"Cain? Are you awake?"

"Am now," Cain snapped, too quick to have been sleeping. Abel let that lie go, even though it was too obvious. Cain had been awake, they both had been, Cain tossing restlessly and trying to not touch in their little bed.

Medical had patched him up without a hospital stay this time, but he still had a bruised rib and he was back to walking almost as badly as he had right after they'd been shot down. He came back from his physical therapy appointments as crabby as ever and smoked sullenly afterwards.

They hadn't fucked since the morning Cain went after Laius, just tried to stay out of each others' space and did what work they had to. Cain let himself be touched sometimes in the morning, when he was having trouble getting up with his bad leg gone stiff, but mostly they just stayed out of each other's way, not talking about anything, and especially not what had happened.

"You wake me up just to see if I was asleep, princess?" Cain mumbled, rolling onto his back.

"You weren't asleep," Abel said, wishing he hadn't said anything in the first place if Cain was going to be like this.

"Why the fuck do you care anyway?"

Abel sighed and sat up. He was tired of Cain's sulking, wishing they could just go back to normal so he wouldn't have to step so carefully around Cain's bruised ego.

He leaned down and kissed Cain, teasing until Cain parted his lips just a little, just enough. Abel didn't need a lot, just needed Cain to let him in enough to convince him to stop pouting over whatever Cain wouldn't talk about.

Cain tilted his chin up but otherwise didn't move, so Abel pulled back and straddled him, awkward and clumsy with Cain watching him, but it wasn't like he'd ever had to do the seducing before. He didn't really want to, but Cain hadn't made a move in weeks, and now that Abel was on top of him he could tell Cain had been tossing and turning because he was just as hard and Abel was. It had been too long, both of them still wanting each other, but not sure what the rules were or what normal was.

Abel skimmed a hand over Cain's chest, leaning down to kiss him again, but Cain turned his head away.

"What are you doing?" he asked, looking at Abel sideways.

"Do you want me to stop?" Abel asked, blushing hot. Maybe he should have done this more slowly, given Cain time to ease back into it instead of just pushing him.

Cain took a couple of slow breaths, looking Abel's face up and down. Looking for something. Cain reached one hand up, and Abel got ready to be pushed off or have a hand fisted in his hair.

But Cain ran a light finger over Abel's ear and down his jaw, the tip of one finger trailing over his lips. Maybe a little falter on the scar. Abel caught Cain's first two fingers in his mouth, teasing a little, waiting to see what Cain wanted.

Cain watched him, his breath shallow, so Abel sucked his fingers deeper, keeping his eyes on Cain to see what he was getting away with. Enough, it seemed like.

Abel reached down to stroke Cain's cock, Cain watching him as Abel bit his fingers and sucked in the same slow rhythm his hand worked. Cain swallowed. He took his fingers away then, trailing them down Abel's chest to his hip, following the wet mark it made with his eyes to where Abel's hand rolled over the head of his cock, thumbing the tip.

Cain closed his eyes and tilted his head back, and Abel just let him, relieved to see Cain finally relax after so long. He was less dangerous this way, more understandable when he opened up just enough to let Abel see that Cain wanted things too, that he could let Abel be in control, even if it was only for a few minutes to stroke him off.

He thought about finishing Cain like that, just watching him lie back and letting Cain not worry about anything. Cain was hot in his hand, not close now but he would be if Abel stroked him harder or for much longer, it had been too long since they'd fucked. Abel was hard just watching him, could probably have gotten himself off just after Cain from watching him.

But Abel needed Cain to know that they could still fuck, and didn't think he could actually say anything about it, the thought of talking about what he wanted too embarrassing even after everything. Maybe more embarrassing after everything.

Abel got off him again, rearranging himself next to Cain and waiting for him to sit up. Abel ran a hand up Cain's thigh, warm and solid, bringing his mouth down to Cain's hard cock.

Cain was gentle, leaning back against the wall and stroking Abel's back, breath shallow as Abel teased the soft underside of his tip. Abel rolled his tongue over the ridge, glancing up to see Cain's eyes close again and his mouth open before Abel swallowed him.

