Disclaimer: I do not own Fallout New Vegas or any part of the Fallout franchise. I am not making a profit from this.

Note: For the kink meme. Explicit.

No School Like Old School


"What do you think?" Gabby giggles, twirling round. She hasn't worn a skirt, let alone a dress, in...how long? It feels weird, but it feels good, too. Liberating. Changing out of her heavy, battle-worn armour and into this flare of pink and frills is exactly what she needed. This night off is exactly what she needs. Raul is leaning against the wall of the games room, looking out of place in the plush suite. He raises what's left of his eyebrows.

"Didn't know you had legs inside that armour, boss," he quips dryly. She ignores him, pointedly, and turns to Cass, who seems to be admiring her legs in a rather different way.

"Suits you," she says, with a grin. "But, er, if you think I'm changing..."

Gabby laughs "No, no. I just need to...agh, clear my head. It's easier, you know? Change of clothes, change of mind."

Raul nods. His vaquero hat lies on the chair next to him. "Tell me about it."

"Do you know if Arcade's gonna come with us?" Gabby asks, stepping in front of a mirror to pat her hair about.

Cass laughs. "That stiff? We'll be lucky if he even joins us for the fucking meal!"

Arcade's voice echoes from next door. "I can still hear you, Rose of Sharon."

The caravaneer's face clouds and she storms towards the door. "Don't call me that, you little rat bastard, you –" She breaks off, shocked, as Arcade steps into view.

He's wearing a suit, and looking only slightly awkward about it. He tugs at his cuffs, until he seems satisfied. "Are we going?"

Cass' jaw has easily dropped the lowest. "You look nice." She says it like an accusation. "Who – who's the lucky guy?"

Arcade gives her a look dripping with disdain. "Please. If there was anyone, do you think I'd tell a crass loudmouth like you?"

Astonishment forgotten, Cass balls her fists. "Listen, Gannon –"

Gabby steps between them, holding up her hands. "Yeah, hey, guess what, you're not gonna fight tonight." Even in the dress, even with all (okay, most) of her weapons packed neatly into the box at the bottom of her bed, she knows they know she's not a force to be messed with. She has asked that they take a night off and that they take it together and God damn it they would play nice.

Arcade smoothes non-existent creases from his suit. "Fine by me."

Cass scowls, but she lowers her fists. Nevermind, Gabby thinks. Few shots, she'll be fine. Definitely. Please.

Raul peels himself away from the wall. "Hate to break up all the drama, kids, but are we gonna make a move here?"

"Yes," Gabby says decisively, glancing in the mirror once last time. Does she look alright? Does the dress suit her? Is it ridiculous, to go from being the terror of the Mojave to some sort of...doll?

As they head to elevator, she feels Raul's hand land on the small of her back. Arcade and Cass are ahead of them, still bickering but more subdued, so they don't hear when he leans in and whispers, his accent warm and familiar. "Don't worry about it, boss. Everyone's gonna think you're a knockout."

She's sure she blushes at that, and it's so fucking out of character that she pulls away from him abruptly, not realising until they're all at the casino floor that she forgot to thank him for the compliment.

The Tops' restaurant is pretty quiet this early on, but Gabrielle had wanted to start the evening as early as possible, to get the most of her night off. Raul can't complain – fewer people means fewer stares directed at their motley little group, looking weirder than usual tonight. He's sure they're a sight – a pair of half-cowboys and a couple of pretty smoothskins decked out in their eveningwear. The casino's new owner, who introduces himself as Swank and is even polite enough to shake Raul's rough hand, insists on sitting with them for a while and serving them everything they ask for at a discount price.

"Least I can do, baby doll," he says, shooting Gabrielle a conspiratorial smile and a wink. "Least I can do."

Raul knows there's a reason she doesn't talk about the night she spent alone in The Tops with the man who tried to kill her, and he's pretty sure the veiled insinuations Swank is launching at her now has something to do with it.

Swank's hand lands on Arcade's shoulder as he leaves, and lingers for a second. When he catches Gabrielle's eye a moment later, he knows he's not the only one who noticed. Cass, of course, is oblivious.

