Lumy (luminations) wrote,
Lumy
luminations

"Uncertainty" Chapter 20: "Interlude" (20/47)

Title: "Uncertainty" Chapter 20: "Interlude" (20/47)
Fandom: The Last of Us
Characters: Ellie, Joel, Tommy, Maria, OCs
Pairings: Joel/Ellie
Warnings: Underage [please see A/N of doom in Chapter 1!]
Word Count for this chapter: 7088
Rating (for fic as a whole): R

~

By the next day, Ellie thought her little lip boo-boo had healed enough to resume full kissing activity -- she'd been talking, eating, drinking, smiling, even yawning, without busting it open -- but Joel had wanted to give it one more day. He had pretty much cooled it on all the sex stuff for the past few days. So that she could heal.

...or so he said. She wasn't that banged up. It was possible he just didn't want to let her touch him. She felt a little bad that her wussiness that one night had made him feel obligated to offer that for 'next time.' If she hadn't been all... uber-emotional after the drinking, she was sure she would have handled herself better.

Today was a mutual day off, and Ellie was happy to be home to enjoy a lazy morning in bed with him (complete with him singing the full "Good Morning, Beautiful" song) and then to 'help' him with his morning workout routine. The town had a functional gym now, a few buildings over from the library. Joel liked to work out there, too, but he didn't go every day. At home in the living room, Ellie helped by sitting on his feet while he did sit-ups... laying beneath him as he did push-ups... that was her favorite thing, because it was a challenge for her to get him to do more than just give her a quick peck with each one, and a challenge for him when she would try to pull him down. He couldn't do any real weight-lifting at home, but he would devise various exercises that used Ellie as the weight to be lifted -- like push-ups with her sitting on his back.

She always wanted to exercise with him, too -- real exercise, not just the fooling around, being part of his obstacle course or whatever (although if she were doing real-real exercise here, she would have changed out of her nightgown). The stretching part was easy. So easy that she couldn't even really count it as exercise, since no real exertion was involved. Joel liked to remind her that when she got older, it wouldn't be as easy. When she got to be his age... blah blah blah. Sit-ups were kind of hard. Joel wouldn't quite sit on her feet, but he would hold them down for her.

Push-ups were the hardest thing. She didn't have the upper body strength to do tons of them. And if Joel was lying there underneath her? Forget it. She'd do one and then just lay on top of him, giggling through his teasing about her being weak... sometimes the teasing did spur her to work a little harder -- she just couldn't do it on top of him! Way too distracting. And, on occasion, she even got him to lay on top of her while she did push-ups, knowing full well she wouldn't be able to lift him. This morning, he tried to tell her he was lying down with his full weight, but Ellie knew better -- because she could still move. When she convinced him to truly do it, she hit the floor immediately, and he continued to tease her about being weak.

It was so fun doing all that stuff with him! And although she'd worried that last night's spies might fuck things up for them at home, she needn't have; Joel had told her as long as they continued to keep the curtains drawn, it was business as usual. No one would even necessarily realize they were home. Because she had a dirty mind, she wondered if 'business as usual' applied to sex noises. She wasn't really loud... but was she too loud? She almost asked Joel, but just couldn't bring herself to. If she avoided asking about sex, she wouldn't have to hear the "we ain't gonna do that anymore so it don't matter" reply that she felt so sure he would give. Maybe it was stupid... but not knowing for sure allowed her to hope.

After Joel had done a set of... 'squats,' he called them, where he just went up and down while she sat on his shoulders, he ducked his head to let her slide off to the front, then flopped on the floor, rolling over onto his back. She planted herself at his side, facing him, draping herself over his stomach. He was breathing a little heavier than normal, but she'd seen him pant much harder. "What next?" she asked him.

"Think I'm done, kiddo."

"Aww. I wore you out already?"

"Yep."

"It's only like ten in the morning! You can't be tired yet."

Joel chuckled. "I'll recover."

"You used to be able to walk allllllll day long, and fight a shitload of Infected... and assholes..."

"That wore me out, too, if you'll recall."

True... she'd seen him look pretty ragged at times -- not even counting the injury that had laid him up for a while. "Still, you were pretty tough."

"Well, I ain't gettin' any younger."

