Author's Note: And now we're finished with this fic! It's been a pleasure writing it and sharing it with everyone! Thank you to everyone who's read and enjoyed Roving, and I hope it's lived up to the wonderful support you've all given me! I'll update my profile soon with a list of songs and vid links used in the fic!
Go No More A-Roving: In Good Company
Brilliant sunshine bathed the docks as gulls cawed overhead. Suzaku shaded his eyes against the mirror-bright reflection of the water, grinning up at Lelouch on deck. Gino was helping him lash a line, looping rope around the peg with a simple knot. Lelouch mimicked the twists with confident ease until the sailor laughed, undoing the knot to redo it himself. Suzaku could see Lelouch's pout from the dock.
"Come down and take a break!" he called. They nodded their agreement.
On the dock, Lelouch leaned against Suzaku's side, making faces at Gino. "He's being mean to me," Lelouch told him. Suzaku winked at Gino, who laughed.
"My sincerest apologies, your Highness. Please don't set your boyfriend on me," Gino apologized cheekily. Lelouch pouted. "We're not leaving for a few more hours yet, if there's something else you'd rather be doing." Lelouch bit his lip, glancing at Suzaku.
"You take them with you," Suzaku told him, pointing at the guards waiting at the end of the dock. Lelouch made a moue of irritation. "I'm serious."
"Fine, fine," Lelouch grumbled, trying to ignore the trailing tail of bodyguards he dragged behind him to the carriage. Once inside, he pulled back the curtain in the window, smiling to himself at the sight of his friends, stripped to the waist as they readied the small ship for its first voyage. Impulsively, he threw open the window and leaned out, jerking against the frame as the carriage rocked. He waved enthusiastically, cheeks flushing when the sailors waved back.
Settling back against the seat, he reached beneath his coat for the heavy sack of coins at his waist. Nervousness clawed at him. He could feel the moment the road became rougher, looser and broken cobblestones causing the wheels to bump and jostle him. The curtain fluttered in the window, letting in the stink of this part of the city, but he didn't dare lift it to peer outside. Still, the cold chill as they passed beneath the bridge made him shiver. Counting the seconds until they finally rolled to a stop, he let out a shuddery breath at the gentle knock to the door.
"Your Highness?" his footman hissed beyond the thick fabric. "We've arrived."
"Give me a moment," he asked, carefully smoothing down the front of his vest. He caught himself fluffing his hair distractedly and pulled his hands to his lap, fingers twining nervously. The sack was a comforting weight against his thigh as he considered if it was too late to consider going back and just getting on the ship, leaving for the Caribbean and leaving painful memories aside. No one would fault him, he was sure. No one except himself.
He swung the door open, much to the awed surprise of the street children that had surrounded it while he sat inside. The guards and footman were doing their best to block him from the grubby fingers that reached out to trace the elegant details of his finery, but he smiled.
"Look at him," one of the children said, eyes wide as she dared to reach out and touch the cold metal of his buttons. "He could be a duke or something!"
Another of the boys nodded fervently, stroking the soft satin lining of Lelouch's tails where they were pinned back. "He could be the Emperor, if he was older and wore a wig."
"Nothing so special, I assure you," Lelouch said, chuckling. "Just the new proprietor of this pub."
An older boy in the group snorted. "Not bloody likely," he said, laughing. "That place's belonged to Georges and Nancy since they swindled it out of Blind Nell for a pound and put her on the street."
"I'd stay away from Georges, sir," one of the smaller girls suggested timidly. "He's a bad man."
"Well, Georges doesn't scare me," Lelouch said cheerfully. Anymore, he added mentally.
His heels clicked sharply on the old wooden floor as he strode into the pub. Carefully untying his purse, he hefted it in his hand, listening to the clink of coins. As if summoned, Nancy walked into the room, drying her hands on her apron. "Georges, it's them kids again!" she called over her shoulder. "Standing outside and causing a ruckus!"
"Madam," Lelouch greeted, giving her a half-bow. She froze.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded. "Georges, get down here!"
Georges stumbled down the stairs, face red with drink already. The Pig wouldn't open yet for another hour at least, but as usual, Georges was already soused. He peered at Lelouch, confused, before recognition set in. "Where'd you get that kit?" he asked. "Oughtn't you be paying rent before you go around dressing in all kinds of frippery?"
