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Black Panther and Storm
Author's Note: Oistasia inquired as to whether I intended to write a gapfiller for Man Without Fear: Storm Hunter. It really wasn't much of a gapfiller, we all know what was going to happen off-page, but still, it was worth churning out a quick one-shot, if for no other reason than to indulge in a mild PWP. Don't expect too much and take it for what it is. Fun and light.
"I have to return to San Francisco, but not quite yet, if I have an invitation to stay."
An invitation to stay.
Those four words rattled around in T'Challa's head, making it difficult for him to tease out whether his headache was from the ebbing remnants of Kraven's poisonous darts or the stress, and yes, guilt of living apart from his wife.
An invitation to stay.
What an awful thing for a wife to have to ask her husband. But he'd made it so, created this uncomfortably lumpy bed they were both lying in, living through.
But what was a man to do? There were things he must prove to himself, emotions and thoughts that needed to be untangled, fleshed out. And in the meantime there was his wife, his queen, his Storm.
T'Challa finished removing the last of his arsenal of weapons, neatly storing each item in its designated space, pretending as if he wasn't acutely aware of Ororo lazily taking in his humble abode.
He wasn't ashamed of the place, T'Challa had to remind himself, but it wasn't the Wakandan royal palace either. And while he knew Ororo cared little for pretentious trappings, T'Challa couldn't shake the feel of having not lived up to all he'd promised her the day he'd proposed.
In the few short years they've been married, so much had happened to and between them. This latest development, him living in and protecting Hell's Kitchen, she living in Utopia and protecting what she always has—mutants—was a heavy ripple in their water-soaked marriage.
And T'Challa could end it all today. Right here. Right now. But he knew he wouldn't. Knew he couldn't. Not yet. Panther God help him, not yet.
"What do you think?" he found himself asking, an unfamiliar wrench of insecurity bubbling to the surface, his cool voice the only thing not giving him away.
Then those heart-quaking ocean blue eyes turned his way, settled on his face and saw straight into his soul. Ororo knew him too well, but she simply smiled, shrugged, and said, "You've always been a very organized and tidy person, T'Challa."
And so he had been. But what she'd meant was that his apartment was Spartan—a chair and desk, sofa and coffee table, and two lights were all the furniture he had in the living/dining room, all purchased at a discount furniture store that sold a thousand pieces like the ones he'd brought. There was nothing of Wakanda, nothing of home, no reminders, no . . .
"It's just an apartment, Ororo," T'Challa said, "like most found in this part of town."
"Your apartment." Ororo turned away from him, moving to the single window in the room, the one that led to the fire escape, the one he used to leave and enter the building unseen. And no, he hadn't missed his wife's emphasis on the word your.
T'Challa didn't want to argue with Ororo over this. Again. But she made no further comment, just continued to stare out the window. At what he did not know, for the view below was nothing more than a dark, dank alley that many four and two-legged rats scurried through. Perhaps she was looking beyond the dreary development, seeing the New York skyline in a way that only a weather-controlling mutant could. But one thing was for sure, Ororo seemed no more interested in rehashing old arguments than he.
T'Challa sighed his relief and walked toward his suddenly quiet wife, taking her small, fit waist in his arms, snuggling his forehead against her softly sensual neck.
"Thank you," he said, then kissed a warm spot on her exposed shoulder.
Thank you for accepting the unacceptable.
Thank you for supporting me, even though you don't agree.
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for staying.
Thank you for loving me.
He kissed her shoulder again, and Ororo settled her back against his durable chest, acknowledging all that went unsaid in those two little words. She understood, knew him so well.
Ororo turned in his arms and wrapped her lean arms around his neck, her blue eyes shining with unspoken words. She wouldn't say them, T'Challa knew, but they were there, held back as surely as water thrumming against a dam.
Ororo's fingers began a slow, erotic massage at the nape of his neck. "Maybe we should take a shower first, it's a bit warm in here and I'm sweaty from chasing Kraven."
T'Challa smiled at his diplomatic wife. True, his apartment wasn't air conditioned and he and Ororo had chased Kraven from one rooftop to the next, but Ororo wasn't warm or sweaty. In fact, she smelled of lilac and brown sugar. Perhaps she simply looked like brown sugar, T'Challa amended, the succulent granules melted so deliciously in his mouth. And damn if he didn't want to taste her right now, see how she compared to the confection, knowing she would be even sweeter.
T'Challa laughed instead. "Is that your way of saying I stink, beloved, and that you refuse to share a bed with your foul smelling husband, no matter how long it's been?"
Ororo's eyes twinkled, her lips quirking up at the corners. "I would be glad to wash your back for you."
"Hmm, I sure you would but," T'Challa said, forcing himself to release his wife and move back, "I don't think we can both fit in my tiny shower. Besides," he winked at her, "you know as well as I do that if we took a shower together the last thing either one of us would do is wash up."