"You're still young!" she protested. Honestly, she did think he was pretty old, but she tried not to look at it that way. After all, if he was going to live another thirty to forty years (and he certainly would, if she had any say in the matter!), more than twice as long as she'd even been alive -- that was a pretty long fucking time, wasn't it? Therefore, he was still young! Although Joel didn't quite share that view, and she’d found it wasn’t in her best interest to say anything that might reinforce the huge age gap between them. "I'm keeping you young. You said so yourself," she reminded him.

"You do make me feel younger sometimes," he agreed... or sort of agreed.

"I think you've actually gotten younger since we got here."

Joel chuckled again. "How do you figure that?"

"Because you feel better. Right? You're eating every day, and you're sleeping better, and you don't have to worry about me all the time."

He looked like he was about to say something... and then decided to say something different. "You've been sleepin' better, too. Can't remember the last time you had a nightmare."

She grinned. "Thanks to you!"

"No, you were havin' 'em all along with me right there. An' now... you haven't even started to have one, like when I wake you up before it gets real bad? Not even that."

"Huh. I guess it has been a while." Ellie never remembered those in the morning. She just relied on Joel to tell her if it had happened. And lately, she hadn't even thought to ask. "Well, I still say it's thanks to you. If I was sleeping by myself, I bet I'd be having them every night."

"You never give yourself enough credit." He sat up, holding her in place against him, and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips. "But either way, I'm glad. I'm gonna go hit the shower."

"Okay. Me too," she announced as he stood up. She waited for the "oh no you ain't" that she knew was coming.

He didn't say anything. Just walked into the bedroom.

She scrambled after him. "Joel? I said I'm taking a shower, too."

"Mm." He was looking through the bedroom curtains. She'd caught him doing that a couple times today. Just peeking outside, like he might catch someone out there. The first time, he'd made a remark about the cloudy day, but he didn't bother with the pretense after that; it was pretty obvious he was thinking about last night.

"So... let's go take a shower!" she said brightly.

At least he seemed to hear her this time. "All right," he said, letting the curtain fall shut. He turned to look at her... perfectly nonchalant-like.

Okay, so he still didn't hear me? "All right? Taking a shower. You and me, at the same time. You said 'all right' so... so we're doing that. Yep! Can't go back on it cuz you said it was okay," she teased.

He just kept looking at her. "All right," he said again, and this time she saw a hint of a smile on his face.

Ellie gasped. "Really? Really?! Oh my God--"

"On one condition."

"Okay!" Whatever it was, she could live with it!

"...actually, two conditions," he amended. "One: we're showerin', not messin' around."

"Got it. Er... do you mean like, we can't touch each other at all? That's okay, if... I mean, I just want to know. So I don't mess up."

He came up to her and wrapped his arms around her. Kissed her forehead. "No, touchin' is fine. But don' expect... to..."

"Just innocent touching," she confirmed, enjoying the hug. "Maybe help each other wash a little?"

"Sure."

"Cool! Okay, so what's the second thing?"

"Second thing is you finish washin' up first, an' leave me in there by myself for a lil' while. At the end."

"Why -- so you can play with yourself?" Ellie snickered. Why else would he make that a condition?!

"I don' do that," Joel replied, smirking a little.

"Ohhhh that's right, I keep forgetting!" Ellie played along. "Hmm. I know you like your alone time. That must be it."

"That's right. Every few minutes helps." He kissed her nose this time. "Might be the only time you get to miss me today, after all."

"And I will! Desperately! That'll be the longest five minutes of my life," Ellie declared, earning herself another little kiss.

"We have a deal?"

"Deal!"

Joel let go of her and moved toward the dresser, no doubt to fetch some clothes to bring into the bathroom like he always did, but stopped himself. "I don' have to do that. Neither do you. We can jus' come back in here to get dressed."

"Good idea!" Ellie said happily. It was really no big deal, but it felt like another teensy step toward being a 'real' couple. A couple who could just casually be naked around each other. She didn't know exactly how real couples acted, of course -- at least not in this context -- but she very much liked the thought. It wasn't even a sex thing. It was more like... just... the awesomeness of being that comfortable with each other, because that was how close they'd become.

Except we're not exactly comfortable right now! They stood there for a moment... almost awkwardly. Like what-do-we-do-now awkward. Then Joel started to strip off his tank top.