"I'm gonna get a drink. Anyone want a refresh?" Gabrielle asks, getting to her feet.

He's spent the meal waiting for his moment, and now, as Cass and Arcade give her their requests, he seizes it. He follows her to the bar and steps up beside her as she tries to collect the mishmash of bottles and glasses her caps have paid for. "Let me help you with that, boss."

"Oh, hi. Great." She presses a bottle and a shot glass into his hands, smiling gratefully. He pauses, though, as they head back to the table.

"Wait a second."

She turns to him. "What's up?"

He lowers his voice. "I just wanted to apologise. You know, for the suite. I didn't mean to come across as the creepy old man, boss."

Gabrielle turns a little red. "Oh, no! I didn't – I got embarrassed." She laughs awkwardly, starting towards their table again. "I'm not used to, you know, looking nice. I meant to say thank you, but, er..." She laughs again, still flushing. "Don't worry about it, okay?"

"Whatever you say, boss," he says, relieved. It hadn't occurred to him until after he nearly had his tongue in her ear how his movements could be misconstrued, and by then she'd jerked away from him. Which he deserved, he supposed. Can't get much creepier than a centuries-old ghoul slipping up behind you to croon sleazy compliments in your ear.

A few shots later, and the mood at the table is generally good. Arcade is looking a little ruddy-cheeked, unused as the man is to the hard stuff. Cass is laughing and smiling but he can see the fire in her eyes that means someone is getting taken to bed tonight. She is a wildcat, that one, and Raul wonders, for a moment, if her tastes have ever wandered to the...more exotic.

He shake his head, and knocks back his next shot. No good can come of this, he tells himself. Hanging out with pretty young things getting drunk and looking for fun. Nothing good can come of this.

"Casino, then?" Gabrielle says, as Arcade tentatively finishes what's left in his glass. They begin to stand, but Cass gets there first, holding out her hands with a look on her face like she's just had the best idea in the world.

"I got a better idea than staying here," she says, with a wicked smile. "Let's go where there's some real fun, not all these fucking stick-in-the-muds in their cheap suits and shitty 'dos."

"I like their 'dos," Arcade says, halfway between indignant and meek, but Cass ignores him.

"Guys. I'm talking Gomorrah."

He should have known, then, at the stiffening of Gabrielle's shoulders, that it wasn't a good idea. But the shots were working their magic on his old brain, and he knew as well as any of them that when Cass was set on an idea, dissuading her was a skill all of its own.

"Gomorrah," he says, raising his empty glass.

Cass lets out a whoop, and links her arm in Gabrielle's, dragging her towards the door. "Come on, courier. Time to take a walk on the wild side."

Gabby doesn't know how to tell Cass that for her, the wild side has been well and truly walked on by simply putting on a fucking dress. The woman's got a fire in her belly and, more than likely, in her pants, and nothing's gonna deter her. Raul lopes behind them, evidently amused by Cass' enthusiasm and her predicament, and she shoots him regular glares.

Arcade, to no one's surprise but Cass, has vanished.

"What a loser!" she declares when she finally notices, on the Gomorrah steps. "I told you, barely even stayed for the meal."

Gabby looks sidelong at Raul, and catches his smile. There was a joke about Gannon's cannon and taking Swank to the tops to be made here, but neither of them wanted to be the one to sink that low.

"Well, screw him," Cass says decisively, and pulls Gabby inside the casino before she even has a chance to say 'Wait maybe this isn't –'

There are hookers everywhere.

'- a good idea.'

Raul is pretty sure Brimstone started working its magic on him long before Cass tried to get a terrified Gabrielle to 'try out the poles with her', but that was probably the point where he decided to abandon glasses altogether and start pulling straight from the bottle.

The dancers don't seem to bat an eye when Cass climbs on the stage, dragging Gabrielle behind. A couple of guys in the audience whoop, and Cass gives them a sassy salute. The catcalls start, and Cass jumps off the stage, heading in the direction of her 'admirers'. Raul's not sure whether she intends to fuck them up or just fuck them, but the distraction gives Gabrielle a chance to escape the spotlight, hurrying over towards the courtyard doors. Her face looks very red.

