by Kimyō Tabibito (奇妙 旅人)
It was a cold Monday morning somewhere in the middle of Michigan. We’d crossed over the Canadian border the night before on our way from Vermont to Chicago. It was something like ten hours from home and five hours to our destination, but my eyes hadn’t wanted to stay open any longer and Elliot couldn’t drive. I’d found a rest stop that didn’t look terrifying and parked my twenty-year-old Astro Van (named Francis) away from the building so we could nap. He and I had huddled up together after pushing the bench seat flat, nesting under an old sleeping bag.
I think we were somewhere outside Flint, but the only thing I knew about Flint was that it was once on the FBI’s most dangerous cities list. I assumed Elliot didn’t know that, or maybe didn’t know where we were, or I doubted he would be sleeping. I was too tired to be anxious. I guess that didn’t really matter. No one had broken into the car and murdered us for the six hours we’d been parked.
Weird, the things we’d do for the people we loved. Like hop in a rusting blue bucket and drive a thousand miles to try and get them home for an emergency, so they didn’t have to fly, so they didn’t need to take the meds they hated so much to be calm enough to handle the plane.
Elliot and I had a weird relationship. We didn’t try to define it: we weren’t boyfriends and we weren’t just friends, but whatever, it worked. I was happy to be with him, even though his hair was currently flopped over my face, tickling my nose. Elliot plastered himself to my back, making soft little sounds that weren’t quite snores. I didn’t want to move and wake him from his first solid sleep in … I don’t know, long enough. Not that a few hours curled under a sleeping bag in a van counted as a full night’s worth of sleep by any means. No, this was “I’m so tired I can’t keep driving, I’m gonna drive off the road,” with a side of “oh my god, Elliot, when was the last time you slept, you could check those bags under your eyes.”
I had to move eventually to wake Elliot up and get back on the road. Chicago needed to happen today or we’d miss whatever family thing he was dragging Francis and me over a thousand miles to reach. Some kind of announcement, as far as he’d understood. When his grandmother called a family meeting, there wasn’t the option of ignoring it and staying tucked safe in Vermont. I’m not sure Elliot was looking forward to it, but he didn’t like to talk about his family, so I didn’t push.
Instead of moving upward, I pressed back against him and pushed his hair off my face. A few more minutes of rest.
“I know you’re awake,” Elliot said in this sleep husky voice that always did awful (wonderful) things to me, this rich low baritone coming out of this slim frame, often from a lipstick-stained mouth.
“I thought you were sleeping.” I fought back a yawn as I started to speak and reached up to rub the grit from my eyes. “Elliot.” I sighed his name like I always do, a little exasperated, a little affectionate. He pinched my side in retaliation.
“Don’t you ‘Elliot’ me, Riley. I got enough sleep.”
Enough: who knew how much that really was? Not enough in my book. I rolled over, but before I opened my mouth, he kissed me. I don’t know if it was to shut me up or if it was just for comfort, but it felt good. His lips were chapped and rough, but he tasted a little bit like peppermint. I brought my hands up to tangle in his hair, partly just because I liked the soft feel against my fingers, and because it made Elliot moan when I pulled. So I did, tilting his head to take more from the kiss.
I didn’t forget what I was going to say, that I was going to chide him for not taking a pill to sleep, when he obviously needed something. But it wasn’t like he didn’t know what I was thinking. He and I had a system where we nagged each other to take our meds, then completely ignored the suggestions. It … didn’t work, but it was us.
Elliot cupped my face in both hands, kissing me back as if he were starved for touch. He pressed as close to me as possible before he just gave up and rolled on top of me. His weight was familiar, comfortable. I liked his weight over me because it felt secure, and while I’ve never asked, I think Elliot liked it because he doesn’t feel trapped. Anyway, compared to me he was light. Skinny and sharp-boned where I was, well, well-padded. We just fit together best with him on top.
I bit at his lips until they parted again, until the chill in the van wasn’t a problem. I pushed my fingers up under under his shirt, feeling Elliot’s skin hot under my touch, tracing the planes of his stomach. Upward to the small rings through his nipples, flicking and sliding at the metal so that Elliot arched his back and hissed out a soft breath.
“Do we have time for this?” I asked, still touching him as I spoke.
“Will we get to Chicago before two?” Elliot had his eyes closed and his head tilted up toward the roof of the van, and I ached for more… but I had a responsibility to get him to Chicago. I pulled my hand back long enough so that I could poke at my phone to display the time; it was just past six a.m.
“Yes, if we have the privacy, we have the time,” I told him, realizing that this might not be the best place for a quickie.
Elliot opened his eyes and looked out across the parking lot. “No one is parked, if we’re quick…” He trailed off to lean down and kiss me. This time, it was his teeth skimming across my lips, and it didn’t take any coaxing for me to open my mouth, to taste that faint hint of peppermint.
I groaned as he pulled away and tried to chase after him, only to be pushed down against the seat. “This is the good kind of anxiety, the risk. We’re safe enough.” I wasn’t sure if Elliot was speaking for my benefit or his, and I didn’t care as he pushed my hands off his body and went for my fly. Deft fingers, nails painted gold, popped the button and unzipped me. I flinched at the slight chill of his touch as he wrapped his fingers around my cock, drawing my erection free of my boxers.
“I want to taste you, too,” I gasped as I thrust into his hand, already half erect. Elliot cocked his head and looked up to meet my gaze. “Same time?” I tried to bat my eyelashes, but I really didn’t have much in the way of them.
“Yeah, alright.” Elliot gave me a sly smile and sat up from his place between my legs. He undid his own fly, adjusting himself so that he could move up to straddle my shoulders. I was thankful for that, not sure how I was going to adjust tight skinny jeans for the best 69.
