AN: ajkdfhkhjkd what is this I don't even. Encke, don't be too mad, Abel just fangirls Keeler so much, he only wants to help (and maybe smooch yo man a little, but he'd be super into a threesome if you just asked and Cain got to watch). Seriously, I'm just going to rename all my fic "Adventures of Abel: World's Cutest Ex-Virgin Turned Ship's Bicycle." (The sequel would be "Adventures of Cain: Secretly Just a Really Really Aggressive Bottom But Only For Abel.") I'm going to leave this oneshot for now, but I'd like to pick it up again when we get more Keeler time in the comic. On with the smooching!
"Abel, really, I'm fine," Keeler protested as they got out of the lift, but he stumbled over the threshold and would have fallen if his arm wasn't already over Abel's shoulders.
"I know," Abel said, trying not to embarrass him. "I'll just make sure you get a drink of water and then we can go back to the lab." Keeler had always looked tired, but he'd been in the middle of explaining something to Red group when he collapsed that afternoon. He'd refused to go to medical, but let himself be talked into taking a break when a group of them insisted. Abel had tried to get out of being the one to take him back, didn't want to put himself in a position to make his infatuation worse, but he'd been the one to catch Keeler when he fell, so he couldn't get out of it.
Keeler didn't say anything, just nodded weakly, his cheeks flushed when Abel glanced at him. He tried to keep his mind off the way Keeler smelled so close, tried not to think about how different it was from Cain's smell. Keeler smelled like something Abel remembered from home, but couldn't quite name what it was. Something familiar and safe, though, something not like the jagged foreignness of all the fighters.
The room Keeler shared with his fighter was bigger than the room Abel shared with Cain, but not by much. Just enough room for narrow twin beds instead of bunks, but the two had been pushed together to make one bed. Abel blushed and tried not to think about what that meant as he eased Keeler down onto the mattress.
The room didn't smell like Keeler, just overwhelmingly like his fighter, like Abel's room must have smelled like Cain. He'd seen Encke and Keeler together sometimes, Cain giving the other fighter a wary look and a wide berth, even though Encke didn't seem any worse than any of the other fighters. Maybe a little better, since Keeler liked him, but Abel didn't want to think about them together.
"You really didn't have to do this, I'll be fine," Keeler said, lying back on the pillow Abel pushed behind him. He smiled up weakly, his hair coming loose from its binding and trailing over his face.
"Are you sure I can't call medical? Or at least get you something?" Abel asked, chewing his lip as he brushed hair out of Keeler's face. He shouldn't have, but he couldn't help it.
Improper fraternization. Abel didn't think Keeler would put him under report; he was only trying to help. He used to be so good at keeping his thoughts under control until Cain happened. Now he was lucky to get through a meeting without wondering how different Keeler would be in bed, wondering what it would be like to sleep with someone who didn't push him into it.
Keeler sat up, brushing his hand away, and Abel froze guiltily. Keeler just smiled.
He put a hand on Abel's cheek.
"You're really too sweet, Abel," Keeler murmured, pulling Abel to him and teasing at his mouth with warm lips. Keeler closed his eyes, leaning into it, but Abel sat there with his eyes open and didn't push away, too shocked that this was finally happening.
Keeler's mouth was too hot, like his skin, almost burning to touch but Abel didn't care. His heart beat too fast when he realized Keeler was waiting for him to push back instead of just taking control like Cain did; Abel dabbed tentatively at Keeler's warm tongue and shivered when he sighed approvingly.
He'd just pulled back for a breath when the door opened.
"Keeler, central said you—"
Abel stood up as fast as he could, his cheek flushing hot where Keeler's hand had been as he turned to face Keeler's fighter. Encke looked him up and down, weighing Abel with a closed face. He glanced at Keeler, who leaned back and smiled sleepily.
"Wait outside," Encke said to Abel, not looking at him as he brushed Abel out of the way, going to sit on the bed next to Keeler.
"Isn't he just the sweetest?" Keeler asked as Abel hurried for the door.
"Yes. Lie down."
The door finally closed, Abel took a deep breath in the hallway. He shifted uncomfortably, wondering if it would be worse to stay or just leave. Encke didn't look angry, but Cain would have been and Abel didn't have anything else to go by. He wasn't Abel's superior officer, but Abel didn't want Keeler to be in trouble with his fighter either, not if they had to sleep together.
Encke came out finally, the same unreadable look on his face. Abel looked up at him, more intimidated now that he had to realize how tall Encke was, so much taller than Cain, and this quiet appraisal was worse than Cain's snarling anger. Encke just looked right through him at everything he'd ever done wrong and every thought he'd ever had about Keeler.
Abel fidgeted under Encke's look. "Is Keeler alright?" he asked, just to break the silence.
Encke didn't answer at first, just looked back at the closed door, thinking something over. "Thank you for helping him back," he said finally, his voice level, and he sounded like he meant it even if his face didn't give anything away. "What's your name, navigator?"
"Um." Abel swallowed and tried to stand up straight. "Abel, sir?"
Encke's eyes narrowed. "Cain's navigator." That didn't sound like a question, but Abel nodded, wondering how much he'd seen, wondering how much of it would get back to Cain. Encke looked him up and down again, frowning. "I don't want to see you near Keeler again."
"Um. Yes sir." Abel swallowed hard and didn't say anything as Encke turned away. He caught a glimpse of Keeler through the door as it opened, curled up on his side with his eyes closed.
Then Abel came to his senses and rushed back to the lab, not sure how he'd be able to avoid Keeler even if he wanted to, but hoping he wouldn't have to run into Encke again. Even if the kiss had been worth it this time.