"Wait! Can I do it?" Ellie offered, feeling stupidly shy for some reason; it wasn't like she expected him to say no to something she'd already done before.

He sat on the bed so she could pull the tank top up over his head. He let her do that, then situated her between his legs so he could lift up her nightgown. She helped him get that off of her, and he pulled her even closer, burying his face in her cleavage... or what passed for cleavage.

She couldn't really hug him the same way he was hugging her, but she could play with his hair. She definitely felt less shy about being topless around him now. His hands drifted to her ass, and she grinned down at him. "We don't have to take a shower. We could just..."

"No. We're showerin'."

Ellie braced herself for the we-can't-do-that-anymore talk, but he didn't say anything else. All business now, he stood up, gently moving her backward a little, and started to pull down his pants.

"Me!" Ellie insisted, putting her hands over his. She knew that Joel seemed to consider even this simple thing a 'step.' Maybe he was just uneasy having her hands so close to his manly bits? "I won't molest you, I promise."

"Thank you." He had that you're-so-cute look on his face.

At least he's not ACTING like he's afraid of me... Ellie slid his pajama pants down, and he stepped out of them. Then she placed her hands on his waist, tentatively. It would take even more trust for him to let her do his boxers...

But he didn't stop her when she started to slowly tug them down. She kept her hands way off to either side. When she'd imagined doing this, she'd totally pictured an "oops!" moment where she would accidentally-on-purpose graze his cock, and then he would get all turned on, and beg her to keep touching him. Yeah... reality is usually a little different from fantasy... she'd learned a while back that such little fantasies could backfire, but knowing so didn't seem to keep the fantasies from forming. And not only that -- it just felt wrong to abuse Joel's trust that way. To violate a boundary he'd clearly set and that she'd just reinforced.

Ellie also made sure to turn her head away while sliding his underwear down. She felt shy about looking at him, even though she'd seen him naked before... is it rude to look? Is it pervy? She'd been topless around him fairly often when undressing for bed, and Joel didn't exactly avert his eyes from her nakedness, but he didn't stare, either. He still seemed a little uncomfortable with it sometimes. She knew he'd gotten glimpses of her... down there (especially since some of her underwear had holes -- Joel called them 'peepholes'), and the other night, she'd been naked, but only in the dark. When they'd eventually gotten up off the floor, Joel had fetched her nightgown and panties for her without turning the light on. She'd never actually stood before him in daylight in all her naked glory. With the curtains shut, it wasn't all that bright in there, but there was plenty of light filtering through... and the bathroom light is bright as fuck!

Even though she was all about respecting Joel's boundaries, Ellie couldn't resist sneaking a peek -- she'd already seen it before, after all. Just a peek for like, half a second, hoping he wouldn't notice. It looked a bit smaller than she remembered. She knew why, but for some reason, it still surprised her a little... like she'd been expecting a fully-erect dick to spring forth as soon as she exposed it to the air. Quite unbidden, Christine's stupid insults ran through her mind, accompanied by a flash of anger that Ellie stifled before it leaked onto her face; Joel was innocent of that, and she intended to keep it that way. And I'm not going to let that cunt ruin anything for me -- she obviously doesn't know what she's talking about if she truly thinks Joel's body is TOO OLD to look good -- or to work right.

He made no move to take her underwear off, however. She started to do it herself, thinking that would prompt him to take over, but he let her continue, and she didn't want to make a thing of it.

Now they were both standing there without a stitch of clothing on, looking anywhere but down. Ellie promptly blushed. "So."

"So," Joel agreed, leaning in to give her a peck on the lips. "C'mon."

She followed him into the bathroom. He reached into the shower to turn the water on, and she took the opportunity to admire his ass without him noticing. It didn't feel quite as rude that way. She made sure her gaze was at eye level when he turned around. He pulled her into a hug, which surprised her considering their unclothed lower halves would touch...

He tangled a hand in her hair. Kissed her shoulder. "This is nice."