Without a second thought, he follows her. She's the boss, and he's got to look out for her, but it's more than that. Being around girls like Cass and Gabrielle, having them tease and taunt and flatter him, makes a guy think he might not be over the hill just yet. It's an idea Raul didn't have much time for – not when he can feel his joints creak with every bend and knows there's a place at the back of his mind that's starting to get foggy – but it was enough, it was enough to let a spark of emotion, of affection, start to burn inside him. Travelling with her, day in, day out, and tonight, seeing her in that dress...

It's enough to fan the flames a little higher, is all. And that ferocious vaquero part of him that cares for her isn't going to let her run out into the courtyard without him making sure she's alright.

She's sat by the edge of the pool, legs folded beneath her, hands against her cheeks. He approaches her quietly, settling beside her. "Chica?" For a moment, he forgets to call her 'boss'.

She jumps a little and looks up at him. "Raul! God, I'm sorry, I know I just ran out, I –" She gave that same, awkward laugh she'd given before, but this time it smacked more of hysteria than humour.

He was halfway to asking her if she was alright when she continued, unbidden.

"I'm not good with places like this," she blurts. "Not that – well, it's not that I don't like it, and I don't have anything against it, I mean, it just – how do you act in there? When they start coming onto you? When guys start wolf-whistling you? It's great if you're Cass, if you just get it, but what if you're not, and what if you want to, but you've got no idea where to begin, and all that flirting is like – just another language to you, and..." She seems to run out of steam there, putting her hands over her eyes. "I'm such an idiot."

He raises his arm, ready to loop it around her shoulders to comfort her, but he pauses, remembering her reaction in the suite. But his unasked question is answered when she leans against him. He drops his arm around her.

"Sure sounds like you got a lot going on there," he offers.

She's shaking, he realises. She's not unhappy, though, just embarrassed. It's adorable, and makes the fierce, protective instinct inside him surge. "I don't think that this is weird. It's not that I'm – it's not that I don't like this sort of thing. It's just – there's so much fucking sex! How are you supposed to deal with that if you've never –"

Gabrielle cuts herself of, and Raul feels her body go rigid against his. He's torn, between wanting to ask, and knowing she never meant to let that slip. The meaning's obvious, though, and for a moment he can't stop the thought that flashes into his mind – Gabrielle, prone beneath him; Gabrielle, innocent in white; Gabrielle, virginal and beckoning him forwards, whispering for him to be gentle –

"I'm sure there are a lot of virgins in the wastes," she says, suddenly and defensively.

"Definitely," he tells her, patting her arm, when a thought occurs to him. "But I thought – we thought – that night you went to find Benny, ask about the chip –"

She sucks in a breath, shakes her head vehemently. "No," she says, with venom. "Never. I told him – I pretended – I had no idea what I was doing but he took me to his suite and I just –"

She looks down at her hands. Raul has a pretty good idea how Swank took over The Tops.

"I want to go back inside," she says abruptly. "I wanna learn how not to freak out like this. You're gonna help me, okay?"

Gabrielle gives him a look so filled with determination that for a second, he almost mistakes her for Cass.

"If that's what you want, boss," he says, withdrawing his arm. "No idea what an old timer like me's gonna do to help, but..."

"Anything," she says. "Whatever it takes. I'm fed up of this. I'm not gonna feel like a kid anymore whenever I'm around skin, okay?"

"Whatever you say."

Cass emerges from the double doors behind them, her hair a mess, tugging her jacket back on. Raul immediately decides that for his sanity's sake, he doesn't want to ask.

"Moved the party out here without telling me?" she says, sinking into her hips. There's a bite mark on her neck. She is very, very drunk.

"Go inside, grab us a couple of drinks," Raul says quietly to Gabrielle. "I'll be there in a second."

"Cass is gonna laugh at me," she says.

"Cass is drunk."

She smiles at that. She visibly steadies herself, and heads back into the casino.

