Shelter From the Storm

----

Aside from the rain, the world they've been sent to is almost eerily quiet. Water pours down from the sky, turning the dead grey of lifeless trees to a stark black, against the grey and white of the cloud-covered sky. Naturally, Demyx is out in it, stripped to the waist, and revelling in his element; for once, Axel believes the smile on his face.

What's strange though, is the way they were sent out here in the first place, together. Why send him of all people to a world of endless rain? Demyx, at least, makes sense for a mission to this world.

"Not going to join me?" Demyx asks, looking back over his shoulder, at Axel.

"I think it'd be pretty dumb of me, so, no," Axel replies. Demyx laughs, and it has that honest tone to it that makes Axel swallow, and narrow his eyes at his junior. Demys turns back, and steps closer, reaching with one dripping hand under Axel's overhang, to stroke a single finger down his face. The rest of his hand follows, as Axel gasps, and leans back against the rock behind him.

His eyes narrow further, as Demyx's hand slides down his neck, and over the exposed part of his collarbone, a light touch that leaves a hissing trail of steam. The steam vanishes quickly in the cool damp of the air, but Axel barely notices.

It's perverse, the way they're drawn together, and it's almost worse that Axel's pretty sure he doesn't care anymore.

"I think it bothers you that I'm stronger here," Demyx says, his voice flat and cool, the complete opposite of his previous tone.

"What makes you think that?" Axel asks, his voice flat to match. he reaches up, and pulls Demyx's hand away from his neck. "What makes you think you're stronger?"

An instant later he regrets it, as the rain comes sweeping into the overhang, plastering them both, and sending a hissing gout of steam up off of Axel's body. He gasps, and slumps back against the rock, almost limp from the force of it. It only lasts a few seconds, but he gets the point. The quality of the rain turns softer, but it still washes in under the rocks, moving blatantly against the wind, hissing steam up from his skin.

Long musician's fingers slide over his skin again, the wetness making everything easier, in a way. It's like the dampness he experiences in Demyx's room, magnified a hundred times.

"It's not so bad, is it?" Demyx asks, leaning in close. Axel slides his still-gloved hand up his junior's arm.

"We are supposed to be on a mission," he feels compelled to point out. The rain is picking up, falling in thick sheets, almost like a solid wall; the dead black trees are almost invisible now, and the sky is completely lost.

"Do you really want to go out there?" Demyx asks softly. One of his hands slides up into Axel's hair, but Axel resists having his head tugged back; Demyx's fingers are still tight, pulling just enough to hurt a little. "I know you don't. You don't like me, and there's an awful lot of me out there right now."

"You're just full of wit today, aren't you, Demyx?" Axel says. It's not hard to understand; they're surrounded by water, and rock, and dead trees. And more water, more and more... Enough to cause flooding in the lowlands, enough to cause landslides, and avalanches, and tear down the entire mountain, if it keeps coming.

It's no wonder Demyx is so confident.

The water, backed by Demyx's power, is already having the effect on Axel, leaving him feeling cool, and oddly breathless. Water can't very well condense on him right now, because he's already soaked, but Demyx's fingers leave trails over his skin anyway. He can feel them like--

--the inverse of brands, only the language doesn't have any opposite of searing except maybe freezing, and that's far from the right word to describe the sensation Demyx's touch draws out of him. There's an unspoken question in that touch, in fingers that don't go past the edge of his coat, just skirting around the extra-sensitive skin there.

"Yeah," he says finally, when Demyx slides a single finger over one of the tendons in his neck. Why the hell not, he figures; it's not like they have anything else to do right now. Because there's no way in hell he's going out in that downpour, especially now that it's stopped arcing in at them, and it occurs to him, as cool wet fingers tug at his zipper, and slide hungrily over more skin, that that might have been part of Demyx's plan to begin with.

Axel decides that he doesn't care.

He shrugs his shoulders, and Demyx takes the hint, peeling the coat off his shoulders, and taking his gloves with it. More cold damp air on his skin, suddenly, and he gasps for it. The air tastes wet, and Demyx tastes like the rain he was soaking in, when he leans in to kiss Axel.

It's light, but not teasing; there's a quality to it that won't allow for 'teasing,' even when he moves over Axel's jaw, and slowly down his throat, cool and wet, his tongue dipping into the hollow. Both of his hands slide down Axel's arms again, the touch getting lighter and lighter, as he reaches Axel's wrists. His thumbs brush over the undersides, where the pulse would be, if they had hearts, and Axel hisses.

Demyx gives him a thin smile, and turns Axel's hands to press them against the rock.

"Keep them there," he says. Axel's fingers twitch, but he gives a small nod. The stone feels warmer under his hands than Demyx's fingers, but he's sure that it's his imagination. Demyx's hands slide over Axel's sides, and down his hips, pausing to open Axel's pants. He can't really slide his hands in, not much, but it's more cool skin on his hot, wet sharp steam, and.