We didn’t talk after that. I rested a hand on Elliot’s hip and reached the other up to grasp his cock. I stroked him a few times, before guiding his soft cock into my mouth. I heard him whine, felt him gasp, the warm ghost of air along my dick. I was already hard, but Elliot always took a little bit more coaxing. He always joked his spirit was willing but his flesh was weak. I was damn sure that wasn’t how that quote was suppose to be used, not with my tongue playing over the head of his cock. Elliot braced himself against my thighs.
I teased over the sensitive flare of his cockhead, lapping my tongue along the underside, loving the feel of his cock going soft to hard. Elliot took me in his mouth then, making these deep whimpers from the back of his throat. It was difficult to focus with the vibrations against skin, clever tongue teasing against my foreskin, tongue slipping past it and circling my cock in tortuously slow passes.
When he drew back to suck lightly at the skin, I took him deeper, feeling him against the back of my throat. I drew in a quick breath through my nose and swallowed, my throat spasming around his cock until he cried out around mine, startled. .
Elliot’s hands had pressed my hips down; it was painful, but in that particularly pleasurable way. I liked having his bruises on my hips and thighs, the marks a tangible reminder of what we’d done together. I brought my hand up his hips, to encourage him to thrust, enjoying how he filled me until I ached.
I didn’t care that he’d stopped sucking me and was just braced on my body, shaking as I took him into my throat again and again. His hair fell around my thighs, but I was too focused on his shaft pushing deeper to notice. When I choked, he whined, pulling back enough to let me breath.
“Shh.” I stroked his hip. I liked it rough, and it made him uncomfortable sometimes. I pulled back, leaving a trail of open-mouthed kisses along his length as I went. “It’s all right, shh,” I soothed, petting his hip until he calmed.
I felt him nod, hair sketching a pattern back and forth against my thighs, then he took me back into his mouth. Elliot’s forcefully holding down my thighs was the only thing from keeping me from thrusting into that perfect wet heat of his mouth. So instead, I took him a little deeper, tasting the salt tang of his pre-come, as I was sure he could taste mine.
Elliot came first, hot and bitter over my tongue. His teeth caught the edge of my foreskin as he cried out and I jerked, hissing. But the pain was welcome enough and then he sucked hard, like he knew I loved best. He shifted to rebalance and wrap his fingers around me, jerking until I spilled against his lips moments later.
Somehow, we twisted around to kiss, tasting one another. My hands tangled in his hair once more and I pulled Elliot close, holding and kissing until we both came down from a post-orgasmic high. When we finally broke apart, I caught Elliot’s wrist, bringing it up so I could nip at his fingertips. I flicked my tongue against the pads until he flicked my nose and laughed.
“We should get back on the road soon.” I’m surprised that he was the one who reminded us of our deadline, something that was typically my job.
“Let’s see if we can’t scare up some Cokes and honeybuns out of the vending machine, yeah? Clean up quick in the bathroom.” I was refreshed enough to drive, but needed to get some caffeine into my system. Normally, I’d have to be pretty careful with how much caffeine I’d use, or I’d just get jittery and anxious, but this road trip was a special occasion.
“Ugh.” He made a disgusted noise.”Too much sugar for me.”
“Good, more for me. You can have, like, some orange juice and some trail mix or something, I doubt we’ll get much in the vending machines that pass your standards, snob,” I teased as I nudged him off me. He opened his mouth and I elbowed him. “No processed food rants, it’s early, I drove ten hours last night. I love you, but I’m eating my junk food.”
“I’ve gotten really good at not doing that!” he protested as we stumbled out into the weak sunlight of the morning. It was foggy and the rest stop mostly deserted, I watched Elliot hesitate and shove his gold painted nails into his pockets.
“Yeah, yeah you have,” I said as I watched him fidget. “Hey, it’s fine.” I nudge him again. I’m tall and a little bulky; I don’t ‘read’ as queer like Elliot does, with his painted nails, long hair, and purple skinny jeans. What mattered that we were in an unfamiliar place and he was worried — even if it was weird to me that walking into the restroom triggered his anxiety more than a blowjob in the back of my van. “I got you,” I reassured him the best I could.
Elliot straightened his shoulders a little and lifted his chin. I smiled. He’d be all right. “Thanks,” he said, then he elbowed me with a grin. I relaxed and hoped that what was waiting for us at the end of the line wasn’t bad news, but at least I’d be at his side. I can’t imagine not ever being there for Elliot.
He’d been there for me through some of my darkest moments. He’d held my hand and whispered snarky comments into my ear and then taken me back to our home and to bed. Even if I had to take Elliot into the back of Francis as opposed to back to Vermont, at the end of the day, that’s where we’d go if he needed the comfort.
Watching him wash up in the sink, then reapply lip gloss and new eyeliner on top of yesterday’s smudges. Elliot caught my eye in the mirror and cocked an eyebrow.
“Is that an impatient look, Riley? ‘Stop fussing with your makeup, you look amazing, let’s go?’ look?”
“That’s a ‘you’re weird, but I like you anyway, and wish we had more time to make out in the back of Francis’ look.”
“Maybe after grandmother’s dinner.” He winked at me. And then it had been like he’d heard my earlier thoughts: “Who knows, I might need the distraction then.” Elliot sighed and shook his head, but he was still smiling. “Come on, let’s go fill you up with sugar and caffeine.”
Elliot did end up with that bottle of OJ and trail mix, but he didn’t say a word as I took my Coke and honeybun. The rest stop stayed empty, and he took my hand as we walked back to Francis. He even stopped to kiss me before we climbed back into the van. We drove away from the sunrise, the light cutting through the fog as we hit the freeway toward Chicago.
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