Cass watches her go, eyebrows raised. "Yeah. Probably shouldn't have dragged her onto the stage. Didn't realise she would... well, always known she was a bit of a klutz when it came to flirting, but –"

"She wants me to help her," Raul tells her, and it comes out a little like a plea for help itself. "Cass, what the hell does that even mean?"

Cass opens her mouth to reply, and then closes it. A devilish smile crosses her face and she cuts her eyes at him. "Why, Raul," she purrs. "I bet you were quite the ladies' man in your day."

He eyes her suspiciously. "What?"

"I think our cute little friend needs some-" she leant close to his ear, and whispered –"hands on help."

He pulls back, staring at her in disbelief. "I'm not gonna –"

"Not saying you have to." Her grin widens. "I'm just saying, I bet you know how to put the moves on a girl better than any of those hookers back in there." A woman slips through the doors and waves at Cass, who winks and adds, "Except maybe Joanna here."

It's very clear she's going to leave him on his own in this. But between the alcohol and her words and that damned, persistent image of Gabrielle (be gentle, Raul), he doesn't think he's going to mind that at all.

He straightens his collar, and heads inside.

Gabby's already finished her drink and is halfway through Raul's. Nevermind. She'll order more. She toys with her skirt as she sips scotch, watching the dancers on the stage. No, she tells herself. Don't look away. Don't be that guy.

She's so intent on not-not looking at the stage, she doesn't notice when a figure draws up behind her, until hands have landed on her hips and lips have brushed against her ear.

"Gabriella," comes an unmistakable Spanish voice. Light fingers spin her around, and she's face to face with her ghoul companion. Something is different about his face. Something's...darker. His eyes are half-lidded and his smile is a crooked and confident thing, and suddenly the half-remembered, awkward dreams from their travels together rise unbidden in her mind.

"Why don't we get to work on that problem of yours?" His voice is lower than usual, sultry, like hazy evenings and lazy mornings. His fingers splay against her back as he propels her towards an empty table. "I see you've already helped yourself to our drinks. Better be careful, don't want it all to go to your head, boss."

She feels her faculties abandon her as he runs a greying finger up to her temple. Is this – Is Raul –?

He's flirting with me, she realises. He's helping. Okay. I can do this. I can flirt back. Okay –

Oh God when did he get so close.

"You really are a knockout in that dress, Gabriella." Her name lilts of his tongue, and she shudders. No! Don't do that! He doesn't mean it, don't embarrass yourself, just go along, play along, it'll be fine...

Cass bats her eyes all the time. She decides to try that. "I'm glad you think so, Mr Tejada."

Raul smiles. "Getting the hang of it already, boss? If I didn't know better, maybe I'd say this was your plan all along. Get the poor old ghoul wrapped round your finger; get him to use what's left of his Spanish charms..."

Okay, she knows this bit. "Raul!" she says, with mock indignation. That's easy. That's just like when they play around on the road, teasing each other, getting falsely outraged at each other's deliberately provocative comments. "How could you say such a thing? To think so lowly of me, the woman who rescued you!"

His chair is right up against hers. He takes her hand and leans in, and she can see every crack on his lips, every scar and dip of his face. "Now that you mention it," he murmurs, "it was an awfully long way to go for a lady with other business to attend to. Maybe hearing my voice on the radio now and again wasn't enough...maybe you needed to put a face – and a body – to a name..."

It's like someone's thrown a switch. He's different from the Raul who hugged her outside, but the same, the same in so many ways – the low croon of his voice, the barb of comments, his relentlessness in teasing her –

It's not so different, this flirting stuff. A little more smiling and murmuring, but it's like their day-in-day-out routine, accusing one another of liking the other more than they liked them, teasing at ulterior motives, touching hair, arms, chests –

Oh God.

It hits her all of a sudden, like a plasma blast to the back. It damn near knocks the wind out of her. What they're doing now – it's not so different – all this time –

Have they been flirting all this time? Has she been – has he been – without realising?

No, no, he's got to know, he's got to, he's acting like this now, it's just her, just her and –

Oh God, what if he's serious? What if he thinks this is her way of coming onto him? What if he thinks –

Would it be so bad?

