Disclaimer: Gatchaman in all its incarnations belongs to Tatsunoko Productions.


Ken gritted his teeth and lowered his head.  Sweat plastered his short dark hair to his scalp and trickled down his temple, a distraction that should have been easy to ignore.  It would have been, had he not been so intent on what was happening to him.

In that small fraction of his mind that was still somehow capable of rational thought, he mused, Well, it’s certainly not a question of love . . .

And in all honesty, it wasn’t.

His back tickled as Joe leaned forward slightly, the long sweep of his hair brushing Ken’s skin.  His hands, already holding Ken’s hips, tightened even more, digging into his flesh, and he began to thrust harder.

Ken gasped suddenly as Joe found just the right angle.  Groaning, he raised his backside a little higher, spread his legs just a little wider.  Joe was panting above him now, each whip-snap of his pelvis pushing Ken’s face into the pillows.

It wasn’t a question of love.  It might not have even been a matter of caring.

It was sex.

As Joe stopped hitting that spot of pleasure inside, Ken moaned in dismay and shifted just a little.  Bang on.  He cried out softly and clenched his fingers in the sheets.

It was also a matter of trust.  Joe was taller and more powerfully built than he, and could have hurt him . . . maybe.  Especially when he’d asked for this.  He had half expected Joe to pound him into the ground.  And he would have taken it.


But when he’d arrived at Joe’s trailer, spouting something about working off stress, the gunner had merely nodded in agreement, then kissed him savagely, his tongue so far inside his mouth that Ken thought he could feel it tickling his tonsils.

He really hadn’t expected him to agree . . . certainly not to be such an enthusiastic partner . . . nor so damn good . . .

He tingled through his whole body, his chest, his back, wherever Joe touched him. His nipples were so hard they ached, his cock throbbing.  Then, inside him, Joe rubbed against his prostate once more, and his head spun from ecstasy.

Ken wasn’t even aware when he began to keen.  All he knew was that each gasping breath he took was marked by a quiet “Ah! Ah!” steadily growing louder as his orgasm built.  Joe was making noise, too, a half-growling, half-sobbing sound in time with each thrust.  He was slamming away now, pulling Ken back against his hips.

Once more, twice, and Ken climaxed with a muffled scream, his face buried in the pillow.  He spasmed for what seemed forever, until he was so drained and weak he thought surely he would never stand again.  Empty, exhausted, he slumped down, not caring that the sheets beneath him were soaked.  He didn’t even know that Joe had come almost as soon as he had, crying out in that lovely deep voice and shuddering against him, before collapsing and pushing him into the mattress.

The first thing of which Ken was next truly aware was that there was a great warm weight on his back.  It felt good, and he made a small contented sound, too lazy to even wiggle.

The second was of something tickling his cheek and lip.  He wrinkled his nose, and tried to snort it away, but it clung stubbornly to his sweat-slick face.  It swayed as he breathed, and quickly became annoying.  Not wanting to move, nor even open his eyes, he groaned, but finally shifted enough to bring a hand up to pull it away.

“Hey,” came a rumble from above him.  When he looked at what he held, it was a lock of long reddish hair.  And apparently it was still attached.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, half into the pillow.  He released the hair, and let his hand flop down onto the bed again.  The weight on top of him moved slightly, and the hair removed itself from the side of his face.  “Thanks.”

“Mmm.”  Joe’s movement brought his lips into contact with the back of Ken’s shoulder, and he nibbled at it.  One of his hands released Ken’s hip, and slowly brushed up over his side.

Ken shivered.  This is nice, he thought vaguely, closing his eyes again.  This is very nice . . .

Joe stirred again, just enough to withdraw from Ken’s body.  Ken hissed, tensing a little as that motion reawakened the pain that had been drowned in the pleasure.

Immediately, Joe froze.  “Did I hurt you?” he asked, his voice quiet and filled with concern.

Ken shook his head.  “I don’t think so.  Just a little sore.”

Carefully, Joe finished pulling out, still lying against Ken’s back.  “Can you move?”

At that, he laughed softly.  “Not with you on top of me, I can’t.”

“Idiot.”  Joe’s chuckle resonated through his chest into Ken’s back, warming him through, even as the long calloused fingers stroked his side again.  “That’s not what I meant.  Do you want to get up to take a shower?”

“Nnn.”  Lethargy had taken a firm grasp, and sleep was creeping up on him fast.  “Later.”