When Demyx steps back, just a step, just enough to put space between them, Axel swallows a moan. He hadn't realised how much warmer than the air Demyx is. His fingers curl on the stone, and he looks up to meet the coolness of his junior's eyes.

"Boots," Demyx says. "If you can manage without your hands."

"You're joking, right? Please, this is a piece of cake." There's a laugh in Axel's voice, but it's rough and hoarse. His balance is flawless though, as he kicks off his boots, and settles his feet on the wet stone below. It feels warmer than the air.

Axel watches as Demyx shucks out of his boots and pants; the long lines of his body look better sopping wet than they ever did dry, more real, more natural. It really shouldn't surprise him, but it almost kind of does.

"Stand in the rain." The words are out of his mouth before he can really properly think him, and the hunger in his own voice is almost as surprising to him as it is to Demyx. "I want to see you in your element," he says, before his junior can ask him why.

"All right," Demyx says, taking another step back, completely out of the overhang, and out into the rain.

Axel licks his lips, and finds himself leaning forward. His hands are still against the rock wall, but his nose is almost out into the rain. He tips his head up, eyes following the motion, looking up to meet Demyx's.

"You belong like this," he says.

"I do, don't I?" Demyx replies. One wet hand reaches out of the downpour to cup Axel's face. He shivers, but leans into it anyway; it's a gentle touch, but not unsure. The hand slides back into his hair as Demyx shifts closer, to kiss him again. It lasts for a moment, before he takes a step forward, and then another one, pressing Axel back aginst the rock.

Demyx's hand slides down Axel's neck, and chest, the other one joining it, as he reaches Axel's hips. Axel's fingers curl against the rock again, and he's glad of Demyx's kiss to take the sound he makes, and can't hold back this time. Demyx is warmer than the air, and the rock is warmer than Demyx, and all of it together is the near-overwhelming of his senses that is such. A.

The tips of Demyx's fingers slide under the waistband of Axel's pants, and start to peel them away slowly. He arches his body away from the stone as Demyx moves, and smirks a little, briefly, at the look in his junior's eyes. They flicker briefly in acknowledgement, and Demyx leans forward to lick the water off his stomach.

"You're always so warm," Demyx murmurs, his lips brushing Axel's skin as he speaks. "Even when you've cooled down..."

"If you ever find me cold, I'll probably be dead," Axel points out, his voice still rough. The dampness of the air makes it harder for him to draw it in, to speak. He picks up one foot at a time, letting Demyx finish getting his pants off, and then kicks them to the side a little, out of the way.

His fingers twitch against the rock again.

Demyx hooks his fingers under Axel's knee, and he takes the hint, lifting his leg up around Demyx's hip. He back slides against the rock then, and that's when he realises that this is probably going to hurt a lot more than it usually does. He can feel the solid support of Demyx's arms, and after a moment, he hooks his other leg up, locking his ankles behind Demyx's back.

"You owe me a Hi-Potion," he tells Demyx, looking right into his junior's eyes. Yeah, it's going to hurt. No, he doesn't care; not right now, when it's hard to think, and harder to rationalise, and all he really wants is for Demyx to keep touching him.

It almost feels like he's losing touch with reality.

The thought makes him deliberately draw in a deep breath. The rain outside their little shelter is a constant roaring sound, a reminder of the weakness of his element here.

Demyx's fingers draw lines in water over Axel's face, and he's cool enough that it doesn't sting, even a little. It's just slick, and smooth, and it makes him sigh. The touch moves over his bottom lip, sending a tingling dancing all down his nerves. He flicks his tongue out; Demyx's skin tastes like the rain.

"Come on," he breathes. "You need to do most of the work like this. If you want me, you've got me, but come on." He has no leverage left; he can rock his hips against Demyx, but that's it.

"It's nice to know you want me," Demyx replies, brushing his fingers against Axel's lip again. His faint smile doesn't quite reach the coolness of his eyes, but that's fine, Axel's just fine with that, because that look never fails to make him want.

That's when he does it, shifting the angle of Axel's hips, and thrusting in, slick, and cool, and not hurting as much as it ought to, even when it knocks his back against the warm stone behind him.

"Ah--" Axel's fingers curl against the wall, curving under the palms of his hands, almost fists, and he tips his head back against the stone. Demyx drags his fingers down Axel's throat, and presses closer to kiss him as he starts to thrust. It's sloppy and rough, all of it, and it's exactly what Axel needs, drawing him back from the sense of fading reality with sensation; pleasure, pain, even discomfort. It all feels good right now.

One of Demyx's hands travels over Axel's shoulder, down his arm, to lift one of his hands away from the rock. He doesn't hold on, releasing Axel's hand - to do what he wants with it, is the clear message - to stroke down the lines of his body. Axel's hand hovers in the air for a few moments, because he can't think, and doesn't even want to right now.