The thought catches her mid-panic and brings her up short. Raul has pulled back a little, and her shock must have been evident on her face because there's a mist of concern in his eyes. She doesn't want that, she realises. She wants the seductive voice, the rolled Rs, the suggestions of impropriety. A thrill runs through her as she realises – she's enjoying this.

"So disingenuous," she chides, and on an impulse, brings up her hand. Her fingers land under his chin, pulling him a little closer. She'd done almost the exact same thing a week ago, when she was scolding him for not letting her look at the colour of his eyes up close. Oh God. Has it been so obvious?

The concern leaves his face. "You don't seem to be so flustered anymore, little mesanjera." He turns to look at the stage. "Perhaps I have a challenge for you."

His smile is quite wicked, but Gabby feels like she's in way too deep to pull out now. She's pretty sure she doesn't want to, anyway.

From inside a pocket, he produces a few crumpled NCR notes from his pocket. He thumbs out a twenty and hands it to her.

"There's a young lady the other side of the bar," he tells her. "She's dancing for those boys in the jackets. I want you to go up behind her...slip this into one of her straps."

"Why?" she asks.

"Call it an...Old World tradition." His fingers linger on hers and another thrill runs through her. God, this could get so out of hand.

She's hesitant, but she's determined not to let it show. She spins out of her seat, heading in the direction of the dancing hooker. She slows her pace before she reaches her. She hasn't attracted attention yet. All she has to do is stick the bill in one of her straps and –

No. That's not what Cass would do, shove money at her and walk away. Cass would make it sexy, seductive. Could she do that? Did she even know how?

The hooker catches sight of her, and beckons her closer. Emboldened, Gabby steps forward. The hooker catches her hand and pulls her forward, swaying her hips, her breasts brushing close to Gabby's own.

She pictures Cass, when she's on the pull. Mirroring the image in her head, Gabby runs her hands down the hooker's body, tucking the twenty into a strap looping round her waist as her hands reach her hips. The hooker looks at her appreciatively and leans forward, planting a sensuous kiss on her lips. The guys cheer, and Gabby pulls away.

Job done. Challenge completed. She turns back to the table, in time to see the look on Raul's face.

His mouth is slightly agape and there's a haze in his eyes that even she can't mistake. She felt like her little show had been awkward, embarrassing, but Raul seems to think otherwise. He is on his feet before she reaches the table, and he pulls her against him, twirls her, and drops her backwards in his arms, so low her hair brushes the floor. Distantly, someone applauds.

"Good girl," he tells her, "but you're making me doubt more and more that you really need my help with anything."

She isn't sure what makes her say it, isn't sure what she's even thinking, but she matches him, smile for smile, pulls up against him and whispers, "Oh, there's definitely something you can help me with."

He nearly drops her there and then.

Her shyness hasn't exactly melted away – he can still feel the hesitancy in her motions, the pause before she speaks while she weighs her words. She's thinking too hard. She's treating it like a test. But she's trying, and the determination is brightening the flush in her cheeks, pushing her to ignore her urge to run or yelp or step back and instead, leap forwards.

And he is holding her close against him. This is no way for a man of his age to behave, but there's a good few layers of liquor and lust between should and could here, and the part of Raul that's still twenty-six and unscarred is telling him that for tonight, can is good enough.

"Gabriella." He pulls her upright, but does not release his grip on her. Her hands are splayed across his chest and there's uncertainty and excitement in her eyes. She's nervous. He can feel her trembling in his arms, but he's not going to relent. Anything, she said. Whatever it takes. Though really, this has long since stopped being about getting her to relax. "I want to take you out of this place. Continue our lessons somewhere...private."

She makes a sound in her throat. It might me a gasp and it might be a groan but there's one thing it's not, and that's reluctant. Her fingers tighten a little on his shirt, and he marvels, for a moment, that this is happening. That he is having this effect. He's expecting his luck to run out any moment, but damn if he isn't going to chase it.