He'd barely gotten him slick when Cain pulled Abel's head up, almost jerking him up by the hair. He gave Cain a worried look, not sure what Cain wanted or if he'd done something wrong, but then Cain's fingers were back in his mouth and Abel knew what he was supposed to do and what Cain was going to do.

Abel rolled his tongue over Cain's calluses, looking for all the rough edges of him and tracing the delicate pads of his fingers. Cain stared at him with big eyes, something like surprise on his face as he pressed his fingers further into Abel's mouth and watched him suck. Abel got harder just from Cain's eyes on him, his cock pulsing at the thought of Cain pressing fingers into him.

Cain pulled his fingers away and Abel rearranged himself again, leaning down to kneel over Cain with his mouth on Cain's cock and his ass in the air.

Abel moaned around him as Cain slid his fingers in, one first and then the other, slow but inevitable, and it had been so long Abel thought he might just come from Cain's fingers and the smell of him alone. He could feel Cain watching him, and Abel rocked back against his hand as he tried to keep his breath and bring Cain as close as he felt.

So easy to just let Cain spread him open and lay out all his raw nerves, so easy to pretend that Cain could ever be as open as he made Abel feel, or that Cain gave even a little of himself when he pressed into Abel. Cain's fingers slid into him so easily, the world narrow and safe and familiar as Cain's hands and body and smell.

Abel just wanted to be wrapped up in him and pretend that he could ever have all of Cain.

Cain made a strangled noise in his throat as Abel sucked. He opened his eyes to see Cain staring at his leaking cock, Cain licking his lips just a little as he flicked his eyes from Abel's cock to his mouth. "You're really getting off from this?" Cain asked breathlessly, like he didn't quite believe it.

Abel backed off enough to catch a breath and try to think past Cain's sliding fingers, slow and smooth. "Yes?" he managed, giving Cain a sleepy smile, his eyes rolling a little as Cain pushed deeper. Cain had always been good at this, taking his time at it and more gentle than Abel expected, every time.

"Just from sucking cock and fingers up—"

"Didn't you like it when I—" Cain pulled his fingers out and cut him off with a slap on the ass. "Didn't you?" Abel asked again, swallowing as Cain pushed his fingers back in, rougher this time.

Cain fucked him without answering, and Abel closed his eyes against the feeling of it, leaning over Cain. Cain would never admit it, but he'd asked for the transfer and having him back was enough. Even if they hadn't found normal yet, this was good enough.

Abel let himself be shoved as Cain took his hand away, blushing a little as Cain pushed him to lay on his back and spread his legs. Abel reached for him as Cain leaned over him, frowning at something, and Cain pulled Abel's hands up over his head.

He pressed Abel's wrists to the mattress, pinning Abel with his hands and his weight, everything suddenly tilting out of control.

"Cain—?" Abel choked, not sure how to read Cain's expression, closed and hard.

"Why the fuck are you staying, Abel? What if I do it again?" Cain demanded. He pressed Abel's wrists down, squeezing too hard, his face too close.

Abel shied away, trying not to panic.

After everything, he'd just let himself be put right back where Cain could do whatever he wanted, because he'd made the mistake of thinking he could ever trust Cain or understand him.

"What if I did it right now?" Cain demanded, squeezing his wrists tighter. Abel tried not to think about that they were both still hard, Cain's cock pressed against his, ashamed of himself and afraid of Cain, the world even narrower now and all the safety gone.

"Are you going to?" Abel whispered.

He didn't think Cain would, but he'd never thought any of it would happen.

Cain looked him up and down, like he was looking for the answer in Abel's face. Abel wished he had an answer to give, wished he could just tell Cain what he should say. Wished he could go back and keep it all from happening, or keep whatever had been done to Cain from happening.

"No," Cain said finally, almost too quiet, but he stayed still, frowning down at Abel.

Their breathing was loud in the dark, almost in sync, but not quite. Cain leaned over him, his hands still too tight on Abel's wrists, pressing down with his hands and his hips, pushing Abel's thighs open with his weight. His ligaments burned, no way to make it stop except to try to push Cain off or spread his legs wider, roll his hips up and try to take Cain's weight like this was just sex and nothing else.