"True," Ororo admitted. "You go take a shower and I'll be here when you get out."
Reluctantly, T'Challa moved to his bedroom, feeling incredibly aroused in spite of the fog that threatened to consume him. He pushed against it, refusing to allow it to dampen his spirits. He would take advantage and enjoy every minute of his time with his wife, knowing she would have to soon return to Utopia, leaving him alone once more. Just as he'd requested. What a sobering, drenching thought.
Twenty minutes later, T'Challa emerged from the bathroom, freshly shaved and showered. The cascade of warm water had worked miracles on his tense muscles and pulsing head. But it had done nothing to soothe the growing, impatient throb in his loins. It had been too long.
His bedroom was cast in quiet shadows, the glow from the nightstand lamp the only illumination in the room. But it was enough to make her out, sitting in deep contemplation on the windowsill, her eyes closed, head propped against the drab wall, legs pulled to her chest.
And T'Challa's heart leapt, skin tightened, penis twitched with admiration and undisguised interest. Ororo had removed her thigh-high boots, leaving her sexy feet and legs bare. All that remained was that bathing suit she called a uniform, the one that kept T'Challa up at night visualizing all the wonderful things it did for her ass and breast. And how many men she'd come into contact with who'd had the same lusty reaction?
The thought made him frown, question the sanity of his continued decision to remain in Hell's Kitchen. Slowly, Ororo looked up and at him, and the depressing thoughts were soon forgotten, draining away like water through a colander.
Her eyes roamed his body, starting with his eyes, and moving languidly down to his neck, chest, legs, then gliding back up to that part of him that was pointing at her, showing off and begging for her attention.
No, T'Challa hadn't bothered to put anything on after his shower, not even the towel he'd used to dry himself off with. What was the point? he reasoned, they both knew what Ororo wanted when she'd asked to see his 'romantic walk-up.' And T'Challa wanted it too, had wanted it for a very long time, arctic showers and a lubricated hand doing nothing to assuage his sexual desire—sexual tension only his beautiful, mutant wife could curb.
And how he loved the way Ororo's eyes were devouring him, blue slithers stroking him with a soft, penetrating gaze, pink tongue peeking out to lick ruby lips, eyes once again dropping to that region that made him most male.
Even without his enhanced sense of smell, T'Challa could scent his wife's arousal, the air around them heating, crackling with a sweet and salty aroma of the river Nile, rising up and overflowing its banks. Ah, yes, she craved him, and he craved her. There was nothing standing between them now, not Kraven, nor T'Challa's pride, or the continental United States—nothing but fifteen feet of hardwood flooring and a bathing suit that just dropped to the floor.
Then it was just the distance, and that too was soon discarded, Ororo gliding on invisible winds, closing the space in the time it took T'Challa to open his arms for her. And then those heavy arms were filled, filled with the overpowering blaze of Ororo's demanding body, sweltering kisses.
Those kisses, that tongue, persistent, aggressive, heartfelt. T'Challa met and matched her passion, sucking and nibbling, catching that wily tongue of hers and toying with it like a cat with a ball. And play he did, enjoying the way Ororo teased and tempted, caressed and pounced, soared and soothed, her mouth and hands wicked and dangerous.
Gasping on a moan, lightning flared outside, sending Ororo's eyes into another color dimension. Not quite white, but neither blue either. Those eyes stared into T'Challa's rich, brown ones, going mildly wide when he lifted her by her hips, walked them to his military made bed, and laying her down with a gentleness that belied how desperately he needed to be in her, feel her around him.
The animal pulse of his body ripped through him, urging T'Challa to claim Ororo now, to bury himself so deep in her that there would be no room for a husband's guilt, a former king's doubts. But T'Challa, not his bestial nature was still in control. And while he would have Ororo, and she him, he would do it right, take his time, make her scream and flow for him. And she would do the same to him, she always did, his body a piano to her maestro fingers.
God, she was beautiful, splayed like an offering on his bed, long legs bent, chest rising with anticipation, eyes glossy and alert. And that damnably enticing tongue came out again, running over lips swollen from his ardent kisses. His dream. His nightmare. His wife who would be gone come morning, the unbidden memory came.
Shaking off the unwanted thought, T'Challa bent and took a perfectly erect nipple into his mouth, sucking, tasting, and biting with just enough pressure Ororo's back arched in pleasure, crushing her beautiful bounty further into his wet mouth.
T'Challa had been right, Ororo tasted better than brown sugar, sweeter than cinnamon, body smoother than soft served ice cream on a steamy summer night. Delicious and delectable didn't begin to describe her. He had to have more, his tongue aching to lick every scrumptious inch of her, his mouth finding the southern route too tempting to resist.