"Lots of empty rooms upstairs right now," he says, with his lips close to hers. For a moment, he imagines he sees her edge forward a little. "You and me both handy with a lock pick. You've only gotta say the word, mi querida, and I'll take you out of here."

There is an instant where he is sure she is going to say no, that this has gone too far. Then –


He doesn't need to be told twice.

He learnt a long time ago how to keep the mood on the awkward treks to a more secluded venue. He keeps his hand on her back, and presses a finger to her lips before they leave Brimstone. Less chance for either of them to say anything that could break the spell if they're both silent. As they enter the elevator, his hand ghosts from her back to her hips, and when the doors close, he spins her fluidly against him, breathing her in. She looks dizzy and she's still trembling a little, but her eyes are fixed on his, and there's a coy little smile on her lips.

She's the one who grabs his hand and drags him out of the elevator. They come across a suitable looking room, and stop. He moves her behind him – unnecessary, but he still feels her hands come to rest just below his shoulders – and knocks on the door. When no one answers, he sets to work.

The room is, thankfully, empty. Anything else and this would have been ruined, but Raul is sure that Lady Luck and the gods of fortune and whatever else is up there is smiling down on him tonight. He still doesn't know where this is going, where it's all going to lead, but Gabrielle's hand is soft and small in his as he pulls her into the room and shuts the door behind them. He wants to throw her onto the bed right now, he wants to rip that pretty pink dress off her and make her beg for him. But he won't. He won't, unless he knows that's exactly what she wants.

They are close again – they seem to have spent all of this evening close. He can feel her breath against his neck, and gently tilts her face upwards.

"What did you –" she begins, and pauses. Her voice sounds strangled, though he isn't sure if it's by nerves or desire – "what did you have in mind for this – this private lesson?"

He bends down a little, so that when he speaks, his lips will touch hers. "That's up to you. You're the boss."

It seems to be this that breaks her. The moment the last sibilant sound has left his lips, she is kissing him, catching the words between them. She is uncertain but eager, and her hands in his shirt are pleading with him to guide her, so guide her he does. He turns and presses her against the door, moulding his rough lips against hers. There's a gasp that dies in her throat, and the feeling of her hands running up his back to rest against his head. She doesn't pull away when he presses his tongue forward. She doesn't recoil in disgust. She doesn't say no, doesn't say it's too far. She pushes his head closer to her and arches up against him, tasting like scotch and salt.

Breaking for air turns into him trailing kisses down her neck, across her collarbone, murmuring old Spanish romances that he'd almost forgotten he knew. Her breathing is shallow and he hears her say, "Raul!"

His hands skim her sides, stroking the cloth of her dress. He wants more, God, he wants more. But no. Not unless it's her idea. Not unless it comes from her. They're both drunk enough that this should be a bad idea, and he will not plant ideas in her head. But when she shifts against him and bows her head, kissing the broken skin and exposed muscles of his neck, and whispers, "I want you, Raul. I want you to be...my first," he'd have to be a fool not to want to take her at her word.

He picks her up, bodily, and carries her to the bed. He's on top of her, then, bearing down, pressing her into another kiss. This time she's less wary, and her tongue moves to meet his. She tugs at his shirt, desperate, and he wants to calm her down, make this right. He's a man of old values and he wants her first time to mean something, wants her to know that he can stop if she's not ready, wants her to know this is more than lust and booze. Still, she's pulling at his shirt, fumbling with the buttons, so he moves to help her take it off.

He imagines he's not much of a sight to behold shirtless, but she's running her hands over his chest like he's the most beautiful thing she's seen. She tries to pull him down and he resists her, only for a moment, before letting himself drop down.

"As good as you look in that dress, Gabriella, I want to see you out of it."

It's a fumble, and he has to move off her as she slips it off, but it's worth it when she's lying, naked except her underwear, below him. This is better than his idle daydreams. This is worth any number of years locked up by super mutants.

"Is it okay?" she asks, and it takes him a minute but he realises she's talking about her body.

"Alright doesn't cover it," he tells her, his voice dropping to a growl as he looms over her. She shivers underneath him.



"I want...you..."

