed his head and began lapping at the trail of red, following it from the corner of Thom's mouth, down his neck. When clothes became a problem, he simply used his other hand to remove them.

"Like it?" breathed Thom, one hand fisted in braids while the other traced up and down Rook's bare back. Rook bit down on his nipple in answer, letting go in a gasp as Thom arched against him.

The professor grinned, flipping them again as he rubbed himself shamelessly against Rook and watched the airman's eyelids flutter and muscles clench. "Tell me you like it," he whispered as he nibbled the skin behind Rook's ear.

"So much…"

Thom grinned. "What so much?"

"Want… you…" he groaned. Rook gasped as Thom shoved him over towards the bed, hands everywhere on his skin.

Suddenly, the presence on top of him was gone as Thom leapt away. "Pity I'm just a Cindy," spat Thom as he opened the door. "Keep the shirt, you fucking liar." The door slammed shut.

The green eyed man never saw the pain that flashed in Rook's eyes, or how hard he tried to open the door Thom had jammed to stay shut until morning.