So he didn't, the path and the pleasure imprinted in his memory, his very soul. Vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry and orange juice, his very own Sex on the Beach, and Ororo tasted divine. T'Challa didn't drink, had never gotten drunk, except for when he was with her, giving Ororo oral pleasure, consuming her special intoxicating brew, making it flow heavy and heady for him.
And she moaned, whimpered, and squirmed, rotating her hips like a belly dancer bent on seduction, his large hands leis around her waist, holding her, caressing her in slow, rhythmic strokes, making her cry out, scream his name overtop of the blasts of lightning illuminating their reunion.
Then Ororo was pulling T'Challa to her, up her sweaty and panting body, legs wrapping around him as he—thank the Panther God—found his way home. And it was home, as wet, warm, and sweet as he'd remembered. But of course, how could he ever forget? His nightmares a exquisite torture that left him hard, aching, and needing release.
But this night, right now, was no cruel dream. No, Ororo was here with him, in his bed, nails scoring his back with each powerful thrust, lips, teeth, and tongue bearing into his shoulders and neck, marking him as hers. Yet there was no need for such primal claiming, he'd always been hers, since the first time he laid eyes on her, children too young to understand what life had in store for them.
Even now, as adults, they were still wading through emotional landmines, learning themselves and where they fit into the vast, complex world of good, evil, or simply confused and lost.
But, ah, T'Challa didn't feel lost now, not while Ororo was in his arms. All he felt was an almost indescribable sense of contentment and happiness. Neither of which he'd experienced in far too long. Such was the power of his wife, his Storm, and hell yes, the way she took him in her body and made T'Challa want to pitch a tent and stay forever, was a part of the appeal. But only a small fraction, the body a mere shell, a dazzling prelude to a much deeper, warmer, vibrant personality within.
And it was this loving and supportive personality that made it easy and hard for him to be apart from her. But they would persevere, get past this rough patch, find a way to be together, accepting themselves and each other. And T'Challa knew it was more his cross to bear than hers. But that Ororo would gladly help him hold it aloft if he'd accept the hand she's so graciously offered him. Like tonight.
Perhaps he would. T'Challa would have to think on it. But not now, not when Ororo was doing that amazing trick of hers, clenching his hardness with her inner muscles, sending raging urges to his body to pump harder, stroke longer, go deeper.
And the Black Panther that still lurked somewhere deep in his soul roared, fisting white hair, running at top speed, teeth bared and ready to strike, chasing the gazelle that wanted to be caught, but taunted him nonetheless.
Once. Twice. Three times. And the gazelle was his, and he was hers, the predator-prey relationship echoing from one to the other, thunderclaps slowing, mimicking the beating of their in-synch hearts.
Then she was simply in his arms, body wrapped around her as she slept, pearl hair covering both their pillows, the scent of lovemaking in the air. The only aroma T'Challa liked better than that of his wife, the scent of the two of them combined. Yes, that was his ambrosia.
Six hours later, T'Challa didn't need the light from the morning sun, beaming through opened blinds, to know Ororo was gone. No, he felt the absence two hours ago, his heart tightening, knowing, even in slumber, when its other half was no longer within touching distance.
T'Challa sat up in bed, his body still naked and tingling from he and Ororo's long night of lovemaking. Sleeping, then waking, making love, and cuddling. For hours, until sheer exhaustion forced them to finally call it a night.
But not once had they exchanged one word. Beyond groans, moans, and cries of obscene pleasure, nothing had been uttered between them. No words were needed, no more than T'Challa needed a good-bye.
Ororo had spared them, spared him. He didn't want to watch her fly away, see the repressed tears in her eyes, feel his gut wrench when he let her go. Again.
Leaning to his right, T'Challa opened his nightstand drawer, and pulled out what he was looking for. Two objects. The first he slid on the third finger of his left hand, the other he placed on his covered lap.
When T'Challa left Wakanda, he took very little with him, save for enough money to get him started. But nothing more, except two items—his wedding ring and a picture he'd taken of Ororo when she hovered among the clouds, hair billowing, eyes bright, smile warm and happy. His queen. His goddess.
They'd become his most precious possessions and this was his morning routine. Ring on, eyes glued to the picture, seeing her in his mind's eye, preparing himself for another lonely day, and an even lonelier night.
"I'd still like to have a look at your romantic walk-up."
"Consider yourself invited."
T'Challa sighed and shifted back under the covers. It was still early yet, the sun barely up in the sky. Yet, the scent of last night's passion called to him, making him remember, respond.
T'Challa jumped from bed, just catching the framed photo before it smashed to the unforgiving floor. It was definitely time to get up before he actually "got up" and would have that comfortable state to contend with. Again.
Before he could jump in the shower, T'Challa's cell phone rang. A familiar face popped up on the screen and he smiled. T'Challa sat back on the bed, pulled the picture frame to him once more, and pushed a button on the phone.
"Hello, beloved, I was just thinking of you."