Finally, he settles it in Demyx's hair, the wet strands clinging to hs skin, as his hand tightens in them. Demyx makes a sound into his mouth, and breaks off the kiss, and ducks down to mouth the base of his throat. Axel's fingers tighten further, but for once, he doesn't fight it past that. He's pretty sure Demyx appreciates it, because he doesn't linger, looking back up, to meet Axel's eyes again. It's that same look, the one that makes everything in his body respond.

Demyx's other hand closes around Axel's other wrist, turning it up, and shifting position for better leverage, pinning it against the rock face.

"Is it still okay?" he breathes. "Just one?"

Axel nods, unable to form the words. One is okay. He's fine with one. As long as he has one hand free... He's fine.

And oh fuck it's good like this, Demyx moving slowly, his back rubbing against the warm stone, even his pinned hand, and all the fucking water--

Demyx has the right right angle, and he looks about as lost as Axel feels, and that's good.

They stay like that until they're both done, close and barely able to breathe; warm stone, and cold air, and rain all around as they both slide to the ground, half on the pile of black leather, half on the still-warm stone.

And it is still warm, there on the ground. Axel presses his hand against it, and frowns slightly.

"What's wrong?" Demyx asks. Axel drags his hand over the wet stone, still frowning.

"The stone is warm," he says. In all the cool air and colder rain, he can't help but think that's it's not right. Demyx's silence goes on for just a little too long; Axel levers himself up on an arm, and meets his junior's perplexed eyes.

"What," he says flatly.

"The stone is cold," Demyx says softly, sliding his hand over Axel's. "Your hand is warm; it's always warm. But everything else is as cool as me or colder."

And that right there is a clue, Axel thinks, and he reaches, pressing his hand flat to the stone, pushing through the obscuring layers of alien element to find--

"Fire," he breathes. There's fire under all that earth, buried deeply, but not so deeply as the fire that lies under all earth. It's fire he can reach, barely. deeply buried fire that he can touch.

Axel's fingers curl on the stone, and he grins. Demyx flinches when he looks up, and the ground is trembling beneath them.

"Uh, Axel, um..."

"It's a volcano," Axel says. "We're on a volcano." He can feel the fire more now that he's pulling on it, and it's moving, slowly, but enough. Closer, and closer to the surface, until it's invigourating, instead of draining, even with the rain pouring down, still so thick he can't see.

Abruptly, Axel turns his hand, long fingers wrapping around Demyx's wrist, pinning it hard to the stone, and kicking up a stinging plume of steam as a surge of heat runs through his body.

"Can you feel it now?" he asks. The volcano is trembling still, the magma flowing up through the long-cold chambers.

"No," Demyx replies quietly.

"Liar," Axel accuses. Demyx gives him a thin smile, his eyes still dark, as dark as the storm outside. Axel squeezes his wrist a little, and his junior arches up against him. It's--

"You can't prove it," Demyx says. He hisses when Axel slides heat under his skin, wreathing them in steam. He pushes until tiny flames flicker and flash on his skin, and then releases his junior's wrist, drawing his fingers up over his shoulder, brushing lightly on his collarbone...

Demyx sighs, and Axel slides his fingers up into his hair, and pulls. It makes his junior gasp, and the rain falters.

"Don't let it go," Axel says. Demyx gives him a sharp look, and Axel grins at him, wide and toothy. "If the rain stops, I stop." He hasn't missed what Demyx has been doing, even as poorly as the world has been affecting him. But now, with the raw, elemental fire coursing through the veins of this ancient mountain, rising towards him of its own volition now, Axel's senses are sharpening again.

"So nice to see you're getting some of yourself back," Demyx murmurs. Axel can't read his sincerity; not that it matters.

"Maybe this world isn't as hostile as I thought," he replies. The rain washes in under their little ledge, and Axel gasps as it hits his skin, spitting steam back into the air.

"No, it's just as hostile as you thought," Demyx says, his voice gone cold and deep. It sends a shiver down Axel's back. "You just found a shelter from it."

"It's a good one though," Axel replies, leaning up over his junior. A sudden idea flashes through his mind, and he glances up at the--

--yes, the boundary around the little sheltered space they have, and a wicked grin spreads on his face. The air shimmers as he puts up a barrier, and Demyx's eyes go wide a moment later, as he notices.

"Keep the rain coming," Axel says. He doesn't give his junior a chance to reply, flattening their bodies together, and when he kisses Demyx it probably looks obscene, but it feels-- Almost. Demyx moans beneath him, and he fancies that if he had anything resembling real water in him, he could probably feel it resonate.

Demyx's hands slide down his body in cool hissing lines, going over his hips, and down his thighs, as far as they can reach, and then coming back up, over his back, to tangle in his hair. The stinging pain is almost lost in all the body contact they already have, but it's moving, and that's different.