“Good.” With that, he rolled off onto his side, pulling Ken with him, chest to back.  “I don’t think I could move any more, anyway . . .”

Ken blinked at the sudden change in position, but did not protest.  Right now, he thought, I’d probably let him do whatever he wanted.  

Then a smile quirked his lips.  But, he thought, amused, that is one good use of ninja skills . . . sneaking up on your lover.  What would we call it?  Science Ninja Technique Erotic Encounter?

Lover. The word lay in his sleepy mind, refusing to move.  Why did I think that? he wondered.

He had his answer when he felt Joe’s lips against his nape, Joe’s hand slowly, lightly stroking his side.  Joe was acting like a lover, rather than . . . well, like the one night fucks that he’d picked up in bars when his longing had become too much to bear.  Few others had shown such consideration for him, and no one had given him these tender kisses and almost hesitant caresses.  It made the whole situation seem even more dreamlike than it had previously, and not even the ache in his well-abused ass could convince him that it was real.  He’d imagined this so often that it was easy to believe that’s all it was—just another fantasy . . .

“Why?” The question escaped him in a whisper before he even knew he was going to speak.

“Why what?” Joe asked quietly against the back of Ken’s neck.

The vibration sent a frisson up and down his spine, and almost made him forget what he meant to say.  He knew he would probably not like the answer he received, but it was too late now.  “Why did you agree?”

Joe’s fingers stilled momentarily, and he was silent for so long that Ken thought he wasn’t going to answer.  “I . . . well, you wanted to.  And . . . I . . . wanted to . . . and . . . oh, hell, I don’t know!”

He blinked.  Well, that was incoherent, he thought, trying to make some sense of it.

Then the import of Joe’s words struck him.  “You . . . you wanted . . .”

Joe snorted against his shoulder.  “Why would you think I’d agree if I didn’t?”

“Why . . . why didn’t you . . .”

“What?  Admit that I’ve been admiring your ass for the past five years?” He made another huffing sound.  “Ken, in all the time that I’ve known you, you never gave any indication that you even thought about sex!  If you were a woman, I would have said you were the original Ice Maiden!  What was I supposed to do?”

Ken realized that the hand that had been pleasantly wandering over him had clenched into a trembling fist, and ran his fingers lightly over it, willing him to calm down.  “Joe, I . . .”

But Joe was not yet finished.  “I tried to trick you into taking a stand, one way or the other, but you never even looked at any of the women I pointed out as being pretty . . . and I wasn’t sure I could point out any guys.  I didn’t know how you would take it.” He paused.  Ken heard and felt him take a deep breath.  His hand relaxed and slipped away from Ken’s.  “In the end,” he continued softly, “I just decided that it was better just to be your friend.  At least then, I could be . . . close to you.  I was . . . well, I didn’t want you to avoid me or get all freaked out, so I didn’t tell you.”

Ken smiled, closing his eyes.  “I was afraid, too.”

Joe growled at that.  “I never said I  . . .” He stopped short.

He chuckled, pleased at having teased Joe.  “And every time you spoke to me, I had to remind my heart to keep beating.  I thought I had to play it cool, because if I didn’t, I’d probably throw myself at you and send you running for the hills.”  He opened his eyes again as Joe’s hand resumed stroking his side and stomach.  “And I didn’t say anything before because . . . well, for the same reasons you didn’t.”

They lay together in silence for several moments.  “So, why now?” Joe asked quietly.

He captured Joe’s aimlessly roving hand and held it, his fingers running over the palm, up his wrist to the memory bracelet he’d worn ever since Ken had known him.  Staring at the hand within his own, he hesitated for a long while before answering.  “Because I . . . I just wanted you to know.  Because I’ve got a feeling the next mission will be our last . . .” He cursed the compulsive honesty that made him admit that aloud.

Suddenly, he was pulled roughly onto his back, and Joe was pinning him down again before he could even gasp his surprise.  The other’s grey eyes were fierce as he glared at Ken.  “You talk like that . . . you think like that, and it will be.  You hear me?”

Knowing he was right, Ken nodded, smiling slightly.  “Yes.”

“Good.”  Just as quickly as the anger had arrived, it departed.  His features softened, and he rested his forehead against Ken’s.  “Because I want to be able to do this with you for a long time to come.” And he tilted his head to bring his mouth to Ken’s, lips working softly.

Ken melted into the kiss, sliding his arms around Joe once more.

Maybe this was more than just a matter of sex and trust, after all.


February 22, 2003
© randi (K. Shepard), 2003