I had time to wash my hair while he removed every trace of whisker from his face. It actually took longer than my straight razor. I stepped out to bag his cast. Trading places, I shaved while he let the water run over him, and then I got back in.
Gently, I washed his hair, separating the tresses with my finger until the water rinsing his hair ran clear. With efficient yet tender motions, I washed his body. I ended with him in my embrace, warm water cascading over both of us.
Breakfast was simple fare. Krycek prepared the meal while I set the table. I turned my chair to face the table and put the cushion at its side so I could pet him while we ate. Krycek didn't rely on me to decide what to make; it was good to see that submission had not robbed him of all capacity for independent thought. I pulled a second chair out and set his plate on it.
Krycek served the warm meal. I complimented it, and he responded with a pleased smile. He sat on the pillow as I instructed him and ate carefully. His reaction to the position was muddy and confused. He wasn't allowed to sit at the table, but he was allowed to feed himself. He found it both threatening and reassuring -- threatening because he wasn't entirely free of old conceptions, and reassuring because it kept him close to me and in a place where I could (and did) touch him affectionately and often. He wanted my approval, be he hadn't really come to terms with wanting it.
I finished before he did and relaxed in my chair, letting my fingers linger in the hair at the back of his neck. Krycek gradually stopped eating. He debated with himself for a long moment before he hesitantly turned and laid his cheek just above my knee, looking under the table.
I stroked and petted his hair and face. I traced the shell of his ear and let my fingers rest on his pulse. He swallowed and nuzzled my knee uncertainly. I pressed hard enough to feel his pulse leaping against my fingertips. Krycek restrained a whimper, and his heart rate accelerated.
Leaving the dishes where they sat, I took him to bed.
I laid him down on the mattress, one sheet away from being bare. He watched me with apprehension as I gathered lubricant, a few small hand towels, and condoms and put them on the bed. The condoms drew the most attention -- the most significant and frightening difference between this and our previous activities. The fact that I was making actual preparations was another difference. Krycek's hands twisted together protectively over his stomach.
I turned the blinds so the mid-morning sun made the room glow but didn't shine directly on the bed and sat on the edge, twisting to face him. I caressed his face, soothing the lines of concern from his skin.
He was nervous, as scared he'd been the night I broke his wrist, but not defiant. He'd left existential angst about his sexuality by the wayside days ago. The fears now were about whether it would hurt, one way or another.
Not if I could help it.
I turned and lay down next to him, propping my head on my hand. I traced the opening of his button down shirt then started working the buttons through their holes one-handed. I shifted his hands slightly to get to the button under them and continued. His breath grew shallower as I approached his jeans.
Instead of pulling out the tails of his shirt, I simply drew the sides open and rested my hand on his bare chest. He looked at me. I scooted closer, until I was pressed against his arm and side, and kissed him gently.
I took my time. There was no rush, and it was important that Krycek relax and enjoy yielding to me. If I'd wanted the rest of our time together to be suffused with terror whenever I touched him, I could have simply raped him at any time. Since I preferred not to dim the sunshine that came with his joy, I wanted this experience to be as pleasurable as possible without compromising the power structure of our relationship. If I let him forget his place, I'd just have to remind him again, and that would not be pleasant.
It was much more agreeable to feel the rise and fall of his chest under my hand and the softness of his lips yielding to mine. I explored, teasing at the sensitive parts of his mouth with my tongue, lips, and teeth. He sighed and responded with soft caresses of his tongue on my lips and along my tongue when it entered his mouth. His heartbeat was steady under my hand.
I began massaging gently with the hand on his chest, testing the tension of the muscles. He was relaxing quickly. I let my mouth drift to the corner of his, and then on to his jaw and ear. Krycek rubbed his cheek against mine.
I let my fingers curl naturally over the fall of his ribs and rubbed my thumb across his nipple. It was already tightening into a peak, and the drag of my skin over it made his breath catch. His arms began to relax as I remained in familiar territory for the time being.
He began to move restlessly, pushing up against my hand and baring his throat to me. I enjoyed his voiceless, hitching breaths and hissing whimpers. There wasn't any incentive to move hurriedly; I could do this all morning.
His arm shifted between us, and I lifted myself to let him slide it under me. He caressed my back hesitantly, a light touch like moth wings.
"Go ahead," I assured, and his hand settled more heavily.
I toyed with his ear, pulling the lobe into my mouth and tracing the whorls of the shell with my tongue. I nuzzled into the skin under the corner of his jaw. He lifted and tilted, holding his breath hopefully.
I didn't bite him. It would be better saved until later.
Instead, I rose onto my elbow and tangled the fingers of that hand in the hair on the back of his skull. I turned his head and began nibbling his other ear. My hand on his chest moved down to his waist so I could lean over him.