"Yeah. I like this." She started rubbing his back. She could feel him, pressed against her like that... and it was thrilling that he would allow skin-to-skin contact there, when he... ...is he hard? Does it happen that fast? Shouldn't I be able to tell by if it feels soft or... well... HARD? I think it's still soft, then... yeah. Can I ask him, or will he get weird about it? Or maybe he'd think I'm stupid. Maybe he'd change his mind about showering with me. It's better not to draw any attention to--

He was already stepping into the shower. "Joel! The water's not even hot yet!" she chided him. She'd taken enough showers to know how long it took the water to heat up here.

"That's all right... I'll let you know when it's safe for--"

She interrupted that notion by following him in there. If he could do it, she could, too! "It's freezing!" she yelped as she retreated from the stream, flattening herself as best she could against the wall with the fixtures.

"No it ain't," Joel said, laughing. He slid the door over to close them in, then took her hand. "It's gettin' warm already... see?" He tugged her close to him.

She hugged him, letting the water (which was cool, at best... not warm!) pound her back. "Warm me up, warm me up!" she pleaded, smiling up at him.

With his arms around her, he pivoted so that they traded places, and now she was completely shielded. They barely had enough room to do that without banging into the wall or the door. "Better?"

"Not exactly what I had in mind, but okay."

"We ain't in here for that," he reminded her -- but he did give her one little kiss before letting go. "Washin' up only. -Well, except..."

"Except?" she prodded eagerly.

"Except... if you feel like burstin' into song at any time, feel free. Even if it's about sex."

She swatted him, but couldn't help giggling. She was never going to live that down!

They washed each other's hair (Joel even squatted for her so she wouldn't have to reach so far)... then each other's bodies, passing the soap back and forth. Thanks to the extra illumination in the room, Joel found a few new scratches and bruises he hadn't seen before, and he just had to ask her about each one as he washed them. Ellie couldn't even remember how she'd gotten most of them. She did like it when he kissed them, to 'help them heal' -- those were mom kisses, according to Joel. As magical as Joel's lips were, Ellie didn't see how they could cure bodily injury, and she certainly didn't need him to start seeing himself as her mother as well as her father! But she thought it was incredibly sweet of him.

Aside from planting kisses here and there while he worked (in non-injured places, even), he was pretty business-like. Even when he did her chest. It felt nice, but not in a... omigod-I'm-so-turned-on-now sort of way. It was just... nice. And indulgent, even though she was returning the favor.

His hand hesitated below her stomach. "Do you want me to..." he started to ask her.

"I want you to wash me everywhere," she informed him coyly.

He smiled and let his soapy hand glide down slowly (though not teasing-slowly). "You seem pretty comfy with all this," he remarked.

"I do?" She supposed she was, in a way... when she thought about it, what was the big deal? She and Joel were naked, touching each other. But then, when she thought about it again, it was like... Me'n'Joel are naked, touching each other!!! -And his fingers are... THERE... it didn't feel the same as when they messed around on the bed, but it did feel noticeably more exciting than when he washed her hair or back or anywhere else. She pulled his face to hers for a kiss, just a chaste one... followed by another... his hand drifted around to her ass, and for a moment, she thought he was going to pull her right up against him. But he didn't, nor did he linger there.

Will he let me return that particular favor? His ass, probably. But the front...

Ellie wondered if she should ask, or if that would be pushing it. She'd already soaped up his chest, but she started doing it again now to buy a little time. "You've had sex in the shower before, right?"

He seemed surprised. "Did I tell you that?"

"I dunno... maybe I just assumed you did cuz... you've had sex a lot?"

He chuckled. "I don' know about a lot... prob'ly not compared to most people."

"Really?" She loved how his chest hair seemed to get longer when it was wet. The way it felt when she weaved her fingers through it.

Joel was idly running his hands over her arms or her back while she worked. "I wasn' married that long, an' I haven't had all that many girlfriends."

She wondered what was wrong with the women back in his time, that they could let a guy like Joel be single. Or maybe HE just didn't like any of THEM! She liked that version better. It made her more special, after all. And it was more likely to be true, since those magazines had opened her eyes to how normal it was to be skanky back then. Not skanky, necessarily... try not to judge, she had to remind herself. "So like... how many times? More than a hundred?"

"Oh, easily."

"That's a lot!" She laughed. "I've had it zero times!"

"That will change," he promised. At least, Ellie liked to think of it as a promise.