"I'm here to ask you to vacate my establishment," Lelouch said, dropping the heavy bag of coins to spill across the bar. "If there's any truth to the rumor, you'll have turned a tidy profit in the sale of this place, but no matter. I want you out."
"Now wait just a minute," George snapped. "You got no business--"
"Larry, darling," Nancy started, already scooping up coins from the floor. Lelouch shook his head. "Lyle," she tried. "Lou." It was close enough. "It wasn't all bad, was it? We had some good times, right?"
"Oh, yes, madam. Very good times, your husband pretending he'd lost something inside my bedclothes, me pretending he'd stop if I said no often enough, and you pretending it wasn't happening--" Lelouch cut off, looking at the guard who'd followed him in. The man's jaw was tight, knuckles white on the hilt of his blade. "You've heard nothing, of course, friend. Certainly nothing worth repeating," Lelouch told him, turning back to Georges and Nancy. "And you're both very fortunate for that. Why, if he had heard something worth repeating, you might both be in a great deal of trouble!"
"Who do you think you are, coming in here to make baseless accusations like this and throwing money around like we're supposed to do whatever you say now?" Nancy demanded.
"Oh, I suppose you don't have to do anything I say, but you must remember that there are several people with a vested interest in what my friend here didn't hear," Lelouch warned. "Honestly, it's better for us all if you just go now."
"Oh, like these coins are even real. He's probably shacked up with an actor," at this, Nancy pointed to the guard, "or some nob's catamite."
"Of course," Lelouch agreed magnanimously. "But the fact of things remains that I have four guards and a bag full of coins that all say this establishment is mine now."
"And I've two fists that says it isn't!" Georges growled.
"Jail it is, then," Lelouch hummed sadly. The guard bowed stiffly and whistled, drawing in the other guards. "It's a pity it had to turn out this way," he told Georges and Nancy. "If you won't vacate the property, I'm afraid I'll have to have you removed. Gentlemen," he waved to the guards.
"Yes, your Highness," they chorused, saluting, and in seconds, it was as if Georges and Nancy had never been in the room. Sighing in pleasure, Lelouch strode over to the large windows that had always been covered up and tugged down the curtains, filling the room with dusty light. Shucking his coat and rolling up his sleeves, he set about cleaning the room from top to bottom.
The light slowly filtered into evening. When it was finally too dark to see if he was doing any good, Lelouch sat back, surveying the room. There was a knock at the door and he looked over his shoulder to see Suzaku smiling at him. "You've done a good job," Suzaku told him, dragging a white gloved fingertip across the bar's surface.
"I missed Gino's departure, didn't I?" Lelouch realized, frowning.
"It's okay. I'm sure he understands, and he'll be back soon. Just as soon as he can find Kallen and…I don't think he really knows what he's going to do then," Suzaku laughed.
"Celestine?" Lelouch asked, and Suzaku shook his head.
"Everyone knows a sailor's got a wife in every port, but those wives've got a man on every ship," Suzaku told him. "I'm sure she'll be fine."
"I'm glad. I'm just sorry I missed the chance to thank him for all his help. Rolo, too, and Rivalz," Lelouch said quietly.
There was a hiss of a match as Suzaku lit a lamp, setting it on the table in the center of the room. "You're going to miss the sea, aren't you?" the sailor asked.
"Shouldn't I be the one asking you that?" Lelouch asked wryly.
Suzaku laughed, shaking his curls. "Not at all. Not if I've got you instead."
"Maybe one day, after everyone forgets I'm here, we can start a little shipping line, sail trinkets and baubles and all the comforts of home out to the farthest Empire," Lelouch suggested, tone dreamy.
"It doesn't matter what we do, to me," Suzaku agreed. "As long as one of those things is you kissing me right now." Grinning, Lelouch obliged, eyes drifting closed as he pressed his lips against Suzaku's smile. He murmured happy things into the embrace, feeling Suzaku's eyelashes flutter against his cheeks. They parted reluctantly, stealing kisses as they pulled away. When Lelouch's eyes opened, Suzaku looked like the fox in the henhouse. "Oh, I do have good ideas, don't I?" Suzaku boasted, and Lelouch shoved him backwards to the floor.
"Want to try an idea or two of mine?" he asked the sailor, sliding up the length of his body temptingly. Suzaku groaned eagerly, arching against the narrow press of him.
"Oh, I'm sure any idea of yours will be a big success," Suzaku said breathily, hands already sliding behind the prince to ruck up his damp shirttail.