"Well, hey, boss," he says, keeping his voice low, bringing his lips to the fabric of her bra. "You might've mentioned that. Can't hurt to say it again though, huh?" He brings a hand up to rest against her breast, and she lets out a small, whimpering sound.


"Calm down, mi querida, calm down. Raul Tejada is at your service."

She reaches down to his belt, starting to tug again. He doesn't have to be a genius to work out what she wants next. He unloops the belt and lets her tuck her hands against the waistband of his pants, shifting them down. He grunts when her hand touches the ragged flesh of his cock, and hurriedly works his pants off his legs. His underwear has gone with them, and now he is naked above her, standing to attention. She takes him in her hand and he's sure as fuck this isn't the first time she's been naked with a guy, virgin or not. Her fingers dance over the head of his cock and he bucks against her, his arms buckling. He drops onto her – gently, gently – his cock pressed against the soft skin of her stomach. She hooks her hands under his arms and looks up at him, a hundred miles of desire and trust behind her eyes.

"If you are sure about this, Gabriella," he says quietly. She nods. "It will be easier if you...are on top."

"Okay." Her hands leave what's left of his skin and he moves off her, lying back onto the soft sheets of the bed. If this wasn't Gomorrah, and room-stealing wasn't commonplace, he'd almost feel bad about what they were about to do. But with Gabrielle shifting on top of him, her hair loose around her shoulders and her tanned skin smooth and soft beneath his finger –

"Come here," he murmurs, and she shifts forwards. He isn't sure when her underwear went, but it sure as fuck isn't there now. "Lie down on me."

She is tentative now, frightened. He wants to ask her again if she's sure, if she wants to do this, if she wants an old ghoul like him, but her jaw is set and he knows that what she's scared of has nothing to do with him. He gathers her against him gently, crooning softly to her, meaningless words and sounds to soothe her. When he feels her relax against him, he steadies her hips. She draws a sharp breath as the head of his cock nudges against her opening.

"Not yet, not yet," he assures her. He pulls her further up his body, and she nestles her head into his neck. He runs a hand down her back and dips it between her legs. She is wet and warm, and feeling her slickness against his fingers makes his cock twitch. "Tell me yes, or tell me no."

He presses one finger against her entrance, pausing to give her a chance to object. Her breathing is steady down, and he pushes deeper. She is hot and tight and it has been a long, long time. He pushes again, and she suddenly jolts against him, gasping in pain.

"I need you to stay still, Gabriella. Hold onto me, take a breath, it will only hurt for a second, I promise you."

After a couple of seconds, she nods. Her lips are against his neck, and when he pushes up again, she yelps and bites his neck. He hisses, but holds her, gently working his finger until he is sure he has broken through. Slowly, he pulls his finger out, and there is blood there.

"Shh, shh," he tells her, as he feels her body unwind. "It will hurt less now. That is the worst bit."

He looks around for something to clean her up with. Regretfully, he pulls one of the cases off the pillows, and gently wipes between her legs. Hey, he thinks, you choose Gomorrah, you get Gomorrah.

She breathes out against his neck. "Am I – will you - ?"

"Tell me."

"Will you – are we – will you fuck me now?"

Raul strokes her hair out of her face. "No, Gabriella, now we are going to make love. If it is still what you want."

"Yes," she says, a current of need underpinning her voice. "Yes, Raul. Make...make love to me."

His lust is folding together into something much, much more now. He wants her as much as he wanted hr in Brimstone, as much as he wanted her when he pressed her against the door, but now, something he has not felt in a long time is stirring in his gut, telling him –

He reaches down and readjusts himself. She doesn't tense this time when he moves against her opening, the head of his cock just barely nudging her. "Tell me when you're ready." He kisses the top of her head softly. She's warm, she's shaking, she's beautiful.

She leans her forehead against his shoulder. "I'm ready."

He pushes up very slowly. He hears her breath catch and her fingers tighten on the sheets either side of him and his head moves inside her. He shifts one hand down to help guide her, but relaxes, letting her work herself deeper onto his cock as she's ready. He mutters unintelligible prayers heavenwards as she pushes down, bit by glorious bit, her tightness and heat surrounding him.