"When we have sex, we're going to do it hundreds -- no, thousands of times," she declared. She didn't like to think of Joel having sex more than a hundred times with anyone who wasn't her. She would have to catch up to those bitches. "And we'll do it in the shower."

"Shower sex ain't as glamorous as it might seem. It's kind of... awkward, to be honest." He grabbed her wrist, smiling. "I think I'm good there now, thank you."

He let go of her, and again, she wondered... oh, fuck it. "Would it be okay if I, um..." She pressed the soap to his abdomen and slowly moved it lower.

"If you want to. You don' have to."

"I want to." Of course she did! Maybe that's why he agreed to shower together... it's a way I can touch him without it being a sex thing. So... She glanced down for a second, then back up at him uncertainly.

He heard the unspoken question. "Easy does it... jus'... get some on your hands an'... do it that way." He soaped up her hands, then guided one hand down underneath his dick, sliding it slowly upward.

She was about to ask him if she could look, but she could hear the Joel in her head chuckling at the dumb question... why couldn't she look if she had to see what she was doing? Right? Not like she would know by feel alone. And she wasn't sure she wanted to see the expression on his face, if her touch repulsed him. He let go of her hand, and it just froze in place on the head of his cock. "Um..."

"Pretend it's any other area of the body," he suggested. "You're jus' washin' it."

"Okay." Ellie was pretty fucking thrilled that he wasn't freaking out just having her hands on him. She reached down with her other hand and found his balls. You're just washing the equipment, she said to herself -- repeatedly. That did make it easier, somehow. She made sure to run her soapy fingers over every inch of his groin area. Through the mass of hair down there... up, down, around... just getting stuff clean... She could almost forget she wasn't washing his elbow or something.

She could almost forget... except that she was certain his dick was getting a little stiffer as she worked. She could feel it! And see it! For one crazy moment, she thought about kneeling down and kissing it. Just a little love peck, not like, an actual blow job or anything. Would he be cool with it, or run screaming from the shower? Then Joel pulled her hands up, drawing her closer to him for a little kiss. "You're cute. Good job, kiddo."

He's totally poking me now! "Why am I cute?" she asked, smiling sweetly. She had an idea, but she wanted him to tell her specifically.

"You just are," was all he said. "C'mon, rinse off..." She was already fairly well-rinsed, but he pivoted her so she was directly under the stream to quickly finish the job. "Out you go."

"Already? Aww, can't I stay and--"

"Nope. Out."

"But--"

"That was the deal," he reminded her -- again.

Ellie reluctantly slid the door open, stepped onto the towel that served as a bath mat, and grabbed another towel that she regularly dried off with. She started toweling her hair.

"Out of the room, not just out of the shower," he said as he slid the door back over.

"God, I'm just drying off! Gimme a minute! But you know... if you let me stay in here, I--"
"No."

"I can't even see you through that... not-see-through door!" She could barely even see his silhouette; the 'frosting,' or whatever he called it, was so thick.

"No."

"And I can't, like... hear anything..." ...probably... She wanted to stay just to find out if she would be able to hear it, actually. She wasn't usually home when Joel showered. It would have to be on a day off, like today. Since their schedules usually aligned pretty well, she'd still had ample chances to listen in, and she'd never been able to hear anything from outside the bathroom -- but she'd also never known with absolute certainty that he'd be spanking it in there. Until today.

"Out," Joel insisted.

Ellie almost yanked the shower door open to make a face at him, but... what if he's already started and he gets mad?

"Ellie!"

"Okay, okay! Fuck, I'm going!" She thought about simply opening the bathroom door and closing it again, to make Joel think that she'd left... but, it was Joel. He would somehow know she was there, even if she stayed stone-statue-still and held her breath (and managed not to give herself away by fucking hiccuping). One time, a million years ago, she'd tried to spy on him. It was on their cross-country journey. She'd been extremely careful in her movements, all stealthy and quiet and completely non-hiccup-y -- yet he'd still caught her.

Besides, he was just quiet in general. For most of the time she'd known him, they were Outside, and she thought maybe it was because of that... but even in safety, it was like he still went about things in a manner that drew the least possible amount of attention to himself. It was just so Joel-like to make sure that he wasn't louder than the running water.