"Do you want to? Did you want to then?" Abel asked, needing to be sure.

Not sure why Cain would need to talk about this in the worst way possible, dragging everything out with Abel pinned and exposed and vulnerable unless Cain felt that way himself. Abel watched him, waiting for an answer, waiting to decide how afraid to be and how hard to fight.

"No," Cain breathed, barely any sound.

Abel pulled one wrist out of Cain's hand then, and the other, slowly, Cain watching him as Abel put his hands up to Cain's shoulders. Abel pulled him down, an arm over Cain's back, pulling Cain down to lay across his chest, Cain's face tucked against Abel's neck. Cain lay still, breathing shallow with his nose pressed behind Abel's ear.

"Why are you staying?" Cain asked, so quiet Abel could have pretended he didn't hear, and he almost did.

Abel smoothed Cain's hair down, hoping he had the right answer. He wasn't really sure of all the reasons himself, but Cain needed something.

"Because you need me, and because I want you," Abel said, waiting for Cain to tense and push away but hoping that had been enough.

Cain's hand curled on his shoulder, his face still pressed to Abel's neck and his weight almost too much on Abel's hips. He smoothed a hand over Cain's back, hoping this wasn't too much like petting or snuggling or whatever Cain hated when he was being unkind.

Cain seemed like he needed something, and Abel wanted so badly to give him whatever it was if Cain would only let him in long enough to figure out what it was.

Abel reached down between them, shifting Cain's weight just enough to roll his hips and line Cain's cock up with his ass. Cain wouldn't or couldn't talk about it, and Abel had run out of other ways to make Cain to stop worrying. He sucked his lip as Cain pushed himself up enough to look down at him, too close and too far away.

And then Cain was pushing into him. Slow, so slow. Nothing like how they usually did this, too fast for Abel to really even think about it, but now Cain pressed into him steadily, taking his time and Abel closed his eyes so he could concentrate on the feeling of being filled and wrapped up in Cain's smell, of being covered by him.

Cain nudged Abel's head to the side, sucking his ear as he started to fuck Abel in short, deep strokes. Abel gasped with Cain's teeth on his ear, a sharp pull, a little like normal when they could just fuck without having to think about it.

Easier this way, the world safe and narrow if he just kept his eyes closed and concentrated, just Cain fucking him and nothing to worry about, faster now and Cain's breath hot on his neck in short bursts.

Abel stroked himself, close again. Cain's skin was hot against him, his hands holding Abel steady as Abel tried not to think about anything.

He could have come like that, could have gotten himself off then except that Cain stopped moving and put a hand on his cheek.

"Abel. Look at me." Abel took a breath, turning his face into Cain's hand on his face. He squeezed his eyes closed and tried to roll his hips up into Cain, anything to get them going again, but Cain wouldn't move. "Open your eyes and look at me. You always close your eyes."

Abel dragged himself back to look at Cain, shocked by Cain's closeness and especially his eyes, right there with no way to get away from him even if Abel had wanted to.

"What do you want, Abel?" Cain asked quietly, staring down at him, intense and too close.

"Does it matter?" Abel said before he could think about it.

Cain pulled back like Abel had slapped him. He ground his jaw and Abel wished he hadn't asked, because they both knew the answer. Talking about it only made it obvious that Cain cared enough to keep Abel hoping, but not enough to actually do anything about it.

Cain leaned down to kiss his neck, and Abel let him, wishing he didn't care whether Cain wanted a real answer or not.

"Of course it fucking matters," Cain murmured against his neck, a soft kiss and a sharp bite. "What do you want? You want to stop? You can say it, don't just close your eyes if you want to stop."

Abel's breath caught in his throat as Cain started to pull away, as he started to pull out and leave Abel there empty. He put a hand on Cain's thigh and pulled Cain back down to him, trying to catch his breath and say something.