"Te quiero. Te amo."

He is as deep as he can go. Slowly, she starts to move on top of him, uncertain at first, gradually building up into something like a rhythm. She rolls her hips against him, and by her breath against his neck he can tell she's still uncomfortable. But she grinds against him anyway, drawing herself along his length. He is nearly lost to her, his head spinning and every inch of him alive under her electric touch. He feels himself mounting, coming closer, when he suddenly senses a shift in her. He isn't sure if the shift or the moan comes first, but it's there.

She has broken through – she is enjoying it.

Gently, holding her against him and using two hundred years of balance, he turns over, keeping her close until she is beneath him. She looks up at him, a little breathless, and he kisses her again.



This time, he is in control, and he is far more certain. He moves against her, slow and deep and as loving as he can, until finally, he hears her breaths shorten and her walls tighten.

"Will you come for me, Gabriella?"

She manages a few shuddering moans before whispering a broken "yes" against his shoulder, and with a final roll of her hips she is coming. That's enough to send him over the edge, and with a final gasp of her name, he comes, too. They ride their climaxes out together, clinging to each other in a stranger's rented bed, the vaquero and the terror of the Mojave. He thinks he hears her sob but it's just a breath coming out awkwardly, and she is kissing his neck, his face, his lips, clutching at him like she is afraid he will vanish. He holds her in his arms, pulling out of her and cradling her gently.

"You are beautiful," he tells her. Into his neck, she murmurs, "so are you."

With her naked and pliant and so loving against him, he believes that she means it.

"A stranger's bed. I can't believe it."

Raul laughs, and she feels herself flush for what must be the millionth time that night. They are sat on the steps outside Gomorrah. He is smoking, she is not. They are waiting for Cass. She promised she would be out 'soon'.

"I hope I left enough caps."

Raul shakes his head. "It's Gomorrah, Gabriella. The customers know what they are getting into."

She buries her face in her hands. "We came in their bed. We used their pillowcase to wipe up – oh God. I was such a nice girl this morning."

Raul scoots closer to her, and there is a tang of smoke on his breath as he whispers, "You are a good girl now. Sex doesn't change that."

"Wilfully doing it in someone else's bed -!"

"Woah, woah," comes a voice from behind them. "Wilfully doing what in whose bed? What the fuck have I missed?" Cass is standing there, looking distinctly dishevelled and extremely astonished.

Gabby feels her temperature rising – again – and buries her head in Raul's shoulder. He pats her back gently and she can feel the smug fucker grinning. Her nestling up against him like this is going to answer Cass' questions quicker than any words in the wastes ever could.

"I can't believe it," Cass says, and indeed, there is disbelief in her tone. "Can't believe I am gone for a fucking hour and –" she breaks off, muttering mutinously to herself. "Fuck this, let's go home."

She stomps ahead. She is clearly coming down from her drunken heights, falling down the angry side of the hill. Raul stands up, offering his hand to Gabby. She takes it. There is a moment when he pulls her up where they are very close, and she isn't sure if she should kiss him or not. He angles his head ever so slightly, and she finds that she cannot resist.

They walk the short distance to the Lucky 38 with their fingers tangled together. Gabby isn't sure yet what this means – if it's the resolution of the kind of tensions and lusts the wasteland can bring on, or if it's...not. If it's more. Right now, she isn't sure which she would even prefer, but she knows that at this moment she doesn't want to let go of Raul's uneven hand.

"What does it mean?" she asked, suddenly, surprising even herself. "Te quiero te amo. What does that mean?"

Raul looks at her in confusion for a moment, and she feels like she has to clarify. She coughs.

"You said it when we were...um..."

He leans towards her and plants a kiss on her temple. "I will tell you tomorrow, if you still want to hear it."

It's a promise, an offer. There can be more, and this can be everyday, if she wants to reach for it. She still feels sore between her thighs, and relaxed, and wants nothing more than to drop into bed and fall asleep.

Perhaps it's a little telling, she thinks, that she wants Raul to fall asleep there with her.