Aside from all that, there was that whole... respect thing. He was entitled to his privacy. And, more selfishly -- Joel noticed when she respected his wishes, and he loved her more for it. He would tell her how mature she was, when really all she was doing was trying to act the way he wanted her to. Hardly an accurate measurement of maturity. Still, Ellie liked it when he thought she was a better person than she really was, and was quite willing to let him believe what he would. Yep, I really am just a selfish bitch at heart.

In that vein...

...after she'd dried herself off pretty decently -- and it was Joel's fault she was dripping all over the carpet -- she hung out on the bed with the towel wrapped around her, and found herself wishing Joel would hurry up and come play with her instead of himself. She'd been trying to be 'good' and not let him touch her anymore (not all that difficult when he wasn't initiating anything now), but... maybe she could make an exception this time. He got to come in the shower, after all, and even if it wasn't her doing, an orgasm was an orgasm... right? For a moment, she considered letting her hand go to work on herself. I'm horny enough, I bet I could do it right this time -- Joel and I could come at the same time!

But... no. She wanted him to do it. Besides, what if she started but didn't get to finish before he came back to the bedroom, and he could tell? Or, even worse -- if she got all caught up in it and didn't even notice when he came back? She'd die of embarrassment!

Ellie tried to imagine what he wouldn't let her see. Does he close his eyes? What does he think about? Me... it better be me... but me, how? Doing stuff to him that he won't let me do for real? Maybe he's imagining fucking me right there in the shower, and it's not awkward cuz it's a fantasy -- so it's nothing but HOT. Does he start out teasing himself like he does with me, or does he just like... go for it? Does he use one hand or two? Does he do anything to his balls, or do they just kind of sit there while his dick gets all the attention? Does he make ANY noise? Does he try to aim for the drain? He probably can't, unless he can get it to point down... it doesn't point down when it's hard, I don't think? Can he bend it however he wants? Maybe that would hurt... so does he shoot it on a wall instead, and then wipe it off? Or NOT wipe it -- maybe I could find evidence! I don't think he pulls the towel in there to catch it, cuz the towel would get soaked, so yeah, probably the wall -- oh! Or he could wipe the wall with the towel! I wonder if I could tell, by looking at the towel later...

These little fantasies and musings kept her occupied until Joel eventually returned to the bedroom. He just glanced at her and snorted... at her attire, she assumed. Or, lack thereof. She wasn't even naked; the towel covered all her naughty places.

"What?" she said innocently. "I'm in no hurry."

He all but ignored her as he started dressing himself. "I hope you know I'll never let you go to the library in that," he teased, his back toward her.

"I was trying to be nice," she pouted. "Thought you might like seeing me... like this."

"I jus' saw you naked in the shower," Joel pointed out -- too sensibly for her liking.

"Fine," she said dejectedly, and she started to slowly roll herself up off the bed... taking her time to give him a chance to change his tune.

"All right," he said, turning around finally. "Let's see you, then."

She rolled back into what she hoped was a sexy, alluring pose, on her side... but the towel started to unfold off of her body, and she had to re-tuck it snugly against her. "Oops. Shit!"

He descended on her swiftly, sporting that sexy grin that she loved, leaning over her in the push-ups position he'd assumed earlier. "Can't deny that view."

"Hey, that's my line!" she laughed, tugging his face to hers and kissing him. "You took an awfully long time in there, you know... and I know you weren't shaving or trimming or whatever cuz you just did that the other day for the wedding and you don't do it that often."

"Damn, that was gonna be my excuse." He grinned at her. "No, it wasn't all that long. Just a few extra minutes, like I told you."

"Well, it seemed like a long time to me." She kept kissing him, chastely at first, then relaxing her mouth just a little... "My lip is fine," she whispered, hoping it was true. It didn't feel like it was going to bust open, anyway. She licked his lips.

"Gently, though," he cautioned, kissing her slowly. "Jus'... sweet little ones."

Ellie was fine with that; she wanted to rub her body against his, and she could do that no matter the manner of their kisses. She hitched a leg up over his hip and pulled herself up against him.

He retreated slightly, but she wasn't sure if that was because he didn't want them to be so close or because he wanted to paw at her towel... just enough to make it fall open at her chest. "Oops," he said with another naughty grin.

She giggled. "Hey, my 'oops' was legit."