"Don't stop. Harder," Abel gasped, shaking his head, anything to get them back to normal, anything to pretend that this was all of Cain and that Abel could have him just by asking. Stopping was the last thing he wanted, when what he needed so badly right now was Cain in him and over him, and Abel pulled Cain back down to him.

That was enough, Cain taking a breath and pushing back into him all the way, watching Abel's mouth part and his eyes flutter closed.

"Look at me," Cain demanded, pulling back out of him until Abel opened his eyes. Cain watched him, eyes dark.

Cain rocked into him, gentle but his hands hard, putting a hand behind Abel's neck to keep him in place, but there wasn't anywhere else Abel wanted to be anyway. Abel pulled Cain's face down to kiss and let Cain fuck his mouth hard with his tongue, trying to pull his knees up wider and make Cain fuck him harder.

But Cain took deep breaths, fucking him in long, slow strokes, making Abel moan and writhe under him, pulling gasps out of him as Abel tried to take him deeper, tried to make Cain fuck him harder. Cain had the leverage and wouldn't do it, just watching Abel as he stroked himself and arched his back up into Cain, needing all of him.

Abel clung to him, even though Cain hated it, needing to pull him closer even with Cain's mouth covering his and stealing all his breath and thoughts. Cain let him, didn't pull away, so Abel wrapped his legs around Cain's waist, pulling him deep and holding Cain there as Abel came between them, hard and shivering with Cain still fucking him slowly.

Cain wasn't finished though, pushing himself up enough to watch Abel again, and this time Abel made himself look back, watching Cain's face as he dug his fingers into Abel's hip and thrust faster, no sound except for Cain's sharp breathing. Abel put a hand on Cain's chest, his skin hot and slick, his heartbeat thready and fast under Abel's fingers.

He put a hand on Cain's face, trailing is fingers over Cain's jaw and his mouth, Cain's lips parting just as he sank into Abel all the way with a moan. Cain finally came into him then, leaning down to put his head on Abel's shoulder as he shuddered.

Cain lay still like that, face pressed into Abel's neck and the weight of him too warm but comforting. Abel stroked his back, wishing they could hang onto this forever until Cain pulled out and started to wipe them off with a dirty shirt, not looking at Abel.

He threw the shirt away into the corner and lay down again, lying on his side facing away from Abel and not touching again. Just as far away and closed as he had been before. Abel sucked his lip, watching the curve of Cain's back. Waiting for anything and not sure how to get them back to normal. He lay on his side facing Cain, careful to not touch him but needing to see him, even if Cain didn't want him or need him.

Abel almost fell asleep like that, curled around the emptiness Cain had left him.

He caught his breath at Cain's voice, though, wide awake as soon as Cain took a soft breath. "Abel?" Cain asked the wall, so quietly Abel wouldn't have woken up if he had been asleep.

Abel held his breath, not sure if Cain wanted him to hear this or not, not sure what to say, so he didn't say anything.

Silence. Maybe Cain thought he was asleep, maybe Cain had changed his mind about whatever he was going to say. Abel reached out and brushed Cain's shoulder, light, just enough to let him know he was awake.

"You were right," Cain said, and that was all.

Abel didn't know what to say to that. He wasn't sure what Cain meant but didn't want to ask, so he just pushed himself closer. He curled against Cain's back, putting an arm around his chest, turning his face so he could press a cheek to Cain's warm shoulder.

Cain didn't move at first, gone rigid and Abel thought he might be pushed away. He spread his fingers on Cain's chest, taking what he could get while Cain would give it, anything to pretend there was something of himself that Cain would give.

But then Cain put a hand over his and relaxed against Abel, easing into his arms and letting himself be held.

AN: Thank you so much for reading and for the kind reviews, the favs and the follows! This is the last thing I'll be posting on fanficnet. If you'd like to find my Starfighter fic that hasn't been put up here (including some Cain/Encke smut, some Appearances-style AU fluff, mpreg :O, and a version of Negotiation with revised versions of ch1-6) and the stuff I'll be writing in the future, find me at archiveofourown dot org/users/asocialconstruct. There's also a direct link in my profile, thank you again so much for reading!