Lelouch beamed back cockily. "I do think it's a rather good idea, myself," he agreed, dipping his head to just barely trace his lips along the cupid's bow of Suzaku's upper lip. Suzaku leaned up to meet him and he drew back, a mock frown on his face. "Aren't we supposed to be trying my idea?" Lelouch scolded playfully, rewarding Suzaku with another kiss as he sank back against the floor. Suzaku's lips fell barely open as Lelouch let the tip of his tongue out, pressing soft, damp kisses to the generous curve of Suzaku's mouth. Their tongues touched; it was electricity.
Suzaku finally managed to get Lelouch's shirt off, tugging it over his head and up his arms to wad it into a pillow beneath Lelouch's head. The prince sighed, languidly drawing him down with a sleepy arm to bite at his jaw line; one narrow, fine-boned hand dipped into the back of Suzaku's breeches, cool fingers pressing him urgently against his own quickening erection. Suzaku rolled his hips and Lelouch made a breathy sound, quick little teeth nipping sharply at an earlobe.
"I want you," Lelouch rasped, curled clinging to Suzaku's frame. His knees were lifted, thighs splayed to fit the wider set of Suzaku's hips against him. Narrow hips rocked in wordless, helpless, unwitting supplication. Lelouch's breath held a hint of a relieved whine as the laces of his breeches went slack, Suzaku's fingers twined in them, stealing torturous caresses. Suzaku worked a gentle hand inside the tight, heavy fabric to gently lift him out, yanking the offending garment down until it tangled over Lelouch's boots. Lelouch kicked them off impatiently and Suzaku dragged the fabric away, leaving him bared from neck to toe but for the stockings the prince had smudged in the knee working. Suzaku watched him covetously until, cheeks pinked from giddy embarrassment, Lelouch squirmed.
Suzaku captured his knees with one in each hand, leaning in to kiss a stained kneecap. "You're beautiful. Every inch of you," he murmured, and Lelouch squirmed again, a hand coming up to toy with Suzaku's curls.
"Shut up," Lelouch commanded shyly, cheeks stained. He watched with dark eyes under fluttering lashes as Suzaku lifted his foot, lips brushing reverently against the arch. Suzaku kissed slowly, worshipfully working his way up to press his lips into the dip below the ankle bone, dragging his mouth up the inside of the calf with tiny wet licks to the fabric, leaving damp translucent dots where his mouth had been. Strong fingers pressed ticklish into the hollow of the knee, cupping the leg and hooking it over his shoulder to mouth wetly at the inner thigh just below the top of the stocking. Suzaku looked down. Breathless and expectant, Lelouch looked up.
The touch of his mouth against bare skin startled a moan from Lelouch as Suzaku gingerly rolled his stocking down, mouth following fingers until pale skin was marked with an even line of blossom-pink bruises. Lelouch shivered at the brush of stubble against his instep, breath shuddering as Suzaku carefully repeated the trip up the now nude leg, again hooking the calf over his shoulder as he marked love bites high inside the prince's thigh. He was so hard it was throbbing, a thin line of fluid stretching between the tip and his navel. Suzaku's breath ghosted over it as he moved to the other leg, peeling back the other stocking with as much maddening care as he dared. He was still working his way up the thigh when a hand on the back of his head suddenly pulled him down until his cheek rested against the jerking cock. Lelouch quivered like a plucked string, already dangerously close to the edge.
"I can't suck you like this," Suzaku told him finally, the warmth of his breath making Lelouch's skin twitch. "And you do want me to suck you, right?" Lelouch nodded so hard his whole body shook. Suzaku laughed, thrilled, and when Lelouch released him, fingers finally spasming as he forced them to let go, he took the flushed organ in hand. He'd barely touched it, just slicked the wet flat of his tongue along the underside to the head, when Lelouch was shoving him away. At Suzaku's curious look, Lelouch blushed and touched the swell of Suzaku's cock through his pants, arching prettily against the floor in a welcoming gesture.
"Changed my mind," Lelouch said, chest heaving for breath. Suzaku whimpered, unable to get his pants off fast enough before he remembered himself, slowing long enough to suck a finger into his mouth. Lelouch shook his head, waving vaguely at his coat. When Suzaku retrieved it, he found a small bottle of viscous liquid in the breast pocket and smirked, pulling the cork off with his teeth. Tipping it into his hand, he let it drip over the length of his cock before reaching down to press his slippery fingers against Lelouch's hole. "Fast learner," Lelouch praised cheekily, gasping as he was penetrated. Suzaku managed to thrust his fingers into the prince's body only a few times before Lelouch reached down and gripped his slick shaft in hand, guiding him. "Now."