"So was mine." Joel had managed to get his jeans on before she'd distracted him, with no belt... and no shirt. His bare chest against hers felt so good, Ellie pulled him as close to her as she could, happily smushing her breasts into his warm skin. She didn't think he was hard, but he wasn't really letting her find out for sure.

"Mmm," she moaned softly into his mouth. If I can just grab him by the ass and pull...

"Shit... you keep this up an' I'll have to take a cold shower..."

"Keep what up?" She grinned, and he started to pull away. "Noooo, don't!"

"Don' what?"

She pulled his face back to hers, his lips back to hers, his tongue... "Joel..."

"Hmm." He was kissing her softly again, no longer trying to escape.

"Touch me," she whimpered. "Please..." She had decided it was sort of cheating if she asked him to (cuz it wasn't quite as selfish somehow, if she didn't). This time, she just had to; she didn't think he was going to do it on his own, but he never rejected a direct request like that, and she was pretty fucking horny by now.

He ran his thumb over her lip, then kissed her chin, her throat... her neck... and his hand started to tease her. The hot kisses on her neck made her melt, and her leg fell slack. She kept up the soft 'mm' noises -- those weren't embarrassing. The embarrassing ones happened when she came. Joel insisted those were the best, so for his sake, she could stand to embarrass herself a little -- except that was before those motherfuckers spied on us. I don't think he'll mind if I'm quiet now!

He had just trailed his finger up through her folds, eliciting a legitimate moan from her (not just another 'mm'), when he pulled away, and even started to get up. "Well, we better get goin'."

What the fuck?! "Joel!" She immediately gripped him by the shoulders to keep him from sitting up.

"What?" he asked -- all innocence now.

"Fuck you -- you can't just -- just -- you have to keep going!" she spluttered.

"Don't you wanna go to the library?"

"No!" How is he keeping his face so blank?! Now she was trying to pull him back down, and he was resisting her. "I'll be quiet! Was I too loud?" I'm being twice as loud right now!

"No, I jus' reckoned that--"

"Well, you reckoned wrong! Finish what you started!" she demanded crossly.

"What I started? I seem to recall--"

"JOOEELLL!"

"Damn, girl -- all right, if you insist..." He brushed his lips over her side in the spot he knew was ticklish, and she giggled. His beard was actually more ticklish than his lips. She didn't let go of him -- didn't trust him not to try to stop again -- as he kissed over her tummy, her belly button... a little lower...

Is he going to...?

The thought excited her even more, if that was even possible.

She did remember what she'd said the other night, but she didn't care right now. She would totally let him do it now. ...if he felt like it...

It's okay, Joel, go ahead...

He paused there momentarily, but he didn't hear her silent encouragement. He shifted up a bit, flicking his tongue over her nipple instead. She couldn't blame him for not going there, given her prior reaction. Maybe he's waiting for permission? For as vocal as she'd just been when he nearly stopped, it was odd that she hesitated now... she decided it didn't really matter, because she was feeling pretty fucking good as it was. His hand started massaging her inner thigh, and she spread her legs wide, squirming a little and resuming the 'mm' moans.

His talented fingers went to work, and she nearly jumped when she felt his breath in her ear. She hadn't even realized he'd moved. "You're so fuckin' hot," he whispered.

Ellie smiled, always pleased when he spoke to her in that way, so unlike his usual manner -- and pleased to be hot instead of cute or pretty. Especially cute. "Not me... you're the... mmmm... oh God, right there -- right there! Yessssss..." He sucked on her earlobe, and she was shivering and shuddering and bucking gently into his hand. "Jesus Christ... Joel... you're amazing... mmmmmnnhhh... I love you..."

"Yeah? You said it don' count if you say it in this situation."

"Well -- I still do... I love what you're... I'm sorry..."

"Sorry?"

"For yelling at you... when you stopped..."

He chuckled. "I see. Yeah, you should be. My feelin's were real hurt."

Ellie giggled a little in spite of the ripples of pleasure flowing through her that were certainly powerful enough to extinguish any feelings of amusement. "Joel... mmmmmmnnn..."