When Axel breaks the kiss, they both take a competely unnecessary breath of air, the soft sounds louder than they should be, for their closeness. Pressed closely the way they are, Axel can feel the shift of muscle under Demyx's skin, and see it, in his throat and shoulders, that mean he's about to say something. Axel beats him to it.

"What do I taste like to you?" he asks quietly, abruptly voicing a question that he thought he'd never ask. And that silences whatever Demyx was about to say more effectively than beating him to the punch. A memory of smugness flits through Axel's mind. Demyx's legs part easily when he pushes his knees between them, sliding up over his hips, and resting there, cool and damp.

The rain still lashes at the barrier, and falls in opaque sheets from an unseeable sky.

"Ash," Demyx says. "Wet ash, sometimes," he adds, that thin smirking look back on his face for a flash. "Your mouth tastes like smoke and sulphur, but your skin tastes like ash. ...What about me?" he asks, after a short pause, when Axel hasn't made any reply.

"What else?" Axel asks. "Water."

"Is that it?" Demyx asks. His eyes are flat and unreadable as he looks up at Axel.

"You know it's not," Axel replies, thinking of the things he's said to his junior before. "I can taste where you've been."

"Yeah. How do you do that?" Demyx asks.

"Not going to tell you that," Axel says. He slides his hands down Demyx's body in a mirror of the way Demyx had touched him a little before.

"Cheater," Demyx accuses quietly.

"We all have our talents." Axel grins again, his eyes sparkling with a memory of mirth. Demyx looks away from him, tipping his head towards the barrier, and the heavy rain for a moment, but he doesn't disagree. Axel bends to kiss him again, more lightly than before.

The old, elemental fire of the mountain under them pulses in Axel's veins, rising higher, and making the ground shake a little again; a fleeting thought of Lexaeus passes through Axel's mind. It's gone just as fast filed away in the back of his mind for later consideration, the focus of his attention back where it, for the moment, belongs.

He can feel the strength this world, this storm still gives Demyx, even cut off from its direct touch, where Axel's drawing in the fire (old fire, slow fire, the kind he seldom touches, because it's seldom there; usually newer and closer and brighter). Demyx is still stronger in this world, and he can tell.

But Axel has more drive right now, pushed by the rising force of the magma in the mountain; he's tapped into it, and now it's tapped into him, a slow drain on his magic, and that sensation makes him gasp. Demyx looks a question at him, but Axel shakes his head; this isn't something he'd explain, even if he could.

He slides his hands to Demyx's hips. His touch is light, and stings the tips of his fingers. And.

"You feel like you have a pulse," Demyx says abruptly, his voice hoarse.

It does, Axel realises, and presses his fingers more firmly to Demyx's skin. In the next moment, he realises that it's not actually him.

"It's not me," Axel says. "It's the mountain." The magma is surging again, and he rides it, thrusting right into Demyx, like lava flowing into a river or a lake, and it's a really bad metaphor, and he knows it, but damn if it's not what it feels like.

Demyx gasps and hisses, and his body rolls up against Axel's. The rain is coming down in a solid sheet now, but Axel barely notices, because the mountain's shaking again, a steady, low rumble, and the rock under Demyx's back is starting to steam.

It's elemental resonance again, and it's more of a rush than just physical sex ever is, because it reaches his soul, that part of himself that Axel thinks can maybe still feel something, sometimes.

Neither of them last long this time; there's just too much, and Axel would swear the rain is running up at this point.

Neither of them move for a while; the mountain rumbles beneath them, and Axel can feel the magma still creeping slowly up, building pressure.

"We need to get out of here," he finally manages. His voice is raspy.

"Why?" Demyx asks.

"The volcano," Axel explains. "When it goes, it's going to explode. It'll be magnificent." His grin is loose and broad, and feels almost real. Demyx reaches up to slide his hand through Axel's hair, and his junior's touch sends a tingle of sensation dancing down his spine. He leans into it, and sighs softly, realising that his hair is so damp it's almost wet.

He slides his fingers down Demyx's face, and then draws away, reaching for his clothes. They can't stay here, for more reasons than one. Demyx follows his example, and before long, they're covered in layers of leather again.

Abruptly, on the other side of the barrier, the water drops, spilling thousands of gallons down with a resounding crash. Demyx's eyes are deep and unreadable; a blue-grey that's almost black, like the darkest, deadliest storm clouds.

The skies above are clear and blue.

Axel dismisses the barrier.

The mountain shakes beneath their feet, and on something that isn't quite a whim, he reaches beneath them, and pulls with magic and will and raw being, and pulls the fire to him.

Demyx's eyes widen, and at the last possible second, Axel drags him into the dark paths.

The last thing he sees of that world is a burst of fire.