They both cried out sharply as Suzaku sank in until they were pressed together. Sweat was beading up on Lelouch's forehead, slicking his hair against his brow. Suzaku couldn't bite back the beatific grin that threatened to split his face as he held himself still. "I love you," he blurted out, rocking out to thrust back in sharply. Lelouch moaned, urging him on with crossed ankles, eyes squinted shut in mortified bliss. "I do."
"I love you, too; now mo--!" Lelouch's head rocked back, voice dropping off as Suzaku took him in hand. He keened, mouthing Suzaku's throat and jaw until their mouths met and they were kissing. Suzaku's hand slipped along Lelouch's cock, and Lelouch broke away from the kiss with a low moan. "No, no!" he protested, nails clenching desperately into Suzaku's back as he trembled. Suzaku peered down at him concerned when, blushing furiously, Lelouch squinted his eyes and came, splashing wetness across Suzaku's shirt. His stomach quivered with aftershocks as he collapsed bonelessly against the floor. Frowning, he peered up at Suzaku with one eye. "I didn't want that to happen yet," he complained.
Suzaku laughed, leaning down to kiss him. "Mind if I keep going?" he asked, and at Lelouch's dismissive nod, he sank into a steady pace.
"Quit shaking me; I'm trying to sleep," Lelouch said, eyes closed. His lips twitched into a smile.
Suzaku chuckled, trailing a finger along the prince's slowly recovering erection. "And miss out on round two?"
"Well, if you insist," Lelouch said decadently, tipping his head back as Suzaku worked a particularly tender part of his neck expertly. He knew there would be a bruise there tomorrow, but he couldn't bring himself to care as Suzaku sucked hard on the skin, grunting little moans escaping as he buried himself inside his body.
"Oh," Suzaku mumbled, "Oh, I don't…I don't think I'm gonna be--" he whimpered, bumping his nose against the wet bruise forming on Lelouch's throat. "--able to make it," he forced out, hips juddering out of pace, "worth your while."
"C'mon, then," Lelouch coaxed warmly then, rocking back enthusiastically. "C'mon."
Suzaku sucked in a sharp breath, hunching forward to focus his thrusts. He groaned, lashes fluttering when Lelouch reached down, palming himself and pulling frantically. "God," he gasped, hips snapping forward as Lelouch offered a musky hand to lick and transferred the lubrication to his cock. "Oh my--"
Lelouch rolled his shoulders back, pumping himself with abandon as Suzaku came within him. Back bowed with tension, his knuckles bumped rhythmically against Suzaku's leaping abdomen, a low whine escaping as Suzaku finally shuddered to a stop, pulling out to slump tiredly next to him. Suzaku laughed at the squeak that escaped Lelouch as he covered his hand with his own, and it was seconds before Lelouch was coming again, cries echoing in the empty pub. Slumping haphazardly against Suzaku's arm, Lelouch felt his lids go heavy.
"Come on, get up," Suzaku said unconvincingly from his position flat on the floor.
"Nope," Lelouch replied, snuggling into Suzaku's shoulder. "Can't make me."
"You're going to sleep naked on the floor?" Suzaku asked, incredulous.
"Yes," Lelouch told him definitively, cracking an eyelid to stare balefully at him from his comfortable position using Suzaku as a pillow. "It's my bar. I can do what I want."
"I thought you wanted to clean the place up and open it for business," Suzaku said.
"We can do it tomorrow. We can do it tomorrow's tomorrow if we want to," Lelouch told him contentedly, lashes fluttering over sleepy eyes. "For the first time in my life, there's a list of tomorrows that I can fill with anything I want: cleaning, if I need to clean. Books. You. I can fill my tomorrows with you," he murmured, smiling contentedly, "and then all my tomorrows will each be better than the last."
Suzaku smiled, scratching his fingers through Lelouch's hair, swearing the prince was purring. Yes. He was looking forward to tomorrow.
Last Chapter note: This chapter's title comes from The Parting Glass. Traditionally the last song sung in a set of Irish songs, it's a song of cheerful farewells that are less "goodbye" and more "'til we meet again". So...'til we meet again!