He slipped a finger (maybe two?) inside her then, making her utter an embarrassing whimpery-moan type sound. "Ohhh God... harder..." She reached down to her crotch and took hold of that glorious moan-producing hand, holding it there while she like... rammed herself against it, over and over. Joel was trying to kiss her neck but she was moving so much... he shifted down to her nipple, sealing his mouth over it as she bucked and moaned and finally came with an "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!" that was louder than she'd intended.

Joel left his hand where it was, gave her other nipple a sloppy kiss (for good measure, he would say), then kissed her panting mouth. "I love doin' that to you," he breathed.

She laughed breathlessly. "Not half as much as I love you doing it to me! Holy fucking shit, Joel... that was intense! But why did you let me be so loud? You could've covered my mouth with your other hand. Or with your mouth."

"You weren't so loud. An' no one was out there a couple minutes ago."

"A couple minutes? More like... twenty minutes. Or thirty."

"I jus' checked when I came back in from the shower, remember?"

She didn't remember. Guess I was too busy thinking about what he was doing in there!

He nuzzled her neck and just lay there with her for a minute as she came off her... high, or whatever it was... then withdrew his hand slowly and dragged his fingers through her pubic curls. The upper part, where it was dry. "Good thing you got that outta your system," he murmured, "or you might not've been able to concentrate on chess."

"Haha, yeah! Fuck. And I need to concentrate, since I suck so-- Joel, don't put those in your mouth! Ewwwww!"

He sucked on his fingers noisily, smirking at her. "Mmm."

She wrinkled her nose. "Ick. What if someone comes and talks to you, and they're like... 'holy shit, your breath smells like--' Ugh!"

Joel laughed. "Then they'll think I'm a lucky man."

"Eww -- no! Go drink some mouthwash."

"You don' drink mouthwash, you--"

"Whatever! Just do it."

"If we got any left. I forgot to stop by the warehouse again yesterday."

"I saw some in there still. Or brush your teeth -- something. We should go get some before the library then. So we don't forget later." If the warehouse had any. If they didn't, she'd have to hope that Max and company brought some back from the outpost when they returned in a couple days.

"Yes ma'am."

He'd started to get up when she remembered something and grabbed his arm. "Wait! What about you?"

"Me?" He realized what she was referring to and smiled. "I'm good."

He didn't have an enormous bulge in his pants, but... maybe a little one? She couldn't say for sure. "How can you be good? Cuz I know you don't jerk off in the shower..." Maybe it stays swollen after he finishes?

"Don' worry about it." He kissed her cheek. "C'mon, get dressed."

"You said I could... I mean, you're not counting the shower thing, are you?"

" 'Counting' it?"

"Yeah, you know... like, for letting me touch you. It sort of doesn't count."

"Well, you did touch me..."

"But not the way you just touched me. And... you said." She didn't feel bad about being a little pushy now that he'd been cool with the shower.

He smiled a little. "So I did. Maybe tonight. All right?"

"Really? Not maybe," Ellie bargained. "Tonight. For sure."

"Tonight then," Joel agreed. "Assumin' you're up for it."

"You mean if you're up for it," she teased.

Joel started to answer that, but then seemed to think better of it and gave her the lame "We'll see" reply instead.

"We'll see tonight. What were you gonna say?"

"Nothin'."

Ellie groaned. "Fine, be that way. But... Joel, seriously..."

"...yes?"

"I'm proud of you."

"For what?"

"For the shower. You did good."

He chuckled. "I didn' do nothin'. An' it's me that's s'posed to be proud of you."

"Why? Because you're oooolder?"

"Yes."

"That's bullshit. I can be proud of you if I wanna be. And don't say I'm cute because... I'm not being cute. I mean it. And... thank you. You... um... thank you," she repeated dumbly.

"You're cute," Joel told her anyway, giving her one last kiss and caress before getting up to fetch some more clothing.

Ellie was reluctant to get up. Maybe she'd make Joel dress her. Or maybe she'd convince him to just spend the whole day in the bedroom with her rather than face that proverbial cold, cruel world... she giggled to herself at the thought. She was just... so happy right now. Whether they were messing around in bed or playing chess at the library, they had the whole rest of the day to spend together, followed by 'tonight.'

She certainly didn't mean to wish the day away, but she could hardly wait!

~Continue to Chapter 21~

Tags: fic, tlou, uncertainty
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